Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain strength, tone up or build muscle, a personal trainer can help you reach your goals. They design exercise and fitness plans that can be done in a gym, at home or on the road. Then, they monitor and update your plan as you progress toward your goal. They may also teach you skills and techniques that will help you on your own after you leave their services. They may also help you with nutrition and other health-related matters. Almost all personal training programs require you to pass an exam to earn certification. The specifics of the exam vary by organization, but you can expect to learn about anatomy and physiology, how to motivate clients, business advice and more. Most certifications have an expiration date and require you to accrue continuing education credits (or CEUs) to keep your certification valid.
As a personal trainer, you’ll need to have excellent verbal and written communication skills. This is because you’ll be able to communicate with your clients on a one-on-one basis and develop a relationship based on trust and mutual respect. You’ll also use these skills when giving presentations to prospective clients, posting to social media and sending out promotional emails and newsletters.
Some trainers specialize in particular areas of fitness, such as corrective exercise or cardiovascular conditioning. Others focus on a certain client demographic, like children or seniors. Still, the majority of trainers work with people of all ages and experience levels.
The best way to find a personal trainer is to ask friends and family for recommendations. You can also check out local business review sites to see what other people have said about their experiences with a particular trainer. Another option is to search online. Look for trainers who have a lot of positive reviews and who specialize in the type of fitness you’re interested in.
If you’re thinking about becoming a personal trainer yourself, you can start by finding a program that offers certification through an NCCA-accredited institution. Then, “realize your goals as a trainer, the population you want to serve and your financial commitment,” says Santucci.