Last Updated on September 20, 2022
Personal Trainer Certification Guide
Personal Trainer Certification Guide
Personal training is a growing industry, and an attractive career field for young people who are passionate about health and fitness. Beyond the obvious occupational benefits, becoming a personal trainer is an incredibly rewarding career, and holds a lot of opportunities for advancement.
Becoming a Certified Personal is an ideal career move for individuals who have a passion for fitness and enjoy working directly with people. Personal trainers serve as a motivating force, and a voice of positivity for their clients. They enjoy the challenge that comes along with helping people achieve their goals.
Personal Training is also an appealing career for people who are always craving more knowledge about how to be the best version of themselves, and how to help others on the same quest. As health and fitness continues to evolve, there is a constant flow of research and findings that show the effectiveness of different approaches to exercise routines and regiments.
In this guide…
Why are Personal Trainers Needed?
It has become common knowledge amongst the U.S. population that exercise not only improves one’s physical appearance, but it is also crucial to prevent diseases, increase longevity, and promote general well-being.
The general health of people in the US and throughout the world has been in steady decline in recent years. With the increased popularity of unhealthy, processed food and more people everywhere living a more sedentary lifestyle, there has never been a greater need for certified personal trainers. There continues to be a growing number of people who suffer ailments like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases – all of which can be reduced or prevented with exercise.
Benefits of Earning a Personal Trainer Certificate
A personal trainer certificate program is a multi-disciplinary education that covers a wide array of topics. The goal of a personal trainer certificate course is to ensure that you have the necessary skills to assist people, ensure their safety, help them reach their goals, and also give you the ability to improve yourself. Generally speaking, the certificate program covers the basics of fitness, exercise science, training, and coaching.
In many cases, a personal trainer certificate is a great way to earn a pay raise, and in some cases the career can be very lucrative. There will always be a market for people looking to get in shape and stay in shape. Those willing to invest in themselves by committing to an exercise program with a personal trainer are much more likely to see results and stick to their plan than those who don’t have a trainer. With this commitment, they are more likely to see results – such as look to better physically and feeling better mentally – which will keep them returning for the personal trainer services that are working.
The landscape of the personal trainer field is changing quickly with the emergence of applications and online training. There are apps and platforms that help connect personal trainers with customers, as well as apps that control the entire personal training experience. Partly sparked by COVID-19, home training with a professional personal trainer has become more accessible and widespread. There are applications that allow a user to select a trainer, set their goals, and then do sessions virtually on a schedule that works for them.
There are an incredible amount of opportunities today for personal trainers, and we expect the number of positions and the space for this type of work to continue to grow.
Personal Trainer Certificate Options and Accreditations
In many cases, getting a job as a personal trainer requires a nationally recognized accreditation. This helps keep the clients safe by maintaining a variety of standards and industry best practices that all trainers must adhere to. The existence of various accrediting institutions helps to improve the quality of all certifications, which in turn helps the field become more professional across the board.
There is an overwhelming amount of information related to health and exercise on social media and scattered throughout the internet, all with varying levels of credibility and validity. In today’s world, it is widely expected that those who take their career of personal training seriously, will stay current on their certification credentials at all times.
One thing should be made clear – there are no national or state licensing requirements for working as a personal trainer. Unlike doctors or physical therapists, the role and title of personal trainer is not strictly regulated. That being said, having a current certification makes you much more employable, and it will also give you the foundation to build a successful career (or maybe even a successful business) while learning skills to be a better trainer, coach, motivator, and expert.
What Skills Make a Good Personal Trainer?
In the sense of providing clients with a positive, safe experience and helping the trainee see results over a period of time, it is crucial that the trainer exhibits a few key skills. It goes without saying that these skills are on top of the curriculum that is taught in a Personal Training Certificate Program.
- Interpersonal Skills – Personal trainers must place an emphasis on communicating well with their clients. You must also make sure that your clients can relate to you, and look forward to collaborating with you. Especially if you start your own business, interpersonal skills will be necessary to both maintain current business, and gain referrals.
- Active Listening – A good trainer will listen to his clients as they go through a session, and possibly more importantly, ask the appropriate questions which can potentially guide the path of the professional relationship.
- Motivating Spirit – Everyone has goals, but not everyone is able to reach them. There are quite a few reasons why this may happen, but it is the job of the trainer to keep your clients motivated as best as you can to give them the best odds of reaching their goals.
- Customer Service Oriented – At a bare minimum, you will be providing clients with a polite and positive experience. In some organizations, you will have a sales role, or possibly a chance for a monetary bonus if you can successfully sign up a customer for additional sessions or gain a new customer.
- Professionalism – It is important that you know your trade. In a certificate program, you will learn the fundamentals of the cardiovascular system, exercise science, kinesiology, and myology. It is your responsibility to know these topics well, stay up to date on research, and advise your clients as best as you can with the information available.
What is the Curriculum of a Personal Training Program?
Students across all recognized programs will gain a multitude of skills that will help them both personally and professionally. During the program, students will learn how to perform physical evaluations and testing, while also putting into practice methodologies related to result-based training.
Also important is the lessons related to working with various population segments and physical abilities. The approach for a 25-year-old athlete will be vastly different than an octogenarian looking to improve her stamina to be able to take longer walks around the neighborhood. Most programs will also touch on nutrition and weight management. Here are some of the courses that you should expect as a part of a Personal Trainer Certificate Program:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Personal Trainer Business Management
- Strength and Conditioning
- Strength Routine Design
- Emergencies, injuries, and rehab
- Stretching and flexibility
- Marketing for Personal Trainers
- Special health conditions & Fitness
- Industry Best Practices
- Motivating and Educating
What are the Qualifications to Enter a Personal Training Certificate Program?
While this varies from program to program, in most cases a High School diploma or GED is required. Some programs are online, but most require a physical presence for at least a portion of the program. In most cases, a student must be at least 18 years old, and also be CPR/AED/First Aid Certified. In some cases, the program can help you gain this certification.