The last few years have seen a massive boom in the fitness industry. The number of fitness-related posts on social media platforms is a testimony to the burgeoning numbers of fitness enthusiasts, newer forms of fitness, fitness challenges and fitness transformations not only across the world but also in India.
Consequently, there has also been an increase in fitness studios and gyms and an increase in demand for fitness trainers. As people have an increased passion for fitness, they have also developed a deeper awareness about the right form, exercise schedule, workout plans and finding the right fit for their body type.
This is where the expertise and knowledge of a personal fitness trainer are called upon.
Who is a Personal Fitness Trainer?
A Personal Fitness trainer is someone who provides expert advice, supervises and trains others to achieve their fitness goals. While an interest and love for fitness are inevitable requirements for personal fitness trainers, becoming a personal fitness trainer requires a genuine interest in passing on such passion to train others.
A good personal trainer is one who knows how to motivate and direct his or her clients to achieve their goals.
How Should You Go About It?
Once you have identified and are clear about Personal Training as your career choice, the next step is to identify your niche and interest.
Personal Training is an umbrella term. Within the field of personal training, there are many specializations based on training type and client profiles. Some trainers, for instance, enjoy working with special populations, while others are more interested in competitive or athletic training. A large number of personal trainers also cater to clients who want to manage weight and seek a fitness routine to balance out their lifestyle.
The first step to becoming a certified personal fitness trainer is goal setting. A thorough analysis and an in-depth understanding of the industry are imperative before you choose the certification. It would be a waste of time and effort to be certified in an area that is not of your interest and to eventually repeat the process in your area of liking.
It must, however, be added that a suitable way to go about it would be to begin with a general basic certification and thereafter go about seeking specialized certification to enhance both your knowledge and credibility.
Taking Stock of Your Skills and Abilities
The first step to a career as a personal fitness trainer is making a decision and gauging one’s interest.
The second step involves closely identifying and assessing your skills and capabilities.
A personal trainer needs to be a good motivator and a role model for his or her clients. This calls for a great amount of discipline and commitment. Not only does a personal trainer have to look after his or her own levels of fitness, but also have a significantly high level of drive and motivation so that it transfers to his or her clients. Only if you have such high levels of discipline and commitment combined with a passion for fitness is it advisable that you move ahead in this direction.
While Personal Training might seem like a simplistic career path, a holistic understanding of several skills is required for the same.
These include skills such as an in-depth understanding of kinesiology- anatomy, nutrition, biomechanics and physiology; and qualifications related to health and medical conditions – an assessment of health conditions and fitness levels. Personal Trainers also need to have a significant exposure to planning and implementing fitness programs varying according to client goals and fitness levels.
Combined with these hard skills a personal fitness trainer also needs a very strong set of soft-skills.
Time management is very important when planning schedules both for clients and for oneself. Leadership and confidence, likewise are extremely important when meeting up with new clients and people from the “posh” industries. At the same time, a personal fitness trainer needs great communication skills to build a rapport with clients and the organization he or she chooses to work with. Business skills are equally handy when it comes to pricing and providing valuable training services.
The development of these skills is significant to a successful career in personal fitness training. Therefore, when you are choosing an organization that will train and certify you, it is important to choose one that focuses on the development of these subsidiary skills along with all the foundational education and knowledge that are necessary for becoming a personal fitness trainer.
Certification – A Must Factor!
Until a few years ago, when fitness was still in its nascent stages in India, the certification of personal trainers was not something that received much attention. As the industry grew, it became important to sift and weed out trainers who weren’t adequately qualified to ensure higher standards of service, professionalism and safety.
Recently REPs was launched in India, changing the face of the Indian health and fitness industry by introducing accreditation and high standards of professional quality. Reps was established to protect the public from fitness trainers who weren’t adequately qualified or trained, thereby promoting a health-enhancing fitness industry.
This has placed further significance on the certification of Personal Fitness Trainers. If you are looking to build a career in fitness training then certification would ensure that you meet the standards set by the industry, and at the same time will provide you opportunities and access to others from the industry.
What Certification Should You Choose?
A good amount of research should be put in before you decide upon the certification you wish to choose. A review of various certifying bodies and organizations, feedback from others who are certified from an institution, and a close look at the syllabus and course design would help you zero in on an institution that is appropriate for you.
Once you have decided on the academy or institution, the next choice would be the level of certification. Several options are available as far as certification is concerned. It is up to you to make a choice that fits your personal career objectives.
Some of these options include :
Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)
The DPT course (K11 Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) Course) is a course that gives you a complete overview of fitness and an in-depth understanding of the many aspects of personal fitness training. On successful completion of this course, you would be licensed to train professionally the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa besides India where the marketing is simply booming with opportunities.
Diploma in Personal Training for Special Populations (DPT-SP)
The DPT for Special Populations could be a value addition to the DPT course as it would enable you to work with clients who have either suffered injuries or have musculoskeletal disorders and require special care and attention. Getting this certification would create many niche opportunities in the area of senior clients and clients with injuries.
Certified Sports Nutritionist
The CSN certification is yet another valuable addition to any basic certification since it would allow you to develop a client base not only by providing training but by also giving them a complete nutritional plan side-by-side to attain their fitness goals.
There are a host of courses and levels available for aspiring personal fitness trainers to choose from. Yet it is very important to bear in mind the credibility of the organization, the right course that aligns with your goals, and the professional network of the organization.
Certified. What Next?
Once you have received training and are a certified personal fitness trainer, congratulations!
But the buck does not stop here. It is important for you to begin to look for opportunities. A good certifying academy will have enough industry connections to find you a good job opportunity. Networking is key. It is up to you to develop networks with fellow fitness trainers and be on the lookout for appropriate opportunities.
In all, if you wish to become a personal fitness trainer you should consider certification as an investment. Choosing the right certification from the right academy will not only prepare you for the profession but will also provide you several valuable links to the health and fitness industry which would go a long way in developing a successful career.