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How to Start Your Career in Personal Training

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Do you have a passion for fitness and all things healthy? This passion should ideally expand beyond a love for hitting the gym and straining your muscles. While being fit yourself is part of the job, being a Personal Trainer is really about helping others achieve their fitness and health related goals. 

Personal Training can give you flexibility in your time management, but really thriving as a trainer means you need to establish your reputation in the industry, and have good interpersonal skills. Clients can be demanding, unreasonable or unmotivated – Will you be able to keep them focused on their goals?

Here are some practical steps that can help you launch your career as a Personal Trainer.

1) Start with Yourself
Are you as fit and healthy as you can get? Do you work out often? Do you a variety of workouts under your belt? Keep in mind that in this line of work, how you look plays an important role - the fitter you look, the more believable you will seem when you tell your potential clients "Yes, I can help you.".


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2) Have credentials 
When a potential client comes to you with a request for help to look better, feel better, be better… they’re really coming to you with a set of hopes. The hope that you can help them fix themselves, whether for aesthetic reasons, or for health benefits. Therefore, it is really important that you are well equipped to help with strong knowledge in the human body. This can be in the form of a degree, or minimally, have a Personal Trainer’s cert. 
Having such credentials is a good starting point for you to design a suitable training programme for the clients, and gives the clients more confidence in your abilities, thus increasing your chances of securing business from the client.

3) Substantiate your good looks with good knowledge
Clients also feel more assured when they can understand why such an exercise or diet is good for them, in otherwise, why have you chosen this form of hell. Good theoretical knowledge is knowledge acquired from credible sources, like real books, not fitness magazines! If you’re going to walk the talk, honey, you better know what you’re talking about. 
There are several ways you can expand your knowledge:

- Get a Mentor
While you can get all the facts of the human body from the books, learning from real life examples will really help you put that knowledge into correct practice. Having a Mentor helps in reviewing your fitness programmes, clarifying doubts you may have when dealing with clients, and gives insight into nuances, which may not have been taught in the books.

- Update your knowledge
Good theoretical knowledge is knowledge acquired from credible sources, like real books, not fitness magazines! If you’re going to talk the talk, honey, you better know what you’re talking about.

4) Be known for something
Do this by upgrading your skills and knowledge. Attend relevant courses, short seminars, take a second cert, pursue that degree. 
There are many areas of Sport Science which a trainer can specialize in. Here’s a quick overview:
  • Nutrition
  • Functional Training Tools
  • Pre-Natal Training
  • Injury and Rehabilitation
  • Sports specific training
  • Sports massage
5) Where to start
Look for a gym with a pay arrangement that you are comfortable with. Different gyms have different pay schemes and this is sometimes related to your time commitment requirement. Larger franchised gyms usually hire trainers on a full time basis so you might want to explore smaller start up gyms who may be more willing to negotiate on work arrangements. 

Naturally, remember to keep a level of professionalism when interacting with your clients. At the end of the day, they are your best advertisements and word of mouth recommendations can really help to increase your client base.