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How to Start Personal Training in 5 Easy Steps

When in the market for a new career path, one of the most appealing and desirable aspects of working in the fitness industry is the constant variety: new clients, new workout routines and numerous employment opportunities in different environments and locales. Another benefit to a personal training career is the ability to focus each day on helping clients meet their health and fitness goals. It’s also an opportunity to help inspire others to adopt a positive lifestyle and encourage them to shape an overall happier and healthier outlook on life. Ready to see what a career in personal training can do for you, and how you can get started?

How to Start Personal Training Today: Your 5 Step Guide

Step 1: Set Goals

Whether you’re looking to make a difference in peoples’ lives or you’re eager to transition your healthy lifestyle into a career, it’s important to start your journey with clear goals and objectives. Start by asking yourself a few basic questions, like: 

  • What do i hope to accomplish? 
  • What career path do I hope to enter? 

Many aspiring-professionals start out in the field seeking a personal training certification and learn about the other paths they can follow once they are already immersed in the program. What you should know is that while you can acquire a basic level of certification, you can take your career even further with an advanced or master personal training certification (a program open to any trainer who has already acquired the basic level of training). Starting with an entry-level certification and working your way up to a master-level certification is a perfect example of setting goals early in your career. 


Step 2: Find the Best Fit

Personal training is a competitive market; one way to stand out from the fierce competition is to focus on your speciality and decide if it may be beneficial to acquire multiple certifications. For example, once you obtain your personal training certification, consider working towards a Pilates certification or sports conditioning certification so you can ultimately expand your clientele and differentiate yourself from other trainers in your area. 

Step 3: Find a Place to Get Certified

So now that you have established your goals and you have a grasp on what direction you want to take you may be wondering, how do you get certified in the first place? While you’ll have many options for acquiring your certification, you’ll want to look into associations that have third party accreditation. This ensures that their certification process is recognized and respected among the fitness community. 

Step 4: Start Networking & Building Your Resume

Once you have become certified, it’s time to get out there and market yourself! First things first, prepare your resume. At this point you have put a lot of hard work into your education and your certification; so it’s important to build your resume, highlighting your objective, experience and education. 

Now you will want to start networking with other people at your local gym – when you make an effort to meet and develop relationships with other professionals in your field you’ll gain many opportunities that you could have missed if you didn’t put effort into networking. Just think, if you develop a strong professional relationship with a few other trainers at the gym you’ll increase your chances of a) landing the job and b) if the other trainers are booked several months out, you’ll have a better chance of landing that referral client. After all, you should view every employee and guest of the gym as a potential opportunity to get your name out there.

Step 5: Your Secret to Success

The health and fitness industry is always evolving and new trends are always surfacing. As a professional trainer, you’ll want to be sure that you’re on top emerging trends and competent in the field. Another secret to success is that you remain flexible and willing to work with your clients’ schedule; if one of your clients performs better first thing in the morning and another is more motivated by the evening hour, it’s your job to cater to these needs. When you’re first starting out, don’t worry about building a successful presence right away. Start by focusing on one step at a time and your career will begin to grow from there!

At AFPA we offer a variety of different certificates to get you started with your career, take a look at our available programs to see what certification is right for you!


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