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How to Become a Personal Trainer

You are fit. You love the gym. You can’t imagine life without some form of physical activity. Conversely, you hate any job that has you sitting at a desk, behind a computer screen or wearing a tie. You’ve decided to look into working at what you love and become a personal trainer.

Where do you begin?

Choose a certification course

To qualify for a personal trainer salary that has uncapped earning potential, you need legitimacy. It’s not enough to be good and have a reputation for results. You need access to both a large potential client base and the facilities in which to work your magic.Do a little research into the organizations that train trainers like Origym and Workouttrainer. No matter which course you choose, you are going to have to take a few concrete steps to get there.


Are you more inclined to work with individuals or teach classes? Do you like one-on-one or being the center of attention in a room full of sweating, puffing bodies? Of course, you can do both, but we live in a world of specialists. Start with the one thing you like to do best.


Certification courses cost money, just like college. In addition to instruction, there will be textbooks, online access, tests, and other expenses. It may be possible to find a course at a college that will certify you or even an established gym or health club. You just have to convince them that you are worth the investment.

Do the work

You will have to study and study hard. If you are probably going to be doing your certification course part time between work hours, you have to find the time and discipline to keep up with the work and prepare for the tests. Study is a lot like exercise. You have to do some every day and, little by little, you make progress. You can’t cram it all into one day before the test any more than you can cram your entire month’s exercise plan into one day.

Find a place to work

If you have not already, find a gym or health club to work in. You need a place to work and access to a clientele. The bigger the gym, the more people, and more possibilities for business. You can go independent as a contractor or work as an employee. The larger fitness corporations hire thousands of personal trainers and although work is guaranteed, you may be setting your sights on eventually building a private practice with repeat clientele. But you have to start someplace.

If you’re thinking of working for a big club, building a clientele out of their members and then going private, be sure to read your contract carefully. Look for a non-competition clause that may prevent you from taking clients with you if you quit.


Working in any physical discipline requires liability insurance. If you are employed by a club, they may cover you. If you need your own, check with your professional certifying group. They may have an economical package available.

Stay in shape

You would probably feel uneasy about going to a doctor who is overweight and smokes for medical advice. An out-of-shape personal trainer is ten times as unlikely to inspire confidence. You have to be the role model. Be fit, stay fit, and make it look fun and easy.

You should also branch out if only to become personally familiar with the world of fitness. Even if you don’t do CrossFit or Pilates, take a few classes. Do some yoga, spin, and Taekwondo, just to see what they’re all about. There are lot of ways to get in shape for some more ideas take a look here. Not only will you have greater understanding of what everybody else does, you will be able to refer your own clients to areas that may offer help you can’t give. You will also have better understanding of the essential fitness gear. Giving advice on the best CrossFit shoes, clothing, fitness trackers etc, will mean a lot to your clients, who won’t know exactly what to look for.

Talk to coaches and experienced personal trainers. They are usually more than happy to dispense advice to new colleagues. It’s all part of life-long learning in your new career.