Iam considering becoming a personal trainer and was curious as to which certifications would be helpful. I sell insurance now and hate it. Now that I can’t compete anymore it’s very hard not to be around athletes and that mind set. Personal training sounds like something I would be good at and enjoy alot. Are there any trainers on the website. Can one make a good living at it? Thanks for the help.
I wouldn’t recommend it. I got all the certifications and ended up making no money because it’s hard to get clients. You are pretty much a sales person struggling to find customers when you first get into the business. If you know alot of people who are willing to pay you $$ to train them then go right ahead and do it, but in my experience it is pretty much a dead end job.
Bring on the hate mail!
MJ - It’s my beleif that unless you’re doing something you have a passion for you won’t be satsified and successfull. I think both of those attributes are very important to leading a healthy life and I know having only one of them wouldn’t make me happy. I also beleive that if you are doing something you truly have a passion for that you will succeed at it because you will be one of the best due to your motivation and genuine interest in the job.
That said personal training isn’t something I’d say to jump right into 100% right off the bat unless you are just out of college or have no real bills hanging over your head. It will be very hard at first $ wise (but worth it). If possible do it part time on the side and slowly build your business until you’re ready to make a serious move. As mentioned establishing yourself is where the struggle will be but once you have a reputation built up you will not have a problem getting clients.
All in all if you really think it’s something that will make you happy go for it ! I was in your situation where I hated my job so I quit and now I train full time…no regrets.
As for certifications I would recommend NASM all the way.
p.s. You’ll never make it training at a commercialized (chain/franchise) gym but it’s not a bad stepping stone to get into the business.
My 2 cents
What about CSCS, and NSCA? How long does it usually take to get certified?
I was once a Personal Trainer. Its not an easy job initially, but the personal satifaction and rewards CAN be high. Personal Training nowadays is a business. It can be a very lucrative business BUT you have to put in the hours and dedication. Like with most services that you’re trying to provide, you need to sell yourself and be seen to be practicing what you preach.
In the current climate of fads and other fitness guru bullshit, you need to stay on top of particular diets, new exercises etc. One problem that I had was that my qualification was geared towards mainly free weights and a limited resistance machines. As much as this was useful, when I got my first job in a club with little to no free weights, a few Swiss balls and a handful of machines and club members who’s ages were in the 35 - 70 age range, the limited experience and qualification I atained reared it ugly head and I became frustrated and annoyed.
I would suggest that you aim to get a qualification that covers everything you need to know. The best person to ask is a US fitness professional. Here in the UK, the best courses are: YMCA and Premier. These courses are good because not only do they teach you the fundamentals of PT they also show you how to conduct your self and how to run your business.
Another thing you need to ask yourself is how committed are you to becoming a PT? One massive problem I had was juggling my ever growing portfolio of clients with my own track training commitments. This infact turned out to be the nail in the coffin for my PT career. Telling clients that you can’t see them on a Monday because you are at the track or a Saturday because you are competing or Thursday because you are at the physio didn’t go down well at all!!
This all aside…PT is and can be fun…especially in the summer with all the honeys!!
CSCS you need a bachelors degree in something. If you have a degree in health or sports related get the cscca certification. The CSCS is ok but its played out. I really like (and have) the usa wieghtlifting club coach certification for learning and coahing the oly lifts.