Pursuing a career in fitness is not a path that most people are willing to take. It takes tons of discipline, patience, motivation, and a lot of passion to succeed in this industry. If you have these traits, then you’re off to a good start. But these traits alone won’t help you build a successful career in fitness. You’ll need a couple more things to succeed:
- Pick your specialty
There are plenty of paths that you can take when it comes to building a career in fitness. You can become a personal trainer, a group fitness instructor (Zumba, yoga, Pilates), a nutritionist, or a physical therapist, to name a few. You can choose a specific specialty, or you can even do all of the above. The more experience, skill, and knowledge that you have to offer, the more money you’ll earn. But do take note that even if you choose to focus on just one specialty you can still earn a lot as long as you make sure to become the best at what you do. Just set your goals and take it from there.
- Get certified
The great thing about pursuing a career in fitness is that it’s never too late. No matter what age you are, what college major you pursued, or if you even went to college at all, doesn’t matter, (or at least it isn’t required.) What does matter and what is required is becoming a certified trainer. You can’t build a career in fitness without a certification because that would be illegal.
There are plenty of certifications you can gain. Each specialty has a specific certification. So, take note that certification for a personal trainer is different from the certification of a group fitness instructor. You can gain certification in both, but that means you’ll have to complete two separate programs (but, again, the more the merrier). Also, keep in mind that for you to be qualified to apply for certification, you’ll need a GED or a high school diploma.
- Invest in your career
When you pursue a career in fitness, you’ll have to invest in it. Becoming a certified trainer isn’t cheap. A single certification will cost you $400 to $2000, depending on what kind of program you take. If you plan to get more than one certification, it will cost you more. Although it is costly, just remember that it is definitely worth the price. Becoming a certified trainer is important because that's what lets your customers and future employers know that you have the proper skills and of course the legal right to train people.
Tip: If you’re only in high school and are already aspiring to pursue a career in fitness. You have two options, you can either go to college and pursue a major related to anatomy, physical therapy, sports science, and such. Or you could start working on getting a certification straight away. You would save more money getting a certification than getting a college degree. It would also save you more time. But if you can manage to do both, that would be much better as a college degree would also open up more job opportunities (even outside of fitness).
- Keep learning ;
Trainers are a lot like doctors. They’re both concerned with health and wellness, and they have to continue learning, every day. Your learning process doesn’t stop once you’ve become certified. You have to keep educating yourself not only to increase your salary but also to ensure that you are providing the best and safest programs to your customers. If you want to be a better trainer, you have to expand your knowledge.
Instead of just focusing on the actual physical exercises why not study nutrition as well? We all know that diet and exercise come hand in hand and most people have more trouble with their diets than with exercise. If you want more customers to hire you, you should think about taking up nutrition. Luckily, there are tons of nutrition courses for personal trainers.
- Expand your career
Most trainers will either work in a gym or as a private personal trainer. Why not take it a step further and even become a YouTuber or a social media influencer? This is a great way to expand your career. It will open you up to more customers and more opportunities (and yes, more money). Of course, this isn’t a requirement, but you can’t deny that people in the fitness industry get easily discovered and rise to fame faster when they’re active on social media. It’s also a great place to show people how effective you are as a trainer. It’ll be your portfolio.
- Be better at building relationships with people
Being a trainer means learning how to deal with people. That means building good relationships with people. If you want to be one of the best trainers out there, I hate to say it, but you have to take care of your reputation. That doesn’t mean that you should be fake. Be genuine, be real, and be honest. Building a good client-trainer relationship is especially important. If you need tips on improving your relationships with people, click here.
- Practice what you preach
Of course, you have to practice what you preach. You are your number one advertisement. You are the first thing your customers or employers will look at. If you aren’t practicing what you preach then why should others listen to you?
Pursuing a career in the fitness industry takes a lot of guts. If you believe this is for you, then go. Achieve your goals, get certified, and keep expanding your knowledge. And of course, stay active.