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What to Look For in a Fitness Trainer Education

Nov 16, 2007
The growing interest in fitness and health makes it a great time to take the step and become a personal fitness trainer.

There are gyms and workout centers for men and women (and both together) springing up everywhere. A couple of years ago I was the only personal trainer in this rural area, but now there are several within a few miles and yet my small business has not felt any pinch and is still growing.

The reasons are many, but chief among them is the recognition that a fit lifestyle is much healthier and less prone to illness and disability than the sedentary, over-weight, sit-on-your-butt-all-day lifestyle that seems to be everywhere.

That and the fact that baby boomers are into or nearing retirement age and beginning to feel their mortality. Fit people simply live longer and happier lives.

If you are one of those, at any age, who works out regularly anyway, and enjoys helping people and can't understand why everyone isn't exercising, why not have a long think about becoming a fitness professional?

If you are reading this, perhaps you have already thought about a career change and simply want to be sure to do it the right way.

To that end I have put together a few pointers about getting your fitness trainer education and becoming a personal trainer and I have also published a list of Fitness Trainer Schools in the US, and online., on my website for reference purposes.

The decision to become a personal trainer must involve a decision to obtain the necessary education and certification and is an imperative step in being recognized as a competent practitioner in this discipline.

Reputable fitness trainer schools will help you become a personal trainer by providing the following training in their courses. Make sure that any school you are considering will deliver the following:

You'll learn the critical areas of Fitness Assessment, Program Design, Upper- and Lower-body Strength Training and Flexibility Training.

You'll learn how to effectively administer a health history screening, which simply means you will learn to assess a clients current physical condition through testing so you have all the information necessary to develop a safe and effective exercise program and more.

You will learn to become a fitness trainer for one-on-one or small group training. It's worth bearing in mind that small group training in the form of 'Boot Camps" can be highly effective at recruiting new, ongoing clients as well as producing a great income source. This is important whether you work at a club or on your own.

You will learn to empower, motivate, challenge and retain your clients.

The schools curriculum should be continually evaluated and updated to ensure that it includes the most current exercise science information to keep the graduates ahead of the competition.

You will have demonstrated your knowledge of exercise science, nutrition, fitness assessment, exercise programming, and training and instruction techniques.

You will be required to do real-life situational evaluations. Given a (hypothetical) clients problems, goals and limitations you will assess and design an appropriate program for exercise and be tested on your performance.

Generally, you must meet the following eligibility requirements to become a personal trainer.

* You must be at least 18 years of age.

* You must hold current adult CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification at the time of the exam. Candidates registering for online courses must have current CPR prior to registration.

It certainly helps if you understand fitness science and don't just memorize it. This is a case where you can really help people if you have a good understanding, or you could do harm if you don't. After all, being a fitness trainer is not just about memorizing program design, but understanding the fundamentals of exercise science so that fitness can be prescribed to many unique individuals.

Look for a program that includes alot of hands-on teaching. This will help you know you are doing things right and will increase your confidence.

The right personal trainer course will help with your belief in yourself, and will give you confidence in your ability, and trust in your knowledge.

Deciding on a career, or changing careers can be a little scary, but will be less-so if you do a little ground work first.
About the Author
Cindy Brotherston, CFT,
Owner of Inspirations Personal Training and Fitness Therapy Studio, visit the following page for a listing of Fitness Trainer Schools
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