"Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness"- Joseph Pilates
A personal trainer is more than just physical training or helping you increase your level of fitness. Yes. A good personal fitness trainer will help you lose weight, stay in shape, and stay healthy. But there is more to it than meets the eye. As a personal fitness trainer, you need much more than a good physique and regular exercise. You at least need a personal training certification, to get you started. Also, it is recommended that you practice some form of athletics like kickboxing or weightlifting. This helps you walk the talk and practice what you preach. Ultimately, a personal fitness training course would teach you just that.
Personal trainers have literally brought the gym to your home over time. And this has largely been possible due to their exceptional skills, high levels of time management, and of course their experience with fitness training. They can help you set up in-home personal training centers that broadly entails a customized, individual fitness program designed to improve the clients’ performance. The fitness trainer would come to your home or invite you to their state-of-the-art fitness studio to give you the best-in-class experience. Mind you, most personal trainers in India are self-employed. That way it is a great career to pursue and also a good business idea if you have the right connections and clientele.
Personal training is not the same as a gym session or a PE class. In fact, a personal fitness trainer is a versatile professional who is familiar with not just fitness training but other methods of improving your fitness level like yoga and meditation. People seek support from a personal trainer for many reasons, of which stress, health and fitness goals, and staying in shape top the list.
Basics of Personal Trainer Career
To answer the question on how to become a personal trainer, it is important to first lay down the basic differences of this profile with other forms of training. You can start by understanding who is a personal trainer.
Personal Trainer Definition
A professional with a valid and recognized certification in fitness training is known as a personal trainer. This is a very generic definition of the term but mostly covers what a personal trainer is. Essentially, a personal fitness trainer is someone who has achieved a certain level of competency to create and deliver safe and effective training courses or programs to other individuals.
How is Physical Education Different from Fitness Training?
Who doesn't remember their PE classes from school? Almost no one, right? They were one of those things every child looks forward to because a PE teacher introduces you to the world of sports. A personal fitness trainer, on the other hand, does a lot more than that. They help you stay fit and achieve your fitness goals, thus paving the way to a new and healthier life. So, you can aim to lose weight or become a bodybuilder- a personal trainer will support you in getting there and help you make the right plans.
A personal fitness trainer will provide you with one or more of these offerings in lieu of fee payment for their training session:
- Customized coaching.
- Weight loss program.
- Motivation-building sessions.
- Fitness courses.
- Nutrition and dietary courses to build your fitness level.
A PE teacher, in contrast, is an educator working in a school. She would create a curriculum to cater to group training or introduce you to the theories of sports and athletics through multiple support sessions. You will also find support to hone a particular athletic skill over the course of your training sessions.
Skills Developed through PE Training
A PE teacher would help you develop certain very important skills:
- Motor skills.
- Initiative taking.
- Respecting your peers.
- Fair play.
Personal Trainer Qualification
To become a personal trainer, ensure that you have the basic educational qualification. That is crucial to your career. Additionally, you need to get certified as a personal trainer from one or the other fitness training courses. Remember that your clients view your credibility based on this basic qualification and certification. Of course, like any other practical work, you have to heavily rely on OJT (on-the-job-training) to enhance your level of expertise. The other route is to take a job at any fitness club and get your certification through them.
As a personal fitness trainer, you can always engage in CPD (Continuous Professional Development) and keep adding feathers to your cap. Consider getting add-ons to your portfolio to attract more clients, like,
- Certificate in Kinesiology.
- Certificate in Rehab Training.
- Dietician or Nutrition Specialist Certificate.
- Sports Medicine Specialist Certificate.
Remember that a personal fitness trainer is like a wellness coach. People view you as some sort of guru who has the key to many of their health (both physical and mental) problems.
How is A Sports Coach Different from A Personal Trainer?
The roles of a sports coach and personal trainers are similar in a fundamental way- they both entail coaching the students. But unlike a sports coach, a personal fitness trainer's job is more holistic and does not focus on one particular competition or on bringing up the level of a sports club. Sports coaches usually follow routine training programs to meet their goals and usually train through group fitness sessions. A sports coach will help the sports club and trainer find the right exercises to reach their goals and motivate the athletes, but will not offer tailor-made solutions to each individual athlete of a team.
Personal Trainer A La Carte
Once your free, exploratory session is done with the personal trainer, they would usually have gauged your fitness goals. You could be looking for,
- Cardio training.
- Learn Pilates.
- Postnatal exercise sessions.
- Weight loss program.
- Yoga and aerobics.
- Mental well-being exercises.
No matter the type of employment of a sports coach- self-employed, working for a club, conducting online sessions, or training a local team, their role differs from that of a personal trainer in that people want more customized training sessions in the latter. The qualification of a sports coach is also different from that of a personal fitness trainer. And some employers expect a degree in sports medicine or coaching basis the details of the job.
A Personal Trainer is Not a Gym Instructor
The business of fitness training has many overlapping roles. For example, although a personal trainer and a gym instructor both work in the health and fitness industry, their job details are quite different.
Difference Between Gym Instructor and Personal Trainers
A gym instructor, as the name suggests, works in gymnasiums or other such fitness training centers as a fitness instructor. He is entrusted with giving fitness lessons and inculcate the spirit of sports in clients through physical activities and energetic, game-based sessions, which could also be conducted online through live streaming. The goal of a gym instructor is to improve muscle functioning and flexibility in people through an exercise regime designed to make you stay fit and in shape.
An important thing in the role of a gym instructor is the focus on achieving a healthy body rather than just realizing a set of fitness goals. It’s more recreational than competitive, and the workout is not as high intensity. There are some tailormade fitness programs specifically designed for specific demography like the youth or senior citizens.
A personal trainer helps you build your core and muscle strength and improves your endurance level and physical strength. And it is also tailor-made to suit the needs of busy clients like businessmen and celebrities or a hard-working executive. A personal trainer will craft challenging personal training sessions that will keep you motivated.
A Personal Trainer is An Educator but Not A Tutor
"Fitness is not about being better than someone else, it's about being better than you used to be." - Anonymous
Rest assured that a personal trainer will spare you the lectures on how you can get better at staying fit, etc. Their job is to make your life easier and they can't achieve it by demotivating you or telling you the unending benefits of CrossFit or pilates. That's the difference between a personal trainer and a teacher. Although the role of a teacher is much more than just delivering lectures.
There are, however, sports professors or experts whose job is to impart theoretical knowledge and recruit the next generation of fitness professionals. They build a career to encourage and motivate students to set up daily exercise routines and maintaining discipline when it comes to staying fit and healthy.
The underlying difference between a personal fitness trainer and other trainers is the emphasis laid on personalized and individual guidance sessions throughout the program or course. This is supplemented with dietary advice and strategies for enhancing mental well-being. The client is always at the center of any fitness course. So, you can trust the expertise and experience of a personal trainer to bring your the best when it comes to personal physical development.
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