If you are going through hell, keep going - Anonymous

It is not easy to have a flourishing and easy-going career as a personal trainer. Unlike many other professions, the image of a personal trainer is often tainted with many prejudices and it becomes difficult to break stereotypes. That is why it is important that you know the qualifications to be a personal trainer so you have the requisite skills and knowhow to build credibility in the market.

This article will tell you that a home fitness professional is not just a bodybuilder, hulking masses of muscles. Obviously, this is a reduced vision of the personal training business, because of course being in the excellent physical condition is not enough to become a personal trainer. That said, someone who doesn't apply their brains would also not make it big in the fitness industry.

Bottom line- you need basic qualifications, certifications, and of course skills to widen the personal training scope.

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Personal Trainer Requirements and Different Certifications

Career Planning
You need to have a plan to taste success as a personal trainer | Source: pixabay.com

The guide to becoming a personal trainer in India starts with getting yourself certified from a recognized course or institution. You may consider the following courses to get going:

  • Diploma in Personal Traning
  • CPT for Special Populations
  • Certified Sports Nutritionist
  • Certified Master of Exercise
  • Certified Yoga Instructor
  • Fitness Instructing 

Mind you that if you want to start new as a certified gym instructor you can only work as an affiliate trainer in gyms, fitness centers, and health clubs, but not as an independent trainer. As a personal trainer, you can give tailormade lessons even in the client's home rather than investing in the setting up of an expensive fitness studio. The higher your qualification, the better the personal training scope. 

First Aid Certification

If you have a passion for helping senior citizens, you might consider taking up a specialization in senior fitness. You can go for a CPR certification or take a course in emergency first aid. That way you would at least know how to respond during your session should there be any untoward situation or an accident.

There is little or no chance of students getting hurt during an aerobic session but they can still have a muscle pull or even a cardiac arrest in the case of over-exertion, especially those who already have a condition. Sometimes, however much you take precautions to know about the state of health of your clients, there could still be some pre-existing condition that even your clients weren't aware of. 

Getting insurance specifically designed for personal trainers might also be a good idea.

Scope of Earning

The average personal trainer in India earns anything between INR 20,000 to 70,000 per month. And if you have good connections to an elite clientele, that figure can skyrocket. Your scope of earning depends on both your qualifications and certifications. The latter, in particular, is very helpful to build your USP as a trainer.

Guide to Becoming A Personal Trainer

Career planning
Success should be your biggest objective as a personal trainer | Source: pixabay.com

Your success as a personal trainer rides on that of your clients. And for that, you need to be able to assess their needs carefully and accurately. Giving Pilates courses to City executives is not the same as preparing a professional athlete for their next competition. While the former involves a clockwork routine, the latter includes a combination of physical exercises, flexibility and endurance training, agility, strength, and confidence-building, etc. And all this with the aim of keeping them at the peak of their physical wellness and at the same time, minimizing the risk of injury.

You can choose to have a career as a performance enhancement coach if you have the long-term benefits of your clients in mind. In this role, your job is not just to teach your students varied tactics for sports and athletics but also to assess the actual physical performance of their bodies. By doing this, your final goal is to devise ways of consistently improving this performance and keep them in shape.

Other Qualifications

There are many fitness training schools in India that acknowledge the fact that physical activity has to be complemented by the knowledge of other domains of expertise to add to the personal trainer requirements. For example, obesity is a global health problem. Many clients would come to you in the hope of losing weight or regulating their cardiovascular functions or simply help them adopt a better dietary plan. This implies that personal training scope goes beyond physical exercise alone. 

To be able to offer clients a serious health assessment and tailor a nutrition plan to their needs, you will need to participate in a certificate program on nutrition health or take a specialization course in nutrition fitness. The expectation, however, is not for you to become a full-fledged nutritionist or dietician, but to add to your portfolio as a personal trainer.

Here are some of the trainer certification topics in nutrition:

  • Exercise nutrition
  • Nutrition for sport
  • Health and fitness education
  • Nutrition and weight management
  • Pre and post-natal nutrition

You have to give your best in terms of expanding your own knowledge base to increase the level of expertise you can offer to clients. Accredited professionals are always more sought after than those who are not.

Personal Training Scope

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Expand your horizon and see the magic happen as you unfold the question on how to become a personal trainer

If you want to achieve a high fitness level like Usain Bolt, you must move with your body, rather than against it. It requires a lot of self-awareness and mindfulness that allows your mind to be centered on the goal and waiver off. It is when you are able to these and really give your all, you can hope to maximize your performance.

The same logic applies to your students and clients as well. You can keep pushing them for weeks with a strict fitness regime and highly active workout sessions and not achieve any results or you can offer them more than that.

Offer Stress Relief As Part of Your Sessions

If you are working as a professional fitness trainer, then your level of expertise should be such that clients can reach out to you beyond just stipulated gym hours. This helps to expand the personal training scope and attracts more and newer clients, ensuring professional growth for you as a trainer.

Everyone suffers from some level of stress in their lives. Especially if they are working out for the first time. Their bodies will be stiff and their minds insecure. You can start helping them just by adding to your own qualification. Find out how:

  • Learn techniques of sports massage and physiotherapy to help your students relax and prevent muscle soreness.
  • Integrate your fitness training with yoga poses towards the end of your program.
  • Build an additional level of expertise in stretching, which is an excellent and intensive way to relax tired muscles.
  • Take up a course in aromatherapy to discover the magic of tingling and calming the senses through different smells.
  • You can even get certified in myriad stress therapies.
  • A diploma in stress management would also be great for your own learning as well as for your clients.

Other Important Factors to Consider

Many gym trainers get caught up in weight loss routines and heavy workouts. But is getting fit only a matter of losing weight and staying in great shape? Not reallyIt can mean helping your body come back to normalcy after prolonged illness or trying to manage chronic pain or muscle disorders through therapy and exercises. Be aware of these special needs of clients if you are looking to become the go-to trainer for your clients.

You can choose to firm up your educational qualification through CPD or continuous professional development by getting a degree or diploma in kinesiology, for example. A certification program in biomechanics might also be useful to better know the human body. The latter helps you to better attune your coaching to your clients to help them set up an exercise program that will help them compensate for their bodies’ defects.

Another useful degree could be one in sports medicine that gives enhances your learning about corrective sports.

How to Become A Personal Trainer?

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The HOW is always the toughest and most important question to answer.

Find out who you are and do it on purpose - Dolly Parton

As you might have already understood, there are many different ways for you to find out how to become a personal trainer. You can specialize in a certain sport or type of fitness exercise, or you can focus on a particular type of clientele and audience and offer tailormade programs for them. You may also want to consider the demography or the geographical location to choose your specialization.

You can train people online or at home or at your own fitness studio. Different age groups or special populations will need different training techniques. You can even choose from the varied specializations on offer in the fitness industry that include special courses like,

  • Youth fitness training programs.
  • Senior citizens exercise programs.
  • Tailormade programs for those with special needs. 
  • Fitness programs for retired officials.

And while you are at it, you might want to gain some expertise in marketing and learn how to sell yourself. Do a comparative analysis of your competition, get the proper certification, and study your clients. Simply being passionate about what you do is not enough. Being in the knowhow of marketing tools and strategies can help your personal training business to grow by increasing your client outreach.

So, get out there and tell the world that you have arrived!

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Pragnajyoti

Doctor, dog lover, traveler..