Anyone who enjoys physical fitness and working with others could find employment as a fitness trainer to be a rewarding career. A natural inclination toward an active lifestyle and a certain inherent athleticism typically guide individuals to this kind of work. They tend to possess upbeat, encouraging personalities, perfect for motivating others toward achieving their personal best level of fitness. Many people who seek employment as fitness trainers have been involved in sports since childhood. They may have been part of baseball or softball teams, played basketball and soccer, or participated in running events like cross country and track. However, even people who discover their love of the active lifestyle later in life are also drawn to this industry. With flexible employment hours and the opportunity to interact with a diverse cross-section of the population, becoming a fitness trainer is a fun and dynamic way to earn a living.
Fitness trainers may work in a number of settings. They may be employed by gyms, health clubs, or spas, but some also work for resorts, country clubs, hospitals, or universities. They may also find employment at studios which specialize in certain types of exercise, like yoga or Pilates. In some capacities, they work as personal trainers, working one on one with clients either at a club or in the client’s home. They may instruct the individual client in a complete routine that includes stretching, cardiovascular exercise, and weight training. At other times, fitness trainers work in a group setting, leading aerobics classes, spinning classes, or other group activities.
When working with clients on an individual basis, personal trainers assess the client’s current level of physical fitness and ascertain the client’s goals. Then they must design an exercise routine which will help their client achieve their desired results. As the client progresses through the routine, the trainer offers motivation and support as well as instruction designed to improve the client’s technique and protect them from injury. In a group setting, it is the role of the instructor to choose music and choreograph workout routines for the class to follow. The instructor must design classes which challenge and engage the class without being beyond their abilities. They must also observe the students to ensure they are utilizing proper techniques and not risking injury.
Fitness trainers are often employed on a part time basis. As a result, they often work for several different facilities or clients at one time. They may spend some mornings at one club, some evenings at another, and take on individual clients during the afternoon. This can make for a complicated schedule, but individuals who enjoy variety find this type of work environment invigorating and could not imagine being cooped up in an office for several hours each day.
Becoming a fitness trainer may be accomplished through several educational routes. Most must decide what type of work they would like to do. Some choose to be group instructors, while others focus on being personal trainers. Still others resolve to become qualified to do both. Some will also decide to pick a specialization that requires additional training, such as becoming a yoga or Pilates instructor.
Before becoming a personal trainer, the individual must be certified to do the work. This typically involves some instruction, which often occurs in an online environment, and then working alongside an experienced personal trainer before accepting clients on their own. Sometimes group fitness teachers are not certified when they begin teaching a course; however, many employers will require that the instructor eventually become certified in order to continue teaching. This certification can also be achieved online. Fitness trainers regularly attend seminars to brush up on their skills, and to learn about fitness innovations. They are often encouraged to attend conventions for similar purposes. These activities improve the individual’s skills and may lead to a promotion or may enable them to acquire a growing client list for personal training.
By continuing their training and diversifying their knowledge, the fitness trainer may be able to take on larger roles within a gym or other health club facility. They may rise to a position such as fitness director, in which role they must design overall fitness programs for the entire facility. In this capacity, they may also perform human resources functions and take on administrative responsibilities.
An increasing number of employers are demanding ever-greater formalization of training for their fitness instructors. Some are even requiring that employees earn a bachelor’s degree in a discipline like physical education or exercise education. This further education can represent greater job security and more opportunities for employment and advancement.
Employment prospects for fitness trainers are likely to remain strong in the next several years and many training programs can be completed entirely online. The American public has a growing fascination with achieving a healthy and active lifestyle and they need qualified professionals to guide them safely toward this goal. With a great deal of enthusiasm and appropriate training, individuals can become certified to become fitness trainers. By obtaining even more education, they can be poised to take on leadership roles within fitness organizations.