HOW TO BECOME A PERSONAL TRAINER
Do you love health, exercise and taking care of your body? Have you ever thought of turning those passions into a real fitness career? Gorgeous Jade Yarden from www.jadeyarden.com tells us exactly how she landed her dream job as a Personal Trainer and what you need to think about if you want to be a full time fitness femme.
Decide What Your Motivations Are
I found the below questions particularly important to think about when beginning in my fitness venture as it ultimately shaped my path and gave me a drive and a goal to work towards. The fitness industry these days is a competitive constantly changing world. Don’t let it intimidate you though, and don’t think it will all just flow your way with minimal effort and maximum rewards. Be sure to go in for the right reasons and don’t be afraid to make your mark! Start by asking yourself the following questions:
1. Do you have a passion for fitness and training and a desire to help others?
2. Do you want to work with athletes?
3. Do you want to work with older aged clients or adolescents?
4. Is the rehabilitation industry what really interests you?
5. Do you think personal training is quick easy money and a good way to sort out your own health and fitness problems?
Look into Study & Education Options
Personal Trainers require two nationally accredited qualifications.
Pick a course and institution that reflects what you stand for and that offers study units in which you are interested in. You hear of quite a few courses these days being super quick to hand out certificates which may entice you to jump at the chance straight away although you need to remember that you are ultimately working with peoples health and bodies and the quickest option to landing you a personal training job may leave you in the deep end without critical knowledge.
There are two mandatory certificates you are required to obtain which will allow you to become a personal trainer. Certificate III Fitness and Certificate IV Fitness.
I studied at Randwick TAFE (the same course also offered at Loftus TAFE) completing my certificates 3 & 4 in Fitness with the addition to my Diploma of Fitness all up taking me 18 months to finish. In this time I also completed a few other additional certificates like:
1. Sports Trainer Certificate III (Randwick TAFE) and my Strength and Conditioning Level 1 with the Australian Strength & Conditioning Association (ASCA).
I’ve often been asked about my study recommendations and I can say, it really does make a difference where you choose to get your certificate as gyms and personal training managers want to know they have somebody in front of them that is knowledgeable, well equipped and passionate. The TAFE institution has a really good reputation and is held in high regard within the industry.
If TAFE isn’t an avenue you are looking for then I recommend FIAFitnation, which also has an extremely good reputation with a top quality program and knowledgeable teaching staff.
Find The Right Gym
Finding the right gym for you is extremely important and has the ability to make or break your business. You want to find a place that you can see yourself walking into every day that is both supportive and encouraging because as a newcomer to the industry you can often lack confidence. Although I’d like to point out ego and confidence is NOT the same thing!
* Also look at the cost of being a trainer as each gym have different membership costs.
Look at Your Business Model
Deciding which way you want to run your business will help decide the type of gym you approach. There are basically three options:
1. Become a personal trainer in a gym that takes a cut of your hourly rate but will pay you a wage. In this case, they are also responsible for business development and filling your work schedule.
2. Work for yourself inside a gym. This way you are in control of your own hours and training schedule. This way, you are also able to work your own hours, have flexibility and charge your own training. Whilst most gyms will also help and assist with new business for their trainers, you will need to pay them rent (weekly) to train your clients within the gym so you’ll need to account for this in your business model.
3. Work for yourself in your own space or outdoors. Outdoor fees to the council may apply depending on the area. You are in charge of all your own marketing as well as working your own hours and charging your own prices.
When starting your business, it is important to do your own research into various gyms. When approaching a gym it is best to organize a meeting with the personal training manager or whoever is in charge of bringing on new trainers. Remember to head into the interview with confidence and preparation as you’ll need to be approved by the gym.
Make sure to have questions in mind such as ask how many trainers they have working for them already? How many members do they have? Are they looking to bring on lots of new trainers in the near future? This is important as it will help you gain insights into how competitive each gym can be. How much is weekly rent? What does the “build up” phase look like when starting out? Am I locked into a contract?
All of these are really important questions to be asking to make sure you end up in a profitable situation that will ultimately help you grow as a business.
Additional Qualifications or Study
Many people ask is it necessary to do additional study, courses and diplomas once the mandatory qualifications have been achieved?
The simple answer, no.
But in my experience, the additional diploma in particular, has really helped me to be able to handle certain situations in the gym that I wouldn’t have been prepared for had I just done the minimum amount of study (Certificate IV).
Im referring to situations like addressing special cases, identifying weak spots, assessing injury and / or rehabilitation cases. The last thing you want to do in a situation where you have a duty of care to a client’s health and not know how to properly heal or understand it from a technical perspective.
Create a Niche
As you have probably witnessed the fitness industry is forever changing with many new niche markets, different equipment such as kettlebells and TRX suspension straps and different types of group, interval and HIIT training on offer. Therefore, to capitalise on this, having additional education or external certificates under your belt is a great way to keep your clients interested and focused but also creating a brand for yourself. This also adds new specialties to your core business offering and gives you a whole new niche and value add.