A fitness trainer teaches people exercise activities that would improve their fitness levels. You’ll be designing workout routines tailored to the health objectives of the clients you are working with. You can come up with your own moves and select your own music tailored to the exercise. Alternatively, you can also follow a prepared routine that fitness firms have produced and teach these to your clients.
You can have individual sessions or group sessions and hold advanced or beginner classes depending on the skill and fitness levels of your clients. You will show them how certain moves and exercises are done, giving emphasis on correct form so that injury is minimized and the benefits of the exercise maximized. You also go around the room observing how your clients do their routines and correcting their form if needed. If you have students who have special conditions, you can provide alternative exercises for them. In workouts where exercise equipment is necessary, you demonstrate how the equipment is used and assist the client for the duration of the workout. You always emphasize safety in the performance of every activity.
You also monitor the progress of your clients. In addition to leading them in their exercise routines, you also teach clients about the best foods to eat to complement their workouts and the lifestyle they should follow to keep their weight down and stay healthy. In the event that your client experiences an injury while doing the routine, you provide emergency first aid and if necessary, bring him to the hospital.
You can work as a personal fitness trainer where you teach clients individually or in small group settings or as a group fitness instructor where you lead group classes. You can also become a specialized fitness instructor wherein you teach yoga, Pilates or other types of exercises. Fitness trainers can also advance to become fitness directors of health clubs or gyms. In this capacity, they will not anymore be teaching classes but will be tasked with taking care of the administrative work like hiring personnel, choosing and ordering fitness equipment and scheduling training sessions.
To succeed as a fitness trainer, you need to be in the best physical shape. No one is going to trust a personal trainer who has a flabby stomach so you need to practice what you preach. In order to get clients, you must also have excellent customer service skills. You need to be friendly and polite yet persuasive at the same time. You need to keep clients motivated so that they will continue to get your services in order to meet their fitness goals. To find out what the client’s state of health and fitness level is, you will need to listen to them intently. You also need to speak well and communicate effectively with them while the session is going on so they know how to conduct the exercises and so you can keep everyone in high spirits.
One reason to become a fitness trainer is that it gives you the opportunity to do something you love and get paid for doing it. If you have the passion for health and exercise and want to share all the benefits that can be derived from working out regularly then this career is certainly going to be very fulfilling. Moreover, it’s a good way to earn extra income for those who are busy with another career. There are also good job opportunities for fitness trainers in the next few years, based on government projections. For those fitness trainers who are given the chance to craft their own routines and fitness moves, the career paves the way for fame and increased earnings.
Fitness Trainer Work Environment
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that 58 percent of fitness trainers and instructors were employed in fitness and recreational centers sports centers in 2012. The others worked for civic and social organizations, healthcare and social assistance and in private, local and state schools and instructions. There were also some who were self-employed.
Some fitness trainers may work fulltime for a fitness facility but others may teach classes only at certain days of the week or on weekends. They may also accommodate clients at nights, weekends or holidays. The personal fitness trainers who offer personal training sessions may go to clients’ homes to teach.
Fitness Trainer Salary
The May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the mean annual wage of fitness trainers and aerobics instructors is $37,790. This is higher than the $25,560 received by recreation workers who were grouped in the same category. In 2012, the agency reported that the highest paid fitness trainers and instructors got a median annual pay of over $66,530 while the lowest paid received less than $17,630.
Fitness Trainer Career Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the employment rate of fitness trainers and instructors is expected to rise 13 percent in the decade covering 2012 to 2022. This rate is about as fast as the average for all job types. The demand will come from the growing acceptance by businesses, governments and insurance firms of the fact that health and fitness programs are advantageous for their employees. Thus, workers are encouraged to join gyms and fitness clubs because of the incentives given to them.
In addition, the growing number of seniors who desire to stay healthy and avoid aging-related injuries will also fuel the need for more fitness trainers and instructors. Finally, the movement to fight obesity and promote healthy living also contributes to the need for more fitness trainers.
Fitness Trainer Degree
Aspiring fitness trainers need to have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, although more employers prefer those who hold an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in exercise physical education, science, kinesiology or related fields.
Those new to the field often have to work with more experienced trainers before they are allowed to handle their own classes. When it comes to specialized fitness instructors, the length of training can vary depending on the kind of exercise. For example, the Yoga Alliance requires aspiring yoga practitioners to obtain at least 200 hours of instruction on various topics covering yoga before they can complete the course.
Certifications are important because employers often require it inasmuch as it demonstrates proficiency in the method. While no particular education or training is required to obtain this certification, organizations offering such certifications ask fitness trainers to study various materials and attend workshops and seminars. In many cases, fitness trainers also need to first obtain certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before they can apply for physical fitness certification. They also need to pass an exam or exams.