How Long Does Fitness Training School Take?

Fitness trainers work with individual and groups of different skill levels and ages who desire to become fit and healthy. They provide instruction, show how to perform various exercises and motivate their students. They see to it that their clients do the workouts safely and correctly and also give them advice on any dietary or lifestyle changes they need to make to achieve their fitness goals.

If this sounds like the career you want to go into, you would greatly benefit from going into fitness training school. There are actually different kinds of educational training programs that would prepare you for this profession. The length of your educational preparation will also depend on your specialization. This is why fitness training school can take anywhere from as short as six months to more than four years.

One of the fastest ways to become a personal trainer is to get certification from the many certifying organizations that offer such. They don’t have strict educational requirements to enter the program but offer learning materials like DVDs and textbooks for the students to study on their own and then take a test afterwards to get certified. One example of an organization offering this program is American Fitness Professionals & Associates. Their Personal Trainer Certification can be obtained by the student after passing a test which needs to be taken within six months from enrollment. The American Council on Exercise also offers three kinds of study programs to become a personal trainer—standard, premium and premium plus—which prepares students for the ACE Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor Certification Exams.

However, advanced certification programs may require an associate’s degree at the very least in fitness, exercise science, healthcare, wellness or related fields. For example, an associate’s degree in “fitness, exercise science, nutrition, health care, wellness, human resources or related field” will qualify you to take the ACE Health Coach Certification Exam. Comparable work experience or a current NCCA-accredited certification in these fields will also qualify you to take this exam. An associate’s degree typically takes a couple of years to finish while a bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete for students who study fulltime. A bachelor’s degree in physical education, exercise or related fields is also your ticket to management positions in gyms, health clubs and spas. Some advanced positions also require a master’s degree in these fields. These programs typically take an average of two years to complete. Most would require completion of a bachelor’s degree for admittance into the program.

The educational requirements for special fitness training certifications, such as Yoga and Pilates, vary. The Yoga Alliance requires at least 200 hours of yoga teacher training program from a school registered with the organization before issuing teachers the Registered Yoga Teacher 200 designation. The teacher certification program for Pilates at Core Pilates in New York City is a 600-hour program that can be completed in six months.

It’s also important to understand that before fitness trainers can apply for certification, they must show proof that they are certified to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. CPR classes can take anywhere from two hours to five hours.

Fitness trainers have to comply with continuing education credits in order to retain their certification. Through workshops, online courses and seminars, fitness trainers are kept abreast of the latest developments in the field.

Career Spotlight: Fitness Trainer

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