What Does A Fitness Trainer Do?
People who are serious about getting back in shape turn to fitness trainers for help. Popular media has featured them in reality shows or working closely with Hollywood stars but in reality, fitness trainers work with regular people of various ages and skill levels. According to the National Federation of Professional Trainers, the definition of a personal fitness trainer is that of “a fitness professional possessing the knowledge, skills and abilities for safe and effective exercise and fitness program design, instruction and assistance for the purpose of reaching personal health and fitness goals.”
The task of fitness trainers centers on teaching and encouraging clients to achieve their fitness goals. They may work with individuals and small groups as personal fitness trainers or as group fitness instructors leading students in a particular exercise session such as aerobics, Yoga, Pilates, Zumba and others.
Personal fitness trainers first talk with clients to determine their reasons for wanting to undergo a fitness program. They will evaluate the individual’s current fitness level and ask about any preexisting medical issues. This preliminary information is important in helping the trainer determine what program to prepare for each client. Group fitness instructors don’t necessarily prepare a personalized plan for each client but they make sure that all students understand what their workout will accomplish and what kinds of conditions are contraindicated for it.
Fitness trainers demonstrate how a particular exercise is done, giving emphasis on proper execution. While their clients are doing the routines, they keep a close eye on them and correct them if they do a move incorrectly so that they prevent injury and can make the most out of the exercise. They also determine if a client is having a difficulty performing a particular move correctly because of flexibility or strength issues and recommend alternative exercises or positions for them. As a client progresses in the program, fitness instructors monitor their performance and may suggest more advanced exercises as appropriate.
Exercises routines may involve the use of music or choreography and fitness trainers are responsible choosing the music or sets of music and for creating the moves that the client should follow. If exercise equipment and other materials are used for the workout, fitness trainers must see to it that the clients know how to use the equipment safely and effectively. In the event that a client collapses or suffers an injury, fitness trainers usually know how to administer emergency first aid measures.
In addition to guiding them in exercise routines, fitness trainers also counsel clients on their diet and nutrition. They teach them on the meal plans that they should follow to complement their workouts. They also educate them on lifestyle issues that might impair their exercise regimen. For example, they may encourage clients to stop smoking and teach them ways to handle the daily stresses in their families and workplaces.
Aside from teaching them workouts and counseling them on meals, fitness trainers also teach clients how to perform certain activities during their exercises. For example, they demonstrate how their clients can monitor their heart rate so they know the level of exertion that they have reached during their workout sessions.
Fitness trainers typically work in gyms, fitness centers and health clubs. Personal fitness trainers may travel to client’s homes to do their jobs. Those who work in small fitness centers may also do administrative work. They may man the front desk and entertain individuals who plan to sign up for classes and answer their questions and concerns. They also tour new students to the facility if this is necessary. They may also be asked to make newsletters and flyers to promote the center. Others may also supervise various areas in the facility, such as the weight training area.
Fitness trainers who operate their own centers also do other work, such as hiring new personnel, orienting them to the rules of the facility and setting their class schedules. They also take care of accounting and other matters related to the day-to-day operations of the gym. They also see to it that the needs and concerns of the customers are met and that the facility complies with state rules and regulations.