Has fitness changed your life in amazing ways? Would you like it to become something that is more than just a hobby or something you like to do? It’s possible that you are curious about what it would take to become a Personal Trainer. But it’s hard to know even where to start to become one. Well here’s a little intro guide to how to become a personal trainer.

1. What do I need to call myself a Personal Trainer? 

To be a reputable personal trainer one must take some sort of certification exam in order to be awarded the title of a certified personal trainer. There are tons of organizations that offer certifications. But the problem is that not all of them are of the same quality so some certifications might not gain you the same respect as others. The quality of personal trainer programs varies from websites that will give you a personal trainer certification for $10 and a 5 question quiz to organizations which require you to pass a very difficult quiz and have a undergraduate degree. It’s important that you find a good quality certification organization to be certified from.

2. What are some reputable personal trainer certification programs?

Some good programs are but not limited to 

1. ACSM 
-Health and Fitness Instructor
-ACSM Exercise Specialist
-ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist

2. NSCA 
-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT)

3. NASM 
-Performance Enhancement Specialist

4. ISSA 
-Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT)

5. ACE 
-Group Fitness Instructor Certification
-Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant Certification
-Clinical Exercise Specialist Certification
-Specialty Certification - Peer Fitness Trainer Certification Program

6. American Academy of Health, Fitness, and Rehab Professionals -Post Rehabilitation Specialist
-Medical Exercise Specialist
-Medical Exercise Program Director

7. USA Weight Lifting -Sports Performance Coach
-Club Weight Lifting Coach

3. What do I need to have in order to take a certification exam?

Most certifying organizations require that you at least have a high school diploma or a GED. While some require a bachelors degree such as the NSCA’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Also in addition to this requirement most certifying organizations also require that you be AED/CPR certified in order to take the test. You can take your first aid CPR training with organizations such as the Red Cross. 

4. What do I have to study to pass the test? 

Every program has a different set of questions and many have different emphasises when it comes to what they think is most important when it comes to fitness to test you on. Most programs will provide you with optional test study materials such as books and practice tests which will help you prepare for taking the exam.

5. What does it cost to get certified? 

All programs will vary in cost but you should expect to pay somewhere between $300-600 to take the test. In addition study materials for the test can run from $50-200 dollars as well depending on how much you want to buy to prepare. Some programs offer packages where they sell study materials and test vouchers together for a discount. There are cheaper programs but often its a case of you get what you pay for and you could find yourself with a worthless certification.

6. How much can I make being a personal trainer?

How much a personal trainer can make is really only limited by how many clients you can bring in and train. The better the results the people you work with see and the better you are able to sell your skills. The more money you can potentially make will be. Amazing trainers are in high demand because they can get the people they work with results. Which causes their clients to stick with them week after week. It allows them to bring in more clients through word of mouth and reputation. It also allows you to charge more for your services because you are in such demand. 

Some statistics on the earnings of personal trainers shows. 

7. Where do I work as a personal trainer?

There are a couple of different options. Some personal trainers choose to work in a gym for a company such as 24 Hour Fitness. They tend to be payed a salary and work for the company and not themselves. This tends to reduce the potential money they can make because some of the cost of training must be payed back to the gym. But the benifites of this is that you have full access to training cleints in the gym for free as well as some gyms provide insurance for trainers to protect them in the case of any injuries happening to clients that the trainer could be potentially sued for. Sort of like malpractice insureance for doctors. 

Trainers can also choose to train on their own but pay a fee to a local gym for the ability to bring clients in to use the facility. But don’t actually work for the gym. They often pay for their own insurance since they are working for themselves. But are free to attract clients how they wish and to charge whatever payment they wish for their services. 

The final option is trainers can opt not to use a commercial gym all together and can either build a home gym or use places like parks, or even the clients home as the setting for training. Usually purchasing their own equipment and bringing it where it is needed. In this type of situation the trainer is able to control how much money they make and spend as freely as they wish since they are not tied to paying fees to a gym or working for anyone. But at the same time they are liable for everything related to insurance and finding places to train and equipment.

I hope that you enjoyed this quick guide to becoming a personal trainer. Personal training can be a very rewarding and enjoyable career. But in order to be a trainer some work will be involved to get there. But anything worth doing takes a little work. But nothing compares to waking up and doing what you love day in and day out.