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DMJAKES Posts: 1,635
1/28/14 2:59 P

Archimedes gave some great advice, but I'd add to call around to the gyms in your area and find out which certifications they prefer. In my area, every single one said that ACE or NASM were among their top choices, so I went with NASM.

I looked into working for a local chain gym, and decided to strike out on my own instead. It's been an uphill battle because I have to keep my full time job for the $$ and for the health insurance, at least for now. I live in an area hit pretty hard by the economy--most folks don't have the disposable income to hire a trainer. I get a LOT of requests for free advice, though emoticon

If you're self-employed, you do need liability insurance; a good policy will cost you a couple of hundred bucks a year. You'll also need to stay on the lookout for CEU opportunities, as most certifications require you to renew every couple of years and keep your skills up to date.

It's been tough, but I enjoy every minute of it, from planning workouts to researching various exercise alternatives to suit different clients, to checking out new gadgets and equipment, to looking back with them at their progress and planning for their future goals. I did look into getting a yoga certification at one point, but it seemed ridiculously expensive, so I shelved that idea, at least for the time being.

Go for it!!

1/28/14 1:50 P

I was just looking at schools for fitness instructors last night. What a coincidence to see this thread!

SPARKLED87 Posts: 268
1/28/14 1:21 P

This post caught my eye because I was just thinking about looking into this myself this morning. It also had never occurred to me to try and be a group ex trainer. And it really appeals to me! I already have a full-time job but thought it would be nice to do something fitness related on the side. Thanks for all the input!

SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
1/27/14 3:15 P

And you can be a group fitness instructor *and* personal trainer. I find they complement each other well. I've landed clients through my classes and funneled clients into my classes. It is tough to break into and build a client base, but it is immensely rewarding. You are helping people change their lives. I've also found that if you help a mom, those changes often spread to their families. Good luck.

SHELLYL Posts: 76
1/27/14 2:21 P

That sounds like a great idea! I never really thought about group you have me thinking :)

thanks again!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,206)
Fitness Minutes: (294,448)
Posts: 27,083
1/27/14 12:40 P

If you are employed by a gym as a PT, the gym would cover any liabitlity insurance. However, if you decide to take on clients privately, for your safety as well as your clients, you would have to have insurance. No insurance and you're asking for trouble.

Stuff happens. That's why clients fill out waivers and why PTs need to have insurance.

Here's something you might consider. Before becoming a PT, you might consider working as a group exercise instructor first. The certification for group instructor isn't quite as intensive as the PT certs. Starting as an instructor is a good place to start learning fitness. If you can work with a group, you can work with a single client. Because the questions you get in class won't be any different than you'd get from a single person.

Also, you have a better chance finding part time work as a group ex instructor than you do a PT. Most gyms won't hire you if you don't have experience. I know that's a catch 22. if you don't work, you don't get experience. So, if you were to work say a year or two as an instructor, that would be good experience towards becoming a PT.

Do you think you could lead a Zumba class ? Kick boxing ? step ? boot camp ? If so, that really is a good way to get your foot into the door. I started as a group ex before I became a PT.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 1/27/2014 (12:41)
SHELLYL Posts: 76
1/27/14 10:45 A

Thank you for you input! I will be reading the blog in a few.

I clean houses so I am able to do both :)

It is very pricey. Once get certified do you need to get any specific insurance or anything like that? Do you claim it as a self employed business? Just trying to get my ducks in a row and make sure its 100% what I want to invest my time into.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,206)
Fitness Minutes: (294,448)
Posts: 27,083
1/27/14 9:56 A


I wrote a blog about becoming a PT. You might find it helpful.

In general, the most reputable fitness organizations who provide courses and workshops to become a personal trainer would be NASM, ACSM, AFAA, ACE and ISSA. There are lots of other fitness companies that offer certifications, but those are considered the most reputable in the industry.

I've been working as a personal trainer for the last 2-3 years. It's something I really enjoy doing. However, DON'T quit your day job. I'll be honest with you, every single PT I know has another job. Very very few PTs are able to do this full time. That's because in order to be considered a full time personal trainer, you need to maintain roughly 25-30 hours a week in clients. That's alot of client hours. that's the kind of schedule that could take months and even a full year to build up.

But don't let that discourage you. Working part time as a pesonal trainer can be very fulfilling IF this is what you are passionate about. Yes, the training and related courses can be very pricey, but you could make $25-$50 an hour. Once again, the Jillians and Kari's are few and far between. Most PTs do make about $25-$50 an hour.

hope that helped

SHELLYL Posts: 76
1/27/14 8:56 A

I was thinking about becoming a personal trainer......Ive looked online to see my options. What are the most reputable companies to go thru? How hard is it to become one and is it really worth the money??

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