Becoming a Personal Trainer

Becoming a Personal Trainer

Personal Training

Personal Training is a unique profession in which a Trainer helps an individual achieve his/her fitness goals in either one-on-one or group settings. Trainers both prepare and oversee workout programs in addition to providing nutritional advice. Personal Training is a very rewarding job that requires great people skills along with knowledge of fitness training. Personal trainers may work in a gym, fitness center, or do in-home visits. Many university recreation facilities also employ personal trainers. Generally, personal trainers charge by hour or by session. You can review what it takes to become a personal trainer in the Become a Professional section.

Group Exercise:

Group Exercise is a great motivator for many people. Group exercise typically refers to classes such as Zumba, Spinning, or Yoga where an instructor stands in front of a class and directs them through the workout; often to music. There are many different classes out there to try and some enjoy group exercise sessions over private workouts.
Examples of Group Exercise Classes:

  • Zumba: Latin Style Dancing to Latin Music
  • Spinning: Randomized High Intensity Intervals on a Spin Bike
  • Yoga: Sequenced stretching, breathing, and position holding techniques designed to increase flexibility, mobility, and relaxation
  • Pilates: Pilates is a technique that targets the deep postural muscles by strengthening from the inside out. Pilates helps the body become longer, leaner and with improved alignment.
  • Cardio Dance: Dancing routine led by instructor with the goal of increased heart rate and cardiovascular health benefits
  • Step: Aerobic training utilizing a step apparatus that often combines dumbbell and bodyweight resistance training
  • Sculpt: Resistance training utilizing various equipment and body weight movements.

Try as many classes as are available to find what you like. Getting friends involved in the classes with you will add extra motivation and help to keep your workouts fun.

Become a Professional

If you love helping people achieve their goals, enjoy interacting with others, and have a passion for health and fitness, you might want to explore becoming a fitness professional. There are several careers in the fitness field that can allow you to work with virtually any population you can imagine. If you want to be fitness professional there are several things you need to address in order to be competitive in the fitness market. They include population, education, certification, and experience required.

The first thing you need to decide is which population you want to work with. Do you enjoy working with senior adults or do you prefer working with children? Do you want to train the general population or do you want to work with athletes? Once you decide what population is best for you, narrowing down the job you want and opportunities available will become much easier.
For most fitness careers, a high school diploma is the bare minimum when it comes to education required. However, if you want to be a competitive hire, a bachelor’s degree in sport science, exercise science, physiology, or kinesiology is something you may want to consider. If your goal is to work with professional athletes or people diagnosed with a specific disease, you may even be required to get a master’s degree. Education can never hurt you, and the more you understand the human body, the better you will be at your job.

There are many certifications available to qualify you as a fitness professional. Some certifications require more education than others and the cost for each one varies significantly. Here are some of the most well recognized organizations/certifications available:


National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) http://nsca.com/Home/

Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT)

Description
• NSCA-Certified Personal Trainers (NSCA-CPT) are health/fitness professionals who, using an individualized approach, assess, motivate, educate and train clients regarding their health and fitness needs.
• Certified personal trainers design safe and effective exercise programs, provide the guidance to help clients achieve their personal health/fitness goals and respond appropriately in emergency situations.
• Recognizing their own area of expertise, personal trainers refer clients to other health care professionals when appropriate.

Required Education

• 18 years old
• High School Diploma or Equivalent
• CPR and AED Certification

Exam

• Paper/Pencil and Computer Based are available
• 150 questions
o + 35 additional video questions
• 3 hour time limit

Cost

• NSCA member
– Early Registration - $235
– Standard Registration -$270
• Non-Member
– Early Registration - $370
– Standard Registration - $405

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCSs) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. Recognizing that their area of expertise is separate and distinct, CSCSs consult with and refer athletes to other professionals when appropriate.

Required Education

• Bachelor’s degree
– If you are a college senior, you may still take the exam but you will not receive certification or your exam scores until you have provided proof of graduation
• CPR and AED Certification

Exam

• Scientific Section
– 90 questions
– 1.5 hour time limit
• Practical/Applied Section
– 120 questions
– 2.5 hour time limit

Cost

• NSCA member
– Early Registration - $260
– Standard Registration - $295
• Non-Member
– Early Registration - $395
– Standard Registration - $430

Certified Special Population Specialist (CSPS)

Certified Special Population Specialist (CSPSs) are fitness professionals who, using an individualized approach, assess, motivate, educate, and train special population clients of all ages regarding their health and fitness needs, preventively, and in collaboration with healthcare professionals. Special populations include those with chronic and temporary health conditions. CSPSs design safe and effective exercise programs, provide the guidance to help clients achieve their personal health/fitness goals, and recognize and respond to emergency situations. Recognizing their own areas of expertise, CSPSs receive referrals from and refer clients to other healthcare providers as appropriate.

Required Education

• Bachelor’s degree
– Degree must be in Exercise Science or related field
– College Seniors may sit for the exam if he/she possesses a current NSCA-CPT certification
• Current NSCA-CPT or CSCS certification
• CPR and AED Certification
• 250 hours of related practical experience
– Must be documented

Exam

• 110 questions
• 2.5 hour time limit

Cost

• NSCA member
– Early Registration - $250
– Standard Registration - $285
• Non-Member
– Early Registration - $385
– Standard Registration - $420


National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

http://www.nasm.org/

Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT)

Cost

• Self-Study - $699
• Self-Study with Live Workshop - $845
• Online Classroom - $999

Exam

• 120 multiple choice questions

Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa)

http://www.cscca.org/certification/sccc/not_fulltime

Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified

Requirements

For collegiate or professional-level strength and conditioning coaches who have not been coaching on the collegiate or professional-level for a minimum of 12 years, or students/interns who are preparing to become collegiate and professional-level strength and conditioning coaches.

Current CSCCa Membership
• $50/year
– CSCCa Approved Internship/Practicum
• Completion of a 640 hour CSCCa approved internship/practicum under a CSCCa Approved Mentor.
• $300 Practicum/Internship fee
– Internship Completion Verification Form
• Must be signed by mentor

Certification Fee

• $200.
– Bachelor's Degree
• Must be an accredited institution
– Current CPR, First Aid, and AED Certification
– Pass Written Certification Examination
– Pass Practical Certification Examination


American College of Sports Medicine

http://certification.acsm.org/

Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)

The ACSM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) works with apparently healthy individuals and those with health challenges who are able to exercise independently to enhance quality of life, improve health-related physical fitness and performance, manage health risk, and promote lasting, healthy behavior changes. The CPT is certified to conduct basic pre-participation health screening assessments, sub-maximal cardiovascular exercise tests, and muscular strength/endurance, flexibility and body composition tests.

Required Education

• 18 years of age or older
• High school diploma or the equivalent
• Adult CPR/AED certification (with hands-on practical skills component)

Exam

• 150 questions

Cost

• ACSM Member - $219
• Non-member - $279

ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist

The ACSM Health Fitness Specialist assists those with medically controlled diseases and health conditions, as well as apparently healthy clients, in adopting and maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviors. Academic preparation also includes fitness management, administration, and supervision. The HFS is typically employed or self-employed in commercial, community, studio, corporate, university, and hospital settings.

Required Education

• Minimum of a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science, Exercise Physiology or Kinesiology. Candidates are eligible to take the exam in the last semester of their degree program.
• Adult CPR/AED certification (with hands-on practical skills component)

Exam

• 150 questions

Cost

• ACSM Member - $219
• Non-member - $279


American Council on Exercise (ACE)

http://www.acefitness.org/fitness-certifications/default.aspx

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

Required Education

• Must be at least 18 years old
• Must hold a current, government-issued photo I.D.
• Must hold a CPR/AED certification at time of registration that will still be valid on exam date. Course must include a live skills check. Online-only CPR/AED not accepted.
• Must register at least 10 days prior to exam
• May register either online (preferred) or by Mail

Exam

• 150 multiple-choice questions

Cost

• First-time exam - $399

ACE Health Coach

Intended for fitness, wellness, health care, human resources and allied health professionals who want to make a resounding difference in the way people live, ACE Health Coaches emphasizes fitness, nutrition, and the science behind true behavior modification.

Required Education

• Be 18 years old
• Have a current government-issued ID with photo and signature
• Hold a current adult CPR/AED certificate prior to registering for the exam
• Submit supporting documentation for one of the following:
• An NCCA-accredited certification in fitness, nutrition, health care, wellness, human resources or a related field
• An associate’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university in fitness, exercise science, nutrition, health care, wellness, human resources or a related field, or comparable work experience in any of these specified industries

Exam

• 150 multiple-choice questions
• 3 hour time limit

Cost

• $399

Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (AHFS)

AHFS have the expertise to work with clients who have multiple health issues, and develop post-rehabilitative fitness programming for people recovering from cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic and musculoskeletal issues. They can identify imbalances that cause postural, movement, balance and other related issues, and implement exercise programs that train the body to overcome, and in some cases, prevent them from occurring.

Required Education

• Must be at least 18 years old
• Hold a current adult CPR/AED certification
• Hold a current NCCA-accredited fitness certification or a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or a related field at the time of exam registration
• Must also submit proof of 300 hours of work experience designing and implementing exercise programs for apparently healthy or high-risk individuals, as documented by a qualified professional.

Exam

• 150 multiple-choice questions

Cost

• $399


USA Weightlifting (USAW)

http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Weightlifting/Coaching/Certification-Requirem...

USAW Level 1 Sport Performance Coach

The purpose of this course is to take all participants through complete technical progressions of the Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and all associated movements including Power Snatch, Power Clean, Power Jerk, Squat variations, and pulling progressions. Participants will gain base line knowledge about the programming of training and technical rules. It is suitable for Strength & Conditioning /Sports Performance, Health & Fitness and beginning level competitive Weightlifting Coaches alike.

Required Education

• There are no prerequisites for this course and no level of education or coaching background required.

Course

• Includes theoretical classroom, and practical hands-on portions
• Course duration is over one weekend and lasts approximately 13-14 hours with up to 9 hours being practical and 4-5 hours lecture based

Cost

• $495
– For courses not held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.
• $630
– For courses held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. This includes the registration fee and room and board for 3 nights at the OTC. The registration deadline for courses held at the OTC is absolute. No late registrations accepted for these courses.