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How To Become A Personal Trainer

In today’s world the average person is more concerned about their personal fitness and health than ever. While fitness in the past was often put behind careers and family in order of importance, many adults are now making their bodies a priority. Gyms have seen a sharp increase in memberships sold, and specialty fitness classes like Zumba and CrossFit are incredibly popular. Even retail stores are seeing a huge boost in sales and are having trouble keeping enough supplements and home gym equipment in-stock to satisfy the hordes of people looking to get in shape.

This latest fitness craze has also created a huge demand for certified personal trainers, professionals who are qualified and extremely knowledgeable about helping their clients realize their fitness goals. Personal trainers help their clients by teaching them about how their body works, helping them with their diet, and by putting together a comprehensive exercise plan.

Personal trainers also often assist with rehabilitation for clients who have injured themselves or have gone through a surgical operation. It’s not often mentioned, but it’s incredible the number of people that personal trainers help to achieve their life’s goals on a daily basis, whether those goals are losing a few pounds or learning to walk again. So, do you have what it takes to become a personal trainer?

How To Become A Certified Personal Trainer

Do You Have What It Takes?

You might think that in order to become a personal trainer all you need to do is be in good shape. This is actually the furthest thing from the truth. In fact, I know a number of personal trainers who are in fairly average shape who are able to do amazing things with their clients. There are a number of factors involved in becoming a personal trainer, if you’re interested in becoming one go through this check list and think to yourself, is this me?

Personal Trainers Are

  • Strong Listeners – You have the ability to listen to what their client wants and plan accordingly.
  • Supportive – Your job is to build your client up, not break them down.
  • Encouraging – You’re able to help your client push past their boundaries, both physical and mental.
  • Good Teacher – You’re able to easily explain concepts to your client about exercise and diet.
  • Patient – You are able to wait for the client to progress and not push them before they are ready
  • Personal Health – You are a healthy personal who can lead their client by example
  • Organized – You are always prepared and you help your client keep on track

If you read through that and you feel that it accurately describes you then you might have what it takes to become a successful personal trainer. Even if you didn’t match every point, if it described someone who you’d like to be then don’t give up! All of those characteristics can be learned with time.


In order to become a personal trainer you’ll be required to take a certification exam (more on that later). The qualifications required for each certification varies slightly but here is a list of the most common requirements.

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent
  • 18 years of age
  • Certified in CPR and First Aid
  • Taken some post-secondary education in a fitness related field

Again, this is just a general list of the most common requirements. Contact the organization you plan to certify with to get a complete list of their requirements.

Learning The Ropes

Before you become a personal trainer and take a certification exam you’ll need to learn what you’ll be teaching. There are a number of different education options available to personal trainers including seminars, workshops, and online courses. Take a look at local Colleges, Universities, and Post-Secondary Schools to see if they are offering any courses. if they don’t have any then you may need to take an online course to familiarize yourself with what is expected of you as a personal trainer.

Choose A Certification

When it comes to how to become a certified personal trainer, choosing your personal trainer certification is an extremely important step. If you choose the wrong certification for your area or your intended  specialization then you will end up wasting time and money. There are a number of organizations like that provide personal trainer certifications, some better than others. When choosing the organization you’ll want to pick one that is nationally accredited and recognized.

If you already have a gym or fitness club that you would like to work at then it’s a good idea to talk to them and figure out exactly what certification you’ll need to work there, you wouldn’t want to take your test only to realize it’s no good!

Depending on the certification you choose to pursue your training and education may take anywhere from 1-6 months to obtain your qualification. It’s important to pay close attention and study hard, these programs are often highly condensed so you’ll need to work hard in order to understand and remember everything. At the end of most programs you’ll need to take a final exam in order to obtain your certification. Now that you’ve learned how to become a personal trainer it’s time to find some work!

Apply For A Job

Now that you’ve got your certification it’s time to get a job. Some of you may want to start your own business right away, but it’s a good idea to gain some experience and build up a client base first. Get your resume ready and start hitting up local clubs and gyms to see if they are looking to hire personal trainers. If they are hiring, great! If not, don’t give up! If you’re still having trouble finding work you can contact other local personal trainers to see if they’ve heard of any opportunities. Remember, persistence pays off and eventually you’ll get a position at a gym. Once you’re there focus on building up your client base by providing exceptional service and care. The more your clients like you the more likely they will be to recommend you to their friends!

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