The current economy is far from an easy one. Between the high rates of inflation, an astronomical increased cost of living, and stagnant wages, even individuals with full-time positions are still struggling. This is partially why entrepreneurism and freelancing have become so popular over the past few years.
The increased interest in entrepreneurism and small business ownership also coincided with the events that took place in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that started in early 2020. The pandemic fundamentally changed the working world with striking permanence. Firstly, the pandemic forced many business owners to make hard decisions regarding keeping their doors open. With the contagious nature of the virus and the stay-at-home orders issued at the time, many businesses that relied on an in-person clientele had to close their doors either temporarily or permanently.
This left a large majority of the workforce unemployed. Then, on top of that, another large segment of the professional workforce chose to leave their jobs on their own accord, in a movement now being called the Great Resignation.
With all this in mind, many people are hungry for an opportunity that allows them to elevate their earning potential, make their own hours, and do something they are passionate about. Becoming a personal trainer gives individuals the ability to pursue a career that gives them these exact lifestyle benefits.
The steps below can help anyone become a successful personal trainer with a bit of commitment, dedication, and focus.
Table of Contents
Acquiring Accredited Certification
The first step to becoming a successful personal trainer is acquiring a personal training certification. There are a wide variety of personal training certifications out there, but it is safe to say that not all of these certifications are created equally. This is why you want to choose a personal trainer certification program that is accredited.
Two of the most popular certification programs out there for personal trainers are the NASM and ISSA. NASM stands for National Academy of Sports Medicine and ISSA stands for International Sports Sciences Association. Both of these programs are NCCA accredited, which is the highest accrediting authority there is in the world of personal training certifications.
There are some key differences between these two popular certifications that are mostly in the design of the education itself. ISSA certifications focus primarily on programming principles and helping coaches develop a full-fledged and comprehensive training program for their clients. On the flip side, the NASM certification utilizes an OPT model, which stands for optimum performance training.
OPT is a progressive type of training that brings clients through five different stages, starting with stabilization endurance and ending with power.
In order to prepare for these exams, you can take a NASM practice test, or ISSA practice test in order to make sure you know your stuff before the official exam takes place.
Practice What you Preach
After you’ve finished your certification program, whether you choose NASM, ISSA, or another certification program, it’s important to show your clients that you practice what you preach. As such, personal trainers should implement the training tactics and exercises they learn about in their certification programs in their own personal workouts as well.
By prioritizing fitness and health in their own lives, personal trainers will find it much easier to gain the trust of their clientele which will help to grow the business into a successful venture.
Offer Comprehensive Coaching
Another great way to become a successful personal trainer is through comprehensive coaching. Diet and nutrition play an extremely critical role in the overall health of the human body. As such, many personal trainers benefit from acquiring a certificate in nutrition and dietary sciences on top of their personal training certificates.
This way, as a personal trainer, you can offer clients comprehensive advice on their well-being, all the way from exercise plans to the nutrition and diet that fuels their bodies. If you’re interested in acquiring a nutritionist certificate alongside your personal training certificate, both the NASM and ISSA sometimes have deals that offer both certificates together to help new personal trainers save some money in getting their start.
One of the most important aspects of becoming a successful personal trainer is the ability to make adjustments. Personal trainers need to be able to adjust the programs and workouts they like to use for the needs of individual clients.
On top of that, trainers and coaches should also be able to make mid-program adjustments in the case that a specific routine or movement is too hard or too easy for one of their clients. Being able to make these adjustments will also help you win the trust of your clients, and will give you a higher chance of receiving additional personal references and recommendations.
A few Final Thoughts
If you’re considering a career as a personal trainer, the first place you’ll want to start is choosing a certification program. The NASM and the ISSA are undoubtedly the two best personal trainer certification bodies there are and can kickstart anyone’s personal trainer career.