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Considering Work as a Personal Fitness Trainer ?

Nature of Work of a Personal Fitness Trainer

A fitness trainer instructs, lead, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities covering cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and stretching. Fitness trainers work in country clubs, health clubs, universities, hospitals, Pilates and yoga studios, resorts, and clients’ homes. Fitness trainers also can be seen in workplaces, where they organize and oversee health and fitness programs for employees. However gyms and health clubs offer a variety of exercise activities like weight lifting, cardiovascular training, yoga, and martial arts. Fitness trainers usually specialize in only a few areas.

Personal trainers can work one-on-one or with two or three clients, either in a gym or in the clients’ homes. They assist clients appraise their level of physical fitness and set and reach fitness goals. They also show different exercises and help clients enhance their exercise techniques. They may keep the clients’ record of their exercise sessions to monitor the clients’ movement toward physical fitness. They also may offer recommendations to their clients on how to change their lifestyles outside of the gym to enhance their fitness.

Group exercise instructors handle group exercise sessions that typically cover aerobic exercise, stretching, and muscle conditioning. Cardiovascular conditioning classes generally are set to music. Instructors choose the music and choreograph an equivalent exercise sequence. Two progressively well-known conditioning approaches taught in exercise classes are Pilates and yoga. Instructors show the different moves and position/ of the particular method in these classes. They also observe students and correct those who are doing the exercise inappropriately. Group exercise instructors are under obligation to ensure that their classes are motivating, challenging, and safe – yet not too hard to do for the participators.

Fitness directors manage the fitness-related facets of a health club or fitness center. They develop and supervise programs that satisfy the needs of the club's members involving new-member orientations, fitness assessments, and workout incentive programs. They also choose fitness equipment; coordinate personal training and group exercise programs; employ, train, and oversee fitness staff; and fulfill administrative duties.

Fitness workers in smaller facilities with less employees may do an array of jobs together with their fitness duties, such as watching over the front desk, signing up new members, giving tours of the fitness center, writing newsletter articles, making posters and flyers, and overseeing the weight-training and cardiovascular equipment areas. In bigger commercial facilities, personal trainers usually are obligated to sell their services to members and to make a specified number of sales. Some fitness workers may integrate the duties of group exercise instructors and personal trainers; in smaller facilities, the fitness director may handle classes and engage in personal training.

Work environment

Nearly all fitness workers devote their time indoors at fitness or recreation centers and health clubs. Fitness directors and supervisors, on the other hand, usually spend most of their time in an office. Workers may divide their time among doing office work, engaging in personal training and teaching classes - in some fitness centers. At any rate, fitness workers at all levels exposed to injuries during physical activities.

Since nearly all fitness centers are in business for long hours, fitness workers usually work nights and weekends and even occasional holidays. Around 40 percent of fitness workers were part-time employees in 2008. To keep a full work schedule, some may travel from place to place throughout the day to various gyms or to clients' homes.

Fitness workers usually enjoy a lot of independence. Group exercise instructors choreograph or outline their own classes, and personal trainers have the license to design and execute their clients' workout routines.

Personal Fitness Trainer’s Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Education and training. The education and training needed relies on the particular type of fitness work: personal training, group fitness, and a specialization like Pilates or yoga each require diverse preparation. Personal trainers often begin by taking classes to become certified. They may start by being an apprentice to a seasoned trainer before being permitted to train clients alone.

Group fitness instructors often begin by participating in exercise classes until they are ready to audition as instructors. If the audition is successful enough, they can start teaching classes. They also may enhance their skills by getting training courses or attending fitness conventions. Nearly all employers need instructors to work toward becoming certified.

Fitness workers often do not get much on-the-job training; they are assumed to know how to do their jobs when they are employed. Workers may get some organizational training to know the operations of their new employer.

Every now and then, they get specialized training if they are assumed to teach or lead a specific method of exercise or concentrate on a specific age or ability group. Since requirements differ from employer to employer, before following training it may be helpful to reach local fitness centers or other promising employers to learn what background they favor.

An accelerating number of employers are favoring fitness workers to have a bachelor's degree in a field related to health or fitness, like exercise science or physical education. Some employers allow workers to substitute a college degree for certification, although almost all employers who ask for a bachelor's degree also demand for a certification.

Training for Pilates and yoga instructors has diversified. When interest in these forms of exercise increased, the need for teachers increased faster than the capability to train them properly. Teachers who are still rookies are partly responsible to student injuries, resulting to a push toward more regulated, difficult requirements for teacher training.

Pilates and yoga teachers currently require specialized training in their specific method of exercise. Training options for Pilates range from weekend-long workshops to yearlong programs, however the direction is on the way to requiring even more training. The Pilates Method Alliance has set up training standards that prescribe at least 200 hours of training; the group also has guidelines for training schools and keeps a list of training schools that satisfy the requirements. On the other hand, some Pilate’s teachers are certified group exercise instructors who go to short Pilates workshops; presently, many fitness centers employ people with only basic Pilates training if the applicants have a fitness certification and group fitness experience.

Training requirements for yoga teachers are pretty much the same to those for Pilate’s teachers. Training programs run from a few days to more than 2 years. A lot of people get their start by acquiring yoga; sooner or later, their teachers may consider them capable to assist or to substitute teach. Some students may start teaching their own classes when their yoga teachers think that they are worthy; the teachers may even hand over letters of recommendation. Those who wish to follow teaching more seriously typically undertake formal teacher training.

Presently, there are a lot of training programs throughout the yoga community, in addition to programs throughout the fitness industry. The Yoga Alliance has set up training standards recommending at least 200 training hours, with a specified number of hours in techniques, philosophy, physiology, anatomy, teaching methodology, and other areas. The Yoga Alliance also lists schools that prepare students to its standards. Since some schools may satisfy the standards but not be registered, potential students should check the requirements and decide whether specific schools satisfy them.

Certification and other qualifications. The most crucial characteristic that an employer looks for in a new fitness instructor is the capacity to plan and handle a class that is motivating and safe. Group fitness instructors do not inevitably demand certification to start working. On the other hand, most organizations push their group instructors to become certified over time, and many demand it.

In the fitness field, there are a lot of organizations that provide certification. Being certified by one of the top certification organizations is becoming progressively crucial, particularly for personal trainers. One way to guarantee that a certifying organization is dependable is to make certain that it is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

Nearly all certifying organizations demand candidates to possess a high school diploma, be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and pass an exam. All certification exams have a written element, and some also have a practical element. The exams estimate knowledge of human physiology, understanding of the right exercise techniques, evaluation of client fitness levels, and growth of proper exercise programs. There is no significant training program needed for certification; candidates may make ready by any means they desire. Study materials including books, CD-ROMs, other audio and visual materials, and exam preparation workshops and seminars are being offered by certifying organizations - but candidates are not required to buy materials to take exams.

Certification typically is good for 2 years. To be recertified, workers must attend continuing education classes or conferences, giving presentations, or writing articles. Some organizations provide more advance certification that needs an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in an exercise-related subject for individuals who prefer to train athletes, assist people who are injured or ill, or advise clients on general health.

Pilates and yoga instructors generally do not demand group exercise certification to keep their employment. It is more crucial that they have specialized training in their specific method of exercise. On the other hand, the Pilates Method Alliance does provide certification. Pilates certification demands 450 hours of documented training or 720 hours of full-time work the prior 12 months.

People contemplating on fitness careers should be extroverts, excellent communicators, a great motivator, and sensitive to the needs of others. Superior health and physical fitness are crucial due to the physical nature of the job. Those who desire to be personal trainers in a huge commercial fitness center should have strong sales skills. All personal trainers should have the personality and motivation to captivate and retain clients.

Advancement. To move up to management positions in a health club or fitness center - a bachelor's degree in exercise science, physical education, kinesiology (the study of the mechanics of human motion, involving the role of the muscles), or a related area, along with experience - usually is required.

Some organizations demand a master's degree. As in other occupations, managerial skills also are required to move up to supervisory or managerial positions. College courses in business administration, management, accounting, and personnel management may be beneficial, although a lot of fitness companies have corporate universities in which they train employees for managerial positions.

Personal trainers may step up to head trainer, with obligation for employing and supervising the personal training staff and for signing up new personal-training clients. Group fitness instructors may be advanced to group exercise director, a position in charge of employing instructors and coordinating exercise classes. Subsequently, a worker might become the fitness director of an organization, handling the fitness budget and staff. A worker also might become the general manager, whose main concentration is the financial aspects of the organization, specifically setting and actualizing sales goals; in a small fitness center, on the other hand, the general manager generally is involved with all aspects of managing the facility. Some workers venture into business for themselves and open their own fitness centers.

Personal Fitness Trainer’s Employment Information

In 2008, fitness workers held nearly 261,100 jobs. Approximately 61 percent of all personal trainers and group exercise instructors are connected with fitness and recreational sports centers, including health clubs. An additional 13 percent worked in civic and social organizations. Around 9 percent of fitness workers were self-employed; most of them were personal trainers, while others were group fitness instructors working on a contract basis with fitness centers. A lot of fitness jobs are part time basis, and many workers hold multiple jobs, holding class or doing personal training at a number of different fitness centers and at clients' homes.

Job Outlook for Personal Fitness Trainers

Employment change. Employment of fitness workers is assumed to grow 29 percent over the 2008–18 decade, which is a lot quicker than the average for all occupations. These workers are considered to gain jobs due to a growing number of people are spending time and money on fitness and more businesses are learning about the benefits of health and fitness programs for their employees.

Maturing baby boomers, one group that progressively is becoming worried with staying healthy and physically fit, will be the main driver of employment increase in fitness workers. A further factor is the combination of a decline in the number of physical education programs in schools with parents' increasing concern regarding childhood obesity. This element will raise the requirement for fitness workers to work with children in non-school settings, such as health clubs. Progressively, parents also are employing personal trainers for their children, and the number of weight-training gyms for children is expected to continue to increase. Health club membership among teenagers has increased firmly as well, urged on by concern with physical fitness and by escalating incomes.

As health clubs compete to offer more personalized service to maintain their members motivated, they will carry on to provide personal training and a wide variety of group exercise classes. Participation in yoga and Pilates is assumed to persist to grow, urged on at most by the maturing population, which requires low-impact forms of exercise and is after for relief from arthritis and other ailments.

Job prospects. Opportunities are assumed to be good for fitness workers since requirement for these workers is assumed to stay strong in health clubs, fitness facilities, and other settings in which fitness workers are focused. Furthermore, many job openings will arise from the requirement to replace the huge numbers of workers who leave these occupations for good each year. Part-time jobs will be not difficult to find than full-time jobs. Individuals with degrees in fitness-related subjects will have better favorable circumstance since clients favor to work with people they think as higher quality trainers. Trainers who combine new technology and wellness concerns as part of their services may be in more demand.

Personal Fitness Trainer’s Earnings

In May 2008, average yearly salaries of fitness trainers and aerobics instructors were $29,210. The middle 50 percent gained between $19,610 and $44,420. The bottom 10 percent brought home less than $16,120, while the top 10 percent earned $60,760 or more. These numbers do not include the take home pays of the self-employed. Earnings of successful self-employed personal trainers can be much higher. Average yearly salaries in the industries hiring the largest numbers of fitness workers in May 2008 were as follows:

General medical and surgical hospitals


Fitness and recreational sports centers


Local government


Civic and social organizations


Other schools and instruction


Since many fitness workers work part time, they usually do not get benefits like health insurance or retirement plans from their employers. However, they are able to utilize fitness facilities at no cost.

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