A personal trainer is someone who guides individuals through exercise programs, helping them develop a fitness routine and track their progress. They also provide nutrition and other health advice, lead group exercise classes and give clients the confidence to work out on their own. Some trainers have specific training experience, such as in sports and martial arts.
A reputable certification from an organization like the National Federation of Professional Trainers is necessary for this career, and it helps if the trainer specializes in a particular area of fitness. For example, some trainers prefer to train athletes and compete in athletic competitions themselves, so they might have a clientele that’s focused on this type of training.
In addition to having a comprehensive understanding of the body, personal trainers must be able to write adaptive, progressive and efficient programming for their clients. This requires a thorough knowledge of human anatomy, how muscles work together and how to correct imbalances and injuries. Some programs also offer business skills, preparing trainers for the role of a gym owner or running their own fitness studio.
As with any other career, finding a job in the personal training industry is no walk in the park. However, the rewards are often gratifying. In addition to the satisfaction of making a difference in a client’s life, trainers enjoy competitive wages and the ability to set their own hours. They can work at their own client’s homes, local gyms, private parks or even on cruise ships and holiday resorts.
For those who want to become a personal trainer, it’s important to find an accredited program that offers continuing education. A recent study found that those with a specific certification were more knowledgeable than those without. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) both have accredited programs, as do many other institutions.
Some trainers choose to specialize in a particular area of fitness, such as weight loss or cardiovascular endurance. Others help people recover from serious injury or illness, such as a heart attack or diabetes. In addition to focusing on physical health, some personal trainers also help their clients cope with mental issues, such as low self-esteem or depression.
One of the biggest barriers to getting enough exercise is a lack of enjoyment, and a good personal trainer will try to make workouts fun and interesting. They may design workouts based on the client’s interests, cheer them on as they hit milestones and help them overcome any mental hurdles that might keep them from working out on their own.
Setting smaller goals and tracking them regularly will help a person stay motivated, which is an essential ingredient in reaching an overall goal. The goal should be measurable, such as how much weight you can bench press or how long you can run without stopping. It should be achievable within a reasonable time frame, such as a few weeks or months. And it should be relevant, such as increasing strength to play your favorite sport or reducing your risk of heart disease. personal training