If you’re just starting out as a personal trainer, you’re going to need to earn some credibility and respect in your chosen field. There are several ways to go about this task.
First of all, you need to get certified by a reputable organization. The Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) certifies trainers in several areas. You can earn an AFAA certificate in personal training, group training, kickboxing and step training. They offer self-training materials and multi-training DVDs, so you won’t have to take classes at a local gym. You can study at your own speed and on your own time. After you’ve earned your certificate, you can take continuing education courses to keep you abreast of new fitness philosophies, trends and equipment. The AFAA has dozens of courses on training children and adults, maximizing nutrition and building a client base.
Once you get your certificate, you’ll need some references from gyms and clients. If you’re breaking into the field, try to land a job as a substitute trainer for a few local gyms. Substitute teachers frequently get hired to fill unexpected openings. If you’re already working for a health club, ask your supervisor for a letter of recommendation. If you’re a private trainer, ask your students for a personal reference. Start a simple website and post your credentials, your views on fitness and all the positive reviews of your performance that you can gather.
If there’s a professional sports team or a college team in your area, see if you can do some work for them. Try to start a fitness class at a large corporation. Having recognizable names of sports teams or companies on your website will definitely give you credibility.
The very best way to gain and keep respect as a personal trainer is to train some high-profile clients. Distribute flyers or business cards to college and high school athletic departments and professional sports franchises. Nothing succeeds like success. If you can rehabilitate a famous athlete or help an athlete improve after a slump, you’ll have people clamoring for your services.
It is also critical for you to stay in shape. If your clients notice that you’re gaining weight, it may reduce their confidence in your ability to help them lose weight. It’s imperative to stay fit, look good and remain positive to keep the credibility you earn.