Today's fitness trainer is more than a designer of programs, he/she is an educator, providing instruction in many facets of fitness, from correct exercise technique to equipment and apparel selection. Learn what it takes to become a personal trainer!
There are a lot of pros and cons in being a personal trainer.
A major part of the personal trainer's job is motivating the client.
Trainers who work in clubs may be either independent or employed.
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Interest in physical fitness training has grown rapidly in the past few years. Those involved with designing or supervising exercise programs must have a basic understanding of the principles of human physiology and anatomy.
Today's fitness trainer is more than a designer of programs, he/she is an educator, providing instruction in many facets of fitness, from correct exercise technique to equipment and apparel selection.
Click Image To Enlarge. Interest In Physical Fitness Training Has Grown Rapidly In The Past Few Years.
In addition to providing ongoing expert advice and instruction about effective training for a client, a major part of the personal trainer's job is motivating the client to stick with a training regimen.
Motivation, like other aspects of exercise, is a personal issue: what works for one client may not work for another. Developing strategies to keep each client interested and motivated will often be as important as designing the exercise program.
Exercise leadership by the personal trainer is an important factor in adherence and motivation. Some of the qualities of an effective exercise leader include the following:
Punctuality and dependability about scheduling sessions and communicating with the client. This includes being regularly prepared for training sessions.
Professionalism in dress, behavior, and demeanor. This means treating clients with respect and letting them know (through actions as well as words) that you take the trainer-client relationship seriously. It also means respecting the client's privacy and the confidentiality of what is shared as part of the trainer-client relationship.
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Dedication to the exercise training endeavor, as demonstrated through putting continual effort into making training sessions fun, rewarding, safe, and educational. Trainers should be working as hard in their capacity as clients are expected to work in their exercise sessions.
Willingness to plan ahead for things that may interfere with a training session and preparing the client, as much as possible, for any breaks that may occur.
Sensitivity to each client's past experiences, current preferences and current and future needs. This means providing a regular means for evaluating the client's performance as well as your own, and being open to suggestions and alternatives that may enhance training sessions.
Click Image To Enlarge. You Must Provide A Regular Means For Evaluating The Client's Performance As Well As Your Own.
A commitment to seek additional education for professional growth, which includes keeping abreast of the latest scientific information about physical activity as well as current exercise fads about which your client may have questions.
Presenting oneself as a role model for both exercise training and other areas of health.
Taking responsibility for problems that may arise in the course of helping clients reach their exercise goals.
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Forming with each client a partnership in the exercise experience, which includes having the client play an active role in the training program and any decisions that may be needed to pursue the exercise training goals.
As you can see, there is much more to personal training than just showing someone how to work out. It takes a well organized person who also has the ability to work with people. And you must practice what you preach.
Independent Contractors Vs. Employees
Personal trainers who work in clubs may be either independent contractors or employees, while self-employed personal trainers are usually independent contractors. Which one do you start out as?
Personal Trainers: Are You An Independent Contractor Or An Employee?
Pros & Cons:
Some owners of fitness clubs use independent contractors so that the club can avoid the expense of training, medical benefits, social security withholding, worker's compensation, or unemployment coverage for these workers.
However, most clubs still require independent contractors to follow club rules. Clubs may also prefer to deal with independent contractors because it is harder legally to fire an employee than simply not to renew a contract.
Click Image To Enlarge. Clubs May Prefer To Deal With Independent Contractors.
Many personal trainers enjoy the freedom of the independent contractor status, including:
Choosing when and where to work
Charging variable fees for different situations.
Having professional freedom in conducting work.
These freedoms must be weighed against the disadvantages of having no employer to provide clients, training, benefits, or equipment.
Both independent contractors and club employees must be certain that all details of their agreements are clear from the beginning of their work with a fitness club or center.
How much control can the employer/club owner exercise over the details of your work?
Are you paid by the hour or by the job?
Is there a specific time you can train in the gym?
Do you have a written contract with the client and gym owner?
Click Image To Enlarge. Independent Contractors And Club Employees Must Be Certain That All Details Of Their Agreements Are Clear.
Owning your own training studio is the best situation but the most expensive. Now you are dealing with overhead such as building lease payments, utilities, equipment costs, insurance and so on.
One of the main aspects of getting your business up and running is marketing yourself. You need to build a nice client base quickly or have an existing one from the gym. If you are starting out from scratch....good luck, this is the hardest way to get started.
Personal Trainer Of The Month: Exclusive Trainer Of The Month!
To highlight personal trainers we're going to award one trainer each month the Bodybuilding.com Personal Trainer of the Month Award.