If you’re looking for a side business or career that combines a love for fitness and a mentoring role. personal training might be for you Personal training is at it’s heart all about being able to help people live healthier, happier lives. By combining physical exercise with essential lifestyle changes like diet they help their clients realize real gains in quality of life.
Perhaps one of the best parts of personal training is this – you don’t actually need any qualifications to be one. It’s not a formal role in the same way being a physiotherapist or solicitor is. Becoming one can be as easy as having someone notice you in a gym, decided they like the look of you and ask you to help them do what you do.
Personal training is also a role as varied as you are. If it has a physical component involved, it can be an excellent base for a program of fitness and improvement. While running and gym excersizes are what most commonly comes to mind many trainers can and do cater their services to a diverse range of activities. Everything from swimming, football, Mauy Thai kickboxing and more can be the cornerstone and focus.
The Traits of a Great Personal Trainer
Now obviously this is probably not going to happen if you’re sat on the rowing machine with a box of donuts in your hands and the evidence of many past pastries wearing heavily around your middle. You need to look the part and yes, unfortunately, this means you’re going to need to be fit yourself. After all, you’re your own best advertisement for your services. If you can’t make things work for you, how can you make it work for others?
The great thing here though is that you don’t need to be some Olympian paragon of athletic perfection either. Those guys and gals probably already have a personal trainer anyway. Consider instead your appeal as a healthy 60-year-old to other people your age? Or as a Mum of three keeping herself in shape to other mothers concerned with the affect pregnancy has had on their bodies?
Being genuine and approachable is thus a huge gain. People want to believe that they can have your success too which is why it’s so important to be fit and able to model it. You need to be able to inspire your clients in your role as trainer and become teacher, mentor and coach. Getting fit is not an easy thing (otherwise there’d be little call for personal trainers), and you need to be able to inspire your client to overcome the natural adversity that gets in the way.
Though we mentioned a formal qualification isn’t needed to be a personal trainer what is mandatory is knowledge. While “what worked for me” is a fair starting point it’s not going to work with the diverse range of clients you are likely to be taking on. Even if you target a particular demographic, individuals inside of that group are going to have different needs and requirements you need to be aware of. Nutrition for example is a crucial part of a healthier lifestyle, but it’s on good offering shellfish to someone on a Kosher or Halal diet, to say nothing about allergies.
Knowledge then is important. Understanding the mechanisms by which the body burns fat and builds muscle and the most appropriate exercises to achieve these goals are key to any successful personal trainer. This is where distance learning courses can be extremely helpful, allowing you to expand the depth of your experience with an understanding in exercise, nutrition and even business skills if you choose to work for yourself and not a gym or other organizations.