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How to Become a Personal Trainer

Jenny Richards provides advice on the prerequisites of what it takes to become a personal trainer.

As human beings, we all are deeply concerned with how we look. To be perceived as fit and healthy most of us go to great lengths. At no other time in the combined history of the world has fitness been as high a priority as it is now. With our increasingly sedentary lifestyle and stress levels from work and life in general, lifestyle diseases like obesity are at an all-time high. Little wonder then that personal trainers and lifestyle coaches are so much in demand.

Personal training as a career

To be a personal trainer, you need to be able to do three things. For starters, you need to be in optimal shape. The second most important skill you need to possess is to be a motivator; last but not least, you ought to empathise with people.

Being in optimal shape

This means you need to be in the best of physical form. That also means that you ought to be at the right weight for your height and your BMI, or Body Mass Index needs to be according to your height. A passion for physical fitness and knowing your way around a gym is also a great help.

Being a motivator

Think of this attribute as a cross between a friend and a drill sergeant. You need to know when to be strict and when to mentor your client. Challenging and pushing your client to do better is a big part of the job. Yet you need not be a tyrant. Prominent fitness trainers agree that being a positive role model and enabling your client to lose weight, be more active and adopt a positive lifestyle is the mantra to being a successful personal trainer.

Being empathetic

This attribute is of prime importance because it is your job as a trainer to identify your client's pain points and help them work through them. You need to understand your client's body type and lifestyle, embrace it and help them make changes that will positively impact their lives.


As with any vocational profession, a gym instructor needs certification. One of the essential skills a personal trainer need is understanding human anatomy and its varied functions. Understanding and calculating BMI, metabolic rates, and the right kind of exercises for the diverse needs of the clientele is also an acquired skill. Think of yourself as an automobile or machine technician. You would not be able to repair or tune a car or machine without the proper training, would you? The same is true with the human body, so a personal trainer's certification course is vital.

Advantages of the vocation

Being a fitness trainer means that you are an independent professional in many ways. You have the flexibility to choose your hours, select the number of hours you prefer working, and select the clientele you want to work with. What is more, you could always take up part-time assignments at gyms and private workout studios, or better still, consolidate your clientele and start a gym or workout studio on your own. After a few years' experience, some personal trainers have been known to work with actors, sportspersons, and models, a lucrative career option in its own right.

So, you see, being a personal trainer is a doubly good career choice. For starters, you are helping people better their lives, and at the same time, you are your master. Quite the sensible career option, would not you say?

Page Reference

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  • RICHARDS, J. (2015) How to become a Personal Trainer [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Jenny Richards is a freelance writer who is very passionate about sports and fitness. She likes to collect fitness information and read books.