There are many reasons why people get into the personal training business; some have always been passionate about athletics and fitness and want to share what they’ve learned, some are born motivators, and some just want to be fitness rock stars. Whatever the reason, they all face their fair share of hurdles, most of which nobody ever tells them before they get into the industry.
Check out these 13 things you learn after becoming a fitness professional.
1. Getting certified as a personal trainer doesn’t actually involve working out. Certification is theory-based: you study out of a book and then go to a testing center for your exam. Of course, you can learn practically as well; I wanted the practical experience, so I took an internship where I attended workshops at the gym with other interns, participated in classes, and shadowed sessions with their trainers. In the workshops we would learn about anatomy, corrective exercises, modifications, body fat assessments, etc. — basically putting the things I learned in the book into a real-life setting. I took a separate workshop to learn about group fitness classes, which are much different, since you have to make sure that a group of people at different fitness levels all have a good experience. I also continue to take courses to learn about specific areas like kettle bells, TRX, and prenatal exercise.
2. Teaching classes requires you to be a really good multitasker. The workout has to be challenging enough for everyone, but not too difficult that people feel left behind. After you’ve planned a workout (and set it to music!), you then have to teach it and pay attention to the movements of anywhere from three to 30 people at one time. I always offer modifications for beginners in my classes, but it’s important to keep an eye out for people doing moves incorrectly and helping them discreetly while keeping the rest of the class on track. The energy of a room and the camaraderie of teaching to a group is different than one-on-one, and I enjoy both.
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