The fact that you are reading this article shows that you have decided to take up a career in personal training. And not only that, you have decided to get certified and are interested in knowing what to look out for before you pick a course. You are on the right track and have come to the right place. Many well-meaning people flounder on their path to becoming a personal trainer because they either did not get properly certified or chose the wrong course.
Does this mean there are personal training courses out there that are bad? No, not in the least degree. Every trainer course out there is good and holds value for their students. Each of them is designed specifically to help students attain a certain level of knowledge on this career path. However, a course could be bad for you not because it holds no value, but because it may not help you achieve your career objectives.
And in the light of this, there are a few things you need to consider before you jump on any course. It is important that you take care of these things before you hit the road to a personal trainer career. Doing so would prevent you from running into trouble down the road. Here are 4 things you should think about carefully:
1. What Do You Want to Achieve?
People often ask, “What is the best personal training course out there?” The answer to this question is simple – None! This is because all courses aren’t created equal. It all comes down to you, what do you want to achieve? Do you just want to be a part-time trainer while you work a 9-to-5 job? Or do you want to climb to the zenith of the fitness industry?Check out fitness industry trends for 2019. Furthermore, you need to decide where your passion lies and your target clientele. Do you have a passion to train children? Do you want to work with the elderly? Do you want to train athletes? The answer to these questions would help determine what course you should choose.
2. What Would You Like to Handle?
Certain certifications will only allow you to train clients on a one-on-one basis.For instance,a certification that qualifies you to work with someone recovering from a physical injury. Some others will prepare you to handle a small group of clients. Then there are certifications that would qualify you to handle a large group of people. And with small or large groups what kind of classes would the certification prepare you to handle? Zumba? Aerobics?
If you would like to work with training equipment, you need to find ifthecourse would enable you work with equipment. You also need to find out what kinds of equipment you would be limited to. Do you have a passion for fitness diet and counseling people about their nutrition? You need to find out what certification would qualify you to do that.
3. Where Would You Like to Operate?
The certification you decide to take would determine where you would operate as a personal trainer. You cannot work with a client in a swimming pool if thecourse does not cover that. There are certifications that qualify you to instruct clients in their homes. There are others that qualify you to take them outdoors, to the gym, fitness club, a physical therapy center, amongst other locations.
Another thing you need to consider is whether the certification is valid for only a certain geographical location. For instance, is it accepted in Canada only, or can you operate in other countries? Does your insurance cover what location the certificate qualifies you to operate in?
4. Is It Online-Friendly?
Isn’t everything online nowadays? You could get knowledge on almost anything these days thanks to the internet. You also can leverage on its power to get to clients you cannot reach physically. In the light of that, you should find out if the certification course you want to take would allow you do this. Some courses, for example: those that prepare you to help a person recover from physical injuries, cannot be done online, it has to be in-person. Although, even with courses that are strictly in-person, you could offer extra services such as meal planning, offering online resources, and answering questions on the go using platforms like Telegram, Skype, Whatsapp, etc. You could also make meal planning videos and upload them on YouTube.
Be sure to sit down with your course provider and ask questions regarding the availability of these key points in the course you intend to take. Feel free to look through the courses offered for a personal training certification by Hilltop Academy.
Other factors to consider when choosing a personal trainer course include:
Price: This is a very important factor to take into consideration when choosing a course. It is understandable if you try to be frugal and choose courses that are cheap. However, you should remember that you get what you pay for. A personal training course need not be expensive to be valuable, but price is usually a good indication of value. Find out all the fees you are required to payto take the course. Does the course have a separate fee for materials and examinations? Does it have an annual fee to maintain your membership?
Yes, this is a crucial factor to consider before picking a course. Ask your course provider if the course requires you to take and pass any examinations. Any legitimate course would require you to. Find out if the examination is computer-based or in-person or both. A good personal trainer course should have an in-person examination where you can physically demonstrate the skills you learned in the course. What if you failed the examination, would there be a reseat? Would you have to take the course all over again for half the fee or just retake the examination?
Insurance: Accidents happen. We do not wish for them, but they do. That is just life. And so, you must find out if the course you want to take has an insurable certification. If you try to cut corners and take some cheap online courses, you may find out later that the credential you obtain may not be insurable. This increases your liability and puts you at great risk should a client get injured while working with you.
Consider these points discussed here as the building blocks for the foundation of your career as a personal trainer. Do not let anyone rush you into taking any course without asking questions and confirming that all these factors are in place. Feel free to ask about other things that may not have been included in this post such as extra benefits that may come with the certification. Some schools may offer to hook you up with employers after you complete the course. Others may offer to help you grow your business by recommending you to clients. Note that these factors may not be totally available in one particular course.However, a course that has the factors that are important to your personal trainer career is a great choice.
Image Credits: Personal Trainer from wavebreakmedia /Shutterstock