Have you always dreamed of working in sports and would you like to become a fitness trainer?
Do you know which courses you should take or what are the degrees that give you the status of a personal trainer?
No need to wait any longer, Superprof will now answer all of your questions.
Define Your Priorities to Become a Fitness Trainer
Being a fitness professional means being in charge of giving fitness classes, including aerobics, weight training and muscle building.
It also means being an expert in nutrition in order to provide food and diet advice and provide adequate solutions for your client's health and wellbeing. The more know-how you have, the easier it becomes to find clients for your fitness classes.
Before becoming a personal trainer, you should know that there are 3 possible locations where you can lead classes, namely in a gym, health club or fitness centre, at your home or the clients' homes, and at a place of business.
When choosing to offer sports coaching course at home, you must make sure to have enough room to be able to make all the movements needed for the fitness training of your students.
If this is not an option, why not practice outdoors with your students instead? At a park, a municipal pool, near a lake, etc.
For corporate sports classes, there are many work organizations that offer activities to their employees, usually on their lunch break (between 12pm and 2pm).
As the people who provide this kind of service often have a high turnover rate, you have a good chance of finding an opening.
For gym or fitness classes, all you'll need to do is apply to the location of your choice, but places are often more limited.
You can also try to apply to sports associations who are always in need of professionals to boost their courses and expand their variety of activities offered.
You can figure out where you fit the best by knowing what type of personal trainer you see yourself becoming...
Define your mission
To succeed in getting hired as a personal trainer or to gain more clients with your own business, it is imperative that you are clear on what you can offer in the sport and health fields. In other words, to specify your specialties and define what is your mission in order to reassure your future students.
Depending on the level of the personal fitness training you have chosen and according to your personal inclinations, you may be inclined to offer fitness programs to high-level athletes, or perhaps the elderly, youth or children, or to specialize with people with reduced mobility.
Whatever happens, you must:
- Define your goals and the ways you will reach them with each client.
- Have digital support such as with a website or blog that highlights who you are as a coach and what are the services you offer. This will help future students find you when they are looking for a coach and as well as to help current clients share your links with others.
- Include time for relaxation and leisure in each of your courses, especially by offering relaxation and stretching exercises at the end of the session to ensure the well-being of everyone and to help avoid aches and pains the following day.
- Constantly check the progress of your clients, making sure they are progressing reasonably and en route to attaining their goals.
- Get personal trainer insurance.
- Post a specific price policy for your courses: it is important that your rate is set based on the number of people. For example, generally you can offer individual lessons for between 1 to 3 students at a higher rate than your group lessons (for more than 3 students) where each person pays a lower rate (but there are more students paying).
Do not forget to offer a 1st free trial class as a "test lesson" so that everyone can get a clear idea of your personality and what you have to offer (this will also act as excellent advertising).
Training Courses to Become a Fitness Instructor
Get accreditation for what you know
Of course, before you can offer your services and train clients in your coaching courses, you'll need to educate yourself and get certified, by obtaining an officially recognized diploma and training in the sports and fitness field.
It bears noting that the profession of a personal trainer is not (yet) legislated in some countries, but in Australia it is necessary to have a qualification, so do not skip this important step, because fitness institutions will require qualifications should you want to work for them.
Your future students need to trust your qualities as a coach, your skill level and your knowledge, because it is their health and body you are working with at the end of the day. On your side, it's your credibility as a professional which will be at stake.
Obtaining solid training in the sports and health sectors will be a guarantee of quality for your clients, even if a personal trainer career is undoubtedly one of the professions that requires the most versatility in knowledge and skills.
As being a personal fitness trainer is a profession in connection with fitness and sports training, you must follow training related to these areas.
In addition, during your career, it is highly recommended to follow up with other complementary training to keep up to date with new coaching methods and information.
There are many university courses which offer you a degree that will allow you to work in the sports and fitness field and eventually become a coach and trainer. There are undergraduate degrees all over the country to get you started such as:
- Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science
- Bachelor of Sport Development
- Bachelor of Sports Nutrition
- Bachelor of Business (Sport Management)
- Bachelor of Clinical Exercise and Physiology
Find here an example of the types of courses an Australian University can offer in the field of sport and health.
Working in sport is a competitive field, if you want to get ahead of the pack, a masters course is a great way to boost your career. Masters in Australia include:
- Masters in Sport and Exercise
- Masters in High Performance Sport
- Masters in Business Administration (Sport Management)
- Plus many more...
There are as many options as you can imagine. It will take some serious research and especially first defining your goals in order to help you choose the right option for you.
These days there are even online study options available, some which you can take on nights or weekends in order to take your training while employed in another sector.
You may also want to know how much you can expect to earn as a personal trainer...
Diplomas in personal training
Even if a university offers comprehensive training, the Australian TAFE system allows everyone to become a coach through shorter and more specific training courses. These can be taken at private or public training schools offering personal training certification.
- Diploma in Personal Training
To become a personal trainer in Australia you need at least the following qualifications:
- Certificate III in Fitness.
- Certificate IV in Fitness.
Fitness Career Pathways
|Qualification||Certificate III Fitness||Certificate IV Fitness||Diploma in Fitness|
|Career Options||Group Exercise Instructor|
Aqua Exercise Instructor
|Group Fitness Instructor|
|Fitness Service Coordinator|
Certificate III will allow you to become a gym instructor, and a Certificate IV in Fitness will allow to work as a fully-fledged personal trainer. You will learn how to work 1-2-1 with clients, but also how to run group classes.
- Advanced Diploma in Personal Training
If you want to take further qualifications to specify even further in this career, you can take the advanced training such as:
- Diploma of Fitness
- Diploma of Nutrition
Some advanced courses include teaching you how to be an entrepreneur and run your own personal trainer business.
Others Training Courses
Other training can prove to be an excellent starting point for becoming a personal trainer.
Indeed, this profession does not only include the need for know-how in physical exercise and the body, but also in nutritional and dietary advice, relaxation, workouts, flexibility, health and wellness.
This is why it can also be beneficial to take the following courses or use them as quality additions:
- Training in dietetics and nutrition
- Well-being and relaxation training
- Training in marketing: it's true, a personal trainer must also be able to market themselves and find their own clients, especially if they become an in-home trainer or work at as a corporate trainer.
- Training in different sports specialties like yoga, pilates, zumba, kickboxing, boxing, etc.
Adding to your repertoire will allow you to increase your sports coaching rates!
Finally, the first diploma you earn as well as your initial training must be considered as your foundation, a base to start your business but not an end in itself.
Becoming a good sports coach means continually learning throughout your career, knowing how to adapt to new methods, opening up to other sports and coaching techniques to enrich your teaching, and evolving to match the needs of your clients and students.
Can I Become a Personal Trainer Without a Diploma?
You don't have a degree or diploma in the sports field and yet you dream of becoming a sports coach?
Is it really possible?
Will you have to face additional difficulties?
In Australia, to become a Personal Trainer it is required to have at least a Certificate III and Certificate IV in Fitness. Certificate III will allow you to work in gyms and fitness centres with group classes, while Certificate IV is needed for 1-2-1 classes if you would like to work from home, in a business or at the clients property.
The good news is, once you are qualified you are ready to go.
What to expect as a personal trainer without more specialised training?
You have been passionate about sports since your childhood, you can't get enough physical activity and you'd like to do it as your job?
Nothing prevents you from doing it, but it is important to be aware of the setbacks that you may encounter.
You are indeed going to:
- Have more difficulty finding customers
- Have to lower your rates, compared to an experienced and higher qualified coach
- Be asked to justify your skills and help your customers to have confidence in you
If we look at the rates charged on Superprof by registered personal trainers, we can see that the average price for one hour of sports coaching is $40. However, this average is fairly moderate. By consulting in detail the list of personal trainers, we can see significant price differences, ranging from $20 to more than $100 per hour.
A price difference that is usually related to the geographical area in which the coach practices, or the type of courses offered, but not only this. The experience and diplomas of personal trainers have an important influence on the prices charged. If you want this career to become your primary business, you will need to consider this key element which can influence your future income.
- Finding customers can be more complicated.
When a potential client wants to get back in shape, lose weight, strengthen his muscles or simply be supported with his goals, he will look for a qualified professional. He will choose the coach who seems in the best position to help him, depending on their particular skills. His goal will be to save time and achieve his desired results more quickly.
- Justifying one's skills as a fitness instructor can be difficult.
If you do not have a more advanced diploma to back up your experience, you will have to justify your skills to your clients. Rest assured, this does not mean it won't be possible to gain legitimacy and a good reputation as a personal trainer eventually, but you will have to be patient and learn to sell your skills well.
Indeed, without having followed specific studies, your personal sports experience over your lifetime will have already given you serious skills to transmit and share.
Competing for clients without a diploma
A fitness professional career includes a wide variety of options for coaching:
- Weight loss
A personal trainer plays a supportive role for his students. He sets up a training program adapted to them in order to help them achieve a specific goal.
To find customers more easily without an advanced qualification or without being able to justify solid experience in the field, it will be important to position yourself well in relation to the competition, in particular, with the prices you set, but also with the following:
Evaluate your skills precisely in order to determine which areas you are most likely to be able to support amateur athletes with. Just how much do you know and in what areas? A coach does not only deal with physical exercises with his clients. You'll also be asking to give professional advice in many other areas of health and fitness.
You will need to:
- Give nutritional advice if your student wants to get in shape, lose weight or gain muscle.
- Have already participated in a marathon and know the difficulties to overcome if your client wants to prepare for this kind of event.
- Know how to take into account possible health risks for your clients who are wanting to resume physical exercise after several years of inactivity...
It is, therefore, better to limit yourself to specific areas that you know well and avoid targeting too wide of an audience. Do you have many years of gym, fitness, bodybuilding, running or athletics classes behind you? If you have good knowledge and experience in a specific area, you will be able to give insightful advice to your customers.
On the other hand, becoming a personal trainer might be easier than first thought...
8 Essential Qualities to Become a Good Fitness Coach
Beyond sports skills or the level of your diplomas, to become a fitness trainer, it is important to have certain qualities. Knowing a lot about sports will not be enough. You will need to know how to transmit your knowledge, teach, motivate, and organize effective sessions for your clients.
- Be empathetic
A sports coach must be a good listener. It is not enough to hear, but also to understand the needs of your customers, their state of mind, their emotions and their difficulties. It is in this way that you will be able to provide the necessary support to meet all their needs and expectations. Simply put, put yourself in your students' shoes.
- Be friendly
Playing sports can be enjoyable for many of us, but it can also be very difficult. When someone calls a personal trainer, it is often because they are needing to be supported and encouraged to move forward and achieve their goals. A friendly coach who smiles and encourages will spend a good time with his clients despite the difficulties and pain of training. If you are happy to be doing this job, then it's good to show it!
- Be tolerant
You will be required to assist people whose physical condition is not as good, and sometimes much worse, than yours. A sports coach does not judge the lifestyle of his clients. He does not criticize. He helps others with caring and kindness. If your customer is using your services, it is because he wants to make a change! Encourage and support him with his goals.
- Be positive
There is always something of value to find in your clients. A positive attitude tends to pull us up while a negative comment will demotivate us and limit progress. Learn to find the right words. You wouldn't say: "You didn't reach your goal", but instead: "You were almost there, the next time you'll get it!"
- Be reliable
A personal trainer is a professional. So it's up to you to organize your sessions and to be efficient. Even if the sessions are held in a relaxed atmosphere and with a relationship of trust, it's important not to fall into a lack of professionalism. Always stay punctual, serious, attentive and be extremely vigilant in protecting against injuries in particular.
- Be involved
Your involvement in the success of your customers will make all the difference. You will have to provide them with steadfast support during the sessions but also set up regular monitoring tools to visualize progress and propose appropriate solutions based on the results observed. Show your customers that your success depends on their success: "Yes, we can and will do it together!"
- Be patient
Fitness training also requires a good deal of patience. It is important to know how to adapt to the potential of each client and to follow the best pace for growth. Progress may not be as fast as you imagined, but it's part of the reality of training. Know how to be patient, and do not get angry under any circumstances.
- Be a good teacher
Pedagogy is also part of your role. It's not always easy to become a teacher and try to convey important messages. You will need to make your students aware of some essential aspects of sports practice. How to internalize a new way of life and healthy practices, learn to exercise in the proper way to not hurt yourself, change your schedule... Important points that you will need to explain. When the message isn't understood or accepted, it will be important to be able to explain it differently, or to propose a different approach.
The coaching profession is a demanding job, which requires a lot of self-investment and passion for what you do, commitment and determination, a positive personality and a desire for helping people.
It takes :
- a high level of physical condition
- to have endurance and good cardio
- to be versatile (from running to bodybuilding)
For that you must have:
- good coaching training
- be able to do group training as well as tailored individual sessions
- be a good teacher and motivator and know your specialty well
Being a sports coach means being an accomplished athlete, open-minded, a hard-worked, good teacher, and likes working with others.
Now discover how you can find clients for your personal training sessions...