Working in the fitness industry, I am often approached by clients, friends and family regarding the steps it takes to get started in a career as personal trainer/ athletic coach. For me the answer is simple you need a solid foundation of scientific knowledge, some first-hand experience and some solid career objectives.

When starting out it is important to learn the intricate science behind fitness. The best way to do this is to get your professional designation or certification under the guidance of instructors who are well established in the field. The best instructors and schools will offer you all the essential information related to the sales, science and service of Personal Training and athletic coaching.

In order to help your clients succeed it is essential to learn how to assess, critically evaluate current training trends and set goals for them from within and outside the niche market you are most passionate about.

In my personal opinion it’s important for all new personal trainers and athletic coaches to put in a minimum of one to two years working for an established fitness company. Use this time as an opportunity to improve your professional, sales and marketing skills. When the time is right, re-evaluate your career aspirations based on the opportunities at hand, your success and work environment.

Career Advancement:
Once you have established your credentials, learned from your mistakes and made some great connections you will likely have the skills necessary to start your own business. Yes, that’s right, it’s time to lead from the front. When then time comes, the safest and most financially viable options are:

  1. Advance within your current franchise model to become a Fitness mentor/ instructor or a Fitness Manager
  2. Find an established Personal training gym that permits outside trainers to pay a drop in fee or a monthly lease.

Either way, in the right situation, you will likely find some amazing role models and peers whose philosophical interest & style of training will align with your own. Once you find the right fit, you can start taking the first steps towards independence!