How To Get Started As A Personal Trainer

So, you want to be a personal trainer, probably a certified personal trainer? Really? Ok! Before you think of or proceed to become a personal trainer, there are certain things that you should know about personal trainer business. These will help you to reach success in this business. This guide is dedicated to helping you become a personal trainer and a good one at that!

First, Don’t Let Making Money Be Your Main Goal!

Now, if money is your number one incentive to be a personal trainer, I advise that you find a different career. Yes, find a different job because although you need to make ends meet as a personal trainer, making money should not be the sole reason you want to be a trainer.

True, clients pay a lot of money for personal trainers. At a commercial gym in most parts of the world especially in the advanced countries like the United States, the going rate is one dollar for one minute which turns into 60 dollars an hour. Some gyms charge upwards of a hundred dollars for an hour now. The rates could be more or less depending on the country, the location of the gym, the facilities at the gym and the fees set by the management of the gym. So, there are no static rates.

That being said, it is clear that yes, there is a lot of money in personal trainer business if you want to get in. however, this should not be the sole reason why you want to become a personal trainer.

Work on Your Physique, Intellect, Experience level, Dependability.

One thing you have to ask yourself is if you were to hire a personal trainer, how would you want them to be? Would you want them to have big biceps? Would you want them to actually have knowledge about the job? Would you go for someone with hands-on experience or just a starter in the business?

These and more are things you should think about when you think about becoming a personal trainer because a client is relying on you. They’re paying you for this service because they lack the knowledge on training on things like nutrition, cardio, fitness, and all of the other things that they don’t know. So, they’re coming to you for help and it is your responsibility to help them.

How To Get Started As A Personal Trainer

How To Get Started As A Personal Trainer

Work on Your Personality and Care-ability

A big thing is your personality. You need to understand who you are. Are you outgoing? Are you an introvert? Or, are you an extrovert? Do you get along with people really well? Do you like helping other people? Do you truly care about helping someone or are you just in it for the money? If you don’t, you have to work on this and make sure that you are what your customer or client expects to see when they hire you.

Understand the Nature of the Business

Unlike most jobs out there, understand that as a personal trainer, your schedule is not going to be a nine-to-five or 8 to 4. Rather, it’s going to be whenever your clients can make it into the gym. So, you may wake up at 5:00 a.m. for your 5:30 client and they might call and cancel or reschedule. You may have to go home maybe go back to bed and come back again at noon for your next client, then your client at 2:00.

You may even have to go home because someone works late and needs to get a session at 8 o’clock in the evening. So, you may be going all day back and forth. My point in this is that training people as a personal trainer is time-fixated. You don’t really or solely regulate the time. Most times, your clients do. That’s what comes with this job of which you should be aware of before trying to get it.

Get Fit Yourself

Let me ask you, “if you were a customer and you needed someone to help you stay fit or take you on personal fitness sessions, who would you go to?” a fat, pot-bellied guy/lady who’s struggling with obesity or someone who is well-built and bodily fit? I guess you would opt for the later.

In the personal training business, your physique matters a lot. That is how you look, your body build, your fitness, everything about your personality come to bear when you want to take on this job. So, you have to be fit first of all to send a signal to your prospect that yes, it works for you and if it does work for you, it can work for them too. That is how it it.

Have Passion for Fitness and Body Improvement.

Yes, you need to have passion for fitness if you want to become a personal trainer. In this business, interest is more like 70% of the requirement before other things like certification, getting a training space and so on and so forth. You have to be passionate about body improvement too, staying fit must be your thing and if you have these in place, then you can proceed to step 2 which has to do with getting the certification as a personal trainer.

Get Educated and Certified

First, why do you need to be educated on the arts and science of personal training? Well, education and Certification is very important in the personal trainer business because they help you to know how to offer all-round training and specific trainings to specific category of people.

For example, if you are educated, you’re not going to take a 23 year old guy who is on a length push-pull workout and put a 75 year old woman on the same program. These are things you have to know and you can only know this through education and certification. With proper education and training, you will know how to work with special groups of people like people with disabilities, people who are incapable of doing certain movements, and other people who have special needs.

You will be able to give instructions like ask your clients to start bench pressing and go beyond just instructions to explain to them why they’re doing that movement. You will also learn the importance of and how to encourage your trainees to be involved in the design and creation of the program you want to put them on. From your training, you will know how to design and implement technical stuffs like exercise programming


Now, before you can be certified as a personal trainer, you must undergo training on fitness and be fit yourself to train others. Most times all you need to enroll on fitness training before the certification is basic educational certification like SSCE or its equivalent. This applies to Nigeria so if you are not a Nigerian or interested in becoming a personal trainer in Nigeria, you can use the basic educational certification in your country. When you have been found fit to train others, you will have to take an examination and if you pass the examination, you will be issues a certificate to authenticate that.

There are many ways to get certifications as a personal trainer. In Nigeria, for example, you can get certified by the Institute of Registered Exercise Professionals (IREP). In Australia, you can get certified by the Australian Registered Exercise Processionals (AusREPs).

In the United States of America (USA) you can get certified by NASM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) program. Another body in the USA that can get you certified as a personal trainer is The National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA). They issue the Personal Fitness Trainer Certification. Other certifying bodies are NSCA, ACE, and ACSM.

In all, find out the bodies and agencies in charge of regulating and certifying people as personal trainers in your country and enroll for a certification course there.

Employ Yourself or Get Hired

Now, there are two ways of making money from the personal trainer business. Either you setup your gym or you apply to work as a personal trainer at a local gym in your town/city.

Setting up your gym could be costly because you’ll have to rent a space, buy the equipment, tools, and pay for inventory. Other costs which you may bear are the cost of hiring staff and pay logistic and maintenance fees like lighting, decoration, water, etc. to keep the place moving fine. If you can’t factor these by yourself, you might consider applying to work as a personal trainer at a gym with everything intact or nearly intact as the case may be.

However, bear in mind that as an employee personal trainer, your income is regulated and stipulated around the volume of customers the gym where you are working for receives and the income that comes with this. This applies to whether you are working as a freelance personal trainer or an in-house staff at the gym.

Either way, this is how you can make money as a personal trainer.

Another way you can make money as a personal trainer is to train people on how to stay fit online. Yes, you can do this by creating a blog/website where you sale your fitness trainings and courses. Also, you can sell via the social media and traditional mass media modes of advertisement. Whichever method you employ, you will make money from the personal trainer business.

If you follow these steps, you will be able to become a certified personal trainer and profit from it in the long term.



Leave a Reply