T Nation

Becoming a Trainer

Im a 17yr/old athlete/student/T-Teen… I am interested in becoming a personal trainer but I don’t know where to start. Can I be certified when I turn 18, or do I need to take college courses? Ideally in the near future I’d like to have my own facility and train athletes of all sports. Anyone have any info on the topic I’d appreciate your feedback.

Good to hear that a teenager is interested in becoming a personal trainer.
First, you could just do a google search for personal trainer.
Also, you can go to www.fitnesseducation.com.

I am working on my cert through the ISSA (through the above address). They seemed to offer the best training/options, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think they’ll put an age limit on it, but you’ll have to contact them and find out. Also, you’ll need to get your CPR certification before you become a PT.
Good luck!

Also, depending on the gym/fitness center, the owner may require a college degree. Others may not require it.

You also may consider “lone sharking” as a PT. But I’d focus on getting certified right now, before college etc…

You may be able to work as a PT while going to college which could be of great benefit to your future.

-daMOJO-

It’s great that you have a goal and are working towards at a young age…Just please, please, PLEASE don’t become one of those know it all trainers and don’t offer advice to someone who isn’t asking or doesn’t want it. Thanks.

[quote]medog11 wrote:
I am interested in becoming a personal trainer but I don’t know where to start. Can I be certified when I turn 18, or do I need to take college courses?

Anyone have any info on the topic I’d appreciate your feedback.[/quote]

Last I checked, I.S.S.A. gave certifications at 17, as long as you’re C.P.R. certified. Looking at their site is definitely a good idea anyway. I’ve been certified through them from a few years now (I’ve got the C.F.T., and I’m studying the Youth Fitness, and Martial Arts Conditioning), and it’s definitely a top notch organization. They’re super-helpful and you can always contact them if you have a question…about anything.

As far as college courses, that’s never a bad idea. I’ve heard that applied kinesiology is one of the better subjects to take, but I don’t know first hand. Taking some basic business courses in school wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Also, it’s a great goal to eventually want your own studio. Just know that there’s quite a road ahead of you. Do you do any sports right now? If so, you may be able to convince 1 or 2 of your teammates to let you train them for practical knowledge…once you get certified.

You can get a piece of paper that certifies you anywhere, but at 17 what experience do you have to offer?, don’t get me wrong, but that’s what gym owners/managers will be asking…

[quote]jlesk68 wrote:
You can get a piece of paper that certifies you anywhere, but at 17 what experience do you have to offer?, don’t get me wrong, but that’s what gym owners/managers will be asking…[/quote]

Definitely a good point, and another reason to “train” a few people on your own, so you can document that you know your stuff.

I’ve worked in gyms with a handful of 18-year old trainers. They all seemed to had a chip on their shoulder. Like someone else said, make a conscious effort not to have a “typical gym trainer” attitude.

Are you kidding me? Its a MARKETING job! The gym owners or anyone wanting to hire doesnt give a fuck WHAT you know, they only care about how many training packages you can SELL!

99% of trainers dont have DICK to offer. Hell, they cant even get thier own workouts in order. Ive been around this business for awhile and its ALL and ONLY about marketing and selling. Do NOT kid yourself thinking a knowledgable T-Nation type would make more money doing this than the super-salesman.

An example of pure marketing is an idiot like Juan Carlos Santana. He’s just ONE example of the majority and he NEVER publishes anything for free while we have guys like CW and CT and even Poliquin making sure thier ideas get to the masses because they KNOW they are the shit. Look at Simmons and Dave Tate, they keep writing and keep putting it all out there.

Anyways, that was quite the tangent. Personal training is great for college and it can be a very rewarding career option but you NEED to be a salesman bottom line and you WILL eventually give up on providing any sort of cutting edge info because people simply dont care unless you train athletes exclusively which isnt a big market for someone who isnt somehow involved with athletes to begin with or hasnt established themselves like one of the coaches on this site.

Its a sad state of affairs but thats the truth.

Amir

[quote]jlesk68 wrote:
You can get a piece of paper that certifies you anywhere, but at 17 what experience do you have to offer?, don’t get me wrong, but that’s what gym owners/managers will be asking…[/quote]

[quote]AMIRisSQUAT wrote:
Are you kidding me? Its a MARKETING job! The gym owners or anyone wanting to hire doesnt give a fuck WHAT you know, they only care about how many training packages you can SELL![/quote]

check 1

check 2

[quote]Anyways, that was quite the tangent. Personal training is great for college and it can be a very rewarding career option but you NEED to be a salesman bottom line and you WILL eventually give up on providing any sort of cutting edge info because people simply dont care unless you train athletes exclusively which isnt a big market for someone who isnt somehow involved with athletes to begin with or hasnt established themselves like one of the coaches on this site.

Its a sad state of affairs but thats the truth.[/quote]

check 3

hey man, everything he said in bold underlined italics. i’m a 31 year old engineer soon to be in pursuit of ISSA certification. it appears to be THE way to go. good luck.

Bastard

I initially certified through ACE, though I didn’t think much of their study material and even less of their testing. Plus ACE-certified trainers seem to be the butt of a lot of jokes and examples of incompetent personal trainers. I’m currently recertifying through NASM, and I like what I’ve seen so far.

As far as knowledge goes, you have a responsibility to do a lot of reading and experimenting on your own. Be open minded, keep things simple (no complicated body part splits for deconditioned 60 year old women, for instance), listen more than you talk and have patience. Lots of patience and tolerance for your clients. Good luck.

If you dont look like you know what you are doing the who will want to be trained by you. Alot of times gyms owners will require a certain certification. Go to the gyms you maybe looking at to work at and ask what they are looking for.

I got certified through Cooper institute. A week long course, you get taught by DR’s for sprorts nutrition, physicalogy, and Excercise phsicaloist. I was lucky and the Marine Corps paid me to get certified…I was a remidial PT instructor when I was in. They teach police, swat, and other military as well.

Besides cetification you will need C.P.R and you will need to get insurance as well. Some bigger gyms will cover you under their isurance but you will need to know your options. Also, it would help to know how to market yourself and to who you are trying to target. It is not just teaching your client how to workout, but to track their workouts, changing eating habbits, and just a life style change.

Hope that helps.

Hey buddy, congrats on beleiving that you would like to be a trainer. Our world is very rewarding and can be very demanding. The most important thing is experience. I am a 30 year old trainer who has a kinesioloy/ exercise science/ health degree. Certified through the NSCA and NASM. I train many young ahtletes, but at the same time train the general population as well.

I was not intellegent enough out of college to get under the wing of a mentor. I suggest the you do that. If there is someone close to you that represents in how he acts, talks , and workouts with the training philosophies that you adhere to. See if he or she will get you started and pointed in the right direction.

Our club has alot of trainers. But many are salesman, and you can easily become confused with money vs. knowledge and application.