A personal fitness trainer helps people improve their physical conditioning. This will generally involve a mix of motivational work and providing people with expertise about physical exercise. In some cases, a personal fitness trainer may also have significant knowledge regarding diet, and he may advise his clients about proper nutrition. Fitness trainers often work with people who are recovering from injuries or other medical problems, and they may be employed by hospitals for this purpose.
Usually, a fitness trainer needs a solid understanding of every aspect of physical fitness. Those in this role should generally be able to tell clients exactly how to achieve their fitness goals. One client may be focused on losing a few pounds, while another may wish to improve his musculature. In either case, the personal fitness trainer needs enough knowledge to build a training program that is suited to that client. Sometimes a personal fitness trainer may be more of a specialist and may only work with people trying to achieve certain kinds of goals.
It is generally very important that a personal fitness trainer be in excellent physical shape. This is partly for the sake of image, and partly for practical reasons. If a trainer needs to show clients how to perform a workout routine, the trainer generally needs to be in good enough shape to showcase proper form for the various exercises.
Sometimes people are able to become a personal fitness trainer without receiving a formal education. This is especially true of people who are self-employed and work with clients on an individual basis. Others go through various certification programs, and some may even attend college.
The kind of knowledge needed will vary depending on where the trainer wishes to work. Those who wish to work in hospitals or similar jobs will generally need some kind of college background. Trainers who want jobs in gyms may only need to attend some kind of certification program. The quality of certification programs varies significantly, and some gyms many not accept certifications that don’t have enough legitimacy.
Becoming a trainer without a college background generally involves some kind of specialized credentials. Some people have a professional background in athletics, for example. People choosing this route may need to build a reputation working with clients and rely on word of mouth to increase their incomes. For this reason, many people choose to get some kind of certification even if they come from a fitness-related profession.