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Career Story: Personal Trainer At A Fitness Club

Personal Trainer At A Fitness Club

Job Title: Personal Trainer

Type of Company: I work for a chain of "wellness centers" that specialize in health, exercise, therapy, etc.

Education: AS, Business Administration, Dean College •• ACSM-certified

Previous Experience: I started in corporate administration and totally changed careers.

Job Tasks: I meet with clients and analyze their physical condition. I measure height, weight, muscle mass and the circumference of body parts to assess their conditioning and fitness. I review physician recommendations and restrictions as some clients have illnesses that limit what they can do. I recommend an exercise regimen to each client and after that we meet weekly or bi-weekly for a training session, sometimes fine-tuning what we do. I design exercises for each individual based on his or her specific needs and demonstrate, assist and supervise the execution of each exercise to make sure that the client is doing the exercise properly. I also show my clients how to use gym equipment.

When I am not training individuals I teach group fitness classes in yoga, spinning, kick boxing and boot camp. I maintain certifications by taking classes and getting up-to-date training in teaching techniques. I counsel clients about basic nutrition and injury prevention.

My career is rewarding because I help people become fit and healthy.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: My career is rewarding. I help obese people lose weight and become healthier. I help injured people develop appropriate exercise strategies and techniques. Most of the people I work with are grateful and happy to be with me. My job is fun because I get to do what I love all day long.

The downside of my career is that in a bad economy it is difficult to earn a living. I like my job though.

Job Tips: Have a back-up career or a plan B. It is difficult but not impossible to work full-time as a trainer, but it can take years to build a stable business. If you don't have clients you don't get paid. It makes sense, therefore, to have a second job or a back-up plan. Also it helps to love what you do. If you love fitness you will love your job. When starting out, consider working a part-time desk job at a gym or fitness center to become acquainted with the environment and club members. That way you will have an easier time selling training packages as you will have become friendly with the members. Also make sure you become certified through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). It is the most esteemed certification.

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