The first thing that you need to know is that there are no laws governing who can become a personal trainer, which means that you don’t need any schooling to call yourself a personal trainer. If, however, you are serious about being a personal trainer, then you are going to want to get certified by a NCCA accredited school to be considered by any reputable facility.
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You will find that, in most cases, a gym won’t hire a personal trainer without some sort of certification. Some gyms will hire you without an NCCA accredited school certification, but you will find that these places generally pay less than gyms that do require this accreditation.
Where should I go to become a personal trainer?
You will find that there is a lot of advice online about the school that you should attend if you want to become a personal trainer. The truth is that you need to choose a school based on your own needs and criteria.
Time and time again, personal trainers, gym owners, physical fitness experts and so on stress the importance of going to an accredited school. The most prominent accreditation entity for personal trainers is the NCCA. The NCCA, however, isn’t the only accreditation that is accepted. Some of the other accreditations that you might want to consider are:
- DETC – Distance Education Training Council
- CHEA – Council for Higher Education Accreditation
- USDE – US Department of Education
What kind of classes can I expect to take to become a personal trainer?
There are a number of courses that you will take to get your personal trainer certification, but they will vary a bit between schools. There are some areas of study that you should absolutely get when in school, so look for these things when making a decision about what school to choose.
- Anatomy and physiology course: No, no one expects you to get a medical degree in these areas. However, when it comes to exercise, you need to understand how anatomy and physiology work or don’t work with specific exercise. In addition, if someone has a health issue, having an understanding of these areas will help you work around their problems.
- Kinesiology course: Kinesiology is, in essence, the study of human movement. If you don’t learn how the body moves naturally and what the limits are for the human body, you could easily end up hurting someone during training.
- Nutrition: While you won’t be able to become an expert in nutrition in a 4 to 6 week course, you can touch on this subject and discuss your clients eating habits in conjunction with their designed exercise program.
- Health screening: This is pretty important as you must be able to adequate and accurately screen a client to determine what their limits are medically speaking. If you don’t learn how to do this, then you will put your clients at risk.
- Weight training: Not every client is going to want to lift weights, but you don’t want to limit yourself by not having knowledge in this area. If you train a weightlifter who has any success, this could lead to a rewarding career.
There are several other classes that could possibly be included in your course, however, these are the main ones that you want to ensure are available.
Can I take online classes to become a personal trainer?
The short answer here is yes. The question many people ask is if the program is as good as an in person program. The truth is this really depends on your learning style. There are those people who can easily go online and learn what needs to be learned without having live access to a trainer/teacher. If that doesn’t sound ideal to you, then you need to find a local course to attend.
There are currently only two accredited online schools that you can take personal training classes in. These are:
The bottom line is that you are going to have to decide for yourself how beneficial online courses would be for this field. In addition, you probably should call around to your local gyms and see if they have any certification requirements that might be different than what we mentioned here.
It would be a shame for you to choose a program only to find that you local gym doesn’t like that program. It’s better to be safe than sorry and check around before you spend your money on any courses.
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