How To Be A Personal Trainer – The Best Ways To become Successful

How To Be A Personal Trainer – The Best Ways To become Successful

As a Personal Trainer with over 15 years of experience I’m pretty familiar with this career and some tips to be successful. I think the first question you should ask yourself is why you want to become a Personal Trainer.

Is it because you just want to make good money or is it because you are passionate about Fitness and helping people?

For me it was the latter of the two, I enjoy helping people and I’m very passionate about Fitness. If this is the reason you want to become a trainer then the money part will come much easier. This is just like any career that you choose that you are passionate about. The process of How To Be A Personal Trainer will be much easier if you are passionate about Fitness and helping people.

This is one of the most satisfying careers you can choose in my opinion. The biggest reason I think is because you can literally change someones life. I have personally received calls or text being thanked for getting someone into fitness because now they can’t stop working out and eating healthy.

A few months ago I received a call from someone who was going out and partying every night and had put on some weight over the years and feeling kind of depressed.

They said, “Thank you for changing my life, I’ve never felt so good”.

This particular person is absolutely obsessed now with working out and eating healthy.

They do not drink anymore at all and have more natural energy than ever. I’m telling you this because if you decide to become a trainer you may see results like this and the reason you should choose to become a trainer!



These are the most well-known types of trainers but there are many other options you may want to consider. I have worked on a Cruise Ship before and some have Personal Trainers.

This could be a great job because you can travel the world as well. You could also become a trainer at a Resort or vacation spot. Some of the most well known tropical locations have trainers on site. Bora Bora is calling you right now to come be a trainer!

  • The Standard Trainer This is what I chose to become and the most popular option. Whenever you go to a gym these are the trainers you will see helping people with their fitness goals.
  • Rehabilitation Trainer When someone is injured or have had surgery they will start the process of recovery in a medical or rehabilitation type center. This is where you would be working if you decided on the type of trainer.
  • Athletic Performance Trainer They can on average earn more money than a standard trainer since you would be dealing with semi Professional or Professional athletes. You can also train at schools or athletic facilities as an Athletic Trainer.
  • Specialized Niche Trainer You may choose this if you want to train a specific fitness area like training someone in Martial Arts or Olympic power lifting.



Some gyms will only accept certain certifications and only hire you if you have those. So make sure you look into which ones gyms require if there is a certain company you want to work for.

If you are doing your own business you can pick whatever certification you want. There are tons of certifications out there so it can be hard to choose. I have chosen 5 that basically any company will hire you if you have.

A Good rule of thumb when looking is to check if the certification is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA is the standard these certifications must undergo and be evaluated to keep its accreditation

  • NASM Is the one I have and it stands for National Academy Of Sports Medicine. A 30-year-old company that is best known for their (CPT) Certified Personal Trainer program. NASM has certified over 200,000 people which is more than any other certification. The cost of the program is around $700 and you are required to recertify every 2 years.
  • ACE which stands for American Council Of Exercise was started in 1985 and has over 50,000 people certified. Through ACE, you can be certified as a Health Coach, Group Fitness Instructor, or Advanced Fitness and Health Specialist. The price ranges from $500-$800 depending on what study package you choose. They require you to recertify every 2 years.
  • NSCA also known as National Strength And Conditioning Association was founded in 1978. There are around 40,000 people actively certified with NSCA. The cost of the program is around $400 and requires you to recertify every 2 years but the cost is only $50.
  • ACSM is the American College Of Sports Medicine and was established way back in 1954. They have a good variety of certifications. You could be a Health Fitness Specialist or a Group Exercise Instructor which are the more popular choices. The ACSM will cost you around $800 which includes the study materials, 3 day live workshops, exam fee and practice exam fee.
  • ISSA or the International Sports Sciences Association was started in 1988. This is the only certification on my list that is not accredited by the (NCCA). Although it is recognized by the Distance Education And Training Council (DETC). The DETC and NCCA are both widely accepted and recognized. You can get all the study materials and test fees for $500.



Before you purchase all your study materials and sign up for an exam you want to make sure of a few things first. In addition to having a certification most gyms will require a few things.

If you decide to work for yourself than age isn’t a big factor but for most gyms they will require you to be at least 18 years old. Most likely they will all require that you are certified or trained with Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED).

These both do not take long, you can do this in One day for around $30 and be done in less than 2 hours. You will most likely be required to re-certify every 1 to 2 years. I just went on the Red Cross Website and found somewhere local that has the course and signed up.

A few of the certifications like ISSA, ACSM, and NSCA will require that you have a high school diploma or GED. If you have neither you can search online and you will be able to find some certifications that don’t require this.

These are the basic requirements to become a trainer but there are also some to re certify.

Insurance is another important thing you should get. Gyms will require you have this but if you are doing your own thing you should still have it. This will cover you for general liability, sexual misconduct liability, and any damages to the rented area you are working out of.



There are many programs that offer online certification which is the way I did it. This way you can go at your own pace and get certified rather quickly if you are determined. Another option is to find a facility that does a hands on approach and usually has scheduled days of the week you have to be there.

I would recommend this if you are starting from scratch and personally do not know much about workout out and how the body works. I chose online because I had been involved in the fitness industry for many years and already had a good grasp on what everything does and was.

NASM for example requires a minimum of 10 weeks and no sooner can you get the certification.

So if you think about it, you can get one of the highest recognized certifications in 2.5 months. Something to keep in mind is most of the companies give you a deadline before you can take the test. With NASM it was 180 days from the time you purchase the package.

If you need more time you can reschedule for another date for $200. This is just an example of how long it is for NASM. There are so many certifications and a lot are different, so you will want to look that up first to make sure.



If I had to recommend one for you to choose It would be a tough choice.

I personally have the NASM but I also think ACE is a great choice. It definitely depends on what area of training you want to get into but if you are looking to be a basic personal trainer like you see in gyms I would recommend the NASM or ACE.

I think a great way to start out is working with a gym because they will provide some good ongoing training and sometimes help with finding clients.

Once you get the hang of it and know what you are doing then you can start your own business. With your own business sometimes you can pay gyms to use their facilities. The best option in my opinion and is what I do would be to train in the building you live in if it has a decent gym. That way you are keeping 100% of your profits!


“You will never look like the girl in the Magazine. The girl in the Magazine doesn’t even look like the girl in the Magazine.”


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