A personal trainer is an individual who has earned a certification that demonstrates they have achieved a level of competency for creating and delivering safe and effective exercise programs for apparently healthy individuals and groups or those with medical clearance to exercise. They motivate clients by collaborating to set goals, providing meaningful feedback, and by being a reliable source for accountability. Trainers also conduct a variety of assessments beginning with a preparticipation health-screening and may also include assessments of posture and movement, flexibility, balance, core function, cardio-respiratory fitness, muscular fitness, body composition, and
skill-related parameters (e.g., power, agility, coordination, speed, and reactivity) to observe and gather relevant information needed to develop an effective exercise program and support client goal attainment. These assessments may be performed at the beginning of and after an exercise program to measure client progress toward improved physical fitness. They also provide education on many other aspects of wellness, including general health and nutrition guidelines. Helping clients to reach their full potential in various aspects of life requires a comprehensive client-centered approach along with a belief that clients are resourceful and capable of change.
If you’ve been exercising consistently for several weeks or months and aren’t reaching your goals (whether you are seeking to lose weight, improve your performance at a sport, or build strength), there are a few ways a trainer might be able to help.
- Evaluate your current program: By looking at what you’re already doing, a trainer can suggest ways to change or tweak your workouts to make them more efficient and effective.
- Examine your goals: A trainer can help you figure out if your goals are realistic.
- Help you stay motivated: Knowing you have an appointment with a pro can help you maintain motivation to exercise.
- Push you a little harder: People often don’t see results because they’re not working as hard as they could. It’s easy to slack off when you’re by yourself, but having someone to challenge you (and cheer you on) can make a difference.
- Hold you accountable: A trainer can help you set weekly goals, then check in on a regular basis to see how you’re doing.
- Teach you: Whether you want to learn how to lift weights properly or how to do a new exercise, a trainer is a wealth of knowledge. For example, you might think you need to focus on cardio to lose weight, but you need strength training and core training, too,1 and a trainer can help you set up a plan.
6 reasons why certification is crucial
Competent & Qualified
Earning a professional certification confirms you are competent and ready for the job. It gives employers and clients confidence that you have the knowledge and skills to design and deliver individualized programs to meet each client’s unique health and fitness needs. In an industry where many people use titles they have not earned, having an accredited certification will set you apart from the competition.
Confidence & Safety
With proven science-based knowledge to analyze movements, assess fitness, listen actively, and create unique exercise and health coaching programs, you’ll have the confidence to ensure clients can safely achieve their goals. It’s imperative that your clients and more importantly, you, feel confident in your abilities to guide them through safe and effective programs that achieve results.
When it comes to helping clients manage their weight, build strength and change habits, a certification shows you are professionally trained to know the DO’s and DON’T’s of what’s safe for your clients, reducing the risks of injuries that can happen under your watch. Plus, whether you decide to work in healthcare, for a fitness company, or be self-employed, many insurance providers will charge a lower rate if you are certified.
Most, if not all, health and fitness employers require an accredited certification as proof that you are qualified to coach clients. Whether it’s a role as a personal trainer, health coach, group fitness instructor, or medical exercise specialist, you’ll need a certification if you seek employment in any type of facility including health clubs, gyms, healthcare centers, corporate settings, campuses, and more.
Respect & Credibility
Your clients, other health coaches and exercise professionals, and employers will have much respect for you because you had the discipline and commitment to invest in yourself by getting certified. By holding an accredited certification, you demonstrate that you are a competent and credible source for health and fitness information and services.
Standards & Professionalism
As exercise professionals and health coaches become poised to be more closely aligned with healthcare, they are continually being held to high standards, including holding a professional certifications that is of similar quality as those held by healthcare professionals. An accredited certification helps open doors for advanced opportunities, including those in healthcare, disease prevention and more.