Being a personal trainer looks easy enough. You don’t actually have to do the entire workout yourself. You tell the other person how many sit-ups or push-ups or burpees they need to do in a minute and maybe demonstrate a few powerful moves to hone their mma training skills. You teach them the importance of drinking 8 glasses of water a day and eating a balanced meal complete with fruits and vegetables. Before you know it, the hour is done, the client got their money’s worth, and you have earned your payment as well. From the sound of it, it all seems smooth sailing on the way to becoming a personal trainer. The reality of the situation? There’s a lot more hard work, research, and motivation involved than is given credit for.
The Right Qualifications
To become a personal trainer in the UAE, you start with registering for the Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training, which is the first step towards getting certified. You can opt for this as a part-time course followed by a comprehensive case study. However, ensure you don’t just give your learning material a quick glance. The information in your syllabus is vital in helping you become a safe and effective personal trainer. Once you pass this level, your next step is to become a member of the UAE’s Register of Exercise Professionals, which is mandatory for all fitness professionals in the UAE. This is to ensure that you as an instructor are not only trained well but can prove your commitment to keeping up with new and safe fitness exercises.
Know Your Job
Just like in any job, experience is key. To start off, look to work in a gym that employs personal trainers. Be sure to read your contract carefully in case there is a clause limiting you from working outside of the gym on your own time. An important detail when working for gyms is to make sure they provide you with liability insurance so that in case something goes wrong when training a client, you are protected. Personal trainers, in particular, are referred to less through agencies and more through word of mouth. If your previous client was satisfied with your session, they are sure to recommend you to their friends, who in turn will spread the word to theirs. For this, you need to build your experience by constantly working hard and committing to providing the best fitness experience to your clients.
Now that you have become certified and built your clientele, the next step is to figure out where you’d want to potentially work. Your options can take you anywhere from personal training at gyms and health clubs to potentially opening your own fitness studio. The former option works well for those beginning their career because they can not only access potential clients who are there to work out but also hone their own exercises as well, all while being able to network.
For those who are more interested in building their own business, the options are unlimited as well. From public parks to corporations and private homes to niche studios, as long as you have adequate space, a mat, and some light equipment, you can get started. Whichever path you choose, remember to network consistently. If you assume that just because you went out and got certified clients are going to start rolling in, you’re grossly mistaken. The good news is that with technology being at its peak, marketing and accessibility has become that much easier. You can set up a website and build up profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which will not only get your name out there but also open another mode of communication between you and your clients.
Set Your Target
Again, just like any other job, you need to have an idea of what you are looking to do in the field of personal training. When researching personal training certification programmes, your primary step should be asserting who you want your audience to be. Whether you want to help people who are looking to lose weight, seniors who want to retain healthy lifestyles or athletes who want to up their game, there are bound to be different rules for each one. Some may require assistance with increasing their speed and agility, while others will want help turning around bad habits and developing healthier ones. Seniors will want motivation to improve their quality of life and younger kids will look for guidance to build their fitness levels. In addition to holding your basic certification, you can also opt for a Medical Expertise Specialist certification or a Nutrition certification, which will not only allow you to help those recovering from conditions such as heart problems and orthopedic surgery but also be able to give advice to clients who want to eat healthy and lose weight. The common ground to maintain for all clients is to ensure they are constantly being motivated and challenged.
One thing is for sure. If you don’t love fitness and everything surrounding it, personal training is not the right fit for you. However, if even before you decided to choose this career path, you loved developing a workout plan for yourself and hitting the gym on a regular basis without any hardcore initiatives required, then you’re perfect for this role. There are preconceived notions that personal trainers should have immensely toned bodies with not an ounce of fat to be seen but that doesn’t have to be the case for a trainer to be good at what they do. One thing is for sure. They should be fit and strong enough to demonstrate the exercises as required, not just for one session but for every appointment they show up to. Clients will not really be motivated to do the exercises they are asked to if their trainer can’t perform the same tasks safely, correctly, and effectively. A stellar personal trainer won’t just stop at going through the exercises themselves but also continue to hold an engaging and motivating conversation while doing so. Being able to maintain an adequate level of aerobic fitness, showcasing a challenging lift, and carrying the heavier weights if necessary are only some of the basic requirements of every successful personal trainer.
If you love fitness, are looking for a flexible schedule, enjoy helping others achieve their health goals, and thrive on networking to expand your work, then becoming a personal trainer is the perfect choice for you. Whether you decide to specialize in mixed martial arts training or focus all your expertise on clients looking for weight loss, there are a number of options available to choose from. So get your career goal organized, line up the certification, sharpen those networking skills and get ready to be fit.
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