A personal trainer is a fitness professional who develops and implements an individualized approach to physical fitness, generally working one-on-one with a client. A trainer may also help an individual assess their level of physical fitness and help them work toward a personal fitness goal through proper exercise instruction and personal motivation.
Many personal trainers work through local fitness centers and health clubs, assisting clients within the facility. Others may be available for sessions in a clients home, or serve as instructors for fitness classes. Trainers are generally needed to demonstrate various exercises and help clients improve their exercise techniques. Due to the more interpersonal contact between a trainer and a client versus a general gym setting, a trainer is more readily able to provide motivation and support to an individual in an exercise program, in addition to proper technical instruction. A trainer can keep records of their clients’ exercise sessions to help monitor progress, and may also advise their clients on how to modify their lifestyle outside of the gym to improve their fitness. In 2006, fitness workers in general were employed in about 235,000 jobs, with a portion of those being trainers. Almost all personal trainers and group exercise instructors worked in physical fitness facilities, health clubs, and fitness centers, mainly in the amusement and recreation industry or in civic and social organizations. One of the fastest-growing fields of fitness training is corporate fitness. Many large companies are beginning to offer fitness packages for employees wishing to create or maintain a healthy exercise program.
Regulations and Training
Trainers are usually required to have certification
before beginning work in a club or facility. Most certifying organizations require candidates to have a high school diploma, be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(CPR) and Automatic External Defibrillator
(AED), and pass an exam. The type of fitness discipline will determine the level and amount of education and training that is needed. There are many different agencies and organizations that offer certification for personal trainers, such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine
and the American College of Sports Medicine
, in addition to many other gyms and fitness organizations.