Carving a Career in the Fitness Industry

The fitness industry is pretty big right now. And this means there has never been a better time to start a fitness career. But what does it take? How do you ensure that you succeed in this industry? Here is a look at how to make a career in the fitness industry work out for you.

Know Which Career Path to Take

There are lots of career paths you can take in the fitness industry. Most people know of fitness trainers and instructors; but you can also seek a job as a manager in a fitness establishment. You may even decide to be a fitness nutritionist, a physical therapy assistant, or even get into sports medicine.

Basically, you have to decide which specialty is best suited to your interests and focus on that. Specialization is also very important; and it takes many forms.

For instance, you can decide to be a yoga instructor, lifestyle coach, fitness manager, strength and conditioning coach, spa professional, PE teacher, get into corporate wellness, and pursue any other specialty that holds the greatest appeal for you.

Get Certified as Well

You may have led a number of fitness classes based on your experience; but that hardly qualifies you to call yourself a fitness instructor. A certification is needed first. But that only gets you to the door, there are other requirements you have to meet before your career really takes off.

There are several bodies providing certifications for careers in the fitness industry such as NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), ACE (The American Council of Exercise) among others. Once you have a certification, you should seek out other forms of training.

Get a Good Mentor

A good place to start is to get a mentor to give you the “hands-on” training you need to be a professional. You can even volunteer in an establishment that offers the sort of job experience you need to make it in this career.

Learn as Much as Possible 

You should not be above using podcasts, newsletters, books and even fitness DVDs to get the knowledge you need to succeed in your career. Basically, whatever form of learning helps you obtain the knowledge you need is worth your time.

Work On Your People Skills 

Even with the certifications and the experience, you also need the right people skills to make it as a fitness professional. Many careers in this industry involve dealing with people directly. So, at the end of the day, your goal is to help people work towards their fitness goals, not to show off your skills and your achievements.

You can actually learn a lot from your clients; and that can help you become better at your job and offer better services to your customers. Being a know-it-all is very tempting; and with that comes the arrogance that can make you unapproachable to many.

Promote Your Skills and Service Online

We live in the digital age, where most people go online to find what they are looking for. If you specialize in helping people get a leaner body, lose weight, and learn how to eat healthier, you may want to create a fitness blog or a weight loss blog so that prospective clients can find you.

Play Your Strengths

That said, it is also important to play your strengths. Just because you admire a particular yoga instructor, it does not mean you should pursue that field. Another training specialty might be more suited to your abilities and passions.

Your clients will be more trusting of your skills and knowledge when they realize that you are still yourself even as you guide them towards their fitness goals. You don’t have to change your personality either. Just because many aerobics trainers are loud, it does not mean you have to be loud as well to make it in the industry. Be yourself, as long as you help your clients achieve what they expected out of the training session.

Be a Role Model, Look the Part

Additionally, and this is perhaps the most important part, look the part. If you are training people to lift weights, you will be more convincing as a trainer if you look like you lift weights. And if you are a yoga instructor; also make sure you look the part.

This means that you have to invest hours into doing the sort of workouts you intend to teach people before you seek people to train. People are less likely to follow your advice as a Pilates instructors if you are struggling with some of the poses yourself.

In other words, you should aspire to be better than your students at what you teach; and also be comfortable with them matching or exceeding your capabilities through your training. Therefore, careers in this industry need humble people who have a genuine desire to help people and to urge them on.

Broaden Your Knowledge

Anyone looking to start a career in the fitness industry should also know that the lots of skills and knowledge are needed. Consequently, even if your focus is on being a physical trainer, you have to know nutritional basics that go with the sort of training you offer.

Additionally, you should be in a position to advise your clients on the lifestyle choices that will make them achieve the fitness benefits they seek as they seek better physical health.

By Mary Fraser
Mary Fraser Regional Manager