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How To Determine Which Fitness Training Specialization Is Good For You

A fitness trainer works with a medical fitness client during a kickboxing workout.

As a certified fitness trainer, you may have considered the possibility of furthering your specialization and skill set through a niche certification, and we can’t recommend that enough, given that it’s incredible for your career and development.

A specialization provides you with a key area of focus and practice, giving you more direction, a clear objective, and a unique niche that goes beyond standard practice. But how do you decide which fitness specialization and niche is right for you to begin with? Here’s a guide to help you make your decision:

Think about your own passions and interests

One of the most important things to factor in when narrowing down a specialization is your own interests and passions. You need to enjoy the things you do and develop a more meaningful relationship with your work, and honing your passions to do this is the best approach possible.

For instance, a long-running, deep-seated love for sports is a good reason to invest in sports fitness specialization, while being passionate about fitness at any age would leave you more inclined to choose youth or senior fitness specializations.

An existing passion or interest can go a long way in helping you find a stronger direction for your specialization options and personal health trainer programs.

A senior fitness client performs a workout move with guidance.

Identify where there is a gap in the fitness industry

Another great way to make things clearer for yourself is to examine the industry and look at where the fitness industry is currently lacking. Whether it’s the lack of high-quality online training programs, inexperienced and untrained fitness experts offering specialized services, or other problems, you may be able to address them or offer solutions through your specialized fitness training.

Become a certified fitness instructor in a specialization that fills a gap within the industry, and provides specialized training to clients who are affected by those issues. It’s entirely possible to use your skills for problem-solving, for instance, learning fitness management to improve business processes and attract new clientele to your gym—you just have to be creative.

Consider how your additional training can help clients

Beyond the industry and your own interests, think about how your additional training could benefit your clients. Would getting a specialized certification in nutrition education to prove helpful for your clients who are looking to make long-term changes? Absolutely!

If you already have a niche or set clientele that you work with, you may be able to get a clearer idea of what specialization can help you help them more effectively, targeting their concerns and meeting their needs through your services. For instance, if you work primarily with women’s fitness clients, you may be able to help them more expansively by specializing in pregnancy and prenatal fitness.

A personal trainer works out with a client during a prenatal workout.

Identify which clients you’d like to work with or attract

This brings us to another important factor to think about: your potential clients.

Is there a particular group or segment you’re looking to attract? A part of the client population you can’t seem to get through to? A specialization may be pivotal in bringing them on board. Having an extra set of skills and insights can prove valuable to certain client groups, offering them something unique and worth their while, that other certified fitness trainers can’t.

For instance, if you hold a specialization in lifestyle and wellness, in addition to your core fitness training expertise, new clients may feel more inclined to approach you for the sheer variety and versatility you bring them.

Decide a specialization that complements your practice

Continuing from the aforementioned factors to think about, another helpful approach to take is to choose a specialization that complements your current practice. For example, if your current practice is centered around bodyweight, equipment-free training, remote workouts, or offering group fitness training over personal training, see what specialization could enhance and complement that.

Perhaps your practice entails a lot of rehabilitation, recovery, and stabilization work from a purely fitness perspective, but formal training in medical fitness or health coaching can take that to new heights.

You should focus on choosing a specialization based on what you’re already doing and how this additional training will improve that, rather than give you a random set of skills and knowledge that hold no connection to the work you do. Think about it like an investment in the future of your career or business, and then decide.

A medical fitness trainer workouts with a client with a prosthetic leg.

Don’t just restrict yourself to a single specialization

With all that being said, however, an important lesson to remember is that there’s no restriction on the number of specializations you can obtain. Of course, this does not mean that you get certified in every niche possible; you should still get your fitness trainer certification in relevant, well-thought-out specializations, but you can always combine multiple areas of focus.

For instance, you can train as a medical fitness expert and a senior fitness training specialist for a more comprehensive approach to your work, or use sports conditioning with youth fitness training. It’s about understanding the skills you require to grow as a professional and as a business, and combining them for optimal results and outcomes.

Deciding on a fitness training specialization can be tricky, but it helps to factor in everything from your interests to your additional educational and professional training, and you can hone your interests even further through our personal health trainer programs. We offer fitness trainer certifications in the fields of medical fitness, youth fitness, and senior fitness, as well as other supplementary courses such as nutrition and pregnancy.

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