Making a name as a fitness trainer is tough, and you must constantly upgrade your skills to thrive in this competitive market.
Many clients prefer trainers with an extensive fitness training career, plenty of satisfied clients, and years of experience.
But if you're just starting out, you won't have years of experience or a long list of potential clients. So, what can you do to increase your credibility and each potential client?
One way to go about this is to take the long route and work on getting the experience you need. While this is beneficial, it's not practical in today's dynamic fitness market.
On the other hand, you can try to up your skills by getting fitness certifications that help you become highly specialized in a specific niche. Take a look at some of the most in-demand skills for fitness training you should learn.
Why Do Trainers Need Certifications?
Fitness certifications focus on highly specific niches and help trainers learn valuable skills. For example, if you want to work with people with chronic illnesses, you'll have to get an in-depth understanding of how muscle groups and bones work so you can help people relieve pain.
While trainers have plenty of knowledge of muscle groups, they don't learn it from a medical perspective, so they can't train people with specific medical needs.
Similarly, there are certain target groups you can't train unless you have certain expertise. For example, kids and senior citizens. So, if you want to expand your services and increase your credibility, getting fitness certifications is the easiest and most insightful way.
How To Start Your Fitness Training Journey?
The first step in your fitness training career should be to evaluate yourself. This includes seeing how much you know and what the general market looks like. If you don't do this, you won't get a proper idea about which direction to take. Once you understand your position concerning the industry, you can look at your options and see where you want to go.
However, don't evaluate yourself based on guesswork. Look at the stats, talk to professional trainers, and look up in-demand courses before making a decision. That's because if you only go with your gut feeling, you won't be able to define your career goals later.
Look at the Market
The next step is to look at the market. Over the past few years, the fitness world has changed drastically, and many more unique niches have popped up.
As a trainer, you need to understand which direction you'd take. For example, would you go for all-in-one services, or you'd go for a specialized one? Both of the directions have highly specific clients, and you'll have to see what their requirements are and what gaps are present in the current market. Only then you'll find an untapped area and can tap it.
Define Your Goals
Once the market research is done, it's time to define your goals. These include figuring out how you'll start, where you'll be in the next 3 months, and how far you will go in the next year. All of these require proper research and evaluation. You should also define what your current skills are and where you'd like to be in terms of skills when you finally launch your career.
No matter what your end goals are, it's always a good idea to break them into smaller, more easily attainable goals. That way, you can get a clear picture of your next step instead of a confusing long-term road map.
Pick A Niche
This is the most important part, as it can make or break your career. You've done the research, and you've defined your goals. Now you should decide which direction you'll take to achieve them. A niche shouldn't be picked depending on its return on investment (ROI) or the number of clients you can quickly get. Instead, it should be picked based on your skills and long-term sustainability.
Moreover, also looks at the target audience. For example, if you want to go for youth fitness, it's better to study the parents’ and school's behaviors with regard to their kids' fitness because they'll be the ones employing you. Similarly, if you want to go for medical fitness, look at the local laws and licenses you'd require when partnering with hospitals or other care centers to help patients.
Market Your Skills
After picking a niche, find out how you'll market yourself. Your marketable skills aren't limited to your fitness training abilities. Instead, you can showcase your skills since fitness training deals with the client's lifestyle. If you have flexible schedules, expertise in diet planning, or help clients improve their lifestyle, all of these things can be marketed.
You just have to come up with a pitch that resonates with your clients and gets traction. Apart from that, you can also try online marketing to reach a wider audience, work with other fitness trainers to increase your credibility or offer exclusive discounts.
Once your career starts growing, your focus should be improving your skills and gaining more clients. But after a while, it's a good option to branch out to prevent your skills from getting too generic. If that happens, you'll be competing in a bigger market with a smaller target audience. This will decrease your chances of getting high ROI and making a name for yourself.
Branching out doesn't mean you go for a totally different fitness sector. Instead, it means branching out to similar fitness areas and correlating them with your skills. Having a wider skillset will also improve your main services, as you'll learn more about the human body and how different muscle groups work in different age groups.
You should keep learning new fitness techniques even after branching out, acquiring new skills, and creating a huge clientele. That's because as more research and development happens in the industry, new findings will lead to improved fitness training practices and better results for the client. So, the more aware you are of these practices, the better results your clients will get, and you'll get more credibility within your niche.
Fitness Certification You Can Enroll In
Certified Personal Training Course
If you're just starting out with your fitness career, your best option is getting a personal trainer certification. A certified course will help you learn how to draft fitness programs for various clients and help them achieve their goals. A certified course will also allow you to build credibility before getting clients.
The best thing about getting a personal trainer certification is that you can branch out to any fitness industry regardless of the requirements. Personal trainers know the basics of training and how to work with different body types.
Senior Fitness Training
With the aging population in the US, senior fitness training is turning out to be an attractive niche for fitness trainers. But training older clients isn't easy, so with a senior fitness certification, you'll learn how to design exercises that are age-appropriate.
You'll also learn how to boost your client's stamina without overworking them or triggering any age-related issues. Since there's a large market for senior fitness and many older people want to stay active and fit, you'll find plenty of clients and opportunities to grow your business.
Some clients don't conform to traditional fitness practices. Instead, they want a complete lifestyle coach to help improve their lives and fitness. This is where health coaching comes in. It's a holistic form of fitness where you'll learn how to understand your client's needs, modify their lifestyles, and motivate them to reach their fitness goals.
Combined with a good exercise plan, health coaching offers more benefits than simple fitness training. Not only that, but health coaches also charge a premium price for their personalized services, so it'll be a good way to scale your business quickly.
Medical Fitness Training
If you have a background in occupational therapy or similar medical fields, medical fitness is a great option. In this specialization, you'll learn how to help design exercise plans for people with chronic illnesses. Some common chronic illnesses are arthritis, heart issues, diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers.
The course teaches you how exercises can effectively reduce chronic pain without burdening the client or their muscles. Additionally, you'll also be able to treat people with short-term issues like muscle damage from an accident or other injuries.
Do you own or plan to open a fitness center? Then a fitness management course is the ideal choice for you. Many certified personal trainers are great at training people but have little to no experience managing a business. With a fitness management course, you'll learn client retention, branding, marketing strategies, and learn about financial issues and forecasting.
Moreover, you'll also learn about staff recruitment, the development of facilities, and managing risks to the business. This will help you if you're planning on scaling your business and opening many branches. With a fitness management course, you'll also understand how to do market research and find more clients.
Group Fitness Training
Group exercise training has soared in popularity in the past few years. This is because people tend to do better in group settings. They also get more motivation when looking at people performing better. From your perspective, you can train more clients in a single slot. This will allow you to gain experience and develop a good clientele.
But you might think, why would you need a certification for that? The answer is simple. In a group setting, you have to oversee your client's progress, which requires proper learning and education. With a group instructor course, you'll learn firsthand how to monitor individuals in a group setting and ensure each client is on the same page.
Youth Fitness Training
With our changing lifestyles, today's youth is less active than before. This has created issues such as child obesity and lack of proper development. Schools and parents alike are investing in the proper growth and development of their children, and youth fitness is what they all look at.
With a youth fitness certification, you'll learn how to design effective and fun workout programs to improve the kids’ physical health without exhausting them. The course also enables you to learn age-appropriate exercises and create structured, supervised exercise programs.
The Bottom Line
If you want to thrive in the fitness industry, you must make yourself flexible and be prepared to change with the trends. If you fail to do so, your clients will leave your services for more dynamic fitness trainers. Not just that, but being flexible and keeping up with the trends will keep your skills from getting redundant. The more you learn and grow, the better your chances of thriving in this industry. Regardless of your route, you can rest assured that the mentioned certifications will help you curate a dedicated clientele and create a name for yourself.
Get Your Fitness Certifications With W.I.T.S Education
W.I.T.S Education is a fitness training institute that provides prospective trainers with the opportunity to improve their abilities and learn new techniques. We have personal health trainer courses for certified personal trainers, senior fitness trainers, group exercise trainers, medical fitness trainers, and more.
We also offer fitness management and health coaching courses for individuals interested in something other than traditional fitness. Our hybrid courses are taught online by our 5-star instructors, while the in-person practical labs are equipped with the most up-to-date fitness equipment to provide in-depth training. Our labs are also located across North America.
Aside from that, we are accredited by the NCCA and the American Council on Education and provide students with course credits toward their college degrees. We also have the most extensive network of schools and institutions. So hurry up, check out our courses, and start your career with W.I.T.S Education today!