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How to Become a Personal Trainer in the New Year

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The new year is a great time to set new goals. Some people set goals for a healthier lifestyle, while others are career-related. The hardest part is sticking to the goals, so it’s best to plan out steps for achieving your dreams. Having a plan in place and accountability will ensure success. 

One example of a popular career-related goal is to become a certified personal trainer, but this takes quite a bit of preparation and the best approach is to prepare with a NASM study guide. You can become a personal trainer by obtaining certification from the National Academy for Sports Medicine. To become a personal trainer in the new year, you should prepare by taking a NASM practice test, organising your study materials, planning a date for your certification test, and researching how you want your personal training business to look. 

The rest of the article will share tips for becoming a personal trainer, the types of jobs you might consider, and what happens after you are certified. 

Tips for becoming a personal trainer 

Here are some things to consider if you want to be a personal trainer:

  • Think about what certifications you might need, how much time it will take you to become a personal trainer, and your salary potential to ensure it is something you want to do. Another option is to shadow a personal trainer to see the ins and outs of their actual duties. 
  • Make sure you have the necessary educational foundations to begin. Most programs require a high school diploma or GED. 
  • Complete your cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) certifications. These certifications are necessary just in case of injury, or something happens during a personal training session. You can take care of a medical emergency until help arrives. 
  • Select a speciality within the personal training realm. It’s good to consider what interests you, like nutrition, lifestyle wellness, senior citizens, or women’s fitness. Then you can pick a program to help you reach your goals within this niche.
  • Prepare for the certification test by taking a nasm practice test. The practice questions emulate real test questions, so you better understand what to study and how to answer the exam questions. Give yourself plenty of time to study for the exam and devise a schedule by planning to study one chapter per week.

Types of personal training jobs

Once you become certified, you’ll have to find a job. First, decide whether you want to run your own business or be an independent contractor for a business like a gym. Working for a gym tends to be lower-paying, however. Other options include working for a spa, corporate business, hospital, community centre, or cruise ship, which is an excellent option for people who love to travel. One of the best parts about being a personal trainer is the flexibility of hours and the environment. To become a personal trainer, you could think outside the box to make this career work with your timing and interests. 

Once you have completed your training and have some experience with various clients, consider obtaining a speciality in a niche you enjoy. For example, if you love working with older adults and improving their quality of life, you can get speciality certification. Working in orthopaedics, medicine, nutrition, and athletics are all opportunities to get speciality certification. 

Certification and beyond

After completing your personal training certification, deciding on a speciality, and obtaining a job, it’s essential to keep your certification current. You can do this by taking classes and workshops that help you stay up-to-date on research in your field. You can serve your clients better by staying informed and continuing your learning. 

If you are currently working as a contractor for a company, you can upgrade your experience as a personal trainer by starting your own business. You’ll need to build a client base and learn how to market yourself, but having your own business has advantages like higher pay, more decision-making, and even more flexibility. 


If you want to be a personal trainer in the new year, you can start by planning the steps to reach that goal. It will take planning your speciality, scheduling an exam, studying practice questions, and receiving the appropriate certifications. It’s also important to think ahead about what you will do after you receive your certification, as this can affect the types of speciality certifications you might aim to obtain and the types of jobs you might search for. Stay focused on your goal because persistence and dedication to your passions will go a long way.

Tim Williamson, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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