Fitness, Health, and Business Blog

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Personal Trainer Certification: Why Skills Training Matters

Not all personal trainer certification programs are alike.

Imagine needing emergency surgery to have your appendix removed. The hospital staff assures you that the attending surgeon has a degree from a prestigious Ivy League school, which happens to be the alma mater of the hospital’s surgical director. You feel at ease as the anesthesiologist prepares your IV. But just as you’re getting drowsy, the nurse comments that your procedure will be the doctor’s very first foray into the operating room, since he earned his degree online. 

Of course, this scenario is unlikely — although not totally unheard of — in the medical arena. Surgeons go through years of study, practical skills training and supervised practice before they are allowed to take the lead in a major operation. Sadly, that is often not the case with personal training. 

Personal Trainer Key Skills

Many people think that a personal trainer’s only job duties are to teach exercise, preach about nutrition and keep clients motivated. But a personal trainer’s key skills encompass much, much more. 

Here are just a handful of important personal trainer skills that require hands-on learning:

  • Record keeping and business management: Personal trainers have a lot of information to keep track of: client records, progress charts, workouts, account history and much more! Most certification programs fail to touch on this.
  • Conducting and interpreting each client’s health history: Personal training clients come to us with a plethora of health conditions and a broad range of medications. It is essential that you are able to ask the right questions and know how to interpret and use this information to protect your client and yourself. 
  • Measuring and monitoring vital statistics: It is impossible to accurately measure heart rate and blood pressure without hands-on experience, with a variety of different subjects. Online certification programs cannot help you with this.
  • Conducting standardized fitness assessments: Standardized fitness assessments for strength, endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness give us a baseline against which we can measure our clients’ progress. This is another skill that requires hands-on practice and experience, which you cannot get online. 
  • Personalized goal-specific client programming: The secret to becoming a successful personal trainer is being able to help your clients reach and exceed their goals. Learning the basics of goal-oriented programming is an essential skill that requires hands-on practice.
  • Teaching proper exercise form and execution: There is a lot more to an effective exercise program than picking up weights and putting them down again. As trainers, we need to cue our clients on correct alignment and perfect execution, to prevent injury and attain desired results. 
  • Injury prevention and management:  Any type of physical activity comes with inherent risks. As a trainer, it is your job to teach your clients to exercise safely, and to provide guidance and support throughout each session. These are hands-on skills that cannot be learned from a textbook or video. 
  • Lifestyle counseling: Every client brings their own unique lifestyle history to the table. As trainers, we work with our clients to identify negative lifestyle behaviors and help them make better choices. Role playing gives you essential skills for communicating with your clients, in ways that help them evolve, without making them feel judged. 

How to Get Skills Training 

Sadly, the majority of certification programs do not equip you to apply practical skills as a trainer.  Most are self-study programs that certify you once you pass a written online test. Imagine walking into your new personal trainer job, being assigned a client on your first day, and not having a clue about how to proceed. 

Imagine walking into your new personal trainer job, being assigned a client on your first day, and not having a clue about how to proceed. 

Busy studios and big box gyms provide minimal training for new hires. They most often throw you into the fray, and let you sink or swim. As you can imagine, this leads to high turnover and a lot of discouraged and disillusioned trainers who spent their hard-earned money to get certified. It also leads to dissatisfied clients, and hurts our industry as a whole. 

World Instructor Training Schools is the only certification program that teaches and conducts research-based testing for personal trainer practical skills. 

Skills Training for Personal Trainers

If you are serious about building a successful and sustainable fitness career, don’t cut corners on your certification. Get the support, knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed with a fitness certification from W.I.T.S.

Advantages of a W.I.T.S. certification include: 

  • Fully NCCA accredited: The only practical skills competency exam in the industry, along with our written exam!
  • Recognized by employers nation-wide: Graduates who perform!
  • Available in colleges, universities and online
  • Taught by qualified and experienced industry professionals
  • Internship program available to cement your skills
  • Friendly customer service and supportOnline continuing education at your fingertips

Join the W.I.T.S. family of industry leaders today, and build your fitness career on a solid foundation.

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Personal Trainer Certification: Your Top 10 Questions Answered

If you have been thinking about beginning a new career as a certified personal trainer, you probably have a lot of questions. Before making a commitment and spending money on a certification program, review theses answers to the most popular questions about personal trainer certification:

  1. Do I need a degree in exercise science to be a certified personal trainer?

    Although there are one or two certification providers who require a degree, most do not have an academic prerequisite.

  1. Am I too old to become a personal trainer?

    You can become a personal trainer at any age, and provide valuable services to people who need you. W.I.T.S. trainers range in age from late teens to late seventies. It’s never to late to make a positive difference in the lives of others. 

  1. Do I have to be super fit to become a personal trainer?

    Trainers come in all shapes and sizes, and not all have bulging muscles or a defined six-pack. Some of the best trainers have struggled with obesity, disability and health issues. They often have amazing testimonials and find it easy to empathize with their clients. A side bonus of working as a trainer is the opportunity to improve your own fitness. 

  1. How much money do personal trainers make?

    The national average according to fitness industry surveys is $29 per hour.  Obviously that amount varies by city and state, with some earning higher wages and some lower.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for Certified Personal Trainers and Group Exercise Instructors is $19.15 per hour. For some odd reason, they combined the two jobs into one statistic, even though personal trainers typically make much more.  In fact, many trainers who become business owners or independent contractors earn 6-figure incomes!!

  1. What is the job market like for personal trainers?

    To quote the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of Certified Personal Trainers and Group Exercise Instructors is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.” Gyms, studios and individuals are always looking for competent and professional trainers.  That shared, most certification programs qualify a trainer with a only a written exam. Inadequate training in part accounts for the  80% turnover rate in some gyms. In other words, in most clubs, if 10 Certified Personal Trainers are hired today, 8 of them will be out of a job in a year.  Written-only testing does not prepare most trainers for long term success. You need practical skills training as well.

  1. Do personal trainer jobs have benefits?

    Many employers, especially big box gyms and studio chains, offer a benefits package. 

  1. How long does it take to become a certified personal trainer?

    Many certification programs are self-paced, self-study programs that offer no structure, support or deadlines. You simply register to test when you are ready. W.I.T.S. offers live professionally taught courses at colleges and universities nationwide, along with online programs. All our certification options offer interactive support from qualified instructors. Our live classes include 5 weeks of labs and lectures, plus on-site testing, for a total of 6-7 weeks.

  1. How much does it cost to become certified as a personal trainer?

    Certification programs vary in price, but you can expect to get what you pay for. W.I.T.S. offers competitive prices with easy payment options. 

  2. Will I be ready to start working right after getting my personal trainer certification?

    If you do a self-study program and pass a written test, you will not necessarily be ready to work, and you will most likely need additional training. W.I.T.S. is the only NCCA Accredited certification with BOTH  a hands-on practical skills component and an internship option. Once you are certified, you will able to walk into any job, ready to work.

  3. Which personal trainer certification is best?

If you are serious about building a successful and sustainable fitness career, don’t cut corners on your certification. Get the support, knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed with a fitness certification from W.I.T.S.

Advantages of a W.I.T.S. certification include: 

  • Fully NCCA accredited: The only practical skills competency exam in the industry, along with our written exam!
  • Recognized by employers nation-wide: Graduate who perform!
  • Available in colleges, universities and online
  • Taught by qualified and experienced industry professionals
  • Friendly customer service and support
  • Online continuing education at your fingertips

Join the W.I.T.S. family of industry leaders, and build your fitness career on a solid foundation.

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80% Personal Trainer Turnover Means 100% Opportunity For You

History

Over the past two decades, Personal Training has grown to be the #1 internal revenue generator in the fitness industry. This same fitness industry has accepted the majority of certifications without much thought about the vast discrepancy in qualifications among various certifying bodies. In many cases, if a job applicant holds the same certification as the fitness director, it is accepted. In other club groups, acceptance of a particular certification is based “self-regulation” and propaganda.

Some highly professional fitness facilities have done their homework. They pay attention to the numbers, and these businesses know that a true education-based certification like W.I.T.S., with complete comprehensive testing in written knowledge and practical skills, will produce long term success. Our direction has always been to align our standards with health occupations like EMT. A true educational approach with research-based testing and internship requirements provides a qualified pool of job applicants from which employers can select the best of the best!

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Personal Trainer Certification: 5 Things You Can Do NOW to Prep for Fall Classes

Fall is just around the corner, and that means back to school for kids and grownups alike. If you have been thinking of getting your personal trainer certification, now is the time to sign up for fall personal trainer courses! If you are already enrolled, don’t wait for the first day of class to dive in. 

Here are 5 things you can start doing today, to set yourself up for certification success:

  1. Hit the Gym: Leaning into your own workout is a great way to get your head in the game. Do some mental role playing to think about how you would explain each exercise to a new client. Think about the science beneath the surface as you do cardio or lift weights. 
  1. Pay Attention: While at the gym, take time to observe. Watch other members and evaluate their exercise technique. Pay attention to gym regulars and learn new exercises. Observe personal trainers in action as they work with clients.
  1. Crack Open Your Textbook: There is a lot more to personal training than just exercise. You need to understand core scientific principles and how they apply to programming. Reading up before class will help you grasp the challenging stuff as it is presented. 
  1. Access Other Resources: If reading isn’t your thing, search for key concepts online. YouTube has thousands of videos featuring everything from exercises, to workout tips, to science. Kahn Academy is an amazing free resource that breaks down scientific principles in an easy-to-understand way. 
  1. Start Spreading the Word: It’s never too early to build a client base. Tell your friends and family about your plans for an exciting new fitness career. Start searching the web for fitness trainer jobs. Talk to prospective employers about internship opportunities. Begin planning for your future today!

Ready, Set, Grow!

If you are looking for the best personal trainer certification, W.I.T.S. tops them all. After completing the course, our graduates are ready to walk into fitness trainer jobs across the United States and start making money. 

Benefits of a W.I.T.S. Personal Trainer Certification include:

  • Live classes at local colleges and universities
  • Qualified faculty with actual industry experience
  • Hands-on labs to prepare you for personal trainer jobs nationwide
  • NCCA accredited curriculum
  • Dozens of continuing education courses to keep you growing in your career

What are you waiting for? Join our W.I.T.S. family of fitness professionals and start living your dream!

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Does It Really Matter Which Fitness Certification You Get?

The answer is YES!

For most fitness professionals, national fitness certification is the first step toward launching a  successful career. Yet a simple web search will render dozens of certification programs with a broad range of credentials and requirements. Other important factors vary as well, including cost, investment of time, and recognition by potential employers. 

But while all those things deserve consideration, the most important question you should ask yourself is, “Will this program prepare me to succeed in the long run?”

What it Takes to Succeed as a Fitness Professional

Most personal trainers and group fitness instructors start out as fitness enthusiasts who know what a difference a fit and healthy lifestyle can make. We want to share our love of fitness with others and transform lives while working in a field we love. Yet only a handful of newly certified fitness trainers will attain long-term professional success. This is where your certification program makes a difference.

In order to succeed in the fitness industry, you need a solid foundation. A good certification program will provide: 

  • In-depth knowledge of core scientific principles of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and nutrition
  • A solid overview of key training principles and their applications
  • Exposure to tools for health screening and assessment
  • Knowledge of how to work with various populations
  • Basic principles of goal setting and programming
  • Hands-on practice to apply what you’ve learned

As you can imagine, learning and grasping foundational fitness skills takes more than just a weekend workshop.

More Than Just Exercise Programming

Some aspiring fitness professionals assume that working in fitness mostly entails prescribing and overseeing a variety of exercises. But training itself is only a small piece of the equation. 

Whether your client is trying to lose weight, improve their health or train for competition, it all begins within. It is up to the fitness trainer to identify obstacles, strengths and shortcomings, and help clients overcome physical, mental and emotional barriers to success. This often means in-depth communication, program planning and revision, and motivating your client to stay the course. 

Working as a fitness trainer also requires certain business and sales skills to maintain records, satisfy existing customers, and bring in new clients. 

Traits of Top Fitness Professionals

In addition to hard skills and knowledge, fitness trainers need to possess certain personality traits; 

  • Love of learning and a desire to share your knowledge
  • Empathy for the needs of your clients
  • Ability to show “tough love” to help clients succeed
  • Organization skills for programming and record keeping
  • Commitment to helping your clients reach their goals

While certain traits can be cultivated, it takes a lot of work and dedication to meet the needs of your clients and help them reach their goals while managing your business. 

To Be the Best, Choose the Best!

If you are serious about building a successful and sustainable fitness career, don’t cut corners on your certification. Get the support, knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed with a fitness certification from W.I.T.S.

Advantages of a W.I.T.S. certification include: 

  • Fully NCCA accredited
  • Recognized by employers nation-wide
  • Available in colleges, universities and online
  • Taught by qualified and experienced industry professionals
  • Friendly customer service and support
  • Online continuing education at your fingertips

Join the W.I.T.S. family of industry leaders, and build your fitness career on a solid foundation. 

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Debunking Physical Activity and Training Myths

This blog post is courtesy of our guest blogger, Dr. Sheri Colberg. 

How often have you heard certain things about physical activity and exercise training that you thought sounded correct, but found out later were totally wrong? If you hang out at a gym or even talk with training coaches, you’ll hear just about everything, including contradictory statements about the right ways to stay active.

Should you work out in a “fat burning” range? Will weight training make you bulk up? Will your muscles turn to fat if you stop working out? Do you need to eat a lot more protein to get bigger muscles? Confused? Here is the truth about some of the more common myths you’ll hear about being active.

Myth: Exercising regularly makes you more tired.

Although you may feel somewhat tired during a workout, once you’ve recovered, you usually feel more invigorated, not less. Doing any regular physical activity is guaranteed to raise your overall energy levels and make you better able to undertake life’s challenges. If you’re having trouble concentrating at work or getting too stressed, it helps to take a short walk or do any type of physical activity to clear your mind, bump up your energy levels, and decrease your mental stress. Doing regular physical activity also helps you sleep better at night, leaving you more refreshed and energetic during the day.

Myth: If you want to lose fat, you have to work out within a “fat burning” range.

Exactly what is the “fat-burning” range you see on a lot of aerobic exercise machines? You have to understand which fuels your body uses during rest and exercise. Typically, during rest 60% of your energy needs are supplied by fat (stored or eaten), with the other 40% coming from carbohydrates. As soon as you start to do any type of physical activity, though, carbs become a much higher percentage of your total energy supply. In fact, when you’re doing just moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking, you’ll use very little fat, so you’re burning mostly carbs, even when you’re in a so-called “fat-burning” range. During more vigorous exercise, your body can’t use fat effectively, so almost all energy is supplied by carbs when you’re working out hard. You do use slightly more fat at a lower intensity, but fat is mostly used during your recovery from exercise, so just try to expend as many calories during exercise as possible without worrying about what types of fuels are supplying them.

Myth: When you don’t use your muscles, they turn into fat.

Have you ever looked at someone who used to be fit and thought that his or her muscles had really turned into flab? While there is no discounting the change in appearance, it is physically impossible for inactive muscles to turn into fat. What is really happening is this: when you work your muscles out regularly, they may increase in size or simply look more toned; if you stop using them, the muscle fibers will atrophy and disappear—similar to what happens to many people with aging. As your muscle mass decreases, your caloric needs also decrease, and if you don’t start eating less, you’ll gain fat weight that is stored under your skin (among other places). The reverse is true as well. If you drop body fat, your muscles will look more defined simply because there is less fat to cover them up. The bottom line is that it is never good to lose muscle mass, but if you don’t gain fat weight as you lose muscle, you’ll just look thinner without acquiring a flabby appearance.

Myth: Weight training will bulk you up.

This myth probably arose because you may look bigger as your muscles expand with heavy weight training. Women are especially worried about bulking up and getting bigger arms or legs. Remember how losing muscle can make you look thinner if you’re not gaining fat at the same time? Well, the same applies here, only in reverse. If you’re losing fat all over (including from under your skin) while you’re gaining muscle mass, you’ll stay about the same size. If you gain muscle without losing fat, you may look slightly bigger, or simply more toned. Either way, most people don’t gain enough muscle from weight training to ever look bulked up. More likely, you’ll just look more toned. When you first start exercising, your weight may go up slightly or just not come down as quickly as you think it should, simply because as you gain muscle while losing fat, the heavier of the two (muscle) will keep your scale weight higher. Focus less on your scale weight and more on your measurements and how well your clothes fit.

Myth: No pain, no gain.

If you’ve ever hung around a gym, you’re sure to have come across this myth. The “pain” part of exercise results from the build-up of acids in active muscles (like lactic acid), and acids drop the pH of your muscles and sensitize pain receptors. Usually, it’s just a sign that you’re working hard or that your muscle is fatiguing. However, you can certainly have gains in your strength and endurance without pushing yourself to the point of pain in the process. The more fit you become, the more easily your body can clear out those excess acids produced by physical activity. Too much pain can also signal that you’re likely to get injured.

Myth: Lifting weights slowly builds larger muscles.

Remember how we just debunked the “no pain, no gain” myth? If you try lifting weights more slowly, you’ll certainly feel the pain, but it absolutely doesn’t mean that your muscle or strength gains will be greater. On the contrary, lifting weights slowly when you could lift them faster will build more muscular endurance, while lifting the heaviest weight as quickly as possible will recruit extra muscle fibers and cause you to build bigger muscles. So, the rule of thumb should be that if you are lifting a weight slowly, but could lift it faster, you either need to move it faster or try a heavier weight for optimal results.

Myth: Working on your abdominal muscles will give you a flat belly.

You’ve probably always heard that if you want to get rid of that stomach flab, you have to do a lot of abdominal work, but don’t be fooled into believing that. As much as we’d all like to pick and choose where we lose our fat, it is not possible to spot reduce, and doing hundreds of crunches will not make you lose stomach fat any faster than you lose it from the rest of your body. If you want a flat belly, you can certainly work on toning up your abdominal region, but focus more on simply burning off excess calories. Doing harder workouts will also build more muscle, and having more muscle increases your daily caloric needs. One side benefit of including abdominal exercises, though, is that having toned abs makes it easier for you to pull in your stomach so it appears flatter, even if you can’t spot reduce there.

Myth: The more exercise you do, the better off you’ll be.

There is a limited benefit to anything, and that includes excessive exercise. When you do more than 60 to 90 minutes of aerobic exercise daily, you’re much more likely to develop overuse injuries—such as stress fractures, tendinitis, bursitis, and other joint issues. You don’t want to get injured because you will have to stop working out while you heal. You are better off doing slightly more intense exercise for a shorter period of time, which you can do with any type of interval training (including some of the latest crazes like HIIT and CrossFit). You can push yourself a bit harder from time to time during a workout, or do the whole thing at a higher intensity if you can, while cutting back on your duration—and you will gain the same benefits, or even more, from your workout. Most of us don’t have time to work out all day anyway, so it’s good to know that we really don’t need to.

Myth: If you want to gain muscle mass, eat more protein.

Ah, yes, the protein myth. It is true that you have to eat some protein to gain protein (muscles are made of amino acids, the building blocks of protein). And, yes, physically active people do need more protein that sedentary folks, but not that much more. In fact, no training athlete needs more than 1.6 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (~0.75 grams per pound), which is just twice that of a sedentary person. Does that mean you need to take protein supplements or up the protein in your diet? Not usually. Most Americans already eat well over 15% of their calories as protein: about 75 grams of daily protein in a 2,000 calorie diet (or 112 grams per 3,000 calories), more than enough to cover protein needs. Taking in some protein (especially whey) with carbs right after hard workouts may be beneficial, but make sure your protein is coming from good sources without a lot of extra saturated or trans fats. Instead of spending money on supplements, try eating more egg whites or drinking chocolate milk post-exercise.

Myth: If you’re not sweating, you’re not working hard enough.

Everyone equates sweating with working hard, but that isn’t always the case. People vary in their sweating rates. Being physically trained improves your ability to sweat more and to start sweating sooner, but men always tend to sweat more than women. Sweating is related not only to exercise intensity, but also to the environment. If it’s hot and humid, you’re going to sweat more, even if you’re not working hard. You will also sweat less if you’re dehydrated or lose too much fluid while you’re working out, as your body has mechanisms to limit fluid losses to keep enough in your blood. So, sweating is often not reflective of your effort level.

Dr. Colberg is a renowned expert on diabetes and nutrition. To learn more about working with diabetic clients, check out “Essentials of Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes: Overview Program”, available in the W.I.T.S. store.

Sheri R. Colberg, PhD, is the author of The Athlete’s Guide to Diabetes: Expert Advice for 165 Sports and Activities(the newest edition of Diabetic Athlete’s Handbook), available through Human Kinetics (https://us.humankinetics.com/products/athlete-s-guide-to-diabetes-the), Amazon (https://amzn.to/2IkVpYx), Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere. She is also the author of Diabetes & Keeping Fit for Dummies. A professor emerita of exercise science from Old Dominion University and an internationally recognized diabetes motion expert, she is the author of 12 books, 28 book chapters, and over 415 articles. She was honored with the 2016 American Diabetes Association Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award. Contact her via her websites (SheriColberg.com and DiabetesMotion.com).

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Why Fitness Certifications Matter, and how to get the most out of yours

Every year, thousands of college-bound high school seniors compete for a limited number of spots at prestigious schools, hoping to leverage that prestige to get a high-paying job upon graduation. Similarly, thousands of aspiring personal trainers and group exercise instructors become certified each year, hoping their credentials will open doors to a gratifying and lucrative fitness career. 

wits personal training

But in both cases, the name of your accredited institution only takes you so far. Once you land your dream job, you had better hope that your education prepared you to perform the day to day tasks your position requires. 

Bridging the Experience Gap

One of the biggest challenges to beginning a new fitness career is the experience gap. Employers are rarely willing to take a chance on a new hire who needs hours of training before they can step into their work role. In the case of fitness jobs like personal trainer or group exercise instructor, it is not enough to be passionate about fitness. You need to be able to translate that passion into useful skills that help your clients and students safely reach their goals. 

Most online certifications, even those whose reputations hold some clout, provide you with plenty of head knowledge, but when it comes to practical skills, you are on your own.

Practical skills needed to be an effective fitness professional include:

  • Experience conducting health history interviews and needs assessments
  • Experience conducting fitness assessments
  • Knowledge about fitness equipment and how to adjust it for each client
  • Ability to assess and correct alignment and exercise mechanics for a variety of fitness levels and body types
  • Knowledge of programming, to create effective balanced exercise sessions or group exercise classes
  • Communication skills for group exercise and personal training

If your fitness certification does not provide you with practical skills training, you will face a huge learning curve when it comes to job performance, and most fitness employers do not provide on-the-job training. They are looking for confident experienced employees who can step into the job on day one and perform like pros. 

What Gym Managers Say About Fitness Certifications

To get the employers’ perspective on hiring and certification, we spoke to some managers and business owners of local fitness clubs and studios. We asked them about what they look for in a new hire, and the importance of certification, Here is what they had to say:

“Certification in general is important, but we also look at the certifying body. There are certain certifications that demand in-depth knowledge, and others that are basically diploma mills. Even if you have an exercise science degree, your choice of certification says a lot about your commitment to your profession.”  -Tiffany, Fitness Director

“We have been hiring W.I.T.S. certified trainers for years, because they not only know about the science of fitness, but they have been trained to perform on the job. That saves us money in the long run, because the employee is more likely to succeed on the job and become a long-term staff member. Training and turnover are two big costs for any employer, so we are very selective when it comes to new hires.” -Scott, General Manager

“It’s one thing to be into fitness and know how to put together a workout for your friends. It’s another thing to be able to work with unfit clients of any age and any body type, and help them reach their goals. A lot of new trainers do okay with younger clients who just have a few pounds to lose, but they don’t know what to do with, say, an older person or someone with serious health issues or disabilities. We love W.I.T.S. trainers and instructors because they come from diverse backgrounds, and they know how to work with a broad range of clients.”-Stacey, Fitness Studio Owner

Getting the Most from Your Fitness Certification

If you are thinking about becoming a certified fitness professional, ask yourself these questions before selecting your certification program:

  • Does the certification program include lectures and workshops taught by qualified instructors, or is it all self-study?
  • What subjects does the certification course cover? Does it include foundational science, programming, injury prevention, special populations and communications skills?
  • Is there a hands-on practical skills element that teaches hard job skills?
  • Is the certification program accredited by educational bodies like NCCA, American Counsel on Education, IACET and other recognized organizations?
  • Does the certification program provide opportunities for internship and job placement?
  • Does the certification program offer relevant continuing education?

If you are already certified, think about how you can leverage your certification to make the most of your fitness career:

No More Excuses

Getting W.I.T.S. certified is one of the best career decisions you can make for a bright and lucrative future as a fitness professional. Our easy payment plans and options for live or online learning eliminate time and money constraints, and our friendly staff is here to support you every step of the way. So what are you waiting for? Stop making excuses and step into your future as a W.I.T.S. certified fitness professional TODAY! 

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10 Reasons You’re Not Making Enough Money as a Personal Trainer

When you first became certified as a personal fitness trainer, you were excited to share your passion for fitness and the benefits it brings, not just to your clients’ health, but to their overall quality of life. But for many newly certified trainers, getting career traction can be a challenge. Big box gyms often underpay, or can guarantee only part-time hours, and striking out on your own can make huge demands on your time and financial resources. 

Yet, the demand for personal training is high, and continues to grow. If you really want to pursue your dreams of success as a fitness professional, consider some of the common reasons trainers don’t make enough money to succeed. 

  1. You’re focused on the money: This one is tough, because it’s hard NOT to think about money when you are trying to establish your career. Nevertheless, many trainers scare away clients by focusing on the money instead of the benefits. Stay focused on analyzing and meeting your clients’ needs, deliver amazing results, and watch the money roll in!
  1. Your thoughts are self-limiting: When you decided on a fitness career, you may not have considered the business end of the equation. Many novice trainers are dismayed at the need to sell themselves to potential customers. Others fear they cannot make it as an independent contractor. The truth is, if you think you cannot do a thing, you are right. Take time to identify self-limiting thoughts and attitudes, and work to overcome them. 
  1. You’re not managing your business: This goes hand-in-hand with #2: as a personal trainer, it is imperative to keep accurate records, monitor your clients’ session packages, regularly re-evaluate their progress, and review their goals. To put it simply, there is a lot more to personal training than the actual training sessions. Step up your business game, and you will see your profits increase. 
  1. You lack self confidence: Let’s face it, the competition for personal training can be stiff. Colleges and universities turn out thousands of newly degreed job candidates each year with advanced degrees in exercise science. To build your own confidence, keep your certification current, take continuing education courses, and think about working toward more advanced credentials. Learn everything you can, and leave your competition in the dust. 
  1. You work for low wages: As mentioned earlier, big box gyms and smaller training studios often underpay their trainers. Basically, you do all the work, and they reap the rewards. In addition, many trainers who take on private clients grossly undercharge. This is largely driven by fear (see #4 above), but undercharging or undercutting the current market rate will hurt you in the long run. In the eyes of many clients, your session fees reflect your value as a trainer. Low-paying clients are more likely to skip sessions, meaning they don’t get results. Clients who invest in training have more skin in the game, and they are more likely to reach their goals and buy more sessions. 
  1. Your clients are not seeing results: At the end of the day, the fitness business is, and always has been, about results. Successful clients are your best advertising, and if your clients are not reaching their goals, that is negative advertising. Hold your clients’ feet to the fire, review goals regularly, change what’s not working, monitor food and activity logs, and use behavior contracts to keep your clients moving forward to remarkable results. 
  1. You lack professionalism: Personal training is considered a high-ticket luxury item by many clients, and they expect a lot of bang for their bucks. That includes professional conduct and appearance on the part of the trainer. Good grooming and hygiene are fundamental. Clean sharp-looking fitness wear, clean athletic shoes in new condition, and showing up for sessions on time, prepared and organized, are all elements of your professional image. Step up your professional game, and step up your income!
  1. You’re staying in your comfort zone: In case you haven’t heard, you cannot grow without facing and overcoming obstacles. In fact, “no pain, no gain” is the mantra of our profession. To make more money, you may need to take on challenges and obstacles that are over your head, take risks on opportunities that do not guarantee  success, and be willing to fall flat on your face. Take the advice you give to your clients every day, and push yourself beyond your comfort zone to get the results you desire. 
  1. You’re not seeing the big picture: It may be difficult to imagine yourself making large sums of money as a personal trainer, but you have to look at the big picture. Personal training opens doors to one of the hottest industries in history. Online training, group training, celebrity training, niche training, athletic training…the sky’s the limit! Use your imagination, keep your eyes open for opportunities, and create the career of your dreams!
  1. You need more education: Knowledge is power, and in the fitness business, it can mean the difference between success and failure. Lucky for you, W.I.T.S. has everything you need to succeed, right at your fingertips! Check out our current offerings:

Making more money as a personal trainer is completely up to you. Work hard, help your clients get results, keep your head in the game, and we’ll see you at the top!

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Why NOW is the Best Time Ever to Become a Personal Trainer!

The profession of Personal Trainer evolved out of the aerobics movement of the late 20th Century, and it quickly became one of the hottest career fields of the new Millennium. In the early 2000s, having a trainer was the epitome of coolness, and clients came in droves to ramp up their street cred. In its early years, personal training attracted mostly healthy young-to-middle aged adults who wanted to drop a few pounds and sculpt a fit physique. 

The Changing PT Market

Fast forward to today, where digital options have flooded the fitness market with online classes and “personal” training that can be done anytime and anywhere, at the client’s leisure. But digital fitness is not and cannot be truly personal, and there is a growing demand for trainers to work one-on-one with an ever-growing client base. 

Clients who need one-on-one personal training include;

  • Older adults seeking to maintain their independence and achieve a better quality of life
  • Prenatal and postpartum moms who want a healthy birth and recovery
  • Obese youth and adults who need personal attention and support to meet their goals
  • Adults who are new to exercise and need to learn the fundamentals
  • Niche populations with condition-specific needs including autism, Parkinson’s, dementia, and multiple other neurological disorders
  • Average people who want to improve their overall health
  • Athletes who want to gain a competitive edge
  • The list goes on and on!

No longer a trend for the well-heeled and beautiful, personal training has become a necessary health care option for people of all ages who want to increase strength and mobility, reduce their risk of metabolic disease, and achieve their best possible quality of life. 

Characteristics of Successful Personal Trainers

While personal trainers are a diverse group that encompasses all ages and ethnicities, most of us share certain attributes. 

You might be a successful personal trainer candidate if you:

  • love physical activity 
  • see fitness as a lifestyle choice
  • believe in the health benefits of fitness
  • empathize with other people and enjoy helping them
  • love learning about fitness and nutrition
  • enjoy a flexible work environment
  • want a gratifying career
  • enjoy being a role model
  • want a career that can open doors of opportunity

Qualifications and How to Become Certified

Personal training is one of the few health professions that does not require an undergraduate or higher degree. You can successfully pass the certification exam with a high school diploma, but you should be prepared for a challenge. Good study skills are a must, and you will have to learn core science principles and be able to apply them. 

While there are many certification programs out there, you should look for one that prepares you to enter the profession with little need for additional training.  W.I.T.S Certified Personal Trainers come from all walks of life, and range from teens to octogenarians. 

W.I.T.S. offers one of the most comprehensive certification programs in the field. Our key features include:

  • NCCA accredited
  • Detailed lectures with qualified instructors, live or online
  • Practical skills training that prepares you to work with clients
  • Internship programs for hands-on experience

When you become W.I.T.S. certified, clients and prospective employers alike know that you have the knowledge and experience to help clients reach their goals, safely and effectively. 

Get Started Today!

If you are ready to join one of the best and most in-demand health professions, look no further than W.I.T.S. Our top-notch instructors, friendly support staff and comprehensive curriculum will provide you with everything you need to succeed as a personal trainer. 

But it doesn’t stop there. We offer continuing education and a variety of supplemental certifications, to keep you growing and learning as you build your career. Apply for our easy payment terms and get started today. With W.I.T.S., your new career as a Certified Personal Trainer is only weeks away!