How to build a successful and rewarding career in the gym. A step-by-step guide for personal trainers & coaches.

Every year, thousands of people think about starting a career in fitness and health. But most have no idea how to make their dream a reality. This article is written for both news and experienced fitness professionals – describes a new curriculum for building a successful career.


Change your body, change your … career?

Becoming passionate about health and fitness has put the rest of my life into perspective.

I caught the exercise bug early I started learning and reading nutrition and fitness articles when I was in high school. By the time I was 21, I was putting on 30 pounds of muscle, feeling terrible and ruining my genetics.

Like many people who are starting to live the "healthy lifestyle", I quickly became a fitness and nutrition expert for my friends and family, a place and responsibility I enjoyed and loved.

My new love of exercise and eating health – combined with the results I saw in the mirror and my ability to help others get in shape – made me feel like a brand new person.

Well, almost.

Because even though I looked and felt differently, the rest of my life seemed connected to my "old". I had transformed my mind and body … but I was still doing the same old things.

Working with the same unsatisfactory job. Going from the moves to my local community college. Following the same routines.

Checking my own health and fitness showed me how much potential I had to change things in my life. To make me happier. To find meaning and purpose. To I make the difference.

So why did I do all the boring things I "had" to do when I could do something that really mattered?

A crazy idea came to my mind: What if I became a personal trainer and tried to help others transform their bodies? And if that was it my job?

As I thought about the possibilities, I was excited. And then reality hit me in the face. In the way I saw it, I had a huge problem:

I had no formal training, no certification and worse … absolutely no idea where to start.

Dream work

How do you become successful in the fitness industry?

I wasn't alone. And I'm not there yet.

There are thousands of people who are passionate about health and fitness and are considering a career change. But like me then they don't know where to start.

Do they have to go back to school for a new degree? Qualify as a personal trainer? Or maybe something else entirely?

I remember thinking about the pros and cons of each before deciding on a course of action.

Option 1: Go back to school.


  • Earn a degree.
  • Learn all about the biochemistry, anatomy and physiology of exercise.


  • It takes at least two years to complete (and probably four to six years).
  • It costs tens of thousands of dollars and could leave me deep in debt.
  • It doesn't prepare me for the day-to-day training of real people (that is, it doesn't show me how to write training programs or diet plans that people will actually follow).
  • It provides few (if any) classes or resources for changing psychology or business development.

Option 2: Get certified as a personal trainer.


  • Faster than going back to school (Usually self-taught, so I could go at my own pace.)
  • Cost way less money.
  • Learn enough anatomy and physiology to feel semi-fit.
  • The certificate I gained after taking the test would make me more reliable to potential customers.


  • He does not appear to be "credible" as a bachelor.
  • I don't know what certification is "good" and what certification is "bad".
  • It still doesn't teach me much about the psychology of change or business development.

So what did I do?

I received a crappy personal training certification, talked sweetly about a job as a fitness assistant at a local gym, and started training clients. (Eventually I got better certification.)

At times I felt like I was on top of the world. I had played the system! Here I worked with people, building my own business, reading nutrition and exercise classes, attending seminars. I felt like I had a great beginning.

But other times, I felt like a scam. I am worried that everyone will look at my lack of formal education and know that I did not have the ability to work with people, even if I was a certified trainer.

I am worried because, because I didn't follow any kind of "course", my new career in the gym was a joke. It was exhausting and even a little depressing.

But as I'll find out later, my lack of formal training in fitness and nutrition has put me in good company.

Be a world-class power trainer in 3 easy steps

When people ask renowned strength coach Dan John what they need to do to become successful trainers or coaches, here's what he tells them:

Step 1: Get a degree in English, study Theology, get a job as a high school teacher.

Step 2: Spend nights teaching an online course on religious studies

Step 3: Volunteer as a strength coach with the school band team.

Voila, just 25 years later, you'll be a household name with power and air conditioning.

While Dan laughs when he says this, that's exactly what he did. And hint of sarcasm is not missing, mainly because Dan knows something that most people don't:

Unlike some areas such as law and medicine, there are no clear, predetermined paths to fitness.

In other words, there is no single or obvious path to becoming a successful health and fitness trainer.

When I realized this, I felt a huge amount of weight left me. I was not a fraud. I was just a guy who wanted to help people get well. And, like Dan, I had just taken an "unusual" course to get there.

What does this mean for you?

This means you can find the right path you. The path that fits yours experience, personality, character and principles.

You can create your own unique path for the dream job you want.

But how?

Get Started Here: The New Fitness Industry Curriculum

Of course, even though there is no single standard, you can still follow and customize some of the top coaches' standards. See how.

1. Start coaching right now.

You don't have to do anything fancy from the beginning. You don't have to get a degree, rent a gym or start your own studio.

In other words, you don't need anyone's permission to get started.

All you have to do is help someone shape and improve their lives, one step at a time.

It doesn't matter if someone is a friend, family member or payment customer. The only way to find out if you really enjoy working with people is to start working with people.

And if you don't feel confident enough to train on your own, ask if you can "shadow" a personal trainer or other experienced coach for a day.

I remember: You don't need to know everything about exercise and nutrition to help someone get in shape and improve their lives. All you need is to know it a little bit more about health and fitness than the person you are trying to help.

Becoming great at something (like training) is always about trial and error.

No matter how well prepared you think you are, no matter how many exams you have passed, no matter how practical you do, you will eventually have to try things and you will need to make mistakes. On your own.

So start doing – and find out –now.

2. Make sure.

While training, start earning your credentials.

Yes, we all know that many certifications in the fitness industry are considered funny. Many need a single weekend for "effort" (and I put this in intentional quotes).

Most just scratch the surface of what a trainer really needs in order to work effectively with a client.

But if you want to be a professional – and if you want insurance – you'll need the papers. So get some kind of certification anyway.

Start with a basic certification such as one of the following:

After clearing the initial obstacle and completing your skill set (see below), you can look for more advanced certifications and guidance.

3. Become a "complete" fitness professional.

Once you have the basic personal training certification, it is time to take it a step further and expand your education. We know that practicing on your own will not bring your customers the results they are hiring for you.

And your clients will need more help from the two or three sessions a week they have with you.

What to do?

Nutrition education

First, learn more about nutrition so you can feel more confident discussing food and nutrition with your customers.

Diet is where people 1) need the most help and 2) see the best results.

In fact, including training with training tips can increase your effectiveness as a trainer at least five times.

In other words:

  • That could be 25 pounds lost instead of 5.
  • This could be 20 points cut from your blood pressure rating instead of 4.
  • That could be 5 inches from one's waist, not 1.

That could be at least five times the amount of customer engagement, trust, motivation, retention and satisfaction … with five times less effort by you.

Since a high quality real-world nutrition certification didn't exist a few years ago, we started to create one: Precision Nutrition Certification. It has quickly become the industry's most recognized nutrition certification, which we are very proud of.

And if you are already a student or graduate of the Level 1 program, we have something for you. See this Level 2 page, where you can learn more about the main category.

Also, if you want more research on the different nutrition education options out there, check out this site. It compares and compares the best schools and online education platforms. This way you can make an educated decision about what is best for you.

Mobility training

Once you have your nutrition system installed, I suggest one more thing to complete your basic set of skills: improving your ability to evaluate movement.

Most exercise planning assumes that clients are moving well to begin with. And that could be true if you were practicing circus educators instead of office clerks or athletes and manual workers with years of repeated pressure and executives.

As the physical therapist Gray Cook says, you should not load dysfunctional motion patterns. Adding weight to a structure that cannot support it is not going to make this structure better.

Exercise planning really can wound your customers, unless you first learn how to help them correct their dysfunctional drive patterns.

Therefore, consider one of the following training pieces for a better understanding and planning of the movement.

4. Learn how to train real people.

After you've spent some time learning about movement, nutrition and exercise planning it's time to Learn how to coach your customers.

This means understanding deeper psychology at play and saying the right things in the right ways at the right times. It really means connecting with your customers and helping them through their body transformations one step at a time.

You can have someone do all the squatting and eat all the broccoli you want, but until you learn "psychology change" and the art of coaching, you'll never really be able to help your clients change their habits.

Where to start?

Here are two resources to read:

Note: In the second article we are sharing six books that will teach you the basics of the psychology of change. Use it as a jump to dig deeper into this area.

And if you've done all this and are ready to upload, you can consider these lessons:

5. Get some vocational training.

You need to keep the lights on, your finances, and the customers that come in. But how?

If you are thinking of opening your own studio or gym – or working in a larger gym and want to learn how to get more clients – you will need some professional training.

I'm not talking about an MBA here. I'm talking about specific fitness training taught by people who are really successful in the field.

Here are some great options:

(And here is a great article describing the 5 basic stages of a successful fitness business).

The better you get at marketing and running your business, the more people you can help and the more money you can make.

6. A career in learning and development.

Once you have established a strong foundation for training, nutrition, movement, change and business knowledge, it is time to commit to a life of learning and personal development.

You can choose the books, lessons, internships, and certifications that stand best for you. Or it will help your customers more.

Now is the time to move on to advanced programming for different populations, timing of nutrients, soft tissue therapy, hormonal issues, advanced exercise and nutrition techniques and much more.

If you are interested in finally perfecting the basic education certification from Step 2 above, consider:

And if you are ready for hands-on training and guidance, these are highly recommended:

If you are interested in different areas of nutrition:

If you are interested in more sports populations:

If you are interested in high intensity and group training:

If you are interested in special populations:

Personal trainer

Remember: There is no "right" way to do it in the fitness industry

Fitness and nutrition are still a new industry. There is no "right" way to success. In fact, it may never exist.

And I like it that way. Means that the possibilities are endless.

The best instructors can come from anywhere: four-year colleges. Doctoral programs. School of Theology. College graduates. Someone who found a brochure in the parking lot.

Does not matter.

If you have the energy, drive and interest to do this work, you can finally do it … no matter what you are doing as a career now.

What to do

Ενώ δεν υπάρχει κανένας "σωστός" δρόμος, υπάρχουν έξι πράγματα που μπορείτε να κάνετε για να ξεχωρίσετε από το 99% των άλλων εκπαιδευτών εκεί έξω:

  1. Ξεκινήστε την προγύμναση τώρα– ακόμη και αν είναι απλώς οικογένεια ή φίλοι.
  2. Βεβαιωθείτε-Ακόμη και αν είναι μια βασική πιστοποίηση εισόδου-επιπέδου.
  3. Γίνετε ένας "πλήρης" επαγγελματίας γυμναστικής-Που κάποιος καταλαβαίνει την άσκηση, αλλά και τη διατροφή και την ποιοτική κίνηση.
  4. Μάθετε πώς να προπονήσετε τους πραγματικούς ανθρώπους– εστιάζοντας στην αλλαγή της ψυχολογίας και των συνδέσεων.
  5. Πάρτε επαγγελματική κατάρτισηΈτσι μπορείτε να πάρετε το γυμναστήριο όνειρό σας και να το μετατρέψετε σε κάτι σημαντικό και κερδοφόρο.
  6. Αναλάβετε μια καριέρα μάθησης και ανάπτυξης-Για να προχωρήσετε σε προηγμένα προγράμματα και να δημιουργήσετε τις δεξιότητές σας και τις σπεσιαλιτέ σας.

Αν είστε προπονητής ή θέλετε να είστε …

Η εκμάθηση τρόπων προπόνησης πελατών, ασθενών, φίλων ή μελών της οικογένειας μέσω της υγιεινής διατροφής και των αλλαγών στον τρόπο ζωής – με τρόπο που τους βοηθά να υιοθετήσουν απλές αλλά αποτελεσματικές συνήθειες που μπορούν να διατηρήσουν – είναι και η τέχνη και η επιστήμη.

Εάν θέλετε να μάθετε περισσότερα σχετικά με τα δύο, εξετάστε την Πιστοποίηση Ακρίβειας Διατροφής Ακριβείας 1. Η επόμενη ομάδα ξεκινά σύντομα.

Περί τίνος πρόκειται?

Η Πιστοποίηση Επιπέδου 1 της Ακρίβειας είναι το πιο σεβαστό εκπαιδευτικό πρόγραμμα διατροφής στον κόσμο. Σας δίνει τις γνώσεις, τα συστήματα και τα εργαλεία που χρειάζεστε Πραγματικά καταλάβετε πώς τα τρόφιμα επηρεάζουν την υγεία και την ικανότητα του ατόμου. Επιπλέον, η ικανότητα να μετατρέψει αυτή τη γνώση σε μια ακμάζουσα πρακτική προγύμνασης.

Αναπτύχθηκε πάνω από 15 χρόνια και αποδείχθηκε με περισσότερους από 100.000 πελάτες και ασθενείς, το πρόγραμμα σπουδών του επιπέδου 1 βρίσκεται μόνο ως αρχή στην επιστήμη της διατροφής και το τέχνη προγύμνασης.

Είτε είστε ήδη στα μέσα της καριέρας, είτε απλά ξεκινάτε, η πιστοποίηση επιπέδου 1 είναι το εφαλτήριο για σας βαθύτερη κατανόηση της διατροφής, ο την εξουσία να προπονηθεί, και το την ικανότητα να μετατρέπετε αυτά που γνωρίζετε στα αποτελέσματα.

[Φυσικάανείσαι[Ofcourseifyou’re[Φυσικάανείσαι[Ofcourseifyou’reήδη φοιτητής ή πτυχιούχος της πιστοποίησης επιπέδου 1, ελέγξτε την κύρια πλοήγηση πιστοποίησης επιπέδου 2. Πρόκειται για μια αποκλειστική, μακροχρόνια καθοδήγηση που σχεδιάστηκε για επαγγελματίες ελίτ που επιθυμούν να κατακτήσουν την τέχνη της προπόνησης και να είναι μέρος του κορυφαίου 1% των προπονητών υγείας και γυμναστικής στον κόσμο.]

Ενδιαφερόμενος? Προσθέστε το όνομά σας στη λίστα προπλάσματος. Θα εξοικονομήσετε έως 30% και θα εξασφαλίσετε το σημείο σας 24 ώρες πριν από όλους τους άλλους.

Θα ανοίξουμε θέσεις στην επόμενη Πιστοποίηση Επιπέδου 1 της Precision Nutrition την Τετάρτη 8 Απριλίου 2020.

Αν θέλετε να μάθετε περισσότερα, δημιουργήσαμε την ακόλουθη λίστα, η οποία σας δίνει δύο πλεονεκτήματα.

  • Πληρώστε λιγότερο από όλους τους άλλους. Μας αρέσει να ανταμείβουμε ανθρώπους που είναι πρόθυμοι να ενισχύσουν τα διαπιστευτήρια τους και είναι έτοιμοι να δεσμευτούν για να πάρουν την εκπαίδευση που χρειάζονται. Έτσι, προσφέρουμε έκπτωση έως και 30% από τη γενική τιμή όταν εγγραφείτε στην προωθητική λίστα.
  • Εγγραφείτε 24 ώρες πριν από το ευρύ κοινό και αυξήστε τις πιθανότητές σας να πάρετε μια θέση. Ανοίγουμε μόνο το πρόγραμμα πιστοποίησης δύο φορές το χρόνο. Λόγω της μεγάλης ζήτησης, τα σημεία στο πρόγραμμα είναι περιορισμένα και έχουν ιστορικά εξαντληθεί σε λίγες ώρες. Όμως, όταν εγγραφείτε στον κατάλογο προπώλησης, θα σας δώσουμε την ευκαιρία να εγγραφείτε 24 ώρες πριν από οποιονδήποτε άλλο.

Εάν είστε έτοιμοι για ένα βαθύτερη κατανόηση της διατροφής, ο την εξουσία να προπονηθεί, και το την ικανότητα να μετατρέπετε αυτά που γνωρίζετε στα αποτελέσματα… αυτή είναι η ευκαιρία σας να δείτε τι μπορεί να κάνει το κορυφαίο σύστημα προπονητικής διατροφής στον κόσμο για εσάς.