How To Become a Bodybuilding Coach in 2021
[And Our 3 Top Certs]

Health and fitness have become front and center more than ever in the past year. People are more heavily concentrated on not only being physically fit but gaining strength and muscle tone.

Personal trainers’ need is on the rise, with the job outlook growing by 15% over the next ten years, which is much quicker than average. With this comes the need for specialized trainers, such as bodybuilding coaches.

So, how do you become a bodybuilding coach? 

First get certified as a Bodybuilding Coach:

  1. International Sports Sciences Association – Body Building Coach Certification
  2. National Council on Strength and Fitness – Body Building Certification

Below, we will also explain what a bodybuilding coach does, walk you through the steps to becoming a specialized bodybuilder trainer and tell you our top recommended bodybuilding coaching certifications for 2021.

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What Does A Bodybuilding Trainer Do?

Many people seek advice from the internet, so their education on building muscle often comes from an amalgamation of information. The knowledge can be that of amateur fitness buffs or just those who feel they have a good understanding – but don’t possess certifications.

It’s essential to be the certified, educated foundation for a bodybuilder’s success. Here are a few things a bodybuilding trainer or bodybuilding specialist does:

  • Provides accountability: A bodybuilding coach watches their clients’ progressions, monitors that they’re sticking to the tailored plan, and pushes them to work harder to have fitness progress.

    You’re there to keep them focused and get them in the best shape possible to achieve bodybuilding success.

  • Provide objective training: When clients choose to bodybuild by themselves, they have emotions that get in the way. As a bodybuilding trainer, it’s crucial to be that objective sense that omits any constant self-criticism from which your client may suffer. You are a neutral party, which can help them keep track of their goals by honing in on the fitness aspects they may be overlooking.

  • Sets goals: Based on your education and certification, you’ll be able to set goals for your client. These might include workout regimens, specific weights at particular times, nutrition plans, nutrient timing, precise exercises, and more.

    Your knowledge and expertise will help your client gain strength and shed fat to become a successful bodybuilder.

  • Offers efficiency: Time is of the essence when it comes to physical fitness and bodybuilding. Your clients will have hired you to be their quick answer – they don’t want to spend hours researching what to do and how to do it.

    You’re highly educated, and they look to you to provide them with the best methods to get them in shape and reaching their goals.

  • Pushes their limits: This goes along with accountability. If someone is working out alone, they’re much more likely to work harder if they have you, as a bodybuilding coach, pushing them beyond their usual limitations in a skilled and safe way.

There are many things you can offer a client by specializing as a bodybuilding trainer. There are just a few steps to follow to become certified.

How Do I Become A Bodybuilding Coach?

Bodybuilder training is considered continued education, which you do after you’re a certified personal trainer. Here are the steps to take to become a bodybuilding coach.

Step 1: Become a Personal Trainer

Your personal training certification can be completed in as little as one month, depending on which certificate you choose to obtain. Before becoming a personal trainer, most certifications require that you:

  1. Be 18 years of age or older.
  2. Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  3. Have an Emergency Cardiac Care (CPR) or Automated External Defibrillator (AED) certifications.

These requirements vary but are the basic guidelines for becoming a certified personal trainer (CPT).

Here are a couple of options for your personal trainer certification:

  1. ISSA – International Sports Sciences Association (See Promotions)
  2. NASM – National Academy of Sports Medicine (See Promotions)
  3. ACE – The American Council on Exercise (See Promotions)
  4. FM – Fitness Mentors (Click for 30% off)

For more information on each of the above personal training certifications, as well as some additional options, read more here: 

Best Personal Trainer Certifications

Once you’re certified in personal training, you’re ready to specialize in bodybuilding coaching.

Step 2: Get a Bodybuilding Trainer Certification

Now you’re ready to specialize in bodybuilding. There are many options to get your continued education and become certified. Here are our top three recommendations with information on each:

  • ISSA Bodybuilding Specialist: This certification allows you to study at your own pace, 100% online. You even take the exam from the comfort of your own home.

    The certificate is nationally accredited and allows you to master the tools and methods that will help you shape and define your clients’ bodies. With this continued education, you’ll be a certified authority in everything bodybuilding.

    You’ll learn in-depth principles of muscles and how to apply this knowledge to program design. You’ll study muscle hypertrophy, causes of overtraining and injury, nutrition and supplementation, health risks of ergogenic aids, sports psychology strategies, and more.

    The ISSA Bodybuilding Specialist certification cost is $468*, which can be broken down into monthly payments.
  • ASFA Competition Bodybuilding Trainer Certification: If your focus is more on competition-based clients, this may be the option for you.

    The American Sports & Fitness Association (ASFA) certification is designed for those wishing to expand their knowledge in bodybuilding while working at their own pace, entirely online.

    In the course, you’ll learn how to tailor training regimens for competitive bodybuilders, nutrition components, as well as competitive strategies and poses.

    ASFA offers a certificate and a pocket certification card with lifetime renewal for $299*.
  • IFBB Academy’s Master Bodybuilding & Fitness Degree: The International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness is a world authority in bodybuilding training.

    This course will give you a great deal of schooling directly from professors and world champion athletes, especially for those wishing to pursue elite athlete coaching.

    The internationally recognized degree offers education on topics like the skeletal muscle system, general physiology, exercise physiology, anthropometry concepts, weight training, musculoskeletal injuries, safety, nutrition, and more.

    This certification cost is higher at about $1,000* but includes much more in-depth topics and is considered a degree with a diploma.

Once you’ve obtained a bodybuilding specialist or bodybuilding trainer certification, you’re ready to go to the next step.

*Prices are subject to change. Please check their website for current pricing.

Step 3: Obtain Insurance

If you went through step one and step two one right after the other, you may not have had a chance to obtain insurance. You won’t be able to train clients until you acquire the proper insurance to protect you from liabilities and claims.

To read more about insurance options, head to this blog:

4 of the Best Personal Trainer Insurance Options

Step 4: Run Your Bodybuilder Coaching Business!

You may find you need a bit of extra help when you get to this point. Fitness Mentors offers a Business and Sales Course that goes beyond your education and helps you obtain clients. You’ll learn how to prepare to start your business, how to get prospects and engage them, and how to close the sale! Click here to take this course.

No matter which certification you choose on your route to becoming a personal trainer specializing in bodybuilder coaching, you’ll be able to help your clients succeed. 

If you need any advice on your path to helping people reach their fitness goals, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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