Skip to content

8 Ways to Jumpstart Your Personal Training Career in 2024 (infographic)

Use this simple guide to jumpstart your personal training career. Here are the steps needed to go from personal training weakling to personal training career beast mode in no time:

8 Ways to Jumpstart Your Personal Training Career
Eddie Lester

Written By

Reviewed By

Last updated:

Table of Contents

Use this simple guide to jumpstart your personal training career. Here are the steps needed to go from personal training weakling to personal training career beast mode in no time:

  1. Start at the Beginning

First things first, know that before you get into personal training you need to be 18 or older, have a high school diploma or GED and be CPR certified.

  1. Get Credentials

There are many personal training accreditation bodies. Find one that works for you and study for the test. Our personal favorite is the NASM. Study for the NASM-CPT.

  1. Extra Credentials

Extra credentials will set you apart from the pack and allow you hone in on the areas of personal fitness that you are most interested in.

  1. Build on Your Foundation

Most really successful personal trainers find a niche that they excel at. This can be yoga, buy xenical online discount power lifting or martial arts. Whatever yours is, become the best at it.

  1. Your Fitness Theory

This is what really defines you as a personal trainer. Your thoughts and feelings about health, how you promote it, the exercises you recommend and your nutritional habits all define your fitness theory.

  1. Personal Branding

You are a reflection of your product. Make sure your personal brand reflects someone who is strong, healthy and fit.

  1. Product Branding

This is where you tell your story and show the world what being a client of yours will bring to the table. It also incorporates branded exercises or fitness strategies unique to your name.

  1. Business Registration

While not necessarily the last item you should tick off this list, registering your business and making it all legal is a top priority.

circles@2x 1
cross 1

Personal Trainer Career Guide: Beyond Your CPT

Whether you work in a commercial facility, within a CrossFit-like gym, conduct group fitness classes outdoors or work in a private studio, this guide is for you.

No matter what type of personal training environment you are in, marketing yourself and your brand after you get your CPT is challenging. With the help of this guide, you will be able to learn about how to be a successful personal trainer based on your individual or company goals.

Keep in mind that some sections may or may not pertain to your career specifically so feel free to skip around the sections that do.

Beyond the PT Certification

Let’s assume that you already have your personal training certification with some central authority such as NASM, ACE, ACSM or the like. As you are likely aware, this is just the ticket to entry and does not really influence your potential clients’ decision in working with you or some other personal trainer. When was the last time someone approached you and asked you what personal trainer certification you had? Probably never.

That said, what really matters to potential clients and for your own personal advancement are your extra credentials beyond the standard PT certification. When we train personal trainers to get their NASM-CPT and start to talk about advancing their careers and gaining a competitive edge, we recommend that they stick within the NASM certification authority for two main reasons:

  1. They are already familiar with the accrediting authority;
  2. The additional certs transfer towards the continuing education credits (CEUs) needed to recertify.

Of course this train of thought – maintaining familiarity and working towards CE – can be applied to any authority, not just NASM.

In terms of picking additional credentials, you should consider them based on what is going to make you the most valuable to the type of clients you want to serve. In sticking with the NASM example, two of the most popular additional, or add-on, certifications are the Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) and Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS) certifications. As mentioned above, these certifications, or at least variations of them, are available through most of the accreditation bodies. 

If your goals are to help clients overcome pain or help clients formulate diet plans along with fitness regimens, then the CES and FNS (or equivalent) certifications would be a good tool to have under your belt.

If you want to look like a real badass (who doesn’t?), consider getting a Mixed Martial Arts Specialist (MMAS) or Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) certification (or equivalent) to showcase to your potential clients that you have sick ninja skills and that you can help them elevate their hoop dreams to a whole other level. Bottom line is get some certifications that help you improve your offerings as a professional and as a resource to your clients.

Selling Your Fitness Theory

What the @#$% is a “fitness theory” you ask? A fitness theory is your core belief about what true health really is. Think of a major brand like Coca-Cola for example. They aren’t selling deliciously (unhealthy) soda, they are selling happiness in a bottle. 

For the fitness professional, you aren’t selling sweat and muscles, you’re selling the confidence, self-esteem and attractiveness that comes with being in shape. Your fitness theory will define you as a trainer and at the same time become your sales pitch.

Maybe you can relate to my story; as I began my career in fitness I didn’t really know what my fitness theory was, I just sold someone else’s theory and was sort of this pawn. After I gained some confidence in my training style and approach I soon began to realize I didn’t really believe what I was selling, 

I was just piggybacking off what some other respectable trainers had done. Well screw that, you are your own brand and you have to believe in what you are promoting and selling otherwise your clients won’t.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you recognize your fitness theory:

  1. What is health to me?
  2. What is my daily routine to promote health?
  3. What are the best types of exercises I used to get in the best shape?
  4. What do I eat and why?
  5. What is the best way to create a new habit or behavior?

Take a moment to write down your answers to these questions. I’ll wait here, maybe do a pushup or two. All done? Great!

Do you believe in what you wrote down? You should, here’s why. You are the prime example your clients are looking at to give them an idea if your theory – albeit adapted – will work for them. If your idea of health is an alignment of physical, mental and nutritional wellbeing, do you think your clients can identify with that? 

Does your diet consist of lots of healthy proteins, fruits and vegetables and healthy fats? Great! Unlike the overweight doctor who tells his patients they need to “watch what they eat,” you are the end-result of your fitness theory and are the image your clients can emulate.

Documenting Your Fitness Theory

Now that you have identified clear and objectionable actions that can be emulated to live a life of fitness you should document your approach so that you can provide it to your clients.

It’s one thing to tell your clients a nutritional plan they should follow and then another to provide them with a nutrition document that outlines it for them. Other documents you should create to help you promote your fitness theory and keep your clients aligned with their goals can include:

  • Fitness programs
  • Meal plans
  • Behavioral change strategies
  • Exercise charts

Keep in mind that if you put enough time and effort in these documents you can sell them to your clients or the general public. You are in business to monetize yourself right? 

Base your documents on research, data and your expertise. They will form the template in which you train and help to keep you consistent – just xenical purchase like a Big Mac in Miami and a Big Mac in Spain. Not that you eat Big Mac’s.

Personal and Product Branding

Remember when you answered the question above “What is my daily routine to promote health?” This is essentially your own personal version of branding. 

Personal branding is a fairly easy concept to grasp but one that you should be conscious of and evoke in your day-to-day life. For example, people in your local community that see you at the grocery or health foods market will see the food choices you make. 

They’ll notice that you make healthy food choices and that McD’s isn’t part of your diet. They’ll also notice, if you’re anything like 90 percent of the personal trainers out there, that you are always wearing fitness clothes, probably because you just got out of the gym or engaged in some type of training. With all this healthy eating and training you are doing you are probably looking pretty good. 

You know what, people who look good get a lot of attention and your attractiveness has a lot to do with your personal brand. Extend your personal brand to your clients and encourage them to eat like you, workout like you and let their friends know what they are doing to live this great life of health and fitness.

Product Branding

Product branding is equally as important to personal branding but will take a bit more consideration and implementation. Above we mentioned that you’re selling the confidence, self-esteem and attractiveness that comes with being in sh