How To Be A Fitness Instructor Or A Personal Trainer

Many a times this question has pondered the young minds who are more than passionate about fitness. Before we begin on how to adopt fitness as your career it is important to understand what is it like to be a fitness instructor or a personal trainer and what does it take to be one.

Fitness is no longer restricted to the set of health or calorie conscious masses, it has found its way down to one and all from teenagers to senior citizens who want to not only be fit but also look and feel younger and healthier. This single reason has led to a substantial growth in the fitness industry over the last few years. It is expected to grow by about 26.5% till 2016, which explains the growing number of jobs in the industry.

A Fitness trainer is one who trains his clients on various physical aspects in fitness. These trainers not only supervise your workout regimes but also guide, motivate, inspire and try to give you the best possible or desired output through various workout programs, diet plans, lifestyle suggestions and so on.

Difference between a fitness trainer and a personal instructor is in the bit that a trainer is generally required to address a group of people whereas a personal instructor sticks to one client at a time and charts out personalized training programs on a case to case basis.

Types of Trainers

There are different streams or types of trainers or instructors. While some trainers or instructors are specialized in particular areas of aerobic or weight training, there are others who hone skills in all areas of fitness.

The most common categories of trainers or instructors are:

  • Aerobics instructor: They conduct group sessions of aerobic exercises like stretching, running, swimming, cycling etc.
  • Clinical exercise instructor: An instructor or trainer who is known to work with patients to help them recover from any physical ailments they may have.
  • Gym or Group trainer: One who trains clients in groups generally available in set ups like gym.
  • Personal trainer: One who trains individual clients on a case to case basis and applies a customized approach and program as per client’s specific requirements either at clients home, gym or other suitable location.
  • Celebrity trainer: This is a kind of trainer which has recently evolved. Wherein a trainer trains individual celebrities on a personal basis with a customized approach for each celebrity.

The recent trends in Fitness training

Among a wide variety of recent trends in fitness the most common ones are crossfit training, personal training, parkour to name a few. Let’s get a better understanding of these new trends.

  • Crossfit training: A Crossfit training is a strength and muscle conditioning program which involves high intensity functional exercises in a varied form. Crossfit focuses on all aspects of physical fitness like cardiovascular, stamina, flexibility, coordination, speed, agility, power and so on. The workouts are extremely varied and of challenging nature. The intention is to not focus on the strength or functioning of a particular body but on every physical aspect of the body.
  • Parkour training: Parkour is a recent trend in fitness which focuses on training your body and mind in a natural environment in an effective way. During parkour a person jumps, climbs and overcomes the physical barriers or obstacles in his path in a very efficient and swift way of movement. It is different from running in the way that, during running a person does not have to move or swing overcoming the obstacles.


Career Prospects

Like with any other profession fitness industry provides a whole of lot of varied career prospects for the fitness trainers. Like operating your own gym, getting into sales of fitness related products or gym equipments, getting into the design aspect of fitness equipments, be a corporate trainer, get into five star hotels, health resorts, sports clubs, spas, get into the stream of teaching or be a personal trainer or consultant and so on.

Once you pursue fitness as your long term career, although it may take time to establish yourself, the longer you stay and try to market yourself in the correct way, the bigger benefits you would reap. There is a wide variety of fitness areas that one can get into like yoga, aerobics, kickboxing, pilates, cross fit, parkour, spinning and so on. You can also work as a consultant for your clients where your focus should be on building long term relationships with them.

If you desire to get into a government job you may apply to the numerous government run health or sport institutions. Besides, you can also conduct specific fitness and health related sessions as guests for corporate houses or colleges or come up on the television shows.


The initial salary in this field can be as low as Rs. 5000 per month. However the established ones also charge as high as Rs. 1000 per hour for their clients. Established trainers earn from around Rs. 50,000 per month and go higher as they move ahead. On an average with a good amount of experience a trainer can earn from Rs. 15,000 to 30,000 per month and it all depends on how established you are and how well-known is your centre, the locality, the members and so on.

Qualification and Skills

A bachelor’s degree in any field is the basic qualification in addition to which you can undertake courses that help you attain desired certifications in fitness. There are many certifications available now-a-days which are also available online. However, employers prefer certifications from registered institutes.

Fitness courses can cost you anywhere from Rs. 10,000 to 30,000 and need to be renewed every 2 to 3 years as per latest trends and updates in the industry.

A certification course in first aid is an added advantage. Specific courses like strength training, circuit training, martial arts, yoga, aerobics, power yoga, weight management, nutrition, muscle conditioning etc. can help you achieve specialization in specific areas of choice.

Work experience is greatly beneficial when getting hired. Again, the type of experience, institute where worked, type of locality and clientele base does impact when it comes to work experience credibility.

Some of the essential skills that are required be a fitness professional are:

  • Good etiquettes and communication skills, since interaction with clients and building rapport is an essential part of this profession
  • Patience to deal with younger ones to senior citizens alike and give personalized advice or suggestions is important
  • Knowledge of latest trends in fitness industry is a must
  • Being a fitness enthusiast and staying fit is of utmost priority
  • Being good at socializing or interacting with people helps get a person far in this career and stand out amid the competition

Institutes offering courses in fitness
There are numerous institutions that impart education in sports and fitness for coaches at the bachelors and masters level i.e. Bachelors in Physical Education (BPEd) and Masters in Physical Education

  • Reebok Training centre: Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi and other.
    Reebok has quite a few certification courses as well as organizes workshops for certified trainers. It involves topics such as Reebok circuit training, Reebok core training, martial arts, Reebok core pilates, Reebok flexible strength etc.
  • Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute (GFFI): GFFI is India’s first international fitness management institute. It offers certificate courses in Fitness Management, Personal Training and Spinning Instructing.
  • BFY (Better Fitness for You): Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmadabad, Chandigarh.
  • Talwalkars Fitness Academy: Mumbai, Pune
    Website :
  • K11 Fitness Academy
    K11 Fitness Academy is one of the renowned institute for certifying and training Fitness Professionals. Apart from a fully equipped gym it also boasts of a fitness studio and classrooms for theory lectures. K11 Fitness Academy strives to teach students not just the science but the practical applicability of scientific theories on the gym floor. We offer courses on every aspect related to fitness.
  • Sports Authority of India (SAI): Imparts different courses in sports and athletic coaching at various branches in India.
  • SAI, Netaji Subhash (NS) National Institute of Sports: Patiala
  • SAI, NS Eastern Centre: Kolkata
  • SAI, NS South Centre: Bangalore, Karnataka.
  • Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports sciences (IGIPESS): New Delhi
  • Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education: Kerala

How is it to be a fitness trainer?

A fitness trainer needs to keep his own health as a top priority and strive to be fit at all times as this acts as the first step when attracting clients. Although, the job lacks stability, if one strives hard and pursues fitness as his long term career, he will possibly get well established with a good clientele base over a period of time.

Life of a fitness trainer depends on the type of trainer he is, whether he imparts training at a group set up like gym or whether he is a personal trainer addressing clients on a one on one basis. For consultants who operate their own fitness consultancy, there is a lot of flexibility as they get to choose how many clients to address and during what time of the day and at what frequency.

Fitness industry is booming and has a huge potential for those who are really interested in making a career out of it. The right kind of qualification with desired skills and a good amount of work experience can help you set yourself up in this field as desired.


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