personal fitness trainer working

What does a Fitness Trainer do?

A fitness trainer (sometimes called a personal trainer) develops programs in strength training, stretching, and exercise activities to motivate and train clients with their physical fitness goals. They lead cardiovascular exercises and work with clients of all ages and levels of fitness and strive to improve their physical health. A fitness trainer would be able to administer first aid, wrap injuries, and evaluate the need of further treatment by a physician.

Watch a video to learn what a fitness trainer does.

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How to Become a Fitness Trainer

An associate’s degree in exercise science, physical education, and kinesiology is advantageous. Some employers may ask for a certification and previous experience in a work-related field is usually expected. On-the-job training may be given with an experienced supervisor. Vocational training would be helpful to gain employment in this career field.

Job Description of a Fitness Trainer

A fitness trainer motivates and coaches people to improve their physical fitness through training techniques and skills. They asses form, technique, and physical ability then develop a program that best targets a client’s needs and makes adjustments to the program to meet their client’s goals. They teach their clients how to remain safe and free of injury by following good form and safe practices. They may also suggest ways to further improve and maintain good health by educating clients on nutrition, lifestyle, and weight control.

A fitness trainer must have stamina, strength, and flexibility to bend, twist, reach or stretch. A fitness trainer and instructor can be found working in several different places such as gyms, health clubs, fitness and recreational centers, hospitals and the personal home of a client.

Watch an interview with an FBI fitness instructor in Quantico, Virginia.

Video Transcript: In this episode, we visit the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia. They have the National Academy Training program which is a 10-week course for policemen and women from all over the United States. A typical day at the FBI Academy for me would be probably half the day spent teaching, researching, and hands-on activity. Our FBI agent training, as well as staff, and our national academy students (which are basically our cops and our military) we prepare them, and I think to focus more on movement mechanics, working on basic bodyweight, pushing, pulling, squatting, lunging, bracing-type activities to prepare them for any athletic endeavor.

I think this is an amazing career for kids to get into. The health and fitness industry is growing by leaps and bounds. I encourage them to outwork the competition. Also, all the habits that they do as a 7-13-year-old kid will produce longevity and the ability to stay injury-free and just moving in all types of directions and really getting better with their body weight should be fundamental. [A participate] Keep yourself grounded. One, pay attention in school. Do your studies. You’re going to be judged a lot on how you speak and how you write. Two, stay active, stay mobile. X-box isn’t the answer. Get outside and play. Make a fitness plan and start exercising at (link opens in new tab).

Article Introduction Fitness Trainer Career Video Transcript

Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors are leaders of all their classes, leading exercise groups at health clubs, exercise studios, and other facilities. They demonstrate the correct exercise form and the proper use of equipment. These teachers also instruct students on weight training, flexibility, aerobics, and other workout styles, often developing programs for people with special needs or goals.

Aerobics instructors plan routines that work different sets of muscles and combine a high-energy sweat session with music. The job may require maintaining equipment and keeping records, as well as promoting membership and enrollment in a gym or health club. Good communication skills and an approachable manner are essential; some positions may require expertise in weight control and nutrition.

Running several classes a day requires stamina and energy, so it’s expected that you be in good physical condition. Many instructors work in the field part-time. Instructors often enter the field with experience in fitness classes, dance, or other sports disciplines. Certification in first aid and in a fitness field such as personal training, weight training, or aerobics may be required. Becoming a fitness trainer is a great way to share your commitment to an active lifestyle.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Fitness Trainers and Instructors.

National Center for O*NET Development. 39-9031.00. O*NET OnLine.

The FBI Fitness Instructor career video is in the Public Domain and originally hosted on which is now, an interagency product administered by USAGov, a division of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Service.

This article’s introduction career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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