How to become a personal trainer?

While personal training is very popular these days and the personal training industry is booming, as an occupation personal training didn’t have much of a following at all just 20 years ago. However, with the current fitness boom, coupled with a greater emphasis on health and wellbeing, in 2024 personal training shows no signs of slowing down. So, what do personal trainers do, what are the minimum requirements to become a personal trainer, and how do you become a personal trainer?

Using their personal trainer certifications, a qualified personal trainer designs safe and effective fitness programs tailored to each individual they work with. They assist their clients in reaching their personal goals for fitness, health, and general wellness. However there’s a lot that goes into that seemingly simple description.

What does a personal trainer do?

A personal trainer plans, creates, and delivers fitness programs for individuals and groups of personal training clients, while also motivating them and guiding them towards achieving their health and fitness goals.

Through completing qualifications, personal trainers acquire and maintain a working knowledge of the human anatomy and the concepts behind exercise, nutrition, and the fundamental principles of fitness science. They have the skills and knowledge to create and enact exercise fitness programs for individuals and small groups, customised to the needs and the health goals of each client, in a way that is both safe and effective.

Personal trainers possess the ability to motivate their clients in a manner that is both encouraging and inspiring. They also possess a dedication to their own personal health and their own ongoing self-improvement, growth, and development. This is important, because for personal trainers offering personal training courses, it’s all about leading by example and providing an inspiring and accessible role model for each of their clients.

Where do personal trainers work?

There are many ways that a personal trainer’s office or workspace can look. While many personal trainers work in a gym or fitness centre, there are some who travel to their clients’ homes. Others work for large corporations, providing customised services to their employees. Other personal trainers are employed in colleges, universities, or other education facilities.

As a qualified personal trainer you can expect to use a variety of equipment such as free weights, nautilus machines, as well as cardio machines such as stairmasters and treadmills. Personal trainers may also be required to coach clients in floor work such as stretching, toning, or pilates.

Personal trainers usually wear professional, neat clothing, such as activewear. This may include some workout wear. If working at a gym more professional attire may be required, such as a collared shirt and pants. Personal trainers should dress in their workout clothes and look professional and presentable at all times on the job. This is important because it helps personal trainers to project the ideal image of health and fitness that their clients aspire to.

There’s more to personal training than you may think

It goes without saying that personal training is a job that starts with a genuine love for fitness, exercise and health, but it’s much more than just pumping iron. A quality personal trainer designs workout programs that are safe, effective, and fun while geared toward the improvement of each client’s overall health and wellbeing goals.

What that means is that personal trainers need to be supportive and enthusiastic. They need to inspire their clients and help them develop the tenacity and drive needed to achieve positive change to their health and wellbeing.

Today personal trainers can work in a variety of environments, from gyms and private training studios to their client’s homes, public spaces such as parks and beaches, on cruise ships, and even remotely as a via video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams as an online personal trainer.

Personal training can offer a lot of job security due to our natural desire to take care of ourselves and maintain good health as we grow older.

How to get personal trainer licence?

If you’ve been thinking about a career as a personal trainer and feel that you possess the qualities that the job demands, a PT career may be a great career for you. Your first step on the journey to becoming a qualified personal trainer is to pursue a Certificate III in Fitness, and potentially a Certificate IV in Fitness as well, depending on the services you wish to offer.

A Certificate III in Fitness is a must-have if you are serious about a career as a personal trainer. A Certificate III in Fitness qualifies a personal trainer to work anywhere in Australia. The Certificate III in Fitness provides you with a basic understanding of the human anatomy and physiology, as well as nutrition basics. You can also use your Certificate III in Fitness to assess the fitness of your clients and help them to develop tailored programs.

After obtaining a Certificate III in Fitness, you may consider pursuing a Certificate IV in Fitness to become a fully-qualified personal trainer. The Certificate III and Certificate IV in Fitness enables you to work in gyms, personal training rooms, and fitness centres.

The Certificate IV in Fitness will also give you the knowledge and skills you will need to start and run your own private gym, training business, or fitness centre. The Certificate IV in Fitness is a more extensive professional personal trainer qualification that enables the certified trainer to create personalised workouts for a variety of clients.

Personal trainer FAQs

Should I register my personal training business for GST?

If your personal training business has an annual revenue of $75,000 or more, then your business will be required to register for GST. However, if your annual revenue is less than $75,000 then you may not need to register for GST. You may consider seeking advice from a finance professional.

Do I need liability insurance to be a personal trainer?

As a personal trainer with your own personal trainer business you may benefit from reducing your risk via personal trainer insurance (also known as exercise professional insurance). Personal trainer insurance is a selection of business insurance products that can help personal trainers reduce their risk. Personal trainer insurance may include the following insurance products:

Professional Indemnity insurance: Protects your business from losses incurred as a result of claims of actual or alleged negligent acts or omissions in the provision of your professional service or advice to your clients.

Public Liability insurance: Provides protection for you and your business in the event a customer, supplier, or a member of the public is injured or sustains property damage as a result of your negligent business activities.

Business insurance: Provides cover for your business’ premises and contents, against loss, damage or theft, also offering protection against financial loss experienced from an insured interruption to your business.

Personal Accident and Illness insurance: Covers you for loss of income if you were unable to work as a result of an injury or illness. The cover is generally available regardless of whether or not you sustain injury or develop an illness due to your work.

What happens if my client sues me for getting injured?

Your personal training contract, signed by your client, should include a disclaimer and limitation of liability clauses. This provides a layer of protection should an injured client commence legal proceedings against you. Your second layer of protection can come from your insurance. Your Professional Indemnity insurance will provide protection if the injury results from your professional advice and your Public Liability insurance will provide protection if your client suffers an injury or sustains property damage as a result of your general business activities, for example they trip over some of your equipment.

Fitness instructor vs personal trainer: What’s the difference?

While similar, there are some key differences between a fitness trainer and a personal trainer. A personal trainer does individual assessments, builds tailored fitness programs for clients, and offers exercise instruction and support for individuals and small groups. Fitness instructors generally focus on teaching, training, and supervising in health and fitness clubs, gyms, sports centres and community recreation facilities.

Can I be a personal trainer without certification?

To offer formal personal trainer services to individuals or to group classes, individuals are required to complete and hold a valid VET qualification in fitness, such as a Certificate III in Fitness or a Certificate IV in Fitness.

Visit our dedicated online destination for personal trainer insurance to compare competitive insurance quotes for your personal training small business, get covered in only 10 minutes, and get back to building your business. If you prefer to speak with us, you can reach our friendly team on 1300 920 867.

This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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