Personal Trainer Certification Program
Today people from all walks of life – from celebrities to senior citizens are using Personal Fitness Trainers to help them learn how to exercise, lose weight, have better eating habits and adopt a healthier lifestyle. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is the most recognized and respected name in the industry for certifications.
Build a successful Personal Fitness Trainer Career with NASM certifications. Jobs in fitness are seen as a solution to unemployment and a way to seamlessly change career paths. In fact, The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the personal fitness-training field will grow by 46 percent in the next six years. In addition, 48% of people not already employed in the fitness industry found work in less than 1 month after becoming NASM certified.
- NASM-Certified Personal Trainer – Turn your passion for fitness into a career and become a Personal Fitness Trainer with the NASM-CPT credential.
- NASM-Fitness Nutrition Specialist – Develop a greater understanding of nutritional strategies to assist your clients with weight loss, muscle gain, and performance enhancement with the NASM-FNS credential.
- NASM-Corrective Exercise Specialist – Learn proven techniques to develop injury prevention programs to help your clients become pain-free with the NASM-CES credential.
- NASM-Performance Enhancement Specialist – Increase your appeal to professional and collegiate sports teams by learning to improve the performance of top athletes with the NASM-PES credential.
What is a Personal Fitness Trainer?
Personal Fitness Trainers lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities, including cardiovascular exercise (exercises for the heart and blood system), strength training, and stretching. They work with people of all ages and skill levels.
A Personal Fitness Trainer is a fitness professional involved in exercise prescription and instruction. They motivate clients by setting goals and providing feedback and accountability to clients. Trainers also measure their client’s strengths and weaknesses with fitness assessments. These fitness assessments may also be performed before and after an exercise program to measure their client’s improvements in physical fitness. They may also educate their clients in many other aspects of wellness besides exercise, including general health and nutrition guidelines. Qualified personal trainers recognize their own areas of expertise. If a trainer suspects that one of his or her clients has a medical condition that could prevent the client from safe participation in an exercise program, they must refer the client to the proper health professional for prior clearance.
The scope of practice for a Personal Fitness Trainer is to enhance the components of fitness for the general, healthy population. Proper exercise prescription may result in improved body composition, physical performance, and heart condition and health outcomes. The decision to hire a trainer may be related to a perceived ability to facilitate these factors through proper prescription and instruction or factors related to motivation and adherence. A trainer pays close attention to their client’s exercise form, workout routine, and nutrition plan.
Few studies have investigated training for men, however, training in women has been shown to exercise behavior patterns, improve perceptual benefit-to-concern ratio for exercise (decisional balance), and increase confidence to choose exercise in the face of other time demands (scheduling self-efficacy). Personal training results in higher strength, higher workout intensities, and higher perceived exertion during exercise in women. Although women working with personal trainers do self-select heavier loads than women who did not, the loads used are still below recommended training load percentages.
Personal Fitness Trainers typically do the following:
- Demonstrate how to carry out various exercises and routines
- Watch clients do exercises and show or tell them correct techniques to minimize injury and improve fitness
- Give alternative exercises during workouts or classes for different levels of fitness and skill
- Monitor clients’ progress and adapt programs as needed
- Explain and enforce safety rules and regulations on sports, recreational activities, and the use of exercise equipment
- Give clients information or resources about nutrition, weight control, and lifestyle issues
- Give emergency first aid if needed
Personal Fitness Trainers design and carry out workout routines specific to the needs of their clients. In larger facilities, personal trainers must often sell their training sessions to members. They start by evaluating their clients’ current fitness level, personal goals, and skills. Then, they develop personalized training programs for their clients to follow, and they monitor the clients’ progress.
Personal Fitness Trainers in smaller facilities often do a variety of tasks in addition to their fitness duties, such as tending the front desk, signing up new members, giving tours of the fitness center, writing newsletter articles, creating posters and flyers, and supervising the weight-training and cardiovascular equipment areas. In some facilities, a single trainer may provide individual sessions and teach group classes. Gyms and other types of health clubs offer many different activities for clients. However, Personal Fitness Trainers often specialize in only a few areas.
The following are some types of Fitness Trainers:
- Personal Fitness Trainers – work with a single client or a small group. They may train in a gym or in the clients’ homes. Personal fitness trainers assess the clients’ level of physical fitness and help them set and reach their fitness goals.
- Group Fitness Trainers – organize and lead group exercise sessions, which can include aerobic exercise, stretching, muscle conditioning, or meditation. Some classes are set to music. In these classes, trainers may select the music and choreograph an exercise sequence.
- Specialized Fitness Trainers – teach popular conditioning methods such as Pilates or yoga. In these classes, trainers show the different moves and positions of the particular method. They also watch students and correct those who are doing the exercises improperly.
- Fitness Directors – oversee the fitness-related aspects of a gym or other type of health club. They often handle administrative duties, such as scheduling personal training sessions for clients or creating workout incentive programs. They often select and order fitness equipment for their facility.
Personal Fitness Trainer positions are available at the following places:
- Fitness centers, health clubs, gyms, recreational facilities and country clubs.
- Medical facilities, weight management centers, physical therapy clinics and hospitals.
- Corporate fitness centers and government agencies.
- Universities, yoga and Pilates studios, resorts and clients homes.
Upon successful completion of the training, the graduate will be able to perform client consultations and integrated fitness assessments, use assessment results to design fitness programs to achieve client goals, demonstrate exercises with correct posture, modify exercises to adjust to client needs, alter client muscular imbalances and diminish pain with corrective exercise techniques, use business and sales techniques to communicate effectively with potential clientele, use motivational techniques to adapt to different client objections, understand anatomy and physiology to improve movement in the kinetic chain, and use nutritional guidelines to direct clients towards healthy eating habits.
Graduates of this program will be eligible to sit for four certification exams, all of which are accredited by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) through CHAC and included in the cost of tuition for the first attempt.
Following is a description of each certification exam:
- NASM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT): There are over 300 certifications available to sports medicine, performance enhancement, and fitness professionals. Only this certification uses the Optimum Performance Training™ (OPT™) method, making it the gold-standard for health and fitness professionals.
- NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES): The fastest growing age segment of health club memberships in the United States is adults 55 years of age or older (Baby Boomers). From 1994 to 2011, this population has increased by over 500% compared to only 30% in adults ages 18-34. These adults have a lifetime worth of inefficient movement patterns that cause pain. With this certification, you will have the knowledge and credentials to identify these patterns and implement corrective exercise strategies aimed to reduce or eliminate pain.
- NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES): An elite training program for fitness and enhanced athletic performance, the NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist is designed for athletic trainers, chiropractors, physical therapists, coaches, and other sports professionals who want to work with athletes at all levels, from secondary education and university to professional and Olympic-level athletes.
- NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS): Nutritional guidance and support for overall health, weight loss, and long-term weight management is in high-demand. This certification will provide essential knowledge and skill regarding energy balance, caloric needs, and activity, metabolism, and food choices.
Personal Fitness Trainers job outlook is very strong, with much faster growth than average. For the most current job outlook information for this field please reference Bureau of Labor Statistics information at https://www.bls.gov.
As businesses, government, and insurance organizations continue to recognize the benefits of health and fitness programs for their employees, incentives to join gyms or other types of health clubs is expected to increase the need for Personal Fitness Trainers. Some businesses may even decide to open their own onsite facility to decrease the need for their employees to travel for exercise.
As baby boomers age, many remain active to help prevent injuries and illnesses associated with aging. With the increasing number of older residents in nursing homes or residential care facilities and communities, jobs for Personal Fitness Trainers and instructors are expected to rise in the fitness centers in these locations.
Other employment growth will come from the continuing emphasis on exercise for young people to combat obesity and encourage healthier lifestyles. More young people and families are likely to join fitness institutions or commit to personal training programs. Participation in yoga and Pilates is expected to continue to increase, driven partly by older adults who want low-impact forms of exercise and relief from arthritis and other ailments.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Has Previously Passed a nationally standardized entrance exam (Necessary for those without a HS diploma).
- Interview with an admissions representative and tour the campus.
- Complete all requisite forms in the admissions packet.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine has been the global leader in delivering evidence-based certifications and advanced credentials to health and fitness professionals since 1987. The NASM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) credential is one of the most respected personal training certifications in the health and fitness industry. California Healing Arts College is proud to be the first ACCSC accredited member school in California to pioneer an academic partnership with NASM. Check out the NASM video below to learn more.
The Personal Fitness Trainer Program at California Healing Arts College provides extensive practical and theoretical training in leadership, sales, business, fitness assessments, exercise technique, goal-specific exercise program design, nutrition, and lifestyle coaching in order to thoroughly prepare graduates for work in health club environments and/or building up your own Personal Fitness Trainer clientele.
Program Length Class Schedule
30 Weeks • 900 Clock Hours • 32 Credits
Monday-Friday • 8:00 am – 2:30 pm
(30 hours per week with breaks. Lunch is an additional ½ hr.)
43 weeks • 900 Clock Hours • 32 Credits Monday-Thursday • 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
(20 hours per week with breaks) or
Monday & Wednesday • 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Friday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Externships are normally conducted at fitness sites during the hours from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm and scheduled for 30 hours per week (6 hours per day) for six weeks.
Not all programs are offered at all campuses and not all campuses offer programs during all sessions.
Please check with the Admissions Department for the start dates and schedules of a particular program.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The total tuition includes all books and supplies, STRF fee, as well as administrative fees for registration and graduation. California Healing Arts College participates in several types of funding programs, and we offer several options for tuition payment. A staff of well-qualified financial aid officers is available to advise and assist you in applying for aid. All prospective students are encouraged to apply for financial assistance if unable to meet educational costs on their own.
Program Description and Vocational Objective
The PFT program prepares students for an entry-level position in the fitness industry as a Certified Fitness Trainer; however, self-employment is a common vocational objective. Positions are available at fitness centers, gyms, recreational facilities, medical facilities, weight management centers, physical therapy clinics, corporate fitness centers and government agencies. Upon successful completion of the training, the graduate will be able to perform client consultations and integrated fitness assessments, use assessment results to design fitness programs to achieve client goals, demonstrate exercises with correct posture, modify exercises to adjust to client needs, alter client muscular imbalances and diminish pain with corrective exercise techniques, use business and sales techniques to communicate effectively with potential clientele, use motivational techniques to adapt to different client objections, understand anatomy and physiology to improve movement in the kinetic chain, and use nutritional guidelines to direct clients towards healthy eating habits. CHAC is an NASM academic partner and approved provider of customized curriculum for the Fitness Trainer program.
Our Career Services staff is eager to provide placement assistance to all graduates, including résumé preparation, job-seeking skills, and interviewing techniques. To enhance your career planning, a review of these items will be supplemented with job leads after successful completion of the program. While we cannot guarantee employment, Career Services will assist in securing a job that’s right for you.
Call us toll free at (310) 826-7622 to learn first-hand how California Healing Arts College can help you change your life today!
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