Thursday, March 22, 2012

Starting a Career in Fitness, Part 1

I have been in the fitness industry for over 12 years.

In that time, I have gone through many changes, both personally and professionally.  Despite these changes (or perhaps because of them), I have come to realize that my passion will always be with helping people look and feel their very best.

I am sure many of you share that passion and are thinking about starting a career in fitness.  Weather you are interested in CrossFit or kickboxing, there are tons of opportunities for you to shine.

Well, you've got the spirit, you've got the drive, but you are not sure where to start.  I know that making a career change can be overwhelming, so here are a few tips to help you jump into the world of fitness.

Find Your Focus
There are many facets to the fitness industry.  Take some time to figure out what area(s) interests you the most.  Here are just a few to consider:
  • Personal Trainer
  • Fitness Instructor (Zumba, Step, Kickboxing, Aqua Fit, etc)
  • Kineseologist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Sports Trainer
  • Physical Education Teacher
  • Rehabilitation Specialist

Research Education/Certification Options
Find as much information as you can about certifications and/or schools that offer the program you are interested in. There are dozens of options out there and it can be difficult trying to navigate through them.

Ask friends who are already in the industry.  Go visit the school you are interested in attending.  If you are considering an online program, ask them to send you more information and testimonials.

Not all programs are created equal, and in my opinion, that is okay.  A long as the certification is recognized and reputable. Check out here, here and here as a starting point.

Knowledge is power.  Whether your choose to go to college/university and/or get certified, you need to be educated in order to provide safe and effective programs for your clients.

Think About the Money and/or Time Investment
For example, you may decide that you want to work with athletes and specialize in sports injuries and rehabilitation.  This would most likely require you go back to school and complete an undergrad degree in Kineseology or Exercise Science (3-4 years) and take additional courses in sports injuries.

Alternately, if you are interested in teaching group fitness classes, this may only require a certification program anywhere 8-200 hours long.  These programs usually include in-class and practical components.

You may also find yourself somewhere in between and decide to take several different courses over the span of a few years.

No matter which program you choose, remember that education is an on-going process in the fitness industry.  You will always need to stay up to date with health information and fitness trends.

Stay tuned next week for Part 2!

Are you a pro in the fitness industry?  How did you decide which education/certification route to take?

Stay Healthy,

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