How to build a successful and rewarding career in fitness. A step-by-step guide for personal trainers & coaches.

It’s a fact that most personal trainers and gym memberships are way overpriced, and that most clients will only stick around for a few months before they’re bored. This is why online courses have exploded in the fitness industry, allowing trainers to learn real techniques and not be held back by outdated books or magazines. So, what’s the best course to learn?

It’s a pretty well-known fact that if you want to be successful in the fitness industry, you have to be a take a Fitness Training Course to be a professional. This doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun along the way, and you can certainly have a side-hustle (which we’ll discuss later in this post), but you’ll need to be committed.

Being a personal trainer or a fitness coach as a career path is one of the best ways to make a living doing what you love. You can work abroad and it is easy to find an appropriate job for fitness instructors on Jooble. But what does it involve? How do you turn your passion for being in shape into a career? Start by outlining your desire, then build a resume, see if there are any resume services near me. These are the questions that are tackled in our new eBook, justalittlebite: How to build a successful and rewarding career in fitness. A step-by-step guide for personal trainers & coaches. In this guide, we’re sharing the tricks and strategies we’ve used to build a successful and rewarding career in fitness—and how you can do the same. Check it out and let us know what you think!. Read more about how to become a personal trainer and nutritionist and let us know what you think.

Thousands of individuals contemplate a career in fitness and health every year. However, the majority of people have no clue how to make their goal a reality. This article offers a new curriculum for establishing a successful career for both new and seasoned fitness practitioners.


Changing your body, changing your… profession?

Taking up health and exercise as a hobby helped me put the rest of my life into perspective.

I was bitten by the fitness bug at a young age. When I was in high school, I began working out and reading articles on diet and fitness. By the age of 21, I’d gained 30 pounds of muscle, felt great, and had defeated my thin man genes.

Like many individuals who begin living a “healthy lifestyle,” I soon established myself as my friends and family’s go-to fitness and nutrition guru, a position and responsibility I relished.

My newfound passion for working out and eating well, as well as the results I saw in the mirror and my ability to assist others get in shape, made me feel like a completely different person.

That is, nearly.

Because, despite the fact that I looked and felt different, the rest of my life seemed to be bound by the “old me.” I’d changed my thoughts and body… However, I continued to do the same old things.

Working in the same unsatisfactory position. At my local community college, I’m going through the motions. The same procedures are followed.

Taking charge of my own health and fitness had shown how much power I had to make a difference in my life. To make yourself happy. To discover the meaning and purpose of life. To have an impact.

So why was I doing all the pointless things I was “supposed” to do when I could be doing something that mattered?

I had a wild idea: what if I became a personal trainer and attempted to assist people change their bodies? What if it was my line of work?

I became enthralled as I considered the possibilities. Then reality smacked me over the face. I had one major issue, in my opinion:

I lacked official education, certification, and, worst of all, I had no clue where to begin.

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How can you make a name for yourself in the fitness industry?

I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. I’m still not convinced.

Thousands of individuals are interested in changing careers because they are enthusiastic about health and fitness. But, like me, they have no idea where to begin.

Should they return to school and get a new degree? Do you want to become a certified personal trainer? Or is it something quite different?

Before deciding on a plan of action, I recall weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Option 1 is to return to school.


  • Obtain a diploma.
  • Learn all there is to know about biochemistry, anatomy, and exercise physiology.


  • It takes at least two years to complete (and more likely, four to six years).
  • It’ll set me back tens of thousands of dollars and put me in serious debt.
  • Doesn’t prepare me for the day-to-day job of training real people (for example, it doesn’t teach me how to design training programs or dietary plans that people will really follow).
  • Provides few (if any) change psychology or business development courses or resources.

Option two: Become a certified personal trainer.


  • It’s a lot quicker than going back to school. (I usually do my own studying so I can proceed at my own speed.)
  • It’s a lot less expensive.
  • To feel semi-competent, learn enough anatomy and physiology.
  • The certificate I received after passing the exam would increase my credibility in the eyes of prospective customers.


  • It doesn’t seem to be as “credible” as a degree.
  • I’m not sure which certifications are “good” and which are “bad.”
  • It still doesn’t educate me anything about change psychology or how to grow a company.

So, what exactly did I do?

I obtained a shoddy personal trainer certification, sweet-talked my way into a position as a “fitness assistant” at a local gym, and began training customers. (In the end, I got a better certification.)

I felt like I was on top of the world at times. I’d cheated the system! Working with people, growing my company, reading nutrition and fitness textbooks, and attending seminars were all on my to-do list. I felt like I had a significant advantage.

At other moments, though, I felt like a phony. Even if I was a qualified trainer, I was afraid that because of my lack of formal education, everyone would assume I was unsuitable to deal with people.

I was afraid that my new fitness profession would be a joke since I didn’t follow any kind of “route.” It was exhausting and just sad.

My lack of a formal fitness and nutrition background, however, placed me in good company, as I would later discover.

In three simple steps, you can become a world-class strength coach.

When people ask Dan John, a famous strength coach, what they need do to become a great trainer or coach, he says:

Step 1: Earn a bachelor’s degree in English, then pursue a master’s degree in Theology and a position as a high school teacher.

Step 2: Teach an online religious studies course in the evenings.

Step 3: Assist your high school track squad as a strength coach.

You’ll be a household name in strength and conditioning in only 25 years.

While Dan chuckles as he says this, he did precisely that. Dan’s sarcasm isn’t lost on him, mainly because he understands something most others don’t:

There are no obvious, established routes in fitness, unlike some professions such as law and medicine.

To put it another way, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to being a great health and fitness coach.

When I understood it, I felt a tremendous weight lift off my shoulders. I wasn’t a phony. I was simply a regular person who wanted to assist others in becoming in shape. And, like Dan, I’d just taken a “unusual” route to get there.

So, what does this imply for you?

It implies that you may choose the route that best fits your needs. The route that most suits your background, personality, character, and values.

You may carve yourself your own route to the career of your dreams.

But how?

The new fitness industry curriculum is a good place to start.

Even if there isn’t a singular template, you may still adopt and modify some of the best coaches’ tendencies. Here’s how to do it.

1. Get started coaching right away.

You don’t have to do anything special right away. You don’t need a degree, a gym membership, or to open your own studio.

To put it another way, you don’t need anyone’s permission to get started.

All you have to do is take one step at a time to assist someone get in shape and improve their lives.

It makes no difference whether the person is a friend, a family member, or a paying customer. The best way to find out whether you like working with others is to start working with them.

If you’re not sure you’re ready to coach on your own, see if you can spend a day shadowing a personal trainer or another experienced coach.

Remember, you don’t need to be an expert in fitness and nutrition to assist someone in getting in shape and improving their life. All you need is a little more knowledge about health and fitness than the individual you’re attempting to assist.

It’s always a case of trial and error when it comes to being excellent at anything (like coaching).

Regardless of how well prepared you believe you are, how many exams you pass, or how many internships you do, you will ultimately have to attempt new things and make errors. You’re on your own.

So get started doing—and learning—right now.

2. Obtain certification.

Start earning your qualifications while you’re coaching.

Yes, we are all aware that many qualifications in the fitness business are regarded as a farce. Many of them require a single weekend of “effort” (and I put that in quotations deliberately).

Most just skim the surface of what a trainer has to know in order to work with a client successfully.

But you’ll need the papers if you want to be seen as a professional—and if you want insurance. So, if nothing else, acquire some sort of qualification.

Begin with a fundamental certification, such as one of the following:

You may explore more advanced certifications and mentorships after you’ve passed the first barrier and filled out your skill set (see below).

3. Become a “whole-body” fitness expert.

After you’ve obtained your basic personal trainer certification, it’s time to further your studies. We understand that exercise alone isn’t going to deliver your clients the results they’re looking for.

And your customers will need more assistance than the two or three sessions per week that you provide.

So, what are your options?

Nutritional instruction

First, brush up on your nutrition knowledge so you can confidently discuss food and diet with your customers.

Nutrition is the area where individuals 1) need the most assistance and 2) see the biggest benefits.

In fact, combining nutrition counseling with training guidance may improve your trainer’s efficacy by five times.

To put it another way:

  • It’s possible that you’ll lose 25 pounds instead of 5.
  • It’s possible that the blood pressure score will be reduced by 20 points instead of 4.
  • That might be 5 inches off a person’s waist rather than 1.

With five times less work from you, you might get at least five times greater customer commitment, confidence, motivation, retention, and satisfaction.

We started out to develop The Certification since there was no high-quality, real-world nutrition certification available a few years ago. We’re extremely pleased of the fact that it’s rapidly become the industry’s most recognized nutrition certification.

We also have something for you if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 program. Check out this Level 2 website for additional information on the Master Class.

Also, if you want to learn more about the many nutrition education choices available, go to this website. The finest schools and online education platforms are compared and contrasted. As a result, you’ll be able to make an informed choice about what’s best for you.

Movement education

After you’ve established your nutrition system, I suggest adding one more skill to your repertoire: increasing your ability to evaluate movement.

The majority of exercise programming presume that clients are already able to move well. That may be true if you were teaching young circus performers rather than office professionals, sports, or manual laborers who have been subjected to years of repeated pressures and strains.

You shouldn’t burden problematic movement patterns, explains physical therapist Gray Cook. Adding weight to a building that can’t sustain it isn’t going to make it any stronger.

If you don’t initially understand how to assist your clients address their problematic movement patterns, your exercise programming may potentially harm them.

So, for a better knowledge and programming movement, choose one of the following schooling courses.

4. Learn how to work with actual individuals as a coach.

It’s time to learn how to coach your clients once you’ve spent some time studying about movement, nutrition, and exercise programming.

That entails grasping the underlying psychology at work and saying the correct words at the appropriate moments. It entails making genuine connections with your customers and guiding them through their physical changes one step at a time.

You may have someone do all the squats and eat all the broccoli you want, but you’ll never be able to assist your customers alter their behaviors until you understand “change psychology” and the art of coaching.

What should you do first?

Check out these two must-read resources:

Note: We discuss six books in the second post that will teach you the fundamentals of change psychology. Use it as a springboard to go further into this topic.

If you’ve done all of that and are ready to advance, have a look at these courses:

5. Invest in some business education.

You have to keep the lights turned on, your books in order, and customers coming through the door. But how do you do it?

You’ll need business training if you want to start your own personal training studio or gym, or if you work at a larger gym and want to learn how to attract more customers.

I’m not referring to a master’s degree. I’m referring to fitness-specific training provided by individuals who have achieved success in the area.

Here are a few excellent choices:

(An excellent essay describing the five essential phases of a successful fitness company can be found here.)

The better you get at marketing and operating your company, the more people you can assist and the more money you can earn.

6. A lifelong commitment to study and growth.

It’s time to commit to a lifetime of learning and personal growth once you’ve established a solid foundation of fitness, nutrition, movement, transformation, and business knowledge.

Choose the books, courses, internships, and certifications that appeal to you the most. Or, at the the least, will be of use to your customers.

Now is the moment to nerd out on advanced programming for various demographics, nutritional timing, soft-tissue treatment, hormone problems, advanced exercise and diet methods, and so much more.

Consider these options if you’re interested in ultimately advancing your basic training certification from Step 2:

If you’re looking for internships or mentorships, these are excellent options:

If you’re interested in various aspects of nutrition, you should:

If you’re looking for more athletic demographics, try these:

If you want to do high-intensity, group exercise, here are some suggestions:

If you’re interested in special populations, check out the following resources:

Personal trainer

Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to success in the fitness business.

The fitness and nutrition business is still in its infancy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to success. In fact, it’s possible that there may never be.

That’s the way I like it. It implies that the possibilities are limitless.

The greatest trainers may come from any institution, even four-year universities. Doctoral programs are available. Theological college. Dropouts from college. Someone who came upon a gym flier in the parking lot and decided to join.

It makes no difference.

You can ultimately accomplish this job if you have the energy, desire, and motivation to do it… Regardless of what you’re doing today for a living.

What should I do?

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, there are six things you can do to differentiate yourself from the other 99 percent of trainers out there:

  1. Begin coaching right away, even if it’s only for family or friends.
  2. Obtain certification, even if it is just an entry-level qualification.
  3. Become a “total” fitness expert, one who not only knows how to workout but also how to eat well and move well.
  4. Learn how to coach real people by emphasizing change psychology and relationships.
  5. Get some business training so you can convert your fitness “pipe dream” into something real and lucrative.
  6. Invest in a career of learning and growth by diving into advanced programs and honing your skills and specialities.

If you’re a coach or wish to be one…

It’s both an art and a science to guide clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy food and lifestyle adjustments in a manner that’s tailored to their individual body, tastes, and circumstances.

Consider the Level 1 Certification if you want to learn more about both.

I get it: you’re tired of watching people in the gym who, as you see it, are not paying enough attention to their clients. You want to be a successful personal trainer or coach and you’re tired of watching people who are not. Especially when you’re aiming to become one of the best in the region and you know that your customers are not happy with the service they’re receiving.. Read more about list of careers in fitness industry and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a successful career in fitness?

I am not sure what you mean by successful career in fitness.

How do I get rich in the fitness industry?

The fitness industry is a competitive field and it takes time to build up your clientele. Its best to start by working with people who are already in the industry, such as personal trainers or gym owners.

What is the best career in fitness?

This is a difficult question to answer as there are many different careers in fitness. However, some of the more common ones include personal trainer, fitness instructor, and personal trainer assistant.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • alternative careers for personal trainers
  • how to become a personal trainer
  • how to become a personal trainer and nutritionist
  • physical trainer degree
  • becoming a personal trainer

Una is a food website blogger motivated by her love of cooking and her passion for exploring the connection between food and culture. With an enthusiasm for creating recipes that are simple, seasonal, and international, she has been able to connect with people around the world through her website. Una's recipes are inspired by her travels across Mexico, Portugal, India, Thailand, Australia and China. In each of these countries she has experienced local dishes while learning about the culture as well as gaining insight into how food can be used as a bridge between different cultures. Her recipes are often creative combinations of traditional ingredients from various different cuisines blended together to create something new.