After losing 100 lbs and developing a passion for life-changing fitness and wellness, I would like to pursue a career in fitness where I can help others change their lives, too. I would like to write about fitness (I currently write for a fitness blog for college students), be a group fitness instructor (and maybe someday a personal trainer!), and/or work with a non-profit dedicated to wellness. I already have an advanced degree, but not in this field at all! Is going back to school for exercise science the best way to go? Or is it possible to build experience without a formal degree? I want to make a difference but I’m not sure where to start!
Although by now you have figured out the answer to this question, this is the simplest way I can answer it for you:
It is possible to become a trainer and a fitness instructor without any higher education and other background. However, you need to keep in mind that you will be competing with thousands of other people who have the same ideas and inspirations with you for the same piece of the pie. The only way to distinguish yourself form them and succeed in this business is to be educated as much as possible. This field and industry moves very fast and changes in a constant pace. Unless you posses a great understanding about fitness, nutrition and exercise it will be difficult to stay afloat long enough to make a living and be successful. People in this industry come and go very fast, so if you are going to commit to this you will need to be as much prepared as possible. You will no be competing only against other newcomers, but also other very well established trainers who have long experience in this field. You are on the right path, but will need to step it up if you are going to make it.
Education is the way to become a professional in any field. I recommend anyone interested in becoming a fitness instructor look into ACE courses, ACSM courses, or any other NCCA accredited certifying organization. There are schools near many major population areas for this as well. I used to teach for a post secondary school for fitness instructors when I lived near Denver, CO.
I teach a complete course for fitness instructors (classroom/practical experience) now through my business in Hawaii. I also teach CECs for those already certified. The CECs are definitely a write off so why not come take a continuing education vacation on the Big Island of Hawaii. The instructor course for preparing to get certified may also be, I never tried to get my first cert deducted off my taxes. Anyway, check out my website, www.hawaiifitnessacademy.com if you are interested.