I recently received my BS in Movement Science and am currently studying for ACSM’s HFS certification exam. I feel as though I have a lot of the knowledge necessary for this field, but I have no experience in the practical application of it. I can’t afford to go to the two day seminars they provide (although I am doing the online webinars), and I’m not sure where else I could go to get experience in applying my knowledge!
How did you get your initial experience when you first started in this field? How could I approach a potential employer and sell myself without having experience where I am working directly with clients yet?
To find a mentor, you should contact Fitness Managers around the area you live and let them know about what your goal is and you are interested in learning the ropes and get an idea of how other trainers train clients. Not all of them will agree, but some will have no trouble helping you and they will be happy to do so. Tell them you want to learn from the best, especially from those trainers who have been around for many years. I would contact small personal training studios as well as larger gyms, since the environment is very different between these types of businesses. You can also try you’re the rec center at your University. If they can’t help you, maybe they can provide you with some pointers towards the right direction. It’s also possible that a trainer who has his/her own Personal Training business, might be willing to let you shadow them while they train their clients or teaching classes and it could also lead to a possible employment opportunity once you receive your certification. It’s worth a try.
I hope this helps.