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?
I would look into moonlighting a few nights a week at a local gym to gain experience. Most gyms need coverage at this time because older trainers want to go home and be with their families. During your free time, do an internet search on gyms in your area by visiting sites such as yelp, glassdoor, and ripoffreport . Create a list and rank the gyms from best to worst. Next, visit the gyms and express your interest by asking to see the manager or whoever is in charge and hand deliver a resume and cover letter. Before leaving, walk through the facility and take some mental notes.
Alternately, you can look at CF jobs. Health Fitness and Plus One are examples of large companies that might be in your area and are always looking for educated people to fill part-time positions.
I would also start working out on a regular basis to learn technique and gain confidence. Read everything fitness and don’t be afraid to hit the weights and do things that may be out of your comfort zone.