Hi everyone. Early this year I made the unlikely decision to become a personal trainer. I say “unlikely,” because I didn’t think of myself as the ideal candidate for the job: I’m in my 50s, I don’t like gyms, and I’ve never been a competitive athlete. But I’ve been a regular exerciser my whole life, have tried lots of different fitness methods, and have enjoyed experimenting with different movement disciplines. As I looked around, I noticed a lot of people my age and older who seemed to have given up on their physical health, and I thought it would be worthwhile to try to help some of them get back into functionality. I decided my target market would be people like me: boomer adults who may not be gym goers.
Last week I completed the first step: I passed my NASM exam. But I’m uncertain what’s the next best move. As I want to work with older adults, I was thinking about taking NASM’s course for senior clients. I’m also very interested in NASM’s Corrective Exercise certification.
But I’m wondering if I should stop with the “book learning” for now and just start getting some practical experience under my belt. I’ve done only a few assessments as part of my studies, and I’m pretty far from feeling competent/confident in performing them. I was thinking of approaching some gyms like the local Y and the JCC to see about volunteering there, but again, my interest is in not working in a gym. (Or should that matter at this point?)
Any thoughts, insights, suggestions? Thanks everyone.
Even while you’re exploring leads, you can be practicing and improving your assessment skills.
When you’re standing in line at the grocery store, notice the person in front of you. Not in a creepy, stalker-like way, LOL, and not judgmentally, but see what you see. Is the neck forward? One shoulder higher than the other? Any rotation in the spine? Hips the same height? How are the feet lined up with the knee and hip?
The more you do it, the easier it gets, and the faster it gets.
keep in mind that the boomer generation is about as diverse as it gets. Getting more experience with assessments is important. You mention that you have done only very few of them as part of your practice for the exam but this will be the cornerstone of your training wherever that ends up being. I suggest that you get more volunteers for assessments so that you get a better practical handle on it. Adding the two certifications will deepen your book knowledge but you need to start translating it into the real world.
Else, you have some good advice where to look for opportunities.
Yes, you will need a liability insurance (unless you get employed by someone else who can cover you). You can try the one offered here:
Good luck to you!
Thanks everyone for the encouragement and great advice. I’m definitely seeing some possibilities on next steps. I decided to go ahead and sign up for the NASM corrective exercise and senior programs — partly because they’re offering a deep discount right now (every little bit helps). I’m contacting various senior centers in my area, as well as the Y and JCC, to see about volunteer needs. I may also do some local outreach through nextdoor.com.
I guess I should get my liability insurance before meeting with any potential trainees, right?