Hello everyone. I stumbled upon your forum and am impressed by the knowledgeable and respectful sharing of information. So much so that I joined just to ask a few questions. I’m a guy in his 50s who’s physically active and who enjoys trying out different workout regimens. I have no formal education in exercise science or physiology. I’ve been told I’m a natural teacher in that I like helping other people learn new things and am good at explaining unfamiliar concepts; it’s a role I fell into in all of my day jobs. I just empathize with people when they’re unclear on a concept. Putting this all together, I’m thinking that I would like to explore being a fitness trainer. I’m most interested in working with people my age and older who are trying to regain or maintain fitness. After perusing various certification programs and lots of online forums, I’m leaning toward the NASM certificate. OK, here are the questions: NASM offers a program that promises to place newly minted trainers in a non-paid eight-week internship with a gym somewhere within a 25-mile radius. This program adds significantly to the NASM cost. Do you think this is a wise investment? I’m thinking that hands-on work is where I’ll get my real-world education, but I’m wondering if it would be easier/cheaper to just find a gym and start volunteering. Or is that done? Next question: Even though I work out regularly, I’ve never been much of a gym-goer. Except for a stint in CrossFit and several years studying martial arts, I’ve done all my workouts at home by myself. Do you think that is a liability for an aspiring trainer? Thanks for your help … and for reading this long-winded post!
It seems that you have done a lot of up-front research and self assessment. You know what you’re interested in (Boomers) and you’ve chosen a great certification. I love the NASM OPT model, very comprehensive and elegantly designed.
If I were you, I’d call and talk to NASM and ask them if there really is a gym that’s within 25 miles of you, and if so, what gym it is. I’d also ask what the hiring percentage is from that internship program.
Interning and shadowing are good things. It’s great to learn how to train from an experienced trainer. You also need to learn how to sell (nobody tells you that, but selling’s a big part of the job). You might approach a few gyms before purchasing your NASM materials and see whether they are willing to hire you as a beginning trainer or let your shadow. Lots of places have multiple levels (Level one, level two, level three) of trainers, so you might find it relatively easy to get a job as a level one trainer and work your way up.