It is great that you want to get some practice and some experience. There are a few things to remember though before you jump in, especially without a certification. What insurance are you going to carry? Most personal trainers have insurance that covers their practice. Will you be able to get insurance without a certification? What happens if someone does get hurt and you are not yet certified?
With that being said, don’t let that stop you from getting some experience. Have you spoken to other trainers and asked if they would mentor you? You might be able to follow them for some of their sessions to see how they facilitate a session. You could also ask them to take you on as a client so you could gain experience from a client’s perspective. This is always helpful when you have clients of your own! You could also ask a friend or family member if you could train them for some experience. You wouldn’t charge them, but you could practice what you were learning.
Good luck with your exam!
Hi Denise. Jocelyn gives some solid advice here! I would add that without your certification, “yes,” it would be wrong to call yourself, or to tell potential clients that you are offering “certified” personal training. Personally, I would not train anyone, nor condone that someone train others without first being certified and properly insured. I know that you’re not suggesting that here (but merely asking the question), but I just wanted to give my opinion on that aspect. I think that “interning,” “shadowing,” or whatever you may want to call, assisting or observing an experienced and certified personal trainer is a great way for you to gain some practical knowledge and experience before you pass your certification exam and begin training on your own.
Again, as Jocelyn says, training without your certification and without proper insurance coverage not only puts your client at risk, but yourself as well. Not worth it!
I hope that this helps.