NASM Certified Personal Trainer: A Career Guide

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By Jacob Maslow

So you want to become a certified personal trainer? Then you’ve come to the right place. Personal training has become increasingly popular among fitness enthusiasts and will grow significantly over the next ten years.

With so much future potential, now’s the perfect time to take the leap and get your certification. You can combine your love and knowledge of fitness, nutrition, and health with helping others achieve their goals. In this guide, we’ll outline how to become a NASM-certified trainer.

Get Your Qualifications in Order

The first step to help you launch your career starts with education. Thankfully, you don’t need a college degree to become a certified personal trainer; you only need your high school diploma or GED. However, having a degree is a plus and may separate you from the competition.

You’ll also need to ensure you have a CPR/AED certification. Working in this industry means having the skills and being prepared for any life-threatening situation. While chances of an incident are rare, having it is still beneficial, and you can’t work as a trainer without it.

Study for and Pass the Certification Exam

Once you have the necessary qualifications, next is preparing for your certification exam. Becoming a NASM-certified trainer can be a challenging experience, especially if you’re unprepared. So help yourself out by taking a NASM practice test

It covers everything that’s going to be on the exam. Plus, enrolling in the course grants, you access to learning modules with quizzes at the end of each lesson. These will help you stay abreast of industry terminology and give you the best chance of succeeding when you decide to take the exam. Also, the practice test is free, so you don’t need to worry about a hefty fee.

The exam has 120 multiple-choice questions with a time limit of two hours. You must pass with at least 70% to become a NASM-certified trainer. Once you pass, your certification will be sent to you, and you can start your business!

Growing Your Personal Training Business

Taking the NASM exam is the easiest part of your journey as a personal trainer. Next is figuring out how to grow your business. A lot of people believe the more knowledge you have in this industry, the better success you’ll have with clients. That’s partially true; while you can wow clients with information, you still need other skills like marketing and being a people person.

As mentioned earlier, the fitness industry is booming, meaning there will be stiff competition for clients. So how will you separate yourself from the pack? By using elite marketing and building a social media presence. It’s not mandatory, but you should take sales training to learn how to market your services.

Clients want to know how you will help them, and your messaging needs to be attractive. Difficulty selling yourself will lead to a lack of revenue. To have the best chance of success, offer different packages that appeal to potential clients. Use social media to your advantage by posting informational snippets on popular platforms.

Think About an Area of Specialization

Another way to carve out a lane in the personal training industry is by choosing a specialization. There might be an area within fitness that may interest you. Some of those include:

  • Pain management
  • Sports performance
  • Strength training
  • Weight loss
  • Corrective exercises

Narrowing down your niche increases your proficiency in that area. It also gives you an advantage because you have another qualification. As a result, clients will begin to trust you more because they know you’re an expert in your field.

Invest in Your Growth

As a personal trainer, it’s essential to invest in your development. When you start, there may be little equipment you can get or even a space of your own. But when your business gets larger, it’s a great time to spend money on upgrades so you can continue to meet clients’ needs.

You might need new dumbbells, medicine balls, or TRX ropes. However, if your customers see you occasionally improving your business, they’ll stick around. Furthermore, existing clients may refer others to you because you run your practice well. 

Become a NASM Certified Personal Trainer

If you’re enthusiastic about fitness, now’s the best time to become a NASM-certified personal trainer. First, take some NASM practice tests to familiarize yourself with the material. Once you’re comfortable enough, take the test and get your certification.

After passing the exam, grow your business to its maximum potential. Market your services to potential clients and continue to upskill when necessary to ensure you’re at the top of your game. You’ll help your clients achieve their fitness dreams while living out yours.

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