If you ever wondered how to become a personal trainer , you are not alone.
Approximately 12,000 to 45,000 people a month search the web for the same information.
And up to 30 million web pages write about the subject of how to become a personal trainer.
I have been posting on this site for several years now.
During that time, I went from an obese man, to a fitter version of myself.
I was not just a bit overweight, I was about 100 pounds overweight.
I could not see my feet thru my protruding belly.
I could not tie my shoes too easily, let alone do much else.
I had a 50 inch waist and was tipping the scales around 275 pounds.
I had tried just about every diet that I heard of, from atkins to zone and everything in between.
I never imagined that I would be interested in how to become a personal trainer.
But over the course of 10 months, I made big changes in what I was eating.
And those changes resulted in a dramatic body transformation.
I never believed that food was that powerful.
I never believed that food is your friend, not your enemy.
Real food is your friend and will help you to discover your real body.
Processed food is not your friend in most cases.
I started to think about becoming a personal trainer after I discovered that weight loss was not as complicated as I thought.
I thought about all the years that I suffered within, feeling fat, feeling shame, feeling humiliated that I just could not lose weight.
It is not your fault.
You are accustomed to eating fake foods.
These fake foods will keep you fat.
In many cases, the body does not even know what to do with these foods.
So, your body protects you by shuttling these unknown materials into your fat cells.
I also experienced how much just a few strength training exercises helped me once I had lost enough weight to start working out.
Deadlifts, Squats, Pushups and just a handful of other exercises like walking were so powerful.
I wanted to shout the news from the rooftops that we don’t have to be fat forever.
I have written hundreds of posts here hoping to help people lose weight and get into shape, even after the age of 50.
I never thought that I could get into better shape after 50.
By 50, some people were already calling me ‘fat bastard’ and telling me that I had already gone to the dark side.
Meaning that I was too old to hang out with, besides being too fat.
Life after divorce for men is challenging.
I was living by myself, obese, losing friends, and felt very isolated and depressed.
It was not till I was 55 and sitting in an all night deli having my second blueberry muffin that a different way occurred to me.
I was so fat, that I was practically crying.
I did not feel good at all.
I thought to myself that from the hundreds of diet books I had read, they all seemed to agree that fruits and vegetables were good.
They all argued about protein and grains, but everyone agreed on vegetables.
So, that is when Hashi Mashi was born so to speak.
I got determined that I was going to crowd out everything else with more vegetables.
And if the food came in a package, I would not have it unless it was something produced in nature like an egg.
That is a pretty simple diet.
I want to help people who are obese or who are depressed.
I know how much getting fitter can help a person manage their depression.
After only six months, I was already fitting into a 32 inch waist jeans.
That was shocking.
Not just to me, but to others who saw the changes.
This is why I want to learn how to become a personal trainer.
With proper personal trainer certification, I will be able to help others who are in the same boat as myself.
After another four months, I was stronger and more muscular than I thought possible.
Especially at the age of 56.
I was no longer isolated.
I was no longer invisible.
But I still want to reach out and help other people who might be stuck where I was.
Having a blog is not enough I thought.
So, I decided that I need to get some type of certification as a personal trainer.
And that is what I am doing.
I decided to become a personal trainer.
Fat me would never believe it, but fitter me does, because then, maybe I will be able to help more people.
So please wish me luck!
I will be taking the personal trainer test in just a few months.
What does it mean to be a personal trainer?
The initial definition of personal trainer as I understand is defined by the scope of practice.
A personal trainer has a specific set of definitions.
A personal trainer is also bound by specific ethics.
A personal trainer also must work within a referral network.
We all probably have different reasons why we want to become personal trainers.
I think though that most of us have a desire to help other people.
We want to help people safely reach whatever health goals that they have.
We also probably have an interest to work with a specific set of people.
People that we feel we can help the most.
For me, I think that as a personal trainer, I can help people who suffer with obesity.
I know many people who are not fat do not think of being fat as suffering.
I think that fat people do suffer in many cases.
Sure, there are people who are fat and happy, and whoever is in that situation, great.
But for someone who is not happy being fat, I know that I can help them.
I also want to become a personal trainer to help people manage depression and anxiety.
I have personal experience with both obesity and depression.
If I have helped myself on these fronts, I know that others can too.
I also believe I can be of specific value to helping men after divorce rebuild their lives.
What is a Personal Trainer?
I have learned that a personal trainer is an educator, a motivator and a coach.
That fits perfectly with what I have been trying to accomplish on this site.
I want to educate.
I want to motivate.
I’d be thrilled if I could coach someone to cross the bridge from fat to fit.
If I could coach someone to cross the bridge from depression to life.
If I can help someone recover from the trauma of divorce.
If I can help someone heal from the nightmare of estrangement.
Personal Trainer Scope of Practice
Every personal trainer must adhere to a specific scope of practice.
The scope of practice tells us which services we are qualified to provide as a certified personal trainer.
This scope of practice is important for ensuring the safety of the people personal trainers work with.
This also helps us understand the personal trainer’s role within the healthcare community.
We have to know when it is necessary to refer a client to another health professional.
Some of the situations within the ace scope of practice are:
Let’s say you have a client who wants to lose weight following a new fad diet.
It is inappropriate to assist the client to implement this new diet.
What is appropriate?
Help your client make more healthy choices using the USDA site choose my plate.
I am sure it is also appropriate to encourage your client to use common sense, like recommending that an apple over a snickers bar.
Or let’s say you have a client who is having problems at home in his/her marriage.
It is not okay to make recommendations how to alleviate the situation.
What is appropriate is to listen with empathy and maintain client confidentiality.
Bottom line, personal trainers do not:
Diagnose, Prescribe diets or supplements, Treat injury or disease, rehabilitate or counsel or work with patients.
Personal trainers do:
Follow national consensus guidelines for exercise programming and nutrition for apparently healthy clients.
Work with clients.
Design exercise programs.
Provide general information on healthy eating based on national consensus guidelines.
Refer clients to the appropriate healthcare professiohnal.
Document progress of clients.
Source Credit: American Council on Exercise Personal Trainer Manual
Personal Trainer Code of Ethics
Some of the personal trainer code of ethics expected by the American Council of Exercise are:
The personal trainer commits to providing:
Safe and effective instruction
Stay up to date on health and fitness research
Maintaining client confidentiality
Referring clients to other health professionals when appropriate
Personal Trainer within Allied Healthcare Network
You might have to refer clients to another healthcare professional, such as:
Personal Trainer Meal Plans
I was surprised to learn that a personal trainer cannot give a specific meal plan to a client.
A personal trainer is allowed to educate clients about food and nutrition.
But a personal trainer cannot recommend a specific meal plan.
However, if a pre-existing meal plan is used, then you may make recommendations.
You just need to base the recommended meal plan on one that is already nutritionist/registered dietitian certified.
Such a meal plan program can be found on the USDA website for Choose My Plate.
I did not even know such a resource from the government existed!
In any case, a personal trainer has to make sure that we recommend foods and meal plans that have already been researched.
Personal Trainer and Supplements
I was also surprised to hear that a personal trainer cannot sell supplements.
That is out of the scope of practice.
A personal trainer cannot recommend, prescribe, sell or supply supplements.
Any supplements which you find on this site are those that I use myself.
I keep supplements in the resource page so you can inquire with your doctor or registered dietitian.
Supplements noted are for educational purposes only.
What do I most like about Personal Training?
The main reason I want to learn how to become a personal trainer is this:
As a personal trainer, I can help people become healthier, fitter and stronger.
I can help people who I know might be suffering with overweight, obesity or depression.
I can help men after divorce cope with divorce by getting fitter and stronger.
If I could, I would be glad to help women after divorce as well, I just do not know first hand that experience.
I do know first hand life after divorce for men.
I know how divorce can throw such a curve ball that you can be knocked out for good.
I am sure the same can apply to women, but I do know how men are affected by divorce.
Issues such as career loss, family estrangement, obesity, alcoholism, addiction, depression and social isolation are just a few.
How to Become a Personal Trainer Summary
So far we have learned some of the key issues for how to become a personal trainer:
Know the personal trainer scope of practice – depending on which certification you are studying, you must know their scope of practice.
Know the personal trainer code of ethics for your certification.
Understand where you as a personal trainer fits within the allied healthcare network.
Are you a personal trainer?
When did you first become interested in how to become a personal trainer?
How long did it take you to become a personal trainer?
How has your career as a personal trainer going?
Please contact me if you want to learn about my 6 month program, thanks!