So You Think You Want a Career In The Fitness Industry?
We don’t blame you. As we begin the new year we are seeing more people than ever making a commitment to their health and they inspire us every day. In our first instalment we explored how to know if the fitness industry is right for you, and today we’re exploring how to go about getting a job.
There are many different ways to get the necessary training to get involved in the fitness industry and it really comes down to figuring out which route works best for you.
Tamera Rude, Fitness Manager at World Health Edmonton, dove right into NAIT’s Personal Training diploma program right out of high school.
“My time at NAIT was nothing short of amazing,” says Tamera. “It prepares you for personal training specifically but the thing I loved most is that not only did it focus on the knowledge and the theory of exercise, but they also provide you with content you would never think was beneficial until you get out in the real world! For example- leadership, business and nutritional coaching.”
NAIT’s personal training program also incorporates two hands on practicums to give you real world experience before you’re truly on your own. After working as a personal trainer, building a client base and grinding it out with long and irregular hours, Tamera worked her way up the ladder and earned the role of Fitness Manager, overseeing every aspect of personal training at her club.
“Going from personal trainer to manager is very different but also very much the same,” explains Tamera.
“Working in an industry where it’s people helping people your basic principles don’t really change a whole lot. Trainers and Managers are coaches to consistently make the people they work with better!”
For personal trainer Andrew Coates, his extensive knowledge allowed him to fast track his education.
“Walking in with a lot of practical experience, choosing an entry level certification like CanFit Pro was best,” explains Andrew. CanFit can be taken over several weeks, and it may be the right choice for someone with a lot of preliminary knowledge and for whom taking a two year diploma or a four year degree is time and cost prohibitive.
“I later added Precision Nutrition’s Level 1 Certification to add a strong and credible nutrition certification and to advance my knowledge,” adds Andrew. “I would recommend something like this to anyone serious who doesn’t already have a nutrition based degree.”
Once Ron McPhee, World Health Edmonton group fitness instructor, decided that teaching group fitness was his calling, he set out to get certified.
“I started with the A.F.L.C.A. Provincial certification, and once I was certified I started teaching at small clubs and then for larger facilities,” says Ron. “I started with Step class and I mentored under some incredible instructors. As time went on I started to learn other formats of group classes like Hi/Low, Spin, Boot Camp, TRX, Bender Ball and most recently Yoga.”
When applying to be a group fitness instructor, it’s important to know what you want to teach.
“Coming in to an audition and saying “I’ll teach whatever you want” is not going to work, you need to own your craft,” says Ron. “Clubs will want you to audition to see how you move, interact, talk, etc. You will have to put yourself out there!”
Ron also got certified in CPR and picked up another recognized group certification, the CanFit Pro Fitness Instructor Specialist (F.I.S).
“For about 5 years I was certifying F.I.S. instructors, and I have become a Fitness Presenter, presenting fitness based lectures and workshops to all my fitness professionals.” says Ron.
Opportunity is everywhere once you enter the world of fitness if you’re open to getting yourself educated, trying new things and stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Look for our third and final instalment in the coming weeks where our staff provide tips and insider information on what you can expect once you land a career in the fitness industry.