“What’s the best way to grow my career?” is a question I have often been asked by people who are just starting in the fitness industry. The answer is simple. Besides a great attitude (hands down the #1 quality clubs look for!) here are some tips to get you started on your career:
1. Be willing to start anywhere – If you are not ready to jump into Personal Training start at the Front Desk or Sales. Once you are familiar with the culture of the club and the requirements of the positions within you can make a career plan. Be it fitness, service or sales I guarantee it will be fast-paced and exciting!
2. Get Certified - This is the best way to break into the industry. Unless you have a degree in exercise physiology or some related field very few clubs will hire a non-certified Personal Trainer. Look for a certification such as the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (www.nccpt.com) that focuses on the practical as well as the business side of fitness and provides free access to Career Advisers and Study Groups to help you network and pass your exam. Being a successful trainer will show the club you are reliable, you can form positive relationships with the members and you can generate revenue for the club all of which will help you move up into sales, service or management.
3. Get Experience – Your certification will open doors but in a “hands-on” environment such as a health club, the ability to effectively communicate exercise techniques and principles is critical to success. If you don’t have experience look for ways to get some. Go to your local health clubs and ask if they have a mentoring program for new trainers. Apply for Weight Room Attendant positions, or see if your local YMCA has a volunteer program where you can provide instruction.
Anastasia Alexander has over 30 years of experience in the fitness industry holding positions ranging from General Manager to Area Vice President for companies such as Life Time Fitness, Spectrum Athletic Club, and the Bay Club Company. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers and regularly devotes time to mentoring up and coming fitness professionals.