A fitness career can be very rewarding (and often comes with great perks like a free gym membership), but there's much more to becoming a successful trainer than most people know. To help you decide if you should get certified, we asked top experts what they wish they'd known as a budding trainer or group fitness instructor.
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Becoming a personal trainer or fitness instructor means you are responsible for running your own business. A huge part of that is getting all of the appropriate certifications, CPR training, and liability insurance, says Jeff Bell, master trainer and owner of The Bell Fitness Company in New York City. Even though you’ll spend your own money, time, and energy studying and passing your certification course(s), that’s the easy part, he says. “The hard part is creating a sustainable business that doesn't absorb all of your physical and emotional energy trying to get clients.” It’s important to recognize that you're selling yourself as the product people will buy; so not only do you have to offer something of real value to a potential client, but you'll also have to constantly develop, update, market, and sell your product too, Bell says.