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True or false: most personal trainers are under the age of 40. While it may seem like this might be true, research indicates that it is actually false.
According to data collected by Zippia—a company that helps people make the best career-related decisions for them—the average personal trainer is 40 years of age or older. Specifically, this age group represents 39% of the personal training workforce.
So, if you’re wondering if you can become a personal trainer later in life, the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, it may even hold a few advantages.
What possible advantage could it serve to pursue personal training at 60 years of age or older? There are many.
Older personal trainers have the benefit of experience. Even if this experience isn’t in the gym, the situations you’ve faced in life can make you a more effective trainer.
For instance, maybe you have a client who struggles with getting enough exercise while working and raising a family. If you’ve been through the same, you may be able to offer a few tips that worked for you.
Maybe you got up early and did your workouts before the kids got up. Or you hit the gym on your lunch hour so it didn’t eat up your time after work. Your experience can work to your client’s benefit by providing ideas to help them fit a workout into a busy schedule.
Becoming a personal trainer in your later years can also provide a much-needed career change. When work is monotonous and unsatisfying, life can feel monotonous and satisfying too. If you don’t absolutely love your job now, you likely aren’t as happy as you could be.
Taking on a new role can shake things up a bit. It gives you something to look forward to because it’s different. Plus, it can be pretty satisfying to help others reach their fitness goals. This increased satisfaction can raise your quality of life.
Maybe you want to continue with your everyday work but like the idea of training on the side. Or your retirement income isn’t as much as you’d like and you’re barely making your bills. In this case, becoming a personal fitness trainer could provide a little variety along with some extra income.
The variety can keep life from getting stale while the income provides greater peace of mind. Depending on your situation, the monies may be used to overcome income shortfalls or to create a more comfortable living situation or retirement.
Another huge benefit of becoming a personal trainer as an older adult is that you can serve as a role model for senior fitness. It could encourage others in your age group to tend to their own wellness. When they see you exercise every day, for instance, they may decide to do the same.
This is important because physical activity is a critical part of healthy aging according to the National Institute on Aging. It helps older adults stay more independent, decreases their risk of falls, and aids in the management and prevention of chronic disease. It also helps them sleep better, reduce stress, and achieve weight loss if needed.
Along the same lines, senior clients may feel more comfortable with a trainer who is closer in age. Walking into a gym and seeing fitness trainers in their 20s or 30s can feel daunting. But if they walk in and see someone who looks like them, it can create a more welcoming environment.
They may even be more inclined to listen to your advice. When you talk to them about the importance of strength training for seniors, for example, they might trust you more because you’re in this group yourself. They look to you as someone “who knows” and, therefore, may be more willing to take your suggestions.
Becoming a certified personal trainer serves a few valuable purposes. One, it tells potential clients that you know how to create a safe and effective fitness training plan. Two, it also raises your credibility with prospective employers. Some fitness centers only hire trainers with this certification. So, if your goal is to work as a fitness instructor at a local gym, for example, they may require that you be a certified personal trainer.
What does the certification process look like? With ISSA, you can earn your personal training certification entirely online. Once you enroll, you can start your studies immediately. This course comes with downloadable textbooks, helpful study guides, informative videos, and more.
Should you decide to earn your certification, you will learn about anatomy, exercise physiology, and how the body works. You’ll also gain the knowledge needed to perform a fitness assessment or to assess your client’s body composition. This tells you whether exercise is safe for them and if they might have any limitations. From there, you learn how to structure a personal training session. And if you want to start your own business, you’ll learn how to do that too!
After completing all of the training modules, you are ready to take the certification exam. This exam is online as well. Pass it and you are now a certified personal trainer. (You do also need your CPR and AED certification to become a certified personal trainer, but ISSA offers this as well.)
A couple of things to consider before earning your certification is who you want to work with and/or what problem you want to help clients solve. This can help you decide if it would be helpful or even necessary to earn additional certifications. It can also set you apart from other fitness professionals.
For example, maybe you’re more interested in training groups than individuals. In this case, you may want to pursue your certification as a group training instructor. Group personal trainer certification teaches you the skills necessary to train several people at one time, such as an aerobics instructor does.
Not into group fitness? You can also specialize in other areas related to personal fitness. Some of your options include:
You can take the information learned in any of these courses to devise your own fitness program. Want to create a boot camp for your clients? Your certification course can teach you how. Want to offer training sessions online? You can learn how to do this too. There are certification courses that cover many different fitness areas. Just pick the ones most interesting to you.
You can most definitely become a personal trainer at 60, 70, 80, or beyond. As long as you have a willingness to learn personal training techniques and a desire to help others, you can be successful in this type of role.
Ready to earn your certification? ISSA’s personal trainer program is the first step. Once you complete this course, not only will you have your certification, but you’re also given access to a free professional website. We even provide our students unlimited support—from the time you enroll to well past certification.
We’d love nothing more than to help you become a personal trainer. As long as you have a passion for fitness, we can provide the tools needed to achieve your goals, no matter what your age.