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Becoming a Fitness Trainer in Arkansas

If you enter the field of fitness as a personal trainer in Arkansas, you will play an important part in the drive to improve the CDC statistic of 57.3% of the state’s residents failing to meet the standards for healthy levels of physical activity. With your skills and expertise, you’ll join a promising career field that helps people get healthy. Your clients will seek your guidance in helping them discover the best ways for them to get fit.

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Personal Trainer Career Diploma

As a personal fitness trainer in Arkansas, you will find much of what you do centered on keeping your clients fit and ready for their favorite outdoor pursuits. Whether you are helping keep cyclists in shape in the offseason, or helping a runner with strength and limbering exercises, you’ll be playing a central role in the fitness of the people you work with. You’ll also be entering a high-growth field that carries a strong starting salary and some excellent perks.

Becoming a Personal Trainer in Arkansas

Health and fitness are topics we see in the news, on television and splashed across social media every day. The more fitness and health are in front of us, the more demand there is for personal trainers and those who want to enter training programs to fill that demand. The one thing both have in common is a demand for comprehensive education and credentialing.

Obtaining an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in a field relevant to becoming a personal trainer will provide the knowledge necessary to assist clients in everything from nutrition programs to fitness regimens. In some cases, you may even have the opportunity to shadow a personal trainer and get some hands on experience.

The following are typical majors you may pursue as an aspiring personal trainer:

Associate’s degree program in:

  • Fitness and Health

  • Exercise Science

Bachelor’s degree program in:

  • Biology (including courses in Human Anatomy, Human Structure and Function and Physical Diagnosis)

  • Kinesiology (including courses in Exercise Physiology, Mechanics of Human Movement and Exercise Applications for Special Populations)

  • Nutrition (including courses in Sports Nutrition, Food Science and Medical Nutrition Therapy)

  • Exercise Science

  • Physical Education

  • Sports Medicine

Coursework in these programs will typically cover the following topics:

  • Strength and conditioning

  • Exercise theory

  • Human anatomy

  • Weight management

  • Biomechanics

  • Health and fitness analysis

With the knowledge that has been gained by completing these fields of study, you should be prepared to work with clients from all walks of life. Whether you end up helping a cyclist get ready for a big ride, or a middle school teacher to drop a few pounds and feel a little more fit, you’ll be prepared to tailor a workout program to meet their needs.

Another key benefit of these programs is the interpersonal skills you will develop. The ability to effectively communicate with others will be one of your greatest tools as a personal trainer. Clients need someone that can not only provide them with an enjoyable experience, they need a motivator. They need someone that can talk them through the process of getting fit in a manner that is easy to understand.

National Certification in Personal Training

In order to secure employment as a personal trainer you will need to hold at least one national certification in almost every case. Some certifications require that applicants hold an undergraduate degree and CPR certification prior to taking the certification exam.

Highly respected certification agencies include:

  • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) - must have at least two years of fitness experience

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS) - requires a 4-year degree

  • The American Council on Exercise (ACE)

  • The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT)

  • American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA)

  • National Endurance and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

  • International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA)

  • The Cooper Institute

These organizations are recognized by the Livestrong Foundation and have received accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

Additional Preparation

While not all personal trainers develop a specific interest for working with a specific age group or style of fitness, some certainly do. If you find that you develop an interest to get more specialized, you will want to pursue more specialized education and/or further certification to meet your needs. The certifications you hold let employers know what your skill-set is. For example, if you plan on teaching a water aerobics class you may want to have it on your resume that you are certified in CPR and possibly even have certification as a lifeguard. Specialized certifications you may wish to pursue can include:

  • Youth Fitness Trainer

  • Flexibility Coach

  • Aquatic Fitness Professional

  • Functional Training Specialist

  • Certified Health Fitness Specialist (requires a 4-year degree)

Personal Trainer Careers in Arkansas

Before you jump into career in personal training, it’s always a good idea to take a look at what kind of employment opportunities are out there. One thing you will notice is true across the board is that employers want motivated, educated, nationally certified applicants answering their ads. To get an idea of what kind of jobs are open for personal trainers in Arkansas, a few ads from March, 2015, shed some light on opportunities to be had:

If you’re interested in a rewarding career working with clients in a medical setting, Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville is looking for personal trainers who can provide individual instruction, help clients meet goals and teach group fitness classes including water aerobics. In addition, you must hold or be working toward a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or a related field, and hold national certification

Employers at Anytime Fitness in Beebe are looking for hardworking, responsible trainers who are able to do one-on-one consultations, provide nutritional guidance and plan workout programs. They’re particularly interested in candidates who can lead yoga, bootcamp, dance or kickboxing, and offer competitive pay of up to $36 an hour

While mulling over your career opportunities, pay particular attention to landing in a gym or club that offers the type group fitness classes that fit your likes and strengths. It’s important to know what kind of classes you will be asked to lead as well as their size. This is all important to being sure you are in the right place to use your skills to provide the best client experience possible.

The following classes found at ClubHaus Fitness in Little Rock give you a look into some of the classes you might be expected to lead:

  • Sunrise Yoga: a morning class where participants flow between yoga poses in a heated environment

  • RPM: a combination of cycling, choreography and coaching that provide a comprehensive aerobic workout

  • CXWorx: a class than concentrates on the core muscles that connect the upper and lower body

  • The Hollywood: a fusion class combining elements of ballet, vinyasa yoga, Pilates and plyometrics

  • Brickhaus: clients use rowing machines, kettlebells, TRX bands, slam balls and more to focus on cardio and total body toning

  • BodyCombat: an intense cardio workout combining martial arts moves from karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai

  • BodyPump: training that uses participants’ full body weight to ramp up heart rates and achieve rapid weight loss results

Your motivational skills and training expertise will be integral to your clients and help create a positive experience for them whether via one-on-one consultation or large classes. When it is all put together correctly, you create a memorable experience for your clients on their journey to healthier lives.

15% off Personal Trainer Courses for Arkansas Professionals - Click Here