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Becoming a Personal Trainer in Delaware

The guidelines for healthy living outlined by the Delaware Department of Health and Social services state that residents should be getting two and a half hours of physical activity per week. As a personal trainer, you can help the people of Delaware meet and exceed that goal in a safe and effective manner.  

If you accept the challenge of becoming a personal trainer in Delaware, you can help lead the way to a back to basics approach to physical fitness that is quite popular at this time. Bodyweight training is still very popular as are sit-ups, planks and leg lifts. As a personal trainer, your job will in part be helping lead people through workout trends.

Penn Foster Career School's Online Personal Trainer Programs

Take the first step towards preparing for your career in the fields of personal fitness and nutrition through Penn Foster Career School's online programs:

Personal Trainer Career Diploma

As a personal trainer in Delaware, you will face some professional challenges. Around 79,000 people in Delaware are living with diabetes, and nearly one third of the adult population is considered obese. With great challenges come great rewards! As a personal trainer, you will be able to help these in-need segments of the population achieve a healthier lifestyle and potentially longer and happier lives.

Becoming a Personal Trainer in Delaware

Thanks in part to the notoriety of famous celebrity personal trainers such as Jillian Michael, clubs, gyms and private individuals have created a tremendous demand for their services. In order to help fill that demand, however, you will need a national certification, and for that you will need the proper educational background to land a job in the personal fitness industry.  

Personal Training Degree Options

An undergraduate degree is always one impressive way to help set you apart from other applicants, having a knowledge of physiology, nutrition and exercise will provide you with the building needed to offer your clients the full range of services they may require. In many cases, you will also complete your course of study with some practical hands-on experience gained from working with a personal trainer as their shadow for a semester or two.

The following are among the relevant degree programs available to you in Delaware:

Associate’s degree in:

  • Exercise Science

  • Fitness and Health

Bachelor’s degree in:

  • Nutrition (including courses in Nutritional Assessment Methods, Nutrition Counseling and Nutrition in the Life Span)

  • Exercise Science (including courses in Clinical Exercise Physiology, Fundamentals of Sports Health Care and Advanced Physiology of Exercise)

  • Sports Medicine

  • Biology

  • Exercise Physiology

  • Physical Education

  • Kinesiology

Although each varies in its specialization, courses in these programs will typically cover some of the following topics:

  • Biomechanics

  • Weight management techniques

  • Health and fitness analysis

  • Principles of exercise

  • Sports and fitness nutrition

  • Strength and conditioning

  • Anatomy

Once you have completed these classes, you should be ready to take on any challenges that your clients may pose. Regardless of what age your clients are or what their athletic ability level is, you should be able to design safe and effective workout programs for them that will help them meet and eventually exceed their fitness goals.

Another major benefit of completing a degree program is that during the process, you can develop the type of interpersonal skills needed to effectively communicate with your clients. As a personal trainer, this will be key to helping get and keep your clients motivated to workout. Gyms no longer want personal trainers who just come in and lead classes, they want people who are engaging and can keep clients wanting to come back for more.

National Certification for Personal Trainers

In order to be taken seriously as an applicant for most job opening in the personal fitness field, you will need to be nationally certified as a personal trainer. The following organizations are recognized by the Livestrong Foundation for being approved by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and for their widespread acceptance among employers:

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

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

  • National Endurance and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

  • International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA)

  • The Cooper Institute

  • 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)

It is often the case that you will want to obtain additional certifications that allow you to do more specialized forms of training and that will make you more employable as well. Anything you can do along this lines will strengthen your resume and make you more desirable to employers. A perfect example of this is that if you would like to be able to offer water aerobics classes, you would first need certification in water safety and as a lifeguard.

The following are examples of some specialty certifications you might pursue through the organizations named above:

  • Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant Certification

  • Clinical Exercise Specialist

  • Aquatic Fitness Professional

  • Sports Conditioning Specialist

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

Personal Training Careers in Delaware

To help demonstrate not only the type of job opening in Delaware for personal trainers but the skill-set that employers are looking for, these postings from march of 2015:

Trainers at Done Done Fitness in Middletown must possess strong communication skills, people skills and personality. They must also be nationally certified and have previous experience in functional training and nutrition coaching

E-volve Fitness Studio in Wilmington looks for personal trainers with three years previous experience, making a degree program a wise choice. They also require national certification and their trainers must be able to modify exercises for diverse clients

The Forever Fit Foundation in Dover looks for professional trainers who have experience in the fitness industry, are familiar with a variety of clients and have knowledge of body structures and their function, putting trainers with previous education in anatomy at an advantage. They also prefer those with certification in Pilates

Most gyms and fitness clubs are looking for personal trainers that can lead a variety of fitness classes. It is important that you take the time to see what kind of class schedule and rotation a facility offers before accepting employment. This is not only to ensure you can fit the needs of a workout facility and its clientele, but also that it fits the kind of work and training that you want to do as well. Most gyms will offer a variety that allows instructors to stick to their strengths, but it is always prudent to be sure of this in advance.

The following rotation of classes at Siegel Jewish Community Center in Wilmington give a glimpse into some of the classes you might be called on to teach:

  • Awesome Abs: a 30 minute focused workout for abdominal muscles

  • Cardio Mix Up: participants practice functional toning movements to a motivational soundtrack to boost heart rate and increase endurance

  • Head to Toe Aerobics: a gentle, low impact aerobics class where participants use light weights

  • Hip Hop Fitness: an energetic, full body dance workout set to the latest hip hop music

  • Hooping: a Pilates inspired workout to tone and strengthen abs, back, and lower body

  • Kickboxing: a cardio karate class utilizing kick pads, free weights, punching bags and bodyweight training

  • Rise and Shine Yoga: a gentle flow of poses to start the day

  • Senior Exercise: a class geared towards seniors focusing on movement and functional strength. Participants are welcome to adapt exercises for chairs

  • Tabata: a high intensity interval training class targeting all muscle groups for a total body, fat-burning workout

As a personal trainer, you will help get and keep the people of Delaware fit and healthy and on their way to leading happier and longer lives by helping them pursue and achieve their fitness goals.

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