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Becoming a Fitness Trainer in Kentucky

According to a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Kentucky’s residents aren’t as physically active as one may hope. While 45% of the state’s adults engage in moderate physical activity, only 39% of high school students can be said to meet or exceed the nationally recommended levels of exercise for youth.

If you choose to become a personal trainer in Kentucky, you will find yourself working with a diverse range of clients. You may find that one day you are working with a triathlete preparing for the Ironman and the next a football player looking to increase leg strength. Similarly, on other days you may be working with seniors looking to perform exercises aimed at keeping them more active or a middle aged person needing help with a nutrition plan to lose weight. Whatever you do, the end goal is always helping your clients be healthier.

While most personal trainers prefer to work as a part of a team at a fitness club or gym, some will pursue a career as an independent contractor working with clients at their homes or public locations.

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

Statistics provided by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet point to significant growth in the demand for public trainers statewide. In fact, they have pegged the growth rate for personal trainers at 31% while all other jobs come in at only 12.4%. With a clear need like that, personal trainers in Kentucky can expect good job opportunities and stable employment.

Qualifying to Become a Personal Trainer in Kentucky

If you expect to land the best jobs for personal trainers in Kentucky, education is the cornerstone of your future. The fitness clubs and gyms hiring the best applicants are looking for those that have a relevant degree and a national certification as a personal trainer.

Traditional Personal Trainer Degree Programs

Kentucky has a number of fine colleges and universities offering Associate´s and Bachelor’s degrees in fields related to personal fitness. Some will offer classes online, and in some cases you may be able to find a program wholly online. These programs are offered through colleges and universities throughout the state, as well as through online schools:

Nutrition and Dietetics – as part of this major you will take classes like:

  • Life stage nutrition

  • Nutritional medical therapy

  • Nutrition in the community

  • Biochemistry in the health sciences

Sports Medicine – the curriculum for this major will cover subjects including:

  • Female athlete special issues

  • Exercise as a prescription

  • Back pain and its treatments

  • Medicolegal aspects of sports medicine

  • Sports and medical illnesses

Kinesiology – for a degree in this area you will take courses such as:

  • Principles of human anatomy

  • Human wellness and nutrition

  • Psychological aspects of sports and physical education

  • Physiology of exercise

  • Athletic measurements and tests

The above list is only a sampling of relevant majors, and is in no way to be considered comprehensive.

Depending on your major, you will likely be exposed to subjects such as nutrition, exercise science and kinesiology in varying amounts. It is your knowledge of subjects like these that will serve as the foundation for your career as a personal trainer.

Professional Organizations Offering Personal Trainer Certifications

As you develop your qualifications you will also want to consider a nationally-recognized personal trainer certification offered by any of the following agencies:

  • American Council of Exercise (ACE)

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)

  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

  • International Fitness Association (IFA)

  • The Cooper Institute

  • Professional Personal Trainers Association (PROPTA)

  • National Personal Training Institute (NPTI)

  • Lifetime (LT) Academy

Before making any employment decisions, it is always a good idea to check on what the requirements are for personal trainers at your top three or four choices. This will help you ensure that when you interview you will have met all of their prerequisites for employment. You will notice some employers prefer one national certifying agency for personal trainers over another, so pay close attention to that as well as the fact that some will require a relevant degree for acceptance.

The Working Environment for Kentucky’s Personal Trainers

While you may look for options to work outside of the gym or health club, most personal trainers choose employment in a facility like Healthpark, an Owensboro fitness club. There, personal trainers both lead classes and work one-on-one with clients to help them reach their fitness goals. If you go that route, you can expect to see classes such as these offered:

  • Cycling craze

  • Cardio challenge

  • Cycle to rock

  • Body flow

  • Heart moves

  • Zumba

  • Step and tone

  • Chair yoga

  • Fitness yoga

  • PiYo

  • Pilates barre conditioning

If you would like to get a grip on what kind of jobs are available for personal trainers in Kentucky as well as what prospective employers are looking for, one of the best ways to do so is check the job postings published by fitness clubs. Here we have a sampling of a few opening posted in March of 2015 demonstrating what you may encounter as an applicant.

A Youfit branch in Lexington was searching for a personal trainer who had at least one nationally-recognized professional certification, with added consideration given to applicants with a related college degree.

A local university in Richmond was seeking a personal trainer for its campus recreation facility with both a current national personal trainer certification as well as CPR/AED certification.

A local university in Louisville placed an ad for a personal trainer to work in its Department of Campus Recreation. The qualification requirements for this position included having a nationally-recognized personal trainer certification as well as CPR and AED certification.

Healthpark in Owensboro was advertising for a personal trainer/exercise physiologist who had the following qualifications: a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology, Exercise Science, Physical Education, or a related field; personal trainer certification through an approved national organization; and at least two years of related experience preferred.

Taking on a career path of becoming a fitness trainer in Kentucky will be rewarding in that you will have the chance to make a living and help others at the same time!


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