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Becoming a Fitness Trainer in Michigan

When you work in Michigan as a personal trainer, you become a part of the state’s long and storied athletic traditions and history. With one of the oldest college athletic programs in the nation and enviable professional sports franchises, the people of Michigan have a deep appreciation of fitness and an active lifestyle.

A great appreciation of health and fitness only goes so far, however. A full 31.5% of Michigan’s adults are considered obese. Too many adults have diabetes or hypertension and the rates of incidence for those conditions is rising according to the CDC. As a personal trainer, your clients will look to you to help them eat and live healthier and look and feel fitter. To do this, you will often have to design tailor-made fitness and nutrition plans and monitor them regularly.

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The good news is that as bad as the health woes of adults in Michigan is, the health and fitness levels of teens are slowly improving. The obesity rates of children between two and four years of age appears to have peaked and is now improving, and among teens, more and more are getting at least a half hour of physical activity each day.

As a personal trainer in Michigan, you will work with clients of all age ranges and fitness abilities. Whether you are helping an athlete peak for an event, helping kids learn and develop healthy habits, or helping someone who need to lose a little weight to look and feel better, your services will be highly valued.

Steps to Becoming a Personal Trainer in Michigan

If you plan to seek employment in one of Michigan’s many gyms or health clubs, being an accredited personal trainer is nearly mandatory everywhere you will go. Sometimes that won’t be enough, however, to really stand out in the crowd of applicants for positions. By pursuing and completing a two or four-year degree relevant to health and personal fitness, you can increase your chances of landing a choice job.

Education and Formal Training

You will find that Michigan’s colleges and universities will prepare you for a career as a personal trainer by not only teaching you the basics of a degree program, but by keeping you abreast of cutting edge techniques and technology to help make the human body be all it can be.

By completing either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, you will be capable of offering your clients the type of personalized experience they not only expect, but need to help reach their goals.

Relevant majors for a career in personal fitness include:

  • Health & Fitness

  • Movement Science

  • Sport Management

  • Kinesiology

  • Exercise Science: Personal Training

  • Nutrition

Programs like these are available at many of Michigan universities, each providing a unique perspective on personal fitness that will benefit you in your career.

Why stop there? More education means you can offer your employer and clients more, as well as upping your earning potential and the type of job opening you can pursue. A Master’s Degree in nutrition, kinesiology, movement science, or sports management can do just that, as well as open the door to doctoral programs. Should you pursue this path, you will be involved in research projects and establish the credentials to be considered a leader in your field of study.

Personal Training Certification

When it comes time to pursue your certification as a personal trainer, you will have many options to choose from. Many may seem similar, but they will have differences ranging from how widely accepted they are to what requirements they have for certifying applicants. While most people focus on aspects like membership dues, you should pay close attention to what unique services each may or may not provide.

You will find that some will offer specialized certifications at no additional cost that others do not, or do provide for a fee. For example, having a certification in Zumba or any other form of exercise is always beneficial to you.

Be sure to verify that the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) has accredited your certification agency of choice. Accredited organizations accepted by Michigan’s employers include:

  • The American Council on Exercise (ACE)

  • The American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA)

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

  • The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

  • National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)

  • National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

  • National Exercise Trainer Association (NETA)

  • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

Starting Your Career as a Personal Trainer in Michigan

As a personal trainer in Michigan, you will see that there is a great variety of employment opportunities. We have provided you with a small sampling of job postings for fitness clubs across Michigan from March of 2015 so that you can see what type of opening there are as well as what employers are looking for from prospective applicants.

URSA Academy, a Martial Arts and Jiu Jitsu Academy in Anarbor, is looking for a group fitness instructor. Martial arts and personal training experience are a plus but not a necessity, and martial arts training will be provided.

The Biogenesis Group, a senior fitness facility in Ypsilanti, is seeking a health coach with an Associate or Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Exercise Training, or Exercise Science, or that is a certified nursing assistant or a certified personal trainer.

Life Time Fitness in Canton is looking for a Personal Training Department Head to manage, recruit, and train their training staff. They require: a four year degree in kinesiology, sports medicine, or a related field; at least two years of experience as a Life Time Personal Trainer; a minimum of two accredited personal training certifications; and a minimum of one year of supervisory experience.

Being a personal trainer in Michigan carries with it a career of constant activity, the chance to meet a hugely diverse range of people, and the knowledge that your career is focused on helping people in all phases of life.

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