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Becoming a Personal Trainer in Montana

In a 2013 study of Montana adults, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition discovered that over 60% of those surveyed exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 or more days per week. That gives Montana the distinction of being the third most active state in the nation. With a number of beautiful and varied outdoor settings, it is easy to see why people in Montana stay so active.

With mountains and wide expanses of open terrain, Montana is the perfect location for rugged outdoorsman. As a personal trainer, you may find yourself helping a client prepare for the Spartan Race, the Founders’ Series or some mountaineering on the weekend. With so much natural diversity in Montana’s terrain, the type of training your clients may look to you for seems limitless.

Penn Foster Career School's Online Personal Trainer Programs

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Personal Trainer Career Diploma

Fitness enthusiasts from around the world flock to Montana. Whether it is for kayaking, biking, skiing or hiking some prime locations like Glacier National Park. As a personal trainer you will stay busy not only with the residents of Montana, but some of the more than 3.7 million people that visit Montana each year.  

Everyone from weekend skiers to competitive runners may fill your client list. As a personal trainer in Montana, you will help people from all walks of life, age ranges and fitness levels work to improve their health and fitness. You will also enjoy the ability to create a variety of outdoor activities to creatively train your clients.

Steps to Becoming a Personal Trainer in Montana

Whether you decide to pursue a two or four-year degree program on your way to becoming a personal trainer, the journey will be as exciting as when you help your clients reach a fitness goal. You may also opt for a national certification program that validates your knowledge of the workings of the human body and conditioning.

Degree Options for Personal Trainers in Montana

If you obtain a degree that is in a major that is related to health or exercise, it will help you raise your profile among Montana’s personal trainers. Useful degree options for aspiring personal trainers include, but are not limited to:

Associate’s Degree Programs in:

  • Fitness and Health

  • Exercise Science

  • Dietetics

  • Physical Education

  • Personal Training

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in:

  • Kinesiology

  • Exercise Science

  • Nutrition

  • Human Biology

  • Exercise Physiology

  • Sports Medicine

  • Physical Education

As a personal trainer, it is to your benefit to study the effects of exercise on the human body at the college level. Studying nutrition and dietetics will help you learn what foods serve as the best fuel for varying types of workouts. Courses in exercise science and physical education will provide you with the knowledge you need to make fitness assessments of clients. All of this adds up to you being able to create the best fitness program possible for each of your clients.

Everything you study related to fitness and nutrition will be invaluable to you over the course of your career as a personal trainer.

Personal Trainer Certifications for Montana Residents

Montana is home to some of the top certifying agencies that offer certification tests for personal trainers in the nation.

Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), with tests offered in:

  • Bozeman

  • Cheyenne

  • Preston

National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF), with tests offered in:

  • Billings

  • Helena

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), with tests offered in:

  • Billings

  • Butte Bozeman

  • Great Falls

  • Missoula

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), with tests offered in:

  • Billings

  • Butte Bozeman

  • Great Falls

  • Missoula

World Instructor Training Schools (WITS), with tests offered in:

  • Billings

Personal Training Careers in Montana

There are several different career paths you can chose from as a personal trainer in Montana. You can choose to work in a health club or gym where the variety of clients will never end or you can start your own business and choose a specific type of client to work with. You can get your own indoor space or work outdoors. The choices are yours.

Gyms and Health Clubs

As would be expected, fitness clubs and gyms are the main employer of personal trainers. Gold’s Gym is an internationally recognized name with multiple locations in Montana. Their standards are high, requiring national certification as well as passing their personal trainer certification exam. Gold’s Gym website states that trainers must meet “high standards in exercise physiology, nutrition, anatomy, training program development, exercise application, health screening, and fitness assessments.”

Running your Own Personal Training Business

If working for yourself is more your style, Montana is an excellent place to launch your business as a personal trainer. You can choose to open your own facility, work outdoors or do a little bit of both. What makes Montana particularly attractive for the independent personal trainer is that there is a wealth of niche fitness areas to take advantage of.  

You will want to take advantage of every opportunity possible to start and expand your business. Having an online presence is a necessity. Word of mouth referrals will likely be your bread and butter for locating most new clients, at least in the beginning. The best way of all to build your business, however, is to provide excellent service to your clients and let the results speak for them self. Happy clients looking and feeling fit are your best advertisement of all.


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