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Becoming a Personal Trainer in South Dakota

According to Dakotafire, an increase in sedentary jobs and a more urbanized life has prompted an increase in the amount of health and fitness clubs springing up around South Dakota.

Staying fit and active in South Dakota has always been a challenge due in large part to the long and very cold winters that limit some exercise options. Fitness centers have been a tremendous help in providing a way for people to stay fit in all seasons. As the demand for personal trainers has increased, so too have the amount and location of fitness centers around the state. Even rural areas now mostly have their own fitness center.

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It is estimated that about 66% of the adults in South Dakota are overweight. As a personal trainer, you will help clients develop healthier dietary habits and workout programs that will help them achieve a healthier weight and lifestyle. A startling statistic regarding the health of residents of South Dakota is that 88% of what the public spends on being healthy goes directly to medical bills. Helping people realize that an investment in getting healthy now can save on medical bills later while improving their overall health is something you may find yourself doing regularly as a personal trainer.

Becoming a Personal Trainer in South Dakota

In South Dakota you will have numerous opportunities to enter into certificate programs for personal trainers as well as taking advantage of more traditional educational opportunities such as two and four year colleges. By earning a degree that is relevant to your future career as a personal trainer you will build a foundation for a stable career.

Formal Training and Education

If you want to get a job in any of South Dakota’s better gyms, holding a two or four-year degree in a major relevant to the fitness industry is almost a necessity. Beyond being a tool to help land the best jobs, it will give you the knowledge to perform your job as a personal trainer to the best of your abilities. By having a broad based college level knowledge of health, fitness and nutrition, you can better serve the needs of your clients.

An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in one of these majors will prepare you to meet job requirements and serve clients as a knowledgeable trainer:

  • Exercise Science

  • Biomechanics

  • Exercise Physiology

  • Care & Prevention of Athletic Injuries

  • Principles of Strength & Conditioning

  • Personal Training

  • Anatomy & Physiology

  • Athletic Training

  • Nutrition

  • First Aid

  • Aerobics

  • Kinesiology

  • Introduction to Community & Public Health

  • Survey of Human Nutrition

  • Principles of Weight Management

  • Survey of Drugs and Health

  • Human Disease & Epidemiology

  • Sports Medicine

  • Sports Medicine Principles

  • Biomechanics

  • Exercise Physiology

  • Therapeutic Modalities

  • Injury Evaluation & Rehabilitation

  • Dietetics and Nutrition

  • Principles of Food Science

  • Life Cycle Nutrition

  • Nutrition Counseling and Education

  • Community Nutrition

National Certification Options

The key requirements to achieving national certification include:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.

  • High school diploma or equivalent.

  • CPR/AED certification

You can also take advantage of workshops generally running a few days long to online programs offered by certification agencies that can take as long as 6 months to complete including exam prep.

Examples of institutes that offer personal training certification include the following:

  • American Council of Exercise (ACE)

  • National Council on Strength & Fitness (NCSF)

  • International Sports & Fitness Trainers Association (ISFTA)

  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)

  • American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA)

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

If desired, you can pursue certification in specialty areas in addition to a general certification as a personal trainer. Specialty certification includes:

  • Senior Fitness

  • Youth Athletic Fitness

  • Pre/Postnatal Fitness

  • Nutrition

  • Behavior Change

  • Weight Management

  • Orthopedic Exercise

  • Therapeutic Exercise

Working as a Personal Trainer in South Dakota

Regardless of whether you decide on general personal training or choose a specialty area, your basic responsibilities would generally include:

  • An understanding of human anatomy and physiology

  • An ability to motivate and inspire others

  • Being friendly, outgoing and well organized

  • The ability to assess client’s physical capabilities

  • The ability to safely guide clients through a program you have designed for them

While gyms, health clubs, and specialty studios, positions with hotels, corporate gyms and hospitals are also possible places of employment for personal trainers.

Examples of current job openings and requirements in South Dakota as of March, 2015 include the following:

At Hilton Hotels in Aberdeen you will be expected to be able to do the following to be considered for employment as a personal trainer:

  • Conduct fitness programs

  • Adhere to health and safety regulations

  • Conduct fitness assessments

  • Advise members on correct use of gym equipment

Sanford Health in Sioux Falls hires personal trainers to conduct Group Fitness classes for its members. The following are requirements for a position within this facility:

  • Motivate participants of any fitness level

  • Understand physiology and biomechanics

  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships

  • Communicate clearly

  • Operate stereo and microphone equipment

  • Adapt exercise instruction to all ages and fitness levels

  • CPR certification

  • National certification

Are you ready to be a personal trainer in South Dakota? All it takes is a little dedication and a little education – and you could be on your way.

15% off Personal Trainer Courses for South Dakota Professionals - Click Here