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Becoming a Personal Trainer in Tennessee

Tennessee is a state that will present you, as a personal trainer, with a wide range of clients needing your assistance t reach a variety of fitness goals. You will have clients that have spent their summer enjoying barbeque festivals who are looking to slim back down a little. Or perhaps they enjoy Nashville Oktoberfest a little too much or can’t get enough of the bacon festival. As a personal trainer, you can develop a plan for those clients to exercise through the festival season to stay healthier than doing nothing or waiting until the fall to get fit.

In Tennessee, the largest employers of personal trainers are the health and fitness clubs. An example of how a club may run is Executive Fitness. They employ six trainers who specialize in different areas of fitness. One focuses on nutrition, another on a specific muscle group, and others on running classes like yoga and Pilates. This allows all of their clients to get expert care in a number of different areas.

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Personal Trainer Career Diploma

The residents of Tennessee are serious outdoor enthusiasts. As a personal trainer, they will seek your counsel on how to best prepare for some of their favorite outdoor activities such as:

  • Mountain biking in the Chickamauga National Military Park

  • Hiking in Big Cypress Tree State Park near Greenfield or along the Appalachian National Trail

  • Spelunking in the Cumberland Caverns

  • Cycling through trails in the Great Smokey Mountains

  • Skiing in Gatlinburg

  • Jogging along the Mossy Ridge Trail near Nashville

The key to having a stable and well-paying career as a personal trainer begins with you being capable of satisfying the qualifications that are most in demand among employers.

Meeting Personal Trainer Job Qualifications

The key to success as a personal trainer is being able to show prospective clients and employers that you are a professional in your field. The best way to do this is by having a college degree relevant to your career and/or a national certification as a personal trainer.  

Traditional Education Options in Tennessee

You will find that you not only have plenty of options when it comes choosing a college in Tennessee to pursue your education, but also that most will offer degree programs relevant to your career aspirations as a personal trainer. Also be sure to check if you can take some of your classes online to help keep your schedule flexible and potentially cut down on commuting costs.

Some of the many relevant degree programs that employers may look for in personal trainer job candidates are:

AS in Dietetics, including classes like:

  • Principles of nutrition and dietetics

  • Medical nutrition therapy

  • Community nutrition

  • Metabolism of essential vitamins and minerals

BS in Exercise Science, with courses such as:

  • Leadership and exercise techniques

  • Exercise physiology

  • Program planning for exercise prescriptions

  • Exercise measurement and evaluation

  • Therapeutic rehabilitation

BS in Kinesiology Education, including classes like:

  • Exercise prescription and fitness testing

  • Strength and conditioning regimens

  • Psychology of sports and coaching

  • Pediatric exercise science

  • Life span nutrition

Professional Certifications for Personal Trainers

Having one nationally recognized certification as a personal trainer will be enough to satisfy most employers, but occasionally you will encounter one that prefers two. Certification is offered by many agencies, but these are some of the most respected in the industry:

  • 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

Each agency has its own certification requirements. Certain organizations require you to have a college degree before you can qualify for certification.

Almost every health club and gym also requires that you have CPR, first aid, and AED certification.

Starting your Career as a Personal Trainer in Tennessee

Your educational foundation built upon a relevant degree program will not only afford you better employment opportunities, you will use the knowledge on a daily basis to navigate through situations like:

  • Helping one of your clients train for Chattanooga’s 7 Bridges Marathon

  • Helping encourage a client to develop healthier eating habits to achieve a healthier lifestyle using your nutrition and dietary knowledge

  • Using your business skills to attract and retain an active client list for events like group fitness classes in Clarksville’s Pettus Park

  • Applying what you have learned as an exercise science major to prescribe a fitness regimen for an older client who wants to be capable of long walks in the Appalachians

Below we have included a survey of personal trainer jobs in Tennessee listed as vacant in march of 2015 for illustrative purposes only. These should help you form an idea of what employers are looking for:

Gold’s Gym in Knoxville was looking for a personal trainer who had a nationally-recognized certification plus the preferred qualification of a college degree in a related field.

Youfit in North Parkway was advertising for a personal trainer with related job experience in sales and at least one nationally-recognized certification.

LA Fitness in Memphis was looking for a personal trainer who had at least one nationally-recognized certification.

Life Time Fitness in Collierville was searching for a personal trainer who had at least a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, Sports Medicine, or other related field, plus at least one nationally-recognized certification.

Brick Bodies Fitness Services in Nashville was looking for a personal trainer who could design individual exercise programs as well as interact with clients to explain how exercise machinery works.

Workout Anytime 24/7 in Antioch was looking to hire personal trainers who had at least one nationally-recognized certification.

Guiding Fitness in Nashville was seeking a personal trainer with a national certification at minimum.

Obviously, there will be plenty of personal fitness trainer jobs in Tennessee for motivated, educated individuals over the coming years.

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