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Entries in personal trainers (27)


ACE reports on fitness professional salaries, demand

The recently released results of a survey commissioned by the American Council on Exercise provide a detailed portrait of the world of health and fitness professionals, documenting, among other things, rising salaries and increased demand for greater expertise.

Among the findings:

  • Part-time professionals reported significantly higher salaries than those disclosed in ACE’s last survey, in 2010.
  • Fitness professionals with advanced certifications, including those for health coach, advanced health, and fitness specialist, enjoy better benefits.
  • There’s growing demand for the expertise required to work with special populations. According to the survey, about 69% of personal trainers now work with overweight or obese adults, and about 70% work with older adults.
  • More than half (52%) of professionals with an advanced certification report it allows them to earn more.
  • Results varied by region. The highest salaries were earned by personal trainers in the Southwest ($60,120); group fitness instructors in the Northwest ($76,565); and among individuals in the Southwest holding advanced certifications ($58,844).

To view the full report, go to


Personal Trainer Accreditation

Has this happened to you?

An applicant for a personal trainer opening at your club seems impressive and knowledgeable, but she holds a certification from an organization you’ve never heard of.  How do you know if her certification has adequately prepared her for the job? Moreover, how do you know if her certification is from a real company and not just some sham acronym with a website?

In 2002, IHRSA began working with some of the fitness industry's leading personal training certification groups on an initiative to help answer these questions and promote safety for consumers working with personal trainers in health clubs. 

One important outcome of those meetings was a determination of the value of an independent and nationally recognized accreditation for personal training certification programs.

Read on to see the recommendations, and more on hiring personal trainers.

Click to read more ...


ACE releases latest personal trainers manual

With clients, trends, client's needs and equipment changing year-to-year, it is easy as a personal trainer to fall behind.

The American Council on Exercise is here to help. The non-profit organization dedicated to educating safe and effective exercise and physcial activity, has just released the "ACE Personal Trainer Manual" (5th Edition).

It "provides exercise professionals with the latest evidence-based training solutions and health-behavior strategies to empower clients to make meaningful changes and improve function, health, fitness and performance."

Learn more and how to order, in print or an eBook, it at the ACE website.



This Week in the Fitness Industry: 7-11-14

This Week in the Fitness Industry is back after taking a week of to celebrate the Fourth of July.

While we didn't bring you twice as many entries as normal, we think you will be twice as happy with this week's offerings:

  • obesity worse than cigarettes
  • team sports beneficial to children
  • Democrats, Republicans work out together
  • tips from fitness pros

Click here to see This Week in the Fitness Industry.


Life Fitness looking for the personal trainer to watch

Almost everyone who has dealt with personal trainers at the club they visit has a favorite. Most likely he or she has helped you attain goals, set new ones and become the person, physically, that you want to be.

For the fourth straight year, Life Fitness is conducting the Personal Trainers to Watch competition. It is run with partners International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals, EuropeActive, Life Fitness Academy and the American Council on Exercise.

Anyone - clients, gym personnel and fellow trainers - can nominate a trainer who embodies the same passion and commitment as Life Fitness. Nominations will be taken through the end of July 2014. The top 10 finalists will then compete in a live competition to pick the winner.

"The 2013 Personal Trainers to Watch program earned worldwide support and recognition, with nearly 1,500 entries from personal trainers in 43 countries," said Chris Clawson, president of Life Fitness, in a press release. "This year, we continue to expand the reach and impact of the program, and we look forward to finding those trainers who share our passion for enhancing the profession's growth and success." 

Visit for more information and to nominate your favorite trainer.


ACE launches promotion to inspire, using personal trainers

Photo courtesy of www.acefitness.orgA good personal trainer will get to know their clients. It is a great way to really know who they are and what they need, fitness-wise. However, the relationship is not always reciprocal.

The American Council on Exercise is changing that with PROfiles, a new national campaign that features ACE-certified professionals who share their personal life, reasons for choosing their profession, clients who motivate them, and other experiences, in contributed videos.

The hope is to motivate the general population to get excited and inspired to live a healthy lifestyle.

For inspiring stories and videos, visit



IHRSA, ACE meet with officials to discuss D.C. trainers bill

IHRSA and the American Council on Exercise recently met with the Washington, D.C., Council to discuss a recent bill that requires personal trainers to register with the Mayor's office.

IHRSA wanted to meet in order to talk about the industry's concerns regarding the bill, including that the Board of Physical Therapy might have some formal oversight of personal trainers.

Even after the bill is signed by Mayor Vincent Gray, the law will still have to go through a formal regulatory process - including public hearings and solicitation of stakeholder comments - which will give IHRSA and the industry more time.

IHRSA will work with D.C. fitness professionals to represent the interests of local health clubs throughout this process and keep members informed of any developments.

For more, check out the member-only District of Columbia news, updates and health club laws page.


This Week in the Fitness Industry 7-26-13

Here's what This Week in the Fitness Industry has this week:

  • Too much wine may be bad, exercise-wise
  • Trainer hopes to shed positive light on industry
  • Gold for your lost pounds
  • Don't exercise too much

Read on for more.


What should a club look for in a personal trainer?

This month’s Best Practices Sharecare question is probably one that is on the minds of many these days. Many people are looking to get in shape, or hoping to work on something specific, and thus want to use a personal trainer. But, are there specific credentials one should look for?

We have lined up a group of experienced experts in Mark Miller, Jennifer Karr Muzzey, Mark Stevens and Frances Michaelson  to give their answers.

Q: If I want to hire a personal trainer, what credentials should I look for?

A: This is an interesting question and an often-debated topic amongst owners and operators. The question on the surface seems easy with a simple answer of the top Certifications that are accredited and proven, an education background whether it be a bachelors or masters degree in related field  and a certain number of years of experience. And yet that would be short cited thinking. The thing that is most needed in a personal trainer is an individual who cares, who has the people skills to connect and make a difference, change the individual’s life. Pull the heartstring and help guide, mentor, and influence the person to alter behaviors, change habits and motivate themselves to get the results they are looking for. 

These skills are not found on a resume or within a certification, degree or curriculum.  No these skills are innate, it’s a little salesman, a little comedian, a little counselor, a little leader, a little mentor, a little learner, and a lot of love and passion, integrity, commitment, trust and vulnerability.  So when hiring trainers – what I look for is simple and yet not easy to find.  Three Pillars: People Skills, Cultural Fit, and Coach ability.  Basically – can they relate to people, do they really care about what we do and more importantly WHY we do it.  Do they fit our companies DNA and who we are, and lastly can they learn and grow or do they think they already know it all.  Next I look for experience – life experience, first job, past success, finally I look for skills – can they promote and sell self, how do they coach and develop, what do they do for their growth and success, how do they interact – verbal and non verbally, and how do they think and talk.

If they have all that I can help them get the credentials and education to be an impactful trainer.  I will get them certified through the top programs.  We will provide ongoing certification’s and CEU’s through various programs and in house trainings and we will help them succeed if they are Ready, Willing and Able.

Mark Miller
Vice President
Merritt Athletic Clubs


A: When seeking qualities in a prospective personal trainer, it is important to consider technical knowledge and experience, sales skills and the personality factor. Candidates must hold an active certification from a nationally accredited organization while many come with an additional background in kinesiology, athletic training or coaching.

As Fitness Director at the River Valley Club, I implement a comprehensive three step interview process to ensure trainer candidates meet these exceptional criteria. We make clear the expectations of the position and the characteristics it takes to improve the health and wellness of individuals while encompassing the qualities of motivator and innovator.

After establishing a candidate has the technical knowledge to safely implement programs and conduct exercise safely and effectively, it is critical to observe them training. We set up a live interview where they are presented with a case study and they are to prepare an appropriate program for the client's needs and goals. This is where the personality comes in. A person can have all the knowledge in the world but must also connect and coach with the human factor every client needs. Our top trainers get results, facilitate clients to identify their own objectives for training, put in the time, and will consistently maintain clientele at a 90% retention rate. We build relationships in the personal training industry so a successful trainer will be motivated to work at most hours, believe in and live by what they teach,  and make any client invest in them to improve their health and wellness.

Jennifer Karr Muzzey
Fitness Director & Master Personal Trainer
River Valley Club


A: This is an example of The Houstonian's Hiring Process for a Personal Trainer:

  • Must have Four Year degree in an Exercise Related Field, preferably with a Kinesiology degree.
  • Must hold a minimum of one personal training certifications from one of the National Associations.
  • Must have a minimum of 1 year personal training experience.
  • Must be current with their CPR/AED and First Aid certification.

1. Candidate interviews with HR

2. Candidate interviews with Fitness Director and Fitness Manager

3. Candidate interviews with Personal Trainer Team Leaders

4. Fitness Director meets with Team Leaders to discuss whether the candidate should move forward in process with the practical’s.  If yes, move to #5, If no, Fitness Director alerts HR and they send a TBNT (Thanks but no thanks) letter.

5. Candidate completes 3 practical’s (personal training sessions) with Team Leaders/Fitness Director

6. Fitness Director discusses with Team Leaders whether candidate should move through to final process of interviewing with AGM(Assistant GM).  If yes, move to #7, if no, Fitness Director alerts HR and they send a TBNT(Thanks but no thanks) letter.

7. Schedule interview for candidate and AGM(Assistant GM).

8. Meet with AGM to decide whether we will offer candidate position.  If yes, move to #9.  If no, Fitness Director alerts HR and they send a TBNT letter.

9. Call candidate and schedule time to meet (at least a couple hours) so that an offer can be made and they can go for pre-employment screening.

Mark Stevens
Regional Director
Houstonian Health Clubs and Spas


A: Certification has become big business! I have been personally training clients for 18 years, and opened Muscleup Inc., a Personal Training Centre in the West Island of Montreal, 12 years ago.  I only hire trainers on a part-time basis and they are all contracted out employees. I am not affiliated with any particular certifying organization, and do not hire trainers according to their certification status. I feel that a good trainer is somebody who has combined knowledge and passion with the ability to provide a high quality service to their clients. A certification alone is not enough and will not breed success. Continuing education is what is most important. There are too many quick, easy to get certifications available today, including online courses that teach nothing about communication and client/trainer relations. I am well aware of many club owners, who are not fitness professionals and therefore rely on trainers that can show they are certified, but have no idea if the trainer has really retained anything and if they can apply what they learnt. These business owners would hire based on the certification paper because for them, this is enough. They feel with the trainer being certified, the client is in safe hands. Unfortunately, several individuals are now taking advantage of these cheap and quick online certifications that teach very little about the anatomy and of course teach nothing about  people skills . It does not take a special person to study and write an exam , but it does require a certain talent to keep clients motivated  and achieve results. Personality, a caring attitude, and a desire to keep learning  is what is most important to me.

Frances Michaelson
Muscle Up, Inc.


To see more answers, on, click here.



Should trainers give nutrition advice?

Personal trainers do so much good for those who work with them. Oftentimes that includes how to eat healthy in addition to healthy habits.

But, how much is too much and what should or shouldn't a personal trainer be suggesting?

Ann Gilbert weighs in on the subject in this week's Best Practices.

Q: "Is there any industry standard or guideline for what personal trainers can and cannot say when it comes to giving nutrition advice?"

A: The sharing of nutritional suggestions and guidelines encourages healthy habits and can assist clients or students in getting the most from a specific workout. One must remember, though, that the shared information must remain very general and educational in nature. Only licensed health care professionals, such as registered dietitians, can provide specific dietary recommendations and written meal plans. Trainers are encouraged to educate clients as to the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA), as established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences in 1997. RDAs are the average daily intake standard for an assumed healthy individual. Most agree that by giving these general suggestions, the client will have the tools necessary to build a healthy plan for daily intake. In 2005, the USDA introduced MyPyramid with its goal of educating clients as to the importance of consuming from all major food groups. MyPyramid also empathies the importance or daily exercise. Teaching clients and or students how to read food labels, how to shop the isles in the local grocery store and how to make healthier choices whole eating out, are all considered standards of conversation between trainer and client.

Ann Gilbert
Executive Director
Shapes Total Fitness for Women


One of the most frequently consulted sections of IHRSA’s Website,, is “Best Practices,” which features answers from industry experts to a wide range of thought-provoking questions. Beginning this month, we’ll highlight some of them in this new CBI column.

Visit to read responses to more than 100 questions such as these or to submit a question of your own to be answered