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How to Become a Fitness Trainer in Nebraska

With a large farming industry and seemingly endless stretches of open road, over 89% of Nebraska’s towns and cities have a population of less than 3,000, according to a 2014 report published by World Population Review. The low population density may discourage some Nebraska fitness enthusiasts from pursuing a career in personal training, but with the right education and an in-depth knowledge of the state’s athletic scene, you could have your choice of jobs in the state’s personal fitness industry.

The densely populated cities of Omaha and Lincoln, along with their surrounding areas, are home to a wide range of athletes and health buffs that support a thriving health and wellness industry. Professional and semi professional sports teams, such as indoor football’s Nebraska Danger and hockey’s Lincoln Stars, contribute to the Cornhusker State’s world-class sports culture. Office workers from Omaha and Lincoln often use the gym as an escape from their 9-5 jobs. And the many colleges in the eastern part of Nebraska play host to some of the nation’s top NCAA athletes.

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As a personal trainer in Nebraska, you may find yourself helping runners achieve their perfect stride length for the Omaha or Lincoln Marathons. Or, you could end up working with the athletes of one of the legendary Cornhusker teams at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Steps to Becoming a Personal Trainer in Nebraska

Your preparation for a personal training career in Nebraska will bridge your current goals with your future career. You will vastly expand your knowledge on everything from skeletal structure to the latest diet trends and develop an understanding of the human body that will serve as the core of your personal training knowledge.

Degree Options for Personal Trainers

Taking college level courses related to kinesiology, health promotion and physiology will show your dedication to a career in personal training. With an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in an area related to personal training, you will be able to design and implement fitness programs uniquely tailored to each client’s needs – not to mention the fact that your chances of working with elite athletes and regular fitness clients will increase exponentially.

Degrees related to personal training include, but are not limited to:

Associate’s Degree Programs in:

  • Physical Education
  • Exercise Science
  • Dietetics
  • Biomechanics
  • Personal Training
  • Fitness Technology

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in:

  • Physical Education
  • Sports Medicine
  • Athletic Studies
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Sport Psychology
  • Nutrition
  • Sports Management

Personal Trainer Certification Options

Holding certification from a national certifying body is essential as an aspiring personal trainer. Passing a certification exam offers undeniable proof that you are capable of designing and leading safe and effective exercise routines for a variety of populations.

Fortunately, some of the nation’s most respected certifying bodies offer certification exams throughout Nebraska:

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

  • North Platte
  • Grand Island
  • Hastings
  • Columbus
  • McCook
  • Columbus
  • Norfolk
  • Lincoln
  • Alliance
  • Omaha
  • Scottsbluff

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

  • North Platte
  • Grand Island
  • Hastings
  • Columbus
  • McCook
  • Columbus
  • Norfolk
  • Lincoln
  • Alliance
  • Omaha
  • Scottsbluff

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

  • Lincoln

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

  • Omaha

Starting your Personal Training Career in Nebraska

Whether you want to work with everyday fitness enthusiasts or competitive athletes, you will find a variety of personal training opportunities in Nebraska.

Nebraska is home to respected gym chains Planet Fitness and Anytime Fitness, which always accept applications from talented trainers. Smaller local gyms also hire new trainers to meet the demands of their expanding clientele. Train Station Fitness in Omaha, for example, posted an ad seeking personal trainers in March 2015. The gym even lets trainers set the rate for the group fitness courses they lead.

Before applying to work with one of Nebraska’s elite collegiate or professional sports teams, it is wise to research the types of athletes you will potentially be working with. The United States Hockey League (USHL), for example, develops elite players under the age of 20, so your focus in a job interview may center on maximizing the fitness potential of younger athletes. Privately training a defensive lineman on the Omaha Beef could involve lifts that mimic the start-stop motion of collisions on the line of scrimmage. Knowing which muscle fibers fire from the three-point stance would allow you to map out a workout plan you could demonstrate at job interviews.

In addition to the enormous college sports scene in the eastern part of Nebraska, which includes the Creighton Bluejays and the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks, is Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) located in Scottsbluff. The school is renowned for its athletics, as the Cougars compete in a variety of sports such as men’s and women’s soccer.

To help build your resume, particularly within a certain sport, you can volunteer to work with Nebraska’s numerous talented high school athletes. Given many cities’ low populations, your services may be welcomed by smaller schools. Having hands-on experience with athletes in a given sport will make you stand out among other personal trainers applying for the same jobs.

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