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How to Become a Fitness Trainer in Wisconsin

There are endless opportunities to stay active in Wisconsin’s great outdoors, both for fun and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But people who enjoy an active life need more than outdoor recreation and sports to keep them going. Exercise and physical training go hand-in-hand with these activities and a personal trainer can be an integral part of staying in shape.

That’s where you come in. As a personal trainer, you’ll be responsible for creating exercise routines and motivating clients to push their limits to achieve the fitness goals they’ve set for themselves. This could even mean incorporating nutritional advice and assigning homework exercise to empower clients to take their health and fitness into their own hands when not in a training session.

Penn Foster Career School's Online Personal Trainer Programs

Take the first step towards preparing for your career in the fields of personal fitness and nutrition through Penn Foster Career School's online programs:

As a personal trainer, your physique will serve as a billboard for your expertise. You’ll finding staying up on the latest trends in fitness and nutrition will come naturally, and that’s a good thing since clients will look to you for everything from targeted exercise that addresses their trouble spots, to advice on how to avoid injury and get the fastest results.

The added benefit of this job is being in tip-top shape while getting paid to exercise! High end health clubs like Hybrid Athletic Club in Fitchburg offer high end hourly wages ranging from $18 – $45 per hour depending on services provided.

Becoming a Personal Trainer in Wisconsin

Top health clubs, gyms and specialty studios seek highly motivated, and properly educated job candidates. This means that job requirements often include earning a relevant degree at the associate’s or bachelor’s level, as well as national certification through a reputable certifying body.

Formal Training and Education

An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a major related to fitness and health promotion will ensure you are knowledgeable of everything from the science of body movement to muscular anatomy. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in one of these key areas will ensure you have the qualifications Wisconsin’s top fitness industry employers are looking for:

  • 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

  • Exercise Science
    • Biomechanics
    • Exercise Physiology
    • Care & Prevention of Athletic Injuries
    • Principles of Strength & Conditioning

  • Sports Medicine
    • Sports Medicine Principles
    • Biomechanics
    • Exercise Physiology
    • Therapeutic Modalities
    • Injury Evaluation & Rehabilitation

National Certification Options

Personal trainers are typically required to be CPR/AED certified as well as nationally certified in at least one general or specialty area. There are a handful of reputable national organizations that offer certification exams as well as the workshops needed to pass the exams.

Some examples of professional certifications available and recognized by most fitness centers in Wisconsin include:

  • American Council of Exercise (ACE)
  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)
  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)
  • International Sports & Fitness Trainers Association (ISFTA)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • National Council on Strength & Fitness (NCSF)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

Specialty area certifications for personal trainers include but are not limited to the following:

  • Senior fitness
  • Youth athletics
  • Nutrition
  • Pre/postnatal
  • Weight management
  • Orthopedic exercise

Starting your Career as a Personal Trainer in Wisconsin

The most successful personal trainers will have a sales-driven personality along with a love of fitness. You will need to be able to motivate your clients to not only start a routine with you, but also to continue one by signing up for regular sessions. Many people try things one time and quit, it is your job as a personal trainer to keep these people hooked on exercise and motivated to come back and push till they see the results they’re after.

Examples of top employers throughout Wisconsin and the job requirements they expect their personal trainers to meet include:

  • Ellipse Fitness in Milwaukee is looking for the following qualities in its trainers:
    • Organized and able to multitask
    • Highly motivated, confident and results-driven
    • Excellent communication skills
    • Ability to inspire and positively influence others
    • Possess strong desire to improve health and wellness
    • National certification

  • Lake Country Racquet & Athletic Club inHartland requires the following:
    • Accredited national certification
    • Friendly, energetic personality
    • Time management and follow-up skills
    • Group and private training experience
    • Four year degree is preferred

  • Goodyear Health Center in Glendale is seeking trainers that have the following experience:
    • Certified with functional movement screen (FMS)
    • Familiar with corrective exercise and strength and conditioning

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