How to Become a Fitness Trainer in Rhode Island

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In a state where everybody seems to be an outdoor enthusiast – skiing and snowboarding in the winter and hiking and water skiing in the summer – working as a personal trainer in Rhode Island will mean helping clients keep in tip-top shape for their favorite outdoor activity.

As the birthplace of the X-Games, Rhode Island is also known for athletes involved in the most extreme sports the world has ever seen.

Whether working with professional athletes, or a new mom that just can’t shed those last 10 pounds of baby weight during the cold Rhode Island winter, you will have the opportunity to create exercise routines specifically designed to meet the needs of each client and customized to help them achieve their personal fitness goals.

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Besides reaping the rewards of watching your clients get stronger and healthier, you will have the added benefit of staying in shape as well. As a personal trainer, you will demonstrate for clients the proper form when performing exercises, and how exercising correctly results in the kind of physique they may be dreaming of achieving themselves.

Personal trainers in Rhode Island can earn a competitive salary. The US Department of Labor shows top trainers in the state earning upwards of $72,000! The job growth for personal trainers through 2022 looks outstanding, with a 13% increase in jobs expected during this period according to the U.S. Department of Labor. All of these factors add up to one very promising career.

Becoming a Personal Trainer in Rhode Island

As a personal trainer you will have the option to work in a variety of setting and roles. You may be an individual trainer working with just one client at a time, or a group trainer leading several clients at once through an exercise routine. You may work for yourself as an independent freelance trainer, or you could secure a job with one of the elite private fitness clubs in the state – the choice is yours!

Becoming the most qualified job candidate possible, you’ll need the education and training required to safely and effectively guide clients through all manner of exercise, as well as the self-confidence and patience to keep them motivated.

Formal Training and Education

While there are a variety of workshops and online programs that offer personal training courses, more athletic clubs, gyms and boutique studios are beginning to require personal trainer job candidates to have an associate or bachelor degree.

Gaining formal education will allow you to take your career even further. You may decide to open your own studio, or become a fitness facility manager once you’ve completed a degree program.

Degree majors include sports medicine, exercise science, kinesiology, dietetics and nutrition and personal training.

Examples of courses for associate degree courses in sports medicine include:

  • Health & Fitness Appraisal and Wellness
  • Exercise Leadership
  • Principles of Health and Fitness
  • Sports Psychology
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Sports Medicine and First Aid
  • Sports Administration and Law

Upper division courses for a bachelor degree in sports medicine may include:

  • Applied Kinesiology
  • Strength Training and Conditioning
  • Stress Management
  • Substance Abuse
  • Nutrition in Health and Exercise
  • Sports Business Management
  • Basic Therapeutic Modalities for Musculoskeletal Injuries

Kinesiology programs tend to have more health related courses and exercise science programs generally have more physiology courses. Nutrition and dietetic degrees will focus more on the fundamentals of food and nutrition.

Communication courses will help you to effectively communicate and interact with clients, while business courses will teach best practices in client retention.

National Certification Options

While it is not always mandatory in Rhode Island to have a national certification, it is generally recommended, especially to get your foot in the door. There are a variety of national certifications available that will prove your ability to perform as a personal trainer. Minimum qualifications for most certifications are:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Adult CPR/AED CED certified

Specialized certification programs are available in a variety of subject areas including, but not limited to the following:

  • Fitness Nutrition
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Senior Fitness
  • Youth Fitness
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Strength & Conditioning
  • Elite Trainer
  • Master Trainer

Among the most respected institutes that provide personal training certification are:

  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)
  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • American Council of Exercise (ACE)
  • Professional Personal Trainers Association (PROPTA)
  • The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®),

Each certifying board may have different educational requirements. Additional training that should be considered includes CPR and first aid certification. These are important because you will be working with clients of all health levels and they may either injure themselves during a workout or even pass out which would require quick medical attention.

Working as a Personal Trainer in Rhode Island

Regardless of what type of fitness facility you choose to work in, the following list includes the basic responsibilities you will have as a personal trainer:

  • Teach safe, effective, challenging, and modifiable fitness programs
  • Create rapport with customers that leads to sales of personal training sessions
  • Monitor participants’ progress and adapt programs as needed
  • Attend & participate in all staff and individual development meetings, including continuing education and training sessions
  • Review client progress on a regular basis

A March 2015 survey of job opportunities for personal trainers in Rhode Island revealed these examples of openings and the related qualifications:

  • SYNRGY Health & Fitness is a premier luxury health club in Providence which offers an upscale fitness center. Requirements that SYNRGY is looking for from personal trainers include:
    • Must be able to manage time effectively
    • Must be able to market personal training and obtain clients
    • Must have current CPR, First Aid, & AED certifications
    • Nationally recognized personal training certification
  • Maxx Fitness Club in Providence offers both full and part time personal training positions. Salary potential is based on your ability to attract and keep clients so basically you will set your own salary. Qualifications at Maxx include:
    • College Degree in Exercise Science or Human Performance is a plus
    • An outgoing positive attitude
    • Preferred certification from NASM, ACE, AFAA or ISSA

  • Manic Training in East Greenwich offers High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with intense and challenging sessions. A group trainer at Manic must be able to meet the following requirements:
    • Ability to learn the Manic Training program/exercises (both teach and perform)
    • Excellent customer service and communication skills
    • Positive attitude with a high energy level

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