Personal Training as a Profession: A Vertex Fitness Personal Training Internship Perspective
When I first started at Vertex Fitness, I was fresh out of Temple University with a degree in Exercise Science and an ACE Personal Training Certification. Like many individuals newly entering the fitness field, I felt that at the time I was ready to train others and start my career in the fitness industry as a personal training intern.
Well, I wasn’t. During my experience at Vertex I’ve gained more practical knowledge than I think I would have received taking additional fitness instructor courses. Vertex Fitness differentiates itself from other training facilities because it cares about ensuring that each trainer is professional, knowledgeable, and driven to achieve success. Here are just some of the things I’ve learned:
“Everybody is in Sales” – one of the first books I read when initially starting at Vertex was Todd Cohen’s “Never Sell Alone”. This was my first introduction to what seemed like the big scary world of sales. What I learned: everyone is in sales. Like many new trainers, I came from a background in exercise science, I knew very little about marketing, making a sale, or prospecting. It all seemed foreign and scary. But if you really think about, a good salesperson is there to assist you in making an educated decision about something that can potentially be life changing. Ultimately, you are helping someone discover how they can effectively benefit from your service.
Experience is the most important thing you’ll gain. While my degree has helped me immensely as far as understanding human anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics, each one of these disciplines can be picked up by experience as well. What you don’t get from a course or personal training certification is practical application of building report and creating relationships with those you work with. Learning how to read and motivate your clients is a skill that you have to practice again and again. Regardless of how many different certifications you have, if you don’t get experience or aren’t willing to learn on a trial and error basis, you’ll be limiting yourself drastically. Make small goals but keep your eye on the big picture: If you let it, personal training can be a career that is going to result in immense personal and professional growth. You’ll build relationships with those you work with, from your clients, your co-workers, and those you network with. The key here is to always be aware of the big picture without allowing it to overwhelm you. The big picture is whatever you make of it: for me, it’s improving my skill set both in exercise science and sales while helping others and gaining priceless experience that will stay with me for a lifetime. The personal training internship has been more valuable for my career then my certification or my degree, it is real life. In order to always work towards this big picture, take it one step at a time. Create small yet challenging goals that will always keep you growing and stepping slightly outside your comfort zone. No one ever built a great wall in a day, they simply lay one brick perfectly over another!
Written by Vertex Fitness Staff Personal Training Internship Candidate