Top 5 Best Personal Trainer Certification Programs

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

Congratulations! You’ve decided to learn how to become a personal trainer.

The next step is to get certified, and there are quite a few personal trainer certification programs to choose from. To help you decide which program is best for you, we’ve put together a comparison of the five most popular training certification programs and their features, benefits, and concentrations. The five programs we’ll cover are:

1. American Council on Exercise (ACE)
2. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
3. International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
4. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
5. National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

Below, you’ll find several categories, with notes on each organization’s certification process. And at the end of the article, you’ll see which we think is the overall best personal trainer certification.

Before starting your personal trainer certification program, you’ll need to have completed a few prerequisites. For example, every program requires that you are 18 years or older, and that you have a hands-on CPR and AED (automatic external defibrillator) certification. You can get this certification through a community education program or the Red Cross. For the ACE and NASM certification, that’s all you need.

In addition to these requirements, the ACSM, ISSA, and NSCA require that you have a high school diploma or GED.

Study materials / courses
Each organization offers resources that will help you study for your personal trainer certification, but they have very different materials. We’ll look at them one at a time.

ACE has a number of resources that you can choose from to suit your needs. Whether it’s the Personal Trainer Manual set, the Essentials of Exercise Science Flashcards, or Master the Manual, ACE has you covered. They also offer several online programs that will help you prepare for the test, including an exam review and practice tests. And you can get personalized help from the ACE Resource Center, which allows you to talk to Study Counselors—whether you have questions about a particular topic, want to review some study questions, or you’re just feeling stressed out about the test, they’ll help you out on their free 800 number. You can even schedule weekly check-ins to add some accountability to your training!

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The ACSM offers three books: ACSM’s Resources for Personal Trainers, ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, and ACSM’s Certification Review. Also offered are three different workshop options for preparing for the certified personal trainer examination: three-day in-person workshops, one-day in-person workshops, and an online webinar series.

A combination of online, print, and in-person preparation strategies are offered by NASM, including a 9-week online course, study guides, flash cards, interactive discussion questions, and 1-day live workshops.

The ISSA study materials include the standards: a hardcopy and an online copy of the main course text, a study guide and workbook, practice exams, a reference DVD, web support and social opportunities, and an animated online exercise lab that will give you the key information on 250 exercises. It also provides something quite unique in its marketing and business guide, which includes tips on developing a profitable business.

The NSCA offers a wide variety of study materials, including NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training, workbooks, practice exams, multimedia CDs, and audio CDs. The Essentials book contains a huge amount of information from a variety of sources, including safety guidelines, testing protocols, client assessment, modifications for special populations, and full-color photos detailing exercises for resistance, aerobic, plyometric, and speed training programs.

Recertification and continuing education
All of the certifying bodies require that you keep your CPR and AED certification current, and they all require continuing education credits (CECs), though the amount that they require and what counts as a credit differs between them. They generally accept the same types of things for credit, including attending relevant conferences, completing related online or in-person courses, and some webinars. They each also have a fee that you need to pay.

ACSM offers the cheapest recertification at $30 every three years; but they also require the most continuing education, with 45 CECs in the same period. The approximate equivalency is one hour for one CEC. ACSM conducts many conferences around the country, online courses, and webinars, and also accepts CECs from other health and fitness organizations.

ACE requires recertification every two years, and requires a $129 fee. They require 20 CECs, where each CEC is equal to one hour of training. ACE offers online courses, in-person workshops, a number of specialty certifications, and the ACE symposium, a large conference that’s held every year for ACE personal trainers. Though not technically a form of continuing education, the ACE Resource Center is also available on newly graduated fitness professionals, which means you can ask the counselors any questions you have about the industry.

NASM also requires 20 hours every two years, and has a $99 recertification fee. However, when you get certified, you have the option of paying $299, which will cover your recertification fees for life. As this pays off after six years, it’s generally a pretty good deal if you’re planning to be a personal trainer for a long time. Both live workshops and online courses are offered by the organization.

ISSA offers a low recertification fee of $75 every two years, and requires the accumulation of 20 CECs. ISSA offers workshops with online components, meaning you can get study materials and take quizzes at home, and there is a very large number of partner organizations that offer ISSA-accepted conferences, courses, and programs.

NSCA has the lowest fee at $50 every two years, and, like most of the other organizations, requires 20 hours of continuing education per recertification period. Committee membership, conference attendance, and the other standard events contribute to the CEC count, and NSCA offers both home study and live events.

Additional certifications offered
In addition to becoming a certified personal trainer, each of these five organizations offers additional certifications that can move your career forward by helping you gain a number of valuable skills. Some of them are more general, such as the group exercise instructor certifications, while some are more specific, like ACSM’s cancer exercise trainer or NSCA’s tactical strength and conditioning facilitator.

ASCM offers a wide variety of certifications, including group exercise instructor; health fitness specialist, which gives you the skills to work with populations who have controlled medical conditions. Clinical certifications are offered, as are specialty certifications, such as Exercise is Medicine, Physical Activity in Public Health, and Cancer Exercise Trainer.

Through ACE, you can be certified as a group fitness instructor, ACE health coach, or advanced health and fitness specialist. There are also several specialty certifications, including youth fitness, fitness nutrition, functional training, and mind-body.

Credentials offered by NASM include mixed martial arts conditioning, golf fitness, women’s fitness, youth exercise, and fitness nutrition.

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ISSA provides certifications in fitness nutrition, exercise therapy, senior fitness, youth fitness, strength and conditioning, and sports nutrition. You can also gain increased personal trainer credentials through the elite trainer and master trainer certifications.

Because the NSCA is primarily focused on strength and conditioning, they offer certifications related to this field, including strength and conditioning and special populations certifications. They also offer a credentialing program for tactical strength and conditioning facilitators, who train military, law enforcement, fire and rescue, and other specialty fields.

If you’re a bit confused by accreditation, you’re not alone. To become accredited, a program undergoes a review by an accrediting body, which is an organization that sets standards for certification programs—this means that the development, implementation, maintenance, and governance of the program meets the levels set out by the accrediting body. In short, if a program is accredited, it means that it’s been shown to meet the high standards set by a review organization.

ACSM, ACE, NASM, and NSCA are all accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NCCA accreditation is generally held as the standard for the field—certifying bodies must undergo comprehensive evaluation and regular renewals to keep this accreditation.

The ISSA is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which is recognized by the Department of Education, as well as other high-level education organizations. The DETC conducts comprehensive reviews that include student surveys and expert curricula evaluations, and requires regular re-accreditation.

Both the NCCA and the DETC are rigorous and widely accepted and recognized accreditations, meaning the five programs listed here are essentially equivalent in this regard. The International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (an international organization that many health clubs belong to) has no preference on accrediting bodies, and recognizes both the NCCA and DETC.

Getting certified as a personal trainer is generally a semi-expensive proposition, but each organization offers bundles that will help you pay for the study materials and the test fee without breaking the bank. Becoming a personal trainer does require a significant investment of time and money, but once you get certified and start taking your own clients, you’ll realize that it was all worth it!

ACSM offers their three test-preparation resources in a bundle for $135, as well as three different workshop options for preparing for the certified personal trainer examination: in-person 3-day workshops ($375), in-person 1-day workshops ($129), and online webinar series ($240). The test itself costs $299, but attending a 3-day workshop gets you a $50 discount. If you go with the study bundle and a 3-day workshop, you’ll be paying a little under $900 for the whole thing.

Several study bundles are available ACE, and they range in price from $499–$799, with the $699 option being the most popular. This price also includes the fee for taking the certification exam, which is convenient for calculating your total expenditure. Free financing is available on the $799 plan, meaning you don’t have to pay for the whole thing up front, which can make paying for your certification a bit easier. If you take the exam without getting an exam voucher in one of the study bundles, you’ll be looking at a $399 test fee. You can also buy the study materials individually, but you save a lot of money going with a bundle. For example, you’ll have to pay $110 for the ACE manual, and $169 for the online test review.

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NASM’s 9-week online course costs $349, and offers a test pass guarantee, meaning you’ll get your money back if you complete the course and don’t pass the test (though, according to the website, students who complete this course have a 95% pass rate). The half-day certification test prep workshop costs less at $199, but doesn’t offer the guarantee. The CPT super bundle, which includes online flash cards and information on exercise techniques and program design, can be purchased for $79. The test itself costs $599—the most expensive test, but with a test-pass guarantee and 95% pass rate on the 9-week course, you don’t have to worry about re-taking the test! The online course plus the test will run you about $950.

ISSA makes pricing for study materials and the test very easy: you get it all for $499, making this one of the most affordable options. You get the main course text in hardcopy and online forms, the study guide and workbook, and everything else listed in the Study Materials section above.

The study packages from NSCA range from $177 to $361 for members of the NSCA, and from $285 to $530 for non-members, making membership a big bonus if you’re planning on getting this certification. Depending on how you take the exam, you’re looking at between $235 (for the paper exam, if you’re a member) to $420 (for the online exam, non-member status). Strangely, it’s cheaper to the take the paper exam.

Our #1 Pick for Best Personal Trainer Certification Program
We’ve presented a lot of information above, and it can be tough to take it all in. To help you out, we’ve compared all of the above programs and come up with a recommendation.

Who offers the best personal trainer certification? The American Council on Exercise (ACE).

What went into the final decision? First, study and support. The simply priced training packages, online support, and industry-leading over-the-phone Resource Center can’t be topped. You can get the answers to your questions, encouragement when you need it, and weekly accountability calls. No one else offers this level of support. And it doesn’t stop when you graduate; even new graduates can call the Resource Center. Second, the wide variety of additional certifications and specializations; group fitness instructor, health coach, and advanced health and fitness specialist are all very valuable certifications, and the more specialized certs can help increase your value to potential employers. Finally, the non-profit nature of the organization played a role. ACE isn’t guided by investor or profits, and is committed to training the best possible fitness professionals.

With an ACE certification, you’ll be well-trained, highly employable, and you won’t spend all of your money getting it.

In close second comes NASM due to its 20+ year history in the industry as well as its highly-respected CPT program. Like ACE, NASM is one of the most widely-accepted certifications available.

In the end, you can’t go wrong with any of the above programs, but these two are the ones most trainers choose before starting their careers as personal trainers.

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BFY provides training for Personal Trainers and courses in Sports nutrition and Diet in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Dehradun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gurgaon.

BFY also provides Placements Services in India.

How to Become a Fitness Instructor

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

The first step in learning how to become a fitness instructor is to prepare for the certification exam. This can take anywhere between 3 to 12 months depending on your base knowledge and amount of time you have to study. Most gyms will not hire you as a fitness instructor unless you have a nationally recognized personal training certification.

NASM, ACE, ACSM, CSCS, ISSA and other national personal training organizations all have their own study materials available for purchase directly from their websites. This is a quick and convenient way to get started towards success. These sites also offer further preparation and exclusive study guides. If you are on a budget it can be tempting to purchase the study materials at lower prices from online bookstores. Keep in mind that only the newest editions of all the study books are sold on the official sites. If you purchase cheaper study materials on Amazon or elsewhere, you might miss important new industry information recently added to the books.

When you are ready to take the exam, follow the specific directions given on the certifying organization’s website for testing locations. Make sure you are prepared! The average exam price is $250. If you fail, there is a waiting period (varies, approximately 15 days) before you can take the test again. Be sure to keep your books and study materials as you will need them every three years for recertification.

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You’re Certified! What Now?
Congratulations! The minute you pass the exam, you can call yourself a certified fitness instructor. Within a few weeks, you will receive a package in the mail with a certification card and the first newsletter from the organization. Sometime between passing the fitness instructor exam and starting with your first client, it’s a good idea to get CPR certified as well. Most gyms require all staff members to have this safety certification so being certified already helps your resume. If you start your own business, a CPR certification is required for insurance purposes.

With the excitement of having your new certification you might feel tempted to jump immediately into training on your own. However one of the best ways to gain experience, get clients and have a regular paycheck is to start off working at a gym.

Getting Hired And Building Your Book
Whether you are a career changer or have recently graduated with a degree in exercise science, put all relevant work experience on your resume. This includes everything from playing sports, helping your wife lose 20 pounds, to skills in sales and customer service. In your cover letter, mention that you are recently certified but add a summary of why you are interested in the fitness industry. Management loves it when you have a weight loss story of your own or a deep passion for fitness that you want to share with others.

When you are hired, you will spend time getting to know the gym and members by “shadowing” another trainer. This on-the-job training is priceless because it gives you the ability to learn through other professional trainers. You will meet clients of all different ages, ability levels and fitness conditions. Meeting clients with a variety of health conditions, injuries, respiratory conditions, and other limitations will prepare you for your own clients. Take notes of exercises and questions they ask the trainer for your reference. Common ailments such as back pain and knee issues will be easier to address if you have a plethora of exercises and stretches in your notes. Eventually, with enough practice, you will know them from memory. When you start training, you will develop your own style, but it’s always beneficial to learn from others and take advantage of every learning experience.

Gyms get new members every day. Introduce yourself to these people and welcome them to their new gym. These newbies are your best source of potential clients as many of them haven’t worked out in months or at all. Talk to all members (new and regulars) and ask them how their workouts are going. Listen for key words like “bored” “rut” and “plateau.” These are indicators that their workouts are not giving them the results they are looking for and could use a trainer. Offer ways you can help them reach their goals more efficiently than they can by themselves. Understand the emotion behind their goals. Most people want to get in shape for a very specific reason – to get a date, to look good for a wedding, to feel better about themselves, to live long enough to meet their grandchildren – all of these are heartfelt reasons that you can appeal to when selling your services.

Be honest with your new clients about how long it will take them to reach their fitness goals. As a fitness instructor you will make a program for them to follow on the days you aren’t training them. Some people have a misconception that once a week with a trainer is enough to make an impact. Try to sell your client the largest package first. Not only will going high make the other package prices seem lower, but if they purchase it, you will have financial security knowing your client will be training for several weeks.

You will make a completely different program for every client. Some of your clients may have similar goals and you can certainly have your clients do some of the same exercises, but make sure each program is unique for them. Be available to your clients when you aren’t training them. Keep it reasonable but offer your phone number and email address in case they have a question. Knowing you are there to answer questions about their food choices and exercise questions will maintain a solid relationship. Recognize their achievements. The more interest you take in their goals, the longer they will train with you. Client retention is 80% of your business. You can also count on your clients for new clients through referrals.

Eventually when you have more experience and more of a following you may want to pursue a training business outside of a gym. By starting your own company you will have more freedom in where and when you train. You can make house calls, train in the park, or rent space in a studio and bring your own equipment. Having your own business gives you the ability to charge your own rates without giving a percentage to the gym. As long as you have a full book of clients you can make more money with your own company. Keep in mind the advertising costs, equipment, and personal training insurance once covered by your gym employer, are all expenses you will now have to pay for on your own.

Rise And Grind: A Fitness Instructor’s Daily Schedule
The schedule of a successful fitness instructor can vary from day to day. Some days you may have eight clients and some days you may have only four with a boot camp to teach. You will cater your hours around the average person’s 9-5 work day. Most of your clients will be early morning and in the late afternoon and evenings. The few free hours in the middle of the day are yours to workout, make programs for your clients, and contact prospects. Because you make your own schedule it can be tempting to work every day, but don’t let yourself get burned out. Try to stack your days with more sessions on most days so you don’t have to come in for just one or two sessions on your “day off.” Ultimately, your income is based on the number of sessions you have each week.

Becoming successful in the fitness industry takes time and a lot of hard work. Try not to get discouraged if your book is not building up as fast as you’d hoped. Achieving a full book can take up to a year! By keeping a positive attitude and presenting yourself as an example of health to your clients and prospects, you will gain clients and develop a lucrative business.

Know more about us at 

BFY provides training for Personal Trainers and courses in Sports nutrition and Diet in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Dehradun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gurgaon.

BFY also provides Placements Services in India.

What Degrees Are Required to Become a Fitness Trainer?

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

Fitness trainers motivate their clients to improve health by demonstrating exercises and teaching physical activity. They are not the same as athletic trainers, who prevent and treat sports injuries. Fitness trainers may lead aerobics classes at gyms or help clients in their homes with weight training. Employers prefer to hire trainers with credentials.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that no degrees are necessary to become a fitness trainer, though some employers do prefer an associate or bachelor’s degree in a fitness field, and master’s degrees are available. A typical major for the field is exercise science, suggests the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. This course of study explains human movement and how the body responds and adapts to physical activity. Though the field has broad disciplines, it can focus on developing and leading exercise programs. The undergraduate program typically takes four years and combines “scientific research, education and practical applications” that will “enhance health, fitness, performance, and quality of life.”

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What fitness trainers need for employment is certification, which they can obtain by attending classes. They may need to work with experienced trainers until they achieve a credential and are allowed to work independently with clients. Certification can take varying amounts of time and is offered by different organizations. For example, the training for yoga instructors that is available from the Yoga Alliance can take from a few days to over two years. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies, which is part of the Institute for Credentialing Excellences, lists accredited organizations that offer certification.


Nearly all trainers have at least a high school diploma and certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation before they walk the certification path. The process usually involves classroom and practical instruction, and passing written and practical exams that measure knowledge of human physiology, assessment of fitness levels and understanding of exercise techniques. The American Council on Exercise, for example, offers personal trainer certification packages that consist of manuals, flash cards, videos, practice tests and other materials that allow study at home. Testing is computer-based but must be taken at specific sites.


The American Council on Exercise shows how education made a difference in compensation in its 2010 salary survey. A personal trainer with a high school diploma averaged $45,516 annually. Mean yearly pay increased to $47,356 with some college training, $50,597 with a bachelor’s degree and $67,287 with a master’s degree. Group fitness trainers earned a yearly mean $42,617 with some college, $43,746 with a bachelor’s degree and $54,137 with a master’s. The survey did not have sufficient data for group fitness trainers with high school diplomas.

Know more about us at 

BFY provides training for Personal Trainers and courses in Sports nutrition and Diet in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Dehradun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gurgaon.

BFY also provides Placements Services in India.

Personal Trainer Certification Course Objectives

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

  • Identify the business fundamentals of administration, marketing, and management in personal training.
  • Employ the communication skills needed in personal fitness instruction.
  • Apply the principles of exercise science, human anatomy, and biomechanics to movement design and exercise instruction.
  • Name and describe exercise testing procedures to assess cardiorespiratory function, body composition, muscular fitness, and flexibility and give suggestions for improvement in these areas.
  • Design educationally- based fitness programs to include cardiovascular training, resistance training and flexibility programs.
  • Demonstrate the proper usage of various commercial fitness machines and equipment utilizing appropriate exercise guidelines and spotting techniques.
  • Differentiate between appropriate exercise principles and practices for adults, children and older populations
  • Discuss exercise testing and training modifications for special populations.
  • Operate as a personal trainer in the health and fitness industry and uphold the AFPA Code of Ethic.

Know more about us at 

BFY provides training for Personal Trainers and courses in Sports nutrition and Diet in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Dehradun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gurgaon.

BFY also provides Placements Services in India.

5 reason to become a Personal Trainer

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

You’ve spent hours poring over job specs; you’ve looked at graduate roles; you don’t know what you want to do but you know for certain that you don’t want to be sat behind a desk pushing papers for the rest of your life. Perhaps, you already are wondering how the hell you got there?

If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to reassess.  Ask yourself, do you like working with people? Do you like the gym environment? Do you like the world of health and fitness? Do you like being on your feet, teaching, training, coaching, communicating?

If the answer is yes, then perhaps it’s time to get the trainers on and consider a career as a personal trainer.

Now is a fantastic time to be taking those first steps. The industry is booming and the growth of 2017 is set to continue well. With the total market value estimated at around £4.7 billion and with over a 5.1% rise in gym memberships (that equates to 1 in every 7 people in the UK being a gym member), there are plenty of potential clients for personal trainers to be working with.

If you’re still uncertain, have a look at some other reasons why a career as a PT could be your future.

Do something you love

If you spend your spare time training, love sport, love exercise and are ready to hand out tips to random strangers in the gym, then clearly you need to think about training to become a PT. You get to do what you love doing every day and you get paid to do it. What could be better than that? Turning your passion into your career will make work less like work and more like fun.

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Chance to make positive changes in people’s lives

What can be more rewarding than helping others create and then achieve goals? As a PT you have the chance to change lives by helping people achieve a happier and healthier existence. You provide the knowledge, guidance and support to help clients transform their lives.  The reward? Being there every step of the way, watching, encouraging and helping clients achieve those physical and mental changes.

Challenging and diverse – daily

No two days need ever be the same. Yes, lots of the movements you might teach will be the same, but the people you train won’t be. Variety is, after all, the spice of life. Not only will the people you train be different, but so will the motivations they each have for training; rehab, prehab, transformation challenges, sports-specific training, lifesaving changes. Each client will have unique needs and you’ll have to come up with approaches to meet them.

PTs are in demand

Here’s a straightforward one for you – PTs are in demand. As a nation, we ‘re now much more in tune with what a healthy lifestyle is and isn’t. We’re also much more conscious of making the right choices as well as being prepared to spend money making those choices.  PTs help individuals maximise their training, help get results and help to make positive changes in people’s lives. Those changes are what people value and that’s why as a PT you could be busy, busy, busy doing what you love doing.

Financial reward

Do it right and you could earn an extremely good income as a PT. As more individuals are becoming aware of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, demand for personal training has grown. Getting yourself onto the best course, getting hired by a gym, or taking the freelance route can put you in a great position to take on clients and enjoy a very attractive income. The more you put in, the more you could be earning.  The only thing holding back your earning potential is you.

Build a regular and solid client base, get plenty of experience under your belt and you could be on your way to financial gain.

Switching careers, or taking your first step into the working world might be daunting for you, but the resources are there to help you get the necessary foundation training, as is the support for ongoing and continued learning. If you love the world of health and fitness, if you like working with people, and you like diversity, a career as a PT may well be right for you.

Know more about us at 

BFY provides training for Personal Trainers and courses in Sports nutrition and Diet in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Dehradun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gurgaon.

BFY also provides Placements Services in India.

SMART training to reach your goals

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

SMART or- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound, is a way of focusing your efforts and using your time wisely to achieve whatever it is you hope to achieve, be it improving performance, nailing exams or making improvements to your general health and well being.

  • S – Specific – A goal should be clear, simple and specific, allowing you to focus your efforts.
  • M- Measurable – Once you have a specific goal you will need make sure you can track the progress of your work.
  • A- Achievable- Is your goal realistic, have you set your goal to high? If your goal is to run a marathon in a month having never run one before is an example of an unachievable goal
  • R- Relevant- Is the goal relevant to you, is it important to you or is it a goal that has been set for you by others
  • T- Time Bound- Put an end date on your goal. You are more likely to accomplish your goal when working within a specific time frame

If you are currently working towards a fitness goal or a study goal, SMART might be a great way to focus your efforts and help you achieve your goals. Let’s take a deeper look into what it means to have SMART goals.


We have mentioned that ‘specific’ means having a clear goal, but what does clear mean? Most people’s motivation when hitting the gym is to ‘get fit’, this is a broad term and not specific enough. Instead, think of what it is that will make you fit. Is it “I want to lose body fat”, or “I want to build muscle”. These are more specific goals. If you are a student, your goal might be to “study hard”. A nice ambition but again too broad, what do you mean by study hard? Be more specific and the goal becomes “I plan to study hard to get a certain grade or to pass my assessment”.


Now you have your specific goal you can turn to how you will measure your work and determine whether you have accomplished your goal. Take losing weight, this is relatively easy to measure; you want to lose X number of kilograms. When it comes to your study, how do you measure “studying hard”? Perhaps “I will study X hours per week” is your measure or “I will practice delivering sessions with X number of friends and family ahead of assessment day”. These are more clearly trackable and hence measurable.


You have your specific goals and you have your means of measuring your success, but are your goals achievable. A big mistake when setting goals is to set them so high you make them unattainable.  Take weight loss, is the amount you intend to lose in the time you have set manageable and healthy? The same with study or session practice, do you have enough spare hours to do that additional study, are your friends and family readily available to help you out? Have ambitious goals, just make sure they are safe and attainable.


Is this a change you want to make or one someone thinks you should make? Are you motivated by your own desire to do well and to achieve, or are you being bullied/peer pressured into making changes? If it’s the former, you have relevant goals. If it’s the latter, you are setting yourself up for an almighty failure because you didn’t set the terms. Think again and come back with goals you want to achieve.

Time Bound

Each of your goals, whatever they are, need to have a defined timeframe. If you want to put the hours of study in, your time frame would be shaped by when the assessment is, so “I want to study for 30hrs per week for the next 6 weeks before my assessment date” is a time bound goal. With weight loss, “I want to lose 5kg in 12 weeks” is a time bound and safe goal.

SMART goal setting is not the only way to create and then stick to goals, but it is a very efficient way to reach your end result and most importantly stick at it.

Know more about us at 

BFY provides training for Personal Trainers and courses in Sports nutrition and Diet in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Dehradun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gurgaon.

BFY also provides Placements Services in India.

How to make more money as a fitness trainer

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

You’ve just finished your course and you are now a fully qualified PT, but how do you start making real money?

But, before we dive in and explore some of the secrets of success you should be aware that being successful and making money will first and foremost take a lot of grind. It won’t come easily and you will have to work hard, but apply our tips and you will be on your way to financial success.

Communicate – Talk to people

How on earth are you going to expand your client base if you aren’t going to talk to people. You may have all the knowledge, wisdom and skills in the world, but who’s going to know just by looking at you? By talking to people, they get to see how friendly and approachable you are as well as knowledgeable. Think of it this way, assume most people in the gym do want a personal trainer but don’t know where to start or are too nervous to ask or approach you. You can burst through that barrier by breaking the ice and saying hello. You might not gain a client that day, but they will come to you when they are ready.

Consider group training

Walking up to people in the gym is one way to talk to potential new clients. But running a group exercise session is another way of getting in front of a captive audience. Now this could take a few forms. Firstly, you can go bootcamp style, gathering lots of people together for a pretty grueling session. This can take some planning as you will need an appropriate space and equipment. But it is an attractive option as it puts you in front of multiple people who might be open to 1-1 sessions as well.

Secondly you could take a group fitness class in a gym. If you have the qualifications you could run a HIIT class, indoor cycling or a circuit training session. While the pay may not be as great as a PT session, anyone who attends your class could be looking for 1-1 options at some point. This is a great way to get some exposure, add a bit of variety to your schedule and meet potential new clients.

Keep Learning New Skills

We say it all the time; as a PT you should always be looking to learn more skills and techniques.  Put yourself in the client’s shoes for a second; would you rather train with a PT who has learnt many skills by attending lots of courses such as kettlebell, Pilates, massage, Olympic lifting, suspension training (the list goes on) or with a PT who has their basic qualification and not much else? We thought the first one looked more attractive too. It isn’t just a case of seeming knowledgeable either. Knowledge will enable you to work with the widest range of clients possible, good times!

Be Flexible with your Pricing and Packages

Tight budgets or short on time, ‘no problem’ we hear you say. Develop packages that appeal to everyone. Only have 45 minutes to spare, more than enough time to put a good session in. Can’t afford the standard hourly rate, offer a cheaper bulk package. Don’t want to do 12 weeks but would like a 4-week plan, no problem. Of course, we want clients to sign up for the longer term and to pay full whack, but offering lots of differently priced and sized packages is a great way to stay busy, bring in money and spread the word about just how adaptable you are. It will keep you busy.

Get reviews, referrals and testimonials

At this point it’s probably a good idea to seriously consider setting up your website, or to at least have somewhere for reviews to be left. Think like Amazon, customers leave reviews and those reviews will shape another customer’s buying practices. If you have a page of 5 star reviews and a couple of positive testimonials you are more likely to win business than if you don’t. You are not the only PT looking to attract more business. Stand out from the crowd with some lovely feedback from your clients.

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BFY provides training for Personal Trainers and courses in Sports nutrition and Diet in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Dehradun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gurgaon.

BFY also provides Placements Services in India.

Roles in the Fitness Industry

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

Gym Instructor, Fitness Trainer, Personal Trainer, Fitness Coach, Exercise Instructor. How many different job titles have you come across for fitness professionals? It’s no wonder people get confused between them all, especially when, to the untrained eye, it appears as if they’re all doing the same thing – teaching someone how to do an exercise and motivating them, right?

Well that’s certainly part of the role for all fit pros, but if you’re going to convince someone to pay you to train them privately, particularly in a gym, you’re going to need to demonstrate how much more you offer than what they get included as part of their membership.

So let’s look at the two traditional roles that exist in the fitness industry. They are often given a variety of names which causes the confusion as mentioned, but we’ll refer to them by the most common:

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Gym Instructor/Fitness Instructor

Usually employed, instructors do gym inductions for new members. They will show them how to use the equipment, and depending on the facility, may do a standard fitness assessment as well as perhaps writing a simple programme (we’ll come back to that later) based on the member’s goals. Instructors will spend time ‘walking the floor’, talking to members and offering advice and assistance. If qualified, they may also cover certain group exercise classes. They may then contact members every few weeks to offer to update their programme and do a fitness re-assessment.

Remember, gym members normally get all of this included as part of their monthly fees – you can’t offer the same and expect them to pay you!

Personal Trainer

It is now widely accepted that simply doing more exercise and physical activity is not the answer to all of our health and fitness problems and dreams. Whether it’s weight loss, muscle building or sports performance, correct training is just one part of the equation. In other words, even if people are given a good exercise programme to follow, chances are they won’t see the results they want. It’s the job of a Personal Trainer to address that. They should provide the complete package to help coach their clients to reach their goals, doing whatever it takes to achieve that safely and effectively.

So what else is required? First and foremost, effective nutrition. You’re probably familiar with the various statistics and quotes: ‘what you eat accounts for 80% of your results’, ‘you can’t out train a bad diet’, ‘abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym’. The importance of eating the right foods for your body is paramount and this should often be the first area to look at whatever your goal – get healthier from the inside out. So PTs need sound nutritional knowledge.

Linked to this are the other lifestyle factors that affect an individual’s wellbeing. Stress levels and sleep quality all have a significant impact on the body and if they aren’t managed, you may end up doing more harm than good by asking someone to engage in exercise. That’s not to mention the effect on their emotional state – the bottom line is clients want tofeel better: imagine if you could help them achieve that before they’ve even set foot in the gym!

Once we have taken care of all of this, then we can add in effective exercise. To ensure the training plan is tailored to the individual, a Personal Trainer should conduct an appropriate health and fitness assessment. This allows you to prescribe the most effective and appropriate exercises to help them function better and reduce the risk of injury. We mentioned earlier that Gym Instructors write simple programmes that may be reviewed every few weeks. However, by definition a programme requires progressive overload to be factored in. There needs to be clear progress over time in weights, intensities, durations, repetitions and exercise complexity in order to ensure the body is adapting and improving. These changes have to be timed correctly to prevent overtraining or stagnation, so close supervision is key. A single list of exercises, sets and repetitions is effectively just a workout – although someone might do it regularly for 6 weeks, it’s likely they won’t see any changes beyond the first few times they do it without direction on how to progress. An effective programme therefore requires careful planning and management by the PT.

You should have realised by now that it’s impossible to jump straight into training a PT client. There’s a considerable amount of preparation work that needs to be done, beginning with an in-depth consultation. This in itself demonstrates to the client how much you care and how seriously you take your role, and it is only by building trust, credibility and rapport with an individual that you stand any chance of convincing them to invest in your services.

Once you are working with a client, the majority of the time you spend with them will be around their training sessions. However they’re certainly not going to pay you to just stand next to them while they do their exercises! Personal training is about delivering an experience – you want your clients to look forward to their sessions and leave feeling energised and happy. You need to ensure your exercise knowledge is at the cutting edge so you can offer the most effective techniques and strategies to keep them engaged.

Underlying all of the above is a need for sound knowledge and skills in psychology and behaviour change in order to keep clients motivated and making progress towards their goals. The best Personal Trainers are those that are able to maintain their clients’ focus long term – results don’t come overnight after all.

So you can see that the level of service provided by a Personal Trainer far exceeds that of a Gym Instructor, which is why their earning potential is so much higher. A key part of your role as a fitness professional to communicate and demonstrate the level of service you offer effectively so you can be paid what you are worth.

Know more about us at 

BFY provides training for Personal Trainers and courses in Sports nutrition and Diet in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Dehradun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gurgaon.

BFY also provides Placements Services in India.