How to Become Personal Trainer for Free? | ContentBASE (2023)


  • 1. Work in a Fitness Center
  • 2. Leverage Military Benefits
  • 3. Check Out Free Personal Training Courses
  • 4. Consider Deferred Payment Courses
  • 5. Check Out Community Educational Programs
  • 6. Consider Free Personal Trainer Taster Courses
  • 7. Wrapping It Up

If you are passionate about fitness, becoming a personal trainer can be a great career move for you. The job pays well and you will be doing something that you love every day. Like with everything, there are pros and cons to it. But if you're passionate about it, then most likely the pros will far outweight the cons.

But, before you become a personal trainer, you will first need to get certified. And, personal trainer certification courses don’t come cheap. The best personal trainer certifications cost hundreds of dollars. And this means they may be out of reach for most people looking to earn a lower priced personal trainer certification.

The good news, there are various ways of becoming a personal trainer for free. You just need to know where to look. In this article, we will explore different ways how to become a personal trainer for free.

How to Become Personal Trainer for Free? | ContentBASE (1)

1. Work in a Fitness Center

Working in a fitness center is one of the easiest ways of earning a free personal trainer certification. With this method, you will be working in a fitness center such as a gym even if you are not a personal trainer.

For instance, you can be attending to routine tasks like cleaning fitness equipment, selling memberships, manning the front desk, running the gym’s social media platforms, or checking in members.

And if show dedication and maximum commitment at work, the gym owners will see that, you are a valuable member of their team. They may then consider sponsoring your personal trainer course until you earn your personal trainer certification.

(Video) 💪 How To Become A Personal Trainer In 6 simple steps [2022]

But, we should mention that this method of becoming a fitness instructor for free comes with a catch. In most situations, the fitness center may require you to sign a contract, stipulating that you will offer your services at the gym after earning your personal trainer certification for a certain duration.

Such a contract is put in place to prevent a personal trainer who has been sponsored by the gym from leaving immediately after they’ve earned their certification. The duration that you may be required to continue offering your services at the gym will vary from one employer to the other.

2. Leverage Military Benefits

If you have served in the military, there’s a high chance that you qualify for education benefits, offered under the GI Bill by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. You can then use these education benefits to pursue a personal trainer course and earn your certification.

First, you will need to choose a VA-approved school or institution, which accepts GI Bill education benefits. The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs has listed the institutions that accept this arrangement.

It also has a handy online comparison tool, which you can use to compare the education benefits that you will receive from each institution. From there, you can then choose a school that suits you best.

Once you’ve selected your preferred school, you then need to apply for GI Bill benefits. Your application will be processed within 13 days. And once it’s approved, you can then go on to become a personal trainer for free.

Also, some personal trainer certification programs like ISSA, NASM, AFPA, ACE, NCSF, and NESTA, offer discounts for veterans and military members. So, in case you don’t qualify for GI Bill benefits, you can also check out such institutions, and you will be able to become a fitness instructor without having to pay the standard amount.

(Video) Can You Become an Online Personal Trainer Without Certification?

3. Check Out Free Personal Training Courses

There are a couple of organizations, which offer free personal training courses. Most of these courses are usually offered online. The Westminster Adult Education Service has such a course, where you will earn an NCFE CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Nutrition and Health. So, if you live in the U.K and you are looking for free online personal trainer courses, you should check out this one.

Alison, the free online education platform, also offers several free fitness courses online, which can help you to become a fitness instructor for free. After completing the course, you will sit for an exam, where you will be required to achieve a pass mark of 80% or higher. If you manage to pass the exam, you will get a certificate. However, you will be required to purchase the certificate from the platform’s shop.

But, considering a digital certificate only goes for $21 while a printed personal trainer certificate costs approximately $27, you can see that you are almost getting your personal trainer certification for free.

You should keep in mind that some fitness centers might not recognize some of these free personal training courses. So, before you invest your time pursuing one, you should first check its recognition. And, the reviews posted for that course should furnish you with this information. But overall, they provide an affordable means of getting your feet wet in the fitness world.

4. Consider Deferred Payment Courses

Deferred payment courses provide yet another route to becoming a fitness instructor for free. However, these personal training courses are not free in the real sense. So, how do they work?

In an ordinary situation, you would pay for a personal trainer course upfront, before you can access the reading materials and other vital resources. But in deferred payment courses, you are allowed to register for the personal trainer course and access the learning resources, without making an upfront payment.

You will then be required to pay for the course once you become a certified personal trainer and begin earning. You will only begin paying for the course when your personal trainer earnings pass a certain threshold.


The deferred payment course may not be entirely free. It’s sort of a loan that the program gives you to study the course. Hence, it’s highly likely you will end up paying a higher amount for the course upon completion, compared to someone who pays upfront. It’s more like purchasing a car upfront versus purchasing it via financing.

However, as much as you may end up paying more for the course, it provides a great solution for someone who wants to become a certified personal trainer, but they don’t have the hundreds of dollars needed to make an upfront payment.

There are several colleges and universities, which offer deferred tuition plans or deferred payment for their courses. So, you simply need to conduct some research and identify such institutions offering personal training courses.

5. Check Out Community Educational Programs

Another method of how to become a personal trainer for free is through community educational programs. Some communities across the country run free educational programs for their residents.

For instance, if you live in Chicago, you may be eligible to pursue an associate’s degree from a community college. And, you won’t be required to pay anything. This program is offered through an initiative known as City Colleges of Chicago.

To qualify for this program, you will need to have graduated from a CPS high school with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. If you meet this qualification, you then need to fill out the online application and select a school of your choice.

You will also need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. This program currently has more than 12,500 graduates doing various courses at no cost. So, if you are a Chicago resident and you are a recent graduate who has earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher, you should check out this program.

(Video) How Do You Know If Becoming A Personal Trainer Is Right For You?

In case you live in another state or your community college doesn’t offer free personal trainer courses, you can apply for scholarships or grants. Universities and colleges offer grants and scholarships, which are based on academic merit and need.

These grants and scholarships can considerably reduce the cost of your personal trainer course. If you are ready to invest your time doing research, then you should be able to identify some universities and colleges that offer such scholarships and grants. From there, you can apply and try your luck.

6. Consider Free Personal Trainer Taster Courses

Free personal trainer taster courses are designed to give you a sneak peek of the course. Some of the personal trainer certification providers that offer free taster courses include ACE and NASM.

Once you sign up for the free taster course, you will get access to the study materials, meaning you have an opportunity to complete the course. With these courses, you learn to become a personal trainer for free, since you will be absorbing all the information they are providing. However, as much as you may complete the course, you will not earn a certification.

If you are looking to become a personal trainer but you are not fully sure whether this is the right career move for you, taster courses will provide you with more information. And from there, you will have an opportunity to decide whether to pay for the course, instead of paying upfront for the entire course, only to realize later that you made a mistake.

7. Wrapping It Up

As you can see, there are several ways that can help you to become a personal trainer for free. But out of these methods, working in a gym provides the best option. Your employer will pay for your course until you get your certificate. You will then repay them by offering your services at the facility, after earning your certification. And at the same, you will also be gaining valuable skills and experience.


What would you say are the 3 most important aspects of being a personal trainer? ›

Personal Trainer Characteristics
  • Knowledge. A professional personal trainer also has a thorough understanding of how the body moves and functions. ...
  • Communication. Having an excellent ability to communicate with clients is essential to the role of personal trainer. ...
  • Adapting. ...
  • Integrity. ...
  • Commitment. ...
  • Energy.

Can you Pt without a qualification? ›

Can you get a PT job without a qualification? Here's the short answer – no. Virtually every personal trainer job advertisement you see will ask for a minimum of a Level 3 Personal Training certificate.

What qualifications do I need to be a PT? ›

How to become a personal trainer
  • Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness.
  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing.
  • Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training.

How do I sell myself as a personal trainer? ›

10 Personal Training Marketing Ideas to Get More Clients
  1. Define your ideal client.
  2. Develop your personal training brand.
  3. Dedicate time to your website content.
  4. Write guest blogs for high-authority sites.
  5. Harness social media.
  6. Maximize your visibility online.
  7. Send emails consistently.
  8. Encourage referrals.
31 Jan 2022

What are the weaknesses of a trainer? ›

Examples of weaknesses might be the limited visibility of a location, unfamiliarity with specific types of clients such as older adults, being uncomfortable with the sales process and asking clients for money or overall lack of fitness industry experience.

Is becoming a PT difficult? ›

Getting into PT school isn't easy. For the 50% of people who are accepted into Physical Therapy school, you're in for a challenging 3 years.

Do personal trainer qualifications expire? ›

'. For complete clarity, if you hold an Ofqual-regulated personal training qualification you will never need to renew, even if your provider goes out of business.

What is a Level 3 personal trainer? ›

The level 3 PT qualification is the standard to practice as a personal trainer. This level of qualification meets the standards and requirements set by CIMSPA. For anyone wishing to work self-employed with clients to develop tailored programs and plans, Level 3 is the minimum qualification you should have.

How can I get more clients? ›

10 Ways to Get New Customers
  1. Ask for referrals. ...
  2. Network. ...
  3. Offer discounts and incentives for new customers only. ...
  4. Re-contact old customers. ...
  5. Improve your website. ...
  6. Partner with complementary businesses. ...
  7. Promote your expertise. ...
  8. Use online reviews to your advantage.
6 Apr 2017

What motivates a personal trainer? ›

At the very core of every good personal trainer, you will find a desire and talent for helping others to live the very best life possible, through supporting them in developing and practicing good health habits and being as absolutely fit as possible.

How many clients should a personal trainer have? ›

As a general rule, the average dedicated person will train 3-4 times per week. So, to keep a regular flow of clients, a successful personal trainer will aim for 15 to 20 paying clients each week.

What is a level 4 personal trainer? ›

A Level 4 Personal Trainer Course is the highest level of industry recognition, covering many specialist areas to enhance your market and earning potential. It opens new opportunities by providing specialist knowledge to expand and grow in the PT industry.

How long is PT qualification? ›

It can normally be completed in around three to six months, but the real appeal of this course is that you have up to three years to complete it!

What math do you need for PT? ›

3 years of college-preparatory math (algebra, geometry, advanced algebra and/or trigonometry) 1 year of physics is recommended.

Can a personal trainer be rich? ›

Yes, you can good make money as a personal trainer is the short answer. The longer answer is that, as most things are, if you are fantastic at your job and if you market and sell yourself well, you can make good money.

How do personal trainers get leads? ›

Six Ways to Boost Personal Training Lead Generation
  1. Venture into the group fitness room. ...
  2. Take your workouts outside. ...
  3. Reach out to your corporate partners. ...
  4. Sponsor a local race. ...
  5. Use your social media pages for the training department. ...
  6. Create vacation training camps.

Is it hard to get clients as a personal trainer? ›

You'll find it incredibly difficult to get personal training clients if no one knows about you or the services you're trying to provide. It's likely you would want your business to be on a busy high street where people actually know where you are and what you're offering.

What annoys personal trainers? ›

If you're trying to get on your instructor's good side, you may want to put down the phone and pick up the pace. Using the phone in class or during personal training appointments is the top way to annoy your instructor, followed by skipping appointments and practicing poor personal hygiene.

Why do personal trainers quit? ›

I quit being a personal trainer for three simple reasons; money, disillusionment, and career progression. These are the same reasons that thousands of other personal trainers have quit the industry too. They can't earn enough money, lose faith in what they're doing, and no longer see it as a long-term career.

What are 5 characteristics of a good trainer? ›

The Top 5 Qualities of a Good Trainer
  • Trainers are Strategic Thinkers and Partners. A trainer is a strategic thinker. ...
  • Trainers are well-versed in Instructional Design. ...
  • Trainers are Project Managers. ...
  • Trainers are Facilitators of Change and Learning. ...
  • Trainers are Evaluators.

Is a PT a fun job? ›

Job Satisfaction

Physical therapy and PT-related occupations are consistently rated as one of the most enjoyable careers and job opportunities every single year.

Is a PT worth the money? ›

Is it worth getting a personal trainer? For many people, it is. A trainer can help you to reach important goals, help you to return to fitness after an injury, or simply provide motivation and accountability when you need it the most.

What field of PT pays the most? ›

Here are five types of high-paying specialties for physical therapists:
  1. Sports medicine. Physical therapists who specialize in sports medicine treat professional and amateur athletes. ...
  2. Cardiovascular. ...
  3. Geriatrics. ...
  4. Neurology. ...
  5. Pediatrics.

What age is too late to become a personal trainer? ›

“Am I too old to be a personal trainer?” You're never too old to start an exercise program and the same is true when it comes to being a personal trainer. NFPT has an active and certified 82 year old trainer, so I'd say there really is no limit!

How old are most personal trainers? ›

The average age of a personal trainer is 40. On average, a trainer has been working in the industry for 13 years. 16% of trainers work with clients as a part-time job and have another source of income.

How old can a personal trainer be? ›

There's no age limit to being a personal trainer.

Fitness and knowledge are the two most important things that you can have if you want to turn personal training into a career. If you already have the fitness part down, make sure you have the knowledge by completing some key qualifications.

What is the hardest part of being a personal trainer? ›

Handling the people who think they “know all". Many clients hire you to confirm their own theories rather than learn from the trainer. Client compliance.

Is a personal trainer full time? ›

Job Types: Full-time, Part-time, Permanent, Freelance, Apprenticeship. To maintain integrity and honesty that builds trust with personal training member community.

How fit should you be to be a personal trainer? ›

Simply put: No, you don't need to be chiseled to be a personal trainer. For some personal trainers, sporting six-pack abs and bulging biceps will help them build their reputation and get them the type of clients they want to train.

How do beginners get clients? ›

How to Find Your First Client: A Guide
  1. Educate yourself. The first key in getting clients is to know your market. ...
  2. Get an online presence. ...
  3. Leverage social media. ...
  4. Network. ...
  5. Use inbound marketing. ...
  6. Pet personal. ...
  7. Demonstrate value. ...
  8. Be consultative in your approach.
18 May 2022

How can I get 1000 customers? ›

13 Tricks for Landing Your First Thousand Customers
  1. Set up a waiting list. ...
  2. Use your personal network. ...
  3. Target online publications. ...
  4. Get bloggers on your side. ...
  5. Build suspense. ...
  6. Work with early adopters. ...
  7. Create high-quality content. ...
  8. Offer a free product option.
8 Jun 2015

How do you attract customers with words? ›

10 Powerfully Persuasive Words Your Customers Want to Hear
  1. Free.
  2. Exclusive.
  3. Easy.
  4. Limited.
  5. Get.
  6. Guaranteed.
  7. You.
  8. Because.
2 Aug 2016

What skills does a personal trainer needs? ›

  • the ability to inspire clients.
  • a friendly and outgoing personality.
  • excellent people skills to enable you to work with a range of individuals with different backgrounds and motivations.
  • a good understanding of the human body and nutrition.
  • a love of health and fitness.
  • excellent time keeping and organisational skills.

How do I motivate my client to lose weight? ›

Here are five ways you can motivate your clients:
  1. Ask clients what they want to achieve and why they want it. ...
  2. Don't fire your clients—help them! ...
  3. Emphasize the process over results. ...
  4. Provide an individualized approach to each session. ...
  5. Praise your clients selectively. ...
  6. 5 HIIT Workouts Your Clients Have Never Seen Before.
30 May 2016

Why do you want to be a trainer best answer? ›

I want to be a trainer because the role is one that I am extremely passionate about, it is a role I get to make a positive difference in on a daily basis, and I get lots of job satisfaction from helping the people I am training to achieve their objectives.

How many exercises are in a PT session? ›

How Many Exercises Per Workout Session Should I Do? The ideal number of exercises per workout session is 3-4 exercises. If you select your exercises appropriately and train them with sufficient volume and intensity, this will be more than enough to make great progress.

What should a first personal trainer client do? ›

The Tell-Show-Do approach is an excellent start. Tell clients what they are going to be doing and why. Show them the exercise you want them to perform. Then have them do the exercise.

How much should I charge clients for personal training? ›

A typical rate is around $60 to $70 for a one-hour training session. But outliers can make anywhere from $40 to $400 and beyond. Some may even offer weeks- or months-long packages for four or five figures. Finding the right rate for you starts with the annual take-home you want.

Is a personal trainer career worth it? ›

A personal training career is fantastic for people who love being fit and healthy and want an active job rather than a desk job. Plus, you can be your own boss and make your schedule fit your life. If you have an entrepreneurial streak, there are various opportunities to set up your own business.

Can a personal trainer make six figures? ›

According to our salary survey of more than 1,000 personal trainers, one in five trainers earn $75,000 or more per year. One out of every 10 trainers earn six figures or above. Those odds are slightly better than you'll find in other careers. But there's a lot you can do to improve your position.

What is a Level 2 trainer? ›

The Level Two Sports Trainer program builds on the basic knowledge and skills acquired in the Level 1 course. Level 2 Sports trainers take on more senior roles at their respective clubs, have a greater skills & knowledge base to draw upon and may act as mentors for Level 1 trainers.

Can I become a PT at 40? ›

Whether you're 18 or 80, the fact is that there are no age limits when it comes to becoming a personal trainer. On the contrary, if there's anything that the health and fitness industry is in desperate need of, it's a more diverse range of personal trainers.

Can you do a personal trainer course online? ›

Yes, you can do your personal training course online. With all study options, you study the theory component online. You'll also complete your theory assessments online. Distance study learners are then required to submit videos for their practical assessments.

How do I become an online personal trainer? ›

7 steps to becoming an online fitness coach‍
  1. Choose your specialty.
  2. Gain the right qualifications.
  3. Define your ideal client.
  4. Create a professional website‍
  5. Make content that increases your credibility.
  6. Create an online training course or coaching program‍
  7. Market your fitness coaching skills.

What do you need to study for PT? ›

Typically, students will need to earn a bachelor's degree in a field related to health science, exercise, and/or sports. For some graduate programs, students may also be required to complete specific prerequisites, such as courses in physics, kinesiology, biology, chemistry, physiology, and anatomy.

What is the easiest PT school to get into? ›

6 Easiest Physical Therapy Schools To Get Into
  • University of Iowa. The university of Iowa tops our list of easiest PT schools to get into. ...
  • University of Delaware. ...
  • Baylor university. ...
  • University of Washington. ...
  • University of Miami. ...
  • University of Pittsburgh.
22 Mar 2022

Does PT have board exam? ›

You must pass NPTE if you are seeking to become a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in the United States. The National Physical Therapy Examination is one part of the evaluation process used by licensing authorities. NPTE is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

What is the most important aspect of a successful personal trainer? ›

One of the most important characteristics of a good personal trainer is the ability to be flexible. Flexibility, problem solving skills, and being able to think on your feet are all pretty much essential if you want to be successful in this job.

What are the 3 components of personal fitness? ›

There are five components of physical fitness: (1) body composition, (2) flexibility, (3) muscular strength, (4) muscular endurance, and (5) cardiorespiratory endurance. A well-balanced exercise program should include activities that address all of the health-related components of fitness.

What are the 3 important points when doing an exercise program? ›

An effective and well-rounded exercise program must include all three components: aerobic, strength and flexibility training. Each of them specialises on a different body system and none is better than the other. You need all of them.

What is the most important aspect of training? ›

Consistency: The Most Important Element of Training.

What should every personal trainer know? ›

Ten Things All Personal Trainers Need to Know
  • 1) It's Necessary to Practice Sales Skills. ...
  • 2) It's Not About Weak Glutes. ...
  • 3) Prioritize Rest and Recovery. ...
  • 4) Making Mistakes is Valuable. ...
  • 5) Schedule Sessions Intelligently. ...
  • 6) The Core Isn't All About the Abs. ...
  • 7) Flexibility Isn't Prioritized.
26 Nov 2020

What do beginner personal trainers do? ›

Tips for New Personal Trainers: 10 Tips To Success
  • Use a Client Management Software. ...
  • Try Training All Different Types of People. ...
  • Be Easy to Get in Touch With. ...
  • Keep Your Initial Expectations Realistic. ...
  • Prepare to be a Facilitator of Change. ...
  • Reserve Any Judgement. ...
  • The Best New Business Comes From Old Business.
1 Apr 2020

What's the best time of day to exercise? ›

“Exercising at 7 a.m. or between 1 and 4 p.m. helps your circadian clock to 'fall back' in time, making it easier to wake up earlier,” Heisz says. If you need to train your body to wake up later in the morning, try working out between 7 and 10 p.m. “The best time to exercise is when you can fit it in,” Arciero says.

What are the 6 skills related fitness? ›

There are six skill-related fitness components: agility, balance, coordination, speed, power, and reaction time. Skilled athletes typically excel in all six areas. Agility is the ability to change and control the direction and position of the body while maintaining a constant, rapid motion.

What are the 5 basic physical fitness? ›

The five health-related components of physical fitness are cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

What exercise should be performed first? ›

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that large muscle group exercises generally be performed first in a training session. This is appropriate for most individuals as most goals prioritize large muscles to be worked.

How do you create a workout plan? ›

As you design your fitness program, keep these points in mind:
  1. Consider your fitness goals. ...
  2. Create a balanced routine. ...
  3. Start low and progress slowly. ...
  4. Build activity into your daily routine. ...
  5. Plan to include different activities. ...
  6. Try high-interval intensity training. ...
  7. Allow time for recovery. ...
  8. Put it on paper.

What is the best type of exercise? ›

Over the long term, aerobic exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression, and falls. Aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity. Try brisk walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, dancing, or classes like step aerobics.

How can I improve my training? ›

10 tips to improve training and development
  1. Set a goal. ...
  2. Create metrics to measure progress. ...
  3. Engage with your employees. ...
  4. Match training and development with employee and management goals. ...
  5. Create a formal program. ...
  6. Start small and stay small. ...
  7. Provide various training types. ...
  8. Set aside time for regular constructive feedback.
19 Aug 2022

What is a training strategy? ›

Strategic training and development is the process of designing specific employee training programs that directly align with business needs. Training with a strategic focus develops the capabilities and tools that employees need to successfully carry out their jobs.

What are 3 benefits of training? ›

Despite these challenges, the benefits of training employees far outweigh the challenge of designing an effective training program.
The Benefits of Employee Training
  • Reduce Employee Turnover. ...
  • Reduce Layoffs. ...
  • Improve Employee Engagement. ...
  • Gain a Recruitment Tool. ...
  • Increase Productivity. ...
  • Improve Team Functionality.
23 Mar 2022


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