In the light of the COVID19 experience which will have life-long influence on the manner we live, work and exercise and play sport, Fitness careers will need to get more innovative than ever. Gone are the days of mere barbells and dumbbells.

Certified Personal Fitness Trainer

A single-joint muscle can generate movement only at the joint it crosses. But, a 2JM can produce movement at more than one joint. This is of advantage in many human movements. However, it can become inefficient when trying to exert full active or passive motion at two or more joints at the same time. The former results in what is called active insufficiency and the latter in passive insufficiency.

There are 16 types or goals in Fitness. And, there are eight training technologies of which weight training is the most popular. The technologies include the more eclectic, light resistance or body weight training, a category that includes Pilates, Functional Training, Plyometrics, Water Fitness, etc.

We now have to live with COVID19. Life will undergo changes. We need to adapt. The successful trainer will be the one who can train clients at home, in the park, on the beach – and, in the gym. He needs to use a chair or a towel as a training equipment!

Online training will become prominent now on. For this, the trainer has to rely on flawless communication skills, empathy and his ability to motivate the client. So exercise psychology will be a critical tool going forward.

India has no national association for fitness professionals – we are not even recognized as an “industry”! The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS) is NOT mandatory in India’s domestic fitness industry. The Registers that are operating in India are solely for overseas employment. The National Skills Development Corporation Ltd., under the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, through its vertical Sports, Physical Education, Fitness and Leisure (SPEFL) sector has a National Skills Qualification (NSQF Level 4) examination and certificate the main purpose of which is to bring within the National Skills Register, as many fitness trainers as possible.

The result is that Indian Fitness has no centralised authority to lay down and monitor training and education standards, promote the welfare of stakeholders or lobby with the government for that matter.

Luckily, consumers and fitness centre owners are experiencing the benefits of having well trained and certified fitness trainers. Doors open and ears listen to well trained and certified trainers!

More attractively, personal trainers have very good opportunities in –

  • Corporate fitness
  • Sports coaching academies
  • Education institutions
  • Self-employment in personal training
  • As mentioned above, online training will become a popular source of business.

There are a whole lot of certificate courses available in India. What should a candidate look for while selecting a personal trainer course? A course, after all, must not turn into a curse!

The candidate must select the course on basis of complete information secured by asking these questions:

  • Is the course nationally authorized? In the absence of a domestic fitness industry association and a register, the most dependable course will be the one which is through a NAAC-accredited university. Sports associations are NOT fitness associations.
  • Is the course internationally accepted? Courses accredited by Europe Active’s European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPS) are recognized in over 35 countries. Interestingly, EREPS and SPEFL have jointly launches the India REPS (I-REPS) which has nothing to do with REPS India which is a member of the International Confederation of Registers of Exercise Professionals (ICREPS) which is recognized in its nine member countries.

[As we write this, there seems to have been a major shakeup in UK’s fitness accreditation world. In February 2020, at the end of protracted developments, REPS UK was taken over by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). In the ensuing year, REPS UK will cease to exist. CIMSPA is now joined by Active IQ and Focus Awards. Since 2017, EREPS has an MoU in place with CIMSPA. How these developments will shape the future of ICREPS and its member countries’ Registers is not yet clear. We only hope all will come together for the betterment of world standards in Fitness.

Interestingly, there are many more countries including in the Middle East that have no REPS and will accept a well-established certification program that follows standards of training on par with those in the USA and UK will be accepted.]

  • Is the faculty experienced enough and trained and certified to teach? Who is teaching? Find out the information from the education provider.
  • What is the course content? Is it only theory, or more of practical training? Is the practical training restricted to weight training? Gāyo offers a whole range of practical training from weight training to water fitness.
  • What are the learning resources given to the students? Textbooks written for the course or mere photocopies of some other course? Who has written the books? Are DVDs with practical training exercises provided? Gāyo offers 8 to 10 DVDs with about 1,200 exercises in different formats like weight training, functional training, Pilates etc. Please see below.
  • Who is the certifying authority? It is from a university? India does not have its own Fitness accreditation policy or framework. It is best to rely on university education and examination system: credibility matters!
  • Is that certificate accepted nationally and internationally? Acceptance will depend on the structure of the training syllabus, credibility of the exams and post-certification mentoring.
  • Does the academy offer free post-enrolment and post-certification guidance and mentoring? This is critical. No certificate in the world will guarantee you the experience required to train different types of clients. To launch a career, you need guidance ranging from professional training through business development and legal issues! Most certificate programs end their relationship with the student once the certificate is issued but with us at Gāyo, relationship starts at the time of enrolment and, happily, accelerates post-certification!
  • Fees must suit your pocket! Compare various courses on the basis of fees versus what they teach. Is there am EMI payment facility?
  • Does the academy offer other courses which will help you develop your career? For instance, after working as a certified personal trainer for a year or two, you will like to do a good course in Pilates or Fitness Centre Management. The fitness professional, as in other service industries, must grow horizontally and continually innovate.

To enroll to a good personal trainer course, the student – 

  • Must have passed 10 + 2 years of School Education
  • Must be physically and medically fit
  • Must have passion for fitness / sport
  • Must have a sociable, helpful personality
  • Physically Challenged persons can apply if they have exposure to fitness / sport
  • BEFORE EXAMINATION, must attend and be certified in First Aid & CPR with AED by First Aid International (UK) / equivalent
  • Exceptions may be entertained subject to University, Academy rules and international standards
  • Course delivery is bilingual, however students ought to have working knowledge of English

It will be interesting to see various personal trainer courses being compared with our Mumbai University approved and certificated course:

Horizontal mobility

A personal trainer will now need to widen his experience and skills sets. The wider and deeper the professional skills sets, the more successful he will be. Some of the many specialist courses that have become popular in the last five years and will, in the COVID19 related environment during the lockdown and thereafter, become essential are –