Desire to become the next Satyajit Chaurasia or Yasmin Karachiwala, but are unsure of how to become a fitness trainer in India?
Don't fret! We're here to tell you exactly how to become a certified fitness trainer. Right from the courses for fitness trainers in India to the skills and fitness trainer certifications you’ll need.
Are you pumped? Let’s go!
Growing Career Opportunities As A Fitness Trainer
Why should you become a certified fitness trainer? Because there has never been a better time to do so!!
Here are a few stats to prove it!
- The total revenue in the Health & Fitness segment in India is projected to have a CAGR of 14% from 2022 to 2026. This would result in an estimated market volume of USD 59.17 million by 2026.
- The Indian home fitness equipment market grew from Rs 329 crore in FY19 to Rs 570 crore in FY21.
- The Indian wearable market grew 3% year over year in Q1 2021.
- As per a 2020 survey done by Gympik, 55% of participants had started exercising 3-4 days a week, since the onset of COVID-19.
One thing is clear.
The pandemic has served as a wake-up call to many of us to prioritize our health, above everything else.
People are now looking at health more holistically. They don’t want to just lose weight or have ripped abs. They want to feel physically and mentally strong, eat right, build their immunity, and have a better quality of life.
And this has led to a steep demand for fitness experts, be it personal and corporate trainers, Yoga teachers, aerobics instructors, sports nutritionists, and more.
Before getting into the details of how to become a fitness trainer in India, let’s understand…
Who is a fitness trainer and what do they do?
A fitness trainer is someone who trains, coaches, and motivates individuals or groups to reach their fitness goals through cardiovascular exercise, strength training, stretching, mobility exercises, and more.
Fitness trainers usually perform the following activities:
- Create tailored workout and diet programs for clients depending on their fitness goals.
- Demonstrate proper technique and form for various exercises, that helps minimize injuries.
- Educate clients on how to safely use different gym equipment.
- Provide exercise modifications and alternatives depending on clients’ needs, skills, fitness levels, health issues, etc.
- Clear the clients’ misconceptions about fitness.
- Motivate clients to achieve their fitness goals.
- Oversee clients’ progress, provide feedback, and adapt programs if required.
- Offer advice about diet, nutrition, and other lifestyle topics.
- Administer emergency first aid, when needed.
- Enforce the health facility’s rules and regulations
How to become a fitness trainer in India: 5 Steps
Here’s our detailed guide on how to become a fitness trainer in India.
1. Complete your 12th standard
The first step in how to become a fitness trainer in India is to pass your 12th standard examinations in any stream of your choosing. We recommend being active in various sports and fitness-related activities right at the school level.
2. Complete your Bachelor’s degree
Although there is no mandatory requirement for a Bachelor’s degree to become a fitness trainer in India, it is always a smart choice to either pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education (or other related courses) or in any stream of your choice.
There are various institutes offering courses for fitness trainers in India such as B.P.Ed (Physical Education), B.A. (Physical Education), B.A. (Yoga), etc.
A few of the prominent institutes include:
- Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education, Thiruvananthapuram and Gwalior
- Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala
- Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Science, University of Delhi
- BPCA's College of Physical Education, Mumbai (aided by the State Government)
- Amity School of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Noida
Note: These institutes also offer Master's programs such as M.Sc. Exercise Physiology, M.A. in Yoga, PG Diploma in Fitness Management, etc. that you could consider for seeking employment in international sports clubs/teams.
3. Acquire a fitness trainer certification
The next step in how to become a fitness trainer in India is to get a fitness trainer certification from a reputed organization. This throws up a whole lot of job opportunities for you as most employers only hire certified trainers.
Here’s a list of a few top Indian institutions offering fitness trainers certifications/fitness trainer courses.
These certification courses usually have a duration of 2-8 months with fees ranging from Rs.15,000-85,000.
Note: Ensure that you renew your certifications every 2-3 years.
Here’s a list of a few internationally accredited organizations that offer fitness trainer certifications.
- National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
Pro Tip: If you’re looking to move abroad for better job prospects, then consider registering yourself with the Register for Exercise Professionals. (REPS India is a member of the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs), which has members throughout the world.) This means your registration would automatically be recognized in ICREPs countries including Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, and UAE.
4. Enroll in specialized fitness courses
The next step in how to become a fitness trainer in India is to choose a field of specialization, depending on your interests. This will help you advance your knowledge and give you an upper hand over your competitors.
Here are some fields to consider:
- Group training (Yoga, Pilates, aerobics, Zumba, etc.)
- Senior fitness
- Clinical exercise physiology
- Physical recovery and rehabilitation
- Sports and athletic training
- Weight loss
- Functional training
- Strength and conditioning, etc.
5. Get trained on-the-job
Once you’ve completed your certifications, it’s time to get your feet wet!
Start by joining a local gym as a junior instructor or a trainee. Another way to gain some practical experience is to join as an assistant to a trained professional. Eventually, you will pick up tons of worthwhile skills and contacts that’ll help you grab better job opportunities.
Challenges faced by fitness trainers
1. Unsteady income
One of the main occupational hazards of being a fitness trainer is the lack of a steady income, especially when you’re starting. You might have 5 clients today, but only 1 client the next. So how do you get around this?
- Offer a free demo to potential clients.
- Create workout videos and blogs and post them on your social media channels. Consider running ads to reach out to more people.
- Ask your past and current clients to leave reviews and video testimonials on your website and other social media channels.
- Request your clients for referrals. You could even give them a free session if their referrals convert to clients.
2. Difficult clients with unrealistic expectations
Unfortunately for trainers, there are clients out there who expect that working out for a couple of hours in the gym is all they need to get fit. They don’t understand that what they do outside the gym (eating right, practicing a healthy lifestyle) is equally important.
And once they realize they aren’t hitting their fitness goals fast enough, they end up blaming the trainer.
So, ensure that you set realistic expectations with your clients before you begin training with them. Communicate all the dos and don’ts, so that they know what is expected of them.
3. Finding innovative ways to engage and retain your clients
From yoga and cardio to Zumba and strength training workouts, clients these days have access to dozens of free workouts on social media.
So, what can you offer them that these free channels don’t have?
- Mix up your clients’ workout routines. They could be sweating it out on machines one day, using resistance bands another, and a hard-core calisthenics workout the next.
- Attract new clients by inviting them to try out the latest workout tools. This will show them that you are keeping up with the latest trends in the fitness industry.
- Leverage technology. If your clients go gaga over fitness gadgets, modify your exercise plan to cater to that technology.
- Plan for a few outdoor workout sessions. Nothing like some fresh air and sunshine to amp up a workout routine.
- Let your clients exercise to their favourite music. Guns N Roses, Rihanna. Whatever gets your clients fired up!
- Flaunt their achievements on your social media channels. Your client lost 2 kilos in 3 weeks? Post pictures or videos on social media. This will not just motivate your client, but also show your followers and prospective clients that training under you yields results. Win-win!
You might like: How To Build A Home Gym Setup In Less Than Rs. 25000
Necessary skills to become a fitness trainer
Maybe you can crank out 100 push-ups or run a mile without breaking a sweat. But that isn’t enough to become a personal trainer.
Be Motivating. See the potential in your clients and push them to do their best every day and encourage them when they feel like throwing in the towel.
Communicate. Give your clients clear instructions on how to perform various exercises and explain to them why they are necessary. Also, don’t forget to LISTEN to them. Ask them for their feedback and modify your training program, if necessary.
Be empathetic. There might be days when your clients feel physically/emotionally drained and hence struggle with their workouts. You can make a big difference by simply asking them about their day or even making a few changes to that day’s workout routine to make your clients feel more positive.
Be friendly. Make your clients feel comfortable so that they never hesitate in asking you questions.
Be committed. Your clients have entrusted their health in your hands. Hence you have a responsibility to always deliver the best service to them.
Lead by example. As a fitness trainer, your clients would look to you for inspiration. So, ensure that you maintain a healthy lifestyle by working out regularly and eating right.
Have extensive knowledge of fitness. Ensure that you have a deep understanding of the basics related to health, fitness, and how our bodies work. Keep abreast of all the latest fitness trends, equipment, technology, etc. to stay at the top of your game.
Salary for fitness trainers in India
Now you’re probably wondering how much you can earn as a fitness trainer in India.
To be honest, the pay can be quite modest at the entry level. We’re talking Rs. 7500 – 15000 per month.
But as you gain experience and impress more clients with your training style, you can start raking in the moolah. Say you get a job at a top-tier fitness center or resort. Or maybe you become a celebrity personal trainer. Your pay can be anywhere from Rs. 40,000-2 lakh per month! If you’re charging by the hour, you could even earn say, Rs.1000-4000 per hour. Not too shabby, eh?
Best gyms to work for in India with pay packages
Here’s how much personal trainers can expect to earn at some of the top gyms in India.
If you’re someone who loves nothing more than transforming people into the fittest and healthiest versions of themselves, then a career in fitness training is the best choice for you.
We hope this guide on how to become a fitness trainer in India will not only help you understand the various fitness trainer courses and certifications available but also inspire you to pursue a career as a personal trainer.
All the best!