Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor Kaiwhakangungu Tinana/Kaiwhakaako Whakapakari
Personal trainers/fitness instructors help people improve their general fitness or train for special events through individual programmes or classes.
Most employers require personal trainers/fitness instructors to be registered with the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).
- Register of Exercise Professionals website - information on personal trainer/fitness instructor registration
Personal trainers/fitness instructors may do some or all the following:
- assess clients' fitness and body types and design fitness programmes for them
- explain and demonstrate exercises, weight training or class routines
- give advice on nutrition and preventing or recovering from injuries
- help out at the gym, which can involve cleaning and reception duties.
Personal trainers may also:
- market and promote their services
- discuss lifestyle and fitness goals with clients
- take clients for personal training sessions
- make bookings and keep accounts.
Personal trainers/fitness instructors need to have excellent fitness and health, and must be strong.
Useful experience for personal trainers/fitness instructors includes:
- sports training or coaching
- dance tuition
- work in areas such as nutrition, physiotherapy or physical education
- customer service work.
Personal trainers/fitness instructors need to be:
- patient, friendly, supportive and professional
- able to lead and motivate others
- organised and adaptable
- good at problem solving
- good communicators.
Personal trainers/fitness instructors need to have:
- skill in physical education, personal training and testing people's fitness
- an understanding of anatomy and physiology
- knowledge of first aid
- knowledge of gym equipment and how to operate it correctly
- an understanding of how to prescribe and demonstrate safe and effective exercises
- knowledge of basic nutrition principles.
Personal trainers are often self-employed, so they need to have:
- sales skills
- the ability to develop and maintain their own client base
- business administration skills.
Group fitness instructors also need to have knowledge of choreography and how to lead exercise classes.
Personal trainers/fitness instructors:
- usually work shifts, including early mornings, evenings and weekends
- usually work in gyms, recreation centres and fitness centres
- may need to travel to meet clients.
No specific secondary education is required for this job, but biology, health education and physical education to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.
Personal trainers/fitness instructors may progress to set up their own fitness or personal training business.
They may specialise in areas such as:
Years Of Training
There are no specific requirements to become a personal trainer/fitness instructor.
However, many employers prefer to hire personal trainers/fitness instructors who have, or are working towards, a qualification. A range of personal trainer/fitness instructor qualifications are available from polytechnics, universities and private training establishments.
You can also complete a personal trainer/fitness instructor apprenticeship and gain a New Zealand Certificate in Fitness (Level 3 or Level 4). Industry training organisation Skills Active Aotearoa oversees personal trainer/fitness instructor training and apprenticeships.
Most employers require you to be registered with the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).