Summary: Choosing the right fitness specialization is an essential component of your personal training business. Your education and training should be aligned with exercise science courses that best support your passions and your niche. We explore insider tips on how you can choose and define the unique population most ideal for you and your personal training business.
It’s rare for a newly certified personal trainer to know precisely which type of clientele they want to work with (aka their niche). Once they complete their personal training certification, those fitness trainers dive into the specializations aligned with their unique niche and continue to pursue courses throughout their career that allow them to serve their clientele better.
However, many personal trainers or exercise science students complete their certification or studies and are unsure which niche is best suited for them. They are passionate about fitness and know they want to help others, but they need help defining which population is ideal for their fitness business.
Choosing a niche and pursuing the education to properly support the ideal clients within that niche is essential. But, it can take time to identify the ideal client for you and your personal training business or career goal. One thing is for certain. The fitness industry loves a trainer with education. First and foremost, a degree in exercise physiology or exercise science will allow you to work with just about any client as a trainer. And, the programs at Lionel University prepare you for other occupations. For example, you can become a nutrition coach, health coach, group exercise instructor, and more. As a personal trainer, however, fitness employers also look for more advanced fitness specializations. This allows you to charge more as a trainer and work with additional populations. You can get your foot in the door with these credentials. But, if you don’t know how to choose, don’t worry.
Follow along as we explore insider tips on how to choose the right fitness specialization(s) and niche for you.
How To Determine Your Niche
Finding your niche in the fitness industry will help you make better decisions regarding your fitness education and your entire business. Your niche also drives decisions regarding exercise equipment, marketing tactics, and pricing.
In addition, a personal trainer that defines and focuses their education and training on a specific niche often increases their income. As you specialize, you’ll increase your safety and effectiveness and have the ability to charge more for your services. Therefore, finding and defining your niche is a valuable component of your personal training business.
Selecting your niche in the fitness industry should include finding the right fit for your personality, lifestyle, goals, and passions. You’ll want to explore the types of people you are drawn to or most passionate about helping. Your niche could be the senior or youth population. But, it could also be new moms with limited time and energy, athletes trying to get to the next level with strength training, brides before their wedding, or recovering cancer patients.
To uncover the personal training clientele that is best for you, you can ask yourself these questions:
- Which clients are my favorite to work with?
- What type of clients are aligned with my personal fitness story?
- What clients do I have the most experience with as a personal trainer?
- What are my most vital fitness-related skills?
- What types of clients are drawn to me and my personal training style?
When you understand who you want to help and what their challenges are, you can shape your education to allow you to sharpen your skills to help clients reach their fitness goals safely.
Understand Where The Opportunities Are In The Fitness Industry
Another way you can determine which fitness pathway is ideal for you is to start by considering the critical populations that need the support of a certified personal trainer. However, there are many opportunities in the fitness industry as there are many populations that need help.
The following list is not all-inclusive, but it includes a few popular demographics that need support regarding their health, fitness, movement, or athletic performance.
Specialist In Senior Fitness
Working with aging clients can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The senior population often seeks the help of a personal trainer to help them increase their physical activity and feel better. As the body and mind ages and the aches and pains increase, many elderly clients desire help to improve their quality of life and maintain their independence–senior fitness professionals play a critical role in helping them do this.
Suppose you intend to work within the senior fitness demographic. In that case, it’s essential to be well educated on the process of aging, proper exercise modifications, an awareness of chronic conditions and medications (and how they impact the body), and precautions to ensure their fitness program is safe while providing effective exercise routines. A senior fitness specialization can provide the foundational knowledge to help you do this.
Youth Fitness Trainer
Whether you focus on educating and guiding the portion of youth battling obesity or young athletes trying to build a strong foundation for sport, there is a need for youth personal training.
The body and minds of the youth demographic are still growing and learning. At most stages of development, youth are still significantly different than the average adult client. So, it’s crucial for any Certified Personal Trainer working with youth clients to understand how young clients are physically and mentally different and how exercise programming needs to be modified for safe and effective personal training sessions.
Specialist In Group Fitness
Camaraderie and support from others are critical for many fitness-goers' success. And being able to exercise and hang out with friends while doing it is one reason many people are drawn to group fitness training.
However, as a personal trainer, designing an exercise routine that is safe and effective for people of different ages, abilities, goals, and limitations can be challenging. In addition, having the skills to observe every client, communicate with various personality styles, and appropriately modify exercises is a vital part of your success as a fitness professional. So, having the proper education and skills to support small or large groups of people at once is critical.
A group fitness specialization prepares you for your Group Fitness Instructor certification exam and gives you the necessary knowledge to support large and small group fitness classes.
Consider specializations that are valuable for all populations
When you’re narrowing down the best specialization for your personal training career, there are certain specializations helpful for every type of client. So, if you’re still not sure which population is best suited for you and your skills, these fitness specializations can be a great place to start.
Specialist in Fitness Nutrition
Nutrition is arguably one of the most important components of fitness. And regardless of the demographic you work with, everybody needs to nourish their body. So, a base knowledge in nutrition is critical in helping you educate personal training clients in alignment with their goals.
Corrective Exercise Specialist
The terms corrective exercise can be misleading–some people may assume this is personal training designed specifically for injured people. However, corrective exercise is one of the most important steps in developing healthy movement patterns. It’s common with exercisers of all types, including elite athletes since it results in drastic results for injury prevention. It has foundations in physical therapy but extends to traditional settings that any trainer can apply to any client. Healthy movement patterns are critical for engaging the proper muscles during exercise, injury and pain reduction, improving athletic performance, and supporting improvements in overall quality of life.
Since everyone moves, this knowledge is valuable for any personal trainer.
Choose More Than One Fitness Specialization
Most personal trainers want to learn more and are lifelong learners. There is so much to learn about the human body, exercise, and nutrition. In addition, there are often new techniques, new modalities, and new science presented that are vital for fitness professionals to be aware of–this is one of the reasons continuing education is such an important component of a personal trainer certification.
That being said, you can choose more than one specialization as a personal trainer. You’ll likely choose a variety over the course of your career. So as your time and finances allow, you can continue to pursue the courses most interesting to you and most valuable for your clients and fitness business.
The most innovative part of the degree programs at Lionel University is that your electives include specialization courses. It also includes coursework for your personal training certification. So, you learn more about what you want as you go along, without having to make the out-of-pocket decision right away. Why? These educational courses are included as part of a Lionel program. It’s one of the many reasons why people choose Lionel University over any other exercise science degree program out there.
Helping others achieve a better quality of life is a rewarding career. This is regardless of whether you choose to become a personal trainer or enter one of the other careers. When you choose one of these jobs you’ll get some (if not all) of these perks:
- The ability to take your own fitness to the next level
- Learn about something you love
- Help others lose weight and make major life changes
- Increase someone’s lifespan
- Help athletes perform their best
- Choose your own hours
- Make six figures
- Run your own business
As you can see, it’s pretty enticing to learn more about this type of study. Lionel University provides exercise science degree programs that can help you land a job as an exercise physiologist. You can earn an associates degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree at Lionel.
You can get financial aid to make it an easier transition. And, the courses are all online. This means you can earn your degree from home, and on your own time. It’s the best way to learn when you get to choose. Furthermore, the reputation of Lionel is elite. The founders of Lionel are pioneers in the fitness space and have prestigious backgrounds. This means you’ll be learning from the best and most respected program available.