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Become a Personal Trainer and the World Is Your Oyster

The following post is sponsored by The American Council on Exercise. For our sponsored post policy, click here.

Back in college, I started teaching group exercise classes and LOVED it. I really enjoyed leading classes, motivating people and — let’s be honest — having a legit reason to grapevine, V-step and flip-turn to the musical stylings of Ms. Britney Spears.

But teaching group ex always left me wanting more. Some of my students would come up to me after class and have specific weight-loss questions or would want me to design them a workout or have questions about a certain exercise. But I didn’t know to answer them.

So, I decided to take my fitness education a step further. I got a personal trainer certification from ACE Fitness. And it was the best decision on my life. (Well, besides marrying my husband, getting my dog and having my daughter — but you know.) And it’s taken me to places I never even dreamed I’d go!


I studied for the exam for weeks, passed on my first try (go me!) and immediately began training clients. The certification gave me the skills and know-how to answer all those questions I didn’t know how to answer before! I worked with clients my own age who were also in college, professors (some of whom were my teachers — talk about a fun role reversal), community leaders — people of all backgrounds. Training them not only let me really get to know a bunch of really cool people, but also it was so inspiring to see the changes they were making. The changes that I helped them make.

Along with fitness, I’ve also always had a love of writing. So, rather naturally, I decided that fitness would not just be a part-time job for me in college. Instead, I would merge my love of training and fitness with writing for a career in health journalism. And I’ve never looked back. It’s truly been my calling.

After college, I went to the University of Minnesota to get my Masters in Health Journalism. Then I took a job working for a health club trade publication. It was there that I met Erin and our friendship — and later FBG — was born. Since then, I’ve also worked as a freelance fitness writer, and personal training education director and marketing director for an adult education school. Not to mention all of the rad stuff I get to do here on FBG and just the knowledge I have for myself and my friends and family (and you awesome readers, of course!) to help them to be healthy.

None of that would have been possible without my ACE Personal Trainer Certification. None of it! I seriously wouldn’t be here telling you this without it. (Kind of mind-blowing, right?)

And, in fact, the stats show that it’s not just me who’s loving the personal training industry. The expected employment increase of personal trainers between 2012 and 2022 is 13 percent — and the current average salary of a personal trainer is about $52,000. Which all makes sense. There’s never been a more pressing time for the need of personal trainers and it’s such a service-based and feel-good industry that it’s incredibly soul-fulfilling work.

So what I’m trying to say is, if you’ve been curious or interested in becoming a personal trainer, check it out for reals! This Personal Trainer Career Guide is filled with everything you need to know. Whether you want to work in a gym, for yourself, online or even just gain the knowledge to get better results for yourself and those you love, it’s an amazing career with tons of opportunities. In fact, you might just end up somewhere even more amazing than you originally planned!

Have you ever toyed with the idea of getting certified? What’s holding you back? Look into it! —Jenn

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of American Council on Exercise. The opinions and text are all mine.

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