Becoming a Personal Trainer

Becoming a Personal Trainer

I recently decided to take the plunge and become a certified Personal Trainer. I have always been interested in fitness, and admittedly I did have my PT certification in university, but I let it lapse as I got absorbed into the world of finance for the last 17 years.

I made obtaining my certification one of my New Year’s resolutions in 2019.

I signed up in January and then spent a month re-learning what felt like my entire four years of Kinesiology in one textbook. I decided to obtain my certification through CanFit Pro after speaking to a few trainers I knew in Toronto. I would highly recommend the organization, it’s well-run and the certification process is very straightforward.

Between working full-time both in finance and on our new business, Movement Travel, it was a bit of a challenge to fit in the studying. I also realized it’s been a long time since I studied for anything and my memory is not quite as good as it was in university. That said, I found the information extremely interesting and I can’t believe how much has changed in the training world since my last certification. Equipment like Kettle Bells and TRX didn’t even exist at that time (I am really dating myself here!).

The first step in the process was a three-hour exam which was half multiple choice and half case study. Although it did require knowing every little detail in the textbook, it was very fair and there were no tricks.

The second step for me was more stressful. This was the practical exam which consisted creating a full program for a client (case-study provided by CanFitPro), and one hour walking a friend through a number of assessments and exercises while being evaluated by a CanFit Pro trainer. There were so many points I knew I had to cover off that I felt like a was talking a mile a minute just to make sure I hit everything on the marking key! It also made me realize just how hard it is to cue exercises and try to teach someone who isn’t familiar with weights proper form and regressions. My friend was a real trooper though and I am so grateful she let me put her through that. There’s something about having a friend with you that makes the exam a bit less formal.

I am now proud to say that I hold my Personal Training designation and I can’t wait to get started in the industry. I am looking forward to training on some of our retreats and I’m also very interested in working with the older population. Listening to my parents and aunts and uncles talk about their injuries and chronic pain made me realize it’s an underserved population in terms of training.

I have a newfound respect for all Personal Trainers as I realize just how much knowledge they all have. It’s a very competitive industry in Toronto and therefore the successful trainers have to be very good at what they do to differentiate themselves. Most trainers go on to complete additional certifications in specific components such as Kettle Bells, Foundational Movements or even Nutrition, in order to offer additional benefits to their clients. The online personal training businesses are growing rapidly which may make the industry even more competitive, but on the plus side it is also making training much more accessible for people who aren’t able to meet a trainer regularly in the gym.

It feels strange in a way that I’ve come full circle back to Kinesiology and personal training, but I love the health and fitness industry and it’s very exciting to return to it.

Lisa Gordon

Co-Founder Movement Travel