July 08, 2006 --
Health club members are beginning to look different than they did a decade ago - they're greyer. And their motives are different. These new entrants don't want to build muscle, they just want to get or stay healthy.
This change is helping fuel a boom in the personal training business. Baby boomers are seeking trainers as they look to keep active, lower their resting heart rate or lower their cholesterol. The rising number of boomers, along with people searching for solutions to the country's growing obesity epidemic, is making personal training a lucrative career, industry observers say.
Personal Training Makes The Top 15 in Desirable Fields to Work
The number of personal trainers is expected to grow by 46% by 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, which listed personal training as one of its top 15 most desirable fields in which to work.
And with growing awareness of the country's ever expanding waistline, more people are signing up for gym memberships and being exposed to the possibility of personal training. Many gyms offer free or discounted sessions to lure members to pay for the training later on.
The earning potential is strong. Most trainers can charge about $50 per hour. Working for a fitness club, the trainer takes home about $35 an hour after the club takes its share, said Fabio Comana, exercise physiologist with the San Diego-based American Council on Exercise (ACE), one of the largest and well-respected accrediting organizations for trainers.
Personalization and Motivation Are Key Attributes
Personal trainers create and oversee workout routines for their clients. Instead of simply going to a gym and lifting weights, clients get personalized workouts catered to their specific physical needs. Plus, personal trainers watch their clients and make sure they're following through.
Personal training has gone from a cottage industry to a field requiring certification and continuing education. It's also become more specialized, with trainers marketing themselves as experts in sports conditioning, golf cond
itioning or even Pilates.
"Another factor driving the growth of the industry is how easy it can be to enter", Comana said. "It takes about a year to study and complete certification."
Business Aides Also Available
When a person pursues personal training as a career, they also need to become good business people and marketers. In addition to the many training and certifying authorities, there is also self help from experts such as .
who have published at home DVDs to train.