Fitness has emerged as a distinct field of employment today. Popularly known as the 'gym', the old fashioned gymnasium has taken a whole new meaning now. Now-a-days there is also an increase in health consciousness with high premium on outward appearances. With many of us leading sedentary lifestyles, the need for regular and rigorous exercise has become a necessity. Qualified fitness professionals have come to the forefront to cater to persons with related needs and requirements.
Nature of work
The instructors need to have good knowledge of the human anatomy, especially musculature. They suggest the right exercise programme for a person. This includes aerobic activity, weight training and dietary advice. A lot of stamina and will power is required because a fitness instructor may have to workout 3-4 hours a day, depending upon the type of job.
Being a fitness professional requires you to be physically fit and in best of shape at all times to be able to impart good training and be the 'role model' for clients. Good communication skills are must.
Specialization in work
Fitness training can be divided into three major sub-categories:
- Group Fitness Instructors: People who teach any form of exercise in a group/classroom setting are referred to as group fitness instructors.
- Exercise Specialists: They work with people suffering from specific physical ailments. Exercise specialists design the appropriate exercise programme for a patient in accordance with a physician's recommendations.
- Personal Trainers: They are instructors who supervise the exercise and workouts on a one-to-one basis. Daily interaction with clients is the most important part of the job, in addition to business and administration jobs.
One can run his own fitness institute or work as a part time instructor on salary basis. A person with a graduate degree in Physical Education will be eminently qualified to profitably run a fitness saloon or gymnasium. Personal trainers are very much in demand these days. They earn a lot more than the Group Fitness Instructors and Exercise Specialists.
To be a professional fitness instructor, one can take up related courses from reputed institutions. Reebok India Co. offers research-based programmes that are developed by Reebok University especially for professionals sports and fitness instructor .The programmes are conducted in all the metros. The U.S. based American Council on Exercise (ACE) also offers training and certification for fitness instructors valid for two years. These include:-
- The ACE group Fitness Instructor certification.
- ACE Clinical Exercise Specialist certification.
- ACE Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant certification.
There are Bachelor's and Master's level courses available in Physical Education. The premier institute of this kind in India is the Laxmibai National College of Physical Education in Gwalior. Also BFY Sports and Fitness provides certification and workshops for the fitness professionals at Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune.