How to Get a Personal Training Internship (With Tips)

If you have a passion for helping others improve their physical fitness, you may be interested in pursuing a career as a personal trainer. One way to hone your skills and gain experience in the industry is by participating in internships. Completing an internship can help you understand the daily responsibilities of a personal trainer and determine whether this career is right for you. In this article, we explain why internships are important for aspiring personal trainers, how to find personal training internships, and provide tips for choosing the right internship program for your needs.

What is a Personal Training Internship?

A personal training internship is a program in which aspiring trainers gain work experience in a health club or gym, which can help prepare them for careers in health and fitness. Personal training internships teach students how to conduct training sessions and create fitness goals for clients. These programs also include shadowing personal trainers to learn the techniques. An intern may or may not receive compensation depending on the organization in which they complete their personal training internship.

Related: The Definitive Guide to Externships and Internships

Why should you get a personal training internship?

Getting a personal training internship can help you gain practical experience before starting your career as a personal trainer. This training can improve your resume and expand your professional network, which can help you find a job in the future. Working with experienced personal trainers during your internship can also prepare you to work effectively in the personal training industry. Your internship supervisor can provide you with lessons on exercise science and fitness, then help you apply what you learned in practical situations.

Taking a personal training internship is also helpful if you’re considering a career change and want to determine whether this type of role interests you. During an internship, you can experience typical job duties and learn what a typical day as a personal trainer is like. This experience can help you choose an area of ​​expertise and determine what types of clients you might prefer to help.

Related: 10 benefits of doing an internship

How to Get a Personal Training Internship

You can follow the steps given below to know how to get personal training internship:

1. Set Your Goals

Consider your interest in learning from a personal training internship to help you set your goals. You can choose your area of ​​expertise and the types of clients you want to work with, such as athletes or people recovering from injuries. Then, you can look for an instructor specializing in that area and request that they supervise your internship. Setting personal goals and objectives related to what you want to learn or achieve by the end of the internship can also help you narrow down your internship search.

Related: how to become a personal trainer

2. Find Gyms in Your Area

To get a personal training internship, it’s helpful to know gyms and fitness centers in your area. You can research each location’s website by reviewing them or contacting them directly to see if they offer internship opportunities. You can also ask the gym if they offer one-on-one training or if you can shadow a personal trainer. When researching potential internship options, consider learning about the organization’s mission to determine if it aligns with your personal values ​​and areas of interest.

3. Submit an Application

Gyms with professional internships for personal trainers may require candidates to submit an application. You can create a personal training resume that showcases your skills and experiences related to the industry. It may also be helpful to submit a reference or letter of recommendation to support the information in your resume.

Related: How to Create a Personal Trainer Resume

4. Practice Interview

To prepare for a potential internship interview, practice answering interview questions. You can ask a friend to read the questions so that you can practice your responses in front of another person.

In your internship interview, the interviewer may also ask you to show them how to use exercise equipment and perform normal body weight exercises. You can try and practice using the equipment before the interview to help with the preparation. Before the interview, you can also think of some questions to ask about internships. For example, it can be helpful to ask about the level of support you can expect during the internship.

5. Send a Follow-up

After interviewing with a gym or reaching out to inquire about an internship, send a follow-up message thanking the person who reviewed your application, such as a hiring manager. It shows that you are interested in the opportunity and demonstrates your people skills. It can also help you make a positive first impression on the hiring managers.

Related: How long does it take to become a personal trainer? (Frequently Asked Questions with Personal Instructor)

Tips for choosing the right personal training internship

The following is some advice to help you choose the right personal training internship for you:

Consider the program’s reputation

When choosing your internship program, consider looking for one offered by a reputable gym or trainer. To determine whether an instructor or gym is reputable, you can research to find out how many years of experience gym trainers have and obtain client evidence. Other considerations include whether the gym has state-of-the-art facilities, how comfortable you feel with the instructors and the number of training programs they offer.

focus on practical experience

Find internship programs that offer hands-on learning opportunities, during which you can work directly with participants. While shadowing trainers can be helpful in the learning process, interacting with clients is also beneficial. It provides you an opportunity to practice your personal training skills. During your research phase, ask the gym team how much practical experience you can expect to have with clients during your internship.

get feedback from others

Another way to determine whether an internship meets your goals is to talk with people who have already completed one at a trainer or at a certain gym. If you are pursuing formal education, your educational institution may be able to connect you with an internship program it supports. Also, consider asking instructors you admire where they completed their internships.

Find the necessary skills

As you search for an internship, consider making a list of some of the skills you hope to gain from the program. This can help you determine whether the program can help you achieve your career goals. You can also read the internship description to see what types of skills the instructor plans to teach candidates and whether those skills are on your list.

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