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With the continual growth of the personal training industry, there has never been a better time to become an online personal trainer. Whether you’re looking to become a personal trainer, or are an in-person trainer looking to expand your business, we’ll walk you through the steps to become an online personal trainer. Regardless of the reasons, online personal training is a great way to grow your fitness business.

What is an Online Personal Trainer?

Online personal trainers are fitness professionals who administer fitness plans, nutritional programs, motivation and more through the use of technology. Or in other words, they are personal trainers who coach clients via various online platforms, instead of face-to-face. Essentially, they can train clients all around the world, from anywhere, at any time.

Getting Certified

If you’re looking to get into the personal training industry, the first step is to get certified. However, if you are already a personal trainer looking to move some or all of your business online, feel free to skip this section. Before you become certified, almost every accredited certification programs require you to:

Once you have the requirements above, you are ready to begin the certification process. There are a lot of different programs you can choose from, each offering different price points and advantages. We won’t list all of the personal trainer certificate programs you can get, though we’ll go over a few of our favorites.

NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine)

NASM is arguably the biggest provider for personal trainer certifications. They supply you with many different resources to help you through the process. This includes the NCCA accredited exam, a textbook PDF (20 chapters), lecture videos, an exercise library, correcting form videos, practice exams, quizzes, and study guides. These are the basic aspects that are included in every program they offer. With the more advanced programs, they provide even more. They also offer a ton of different fitness specializations that can help separate you from the pack.

The personal trainer certification programs they offer are:

ACE (American Council on Exercise)

ACE is another great option if you are looking to get your personal trainer certification. Their packages include an interactive online guide (ACE academy elite), textbooks, a study companion, ACE answers, practice tests, and the certification exam. The American Council on Exercise also offers programs for group fitness instructors, health coaches, and medical expertise specialists.

The personal trainer certification programs they offer are:

ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association)

ISSA is a leader when it comes to supplying personal trainer certifications. Their packages are paid off in 12 months and come with a lot of resources. Every package includes full online textbook & course materials, audio lectures & written notes, an online exercise lab, practice exams & section quizzes, an online student forum, a free professional website, and a job guarantee. The International Sports Sciences Association also offers a lot of different specialization certifications.

The personal trainer certification programs they offer are:

Picking Your Specialization

In-person trainers have a limited market of clients they can work with. This is because of the location they are in and the budget those clients have. However, when training clients online, your market is unlimited. You do not have to cater to a select client base. Your clients can be located anywhere in the world, but this means there is more competition. This is why picking a fitness specialization is so important. Finding your niche can make you stand out as an online personal trainer.

There are an enormous amount of specializations in the fitness industry. So, choosing one can seem like a daunting task. However, do some research and find something that you’re interested in. The options range from specializing in youth/senior fitness, nutrition, weight loss, and so much more.

Using Technology As An Online Personal Trainer

To successfully grow your online training business, it’s important to use technology to your advantage. Using personal trainer software, having a well-optimized website, and using social media is crucial to finding success as an online personal trainer. If you’re trying to run a business with only spreadsheets and Skype calls, you can get disorganized, fast.

Personal Trainer Software

You’ll need to use a personal trainer software to build workouts, accept payments, and manage your business. If your business is gonna be online, you’ll need a platform to help you organize it. Better yet, software for personal trainers makes running your business infinitely easier than with excel sheets or something similar.

Online personal training software makes tracking progress simple as well. You can track both assessments and exercise progress automatically, making it easy to adjust your client’s fitness plans.

Without using software, you’ll have to work countless more hours making fitness plans for your clients.


You need somewhere for potential clients to go and see everything that you have to offer. However, building a website (if you don’t already have one) is easier than ever. With sites like Wix and SquareSpace, you don’t need to be an advanced developer to make a great website. This is a great place to put testimonials, the packages you offer, a biography, and anything else you think is relevant. For more ideas, visit this article about personal training website ideas.

Social Media

Social media is such a powerful tool in this day and age. The four main social media platforms consist of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Utilizing the tools and strategies they offer can help you reach more clients and grow your fitness business. Marketing on social media is very important to growing as an online personal trainer.

Steps After Becoming An Online Personal Trainer

So you’ve got certified, picked a specialty, and properly used technology to get some clients, great job! However, it doesn’t stop there. You need to continually work to keep your online fitness business growing. Blogging, email marketing, and referrals can help you maintain a steady client base. Also, you want to make sure you are constantly connecting with your clients. Talk with them, have video calls, and make sure you know what’s going on with their lives.

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