Calgary Fitness Careers: How to Get Started

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workout with a personal trainer

When you surround yourself with happy and energetic people, it rubs off. Fitness professionals are upbeat and excited to come to work, not only because they love fitness but also because they genuinely enjoy working with others. We’re in a people industry.

Every year World Health hires a number of members who want to start fitness careers, but where does one get started? As the fitness industry is not government regulated, there are a staggering number of certification options. Some are great, while others are not. From university classrooms to online in your spare time, we’ve put together a list of a few ways you can jump into the industry.

Personal Training 

There are a number of ways to become certified as a Personal Trainer, and each path has a unique set of pros and cons.

World Health has partnered with the Universities, Colleges and practical programs to provide students with hands-on experience in our clubs. There is no doubt that a university degree will provide you with the most theoretical knowledge with respect to exercise prescription and program design. A degree program will also allow you to delve into exercise psychology and sociology. This may be a route to go if you are graduating high school or looking to submerse yourself in education for the next four years.

The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology Certified Personal Training certification program is among the best in Canada. Mount Royal University, the Northen Alberta Institute of Technology(NAIT) and Grand Prairie Community College offer this two-year diploma. This also requires the dedication to a full-time class schedule, but for a shorter commitment. NAIT also offers an online program, which would be ideal for current fitness professionals looking to upgrade their knowledge base or mature students who are changing careers and cannot attend full-time school.

For the mature student who would like to attend school part-time while maintaining their full-time day job, Elevated Learning Academy in Calgary has a four-month diploma program available. Classes run evening and weekends and students are able to obtain American Council of Exercise (ACE) and canfitpro certifications as part of their program.

The Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association (AFLCA) and canfitpro are both great entry-level certification programs available in Alberta. These courses typically run on weeknights and weekends and are great for the mature student. They are shorter in length but also a good starting point as both organizations stress life-long learning and continued development. Many trainers who start their careers with these certifications also continue upgrading their knowledge base with online programs.

If you are looking for an online certification, we recommend PTA Global or the Active Aging program offered through Grand Prairie Regional College. These programs will give you a good theoretical foundation but ensure that you are actively applying your knowledge through an in-club internship.

Fitness Consultant  

Did you know that only 15% of our population actually exercises? At World Health our mission is to enrich people’s lives by inspiring a healthy and active lifestyle and Fitness Consultants play a vital role in this by getting new members started at the club.

Special certification is not required for this membership sales position; however, we provide a detailed fitness training program at the time of hire, along with access to online and in-club certification programs. If you are a passionate, honest, people-person who is excited about getting others healthy, this may be the role for you.

Group Fitness Instructor 

The party doesn’t start and stop with Zumba when it comes to group fitness. Every day our instructors sweat, lift, move and shake with 30-60 enthusiastic members. If you describe yourself as the centre of attention, always in the spotlight, and love to lead a crowd, look into getting group fitness certified through canfitpro or AFLCA. After you have obtained certification, World Health allows you to specialize your training with our signature series workshops.

Working in our industry is rewarding on many levels. You see and hear about the difference you make in people’s lives daily, you are constantly learning and, most importantly, it is fun.

To discuss how you can get started in the fitness industry at World Health, email careers@worldhealth.ca.

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