Becoming a Personal Trainer: What’s Your Why?

(Disclaimer: Team aSweatLife received a discounted certification rate to participate as a group in the NASM Personal Trainer Certification. As always, we only write about the places, things and experiences we love.)

personal training certification

When we put the idea of an ambassadorship out into the world, we were excited to see what would come from it. In January we launched the program and since then, we’ve taken the aSweatLife Ambassadors on a journey through goal setting, desire mapping, de-cluttering, improvisation as a way to conquer fears and, obviously, done a lot of workouts. And as we experienced new workouts and met new workout friends along the way, it’s no surprise that many Ambassadors felt inspired to take the next step in their fitness journey –  becoming trainers themselves.

In May, many of the aSweatLife Ambassadors and writers (or Team aSweatLife, as we like to call the group) started the process of becoming certified personal trainers through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). While everyone has a different vision of how the certification will fit into real life, there are a few reasons why they all told us they’re working to achieve this goal.

1. They want to be better, stronger and smarter.

Across the board, the team expressed commitment by signing on for the 16-week guided study course. We heard them say that they wanted to better their own knowledge of safe, effective and smart exercises and to deepen their own expertise and feel stronger.

“I [want] to take my training to the next level,” Skye Barella said. “We are all fitness junkies, but I believe that putting more education behind our practice is the obvious next step.”

“As a dietitian and newly graduated yoga teacher, taking this NASM CPT course seemed like a perfect fit,” Catherine Borkowski said. “I want to continue to grow in my skills and career, and I see this as a great opportunity to connect those.”

2. They want to inspire others the way they’ve been inspired.

As outgoing fitness enthusiasts, others often look to the team for advice about how to make fitness and overall health a priority.

“I have a few friends at work who sometimes ask for advice or want to workout together and I’m always up for it but I want to know that I am providing correct information,” Nimbe Juarez said. “I want to be a resource for family and friends and make a positive impact for others.”

“I decided to become a personal trainer because having one of my own helped me so much along my fitness journey,” Kate Frydryk said. “My personal trainers kept me true to myself while also pushing me to be a better athlete and person. Now, I want to be able to help others do the same!”

And Dani Kruger agrees. “I’ve been a part of the fitness community in Chicago for a few years and it has given me so much from personal strength and health to great friends,” she said. “I am seeking an opportunity to help others and give them everything my trainers have given me.”

Ultimately, making fitness the catalyst to you living a bigger, more adventurous life is a point of passion for many Ambassadors, and they are eager to share that joy and passion with others searching for it.

“I want to empower people to live their best life by being as healthy and happy as possible,” Sarah deJong said. “Fitness and overall health is a huge part of that. I believe that the healthier you are, the happier you can be.”

3. They want to advance or change their career.

For some, the knowledge and credentials that come from a personal training certification such as NASM’s benefit their full-time careers.

“As a freelance fitness writer, I’m always looking for more knowledge and credibility,” Cindy Kuzma, Contributing Editor at Runner’s World, Contributing editor at aSweatLife and Editor of the aSweatLife #WeGotGoals podcast, said. “Since NASM is known for a focus on science, I’m eager to delve into the course materials and emerge with proof of my mastery, so my editors and readers alike will be assured my work is top notch.”

For others, instructing is already part of their professional life, and personal training is the next step. Tahnee Lacey and Brittany Reamer both have their group fitness certifications, but they are ready for something more.

“I want to constantly continue my education and grow as a new trainer,” Tahnee said.

“As I take on new roles in my fitness professional career I want to be a better resource for my clients and myself,” Brittany said. “I am always so amazed by the capabilities of the human body and am excited to explore this more in depth!”

And others aren’t quite sure what role a fitness career will play in their lives, but the NASM Personal Trainer certification certainly opens the door to opportunity.

“Fitness is part of my own lifestyle and I’d love to see it become something more, I just don’t know yet what that looks like for me,” Ashley Webb said. “By taking part in NASM, I hope to get a better idea of what avenue I’d like to take to become more involved with fitness as more than a hobby.”

4. They were pushed to finally say “yes” by the support of a team.

Devoting 16 weeks of your time is no small decision, and it can feel overwhelming. But it’s true, there is power in numbers, and that’s what keeps the team on track from week to week. They also have the support of NASM’s program coaches guiding them through their learning journey.

“aSweatLife is the most supportive group I know and I would rather take this daunting journey with awesome people than by myself because studying alone isn’t nearly as fun,” Tahnee said.


“I originally figured, as a fitness writer, I would benefit from the knowledge and credibility a certification might lend but like many things I agree to, the closer it came to doing it, the stronger the urge became to back out,” Lori Wilson shared. “But now, I am determined to see this through and hope I gain a renewed sense of motivation and excitement in the fitness world, either personally or professionally.”

“I had been thinking about getting a personal training certification before talking to the other ambassadors and learning this was a common goal so when I heard about having the option to learn about a passion of mine with people that share that same passion I was all in,” Stormie Barella said.

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