How to get a personal training internship at a gym

I would like to start this article off by mentioning to you that this is not a requirement to become a personal trainer.

However, it can be beneficial if you want to learn from professional trainers.

If you are currently not yet a trainer, take the quiz to see which CPT certification is best for your training style.

The menu at the top of this page will answer any question related to personal training that you have. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment here (I’ll respond within 24 hours). Also, visit the home page for the most recent and popular articles.

Now that you know that, I would like to mention that it is incredibly beneficial to participate in an internship if you are getting started out as a personal trainer.

You can learn lots of excellent tips from people that have lots of experience in the industry and can even get some hands-on practice before you work with your first client.

Get 3 certs for 1 with the ISSA Elite Trainer Program ($1,400 of savings).

Save 25% on NASM with code PTP25 or Save $200 on the ACE CPT.

Get 50% off MVP study materials for NASM, ACE or CSCS at Trainer Academy
50% off NASM study materials or 50% off ACE study materials or 50% off CSCS study materials

You will learn all about the job before even you start training which is very cool! Shadowing a personal trainer can teach you so many things that a textbook can’t especially if you’re a visual or kinesthetic learner!

Let me explain to some of the better ways that you can go about getting a personal training internship at your local gymnasium.

In my opinion, this is the best way to avoid beginner mistakes when you’re starting out in the industry. You can even do this without having a personal training certification!

Contact all the gyms that are close to you for personal training internships!

The first step in your process towards getting an internship for personal training is to locate all of the gymnasiums in your area, contact them and directly ask them if they have an internship program.

You need to express your desire to do some personal trainer shadowing. By showing a lot of passion for the industry, you will increase your chances of getting hired after you finish the internship.

If you currently have a membership at a gym, you can walk up to some of the personal trainers and politely ask if you can shadow them for a couple of sessions.

A lot of areas do not have training internships, but you can still ask some of the personal trainers one-on-one. Most personal trainers are similar to contractors because they do not necessarily work for a company or even the gym itself.

In my experience, most personal trainers are very open and friendly to people asking them questions or that show interest in their profession. Don’t get discouraged if you get rejected by a personal trainer when asking to shadow them.

Get 3 certs for 1 with the ISSA Elite Trainer Program ($1,400 of savings).

Save 25% on NASM with code PTP25 or Save $200 on the ACE CPT.

Get 50% off MVP study materials for NASM, ACE or CSCS at Trainer Academy
50% off NASM study materials or 50% off ACE study materials or 50% off CSCS study materials

Just move on and ask the next one. If anything the client might feel uncomfortable, and that is why you will not be able to shadow them. In most cases, the personal trainer will say yes if you ask nicely.

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What type of personal training would you like to do?

As I have talked about a lot on PTpioneer before you get started as a personal trainer you need to understand what type of training you want to do.

Do you want to work with individuals with muscular imbalances, or do you want to work with athletes?

You should have an internship or shadow a trainer that works with the type of clients that you would like to work in the future.

Most personal trainers specialize in one area or another so it is essential to ask them that question before you ask them if you can shadow them.

Be quiet during the sessions but take plenty of notes

Clients of personal trainers pay a lot of money for their time and expertise (which is why you can make a good salary). If you get the opportunity to shadow a personal trainer make sure to keep quiet during the personal training session.

You can ask as many questions as you want after the personal training session has completed. Make sure to bring either your tablet (on silent) or a pad of paper with a pencil or pen to take detailed notes on the session.

If this is your first training session shadowing, you will probably have 1 million questions afterward. Make sure to sit close enough to the personal trainer and client so that you can hear but not too close that you make the client uncomfortable.

Try to get as specific with the questions as you can when asking the trainer after the session. If the personal trainer is not in a rush to get to another client after the session, I’m sure he or she will be more than willing to answer any questions that you have.

Getting your questions answered is the best part about having an internship.

Conclusion on Getting a Personal Training Internship

I hope you enjoyed my article. It will be more comfortable if the gym already has a personal training internship program in place. If not, it is not that difficult to walk up to a personal trainer and directly ask if you can shadow them.

Let me know if you have any experience with shadowing a personal trainer or being part of an internship.

Please like it on social media or share if it was helpful. Also, if you are not yet working as a trainer, I suggest checking out my article on how to build an impressive resume for personal training.

Also, check out my article on essential personality traits to have as a trainer! Happy personal training!

4 thoughts on “How to get a personal training internship at a gym”

  1. My name is Robert. I’m interested in doing an internship here in northern Virginia or Arlington Virginia. I have a bachelors degree in health, fitness promotion from George Mason University. I need more hands on experience with a seasoned trainer even though I have CPT with NASM, it does hurt to learn more about putting a client through professions of a workout. Cardiovascular and core training are my interests. Thank you. Robert Herrera

    1. That is great to hear Robert, have you tried going to all of your local gyms trying to ask if they do internship options? It definitely does not hurt to get more hands on experience. I definitely agree with that. Another option is to ask friends and family to do personal training sessions for free as that will also help you practice what you have learned and get some hands on experience with personal training.

  2. Hi. I am currently a registered nurse but looking into changing my career. I have been looking into personal training because I love the sports field and it’s not completely unrelated to the health field. I have a bachelor’s in nursing. I live in California, near Pasadena area. Any advice? I would appreciate it. do you recommend going back to school? If not how would I gain knowledge about personal training?

    1. Hey Patil,
      Yes, I think a personal training certification would be a great way to expand your personal knowledge into the health and fitness field of personal training. If you’re just doing it to expand your knowledge, I don’t think you need to go back to school as in going back to college. I suggest checking out my article on the top five personal training certifications and picking one of those. You’ll do fine with self-study and if you want to you can start working with clients after you are certified as well.https://www.ptpioneer.com/best-personal-trainer-certification-guide/

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