This session provides participants with an overview of the personal training profession.


  • Exploring: Health Care
  • S. Department of Education: Health Science


By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe how to prepare for a career as a personal trainer.
  • Fill out the appropriate required documentation prior to training a new client.


  • Guest speaker biography
  • Copies of forms used when taking on a new client (See Activity 2 for examples.)


  • Arrange for a professional to speak about personal training.
  • Advise participants ahead of time that they should dress as if they were going to the gym to work out.
  • Arrange for access to a gym.


Text in italics should be read aloud to participants. As you engage your post in activities each week, please include comments, discussions, and feedback to the group relating to Character, Leadership, and Ethics. These are important attributes that make a difference in the success of youth in the workplace and in life.



Discuss the definition of a personal trainer, including ethics and scope of practice, as well as the job of a personal trainer and what that entails.

Activity 1


Have a personal training professional address these topics:

  • Overview of personal training
  • Educational requirements and recommendations for high school courses
  • Benefits and limitations of personal training
  • Personal training job opportunities


Divide the Explorers into two small groups. Present each small group with one of the following ethical scenarios and allow them time to discuss how they would address the situation if they were a certified personal trainer. Ask each group to share their final decision with the entire post. Be sure the guest speaker provides feedback on the groups’ responses as well.


A client says they have pain in their lower back. What would you recommend?

(Because personal trainers are not medical doctors, you should recommend the client see a doctor.)


A client invites you to dinner. What would you do?

(It’s recommended that trainers keep a professional relationship with clients. Because dinner is a social engagement, you should decline the invitation.)

Activity 2

Facility Tour

Tour a gym and identify common personal training equipment. These could include:

  • Measuring tape
  • Body fat calipers
  • Sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff) and stethoscope
  • 12-inch step
  • Metronome
  • Stopwatch
  • Sit and reach box


Hand out the blank forms and explain to Explorers how these forms should be filled out. Be sure Explorers actually fill out the forms as if they were a client and/or a personal trainer. Sample forms may include:

  • Client profile (PAR-Q)
  • Informed consent
  • Medical release

NCCPT Personal Trainer Certification Discount

Registered Exploring leaders and youth participants (18 years or older) can take advantage of a 40 percent discount offered by the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT) for its Personal Trainer Certification courses. By completing the NCCPT Personal Trainer Certification, individuals will learn to perform the following tasks and more:

  • Measure resting heart rate
  • Take anthropometric measurements
  • Provide static postural assessment
  • Measure body composition
  • Measure and monitor blood pressure
  • Administer 3-minute step test
  • Administer sit and reach test

To enroll in any of the NCCPT’s Certified Personal Trainer courses, email


Some sample questions are below. They are designed to help the participants apply what they have learned to their own interests. You are welcome to use these questions or develop your own questions that relate to your post or specific focus area.


Focusing Questions

  • Do you know anyone in your family or close to you who has hired a personal trainer or worked with a personal trainer?
  • Would you consider a gym a “professional” work environment? Why or why not?
  • What did you learn during today’s discussion?

Analysis Questions

  • What types of ethical issues do you think could arise related to performing personal training?
  • What are the main components of the client profile?
  • Why is it important to have the client sign an informed consent form?

Generalization Questions

  • What can you do now, during your time as a student, to prepare yourself for this or a similar career in the health and fitness field?


After the meeting, address the following:

  • Identify what was successful about the meeting.
  • Identify what needed improvement.
  • Schedule an officer and Advisor planning meeting to prepare for the next post meeting or activity.
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