As I look back on my internship at NoCo Fitness, it’s crazy to think about how much I’ve learned and how much I feel that I’ve grown in my ability to be a personal trainer. Before I started, I definitely didn’t realize how much goes into being a personal trainer that clients would actually want to work with. I thought that because of all the classroom work that I have done in the exercise realm, I knew everything I needed to know and would be able to jump right into being a personal trainer. However, I’m extremely happy that I was able to do my internship at NoCo Fitness because I learned more than I ever anticipated.
So, as I mentioned, before I started my internship I definitely had a background in fitness. I’m currently in my last semester at UNC, where I have been studying Exercise Science with a minor in Nutrition. Along with my bachelor’s degree, I have a personal training certification from the American College of Sports Medicine. Also, before I even knew that I wanted to be a personal trainer for a living, I have been exercising in different capacities since I was a freshman in high school. I started off exercising to be better in sports while in high school, and after I graduated I transitioned more into exercising to be healthy and have a better quality of life.
What I Learned at NoCo Fitness
My internship started in early January and 450 hours later, I have learned so much that it’s crazy to even think about. One of the most important things that I have learned, is that being a personal trainer is more than just creating a workout and just giving it to the client and telling them to go do it. You should try to help the client enjoy the workout, as much as possible. So, a big part of that is building rapport with the client and learning more about them, so you can actually have conversations, and not just awkwardly stand there and watch them do their exercises.
Another part of helping the clients enjoy themselves is knowing what kind of things they like to do, or even what they physically are able to do. Everybody has their own goals on why they are exercising, and everybody has things that they don’t really like to do or aren’t really practical for what they are trying to accomplish. This was definitely hard for me, because when I first started writing workouts for people, I kind of created them based off of what I enjoyed doing. I had to realize that most of the people that NoCo Fitness works with have different goals than I do. Also, a lot of people have different injuries, or aches and pains that prevent them from doing certain exercises. So learning how to accommodate different people is a huge deal.
Advice for Future Interns
Knowing what I know now, there is some advice that I would give to future interns at NoCo Fitness. First, the first couple of weeks when you are mostly just shadowing the other trainers try to just talk to the clients and learn more about them, because at some point you’re going to need to do it anyways so you might as well just practice the conversation skills from the start.
Next, I would say don’t assume that you know everything and that you don’t really need to learn anything else. Try to pay attention to all of the trainers as much as possible. See what they are doing and how they do things, and if you can’t figure out why they are doing something just ask. All the trainers are extremely knowledgeable on what they do, so you can always learn from what they are doing.
Lastly, if you have the opportunity to do an internship here, don’t take it for granted. I believe that NoCo Fitness is very unique in the way that the trainers really care about the clients and the overall environment that they have created. I’ve interviewed at other gyms that don’t really seem to care for and accommodate their clients the way that NoCo Fitness does. So, I consider myself lucky to have been able to do my internship at NoCo Fitness.
By: Chandler Grimes