Am I Too Old To Be A Personal Trainer?

Am I too old to be a personal trainer?  That was the question asked by someone at a fitness website I like to frequent.  It’s a good question and one I’ve heard before from others who decide to be get into the business, later, after they have already worked in another field and decide they want to change careers.  Let’s discuss this issue of “older personal trainers” for a moment in case you too have been wondering about it also. After this, also see my post How To Be a Personal Trainer.


The woman who asked the original question that got me thinking about all of this was 30.  While to some, 30 may seem “old” it’s really not – and its definitely not too old to be a personal trainer.  In 1999 the average age of a personal fitness trainer was 38!  While I’ve had trouble finding more up to date statistics on the age of personal trainers, I really do feel its still in the 30s.

Even if I am wrong and the average age of a fitness trainer is younger, it doesn’t matter.  Here’s why:

When people hire a personal trainer, I have it on good authority that they often don’t take serious the younger trainers.  People in their 40s – and above – often look at a 20 something personal trainer and say “what can you teach me?” or  “How can I relate to this person?”.

Younger trainers are actually discriminated against because of their age!

It’s this reverse age discrimination that actually hurts younger trainers – especially those in their early 20s.


Someone in their 40s (or above) usually prefers a fitness trainer who has had some life experiences. That’s someone at least in their 30s.


I know this is true because several people have told me this!  I remember one client telling me “you were more mature” than the other trainers.  I don’t know whether that meant I was “old” but, it got me a client!

So, all things being equal, people who are “older” are more likely to choose a personal trainer who more closely parallels their own life experiences and wisdom.  This usually only comes with age.

So what does that mean for the younger trainers?  Personal trainers who are younger – esp those in their early 20s (and who act it!) have to work a extra hard  to gain the trust of people.  Fortunately there are some pretty easy ways to do this and all boils down to one thing – Be professional.

Fitness Trainers who are professional in public are judged to be smarter than trainers who bounce around the gym wearing skimpy clothes or who only talk about how much they can bench press.


So how can a fitness trainer be professional? Here are several easy ways:

  • Wear the gyms staff uniform. I’ve been in many gyms where the club trainers wear almost anything they like!  This sends a bad message to club members.
  • Another thing is not working out while wearing the gym uniform. When members see a personal trainer working out while wearing the gym staff shirt,  it confuses the members. They don’t know if you are on your own time working out or if you are actually “working”.
  • Nothing says “I’m professional” more than staying educated. Personal trainers are so hung up on being “certified” that they never become “qualified”. That fitness cert will not help you keep a client if you don’t know what you are doing. People who hire personal trainers are smart. They know when you are faking it.


That’s why I always recommend my book, Personal Fitness Training Beyond The Basics. If you know what is in my book, you are light-years ahead of most other “certified personal trainers.” I guarantee it.


  • If your clients email you, you need to have a professional email address. The email address should either be your name or your company name (if you’re self employed) or be easy to spell. If your email is “fitness-bombshell 38DD” at AOL .com, that’s not a professional email.


Speaking of AOL, if you use that service and have information about yourself in the AOL Member Directory, remove anything in the directory that might be considered pornographic or risque.  In the past I have gotten clients from the AOL directory because I was the only guy who had a “sane AOL profile”.  In the past, I’ve noticed that most people on AOL who list themselves as “personal trainers” put all sorts of stupid sexual stuff the AOL Member Directory.  They are idiots and I would never hire them.


  • Don’t use bad language in the club or where other members can hear you. I biked to my local LA Fitness recently and overheard one of the fitness instructors cursing at somebody in her cell phone.  Totally unprofessional!


  • The same thing goes for cell phone messages. Speak clearly and be concise. A good phone message might be “Hi this is Bob.  I can’t come to the phone now.  Please leave a message and I will call you back promptly.”

If on the other hand, your message stars with “Yo Yo Yo”, then that’s not good…


These small changes can go a long way to making a personal trainer seem more professional to perspective clients – no matter what their age.

So, if you are considering becoming a personal trainer, I say go for it because odds are you will run rings around many of the younger trainers I see working in gyms.

What do you think?


  1. Kathi Peters says

    I’m a personal trainer and I’ll be 52 next month! I still teach a group fitness class (weightlifting and cardio). Sometimes I question whether I’m too old for both. You’re correct about older clients preferring a trainer of a comparable age and similar life situation. I have four clients who are 55 and older (and one who’s 35). I suppose there is a certain comfort level for them.

    In any case, I’m able to keep up with people half my age as I exercise, play volleyball, etc., and hope that being fit, training, and teaching at my age is an encouragement to younger people.

    • Joe Cannon says

      Kathi, thats great have you been doing personal training for several years or did you get into it after switching from another career?

  2. Brian says

    Very accurate Joe… professionalism and education wins out every time! If being a personal trainer is the field you choose to make a positive impact on someone’s life, growing in these two areas will put you light years ahead of your “colleagues”
    Thanks for the article Joe…
    From a 50 plus trainer!

  3. Kathi Peters says

    Joe, I’ve been doing nutritional counseling for years and after instructing some clients about the basics of exercise, I decided to spring for a certification. You did my training!

  4. says

    I am 50 and have had a love for physical fitness all of my life. I am becoming certified, finally, after obtaining a Master of Arts degree in Counseling. I plan to be a Life Coach/Personal Trainer with my own business, Life Span Coaching and Fitness. I think that as long as you can perform the exercises you are teaching, it is doubtful that you are too old. I suppose the real question is, “Am I perceived to be too old to be a personal trainer?” I believe that if this is your passion, don’t worry how others perceive your age. Just do your thing professionally and don’t worry about your age. Please, on Facebook I’m “christallinbringingsexybacktabb,” I’m 50 and look and feel great. Age is only a hindrance if you let it be.

    • Joe Cannon says

      I agree totally and with your background in counseling you will be a big hit – counseling is a science /art that most personal trainers do not have. I liked to your FB page also so everybody can check you out too 😉

  5. gary says

    I am 60 and have been a trainer for the last 8 years and I really love it and people really like to train with me. I am in great shape and am told that I dont look nearly my age so I guess that helps. But sometimes I think damm am I too old for this job. I think not! I think it is good for people to know that if you work out faithfully and eat healthy you can look and feel younger – so I a testament to that and I think older people relate to that also.

  6. Marilyn says

    I just celebrated my 60th birthday a month ago and have been a personal trainer for 6 years now. I became interested when I started a diet and exercise plan with a younger personal trainer who was 24 and at the time I was 48. While I reached goals I never thought I could achieve, I realized that there was often a communication disconnect. I stuck with my program but I watched “older” people all around me who felt self-conscious with a young trainer who often had no idea about the limitations of older people. They didn’t seem to recognize that training is not “one size fits all”. I realized that people want to see someone who looks like them has the same life experiences and can identify with their needs. I took my first AAAI-ISMA certification exam (Personal Fitness Trainer) in 2005 and have since that time earned 5 more. Now that I am retired, I have begun to apply for fitness jobs at Senior Facilities and have done a lot of gratis work for friends and peers. You can never be too old for fitness. It should be a part of everyone’s life.

    • emily says

      I am 35 and found this googling “is 35 too old..” but have always (and still) look 10 years younger than my age. It really bothers me, people treat me like I’m stupid or inexperienced at everything in life.

      She says people want “someone that looks like them” so despite that I’m more professional at my current career, like constantly learning new things and actually caring about any job I do, are my looks going to hurt me right off the bat – once again?

      • Joe Cannon says

        emily, this is very interesting. So people your age treat you like you less because you look younger than they do? Amazing. It sounds like you have excellent genes. There are those who might try to use that their advantage (in other words make people think they knew some “secret” to say young).

        Personally I think at 35 you are in a good place. When you speak to others toss in some “big words” or summarize some studies you have read about in fitness journals (I like IDEA Fitness Journal). Regardless of age I still believe education is the key to being successful. I believe with your professionalism and that you are unstoppable.

        Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

  7. Patricia Smith says

    Good story Joe, Im 51 years old and have been training for 7 years now. A few of my clients said that they were happy I came to meet with them and not some 25 yr old buxom blond. You really do have to connect to your client in more ways than one! Thanks for the article.

    • Joe Cannon says

      Patricia, thanks for saying that and its sooo true! I think with a lot of 20-something trainers, they think that if they just “look good”, and are “certified” that the people will come. Its a side effect of the appearance driven nature of the fitness industry. Unfortunately very few managers in big box gyms seems to tell these trainers that they have to work on their minds as well as their muscles if they want to have any longevity in the industry.

  8. Joel Wexler says

    I’m 68, ACE certified. I teach mostly senior fitness classes at a local senior center and at a health club. I, also, have private clients that are not seniors. I have never thought, or felt that I was to old to be a trainer. I enjoy helping people of all ages achieve their goals. Professionalism and courtesy are essential.

  9. Sy Wexler says

    Hi Joe, We have met. Not to be published I am 77 with 4 1/2 yrs employment at LA Fitness. I maintain a A rating and considered at least one of the top trainers in the gym. I train hypertrophy and train clients with carefully supervised needs.

    I look forward to your news letter each month. Thanks for filling me in on the Bailly purchase. have a good New Year

  10. Yvonne says

    I’m seriously considering a change and become a finess trainer. I’m 52 years old. I’m in good health but like to be in great health and not quite sure what does it mean. What are the first steps to getting in fit physically and mentally as would a fitness trainer. What is the first step?

    Please help me become a fitness trainer.
    Thank You

    • Joe Cannon says

      Hi Yvonne, have you read any books about health and wellness? if not that might be a good step. here are some suggestions
      Nutrition Action Newsletter
      my book about personal training

      Do you like like audiobooks? If yes there are some good health and fitness books at
      If you have Itunes – and who doesn’t – open it and go to “I Tunes University” there you will find 100% free college courses on exercise science and nutrition. you can listen to them when you are working out.

      There are also some good videos on Youtube. just type in what you are seeking. There also is some junk on Youtube too so use your good judgement about what you believe (does the stuff sound way too fantastic? if yes, it probalby is bogus)

      You might also try speaking to some personal trainers at your gym and asking them who they are certified by. what they like and dont like about it etc.

      Does that help or do you have any other questions? If yes, just ask :)

  11. Cara says

    Thanks so much for answering the ‘Age’ question! I’m turning 47 this Saturday and just took the AAAI/ISMA workshop in Baltimore last weekend (fingers crossed that I passed)! I *THINK* I did well, but am trying to keep my excitement down to a level of cautious optimism. :-) I’m continuing to study the books for that exam and some others that I have because….you often make a valid point about being certified vs being qualified. I want to be both! :-)

  12. says

    One of the best aspects of being a personal trainer is the fact that age can actually work to your advantage. Older personal trainers are valued for their wisdom and maturity, gained through years of real life experience in dealing with a variety of people and handling diverse situations that can really set them apart and make them sought after by niche clientele. The possibilities are limitless and age is certainly no barrier. If personal training is truly what you want to do, don’t let anything stop you.

  13. Jim Stacey says

    Joe, you hit the nail on the head about reverse discrimination. I saw the very same thing in real estate sales. You could have a “kid” in his twenties graduate with top scores and not last six months, versus middle-aged persons who had already acquired a lot of business knowledge get off to a much easier start, especially if they had dealt with the public, such as nurses and teachers.

    • Joe Cannon says

      Jim, that’s a good point. People who have had experience dealing with the public are in a much better position to be successful as a personal trainer than those who have no such experience.

  14. Brian Chandler says

    I’m a former combat medic and thinking of double majoring. Currently I’m focusing on Physicians Assistant Programs but it looks like a few years in the making. I have always stayed fit my entire life, I’m 41 now and eat right and exercise. I’ve always thought about being a trainer. After reading this forum about the age differences, I’m now inclined to pursue a Fitness Trainer degree. I kept think I was too old until now.

  15. Jim Stacey says

    More feedback on the age question: I am now well into my NASM certification at the age of 70. When we introduced ourselves in class and explained our goals, I said “I want to be the example that 70 is the new 40.” Wow, did I get a bunch of shocked looks, and compliments (and the inevitable question: “are you dyeing your hair?” Ha! That’s my secret.).

    But the “kids” in my class had no idea that someone could look much, much younger if they lived an active life and consistently ate carefully (of course, genetics is a factor), and that a senior could still move and lift and all that just about as well as when in their fifties.

    Yes, my career in this field may not last more than ten years or so, but it will probably be a great ten years, and will just make life that much more enjoyable. So, no matter what age you are, don’t hesitate. Kick sand in the face of those middle-aged punks!

  16. Maggie says

    I am so glad to have found this site. I have been considering getting my certification for some time now. I will soon be 60. Although no one thinks I am any where near that age, I feel I could be better but through the years I have not been as active as I would like to be.

    After raising 3 children and working more than full time, I want my life to be more than sitting at a desk for many hours. I felt I was too old but now I am going for it. I would like to work mainly with older adults because I watched an elderly relative go down hill just due to lack of inactivity and I would like to inspire older adults to keep moving.
    Thank you

  17. says

    Hello! I just went and did a search and binged “am I too old to be a personal trainer” and came across your site. I am 45 but to some I do not look my age (some think I look 30!), just started working PT weekends at my local gym, and now the members think at times I am a personal trainer! I carry a log with me when I workout so I guess that is why they ask. I for the longest time thought of becoming a personal trainer but was hesitant because of my age. I think I will give it a shot after reading this article… I am very people friendly and have many members who love my attitude and how dedicated I am to fitness! Thank you so much for clearing out the cloud in my mind for me! 😉

  18. Simone says

    I have been thinking about this for ages but thought I was being silly at my age (42) Thanks so much for all your comments, you’ve helped me finally decide. It also fits perfectly as I’m a nutritionist. :-)

  19. Brian G. Nixon says

    I needed to read this as I’m considering getting out of construction and focusing on becoming a PT. I’ll be 33 in August and have always been in and out of the gym but the past year I’d say my passion has doubled and I’ve felt the need to spread that passion and hopefully by training others I can show them what amazing things they can accomplish if they put their heart into it.

  20. says

    Thank you for this. I’m 39 and just recently passed the CSCS exam. I’m making a huge switch from the investment world, where I’ve been for 16 years, to starting my own training business. I’ve thought of the age thing and had some worries. This makes sense and eases my concerns.

  21. Leroy says

    Wow. This is a great article and exactly what I needed to hear. I was starting to doubt myself. I’m turning 41 pretty soon and just became ACE certified. I love fitness and have been exercising for years and wanted to take my hobby to the next level. I have been looking for a gig but seem to have been coming across resistance.

    I am starting to realize that it’s not my age, but that many of the facilities don’t want to hire someone part time. I am not in a position to leave my regular job yet, and don’t want to. Any words of advice……

    • Joe Cannon says

      Leroy, glad you found me! There may be gyms in your area that let outside trainers work with clients. You have to get the clients thought. One way to do that after you are certified is by posting in craigslist. I can tell you from experience this does work.

      Another idea is to start blogging. focus on helping people. Give it a sold year of consistant blogging about topics that people should know about. There are ways you can make an income from your blog if you do it the right way. Focusing on helping people is the right way. Here is how I made my blogs if you are interested.

      Instead of the big box gyms, apply at YMCAs and Jewish Community Centers. Ive found they are more likely to appreciate you and work around your schedule. They also tend to pay a bit more than some of the big box gyms so even better :)

      • Leroy says

        Thanks so much for your advice. I will look into it. I am not ready to take on my own clients yet thought. I was hoping to work at a larger establishment and learn the ropes a bit before I go out on my own. Also they have a stream of people coming in so I should be able to get at least a few of them to sign up for sessions, and practice training with them…

        • Rich says

          Hi Leroy. Joe offered great advice and especially by including the YMCA as one of your options. Its a great organization with a great mission. I had an interest in helping others get fit and had been a regular Y member during my own personal health journey. I made an appointment with the Health and Wellness director after I noticed a poster asking if there were anyone interested in pursuing certification for group exercise or personal training. She was very encouraging and offered that I could work as a volunteer with teen strength training until I got certified (NASM but that was my choice. The Y accepts any reputable certification) and that she would then hire me if things worked out.

          That’s what I did and it worked out and now I work there part time, 20 hours plus per week plus my regular full time job have a lot of clients, loving it and working with a great bunch of trainers and staff and touching a lot of lives.

          I have a lot of flexibility to create my own programs reach out to over 9,000 members at our location here in Attleboro Ma. (good thing they don’t all show up at once!)

          By doing it this way I’m on the Y staff and on their payroll, insured etc. They provided the CPR/AED/First Aid Training and you can develop your own client base within the Y but also have the freedom to develop your own clientele outside the Y too (unless you’re on salary as a full time staff or director then obviously you’re committed to the Y only). Meanwhile you can learn from the other trainers who are very helpful and progress toward your own certifications.

          You’d be surprised at the expertise and quality of staff with health and fitness related degrees at the Y.

          When I earned my Personal Training Certification I asked one of the big time personal training directors/instructors at a NASM workshop if the Y was a good choice to develop my skills or should I try to move on to the “big time” gyms. He strongly recommended that I start out with the Y and see what happens. That’s what I did and have no regrets.

          The Y is a non-profit and that can be both good and bad. You won’t get big time rich (not that any trainer does!) but if you have a heart for Y’s mission then you can get hooked. We’re a real health outreach to the community and involved in schools, elderly centers, community functions, sports teams, youth and adults, preschool, day care, and a real community. Even for our members its not just a place to come in and workout. For young and old alike its part of our daily social lives. I have no good reason to go anywhere else.

          …and part of this topic was “Am I too Old to Be a Trainer” I’m 61 now and started 4 years ago. See my recent response to that question on this blog if you haven’t already.

          Good luck Leroy!


  22. Rich says

    I was wondering the same thing at 58 and now at 61 I’ve got all the clients I can handle. I cover everything from Teen Strength Training, to one-on-one personal training with several business owners, doctors, lawyers to housewives and families, small group training, Livestrong cancer survivors and the Arthritis Foundation and several clients I train for free if I see the need.

    I’m passionate and professional about what I do and my own personal journey from hospital bed to weight loss of 140 lbs is something a lot of people can relate to and gives me a good base of empathy for those struggling with healthy weight loss.

    Most of my clients are in the 30-60’s range and tell my boss they don’t want to train with “some young buck”. I have a degree in mechanical engineering and was a manager in Fortune 500 company for many years so I can also relate to the businessmen who want a trainer. For the teens, their parents trust me as a father figure and with my educational background they like the fact that I encourage them in their education.

    I’m certified through NASM as a personal trainer, CES – corrective exercise and FNS – Fitness nutrition. I’m now studying for my CSCS through NSCA and then plan on pursuing some college courses and possibly a degree in nutrition which is my favorite topic.

    My age is not the total reason for my success but it certainly has opened a lot of doors. So if you have the same question I did then I’ve proved that I was right to pursue my passion and you should too no matter what your age. You might be surprised at the results! GO FOR IT!


  23. says

    I’ll be 57 in Oct (but look at least 10 years younger) and over the past year have considered becoming certified for personal training. I didn’t play sports in school or do track or anything like that. But I’ve been working out off and on since age 40 and steady since age 50. I regularly read OnFitness magazine. I started running 18 months ago and have several half marathons under my belt.

    About a year ago I started a blog, If I do get certified, I’d like to emphasize working with people in their 40s and older, although of course I’d work with anyone.

    I think the aging population is a ready-made target and I just see too many people my age (and even younger!) so out of shape.

    • Joe Cannon says

      Danette, that’s Great and I say go for it! You’ll definitely have an advantage over younger personal trainers in their 20s.

      I checked out your website – very nice! I wish more fitness people would blog. its such a great thing to be able to reach out to others across the world and help them.

  24. Sherri says

    I just turned 46 and have been thinking about this for years. I was a dance teacher until I had kids 13 years ago. My concern is that I am only available days. I am the sole parent & caregiver to my boys. One is severely disabled and 13 the other is 10. They go to school but I have no help otherwise.

    I worked hard to rebuild our lives when my ex left 10 years ago. I want to help others and fitness is a passion. I had a trainer for a short time who said I’d be great at it. But availability may hold me back and I’m unsure of the best certification to have

    • Joe Cannon says

      Hi Sherri, First let me say how much respect I have for you and what you are accomplishing with your kids in spike of the hardships you have been though. It takes a strong person to do what you are doing.

      There are one day fitness certifications such as those offered by IFTA and AAAI/ISMA

      There are also 2 day certs offered by AFAA

      Because Im sure money is tight I would weigh the cost of each cert. I do not want you to go into debt to be a certified personal trainer. You will hear people say “this is the best cert” etc but sometimes those organizations are expensive. There is no best cert and all teach basically the same stuff. I’d rather you were certified and then, as money was available get books videos, attend 1 day seminars etc to learn extra stuff.

      One advantage for you with online certs is that you can work on them at your own pace at home. For you this may be an option. of all the online certs out there, ISSA (international sports science association) appears to be the most widely accepted that I am aware of

      All this said, working as a personal trainer -after you get certified- may be an issue for you because as you said, you are mostly able to do this when your kids are at at school. If you were a personal trainer, would it be possible to reach out to other mothers of kids and/or kids who were disabled? Id think you have a pretty good nitch market because Im sure moms of kids/disabled kids are likely people who have limited time to work out and might be only able to do it when you available.

      Another option as a trainer is to start a walking club with people in your neighborhood. The other moms might also be able to do it when you can. Make this a free walking club. This helps everybody get to know everybody. Some of these fellow walkers might sign up with you as a personal trainer.

      You have another option which may not have occurred to you. You do have the ability to do what I am doing right now. Helping someone via the internet. With a website you could be a fitness blogger, helping others all over the world with their health and wellness issues. You can make money from your website too although this does take time to do. Here is how I made my websites if you ever are interested

      You do have options as a personal trainer Sherri and I think with your unique skill set (being a single mom raising your two kids) I think this would help you relate to people who are in similar situations.

      I hope some of this helps Sherri and if I can be of any other help, just ask. Have a great weekend :)

    • Leroy says

      I hear what you are saying Sherri. I still have not been able to find a facility that will take me on as a trainer there. It’s a bit frustrating. I know I don’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his hay days, but I’m no Honey Boo Boo either. Since personal training deals with health and wellness (and a client could get hurt) I want to get a bit of experience before I go out on my own. Here’s my two cents regarding your situation.

      – just do it. Do you want to be the person who at the age of 65 wishes they should’ve? Not me.
      – You are never too old.
      – You will be a great role model for your kids. You actually make things happen, and they will take notice.

      – Getting a cert costs money. You have to be motivated.
      – Getting a cert takes time. I essentially gave up all extracurricular endeavors and studied for a few months. I was studying all the time, taking sample tests, and going over vocabulary. I passed on my first try.

      Maybe you could intern someplace before you spend the money on getting certified. Just a thought. This way you try it out a bit before putting any money down. You could also use the money you make from the side job / internship as a way to pay for the cert. That’s kinda what I did. I have a side gig (non fitness related) and used the money I made to pay for my ACE cert.

  25. says

    I would much rather be coached by someone with years of experience under their belt. Sometimes when I do classes and the trainer is too young they like to try the latest fads. A more experienced instructor gets right to the heart of the workout.

    My best ever fitness instructor was Norman Barker, a teacher at high school. Late 50’s and he could hold a flag position and do press ups from a handstand! He became a real inspiration for generations of kids at our school.

  26. Jason says

    Found this Googling, “is 28 too old…”

    I have been in the IT field since 2008. I can honestly say I have never had a passion for technology in regards to my career. I just choose a major and followed the course. Sure, I love to play with the latest tech, but I have no passion what so ever for it. It’s just a job to me. About a year ago, I gave fitness a solid try. Followed a strict workout plan, counted my macronutrients, increase my water intake and soaked up as much training and nutritional information I could. The result was a new me, as cheesy as that sounds. I lost 45 LBS. It was a huge accomplishment. I went from a very inactive person to running a mile in under 5 minutes,

    My transformation inspired my wife to lose weight. I helped her create a diet and exercise plan and the result was a 32 LBS weight lose. Since then, I have also helped a long distance friend of mine lose roughly 10 lbs. I can honestly say, nothing is more rewarding to me than helping someone accomplish there goals in life, especially a goal as disciplined and challenging as losing weight.

    Currently, I am entering powerlifting and also plan on getting certified as a personal trainer. I have found my passion in life, and thanks to your article, it reinforced in me that I can do what I truly love to do for a living and not worry about being too old for it.


  27. Angela says

    Hi Joe,

    I’m in my early 40’s and will be certified as a Group Fitness Instructor this June. I enjoyed reading your article and all the posts that follow. Thanks for the insight!


  28. amarasgrampy says

    Hi Joe,

    I’m a 67 year-old male computer programmer, which is as sedentary as it sounds, and has been for 36 years.

    I feel I’m in exceptionally good shape for my age, and what I do to stay in shape is actually fun, so I try to set an example by sharing what I do on YouTube, because it really is different if you enjoy what you do to exercise. It’s actually the whole reason I’m in the shape I’m in, and believe me, I dreaded hitting 50 so I thought 67 would be a nightmare. As it turns out I’m in better shape now than at 50, or probably any time in my life.

    But now I want to go beyond just setting an example and become a personal trainer.

    I’d like your opinion on whether I’m too old or not. I have a couple of YouTube playlists that show what I do and my current level of fitness.

    Jump Till You Slump, Hoop Till You Droop:

    Heavy Hula Hands:

    Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

    Richard Waddell

      • amarasgrampy says

        Thanks Joe, and thanks for the links. I will follow your advice. It’s great at 67 to have something that I actually enjoy that provides all the exercise I need. But to have something that I can really throw myself into is almost as good. People don’t realize that when you get old you don’t have to just give in – there’s not enough money in the world that would make me agree to be in the shape I would normally be in at this age. Hopefully becoming a trainer will help me change at least a few people’s lives as much as mine has changed.

        • Joe Cannon says

          Amarasgrampy, I’m glad I can help and keep me posted on how it’s going. Do give consideration to blogging as it lets you reach so many more people. That’s how you found me after all :)

          • amarasgrampy says

            Hi Joe,

            Thanks for getting back to me. I’m working through all your info on certification providers and I had a question. LA Fitness does not seem to accept NSCA certification


            Any opinion on why that might be or any of the other providers they do accept?

            I’m really grateful for the wealth of information you provide including the real world experiences regarding not only tests but the learning process in general. It’s time-consuming to go through everything but so much better than having to make a choice without enough information.

            As soon as my wife gets the site set up I’m going to start blogging on my attempt as a 67 year old to become a personal trainer, including the research I’m doing right now.

            Thanks Again,
            Richard Waddell

          • Joe Cannon says

            amarasgrampy, really! That’ bizarre. So they accept an online NASM cert but not the proctored cert from NSCA? I actually ran into this issue years ago. One day I was teaching a personal training class at LA Fitness and I realized that they didn’t accept NSCA, who I’m certified by. So at the end of the day, I said to the fitness director, “so if I applied to LA Fitness for a job, you would not accept me because I’m NSCA certified?” to which the reply was “that’s correct.” I then countered “But I’m the guy teaching your personal trainers!” The fitness direct just smiled and said, “I know…”

            I remember faxing over a bunch of info about NSCA to LA Fitness corporate years ago (I faxed it – that’s how long ago it was LOL) and I thought this was taken care of. I thought they might not accept NSCA because may be the corporate people never heard of them (which is hard to believe since theyve been around since the early 1980s).

            I’m almost certain Ive met NSCA trainers at LA Fitness…. Have you tried to calling their corporate office to ask about this? It could be that list of certs has not been updated.

            I just tweeted LA Fitness to ask about this. Maybe they will get back to me. I also posted this on the NSCA Facebook page to see if they knew anything about it.

            My advice is to try to seek out employment at either a YMCA or Jewish Community Center. It’s been my experience that the atmosphere is better for trainers and they may pay a bit more too.

          • Joe Cannon says

            Amarasgrampy, I went to my LA Fitness today and asked 2 personal trainers. They both told me LA Fitness accepts NSCA and ACSM certs. So no worries :)

          • Joe Cannon says

            Richard, It looks great! That was very kind of you to mention me also. Much appreciated and do keep me posted on your progress also.

          • Joe Cannon says

            Richard, it looks great and thanks so much for linking to me! Few ideas I had while I read your post:

            1. feel free to bold key words in your blog. It helps people as they read them

            2. you are using WordPress so that is good. Use the “H2” (heading 2) when making your section titles. you may be doing this. not sure

            3. Your permalink is the URL that people find your blog post with. Yours is fine but with WordPress you can shorten it to anything you like. For example, your URL (permalink) for the post is is : “sorting-out-what-to-look-for-in-a-personal-fitness-trainer-certification-provider/ If you wanted to, you could shorten this to “personal-training-cert-providers” or anything else you want. The permalink is found directly under your blog title. just click edit and you can put anything you like in there.

            4. In the links you have, change them so that they open up in a new window. Some of your links open up in the same window. This takes people away from your website and it may be hard for them to find their way back to you. When you create links in WordPress, there is a little box that you can check to “open in a new window.”

            The good thing about blogging is you can always go back and update what you created. That’s what I love about it :)

          • amarasgrampy says

            Thanks Joe, I will take your advice and I appreciate your taking the time you obviously did.

            Richard Waddell

  29. Sherri says

    Hi there! So glad I ran across this site! I’m 46 years old and am very seriously considering getting certified as a personal trainer, however, I’m not sure which certification to go for. I am in pretty decent shape but need to tone up. I do great with cardio, but really am interested in strength training and toning, sculpting and things of that sort.

    My ultimate goal after getting myself in shape and certified is to work with overweight women and men but especially work and teens! I am always encouraging my friends or their daughters etc to do their workouts and not to give up etc and will do everything I can to help them and everyone’s always telling me I should be a trainer! SO, I’m ready to give it a go!!!

    Any suggestions on where to start? I have researched 5 certification programs and I THINK that ACE is one of the best!? What sucks is that right now I live 30 minutes away from the closest gym, but I’ll make it work!! Thanks for any help!! :-) Shucky

    • Joe Cannon says

      Hi Sherry, Happy you found my website helpful. I think ACE is good cert and if that’s what you want to go with, I don’t think you will have any regrets. Even though you are 30 minutes from a gym, as a self employed trainer you are arms reach to many potential clients. There is time for that. right now just focus on getting the ACE cert.

      I’d also say don’t worry about having the “perfect’ body before you get into training. I’ve met trainers who spend so much time working out that they neglect their education. It’s easy to see trainers who look great and feel intimidated or not good enough, but take it from me – somebody who sees the test scores of many of those individuals – don’t be too impressed.

      Keep me posted on your progress and if you have any other questions, just ask :)

  30. says

    Great post! I will be 48 next month and younger people ask me questions about how well I stay fit, and people in my age bracket ask for help because they are motivated that someone this old (as people like to say, which drives me up a wall!) can be this fit. I have not been certified as a trainer for long, only 3 years.

    I started 10 years ago, give or take a year, but full time work, and giving Bootcamp classes, with a family of 5, took it’s toll, so I stopped the education, but kept on having classes, and ultimately stopped that because I was not certified, despite my military background it gave me no certification. It was not until working in a factory for the past 6 years became hum drum and boring. I felt stale, but I was in my mid 40’s.

    I wanted to get back into what I love doing, and that was fitness. When I was relieved of my factory contract, you would think I would be upset, if anything I came home to celebrate!! I got back into my studies and completed my Associates Degree with ISSA (Which by the way gets such a bad rap because they have online certifications and degree.

    A LOT of these organizations has online courses, and these are no joke! Try writing several essays, reading a few hundred pages a week, utilizing the links that are assigned to you for research, and running the household of children. A good thing our 2 older kids are on their own. :-) My GI Bill was very helpful, and my wife is paid very well as a chef, so I was able to stay home and study).

    Okay back to the topic at hand. 12:30am here in Iceland, and I am getting a bit slap happy tired. Lol. Age is just a number, and speaking from personal experience older clients do feel more relaxed to an older trainer. Getting right to the point, being real, not trying to impress anyone. I even joke about certain aches and pains now and then, and they can relate to that. My clients like that I am real, and upfront. So if anyone out there, if your in your late 40’s and up, your never too old, your only an inspiration to others who feel they cannot do it because they are getting older.

    • Joe Cannon says

      Christopher, that’s great! Love the quote on your website too – “if you can look up, you can get up.” :)

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