ACE Launches Career Starter Course to Bridge Fitness Industry Skills Gap

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) introduced the Intro to Personal Training: A Career Starter Course, a comprehensive online and self-paced certificate program that addresses health and fitness industry staffing concerns around hiring qualified employees. The program features exercise science fundamentals and hands-on experience to kickstart new staff training, so employees are job-ready in under two weeks. 

Brian Greenlee, ACE director of business development, emphasized the course's role in addressing onboarding challenges faced by health clubs, stating, "ACE has listened to the concerns of health club managers, and?Intro to Personal Training: A Career Starter Course?offers a solution. Health club owners and hiring teams can now bring in new staff and have them ready to engage with members in only a couple of weeks." 

According to a 2023 Forbes article, companies continue to grapple with a skills gap in their quest to hire qualified candidates. The health and fitness industry is no exception, with high turnover rates and a demand for knowledgeable staff being among the foremost challenges faced by the industry. 

“The hiring environment for many gyms and clubs has dramatically changed ever since the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Jon Baraglia, senior director of fitness at Fitness Formula Clubs. “In order to address staffing shortages, many clubs are hiring individuals with less experience, and clubs have revamped their employee onboarding, such as bringing newcomers up to speed in the industry with introductory courses.” 

The ACE Intro to Personal Training: A Career Starter Course answers the call of employers by addressing the key skills development that best supports health and fitness clubs onboarding of new employees. Those who complete the course will gain essential knowledge in seven modules of content, highlights include: 

  • Sales, Client Retention and Communication – develop an understanding of vital fitness industry skills, including fundamental sales techniques, strategies for building a clientele and practical tips for client engagement and retention. 
  • Program Design Fundamentals – learn the theories of program design through application of the ACE Integrated Fitness Training® (ACE IFT®) Model, a tool that helps health and fitness professionals deliver custom, individualized exercise programs built on a foundation of meaningful rapport and strong personal connection. 
  • Behavior-change Coaching – learn to apply behavior change coaching skills using the ACE Mover Method™ and the ACE ABC ApproachTM. This ACE philosophy delves into the tools necessary to effectively coach clients toward healthier lifestyles using behavior-change science principles. 
  • Inclusive Environment – how to establish an environment that fosters inclusivity, making all clients and members feel welcome, comfortable, and motivated to achieve their fitness goals. 

This course is now available for purchase for gyms, health clubs and fitness studios.