Become a Personal Trainer

5 easy steps!

Turn your passion for fitness into an exciting career by becoming a personal trainer. Help people reach their health and fitness goals and make healthy life choices to build stronger and healthier communities.

The Personal Trainer certification course replaced the Individual Conditioning certification course.

Step 1: Basic Theory (30 hours)

This introductory YMCA Basic Theory Fitness course serves as the first step in the YMCA Fitness Instructor Training program. The goal of the Basic Theory course is to prepare the student to enter the workforce with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop a successful career in fitness.

Participants will learn about the following topics:

  • Introduction to Concepts in Health and Fitness;
  • Leadership and Communication;
  • Anatomy and Physiology;
  • Movement Mechanics;
  • Principles of Training;
  • Introduction to Program Design;
  • Nutrition;
  • Legal Issues.

Step 2: Personal Trainer Certification Course (34 hours)

The Personal Training Certification Course teaches the necessary knowledge and skills needed to assess participants and create safe, effective and appropriate programs. Students in this course will learn the principles and correct application of strength and cardiovascular conditioning, a wide variety of specific exercises and fundamental assessment skills, the fundamentals of coaching and basic business practices for fitness professionals.

There are written and practical components in this course. 

Step 3: Internship (5 hours)

Participants will learn how to develop fitness programs adapted to the needs and goals of their clients through a 5-hour internship in a YMCA conditioning room.

Participants may only begin their internship once they have completed the 34-hour Personal Trainer Course.

Step 4: Heartsaver® CPR AED certification

Participants must hold a valid Heartsaver® CPR AED with Child Module or with Child & Infant Modules certification in order to obtain their Group Fitness Certification.

We highly recommend participants complete the CPR certification prior to taking the practical exam.

Step 5: Practical Exam

Participants must pass a practical exam (by appointment with a YMCA FIT Trainer).

Additional option: Older Adults (provincial certification - Québec)

The objective of this course is to teach fitness instructors how to lead safe, effective and dynamic group classes for seniors.

> Become a Functional Training Instructor for Aging Adults


This information applies to the 2020 session.

Description Members1 Non-members
Basic Theory3 (30 hours) $ 255 + tx2 $ 293.25 + tx2
Personal Trainer Certification (34 hours) $ 380 + tx2 $ 437 + tx2

1 YMCA Members get a 15 % discount on regular price.
2 FIT manuals are included in the price.
The Basic Theory course is mandatory for the Personal Trainer Certification course. The Basic Theory course may be taken simultaneously with the Personal Trainer Certification course, if the courses calendar permits it.