Tips for Training Kids

Oct 30, 2014 | by AIF

Training kids is a truly rewarding experience and an excellent addition to your business model as a personal trainer. Here are our thoughts on why you should consider training kids and how to approach it.


The majority of Australian children do not meet the recommended physical activity guidelines outside of school hours. This has been blamed on a range of factors, including increased consumption of entertainment through digital devices. Habits that are formed as children are often carried into teen years and adulthood, so it is crucial that we teach our children the importance of health at a young age.

Teenagers who are overweight have a dramatically higher chance of being overweight or obese when they become adults which can lead to health risks such as heart disease. Training kids is a fantastic way to show them first hand how good it feels to be active and healthy.

While formal after-school sports are a great way for kids to get active, maintain their fitness and ensure physical development, not every child is competitive or enjoys these activities.

Personal trainers have become valuable resources for children looking for alternative forms of exercise outside of school. Competent trainers with expertise in working with children are in high demand.

Training kids is also extremely rewarding and loads of fun. There are programs and exercises designed for kids that are exciting and enjoyable but just won’t work as well for adults. As well as this, training children can bring in extra income to your business.


All aspects of fitness should be considered when planning programs for children, that is strength, stamina and suppleness.

Despite common belief, there are many physical benefits for children who participate in resistance training, such as:

  • Increased strength
  • Decreased risk of injury
  • Improved long-term health
  • Enhanced sports performance

In addition, resistance training can increase children’s self-esteem and self-confidence.  The use of free weights and body weight is recommended for kids.

There are some basic rules and considerations that need to be followed when training kids:

– Activities must be fun and stimulating.  Some level of competition can be a great learning experience for children, but remember that different personality types will respond differently to competition.  The aim is for everyone to feel empowered.

  • Kids will require you to adapt your communication style and motivational techniques
  • Be aware of children who are overweight, as they may feel self conscious performing certain activities, particularly in groups.  Make sure everyone feels safe and part of the group
  • You need to be able to reinforce rules, encourage and motivate
  • Always remember that children are not “mini-adults”, and therefore should be trained with a totally different approach
  • The exercises must be performed in a safe environment with protective clothing and equipment that is suitable for children.

Personal training for kids can be conducted one-on-one or in groups. Group programs offer children many benefits, such as social interaction opportunities and an enhanced fun factor.

Kids should see training as something positive, and it’s your responsibility to ensure that training sessions don’t feel like a chore.


Training kids comes with an extra twist – you have to satisfy two sets of clients, usually with very different needs and wants.

  • The children
  • The parents

Parents tend to enrol their children in personal training because they want them either to excel in a sport or lose weight. Kids, on the other hand, may just want to have fun and make some friends. Parents may pay for the sessions, but the children are your priority, and as a personal trainer you should meet their needs.


Sessions also need to be structured differently to adult sessions. The more motivating, fun and supportive the environment is, the more fun the kids will have. Think about activities you enjoyed as a child that were physical in nature, and use this as a basis to work on your own program/session for children.

You will need an array of colourful equipment that is attractive to a child’s eye, as well as providing safe, stimulating, creative and educational activities. You don’t have to organise sets and reps like you do in an adult program. Activities such as dancing, riding bikes, swimming, rebounding on trampolines and rollerskating are great alternative exercise types that are less structured. Competitive games like soccer and hockey make great use of the outdoors and encourage physical activity.

Personal training may not be the solution for every child, but for some kids, it can be a great way to learn healthy behaviour and habits that will last a lifetime. It’s also a great way for an overweight child to get some immediate results, to reinforce the benefits of fitness or build self-confidence in a child with low self-esteem.

You will need to gain your “Working With Children” Check in your state prior to training kids, and also make sure your qualification includes specific units of competency that relate to children so you are covered by your insurer.

Would you like to have a positive impact on a child’s life? As a personal trainer, you have a real opportunity to change the lives of children and help them to thrive with their health into their adult life. If this sounds like the kind of rewarding career you are after, check out our Master Trainer Program™!



The Australian Institute of Fitness
The Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF) is the largest and longest established fitness training organisation in Australia, with dynamic training methods and expert course coaches nationwide - spanning fitness, massage and nutrition. The AIF qualifies more fitness professionals than any other provider in Australia, as well as offering a broad range of continuing education courses (CEC), upskilling resources and partnership programs for existing industry.

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Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.