Become a Fitness Nutrition Specialist

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Wherever you are in your fitness career, this article will tell you everything you need to do to become a fitness nutrition specialist.

We’ll run through each stage of the process including:

We’ll run through qualifications in more detail throughout this article, but the best way to develop your niche is with OriGym's Level 4 nutrition qualification!

You can find out details of all the courses we offer with our free downloadable course prospectus!

Step 1: Get the Right Qualifications to Become a Nutrition Specialist

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Before you can become a fitness nutrition specialist, the most important thing you need to do is get the best qualifications.

If you want to know how to become a certified fitness nutrition specialist there’s a few different qualifications you’ll need in order to advertise this as your niche.

Of course, the most important qualification you’ll need is one specific to diet and nutrition. A Level 4 Nutrition course will have everything you need to get started.

The reason this is the baseline qualification you’ll need is that there are no entry requirements for this particular course.

This means you can get started whenever you’re ready and start learning the essential knowledge and expertise you’ll need to start working with clients. 

If you want to become a nutritionist with a Level 4 course you’ll cover the following bases:

  • What macro and micro nutrition is and how it can affect performance and energy expenditure. This will help design a diet plan to support different levels of activity
  • Understanding nutrition legislation so that you know the legalities involved in food labelling and nutrition so you can work safely and effectively with clients
  • Learn the connection between nutrition and physical activity so you have an understanding of how to support exercise with nutrition 

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You’ll also learn about the individual needs of some special populations such as the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Of course, this will only enable you to work with individuals based around supporting certain exercises with nutrition, rather than actually helping with the exercise itself.

To become a fitness nutrition specialist, you’ll want to do both, and so you'll also want to gain a Level 3 Personal Training certificate.

Just as you’ll use nutrition to support somebody’s fitness levels and any exercise regime they’re already doing, you can also offer the exercise regime yourself to offer a full, bespoke programme for clients.

If you complete a personal training diploma you’ll be able to create a full exercise programme as well as write a meal plan for your clients, supporting their goals in a more well rounded way.

Fitness courses like these will allow you to become a personal trainer who specialises in nutrition as well as being a nutritionist who specialises in sports and exercise. 

 This will also mean that you can earn more because you’ll be able to charge more for these well rounded services and complete packages. 

Step 2: Get the Right Insurance for Fitness Nutrition Specialist Jobs

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Once you’ve gained your qualifications, you’ll need to make sure you’re insured to become a fitness nutrition specialist and work with clients one-to-one.

You’re not legally allowed to practise as a fitness professional without the right PT insurance so it’s vital that you secure this before working with people.

Having the right insurance will mean that if people make any claims against you because they deem injury or illness to have been as a result of your training or advice, you’ll be protected from the fees.

Whether you need to source this for yourself will depend on how you choose to work. 

Whilst you’re building up your work experience (which we’ll cover in the next section) you might have cover from the gym you’re working in.

However, once you’ve built up your business, any work you do freelance or independently will mean sourcing your own insurance and making sure you’re protected from any legal fees.

There’s a few different kinds of insurance you’ll need to make sure you have. We’ll run through each of them now!

Public Liability Insurance

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Any public facing role needs public liability insurance. This is the most important kind of insurance for any fitness professional as this protects you from claims that your actions have led to injury or illness.

If you become a fitness nutrition specialist you won’t just be giving advice and designing a nutrition plan.

You’ll also sometimes complete physical activities and tests for your clients including:

  • Use certain equipment for exercises
  • Do hands on adjustments, with a client’s consent, to help them complete an exercise
  • Do a functional movement screening (testing mobility and flexibility of your clients)

It also protects you from any accident or injury sustained whilst under your care, whether it’s directly related to the service you provide or not.

For example, if a client trips on a wire attached to your laptop whilst you’re discussing their nutrition plan they might suggest you’re liable for the injury.

Public liability insurance protects you from the cost of the legal fees as well as any compensation you have to pay as a result.

Professional Treatment Liability Insurance

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Similar to professional indemnity insurance, this protects you from any claims that injury or illness was as a result of your professional advice.

In fitness nutrition specialist jobs you may have clients where you’re purely giving them advice and designing a nutrition plan so you need to be protected from these claims.

For example, somebody may react badly to a particular kind of food or may decide to blame a stomach bug on your nutrition plan.

In this situation you’ll be protected should there be any cost to you or your business either to argue the case or if any compensation should be needed. 

Personal Accident Insurance

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The next kind of insurance you’ll need is personal accident, to protect you for if you harm yourself or injure yourself whilst you’re working.

This will protect you from having to pay for any rehabilitation or treatment should these costs incur for recovery.

For example, if you need to have private physio or other rehabilitative treatment, this will be covered by this kind of policy.

You can also combine this with loss of earnings insurance which will protect you from any money lost should this injury or illness lead to loss of work.

If you’re unable to work with clients whilst you recover, loss of earnings insurance will pay you a certain amount so that you can keep your personal and business expenses afloat!

Equipment Insurance

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If you want to know how to become a fitness nutrition specialist another important type of insurance you’ll have to include in your policy is equipment insurance.

This will protect you from having to pay out should your equipment become damaged by a client during a session.

This will also protect you if you’re working freelance in a rented space with equipment like a gym or fitness facility.

If you’re working out of a gym, especially early in your career, a policy like this will protect you if you or a client accidentally damages the equipment.

You won’t have to fork out for the cost of any repairs, or to replace anything that becomes broken.

You can set the amount you want to pay and the amount you want to be covered for, depending on how you work and the equipment you want to have covered.

The maximum you can get from Insure4Sport, the leading providers of fitness insurance, is £50,000 so you should hopefully be covered for most expenses!

Step 3: How to Become a Fitness Nutrition Specialist with Work Experience

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Once you’re qualified, and you’ve secured the right insurance, you’ll need work experience to develop the essential nutritionist skills to become a fitness nutrition specialist.

Offering a combination of fitness and nutrition will mean that, at least at the start of your career, you should gain some experience working with a wide range of clients in a gym or fitness facility.

You’ll have the security of a position behind you whilst you build up your client list and develop a niche based on what you like best and how best you work with different goals.

If you start by working as a PT in a gym, you can offer and prioritise nutrition packages and gain experience working with individual clients. 

This will mean you can test out your business model and will have the stability to tweak as you go along, choosing what works best for you!

As you can see, having a nutrition qualification can often be an advantage in securing some of the highest paid fitness jobs in a gym:

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As part of your role as a PT you can prioritise the nutrition side of things and gain invaluable experience for future fitness nutrition specialist jobs specifically.

Then you’ll be prepared and aware of how to work with a whole host of different clients and be experienced enough to break out on your own, either freelance or as an independent company.

Step 4: Marketing Yourself Once You've Become a Fitness Nutrition Specialist

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Once you’re qualified to become a fitness nutrition specialist and you’ve sourced the right insurance, you’ll need to be able to market yourself to secure more advanced fitness nutrition specialist jobs.

We’ll run through some of the essential methods of doing this so you know how you can promote yourself and your business!

Include ‘Fitness Nutrition Specialist’ in Your Social Media Bio 

One of the most important things you can do once you’ve become a fitness nutrition specialist is ensure that you advertise it on your social media platforms!

Including this title when you write a nutritionist bio will mean that your pages are much more likely to show whenever people are searching for your kind of services.

This is part of what’s called SEO in marketing, or ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, meaning you’re including keywords that are frequently searched for by your target market!

If someone is looking for a fitness nutrition specialist, you want them to easily find you and your services.


Become a Fitness Nutrition Specialist

Develop the essential skills you'll need with OriGym's level 4 nutrition course!

It’s no use having impressive content that showcases your expertise if people can’t find it! This is why you need to make sure you include your title in your bio.

From there, your content and other personal trainer marketing strategies can be used to promote you as a fitness nutrition specialist. 

It will also mean people can immediately identify what it is you’re offering and prepare them better for making an enquiry or booking for your services!

A great example of this is Jessica Jaynes who’s written a succinct bio that tells you exactly what she’s offering and her particular expertise:

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As you can see, she has plenty of followers and potential clients will be able to identify straight away what services she offers!

Not only has she got her title next to her name, but she’s also broken down this role in her bio too which is something you could do to give a clear message to potential clients.

How to Become a Fitness Nutrition Specialist with the Most Engaging Content

Once you’ve attracted people to your social media page, you want to make sure that your content will secure you fitness nutrition specialist jobs.

You can gain more clients by having content that displays your expertise and shows your record of success with people you’re currently working with or have worked with in the past. 

You should be aware of exactly who your target audience is and the specific audience you want to cater to so that you can provide content they’ll want to see.

For example, if you want to become a fitness nutrition specialist and you’re interested in training pregnant clients, you should make sure you’re showcasing advice specific to this demographic.

Elizabeth at The Pregnancy Nutritionist is a great example of this:

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She’s used plenty of nutrition coach hashtags specific to this niche to make sure people can find her content.

She’s also offering advice through her posts to showcase her expertise and what she could do to help potential clients.

You can do the same by including some of the following personal trainer social media ideas in your own content:

  • Recipe ideas
  • Busting common misconceptions and myths
  • How to guides for particular exercises
  • Lists of your top suggestions for a particular goal or food group
  • Transformations and client testimonials

This last one is particularly important to show your previous successes and to convince potential clients of your ability to help them reach their goals!

You can do this either by taking transformation pictures yourself or by sharing content generated by your clients..

This is what Sam Russo has done with a highlight on her Instagram showing client testimonials:

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Showing previous client’s success stories will inspire people to get in touch and start their own journey using your services!

Become a Fitness Nutrition Specialist Using Social Media Ads

Another thing you can do to gain more clients and boost your fitness nutrition specialist salary is to use paid advertisements.

You can set up fitness facebook ads and Instagram ads to boost engagement and get more people to sign up for your services.

The reason these are a great investment is because of the reach of social media platforms. 

Think of how many people are scrolling per day and you have an idea of how many people you could reach with your content!

The Meta platform, used to design both Instagram and Facebook ads, is easy to use and you can set up an ad for as long as you like, setting a budget that suits your nutrition business plan!

You can decide on two different options with social media ads in terms of how you set them up and pay:

  • Pay-per-impression
  • Pay-per-click

Most people choose to go with pay-per-click as this is when you only pay if somebody clicks through the ad to your desired web page or enquiry form.

You’ll need to create a Facebook account and register as a business page in order to create these ads and start getting more leads on clients.

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You can then set an objective for your ad, meaning what you want to get out of it, whether that’s more followers or more sales, and target a specific audience.

Here’s an example of what our own Instagram ads look like, which show up in discover, on stories, and reels too:

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And here’s what an ad will typically look like on Facebook:

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This one from G’s Health and Fitness tells you about exactly what she offers and how it can benefit her potential clients as well as a video to add a personal element.

Including yourself in the content for a business you’re the face of will help with brand recognition and make you stand out and seem more trustworthy.


Become a Fitness Nutrition Specialist

Develop the essential skills you'll need with OriGym's level 4 nutrition course!

Step 5: How to Advance as a Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist

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If you want to know how to become a fitness nutrition specialist with a unique selling point (USP), you can enhance your expertise and business with further qualifications.

You can do this with more advanced PT courses or with CPD fitness courses (continued professional development).  

We’ll run through some of the best ones for you to specialise with now, so that you know what’s included and how they can boost your fitness nutrition specialist salary!

Hydration for Sport and Exercise CPD

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This course will teach you about the fundamentals and physiology of water and hydration and how this can affect fitness.

You’ll learn more about exactly what happens to the body during overhydration and dehydration, and how this can influence the way we exercise.

This will not only help inform and explain the advice you give to your clients, it will also help you to design a hydration element of a diet plan or nutrition programme.

This will help you to give your clients a more well rounded service, as well as helping them get even better results.

It will also help you to gain more clients and make more money as a PT and nutritionist because you’ll offer a more in depth and unique service.

OriGym’s course is the first and only one in the country to specialise in this and be REPs accredited so, if you invest in this course, you can give yourself a rare niche to attract more clients! 

It’s the perfect crossover course to inform both fitness and nutrition so it’s definitely a worthy investment if you want to become a fitness nutrition specialist!

Level 4 Diabetes Certification Course

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A Level 4 diabetes control and weight management course is great if you want to become a fitness nutrition specialist who can help with specific medical conditions.

This course will build on a diploma in personal training as well as your nutrition qualification to teach you more in depth about the dietary and nutritional needs of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

You will learn how to assess and measure diabetes in your clients to come up with the best way of dealing with their condition from a nutrition and fitness point of view.

You’ll also learn the extra precautions needed for training clients with diabetes so that you can be safe and effective and offer advice that will work for the people you work with!

This includes designing weight loss programmes and coming up with in depth dietary advice for how your clients can lose weight safely, and with their condition in mind, without compromising results!

All of this will provide you with everything you need to advertise yourself as a diabetes specialist and target that specific market.

Level 4 Obesity & Weight Management Course

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Last on our list of courses that can help you develop a further niche when you become a fitness nutrition specialist is an obesity and weight management qualification.

This course will teach you everything you need to know to specialise in weight loss and weight management.

You’ll be able to work with both clinically obese clients as well as just those who need help losing weight with a diet and exercise programme.

Obviously this is one of the most common goals so if you complete this course you could become a fitness nutrition specialist who caters to both a specific client as well as having one of the most useful, and most popular, niche skill sets.

You’ll learn the following about obesity to help you work with this specific demographic and work in a more medically informed capacity:

  • Causes of obesity
  • Health problems associated with it
  • Symptoms

You’ll then be able to design a variety of weight loss plans and help achieve long term behaviour change for your PT clients.

This is vital for maintaining these goals for your clients and helping change their attitude towards food and exercise in the long term. 

Before You Go!

That concludes our article on how to become a fitness nutrition specialist. Hopefully, now you feel prepared to embark on your new career and know exactly where to start!

Don’t forget to check out our Level 4 nutrition course and see how it can help you get started with the foundation of knowledge you need. You can also find out more with our free course prospectus!

Written by Jessie Florence Jones

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Jessie has a 1st class honours degree in English Literature from University of Leeds and an MA in English Literature from Durham University. Naturally Jessie has a real passion for writing especially about film, culture and wellbeing. Outside of writing she loves hiking, country walks and yoga, which she has been doing religiously over lockdown.

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