What are the best personal trainer qualifications and training to get ahead?

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What is the best training for becoming a personal trainer? What types of ongoing training or certifications are necessary to be an effective personal trainer?

What do non-traditional career paths look like?

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divinebovine85 in sydney, Australia

71 months ago

A lot of people want to stay fit. But these people are either doing it the wrong way or simply lack motivation. That's why they need personal fitness trainers, that's why being one is in demand.

If you’re looking to get more knowledge of the methods used by personal fitness trainers, you might consider doing a distance learning course. One such course is www.inst.org/personal-trainer/index.html, but there are many others.

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retrobeast in San Diego, California

62 months ago

Christina in Vienna, West Virginia said: How do I become a personal trainer?
Unfortunately anyone can call him/herself a personal trainer. However, if you want to be well respected within the field you must go to college and/or earn your certification.

Is a degree necessary to become a personal trainer?
No, a degree is not necessary, however, the more educated you are the more integrity you bring to the field. If you do not wish to get a degree in exercise science at the very least take some anatomy, exercise physiology, and nutrition classes at your local college or university. If you would rather complete these types of courses online, do so through a reputable university.

Can I earn a masters degree in exercise science?
Yes. Individuals who have earned a masters in this field have an M.S., M.A., or M.Ed degree.

What is the best personal training certification?
There are many personal training certifications to choose from. Some require that you have a degree in a health related field, others do not. Some exams are rigorous and require months of studying while others can be completed online and are not proctored. (Most exams that are not proctored are a racket and complete waste of money.)

As a GENERAL rule of thumb, there are four certifications widely recognized at gyms and health clubs across the United States:
1. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
2. National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
3. American Council on Exercise (ACE)
4. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

Hope this helps!
Christina
www.fitnessthinktank.com

NASM is over priced and not the best even though they think they are. One of the best is www.pfit.org based in houston.

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Jay- in Castroville, Texas

62 months ago

retrobeast in San Diego, California said: NASM is over priced and not the best even though they think they are. One of the best is www.pfit.org based in houston.

hahahaha....i wouldn't trust that! never heard of them and i'm from texas! NASM is expensive, but it'll get u hired!

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Jay- in Castroville, Texas

62 months ago

divinebovine85 in sydney, Australia said: A lot of people want to stay fit. But these people are either doing it the wrong way or simply lack motivation. That's why they need personal fitness trainers, that's why being one is in demand.

If you’re looking to get more knowledge of the methods used by personal fitness trainers, you might consider doing a distance learning course. One such course is www.inst.org/personal-trainer/index.html , but there are many others.

being one is in demand because the turnover rate is like 80% at most gyms. once people figure out what a joke of a profession it is, they get out! it's like being a car salesman.

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Nadege in Miami, Florida

62 months ago

What about AFPA??

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Jay- in Castroville, Texas

62 months ago

Nadege in Miami, Florida said: What about AFPA??

they've been around since 1994. way too young. looks like they go out of their way to show u how to market yourself...not teach u about training.

ACSM was founded in 1954...that should tell u alot! They are at the forefront of all health and fitness.

NASM was formed in 1987...still young, but the material is decent and covers lots about the kinetic chain.

NSCA was founded in 1978 and are known for their CSCS certs, but also have a PT cert.

The Cooper Institute was founded in 1970. Dr. Kenneth Cooper is the man who introduced the world to the word "aerobics."

There is no way in hell I would use any organization other than one of the four that I have mentioned...I don't care what anyone on this thread tells you!!! They're either lying or just don't know any better. I will say this though. Most gyms that I have been through will recognize these four, but for some reason, want to see the NASM cert. I know LifeTime Fitness and Gold's use NASM for sure...they'll recognize the others and will hire you under the condition that you get NASM cert'd with like 6 months. But, again, the best thing to do is go to school and get a degree. The only reason I would say otherwise is if you're planning on opening your own studio. Corporate gyms care about one thing.....you selling training!!! And the second that you match one of their goals...they raise the goal on you. You're always going to be chasing a number and the gym takes the majority of YOUR cut.

good luck to you!!!
Jay

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E Smith in South Jordan, Utah

60 months ago

The best two certifications are ACSM/HFI and NSCA/CSCS. Different approaches but both are worthwhile. NASM is popular because it is an offshoot of 24 hour and has been promoted heavily. ACE is a basic certification. All other certifications are worthless.

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Jay in New Braunfels, Texas

59 months ago

E Smith in South Jordan, Utah said: The best two certifications are ACSM/HFI and NSCA/CSCS. Different approaches but both are worthwhile. NASM is popular because it is an offshoot of 24 hour and has been promoted heavily. ACE is a basic certification. All other certifications are worthless.

all certs are worthless. like my exercise phys professor told me one time. why would u spend so much money and time getting a DEGREE.......and then turn around and pay for a CERTIFICATION. that's called working backwards. he said he met lots of people with long ass titles and then asked me if i knew what was behind his name. i told him "of course, PhD." he just smiled and said "what else do you want?"

not to mention, if you have a degree and choose to work at a gym......u obviously haven't explored all of your options!!!

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Danny in East Lansing, Michigan

57 months ago

After reading a few comments gonna reply before I ask my question... I got a degree but decided to get into training because I realized I got a degree in something that had lost my interest as I got more into it. Fitness moves me and has gotten me out of self-destructive mind set and I want to help others do this.

My question is that besides basic certification, should I get any group exercise certifications? What will make me most attractive to a good gym?

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millie centeno-cooper in newtonville, New Jersey

57 months ago

Hello, I would like to get listed as a bilingual certified personal trainer. Dont know how to get listed, or promote myself, can anybody help? thanks

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John in Odessa, Texas

48 months ago

I would first and foremost recommend all trainers have a degree in an exercise science. Second, I would recommend one of two certifications. ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) and NSCA's (National Strength and Conditioning Association) CSCS certification provide the most comprehensive and widely accepted certifications for personal training.

Yes, to many clubs, personal training is all about producing revenue and not about caring for the members, but not all clubs are this way. Many facilities are starting to understand that properly educated and certified staff that achieve results and genuinely care about their clients will be beneficial to a club both from a bottom line standpoint and in elevating the reputation of the facility.

Clubs that hire personal trainers that only carry a "weekend" certification cheapen our profession. Why would an individual place their health in the hands of an underqualified individual? The public in general treats their automobiles better than they treat their own body and wouldn't even consider taking their car to an underqualified mechanic, yet we will turn around a find the cheapest gym with the most underqualified staff to take care of our bodies!

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Mike in Las Vegas, Nevada

48 months ago

Don't waste your time or money becoming a PT. You won't make enough, and pay a lot each year to be Certified. I was Certified with ACE and ISSA and the YMCA. The best one was YMCA since they taught you how to use the equipment properly, the others are just a test. After 3 years of PT I quit and went to Massage Therapy school. That is what you should look into instead.

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mnelson2002 in Sicklerville, New Jersey

48 months ago

Personal training can be a rewarding career, but I wouldn't waste my time working at one of those big corporate gyms. The burnout is unbelievable and you are not going to make any money. Look for private training studios or work at a gym where you can pay them a percentage to train your own clients. Wkd certs such as AAAI are easy to obtain but many fitness facilities do not accept them. Try ACE, NASM or another advanced certification.

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yogafit in Carlsbad, California

45 months ago

In the real world of fitness, personal trainers are likely to see clients that are out of shape and that are sporting a variety of injuries and imbalances. The only certification that takes that factor into account is the NASM Optimum Performance Training model. The stabilization phase of the OPT model is perfectly suited to the de-conditioned client you're like to encounter. NASM also is ahead of the game with its integrated balance training and focus on neuromuscular efficiency.

NASM is the gold standard. Every other certification trails behind, including ACSM.

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Good Trainer in Detroit, Michigan

45 months ago

^^^^^^

I AM NASM certified, it is great for the above statement, and to get in GYMS. However, people fail to realize gold standard old school movements that have been around for 100-years are what will truly shape a body. I have been training for 20-years and I could never see myself as a good trainer without the experience myself. After you stabilize someone get them into the bread and butter movements that change your body.... NASM functional training, well how many times do you pick something up and put it overhead on a wobble board. The person above is obliviously a NASM rep.

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Jay in New Braunfels, Texas

45 months ago

Good Trainer in Detroit, Michigan said: ^^^^^^

I AM NASM certified, it is great for the above statement, and to get in GYMS. However, people fail to realize gold standard old school movements that have been around for 100-years are what will truly shape a body. I have been training for 20-years and I could never see myself as a good trainer without the experience myself. After you stabilize someone get them into the bread and butter movements that change your body.... NASM functional training, well how many times do you pick something up and put it overhead on a wobble board. The person above is obliviously a NASM rep.

Just finished with a NASM workshop. At no time did anyone talk about the elimination of "old school movements" (whatever your definition of those are). Stabilization training is supplemented WITH any other movements. NASM is the only cert I've found that specifically deals with corrective postural movements. And there is no "after" when it comes to stabilization training. It should be continued even while training for things such as power. Let's try this little hypothetical scenario out real quick.....a muscle imbalance due to sitting too much, maybe at a desk for 40 hours a week, causes a person to have bad posture (the typical client). This bad posture leads to neck and back pain. This neck and back pain are an obvious stressor to the body. Stress causes a release of cortisol in the body. Cortisol promotes fat storage in the body. You see where I'm going with this??? What other cert gets to the root of this problem? The ones I've seen only bandaid said issue. Just another reason why certs should only be given to people with degrees. Maybe then our profession would have a little more legitimacy. 20 years in the profession or not, if a person doesn't understand the physiology of the body and how it reacts to certain stressors such as exercise or the lack of it, makes me think their credibility is $h!t.

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supernavy84 in Sebastian, Florida

44 months ago

Mike in Las Vegas, Nevada said: Don't waste your time or money becoming a PT. You won't make enough, and pay a lot each year to be Certified. I was Certified with ACE and ISSA and the YMCA. The best one was YMCA since they taught you how to use the equipment properly, the others are just a test. After 3 years of PT I quit and went to Massage Therapy school. That is what you should look into instead.

Haha, that's kinda funny Mike. I recently graduated massage therapy school and i learned a great deal. I take my National Exam this Friday to become nationally certified through MBLEX, but i also wanted to get certified as a personal trainer and become dually licensed to add to my overall spectrum of healthy living services and knowledge. I think allot of what i learned in massage school can also prepare me for ACSM's PT certification exam. I will probably need to order their study guide soon, as well as take a CPR course from what i understand of the ACSM's guidlines, but the practice test they have on their website seemed simple enough to me at least. Are you an LMT in Vegas now? If so, how's the biz treating you out there?

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ironwerker in Raleigh, North Carolina

44 months ago

All the above mentioned degree certifications....do not mean squat if you have not experienced time "under the iron"...and payed your dues to detication. I have a certification from ISSA...which by the way was the first certification program ,,,period. They started in 1989. It wasn't until 1992 that it became a law for certification for CFT'S. I have been in gym's and involved in various sports, since 1967 and have trained many different person's with just as many fitness goals. I live the life instead of sitting in a class room and reading about it. Nothing is wrong with education in fact I continue to certify in different areas of fitness.I currently have 3 different certifications and working on a fourth. I have trained over 20 different students that have four year degrees in the Health and Fitness field and enough sense to ask someone with experience to show them the ropes.... Whatever you decide to do with your life make sure it is something you love to do and stay passionate for. Just getting a certification doesn't make you a trainer anymore than standing in a garage.....with make you an automobile. LIVE TO TRAIN , TRAIN TO LIVE.

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Desmond in Los Angeles, California

44 months ago

In general, the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from the NSCA seems to be mentioned the most when it comes to working with the top athletes. But that doesn't mean it's the best for everyone, it depends on what types of people you want to work with, what you are willing to invest in a certification, and how much education you already have.
personaltrainingcertification101.com/best

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Jay in New Braunfels, Texas

44 months ago

ironwerker in Raleigh, North Carolina said: All the above mentioned degree certifications....do not mean squat if you have not experienced time "under the iron"...and payed your dues to detication. I have a certification from ISSA...which by the way was the first certification program ,,,period. They started in 1989. It wasn't until 1992 that it became a law for certification for CFT'S. I have been in gym's and involved in various sports, since 1967 and have trained many different person's with just as many fitness goals. I live the life instead of sitting in a class room and reading about it. Nothing is wrong with education in fact I continue to certify in different areas of fitness.I currently have 3 different certifications and working on a fourth. I have trained over 20 different students that have four year degrees in the Health and Fitness field and enough sense to ask someone with experience to show them the ropes.... Whatever you decide to do with your life make sure it is something you love to do and stay passionate for. Just getting a certification doesn't make you a trainer anymore than standing in a garage.....with make you an automobile. LIVE TO TRAIN , TRAIN TO LIVE.

agreed. i do have to disagree with the ISSA standpoint though. seems their only selling point is being the oldest cert. that doesn't say much. definitely been surpassed. every exercise physiologist/scientist that i've met references ACSM material in their instruction. hell, their even referenced in college text books. NASM is right up there too.

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Jay in New Braunfels, Texas

44 months ago

Desmond in Los Angeles, California said: In general, the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from the NSCA seems to be mentioned the most when it comes to working with the top athletes. But that doesn't mean it's the best for everyone, it depends on what types of people you want to work with, what you are willing to invest in a certification, and how much education you already have.
personaltrainingcertification101.com/best

they're mentioned the most because they are the gold standard when it comes to athlete training. you wont get hired at the collegiate level without it. but you're right, if you don't want to train athletes it may not be the best cert for you. but then again, who couldn't use proper strength and conditioning coaching?

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Jay in New Braunfels, Texas

44 months ago

yogafit in Carlsbad, California said: In the real world of fitness, personal trainers are likely to see clients that are out of shape and that are sporting a variety of injuries and imbalances. The only certification that takes that factor into account is the NASM Optimum Performance Training model. The stabilization phase of the OPT model is perfectly suited to the de-conditioned client you're like to encounter. NASM also is ahead of the game with its integrated balance training and focus on neuromuscular efficiency.

NASM is the gold standard. Every other certification trails behind, including ACSM.

I'm a NASM cert and I'll disagree with this. ACSM is on another planet. When you're referenced in Physiology texts at the college level, you're probably miles ahead of the game.

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ironwerker in Raleigh, North Carolina

44 months ago

Agree to disagree is good........just remember knowledge doesn't end in the classroom....A soldier doesn't learn what a soldier is until he has seen the elephant.

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Jay in New Braunfels, Texas

44 months ago

ironwerker in Raleigh, North Carolina said: Agree to disagree is good........just remember knowledge doesn't end in the classroom....A soldier doesn't learn what a soldier is until he has seen the elephant.

i think you misunderstood. i agreed with everything you said. no doubt a large percentage of what someone learns is learned through the hands on lessons of how to properly get down in the gym. I just think ISSA is garbage. They're hanging on to that "we've been around the longest" $h!t too much and it's pretty transparent. Different strokes for different folks though.

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ironwerker in Raleigh, North Carolina

44 months ago

And some trainers beleive the muscle confusion was invented by PX-90 and most believe that KETTLESBELLS are a NEW invention....and they MUST get certified to use them.....and some believe in the easter bunny...... Whatever you want to beleive is the right certification.... Please don't kick against the fact that any certfication is only as good as the trainer using it.....it is a ticket and another hoop to jump through... I wonder what all those athelets did prior to personal training certfications....I know for sure Arnold did not have a certified trainer or Bill Pearl or old Charles Atlas....what they did have was detication and enought sense to listen and observe and the guts to train like hell.

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Jay in New Braunfels, Texas

44 months ago

ironwerker in Raleigh, North Carolina said: And some trainers beleive the muscle confusion was invented by PX-90 and most believe that KETTLESBELLS are a NEW invention....and they MUST get certified to use them.....and some believe in the easter bunny...... Whatever you want to beleive is the right certification.... Please don't kick against the fact that any certfication is only as good as the trainer using it.....it is a ticket and another hoop to jump through... I wonder what all those athelets did prior to personal training certfications....I know for sure Arnold did not have a certified trainer or Bill Pearl or old Charles Atlas....what they did have was detication and enought sense to listen and observe and the guts to train like hell.

yeah, if you ask me certifications are complete bull$h!t anyways. how is a four year exercise science or exercise physiology degree not good enough for employment somewhere? that's about as backwards as it gets. anyone can go out and pass a bull$ht test. that's what's wrong with our industry. we have weekend warriors who don't have a clue how the human body works or cats that think just because they've been pushing iron their whole lives they understand body mechanics. $h!t kills me. this industry should be like any other. you want the responsibility of training someone? you should have a higher education. and i can tell you what athletes did and still do....they don't hire personal trainers. they get down with strength and conditioning coaches that have degrees and a clue how the human body works. surely we're not throwing bodybuilders in the athlete category. those guys couldn't be any further from athletes. they only work in two planes of motion at ridiculously slow tempos. arnold admitted to pumping himself full of juice so it shouldn't be a mystery why he was on the podium so many times. bodybuilders are pu$$ie$. powerlifters on the other hand....

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ironwerker in Raleigh, North Carolina

44 months ago

I can tell by the language you use that you are a seasoned and professional trainer.....you see there is much more than education to make one a professional... PLEASE continue on your present course and shore yourself for a short PROFESSIONAL career. Your can't pass on what you don't have............and what you seem to lack is respect for yourself and your fellow trainers.

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Jay in New Braunfels, Texas

44 months ago

ironwerker in Raleigh, North Carolina said: I can tell by the language you use that you are a seasoned and professional trainer.....you see there is much more than education to make one a professional... PLEASE continue on your present course and shore yourself for a short PROFESSIONAL career. Your can't pass on what you don't have............and what you seem to lack is respect for yourself and your fellow trainers.

Haha....tell that to people like Jason Ferruggia or Louie Simmons. Hasn't seemed to slow their success. And, yes, there is much more than education to make one a professional. Funny how education tied to experience always seems to bring about the better success stories though huh? I'm sorry that me having a differing opinion than you leads you to believe that I have a lack of respect for myself or others. Too bad you don't know me...your opinion would be different. And surely you don't think I use the word pu$$y around clients. Com'on man. There's a time and place for everything. I'm a little more wise than that. I see you have a soft spot for those interested in sculpting movements. I wont apologize for not having that same feeling. I just find it extremely boring, time consuming, non-functional, and completely pointless among other things. Athletes are always more high speed and challenging to train. Anyone can pick up a Muscle & Fiction magazine.....

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ironwerker in Raleigh, North Carolina

44 months ago

Thanks for your input and for cleaning up your language...I personally feel that their is never an approiate time to use that kind of language....not since I left the locker rooms in high school. As for training athletes... I train a variety of persons who all have different fitness goals...from bodybuilding to ironmant competetions. I personally feel the most satisfied when working with kid's and persons recovering from injuries wheather it be from sports or from surgery. See,I never have stopped learning and hope I never fool myself into beleiving that I have no more to learn....again you can only give away what you have... good luck to all serious trainers no matter what certification you have.

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PTRx in O Fallon, Illinois

34 months ago

With chronic diseases saturating our healthcare system personal traininers can be viable resource for the allied health field. Personal training will hopefully develop into standardized board certified field divided into performance enhancement and preventative disease specialists. Personal training will only become a legitimate career field once insurance companies acknowledge the benefits that can be produced and begin to start covering costs of sessions. By 2020 we may see something of this nature. I recommend to all to get your degree now before it becomes a requirement to work in the field of allied health.

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armorbear in Mumbai, India

33 months ago

If you have a strong desire to become a fitness trainer and help people turn their bodies into lean, mean fighting machines then read on. You are about to find out why it is a great career move to get the best personal trainer certification available.

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Bahaa in Syrian Arab Republic

33 months ago

thank u so much
this is helpful

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Jen in Oakland, California

33 months ago

Does anyone know if AAPT school is wrth going to? It is NY and I could manage 3 mnths out there if it was the recommended. There is a local school,npti , but doesn't sound as good.

Also, I have 15 years working with kids and I want to learn how to train youth and seniors. What are the best certifications for that?

Thanks!
Jen

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Kevin Stufflebeam in Ringwood, Oklahoma

32 months ago

Anyone else ever read all these different certifications and their + and - and feel like you're on a tilt-a-whirl on a ferris wheel on a roller coaster??? Well, from what I've read the four year college degree is the best education, DUH??? I wouldn't want a surgeon with a 3 month, webinar trained, degree. As far as the rest of them, NASM< seems to be the one gyms are looking for. All I can say is this, the personal trainer is not defined by his certification. He is defined by his character. Also, what the industry and certifications "know" about exercise and fitness seems to change every couple of years. Do exercise A!! ..... Exercise A causes injuries, don't do it!!!... Exercise A is fundamental, seems as though that people that ignored our advise to stop are actually in better shape!!! Why not find people who have achieved the results you're looking for and mimic them; as you would with any other aspect of your life. And, diet... OMG!!! That changes daily. Eating this is healthy. Eating that makes you fat.. Do this.... Do that.... Change it all... LOOK AT NATURE!!! Animals drink WATER. Animals don't consume tons of sugar.. Animals tend to gain fat in FALL in preperation for winter. So, FALL fruits and veggies make you fatter. Decaying foods make you fat. Animals tend to shed fat in SPRING in preperation for summer. So, spring fruits and veggies make you thinner. It's really not that difficult when you look at the big picture.

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Dave in United Kingdom

32 months ago

I get the feeling that Jay in New Braunfels is harbouring some bitterness there... did his four year college degree fail to land him the endless stream of clients he hoped it would?! Guess it goes to show that a smug, superior, hectoring attitude gets you nowhere, regardless of what piece of paper you're waving around...

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Jay in New Braunfels, Texas

32 months ago

You missed the point, Chief. Currently, I'm as busy as I could possibly be. That attitude only comes out when I deal with douchebags. My comment was made on behalf of anyone who is trying to land a job at a gym. You think it's fair for someone with a cert to get hired over someone with a degree? Little backwards if you ask me. Would you ask a surgeon without a PhD to perform surgery on you?

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Jay- in Castroville, Texas

32 months ago

Kevin Stufflebeam in Ringwood, Oklahoma said: Anyone else ever read all these different certifications and their + and - and feel like you're on a tilt-a-whirl on a ferris wheel on a roller coaster??? Well, from what I've read the four year college degree is the best education, DUH??? I wouldn't want a surgeon with a 3 month, webinar trained, degree. As far as the rest of them, NASM< seems to be the one gyms are looking for. All I can say is this, the personal trainer is not defined by his certification. He is defined by his character. Also, what the industry and certifications "know" about exercise and fitness seems to change every couple of years. Do exercise A!! ..... Exercise A causes injuries, don't do it!!!... Exercise A is fundamental, seems as though that people that ignored our advise to stop are actually in better shape!!! Why not find people who have achieved the results you're looking for and mimic them; as you would with any other aspect of your life. And, diet... OMG!!! That changes daily. Eating this is healthy. Eating that makes you fat.. Do this.... Do that.... Change it all... LOOK AT NATURE!!! Animals drink WATER. Animals don't consume tons of sugar.. Animals tend to gain fat in FALL in preperation for winter. So, FALL fruits and veggies make you fatter. Decaying foods make you fat. Animals tend to shed fat in SPRING in preperation for summer. So, spring fruits and veggies make you thinner. It's really not that difficult when you look at the big picture.

Couldn't be more true man. The industry is all kinds of effed up. I like the reference to nature. Talk about it with my clients everyday. Eat & move like an animal, you'll look like one. No matter how sophisticated we get, we're still animals. Pick up a copy of "Lights Out." It's a good read. I don't have the same spiritual beliefs as the author. If you don't either & can look past it, the science (and what seems like common sense to me) if pretty cool.

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E Smith in South Jordan, Utah

32 months ago

I'm with Jay in regards to education. If you want to work selling in a box gym then who really cares if you get education. If you want to be a professional then get your degree. At least a masters so you have the research background. Unless you are a former collegiate, olympic, or professional athlete, you will never get a job as a strength and/or conditioning coach for a major university or professional sports organization. There is no way a NASM certification is going to prepare you to train a olympic figure skater or an NBA player. If you want to go sell all day long in a gym to get clients for $40 an hour have fun. As long as you don't hurt anyone and can have your clients adhere to your program you can keep your crappy $40 an hour. Some of us would like to raise the bar for the profession. I just have seen too many trainers have no clue about the difference between a strength lift and a power lift, periodization models, or special needs clients like MS. Anyone can put a client on a treadmill and then have them lift weights. That doesn't mean the program is properly designed or implemented effectively and efficiently. Yes, like an animal... which animal do you suggest mimicking to improve in the pole vault for the Olympics? Once you show me the animal then please point me to the study that has explored the movements, how they are applicable to humans and what adaptions need to be made, and the frequency, duration, intensity , etc... Some of us are scientist and professionals, not fad promoters.

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E Smith in South Jordan, Utah

32 months ago

Jay, my comment above doesn't mean I see no value in certifications. Just much less than formal education. I don't think ACSM or CSCS hurt anything and may garner some respect if they are in conjuntion with the degrees. Every profession has licensing/certification requirements - Accountant/CPA exam, attorney/Bar, Doctor/Medical boards, Engineer/PE exam. It is just too bad there are so many that have no value.

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E Smith in South Jordan, Utah

32 months ago

Jay in New Braunfels, Texas said: You missed the point, Chief. Currently, I'm as busy as I could possibly be. That attitude only comes out when I deal with douchebags. My comment was made on behalf of anyone who is trying to land a job at a gym. You think it's fair for someone with a cert to get hired over someone with a degree? Little backwards if you ask me. Would you ask a surgeon without a PhD to perform surgery on you?

I would want a surgeon with an M.D. or at least a D.O. A Ph.D. can do the lab research.

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Kevin Stufflebeam in Ringwood, Oklahoma

32 months ago

I have a basic knowledge of exercise and diet. I've been helping friends and family get in shape for years. Most of the stuff is common sence to me. So, I've decided to become a personal trainer. OMG!!! There's like a hundred different companies with their own certification program. I've been looking at NASM, mainly because most gyms recognize them. But, in my mind, the certification is just a piece of paper. Look at all the NASM trainers, they are not all the same. Each have their own experiences which govern what they believe works and on what they focus. Some are going to focus on atheletes. Some on muscle building. Some on fat loss. The certification is going to add some education to their knowledge. But, it's not going to make them all the same.

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Kevin Stufflebeam in Ringwood, Oklahoma

32 months ago

Jay- in Castroville, Texas said: Couldn't be more true man. The industry is all kinds of effed up. I like the reference to nature. Talk about it with my clients everyday. Eat & move like an animal, you'll look like one. No matter how sophisticated we get, we're still animals. Pick up a copy of "Lights Out." It's a good read. I don't have the same spiritual beliefs as the author. If you don't either & can look past it, the science (and what seems like common sense to me) if pretty cool.

Thats's one thing I say all the time. Look at cows. They eat grass. There's no fat in grass. Does that mean cows don't get fat??? Of course they do. But, the grass they get in fall/ winter is grass that was cut in summer. That grass is now decaying. Either that or the grass that is growing in fall is causing them to gain fat. DUH!!

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E Smith in South Jordan, Utah

32 months ago

Kevin Stufflebeam in Ringwood, Oklahoma said: Thats's one thing I say all the time. Look at cows. They eat grass. There's no fat in grass. Does that mean cows don't get fat??? Of course they do. But, the grass they get in fall/ winter is grass that was cut in summer. That grass is now decaying. Either that or the grass that is growing in fall is causing them to gain fat. DUH!!

I hope you are joking. If anything you should be telling your clients to watch HUMANS who are in good shape and healthy.

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Jay in New Braunfels, Texas

32 months ago

E Smith in South Jordan, Utah said: I would want a surgeon with an M.D. or at least a D.O. A Ph.D. can do the lab research.

Without getting technical, you get the idea.

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Jay in New Braunfels, Texas

32 months ago

E Smith in South Jordan, Utah said: Jay, my comment above doesn't mean I see no value in certifications. Just much less than formal education. I don't think ACSM or CSCS hurt anything and may garner some respect if they are in conjuntion with the degrees. Every profession has licensing/certification requirements - Accountant/CPA exam, attorney/Bar, Doctor/Medical boards, Engineer/PE exam. It is just too bad there are so many that have no value.

Agreed. I'm watching some friends attain one from the internet. They know how I feel about it, but what am I going to do? This kind of stuff waters our industry down more than it is. ANYONE can become a trainer and it shouldn't be that way.

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Jay- in Castroville, Texas

32 months ago

E Smith in South Jordan, Utah said: I'm with Jay in regards to education. If you want to work selling in a box gym then who really cares if you get education. If you want to be a professional then get your degree. At least a masters so you have the research background. Unless you are a former collegiate, olympic, or professional athlete, you will never get a job as a strength and/or conditioning coach for a major university or professional sports organization. There is no way a NASM certification is going to prepare you to train a olympic figure skater or an NBA player. If you want to go sell all day long in a gym to get clients for $40 an hour have fun. As long as you don't hurt anyone and can have your clients adhere to your program you can keep your crappy $40 an hour. Some of us would like to raise the bar for the profession. I just have seen too many trainers have no clue about the difference between a strength lift and a power lift, periodization models, or special needs clients like MS. Anyone can put a client on a treadmill and then have them lift weights. That doesn't mean the program is properly designed or implemented effectively and efficiently. Yes, like an animal... QUOTE]

Yeah, it's trying to convince the one's without a higher education how important it is that becomes a problem. Ala, this thread. Trial and error takes place in all aspects of training, but for someone to completely rely on it is a bit ridiculous. Further up, someone had mentioned his tenure (1967) and how he's "lived the life." That's great...45 years of catching up to the rest of the pack (and more than likely still not there) who really understand how the human body is supposed to perform. My hat's off. Hahahaha! They just don't get it. And the animal analogy......quit getting technical man! I was referring to the ferocity of their movements. If you don't have opposable thumbs, you're not pole vaulting!

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Snow43 in Destin, Florida

31 months ago

I have to say that I'm straddling the fence on weather or not a higher education is needed to coach/ personal train. I have 20 yrs experience in both personal training and group exercise. Dance and gymnastics are also a part of my background. I started bottom of the barrel but paid close attention those that trained me with 20 years over me in the industry(no, not all had college degrees, except for one and her Masters was in Law) I must say I was surprised taking my first cert, since they taught me zero on practical application. I was only able to understand the study material based on my personal experience and by what my superiors had already shown me. Later on I found myself working side by side with college graduates that referred to me for help. I found this to be true at several employments throughout the country. I've managed several gyms throughout the years, and yes always fighting with the owners about the clients needs being priority! My last job was for the government and worked with the military's fitness programs. There, I also stumbled on the fact that most of my co-workers had college degrees, however, they knew nothing about applying that knowledge on a practical level or written for that matter. I also recall networking with another military base, the lead of the workshop who was the Health Promotions Director mentioned her Masters in Exercise Physiology every chance she got. Her position was also as a manager to the Fitness Programs Director. I hate to say this but especially for the specific clientele we were serving, both women were extremely overweight! Both were at least 35% body fat (I'm being nice)Yet, they were providing service members the tools they needed to meet their fitness goals and also shoving their degree down my throat! Might I also say that a service member must maintain weight based on height and the military does not accept anything other than the tape measure method for Body Composition Testing. I also believe that if you a

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Snow43 in Destin, Florida

31 months ago

are going to hold a position where you are the source of knowledge in fitness that you must be the example. I'm not saying to be a muscle head or elite athlete, but to be exactly the opposite of why people go to trainers to begin with is beyond me!
The service members needed our program to provide injury prevention information, training to aid with their Fitness Test and also weight management. I seemed to be the "go to" as I said, those with degrees in fitness education or kinesiology seemed clueless in providing our clients with a program designed for their specific needs and goals.
This has been my experience.

On the other hand, I have been horrified with certified trainers that had the same problem! Certifications do not produce trainers or group exercise instructors ready to hit the floor and train someone or guide a class safely. Some people are great test takers and pass with no difficulty, yet applying the knowledge is another story. A family member holds an Exercise Physiology degree, he was a P.E. teacher for several years, yet he could not produce a basic, safe and effective program. How is this possible if he has a college degree?? My point is that I'm not really sure if it is an absolute that you must have a degree. I don't mean to offend anyone here that has worked hard to earn a college education. Early on after working closely with higher educated co-workers I decided not to invest into college, considering I was earning as much as they were. However, that did not hold me back to learn as much as I could. Someone mentioned that I would not be hired to work at collegiate level as a coach to an athlete as I don't have the education. Would they rather hire one of my co-workers instead? Or how about the P.E. teacher that takes his class to my local gym and the students do everything wrong while he chit chats and I cringe? They would make much better coaches at collegiate level because they have a framed paper on their walls that say "Graduated..

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Snow43 in Destin, Florida

31 months ago

...blah blah blah"
I also think the industry itself is at fault with this being an issue to begin with. For example: The industry should be monitored and do away with the non accredited and online certifications. Someone also mentioned an example that we wouldn't want a non PhD to perform surgery on us, well, a Doctor has practical application courses and also a mandatory 2 or 3 year internship and yet the fitness industry and certifying companies allow a trainer to pass a test and be a certified personal trainer ready to manipulate another persons body without ever knowing if this trainer will apply that knowledge correctly. How would the client know anything is wrong? Then all you have to do is take a course or attend a Fitness Conference and earn continuing education units, pay the certifying company and voilà, another two certified years.
I believe it's like everything else in our world and needs improvement. There are unqualified people in all realms, there are people who just don't care about their jobs, or simply lack passion. As there are cashiers that are clueless when you ask them a question, there are also PhD's that are arrogant and simply don't care for anything other than their income. Maybe we should be licensed like Dieticians and Nurses. It might help the quality of the industry and only attract those that truly want to work in this field! Had it been that way when I started I would have taken whatever route to be qualified as a PT.

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