One of the first steps to becoming a qualified personal trainer is to acquire an accredited Personal Training certification. Much like a lawyer must go to law school and pass the Bar Exam, to learn what is needed to practice law and to prove he/she can adhere to a standard of practice, a qualified personal trainer must learn the fundamentals of fitness, human physiology, the science of movement and the fundamentals of appropriate program design. Personal trainers provide their clients with guidance to improve their overall physical and emotional health. The quality of life of their clients is their responsibility and they should take the appropriate steps to ensure they are effective at getting results without the risk of injury or harm.
Organizations that provide a high level of certification and education for personal trainers include:
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- ACTION Personal Training Certification (ACTION)
- Canadian Fitness Professionals (CanFitPro)
- International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA)
- International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
- National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
- National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)
- National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)
- National Personal Training Institute (NPTI)
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
Getting a personal training certification, to start a career in fitness, requires a significant amount of time and money … but it’s certainly worth the effort! Having, and earning, the opportunity to help people make significant positive changes in their lives is a powerful and rewarding thing. Everything you will learn in the process will be valuable in your day-to-day activities as a personal trainer. And it doesn’t stop there! Your learning will continue as you work with more and more clients and come across various problems and that require a fitness-focused solution.
If you are seriously looking into a career as a personal trainer it is important to do your homework and research each of the certifying organizations in more detail. No two certifications are the same and each organization has an area of expertise that may or may not appeal to your personal training style and intended area of focus. Be critical as you choose the right certification to complete.
The beauty of the fitness industry is that once you obtain your personal training certification, which is the baseline education to build from, you can then specialize into many other areas of fitness, exercise, sports performance, special populations (i.e. pre and post-natal, seniors, youth, rehabilitation) and more! Stay tuned to future posts to learn more about specialty education and workshops to expand your personal training “toolbox”.
Fitness is an area that will continue to grow and expand in the years to come, but the fundamental education provided by these organizations sets the groundwork for an exciting career ahead!