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Best way to become a fitness/personal trainer ?

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I've been working out for 18 years with Cathe DVDs, Firm, beachbody, etc.... you name it I got it. I've also worked out at the gym too. I have a huge passion for fitness and I want to get certified. Does anyone know the best way to do this. I get so confused when I look at different certifications. Is it done all online ? I saw at our local community college they offered a certification and it was a day! 9-5 - how is that?

I looked into ACE online and i'm just totally confused. Can anyone help? I really just want to do this becausae of my passion for it and maybe take it a step further one day. I am a nurse and can't quit my job but would love to have an option to do something else. thanks so much

Replies

  • AsISmile
    AsISmile Posts: 1,004 Member
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    Since it is country specific I can't really answer your question.
    I have however read online some complaints about how not all ways of getting certified give you the actual knowledge to properly train someone.

    Maybe you could look for a good PT in your area, get some advice on how to get certified (if no PTs answer here) and perhaps do a small aprentenship with that PT so you get some actual experience.
  • Ironmaiden4life
    Ironmaiden4life Posts: 422 Member
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    What confuses you OP?

    Are you wondering which organization is best or confused about the process?

    I did my certification with NASM and then went on to do my Fitness Nutritional Specialist and Senior Fitness Specialist with them.

    I found their customer service to be great answering my questions and will be sticking with them for my future qualifications.
  • ChrisLindsay9
    ChrisLindsay9 Posts: 837 Member
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    I've looked into this recently, and it's pretty overwhelming to see so many certifications. Here are a couple of suggestions/tips that I have come to appreciate as it determines which avenue to explore.

    1) If you plan on doing personal training at local gyms, find out from them if they have any specific certifications that they prefer or mandate. It would stink if you spend time/money becoming ACE certified, but the gyms around you prefer NASM or NSCA.

    2) Consider taking a few anatomy/physiology/kinesiology classes at a local (or online) community college, especially if they offer a 2 year or 6-8 course certification in something along those lines. The PT certification is so people will hire you (for insurance purposes), but taking classes at a local school will give you more knowledge and that will help promote trust and expertise. When you hear about good and bad personal trainers, it often comes down to which of those got the PT certification and that's it versus those who got the PT certification and was educated in it as well.
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,208 Member
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    I like NASM as a first-time cert. It's more thorough than most as far as assessing & correcting imbalances that affect form. The exercise selections are more diverse too. You can study online, but try to go to one of their workshops if you can.

    If you're like most nurses, you'll need to brush up on your anatomy, so you can recite the origins & insertions of all major muscles. Try "Anatomy & Physiology Made Incredibly Easy".. or use online resources.

    I like the apprenticeship idea. :+1:

    One last thing.. after you get certified, avoid the common mistake of ditching everything you learned and giving clients the same ol' workouts you used prior to getting certified. Grow.
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
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    IMO a certification is the final step in ones development, not the first step. I personally would never hire someone who didn't have a degree in exercise science along with experience, but most of the world isn't as picky. That being said, I believe that some type of more structured academic preparation is necessary. At a minimum I would recommend the ACSM resource guide for either personal training or the health/fitness specialist and the NSCA essentials for personal training. Go through each book cover to cover. While you are doing that I would also try to find some opportunities to actually do some training--either working with some friends or maybe shadowing a trainer.

  • kerbeya1
    kerbeya1 Posts: 53 Member
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    Go to college
  • macr0babe
    macr0babe Posts: 61 Member
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    I got certified through ISSA because I was pregnant and had a full-time job, so I needed a program that I could do on my own time. I'd recommend just sending an email with your inquiry, or even calling to find out the specifics.
  • TrailBlazinMN
    TrailBlazinMN Posts: 209 Member
    edited June 2015
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    Forget college. Get experience. I'm almost done with my Exercise Science degree and I didn't learn much about how I am going to transform someone's physique. The most I learned was when working on completing my associate's degree. I took a class that was going to prepare me for NASM and the teacher was pretty awesome. We didn't see eye to eye in a lot of things (training philosophies, etc) but overall he knew what he was talking.

    If you want to make a good living as a personal trainer, you need to be extremely passionate about it and think about doing your own thing (opening up your own facility, creating a blog, ebook, etc). I know nurses make good money, a lot more than the average personal trainer since trainers only get paid when they have clients. If you become a great personal trainer and know how to market yourself and stand out from the rest, you'll do well. Work for a gym only for the experience but unless the gym is crazy busy with a ton of clients lining up for personal training (which is rarely the case except for gyms that are in rich communities), you are better off doing your own thing in the long run.

    Good luck!
  • 10inprogress
    10inprogress Posts: 89 Member
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    Forget college. Get experience. I'm almost done with my Exercise Science degree and I didn't learn much about how I am going to transform someone's physique. The most I learned was when working on completing my associate's degree. I took a class that was going to prepare me for NASM and the teacher was pretty awesome. We didn't see eye to eye in a lot of things (training philosophies, etc) but overall he knew what he was talking.

    If you want to make a good living as a personal trainer, you need to be extremely passionate about it and think about doing your own thing (opening up your own facility, creating a blog, ebook, etc). I know nurses make good money, a lot more than the average personal trainer since trainers only get paid when they have clients. If you become a great personal trainer and know how to market yourself and stand out from the rest, you'll do well. Work for a gym only for the experience but unless the gym is crazy busy with a ton of clients lining up for personal training (which is rarely the case except for gyms that are in rich communities), you are better off doing your own thing in the long run.

    Good luck!

    Lots of good info and insight. Thanks TBMN!
  • mlb1967
    mlb1967 Posts: 6 Member
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    Thanks everyone for your responses! I have my Bachelor's in Nursing - maybe I will go back for it in Exercise Science. Not sure. Something to think about. thank you!!
  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
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    I think you can do it online. A friend of mine took the test for a relative of hers because he wanted to be a trainer. He got his official papers and never even so much as read a sentence. He makes a living at it. Not a great living, but he does okay.