Thread: Becoming a personal trainer
1/12/2006 1:14pm, #1
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
- Austin, TX
Becoming a personal trainer
I have a few questions about becoming a personal trainer, and I figured someone on these boards must know the answers.
First, there are many organizations that certify personal trainers. Are they all fairly similar, or is one particular certification preferred over others? Or does the preferred certification vary from gym to gym?
Second, I'm still in school and my major has nothing to do with health or fitness. Is it necessary to have a degree that corresponds with this line of work?
Third, as mentioned above, I'm still in school. Is it feasible that I could start working as a personal trainer while still in school?
I have no desire to do this for the rest of my life. It just seems like something I would enjoy while continuing my education, and possibly beyond. Aside from the questions above, what should be my first plan of action? What kind of time frame am I looking at when it's all said and done (training, certifications, finding a job)?
Any relevant information would be greatly appreciated.
1/12/2006 1:31pm, #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
I've been a full time and part time trainer for 15 years now. Everyone will debate on good certifications but the most widely recognised are:
ISSA, NSCA, ACE
That being said a certification or education does not meant ****, in my opinion. Why? Because any one can pass a test. To be a good trainer you need to understand the function of the human body, articulate that to people, design a safe program and interpert feedback, and get results.
I thnk it takes a few years to get great at it, and a real comitment from you to your clients. I left it full time 5 years ago, miss it, and am trying to get back to it. Its toguh though because I make over 6 figgures a year now, and you will not make that as a trainer.
1/12/2006 2:01pm, #3Originally Posted by PEtrainer
Go ahead and take a certification class, and watch as your jaw drops regarding some of your colleagues who will soon be charging $20+ per hour.
It's like knowing nothing else, taking a sophomore year health class, and then assuming that will suffice to practice as a paramedic.
1/12/2006 3:13pm, #4
If you don't want to make a career out of it, there's no need to get certified. just buy a book or two and learn what you want.
If you do want to make a career out of it, you should transfer to another school. If you can't find a sports med program nearby, most community colleges offer nursing programs.You can't make people smarter. You can expose them to information, but your responsibility stops there.
1/12/2006 3:31pm, #5
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
- Kansas City - the mecca of civilization
ACSM and NSCA both require a bachelor's to sit for their exams, so they tend to be held in higher regard. The gym a block away from my house is a spa-type gym that caters to Microsoft employees (Microsoft pays the 1K initiation fee).
Look at the requirements for trainers there. There are ways around getting that level of cert and still making money, but it is tough. Several people I know with high-level certs left their cozy training jobs at a commercial gym to make more money on their own...and didn't.
1/12/2006 4:00pm, #6
What about the IFPA? I have some of their paper work and I was going to get certified through them.
1/12/2006 4:30pm, #7Originally Posted by 5FingazofDeath
Irish Family Planning Association?
International Fresh-cut Produce Association?
Illinois Fire Prevention Association?
International Footbag Players' Association?
The IFPA isn't as strict with their pre-req's so it's not held in as high regard as the others. Even their site is a wee bit bullshit-ish.
The real claim to fame for the IFPA: PRACTICAL. The IFPA did not build our programs to win acclaim from academicians in the Ivory Towers of Academia; we dont care about their opinion. The IFPA did not build our programs to win acclaim from doctors in the medical community we dont care about their opinion. The IFPA did not build our programs to win envy from the other certifications available today we dont care about their opinion. Most academicians have never trained anyone, have never built their own business or ever had a real job. Most doctors have never trained anyone, have ever been in a gym or ever learned anything about fitness or nutrition. Most of the other certifications have never trained anyone, have never consulted with fitness professionals or ever experienced training as those in the trenches have done.
The other certifications available today are reminiscent of the old legend of the 3 blind men who are brought to an elephant to experience by touch what an elephant is. The first blind man is brought to the elephants trunk and after feeling all around the elephants trunk exclaims: Ah! The elephant is like a snake! The second blind man is brought to the elephants side and after feeling all around the elephants abdomen exclaims: Ah! The elephant is like a wall! The third blind man is brought to the elephants leg and after feeling all around the elephants leg exclaims: Ah! The elephant is like a tree!
Each blind man felt sure he knew what an elephant was, but obviously, to a man with sight the blind men only got a small piece of the overall big picture. The same is said of the other certifications, they each have their own specialty in medicine (ACSM), in athletics (NSCA), in power lifting (ISSA), in academia (ACE), in nursing (AFFA) and thru their own self-imposed blinders filter what they believe personal training and other aspects of the fitness profession are all about, without having been in the trenches, doing the job themselves, they fail to understand the whole BIG picture of the fitness profession. The IFPA looks at the whole elephant. The IFPA certification and continuing education courses are put together by professionals who have been in the trenches, have done the job and have succeeded. They also have extensive science backgrounds as exercise physiologists, kineseologists, sports nutritionists, chiropractors, doctors physical therapists, sports psychologists and other related expertise.
I'd look into one of the others before this one.You can't make people smarter. You can expose them to information, but your responsibility stops there.
1/12/2006 4:48pm, #8
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
The IFPA? I think they are about as well known as FUPA or SWUB. Like I said a certificate is just that. A piece of paper. I don't think gettinig it (in most situations) means you are a good trainer. Anyone can go get a Barbers liscence, but do they do a good job cutting your hair? Who knows...
The industry isn't regulated... I mean the IFPA is going to charge you $450 bucks for a piece of paper that is no more meaningful than an Ashida Kim Black Belt Certificate. But to the average client you can tell them you are certified.
Seriosuly, there is nothing stopping me from setting up a website, charging you $500, giving you an online test and making you a trainer.