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Personal Trainer Certification
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kwsthbs
Level 1

Join date: Aug 2010
Location:
Posts: 2

Hi Y'all,

I am considering getting certified as a personal trainer. What is your recommendation for the type of certification? I am currently considering ISSA and NESTA.

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Draugr
Level

Join date: Sep 2011
Location:
Posts: 28

ISSA is a easy cert. but it's not really well respected, in my area atleast. If your just looking to get your foot in the door it's a good option.

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enigma666
Level 5

Join date: Jun 2007
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 148

A cert is mostly just going to be what gives that first impression to your potential employer, for instance a CSCS or NSCA is usually going to look better than an ACE or ISSA certification. But mostly its going to be personal knowledge, attitude, and a willingness to continue to learn and grow that will continue to carry you far.

Basically are you going to be the dumb trainer that gets an ACE certification and never learns any more, and gives every client the same cookie cutter workouts. Or will you be the guy that gets an ACE certification, and then slowly starts getting college courses under his belt and maybe even a CSCS after some time, or even working with known olympic/power lifting/strongman coaches to further your knowledge.

You can go where ever you want to take it with any certification, the cert is just your foot in the door, granted some feet are bigger.

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ranengin
Level

Join date: Feb 2012
Location:
Posts: 274

kwsthbs wrote:
Hi Y'all,

I am considering getting certified as a personal trainer. What is your recommendation for the type of certification? I am currently considering ISSA and NESTA.


You can learn more from reading the articles on this site than from getting any certification.

If you really want a certificate, just print yourself out one.

Many of the best strength trainers don't have any certifications (think about this fact).

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B.L.U. Ninja
Level

Join date: May 2009
Location: Ontario, CAN
Posts: 933

ranengin wrote:
kwsthbs wrote:
Hi Y'all,

I am considering getting certified as a personal trainer. What is your recommendation for the type of certification? I am currently considering ISSA and NESTA.


You can learn more from reading the articles on this site than from getting any certification.

If you really want a certificate, just print yourself out one.

Many of the best strength trainers don't have any certifications (think about this fact).


Bad advice. Don't follow this.

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jehovasfitness
Level 10

Join date: Jan 2006
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 12547

B.L.U. Ninja wrote:
ranengin wrote:
kwsthbs wrote:
Hi Y'all,

I am considering getting certified as a personal trainer. What is your recommendation for the type of certification? I am currently considering ISSA and NESTA.


You can learn more from reading the articles on this site than from getting any certification.

If you really want a certificate, just print yourself out one.

Many of the best strength trainers don't have any certifications (think about this fact).


Bad advice. Don't follow this.


Yeah, wrong on so many levels. The best strength coaches at some point got a certification. But, they'll also be the first tell you, it's a starting point.

What population do you want to work with?

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ranengin
Level

Join date: Feb 2012
Location:
Posts: 274

B.L.U. Ninja wrote:
ranengin wrote:
kwsthbs wrote:
Hi Y'all,

I am considering getting certified as a personal trainer. What is your recommendation for the type of certification? I am currently considering ISSA and NESTA.


You can learn more from reading the articles on this site than from getting any certification.

If you really want a certificate, just print yourself out one.

Many of the best strength trainers don't have any certifications (think about this fact).


Bad advice. Don't follow this.


Yeah, terrible advice.

Go ahead waste a bunch of time and money getting a bullshit certification.

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ranengin
Level

Join date: Feb 2012
Location:
Posts: 274

jehovasfitness wrote:
The best strength coaches at some point got a certification. But, they'll also be the first tell you, it's a starting point.


And the really good strength coaches will tell you they had to un-learn a ton of horseshit that the certifications promote.

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jehovasfitness
Level 10

Join date: Jan 2006
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 12547

ranengin wrote:
jehovasfitness wrote:
The best strength coaches at some point got a certification. But, they'll also be the first tell you, it's a starting point.


And the really good strength coaches will tell you they had to un-learn a ton of horseshit that the certifications promote.


still does not take away from the fact they got certified. Really, good luck getting a job anywhere without a certification. Sorry, do you work in the fitness industry?

Only viable way i see it happening is a coach opening their own place from the start, and that is highly unlikely.

Any gym that's not in the boonies will want to see a certification, CPR and liability insurance to cover their ass.

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MElrodR
Level

Join date: Jul 2011
Location: South Carolina, USA
Posts: 71

NASM, NSCA, and ACSM are probably the big 3 CPT's as far as recognition in the US's fitness industry. While there are always some morons that hold these, there are also some good trainers out there that hold them as well. Nothing will every replace experience, but at most places these days, without an accredited certification, you will not have the chance to get that experience.

The best experience with any cert I have ever had was getting my USAW Sports Performance Coaching cert. Lots of hands on instruction, and still academic. I have been training athletes and normal folks for 14 years now. If you are going to invest in a cert, get one that will help you get a job, then challenge yourself to learn everyday. Articles, experimenting, test things on yourself, etc. . .

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Chris Colucci
Contributor

Join date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 6663

jehovasfitness wrote:
ranengin wrote:
jehovasfitness wrote:
The best strength coaches at some point got a certification. But, they'll also be the first tell you, it's a starting point.

And the really good strength coaches will tell you they had to un-learn a ton of horseshit that the certifications promote.

still does not take away from the fact they got certified. Really, good luck getting a job anywhere without a certification. Sorry, do you work in the fitness industry?

Only viable way i see it happening is a coach opening their own place from the start, and that is highly unlikely.

Any gym that's not in the boonies will want to see a certification, CPR and liability insurance to cover their ass.

^ Very much this. Show me five successful trainers who flat-out regret getting certified. Not going to happen.

A certification is step number one. Period. It may or may not be "horse shit", but that sounds a lot like a high school junior saying "Well, I'm never going to need to know how to speak spanish, so why do I have to learn it?"

Self-teaching enough to train people? Maybe possible, but good luck when that first prospective client asks "So, what are your credentials?"

I was first certified by ISSA and it literally lead to my first job without me even trying. A few weeks after I was certified, I got an unexpected phone call from a local gym, "Hi, we just got a list of recently-certified trainers. Do you want a job?"

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Chris Colucci
Contributor

Join date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 6663

Great article from Alwyn Cosgrove about being a trainer... or rather, being a Fitness Professional:
http://www.T-Nation.com/...ss_professional

"TM: Let's talk certifications. How important are they?

AC: With certifications, we're confusing education with expertise. There's a difference between a NASCAR driver and a kid who just passed his driver's-ed class. And certifications are on the driver's-ed side of things.

All certifications show is basic competence that you won't hurt someone. It doesn't make you an expert. It just shows that you're not an idiot.

Some people think that certifications are worthless. Yes, probably, but it's hard to not pick them up on the way to becoming good. If you told me that you did martial arts for 30 years and you're not a black belt, that's kind of odd, right? You haven't picked up any sort of third-party recognition of your ability.

Let's say you come to me for a job and you've never had a certification in your life. It doesn't look impressive. I would expect somebody who's good to pick them up.

So I don't put any faith in them at all, but I've learned something with every class I've been to and every book I've read. You're not going to become dumber by going in and taking another class. You might learn one thing. So if you're a professional and you're trying to get better, you're going to pick these things up. But in absolutely no way, shape, or form does a certification equal expertise.

TM: What certifications would you recommend?

AC: NSCA is number one. Now, don't confuse that with me saying that they're excellent, but I don't think anybody is better.

If you want to get into assessments and stuff, Paul Chek has an in-depth course. It's more like a graduate degree. Charles Poliquin's certification is similar. It's not a weekend certification. It's a serious amount of study.

If you want to become a trainer, go and intern with someone in your area who's good. Work for a while and soak it up. Then take a certification to get the paperwork done and be able to get insurance."

For a point of reference, and as a reminder that many successful coaches have different opinions, Mark Rippetoe and Mike Boyle have completely disassociated with the NSCA and vocally denounce them for various reasons.

Part 2 of Cosgrove's interview, with more general wisdom:
http://www.T-Nation.com/...the_fitness_biz

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