Our industry, much like our world, is transforming at an accelerated pace.
The unthinkable and impossible soon becomes the inevitable and forgotten.
The fitness industry, as you know, is relatively unregulated, which is an advantage and a disadvantage. There are so many certificates out there, so many experts, so many things we can learn to help transform our clients' bodies and minds, but how does one go about choosing the best educational path?
Is there even a thing like the one best personal training certification, or is it possible that some certificates excel at teaching one specific area, while some excel at teaching a different area, while others only excel at building their own business and following?
We all know how important education is for our industries credibility, our client's success, and our career stability. Our client's come to us looking for leadership; we wield great power over them, and with great power comes the need for responsibility. Of course, they are absolutely responsible for their own success, but we are responsible for providing them with the best shot at realizing their full potential, while also being responsible for their safety and joint integrity.
And in order to give our client's the best shot possible, we must be passionate about learning and dedicate ourselves to the study of many topics.
"Those who love wisdom must investigate many things." Heraclitus
I have personally, in 9 years of being a trainer, been to numerous courses and conferences across the country, including Florida, California, and Oklahoma, taken 8 certificates, several all day workshops, 2 internships, and read numerous books, textbooks, and research studies.
If I could point to one thing, it is my passion for knowledge that has allowed me to create a very successful career in the fitness industry.
A wise man once said "A better question will lead to a better answer?" This is absolutely true. Think about it. If you ask "Why am I so fat?" you may come up with the answer "Because I am lazy or stupid". But if you ask yourself "How can I lose weight while having fun" you will come up with a much better answer. Right?
So how does this idea apply to the question at hand? What is the best personal trainer certification?
Honestly, I have learned important things from each and every certification. I think a much better question is "What area am I passionate about learning about?" If it is biomechanics, RTS is the best certification. If it is the heart and cardiac rehab, ACSM is the best. If it is about sports performance, you may want to go with an Athlete's Performance Internship, get you CSCS from the NSCA, or get a certification from Charles Poliquin. Want to teach Olympic lifts? No one does it better than USAW.
So ask yourself, what are you excited to learn about? Just as importantly, what kinds of people do you want to train? If you are focused on the elderly and post rehab, MES makes a lot more sense than USAW.
One very cool certification that I just learned about is PTA Global. They are unifying some of the best teachers and trainers in our industry under one certification system.
Asking yourself "What knowledge and clients am I excited about" is an important first step in laying the foundation for a successful fitness business. Based on your answers, you can begin to identify a career path that will allow you to realize the business and lifestyle you deserve, while enjoying what your life's work and client's successes.
I encourage you to continue learning about all the different certificates out there, and pursuing the ones that make the most sense for your market and passion. It is very important to not only continue learning, as you already know, but learning from multiple sources. Our job as elite fitness professionals is to empower our clients and provide them with real world practical solutions to their health and fitness needs; having the ability to shift perspective is incredibly important for us in this capacity.
Please leave me some comments below. Show me you are alive! What is your favorite certification and why? What is the next certification you plan on taking? How did you decide what certification to take?