Friday, February 04, 2011

Certification and the Fitness Industry, Part 1

This series of posts was inspired by a discussion over at my friend Lisa's blog when she spoke to the "Biggest Loser's" newest trainer, Cara Castronuova about her certifications.  (You can read it here.)

It sparked a wonderful conversation about what skills and education are necessary for fitness professionals and what makes a good personal trainer (PT).

I have addressed this topic in other posts, but today I would like to offer my reflections after participating in this discussion:
  • There exists no law (that I am aware of) that requires one to be certified or educated to call themselves a "personal trainer".  For this reason, good trainers should be upfront and honest about the education that they do or do not have.
  • I cannot stress enough how important education (both theory and practical) is to the industry.  We are dealing with a client's health, well-being and safety.  Furthermore, regulation of this education would give our profession more credibility, prestige and value.
  • That being said, having a dozen certifications certainly implies that a person is knowledgeable, but it does not mean that they are a great PT, nor does it mean that they are the right trainer for you.  A good trainer is a combination of personality, passion, skill and education.
  • One does not necessarily need to be "certified" in everything.  For example, if you are a certified fitness instructor and you may not have to take separate certifications in other specialties such as fitness boxing or a yoga-inspired class.  This is provided that you have had adequate training and have proven yourself competent and safe through practical experience. 

Are you a fitness professional? 
What do you think about certification in the industry? 

Stay Healthy, 

P.S. Thank you so much for your fantastic comments and support for the Vegan For A Week Challenge.  If you would like to join us, please check out  Morgan @ Life After Bagels for more information.

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