T Nation

Quality Certifications


Alright we all know that cert's don't make one a good trainer but What does everyone think are must have cert's for some big time recognition?

I know CSCS and USAW, but any else?


Either an MS or a PhD in exercise kinesiology or related field from a D-1 school.


I personally believe any certification that makes you think for youself and not follow company dogma. I've certified with the NSCA as a CSCS and CPT, and I've had great experiences with both, but you're right, certs down mean shit if you're a dumb ass. Get NSCA, USAW, or ACSM if you're planning on working with more clinicals pops, but the best thing for recognition is a degree in exercise science or loads of practical experience and building a reputation.


Couldn't agree more. Exercise science background would be the most practical. I've covered the same ones listed and they provide basic, safe training, but without further application and branching into other methods the background could be regarded as probably the most 'unproductive' training methods.

It's a shame most personal trainers feel their course is enough and have stopped learning as soon as their piece of paper was handed to them. They walk around like moving toothpicks and look down upon everyone else. They see any sign of muscle as roids. Some come straight out of their associated courses and are content on using a fit ball and getting a person to stand on one leg. That's usually what many of them do. A lot of are toothpicks and some are even the fattest lazy slugs I've seen.

Best way is to gather as much knowledge as you can, apply it, gain experience and learn what works, and never stop learning.


USA Track and Field is pretty good for the practice of Strength and Conditioning, but you don't specialize until level II.



"Quality Certifications" seems like an oxymoron at times.


Which certification tells their trainers to start each and every workout with overweight clients by doing standing calf raises on the dip station I'm trying to use? And, is that the same certification that tells trainers to have all their clients squat on the Smith machine making sure not to go down too far, so the knees don't come past the toes?
FEEL THE BURN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!