T Nation

Would-be Personal Trainer

I believe that one should do something one loves, as, if one enjoys it, it cannot be called work. In that vein, I have thought over the past year or so, as my interest in nutrition and fitness has become more pronounced, that I would like to persue a job as a personal trainer. It has always been my hope to do something to help people, and what better way then to shed some light for the common person where the government and media has left things darky and murky?

However, my current situation precludes me from gaining a college degree, at least right away. My thoughts are that I would attempt to get a personal training certification, get a job at a gym to get my foot in the door and have some money to live on after I fully switch over from my current job to that one(I will probably do so gradually). Getting a proper college diploma, at least from a community college, might be a future goal, but not something I can do right now.

In light of this, which certification program would the good readerbase of T-nation recommend? Also, to those that have perhaps had experiance with some certification programs, would buying an older edition of the manuals from ebay, used, be as good as getting the latest edition, or should I pay the extra 100-200 dollars for a new set from whichever company I go with?

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By the way, to any that may remember my problem from before, I got it straightened out. The testosterone issue seems to have just been a matter of a slight lack of rest, and a serious lack of seratonin.

Thanks for everyone’s kind words then, and hopefully some advice now.

[quote]Moon Knight wrote:
I believe that one should do something one loves, as, if one enjoys it, it cannot be called work. In that vein, I have thought over the past year or so, as my interest in nutrition and fitness has become more pronounced, that I would like to persue a job as a personal trainer. It has always been my hope to do something to help people, and what better way then to shed some light for the common person where the government and media has left things darky and murky?

However, my current situation precludes me from gaining a college degree, at least right away. My thoughts are that I would attempt to get a personal training certification, get a job at a gym to get my foot in the door and have some money to live on after I fully switch over from my current job to that one(I will probably do so gradually). Getting a proper college diploma, at least from a community college, might be a future goal, but not something I can do right now.

In light of this, which certification program would the good readerbase of T-nation recommend? Also, to those that have perhaps had experiance with some certification programs, would buying an older edition of the manuals from ebay, used, be as good as getting the latest edition, or should I pay the extra 100-200 dollars for a new set from whichever company I go with?

**
By the way, to any that may remember my problem from before, I got it straightened out. The testosterone issue seems to have just been a matter of a slight lack of rest, and a serious lack of seratonin.

Thanks for everyone’s kind words then, and hopefully some advice now.[/quote]

NSPA or ACE. They are both pretty widely accepted, im NSPA cert’d, and I work at one of the premiere health clubs in the DC metro area (when im home). Your money is going to come primarily from having a strong client base, so I hope you have the ability to sell yourself. One piece of advice, listen to your clients. Every word they say, even repeat some of it to them. When they realize that you truely care about their goals, they are more likely to stay with you.

Let me know if you have any more Q’s

Thanks, I’ve seen ACE, and I’ll take a look at NSPA as I had not heard of them before. Do you have any idea whether slightly older(2nd edition) ACE materials would serve for passing the 3rd edition exam they have now?

Since I imagine I will be forgetting half or more of what they are teaching after I pass the exam, I’d rather save money if possible.

As for selling myself, thats a tough one to answer. On the one hand, I am not one of those bubbly outgoing socialable sorts really, that is great at making small talk. However, on the other hand, when it comes to something I love and have knowledge of(nutrition for instance) I can become a bit of a talker. More importantly though, I am a very serious, sincere person and I have had people tell me that I come across that way too. I also feel that I am rather good at listening and genuinely trying to aide people in their problems, mental or physical.

While writing this, another thought has sprung to mind, that being that I speak clearly and in a somewhat educated manner, unlike many people my age(21) even those that have been all the way through college.

ACE is okay…I here they have really revamped it from being mediocre to pretty good. The big dogs in fitness certification are NASM, NACS, CSCS. Either cert and you can work anywhere.

You definitely will have to sell yourself to be good in the biz. Very few trainers make it by their abilities to train alone.

Check with your local gyms…sometimes they are willing to work with you and give a discount on certification.

I have been a personal trainer for only 3 years now, so i will try and give you what help i can, (i about your age also 23). A good cert can go a long why. With saying that there is not one cert in my opinion that is the best to get. It all depends on what you want to do. When i started training all i wanted to do was train athletes, but were i work i only could get my hands on a few high school through pro athletes. So then i looked into helping everyday people reach their goals and found this almost more rewarding. Which cert is the best comes down to saying ya well my guru can beat up your guru. But acsm, cscs and a few others require a BS. One of my personal favorite certs. is RTS (resistance training specialist, by Tom Purvis, he helped create NASM), it was great, I learned a ton in there. My idea for you would be go to a community college or get a book on exercise phys., anatomy and physiology, and kinesology, and learn. Too many trainers make clients do exercises they like. “I make them squat ass to the grass because its the best.” Yes this could be true but this person my have a something limiting this range of motion. So you could be hurting them everytime you do this.(this is just an example i don’t need the hate mail for sayin that type of squat is bad, it is my favorite because i love olympic lifts.)Back to topic get those books and learn. You can never stop learning in this field. If you have any other questions i can help with email or pm me. [Email Address Deleted by Moderator]

Ted

I would reccomend the NASM,and the NSCA-CPT prefaced by taking the RTS (resistance training specialist cert).That should give you a well rounded start.Peace

Thanks to everyone that replied. I’m going to have to do a little more research but I’m leaning heavily towards NASM as just about everyone mentioned them, and, their website/brochure was rather convincing.

I REALLY liked the RTS certification’s looks, but, unfortunately I can’t really afford to do the traveling required for it right now.

For now, I think the best thing it seems I can do would be to see what kinsieology and/or physiology textbooks I can find used cheap, to get a head start on the studying(despite being an avid reader here, I feel as if I’m lacking some of the underlaying base scientific knowledge that would benefit me in the field), and meanwhile to keep strict on my fat fast, so that I “look like a personal trainer”. Since selling oneself is important, I’m sure it will be important to look reasonably like what the unwashed masses would expect a trainer to look like.(Though from the websites, it looks like half the trainers have not been within a 10 foot radius of a weight except when watching a client do it)

What about ISSA? (International Sports Sciences Association) Their certifications seems great.

[quote]grimskunk wrote:
What about ISSA? (International Sports Sciences Association) Their certifications seems great.[/quote]

I would say out of all the at home cert’s ISSA is prob the best. I have NASM( got it right before they stopped doing in-home) and ISSA’s ntrition cert

The ACSM cert opened a lot of doors for me. I am assuming you live in the US but it’s not earth shatteringly expensive in the UK and I have been able to use it in different countries. It even helped me get a post-grad place in uni after a long time in another industry.