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Thread: Personal trainers! How'd ya do it?

  1. #1
    Formerly Nick Hatfield SW's Avatar
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    Personal trainers! How'd ya do it?

    I'm 17 and want to be an IFPA certified personal trainer and maybe get a 2 year business/marketing degree at a local college. I want to make at least fairly good money along with doing what I love and helping people as well.

    To those who are already in the game: How'd you do it? What eduction did you get? Who certified you?

    I will also see what local bigger gyms want you to have to hire you. I know the key is to build your client base and keep them and keep them safe. I know that you must have insurance for it as well. What do you guys think of IFPA? Look at'em on www.ifpa-fitness.com and let me know your opinions of them and if it would be worth it to be certified by them. Thanks to all responses as this will be a great help.
    Last edited by SW; 10-14-2004 at 08:21 PM.
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    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    I had never heard of IFPA until now.

    The only certifications I consider meaningful are NSCA.

    What do you mean by 'fairly good money'? Most personal trainers don't get rich.

    I think if you are really interested in the field, get a degree in physiology (or something related), and consider a masters degree. Get a CPT from NSCA while you are in school, then a CSCS from the NSCA when you graduate.
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    get properly certified, go to an actual college and take proper courses. I'm up here in Canada and I'm not sure about the states but I see far too many people who take weekend courses/seminars or online exams and think they have anywhere near the same knowledge and hands on experience as certified trainers from an institute. IMO it's inproperly trainer individuals like this that hinder the success of proper ones because they bring down the credibility of this industry.
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    I couldn't agree more with Lonewolf. I work out at Bally Total Fitness (yeah, whatever), and I wouldn't use one of their 'trainers' even if it was free. In my opinion, the services they offer as trainers are no different than the services the regular club personnel offered to new club members years ago (meaning before it became popular to have 'personal trainers' working for a club). Back then, they'd show you how to use the machines and maybe some free weight exercises, tell you about reps & sets, etc.

    With the exception of one trainer at the club now, none of them offer anything more than that. There's one guy there who, if he's 'training' a seriously overweight person, will barely say a word to them and just record their reps/weight on his clipboard and then say "ok, let's go over here now" when they're done with an exercise. Others, they act like they're the person's friend, and will be talking to them about what they did over the weekend, if they saw a show on TV, etc. It totally pisses me off. I don't need to pay my hard earned $$$ just to hear some jackass say "it's all you, man, it's all you" as I'm getting towards the end of a tough set. I'd rather have Hanz & Franz from SNL as my trainers than these morons.

    Don't get too impressed just because you see someone wearing a polo shirt that has 'Personal Trainer' embroidered on it. At most big national clubs that only means they passed a written test. That HARDLY makes them a trainer in my book. That only means they have knowledge of the subject matter, it doesn't mean they have the skill or ability to TEACH. Teachers and professors at schools and universities have knowledge of the subject matter they're teaching, but they also put in 100's of hours of student teaching becoming trained as EDUCATORS, which is something the personal trainers at most clubs seriously lack.

  5. #5
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    i couldnt agree more with c man..

    my gym is the same, 1 trainer who is overweight, Others who act like they are everybody's friend.

    Also in my gym, we have mad skinny trainers as well as 1 very large trainer. Theres only 1 guy there who looks like he knows what he is doing.

    But i have to admit, the female trainers are h0t
    think youve got an edge on me? think again.

    Shad

  6. #6
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shad
    i couldnt agree more with c man..

    my gym is the same, 1 trainer who is overweight, Others who act like they are everybody's friend.

    Also in my gym, we have mad skinny trainers as well as 1 very large trainer. Theres only 1 guy there who looks like he knows what he is doing.

    But i have to admit, the female trainers are h0t
    :withstupi

    Same thing at my gym. BUT, when I went to Golds Gym over in Gilbert, AZ, every single personal trainer was in shape. The only fat personal trainers were the chubby ones that were on a bulk cycle. One trainer 5'11 265lbs (comp wt), another 5'5 245lbs (comp wt) another 5'4 230lbs (comp wt). And there were even some bodybuilding/figure chicks there too that all looked off the hook. And they made ridiculous money too. They spent 8-10hours a day in the gym and charged $40-60 per session depending on the length of the contract. Not one client did I see that did NOT look 99% better at the end of a personal training cycle.
    Jake Sullivan
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  7. #7
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C Man

    With the exception of one trainer at the club now, none of them offer anything more than that. There's one guy there who, if he's 'training' a seriously overweight person, will barely say a word to them and just record their reps/weight on his clipboard and then say "ok, let's go over here now" when they're done with an exercise. Others, they act like they're the person's friend, and will be talking to them about what they did over the weekend, if they saw a show on TV, etc. It totally pisses me off. I don't need to pay my hard earned $$$ just to hear some jackass say "it's all you, man, it's all you" as I'm getting towards the end of a tough set. I'd rather have Hanz & Franz from SNL as my trainers than these morons.
    *** Just because a trainer is chatting up a client does not mean they are not doing a good job. A PT's job extends beyond just training someone. Alot of times it means they also need to know how to adjust to their clients personality.

    I see a lot of people putting down trainers, and while the majority are not the greatest role models, I feel that many people do not fully understand what the role of a personal trainer really is.
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    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  8. #8
    Senior Member getfit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maki Riddington
    *** Just because a trainer is chatting up a client does not mean they are not doing a good job. A PT's job extends beyond just training someone. Alot of times it means they also need to know how to adjust to their clients personality.

    I see a lot of people putting down trainers, and while the majority are not the greatest role models, I feel that many people do not fully understand what the role of a personal trainer really is.
    amen maki! coming from a personnal trainer here!
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  9. #9
    Formerly Nick Hatfield SW's Avatar
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    I know that getting along with people is a big thing because you won't have many clients for long unless you can get along with them, and they can get along with you (much more important IMO). So what college courses are good for becoming one?
    "You can take control of my mind and my body, but there is one thing a Saiyan always keeps.... his PRIDE!"- Vegeta

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  10. #10
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    The best college course will not teach you how to apply the knowledge you memorize from your books. Experience is very important when it comes to dealing with clients. You should be taking the info you learn and applying it on your friends, co workers etc. Train these people for free at first. This way you'll get a better understanding of how your style of coaching is in regards to the different people you're training. For example, teaching someone how to bench press is not always taught the same way because each client is unique and their learning curves are different (ie: try teaching a 13 year old to bench press and then a 75 year old).
    Maki Fit Blog

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    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  11. #11
    Senior Member getfit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superior_will
    I know that getting along with people is a big thing because you won't have many clients for long unless you can get along with them, and they can get along with you (much more important IMO). So what college courses are good for becoming one?
    exactly!
    3 things to remember
    EMPATHY( SHOW YOU UNDERSTAND THEIR POINT OF VIEW)
    WARMTH( SHOW YOU CARE,NO JUDEMENT)
    GENUINENESS(BE HONEST AND OPEN)
    i took a personnal training course here in Canada with canfitpro
    You will soon see Getfit in OngII Flying Knee Thingys of Doom see if the feisty greek can survive the kicks of Steel Leg From Shaolin Soccer,Dim Mak(def touch) from ChungLee,and Flying Crane by Daniel-san-El Pietro

    Spray it with windex greek!-the famous El Pietro

    You be quiet or i'll clean and press your narrow francophone self-Callahan

    Lift for gains,not glory.Control your ego and the weight

    What a strong girl! This leads me to believe you can severly injure most of the male population-Nick Hatfield

    You're blazing white hot,anyone ever tell you that? Sometimes i think you have fingers faster then Superman when it comes to posts on WBB forums.
    Hot in terms of both speed and... well new hotness- Stash

    gain 50lbs-Anthony

  12. #12
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    In the states I'd go with the NSCA CPT cert as Paul mentioned. In Canada, trainers usually get certified in whatever is recognized in their province. I've been meaning to add Canfitpro to my cert, but it's not like it will allow me to make more money.

    From a monetary standpoint, if a cert is not going to make my pay cheque any bigger, I'm not going to waste my time adding another line of letters to my resume.
    Maki Fit Blog

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    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  13. #13
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    I did a 4 year course in sport and exercise science. University courses would have to be the best. You need a good knowlegde base to back it up. And plenty of experience. (hands on). But if you dont have the time or money to go to uni, i guess a weekend crash course would be ok for a quick solution. And money wise it is good, but only if you are. I charge $55 an hour But only because I have built up a good reputation, therefore people are willing to pay. I gross about 90 grand a year plus my wife is a pharmacist so im laughing. Keep adding to your education. Dont be afraid to take more courses that may come up.
    Last edited by Energizer; 10-26-2004 at 07:26 PM.

  14. #14
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    I am NASM ceritified and work at NYHRC in NYC. We charge 65 an hour, and go up from there, which to me is absurdly expensive, and dissaudes many people from buying. Depending on the goals of the individual, the modern trainer actually does provide varied and valuable training such as core, and balance training to improve functional human aspects such as balance and posture. I work at a corperate gym, meaning the majority of my clients are older, corperate types, and therefore they require functionality over asthetics in their useage of the gym. Yes the main goal is to sell packages, any trainer that says differently is either lying thru their teeth or is quite broke, but a client whose rotator cuff I am training to rehab told me how much better she has felt since we started and how much she was enjoying the training, which meant alot and I feel those rare moments justify what I am doing. But regardless, it is no picnic, be prepared to work hard and slave to aquire clients in the beginning.
    Last edited by furious; 10-26-2004 at 05:35 AM.

  15. #15
    Banned SalahG's Avatar
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    NSCA is a joke imo. Louie Simmons, who knows more about weight training than anyone in America isn't certified. Mr. Will, I suggest getting your masters degree in exercise science, and then coming to your own conclusions on how to train people. Experiment on yourself, use the gym as your lab, and use your self as the rat, at least that is what I plan on doing.

  16. #16
    Fury Divine RickTheDestroyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by getfit
    exactly!
    3 things to remember
    EMPATHY( SHOW YOU UNDERSTAND THEIR POINT OF VIEW)
    WARMTH( SHOW YOU CARE,NO JUDEMENT)
    GENUINENESS(BE HONEST AND OPEN)
    i took a personnal training course here in Canada with canfitpro
    Hahaha, was the course taught by Carl Rogers?

  17. #17
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SalahG
    NSCA is a joke imo. Louie Simmons, who knows more about weight training than anyone in America isn't certified.

    *** What are you basing this on? Simply off the fact that Louie doesn't hold one??
    Maki Fit Blog

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    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  18. #18
    Banned SalahG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maki Riddington
    *** What are you basing this on? Simply off the fact that Louie doesn't hold one??
    Off the fact that one of my speed trainers gave me there test, and I scored 100% on it, and I am no where near ready to train someone. Also off of the best trainers in the world opinions. Joe Defranco and Jay Schroeder aren't NSCA certified. My speed trainers, Ken Taylor(Cornerback for the 85' bears, 16 years experience in training athletes, runs his own speed confrences, has a PHD in exercise science) is not NSCA certified, Ryan Paul(Started 4 years for an ACC conference school at Wideout, has a masters degree in exercise science) is not certified. Everyone one of those trainers mentioned said that an NSCA certification means nothing to them, and doesn't qualify you as a good trainer. Live and learn.

  19. #19
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    Im not from America, but does a NSCA cert get you more money?
    I know here in Australia you have to have some kind of certificate at least to be a personal trainer. And i think thats the way it should be. You dont want any old Tom Dick or Harry training people.

  20. #20
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    I assumed that you were implying that it's no good because of its reputation. I understand that a NSCA cert is not a sign that a trainer is any better then a trainer who holds another cert.
    Maki Fit Blog

    At Large: Optimize Your Body | Dynamic Conditioning |
    My articles on Wannabebig

    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  21. #21
    Do that voodoo that he do
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    Quote Originally Posted by SalahG
    NSCA is a joke imo. Louie Simmons, who knows more about weight training than anyone in America isn't certified. Mr. Will, I suggest getting your masters degree in exercise science, and then coming to your own conclusions on how to train people. Experiment on yourself, use the gym as your lab, and use your self as the rat, at least that is what I plan on doing.
    Yes, but Dave Tate is, and he's respected.

    I agree, the certifications can be entirely meaningless. They weren't difficult. They are better than nothing, though. If I didn't know anything else about a couple of trainers, either as an employer (gym owner) or client, I'd go with the one that had certifications behind them.

    Before you ask, yes, I'm NSCA certfied. I'm also finishing my Master's in Exercise Physiology this year. Louie Simmons has taught me more than the NSCA did, and I've been asked to perform several guest lectures on strength training and power development for athletes for undergraduate classes.
    Be a man. Be awesome at it. Be proud of it. Beyond the Barbell

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  22. #22
    Banned SalahG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borris
    Yes, but Dave Tate is, and he's respected.

    I agree, the certifications can be entirely meaningless. They weren't difficult. They are better than nothing, though. If I didn't know anything else about a couple of trainers, either as an employer (gym owner) or client, I'd go with the one that had certifications behind them.

    Before you ask, yes, I'm NSCA certfied. I'm also finishing my Master's in Exercise Physiology this year. Louie Simmons has taught me more than the NSCA did, and I've been asked to perform several guest lectures on strength training and power development for athletes for undergraduate classes.
    Glad to hear your doing well. But one thing, Dave Tate will be the first to say his NSCA certification is garbage.

  23. #23
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Then why did he get certified through NSCA and not ACE? All I'm pointing out is that, it's a lot more reputable then say, ACE. But, it in no way makes him a better trainer just because he has it.
    Maki Fit Blog

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    My articles on Wannabebig

    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  24. #24
    Do that voodoo that he do
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    Quote Originally Posted by SalahG
    Glad to hear your doing well. But one thing, Dave Tate will be the first to say his NSCA certification is garbage.
    Reread what I wrote.

    Bottom line, if one is intending to get into the personal training field, then one's life and path will be substantially easier if one picks up some sort of certification. The NSCA certs are pretty well recognized. So are the ACSM. Unfortunately, so are ACE (if only personal training) is your goal. If you want to work in the United States as an NCAA or pro strength coach, then the CSCS will make it much easier to find a job.
    Last edited by Isaac Wilkins; 10-27-2004 at 03:42 AM.
    Be a man. Be awesome at it. Be proud of it. Beyond the Barbell

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  25. #25
    Banned SalahG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borris
    Reread what I wrote.

    Bottom line, if one is intending to get into the personal training field, then one's life and path will be substantially easier if one picks up some sort of certification. The NSCA certs are pretty well recognized. So are the ACSM. Unfortunately, so are ACE (if only personal training) is your goal. If you want to work in the United States as an NCAA or pro strength coach, then the CSCS will make it much easier to find a job.
    I'm sorry but I completely disagree. Neither of my trainers are certified, they just show their credentials through what they did in college in the pros, and there masters and phd credentials, and started off fine. All you need imo.
    Last edited by SalahG; 10-27-2004 at 06:57 AM.

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