I have a BS in Healthcare Management & MBA. Should I now focus on a PT and Lifestyle and Weight Management Cert?
I lost over 100 pounds however I am not at my goal of 130 lean muscle. I am still in works on that and I am enjoying the journey and learning more things about my body and how nutrition plays a major part. I goal is to compete Figure Pro. I will do it because I am determine. Everyone I've shared nutrition and weights and exercise regime with encourage me to become a personal trainer. I've been stewing it over for a long time and decided it would be most rewarding to do what I enjoy doing to maintain my healthy lifestyle and helping others while I do it. I just don't know how should I go about breaking into the fitness industry. do I focus on the personal trainer certificates and then market myself or go back to school and get a BS in health fitness and then tap into the cert on to building a business for myself. I already know I want to have my own studio and not work at a gym but I will do it part time to learn the business before I go strong on my own. Any and all suggestion and advice is most welcome.
First off, congratulations on what you've done so far with your own personal health & fitness goals - that's quite an accomplishment. Although I'm a huge proponent of formal education, I think you paid enough dues as far as that goes. The fact that you were thinking about going back to school says a lot about your integrity. I would definitely concentrate on getting certified by one of the top organizations - NSCA, ACSM, ACE, etc. I went the "NSCA" route (CSCS), but I'm sure someone else in this forum has a better recommendation than me about that since I was certified 20 years ago. Best of luck to you - my bet is that you'll do just fine.
Having a degree in healthcare management (and work experience in that area?) gives you a perspective and a skill set that could be very helpful. The interface between fitness and healthcare is one that can provide much needed services, and great professional opportunities. Understanding how the rather complex world of healthcare works will stand you in good stead.
In addition your degree in management will be extremely helpful in creating, managing, and strengthening your own business.
Whether you should go back to school for another degree probably depends on how much knowledge you have in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, special populations, exercise programming, and other fitness related areas. Generally, given that it would take a fair bit of time to do so, and given your strong background you might want to look into the certification, and see if you feel ready. Look over the industry standard certifications, choose one that works well for you, and preorder the books and study materials. If you feel completely at sea, you might want to think about doing some classes in the areas in which you feel less sure.
The other think that you might find helpful is to work a few places before starting your own business. Even if you are very fit and knowledgeable, it is always different when you are on the other side of the process. And it can be very valuable to learn from those with experience, and to make professional connections. I found, for myself, when I did personal training the assessments got much easier as I did more of them. Everything gets smoother as you do more of it.
congratulations on your accomplishments!
It is wonderful that you want to take your personal experience and turn it into something to share with others.
You will need a certification at any rate. I believe even a fitness-related degree will not suffice to get liability insurance which you need for your business. Many clubs (certainly the one where I teach classes) require a personal trainer certification because it means that you are obliged to take continuing education which is not required once you have a degree.
However, there are some advanced certifications at ACSM for example where a degree in physiology is mandatory. They tend to be more clinical in nature but if you want to go this route you should consider a degree after all.
My personal recommendation for a personal trainer certification is NASM. Not only do they an excellent CPT certification but they also have some very respected specialty certifications if you want to go deeper into certain areas.
Good luck to you.