I am 47 years young and just now getting into exercising I have my zumba certification, and studying for the NCCPT Group Exercise certification. I am a little afraid of taking the test thinking I may not pass however I study and read on a daily basis. It is a struggle because I am also working on my Master in education. Another instructor suggested I wait til I graduate then study my group exercise certification. I find myself paying for all type of exercise courses, I have taken the lifttime academy course, some AFAA courses and now the nccpt. Does it seem as if I am all over the place, i feel that if i take these courses it will help me with the test. I just started at 47 years old and I am wonders if i should proceed, I teach praise dance and desire to learm more about corrective exercise, I have also taught a few zumba classes. I have my own studio to teach zumba but have not did it because I want a certification bad. Any suggestion please advise?
Fitness is a rather crowded field these days, but it is also pretty diverse. It is true that there will be job opportunities and locations where your age might create judgement, but there are just as many places where it will be honored.
Do you remember the name Frank White? He was a star of that TV show ‘Hill Street Blues’. At 65 he had smoked heavily from his teens, drank a lot, and had a score of health problems as a result. He took up yoga, eventually becoming a teacher… gave up smoking, joined AA, and found his path. He was a teacher who taught and inspired many, many people. It isn’t about age, but about knowing who you are and what finding your voice. Try not to see yourself as an almost 50 year old… just get up and do your thing and enjoy it. Think of how Shakespeare described Cleopatra “age cannot whither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety’.
As with any work it is good to have a plan…. rather than taking a million certifications at once, think about what aspects of teaching you enjoy most, and most suit your talents. You have zumba, you are adding a group ex certification. With those 2 things you have a great base. So think about: do you want to teach primarily Zumba, or other formats, do you want to manage your own program, or also work within a health club, do you want to teach boot camp style classes, do you want to specialize in a particular age group, or fitness level. You don’t have to decide all at once, but once you have a sense of what calls you you will have a better sense of which trainings will best serve you on this path.
Regarding whether it makes sense to do the certification at the same time as the degree… well, how does the workload feel to you? I did a couple of years of graduate study in exercise science, and I know there were people who were working on certification at the same time as doing the program. I wouldn’t have done it that way, but I was working full time, running a fitness business on the side (teaching nights, 6 ams, and every weekend), and doing graduate school at the same time. I scheduled training more for the summer, in off times… but it is different for everyone. Just make sure not to overburden yourself. The process is more important than the endpoint…. enjoy every moment you get to teach, every moment you get to learn.
I agree with Karen in that you might want to narrow your focus a bit. If NCCPT is what you’ll be testing for, you might want to limit yourself to studying those materials. Although the anatomy and physiology are the same, different certifying bodies have different acronyms for the same underlying principles. Learning for the sake of learning is WONDERFUL. But if you’re stressed out about a specific exam, study from those materials.
let me start off by saying that I am 60. I got into the fitness industry when I was 40.
Whether or not you can do both work for your Master’s degree in Education AND work on your group exercise certification is ultimately for you to determine. But don’t get yourself all twisted about that. A group exercise certification is not rocket science, and while it requires some studying, you should be able to pass it.
As far as being all over the place: you need to decide where you wand to be next and pursue that goal. Sometimes reality trumps the best laid out plans. Follow the path that you are drawn to but be open to alternatives. Your age, rather than being an obstacle, can be an asset. Just think: if you were in women in her fifties, would you look for a trainer who is 25 or 47?
I wish you good luck.
We are the same age.
You’re not to old IF it’s a passion for you. It may take you a little longer to study for your certification because you have a lot going on in your life, but there’s no reason that age should stop you.
Let me be brutally honest. Our industry can be very judgmental about age, appearance, and weight. You have your own studio so you might never experience this, but it’s out there.
With respect to Zumba, there were 3 pilot tests of a mentoring program during 2013 and 2014. There will hopefully be an official program later this year, so you could link up with a mentor in your area or a distance mentor and get help getting started. In the meantime, as you have time, take other instructors’ classes. Also, watch your ZIN materials, not just for the choreography but for how the ZES’ cue.
Also, here is a wonderful and inspirational video of a woman, Ernestine Sheperd. She is 77, a bodybuilder, and an instructor. So empowering!