The biggest thing I would have done differently would be to have switched halfway through graduate school from tax accounting over to physical therapy. I realized that PT and rehabilitation were my passion in my mid-20’s, but I was already halfway through a double masters in business and taxation. Now, some of the trainings I’m the most interested in are outside of my scope (i.e. there’s a training for reformer pilates that you have to have be a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or PTA to apply).
But you never know. We always assume the grass is greener and it might not have been. I’ve got great clients, great classes, and I’m making the differences in peoples’ lives I want to make.
I already had two degrees in human sciences (physiology, anatomy, etc. studies), basically premed and a DDS (dentist), when I realized that exercise and athletic performance were my really interests. But back then exercise instructors were considered to be psuedo-professionals. The world of exercise physiology/science was just starting. So:
1) I would have followed my interests and not tried to be the “scientist” of accepted professional studies.
2) I would have sought out the people that were creating the field of exercise science.
But now that I know what it is that makes me tick, I work hard at learning all I can. I learn and I teach, that is what makes me what I am. A fitness professional!!
No you haven’t dug yourself in a hole my friend and yes…you did clarily you answer..Thank you! In all honesty you only said that you kind of agreed with some of Jason’s points regarding certification.
I will say that I do ask other Fitness Professionals who they’re certified with, but I think that this is a natural question as well as sometimes finding a common bond on test taking. I know that many can view the question as a snobby response but I love learning about others background as well as how they came into the industry.
I agree with you on many of your points and feel that personal integrity is sometimes missing in our industry versus the mighty dollar and selfish vanity.
For me the bottom line is this: Regardless of whether you have a high-school education, a Master’s degree or anything in between….whether you take a 1 day, 3 day or online certification it’s what you do with your knowledge afterwards. I have taken all 3 types of Certifications and now keep my certs up to date so I never have to retake them again.
I’m blessed that IDEA (as well as ACE) is based in San Diego and that I’ve been able to go to IDEA World all but 2 years out of my 16 years in the industry. I strive to give my clients the best of my ability and staying current in the industry is part of it.
By chance are you going to the convention?
First off, I didn’t write that I thought certifications were not worth it. I just believe that the term and practice of certification is not regulated in such a way that credibility is guaranteed. Moreover, I don’t believe education, per se, is necessarily better (there are many idiots with a BA). However, on the side of education, it takes several years of work, scrutiny, and relatively high standards to attain a Master’s or PhD; that said, I know many trainers with a Master’s or PhD who can’t string a sentence together in a social setting (never mind trying to help somebody learn to do a proper squat).
My beef is two fold:
1) with the less reputable (if at all) organizations that offer certifications with questionable content and participation. These are typically done online and/or only one-day with weak content; this is not to be confused with very good things we can do online (distance education with Human Kinetics, for example), or even a one-day seminar or workshop hosted by a strong, experienced, and professional presenter.
2) If you want to be regarded as a professional trainer, then please be responsible how the information and experience you’ve gained is used and presented; it’s one thing (and valid) to say you have experience with whatever after attending a one-day seminar, it’s quite another to position yourself as an expert.
I think this all boils down to personal and professional integrity: Rattle off all your accomplishments if you want. Be more reserved if it suits you better: whisper, shout, put up a billboard, take out a newspaper ad, do whatever you want to trumpet what an awesome trainer you are! Just be damn sure it is honest, true, and with at least a shred of conscience and concern for the people you are trying to attract.
Does this clarify my opinion Lisa, or have I dug myself into a hole?
Let me know:)