1. Be your boldest, best self! Don’t let anybody squash your enthusiasm or ideas. Go it alone if you must (you really have nothing to lose).
2. I kind of agree with Jason on the certification front: too many people rattle off all the certifications they have (online, 1-day or weekend conferences often) as if that makes them better, more experienced trainers. We know that’s not necessarily the case…
1) How wonderful it would be when I didn’t have to slave for “Big Gym” anymore. Always defending my clients from their ever open palms and fake smiles. If anyone reads this and is just starting out; BEWARE a gym with lots of salesmen and protect your name by caring about more than your clients re-sign potential.
2) To care less about the opinions of others, and more about their constructive criticisms. Sometimes closing your mouth opens up a world of new senses.
Ok…here’s a question based on Jason and Michelle’s response to my original question:
If you feel that certifications are not worth it, but education is…would you say that one needs a Master’s Degree to become a Fitness Professional? And if so, what would be the difference between “rattling off” your certs and rattling off your degrees? Would a higher university (say in the Top 10 schools) be better than a local (maybe lower ranked) university?
Hopefully you’ll see my question and let me know your thoughts. Cheers!
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:)
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?