I currently hold the following certifications: AEA, YMCA Strength and Conditioning Instructor, YMCA Group Exercise Fitness Instructor, and Punk Rope Instructor. I would like to be able to work more one on one or small group with individuals with personal fitness and nutrition goals. I have looked at getting a personal training certification but am having a hard time deciding which certifcation group would be best for me and if I need to go on and get a Lifestyle Coach certiification as well. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Jenny, you’ve asked a rather challenging question.
Every certifying body on this site will likely say they are the best. This is how I went about deciding whether or not to sit for a particular certifcation exam.
I asked myself:
1. Is it NCCA accredited? At the moment NCCA accredited certifications are the industry standard. That is not to say that you can’t find a good one that is not NCCA accredited.
2. Is the credential based upon current exercise science? Will it fortify my currently base of knowledge?
3. Will the credential assist me in growing professionally?
After I asked myself those questions, I decided to take the Wellcoaches course.
In terms of personal training, I find the ACE Personal Training certification and the NASM personal training certifications to be very good credentials to earn.
Hope this is helpful to you.
Congratulations on your plans to help even more people. And a slap on the back for getting as much information as possible from those who ‘have been there’.
I would first look for a cerfitication that is NCCA and DETC accredited. It you look at the IDEA Career Guide, you will see those who are and are not. Check the reviews and see which feels right to you. Also ask yourself which will be your most likely population and see whether you can find a certification that will fit that market the best.
Just about all clients have nutrition goals. All my certifications touch on nutrition but none of them gives me a scope of practice to discuss specific nutrition needs. It is possible, though, to discuss it in general.
As for a specific recommendation (disclaimer: I am partial because these are certifications that I hold myself): NASM Personal Trainer and ACE Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach.
Hi Jenny. I think that it’s a very smart move to check around with other fitness professionals (as you’ve done here) and with some of the local fitness facilities in your area to see which certifications are sought after and will lead to a job (which, from your question seems to be your goal). I totally agree with Joanne and Karin and think that they’ve provided some great advice here. Because there are several certifying agencies that are NCCA accredited, once you’ve checked into that list, other factors such as (in no particular order of importance) cost, requirements to obtain the certification, recertification requirements, level of support given by the agency to its certified members, accessibility of professional support such as articles etc. and of course are the employers in your area hiring trainers with certification from that agency should ALL be a part of your next level of review before spending your hard-earned money.
I hope that this helps, and GOOD LUCK in your future career!