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.
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.
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.