What my school taught me is drastically different from what my certifications taught me. School was about exercise science (what is best for clients). Certifications taught me about trends (what clients may want). Should certifications be evidence based or trend based? How do we reconcile what is best for clients with what they may want?
This is one of those loaded questions for those of us who have been in the business forever, or in my case over 30 years.
Back in the day there was no such thing as a certification. Low and behold, as the “aerobics” industry grew and grew, Kathie Davis had the insight to provide a source for instructors. Of course she was not the only one who saw the money potential, ACSM and others joined in.
As for your question, yes school was about exercise science but I beg to differ on the statement “what is best for your clients” this is subjective
As for your comment about ‘trends” , I think clients want what works for them and i think its fantastic that we have so many different modalities and ideas today to draw from.
So, in order to keep up with this fast moving industry, it’s important to stay educated. I have known many exercise physiologists who had no idea how to teach a safe and sound cardio class, I have known many exercise science majors who were unable to connect with people on a human level.
I think having access to education in the form of CEC’s once certified, having conferences at our finger tips, having Nationally Accredited Organizations offering a vast variety of certifications enhances our work.
Certifications are not based on trends. Granted, there is money to be made with certifications so I can see where some may question the motive but I believe that we have these certs in order to keep up and to learn and be confident in what we do.
I was surprised by your question because the certifications I hold have provided me with great education in the field of exercise science. Not one of them deals with ‘trends’.
When I look at trends, I assess them against the science I have learned and decide whether to incorporate a trend in my way of training or to ignore it.
Having read your response to your question, I understand your perspective.
Here is where I stand.
For me it doesn’t matter whether it is a workshop, course, certification or whatever, even if it is trend, here is what I am searching for from a cognitive perspective:
What is the theoretical framework of the certification, workshop, trend etc.? If the “author” of the certification, workshop, trend, etc. can not respond to the question or it is not indicated in the certification, workshop, trend and the two then I do not subscribe to it.
Here is an unfortunate reality. If you ask most fitness professionals what is the theoretical framework from which they design fitness programs or utilize coaching approaches many won’t be able to respond. Hence, your question is quite valid. It is up to us, however, to continue to encourage our colleagues to utilize theoretical approaches when it comes to developing fitness/wellness programs for our clients.
Hello Chris Lutz,
We always want to do what is best for the client. With that said/written, the clients also get bored and need something new to stay motivated to exercise/move.
You may be combining certification with continuing education credits in this discussion.
Certifications must be based on evidence and leave the trends for recertifying CECs (which must still educate).
NAPS 2 B Fit
I would argue they are not mutually exclusive. Some people gain competency through lots of workshops, some through university level education, some through self study. The certification does not comment on where they learned what they learned, but simply that they learned it. A person with a university degree may determine they will not also sit for the certification. Getting work may not require it as those who hire often will take one or the other. Someone who has learned from an alternate source may take the certification to show their level of competence. Some do both.
Someone may get a degree from a university and can put the letters that refer to the degree after their name. Some take a certification that allows them to refer to themselves as, for example “ACSM certified”. Each supposes a certain level of understanding of the subject matter, though of course, just as certifications differ in rigor so do educational programs.
The point of the NCCA is to address the rigor of certification programs. They do not do so with educational programs, though other agencies do so. In yoga we use the registry, which is run by the yoga alliance. They do not certify or train anyone, they merely vet that programs that claim to certify or train meet certain standards.
Most certification programs exist to make sure the trainer has the understanding of the tools of his or her trade, but current research, such as the research on stability ball training is the purview of continuing education.