I want to be taken seriously as a Personal Trainer. I’ve obtained my certification, but I want to continue my education so I can be a better trainer especially for those clients that are just starting their fitness journey and those that have had injuries or trying to lose a lot of weight. I am wondering what experienced trainers consider the best education a four year degree or numerous certifications.
I feel like as a society, we need to go back to recognizing formal education as a way to measure and analyze someone’s ability to comprehend and apply scientific principles. That’s what education is, isn’t it? A PhD knows more than a MSc whose ahead of a BSc?
There are far too many people out there who call themselves trainers, but are far from qualified. They use terms like “muscle confusion” instead of periodization. They think doing Insanity in basements and learning CrossFit from their buddies is the next great revolution. And they look up to Jillian Michaels. $600 and a weekend doing “core” workouts don’t make you a qualified trainer. And guess what? The media is 10 years behind the field, and what you hear on TV is often twisted and out of proportion.
On the other hand, rarely do I come across college grads who don’t know their stuff. With a degree, you learn the physiology, the biomechanics, and how to deal with different populations. You gain great experience. Most importantly, you can actually answer your clients’ questions and help someone. As a trainer, I can actually have an intelligent discussion with you.
So if you want to teach one or two classes for fun, get a good workout, or a little extra cash, go ahead and get some certifications. Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, Spinning, etc. are preferred, and you can teach classes with them.
But if you want to make a career of it as a trainer, coach, director, manager, etc. PLEASE get a degree. Without a degree, you can’t really get into corporate wellness, the sports industry, or good quality upscale facilities anyways. And most of all, with a degree you earn the respect of those of us in the field trying to make it better.