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  1. #1
    Registered User fkirk's Avatar
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    A lot of Questions! Please help!

    Hey guys, I'm 15 years old and I need some help. I am interested in being a trainer and one day train high school and maybe college athletes in a gym of my own. I know it may be a lofty goal but I want to start as soon as possible. I talked to a representative from NCSF and he said he'd reccomend I would get certified as a personal trainer right when I turn 18, before college. He said I should get the home study course now and then I'd be ready for it then. I was wondering if it is worth it because would I be able to maybe get a small job near the college with just that certification? Plus, I don't want to get it to early or else I would have to pay for CEU's when I graduate college. Can you guys just give me any tips that can help me out? Thanks so much!
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  2. #2
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fkirk View Post
    Hey guys, I'm 15 years old and I need some help. I am interested in being a trainer and one day train high school and maybe college athletes in a gym of my own. I know it may be a lofty goal but I want to start as soon as possible. I talked to a representative from NCSF and he said he'd reccomend I would get certified as a personal trainer right when I turn 18, before college. He said I should get the home study course now and then I'd be ready for it then. I was wondering if it is worth it because would I be able to maybe get a small job near the college with just that certification? Plus, I don't want to get it to early or else I would have to pay for CEU's when I graduate college. Can you guys just give me any tips that can help me out? Thanks so much!
    First, use the search function because you will find that this information has probably been discussed in multiple threads.

    Specific to your situation, I would work very hard in all of your high school classes, but especially in physics, biology, anatomy, chemistry, statistics, and even look into any health occupations classes they might have. At my old high school, they have a class where you become a certified EMT-B. This never hurts to have when you are looking for jobs in gym settings. Emergencies will happen at some point.

    Now if you are anything like I was at your age, you will ignore my advice above. I was more interested in reading "strength training" books rather than studying a lot in the those classes which I mentioned. At the end of the day, if you have a good understanding of each topic, you will run circles around 99% of trainers when it comes to science knowledge. Now is the best time to learn about these things too. In the future, you will be trying to balance training people, a social life, continuing education, and maybe even running your own business. High school and college are the best times to get a very good grasp on basic sciences. If you truly listen to my advice, you will thank me in the future. You will avoid so much of the bull**** science that is perpetuated in this field.

    Also, learn to read and write effectively. I am not happy with my writing skills and I really wish that I had spent more time on it when I had more time.

    The PT certification might be a good idea at 18 if you intend to work a few hours during school. If not, I would hold off. When you get to college, or even now, I suggest you try to intern as much as you can.
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  3. #3
    Registered User fkirk's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SFT View Post
    First, use the search function because you will find that this information has probably been discussed in multiple threads.

    Specific to your situation, I would work very hard in all of your high school classes, but especially in physics, biology, anatomy, chemistry, statistics, and even look into any health occupations classes they might have. At my old high school, they have a class where you become a certified EMT-B. This never hurts to have when you are looking for jobs in gym settings. Emergencies will happen at some point.

    Now if you are anything like I was at your age, you will ignore my advice above. I was more interested in reading "strength training" books rather than studying a lot in the those classes which I mentioned. At the end of the day, if you have a good understanding of each topic, you will run circles around 99% of trainers when it comes to science knowledge. Now is the best time to learn about these things too. In the future, you will be trying to balance training people, a social life, continuing education, and maybe even running your own business. High school and college are the best times to get a very good grasp on basic sciences. If you truly listen to my advice, you will thank me in the future. You will avoid so much of the bull**** science that is perpetuated in this field.

    Also, learn to read and write effectively. I am not happy with my writing skills and I really wish that I had spent more time on it when I had more time.

    The PT certification might be a good idea at 18 if you intend to work a few hours during school. If not, I would hold off. When you get to college, or even now, I suggest you try to intern as much as you can.
    Thanks. I already do very well in those classes and senior year I'm going to probably take AP Physics and AP Chemistry. Any other advice?
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  4. #4
    pirate ninja kitteh rockangel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fkirk View Post
    Thanks. I already do very well in those classes and senior year I'm going to probably take AP Physics and AP Chemistry. Any other advice?
    honestly, if your school has an AP Biology, A & P, or other science class, i would do that over the physics. Physics is a cool class, but you will do better with the Chemistry and other biology class. I took both AP Physics and AP Chem and whished i could have taken a different science.

    Also, i would try to look for a job at a gym such as front desk. At the last gym i worked for we did summer hire programs, i worked with several teens. You may be used for a lot of "grunt" work, but it will give you a better idea of gym life and you can see about shadowing some of the trainers.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Cdt_Richards's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rockangel View Post
    honestly, if your school has an AP Biology, A & P, or other science class, i would do that over the physics. Physics is a cool class, but you will do better with the Chemistry and other biology class. I took both AP Physics and AP Chem and whished i could have taken a different science.

    Also, i would try to look for a job at a gym such as front desk. At the last gym i worked for we did summer hire programs, i worked with several teens. You may be used for a lot of "grunt" work, but it will give you a better idea of gym life and you can see about shadowing some of the trainers.
    This. Trust me, biology will give you FAR more of an edge in this field than physics. Also, if training athletes is your goal, then start looking into colleges for strength and conditioning/exercise science programs. That way, you can get the Strength and Conditioning cert, which carries more weight than any other, and opens tons of avenues to working with athletes and teams
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  6. #6
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Biology is very important in understanding the metabolic aspects of exercise. Genetics is a very interesting topic as well. I don't want to undermine the importance of having a great understanding of biology.

    What I will suggest is that most trainers do not have a good knowledge of physics and subsequently biomechanics. I think this leads to a lot of false information being spread about this exercise or that exercise. I find trainers constantly misunderstanding topics such as torque, shear force, compressive force, or even understanding how body density is measured with hydrostatic weighing. The topics in physics that we can apply to the body aren't necessarily complex, but it seems like many people have forgotten them, or never got a good grasp on them. This ultimately leads to many unnecessary arguments of this exercise over that exercise, with no actual substance to the conversation.
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  7. #7
    pirate ninja kitteh rockangel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SFT View Post
    Biology is very important in understanding the metabolic aspects of exercise. Genetics is a very interesting topic as well. I don't want to undermine the importance of having a great understanding of biology.

    What I will suggest is that most trainers do not have a good knowledge of physics and subsequently biomechanics. I think this leads to a lot of false information being spread about this exercise or that exercise. I find trainers constantly misunderstanding topics such as torque, shear force, compressive force, or even understanding how body density is measured with hydrostatic weighing. The topics in physics that we can apply to the body aren't necessarily complex, but it seems like many people have forgotten them, or never got a good grasp on them. This ultimately leads to many unnecessary arguments of this exercise over that exercise, with no actual substance to the conversation.
    I have taken both AP Physics at the high school and physics at college level. I can tell you as far as body mechanincs, torque and all that jazz, i learned far more about that in animal science classes than in physics. With the body, you have to learn how the whole works together and you dont get that in physics classes either at the high school level or the the beginning college levels. The classes that i took dealing with conformation and structure of animals taught me so much, granted it was animals, but as humans are animals, a lot of the work translates. I loved the physics class, it was very interesting, but biology and other sciences would relate better.
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  8. #8
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rockangel View Post
    I have taken both AP Physics at the high school and physics at college level. I can tell you as far as body mechanincs, torque and all that jazz, i learned far more about that in animal science classes than in physics. With the body, you have to learn how the whole works together and you dont get that in physics classes either at the high school level or the the beginning college levels. The classes that i took dealing with conformation and structure of animals taught me so much, granted it was animals, but as humans are animals, a lot of the work translates. I loved the physics class, it was very interesting, but biology and other sciences would relate better.
    I think we agree more than we disagree. I learned so much from biology and anatomy/physiology classes. Most of the information was very easy to immediately apply to our field. These topics were also quite easy to grasp in my opinion. I don't remember any problem solving or anything of that sort. You either knew what mitochondria were, or you didn't. You either knew what the ATP/PCr, anerobic glycolytic, and aerobic systems were, or you didn't.

    On the other hand, a good handle on physics helps you to understand topics that most trainers don't understand. I'm not saying that the concepts are easily applied. For instance, without a decent understand of physics, it is difficult to really understand patellofemoral forces. Another example is understanding the difference between compressive and shear forces at the tibiofemoral joint. You can take it a step further and understand what structures are affected by these forces.

    I would never trade the knowledge I took from anatomy and physiology or biology. However, I would suggest that it is difficult to find someone with a decent understanding of physics in this field. As a result, speaking about basic biomechanics with the average trainer is a joke. I am no expert, but I found that taking physics helped me understand biomechanics, which is very important in our field.
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