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  1. #1
    Registered User charlatte987's Avatar
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    Newly Certified Trainer! Tips?

    I recently got certified through AAAI/ISMA. I'm 16, so probably still too young to get a job. However, a lot of my friends are interested in having me work with them, which i'd be happy to do. But, I've never trained anyone, and I want to do a good job. Plus, in the future, I want to get my clients results; not have them waste a bunch of money and not get results for the sake of making money. Also, any tips on designing a program for trainees? I've read various things, but most people seem to say that getting them on a proven program is best, but do trainers make their own programs? Looking for any kind of advice regarding this. Thank you very much!
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  2. #2
    Registered User jalundah's Avatar
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    Most trainers (should) write their own programs for their clients based on their specific needs.

    Considering that youre 16 and I've never heard of AAAI or ISMA, I'm assuming you actually know very little about training but probably really enjoy working out. Don't take this whole training thing too seriously, because it'll be hard for anyone to actually take you seriously until you're older. I'm not sure what your certification actually taught you, but you can use a proven program like 5x5 and tailor it to meet your friends needs.

    I don't want to bash you because you're still a kid, but be prepared for it, especially on this board. Personal training is a very diverse field, and you just hopping on this board as a teenager saying you're certified is bound to anger a few of the trainers on this site who have put in years of practical experience and education. Just stay humble and never stop learning. Websites like elitefts and t-nation are your friend. Read often and always be open to new ideas.
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  3. #3
    Registered User soren_xavier's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jalundah View Post
    Personal training is a very diverse field, and you just hopping on this board as a teenager saying you're certified is bound to anger a few of the trainers on this site who have put in years of practical experience and education.
    I'm not familiar with the organizations he listed either, but should age really matter that much? I assume he's been working out at least a year and if he is capable of passing the tests, it seems he should be capable of being a trainer. Would it be different if he were 10 years older but only had a year of lifting experience? Or should you have to lift for five years before you try to get certified?

    He did say that he was a "newly" certified trainer, not that he was an experienced trainer. And by definition, a newly certified trainer is someone who doesn't have any experience training yet.

    I'm studying for the NSCA-CPT right now. When I get certified, should I not say that I'm certified around here until I've trained 5 clients? Or 10? Or 15?
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  4. #4
    Registered User jalundah's Avatar
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    There's a TREMENDOUS difference between being a "certified" trainer and being a "good and knowledgeable" trainer. There are two reasons why I simply doubt he is the latter.

    1-He is 16 years of age
    2-He is certified through something a lot of gyms won't even take

    Don't get me wrong, he could know his stuff and be a better trainer than half of this forum. But chances are he's not. When I was 16 I could've probably passed the same exam, and I loved working out then as well. But over 7 years of reading this forum, 4 years of reading online articles almost every day, plus a bachelor's degree in exercise science has improved my knowledge and ability as a trainer 5000%, not to mention certifications through ACE and NSCA.

    In my personal opinion, I think standards for personal training should be much higher. There are "certified" trainers at the gym I work at that can barely train themselves let alone others. Like I said I'm not bashing the kid, I just think he should make education a priority at this point before he starts training seriously. Training friends for fun should be perfect for him to gain some experience; getting paid good $$ to train Diabetes Dave is something that should be left to actual professionals. I know he says he is too young to get a job, but there are people with serious health conditions that have oblivious trainers.

    Edit-going back and reading my responses, it seems I'm just rambling instead of actually answering your question. For this I apologize. Just be smart with your program design. Address the goals of who you're training, focus on the main lifts(pressing variations, pulling variations, squats/deadlifts), PREACH proper technique, address weak points, and give sound nutritional advice. Do these things and you're already better than half of the trainers out there.
    Last edited by jalundah; 01-25-2013 at 09:53 PM.
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  5. #5
    Registered User soren_xavier's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jalundah View Post
    There's a TREMENDOUS difference between being a "certified" trainer and being a "good and knowledgeable" trainer. There are two reasons why I simply doubt he is the latter.

    1-He is 16 years of age
    2-He is certified through something a lot of gyms won't even take

    I agree with what you're saying. I just think it's like any profession: You gotta start somewhere. Certification and experience training your own self gets you to a certain baseline of knowledge. It SHOULD be enough to get you to the point knowledge-wise where you can get started training others.

    As you do that, you'll learn more and more over the years and, presumably, become better at what you do. But once you're certified I don't see why it would be a problem to say it. If I say "I'm certified" after taking the NSCA test and some trainer gives me s--t about it because I'm new to the profession, he/she can kiss my ass.

    As to your second point, this is the more troubling thing to me. I did a bit of research and apparently this is the certifying organization:

    aaai-ismafitness.com

    And they don't even certify personal trainers . . . they certify "fitness instructors." To the OP I would say that if he's really serious about training people, go get certified through the NSCA, ACE, NASM or ACSM.



    Originally Posted by jalundah View Post
    Don't get me wrong, he could know his stuff and be a better trainer than half of this forum. But chances are he's not. When I was 16 I could've probably passed the same exam, and I loved working out then as well. But over 7 years of reading this forum, 4 years of reading online articles almost every day, plus a bachelor's degree in exercise science has improved my knowledge and ability as a trainer 5000%, not to mention certifications through ACE and NSCA.
    I think this goes back to the fact that being a trainer--like any profession--is a journey, as I said earlier. It sounds like when you were 16 you were capable of at least training people without special needs . . . although if you think you could've gone out and passed a cert test then you should've had a baseline of knowledge in that as well.

    BTW, off topic, but what would you say are the big differences between the ACE and NSCA certs? I always hear bad things about ACE but I have no idea if the reputation is deserved.


    Originally Posted by jalundah View Post
    There are "certified" trainers at the gym I work at that can barely train themselves let alone others.
    I dunno why, but this made me LOL.


    Originally Posted by jalundah View Post
    Edit-going back and reading my responses, it seems I'm just rambling instead of actually answering your question. For this I apologize. Just be smart with your program design. Address the goals of who you're training, focus on the main lifts(pressing variations, pulling variations, squats/deadlifts), PREACH proper technique, address weak points, and give sound nutritional advice. Do these things and you're already better than half of the trainers out there.
    Word. Thanks for the input.
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  6. #6
    Registered User charlatte987's Avatar
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    Thank you for the input everyone. I didn't mean to anger anyone by saying I was certified. I know that I dont know much about personal training (and that te cert is sort of a joke). But, I am passionate about it all, and am looking to become a good trainer in the future (through ACE or a reputable company). Again, sorry if I came off as cocky or anything; just really am enthusiastic about it all, and would like to be a great trainer in the future

    EDIT- The test really was a joke actually, so I understand your points completely. I also thought this would just be a good staring point, and When this expires when i'm 18, I could go for a cert through ACE when i'm elligable. Thanks again for the advice everyone!
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    Originally Posted by charlatte987 View Post
    Thank you for the input everyone. I didn't mean to anger anyone by saying I was certified. I know that I dont know much about personal training (and that te cert is sort of a joke). But, I am passionate about it all, and am looking to become a good trainer in the future (through ACE or a reputable company). Again, sorry if I came off as cocky or anything; just really am enthusiastic about it all, and would like to be a great trainer in the future

    EDIT- The test really was a joke actually, so I understand your points completely. I also thought this would just be a good staring point, and When this expires when i'm 18, I could go for a cert through ACE when i'm elligable. Thanks again for the advice everyone!
    My tips:
    1) Continue to train yourself. You will learn a lot by doing this, but don't try to mindlessly apply everything that works for you to others.

    2) Train your friends for free. This is what I did from 16-20 years old. You start to develop trust from a small group of people. Your friends will grow up along with you and some day they may develop some influence in the community. This could lead to future referrals.

    3) Go to college and work simultaneously. I'd even potentially recommend Athletic Training over Exercise Science. Athletic training will give you some actual skills beyond that most exercise science programs will afford you. They also have an expanded scope of practice beyond what a personal trainer can do. The second part is really important. Make sure you are out training people while you are at school. I promise that you can handle 5-10 hours of personal training in addition to almost any major at college.

    4) Find a good internship and a mentor. A good mentor can put you so far ahead of the game. Not only can they pass on knowledge, but they can also introduce you to people in the field that you otherwise would never have met.

    That's about it for now. Make a plan for the next 5 years. I'd highly suggest that it includes college. The next generation of trainers are going to be more qualified and there will be more competition. This field will be more developed and more respected in the next 20-30 years. I already see it happening on a small scale. We need to gain more respect from other medical professionals and this includes going to school and being book smart.
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