View Full Version : MY goals as a PT/ ?'s

04-07-2004, 12:07 PM
Here is my story:

I recently graduated from college with a degree in business administration with the goal of some day owning and/or operating my own business or a succesful franchise etc. As an entry level grad, the job market is obviously horrible, and I realized my love for the outdoors and for physical activity us what makes me hate being cooped into an office all day. After much thought I realized I would love to be a personal trainer. I would love to work as a trainer and hopefully learn as I go, educating myself about actual training and the business behind it, with the eventual goal of owning or managing a gym.
Here is where the questions come. I realize for some certifications you must have a Sports Science or related degree, yet I dont have one. I am also curious as to which are the reputable certifications. I know ACE is large, yet not as prestigious, and after research am considering studying and taking the NSCA certification exam. IS this certification a respected one?? I have contacted Gold's Gym and they require their trainers to be NASM certified. I have no problem putting in my time to study and learn from the textbooks, videos, etc that are out there to educate me. I am an intelligent person and will put in the work. I just need to make sure I am heading in the right direction. I have been curious as to whether or not you can earn a Sports Science degree through an online University, or if I should just try to do college part-time again to get my degree (though it seems a very slight chance I could do that with work.) Please let me know what you think, and if I need to provide more information. I believe this could be a rewarding career for me, and look forward to learning and studying. Thank you!

(not sure where I should have posted this one)

04-07-2004, 12:14 PM
ACE and NSCA are great. You can pretty much break into the personal training market in a million different ways these days. Having a recognized certification even through mail order is what a lot of trainers have I've come to find. But if you'd really like to get ahead, get an ACE cert. or NSCA and maybe go back to school for a little while and study kinesiology and anatomy. You could also dive into the nutrition programs offered at some schools which will put you ahead as well. As almost all the same places that offer personal training certs. will also offer nutrition courses. These are a valuable asset to any training business, as many people have not only questions about their bodies, but what they are putting into their bodies. Good luck. I'm also getting a Business Admin degree, but Ive worked as a personal trainer int he past. So I am going the opposite route you are.

04-07-2004, 12:26 PM
Thanks a lot! Do you think I would need to complete a degree in a related fieldl; what I mean is - would just taking additional classes help me as a trainer?? Thanks again.

04-07-2004, 12:34 PM
A degree can always help, and i suggest it. But you can get started with a simple certification and start taking it from there. Once you get into the industry it'll make a lot more sense to you what you should be doing. I'd say get a cert. and take classes on the side, find out if being a trainer is even for you or not. I loved doing it at first but I got sick of it after awhile.

04-07-2004, 12:37 PM
Last question I swear haha. Is this an over-crowded profession? I mean, what distinguishes one trainer from another, allowing some to move up? SImply different certs or marketing?? Thanks a lot. I do need to know more about the industry in general.

04-07-2004, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by Leancut99
Last question I swear haha. Is this an over-crowded profession? I mean, what distinguishes one trainer from another, allowing some to move up? SImply different certs or marketing?? Thanks a lot. I do need to know more about the industry in general.
It's unquestionably overcrowded, but most PTs really suck. Truly. So be a good one (of whatever you do), and you'll do fine.

They don't suck - I shouldn't say that. They know a lot. But often their fitness backgrounds are so limited that they really only know one way to get fit, and no one way works for everyone. Hence, you see PTs in gyms leading people through really odd exercises, mixing cardio and weights, doing tons of isolation work.

Lots of PTs are lifetime athletes who've never really had a weight problem, and thus have no real idea how to slim someone down. They just throw weights and a bike at everyone and hope it sticks.

04-07-2004, 01:25 PM
Thats the feeling I got. That many of the PT's in the gym I work out at don't treat their clients with, well, respect is the best word. They just sit there counting while these poor people work out. Thats not motivating; explain what and why you are doing it. Show them by example. Ask them if they have questions. Give them literature. I get along with people pretty well and am educated, while I dont have the ESS degree, but feel I can learn the information. ANyone know where you can get cheaper study materials for NSCA or ISSA? THanks for all of yalls help.

04-07-2004, 01:34 PM
One more thing. I have some self-study cassettes for ACE, that I borrowed from a friend. I've listened to about half - it's incredibly simple stuff. Lots of general physiology, which I didn't know off the top of my head, but the rest is stuff we talk abou there all day. Point being, if that's the certification that most PTs have, then I know why they don't seem to know much. They DON'T know much.

Also, though, I don't think many of us could walk in and pass the ACE test, but it wouldn't take much of a biology refresher to do it.

I don't know jack about the other certs.

04-07-2004, 01:54 PM
swee-thanks. From what Ive heard about ACE, anyone with a decent background who has done some research can do a little studying and get certified. I have heard that NSCA is much more reputable and a pain in the a$$ to pass. But thats what looks good, and thats what will teach you what you need to know. I think Ill just order some of the books they say are good for prep and see how it goes. any more info is greatly appreciated- thanks!

04-07-2004, 02:03 PM
Good to know. Might as well take the ACE either way. Get 'em both.

You'd had some NSCA study books recommended to you? Do you have the titles? I like reading this stuff.

04-07-2004, 02:43 PM
"Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning" is the main book used for NSCA cert. At least thats what their site says. Oh, the 2nd edition of it too. I think its a collegiate level book. Its 67 bucks though.

04-07-2004, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by Leancut99
Its 67 bucks though.

Maybe I'll shop around a little.


04-07-2004, 04:18 PM
I suggest going for a college course. The more you know the better you'll be. College is the best way. Make sure you look around though. I notice a huge difference in the schools around here. I just applied last week. I know its not near you but check out the link just so you get an Idea.


This has to be the best college class ever. ACE or any other cert class doesnt even come close.

04-07-2004, 05:12 PM
what about ISSA certification?

04-07-2004, 07:36 PM
Get this: the ACE home study tapes say that excess protein is bad because it "is converted to fat".

04-07-2004, 08:08 PM
im sort of in the same boat as you, sort of.. im freshman in college, and started out majoring in business.. quickly knew it wasn't for me and decided to switch to an exercise science major. i'll be taking all kinds of anatomy & physiology, kinesiology, and exercise related classes to complete my degree. i also am keeping all options open which at this point are PT, chiropractor. those 2 are all i've thought about but maybe something else will get my attention. the college books can get expensive as hell try to find used ones.. the only reason i am shying away from going after person trainer is because no matter what gym i go to i always see them just sitting around. i mean there is no doubt that there is an abundance of PT's, and to be 100% honest I don't think I would be satisfied being a PT and also I don't believe it would support the life i want to live.. if your smart/dedicated/able, and have no interest in continuing w/business, i'd suggest trying to be a chiro. it is alot to learn but you have to start somewhere. And get this, you only need 60 credits (certain classes mandatory) to enter a chiropractic school which is about 4 yrs.. i knows at this point in your life this might be impossible but just a sugg.. peace