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  1. #121
    Registered User blakero's Avatar
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    Smile Nsca

    I agree that if you are training in your own business you can have any certification but I think that in order to be an effective/effecient, which translates into successful, trainer you need to complete a degree in college in the physical education/body science field such as exercise science, kinesiology, exercise physiology or something else along those lines. I can't remember the study or the exact numbers but the jist of a study of the effectiveness of personal trainers showed that personal trainers that had a formal (college/university) education were more effective that those without. As far as certifications go my personal opinion is that NSCA's CSCS is one of the most noteworthy and respected certifications. You can only receive the certification after you have completed a degree in the physical science field. That's my two cents, anyone is welcome to disagree, but I also am looking into the pros and cons of state licensing. NASM, NSCA, ACE, and ACSM all are very popular on the west coast and NASM or ACE are the leaders on the east coast according to my experience.

    Hope this helped!
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  2. #122
    Annoying Middle Easterner Jay Rawd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by blakero View Post
    I agree that if you are training in your own business you can have any certification but I think that in order to be an effective/effecient, which translates into successful, trainer you need to complete a degree in college in the physical education/body science field such as exercise science, kinesiology, exercise physiology or something else along those lines. I can't remember the study or the exact numbers but the jist of a study of the effectiveness of personal trainers showed that personal trainers that had a formal (college/university) education were more effective that those without. As far as certifications go my personal opinion is that NSCA's CSCS is one of the most noteworthy and respected certifications. You can only receive the certification after you have completed a degree in the physical science field. That's my two cents, anyone is welcome to disagree, but I also am looking into the pros and cons of state licensing. NASM, NSCA, ACE, and ACSM all are very popular on the west coast and NASM or ACE are the leaders on the east coast according to my experience.

    Hope this helped!
    I'm currently pursuing my M.S. in Exercise Science and I plan to eventually get a Ph.D in it as well. IMO that is the best route, as well as being certified by a fine organization like the NSCA and their CSCS cert.
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  3. #123
    Mod Negged.... *Sigh* fodosho's Avatar
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    Learning Experience

    I was wondering if anyone of you with multiple certs could tell me which one challenged you the most or you learned the most from? I would like to become a personal trainer... Basically for myself tho. I don't plan on helping out others at least not right away but i want to learn everything i can and get the most experience i can. Any Ideas?
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  4. #124
    Going a step further! starseller's Avatar
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    Anybody ever heard of ATARIXA? it is the known "certificate" in canada for energy cardio gym, is it a really good certification or ..? My gym trainner got this and he is a really good trainer but I would like to know if it could be compared to the U.S. Certification.
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  5. #125
    Registered User seamud1234's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mythic Beast View Post
    I would, it definitely would have made getting a job easier.

    I like ISSA though, gave me a lot of free time
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  6. #126
    Registered User terrystrand's Avatar
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    When I contracted Iron Fever in about eight grade, I wanted all my pals to enjoy our sport as well. So for decades, even before I was certified, I was writing up workout programs and training anyone who asked me for help. I do private home training, and have worked for many gyms as well. So having said that, here are some thoughts:

    As far as getting hired at a park district, gym chain, private club, I have never known the cerfification type to be a factor in that aspect of training. Generally, clients and even some trainers have no idea about the real distinctions between certs.

    A BS in kinesesiology, exercise phys, bio, etc. takes four years of full time college work and tens of thousands of dollars in tuition.

    But....pretty much any cert can be gotten with a bit of study and few hundred bucks online in a week or two....throw in a night to get a CPR card, and voila....you're certified.

    There are opinions and snobbery connected with this or that certification, some with good reason, but more pertinent is:

    Who you know.
    Are you likeable.
    Are you knowledgable.
    Can you sell personal training packages.
    Do you have a degree in a training field.
    Is there a demand/openings.
    Are you really a trainer or merely a bodybuilder.
    Can you produce results, safely and sanely, for your clients, even less-than-motivated ones.
    Can you work with all populations and demographics: young, old, fit, fat, elite, sick, sad, smart, not-so-smart, etc.

    And finally, as has been stressed before, some of the best early trainers had barely a high school education, and no certs. Much of what you need to train people successfully comes from the heart, just as with any sports coach or mentor.

    Drill sargents, Vince Gironda, soccer dads, Jack LaLanne...all were great trainers over the years....you get the picture.
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  7. #127
    Registered User terrystrand's Avatar
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    As a degreed and certified trainer for decades, I will offer a few comments:

    Getting a certification is so easy that it's ridiculous. It's essentially a cash cow money mill that we need for employment....sort of like a union card, but without the apprenticeship, the mentoring under journeymen trainers, and no with no real skill set required.

    Insurance carriers for gyms insist that employees who instruct clients must have some kind of preparation so as not to kill their clients. That was the birth of certifying bodies, of which there are hundreds. They offer courses in everything you've ever heard of, and many that you never will....Bosu training, Kettlebell training, Power Plate training, Swiss Ball training, Yoga, Pilates, Ballet, SuperSlow training, Water training, Band training, Step training, Stretch training, Fat people training, Skinny people training, Old people training, Boot Camp training, Balance training, Core training....blah de blah de blah.

    Personal training certification is like getting a realtor's license....a French poodle could get certified in either one within a few days at some online ACE website or any weekend AFAA workshop. All is needed is the course book and a check book, and around six hundred dollars, give or take, in your bank account.

    It takes years to master a craft to become a certified accountant, licensed beautician, or certified auto mechanic, but unfortunately in our profession any towel boy can be working behind the counter at Bally's on Friday morning and be a 'professional certified personal trainer' on Monday afternoon.

    I will say that some certifications are better than others, longer in their preparation and greater in their scope.

    I will also say that some of the best trainers I know are guys who have no certs, no degrees, but who do have years of experience and a love of the sport.

    I will also observe that the best trainers are generally not bodybuilders or powerlifters. They tend to overfocus on low rep power and isolation exercises, respectively.

    The better trainers IMHO have a strength and conditioning background, often in sports. They are able to get Larry Lunchbox and Patty Princess moving, breathing and sweating, which is my definition of a workout, rather than merely sitting them down on a bench to do a set of one arm seated curls. Or worse, loading up a Smith Machine for them to do a set of quarter squats.

    Finally, doing home training is a great money-maker, since gym chains and independents aren't going to pay much. They are a good place to start, but few people end up being able to buy a house that way.

    Ideally, if the demographics are right, fix up your basement for a few grand with a shower, mirrors, and just enough equipment to do one on one, or one on two, training sessions. Charge fifty to a hundred dollars for an hour session, and with that include goal setting, nutrtional advice [American Heart Association guidelines is fine}, maybe weigh-ins and bodyfat measuremet, etc.

    I'm not the busiest trainer in Chicago, but that doesn't need to be.....just a few steady, satisfied clients who appreciate the progress they are making in strength gains, weight loss, the fit of their clothes, the elimination of huffing when they climb stairs, etc.

    Be entertaining, talk books, movies, sports, a few humorous remarks, encouragement....and voila, you and the client will both win.
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  8. #128
    Registered User FitMoney's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by terrystrand View Post

    I'm not the busiest trainer in Chicago, but that doesn't need to be.....just a few steady, satisfied clients who appreciate the progress they are making in strength gains, weight loss, the fit of their clothes, the elimination of huffing when they climb stairs, etc.

    Be entertaining, talk books, movies, sports, a few humorous remarks, encouragement....and voila, you and the client will both win.
    Exactly. I think you're at a point where a lot of trainers are looking reach, charging high rates, enjoying your clients' time, and taking your profession seriously and getting results with the people you train and advise.

    That's what it's all about -
    I like to make money while I work out - how about you?
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  9. #129
    Ex-Virgin nick1990's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ronald A. Strahan View Post
    The Professional Private Trainer's Association, www.propta.com is the only one I know of that managed completely by IFBB pros. It's pretty legit. I'm working on it and as a part of the curriculum I spent around 30 hours in the gym with IFBB pro Derik Farnsworth at the World GYm in San Diego. It's pretty legit, but not well know of.
    not sure if anyone has asked this question, but how does this accreditation stack up to the others?
    Does it look legit?
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  10. #130
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    Originally Posted by nick1990 View Post
    not sure if anyone has asked this question, but how does this accreditation stack up to the others?
    Does it look legit?
    The best certification is knowing what you're talking about, getting your business started, and getting clients -- whether it's online of off
    I like to make money while I work out - how about you?
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  11. #131
    Constantly Learning martymcfly's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by terrystrand View Post
    When I contracted Iron Fever in about eight grade, I wanted all my pals to enjoy our sport as well. So for decades, even before I was certified, I was writing up workout programs and training anyone who asked me for help. I do private home training, and have worked for many gyms as well. So having said that, here are some thoughts:

    As far as getting hired at a park district, gym chain, private club, I have never known the cerfification type to be a factor in that aspect of training. Generally, clients and even some trainers have no idea about the real distinctions between certs.

    A BS in kinesesiology, exercise phys, bio, etc. takes four years of full time college work and tens of thousands of dollars in tuition.

    But....pretty much any cert can be gotten with a bit of study and few hundred bucks online in a week or two....throw in a night to get a CPR card, and voila....you're certified.

    There are opinions and snobbery connected with this or that certification, some with good reason, but more pertinent is:

    Who you know.
    Are you likeable.
    Are you knowledgable.
    Can you sell personal training packages.
    Do you have a degree in a training field.
    Is there a demand/openings.
    Are you really a trainer or merely a bodybuilder.
    Can you produce results, safely and sanely, for your clients, even less-than-motivated ones.
    Can you work with all populations and demographics: young, old, fit, fat, elite, sick, sad, smart, not-so-smart, etc.

    And finally, as has been stressed before, some of the best early trainers had barely a high school education, and no certs. Much of what you need to train people successfully comes from the heart, just as with any sports coach or mentor.

    Drill sargents, Vince Gironda, soccer dads, Jack LaLanne...all were great trainers over the years....you get the picture.
    Originally Posted by terrystrand View Post
    As a degreed and certified trainer for decades, I will offer a few comments:

    Getting a certification is so easy that it's ridiculous. It's essentially a cash cow money mill that we need for employment....sort of like a union card, but without the apprenticeship, the mentoring under journeymen trainers, and no with no real skill set required.

    Insurance carriers for gyms insist that employees who instruct clients must have some kind of preparation so as not to kill their clients. That was the birth of certifying bodies, of which there are hundreds. They offer courses in everything you've ever heard of, and many that you never will....Bosu training, Kettlebell training, Power Plate training, Swiss Ball training, Yoga, Pilates, Ballet, SuperSlow training, Water training, Band training, Step training, Stretch training, Fat people training, Skinny people training, Old people training, Boot Camp training, Balance training, Core training....blah de blah de blah.

    Personal training certification is like getting a realtor's license....a French poodle could get certified in either one within a few days at some online ACE website or any weekend AFAA workshop. All is needed is the course book and a check book, and around six hundred dollars, give or take, in your bank account.

    It takes years to master a craft to become a certified accountant, licensed beautician, or certified auto mechanic, but unfortunately in our profession any towel boy can be working behind the counter at Bally's on Friday morning and be a 'professional certified personal trainer' on Monday afternoon.

    I will say that some certifications are better than others, longer in their preparation and greater in their scope.

    I will also say that some of the best trainers I know are guys who have no certs, no degrees, but who do have years of experience and a love of the sport.

    I will also observe that the best trainers are generally not bodybuilders or powerlifters. They tend to overfocus on low rep power and isolation exercises, respectively.

    The better trainers IMHO have a strength and conditioning background, often in sports. They are able to get Larry Lunchbox and Patty Princess moving, breathing and sweating, which is my definition of a workout, rather than merely sitting them down on a bench to do a set of one arm seated curls. Or worse, loading up a Smith Machine for them to do a set of quarter squats.

    Finally, doing home training is a great money-maker, since gym chains and independents aren't going to pay much. They are a good place to start, but few people end up being able to buy a house that way.

    Ideally, if the demographics are right, fix up your basement for a few grand with a shower, mirrors, and just enough equipment to do one on one, or one on two, training sessions. Charge fifty to a hundred dollars for an hour session, and with that include goal setting, nutrtional advice [American Heart Association guidelines is fine}, maybe weigh-ins and bodyfat measuremet, etc.

    I'm not the busiest trainer in Chicago, but that doesn't need to be.....just a few steady, satisfied clients who appreciate the progress they are making in strength gains, weight loss, the fit of their clothes, the elimination of huffing when they climb stairs, etc.

    Be entertaining, talk books, movies, sports, a few humorous remarks, encouragement....and voila, you and the client will both win.
    Perfect.
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  12. #132
    Registered User astivers's Avatar
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    ACSM Cert.

    I am wanting to become certified. The gym I go to said that the best certification is ACSM and if I got that it wouldnt be a problem getting a job. I have done research and all I have got from that is I need to read a book and take a few free practice quizzes and i will be good to go for the exam. Does anyone know if this is all it takes? I am about to be a freshman and college and my major is business and minor in exercise science. I am hoping to open a fitness center after college and am hoping personal training can be my job while im in college... Any info will be helpful. Thanks!
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  13. #133
    Registered User shawnbfitness's Avatar
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    The entire time that I was doing my undergrad in Exercise Science, ACSM and NSCA were the organizations that were stressed most. We used ACSM textbooks and even when I attended physical therapy school we used an ACSM Exercise Testing and Prescription textbook. I got my personal training certification through NSCA and I had to have a college degree and be CPR/AED certified before I could be certified through NSCA. I find this to be a very prestigious organization to be a part of.

    The truth about personal training that I've noticed is that nobody cares who your certification is through. They hear the title "Personal Trainer" and automatically think that you know your stuff. If you don't know it, then they will find out very quickly because you will either injure them or they will see no results!

    I've heard great things about the Cooper Institute in Dallas and I'm considering taking some courses through it.

    Hope this helps out!
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  14. #134
    Annoying Middle Easterner Jay Rawd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shawnbfitness View Post
    The entire time that I was doing my undergrad in Exercise Science, ACSM and NSCA were the organizations that were stressed most. We used ACSM textbooks and even when I attended physical therapy school we used an ACSM Exercise Testing and Prescription textbook. I got my personal training certification through NSCA and I had to have a college degree and be CPR/AED certified before I could be certified through NSCA. I find this to be a very prestigious organization to be a part of.

    The truth about personal training that I've noticed is that nobody cares who your certification is through. They hear the title "Personal Trainer" and automatically think that you know your stuff. If you don't know it, then they will find out very quickly because you will either injure them or they will see no results!

    I've heard great things about the Cooper Institute in Dallas and I'm considering taking some courses through it.

    Hope this helps out!
    ACSM and NSCA=the gold standard.

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  15. #135
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  16. #136
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    I will feed this thread some more posts.

    Yes, Every cert is Trumped by experience but EVERYONE will get a cert. before experience. Experience training yourself I would say is less than 50% of experience if that.

    For people w/ no background in exercise science NASM is best BAR NONE. It will give them the knowledge they need to successfully train clients without the benefit of experience immediately so they can gather experience w/out hurting their clients.

    For CLINICAL jobs such as cardiac rehab and research ACSM is the best. The exam focuses on the fine details of clinical exercise science which is not necessary for training the average Jane in Average Joe's Gym.

    For STRENGTH/Bodybuilding jobs NSCA is best. It stresses periodization and fundamental weight training including powerlifting and Olympic lifting.

    As far as how well the respected each cert is it is TOTALLY dependent upon the owner of the facilities/program. If your body requires NASM and you have ACSM you're SOL, so if you are thinking of getting a cert, find out where you are going to use it before you throw down the cash for one.
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  17. #137
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    i just took and passed the NCSF exam. daaaaang it was HARD.
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  18. #138
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    Cool Acsm

    Originally Posted by astivers View Post
    I am wanting to become certified. The gym I go to said that the best certification is ACSM and if I got that it wouldnt be a problem getting a job. I have done research and all I have got from that is I need to read a book and take a few free practice quizzes and i will be good to go for the exam. Does anyone know if this is all it takes? I am about to be a freshman and college and my major is business and minor in exercise science. I am hoping to open a fitness center after college and am hoping personal training can be my job while im in college... Any info will be helpful. Thanks!

    I just finished my cert with ACSM, and let me tell you it is not as easy as reading a couple books and taking some practice tests. The "practice" test took me like 25 minutes to complete and I thought I was all good to go for the real thing. The ACSM test took me over 1.5 hours and was grueling. Very hard, very detailed, and you have to know everything. Luckily I passed, but I did study for 6 months leading up to the test. With the price of testing, winging it is not an option. I would devote 4-6 months of studying the materials before you test. The ACSM is very clinical and requires you to know more than a lot of other certifications maybe all other certifications. But the satisfaction of passing is worth it all. So work hard and study hard. Cheers mate.
    David Kimmel
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    Originally Posted by beakerfunk View Post
    I just finished my cert with ACSM, and let me tell you it is not as easy as reading a couple books and taking some practice tests. The "practice" test took me like 25 minutes to complete and I thought I was all good to go for the real thing. The ACSM test took me over 1.5 hours and was grueling. Very hard, very detailed, and you have to know everything. Luckily I passed, but I did study for 6 months leading up to the test. With the price of testing, winging it is not an option. I would devote 4-6 months of studying the materials before you test. The ACSM is very clinical and requires you to know more than a lot of other certifications maybe all other certifications. But the satisfaction of passing is worth it all. So work hard and study hard. Cheers mate.
    I have the ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer book and just started readying and taking notes. It is very detailed... You said its more than reading the book and taking some practice quizzes, what all do you recommend I do to pass this test? Your right for how much money your putting in for the test you really need to pass it.
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    I would first recomend joing the ACSM, the cost is $50 but by joining they take like $60 off the price of the exam when you test. Joining will also give you 20% off practice test on acsmlearning.org . Also you need 3 books to pass. Your going to need the Resources for the Personal Trainer as well as the ACSM Guidlines of excercise testing and perscription and ACSM Certification Review. I read all 3 books through twice and still I didn't do as well as I had hoped even though I passed. Also make sure you are getting the current edditions as the ACSM updated their resources in Janurary of this year. Also take the practice test, then print all your wrong answers and study them. The pass percentage for first time test takers in like 70%, so there is a 30% chance you could fail. So study like your a training for the Mr Universe...Study like failing is not an option. Like I said I gave myself 6 months before I tested. Anyway hit me up if you have any other questions bro and good luck!!
    David Kimmel
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    Originally Posted by XtremeFitnessINC View Post
    To be completely honest with you, any recognized cert is good enough if you are working for yourself as opposed to a gym. Gym's are more specific in what type of cert but the average trainee has no idea of what certification trumphs the next. As long as you apear to be a very fit individual and if your networking skills are up to par you'll do great! I can't even begin to tell you about how many people that hired me as a trainer because of how I personally look. So no stress, I say follow through with ACE and make that money

    I agree with idea of looking like what your selling. i am going to a ju co in town they offer a local certification to work at any of the gyms in the area, but i do plan on going for a nasm certification or ISSA later. Thoughts on a BA in Kine or Sports Medicine?
    "We didn't lose the game, we just ran out of time."
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    Nsca-cscs is hands down the best. Nasm is the most overrated
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    as easy as ①② LAWofNJ's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BC02 View Post
    Nsca-cscs is hands down the best. Nasm is the most overrated
    Will be graduating with my BS in Exercise Science. Will be going for the NSCA - CSCS cert. A degree in the exercise field is required to get this cert, and can be used for work in the world of athletics. Held in very high prestige.
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    I think so!

    Originally Posted by XtremeFitnessINC View Post
    Seems excessive but than again you never have to re-certify every again
    It is all about business I think.
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    You are right man!

    I agree with you. I was a bodybuilder for more than 20 years (I won some international contest and multiple national contests) and I saw a lot of professionals talking very well about their knowledges, expertise and certifications but NONE made a champion.
    I trained people I got incredible result just with heart and basic knowledge. Heart will give you courage to defeat your limits and humility to learn what you don't know.









    Originally Posted by terrystrand View Post
    When I contracted Iron Fever in about eight grade, I wanted all my pals to enjoy our sport as well. So for decades, even before I was certified, I was writing up workout programs and training anyone who asked me for help. I do private home training, and have worked for many gyms as well. So having said that, here are some thoughts:

    As far as getting hired at a park district, gym chain, private club, I have never known the cerfification type to be a factor in that aspect of training. Generally, clients and even some trainers have no idea about the real distinctions between certs.

    A BS in kinesesiology, exercise phys, bio, etc. takes four years of full time college work and tens of thousands of dollars in tuition.

    But....pretty much any cert can be gotten with a bit of study and few hundred bucks online in a week or two....throw in a night to get a CPR card, and voila....you're certified.

    There are opinions and snobbery connected with this or that certification, some with good reason, but more pertinent is:

    Who you know.
    Are you likeable.
    Are you knowledgable.
    Can you sell personal training packages.
    Do you have a degree in a training field.
    Is there a demand/openings.
    Are you really a trainer or merely a bodybuilder.
    Can you produce results, safely and sanely, for your clients, even less-than-motivated ones.
    Can you work with all populations and demographics: young, old, fit, fat, elite, sick, sad, smart, not-so-smart, etc.

    And finally, as has been stressed before, some of the best early trainers had barely a high school education, and no certs. Much of what you need to train people successfully comes from the heart, just as with any sports coach or mentor.

    Drill sargents, Vince Gironda, soccer dads, Jack LaLanne...all were great trainers over the years....you get the picture.
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    I chose NASM after speaking to multiple head trainers at many different gyms in my area and from observing and speaking to the trainers I worked with at my gym. I felt the NASM trainers were the most knowledgable, and took the time to tailor a personal program for each client. This made them very popular in the gym with all the members. Not all, but many other trainers just handed out cookie cutter work outs... now this could just be their character or the lack of emphasis of personalized programs in the certifications (I don't know because I haven't read every book). I'm also working on the CES with NASM, and I find it very informative as well as their cpt cert that we're talking about.

    At the end of the day, I feel it is what you put into it and the kind of person you are that makes up how good of a trainer you really are. You could have a masters in exercise science and a great cert. but if your not taking the time to address your clients goals (which is the whole point) who cares who you're certified through, or what knowledge you have to back you up? Other certs I heard were highly recommended were ACSM and NSCA-CSCS. NSCA was my second choice...I know very successful trainers with this also.
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    After having gotten my ISSA cert I've decided to also get the NASM cert asap. No gym in my area will accept ISSA and being independent hasn't been working for me since I work long hours at Kaiser Permanente all week.
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    I've gotten about 1/2 way through this thread and everyone has so many opinions on certifications...if i'm just wanting to work out of a gym (a local gym and a golds in particular near my home) and wanna do it part time...WHICH is the best certification for the money? NASM seems really expensive and you seem to get the same recognition from ISSA or ACE...can someone send me in the right direction please?
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    Originally Posted by enan-man View Post
    I've gotten about 1/2 way through this thread and everyone has so many opinions on certifications...if i'm just wanting to work out of a gym (a local gym and a golds in particular near my home) and wanna do it part time...WHICH is the best certification for the money? NASM seems really expensive and you seem to get the same recognition from ISSA or ACE...can someone send me in the right direction please?
    If you just want to get a job at a specific gym, the best certification for the money is the cheapest one they prefer (which is different than accept).

    Go talk to the training director, ask them which certs they accept and then ask which certs they prefer. Pick the cheapest of the ones they prefer. If those are too hard/expensive, pick the cheapest of the ones they accept.
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    Originally Posted by dshinton View Post
    If you just want to get a job at a specific gym, the best certification for the money is the cheapest one they prefer (which is different than accept).

    Go talk to the training director, ask them which certs they accept and then ask which certs they prefer. Pick the cheapest of the ones they prefer. If those are too hard/expensive, pick the cheapest of the ones they accept.
    The truth has been spoken
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