Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Personal Trainer Certifications-- What's legit?

My jaw dropped when a “certified personal trainer” confessed his complete ignorance about training with free weights. At 36, he was in the gym taking his first stab at weight lifting because he “thought it might be good for his clients.”

“Certification” alone is a pretty cheap claim. If someone wants a quick and easy nutrition or personal trainer certification, he or she can readily find weekend and online courses, requiring only a fee and a flakey exam, to get “certified.” This person could have no real knowledge in the area of weight training or nutrition. So if you are in the market for a personal trainer, how do you know that your pick is truly credentialed in the area of personal training, fitness, or nutrition? Nationally, the National Commission For Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is the accreditation organization which is accountable to the Unites States Department of Health and Human Services. In 1987, the NCCA was created to

“help ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of a variety of certification programs/organizations that assess professional competence. Certification programs that receive NCCA Accreditation demonstrate compliance with the NCCA’s Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs, which were the first standards for professional certification programs developed by the industry.

NCCA uses a peer review process to: establish accreditation standards; evaluate compliance with the standards; recognize organizations/programs which demonstrate compliance; and serve as a resource on quality certification…”

Several popular or well-known certifications are not actually accredited, though there are also many options for an individual wishing to become a personal trainer. It is significantly harder to become certified in nutrition. Below, I’ve listed all of the exercise, training, fitness, and nutrition certifications accredited by the NCCA as of August 2008:

Accredited Personal Training and Fitness Certifications:

American College of Sports Medicine
Certified Personal Trainer 4/30/11
Exercise Specialist 4/30/11
Health/Fitness Instructor 4/30/11
Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist 4/30/11
American Council on Exercise
Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist 11/30/08
Group Fitness Instructor 11/30/08
Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant 11/30/08
Personal Trainer 11/30/08
The Cooper Institute
Personal Trainer Certification 11/30/11
International Fitness Professionals Association
Certified Personal Fitness Trainer 10/31/12
National Academy of Sports Medicine
Certified Personal Trainer 11/30/10
National Athletic Trainer's Association Board of Certification
Entry-Level Athletic Trainer Certification 10/31/10
National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association
Certified Personal Fitness Trainer 3/31/13
National Exercise Trainers Association
Certified Personal Trainer 4/30/12
National Federation of Professional Trainers
Certified Personal Fitness Trainer 11/30/10
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certification Commission
Certified Personal Trainer 10/31/08
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist 10/31/08
Accredited Nutrition Certifications

American Clinical Board of Nutrition
Diplomate American Clinical Board of Nutrition 11/30/10 (requires a graduate degree)
Certifying Board for Dietary Managers
Certified Dietary Manager 8/31/09 (specific to food service workers)
Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association
Dietetic Technician, Registered 11/30/11
Registered Dietitian 11/30/11
Board Certified Specialist on Renal Nutrition 11/30/11

Jean offers nutrition coaching for weight loss, muscle gain, or any of your personal goals at her office in the Alico building in downtown Waco, TX. She also offers personal training services at Ironhorse gym on the corner of Franklin and 17th, which is also very convenient to downtown. Contact information can be found on her personal website.


Super-Trainer said...

Yeah - it might be a good idea for a personal trainer to pick up a weight now and then - for the clients, of course...

Anonymous said...

Great post! Personal trainers can sometimes be led into thinking that a certification is all they need to be able to help others. I worked for www.ptonthenet.com in a position that had me talking with fitness managers from around the world. The biggest problem I found was not the qualification, but the ability of people to comprehend that this job is not for the rich and famous, but for the unfit and intimidated. I wrote a blog post about it if anyone is interested in knowing about becoming a REAL personal trainer (hint: certification - albeit crucial, is just a small part of the equation)

link is below:


Joe Cannon said...

I certify personal trainers and I agree a cert is only one part of the equation. Having said that I've encountered many certified trainers who were oblivious of such relevant issues as rhabdomyolysis and sarcopenia. A cert is good but must be accompanied by a practical component (which at least one on the list doesn't have) and continued education
Joe Cannon, MS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

Anonymous said...

I got there lots of helpful content and great information. Thanks a lot for your help.

Alexander said...

Good post and thanks for the advice

Personal Trainer Los Angeles said...

Great Advice! Me being a Los Angeles personal trainer www.la-personal-trainer.com personal training in LA, I completely agree!

Krishna said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
johnbond said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Card Games said...

Hi , i got this Article , i was searching some thing relevant to this, And i am feeling lucky, as its the perfect one for what i am looking for. I will share this link on face book.

buy ultracet said...

Great post and very useful code! The info is very open and very clear explanation of issues. Nice! If there is an interest I have too much information that I can share with you.

xl pharmacy said...

My friend did her mayor related to personal trainer and it is quite hard to do. but everybody should be more careful because there are a lot of fake personal trainers.

iPhone Application said...

Great informative post and i really likes your information, most of the peoples are likes your blog because its having the good knowledge. thanks for your good informative post.

Janelyzhang said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I got there lots of helpful content and great information. Thanks a lot for your help. Personal Trainer Directory

Jean Gutierrez, PhD, RD said...

Thanks all for your comments! I completely agree that trainers should lead by example (i.e. actually be fit) and that a good cert is only the first step in being a qualified trainer. Great trainers stay current with the science, develop a niche, and are great motivators and educators as well!

Latest fashion said...

You have some good points there. I did my own search on the area and found the majority people will see eye to eye with your weblog. Thanks once more for taking the time to put this online. I unquestionably liked every bit of it.


Oh dear. I am meticulously encouraged by your articles and wish to write as well as you. You have an inspiring and motivating persona that is enough foran individual to make you an idol in writing articles.Thanks for your research on the knowledge.

Bootcamp Phoenix said...

Great post.Your thoughts are also very good and i am very inspired from your post.

Albert einstien said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Albert einstien said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Angel Rio said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
soniya arora said...

Mumbai Escorts Girls are open minded, physical and high educated superlative level escorts for your personal moment or enjoyment. With beautiful visage and a lovely shape Mumbai Call Girls look incredible in whatever dress they wear. for more info Just browse our websites given below.
call girls in mumbai
independent mumbai escorts
mumbai call girls
escorts service in mumbai
escorts in mumbai