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View Full Version : What certifications are available?


george nesrallah
06-08-2009, 07:18 PM
Hi all. Just wondering what trainer/coach certifications are out there and recognized as being really good/elite. I live in Canada if that makes a difference at all. I am aware of CanfitPro and Spi, however I have no idea how highly regarded they are.

I have decided to make health and nutrition my career and want to be the best I can possibly be at it. I think it was spawned a bit when I overheard a conversation at my gym where an "Elite' trainer was telling someone the best mass exercises for chest are supersetting flyes and pec dec.

This got me thinking there must be a ton of misinformed people out there who will or have stagnated on their exercise and nutrition for a really long time.

Thanks everyone.

Mike ODonnell
06-08-2009, 07:53 PM
Too many too name.....all depends on where you plan on working (and what certifications they require)....but I'd say you can't go wrong with the NSCA-CSCS, you should be able to work anywhere with that....but it's a harder cert than most CPTs....could also get the NSCA-CPT if you want a good but easier cert.

Garrett Smith
06-08-2009, 09:50 PM
Regardless of people's opinions of what one actually learns in college, here's a good approach, IMO:

Get a college degree in Physiology or Kinesiology or Physical Education
Intern in the strength & conditioning department at the school, maybe even get a job in the S&C dept., regardless of whether or not you "like" their approach to training, just get the experience
Get a job in the Fitness/Recreation department instead or as well
Then get the NSCA-CSCS

Then you end up with a degree, the most highly regarded "certification" in the industry (for whatever that means), and intern and/or job experience. That will help you to hit the ground running.

Blair Lowe
06-08-2009, 10:59 PM
Charles Poliquin seems to be highly regarded as is CHEK. Though Pavel's costs that much I'm not sure it's in the vein though they probably think it is. Bare in mind these cost about 3x more than the other CPT ones and are all hands-on besides a test I think. The other CPT can be done in a seminar setting with a written test but it isn't physically required to go through the motions.

Garrett Smith
06-09-2009, 06:56 AM
You want to get an "accredited" cert as your first one, as that is a requirement to get training insurance. With the NSCA certs (either one), insurance is included as a part of the membership fee.

The "fitness celebrity" certs (CF, CHEK, Poliquin, Pavel) are *not* accredited and will not help you get insurance.

Mike ODonnell
06-09-2009, 07:10 AM
If you just want to work in a globo-gym, I can write up a cert on a napkin for you.....as they are not picky.

Gant Grimes
06-09-2009, 07:25 AM
Garrett's advice is sound. Also realize that there is no substitute for knowledge, time in grade, and the ability to communicate with your clients. Purge the word "elite" from your vocabulary and become a student.

Steven Low
06-09-2009, 08:19 AM
Regardless of people's opinions of what one actually learns in college, here's a good approach, IMO:

Get a college degree in Physiology or Kinesiology or Physical Education
Intern in the strength & conditioning department at the school, maybe even get a job in the S&C dept., regardless of whether or not you "like" their approach to training, just get the experience
Get a job in the Fitness/Recreation department instead or as well
Then get the NSCA-CSCS

Then you end up with a degree, the most highly regarded "certification" in the industry (for whatever that means), and intern and/or job experience. That will help you to hit the ground running.
This is the way to go.

Also, other things that may help:

1. Improving personal communication.
2. Improving your one on one and group teaching ability.
3. Making lots of contacts... everywhere.
4. Learning how to advertise well... without pissing everyone off.
5. Acquiring an insane knowledge base that you can implement easily.

etc.

Aaron Austin
06-09-2009, 11:51 AM
George, what province are you in? I used to work with a guy who's girlfriend was an "Elite" trainer. Your status is based on your raw sales and that's it.

Garrett Smith
06-09-2009, 12:11 PM
Or maybe you could just "forge" your own "elite" certification...maybe have a whole line of them...just an idea.

Kevin Perry
06-09-2009, 12:38 PM
My advice along with the great advice already listed,

networking....

Blair Lowe
06-09-2009, 10:48 PM
Thanks Garrett. I didn't know the NSCS cert came with personal trainer's insurance. Nice to know.

From what I've been able to find out on the CF threads, you can get trainer's insurance without the accredited PT certs.

Garrett Smith
06-10-2009, 06:47 AM
Thanks Garrett. I didn't know the NSCS cert came with personal trainer's insurance. Nice to know.

From what I've been able to find out on the CF threads, you can get trainer's insurance without the accredited PT certs.
No problem, Blair.

On being able to get insurance without any lick of an indication that one is qualified to train:

That's scary.
I'd guess it is pretty crappy insurance and that they don't go out of their way to protect a trainer who gets sued.

Also, if one is training OL athletes and has a USAW cert, they are also covered by USAW insurance, but I believe that is pretty limited in scope.

The NSCA and the USAW both have more to protect in terms of their image and reputation.

Aaron Austin
06-10-2009, 08:49 AM
George, if you are in Ontario the Ontario Weightlifting Association (http://ontarioweightlifting.ca/index.html) offers certifications - they are announced on their mainpage when offered. If you are in another province they do have links to the other provincial associations.

george nesrallah
06-15-2009, 09:56 AM
Thanks so much for all the advice everyone. Exactly what I was looking for.

Take care.

Donald Lee
07-09-2009, 06:45 PM
I am going off on a little tangent, but I didn't want to start a new thread.

Could anybody tell me about the format of the NSCA-CSCS exam? I just signed up for the exam, but their site doesn't tell you anything about the format. They sell a booklet that describes the exam, but it's like $18. I'm just wondering if I'd need anything more than the textbook.