Certifications...... still necessary?
This thought has been pondering my mind as I have met coaches both certified and non-certified.
With a discussion on-going in another forum, I was wondering whther some coache here still consider it valubale or you consider years of experience and client portofolio a more important aspect?
Guys like Alwyn Cosgrove are certified but has earned a good reputation for producing reults. Whereas guys like Al Vermeil, Louie Simmons and Dan John aren't certified but have produced results nonetheless.
some kind of certification is good if not necessary for at least insurance reasons. but certifications certainly don't provide any kind of education or experience, which is what a trainer/coach needs to be successful. they're intended to provide proof that those in possession of them do have certain educations/experience, but you'd be hard pressed to find a cert that proved any reasonable degree of helpful knowledge or experience. bottom line: certs don't hurt, and can be helpful. some folks like seeing those things. makes them feel safe and secure and encourages them to trust you. but they're no substitute for experience and education, and the pursuit of them should never interfere with receiving that experience and education.
1) Who are you planning to train?? Athletes? Fat loss candidates? Your neighbors?
Nowadays, there are so many people out there that do not have a knowledge of what a "certification" is let alone the 100s of different organizations that do it. If you are gearing towards the mass public then Yes you need some sort of simple cert (CPT) through one of the better known bodies like ACE, ISSA, NSCA (I'd go with that one)....because the general media is telling people that they need to look for trainers with those credentials, so you better have it if you are training the masses.
2) What's your background? If you are Louie Simmons, you don't need anything else but your name. Unless you have 20years of experience in a particular field (PL, throwing, etc...) and everyone knows you....then you really can't put yourself in their catagory.
Certs are only as good as what they can bring to the table. Having it is definitely advisable because that's what the general public is looking for. You would want a big name people recognize. After that if you want to get additional certs like for Kettlebells, Golf Biomechanics...or whatever...it will also add to your resume and carve your niche in whatever area of fitness you are interested in. Many are also just good extra educational tools for you to use with clients.
1) Get the NSCA-CPT or CSCS if going into sports team training (it's recognized everywhere....like Visa)
2) Have a niche for your training.....athletes, powerlifters, fat loss, mountainclimbers...whatever. Just don't be a "personal trainer"....those people are everywhere and most don't bring a good reputation to that title. Plus overtime that is how you become a Louie Simmons...getting known in a particular industry as the "expert"...at that point, people will come to you.
3) The credentials will get your foot in the door.....client testimonials will close the deal, so get those up on your site or where someone can see it.
4) and of course get liability insurance (like $200 a year)
1. I train athletes and wekend warriors
2. I have been training people for about 6 years and have so far given a lot of clients respectable results
I'm based in a country (non-US) where people believe the biggest lies.I actually still stand for the fact that there is no internationally governing body for certifications and the one thing I hate is that people from where I come from who are certified have a god-like complex when in fact some of them can't even produce results at all.
I gues again, at the end of the day, client portfolio is what really matters
In the US, certs definitely are needed from a business point of view to at least get a potential client to come to you....even if most certs are a joke, those potential clients only know they want a "certified" trainer (if they only knew how easy most certs are to get, they would change their mind). I've met plenty of people with lots of initials on their business card, but yet did not display a good understanding of training....most clients will figure that out after a while.
Your client's results will sell you more than you can ever sell yourself in a potential trainee's eyes. Networking through current clients is definitely a smart way to go, that's when the reputation starts growing, word of mouth spreads and people come to you.
Get your niche, be the "functional training" guy....something people around you are not. Also look in your country as to what the mass public learns about fitness and take advantage of it. If Kettlebells are coming in view to the public, be the first to offer it in your training...or have a special sports performance package for training...stand out and you will do great in your field.
But still....even a basic CPT at least answers that question posed by your potential client of "why aren't you certified".....so have a good answer to that one or people may not give you a chance even if you are an excellent trainer.
About answering the "why aren't you certified" question i usally give these
1. Dr Mell Siff, in his book, "facts and fallacies of fitness" mentioned that there are no international governing certification bodies, but mentions classes or leverls of s&c coaches according to client portfolio, r&d and years of experience
2. In eastern countries, they really don't mean a thing as experience and what you can do is far more important
3. i recently found out that the USAW president was a Social sciences major, nothing relevant to his work, but probably had a truckload of experience
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