Many of you know I’ve had my fair share of fitness certification credit classes on my plate lately!
My brain is, YES, overloaded – BUT when it’s information you want to learn more about to pay forward knowledge to others and fulfill a purpose it’s FUN!
I’ve had many questions about specifics with Group Fitness and Personal Training certifications, so wanted to do a post on how to narrow down what would best suit you! [I’ve done a post on NASM specifically and as I do AFAA I can add a post about that experience too!]
Personal Training –
If you’re wanting to be a trainer who writes fitness plans customized for various goals, this is where you would start. If you want to work in a gym or on your own and have the knowledge you need in order to build those plans and give generalized nutrition information, a trainer is what you would want to look into becoming. I, personally, researched which certification companies were the most ‘sought after’ when it came to me becoming a trainer. I went with NASM because of their credibility and the content with which they taught you – it’s an intense test reviewing lots of material.
Group Fitness [general] certification –
Looking back, I kind of wish I went this route first. I never knew I’d love teaching as much until I taught as a trainer in a gym and then took on Insanity. Using what I learned, though, I am able to customize plans for all class levels safely. If you’re someone wanting to teach at a gym or at a facility and be able to ‘freelance’ design workouts, a group fitness certification from a company like ACE or AFAA could be for you. I can’t recommend specifically who you should use, as many gyms have their specified needs – I do know that ACE and AFAA are some of the most regularly accepted credits for continuing education (which I’ll review below.)
CPR / AED / First Aid –
You’ll need proof of these certifications in order to get your Group Fitness OR Personal Training certification and/or also to work at the facility you want to work at. In the event that someone in your class hurts themselves or has a medical emergency, you’re equipped with the skills to handle the situation. I’ve used the Red Cross as well as another organization called ASHI for my certification and renewal. In my opinion, ASHI was more thorough with live examples that made me feel more comfortable in an actual event.
Specialized Certifications for Classes (i.e. Insanity, PiYo, Les Mills, Running Coach) –
Here’s where many people are unsure and don’t get certified to teach because they feel they need more under their belt than they actually do! If you want to certify in any of the Beachbody formats like Insanity, PiYo, P90X (being reformatted), or Turbo Kick – you DON’T have to be an instructor or trainer already. The gyms that you work for may ask for those but that is on a case-by-case basis. If you want to primarily teach TRX or a Beachbody format, etc. you can review the registration requirements but most don’t require you to already be an instructor. Isn’t that great?! There’s also an option of becoming a Running Coach – the most recognized organization for this is the RRCA which is a great way to incorporate helping others with their racing and running goals safely.
Additional requirements –
Some gyms and facilities may require a degree, others may require you take their own classes to be hired (like the YMCA) but it would all depend on what your future goals are. I wanted to have connections to teach at and be able to have regular attendees. So, companies I work for have that capability. Sometimes if you want to teach at a studio you don’t need as much under your belt and it’s a great place to start or to be in a more laid-back environment. (All dependent upon each individual facility)
Narrowing down your niche and your preference when it comes to your desires as a trainer or instructor is KEY before deciding which avenue to take!
As a Beachbody coach, I don’t HAVE TO have any certifications and ANYONE can help others achieve their goals with support and the right tools. I do feel that having more in my arsenal helps me to give specific advise both on the blog and in person and make sound recommendations on workout specifics to others.