Being a professional personal trainer is far from a static experience where attaining a certification is the end of your education. The best personal trainers are educating themselves constantly on new techniques in a variety of ways to better serve their clients. By staying current with what this expansive field has to offer, personal trainers can advance their careers and open up new opportunities by adding skills that either fit within their chosen niche or expand upon it.
One of the simplest ways to stay current is to constantly read the leading fitness journals and magazines. This not only includes those dedicated to personal trainers, but also magazines geared to the wider fitness world as well as niche markets like those for runners, bikers, cross training and so forth.
With nutrition and weight management a major area of program application for personal trainers, it pays to stay up on the latest findings regarding nutrition and weight loss. This can include niche areas like diabetes and areas of nutrition specifically targeted to the very young and those over 40 or 50.
On one hand, staying current as a personal trainer can mean solidifying and updating your knowledge as it pertains to broader areas of personal training like weight, strength and cross training through recertification. In essence, there is no one certification or diploma in personal training that provides a blanket qualification for every personal training scenario or niche.
Different gyms, education and corporate environments, health institutions and practices, cruise lines, and individual clients may see higher value in some certifications more than others. Consequently, staying current in order to advance a career can mean looking into obtaining additional certifications from NASM, TW-CC, ACSM, NSCA, ACE and others nationally recognized certification bodies.
All of these organizations offer a full palette of certifications that can bolster even lifetime certifications like those from NPTI. Many make two year recertification part of their program design in order to ensure that certification holders are staying current with accepted techniques as well as new techniques that have become broadly accepted by the certification body.
On the other hand, staying current can mean taking on new certifications and continuing education classes that can expand your understanding and teaching ability for any number of niche areas. This can include Pilates, yoga, group exercise, indoor cycling and many more.
While all of these niche areas of personal training do not necessarily require standardized certifications, they all require specialized instruction in order to provide effective and safe regimens for groups or individual clients.
An area that often gets overlooked by personal trainers when staying current is becoming a stronger business and marketing professional. Here, continuing education classes are a great fit as any type of certification is not the goal in most instances. Here, the idea is to expand your understanding of real-world business and marketing principles that can make you more effective in your career.
With referrals a big part of growing your business whether you work independently or for a gym or other health organization, a grasp of how to market online, effectively use the Internet as well as utilize social media is imperative. All of these allow you to connect and build your own brand through development of a business Website, blogging and connecting with likeminded people online.
Business courses in management skill development, accounting principles, business finance, computer applications and more can keep your business skills current and poise you for future career growth. Increasing your public speaking skills through continuing education enables you to become more effective in group training environments. These skills can also help you garner public speaking engagements on health and fitness that also help to build your personal brand and grow connections.
Becoming a professional certified personal trainer certainly requires dedication, drive and ambition in order to enter the field in an effective way. By staying current as well as expanding your skills and understanding as a personal trainer, you renew your commitment to yourself as well as to every client that you work with to help them attain their fitness and health goals.