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Old 08-05-2005, 07:29 PM   #1
Michael McMahon
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This question is aimed at those who hold some kind of certification to train other people. As someone who is planning on becoming a certified trainer, what certification(s) are deemed the "best"? Both from a reputation and credibility stand point as well as what they teach and advocate. I know that there are a lot of them out there but I also know that some carry more weight than others and would like to know what working trainers think about them.
Thanks.
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Old 08-05-2005, 07:49 PM   #2
Matt Gagliardi
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ACSM (Health and Fitness Instructor) and NSCA (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist). IMO those are the two most credible nationally-recognized organizations. That doesn't mean, however, that they'll teach you everything you need to know. In hindsight, my clients and I would've benefitted more from CF certs/experience/training...but you might not get the response you'd like from clubs (i.e. they may not understand CF or even have heard of it).

I'd say that either (or both) of the 2 above would get you in just about any door...but once inside, CF would probably get your clients (and you by extension) the results.

Just my $0.02
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Old 08-05-2005, 07:52 PM   #3
Matt Gagliardi
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PS-

Neither of the certs I mentioned are easy. You will literally have to prepare/study for months to pass either of them.
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Old 08-05-2005, 08:00 PM   #4
David Wood
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Michael:

Disclaimer: I'm not a trainer.

Most folks around here (myself included) would support the CrossFit certification as the one to have . . . but it won't put a bunch of letters after your name that would impress a gym owner. (The results that your clients get will do that.)

Besides that, the USAW training in the Olympic lifts is well worth having. The CSCS from the NSCA is . . . well, there are varied opinions . . .

ACE and others aren't worth much for producing real athletic excellence.

A few past threads on the subject:

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/29/5574.html

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/21/5848.html

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/3499/11189.html
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Old 08-05-2005, 08:08 PM   #5
Matt Gagliardi
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David, excellent call on the USAW cert.
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Old 08-05-2005, 09:01 PM   #6
Don Stevenson
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As a certified trainer out here in Australia i'd say that our national certification (it's standardised) is not worth using to wipe your butt.

It gets you insured and means that you can train people but otherwise it is hopelessly out of date and teaches a lot of useless bodybuilding crap and aerobics nonsense.

I've done the dragondoor kettlebell cert and even though it is not an "official" certification I learnt heaps of useful stuff which i actually use with people.

I've also done the Level 1 strength coaches course from our national coaching scheme (much better than the fitness certificate) and i'm about to do the Olympic lifting cert too.

I'd also jump at the opportunity to do the CF certs.

All in all I'd say pick whatever cert you need to get your foot in the door and then educate yourself. Read books, talk to coaches, try things out and train people as lab rats, develop your own brand of fitness!

In general I learn more from a visit to the CF board or the journal than I ever did in my personal trainers cert.
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Old 08-06-2005, 04:31 AM   #7
Karl Steadman
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Don,

I have to second what you're saying. The vast majority of the quals you can get here aren't great, but get you exactly what you need in terms of cover, insurance and basic knowledge.

It is very rare that something as fundamental to training as Oly lifting is even mentioned in these programmes. So therefore i would get the most respected qualification and then supplement your knowledge here and with various other recommended sites.......it breaks my heart when i see fellow trainers completely comfortable in showing a client how to use a bloody adduction machine, but see them stumble and fall when teaching a clean etc.

Break the mould Michael and be an awesome trainer.
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Old 08-06-2005, 06:28 AM   #8
Jason Simpkins
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I'm in the same boat as I am currently looking to become certified. I was going to get the standardized Canadian personal trainer certification which is just a basic requirement to get hired by a commercial gym.

But after finding Crossfit it has opened my eyes to a whole new style and methodology. So I am rethinking my strategy to go something like this:

NSCA-CPT (national strength and conditioning)
RKC (Kettlebell)
Olympic lifting coach
Crossfit certification

All in all, I think that would be a pretty stellar resume!
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Old 08-06-2005, 06:34 AM   #9
Karl Steadman
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Jason,

Sweeeeeeeet mate!

I can guarantee you will be light years ahead in knowledge with that combo...
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Old 08-06-2005, 07:33 AM   #10
Matt Gagliardi
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Definintely a good spread there Jason.

Just to clarify/refine my posts from earlier...I think it's important to differentiate between the certifications you should get because they'll impart good and useful knowledge (CF, USAW, RKC) and the ones that you often need to get a foot in the door at gyms. Because IMO, they are unfortunately not (or at least are rarely) the same. Hopefully over time that will change.
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