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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 11-15-2011, 05:41 PM   #1
Janine Henkel
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Personal Trainer Certification

I am looking to get into personal training in the near future as a secondary job, hopefully one I can do full-time if I am successful enough at it. I have been working out for, well, years in the way most people have (Gold's Gym...ugh). For the past two years I have been CF'ing and got Level 1 certified (on a side note I really wish I had taken the level 1 cert a year after I started CF, not at the beginning).

My question is what other certifications are good to have on your 'resume', not only to sell yourself but that actually help you become a great trainer all around. I am especially focused on learning what techniques or exercises help with injuries, bad form and loosening up your muscles for your workout (i.e. mobwod #339 - I love those trainers!). I have researched and am leaning towards NSCA. From searching past forum posts, I know this question has been asked in a similar way but it hadn't really answered my question.

Any books, websites, podcasts, etc that you think would be helpful would be appreciated as well (I wish Crossfit had a book).

Thanks in advance for your help.

Last edited by Janine Henkel : 11-15-2011 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:27 AM   #2
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Personal Trainer Certification

If you want to work at "X" gym then see what that gym requires. It might be ACE or perhaps they are all NASM or ACSM folks, etc.

Other stuff to look into is USAW (USA Olympic Weightlifting) or USATF (Track and Field). There is name recognition right there especially if you are going to work with athletes and not just regular ole Joe and Jane at Gold's wanting to tone up or get stronger.

There is the Charles Poliquin and Pavel camps which are something to do later on (OPT's certification is in there as well).

Louie Simmons, Robb Wolf, Mark Rippetoe, Primal diet, Kelly Starlett and mobilitywod, EliteFTS, Wendler, WestonPrice, Eric Cressey. I'm sure the list can go on from there even more.

Another good site is EatMoveImprove. A forum member here is part of that website and has like 5000 posts.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:41 AM   #3
Donald Lee
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Re: Personal Trainer Certification

What population do you want to target? For the most part, what certification you get has little to no bearing on your training ability or knowledge.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:57 AM   #4
Janine Henkel
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Re: Personal Trainer Certification

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Originally Posted by Blair Robert Lowe View Post
If you want to work at "X" gym then see what that gym requires. It might be ACE or perhaps they are all NASM or ACSM folks, etc.

Other stuff to look into is USAW (USA Olympic Weightlifting) or USATF (Track and Field). There is name recognition right there especially if you are going to work with athletes and not just regular ole Joe and Jane at Gold's wanting to tone up or get stronger.

There is the Charles Poliquin and Pavel camps which are something to do later on (OPT's certification is in there as well).

Louie Simmons, Robb Wolf, Mark Rippetoe, Primal diet, Kelly Starlett and mobilitywod, EliteFTS, Wendler, WestonPrice, Eric Cressey. I'm sure the list can go on from there even more.

Another good site is EatMoveImprove. A forum member here is part of that website and has like 5000 posts.
Wow. Thanks for that information.

As far as what type of training I'd like to do, I am not looking for the McGym setting. I'd love to either work full-time at a CF gym or start my own business coaching one on one and group sessions. Sort of like Tina Vindum, incorporating the outside. My long term dream would be to open a hybrid gym that has CF, yoga, and outdoor/bootcamp workouts to appeal to a lot of people.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:13 AM   #5
Mike Bolton
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Re: Personal Trainer Certification

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Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
What population do you want to target? For the most part, what certification you get has little to no bearing on your training ability or knowledge.
Or the number of clients you will have or if you will be able to earn an income doing it...
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:36 PM   #6
Donald Lee
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Re: Personal Trainer Certification

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Originally Posted by Janine Henkel View Post
Wow. Thanks for that information.

As far as what type of training I'd like to do, I am not looking for the McGym setting. I'd love to either work full-time at a CF gym or start my own business coaching one on one and group sessions. Sort of like Tina Vindum, incorporating the outside. My long term dream would be to open a hybrid gym that has CF, yoga, and outdoor/bootcamp workouts to appeal to a lot of people.
NSCA certification costs about $800. It is the most research-oriented and athlete-biased of all the certifications. If you want to work with athletes in a college setting, a CSCS is a must. The textbook that you study to become a CSCS is a fairly good intro to Exercise Science.

If you are not very good with book knowledge, the NASM info is a lot softer. Their textbooks are at a high school level.

I think you can get certified to be a Personal Trainer through much cheaper means though. Becoming knowledgeable in the fitness industry is all about self-study, so if I could do it again, I'd probably get the crappiest and cheapest certification I could find.

These are some good resources to start at:

"Essentials of Strength & Conditioning" by NSCA
"Kinetic Anatomy" by Behnke
Lyle McDonald's books and articles
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:51 PM   #7
Janine Henkel
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Re: Personal Trainer Certification

So would you sat that NSCA is too difficult to pursue? I read somewhere on the forum that someone thought their system was outdated. If Im going to study, I want material that will help me be a better trainer, not just for semantics. Is NASM comparable as far as the knowledge? I completely agree that real world experience and exposure is #1.

Thanks for all the recommendations so far.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:27 PM   #8
Donald Lee
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Re: Personal Trainer Certification

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Originally Posted by Janine Henkel View Post
So would you sat that NSCA is too difficult to pursue? I read somewhere on the forum that someone thought their system was outdated. If Im going to study, I want material that will help me be a better trainer, not just for semantics. Is NASM comparable as far as the knowledge? I completely agree that real world experience and exposure is #1.

Thanks for all the recommendations so far.
I glanced through the NASM's PT book, and I thought it was sorely lacking in content. Even their correct exercise stuff is bad, in my opinion. They oversimplify and overgeneralize.

The NSCA's textbook is somewhat outdated in their exercise selection/periodization prescriptions, but that's just because they're being conservative.

You can probably find a certification that will cost you about $300 though.

Talk to Joel Jamieson of 8weekouts and End Zone Athletics. He's up in Seattle, and he is very knowledgeable in both book knowledge and application.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:16 PM   #9
Janine Henkel
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Re: Personal Trainer Certification

Thank you! You all gave me exactly what I was looking for.
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