ACSM Certification

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    ACSM Certification


    I have been looking through all the posts related to personal training and becoming a personal trainer, and I notice that ACSM seems to be the most highly regarded certification one can acquire. I also noticed that several people mentioned that its the best "if you have a college degree."

    My question is: is it necessary to have a college degree in a related field? I have a college degree, but it is not in anything relative to health, exercise science, etc. Obviously, I know this would help in my pursuit, but is it necessary to have a degree in a fitness related field?

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    I can not say that it is required so to speak, but I can tell you from having two degrees, one being in engineering and the other in the fitness field that If I only went into any NSCA certification testing, I would have failed miserably without have a degree in a health field.

    So for me, it was better to have a degree in a fitness field due to the fact that i took courses that were directly related to the NSCA. The only thing I needed was to have CPR and AED license or certs.

    From that I can say that without having had several terms of NSCA type classes, I would probably fail any testing on the subject unless I got the material and forced myself to read it and study it. But, being in school in a fitness field forced me to read and study it, so now Im way better prepared for cert testing in that field....same went for my networking+, A+ and mcse tech certs.
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    I'm also persuing a career in personal training. When I started college I had planned to do software engineering, then I swithced to nursing and was one semester short of becoming an RN before I decided I'd rather do personal training instead!

    Now I'm majoring in exercise science, and honestly I'm mainly going after the degree as a formaility, just to improve how I can sell myself. Of course there area few classes that I'm excited about taking, because I'm hoping to expand my knowledge in certain areas, but mostly, it's just for the peice of paper.

    As far as if a degree is absolutely necessary to become a personal trainer, then the answer is no. Honestly, most any dope with the minimum prerequisites can become a personal trainer if they're persistent enough, and this is very evident if you step back and evaluate the entire personal trainer community. I really wish there were more challenging requirements. But there are certain things that separate the good ones from the bad ones, and the successful from the not, and that's what I'm studying and researching so that when I start my career, I'll know what to do. Knowing your stuff about health and fitness is very, very important, but knowing your stuff about business and marketing is just as important.

    A college degree will of course make you look better on paper. If trainer A and trainer B both have great personalities, know their stuff, and have the same level of experience, but trainer A has a fitness related degree and trainer B doesn't, then most of the time trainer A is going to get the client. I think when it comes to certs, as long as you have a good one that most gyms in your area will accept, then you'll be fine. Plus you want the respect of other trainers, so you don't want to persue a mail-order cert or something. When it comes to people though, the average person isn't going to be able to tell the difference in one PT cert from another, so as long as you have the ones you need, you should be fine. However, the average person is going to be able to relate to you having a college degree in a fitness related field, because it's a more traditional level of certification, versus a personal training cert that they probably know nothing about.

    There are plenty of very successful personal trainers who do not have fitness related degree, or any college degree for that matter. I figured I"m in a good position just to go ahead and get mine, since I'm already in college, and since I need a couple more years to develop myself physically and mentally before I start my career. I'm the kind of person that will do anything to take myself one step ahead of my competition, and that's a good attitutde to have when it comes to business.

    Strive for excelleance and don't let anyone stand in your way! Don't settle for average, like so many do!
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    But there are certain things that separate the good ones from the bad ones
    Odd thing that I noticed once...this one guy had been training guys for the state competition. Now, this guy's training has helped build some awesome physiques, but the guy is a heavy drinker and drug user. He drinks about a 5th of liquor every 3 days or so and has been caught using cocaine.

    Amazing that he has helped build amazing bodies and yet he drinks, what I consider, heavily and uses cocaine or has.

    He trained me once, took my squat from lower 300's to mid 400's and dead's from upper 290's to over 400...It is just really odd about him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardknock View Post
    Odd thing that I noticed once...this one guy had been training guys for the state competition. Now, this guy's training has helped build some awesome physiques, but the guy is a heavy drinker and drug user. He drinks about a 5th of liquor every 3 days or so and has been caught using cocaine.

    Amazing that he has helped build amazing bodies and yet he drinks, what I consider, heavily and uses cocaine or has.

    He trained me once, took my squat from lower 300's to mid 400's and dead's from upper 290's to over 400...It is just really odd about him.
    One of the things that separates a good trainer from an average trainer is knowledge. You can have an amazing body, but if you're not knowledgeable to the whole scene, then you're not going to get very far. It's one thing to craft a good body for yourself, but it's another thing to teach another person how to do it.

    I guess you don't need an amazing body, or you don't have to lead a healthy lifestyle to be a personal trainer, but I think it's important to lead by example.
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    Thanks for all your input guys, I appreciate it.
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    If you're going to get a Bachelors, then why settle for a PT certification when you can ascend to a higher certification (e.g. CSCS)?
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    I already have a bachelors, it just has nothing to do with fitness. I just decided to give personal training a shot because working out, eating right, etc. is my passion, and I'm young enough to experiment with the field to see if I can make a decent living. I want ACSM because that seems to be the gold standard. I have an ACSM text book and a lot of different reference materials, but I am not sure if that's enough to succeed on the test in a relatively short amount of time (couple of months).

    If you have any suggestions on the path I should pursue in this position, then feel free to elaborate!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pride515 View Post
    I already have a bachelors, it just has nothing to do with fitness. I just decided to give personal training a shot because working out, eating right, etc. is my passion, and I'm young enough to experiment with the field to see if I can make a decent living. I want ACSM because that seems to be the gold standard. I have an ACSM text book and a lot of different reference materials, but I am not sure if that's enough to succeed on the test in a relatively short amount of time (couple of months).

    If you have any suggestions on the path I should pursue in this position, then feel free to elaborate!
    I'm not 100% sure what their content entails, but, if it is similar to the NSCA exam, then you will have a rough time with it. Not so much the technique/program design aspect, but the exercise physiology part of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    I'm not 100% sure what their content entails, but, if it is similar to the NSCA exam, then you will have a rough time with it. Not so much the technique/program design aspect, but the exercise physiology part of it.
    What aprts of the NSCA were confounding?

    Well, i mean, if you have an example of any particular questions that were "tricky"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardknock View Post
    What aprts of the NSCA were confounding?

    Well, i mean, if you have an example of any particular questions that were "tricky"?
    If you don't know what the actin/myosin heads are along with calcium channels, then it will be a little rough. I believe 40% of the test is over Ex Phys.
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    I want to become a PT'r too.I was told to not dive right in cause usually the first 6-12 month are tough due to few clients.I feel being in shape will help you out tremendously.Joshua says how one will look at one with college education and the other without and choose the one who has a degree.I don't think most will get past the physical part myself.If I was going to be trained and one was in shape and one wasn't,guess who I'd pick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua86 View Post
    I'm also persuing a career in personal training. When I started college I had planned to do software engineering, then I swithced to nursing and was one semester short of becoming an RN before I decided I'd rather do personal training instead!

    Now I'm majoring in exercise science, and honestly I'm mainly going after the degree as a formaility, just to improve how I can sell myself. Of course there area few classes that I'm excited about taking, because I'm hoping to expand my knowledge in certain areas, but mostly, it's just for the peice of paper.

    As far as if a degree is absolutely necessary to become a personal trainer, then the answer is no. Honestly, most any dope with the minimum prerequisites can become a personal trainer if they're persistent enough, and this is very evident if you step back and evaluate the entire personal trainer community. I really wish there were more challenging requirements. But there are certain things that separate the good ones from the bad ones, and the successful from the not, and that's what I'm studying and researching so that when I start my career, I'll know what to do. Knowing your stuff about health and fitness is very, very important, but knowing your stuff about business and marketing is just as important.

    A college degree will of course make you look better on paper. If trainer A and trainer B both have great personalities, know their stuff, and have the same level of experience, but trainer A has a fitness related degree and trainer B doesn't, then most of the time trainer A is going to get the client. I think when it comes to certs, as long as you have a good one that most gyms in your area will accept, then you'll be fine. Plus you want the respect of other trainers, so you don't want to persue a mail-order cert or something. When it comes to people though, the average person isn't going to be able to tell the difference in one PT cert from another, so as long as you have the ones you need, you should be fine. However, the average person is going to be able to relate to you having a college degree in a fitness related field, because it's a more traditional level of certification, versus a personal training cert that they probably know nothing about.

    There are plenty of very successful personal trainers who do not have fitness related degree, or any college degree for that matter. I figured I"m in a good position just to go ahead and get mine, since I'm already in college, and since I need a couple more years to develop myself physically and mentally before I start my career. I'm the kind of person that will do anything to take myself one step ahead of my competition, and that's a good attitutde to have when it comes to business.

    Strive for excelleance and don't let anyone stand in your way! Don't settle for average, like so many do!
    And let's face it.. It doesn't take a lot to get nationally certified as a personal trainer. You can come straight out of high school, spend a few hundred bucks, and you're certified. Now if I were wanting to become a PT, I would want to separate myself from the norm.
  

  
 

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