Personal Training and Nutritionists

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    Personal Training and Nutritionists


    Personal Training and Nutritionists......hey guys, I just picked up and book about personal training...."How to become a personal trainer for DUMMIES"....it looks like it has many good things that are helpful in it despite the title. Can anyone tell me if they have read it and if they found it useful? I also wanted to know from the trainers and nutritionists who did they get their ceritfications from and how has it been under those (easier to get jobs in places because of your certification or not, which ones are most respected, etc.). How do you like being a trainer. Is this your lifelong career or is this a chapter in your life until you become a (physical therapist, a chiropractor, a strength and conditioning coach, etc.)? Thank you guys, just trying to see if I can make a career out of something I love! I will post a similar question in regards to the supplement biz later and it will be geared towards Matt (DS, Sledge), Matt(Custom), Marc(Primaforce/Scivations, Brian (IBE labs), Chemo(BDC),Stryder(Nutraplanet ) and others that may have input...please look out for that one tomorrow!

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    I'm a CPT with a NASM cert. It's highly regarded as a top certification and was a cost me some dollars to go threw. Anyway being a PT is great but it's slow in the begining. You have to build a rep to get the customers.

    Also keep in mind most people you deal with want to lose weight, "tone" up, and or gain some lean muscle. Oh did I forget to mention they don't want to break a sweat to do it. They want these great results but most don't have what it takes mentally to get it done. Lazy, lazy, lazy. Sorry but it's frustrating sometimes. Most people will look at you and think you have a nice body because you were born with it, they have no idea what you went through obtaining it.

    Overall I love doing it. I"m always at the gym, I can always get my workouts in, and the money can be great as well. There's also the advantage of making your own schedule so if you need a day off you just schedule around it.

    All in all be prepared that most clients aren't going to come up to you and say " I wanna get huge". Most want to lose weight but not work hard to do it.
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    I was NSCA certified and ACSM HFI certified. I also have a BS in Kinesiology. Personal training was fun for a while but like jminis said most people, 99.9% maybe, dont want to get big. The only people I trained to gain size and strength were some high school football players. Also I worked in a rich area and some of the women just want you to walk around the gym and talk with them cause they get no attention from their husband anymore so in essence an 80/hour listener I became. There are some times though when you get that person who listens to every word you say and does what you tell them and they get great results which is definitely rewarding. The best thing to do would be to go to a gym and ask a personal trainer there what they do and how they like it and if they find it to be a rewarding line of work. Either way good luck bro.
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    My fellow mod is right on with NASM. Im also a CPT with NASM and been training over 3 years. Private clients now, making 50-60 bucks an hour, raking in the money bro. Its the best (in my opinion) you can get without having a degree in sports medicine. ACSM is what you want if PT is what you want to do for the long run.
    Sage
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    Just wanna say thank you to all that responded and and welcoming others here that I know are Personal Training! Hey Sage what is the big difference between NASM and ACSM that you said one is better than the other in regards to PT in the long run!? Also, in your opinion why is it the best you can get without having a degree in sports medicine? Thanks, I just wanna get as much knowledge as possible before putting a couple of hundred dollars into something and losing the drive for it! I think it is safe to say that most would want to train athletes instead of those that want to tone up and don't want to do much for it, but those are the ones that go for trainers! As a matter of fact are there any strength and conditioning coaches here or even physical therapist or anyone with a degree in Sports Medicine?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaNiaK1027
    As a matter of fact are there any strength and conditioning coaches here or even physical therapist or anyone with a degree in Sports Medicine?
    I will have my degree in Exercise Science in December and after that I will be moving away to do a BIG internship (its not always what you know, its who you know ). After that I WILL get my Masters and then PhD. I either want to be a Strength Coach for a baseball or football team or be a professor and do lots of studies that the guys in the "real world " can talk **** about.

    To answer your question, the more education you have, the more seriously you're taken in this industry. IMO most personal trainers are full of ****, but for every 5 ****ty ones there a good one (Bobo , Lean One ). And a good PT can make A LOT of money. NSCA is the most highly regarded certification if you're interested in strength and power. ACSM is excellent as well, but A LOT of their material is boring to me (aerobic, special populations) and hard to read.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieTrying
    IMO most personal trainers are full of ****, but for every 5 ****ty ones there a good one (Bobo , Lean One ). And a good PT can make A LOT of money. .
    Coughs, Uhummm. And what am I Dietrying one of the ****ty ones? I feel a ban coming on. LOL One of my clients will be on ESPN for an interview soon, I guess I'm doing something right. haha
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    Quote Originally Posted by jminis
    Coughs, Uhummm. And what am I Dietrying one of the ****ty ones? I feel a ban coming on. LOL One of my clients will be on ESPN for an interview soon, I guess I'm doing something right. haha
    Haha sorry man didn't mean to leave anybody out..Those two were just the first two to come to my mind. But I think we can all agree there are a lot of bad ones. I think we've even seen that proven on this site from other online "trainers".
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    I'm going to get certified this summer. I teach the other 9 months. Does anyone know what would be the best certification to get? Should I get more than 1? I eventually want to set up a summer camp for overweight teens, in case this detail has any effect on the certification.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieTrying
    Haha sorry man didn't mean to leave anybody out..Those two were just the first two to come to my mind. But I think we can all agree there are a lot of bad ones. I think we've even seen that proven on this site from other online "trainers".
    LOL I'm just bustin your balls DT, there are a lot of bad trainers out their believe me I know. I work with some. There's def a lot of cookie cutter trainers. They know the basic routines from the mags and certifications but not too much else. They would have no clue what HST is or HIIT and such. But they sure as hell know 85 exercises to do on the swiss balls
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    Looks like many of the Mods are certified trainers..

    I have my BS in Sports Physiology (Human Performance & Fitness from UMass), and I'm a certified trainer thru both ISSA and ACE.. I also have my Specialist in Performance Nutrition on the way from ISSA, finished the exam a week ago..

    I've had my ACE since I was 18, I usually train at least 6 clients a year and have been since then.. I just do it for extra loot when dancing isn't gonna work..
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    Hope the trainers don't mind a direct question, but how much *DO* you guys make?

    I mean, do you charge by the hour? For workout / meal plans? About how much an hour do you expect to get? Do you have a job at a club or gym? I'm asking seriously because I'm considering the acquisition of a PT cert between now & summer but have no info on the potential return on the investment, and I need something besides the rosey pictures painted by the certifying groups.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sage
    My fellow mod is right on with NASM. Im also a CPT with NASM and been training over 3 years. Private clients now, making 50-60 bucks an hour, raking in the money bro. Its the best (in my opinion) you can get without having a degree in sports medicine. ACSM is what you want if PT is what you want to do for the long run.
    Sage
    Is ACSM the same as ACE? I'm working on ACE. I was told it was the second highest regarded cert for pt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfart
    Is ACSM the same as ACE? I'm working on ACE. I was told it was the second highest regarded cert for pt.
    No they're different but ACE is definately a top certification in the biz.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpetefox
    Looks like many of the Mods are certified trainers..

    I have my BS in Sports Physiology (Human Performance & Fitness from UMass), and I'm a certified trainer thru both ISSA and ACE.. I also have my Specialist in Performance Nutrition on the way from ISSA, finished the exam a week ago..

    I've had my ACE since I was 18, I usually train at least 6 clients a year and have been since then.. I just do it for extra loot when dancing isn't gonna work..
    Bigpete, i'm looking to get ACE certified as well. I have the text book that they sell, and the practice tests. Is there anything else you would suggest me reading before taking the test? I'm also a pre-physical therapy student so i'm taking all the usual bio/chem/physiology classes.

    Basically what i'm asking is how hard is the test to pass. What level of knowledge is necessary to pass the test.
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    Which is the most highly regarded certification?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf
    Which is the most highly regarded certification?
    Matter of opinion. ACSM then NASM for me.
    Sage
  20. ItriedtoripoffBobosonowIamgonehaveaniceday
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    Lot of good info guys, thanks and keep it coming!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sage
    Matter of opinion. ACSM then NASM for me.
    Sage
    Thanks bro, I'm looking into getting certified this summer. I hope to start a summer program for overweight teens in a year or two, but I better get some experience first.

    How much does it cost to get certified?
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    I've managed to pick up a bunch o' comments on the subject from various sites this evening. Hope it's alright to drop some of them in here.
    I am certified with ISSA as well. I would recommend them to anybody. Their support is very good as well, from start to finish it really feels like they are there to help you out. However I agree that the NSCA and ACSM are more well known
    I am certified through both the ISSA and the NSCA. The NSCA is one of the most widely recognized certifications out there. Its not an easy test but its not hard either
    am certified thru the ISSA...It is a very good company and has alot of benefits for their students...Ths NSCA is more widely accepted and is your best bet...Hope this helps.
    I go the ISSA CSCS, but I hated it...also have NSCA CSCS now. They all have pluses and minuses...bottom line is, read your ass off, answer the way u want to, and try to get a good job
    As an ACE certified personal trainer, I can tell you ACE is the minimum requirement. It's a good certification that focuses on client safety and effective programming. If you're into strength, I recommend NSCA (Natioanl Strength and Conditioning Association). They are oriented to sports coaches and strength coaches. The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) is thorough and the standard for many other certifying bodies. Another good one is NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). Costs vary. If you're working with the average gym goer, the recreational weight trainer, I'd say save your money and go with ACE. If you really want to excel you can get one of the other certifications later
    I have both the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and the ACE Personal Trainer *and* Group Fitness Instructor certifications. The CSCS is cool because it's the only one (or maybe one of VERY few) where you get to LEGALLY put letters after your name--that's only because the test has been "accredited" and you must have an acceptable (read: sports/science-oriented) degree to even take the test
    I chose the National Strength and Conditioning Assoc. and am studying for their NSCA-CPT exam now. I thought they were the most reputable of the various organizations I've heard about. I think most of the college strength coaches are NSCA members, and at least their journal reviews fitness/strength studies (although many are small size and/or limited demographic).

    Having said that, be informed that their PT certification study materials are in some cases incorrect, and not always up to date. The exercise protocols are heavily influenced by aerobic training and the weight workouts look like something directly out of Muscle & Fitness (not kidding). Samples: 3 on, 1 off either "double-split" or once/day with such exercises as triceps kickbacks and concentration curls; bench press in EVERY routine; even the 3x/week power routine includes valuable training time for curls and tricep extension. Also learned that there is NO WAY to safely and effectively perform a 1RM test for the upper back muscles. Why? Because the only exercises they recommend for upper back are the lat pulldown and bent over row. Nutrition recommendation sticks closely to USDA Food Pyramid and calls for approx. 55% carb, 15-20% protein, 15-30% fat. The only reason I am taking the exam is to put those initials after my name - an "air of credibility", knowing that it will sound good to those who really need help.
    My opinion, the NASM cert is phenomenal for program design, although you're going have to learn any exercise form stuff outside of that.
    Here are the best as you will see listed by many organizations looking for trainers:

    Top tier (most requested by name and most respected): ACSM (Gold standard), NSCA (CSCS for sports or CPT for personal training), ACE

    Next tier: NASM (moving toward top tier, but still too new), AFAA, Cooper Institute.

    All others after that (normally listed as "nationally recognized certification").

    I have ACSM Health and Fitness Instructor (HFI), NSCA CPT and CSCS. I also happen to have APEX Nutrition Certification. I work at 24 Hour Fitness here in NE and many of the ones they used to accept (ISSA for one) will no longer count after a period of grandfather time for current trainers holding that one.

    So go for the best. When I asked my graduate school profs about it, they said ACSM and NSCA were the two best.
    Go with the NSCA and or ISSA for your certs. In the end a certification does not mean a lot. Some gyms however will require that you either get their cert, or that you get one that is "recognized" by them. I obtained both the NSCA-CPT, and the ISSA-CFT around the same time. The NSCA got me in the door, but the ISSA helped my general knowledge base as well as business basics. As of recent the NASM is also looking promising. More and more gyms are recognizing that as "the" cert to have.
    It is a good idea to get certified with someone like ACE (regardless of your opinion of their program) because that makes you a lot more marketable to your clients and the club. Once you got a feel for the industry, say six mnnths, consider starting your own business. Find an angle (e.g. KBs or something else that others do not offer) and make sure to collect testimonials. Btw, a few years ago, before I spread my tentacles with my books, I ran a personal training business in the Midwest. In a town where $25 was a lot of money to pay for a trainer I charged $85 an hour and had my fill of clients (all middle class, not rich).
    ...the OPT model actually kicks serious ass, and learning it made a whole lot of stuff make a lot more sense to me.

    ... there are a million different training methods at my 24 Hour Fitness. Even from NASM certified trainers.

    Oh, and if your manager gives you ANY crap about doing dumbell snatches or jerks, refer him to phase 6 and 7 of the OPT model, snatches and push presses are in there.
    We didn't get paid extra for the sessions we did, we were just there to train people. When we weren't training people, we were supposed to clean.

    ...my point was just to warn you that there is a very wide range of job descriptions for personal trainers, just make sure you like the one you get.
    Just because I had a certification doesn't mean I knew anything about how to squat or deadlift with good form. Learning from a good strength coach like that is priceless. Every time I go in there I learn something or refine something.

    Oh and like everyone else said, being a personal trainer is a SALES JOB first, and personal training second. 'Couse I used to be a sales trainer, so I love it. But it can shock people sometimes.

    Oh, I should also mention it's the most fun job I've ever had in my life!
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    Great post Body Wizard. Thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks
    Bigpete, i'm looking to get ACE certified as well. I have the text book that they sell, and the practice tests. Is there anything else you would suggest me reading before taking the test? I'm also a pre-physical therapy student so i'm taking all the usual bio/chem/physiology classes.

    Basically what i'm asking is how hard is the test to pass. What level of knowledge is necessary to pass the test.
    IMO, if you have a basic understanding of fitness, the ACE is the easiest test to pass.. I'd re-test in less than an hour, they give you 4hrs to complete it..
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    WOW, great post Body Wizard! I think everybody here, especially the MODS have posted great information! I am getting so many answers and have a better feeling at where I am leaning towards! Thank you everybody...if there is more people with info please post, looking for Lean One and Bobo in particular!
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    I went with ACE because I have no colledge education. I have a cousin with an Exercise Physiology degree and has been in the bussiness for 15yrs. He told me in my case and for what I wanted to do, that was the way to go. Once certified, I got into Healthrax Fitness and Wellness. There was a ton of continuing education I got from them and that's how I got hooked up with Intrafitt for my Nutrition cert.

    The PT cert from ACE got me in the door, and allowed me to grow as a trainer til I was capable of going solo. The process for me was great. However, If you have colledge behind you, ACSM or NSCA Might be better choices.
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    I'll be taking the ACE test in May, and hope to be training very soon after that. Not a wide range of gyms in my area, but hopefully I can build a descent clientel. Do those of you who already train mainly do free lance work, or do you work for a particular gym.

    I would like to do free lance, but I understand most gyms won't allow outside trainers come in to work. Any tips on getting around this? One plus is that I will be able to train at my school gym w/out any problems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks
    I'll be taking the ACE test in May, and hope to be training very soon after that. Not a wide range of gyms in my area, but hopefully I can build a descent clientel. Do those of you who already train mainly do free lance work, or do you work for a particular gym.

    I would like to do free lance, but I understand most gyms won't allow outside trainers come in to work. Any tips on getting around this? One plus is that I will be able to train at my school gym w/out any problems.
    Most of my clients are private. however, I have an agreement with a gym very close to where I live. I pay them rent and I can train clients there as long as they are members. I aproached them with a list of 5 people who were willing to sign up but only if i could train there. that's what got me in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lean One
    I aproached them with a list of 5 people who were willing to sign up but only if i could train there. that's what got me in.
    That's a good idea. I would much rather work w/private clients, as all the trainers at my gym spend more time sweeping than actually training.
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    Here's an article from Quackwatch.com
    on choosing a personal trainer.
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