by Torrey Smith, MA, CSCS,*D; CSPS,*D; NSCA-CPT,*D; TSAC-F,*D
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Certification Director
The personal training space is crowded with a multitude of educational resources and certifying bodies offering certificates and certifications. Nationally accredited certifications are important for helping trainers and clubs stand out from the crowd by designating these certified fitness professionals as meeting the highest standards of knowledge in the industry.
A Foundation for Success
A strong foundation in evidence-based research, as provided by several nationally accredited certifications, gives personal trainers the knowledge and tools to adapt and evolve to new techniques and equipment, and develop individualized programming to meet client needs and goals. Having the ability to discern the good from the bad when it comes to new programs and the latest technology is critical for a personal trainer to excel.
Imperative to a client's success, and gained through an educational foundation, is a trainer's ability to:
- Understand how to best help clients achieve health and fitness goals through application of evidence-based principles
- Modify and tailor programs for the client's individual skill and ability
- Understand and evaluate emerging fitness trends, what works best for whom, and how to adapt for individual clients
Nationally Accredited Certifications Matter
Accreditation from a national body such as the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is a third party check-and-balance system that ensures an organization's certification processes and examination systems are fair and valid. The NCCA accreditation shows that an organization's program has met the stringent standards of the credentialing community and is both credible and legitimate. Nationally accredited certifications exhibit the highest standards of excellence within the health and fitness industry.
With a wide variety of associations offering certification within the fitness industry, it's important for personal trainers and club owners to align with an organization that best fits their individual style, training philosophy, and career goals.
Commitment to the Profession
For club owners, personal trainers who work to obtain a nationally accredited certification demonstrate a commitment to the profession and excellence. Individuals who are willing to work hard and put in the time to pass a comprehensive exam are likely to carry that work ethic into helping your members achieve their goals. A member who sees success, thanks to the dedication of their trainer, is likely to remain loyal to your facility and spread the word about their success and experience.