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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    1

    Do I need to do a personal trainer course?

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    Hi, I have been an active cyclist for many years, but now I want to start a career as a personal trainer who does general fitness work but who specializes in cycling coaching.

    I am wondering, should I do one of the official personal trainer courses from an accredited provider?

    Or should I try to get started off the back of what I already know.

    I have no doubt I could coach clients to cycle, having done so already to some extent with friends of mine, and I've used gyms a lot so I know a lot about exercises and I reckon I could teach other people how to do it safely.

    I don't have a lot of money with which to pay for my training so I want to be sure I definitely need a PT course before buying one.

    I also once met someone else who worked as a personal trainer and said they didn't do any formal training, just went straight into business for themselves and did okay.

    Should I do the same? How important is it that personal trainers do a proper training course?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    774
    Personally, because as I get older I tend to get injured (more fragile) easier, and because some injuries were caused by trainers who were not certified and may not have used the right approach when I was younger, I am now paying the price because of lack of proper knowledge and moves I should have avoided or not do so many reps.

    Because of my own experience, I would no longer seek a personal trainer that has no certification in sports. Yes I could take in some of the experience, tips and tricks that a non-certified person has but that would be about it.

    The one I currently have and go to for the past few years is a physiotherapist and kinesiologist. Being also a triathlete and involved in many sports, she knows how to prevent or treat an injury and when to push/pull my buttons!

    And my trainer is not charging more than a non-certified trainer I am sure (for me it is about $80 per visit and we exchange almost daily through emails, training peaks for my program or a quick call for follow-ups until next visit). And I get receipts to be reimbursed by my group insurance and the gym program we have at work.

    I think it is important not only to tell people how to move and improve but how to do it safely and when an injury occurs, how to balance the whole thing and heal as quickly as possible to resume training. A safe move for one person, can be the worst one for another one. I think qualified trainer are/should be able to see that difference.

    I don't know where you live but there must be insurance liabilities to deal with as well. A signed discharged is not always getting some off the hook. I think certification protects (at least we’d hope) the trainer and its clients. They are based on many measures. Someone may have a good deal of knowledge in many areas (health, physical, etc.) but to me a good certification is essential.

    There are so many people calling themselves personal trainers now and some are good and some are bad. Overall, I think it's up to us, consumers, to do our own research, look into backgrounds, and find a skilled and qualified trainer. Not easy.

    There will always be expectations and you may find a pearl of a trainer that is not certified.

    So yes…I think you should save money somehow to take classes and get a certification if this is what you truly want to do with your life. You maybe ok like that someone you know…but what are you looking for: doing ok in your business…or being the best trainer you can be for your clients and for yourself.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,130
    I would not have a trainer that was not certified by one of the national organizations, ACE, AFA, ACSM. In fact, I would prefer someone who had a certification and was an exercise physiologist or a PT. There are a few other smaller organizations that do this, but some are as fly by night as an uncertified trainer...
    Many years ago, I did the ACE certification to be a group exercise instructor. It was rigorous and the exam was more difficult for me, with little science background, than my master's comps. I took a very good prep class, as well as self study. The ACE personal trainer exam is the same. I thought about doing it, but never did.
    I agree with Helene. Save your money and get certified.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

 

 

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