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Why you should check your trainer's credentials

Posted May 14, 2014

     Currently there is no regulation on what qualifies someone as a personal trainer. This means that anyone can call themselves a personal trainer. This is troubling for people that pay good money for their services, because the trainer's advice might be based much more on opinion than science. There are degrees in kinesiology/ exercise science and different certifications that one may hold that will qualify them more for the position and would have educated them more of the science behind the practice. Training is both an art and science. This is why experience and education are both important not one or the other. This is why it is good to get a potential personal trainer's credentials before hiring them.
     With so many different certifying agencies out there let me give you a brief summary of some of them. NSCA National Strength and Conditioning Association, NASM Nation Academy of Sports Medicine, ACSM American College of Sports Medicine, and ACE American Council of Exercise. These are some with which I am familiar. The thing with Certifying agencies, just like colleges need to be accredited, so does a certifying agency. Just because someone has a certification does not mean anything, in the same way as a degree from a non-accredited school does not. The good thing is most organizations that I have seen are certified. Here are some certifying organizations certified by the NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies): NASM, ACSM, ACE and the NSCA. 
     All this being said, just as with any teacher, coach, or professor one must stay current in their field. Most certifications require continued education credits to remain certified. However, this might be something you ask a potential personal trainer, "tell me something new about training you've learned in the last 3 to 6 months and how does that affect how you will train me?". It is a good feeling if you know the value you're getting for your money is only increasing, knowing that your trainer is only becoming more knowledgeable in their field. And this is what I think is the most important quality of a good personal trainer, one that is always learning, because, there is always so much more to learn. So if they are not studying something then they are behind the curve and will give you less value for your money then someone who is always studying.
      Hopefully this article will help you find a qualified personal trainer that will help you achieve your goals. Finding an educated, certified personal trainer who is always continuing their education is the first step.

Mark Scott
Personal Trainer Mcloud, OK
NSCA certified
BS in Exercise Science

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