If you want to take your career in fitness to the next level, it makes sense to get the certification that proves what you can do to prospective clients.
Of course with lots of different courses and qualifications out there, knowing which to pick is a challenge in its own right. Here are some of the things to think about so that you can narrow down the field and enhance your professional credentials.
Consider strength & conditioning
In terms of all-round impact and effectiveness, getting strength and conditioning certifications can give you a broad, sturdy foundation for further career development in this field.
As you might expect, there are several bodies that provide accreditation in this context, as well as different qualifications to achieve from each.
For example, the National Academy of Sports Medicine offers the Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) certificate, which is a great starting point for those who already have a degree-level qualification under their belt, in addition to being a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) with accreditation from either the NCCA or the DEAC.
An alternative, which does not require that you already hold a CPT credential, is the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certificate from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. A degree in a relevant field is still a requirement in this case.
Whichever strength and conditioning certificate you strive towards, you can be sure that this will stand you in good stead to cater to the needs of a wide range of clients.
Factor in the reputation of the provider
More generally, when picking between the different fitness certifications that are available, it is a good idea to consider the credibility of the institute that puts its name to them.
Things like the length of the course, the cost of the materials and the requirements for subsequent testing to maintain your qualification will clearly be relevant as well. However, all of this needs to be backed up by an organization with a recognized name and a reputation for rigorousness.
We have already mentioned a couple of these institutions in relation to strength and conditioning certification, and it is likely that you will actually have a choice between several course providers. To make a decision in this scenario, see whether specific qualifications are required in any place you hope to work, as this could steer you in a particular direction without the potential for ongoing uncertainty.
Examine course accessibility
The final thing to take onboard when looking for the best fitness certification is how the course is delivered. In these challenging times, a course which focuses on web-based learning and examination rather than practical, in-person coaching and classes, could be preferable, although all providers are adapting to cope with the current complications faced by the fitness industry.
At the end of the day, you need to scrutinize your own skills, preferences and needs when choosing a fitness certification to pursue, as this is the only way to make the right choice.