Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Should I Hire a Personal Trainer?: 1. Technical knowledge and certification


The educational level of personal trainers can range from what they learn on their own to having a doctorate degree in exercise physiology. Currently, there are no federal or state laws that say who can or cannot practice as a personal trainer. This leaves the door wide open for anyone to call themselves a personal trainer.

There are approximately 400 personal training certifications offered today; however, only six have risen to prominence. They include certifications from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA).

Trainers with one of these certifications will set themselves apart from the others. Furthermore, it is important for trainers to continuously educate themselves in order to stay up-to-date with the latest training technologies. It is for this reason that many of the credible certifying organizations require continuing education units to keep the certification current.

When choosing a personal trainer I would highly recommend you ask about each trainer's credentials and certification. It may mean the difference between seeing results and wasting your money.

F.Y.I. ~ Of over 400 certifications, fewer than six require minimum standards.