Take Your Career In Fitness To A New Level

With the fast changing trends that come about in the fitness industry; as fitness professionals there is no negotiation when it comes to education. What used to be the perfect science one year is no longer the next and in order to stay current and outrun competitors in the market, personal trainers need to stay up to date, keep learning and keep challenging their grey matter! In order for personal trainers to gain respect and credibility as professionals in the health and wellness sectors it’s something that they all need to play a part in to impact on the industry as a whole and improve public perception.

A good personal training qualification provides a great foundation for the learner to build from and branch into other areas of specialization as the trainer develops, gains experience and matures in both training their clients and managing a business.

In terms of furthering ones education and understanding what direction to move in, this may come naturally to some trainers and they will already have a mental plan before they even start studying personal training! For others it may take slightly longer and most probably be predicted by perceived gaps in the market or by the clients they are training; for example you may have a few pregnant clients which would naturally steer you in a direction to advance your studies in exercise and pregnancy as an area of specialization.

Personal Trainers advancing and continuing their education is a relatively new phenomenon in South Africa. With relatively little regulation on the personal training industry it is up to gym owners to enforce continuing education on their trainers in order to guarantee it happens and ensure their members are in competent and capable hands. As with any industry there are of course those trainers working outside of health clubs who do take their profession seriously and are interested in pursuing other more advanced courses. Unfortunately all are outnumbered by the “certified” trainers who qualified ten years ago and think they know it all; they either are too “busy” or “have no funds” to further their education and regrettably are the worst advertisements for personal trainers and our industry.

How do I advance my studies?

Continuing education in fitness is a global requirement; there are great courses you can do online to keep you in tune and motivated! Topics may range from how to market yourself and your business to more in depth anatomy and even nutritional topics. Online courses are both cost effective and time effective – study material is downloaded and you can take your exam when it suits you.

Fit Principles Academy also presents two advanced courses to students who are already qualified personal trainers or have a degree in a health science. The first being a brand new course launched by The American Council on Exercise; called The Health Coach (dealing with nutrition and the psychology of your clients) and the second being The Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist, where the emphasis is placed on training a client who imposes a greater risk profile. Both courses are offered on a home-study basis where the student studies at their own pace but are required to write an international exam at a predetermined date.

There is no excuse not to further your studies, budget for a short course once a month and a more comprehensive course once a year! Your clients will love you and you will always be motivated to give your best and share your knowledge.

Natasha M. McKnight

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