With the new year well under way, many are hitting the gym trying to conquer their resolutions. You might be one of those people that are already quite healthy and wants to pass that knowledge on. Life as a personal trainer can be quite rewarding as you literally reshape people’s lives. If this is something that interests you, there are a few formalities you’ll need to handle before you go transforming people’s lives. It takes much more than know-how and experience to be a personal trainer. You need to be certified, and there is no better certification than ACE certification.
7 Steps to Certification
Since 1985, ACE has been at the forefront of America’s health and well-being. For over 30 years their mission has been to educate, develop, serve, connect and build. Now, they are the biggest non profit health and fitness certification, education and training organization in the world. They are NCCA accredited and boast more than 65,000 certified professionals who hold more than 72,000 ACE Certifications. As stated earlier, even if you’re pretty knowledgeable about health and fitness, you still need to be certified and registered. Like any profession, you need to know your craft so you can be the best. Studies show that in the next five years, employment in the health industry will rise 13%. You’re going to want to stand out, here’s how.
Step 1. Choose Your Certification
An ACE certification isn’t the only game in town. There are literally hundreds of programs to choose from. You may find one that suits your time constraints, budget or overall work ethic. As you continue to do your research, one organization will continually pop up, that’s the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Their accreditation is the standard most recognized in the health fitness field.
Step 2. Pick Your Program, Set Your Pace
After you’ve done your research, it’s a strong possibility that you’ve chosen one of the accredited ACE certification programs. Now it’s time to get your study materials. Plans differ among the many providers and the ACE certification exam is a combination of online and physical materials. On average it takes an individual around 80-100 hours spread out over 3 to 4 months to prepare. For some it could be faster, it all depends on the pace you set.
Step 3. Register
You’ve studied like nobodies business, and now you’re ready to take the exam. First, you have to register for an exam and pay all associated fees. Dues are included in the study program options. Typically, ACE would prefer you sign up within six months of receiving your study materials, but you are not beholden to that. There are also a few pre-requisite requirements you’ll need to have secured. They are:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have completed high school (or the equivalent).
- Hold a current CPR/AED certification with a live skills check.
- Present a current government-issued photo ID with signature (driver’s license, passport, military ID).
Step 4. ACE the Test!
Months and months of grinding and studying have all led up to this. It’s almost like being back in high school! Just remember you got this, you studied hard for this (hopefully), and the test is just a formality. Just think, after you pass you’ll be given open access to a wide range of resources! Discounts on equipment, signature apparel, and insurance. Your certificate will arrive in the mail along with a wallet ID showing just how official you are! Good luck!
Step 5. Get Some Clients
This step will be partly determined by your choices in the first two steps. Now that you’re certified, a gym of some sort seems like the obvious choice. It isn’t. There are specialty studios, medical fitness facilities or you might want to go in business with yourself. Wherever you decide to go, ACE has got your back with salary information and the perks mentioned in the previous step. In fact, some fitness clubs will guarantee interviews with trainers possessing an ACE certification.
Step 6. Master Your Craft
If you think about team sports, every player on the field has a position. They practice and train hard day in and day out to master that position. Come game time, the team relies on that player to play his or her position. A linebacker isn’t going to practice throwing the ball like a QB. In the world of personal training, you’ll want to adopt this same mindset. You may be well-versed in many areas of health and fitness, but you’re going to want to hone in on one area. Master that area and provide that service to your clients. We all know someone who’s been stretched thin, and they’re no good to anyone! Lucky for you, ACE provides Specialist Programs to help you zero in on an area and master it.
Step 7. Don’t Stop Learning
Eventually, everything changes. The same is true in the world of health and fitness. A few years from now they might be new procedures and new information. You’re going to want to be up to date on these things so you can provide the best service. Even with and ACE certification, you’re required to earn 20 hours of continuing education credits every two years. The competition requires the same from their certified trainers as well so you’re not going to catch a break on this.
Now that you’ve seen the path towards reshaping your life and the lives of others, it’s time to get out there! As you’ve seen, it’s not going to be quick or easy, but the best things in life shouldn’t be. To be the best, you have to be trained by the best, and an ACE certification shows you’ve done just that. For 30 years ACE has been at the forefront of health and fitness, and 30 years from now they’ll still be pushing the industry forward. Get started!
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