Fitness is more than just a hobby or a passion. It is a profession that requires knowledge, skills, and credibility. If you want to pursue a career in the fitness industry, or if you want to enhance your current fitness profession, you need to get certified by a reputable and accredited fitness certification program.
Getting certified can bring you many benefits, such as increasing your credibility and trustworthiness among clients and employers, expanding your knowledge and skills in various aspects of fitness, opening up more career opportunities and income potential, and improving your client satisfaction and retention.
However, choosing your path in fitness certification can be challenging, as there are many options and factors to consider. The best option is to choose a well-known program, such as ASFA. Here are some additional details and tips that will help you make the right choice.
Identify Your Goals
Before you enroll in any fitness certification program, you need to ask yourself some questions to determine your goals and interests. For example:
- What kind of clients do you want to work with? Do you prefer working with individuals or groups, beginners or advanced, young or old, healthy or special populations, etc.?
- What kind of fitness setting do you prefer? Do you want to work in a gym, a studio, a park, a home, a school, a corporate, etc.?
- What are your passions and strengths in fitness? Do you enjoy cardio, strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, agility, etc.?
- What are your career aspirations and expectations in fitness? Do you want to work full-time or part-time, as an employee or a contractor, as a solo or a team, etc.?
If you want to work with individuals who need holistic wellness coaching, you might consider getting a Health & Wellness Coach certification. If you want to work with athletes who need performance enhancement, a Sports Nutritionist certification is the best choice.
Research the Accreditation and Reputation
Accreditation is a process of external review and evaluation that verifies that a fitness certification program meets certain standards of quality and rigor. It is important for fitness certifications because it ensures that the credential is valid, reliable, and credible. It also indicates that it is recognized and respected by the industry and the public.
There are many official bodies, but not all of them are reputable and trustworthy. Some of them are self-accredited, meaning that they accredit themselves without any external review or oversight.
You need to look for programs that are accredited by reputable and recognized accreditation bodies.
There are non-profit organizations that accredits fitness certification programs based on rigorous standards and criteria. Those are recognized by the fitness industry and the government as a legitimate and authoritative accreditation body for fitness certifications.
Compare the Cost and Value
Some fitness certifications are more expensive than others, but they may also provide more value in terms of quality, content, support, and recognition. When it comes to cheaper ones, they may also provide less value in terms of credibility, relevance, convenience, and flexibility.
You need to look for options that are affordable and valuable, meaning that they offer a reasonable price and a high return on investment. You need to consider the features and benefits, such as:
- Online and convenient testing: You can take the exam online at your own pace and convenience, without having to travel or schedule a proctor.
- Pay only if you pass: You only pay for the fee if you pass the exam, which reduces the risk and pressure.
- Lifetime renewal option: You can renew your certification for life with a one-time fee, which saves you time and money in the long run.
- Continuing education courses: You can access a variety of online courses that can help you update your knowledge and skills and earn continuing education credits for your certification renewal.
Choose the Right Level
Some credentials are basic, meaning that they cover the fundamental knowledge and skills of fitness and require minimal qualifications and experience. There are also more advanced options that cover the specialized knowledge and skills of fitness and require higher qualifications and experience.
Factors that can influence your choice of level and difficulty are:
- Current education and training: You need to have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in any credential program. You also need to have a current CPR/AED certification to take the exam.
- Experience and practice: Some credentials may require more experience and practice, such as a certain number of hours, clients, or settings.
- Skills and Competence: Demonstrate your skills and competencies in the exam. That may include multiple-choice questions, case studies, essays, videos, etc.
- Future goals and aspirations: Align your goals and aspirations with the credentials that you choose.
The main reason why this is important is due to the fact that not all people share the same skills and experience. For some, starting from the basic level would be a waste of time, but there are also those where this level should not be skipped.
Keep in mind that completing different levels is the only way to go forward in your career as a fitness instructor. Your future clients will also pay attention to these details, meaning that having a set of licenses will ensure more clients, and a profitable career in the end.
The Bottom Line
There are many options and factors to consider when choosing your path in fitness certification. By following these tips and guidance, you can find the fitness certification that best suits your needs and preferences.
If you are ready to take the next step and enroll in a fitness certification program, you can visit the website of the fitness certification provider that you have chosen and start your journey today. Remember, the path to fitness certification is not easy, but it is rewarding and fulfilling.