So I decided that I'm going to do weekly blog posts on my journey to becoming a personal trainer and I'm starting at the very beginning with how to choose a program.
Now, I don't know about you guys but I obsessively research just about everything before making a final commitment to it and this was no different. The things that I knew were that I wanted to become a personal trainer because I'm very passionate about fitness, getting healthy, weight loss and so on and I wanted to help people who started out like me: overweight, out of shape, with possible physical and/or chronic issues and illnesses so that's what I was specifically looking for.
I compared all the professional certification programs out there... this site has some great comparisons one there...
http://www.exercise-science-guide.com/certifications/personal-training/ and then followed the links and read more about each program.
This site also offers a huge amount of information on various programs and delves really deeply int some of them including study guides, test prep and continuing education!
I also read through a lot of blog posts and message boards where people candidly spoke about what programs they used to get certified, the cost, the difficulties, how to prepare, what is needed, etc, spoke with actual trainers and spent at least a week, if not more, researching, thinking and planning before finally deciding on which certification to go with.
I chose to go with NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) https://www.nasm.org/ for several reasons. It is widely accepted across most gyms, it's geared toward working with the population that I want to help the most and it's a highly recognized program that really focuses on the science of human performance. It felt like it was tailor made for me.
Once you pick your certification program it's time to pick the actual program option you want to go with. NASM offers four different personal trainer programs at varying costs and several different ways to pay for those programs.
I went with the all-inclusive package for several reasons despite the fact that it's the most expensive (you can usually get them at a discounted prices because there constantly seems to be one deal or another going on with them. I got it at 30% off plus I added in a specialization for half the cost and I'll be paying monthly for 12 months with no interest).
There were several reasons I went with the all-inclusive, the biggest one being that it will give me 40 hours of hands on training at a gym that will be local to me (I don't know what gym it will be yet but they promised it would be within 20 miles of my location) and the fact that I like to get as much information, materials and advice at my fingertips as possible plus they offer a retest voucher and with a test percentage passing rate of only 64% the first time you take it, I wanted that voucher to be secured!
Once I signed up for the program I was able to sign up for a specialization at the same time at half the cost (as mentioned above). Now, I had already researched all the specializations and I knew exactly which one I wanted which was the Corrective Exercise Training Specialization because it directly applies to my body and chronic issues and to the people who I'd like to work with so I was thrilled to able to sign up for it at the same time as the rest of my program.
Here is a link that compares the various NASM specializations which really helped cement my decisions in the specialization that I wanted.
That's about all it took to get me signed up and I think that covers the basic ideas of choosing which certification to go with! Next up will be preparing to start the program.
My program officially begins on May 8th so I have about a week left to mentally prepare myself and I can't wait to get started!