Updated: Sep 8, 2019
PFP Magazine February 2013
By Tammy Polenz
Taking continuing educational courses, or CECs, while juggling other necessities like marketing, bookkeeping, training your clients and getting your own workouts in may seem like a burden, but think again. Continued education provides a great opportunity to set you apart from the other fitness professionals. The best courses will keep you up to date with industry trends or introduce something new that the mainstream market is not aware of yet. Learning something new is a way to stay on top of your game, keep things fresh and spice up your service offerings. Ultimately, the right classes can help you to shine by promoting personal and professional growth.
Choosing the right courses is critical. First and foremost, you want to choose ones that your certifying agency recognizes. When choosing an accredited course look for heavy-weighted ones versus lither weighted options. This can save you time and money in the long run. Paying for courses that are cheaper, but lighter in CECs may mean that instead of taking one or two classes to get re-certified you may need to take several instead.
Understanding your learning style is another important element for choosing classes. The instructional platform is critical for obtaining the most out of your purchase. For instance, if you learn best via interactive, hands-on, verbal or auditory communication then a live workshop would be your best choice. On the other hand, if you gain more from reading something in solitude, then a home study course would provide a more enjoyable process.
Lastly, look for credible options. The internet is full of home study programs, which are taught by all sorts of 'fitness gurus.' Do your due diligence when seeking out a course. Look for products created by or affiliated with credible organization like American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), International Sports Science Association (ISSA), Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFFA), YogaFit or your local college. With the internet, clients are well-versed in which organizations are credible and which ones are not. Set yourself up for success by choosing good classes by reputable organizations that your clients will recognize.
“A master is nothing more than a lifelong student.”
Top-notch fitness experts are those individuals that value the process of continuing education. In other words, a master is nothing more that a lifelong student. The most successful trainers and fitness professionals understand this thoroughly. Consistent learning allows you to create a well-rounded resume. Ultimately, the more you know, the better the opportunity there is for career advancement, whether within your current organization or in other influential positions elsewhere.
About the Author
Tammy Polenz, CPT, has been actively involved in the fitness industry since 1991 as a personal trainer, club manager, corporate wellness consultant, and gym owner and designer. She is the author of Think Fit 2 Be Fit, founder of Vedas Fitness in Cleveland, and and has been featured in numerous fitness magazines and media.