A personal training certification will not make you successful. Getting certified is merely getting your foot in the door—no more, no less. The truth is that you are what will make you successful (along with all of the other resources on this site, of course). Ready to make a difference in your personal training career? Read on.
First, please note that thePTDC is in no way affiliated with any personal training certification so you can be assured that the following is 100% unbiased. We are an independent blog dedicated to the improvement of the fitness industry and the success of the trainers who work within it.
Now the main thing you should realize is that personal training is unregulated, so guess what? Your 90-year-old grandma who could barely remember where she left her glasses two minutes ago could be a personal trainer. And that buddy of yours who makes fun of you for going to the gym while he sits at home watching re-runs of Baywatch can also be a personal trainer. Basically, anybody can call him or herself a personal trainer if there are no regulations around it.
–> IN THE U.S.? We also have Top Personal Training Certifications: United States.
In Canada, you have a few main options: Canada Fitness Professionals (CanFit Pro), Certified Personal Trainer’s Network (CPTN), and Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CSEP). The pros and cons aren’t immediately clear. The main thing is that a top personal training certification is helpful for launching your career. To help you figure out the differences, I later provide a chart comparing them all in terms of the specifics.
But before you make a decision, read the following.
So Who Cares About a Personal Trainer Certification in Canada?
Your clients certainly don’t.
In fact, they don’t know squat about squats, which is why they are coming to you. You can have a whole song and dance about how great your certification is, but if you can’t deliver what’s most important to them—results—they couldn’t care less. Remember, clients want only two things: to look good and to feel better.
So, it doesn’t matter how many certifications you have or which one you got you need to be able to deliver on your promise of results. To that end, a good personal trainer has combined the knowledge to be able to figure out how to help individual clients be their best, and passion to provide a high-quality service–no matter how difficult the client may be. As you probably now realize, a piece of paper doesn’t give you either of these qualities. At best, you have the bare minimum requirements to show someone that you might know something.
–> Want to improve your skills as a personal trainer?
Personal training certifications are the bridge to a job because most personal training positions and gyms won’t even look at you without one. In most cases, it doesn’t matter which certification you have (unless the certification is owned by the same company that owns your gym, then you’re stuck).
Make sure that the certification you get can be applicable to more than one place.
Being Certified Doesn’t Mean That You’re Qualified
If you think a personal training certification will prepare you for training clients, you are in for a rude awakening. I’ve yet to come across a certification program that adequately prepares trainers.
The fact is that no matter how much you study, you still have to build up your practical experience in various situations. Textbook situations are almost always different from real-life situations. To try to replicate them in a school setting is very expensive. In truth, certifying bodies in Canada are businesses (and a very profitable one). After all, it would be a pretty tough sell for a company to advertise a $5, 000 personal trainer certification that lasts two years when another place sells it for $200 in a weekend.
And so what if you’ve been working out for a long time? Certainly, you’re impressing no one if all you do is read fitness magazines.
Sure, such first-hand experience is important for fitness, but here’s the kicker: Your knowledge from both instances apply only to you, but are you only training yourself and paying yourself for results? Of course not.