Recently I had a club owner ask for assistance as he reviewed all of the Nutrition and/or Diet Certifications out there. He is looking to qualify his 100 plus trainers to provide nutritional counseling to clients. Here is my response to him, which is what I have always believed. I hope this helps clarify the limits of your true scope of practice as a Certified Personal Trainer.
“Thank you for reaching out to us. We do not have a dietary certification, nor do we intend to go down that path. I realize there is a lot of money in it for both of us, and it is tempting to offer a Dietary Certification like a lot of other groups. The reality is that Dietary Counseling is not truly in our industry’s wheelhouse. We do have all kinds of nutritional workshops available with respected authors, to help educate trainers to work with all age groups.
“My reasoning is based simply on staying in our respected professional lanes. Dietary Certifications from other groups are treading into illegal waters with weight loss credentialing, in my opinion. There is huge liability in acknowledging trainers as credible prescribers of diets. A Nutritional Certification is really out of the realm of a personal trainer’s scope of practice. It gives trainers false hopes of knowing exactly what to do with a client in this area.
“What we all should do is to network with Registered Dietitians who have the depth of knowledge and official license to be safe and effective. Teaching trainers superficially to know just enough to prescribe a diet is dangerous. I would respectfully share that it can get them/you sued. There are so many variables to consider when prescribing a diet which include medications, medical issues, herb use by the clients and much more. That is why a Registered Dietician is the safer business choice. At that point you can network with many of them and send clients back and forth for the best results for the client.
“Bottom line is that Registered Dietitians are not fitness professionals and they need you as much as you need them for clients’ results and business growth.
“I hope we can network and talk soon on many levels.
Over the past two decades, Personal Training has grown to be the #1 internal revenue generator in the fitness industry. This same fitness industry has accepted the majority of certifications without much thought about the vast discrepancy in qualifications among various certifying bodies. In many cases, if a job applicant holds the same certification as the fitness director, it is accepted. In other club groups, acceptance of a particular certification is based “self-regulation” and propaganda.
Some highly professional fitness facilities have done their homework. They pay attention to the numbers, and these businesses know that a true education-based certification like W.I.T.S., with complete comprehensive testing in written knowledge and practical skills, will produce long term success. Our direction has always been to align our standards with health occupations like EMT. A true educational approach with research-based testing and internship requirements provides a qualified pool of job applicants from which employers can select the best of the best!
This article is about wearing many hats that make you worth more than the other 10 people in the club or fitness studio beside you.
Over the last 25 years of helping fitness leaders and employers, recruiting stands out as the biggest business issue. If 10 trainers are hired today, 8 are leaving the profession within a year due to poor performance. Employers are then chasing to recruit some more trainers. The majority of other certifications only qualify their students with a written exam. This bad standard or cycle expands and makes your business plan worse by doing the same thing over and over. You are W.I.T.S. alumni and you are best of the best when you came out with your certification. If you have been training for a while then you have seen this scenario play out at your employers or maybe even your business. Here are some things you can do. (more…)
Great question for any type of training. It depends on your individual commitment and a great knowledgeable specialized certified trainer to guide you every step of the way. Getting a registered dietitian is a must so you know you are eating right for the goal and your overall health. Good luck with your quest.
Jay’s Corner of the Industry – Time to Cast a Large Shadow.
By Jay Del Vecchio W.I.T.S. President & CEO
Next month we will share even more to help you share all of this valuable info with your local media, clients and employers. It is time to engage and increase your value so you are appreciated even more!!
You are a superior fitness professional by all accounts do to your collegiate training, education and NCCA Accredited testing in knowledge and practical skills. Your fitness service will reflect it in an industry of minimalized certifications. What do I mean by minimalized? Unfortunately or fortunately for you as a W.I.T.S. CPT, the other certifications have not built out the infrastructure like other legitimate health occupations. The other certifications only have prospective fitness professional candidate’s complete written exams. There is no direct responsibility to perfecting the hands on skills nor testing it. Why do other certifications groups that have been around twice as long as W.I.T.S. not do more for the public and the trainer’s success? You can attend an internship with senior trainers to extend employment opportunities. Your reward is an additional Level 2 Certified Personal Trainer certification. So what are you going to do about it? How are you going to increase your value in the market with clients, employers and educate the media?
By Jay Del Vecchio W.I.T.S. President & CEO
A little bit of history:
25 years ago at the urging of CEO’s at a Club Industry Conference we went national. This came about after I revealed in a roundtable that we had a regional certification with these very same titans in the industry. The problem was simple to these CEO’s. The other certification groups were not bringing them good overall solid employees to build their businesses. In 1993 we set up our first site with the Virginia Beach Adult Learning Center in Virginia, we then added Mercer County Community College in New Jersey. Our national certification was launched and we were ready to improve the industry. I knew we could do better than just having candidates for this profession read a book or take a weekend review course followed by a written exam to be a “qualified” Certified Personal Trainer.