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Does It Really Matter Which Fitness Certification You Get?

The answer is YES!

For most fitness professionals, national fitness certification is the first step toward launching a  successful career. Yet a simple web search will render dozens of certification programs with a broad range of credentials and requirements. Other important factors vary as well, including cost, investment of time, and recognition by potential employers. 

But while all those things deserve consideration, the most important question you should ask yourself is, “Will this program prepare me to succeed in the long run?”

What it Takes to Succeed as a Fitness Professional

Most personal trainers and group fitness instructors start out as fitness enthusiasts who know what a difference a fit and healthy lifestyle can make. We want to share our love of fitness with others and transform lives while working in a field we love. Yet only a handful of newly certified fitness trainers will attain long-term professional success. This is where your certification program makes a difference.

In order to succeed in the fitness industry, you need a solid foundation. A good certification program will provide: 

  • In-depth knowledge of core scientific principles of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and nutrition
  • A solid overview of key training principles and their applications
  • Exposure to tools for health screening and assessment
  • Knowledge of how to work with various populations
  • Basic principles of goal setting and programming
  • Hands-on practice to apply what you’ve learned

As you can imagine, learning and grasping foundational fitness skills takes more than just a weekend workshop.

More Than Just Exercise Programming

Some aspiring fitness professionals assume that working in fitness mostly entails prescribing and overseeing a variety of exercises. But training itself is only a small piece of the equation. 

Whether your client is trying to lose weight, improve their health or train for competition, it all begins within. It is up to the fitness trainer to identify obstacles, strengths and shortcomings, and help clients overcome physical, mental and emotional barriers to success. This often means in-depth communication, program planning and revision, and motivating your client to stay the course. 

Working as a fitness trainer also requires certain business and sales skills to maintain records, satisfy existing customers, and bring in new clients. 

Traits of Top Fitness Professionals

In addition to hard skills and knowledge, fitness trainers need to possess certain personality traits; 

  • Love of learning and a desire to share your knowledge
  • Empathy for the needs of your clients
  • Ability to show “tough love” to help clients succeed
  • Organization skills for programming and record keeping
  • Commitment to helping your clients reach their goals

While certain traits can be cultivated, it takes a lot of work and dedication to meet the needs of your clients and help them reach their goals while managing your business. 

To Be the Best, Choose the Best!

If you are serious about building a successful and sustainable fitness career, don’t cut corners on your certification. Get the support, knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed with a fitness certification from W.I.T.S.

Advantages of a W.I.T.S. certification include: 

  • Fully NCCA accredited
  • Recognized by employers nation-wide
  • Available in colleges, universities and online
  • Taught by qualified and experienced industry professionals
  • Friendly customer service and support
  • Online continuing education at your fingertips

Join the W.I.T.S. family of industry leaders, and build your fitness career on a solid foundation. 

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Why Fitness Certifications Matter, and how to get the most out of yours

Every year, thousands of college-bound high school seniors compete for a limited number of spots at prestigious schools, hoping to leverage that prestige to get a high-paying job upon graduation. Similarly, thousands of aspiring personal trainers and group exercise instructors become certified each year, hoping their credentials will open doors to a gratifying and lucrative fitness career. 

wits personal training

But in both cases, the name of your accredited institution only takes you so far. Once you land your dream job, you had better hope that your education prepared you to perform the day to day tasks your position requires. 

Bridging the Experience Gap

One of the biggest challenges to beginning a new fitness career is the experience gap. Employers are rarely willing to take a chance on a new hire who needs hours of training before they can step into their work role. In the case of fitness jobs like personal trainer or group exercise instructor, it is not enough to be passionate about fitness. You need to be able to translate that passion into useful skills that help your clients and students safely reach their goals. 

Most online certifications, even those whose reputations hold some clout, provide you with plenty of head knowledge, but when it comes to practical skills, you are on your own.

Practical skills needed to be an effective fitness professional include:

  • Experience conducting health history interviews and needs assessments
  • Experience conducting fitness assessments
  • Knowledge about fitness equipment and how to adjust it for each client
  • Ability to assess and correct alignment and exercise mechanics for a variety of fitness levels and body types
  • Knowledge of programming, to create effective balanced exercise sessions or group exercise classes
  • Communication skills for group exercise and personal training

If your fitness certification does not provide you with practical skills training, you will face a huge learning curve when it comes to job performance, and most fitness employers do not provide on-the-job training. They are looking for confident experienced employees who can step into the job on day one and perform like pros. 

What Gym Managers Say About Fitness Certifications

To get the employers’ perspective on hiring and certification, we spoke to some managers and business owners of local fitness clubs and studios. We asked them about what they look for in a new hire, and the importance of certification, Here is what they had to say:

“Certification in general is important, but we also look at the certifying body. There are certain certifications that demand in-depth knowledge, and others that are basically diploma mills. Even if you have an exercise science degree, your choice of certification says a lot about your commitment to your profession.”  -Tiffany, Fitness Director

“We have been hiring W.I.T.S. certified trainers for years, because they not only know about the science of fitness, but they have been trained to perform on the job. That saves us money in the long run, because the employee is more likely to succeed on the job and become a long-term staff member. Training and turnover are two big costs for any employer, so we are very selective when it comes to new hires.” -Scott, General Manager

“It’s one thing to be into fitness and know how to put together a workout for your friends. It’s another thing to be able to work with unfit clients of any age and any body type, and help them reach their goals. A lot of new trainers do okay with younger clients who just have a few pounds to lose, but they don’t know what to do with, say, an older person or someone with serious health issues or disabilities. We love W.I.T.S. trainers and instructors because they come from diverse backgrounds, and they know how to work with a broad range of clients.”-Stacey, Fitness Studio Owner

Getting the Most from Your Fitness Certification

If you are thinking about becoming a certified fitness professional, ask yourself these questions before selecting your certification program:

  • Does the certification program include lectures and workshops taught by qualified instructors, or is it all self-study?
  • What subjects does the certification course cover? Does it include foundational science, programming, injury prevention, special populations and communications skills?
  • Is there a hands-on practical skills element that teaches hard job skills?
  • Is the certification program accredited by educational bodies like NCCA, American Counsel on Education, IACET and other recognized organizations?
  • Does the certification program provide opportunities for internship and job placement?
  • Does the certification program offer relevant continuing education?

If you are already certified, think about how you can leverage your certification to make the most of your fitness career:

No More Excuses

Getting W.I.T.S. certified is one of the best career decisions you can make for a bright and lucrative future as a fitness professional. Our easy payment plans and options for live or online learning eliminate time and money constraints, and our friendly staff is here to support you every step of the way. So what are you waiting for? Stop making excuses and step into your future as a W.I.T.S. certified fitness professional TODAY! 

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10 Reasons You’re Not Making Enough Money as a Personal Trainer

When you first became certified as a personal fitness trainer, you were excited to share your passion for fitness and the benefits it brings, not just to your clients’ health, but to their overall quality of life. But for many newly certified trainers, getting career traction can be a challenge. Big box gyms often underpay, or can guarantee only part-time hours, and striking out on your own can make huge demands on your time and financial resources. 

Yet, the demand for personal training is high, and continues to grow. If you really want to pursue your dreams of success as a fitness professional, consider some of the common reasons trainers don’t make enough money to succeed. 

  1. You’re focused on the money: This one is tough, because it’s hard NOT to think about money when you are trying to establish your career. Nevertheless, many trainers scare away clients by focusing on the money instead of the benefits. Stay focused on analyzing and meeting your clients’ needs, deliver amazing results, and watch the money roll in!
  1. Your thoughts are self-limiting: When you decided on a fitness career, you may not have considered the business end of the equation. Many novice trainers are dismayed at the need to sell themselves to potential customers. Others fear they cannot make it as an independent contractor. The truth is, if you think you cannot do a thing, you are right. Take time to identify self-limiting thoughts and attitudes, and work to overcome them. 
  1. You’re not managing your business: This goes hand-in-hand with #2: as a personal trainer, it is imperative to keep accurate records, monitor your clients’ session packages, regularly re-evaluate their progress, and review their goals. To put it simply, there is a lot more to personal training than the actual training sessions. Step up your business game, and you will see your profits increase. 
  1. You lack self confidence: Let’s face it, the competition for personal training can be stiff. Colleges and universities turn out thousands of newly degreed job candidates each year with advanced degrees in exercise science. To build your own confidence, keep your certification current, take continuing education courses, and think about working toward more advanced credentials. Learn everything you can, and leave your competition in the dust. 
  1. You work for low wages: As mentioned earlier, big box gyms and smaller training studios often underpay their trainers. Basically, you do all the work, and they reap the rewards. In addition, many trainers who take on private clients grossly undercharge. This is largely driven by fear (see #4 above), but undercharging or undercutting the current market rate will hurt you in the long run. In the eyes of many clients, your session fees reflect your value as a trainer. Low-paying clients are more likely to skip sessions, meaning they don’t get results. Clients who invest in training have more skin in the game, and they are more likely to reach their goals and buy more sessions. 
  1. Your clients are not seeing results: At the end of the day, the fitness business is, and always has been, about results. Successful clients are your best advertising, and if your clients are not reaching their goals, that is negative advertising. Hold your clients’ feet to the fire, review goals regularly, change what’s not working, monitor food and activity logs, and use behavior contracts to keep your clients moving forward to remarkable results. 
  1. You lack professionalism: Personal training is considered a high-ticket luxury item by many clients, and they expect a lot of bang for their bucks. That includes professional conduct and appearance on the part of the trainer. Good grooming and hygiene are fundamental. Clean sharp-looking fitness wear, clean athletic shoes in new condition, and showing up for sessions on time, prepared and organized, are all elements of your professional image. Step up your professional game, and step up your income!
  1. You’re staying in your comfort zone: In case you haven’t heard, you cannot grow without facing and overcoming obstacles. In fact, “no pain, no gain” is the mantra of our profession. To make more money, you may need to take on challenges and obstacles that are over your head, take risks on opportunities that do not guarantee  success, and be willing to fall flat on your face. Take the advice you give to your clients every day, and push yourself beyond your comfort zone to get the results you desire. 
  1. You’re not seeing the big picture: It may be difficult to imagine yourself making large sums of money as a personal trainer, but you have to look at the big picture. Personal training opens doors to one of the hottest industries in history. Online training, group training, celebrity training, niche training, athletic training…the sky’s the limit! Use your imagination, keep your eyes open for opportunities, and create the career of your dreams!
  1. You need more education: Knowledge is power, and in the fitness business, it can mean the difference between success and failure. Lucky for you, W.I.T.S. has everything you need to succeed, right at your fingertips! Check out our current offerings:

Making more money as a personal trainer is completely up to you. Work hard, help your clients get results, keep your head in the game, and we’ll see you at the top!

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10 Reasons to Renew Your Professional Fitness Certification, Even if You Don’t Work in Fitness

Prior to the late 90s, when US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop declared in his annual report that “exercise is medicine,” people mostly pursued fitness for its cosmetic benefits and weight loss. Since then, the health benefits of fitness have superseded its role as a cosmetic intervention, and people are increasingly exercising to improve their health and quality of life, and to avoid premature death.

CPT-badge

Consequently, the fitness industry is evolving and gaining recognition as a health care alternative, meaning that fitness certifications are more important than ever. If your fitness certifications are about to expire, or if they have already expired, here are 10 good reasons to renew now:

  1. Fitness is on a trajectory to becoming a recognized health profession, and certified professionals will have a head start in obtaining licensure or satisfying other credential requirements as the industry evolves. 
  1. Fitness jobs like personal training or group exercise instruction are highly flexible. In today’s gig economy, having a fitness certification makes you eligible for short term gigs that bring in extra money when you really need it. Working in fitness is perfect for parents who need to work around their kids’ schedules, or anyone who wants to supplement their full-time income.
  1. Your professional fitness certification looks great on any resume or CV. It tells prospective employers that you care about your health, and the health of your family. For employers, that translates to better cognition, higher job performance and fewer sick days. 
  1. If things don’t work out in your business or day job, the high demand for certified fitness professionals provides you with a Plan B, so you can keep working while you explore your options.
  1. Renewing your certification is much less expensive than retesting for a new one, especially with the convenient and affordable continuing education bundles and discounts offered by W.I.T.S. 
  1. Maintaining your certification keeps you in the professional loop, and provides endless opportunities for networking and link building. You never know when your fitness connections will pay off. 
  1. Being a certified fitness professional qualifies you for many volunteer positions, like working with youth or older adults. 
  1. Your fitness certification can help you get into college, especially in fields related to health or athletics. 
  1. Your fitness certification can be a stepping stone to higher-paying jobs in fitness, like club management or numerous online options.
  1. The demand for fitness is universal, and your certification can open doors wherever you go. 

If you are sitting on the fence about renewing your certification, consider all the work you put into getting it in the first place. You chose a fitness career for a reason, and maybe it’s time to get back to your roots. Or maybe you never did anything with your cert, but it is never too late. Renew now, and keep the door open for the many future opportunities that are sure to come your way. 

W.I.T.S. Makes It Easy to Renew!

At W.I.T.S., we want you to succeed. That’s why we created these great CEC bundles and renewal deals, to save you time and money!

  • Hardship is considered too….
  • Pay Pal zero interest for buying any packages

Renew today, and take pride in being a W.I.T.S. certified fitness professional!

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Why NOW is the Best Time Ever to Become a Personal Trainer!

The profession of Personal Trainer evolved out of the aerobics movement of the late 20th Century, and it quickly became one of the hottest career fields of the new Millennium. In the early 2000s, having a trainer was the epitome of coolness, and clients came in droves to ramp up their street cred. In its early years, personal training attracted mostly healthy young-to-middle aged adults who wanted to drop a few pounds and sculpt a fit physique. 

The Changing PT Market

Fast forward to today, where digital options have flooded the fitness market with online classes and “personal” training that can be done anytime and anywhere, at the client’s leisure. But digital fitness is not and cannot be truly personal, and there is a growing demand for trainers to work one-on-one with an ever-growing client base. 

Clients who need one-on-one personal training include;

  • Older adults seeking to maintain their independence and achieve a better quality of life
  • Prenatal and postpartum moms who want a healthy birth and recovery
  • Obese youth and adults who need personal attention and support to meet their goals
  • Adults who are new to exercise and need to learn the fundamentals
  • Niche populations with condition-specific needs including autism, Parkinson’s, dementia, and multiple other neurological disorders
  • Average people who want to improve their overall health
  • Athletes who want to gain a competitive edge
  • The list goes on and on!

No longer a trend for the well-heeled and beautiful, personal training has become a necessary health care option for people of all ages who want to increase strength and mobility, reduce their risk of metabolic disease, and achieve their best possible quality of life. 

Characteristics of Successful Personal Trainers

While personal trainers are a diverse group that encompasses all ages and ethnicities, most of us share certain attributes. 

You might be a successful personal trainer candidate if you:

  • love physical activity 
  • see fitness as a lifestyle choice
  • believe in the health benefits of fitness
  • empathize with other people and enjoy helping them
  • love learning about fitness and nutrition
  • enjoy a flexible work environment
  • want a gratifying career
  • enjoy being a role model
  • want a career that can open doors of opportunity

Qualifications and How to Become Certified

Personal training is one of the few health professions that does not require an undergraduate or higher degree. You can successfully pass the certification exam with a high school diploma, but you should be prepared for a challenge. Good study skills are a must, and you will have to learn core science principles and be able to apply them. 

While there are many certification programs out there, you should look for one that prepares you to enter the profession with little need for additional training.  W.I.T.S Certified Personal Trainers come from all walks of life, and range from teens to octogenarians. 

W.I.T.S. offers one of the most comprehensive certification programs in the field. Our key features include:

  • NCCA accredited
  • Detailed lectures with qualified instructors, live or online
  • Practical skills training that prepares you to work with clients
  • Internship programs for hands-on experience

When you become W.I.T.S. certified, clients and prospective employers alike know that you have the knowledge and experience to help clients reach their goals, safely and effectively. 

Get Started Today!

If you are ready to join one of the best and most in-demand health professions, look no further than W.I.T.S. Our top-notch instructors, friendly support staff and comprehensive curriculum will provide you with everything you need to succeed as a personal trainer. 

But it doesn’t stop there. We offer continuing education and a variety of supplemental certifications, to keep you growing and learning as you build your career. Apply for our easy payment terms and get started today. With W.I.T.S., your new career as a Certified Personal Trainer is only weeks away!

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Get In the Swing with Golf Personal Training

The game of golf is growing in popularity and becoming more mainstream as a sport. Consequently, more and more of your clients may be hitting the greens, or at least teeing off at your local Top Golf. To help them up their game and avoid injury, there are a number of exercises that can improve golf-specific skills and reduce the risk of common golf injuries.

golfball2-hires (more…)

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Going Solo as a Personal Trainer: 7 Steps to Take Before Striking Out on Your Own

The demand for personal trainers remains fairly steady, but working for someone else in a gym or studio will only take you so far. If you want your skills as a personal trainer to really pay off, you will eventually have to strike out on your own. But before giving notice at your job and hanging out your shingle, there are a few strategic steps to take to ensure a successful business launch. 

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Special Pops: Exercise and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

April is National Autism Awareness Month

The incidence of autism in American children has risen dramatically over the past two decades, increasing from one child out of 150 in the year 2000, to one in 59 in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those statistics exceed the global average of about one in 161, although the incidence in Western countries worldwide is also on the rise.

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10 Tips for Setting Weight Loss Goals that Really Work

Despite the push for body positivity to combat body shaming, men and women of every age and persuasion are still in quest of the Holy Grail for weight loss and a lean physique, and weight loss continues to be a prime driver for personal training. But as we all know, helping our clients lose weight is one of the biggest challenges we face as fitness professionals. 

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Special Populations: What they are and why you need them

Most personal trainers enter the fitness industry to build a career they love, and to help others realize their potential to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle. Yet many get stuck in the mire of low-paying gym or studio jobs that just don’t cut it in terms of financial rewards and sustainable growth. Oftentimes, the pool of available clients is split among multiple trainers, and new clients are assigned on an “ups” system so that everyone gets a fair shot.

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