By Jay Del Vecchio, President & CEO
Over the last two decades, Personal Training has grown to be the #1 internal revenue generator of income in the fitness industry. This same fitness industry has accepted the majority of certifications without much thought as to the qualifications. In most cases, it is only needed to match what the fitness director is certified through or likes in many cases. Some highly professional fitness facilities have done their homework. They know the numbers and know that a true education certification (W.I.T.S.) with complete comprehensive testing in written and practical skills will produce long tern success and employment history. Matching up with that of a health occupation like an EMT or an occupational therapist is a very good roadmap to get the best of the best! In today’s market, it is very hard to find the qualified talent to do the job. The low bar that is accepted has created a monster that after 20 years is formidable to good business. The easy way has led to a sad desperate approach to hire as many Personal Trainers as possible and throw them into the mix to see whom sticks. The employers themselves have created a vicious cycle.
Old is Current
Today’s certification associations (ACE, NASM, NFPT, NSCA and others) still only offer the written exam qualification to be certified and work in a hands on client industry. Mothers, Fathers, Sons and Daughters are caught up in trusting this book smart person and hoping for the best. The side issue is that most do not know who is really working with them. Did they even have a mentor? This has created a cataclysmic case for Human Resources all over North America whereby they are in constant hiring mode. Imagine a chain of clubs hiring 4,000 trainers in a year and then having to rehire another 3,000 personal trainers again the following year. Why? The trainers are hired from written test only mills of certifying associations. It repeats itself repeatedly to their frustration. Oh and this chain is real and the problem exists to this day. They are not alone in their mad world process. Almost no fitness club group will make a stand on standards other than a Band-Aid approach. Desperation leads to bad decisions but we will always be here to help all clubs that want the highest standards for their clients and their business. W.I.T.S. trainers and group fitness instructors are internationally recognized. Unfortunately, the rest of the certification groups are taking the short cut, which cheapens our profession.
Apples to Apples, Nope!
So what does that mean to you? You are the diamond in the ruff. You have accomplished 3 times more in your training, testing and internship qualifiers than the other fitness certification mills. You are in a great position to ask for more pay than just a common trainer who just did a written exam. Management will not have to hold a W.I.T.S. Certified Personal Trainer hand. Instead, a Fitness Manager or club owner can set your goals to their programs so you can take your training to higher levels in an unrestrained way. Be polite, be professional but point out the differences as to how you can help them. All you want is to be compensated more than the other rookie trainer who just read a book or online course and tested. You are worth more so dress to impress and go get it!