By Joseph Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS
World Instructor Training Schools
Whether you are a newly minted college graduate or returning to the classroom following a layoff, W.I.T.S. will help you pave a path to successfully entering the fitness industry through an assortment of evidence-based pedagogical measures.
- Unlike most fitness organizations, W.I.T.S. provides (30) contact hours of live instruction facilitated by an experienced fitness professional. Lectures are delivered in-person or virtually with practical sessions hosted in actual fitness settings, enabling students to learn and become confident with core tenets of personal training including interviewing, assessing, testing, training, and coaching clients.
- Faculty members are well versed in educational theory and engender self-directed learning environments within the classroom and in the gym — students are given greater autonomy complemented with subtle guidance from the instructor, which is conducive to active learning. This model contrasts traditional teacher-directed models in which the teacher dictates the exchange of knowledge and cadence at which it is delivered. For aspirant and nascent fitness professionals, knowing how and why and being able interpret complex scientific information and exercise training methodologies in non-technical language for clients is critical and these skills are gained through our self-directed learning environment.
- Research has shown that active learning is far more effective than passive learning — or merely being the recipient of information — in acquiring knowledge. Many of our faculty members employ the “E.D.I.P.” model to ensure competency of a given skill or subject area is established.
- Educate: Students are provided a background or historical overview or rationale.
- Demonstrate: Students are shown a process or procedures employing practical or real-world examples.
- Imitate: Students are asked to imitate the skill or iterate the knowledge shared with them.
- Practice: Students are encouraged to practice or apply said skills or knowledge until competency is achieved.
- Professional and life experience is leveraged to the students’ benefit. The adage of “life is the best teacher” aptly fits here. We all bring diverse and unique professional and personal experiences to the W.I.T.S. Personal Training Certification Course. A culmination of those experiences shaped you into the person you are today, likely congealed into the watershed moment needed for you to transition into or take a new step within the fitness industry and will undoubtedly influence your approach and interest areas, as you grow as a fitness professional.
- NCCA is the industry accepted standard but W.I.T.S. took it a step further to be the only fitness certification to have the practical skills exam accredited as well. None of the other fitness industry certifications has this credential in this area. Building out the infrastructure enables the W.I.T.S graduates and their employers to know that they can perform!
- Upon successful completion of the course, apply those credits towards a degree. The American Council of Education recognizes W.I.T.S. as an education provider. Students who complete the course and pass the certifying examinations are eligible to be granted (3) college credits than can be applied to an academic degree program.
Joseph Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS has been a faculty member of the World Instructor Training Schools since 2010. Presently, Joe serves as an Employee Wellbeing Coordinator at the University of Virginia where he assists with the design, delivery, oversight, and evaluation of UVA’s comprehensive and award-winning employee wellness program, Hoos Well. Previously, Joe served as a Fitness and Recreation Specialist at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Manager of Health Promotion and Wellness at Drexel University, and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and Fitness Director at Germantown Academy. Additionally, Joe maintains adjunct faculty appointments at Eastern University and Chestnut Hill College where he teaches exercise science electives. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in education and is studying the role of physical activity on mental health.