Recently I had an interview for a job at a gym. During our discussion, the interviewer asked, “How did you lose all the weight?” I previously had mentioned losing about 50 pounds as part of my achievements and fitness journey. “I educated myself,” I responded. This statement is accurate, and although I hadn’t thought much about it beforehand, the answer just came out naturally. I wanted to look a certain way and feel better, so I started to do my homework on how to accomplish that. It took me a few years, and it wasn’t a straight path, but eventually, it caught on. Fitness became a huge part of my life, and I finally became a Certified Personal Trainer(CPT) in 2018.
Part of the reason I became a trainer is to help others. I want everyone to get the good feelings I do from working out. I also want everyone to feel better and live a fuller life. I’d love to train and help every one of you. I would also really enjoy getting paid for doing what I love while helping. Unfortunately, I know having a personal trainer isn’t for everyone. Either it’s uncomfortable, there’s no time to get to the gym, or it’s too expensive. I don’t know if there is an unspoken rule against what I’m about to say or if I am shooting myself in the foot saying it, but I don’t care. From my own experience, I could make just as big of an impact through a single recommendation.
Why not educate yourself? Why not take a certified personal trainer course? No, I’m not trying to promote any business or brand. I’m really just asking you to consider the possibility. What if you could sign up for a course and within 12 weeks or so have all the health and fitness knowledge you would need. You will be just as knowledgeable as the personal trainer you’d hire. The only thing missing would be a physical person to keep you on track or motivate you, but now that you have the knowledge that person is you. If you take the course, then the responsibility is on you. You will have the information in your hands and the test looming over your head to give you a reason to stay on track.
The knowledge will be yours. You will always know what exercises you should do and how to perform them. You will gain an understanding of human anatomy and how to affect it. You will never forget the crucial points and be able to refer to them later. Spending so much time focusing on fitness should also instill a sort of guilt that can keep you in check. The textbook also will be yours forever. You will have an unbiased guide with all the reference material you could ask for in one place. Taking the course means the knowledge to keep yourself fit will become a part of your life. When we have to learn something for ourselves, we become less reliant on others. You no longer would have to wait for a trainer to tell you what exercises you can do to be a faster runner. You would simply plan the exercises out and execute them when you can fit in a workout.
The price of the courses varies along with the types of learning plans. The lowest level is around $550 for a nationally recognized certification course. I recommend one of the nationally recognized courses in case you do want to go into actual personal training. These courses are also more thorough and therefore, more beneficial. The lowest level simply gives you the materials and the opportunity to take the certification test. The rest is up to you to study and pass the test whenever you get around to it. There is usually about a year that you can wait before taking the test. The highest level is around $1600 for a 12 week guided course that provides you with all the materials plus a hands-on internship, extensive test prep, and a job guarantee after getting certified. The full package is a little intense, but it demonstrates the full range of options available depending on your situation. To put things in perspective, if you were to hire a personal trainer two times a week for 12 weeks, it would easily be around $500.
While you’re taking the CPT course, you will envelop yourself in fitness. Although the goal would be to gain knowledge, who knows what may happen? New opportunities will become available to you. You may find a new passion, or fitness may end up becoming a significant part of your life. During this time, you may realize that training is actually something you’d enjoy. Everyone has a side hustle now, and personal training is one with a lot of options. There wouldn’t be any rush, but the choice would be there. You could wait until you really get where you want to be on your fitness journey and then use that experience to train others.
Earning a certification would be a good idea for those who like to learn. The certification course provides a lot of information that we can use daily. You will gain a better understanding of yourself and the ability to help yourself and those in your life. Becoming a CPT would be a good idea for someone motivated to make a change, but something is holding you back. The combination of wanting to change and having the knowledge to do it in front of your face and floating around in your head can only lead to something positive. Whether you adjust your diet, start walking more, or set up an exercise plan for yourself, you are making an educated decision towards your goal of losing weight or getting healthy. Becoming certified would be useful for those who don’t necessarily trust or don’t want to sort through all the fitness information that’s out there. The information won’t be word of mouth or from Youtube. The knowledge will be in a textbook and backed by referenced research and evidence. Learning the material yourself will also be suitable for someone who wants to make a long term change. Just jumping on a diet or enrolling in a short term exercise class may get you results, but for how long? If you understand the foundations of where the progress comes from, then you can always return to them.
On the other hand, there are those of us that need a trainer. You need the motivation from someone who’s got your back. You may thrive off of having to show up and impress your trainer with what you can do. You enjoy the camaraderie of group exercise and the shared experience. If any of these resonate with you and you do want to make a change, then I suggest hiring a trainer. Not everyone is interested in the details, or maybe you just don’t have space mentally to sit and learn after working all day and taking care of life stuff. I think if you have the energy and the time, then getting a trainer or going to a fitness class is a great idea. It’s a way to hold yourself accountable by having to meet up at a particular time for a paid service. It’s a way to have yourself evaluated and figure out a basic plan to achieve your goals.
Just do what works best for you. As I said, I’d love to be training all of you, but that’s not possible. Therefore becoming a certified personal trainer is my suggestion of the day. It’s a way I can honestly help you without having to be there. It may sound completely crazy and outside of your wheelhouse, but give it a thought. It will only benefit your health and the health of those around you. It’s a way to improve the life that you can control. Feel free to contact me with any questions about my experience, what Certification I chose, or anything related to health and fitness.