Table of contents:

  • What is a Certified Personal Trainer?
  • Reasons to be a Certificated Personal Trainer
  • How to become a Certified Personal Trainer?
  • Other recognized certifications in Canada
  • How to choose the best certification for you?
  • Why do people look for a Certified Personal Trainer?
  • Best qualities to be a Certified Personal Trainer
  • Gain Experience in Personal Training
Personal training can be a good way to start off right.
Personal training can be a good way to start off right. Source: Victor Freitas, Unsplash.

Before starting take some time to answer the following questions:

  1. Do you already have a recognized fitness diploma but do you want to prepare yourself better?
  2. Are you a professional athlete looking to become a certified personal trainer?
  3. Are you a personal trainer looking to get new clients?
  4. Are you looking for new professional challenges?
  5. Are you looking for more flexible working hours?
  6. Do you want to become your own boss?
  7. Do you want to maximize your revenue?
  8. Are you passionate about sharing your knowledge and changing people's lives?
  9. Do you want to grab a Molson?

Well if you said YES only to the last question maybe this article is not made for you, however, if you feel curiosity about getting a Personal Training Certification, let's dig a little deeper into the theory…

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What is a Certified Personal Trainer? (CPT)

Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) refers to a certification accredited by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP). The CSEP-CPT certification allows providing individualized physical exercise prescriptions to healthy people, as well as a follow-up. The main objective of the CSEP-CPT is to establish a standard reference to regulate the Canadian personal training industry.

Having obtained the CSEP-CPT certification means that the trainer has the required knowledge and fundamentals of fitness, movement, exercise science, training, and coaching. This certification also demonstrates that the trainer can advise clients to achieve their goals safely and effectively.

Why is the CSEP-CPT certification important?

Fitness is a topic whose popularity has exploded in recent years. Exercise, training, and nutrition-related content reach millions of Internet users every day. The massive impacts of social networks and traditional media such as TV and magazines are the ones to blame for the amount of fake news we are exposed to. The "influencers" are also responsible for the spread of this fake news, providing false information and recommendations without any credibility or scientific basis. And all of these are sad consequences of an unregulated industry.

It never hurts to mention that only certified experts and health professionals can promote physical exercise and nutrition, and evaluate the nutritional and physical status of people. Higher education degrees and constant certifications are required to practice professionally as a personal trainer or nutritionist. Therefore, it is always better to go to a professional to seek advice, ALWAYS!

When we do not have enough expertise about a subject and take advice from the non-professional unknown, we could put our physical and mental health at risk, or worse, put others at risk if we are the ones advising without having academic and professional training recognized. That's right, having a fitness hobby it's not enough to make you a professional trainer. 

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Personal Training
Personal Training. Source: Pixabay, Unsplash

Reasons to be a Certificated Personal Trainer:

There is a lot of good reasons to become a certificated training coach, and one of them is that your clients will be sure and happy that you are up to date. Let’s go through them!

Reason 1: You are interested in having the support of a recognized and qualified community of exercise professionals, who can properly evaluate the health and physical condition of the individual.

Reason 2: You consider it is essential to have a certification to be able to practice the physical and exercise sciences.

Reason 3: Having a recognized certification reflects the commitment, knowledge, dedication, and the best preparation of the physical and exercise sciences.

Reason 4: You want to achieve better professional paths and higher revenue.

Reason 5: You love people!

But maybe now you are wondering how to accomplish all of this! So, keep on reading!

How to become a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)?

In addition to meeting the basic requirements, to become CSEP certified, candidates must complete a theoretical written test (minimum score of 70%) and approve a practical exam. And it’s important to know that only the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) can provide access to the preparation and materials to approve the exams.

As part of the academic prerequisites, candidates must provide a two-year diploma or proof that they have completed a university degree course that addresses the core competencies of the CSEP-CPT. Some programs that meet the academic prerequisites are Human Kinetics, Kinesiology, Physical Education, Health Promotion and Fitness, or Exercise Science. Nevertheless, admission is not limited to these programs only. Also, as part of the requirements, candidates must be part of the introductory courses to acquire the following competencies: Basic anatomy and physiology, psychology and motivational strategies, health-related physical fitness, prescription and design of physical activity and exercise, among others. In addition, candidates must have a valid Level 4 CPR certification (Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) and also have completed with success a standard or emergency first aid course at some point in their professional career. And, as part of the personal training documentation, the candidate must present 25 hours of training experience within one year of completing the written and practical exams.

If you are interested in preparing and knowing more about the registration, you can enter the words "CSEP-CPT Certification Guide" in your favourite web browser. You will find all the requirements and information available in more detail. And, do not forget that only the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology is in charge of the registration and testing process. Get started! We promise you won’t regret it!

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Other recognized certifications in Canada

In Canada and the US, you can find other organizations that provide basic training in exercise science, but they may not be all accredited. However, it is always good to have some background and being able to demonstrate it. The most recognized fitness certifications are:

  • NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine): One of the most recognized certifications in the US, Canada, and internationally. The NASM Certified Personal Trainer is a professional fitness credential that requires background knowledge of behavioural training, applied and nutritional sciences, and program design.
  • NFLA (National Fitness Leadership Alliance): It is a certification that promotes and implements national standards for the accreditation, training, and registration of fitness professionals in Canada.
  • AFLCA (Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association): Organization dedicated to developing, promoting, and implementing standards for exercise trainers in Alberta. The certifications are geared towards aquatic exercise, resistance training, and fitness for the elderly.
  • Canfitpro (Canadian Fitness Professionals): It is a certification aimed at fitness professionals whose objectives are the assessment of the physical condition, physical activity, and nutrition.
  • ACSM (The American College of Sports Medicine): This certification is recognized in Canada and the US. The ACSM focuses primarily on clinical practice. It is required to complete a theoretical exam with basic concepts of personal training, medical history of the individual, and existing pathologies.
  • NSCA-CPT (National Strength and Conditioning Association-certified Personal Trainer): This certification allows you to practice in Canada, the US, and affiliated countries. The NSCA focuses on strength and conditioning to improve performance.
  • NFPT (National Federation of Personal Trainers): Offers a certification that focuses on all the basics of personal training, anatomy, physiology, and nutrition, physical fitness testing, and stretching.
  • CFES (Canadian Fitness Education Services): This certification is an option to become certified in fitness programs, wishing to obtain other professional credentials. The CFES fitness modules are designed for students who want to become fitness, weight training, and aquafit instructors.

There you go! Lots of options for you to choose from with all the calm of the world!

Having a certification is an opportunity to become certified in fitness programs.
Having a certification is an opportunity to become recognized among clients. Source: Andrea Boncota, Unsplash

How to choose the best certification for you? 

As you read, there are many recognized organizations in Canada to certify you as a personal trainer, but not all are the same or go hand in hand with your professional and personal goals. To choose the certification that best suits what you are looking for, take into account the following points:

  1. Do some research on all the options available for you and look for references.
  2. Choose the one that best suits your budget. 
  3. Choose the certification whose duration suits you best. 
  4. Choose the certification that best suits the types of clients you have and the ones you are looking to advise.
  5. Make sure you have all the eligibility requirements.
  6. Prepare yourself as best you can for the admissions tests.
  7. Become a Certified Personal Trainer.
  8. Celebrate!

Becoming a certified personal trainer is not impossible. It is recommended for you to do some good research, and have some discipline and motivation to achieve it. In addition, remember that a recognized certification for personal trainers can offer you many advantages to grow your professional career. For this reason, maybe you should invest your time, money, love and all your energy! It's going to be worth it!

Why do people look for a certified personal trainer?

Maybe you think that nothing is stopping you from simply declaring yourself a personal trainer after years of going to the gym, or considering yourself an expert after months of CrossFit (well that possibility may only exist in your head). However, clients will always feel more confident and motivated to exercise with a properly certified trainer. Proving that you have all the requirements to be the ideal personal trainer, that you can give the necessary support, and work towards their fitness goals is priceless!

Maybe you can take a look at the following reasons why people will be interested in looking for such a lovely personal trainer (that expects to get certified) like you:

  1. People generally don't know where to start: A beginner probably won't have any idea how to stretch, do weights, or do cardio correctly. We all start from scratch without really knowing what we are going to face. For example, when someone starts going to the gym, they may feel overwhelmed when they realize they don't know how to use the equipment, how many reps to do, or what exercises to do. A certified personal trainer will be a key piece for the person to feel motivated, have a long-time exercise adherence, and perform the appropriate exercises.
  2. People look for a guide to do the right activities: A certified personal trainer will advise the person to do the exercises that work the best for them. He can also teach the clients to exercise by themselves by having few sessions, especially if they are new to strength training and need practice.
  3. People tend to get easily bored: Doing the same workouts all the time is often complicated for us to stay motivated. And it is one of the reasons why people abandon the gym, running, or any physical activity. A certified personal trainer will determine the best workout for each person to enjoy the session the most, keeping in mind the goals they have set. Also, as a certified trainer, you will be able to get better feedback from your client about their preferences and the areas where they need to improve.
  4. People seek better advice for a specific condition: If the person lives with an illness, injury, or health condition, a certified personal trainer can design the best exercise plan for them. Many certified trainers have specialties that allow them to work with pregnant women, clients who have suffered injuries, or chronic health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease.
  5. People are constantly looking to motivate themselves: A certified personal trainer could provide clients with the best strategies for setting realistic goals and meeting them in the short term. By doing this, it is going to be easier for the client to stay motivated and leave the frustration aside.

Best qualities to be a Certified Personal Trainer

To become a successful certified personal trainer, you must remember that you will lead people through their journey towards their physical and mental well-being. But also that you will constantly take them out of their comfort zone, challenge them, and sometimes remaining in a vulnerable state. For this reason, it is necessary that you have the following qualities (or think about working on them):

  •      Being a good motivator: Since you will be working with different clients, you will often need to adopt different techniques to keep them motivated. Depending on the personality of each person, some clients can motivate themselves regardless of the circumstances. However, it can be difficult for other people to stick with the process. It is important, though, to remind them of their exercise goals to stay on track. Stimulating their motivation will help them to be more dedicated and enjoy the process.
  •      Be good support: Another necessary quality that a well-certified personal trainer needs to have is being supportive. Some clients start a path towards physical exercise without being aware of the constant challenges and vulnerability they will face. It will surely not be the first time the client has tried to commit to exercise and has dealt with unsuccessful attempts. By understanding their feelings of frustration, you can offer solutions that make them feel comfortable. Working as a team will encourage them to have a better motivation to continue. Putting yourself in your clients' shoes will result in a much more rewarding training session for both of you, thus achieving steady progress.
  •      Be nice: Another quality of a personal trainer is being friendly. Being accessible and easy to talk to, will always be an invitation to stay. Having a friendly attitude will contribute to more trust, open communication between both of you, and a more enjoyable session. Having good verbal and non-verbal communication will always make your client feel welcome. We assure you that your client won't be able to wait any longer for the next session.
  •      Be an ethical person: This may sound very obvious; however, it is essential to know. A certified personal trainer must have ethical behaviour and professional judgment to make the best decisions for his clients. The trainer must have healthy progress in mind, even if the client does not agree. For example, the trainer is the one who decides the appropriate amount of weight that a client can carry, as well as the number of sessions to perform per week. Many clients are looking for fast results, however, if they are not yet ready to progress and step up to the next level is the responsibility of the personal trainer to prevent putting them at unnecessary risk.
  •      Have good communication: Being a person with good communication strategies is important in all aspects of life, but it is essential to be a great personal trainer. Clients will have different reasons why they seek to improve their fitness and they may change with time. By being an active listener and a good communicator, you will respond most properly. Good communication will allow better instruction and good feedback between both. In addition, it will be easier to build confidence and comfort.
  •      Staying constantly updated: This is essential to be successful as a personal trainer. Constantly being updated demonstrates you feel passionate and dedicated about what you do. Acquiring new skills can, for example, help you to provide new exercises and techniques that are on the rise. Keeping up with current changes and trends is the key to mitigate fake news.

Do you have what it takes? Of course, you do!

 Being a certified trainer requires having more empathic and relational qualities.

Being a certified trainer requires having more empathic and relational qualities.

Gain Experience in Personal Training

As you know, the internet offers us a world of educational opportunities and entertainment today. Even so, you can use this great tool to your advantage and take off your professional career!

Through your computer, you can bump into great virtual platforms to promote your personal training services and reach many more people! If you are interested in knowing which is the best option for you to accomplish this, try to make yourself known with the virtual platform of Superprof! Ready to be famous?

What is Superprof?

It is the best private tutoring platform, where you can become the ideal personal training tutor and share your passion with the world. Maybe it is time for you to become your own boss and decide when and where to work, as you can choose to give face-to-face sessions or online training in Canada and all around the world. With Superprof, you can be part of a global network of specialized tutors in any branch of knowledge, such as languages, arts, music, academic subjects, such as chemistry, maths, biology, and of course, sport and personal training.

And, it is very simple! You can enter the official website of Superprof Canada, and click on "tutoring jobs". Then, you can create your account for free and join a global network of personal trainers. There are more than 80 personal trainers that already offer their training services across the country. With the scope that the internet gives us today, your postal code does not matter anymore. You can train people 10,000 kilometers from you!

Signing up with Superprof is the most flexible way to work, and it is also safe. You can choose with what type of clients you want to work with, with what levels of training you feel more comfortable with, as well as establishing the price per hour of your training sessions.

With Superprof you can find the best clients and gain significant professional experience in personal training sessions. And most importantly, if you are already a certified personal trainer, you have to add it up to your profile, as well as:

  • Your professional experience,
  • Accreditation and qualifications,
  • Specializations and skills (fitness for pregnant women, muscle toning, aerobics, stretching, body combat, exercise physiology, resistance training, among others),
  • Training techniques,
  • Motivational strategies.

The more complete your profile is, and the more active you stay with your account, the better the response of interested people will be.

So do not forget to include all the experiences you have related to the fitness industry, whether in personal or collective training, at the gym, or individual sessions. This will show that you have all the skills and experience necessary to provide the best personal training sessions. In addition, each of your clients will be able to write a review about the experience they had training with you, and they can rank you with up to 5 stars!

Don't wait any longer and be part of Superprof!

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