Continuing education is a subject on many trainers’ minds these days. Some question the need for it, and others can’t get enough. Continuing education does serve a good purpose and is a necessary part of the fitness industry.
Imagine a fitness industry without continuing education. Having trainers that have not opened a book since they past their certification exam is not a good thing. Using outdated practices and being left behind while fitness trends change. This would take credibility away from our industry. Without having credibility people would look to other sources for training advice and not hire personal trainers.
Almost all professions have some form of continuing education, from medical professionals to trade workers. It is a way for each industry to make sure they are producing the best possible workers. Quality control if you will. It allows a platform to teach any innovations and improvements.
Today there are many sources of continuing education available to personal trainers. Most certifying agencies will allow you to pick and choose what continuing education courses you want to take. The easiest form of continuing education is doing something you like. For instance, if cycling is a passion of yours choose a course about that. Another way is to choose an area that you feel uncomfortable with, such as group training, and use a course not only to gain credits but to extend your personal scope of practice allowing for more potential sources of income. Choosing a popular fitness area such as training with elderly clients can give you more insight in that area and since most courses offer a certificate of completion it means something to add to your portfolio for marketing.
Continuing education is not meant to be a burden on trainers. It is meant to maintain high quality trainers that are always learning new ways to do things. Without this, there is really no point in being a certified trainer since there would be no educational boundary separating a trainer from a regular gym goer.
Taking continuing education courses can be time consuming and be costly. They do serve an important purpose however. Take advantage of this opportunity to grow your own knowledge base and broaden your horizons. If done correctly, continuing education will not only keep your certification up to date, but keep you up to date as well.
What areas of personal training would you like to see continuing education courses for?