Managing your baseline certifications with continuing education is not only a requirement for your field, but also an indicator of your desire to be a competent fitness professional by staying current with the newest scientific research.

One way to accomplish meeting these needs in a way that enhances your profession is by utilizing that investment in additional credentials. Instead of just counting contact hours of attendance, you can increase your objective credibility of your resume and be at the forefront of your peers.

Higher-Value CEU: You have already invested hours in continuing education, but by utilizing that same time in an advanced specialization or NCCA-accredited certification, the value of your CEUs is higher due to the testing requirements and potential practical hours. This will guarantee acceptance by other agencies for credit when petitioning courses for acceptance.

Validated Qualifications: The industry is full of trainers that enjoy a certain modality of technique, which usually translates to them being perceived as an “expert” in that field. However, the fitness professional that takes that interest to the next level and actually goes through the certification process becomes qualified in that specialization. Attending modules at a seminar, watching an online class or even being trained by another coach does not count as much as the proficiency demonstrated by going through an entire curriculum, proving practical knowledge and passing an administered test.

Higher Industry Credibility: Many businesses have internal designations for their personal trainers as to credibility, which can be based on factors like employment longevity, sessions trained and additional credentials. Terms like “master,” “elite” and even “distinction” are utilized to differentiate fitness professionals, usually for rates. But if these terms come from a nationally accredited agency, having these earned titles gives the credibility in the industry that can be explained to potential clients.

Marketability: By combining the aforementioned attributes of utilizing certifications for continuing education, the fitness professional has the objective value needed to add to their portfolio of services to not only increase the confidence of the prospective client in their results, but their own proficiency in programming for those results in their presentation.

Today’s fitness customer has the knowledge, and the right, to ask about the credentials of the fitness professional that is to be hired, especially if specializations are presented. Utilizing additional certifications in your educational portfolio can be a purposeful way to make use of the time commitment while expanding the services you provide in a professionally credible way.

Kurt Weinreich has over 22 years of experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, professional educator and fitness manager. He was formerly a Senior Instructor for the National Personal Training Institute and Advisory Board Member for Heritage College Trainer Program. He was chosen to be a Fitness Ambassador for the 2008 Olympics and twice appointed to the Colorado Governor’s Council for Healthy Lifestyles. Kurt continues to train full-time in Colorado while developing fitness professionals through consulting, lectures and internship programs to assist trainers with skillsets in coaching, marketing, education, and business.