Monday, January 14, 2019

One year as a CPT: What I've learned

About a year ago I  became certified as a Personal Trainer.  So far, although I've designed workouts for people, I haven't made any money through this certification.  This is my fault, because  1. I don't want to ask, and 2.  I already have a full time, demanding job (although not at the moment, because I'm furloughed due to the government shutdown).  But even though I'm an unpaid trainer, I've learned a few things in the past year.  Here are a few of them:

1.  The gym is not my happy place.  OK, I already knew this.  I go there, but it's not my passion.  I would much rather be outside to exercise.  Seeing the trainers at gyms, stuck inside all day and not making a lot of money, just reinforced my feeling that I don't want to be a full time gym employee.

2.  A lot of people THINK they are trainers.  People have disagreed with and contradicted me about certain exercises and their benefits, even though they haven't had any training.  I try not to let this bother me, because there is so much information and misinformation on the internet.  It's hard to know what to believe sometimes.

3.  Social media is full of trainers (or people representing themselves as such).  A lot of these people know how to work angles and poses, as well as use filters well.  Don't take all of it at face value.

4.  I took a continuing education workshop on sports conditioning drills.  I was kind of apprehensive, with bad memories of gym classes past.  But it was really fun and I learned several new exercises (moral: try new things).

5.  Seeing people improve their fitness in a few short weeks doing a workout you designed is really gratifying.

6.  If I end up doing this as a second career, I want to incorporate the outdoors in the workouts, like a class in a park or a beach.

7.  Additional certifications are really expensive.  For example, to be fully qualified as a Pilates instructor would be around $6,000.  There are a lot of really cool programs out there, but once you are certified you usually have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to stay certified.  You really have to weigh whether it's financially beneficial or not.

8.  Education is never wasted.  When I started studying, I really just wanted to learn more about fitness.  If I never end up teaching, or only have a couple clients, that's OK with me.

9.  I re-evaluated my own workouts.  When I first started lifting weights, I was taught by a bodybuilder.  Through the years, I kept doing the same exercises and reps, not really thinking about whether they were helping me meet my goals or not.  In some cases, they weren't.

10.  I'm secretly watching you! I notice people in the gym exercising with poor form, or showing clear imbalances in their muscle groups.  I don't say anything though: I'm not THAT person.

Have you ever taken a class or gotten a certification just because it interested you? Did you end up using it for work? What did you learn?

8 comments:

  1. Nice lessons learned! When I was doing Zumba heavily I very seriously looked into becoming a certified instructor...but the ‘maintainence’ cost of keeping that certification was too much for the little bit that I may have used it. Sometimes though I wish I had followed through and done it anyway.

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    1. Yes that's the dilemma. There's good and fun certifications but it seems like the organizations granting them want to make money off the instructors, when it's so hard to make a living doing it anyway.

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  2. If I had found a trainer who looked like that, and had certification, I might have continued!

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  3. I think having a personal trainer who doesn't work inside a gym would be really appealing to a lot of people - I like being outdoors and if I had a trainer running alongside with me, and making me stop and do pushups or whatever, it would be fun and interesting.

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    1. That's definitely the kind of training I want to do.

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  4. I have a certification in web design that I am still paying for but have never used professionally! I learned a lot about networking during the process, though, because for some reason most of the exam was about that.

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    1. That sounds like a useful certification to have.

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