I am going to spend my Saturday in continuing education seminars today. When I mentioned this in passing to a co-worker at my “day job” yesterday, she said “You have to be licensed to do that?” Well, no.
I explained that in Massachusetts, one does not have to be “licensed” to be a personal trainer. But I am certified by a national organization and in order to keep that certifcation – and to be a good trainer – I have to participate in continuing education activities. This includes keeping my CPR/AED certifications up-to-date, but it also means that I make it a point to stay current on the latest exercise, health, and nutrition research. I learn new techniques or refresh my knowledge of tried-and-true methods so that I can more effectively help my clients.
I choose to focus my continuing education in specific areas during each 2-year period when I must accumulate ”credits” to report to my certifying organization. In the past I’ve focused on sports nutrition, pre- and post- natal exercise, strength training for women, and strenghtening (and rehabbing) specific injury-prone joints (e.g., knees, shoulders). I’m looking forward to learning more today about diet, exercise, and weight loss for clients over 50 and adding to my tool box for balance and fall prevention.
So, no I don’t have to be licensed, but I do need to be knowledgeable and qualified to “do that.” I’m not just someone who like to work out. I want to help my clients learn how their bodies work so that they can confidently use their bodies.