Unlike a lot of personal trainers, I was never involved in sports in school. I never liked playing sports or exercising. From my early teens I suffered from low back pain and sciatic pain running down my leg. I had a back brace by the time I was in high school. In my first year of college the pain got so bad that I couldn't function. I saw a back specialist who wanted to operate. He said he could keep me out of a wheelchair until I was thirty. Instead of surgery, I decided to try physical therapy. After nine months of seeing a therapist 3 times a week, I was finally released. She told me as long as I exercise, I will have no pain. So I joined a gym and started swimming and strength training.
She was right! I felt better than I had in years, and there was another benefit: I was seeing changes in my body. I was getting stronger, leaner and more toned. And for the first time in my life I was enjoying exercise. I was hooked!
But life goes on and I got married, got busy and gained weight. I kept exercising enough to keep my back in check, but nothing consistent. I started thinking about personal training as a career, and after a lot of thought I finally decided to do it.
After my certification, I became a personal trainer and then the fitness manager at a New York Sports Club in NJ. I missed training, so I got out of management and went back to working with clients. I've worked in big clubs, small clubs and on site at company gyms and in people's homes. My running joke in the health clubs is that I train in a multimillion dollar facility and use about $600 worth of equipment. I enjoy showing people that they don't need to spend a lot of money on gym memberships, that fitness can happen anywhere!
And by the way: 20 years after my visit with the back specialist, I am not only NOT in that wheel chair, but completely pain free and in the best shape of my life! And if I could do it, so can you!
There are literally hundreds of different so called 'personal trainer' certifications available. The National Organization for Competency Assurance (noca.org) originally created the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) to oversee medical certifications such as nurse practitioners, etc. When they began accrediting personal trainer certifications, they originally approved only five (ACE, ACSM, NASM, NSCA, and the Cooper Institute). They have since expanded their list to include only 4 others out of the hundreds that are currently out there.
"The NCCA helps to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of a variety of certification programs/organizations that assess professional competency."
I currently hold 3 certifications by 2 different organizations.
|The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)|
NSCA is a nonprofit, educational organization established in 1978 that provides resources and opportunities for professionals in strength and conditioning and related fields. It serves as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of strength training and conditioning and personal training information and is recognized as the worldwide authority on strength and conditioning for improved physical performance.
|The National Academy of Sports Medicine(NASM)|
Since 1987, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been a leader in certification, continuing education, solutions and tools for health, fitness, sports performance and sports medicine professionals. The NASM educational continuum is designed to help todays health and fitness professionals enhance their careers while empowering their clients to live healthier lives.