Issue Date: June 2011 Web Features, Posted On: 6/3/2011

Education is the Key to Success
By Robert Linkul

Every two or three years we, as certified personal trainers, are required to earn a predetermined number of continued education units (CEU) to maintain our certification status. Every recertification period we sign up for classes, register for new certifications or attend clinics, camps, conferences, seminars and symposiums.

Robert's Continued Education Corner

Books for You

Total Body Breakthroughs (2010)
A collection of some of the most successful fitness professional's secrets to success. A very motivating book that both inspires and educates personal trainers on new strategies to implement with their clients. A well rounded book that focuses on program design, exercise selection and mental preparation.

Advances in Functional Training: Training Techniques for Coaches, Personal Trainers and Athletes (2010)
Mike Boyle has done it again. The "Godfather" of performance training has authored the greatest functional training book ever. This is a must read!

The Female Body Breakthrough (2009)
Rachel Cosgrove, reflecting on her personal experience, puts together a fantastic book specifically written to educate and motivate women on their quest to developing the female body the have always wanted.

The question is, why is it so important for us to earn those CEUs? First, constant never ending improvement (CNEI) is the desire for us, as certified personal trainers (CPTs), to continually improve our education and the quality of the product we provide. Second, networking and career advancement come hand-in-hand, as we should be encouraged to meet our peers, discuss fitness related topics and possibly pursue new business endeavors. CEUs and the ways we go about perusing them can assist us in taking the next step in our careers. Obtaining the required CEUs provides us with so many opportunities; however, we must have the right mindset when doing so.

Education is the key to our success. To assist you in achieving that success I would like to take a deeper look into these two categories as well as developing the proper mind-set required to be a successful fitness professional.

Constant never ending improvement (CNEI)
The fitness industry is constantly changing. What may have been the best way to train our clients five years ago may not be today. Scientific studies and in-depth research has provided our field with an abundance of evidence supporting or discrediting training techniques and program design. Learning and applying this relevant information can literally change the way we work and the success we have with our current clientele.

Our clients put their faith in us to be up to date on the cutting edge information and be able to apply that information accordingly to their program designs. Learning this information allows us to take our professional development to the next level. Continually adding to our education will assist us in elevating the quality of our product and the stature we have as certified personal trainers.

It should be our goal, as professionals, to be known in each of our training facilities as "the educated personal trainer" who knows the profession better than anyone else. Our clients value education and feel more comfortable working with someone who continually makes an effort to educate themselves. We have all heard the saying, "knowledge is power," and in our profession this saying couldn't be more true.

Networking and career advancement
The opportunity to network with other certified professional in our field is available at every CEU event. Networking has many benefits as it provides us an opportunity to develop professional relationships with our peers as well as possible career advancements. Networking can be as simple as discussing training techniques with others during a break between speakers at a clinic or as prestigious as presenting at a CEU event.

Presenting allows you an opportunity to spotlight yourself as a professional as well as share valuable information that can be used to improve the product we provide. Speaking at an event can be nerve racking; however, it can assist you in bringing credibility to your name as a professional and could lead to new business opportunities.

As professionals, many of us are looking to take that next step in our career and the opportunity to do so can begin while networking with other fitness professionals. Professional relationships developed from networking can often lead to opportunities like writing or co-writing a book, creating DVD instructional videos or presenting at a future CEU event.

Partnerships for new businesses can be established or a jumpstart on applying for a position with a company can come about from networking. The sky is the limit in our profession, and we should take every opportunity to meet and talk with our peers, as we never know where it might lead us. The exchange of business cards is a great way to stay in touch with other professionals as well as leaving a lasting impression on a potential career advancing opportunity.

Wayne Gretzky once said, "You miss 100% of the shots you never take." The message of this quote goes for our profession as well. Take every opportunity you can to meet other fitness professionals and develop professional relationships with them because you never know what opportunity you might be missing out on in future.

Passionate mindset
It takes time to develop a committed and passionate mindset in our profession. Our first priority should be to assist our clients in achieving their fitness goals. There is a sense of accomplishment when you see the look on your clients face when they perform their first chin up, back squat their body weight, fit into their skinny jeans or achieve any of their personal fitness goals.

As more of our clients start to achieve their goals our passion should grow deeper. To continue to educate and improve our clients we need to continue to educate ourselves. Some trainers view the requirement to obtain CEUs as a burden while the more passionate trainers views it as chance to bring new information back to our clients. These educational opportunities teach us the keys to success as we get to listen to experienced professionals discuss the steps of their accomplishments.

When it comes down to it we should all be passionate professionals constantly striving to improve our product and ourselves. We should be passionate professional reaching out to our peers within our profession. We should be passionate professionals seizing the moment to advance our profession and our careers. Simply put, we should be passionate professionals trying to make a difference.

Robert Linkul MS CSCS D* is the NSCA's Northern California state director and trains over 100 clients a week in his personal training studio. Linkul has his master's degree in personal training, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a certified personal trainer with distinction.

Topic: Career Builder Web Column

Magazine Archives:
  • Career Builder: Non-verbal client communication
  • Career Builder: Focus on more than fitness
  • Career Builder: Build a community
  • Career Builder: Recommended readings for fitness professionals
  • Career Builder: Excellence over success

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