Everytwo or three years we, as certified personal trainers, are required to earn a predeterminednumber of continued education units (CEU) to maintain our certification status.Every recertification period we sign up for classes, register for newcertifications 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.

Thequestion is, why is it so important for us to earn those CEUs? First, constantnever ending improvement (CNEI) is the desire for us, as certified personaltrainers (CPTs), to continually improve our education and the quality of theproduct we provide. Second, networking and career advancement come hand-in-hand,as we should be encouraged to meet our peers, discuss fitness related topicsand possibly pursue new business endeavors. CEUs and the ways we go aboutperusing them can assist us in taking the next step in our careers. Obtainingthe required CEUs provides us with so many opportunities; however, we must havethe right mindset when doing so.

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

Constant never ending improvement (CNEI)
Thefitness industry is constantly changing. What may have been the best way totrain our clients five years ago may not be today. Scientific studies andin-depth research has provided our field with an abundance of evidence supportingor discrediting training techniques and program design. Learning and applyingthis relevant information can literally change the way we work and the successwe have with our current clientele.

Ourclients put their faith in us to be up to date on the cutting edge informationand be able to apply that information accordingly to their program designs. Learningthis information allows us to take our professional development to the nextlevel. Continually adding to our education will assist us in elevating thequality of our product and the stature we have as certified personal trainers.

Itshould be our goal, as professionals, to be known in each of our trainingfacilities as "the educated personal trainer" who knows theprofession better than anyone else. Our clients value education and feel morecomfortable working with someone who continually makes an effort to educatethemselves. We have all heard the saying, "knowledge is power," andin our profession this saying couldn't be more true.

Networking and career advancement
Theopportunity to network with other certified professional in our field isavailable at every CEU event. Networking has many benefits as it provides us anopportunity to develop professional relationships with our peers as well aspossible career advancements. Networking can be as simple as discussingtraining techniques with others during a break between speakers at a clinic oras prestigious as presenting at a CEU event.

Presentingallows you an opportunity to spotlight yourself as a professional as well asshare 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 inbringing credibility to your name as a professional and could lead to newbusiness opportunities.

Asprofessionals, many of us are looking to take that next step in our career andthe opportunity to do so can begin while networking with other fitnessprofessionals. Professional relationships developed from networking can oftenlead to opportunities like writing or co-writing a book, creating DVDinstructional videos or presenting at a future CEU event.

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

WayneGretzky once said, "You miss 100% of the shots you never take." Themessage of this quote goes for our profession as well. Take every opportunityyou can to meet other fitness professionals and develop professionalrelationships with them because you never know what opportunity you might bemissing out on in future.

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

Asmore of our clients start to achieve their goals our passion should growdeeper. To continue to educate and improve our clients we need to continue toeducate ourselves. Some trainers view the requirement to obtain CEUs as aburden while the more passionate trainers views it as chance to bring newinformation back to our clients. These educational opportunities teach us thekeys to success as we get to listen to experienced professionals discuss thesteps of their accomplishments.

Whenit comes down to it we should all be passionate professionals constantlystriving to improve our product and ourselves. We should be passionate professionalreaching out to our peers within our profession. We should be passionateprofessionals 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 over100 clients a week in his personal training studio. Linkul has his master'sdegree in personal training, is a certified strength and conditioningspecialist and a certified personal trainer with distinction.