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8 Speciality Certifications You Should Take After Getting Your Personal Training Certification


You now have your National Personal Training Certification.

Congratulations and Welcome to the Industry!

Now what?

This is the situation I’ve seen many trainers run into over the years. They get their certification and start a new job with more seasoned trainers around them. Then they start to realize how much they don’t actually know.

The next step usually involves plenty of trial and error with what education to go after.

Do you get one of the hundreds of specialty certifications from the NASM, NSCA, ACSM, and NCSF’s of the world?

How about attending one of the big fitness conferences that come around every year?

Or do you buy a product from that hot new Instagram fitness celebrity?

The answer is no to all of them

I would highly recommend attending a Perform Better Conference if you have the disposable income, but that shouldn’t be where you direct your attention right away.

Instead, you should look toward some reputable Specialty Certifications. This should be your next option because of the organization and systems these certifications provide. They give a more in-depth system than the specialty certifications from your National Organizations as well as different perspective.

8 Specialty Certifications You Should Consider

FMS: Functional Movement Screen

The FMS has become one of the standard assessments used throughout the industry from professional sports teams to luxury health clubs.  It gives professionals a tool to screen clients and athletes to help identify limitations or asymmetries in their movements.

Level 1

Level 1 of the FMS teaches the rating and ranking system of the screen.

Level 2

The second level of the FMS places an emphasis on programming off of the results of the screen.  Each participant will be screened and also administer a screen.

Functional Anatomy Seminars

FRC: Functional Range Conditioning

FRC is a system that looks to deliver a usable range of motion to the human body.  The FRC will increase your functional mobility, joint resilience, joint health and longevity. To put it simply it is designed to improve mobility, limit injuries, and improve joint function.  

The seminars include both lectures and practical work to teach the students how to apply and integrate the principles into their programs.

The Gray Institute

The Gray Institute: Certification in Applied Functional Science

CAFS comes to you from one of the most recognized names in the field in Gary Gray.  It is designed to give professionals from personal trainers to massage therapists the tools to design individual assessments and programs specifically for each client.  I have seen a few of the videos for the course, and the material is presented in a straight-forward manner which would benefit trainers of all levels.

Precision Nutrition

Level 1

The PN certification is one of the most well respected and go to certifications for professionals in the field.  It is for those working with clients who are looking for body composition and general nutrition goals. It isn’t for those looking to prescribe food as medicine or give detailed meal plans for clients (It’s not legal to do so).  I’ve taken the Level 1 course and it is a very well laid out with detailed information behind nutrition and coaching behaviors.

Level 2

Level 2 is a year long course that provides new material and coaching each month on applying the techniques and more from Level 1.  Both can be pricey and are serious commitments for those that want to focus on improving in this area.

CFSC: Certified Functional Strength Coach

A certification from Mike Boyle?  Do I need to say more? It was developed by Boyle with the idea that the industry doesn’t need more certifications, but better certifications.  It involves not only a written test but a practical one as well to ensure participants have truly earned the credential.

The one day course takes attendees through how groups are run at Mike Boyle’s Strength and Conditioning.  The program and protocols they use at MBSC are broken down throughout the day to give participants an understanding of how they are implemented.

EXOS: Performance Specialist Certification

The EXOS PSC takes you through their methodology around training for performance.  It is a 24 hour plus online certification that takes participants through EXOS’ four pillars of Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery. It is well regarded in the field and gives individuals a good foundation to move forward with.  It is recommended for most levels of fitness professionals.

TPI: Titleist Performance Institute

If you have any interest in training golfers or even rotational sport athletes of any age then the TPI Certification is a must for you.  It should be at the top of the list for all levels of trainers who want a career based around training golfers.

Level 1

This level consists of a pre event video and also a two day hands on workshop.  Students will learn the screens that TPI uses along with their exercise protocols.  This will take them through how to identify limitations that may alter a player’s swing as well as techniques to correct them.

Level 2

The level two fitness class can now be taken online and teaches students the skills to run a golf specific training program. It introduces the TPI fitness evaluation which adds screens for strength, power and cardiovascular fitness. From there training programs are established based on the findings with progressions from mobility and stability all the way through to strength and power.

USA Weightlifting: Level 1 Sports Performance Coach

The USAW Olympic lifting course is considered the standard for Olympic lifting in the field.  The certification takes you through the progressions of the basic Olympic movements including the Snatch and Clean and Jerk as well as the variations of each. It gets rave reviews and is a good choice for anyone looking to learn these movements.

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