Going for Your Strength and Conditioning Certification
Investing in a strength and conditioning certification can seem daunting at first. Here’s everything you need to know about the process.
Are personal health and fitness your passions? Is it your goal to help others gain strength, improve their fitness performance and perfect their physique?
Have you been a part of a sports team or spend time in the gym? Do you have knowledge about strength and conditioning from your personal life?
Acquiring a strength and conditioning certification will allow you to work with individuals that are like-minded and have a particular fitness goal in mind. They may be professional athletes, preparing for a marathon, competing in track or wanting to improve in the areas of strength and power.
If you want to inspire others and pass on the knowledge that you have received, this career path is the right choice for you. You will feel fulfilled mentally, knowing that you have helped someone overcome their barriers, and physically, training and pushing your body on a daily basis.
Why a Strength and Conditioning Certification?
The possibilities of employment are endless with a strength and conditioning certification. You can train at any level, from high schools to universities and private gyms to professional athletic centers.
The majority of clients a strength and conditioning coach sees are professional athletes of some degree. They need strength and conditioning programs that are safe to perform and promote progression of their training.
There is a high demand for trainers with a strength and conditioning certification. If you have a background in professional sports, weightlifting or personal training, this certification will be easier to obtain.
To be competitive in the strength and conditioning world, you must have a degree in exercise and sports science or sports medicine. Having a training certification will not be enough if you’re looking to coach in the big leagues.
Having an exercise science degrees builds a foundation that is evidence-based and not emotional. You must maintain a solid understanding of the concepts and principles that underly the exercise science world.
If you put in minimal effort, it will show that you have put in minimal effort. If you strive for success and excel in the program, it will be proven in your future training.
To give you an extra edge, you can also attain a graduate degree if your undergraduate grades are high enough. It’s becoming common to have a graduate degree in exercise science in order to gain success in the industry.
Going Above and Beyond
Attending events, seminars, and conferences to further your knowledge will only make you a more successful coach and make obtaining your strength and conditioning certification a piece of cake.
There are Facebook groups, books, online forums and other programs that can keep you up to date with new science and research from case studies when it is released. Being active and networking with like minded people will make you indispensable to the world of personal training.
You must have hands-on experience as well. Having book knowledge is not enough in this field. You must be able to take the training concepts and apply them to a variety of situations.
Your client has a recovering ACL tear injury, what do you do? Every client is going to have a different story and a different goal, so you must be prepared to think on the fly. This becomes easier with practice and hands-on experience.
If you’ve determined that strength and conditioning certification is the right path for you, you’ll want to start learning for the test.
Getting Your Certification
There are many different places you can obtain a strength and conditioning certification. Making sure it’s an accredited institution is important for your credibility.
You’ll have to do research on the places that offer certifications by looking through their course content and reading reviews. Confirm that the program has everything you’re interested in learning about.
Most professional organizations and sports teams require a NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) CSCS strength and conditioning certification.
Are you available to go to school? Or are you going to do it online? Most institutions offer online certifications if you’re not available to attend schooling at a physical location.
There are self-study programs or programs that walk you through and teach you. You’ll have to determine if you’d like to study at your own pace or along with a teacher.
Learning Directly from a Professional
Getting an internship while working on your strength and conditioning certification could help you learn concepts. You’ll be able to learn your teaching style and develop your training voice.
If you want to see someone working in action, hiring a strength and conditioning professional for yourself, can help you understand what you like and don’t like about their training style.
Not only can you learn from them the things about their training you like and don’t like, you’ll be able to start building professional relationships. This is super important for this personal training.
Having professional relationships could help you get a job in the future. These people could write you recommendations or determine where you will work. Become good at networking and always seek to build more relationships when in the gym.
Figure out why people would choose you as a coach. Determine what your training niche will be or how people can relate to you personally.
After you receive your strength and conditioning certification, it doesn’t end there. Most certifications require continuing education. You must meet those requirements in order for your training certificate to stay valid.
Continuing education credits can generally be achieved by completing your First Aid/CPR certification. Taking classes that will make you a well-rounded trainer may be more beneficial.
You Have Your Certification, Now What?
You’ve received your strength and conditioning certification. So, where do you go from here?
Start off by applying for internships if you haven’t had one while completing your schooling. It’s recommended that you will have done that already, but many places will allow you to intern, even if you aren’t in school anymore.
If you’ve had an internship, you can begin applying for jobs. Make sure your resume is up to date and it includes all of your recently earned certifications. Customize your resume objectives and cover letters for each job you are applying to.
The more customized it is, the better. Talk about why you would be a good fit for their working environment. Discuss how you would help people reach their goals and improve their athletic ability.
Read, re-read and re-read again. Make sure you have no mistakes in your cover letter or resume. If you do, it will most likely be discarded and you will never make it to the hiring manager’s desk.
What Are the Interview Stages?
Generally, there are two interview stages. One is over the phone and another in-person interview. You must be able to speak well on the phone.
Practicing interview questions out loud to yourself or in front of a mirror will help you be more succinct when on your phone interview. Good verbal communication is key. They want to see how you talk with someone and make sure you’d be okay with communicating with clients.
You must appear professional for your on-site interview. Wearing appropriate interview clothing is necessary. Bring an extra set of workout clothing that you feel comfortable training in.
In Person Training Session
Most places make you walk them through a 30-45 minute training session. They will ask you hard questions or propose hypothetical situations. This is where teaching on the fly comes in handy.
Being prepared ahead of time with an idea of what you will train is crucial. Perform a full body workout so they can get a feel for how you train all areas of the body.
You want them to get an overall understanding of what your training style and personality is. Feeling comfortable and relaxed can show them that you’re confident in your training style and learned a lot from your strength and conditioning certification.
If you are excited about the place of employment and the team, make sure you show the interviewer that you are interested. Ask questions when appropriate and be conversational and professional.
Asking them questions about the gym motto or philosophy on strength and conditioning training will help you decide whether you’re in the right place. Asking them what their normal day looks like can help communicate your interest in the position.
Don’t be afraid to straight up tell them how excited you are by the possibility of working there, and what a great fit you’d be for the team. Discuss how the things you learned in your strength and conditioning certification make you a better trainer.
You’ve Landed the Job
Once you’ve landed a job, be prepared to hustle daily. Training takes a lot of work. Understanding your clients and gaining their trust is very important.
It takes time to build up a database of clients so be patient. Earning trust comes with the right answers to questions, being knowledgeable in their goals, being prepared and being committed fully.
Nothing says a good trainer like going out of your way to let your client know you are working for them and want to see them succeed. Provide accountability for them and let them know you’re available for any questions they may have.
The trust really comes when they start to see results. Continue progressing them through the steps you learned in your strength and conditioning certificate and you will be successful.
If you’re looking for a place to get your certificate online now and start your training, visit our site to sign up.