When I first began investigating certification options for becoming a personal trainer, I visited the websites of various certifying organizations such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and the International Sports Science Association (ISSA). Since then whenever I’m online I’m bombarded by ads about fitness. A recent ad modestly proclaimed having the best ever workout routine for legs. You would think that as a “wanna be” trainer, I would be at least a little interested in what that great leg workout might be. Wrong! I had absolutely no interest at all! This seemed odd to me so I’ve been wondering why that is.
All along I’ve been saying/thinking/feeling that I don’t want to be a typical trainer but the truth is I’m not sure what I really mean by that. For sure I’m older than the typical trainer. Also true is that I don’t look like a typical trainer if the image of a twenty-something guy with big muscles comes to mind. Also true is that I’m still carrying a few extra pounds, especially around my middle. But there was something about that ad for the great leg workout that got me thinking…maybe I want to be different in ways that go deeper than that.
In three days I start a full-time six month personal trainer certification program affiliated with NASM and part of the Atlanta School of Massage. The tagline for the school and its three programs (massage, aesthetics, personal trainer) is “the ASM Wellness family of teaching programs.” And I’m thinking that that’s where the difference lies. I’m starting to believe that what I’ve been feeling but haven’t been able to articulate is that I want to work with clients, especially women, in a way that differs from most 30 minute workout sessions in a gym. I really want to help people change how they view themselves. Speaking from personal experience, I know how incredibly easy it is to feel bad about one’s self and the starting point seems to be how we feel about how we look. But finding the best _____ routine (choose one: leg, abs, butt, etc.) seems to be missing the point. Becoming toned, developing well-defined muscles and getting slim are a means to an end. The real goals are something like this: feeling comfortable in one’s own skin; having more than enough energy for life’s daily activities; having a strong sense of self-worth and the belief that you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to; having a sense of well-being and optimism; and, yes, having a sense of wellness.
I’m excited about acquiring the fitness and nutrition knowledge which will enable me to help others. The rest of it I’ll have to figure out as I go along, with me as my first client.
Guest blogger and Atlanta Personal Trainer Program Student, Caren Feingold, will be a regular contributor to the ASM Wellness Blog. Visit Almost Sixty Blog, for more stories of inspiration from Caren.