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Are All Personal Trainer Certifications Created Equal?

Posted on: August 1st, 2013 by Eric Lichtfuss

Some of the benefits students gain while attending the Atlanta Personal Trainer Program program are intangible . That means that sometimes appreciating the inherent value of our programs happens after one has already become a professional with the luxury of hindsight. Why wait for hindsight, though?  When I decided to enroll in ASM to study massage therapy, I asked professionals a lot of questions so I could benefit from their hindsight.

We’ve decided to do something similar here, and ask industry professionals why the Atlanta Personal Trainer Program stands out from the crowd.  We began by asking our Program Advisory Committee (PAC) members to share their perspectives. Our PAC members are successful fitness industry professionals who offer guidance contributing to the advancement of a cutting edge program. We hope you enjoy this series of interviews beginning with Abby Jellinek Johnson.

ASM personal trainer field trip Catalyst

Catalyst Fitness Field Trip

Abby Jellinek Johnson, owner and Lead Personal Trainer at F.I.T Camp and Abby J Fitness, shares what she thinks sets the ASM National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) personal trainer certification program apart from the competition.

Eric Lichtfuss: Are all personal trainer certifications created equal?

Abby Jellinek Johnson: Absolutely not.  With so many certifications available, it is hard for both aspiring personal trainers and people seeking personal trainers to know what to look for.  There are only a few, including NASM that require the amount of skill to safely and effectively work with a variety of populations.

EL: What sets NASM apart from other certifications?

AJJ: NASM is the most widely recognized certification in the US.  Most elite employers will prefer that you have it.  From my experience, NASM provides you with the most comprehensive understanding of the human body from a physiological standpoint.  NASM recognizes that personal training is not just about knowing which exercises work which muscles, but how everything works together.  NASM certified trainers are some of the most knowledgeable  and successful trainers.

ASM personal trainer field trip Catalyst

Catalyst Fitness Field Trip

EL: What sets the ASM personal trainer program apart from other certification programs?

AJJ: Atlanta School of Massage offers a hand’s on program.  That is key.  Many personal trainers enter their first job having never trained an actual person.  Certifications are easily attainable by simply reading a book and passing a written exam.  Personal training is a hands on job that cannot be learned through reading a book.  ASM also provides highly knowledgeable instructors and excellent resources to push their graduates to the next level of understanding.

EL: Our students experience supervised, hands-on training working with clients for 18 weeks before completing the program.  Can you describe what you feel makes this uniquely valuable to them, as compared to “on-the-job” experience?

AJJ: Would you want your barber “learning how to cut hair” on you?   Would you want your electrician rewiring your house based on a book he read?  Absolutely not.  Clients who come to us, expect expertise, knowledge, and experience.  If you present yourself to a client without all these things, you  are truly cheating your client and also cheating the personal training profession as a whole.  The hands on experience you get at ASM is invaluable.

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SensAbility is the teaching clinic of ASM Wellness
It's where Atlanta School of Massage, Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics and Atlanta Personal Trainer Program
provide a wide range of wellness services to the public.
2 Dunwoody Park South
Atlanta, GA 30338
Phone: 770-454-7167

2 Dunwoody Park South, Suite 105
Atlanta, GA 30338
Phone: 770-454-7167