Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Studying for a Certification

So, in my head, I've started the process. I plan to take the exam for the NSCA-CPT (Certified Personal Trainer with the National Strength & Conditioning Association) in a few months.

First, before I move on, a "thanks" to all of you who've supported me in this. I've barraged a few of you with PMs and emails and got lots of great advice and encouragement back, too. So, again, "Thank You!"

I was torn about which certification to get. Primary choices were NSCA-CPT or NASM-CPT. I still don't know if one is better than the other. There seems no clear cut answer. But, two things, outside of the cert itself, weighed in favor of my choosing the NSCA direction.

  1. I know several people who have recently taken the NSCA-CPT exams who've offered to help me when I need it.
  2. Some of those same people have given me much of their study materials, DVDs, and CDs to help me get started. That saves a lot of money, right there.
As to the cert itself, I don't know if it's the better choice. But, I also have no problem with looking into other certs down the road. I enjoy the process of learning about fitness and nutrition, so who's to say the philosophies of another group's certification won't be just as enlightening? And, to be honest, I'm not sure that this will definitely lead to a career in fitness. This is as much about learning for myself as for anything. I want to do it. What I want to do with it, comes secondary.

I don't yet have a handle on when I'll take the exam. I need to get a grip on the depth of studying involved. I've never been much of a studier. I read and remember, but going back to study is a problem for me. Somehow, I feel like I'll need to adjust... This isn't like college, where I could trick myself into studying by joining the Cute Girls' Study Group.

Down the road, I might also be interested in a nutrition cert. I don't fully know my options, at this point, but I'd also like to look into some sort of nutritional certification. I doubt if they will provide the nutritional knowledge that I really want, but I also want to be aware of what's being taught in the real world. What other trainers teach about nutrition. I have my own ideas on diet, but you also need to "know the rules before you can break them." I will want any clients to know that my mind isn't closed to new ideas and that I've done my homework. A current (or past) nutritional cert at least shows that I was willing to learn before I just make up my own philosophy on the subject.

My goals as a future trainer are primarily focused on fat loss, but I really want to look at it from a different angle. Having been fat, I realize that my workouts were really just a tool to help me get lean and fit. I was a sad boy. Looking back, that was really the root of my issues. I don't yet have a handle on why I was sad, but I was. I'm much happier now. And, not fat...

The other day, I posted "Fat & Happy?"over at the JPFitness forums. That post sums it up for me, for the most part.

I like to help people. I'd like to help sad people be happy. I feel connected to this certain group of sad people, so I hope I can connect with them in my own way.

I'll never be a psychologist or psychiatrist, so I'll dispense with psychiatric advice, other than to encourage people to look to the root of the issue and start to fix things down there. For me, the root issue was being unhappy. I can't prove it, but somehow I feel like I can pick out unhappy people just as they are walking down the street. There's something about them. Not in the face or eyes, but in the size of their clothes.


  1. Good for you, Roland. With all of the knowledge and advise I've seen from you, I think it would be a waste if you didn't become a personal trainer.

  2. Roland,

    This is awesome! Good luck.


  3. Roland,

    After reading your posts on JPFitness, I think you'd do pretty damn well as a trainer, and a nutritionist!


  4. Bounced over here from the gob-blog to give you a virtual high five (no ass smack). This is really a great idea. You'll do quite well at this. Best of luck.

  5. Roland? A CPT?


    You'll kick ass.

  6. Thanks, guys. I really appreciate all the kind words!


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