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NCSF Certification Journey - Part 1

by Nancy

I have been a publicist in the film industry for almost 6 years. I started in college running around ragged promoting films, pitching interviews and working on tours with filmmakers, and haven't stopped since. Now that I am out of the agency world and working for a film studio directly, it's become more and more restrictive and even more stressful. I've decided to try to tap into something where I believe my high energy could be used more resourcefully and happily...something in which I can revel in personal and financial freedom, simplicity and health, and an overall new phase in life.

This "something", I have determined at least for the time being, is becoming certified and gaining practical tools to eventually be a personal trainer.

Using Katie's website, I did lots of reading and lots of research on where to start. With my PR background and my lifelong love of fitness, athletics and nutrition, it seemed as though I was on the right track. I knew the first step to not only working as a CPT, but finding out IF I really want to be a CPT, is studying and becoming certified. I did not want to half-ass the process by getting the least expensive or easiest degree. I knew I wanted to go for a respectable certification which would earn me a cPT. That definitely limited the choices, and I elected the National Council on Strength and Fitness because they have a workshop in my geographical area, it is affordable and seemed like an all-around good direction to go.

So here I am on my bed with my NCSF book and study guide beside me and I'm writing this email instead. This has definitely been the greatest challenge so far. I work full-time and sometimes I work in the evenings, have dinner with friends, or power yoga, talking to my parents on the phone...you name it and when I get home its usually late. So not only is it hard finding the time to study, but once I do have the time (like tonight) it is hard to become focused. I think this is because I've been out of school for a good 5 years now, and instead of focusing on a books, I have become used to the fast-paced life of checking email on my blackberry, answering one of the 3 phone numbers in which you can reach me, or one of the various ways to instant message me. Ironically, this is something I hope to escape from by following this new career in which the focus will become more about a healthy life than my crackberry, but nevertheless, it will take some time to transition.

I am headed to the NCSF workshop at the beginning of May. I had a goal to get through most of the book before the workshop, however, the material is extremely technical and it is taking me a long time to get through it. Some of it is very interesting and I am definitely learning things, but at other times, I think, how the hell am I going to remember these terms and when will this ever be used in the practical personal training world? Let me give you an example by typing up an excerpt of something I just read this evening. "When the TVA contracts, tension increases in the thoraco-dorsal fascia called thoraco-lumbar fascia gain, and intra-abdominal pressure increases as the relatively non-compressible viscera pushes against the supportive structures of the diaphragm and pelvic floor." I mean WHAT is that?? I'm not a doctor!

I think that the more respectable certifications must be naturally more extensive and the material more technical, but sometimes I wonder if I will be able to pass this test? I figure I will simply do my best and use the study guide as... well... my guide. I've looked ahead to the further chapters on principles of personal training and nutrition sections which look more interesting and manageable, so that's good.

I'm sorry this entry is so long but I felt that it would be good to give you guys some background. Maybe 1 person will read this, maybe lots of people, but in any case, I hope it is helpful. mildly entertaining and/or relatable.

In whatever stage you stand in the process, keep up the good work and let's make sure to encourage each other on this wide open road to becoming trainers!

Until next time--
Nancy

p.s. Hello!! Katie, who has helped and encouraged many of us to pursue our personal training goals by starting a kickass website... she has asked me to share my experience from start to (hopefully) finish in the process to becoming NCSF certified and a trainer. Here goes.. part one.. as informal and honest as possible :)

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Up to the challenge
by: Anonymous

Thanks for your encouragement and insight. I have a goal also to become a PT,like you I opened the book and had to ask myself what did I get myself into. The material is challenging and very technical. I'm 43 and want to supplement my current income. My question is will I remember everything once I'm finished with the study guide. It seems to be taking a long time getting through each section and coming away feeling that I have got a grasp on that particular section. It seems it will take forever to finish, is that normal? Or should I choose somthing else? Or is this for the gifted & academic scholars?

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