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NPTI or certification tests?

My son is in San Diego and was going to go to the National Personal Training Institute for $5900. He has since found a guy who is currently a personal trainer with several advanced certificates. The guy told my son not to go to this school because he could get certified by taking the exams and not going to the school. If this is true it would save me a lot of money I don't really have. What do you think about going to the school verses just taking the tests?

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Getting Certified is only half the job
by: Katie - Admin

While certification is a necessary requirement to become a personal trainer, it is your knowledge and skills that make you a good one. I have seen so many trainers take shortcuts, get certified, and then struggle to add value to their clients.

Good trainers are continually learning, before and after getting certified. If you look at the trainers in our directory you will see that many hold multiple certifications. They are always trying to improve and offer a better service for their clients.

If money is tight, you can go the certification only route, but it means you have to work that much harder to educate yourself. Buy used books, read read read. Study this web site. You are going to make mistakes without a good education but if you educate yourself you can minimize those mistakes.

NPTI is expensive but their graduates hit the ground running. Consider the cost of gradually developing your skills over a year. You will struggle to get and retain clients at first if you are not delivering a high quality service from day one. That loss of income may offset the extra investment of NPTI.

- Katie

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Community College!
by: Jason

Do what I did (some may disagree, but hey...I have to put food on the table somehow!)

Walk into 24 Hour Fitness and CONVINCE them you want to be a personal trainer. If you succeed(not hard, 24 Hour thinks = more trainers = more clients = more money...they don't care if you don't know what you're talking about), they'll then give you a APEX dvd to watch. It'll take maybe a day or two to study. Then take a the short test and bam!...your a certified personal trainer.

Now that he's a trainer...go to school! Take some anatomy, physiology and exercise related classes. Then, order a home study program from one of the big companies (NSCA, NASM, ACE, etc...but avoid some, one gym told me if I went with ISSA, they wouldn't hire me).

That'll cost between $400-800...and you'll be certified by a real certification. Expensive, but a lot cheaper than $5900!!


But all in all, I only did it this way to get a job of something I love to do and get the official experience. I am pursuing my 4 year degree and this is an excellant way to pay for college and put food on the table for me and my wife.

Others will be against this, but hey...you gotta do what you gotta do.


PS
This is not to take away from all trainers at 24, I just used this as one example. I've had horrible trainers and GREAT trainers...my first one is what actually got me to be a trainer. He was also the ONLY trainer that was certified BEFORE he got the job. Big gyms are in the business of sales...not fitness. Just remember that.

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If you can possibly afford it...do it!
by: Kathy

I looked into this program about a year ago. I was all set to go on a tour and spoke at length with whom I would have toured and I was very impressed. From what I recall, although you finish with their certification, the course actually prepares you to take NSCA certs (they use NSCA's Essentials of Strength and Conditioning, which prepares you for the CSCS). I wanted to take this course badly, but could not justify the expense. I still have $15,000 in student loan fees from earning my BS in a different field, so adding another six grand to that wasn't very appealing. I probably still would have done it if my boyfriend hadn't convinced me it wasn't cost effective (the time it would take to recoup the $5,900).

I have since earned my NCSF and NASM, have been working at 24 Hour Fitness for six months, am about to take my NSCA CPT, but I still wish I could go through the program.

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KATE
by: Brian

I too am looking into going to NPTI and Kate's feedback makes a lot of sense and is right in line with what I'm seeing and feeling about the program. What bothers me about most of the feed back from the negative writers as well as certification associations is that they sound like they are far more concerned about the cert than the actual knowledge. It's right in line with the United States and when everyone started putting more emphasis on a college degree than experience, things started going down hill. I've met some real college educated idiots but you can't beat hands on experience. Books can't teach you how to interact with clients and set up a program that's going to fit THAT individual.

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Practical Experience is KEY!!!
by: Anonymous

You can earn ALL the at home study certifications you want, but the bottom line is that if you can't take that into the real world confidently...those certifications are worthless. Anyone can read a textbook and pass a test, but that doesn't make you a legitmate and successful personal trainer. Whether it's by going to NPTI or workshops within your certification, hands-on, practical experience will raise your confidence and make you more valuable. Good luck!

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Community College
by: Anonymous

San Diego Community College district has an excellent Fitness Specialist certificate program that prepares students to take ASCM and ACE exams. It's an accelerated program and can be finished in 2 semesters. It's cheap,it's a great education and some classes meet AS Degree credit. http://www.sdcity.edu/athletics/fs/fshome.asp They also offer classes at their other locations at Miramar college and Mesa college.

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More training
by: Anonymous

Hi I am planning on attending npti in the summer. Once I complete this program can someone tell me if I will need further certification to begin working or, will that alone jump start me to land a job.

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Baby Bommer
by: Ageless

Im a 57yr young retired women who did many groups to music and exercise throughout my 37yrs of recreation employement My daughter is a teacher thinks that im in good physical shape and think that i should seek a career as a personal trainer. I love every thing around health and exercise. Im thinking is it possible at my youthful age?

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see this discussion
by: Katie - Admin

here is a good discussion... please post your question there.

http://www.starting-a-personal-training-business.com/am-i-too-old-to-be-a-personal-trainer.html

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NPTI GRADUATE (Orlando/Jan-Apr/2012)
by: Chris

If you EVER get the oppertunity to go to NPTI DO IT! I thought I knew everything there is to know about Physical Fitness until I went to NPTI. I was learning something new and exciting up until the very last day. With 500 hours of HANDS ON training, I can walk into any gym here in my town and get a job on the spot. But NPTI takes you past that, you leave the school wanting more than just a personal training job at your local "Planet Fitness". NPTI is the difference between a $25,000/yr salery at PF and a $75,000/yr salery running your own company.[While going to school for Sport and Exercise Science Degree;)] Sooo the moral of the story is: "If your going to put ANY of your time or money into becoming a Personal Trainer, trust me, GO TO NPTI."

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NPTI Student/Grad
by: Daphne

I definitely agree agree with Katie and Chris. If you ever get a chance to go to NPTI, then DO IT!!! It is TOTALLY WORTH IT!!! It IS a NASM facility, which would mean they are for for profit (NASM is set up that way), and they are expensive because it is a private school, but you learn for that what NASM has to offer. They also teach you the fundamentals of kinesiology (anatomy and physiology), performance sports training (PES), corrective/injury training, ACSM Risk Factor analysis, NCSA Needs analysis, CPR and first aide, nutrition counseling (NES), sales and business planning and the fundamentals of opening your own fitness gym/studio. Plus there are daily "labs" where you're constantly hands on, so you're already an experienced trainer once you graduate. You can't learn that by opening a book or reading it online. and they offer continued education. You get a diploma that never expires as opposed to a certification that expires in 2 years. Anyone can get a mediocre certification, and be an "okay" certified trainer, but why be good, when you can be great. Knowledge is power!

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