Friday, April 4, 2014

6 Best Ways to Engage in Continuing Education

You're fresh off your personal trainer certification test. You've memorized the origin and insertion of every major muscle in the human body. You know the perfect way to design a workout. Theoretically, you even know the corrections for all ten of the most common mistakes in the squat.


Finally, you can ditch the textbook and get on to training clients! Or can you? In fact, your textbook certification will prepare you for only a fraction of the issues you'll face on the gym floor. The attachment points of muscles are just the beginning of an in-depth understanding of functional anatomy. The squat corrections presented in the book will not work for every client. And there are actually an infinite number of ways to design a workout. You'll come to find that no single one of them is perfect, nor does any one work with every client.

For every short chapter of that certification textbook, volumes upon volumes have been written. Moreover, new research comes out every month debunking old myths and shedding light on new best practices. To stay up on the latest information, you must realize that the real learning begins the moment you step foot out of the testing center. There are countless ways to engage in continuing education. Here are the six best.
1. Train


Train both yourself and others. Train yourself so you know exactly what a new exercise feels like before you try it out on a client. Train others to find out what really works for unique individuals on a case-by-case basis. Only after you've trained yourself and others for years can you begin to develop a training philosophy of your own.

2. Read

Read articles in fitness magazines, online publications, and scientific journals. Expose yourself to as many new and different ideas as possible, and then try them out on yourself and your clients.

3. Follow Industry Leaders

Keep the experts in the field at the top of your social media news feed to get all their latest information. Their blogs, research reviews, podcasts, and YouTube channels are an invaluable source of free material. If you have a spare penny, purchase their books and DVD's, as well.

4. Write

Write training programs for yourself, for your clients, and even for theoretical clients. Start a blog to figure out where you stand on the controversial issues facing the field. Just be prepared to swallow your pride and learn from the criticism you'll inevitably receive.

5. Obtain Additional Certifications

Expand your craft by getting certified in movement screening, kettlebells, Olympic lifting, nutrition, massage, etc. Each certification adds another tool to your ever-expanding training toolbox.

6. Attend Seminars

At least once per year, hit up a one-day or weekend seminar like Perform Better, where the top minds in the industry all gather in one place for an action-packed series of lectures and practical sessions. Interacting face-to-face with the best in the business simply can’t be beat.

What Are You Waiting For?


It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know all you there is to know. Falling behind on your continuing education, however, is equivalent to falling behind your competition. With the field advancing at such an alarming rate, it’s more crucial now than ever to make a daily habit of cracking open a new book, subscribing to a new blog, and studying for a new certification.

So what are you waiting for? Get your hands on every book, journal article, and DVD you can, and get your butt to every workshop and seminar within a few hundred miles. Your career depends on it.

Share This