You may consider several factors before selecting a fitness box. For example, proximity to your home or work, cost, and class schedule all may factor into your decision. However, you should also take a close look at your potential coaches. You will want qualified coaches with certifications or degrees that can help you reach your greatest potential while also keeping you safe. Unqualified trainers or coaches with minimal certifications can result in poor gains or even injuries.
College Degrees and CPTs
Most fitness coaches will have either a degree in a field relating to exercise or will possess a certification as a personal trainer. These represent the foundation upon which they build their specializations.
Physical Education/Sports Medicine Degree
This is a Bachelor of Science degree and focuses on exercise, sports, and other physical recreational activities. Individuals take courses in biology, anatomy, physiology, exercise physiology, nutrition, and more. These courses provide them with the scientific and medical background they need to recognize, rehabilitate, and avoid injuries.
Certified Personal Trainers (CPTs)
Before certifying, most academies require candidates to receive CPR and AED certifications. Candidates study for several months before sitting for an exam. Once they pass, CPTs must recertify on a regular basis to ensure their knowledge is up to date. CPTs also choose a specialty: one-on-one training or group training. Some opt to certify in both over time. CPTs learn about anatomy, functional biomechanics, nutrition, and more.
Individuals can certify through several accredited programs. Below are some of the most popular and respected in the fitness community.
- National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- International Sports and Science Association (ISSA)
Which program trainers choose often depends on the gyms and boxes around them. Sometimes, various locations will only accept certifications from specific programs.
When a trainer or coach says they are certified to teach fitness that could mean any number of things. Functional Fitness is a combination of several different sports and exercises. Trainers can receive certifications that allow them to specialize in a specific field.
Fitness Level 1 certification courses focus on Functional Fitness’ methodology and fundamental movements. Students learn how to perform and perfect movements as well as coach others. Students partake in large group workouts to learn how to conduct a class, maintain a standard exercise using good form at high intensity, gauge individuals’ abilities to determine their intensity level, and scale exercises for each fitness level. After completing the course, students should be able to accomplish fitness exercises with proper form as well as coach others on how to do so as well.
Fitness Level 2 certification builds upon what students learned during their Level 1 certification. This certification focuses heavily on improving coaching. Students will lead small and large groups as well as participate in classroom discussions. These discussions provide students with feedback to improve their coaching abilities.
Functional Fitness Kids
This course teaches coaches how to train children and teenagers. Teaching adolescents comes with unique challenges, and this course educates trainers on how to overcome them. Coaches learn how to make fitness fun while enriching children’s lives. The course also focuses on teaching children safe form and amending incorrect movements.
Functional Fitness coaches who earn nutrition certifications add a compelling element to their training abilities. Exercise alone will not yield results. By combining proper nutrition for optimal performance with workouts, individuals will achieve greater gains in less time.
Functional Fitness Specialties
Specialty courses allow coaches to explore new topics within a fitness setting. Below are some of the more popular certifications.
- Gymnastics: This course teaches coaches basic, intermediate, and advanced gymnastics exercises and techniques. Coaches take this knowledge and apply it to fitness training. Gymnastics principles can help improve strength, core control, and more.
- Kettlebell: Kettlebell exercises are common to fitness workouts, which is what makes this course popular among coaches. This course enhances coaches’ ability to use and teach with kettlebells to improve performance and endurance.
- Sports: An athlete’s performance is a direct reflection of their training. Sport-specific fitness certifications provide coaches with the expertise to train athletes to the best of their abilities. Topics covered include exercise drills, strength training, proper nutrition for optimal performance, and more.
- Weightlifting: This course provides coaches with the knowledge to perform and teach the basic weightlifting exercises (snatch and clean and jerk). These movements improve overall power output, balance, and more.
Ground Force Method
This certification helps coaches train injured or aging athletes. The course focuses on helping individuals retake control of their bodies and perform exercises without pain. Ground Force Method puts the fun back in exercise for these athletes by improving the quality of their movements.
LoCoFit Leesburg Coaches
Certification matters for every fitness journey. Individuals who want to improve their physical performance without risking injury need to join a box that employs certified coaches. At LoCoFit Leesburg, we have coaches with a variety of certifications—including all of the ones discussed above. If you want to learn more about fitness or its specialty programs like sports performance, weightlifting, and more, contact us today.