College for Personal Trainers

Question (part 1):

I'm currently a PT assistant (associate and license in physical therapy) and ACE certified personal trainer. I prefer the fitness industry over rehab and would like to further my education while working full time.

I was wondering if you recommend Cal U's global online programs? I was doing some research and noticed that NASM was involved with the BS and MS health/fitness programs.

I'm definitely a skeptic of online programs but Cal U seems to have a good rep and is close in location to me.

Answer(part 1) College For Personal Trainers:

Answered By:

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken



Thank you for the compliments.

First of all, you should definitely have a talk with your parents about your college plans and ask their full input.

Secondly, the University of Phoenix or Phoenix college is an online school. There are many questions asked about Phoenix College because it is the largest online school and has many advertisements. Remember, Phoenix College is usually for people with a full time job, kids or other large responsibilities.

Going to a university is the best experience of many people's lives and it's recommended. California University of Pennsylvania (CalU) is about an hour south of Pittsburgh.

They have online as well as on-campus programs of exercise science which are sponsored by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and have great relevance to a personal training profession. Most universities have a kinesiology or exercise science (different names in different colleges) program so do your research.

When I went into college I was trying to be a Chiropractor. I started as a chemistry major because I loved science and organic chemistry was required by chiropractic schools. I changed my major 3 times to different health science related subjects before I graduated with a bachelors degree in exercise science.

I was personal training for internships during college which helped transition into working as a personal trainer right out of college. College credit was given for the small and large internships which helped gain the experience which is crucial for applying everything you learn in college.

Start volunteering or working as a personal trainer while you're in college or even before to see if personal training is right for you. You do not need a college degree to become a personal trainer, just a certification, but a college degree will give you a great base of knowledge which will stick with you for the rest of your life.

Thanks again for the compliments, good luck with college!

Question (part 2):

I wrote you like a week ago asking what you did for your studies. I really appreciate that you took the time to read my email and reply.

I still have one question though and was hoping you could help me out again. You said that you took chemistry in college because you really liked science.

Well, I don't like science and I did not take chemistry as a course in my last year of high school.

I was planning to study history and language arts in college.

When I'll be in the University, I was planning to take the course to become a personal trainer.

Is that possible? Can I still become a personal trainer without science?

Answer(part 2) College For Personal Trainers:

The science of the human body is a rather difficult concept but nobody can understand every single aspect of it. In order to be a good personal trainer you need to have knowledge about anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics.

Personal trainer courses for certifications cover these things, but will not cover as much as a science degree in college would.

This being said, if you don't major in anything related to the human body you will simply have to study and learn on your own through your certifications and your experience to become a successful personal trainer.

Exercise is only half of being a personal trainer as well.

People work with trainers who they think is interesting and has a genuine passion for helping people. Communicating with your clients may be more important than knowing every little fine detail about the science of the human body.

Study history and language arts in college, take your personal training certification courses. As long as you have passion for fitness and love to help people you can definitely become a successful personal trainer without a science or health related college degree.

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