The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) was the first organization to certify health and fitness professionals and with more than 20,000 certified professionals worldwide, they are the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world.
ACSM establishes the exercise guidelines that all the other certifications use for their own training and certification programs. ACSM certifications are NCAA-accredited, meaning they meet the highest qualifications and something employers often require when looking for certified candidates for jobs.
ACSM offers many certification programs, including:
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, which will certify you to write and implement exercise programs safely and effectively to help clients reach their fitness goals.
ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist, a more advanced and indepth certification program than the personal trainer certification to train you to work with individuals with medically controlled diseases.
Taylor Kitsch appears shirtless in most of the upcoming John Carter movie, but he isn’t just a celeb with an expensive trainer on a strict diet. The Canadian actor is actually a personal trainer and nutritionist himself, and takes his work very seriously.
Kitsch revealed in a recent Men’s Health interview that that he lost 35 pounds in just two months to play photographer Kevin Carter in 2010′s The Bang-Bang-Club, and it wasn’t easy.
“It’s just way too extreme, and being a nutritionist I found it hard. Everything I knew just went out the window,” he said, admitting that the weight loss had affected him in many ways. “I was very bipolar. My mood swings were f**king insane. I was very emotional, I had night terrors, I couldn’t sleep. It was a zoo.”
All the effort was worth it to him though, and that’s how Kitsch describes his work ethic, in and out of the gym. You have to put forth the energy in order to reap the rewards.
Think you’ve got to be on some inside track to become a celebrity trainer? Not really. Jay Cardiello, creator of the J-Core program, did so by accident. Literally. A martial artist for most of his youth, Jay left his New Jersey home after high school to attend the University of Arkansas where he was part of the 1996 national championship track & field team. He was there to become a lawyer, but an accident on the track would not only send the disks in his vertebrae “flying every which way,” but also his career plans. He landed wrong during a jump and the damage to his spine would require 13 major surgeries over the next few years.
“I knew my career as an athlete was over,” he told us in a recent interview. His life was far from over, and arguably, just getting started. He had some down time for a couple of years as his body repaired from the damage. Back on his feet, he went returned to college at William & Mary where he worked as a volunteer assistant for the men’s and women’s track teams and “got to fall in love with coaching people.” If Jay Cardiello had a calling, this was it.
What happened from there played out like a case study for being in the right place at the right time. Jay could be called a poster child for having your whole life planned, and one small accident can change the entire course of your life for the better. After William & Mary Jay moved back to New Jersey to work as the head strength and conditioning coach for the Red Dogs for two seasons. After that, he was an unpaid coach’s assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At only 26 years old, he was compared to the best of the best and it was evident he knew what he was doing by now.
After some time in Tampa he was ready to put that expertise to a different kind of test and decided to work one-on-one with clients. He moved to New York City to be a trainer at Clay, an elite gym. It was there that Jay’s career took another hard right. During his third session working with a client named Curtis James Jackson III, better known as 50 Cent, and having just signed on a NYC apartment, Jay was asked to be the rapper’s dedicated trainer. “You’re coming with us,” Jay says 50 Cent told him. It was supposed to be a three-month gig, traveling as part of the entourage and keeping 50 Cent in shape. It turned in to four years. “I lived with him as a trainer and nutritionist,” Jay told us. “I was glued to his hip.” Read Full Post >
The ACE personal training certification is the largest, most widely recognized and widely accepted personal training certification there is out there. The draw is that you can complete the course at your own pace, on your own time, completely independently. While many find this the perfect choice to become a personal trainer, some criticize the ACE for not requiring hands on experience. While they do strongly recommend that you do 100 hours of practical experience, it isn’t a requirement. Find out more about the ACE certification process and decide for yourself if it works for you.
You can purchase study materials online that range from a simple textbook and practice test to DVDs, flashcards and practice tests. When you feel you are ready for the test, you can sign up online at any time and pick a testing area close to you.
The prices for study materials vary whether you go with the Premier, Deluxe, or Standard package, but expect to pay around $300-$400 for the exam materials. The ACE certification group also runs an Exam Review course every three months or so around the US. This counts as 1.6 continuing education credits (CECs), runs you around $220 and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. This is not a requirement to get your certification.
Also every three months, the ACE runs a 2 day, 15-hour Practical Training Program for additional help before the test to give you insight into critical areas such as Assessment, Program Design, and Strength Training. This runs about $300 and can be counted as 1.5 CEC’s but again, is not a requirement.
Few people know more about the fitness industry than Dr. John Spencer Ellis. Active in the fitness and health community for more than 20 years, and a renowned member, Ellis is known for a variety of things, including his stint on the Real Housewives of Orange County, the creation of NESTA, and most recently the launch of DietGuru.com.
We had a chance to speak with John and catch up on a few goings-on in the fitness world right now. We talk about making the resolutions last (yes, there’s still time!), identifying the best personal trainer for your needs, and how Diet Guru can help you become an A+ eater.