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Why Internships Are Better Than Certifications

Oct 29, 2019


In my book, How To Become A Successful Personal Trainer, I touch on a few topics that I think can inhibit or better anyone that is wanting to become a personal trainer.

One of the scariest facts about the pursuit of a career in personal training is that 90% of trainers quit within the first 12-months. This startling fact isn't just something I throw around, rather it's something I've surveyed fitness manager & district managers at top gyms and the census agrees (Crunch, Equinox, 24-Hour, and Golds Gym.) The majority of trainers quit because of entry standards and lack of education.

Did you know the average certified personal trainer study's a textbook and then within 3-months, takes a test at a center to become certified? That's right, most trainers have yet to train another human body besides their own anecdotes. Could you image learning another language from only READING A TEXTBOOK? YIKES!!!

At Show Up Fitness, we are changing this one intern at a time because we believe internships, or hands on learning, outweighs certifications. During out internship program, interns will learn anatomy, movement, nutrition, the business of training and get to train actual clients. There are some schools out there that profess HANDS ON LEARNING, but all the students get to do is train each other (hardly the same as the average overweight American.)

INTERNSHIPS > certifications (NASM or schools that don't allow hands on learning with clients like NPTI, SOCHI, or AFNA)

Can you become a successful trainer by getting a certification? SURE.

Do we advise it? NO.

Can you go surfing in La Jolla with a giant cut on your knee? SURE.

Do we advise it? NO (unless you want to be shark bait!)

The most common objection to our internship is the “COST.”

But the reality is that at the Show Up Fitness Internship, we allow our students to train while also learning good personal training techniques. Most students leave Show Up Fitness with a Rolodex of Clients and having paid a fraction of the total cost (numerous students have paid just the down payment of $500!)

Yes, that's right! Because we enable our students to work and learn at the same time, they are able to cancel out the overall costs.

As with most things in life, the easy way out usually isn't the best and if you want to make training into a career, you need to be ready to put the work in and ride the ebb and flow that comes with any new career. The first ten years of your career should be spent LEARNING. The next ten years of your career, your income will speak for itself and you'll be EARNING. The final ten should be spent giving back or RETURNING. Some of these moments may overlap throughout your training lifecycle, but the majority of time will be divided into these three distinct blocks of time.

If you're interested in learning more about Show Up Fitness Internship or to buy my new book, sign up for our newsletter and stay up to date with all things Show Up Fitness.


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