So, this may be a bit of a boring post if you are anything but a personal trainer, but I felt like it was necessary. I searched high and low for more practical info on earning CEU’s and found very little to help me out. So trainers or anyone who might be considering a career as a personal trainer(because you’ll need this eventually), this one is for you.
I received my personal trainer certification two years ago through NASM(National Academy of Sports Medicine). It was long and hard and in the midst of a crazy season of life, it was a massive challenge for me to study for and pass that exam. It’s among the harder of the certifications and is definitely not a quick option, for me anyway. I knew eventually I’d have to renew, but two years go by so much faster than you would think!
My original plan was to get my Corrective Exercise Specialization through NASM or Cooper which would earn all my CEU’s for this term. I decided to go through NASM since their CES is highly respected, however, they give you a YEAR to take the exam. Ya’ll. A year. So, that told me it was no walk in the park and since my life is in a bit of a crazy season, I knew I needed to hold off until next year when all my kids are in school.
With that said, I needed other options. Easier, faster, busy mom options. I wanted to learn(I’m a bit of a fitness information nerd) and use new ideas and methods, and refresh what I learned while getting my CPT, however, I knew I only had so much time to devote. So, I went to the NASM list of approved CEU’s(you can find that here)and came across the Ideafit options. I was already a member of Idea but I had no idea what their CEU’s involved. So, I did some research, and I found nothing. Nothing beyond go there to get CEU’s. I didn’t know what the tests were like, how long each course took etc. I finished yesterday with all the necessary courses and I was beyond pleased. Here are some of the things I learned….
First, what is IDEAfit? IDEA is a health and fitness association that offers certifications, workshopts, articles, continuing ed, and many other resources. You don’t have to be a member or trainer to take advantage of all they offer. However, to participate in the courses at a discounted price, you need to register with Ideafit. A 2 year membership for a personal trainer is about $240. As a member, you get access to more materials and articles, liability insurance, conferences and discounted rates to those conferences, bonus material, and of course, discounted CEU’s. I keep my membership up to date. To see a full list of member benefits, click here.
Choose CEU courses that interest you
To take advantage of their extensive list of CEU’s, go to their Continuing Education tab. It will list articles(less CEU’s but still good resources), conferences you could attend in person, and online options. I chose 4 or 5 to start with (there were discounts around the holidays and some you could purchase as bundles at a lower cost). You get a discounted rate as an IDEA member. Anyway, find a few courses that interest you and put them in your cart. They vary on cost, but do know that you have to pay for each article or online course(exam included). They range anywhere from $50-$500 or more depending on which specialization or course you choose. I personally enjoyed the CEU bundles. It’s cost-effective and you get some cool courses to choose from. A few I did that I really enjoyed were:
High Intensity Training Certificate Program(bundle)
10 New Big Things in Small Group Training
HIIT for Endurance Athletes(article option….September 2016)
I also did a few articles. You basically read the article then click on take exam. I opened the exam in a separate tab so I could refer back to it as I took the test……
Really, this was my primary concern. How hard are these tests? My answer is…not hard at all. Were they beneficial in teaching? Yes. But, it’s nothing like I expected. Basically, you watch the online course and take notes, or read the article, then click on take exam. As I said above, I had the exam opened in a separate tab so I could refer back to the video or article and I had my notes I had taken open. The tests were 10-15 questions and some were very easy and took me less than 5 minutes, while others were a little more in-depth and I needed to take more time. I passed them all and I am the WORLD’S WORST test taker. Fo real.
I found the content very useful. For example, the Matrix course offered a template for program design and a fairly comprehensive review of the body’s aerobic and anaerobic systems. I love that stuff and it’s not often something I think about when designing programs for clients. NASM went into great depth in this area, so I learned it well, but tend to leave it out. It was great to be reminded of its importance. So my point is, the course was more than just a quick template. I did actually learn something new and had a refresher of something I have already learned. The trainers teaching the courses were knowledgable. There were some I liked more than others, but overall, I was pleased. I love how many options there are. You can go with a large specialization certification, or any of the smaller more convenient options. I’d love to attend a conference down the road, but it just wasn’t conducive to my schedule, because I procrastinated until the last possible second. Like, my deadline is today and I submitted everything yesterday. Yep, I’m responsible and mature that way.
So this entire process didn’t take much time at all. I think I started mid January and finished yesterday with 2.0 credits required for NASM. I did it sporadically as I had time. Each online course was about an hour and a half or so plus about 10-15 minutes on average for the exam. I fast forwarded some of the video’s if there was a workout portion, because really, who has time to sit there and watch other people workout? And no, I didn’t get up and do any of the workouts. I would also recommend the online course over the articles. The articles are useful resources, and I have actually read a lot of them in my personal time(nerd alert), but in terms of time, they took longer to sort through for the exam. The online courses were a bit more to the point, plus they earn you more CEU’s. Just my opinion. If you love to read, then attack those articles. You can also purchase those in bundles.
I hope this helps you guys!!! I was frustrated when I was working through how to get my CEU’s because I needed other options besides lengthy add-on certifications. IDEAfit was a great option for me, I just needed more info and spent a lot of time doing research that didn’t really answer any of my questions. So my hope is that this is helpful as you navigate ways to get your credits. I waited until the last minute, but now that I know how easy it is, I’ll space it out over the next two years so as to not have a loaded cost all at once. Idea is easy to navigate, straight forward once you start the process and very user-friendly. I highly recommend!
Let me know if I left anything out, it’s so possible as I have a crazy 4-year-old running around my house ha! Please feel free to comment below with thoughts or questions or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Friday and happy CEU’s!!!!!
*disclaimer: This is not a paid advertisement for IDEAfit. The opinions in this post are strictly my own based on my experience. IDEAfit did not sponsor this post.