Hi Fit Pros,
TrainerLisa here with a subject that is very near and dear to my heart…Continuing Education! As an AFAA CEU Provider and someone who is very passionate on keeping current with my personal certifications, I’d like to give you my intake on this awesome subject!
What are CEU’s/CEC’s?
CEU’s/CEC’s stand for Continuing Educational Units or Continuing Educational Credits, and this is a MUST upon receiving your certification(s). Every certification regardless of if your certified as a Personal Trainer, Group Ex, Spinning, Yoga, R.I.P.P.E.D, Turbo Kick, Pilates Instructor, or Zumba, Crossfit or any other fitness professional certification or modality, staying current in our industry is not only a smart thing to do, but in most cases it. Is. MANDITORY!
Most certifications organizations require you to renew your certification(s) every two (2) years along with your CPR/AED, with some requiring yearly.
How do you “Renew” your certification(s)? Easy, peasy my friends! With…wait for it…CEU/CEC’s!
Now, there are several ways to keep your certification current:
Conferences such as IDEA, SCW, DCAC IHRSA, ACSM, ECA (just to name a few) are held at least once a year (with many held several times a year), with some of the most well-known and respected presenters and cutting-edge workshops in the industry! One of the BEST reasons to attend a conference (hands down!), is that you’re able to actually get hands on practice or lectures in everything from Mind/Body/Wellness to Personal Training, from Pilates to Marketing your business!
Now I’m not going to say conferences are for everyone (although I wish it was that easy), but most conferences are in larger fitness states (California, Florida and DC), while others travel in several locations Sara City Workouts (SCW), and some hold one conference a year at different locations/cities (IHRSA and ACSM), so make sure that you look into your personal certification body and find out which conference(s) works best for you!
Another great thing about conferences is that beyond going to lectures and workouts, they also hold certifications (woohoo!). Although I’ve only attended IDEA (IDEA Health and Fitness Association) conferences (18 years and counting), I do know that all, if not most offer the opportunity to not only renew your certifications through ceu’s/cec’s, but add to your fitness resume with such certifications/licensing as Tabata, R.I.P.P.E.D, Insanity, Bosu, Trx, Zumba and Pilates just to name a small few.
For those that are unfortunately not in the areas that conferences are held, or if money is an issue, there are other options for you to perhaps consider; many conferences need “volunteers” to work at the conferences and it’s personally a great way to “work” off your conference fees in advance. Many organizations will do a 50/50 split, as in you work Day 1, four (4) hours in the morning and you are allowed to take the afternoon off and go to the workshops/lectures. Day 2, off in the morning, and work 4 hours in the afternoon. Often you’ll work in the actual workshop/lecture so you’re actually able to get in on classes that “closed” to everyone else (bonus!). Your out of pocket with volunteering would be room/board (although sharing rooms with others participants is a great option), food, travel and all your fun stuff i.e. bands, equipment, music, clothes, dvds and any/everything new in the industry!
Okay, so now I’ve peaked your interested, but that still doesn’t’ work for you (kids, family, work, etc.), prevents you for going away for 3-4 days, so your next option is….
Online courses are a great way to get in your ceu/cec’s at your own pace and without leaving home! Most certification organizations offer you (as their client), ways to get your cec’s/ceu’s in by taking approved courses. Always make sure that any online courses or classes fall under your certification organization, otherwise you could easily spend hundreds of dollars on courses that are not approved.
After taking your classes/courses, you’ll always have access to a print-out showing that you’ve taken the class and the number of cec’s/ceu hors that you’ll receive. It’s very important to make copies of your cec’s/ceu’s and keep everything in a folder marked “Continuing Education” or something to this effect and when needed, submit along with all proper documents, a copy of your cpr/aed, and fee to your certification organization and voila(!), you’re good for another 1 (one) or 2 (two) years!
Staying Certified and current in our industry is important for both your business and yourself. Knowing what’s new in some (if not all) modalities can only make you more valuable to your clients. Open you mind to new methods of exercise, take as many workshops as you possibly can, stay current in the certification and keep making a positive difference in our industry!
– Cheers to Life and Happy Holidays!
Lisa with a B.S. in Holistic Nutrition, and a minor in Nutrition/Optimum Fitness has expanded her business to include being a Beachbody Coach, and a Fitness Consultant in helping others in the Fitness Industry and well as individual Personal Trainers to grow and market their business.
Latest posts by Lisa Lorraine Taylor
- What tools do you think are the best right now in aiding your clients’ success outside of the gym? - March 15, 2016
- How should your pricing differ, per person, for group sessions versus individual training? - January 5, 2016
- What promotions can I offer to drive new clients to me? - December 15, 2015