As the fitness industry in Singapore continues to boom, and corresponding interest in fitness careers and fitness jobs continue to surge unabated in the country, there inevitably arise the question: Is there such a thing as a GOLD standard in fitness certifications or courses here in Singapore and across the world?
Incidentally, this is one of the most common questions that we – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network – frequently receive in our mailbox from interested parties, particularly those who are exploring career paths and options in the Singapore fitness industry.
At the same time, it has also become almost commonplace to hear of certain fitness certifying agencies touting their own certifications as being the only “Gold” standard worth pursuing in the fitness industry.
So, honestly speaking, how true are these claims? Is there really such a thing as a single one GOLD standard certification that stands out from all the rest in the fitness world? Or is it all just a Big BLUFF emanating from shrewd marketing people wanting to influence our decisions?
From our collective experience, observations and research into the various fitness courses and certifications available in the market, we – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network – can safely conclude that there is basically NO truth to any claims that a GOLD standard certification truly exist in the fitness industry – none whatsoever – regardless what certain parties, organizations or institutions may claim otherwise.
Our conclusion comes from the fact that every certification comes with its own unique pre-requisites and processes, and each has something DIFFERENT to offer to the fitness professional out there. For instance, some certifications may be designed for the trainer who works in a clinical/medical setting, while others may be more appropriate for trainers working in sports performance fields, while others may be geared towards trainers working with certain special population types, yet others are for those who want to learn to coach using certain fitness methodologies or approaches. Whatever it is, NO single one certification can fully prepare a trainer to work in EACH and EVERY fitness field out there.
Certifying fitness agencies and organizations who claim that their certification alone is the only GOLD standard in the industry – is often making the statement from a highly bias point of view, tinged with a strong hint of hype and marketing – and more often than not is an attempt to gain an edge over their competition out there. In fact, with close to 1000 different fitness certifying organizations and agencies out there in the world (and still counting), the fitness certifying market is indeed often seen as extremely competitive, saturated and even cut-throat in nature.
Incidentally, and more importantly, in the interest of the fitness public concerned, having the ability to pass any certifying test (whether in theory or practical or both) simply does NOT define how good a trainer or coach is.
In fact, research across different sectors, industries and professions over history has repeatedly thrown up the same conclusion: that being certified does NOT necessarily mean being GOOD, much less making one a GREAT teacher, coach or instructor!
Rather, in the fitness world, the one thing that we find that defines a GREAT trainer is this :
Someone with the ability to take whatever knowledge taught, and communicate it clearly, apply it effectively and execute it professionally to any situation and/or client concerned.
Or, to put it in a simpler way, it is not WHERE you get your certification/qualification from, but WHAT you do with the knowledge that counts!
In real life, great trainers do come from a wide variety of certification backgrounds, so much so that it is practically impossible to pin-point which certification in itself contributes most to the “GREATNESS” of that particular individual!!
Hence, any talk of “GOLD” standard in fitness certification is simply nothing more than a MYTH, often conjured up by the brilliant minds of individuals and organizations seeking a competitive edge in the industry.
Thus, what does all this hold then for the wannabe fitness professional out there?
Simply this: rather than seeking for a “GOLD” standard in certification, Singapore fitness professionals – including personal trainers, sports coaches and wellness instructors etc should be more concerned about aiming to become GOOD – if not GREAT – trainers themselves: those who not only talk the talk, but also WALK the talk.
Whatever it is, just remember the bottom line: it is not WHERE you have been certified, but HOW you use what you have been taught that will truly make a difference to your clients’ lives.