If your career is in fitness, you know that continuing education is a never-ending process. Promoting dietary habits and nutrition that improve health and deliver higher performance levels has to be one of the most important things you can offer your clients.
If you don’t have it already, getting certified in sports nutrition is an add-on skill that will make the most difference in the performance and lives of your membership.
Make Sure Your Offering Is An Information-Based Service
One of the purposes of continuing education in fitness is to help you stay ahead of the competition. It’s a knowledge-based investment in the capabilities of your business. We are deep into the information age now.
Sometimes it’s like you’re getting information from a fire hose and most of it is pretty much worthless. Fortunately, your fitness club can be a sanctuary for your members, a place away from the chaos of the Internet and other media beyond your doors.
Understand that your members are not as concerned about your certifications as you are. Gym members only want results, that’s why they’re at your club in the first place. What matters to members is how you translate knowledge into results for them.
It Is Never Too Soon For Sports Nutrition Certification
As long as you provide valuable information in a professional and congruent tone that remains consistent without contradictions or misbehavior your members will see you as an authority. Why would you not extend that authority to include a sports nutrition certification?
The benefit of having a sports nutrition expert on staff cannot be overstated. Diet and nutrition guidance make the absolute difference in results. Getting the right food in you for the regimen you workout makes all the difference. If you’re building muscle, you need different nutrients than if you are training for an endurance event such as a marathon. It also matters what stage your client is in life.
Unless you’re going to return to school and become a nutritionist at the graduate level, you are going to be looking to work with from your preferred continuing education organization. Choose the one that has the right balance of price and content for your agenda.
Academic Career Paths Versus Continuing Education Add-ons
To be a professional nutritionist, a person needs a bachelor degree, successful internship experience, and in some states, a license. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nutritionists can expect to earn a median income of $28.33 per hour, or almost $60K a year.
Work for nutritionists and dieticians include healthcare facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes, government agencies, food service companies, and consultants to the fitness profession. As a graduate level fitness professional you can earn a sports nutrition certification as part of your continuing education.
A continuing education course in sports nutrition might not be valid beyond the fitness profession, but that’s not the goal, is it? You do it yourself to benefit yourself and your club, or you can delegate it to a trainer who’s eager to develop their career.
I don’t need to preach to this audience about fitness and nutrition I’m sure. This is something that is too often neglected in training and coaching regimens. Diet and nourishment for athletes make the winning difference in races, and between losing the last few pounds and not. The need is so great that nutritionists in fitness earn more than the average for the profession, with credible reports of sports nutritionists’ earnings of up to $100K.
Check Out What The Big Five of Continuing Education Offer
These are some of the most popular offerings in professional certification for sports nutrition. We aren’t sponsoring or favoring any of these, it’s just a basket of popular offerings. Check out each one to see which is right for you and that you can get credits from your continuing education provider before you sign up.
- ACE specialist program in Fitness Nutrition
- ACSM online course for Nutrition Basics and Nutrient Timing
- ISSA Sports Nutrition Certification course
- NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialization and materials
- NSCA Guide and Online CE Course
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dietitians and Nutritionists. March 20, 2018. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm (accessed March 28, 2018).
Fagan, Lawrence. Prepare To Connect Your Gym To Everything. February 25, 2016. http://blog.gyminsight.com/3710-prepare-to-connect-your-gym-to-everything/ (accessed March 17, 2016).
—. The Best New Continuing Education Fitness Industry Options. December 18, 2017. https://blog.gyminsight.com/4809-the-best-new-continuing-education-fitness-industry-options/ (accessed March 28, 2018).
Goodman, Jonathan. 5 Things You Don’t Know About Personal Training Certs. March 22, 2016. https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/5-things-you-dont-know-about-personal-training-certs.html (accessed March 28, 2018).
Mayo Clinic Staff. Sports nutrition. November 17, 2017. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/basics/sports-nutrition/hlv-20049447 (accessed March 28, 2018).