Aspiring adaptive fitness instructors can now get their fitness certifications from different highly-recognized institutions. Fitness certification guarantees a long-lasting career in the adaptive fitness industry. Preparing for an education program is the first step to get your fitness certification.
While no law mandates fitness instructors to present a certification upon application, being certified can strengthen your career, and it means you’re serious about thriving in this industry.
Explore the top 5 adaptive exercise fitness certifications that you can choose from and educate yourself on everything you need to know about getting certified.
What Happens if you Work without an Adaptive Exercise Fitness Certification?
Obtaining education to get an adaptive training fitness certification is a solid investment. Albeit some may think that skipping the certification can help them save both time and money, there are repercussions to observe. Certifications are for personal trainers who want to make a real career out of adaptive fitness training.
Even if you have years of experience with adaptive fitness training, you still need to get certified. An adaptive exercise fitness certification is here only for good reasons. If you don’t get certified, you will most likely encounter the following:
Decreased chances of getting hired
No law requires an adaptive exercise fitness certification, but there is an unspoken rule of having one. If you walk straight into a fitness gym, hoping to get hired without certification, your chances are slim. Most fitness centers will prioritize trainers who can show documentation of their skills, experience, and education. Getting certified means you are determined and committed to working with your physically and mentally challenged clients, and you are capable of providing quality training. It also gives them a sense of security that they are safe under your training.
You can get hired, but not to train individuals
Some fitness centers will consider hiring an uncertified trainer, but their responsibilities are limited. You are not trusted to take on individual classes and clients. For instance, the center will train you on how to run a spin class, but you are prohibited from working on it with individual clients. Your role is simply to lead classes unless you get certified to train individuals.
No mentor will want to work with you
If you are serious about being an adaptive fitness instructor, you need to work with a mentor. However, if you are not certified, there’s a big chance that mentors may not want to work with you. They only pick who they train with—preferably trainers who have foundational knowledge and certification. In order to become a professional adaptive fitness trainer, you also need to develop skills that you cannot learn from books. Hence, a mentor is highly recommended.
No insurance benefits
One of the biggest advantages of getting certified is the insurance benefits. For instance, if you want to work as an adaptive fitness instructor, the company will cover your insurance. But if you are not certified, you could be excluded from the benefits of being insured. The company will also be liable if the client you are working on gets hurt during the training. The client can sue you. In this case, insurance will cover the costs provided that you are certified. But if you are not, then you have to pay for all the damages with your own money and risk losing your job.
How to Choose the Right Certification Program?
Since there are no laws that will regulate adaptive fitness training, it’s up to you to be selective and choose the right program to acquire your certification. Before you proceed to check out the best adaptive exercise fitness certifications in your area, here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing the right program:
● Consider the accreditation
The first thing to consider when it comes to choosing the right fitness program is accreditation. As much as possible, invest in an accredited program affiliated with highly-recognized organizations. Look it up on the internet and see if it belongs to any credible organizations. You might want to ensure the quality of your education by reviewing the program first and its affiliations.
● Check their background
You need to know how long the program has been operating and in business. It is highly recommended to choose a program that has been training adaptive fitness professionals for over ten years as it speaks of its authority and quality.
● Consider personal factors
Join a program that is suitable for you to learn. For instance, if you are working while getting your certification, you might want to have an online adaptive training program. Self-paced programs are also great. A flexible timeline is a crucial factor if you have a current job. Check out their financing options as well. Do they offer interest-free payments? How long can you pay for the program, and with your current job, can you afford it?
● Check the variety of program
You will know it’s a good program that can offer a wide variety of training. Some programs offer autism specialization, while other organizations include training programs for Alzheimer’s and other similar conditions. These specializations will help you develop your skills later on as you work with a mentor.
● Always ask for more
A good adaptive fitness training program will offer more than just learning materials to their students. If you want to make it a serious career and thrive in the industry, you must enroll in a program that can offer extras. For instance, the program must allow you access to their online materials, include you in their networking, and provide you tools if you’re planning to set up a business. A good program will provide regular support and guidance to their students until they become experts.
● Evaluate their learning resources
You might want to join a program that utilizes up-to-date learning resources and materials. A good adaptive exercise program will continuously improve and update their learning materials. You don’t want to be practicing skills and learning based on resources that are dated ten years ago. The science of adaptive exercise and fitness is constantly changing, so should your knowledge and skills.
What are the Best Adaptive Exercise Fitness Certifications Near me?
Not all certifications are the same. The institution you decide to apply for an adaptive exercise fitness certification will determine how well you will do in this industry. Hence, it’s normal to be selective.
Here is a list of the top adaptive exercise fitness certifications to choose from:
If you have been eyeing different adaptive training gyms, chances are you have heard of Special Strong. The gym had been on top of their game ever since it was established. They offer an Adaptive Special Needs Certification program for anyone who wants to be a trainer. The company offers interest-free payment plans and excellent customer support. You can find ways to finance yourself and pay for the course materials for over 12 months.
What’s more appealing to this is Special Strong certification requires no travel and registration date. If you are working other jobs while getting certified, you can fit it in a schedule that works. The company is very inclusive with their training, allowing you to apply what you learn in working with different physical and mental challenges.
Rest assured that you’ll finish the certification with skills and knowledge to apply to your career. Their materials are regularly updated and digital-based for easier access. The training includes a lot of exercise prescription and programming. Best of all, there’s no need to go to a testing site to get your certification. You can obtain it from your home or anywhere you like with up to three chances. Special Strong certification is indeed suitable for any aspiring adaptive fitness trainers out there.
The ACSM Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer, in collaboration with the National Center on Health and Physical Activity and Disability, now offers training and certification. With a deeper understanding of the updated ADA policies, the organization has created adaptive programming that is heavy on safe and effective adaptive exercise fitness training to promote an active lifestyle.
The ACSM offers various study options, including exam content, outline, textbooks, and webinars. Any aspiring adaptive fitness trainer can participate in distance-learning webinar series and get certified from the comforts of their own home. The organization aims to train certified fitness professionals who can assess, develop, and conduct personalized exercise programs for people with cognitive, sensory, or physical disability.
Previously, ACSM has worked with public health settings that aim to provide equal access to exercise to all, including health clubs and corporate-based fitness facilities. Fitness professionals certified by the ACSM are expected to provide fitness programming to underserved communities and be inclusive. With its excellent background and credentials, the price per course is very reasonable.
Adaptive Training Academy (ATA) remains one of the highly-established and well-recognized organizations in the adaptive fitness industry. For years, adaptive trainers, athletes, and physios have led the academy, all determined to provide research-based education to any aspiring fitness trainers and professionals. The organization aims to be as inclusive as possible, regardless of the physical or mental challenges that the person is facing.
The organization offers education and certification via an online course and specialty courses. It offers a wide set of practical methods, inclusive trainer accreditation, and sets the standard for adaptive training.
Rest assured that the ATA certification and courses are suitable for your foundational knowledge of adaptive fitness. Once you finish the courses and pass the certification exam, you will earn the Adaptive & Inclusive Trainer (AIT) certification. Lastly, the prices for ATA courses and certifications are reasonable.
Manitoba’s Adaptive Fitness Specialist certification is an excellent choice for individuals who have no background or experience with adaptive training. The organization provides an in-depth adaptive training course and certification after passing the exam. It is available to fitness professionals, support workers, and even family members who want to help their special loved ones maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Individuals who have finished the course and passed the exam will earn a Hutton House certification. The training is designed to develop the required skills and support the wellness of physically and mentally challenged people. It is only available for adults who are 18 years old and above. The program aims to raise awareness and promote inclusivity.
The course is approved for five MFC CECs. Upon completing the course, you will learn how to create and provide a personalized program for your clients and anchor your exercise programs for the specific disability you are working on. The program is also designed to help other conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and osteoporosis.
Autism Fitness recognizes the need for qualified trainers who will guide autistic people to leading a healthy lifestyle. This course is suitable for fitness professionals, educators, licensed therapists, and parents. The Autism Fitness courses are strategically designed to provide tools, resources, and a community network to train and empower professionals in delivering quality adaptive fitness programming. It targets the population with developmental deficits to create healthy living habits.
The course takes a multidisciplinary approach to autism fitness and developmental deficits. Once you complete this course and pass the exam, you’ll be able to provide fitness programming to your clients regardless of skill. Autism Fitness is a great course to take if you aim for targeted groups and want to focus on the autistic population.
Technically, anyone can become a trainer without certification, but the chances of succeeding in the industry are very slim. It also puts your job and name at risk. No one wants to work with a trainer without certification. Hence, if you want to extend your help and work with physically and mentally-challenged people, you must first prepare yourself to do so. Meet people who will help you become a professional fitness trainer. Attend webinars. Get certified. After completing the course, a long-lasting career in the adaptive fitness industry awaits you.