Throughout my academic journey towards earning a doctoral degree in exercise science I recall time and time again wanting to earn a nationally recognized certification to validate my skills and knowledge within the field. However, I never seemed to set aside the time to make it happen. The truth is, whether you’re an undergrad, professor, or seasoned health professional and interested in becoming your best, it’s never too early or too late to challenge yourself to earn a nationally recognized certification.
One of the first courses I taught as I entered back into the academic world at Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!) was “Fitness Testing & Interpretation.” As I began to refresh my knowledge in preparation for the course it was then that I decided I would do two things:
1) encourage my students to earn a certification (either in personal training or exercise physiology)
2) work to earn a certification myself
The truth is, whether you’re an undergrad, professor, or seasoned health professional and interested in becoming your best, it’s never too early or too late to challenge yourself to earn a nationally recognized certification.
To motivate all of you out there considering whether or not you should earn a certification, I thought I would share my personal experience earning the American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Physiologist certification (ACSM-EP) and list the reasons why you should inspire others (or yourself) to go earn a gold standard ACSM certification!
ACSM Certifications: What’s at the core?
Certified health and fitness professionals through ACSM gain knowledge and skills essential to working with clients or patients to provide services safely and effectively. Briefly, ACSM has four core certifications geared toward health and fitness professionals, and many other specialty certifications and credentials that can be explored in more detail here.
ACSM’s Got you Covered: Get certified! Stay Certified!
Nearly a month ago I sat in for the ACSM-EP certification and everything leading up to the certification was a great experience! Below are a few reasons to get certified!
1) The Endless Support & Resources
ACSM does an incredible job providing you with simple steps to help you explore which certification is right for you! Once you’ve figured out what certification is in line with your passion and interest, ACSM provides endless resources to help you study, register for your exam, and pass! Below are a few of the resources I used to prepare for my exam.
2) Certified! Check! Now what?
You did it! You’re a certified health and fitness professional. Once you’ve earned your certification there’s so much more in store for you. ACSM’s got your back! You can find the support you need to apply for jobs, build an attractive resume, and to keep up with the latest science! A few benefits after earning your ACSM certification are listed here:
If you’re new to the field or an experienced health and fitness professional, ACSM’s got a certification for you! ACSM certifications validate that as a health and fitness professional you are able to develop and implement safe, effective exercise programs, as well as modify them to meet the specific needs of clients and patients.
To gain a detailed understanding of the origination, recent modifications, processes of maintaining certifications, and recognize differences for each of ACSM’s four core professional certifications check out Meir Magal and Francis Neric’s article, “ACSM Certifications: Defining an Exercise Professional from concept to assessment” in the recent January/February issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal®
Article based on: Magal, M, Neric, F. ACSM CERTIFICATIONS - Defining An Exercise Profession From Concept To Assessment ACSMs Health Fit J. 2020; 24 (1): 12-18
ACSM Certifications: Defining an Exercise Profession | CEC Quiz
Vanessa M. Kercher
, Ph.D., SSC, M.Ed., ACSM-EP, BESS, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Kinesiology Department for the School of Public Health at Indiana University. Dr. Kercher's research passion focuses on helping individuals optimize their physical activity experiences to promote sustainable, positive health behaviors. She serves as the digital editor of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal
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