From Jon: This question actually came from on an article entitled Stop Hating on Formal Education.  It got some great feedback so check it out.  I thought the answer would work well posted here.

I would like first thank you for giving me this opportunity to for giving me your email after reading my comment on your website.

What I really need advice on is my parents are not really supportive of me pursuing the fitness industry. I actually wanted to do a degree in sport science but because of the requirement of me to transfer overseas to pursue my education and the lack of funds I was not able to do so. I have actually checked a few organization and inquire about the courses, I think that only the ISSA and NASM provides me the opportunity to get certified doing an online based program, correct me if I am wrong though.

I'm planning on getting certified next year, studying the course simultaneously with my college degree since I'm only in my 3rd semester and would like to get certified before college gets too hectic. I do not know how to bring this up to my parents for I fear they might not be understanding at all.I hope that you can give me a couple of pointers.



Hi K

It's a difficult question to answer and I can only assume your situation is a tough one.  Where are you from?

ISSA and NASM are good internet certifications but my question to you is this:

Why do you need a certification now?  If you're still in school then training won't be your #1 priority.  Add to that the fact that a certification doesn't mean much in the industry.  You can still call yourself a personal trainer (anybody can use the term) without one while doing extensive self-study much cheaper.  My suggestion to you right now is to buy some of the top resources (texts, books etc.).  It's much cheaper and you will learn more applicable knowledge than an internet cert will give you.

From there, start giving friends and family workout advice or offer to train folks for free or for cheap as learning projects.  You will gain some experience through it while you study and also start to show your parents that you have a passion for fitness AND it can be a successful career.

So I guess my suggestion is this:

Build up your clientele and reputation in your neighbourhood without telling your parents.  Self-study.  If you have the money for various texts and books I can refer you to some great material.  Once your parents find out about your career aspirations it will be much easier to show them the value of personal trainers if you have already achieved some success.