Tips for Fitness Professionals – Keep your Skills Current

If you completed your yoga instructor or certified personal trainer certification program quite some time ago, it may be time for a refresh of your skills! This can serve a few purposes, including keeping your fitness instructor certification valid. Importantly, it can also increase your skills and help provide you with fresh new ideas to incorporate into your work with clients. Taking time to shift focus to your own training and practice can also be rejuvenating. Self-care is an important aspect of any fitness trainer job, after giving plenty of energy into our daily work. Let learning bring you back to the basics and inspire you all over again!

Professional Development opportunities are plentiful when deciding on appropriate continuing education credits to maintain your certified personal trainer or yoga instructor status. Be sure to fully understand the requirements of your certification body for continuing education. This may include a mix of contact and non-contact hours to fulfill your professional development requirements. Most organizations such as the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers require twenty hours or continuing education in a two year period to maintain a certification.

Contact Hours: These are in-person training programs with a certified professional trainer or instructor that has significant experience and appropriate certification to train other fitness instructors. Contact hours may include workshops, multi-day training programs or mentorship sessions.

Non-Contact Hours: These are self-study options using valid resources such as pre-approved study materials and training content, attending events or participating in online webinars.

Some tips on how to pick continuing education options that are right for you:

Know the cost: The cost of professional development workshops can vary greatly. Do your research to know general market rates for the type and length of training you plan to attend.

Know the trainer: Don’t assume all contact training options will provide the same amount of professionalism. Read reviews, check into their certifications and make sure the trainer’s background fits with both your learning goals and your certification requirements.

Know the location: Not all training opportunities you are interested in or would be best for your career will be located close to where you live. You may need to consider traveling to attend a training or workshop, which can factor into pricing and overall viability decisions. If this is the case, you may be able to take self-care into consideration and plan a vacation around your training!

Know the timeline: It is always best to plan ahead. It is best to know when your next set of continuing education hours are due for your certification so that you are not rushed at the last minute to find any training program available. Making a training plan for yourself for a 1 to 3 year period will give you time to do the appropriate research on options, find dates and locations that work best for you, and allow you time to budget and make any financial plans so that you can maximize the value of your continuing education and training opportunities.

Start your research about continuing education credits for personal trainers and yoga instructors with your certifying organization and then branch out from there. The National Council for Certified Professional Trainers has a wealth of information on personal training that counts towards a variety of continuing education credits on their website at: You can also find video libraries online, read published journals and talk to other fitness professionals to find out about interesting training opportunities in your area!

No matter which opportunities you choose, keep track of them. Documenting your continuing education will be necessary for maintaining personal trainer and yoga instructor certification, will inspire confidence in you from your clients and show you how much progress you make on a yearly basis with your knowledge of health, wellness and fitness. Happy learning!