When it comes to certifications in the personal training field, I personally choose the FMS (Functional Movement Screen) certification over any other certification, especially when starting out. Sure the nationally accredited personal training certifications are great to have, but being a business owner and person that hires coaches, I would honestly rather see the person applying for the job to have an FMS certification over a personal training cert any day of the week.
Why do I choose the FMS certification over other options?
Movement First- In my opinion, understanding basic movements should be the first priority when learning how to train. After all, if you’re getting into the field of coaching people to perform better, don’t you think understanding the basic movements you’ll be training is important?
Not only is it important to understand what good movement is and what it should look like, it’s also extremely important to understand how to fix it. The FMS does an awesome job of creating a baseline standard for how someone moves. After establishing a base line, the movement screen will provide a road map to follow to enhance results. By understanding the hierarchy of what to correct first, you’re ability to improve your clients performance base will improve dramatically. Understanding the FMS and the concepts behind it will help improve your results and give you a more tools to work with when developing your clients programs.
Improved Communication with Other Professionals- I communicate with other fitness professionals fairly regularly. It’s not impossible for me to talk to you about your clients if you’re not using the FMS; however, if you’re using the FMS as your screening standard, I know automatically that we’re using the same language.
Let’s say you’re having an issue with getting a client to adapt or learn specific movements. If we’re both using the FMS, we’re going to be speaking the same language. It gets very easy to help someone when I can talk about what their score is on the left and right Active Straight Leg Raise or Shoulder Mobility screen. If you’re not using the screen, now I need to dive deeper into the screening process you’re using.
Improving the communication between fitness professionals and therapists is nothing to scoff at. If you’re able to communicate better with other professionals, it’s going to enhance your experience and minimize confusion when talking about certain things. This is extremely valuable when talking to therapists. If we’re truly going to bridge the gap between therapy and training, then enhancing the communication process and speaking the same language is an absolute necessity.
Make More Money- Just because you get a certification doesn’t mean clients will start flocking your way. However, with my own personal experience, the FMS has gotten me more clients than my CSCS, CPT, or any of the other handful of certs I have combined. Within the first year of being FMS certified, I’ve pulled at least 3-4 clients from the FMS site.
After becoming certified, you’ll have the ability to put yourself on the FMS national database. I’ve personally picked up several clients from the FMS site. The FMS is gaining popularity and more people are starting to search for professionals that understand the system. With the FMS being used in every professional sport, military, NCAA, and other huge organizations, people are looking for professionals that know the system. Getting the certification allows you to use the FMS national database to give yourself more credibility and enhance the likelihood of pulling a client with zero marketing efforts. If you hate marketing constantly, this is one constant that will pull clients here and there with little to no effort.
Be a Better Coach- Sets and reps don’t really matter if you’re not doing things correctly. You may just be doing more sets and reps on a dysfunctional pattern and make your client worse. The FMS allows us to find out what we should do with our programming. Should we train certain patterns? Should we avoid certain patterns? Should we correct certain patterns?
If you’re putting together a program, hopefully you’re asking yourself those three questions with each and every exercise you choose. If you’re currently choosing exercises because they look cool or just because they’re hard, stop it! Choose each exercise for a reason. There should be a direct reason behind each and every exercise you choose in your program. Using the FMS allows us to get very specific with what to program to get the best results. We know how to fix compensations and get each client moving better because we screen on the front end.
You can be an awesome marketer, but if you stink as a coach, you’re never going to have a thriving business or full schedule. Being a better coach and constantly working on improving your training skills will pay off dramatically. Going the FMS route would be exactly where I start if I had to do it all over again.
Certifications are great, and the FMS is the best one on the market in my opinion. This certification will pay itself off within the first year guaranteed. Help improve the standard of what we’re doing in this field and get certified if you’re not already FMS certified.
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