Fitness Certifications

Maria Faires, Master Personal Trainer

Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (Medical Exercise Specialist)

The Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (AHFS) Certification, now called Certified Medical Exercise Specialist (MES), is an advanced certification that provides training so that fitness professionals can offer preventative and post-rehabilitative fitness programs for those recovering from a variety of injuries, disability, disease and/or treatments. Only those personal trainers with a four-year Bachelor’s degree are eligible to take the exam for this certification.

People who have received medical treatment for illness or injury often find themselves in a predicament: they are out of rehabilitation but not yet ready to undertake an exercise regimen by themselves. An Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (now called Medical Exercise Specialist) possesses the knowledge and skills to safely and effectively design, implement and manage exercise, physical activity and appropriate lifestyle programs for individuals.  They ensure that health-challenged individuals receive appropriate fitness services that can improve their ability to lead fuller, more active lives.

Individuals finishing rehabilitation programs can enhance their quality of life with a well-designed program of physical activity. This requires someone with in-depth knowledge of the appropriate type of activity that will most benefit them, taking their limitations into consideration. Advanced Health and Fitness Specialists provide fitness services to people coping with the following health conditions. Training of individuals with the following health challenges should only be undertaken by someone with special training.

  • Cardiovascular disease: hypertension, CAD, PVD
  • Pulmonary disease: Asthma, Emphysema, COPD
  • Metabolic Diseases: Diabetes, Obesity, Blood Lipid Disorders
  • Immunological/Hematological Disorders: Cancer, Arthritis, AIDS
  • Neurological Disorders: Fibromyalgia, Gait and Balance disorders
  • Low Back Pain
  • Musculoskeletal Challenges
  • Osteoporosis
  • Visual Impairments
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Frailty

American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer Certification

The ACE Personal Trainer Certification is highly regarded for upholding the values of professional excellence and quality within the health, fitness, and nutrition and wellness industries. It is a nationally recognized and is a NCCA-accredited fitness certification.

The ACE Personal Trainer Certification keeps today's fitness professionals ahead of the competition. Upon successful completion of the ACE Personal Trainers have demonstrated knowledge of risk factor screening, fitness assessment, nutrition, exercise science, exercise programming and appropriate progressions, instructional and spotting techniques, lifestyle modification. motivating individuals to keep healthy lifestyle, and better equipping clients to improve their work-out routine.

What Every Consumer Needs to Know About the Accreditation of Certification Programs

There are no uniform industry standards in the field of personal training. Anyone can claim to be an expert. But the move within the industry is to standardize requirements, and the major fitness associations already have certification requirements, which lets consumers know the trainer has been schooled in everything from physiology to health psychology to first aid.

"It's the consumer's responsibility to ask about education, certification and information about the organization issuing the certification," says Cedric Bryant, vice-president and chief exercise physiologist of the American Council on Exercise. "There are a lot of acronyms out there, and some of the certifications aren't worth the paper they are printed on." Not all certifications are created equal.

The NCCA accreditation clearly distinguishes the excellence and value of ACE fitness certification and clearly discriminates between qualified and unqualified fitness professionals. For more information visit:  http://www.acefitness.org/aboutace/accreditation.phpx

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