Another entry in our ongoing series of profiles! Get to know the people behind the certification. Know an ACSM member who should be profiled? Drop us a line!
How has ACSM certification increased your level of expertise?
The ACSM credential means higher expectations in both standards and performance from professionals in my field. In my daily grind, when interviewing with a company or an individual, you have to know how to relay information scientifically and practically so that the client can gain a clear understanding of the training plan.
I've always had the confidence of knowing I was educated and backed by a research-based organization, so my approach has always been somewhat casual. But now that the professional field and certifying organizations are growing, it makes a big difference when a physician has a patient ask for "an ACSM-Certified Professional and no one else." You really have to step up your game and perform to the level that the ACSM credential brings to your name or practice.
What's your favorite form of personal exercise, and why?
Weight lifting. I'm a strength and speed junkie. I don't sit still well, so I like the range of motion of the exercise and feeling strong in the movements and I love how it changes the shape of your physique. I was an IFBB Fitness Competitor for many years, and the lifestyle just stuck with me.
What's the best part about your community?
I moved to NYC after living in a sleepy Indiana town. The clients I worked with there always pushed me to be better, but this city is stimulating and taxing on every level. You really gravitate toward other professionals that keep you on your toes and help seek out opportunities to improve with new clients, training techniques, medical care techniques, and more. Paying attention to the five aspects (mental, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual) of community wellness helps me stay balanced. If you're not balanced in the city, it will break you down pretty fast.
When did you first discover your love of fitness?
Probably the first time I did a backhandspring on a beam by myself. It was a very exciting moment, when you don't crash and burn...or fall off!
Do you have any other advice for anyone considering ACSM certification?
When aspiring trainers ask me which certification to get, I tell them ACSM, hands-down. However, they usually do some research on their own, then come back and tell me, "You're right." Then my advice is simple: order the materials and set the date of the exam.
Goal-setting in yourself and with your future clients starts with this small step, but can carry you through your entire career. ACSM constantly pushes for growth not just individually, but through professional training, university education, and even government initiatives. I've been ACSM certified since 1997, thanks to the educators at Oklahoma State University encouraging me to sit for the exam upon graduation, and am still learning as the field continues to grow.