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Weight Management: Can Specialty Certifications Bring a New Perspective?


shutterstock_2225918Dealing with a client who has a goal to lose weight isn’t always an easy task. There can be a lot of mental barriers, aside from nutritional and physical, that can make it a rough job to help someone lose a significant amount of weight. If your team isn’t strongly educated on how to effectively deal with some of these strong barriers, an overweight client may not only be lost, but they may be permanently shut off from dealing with trainers or any intervention.

Being aware that I would need more than a degree in Exercise Science to better help this population, I invested in American Council on Exercise’s (ACE) Weight Management Specialization. What did I get out of the investment?

A bigger toolset! I learned health coaching strategies that enabled me to be stronger at enabling behavior change. I also learned safe assessments for overweight clients and how to more properly design programs.

More clients! Getting this specialization not only helped me provide more for clients, but it also helped me obtain more clients. Being a trainer at my facility with this specialization, I stand out and members know to come to me for help. It made marketing easier.

Credibility! If a specialized trainer is running a weight management program, it can give that program a lot more credibility. What sounds better: a weight loss program designed by a personal trainer, or a weight loss program designed by a weight management specialist? Words make a difference. You can gain deeper trust with the public just by having “Dr.” in front of your name (generally).

ACE isn’t the only company that provides specializations, as there’s a Weight Loss Specialization with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as well. One can also invest in other specializations that can support a weight management one, such as in fitness nutrition, orthopedic exercise, functional fitness, or corrective exercise.

If you run a weight management program or deal with a significant amount of weight loss clients, I highly recommend considering a weight management specialization.


Jamal Thruston is a certified personal trainer in Louisville, Ky., who specializes in weight management, behavioral change and health coaching. For questions, e-mail Jamal at jamalthruston@gmail.com or visit www.jamalthruston.com

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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