What Happens Next: Certifications


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As a campus recreation professional, preparing to be prepared is the name of your game right now. One of the major components to preparing for reopening and the next semester is certifications.

Sarah Grace, the coordinator for fitness programs at the University of Maryland, said her team had to cancel the in-person certification trainings they had scheduled in the facility through the time of closures, which is currently June 15.

“We are definitely going to follow the guidelines provided for holding in-person trainings, but I have been scheduling our fall certification trainings in the hopes we can resume normal operations by then,” said Grace. “All companies we work with understand we are a university, so while we are preparing to be prepared, things might still look a little different in the fall for us.”

Some of the companies Grace’s team uses include YogaFit, Les Mills and Cycle Fusion, who are all offering online versions of their trainings right now. “Some of my students have reached out to me about signing up for those, and I encouraged their participation to earn certifications they have been interested in at cheaper costs,” she said.

Tori Lord, the assistant director for fitness at the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNC Charlotte), said she has been torn with the concept of jumping on discounted or free virtual trainings versus thinking about what fitness programs will look like for the next year. As such, she posed the following questions:

  • Is it a good idea to jump on and pay for new programs when we may need to focus on covering our basic classes first?
  • Should we plan to downsize since we are more than likely going to have to watch our equipment usage and social distancing of patrons?

“In regards to hosting certifications, I have several contacts on the backburner I am ready to reach out to once we are able to get back into our facility,” said Lord. “With the current unknown regarding the timeline, and also the parameters that may be taken to partially open the rec center, I have not committed to hosting any dates until things start to look a little clearer.”

Melissa Crews, the fitness coordinator at the University of Houston Downtown, is also not recommending any in-person trainings or certifications right now, but did express the need for instructors and trainers to stay current with CPR certifications.

“I will be looking into continuing education courses for them, and I would also like to bring more yoga certifications but am open to other formats,” said Crews.

If your team is interested, Crews, Grace and Lord shared the current online certifications they have found useful:

  • TRX Training is offering a “TRX Suspension Training Course: Live Virtual Edition” for free to all fitness professions through the month of May.
  • YogaFit has a variety of online courses, with the exception of Level 1 training.
  • Cycle Fusion has online trainings, now offering payment plans. “I personally like their certification for a traditional indoor cycling format,” shared Grace.
  • SCW Fitness Education is offering a vast number of online certifications at a discounted rate.
  • Partners with CORE Health and Fitness can get discounted Schwinn and HIIT certifications.
  • Savvier Fitness offers “Barre Above” with a one-day certification course and virtual live web training events you can register for and stream from home.
  • Les Mills is offering online trainings. “If you want to be certified in BodyPump you have to have the equipment at home,” shared Grace.
  • IDEA and ACE are offering large discounts on many of their certifications and continuing education courses.

Overall, you can never be too prepared, but it’s important to remember each teams’ needs are different, and deciding those first can help lead you in the right direction when choosing certifications to invest in during this uncertain time.

“I think the best thing we can do for ourselves and our students is to stay up-to-date and read the offers that come through fully, so we know what to promote and who can participate in what,” said Grace. “There are a ton of options, which can be overwhelming, so I have been filtering through them myself in order to know what to promote and who to promote those opportunities to.”

Brittany is an editor at Peake Media. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com

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