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Not all Trainers are Equal

When embarking on the road to improved health and fitness, hiring a fitness professional to help guide you along the journey is highly recommended. A trained professional can ensure you learn the necessary skills and knowledge to prevent injury, progress safely and maximize the benefits of your workouts. Further, the fitness professional can ensure your programs are catered to your interests and needs as well as build off your strengths while addressing areas to improve upon.

However, it is important to recognize that not all trainers are equal. Personality and training style need to meet your needs; however it is important to find out more about your trainer’s education, experience, insurance and scope of practice.

The vision of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) is “to be recognized as the Canadian scientific authority on exercise physiology, health and fitness, providing a continuum of service from those who drive the science to those who implement and apply the science”.

To support this vision, CSEP has established two levels of certification based upon a candidate’s academic background and experiences: the CSEP Certified Personal Trainer®(CSEP CPT) and the CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist® (CSEP CEP).

The CSEP Certified Personal Trainer(R)
The CSEP Certified Personal Trainer® certification requires candidates to have completed a minimum of a 2 year college diploma or university degree with coursework in anatomy, physiology, psychology, exercise theory and exercise prescription. The CSEP CPT is required to have a current CPR and standard first-aid and achieve a minimum standard of 25 personal training hours. A certified CSEP CPT has successfully passed both a written and practical standardized national examination.

A certified CSEP CPT holds professional insurance and is cleared to work with clients who are healthy or clients who have been cleared by a physician to participate in unrestricted physical activity. The CSEP CPT may use various testing protocols sanctioned by CSEP to establish baseline health and fitness of an individual and to tailor a program for that individual.

The CSEP CPT is a great fit for the healthy general public who is looking to improve overall health and fitness.

The CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist®
The CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist® certification is the highest industry standard in Canada. The CSEP CEP certification requires candidates to have completed a 4 year degree in Exercise Science / Kinesiology / Human Kinetics, etc. with a specialization in health-related, occupational and sport-related fitness as well as experience with clinical populations. The CSEP CEP is required to have a current CPR and standard first-aid and achieve a minimum standard of 300 hours of laboratory and clinical practical experience. A certified CSEP CEP has also successfully passed both a written and practical standardized exam.

A certified CSEP CEP holds insurance and her/his scope of practice includes working with clients who are healthy or present with various functional limitations and medical conditions, including but not limited to musculoskeletal, cardio-respiratory and metabolic conditions. As well, the CSEP CEP is qualified to work in occupational settings as well as with recreational to elite athletes who may train at near-maximal efforts.

CSEP CEP certified fitness professionals meet the highest standard in Canada and are gaining recognition in the health care field. A CSEP CEP may be referred by a physician, physiotherapist or other health professional however they can also be self-referred.

Choosing to hire a fitness professional can prove to be extremely rewarding. A well-qualified individual will take the time to learn about your barriers and successes, assess and evaluate your current fitness and design a program that is catered to your goals. A certified CSEP professional (CSEP CPT or CSEP CEP) will safely guide you through the process and encourage you to make realistic changes over time. Investing in physical activity is a positive step to becoming a healthier you.

For more information on finding a certified CSEP fitness professional in Alberta, visit our online directory

or visit the CSEP national website at Find a Member!

Find a CSEP accredited fitness facility

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