What am I going to do with my PT certification?

by Kim on January 7, 2014

I’ve gotten this question a lot since I completed my personal training program last month, so I thought I’d just address it here.

Spoiler: working in a gym is not on the To Do list. Not that it never will be, but I’m not planning on quitting my day job anytime soon. (Which is probably good, considering I just got it.) This PT thing is going to be a side hobby, at least for the foreseeable future.

Plus, I’m the worst salesman on the planet. Trying to convince people at a gym that they need a personal trainer sounds like a special kind of torture to me.

Anyway, before I get into what IS on the agenda, I’m going to force you to endure a few random life updates.

For example: how awesome is my new desktop background at work??

So awesome that it includes the word awesome. New year’s inspiration FTW!

(Doesn’t it look like I just drew on my monitor?)

In case you’re interested, I downloaded that here.

You might have noticed the new Fav Fit Reads  list on my left sidebar over there. That’s something I’ve been meaning to put together for a long time, and I thought long and hard about what to include. Of course Chalene Johnson’s Push is on there, and a bunch of Jillian Michaels stuff (#girlcrush), and Caitlin Boyle‘s Healthy Tipping Point book. My plan is to keep updating it (adding and removing) as I discover new health/fitness/self help books, so it’s always reflective of the best books I’m aware of.

Oh, and yes, those are affiliate links through Amazon, so I could maybe actually make a few pennies on this blog instead of always paying for it. :)

Full disclosure: Jillian’s Unlimited is on there even though I haven’t technically finished it yet. It’s on my nightstand right now and halfway through, I already know I’ll be recommending it.

Honestly, I was pretty hooked just from the story on the back:

(Are you calling me fat, Jill??)

Know how it’s been kinda cold lately? Check this out:

lake michigan

That’s Lake Michigan, suffering through the “polar vortex,” as people are calling it. Woahh. (source)

The weather is so cold and dry that I’ve been having to put lotion on my face to keep it from looking like the desert.

LOTION. On my FACE. It goes against every single instinct that 28 years of Greasy Face Syndrome instilled.

Luckily, the temps are supposed to get into the balmy 30’s (no sarcasm, seriously) this weekend–a huge relief, because we booked a mini family vacation to a nearby resort for some indoor waterpark and (hopefully) snow tubing action. Should be fun!

Of course, the success of the trip is all up to this guy:

I booked the room with 2 queen beds in case I need to share one with him to get him to sleep. (In case = probably will happen.)

Also, he’s totally obsessed with the little food holder in that picture these days. We put Chex cereal in it, and he’ll spend an hour straight digging them out one by one, like it’s the most amusing thing ever. (Half for eating, half for methodically scattering around the house.)

So! What am I going to do with that certification I busted my butt for 6 months to get?

Well, first, I’d like to officially start the Fit Moms 4 Life group I postponed back in the fall for personal reasons (like, that my life was getting turned on its head with going back to work). I’m just praying that I can actually get a few people to commit to the financial investment (that was my big road block last time). Remember, I suck at selling things??

Kim-1060 edit
Am I selling that I wasn’t freezing in this picture? Because I was. Big time.

So that’s step 1. My hope is that leading a program that’s actually designed by someone else will give me the confidence to venture out on my own.

Another thing I’ve been strongly considering is changing my site name. As in, a total rebrand (to bring in the real marketing lingo). The whole idea terrifies me, first because it sounds like a huge, huge hassle, and second because I worry that I might lose some of the online relationships I’ve built just because people won’t recognize me anymore.

But the fact is that my blog isn’t what I thought it was going to be when I first started blogging. The idea behind the original “healthy nest” was that I was going to talk about having a healthy, happy home, with an emphasis on raising healthy kids, instilling positive family habits, and creating an environment that’s conducive to happiness and wellbeing. (Here’s my whole original manifesto, if you’re interested.)

fitness and mom guilt
I’m sure I’ll still talk about some of that stuff, but it turns out that I’m not quite the Suzy Homemaker I thought I was going to become when I quit my job to be a SAHM. Sure, part of the idea was to use the blog to encourage myself to become more confident in my homemaking role, but where there’s no true interest, there’s no good blog. Plus, there are already so many blogs that are covering that stuff really, really well.

Turns out that I’m much more interested in fitness than I thought I was–as in, the details of how it all works, rather than just the execution of it. I’m also very interested in how fitness fits into the bigger picture–how it’s just one tool (of many) that can change your outlook on life, and subsequently, your experiences in life. I’m also (unsurprisingly) now really interested in fitness as it pertains to moms.

So just a heads up that the address at the top of this page might be different someday. If I have the guts to do it. And if not, well–one thing I always loved about the healthy nest name is that it’s just general enough to be appropriate for almost anything I’d ever want to say. Right?

I know what you’re thinking: you don’t need a CPT for any of that stuff. Why won’t she answer the dang question??

Ok. So. Concrete things I’d like to do with my CPT:

Post more workouts on the blog.

I’ve always been concerned about doing workouts “right” rather than just throwing some exercises together and calling it a Thing. As much as possible, I want to base my workouts on real research about what exercises actually work, in what order, for how long, etc. With my PT training, I feel like I have the tools to do that.

yoga fit
Design two workout programs. These would be full online programs, to include workouts, nutrition ideas, accountability, and a couple other ingredients I’m cooking up. I know that plenty similar programs exist already, and they’re awesome, but I’ve noticed a few gaps that I’d like to fill. The two programs I have in mind would be targeting much more specific audiences and goals, rather than the one-size-fits-all approach that other programs take.

Write an e-book. This would be a scary concept, except that I’ve spent half my life daydreaming about writing an actual book, so an e-book sounds like a piece of cake. (Right??) The topic I want to write about is closely tied to one of the programs, and still way too young and immature to talk about yet. :)

Start a local moms’ fit club. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I was always desperate for adult interaction, but kind of turned off by the idea of mom groups. I’m sure this is totally inaccurate, but I pictured talking about breastfeeding and baby poop, comparing birth stories, and lamenting about sleep problems all day. Which is all fine–just not my bag (on a regular basis anyway). What I wanted was a fit club, where moms would bond by working out together…but here’s the catch. It had to be something I could justify paying for, since I didn’t have a lot of disposable income. Something similar to Stroller Strides, but cheaper (maybe even free).

–(Maybe someday) Explore in-home small group training for SAHMs. This is a distant dream, but it’s on the idea list. (The biggest obstacle I can think of is, of course, selling.)

Kim-1063 edit
So there you go. My dreams, now all out in the open.

This was definitely one of those “scared to hit Publish” posts. The pressure is ON!

Do you have any big plans you’re scared of for this year?

Any recommendations for fitness/health/self help books I should read next?


{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

leo November 26, 2016 at 1:16 am

I love being a personal trainer, and agree with you when you say there are a LOT of “bad” trainers out there – it’s too bad there is no practical portion. I studied Kinesiology and Exercise Science in undergrad, and worked in a physical therapy clinic for a few years before going the training route. ASK ME Q’S if you want!! Happy to chat


Megan June 27, 2014 at 7:54 pm

I’m so glad Pinterest brought me to you. I am currently studying to take the NASM cert test but am wondering what exactly my plans are for it. I dont want to be another gym trainer. Im there everyday and watch them and its just not my thing. I am definitely going to look into the Fit Moms company. It seems like a decent deal…aside from the selling. I’m horrible and feel so pushy.
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Kim June 28, 2014 at 10:51 am

I’m with you–hate selling!!!


Kelly Anderson June 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm

I’m so late in commenting on this post but I love that I just saw it bc I’m currently in the process of getting my CPT from NASM. I’m a SAHM of 3 and a newbie blogger. Like….so new to this game. So encouraging to read other moms experiences and I’ll come visit your blog again!!!


Kim June 11, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Awesome!! Congrats on taking the step toward your CPT! You won’t regret it. :) Did you see the study guide I posted on my NASM page for free download? Just a thought if you’re interested in some help with studying. I know it can be super overwhelming. But you’ll do great! Good luck!


Kelly June 12, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Yes! I saw the study guide. So awesome, I need all the help I can get. Trying to make time to study in between diaper changes, snack breaks, and toilet cleaning lol. Thanks for posting it!!


Kim June 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Of course! Hope it helps!


Abby March 10, 2014 at 9:32 pm

I’m very late to the game (just came from Kate’s blog) after reading your guest post.
Thanks a lot for posting this! I also just received my personal training certificate (on Jan. 11!) and haven’t quite decided what I’ll do with it either.
I currently work in PR/marketing and don’t necessarily want to quit my day job but also don’t want to work a full time job and then extra on evenings/weekends. We will see!
Abby recently posted…Keeping fit on our California adventureMy Profile


Kim March 11, 2014 at 8:46 am

Hey Abby, thanks for stopping by! And congrats on your CPT! Sounds like we’re living the same lives right now, haha. (I’m also in marketing full time.) Good luck on your next move! Hope you find something that’s a good fit. :)


Alex @ Alex Runs For Food January 16, 2014 at 11:35 pm

You are so AWESOME! :)
First if you want to change your name I say DO IT!! We will find you and support you!
Second I love all of your ideas of what to do with your CPT! And if you write an ebook I will for sure read it :)
Alex @ Alex Runs For Food recently posted…Weekend Update 1/12/14My Profile


char eats greens January 13, 2014 at 7:04 am

I’ve already switched up my blog and actually still have minor regrets (my old blog was “char on a mission” but I thought “char eats greens” was more appropriate for what my blog is about, but I do miss my former because I was cooler back then haha). I am NOT a good sales person either. Ugh, I’d rather DIE than sell something. Is that dramatic? Good, then you can understand how much I hate selling haha.
char eats greens recently posted…my weekend eats and planning aheadMy Profile


Kim January 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm

That’s so interesting about your blog name! I love char on a mission, sounds so secret agent-y. :) But I think you did the right thing, since your new name does give more indication of what your blog is about. Then again, I’m sure no one cares about our blog names except us. :)

Hahaha now THAT’s how to hate selling. Seriously, if I even get the slightest “I’m not interested” vibe, I’m tucking my tail between my legs and running. And I’m in marketing!! Ha!


Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate January 8, 2014 at 7:27 am

If I win the lottery let’s go to the Idea World Fitness Convention in California this summer–word on the street: Jillian Michaels is speaking!
Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate recently posted…Asparagus and Prosciutto Crescent RollsMy Profile


Kim January 8, 2014 at 8:59 am


I’m in! Let me know how the lotto thing goes!


Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate January 8, 2014 at 8:48 pm

I know. I want to go soooo bad.


Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome January 7, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Wow! I feel like I’m reading something I wrote! Well, minus the cold weather… The part about fitness and long term goals, to the T! If only I was more ambitious…
Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome recently posted…Finally setting some New Year GoalsMy Profile


Kim January 8, 2014 at 8:59 am

Maybe we should collaborate! :)


Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome January 9, 2014 at 8:16 pm

That would be awesome! Wish we lived in the same town :-)
Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome recently posted…Currently in JanuaryMy Profile


Kim January 7, 2014 at 6:48 pm

I’m also a certified PT and I don’t really use it much (other than for my own use) but I have done one of the things on your possible list and know you could to. I did in-home personal training – both individual and small group. It isn’t hard to build up because not many people offer the in-home service (I went to them and carried all of the equipment with me) and many people love that over going to the gym.
I hope you do start including more workouts!
Can’t wait to see what direction you end up going!!!
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Kim January 8, 2014 at 9:00 am

Thanks, Kim, that’s good to hear! Maybe it will work out someday, it’s just the furthest down on my goal list. I appreciate your support!


Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries January 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm

I feel like I can relate so well to everything you’re saying here… I have my CPT through NASM, and I tried the whole gym shindig. It was terrible, and like you said, pretty much torturous for me. I absolutely LOVED my clients and putting them through workouts, but the whole selling thing was just miserable. I like your ideas for putting your CPT to use – you’ll be great at all of them, I am sure!

I’ve also considered switching up my blog name, except reversed of what you want to do. I’d like to get into more of the “healthy family/mom” stuff and a little less of the exercise/fitness realm…want to just switch blogs? Haha! Kidding, of course. I’ve decided to just keep my name though and make it what I want it to be. I felt like I started overthinking everything, and all of the changes overwhelmed me. Whatever you decide to do, I’ll be reading! ;)
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Kim January 8, 2014 at 9:07 am

Haha we should totally switch blogs! Part of my problem, secretly, is that I’m just sick of my blog name and I thought of a new one that I like better. :) Plus, there are so many blogs with “healthy” in the name that I feel like a loser. :) But I know that no one cares about my blog name anywhere near as much as I do!

You’ve just confirmed all my fears about working at a gym! I assumed it was like that but was never quite sure if I was just building up the selling thing in my head. Thanks for sharing your experience!


Katie January 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm

I wouldn’t worry too much about the rebranding, those who don’t follow you to the new name are probably not active participants. As long as you do the new name well, you’ll be successful. And I have no doubts in you doing it well! I think its better to sit and wait than it is halfheartedly do it. So do what you want. When you feel like it!
Katie recently posted…Peace Perspective IntroductionMy Profile


Kim January 8, 2014 at 9:08 am

Thanks Katie! I’ve been thinking about it for so long that I’ve realized I’m actually pretty set on it, and it’s just a matter of time in my mind. In which case–the sooner the better! But it still scares the crap out of me. :)


Katie @ running4cupcakes January 7, 2014 at 1:56 pm

#1 love your background – totally going to download it too! #2 that is a super cool picture of Lake Michigan. Nature is so cool. #3 I don’t have any idea what we would do without those snack cups. We use them all. the. time. however, Luke likes to feed them to Abby or sprinkle them around the house so we can find them later. .. random story, he pulled out a muffin tin last night and wanted to eat dinner out of it. so, we did. apple chunks, cheese and cherrios. totally a balanced dinner right? In his defense, he did ask for some “butter” (peanut butter) but I thought that would be a bit too messy. ;)


Kim January 8, 2014 at 9:10 am

I love that! My son’s such a routine kid, I can’t imagine him suggesting we do something different for dinner, haha. And yes, those snack cups are amazing! Although not nearly as mess-proof as I was hoping. :)


Ashley @ Power, Love, and Self-Discipline January 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Hi Kim! I just recently got my CPT, as well as started a blog. I feel like I’m in the same position as you – starting out on a new venture, deciding which is the right path and having the courage to follow it!! I, also, don’t want to work in a gym. I am training a few friends, but still struggling with how to make an income out of it. As friends will always view you as just friends (which is fine as I’d do anything to help them live a healthier life), I would like to make it into a business.
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Kim January 8, 2014 at 9:12 am

Yep, I’m with you on every word! I know that it’ll take time and won’t be crazy lucrative, at least for awhile, but at least we’ll be doing what we want to do! Good luck with that and your new blog!


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