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Making the Most of Your NSCA Certification

An Interview with 2012 Personal Trainer of the Year—Robert Linkul, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D By: Scott Douglas, Marketing Director at the NSCA

In my role as Marketing Director, I have heard a number of comments from our Members and certified professionals like:

  • “My clients don’t seem to care that I have an NSCA certification.”
  • “The club I work at allows anyone with any certification to train. They don’t respect the certification I have.”
  • “I want to promote my certification but am not really sure how.”

So, let us learn from Robert Linkul, the NSCA’s 2012 Personal Trainer of the Year. Linkul is passionate about building his business as the Fitness Director at Arden Hills Resort Club and Spa, and he uses his NSCA certifications to create a distinction between his offerings and those of other clubs.Linkul, Robert

“Those in our industry largely view the NSCA’s certifications as the elite ones to have,” says Linkul. “But our clients don’t know this distinction. It is my responsibility to communicate and educate our clients about the difference they are getting because they train with an NSCA-certified professional.” He creates this distinction through several intentional, ongoing efforts at Arden Hills. Below are some key practices Linkul has put into place:

  • Everywhere his name appears, and everywhere his training professionals’ names appear, he makes sure to add “NSCA Certified.”
  • In the resort’s newsletter, he notes whenever his staff attends an NSCA conference or event to emphasize the ongoing education his team receives.
  • He and his trainers have apparel requirements when at the gym and must wear either an Arden Hills polo or NSCA-logo apparel.
  • He uses NSCA-logo clipboards around the gym and requires his trainers to display NSCA certification stickers visibly at their offices.
  • He provides incentives for his team to get their CEUs through the NSCA so they can be certified with distinction.
  • He purchased the use of the NSCA logo on his business cards.

What is the result of these practices? According to Linkul, “my 125+ clients may not even know what ‘NSCA’ stands for, but they know it means ‘educated, smart trainer.’ It is the only way I know how to continually create distinction between my team and other trainers with other certifications.”

Arden StaffThe bottom line is that your certification with the NSCA demonstrates and represents the high level of competence you have in the strength and conditioning profession. Take your career further and stand above others by consistently communicating your distinction and credentials. And put some of Linkul’s simple ideas to practice today—a good place to start is NSCA’s Store.


Copyright (c) 1999-2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association. Use with permission. All rights reserved. 


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