During the last 25 years, we’ve certified over 110,000 professionals. To celebrate our 25th year in business, we’re selecting 25 grads to showcase this year. Meet our next featured grad, Casey Simmons, an AFPA Certified Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist.
How did you get into the health and fitness industry?
I have always been very active since I was little. I started playing tennis when I was seven. I ended up playing for a Division One college. I think because I started sports at such a young age, I've always just been very healthy. My passion grew as I got older, even more.
How did you become interested in the AFPA Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist certification?
I love children. I actually taught kindergarten for a few years. I teach at Barry’s Bootcamp in Miami, and there are so many pregnant clients that come in. I wanted to learn about prenatal and postnatal fitness so that I can help them modify in my classes as well as help my clients outside of Barry's.
I looked at a lot of different certification companies and what they had to offer, what specific information I would be learning, what products came with the purchase of the certification, books, videos, and how much hands-on and visual learning I would have. AFPA really stood out to me.
What was your favorite part of the certification program?
My favorite part about the program really was just knowing that, at the end of it, I would have the knowledge to help pregnant women and prenatal and postnatal women and being able to change their bodies and really know the ins and outs of a more specific field in fitness.
I'm also a very visual learner, so I love to see everything done right in front of me, and a lot of what I was learning with AFPA had diagrams to go with it. The information was easy for me to process and very helpful for me to truly learn the information.
How has your life and career changed since getting this certification?
While I was working on my certification, I would put up Q’s and A's on social media as I was working through the program so that my followers would be engaged with what I was learning. I used that as a way to show people that I was really learning about prenatal and postnatal fitness so that word would spread and I could get more clients. It also made it so that everyone was kind of a part of what I was learning.
The day that I completed my exam for the certification, I had a potential client reach out to me saying that she’d seen everything that I was learning. She had just had a child six weeks ago and was now able to start exercising, so she then became my client!
So because of the certification, I'm definitely now able to reach out to more clients and offer more services. A lot more women are reaching out to me in general with questions and wanting help or training on the side just because I do have more knowledge and I am able to offer a lot more to them than trainers that don't have a certification like this.
I have also found that specific accreditations have been able to help my career because the more knowledge that you have in any career, especially fitness, the more that it really helps your confidence. It also helps you earn the trust of your clients, so having this certification has really helped me.
What’s something that you love about your career?
Sharing my knowledge with others and showing that I am really knowledgeable at my craft and being that person they can rely on and trust to ask questions and to help them. I really have a passion for helping others and educating others on how to feel and look their best.
The feeling that comes with knowing that you’re pushing yourself to your limits and working your hardest, there's really no greater feeling than pushing your boundaries and showing yourself that you can truly do more than you think you're capable of
How was your experience with the AFPA team?
AFPA has been very helpful. If I ever have a question or need to call them, contact them about anything, they've always been really easy to contact, really quick and responsive, and definitely great customer service.
What advice do you have for anyone who may be considering the AFPA certification program?
I would definitely recommend it. The program is great. I really learned a lot. Definitely take the time and really learn the information. You really are helping and working and changing these women's bodies. It's worth taking the time and really learning the knowledge so that you can be as helpful as possible. It was beneficial to my career, and AFPA was very dependable if I needed any help.
Have fun with it. Embrace learning. It takes time. It's not always a quick process, but it really feels good in the end to be confident about what you've learned. So, enjoy it, embrace it, and good luck!