The Fitness Zone

The Importance of Continuing Education in the Fitness Industry

May 26, 2023 | by Kate Kraschnefski

Have you ever thought about the concept of lifelong learning?  Lifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge and skills throughout one’s life. It is the idea that learning does not stop once formal education ends, but is a continuous process that can be pursued at any time and in any place (World Bank Group, 2019).

The concept of lifelong learning recognizes that the world is constantly changing, and that new technologies, ideas, and challenges require individuals to continuously update their knowledge and skills. Taking courses, attending workshops and conferences, reading books and articles, or simply exploring new interests and hobbies can all be part of this.

Lifelong learning is important for several reasons. It can help us stay current with industry trends and technological advancements, remain competitive in the job market, and enhance our personal and professional growth. It can also promote cognitive and emotional well-being, and provide opportunities for social interaction and community engagement (American Psychological Association, 2020).

In today’s rapidly changing world, the ability to adapt and learn new skills is becoming increasingly important (Behin Jones, 2021). By embracing lifelong learning, individuals can stay engaged and curious, and continually expand their knowledge and skills throughout their lives.

While lifelong learning is referencing learning in general, if we apply the concept to the fitness industry, it helps us reinforce the benefits and importance of ongoing education beyond the completion of a formal qualification.

So let’s take a closer look at exactly that!  

Achieving our initial qualification to work as a fitness professional is so important.  It sets us up with the foundations of our learning in areas that are less likely to change significantly with time, such as anatomy and the fundamentals of exercise instruction and programming.  

Without this foundation, we simply can’t start our careers.  However, it’s crucial that we continue to build upon this foundation, not just for us but to ensure we are bringing the best possible service and support to our clients.  

With that in mind, continuing education is important in the fitness industry for several reasons, including:

Staying current with industry trends: The fitness industry is constantly evolving, with new research, techniques, and technologies emerging all the time. Continuing education helps fitness professionals stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in the field.  There are many trends from recent years that are not explored in significant detail when we complete our initial qualification, and continuing education gives us the chance to be exposed to them, and even master them!  Examples include use of innovative equipment like kettlebells and suspension training, mindfulness and mental health and the use of technology in our business. 

Improving knowledge and skills: By pursuing ongoing education, we can deepen our understanding of exercise physiology, nutrition, anatomy, and other topics that are critical to our work. This in turn, helps us develop new skills and techniques that we can use to better serve their clients.

Have you ever encountered a client with a particular requirement that you are not well-versed in? This could pertain to preparing for a specific sporting event or achieving a goal, or aiding in the recovery of an injury or illness. Training a client in such contexts without the required expertise or knowledge can prove to be inefficient or even hazardous. However, declining to assist them outright is not only poor business practice but also challenging for clients with whom you share an excellent rapport.

By pursuing ongoing education and upskilling, we can prevent such scenarios. Additionally, if we identify areas where we need to improve, we can proactively upskill and expand our market, offering more comprehensive services to our current clients.

Enhancing credibility and professionalism: Pursuing continuing education demonstrates a commitment to professional development and a willingness to stay current with industry trends. This can enhance our credibility and help establish us as trusted experts in our field.

Meeting registration and insurance requirements: As fitness professionals we often have requirements to maintain registration status and insurance requirements. Pursuing continuing education can help us maintain our status and protection through insurance.  This is particularly important as we integrate the use of different equipment and training methodologies into the protocols we apply to our clients.  We want to keep our clients safe after all! Participating in reputable courses and maintaining great records is really important here. 

Expanding career opportunities: Pursuing ongoing education can also open up new career opportunities for fitness professionals, such as teaching workshops or courses, writing for industry publications, or pursuing advanced certifications in specialised areas.  In addition, when we have had the necessary training to provide higher levels of services to our clients, we can rationalise charging more for our services.  

So how do you access quality ongoing education? 

Learning can occur in many settings and modalities.  Often we learn through informal ways, such as observing and interacting with our peers who have more experience and skills than us.  Seeking a mentor can be a great way to advance our knowledge, as well as bringing the benefit for expanding our professional network. 

In our industry there are frequently practical workshops and events that provide opportunities for in person training, these can be particularly beneficial for complex technical skill development and when hands-on experience is required to master new abilities. 

Industry conferences and seminars are also an excellent way to grow our knowledge and interact with our peers.

One of the most convenient and accessible ways to consume ongoing education is to enrol in online courses.  There are many on offer, to suit time frames and budgets, as well as in a broad range of subject matters.  AIF Network is a great example of this, with a wide range of courses available in an online learning platform that can be completed in your own time.  Completing courses through a reputable source like Network also gives you the evidence required to maintain registration and prove the completion of training, such as certificates and CEC points that are recognised by AUSactive. 

Lastly, as with any critical facet of our professional lives, it is imperative to make continuous education a priority and plan for it accordingly. Developing a professional growth plan that identifies essential areas for improvement and designates regular time for learning is an effective way to guarantee progress. So, why not begin today? Visit the Network website, select three courses that pique your interest, and schedule them into your calendar. Over time, you and your clients will reap the rewards of your enhanced abilities and expertise, and the practice of ongoing education will become second nature.


World Bank Group. (2019). Lifelong Learning: A Definition and Guide to Resources.

Behin Jones, D. (2021). Why Lifelong Learning Is More Important Than Ever. Forbes.

American Psychological Association. (2020). The Benefits of Lifelong Learning.

Kate Kraschnefski

Kate Kraschnefski

Kate began her fitness journey in 2004. After graduating at the Australian Institute of Fitness, she immediately secured a role as Gym Manager on a luxury cruise liner sailing the Mediterranean and the Caribbean for eight months. This was an incredible opportunity for Kate to hone her fitness skills, and on her return, she secured the role of PT Manager at Fernwood Brisbane City. In addition to a busy PT schedule, during this time Kate also taught yoga, pilates, freestyle aerobics and group cycling. Keen to develop her business skills, Kate then went on to work as a Sales and Marketing Manager for Creative Fitness Marketing for almost three years. After that stint she started her own personal training business and soon became a Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness. Kate is grateful to have had such a varied and exciting career in fitness, and loves managing the passionate team that helps our graduates begin their own amazing journey! She is passionate about Russian Kettlebell Training and represented Australia in Girevoy Sport at the World Championships in Dublin in 2015.

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Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.