Read What Our Past Students Have to Say About NPTI in Virginia
Sorry for the long testimonials, but our students had a lot to share we wanted to make sure their experience at NPTI was reflected in as much detail as they provided.
The thought of going back to school at my age was terrifying. I have been away from a learning environment for almost 30 years. My family always encouraged me to go and receive formal training in the personal trainer field as I enjoy the fitness world. In July 2008 that became a reality.
Enter NPTI and Tim Henriques. The curriculum and Tim's steady approach made the vast subject matter easy to digest. Don't get me wrong, it was a hard class. Tim's approach and my dedication to performing well allowed me to pull all the information together and excel. I am proud to say that I have not received anything under a 90% on all of my exams throughout the duration of the class. If you told me that before I started that I would do that well, I would say you are crazy!
It was not good enough to just get by but to bring my A game every single day. My class participation was consistent (much to Tim's chagrin) <sorry Tim, you created a learning monster in me> Actually, the reason why I ALWAYS blurted out the answer to Tim's questions wasn't to feed my ego but to offer an answer first before he called on me, and believe me he would and will call on you! To say Tim was the best instructor I have ever had would be a gross understatement.
Tim is magnificent!! From his deliberate delivery of his lectures to his wonderful sense of humor Tim made the class a lot of fun. I am sorry it is coming to an end, though I will not miss all the tests.
To summarize, NPTI and Tim Henriques have prepared me to pursue a rewarding career in the personal training field with the knowledge and confidence that is required during this uncertain economic climate. Thank you Tim and thank you NPTI.
My Personal Experience
First I would like to thank you personally Tim, for the most inspiring, educational, and eye opening 6 months. I strongly recommend this class to anybody looking to get into the fitness industry. There are so many certifications out there right now that will certify you in two weeks, a week, even a single weekend. In my opinion there is no way that any of these other programs will be able to give you enough knowledge in the short amount of time they offer.
There is too much involved with the "art" of personal training, such as both practical and scientific knowledge, anatomy, nutrition, CPR, and first aid. NPTI will give you all this and more in just six months. I feel ready and confident to take on my new career of personal training. Tim Henriques is a very professional and inspiring instructor, who seeks only to instill the proper way of personal training. I'm positive my fellow classmates will agree with me on my statement.
NPTI is still a fairly new school in the world of personal training certification, but already receiving exposure in popular health magazines. I have the utmost confidence this company will soon blossom, and will be referred to as the school of choice by professional trainers and gyms across the US. Tim is always assuring us that we have more knowledge than most of the trainers out there right now. I would encourage existing trainers as well as those inspiring to be trainers to enroll, and be taught the proper and safe way to reach your clients' goals.
To me personal training is an art, and just like an artist you need the proper tools to be able to sculpt and recreate your client's physique.
This is what NPTI can do for you.
This letter provides a great opportunity to share my NPTI experience with prospective and actual NPTI students. I was enrolled in the year long program, attending Saturdays. Before I realized it, the year was over and I graduated. I know this is so cliché but when you enjoy what you are doing, time flies. When I first started this program, I focused on self-improvement, but when I finished, I now know that I really want to work in this field. I believe this transformation came as result of my enjoyable experience as a NPTI student. Going through the NPTI program, gave me a profoundly new level of understanding about exercise and getting into shape that I truly want to share with others. Helping others to get into shape, to improve their health, and to help them to feel better would definitely be very rewarding and enriching work.
For years (and I know I am not alone) I went to the gym on and off, but without any real results. Also, like many, I tried many diets, and gain some tiny results but nothing great and lasting. However, before even knowing about NPTI, I hired a personal trainer for five sessions (which I learned much later was a NPTI graduate). During the sessions, I learned some total body exercises, keep in mind this was only five sessions. I repeated to myself that if I paid money to learn how to exercise, I was not going waste it; and therefore after I completed the personal training sessions, I dedicated 3 days a week to gym time. The results were different, I not only lost weight, I lost body fat and gained muscle. This made a real difference, because I got stronger and my energy level increased. At this point, I decided I needed to learn more, because I was now just repeating the same exercises. So instead of continuing with a personal trainer, I decided to use my money to learn how to exercise on my own. I decided to look into personal training, not so much as a career but for self improvement. I did some research and contacted other institutions and even visited another institution in the area, but I was not impressed. In my view, none offered what NPTI offered. After the first 2 months of class, I was completely assured that my decision to enroll in NPTI would be a benefit that would last a lifetime. "Health is Priceless" and I was learning on how to preserve my health. And in the long haul, my confidence developed in the area personal training. If I can improve my own body and health, I now have the confidence to help others? That is what is great about NPTI, it not just talk, rather the students walk the talk.
What I learned about nutrition benefited me tremendously. Learning about anatomy, was very important since I wanted to gain muscle and strength. And of course, learning about the proper method of working out my body, provided me with a great foundation of techniques and skills, as well as gave me an understanding as to why for years my previous gym workouts resulted in almost zero results. I say this with wholehearted conviction, when workouts are done with the proper understanding about technique, muscles and nutrition; you will get lasting results...…Guarantee!
Also, my time at NPTI was great because our instructors were fantastic. My main instructor was Tim Henriques, and you could not have a better instructor than Tim. He is extremely knowledgeable in this field, but even more so he is passionate about the field of body building and is very dedicated to teaching. You undoubtly will learn a lot from person that loves what they do. From my experience with Tim's instruction, Tim wants all his students to do well, and become great trainers, whether your goal is for self-improvement or you are embarking on a new career. I firmly believe that NPTI offers instruction that give you tools and instills confidence that I know you will possess when you finish the program.
With regard to the different teaching times, I believe Tim, as Program Director, ensured that other instructors (Eric Hendricks, Geoff Robison and Antonio Boone who has left NPTI, but sometimes substitutes) were also knowledgeable and possessed enthusiasm for the field. So no matter what time you chose to attend classes, you will have a great instructor.
In a concise manner, I sum up my experience at NPTI:
- I learned lot.
- Class was fun.
- I feel better.
- I am stronger.
- A time, effort, and money investment I am very glad I made.
All the above because of Tim's (as well as the other instructor's) dedication to the student's growth and success.
ULTIMATELY - I believe NPTI gave me the tools and confidence to be great trainer.
When I started at NPTI, I knew a little about the benefits of cardiovascular and strength training for overall health and a healthy weight, but very little about how to properly and effectively do those things in a gym to maximize results and improve the various components of fitness. My collegiate and professional background was not in science and was definitely not in a field like kinesiology, exercise science or nutrition. As a matter of fact, I had grown up never weight training because I was warned to refrain from it completely by my ophthalmologist at the time after suffering a rare but serious eye problem in the 4th grade that required major surgery.
But I registered for the course because I had grown increasingly concerned that my diet and exercise regimen were inadequate to help me prevent or reduce the risks I face for the rest of my life as a Type 1 diabetic. I had done a lot of reading on the importance of exercise for the entire population, but I felt a disconnect between simply reading about how to do specific strength training exercises in a book or magazine and actually feeling confident that I was performing them safely and correctly in the gym. Gyms intimidated me a little, but even more so I didn't feel motivated to frequent them largely because I felt clueless or, at best, uncertain about how to properly use the myriad of free weights and weight-training machines available. Knowledge is power and I wanted to learn the skills that would empower me to take better care of my body for the rest of my life while also being able to teach and empower others to do the same.
I had met Tim Henriques prior to starting the class when I went to Falls Church, Va. one day to inquire about more information on the course. He impressed me simply because he didn't waste my time or try to pressure or overly "sell" me on how great a program NPTI was. I wanted just "the facts" about the course and that's what I got. I had previously attended a similar informational session at the Heritage Institute (which also recently started offering a personal training course) and was unimpressed by them for several reasons among which was the fact that they provided me few specifics on their class and instead wasted a lot of my time trying to "sell" me on how great a school it was and how great my life would be if I enrolled. Also, when I inquired about the tuition at Heritage (more than once) the only answer I received was "we have a great financial aid program!" I later found out from a fellow NPTI student that their personal training program costs about 3x what NPTI charges and I can virtually guarantee that the instructors and curriculum are inferior.
So what makes NPTI such a great program for aspiring personal trainers or even just for individuals trying to dramatically improve their understanding of fitness and nutrition? Well, for me it all starts with Tim. Tim's the founder, director and head instructor of the NPTI school in Virginia and knows more about nutrition, training and fitness than most personal trainers. But even more importantly, he does a fantastic job at sharing his vast knowledge and expertise with a class of students (all of whom come to NPTI with diverse educational and professional backgrounds and with varying degrees of familiarity about nutrition and fitness). NPTI works just as well for people with some experience in the fitness industry as it does for genuine beginners like me who were in need of a hands-on class for "Dummies".
You really get to know Tim (the person) over the course of the 6-month or year-long curriculum and it becomes obvious very quickly that he is very strong and physically fit. But in addition to his powerlifting physique, you quickly grow to realize that he's nothing like the stereotypical "musclehead." He's an exceptionally intelligent guy with a great head on his shoulders who also genuinely cares about his students. There are a lot of smart people out there who are not good teachers or who give very boring lectures. Intelligence does not necessarily translate into being a great teacher. But Tim's dad was a professor for many years and I'm sure he learned a lot from his father about how to make the classroom not only educational, but also fun and interesting. He has a great sense of humor, is quick-witted and tries hard to make his lectures not only informative, but also very amusing at times. Students love teachers who are not overly serious and who don't lecture like they are looking down at them from some lofty pedestal. A big part of being a great teacher is making the classroom fun and even not being afraid of poking fun at yourself from time to time. At the young age of 30, Tim has learned some of these valuable teaching skills that many instructors, teachers or professors never discover and/or appreciate the importance of.
Finally, because Tim has worked as a trainer for many years and has a dedicated training regimen of his own, he has an intimate knowledge of proper form and technique for virtually every conceivable exercise and is always around at the gym to answer questions, offer hands-on guidance or provide a gentle correction when one of his students is not using good form (all the while NEVER making anyone feel dumb). The fact that he is a powerlifter might conceivably intimidate some prospective students for the same reason that it might frighten a prospective client who fears being handed 50 lb dumbbells on the first day for a warm-up set. But powerlifting is Tim's personal passion. At NPTI, he encourages all of his students to decide for themselves what their own personal fitness goals are and he respects all of them equally. A big part of the curriculum at NPTI is learning how to train clients properly (and differently) depending on their goals. So no one philosophy or goal is emphasized over another and all are covered at great length to prepare the student for the tremendous diversity of clients and client goals he or she will face as a trainer. Tim is also very concerned about safety at the gym and works hard to ensure that no student attempts to lift too much weight or do anything that might cause any harm or injury. Personal trainers need to be ever vigilant when it comes to their client's safety in the gym and Tim not only lectures about the importance of this, he also subtly ingrains it into his students' minds each and every day while they are working out at the gym as a class. His passion as a trainer and as an NPTI instructor is to get his clients and students as excited about overall physical fitness as he is regardless of what their goals are and regardless of what their physique or fitness level is. That passion is an intangible quality he possesses and is a big reason why the NPTI school in Virginia is so outstanding.
The 6-month course I took during the day encompasses approximately 26 weeks x 4 days/week = about 100 classes. (Tim only took a couple of days off after his first child was born!). As a recent graduate, I look back on those 100 classes (x 5 hours/class = 500 hours needed to graduate) and realize that I learned a little bit each day, but that the little bit each day added up to a LOT in only 6 months. I'm still amazed at how much knowledge I acquired during the 6 short months, including a lot about nutrition and musculoskeletal anatomy that I did not expect would be covered as extensively and comprehensively as it was. There is a lot a personal trainer should know about nutrition, cardiovascular training, strength training and human anatomy. And it is tough to understand and retain it all by simply reading a textbook on your own and taking a certification exam after some self-study (which is why many trainers are weak in certain areas of knowledge or expertise). Plus, as I alluded to above, it is almost impossible to know how to correctly do a squat, a bench press, a deadlift or any number of other strength training exercises simply by reading about them in a book. You need hands-on training. You need practice. And you need to understand how and why the specific exercise is stimulating its respective muscles if you want to be a great trainer. Books can explain some of those things, but there is no replacement for a good and patient teacher like Tim and a lot of hands-on practice. NPTI offers all of this at an affordable price.
I imagine some students take this course assuming it will be a walk in the park or not too demanding. It is very challenging, but Tim does such a good job explaining the material and offering to answer questions at any time that ANYONE can do well in the class if the student applies him or herself and makes a commitment to attend class every day. As I mentioned above, I wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer when it came to this subject matter, but I committed myself to attending class every day and I studied hard for the exams (9 tests + 2 finals totaling approximately 650 questions). I know of no other recognized personal training certification exam that encompasses so many questions covering such a vast amount of material. So the curriculum is challenging, even tough at times, but always do-able if one is committed to it, works hard and applies him or herself. Also, Tim is one of the few instructors you will ever find who happily gives out his home phone number and personal e-mail address on the first day of class so that students (and alumni) always have easy access to him should they have a question, want to keep in touch or use Tim as a reference when applying for a job. Tim makes himself available to his students outside of class in a way that few teachers are willing to do.
If you are reading this and still contemplating whether or not to register for the class, I'd encourage you to sit in on a class or two and privately ask the existing students what they think of Tim and the class. I can almost guarantee that you'll get a virtual unanimous chorus of praise for him as a person as well as a teacher. The personal training profession is still developing and maturing as a career path, but NPTI (and Tim in particular) does a great job preparing anyone who is interested in working in this field.
I should note that the school in Virginia does have other excellent instructors who assist Tim by teaching some of the evening and weekend classes. My own personal interaction with them was limited, but knowing Tim as I do, I have no doubt that they are outstanding as well. As the director of the NPTI school in Virginia, Tim demands that his staff of educators similarly meet his own high standards for excellence. The size of the school/student body is growing, in large part I believe, because Tim and his fellow instructors are producing an ever increasing legion of new trainers who are earning a distinguished reputation for knowledge, skill and excellence in the D.C. metro area's growing fitness industry. As the alumni base for NPTI grows, positive word of mouth will continue to spread to more and more gyms and personal training studios and this, in turn, will result in more future aspiring trainers hearing about the school and wanting to receive the same top-notch education in the field.
Keep up the good work, Tim, and thanks for making the last six months such a positive, fun and educational experience for me. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that during the past 6 months, I lost a fair amount of body fat, improved my strength and neuromuscular coordination, and improved my VO2 Max (a measure of cardiovascular endurance).
It was only 6 months and 500 hours ago that I started the NPTI Personal Training Course. I initially had some reservations on a number of accounts. The amount of time, finances and my personal experience in the fitness industry were subject to devalue this course. I am an avid adventure and mountain bike racer, climbing instructor and ultra-endurance athlete with 10 years of experience in the outdoor fitness industry. I knew a great deal about exercising both in the gym and out, so I was timid about enrolling into the Personal Training Program. To invest so much money and an enormous amount of time into such a course seemed intense. These were my reservations.
After seeing trainers in gyms who took weekend personal training (without any nutrition focus) courses and observing other racers such as myself who were lacking in efficient training experience, I decided it was time to sign up and do it right. By taking this course, I saw a potential opportunity for me to tap into the endurance fitness industry and to enhance my personal knowledge. With an open mind that I could learn a great deal and improve upon what I already knew about physical fitness and nutrition, I enrolled.
Over the course of the program, I came to realize how little I knew about anatomy, physiology, nutrition and exercising. I came to accept that some of the methods I had come accustomed to using regarding nutrition and exercise were either outdated or incorrect all together. NPTI opened my eyes to possibilities.
I will admit the course itself is long and requires the learning of a great deal of information. However, our instructor Tim Henriques, presented each topic in a manner that made learning enjoyable. Since most students in my class had come from years of working beyond classroom settings, Tim's teaching method seemed an appropriate reintroduction to a school setting. The program is phenomenal in that it allows hands on experience during our gym time in addition to the constant interaction we had in the classroom. It is reasonable to accept that one could go for another program such as ACE, AFFA, ISSA, NSCA, etc., but there exists no other that gives daily exposure to information and personal training practice time that NPTI offers. All the others are weekend or online courses that just any one with study skills could achieve.
Becoming a personal trainer is so much more than a weekend course. It is interaction, knowledge, customer service and quick thinking. It is hands on experience, dealing with varied clientele needs and the ability to be creative. It is a lifetime of education and more than a hobby. It is a career and the NPTI Personal Training Program opened the door to all the opportunities I could have in the fitness industry.
If I already had the income I will make from personal training, I would sign up for the course again. One month before my course completion I had already started working as a trainer in a One on One Personal Training setting. I set my hours and I have clientele of varied needs. Thanks to the course, handling these circumstances is so easy. I can now say I truly understand and enjoy my career so much more. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in making the fitness industry a career as the information is so much more valuable than those weekend courses. Thank you so much Tim Henriques for making my 6 months to seem so quick, enjoyable and educational.
Good luck to future course participants as this will be a most valued time, energy and dollar spent. Afterward, you will be a complimentary asset to the fitness industry.
If you have any questions regarding the course, I will be happy to attest to its value.
NPTI Graduate-Apr 2004