NEW YORK – As of June, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is now the certification of choice for personal trainers at Equinox Fitness Clubs, according to an alliance announced last month by Equinox.

Equinox established a relationship with both divisions of the NSCA: The NSCA national headquarters and the NSCA Certification Commission, which oversees educational standardization and testing protocol for both the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) certifications. As of June 1, 2005 the NSCA-CPT Certification and CSCS Certification became the certifications of choice for Equinox. All trainers hired after June 1, 2005 must register for the NSCA-CPT or CSCS certifications in the New York, Chicago and Los Angeles markets within six months of the date of hire. In the San Francisco and Miami markets, trainers hired after Jan. 1, 2006 must likewise be certified. A protocol to track progress will be established as an Equinox standard operating procedure. Existing Equinox personal trainers are also encouraged (but not required) to register.

The announcement comes after IHRSA recommended that its member clubs only hire personal trainers with a certification that has been accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA) or Council for Higher Education Accreditation and/or the United States Department of Education. NSCA has been accredited by NCCA.

The Equinox Fitness Training Institute will continue its role in providing proprietary in-house education for trainers. EFTI will also continue to provide the intellectual content that forms the basis of the Three Cycle System in Personal Training.

Equinox is also working on the creation of an exclusive and proprietary T4 Education program in partnership with the NSCA for exclusive use by Equinox Trainers nationwide.