It's Trainer Tip Tuesday and I'm talking about personal trainers, celebrity trainers and social media fitness gurus. There is a common misconception that certified equals qualified. Unfortunately this is the furthest thing from the truth. ANYONE can get certified and call themselves a personal trainer. Most certs require nothing more than a self-study course and passing a multiple choice exam with at least a 70%. There is no higher education requirement, no board certification, and no regulation. There are few organizations that require any hands on training, nor do they educate IN DEPTH about proper form. There are literally hundreds of different "certifications" one can get. Simply claiming to be a trainer and holding one of these certificates means nothing other than you can pass a test. Even the most nationally recognized ones have few requirements. What makes a good, competent, qualified trainer is NOT a piece of paper or being good at memorization. Good trainers are hard to come by. Great trainers are fewer and further between. Do your research before hiring a trainer. Ask for references of current clients. Discuss your personal goals. Be sure the trainer asks YOU questions, collects your health history, and listens to your concerns. Even if you are an experienced exerciser, a trainer should NOT push the limits from the get. I can't tell you the number of people I have seen get injured in an intro session because the trainer is trying to prove themselves to the client. It's NOT about the trainer and how tough or badass they are...it's about getting to know the client and their body, their capabilities, their mobility, their imbalances and their strengths. It's also important for me to add that because a "trainer" has a great physique does not mean they know how to train others. I don't train my clients how I train myself, and I certainly don't start my clients with heavy weights and crazy variations...every individual has very different needs, imbalances, strengths and goals...and their programs should be individualized, based on the initial evaluation.
As for "celebrity trainers" and social media fitness gurus...my opinion is this...simply because a person has millions of followers, DVDs, reality shows, celebrity clients, endorsements, a great physique, lots of money and the glitz and glamor of fame DOES NOT mean they know it all, or are even qualified to be doing what they do. Some people are really good at self-promotion. Some meet just the right person to invest in them. Some happen to have the financial capability to hire really good PR people. Some have a show-worthy face, body, personality and shtick that make them a household name. Of course there are the few that have put the time into their education and truly care about helping others on their journeys, but that is a rarity in this particular pool of people.
Moral of the rant...Not all trainers are created equal. Please be your own biggest advocate when it comes to your fitness and health. Educate yourselves on who you are placing your trust, money and time on. If you are getting results, BRAVO! That's because YOU are putting the work in, doing as you are instructed, taking the tools and making the most of them. But, if you are wrought with injury or are not experiencing change (physically or mentally...because self-confidence is a huge part of a transformation), rethink if it is you or the trainer/program you have invested in....YOU ARE WORTH IT.