I thought I'd write this for any of you who may be looking to start a personal training program or to either solidify or question your current selection. I'm going keep it in bite-size pieces and share a new one every Thursday for the next four weeks.
I compare the current 28 billion dollars a year fitness industry to the wild wild west. It's full of microwave trainers (trainers who become certified in a weekend), un-certified social media trainers who look good with their shirt off and many other very unqualified individuals looking to steal your money.
When making a selection and turning your body over to an individual to help you achieve your fitness goals, start with looking at #1 of, "5 Things to Look for When Hiring a Personal Trainer."
1) Education and Professional Governing Standards
When I first started in this industry most personal training jobs required either a bachelors or masters degree in exercise science, sports science or kinesiology. It was also mandatory to hold and retain professional governing standards like an accredited and respected personal training certification, CPR, AED certifications, complete 20 or more continuing education credits annually, and prove that you can work within your scope of practice.
Today, most gyms and studios don't hold these types of standards before hiring. And if you are working with a trainer that runs their own business, there are no regulations on education, certifications, or any continuing education standards to stay educated and relevant.
Education shows commitment. It also shows a passion and desire for their craft. I believe as this industry continues to grow, education will be more important in separating the real professionals from all the fakes.
Don't be afraid to ask for your trainer's education background, certifications and how they continue their education during the year.
A bachelors or masters degree in a field of exercise science is an excellent place to start. Look for respected certifications by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, National Academy of Sports Medicine, American Council of Exercise, or American College of Sports Medicine. There are thousands of certifications out there. But only some have NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies) accreditation.