Picking up where we left off…
4 – Most Exercise Science degree’s teach little (if any) of the basics of Personal Training, or how to apply theory in the real world.
I’m sure I’m going to get some flak for this one. But, I think most people with Exercise Science degrees don‘t know how to be Personal Trainers. That’s because they’re mostly Doctors, Physical Therapists, Athletic Trainers, or Exercise Physiologists. The fact is almost everyone who majors in Exercise Science does so to get the prereq’s for either Physical Therapy or Medical school. If not then they do so to become Exercise Physiologists or Athletic Trainers and either work in hospitals or deal with athletes to prevent and treat injuries. Very few study exercise science to become personal trainers.
[Some people might find that weird being that the word “exercise” is part of the name.]
Now I’m just going by what I see and it seems like having that degree has done little to nothing in the way of helping most personal trainers any better at training clients. I’m certain that there are plenty who had all the necessary prerequisites (a burning passion for fitness, charisma, great people skills) to being an outstanding trainer who enhanced their view of fitness through higher education. But you can honestly learn more about fitness and personal training from the Internet and in a much shorter period of time.
Paul Chek, for example, is one the most well known and renowned personal trainers in the world. He’s developed systems and programs that Doctors, Physical Therapists, and Personal Trainers around the world use on a daily basis. Yet he has no degree. Yeah, yeah I’m sure we can all site examples of great trainers with or without exercise science degrees but my opinion stands. An Exercise Science degree does nothing to make a trainer any better and is usually used as a marketing tool to give social proof and make a trainer seem more “legit”. Can’t blame anyone for doing that though it only makes sense if you have that degree.
5 – Having 20 letters after their name doesn’t make someone a better trainer.
If you’re a Personal Trainer and have worked in the industry for at least a year you know that it seems like there are more certifications than then there are dumbbells in your average gym. It literally seems as if there’s a new certification coming out each day. And a lot of trainers are extremely eager to acquire as many of these certifications as they can in an attempt to be better trainers.
But the sad fact is that most of these certifications are created to give a product “authority” and to increase its perceived value(ex: Kettlebell, Bosu Ball, and Swiss Ball certifications). And a lot of them are created just to make money off of the latest fitness fad.
Now some certifications really do provide value to a trainer and give him/her the knowledge and understanding to become a better trainer, but those are far and few in between.
Just because your trainer is WTVR, CSCS, TTLY-FUKD, or BS certified doesn’t necessarily mean they’re truly an expert at what they do.
6 – “Oh look a bird”
If your trainer spends more time checking himself, or the television out during a session you need a new trainer. Why gyms need a television anywhere else besides the cardio area is beside me. But I’m not going to go off on that rant.
Now I’ve noticed this myself on a few occasions but it’s mainly my clients that have told me they’ve seen this. Either from their experiences with past trainers or observations they’ve made in the gym.
There’s the trainer who can’t help but position himself in ways that make his tricep flex and bunch up against his lat at the perfect angle to be “noticed” in the mirror.
Then there’s the trainer who barely pays attention to anything that’s going on with the client and is waiting to see the replay of the last touchdown made on the Redskins. Yes the Redskins…
How about the trainer that has his cell phone in his hand for 70% of the session. No, not to use it as a stopwatch…
You get the gist. Need I say more?
7 – “I’m more interested in my numbers than your health and well being”
Personal Training isn’t like most 9 to 5′s. Most of us only get paid when we complete a session. And if we work at a big chain gym we most likely get paid a low hourly rate($7-9) when we’re not training and get offered commissions to sell Personal Training packages and sometimes even supplements endorsed by the gym [Ex: X-Sport Fitness]. So for most of us in this industry, we have to have the ability to sell if we want to survive. Many trainers (including myself) let the results and testimonials do all the selling. Nothing is wrong with sales one bit and your local chiropractor and massage therapist must accrue business in the same manner.
When I first started training I remember thinking that my passion for fitness, energy, and willingness to learn was all I’d ever need to make a good living as a trainer. I was sadly mistaken. It surely did help but if no one knew I existed there was no way they could realize how much I had to offer.
The problem is that some trainers become too fixated on their sales numbers and sometimes sell clients stuff they don’t really need. No… you and your overweight co-worker/friend don’t need to be getting half of the protein you eat everyday from Muscle-Tech’s new Ultra- Highly Bio-available, Super-Quasi-Tri-Delivery, Peptide Enhanced, Amino Infused Whey Protein Isolate Powder… I promise.
You also most likely don’t need to sign a contract for 6 one hour sessions a week for the next 5 years. I mean you might…But most likely you don’t.
What I’m trying to say with this last point is be weary if you’re asked to spend ungodly amounts of money on stuff that doesn’t seem to be that important. Most of the times people are too hesitant to invest money on something that can truly change their lives. And many times their too gullible and fall for any hard sell.
Not all salesmen are snakes. And many of us in the Personal Training industry came into it because of a real passion for fitness and healthy living and a desire to help as many people as we could. Just beware that there are rotten apples in every bunch.