Valeo Training

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A FRUSTRATION

I took an online "quiz" this afternoon after opening a link on a fitness magazine advertisement. The question was "Do You Need A Personal Trainer?" I answered about 15 multiple choice questions, mixing my answers between what I knew would be a "beginner", "occasional", and "advanced" fitness-level perspective. The end result told me that I "knew what you were doing and were good to continue on your own....In fact, you might want to train others!"

Huh?!

It's kinda like me telling someone "I like to balance my checkbook. Want me to be your Accountant?" I think it'd take about .02 seconds for them to look at me like I was crazy...yet somehow people have no problem accepting non-professionalism in the fitness arena.

I get frustrated by the laxity of this concept of Health and Fitness. Not everyone would agree with me (I understand) but just because someone likes to workout does NOT qualify them to train. Many of us in the field have spent years in a classroom, endless hours reading textbooks about metabolism (yes - an entire class on the biochemical process of our bodies), studying the structure, function and mechanics of the human body and how to apply that to life. While it may look like 'just an exercise', there's a lot of thought that goes into the whats, whys and hows of making a program specific for an individual. The load, direction, firing sequence, energy system demand...these are just a few of the things I'm paying attention to while working out with someone.

Unfortunately, this is a field that is very unregulated. Nearly anyone can take a weekend course, take a test online and become "certified"...but (as my professors at the Fitness Institute International would say...) "certified does not mean qualified." **

OK, enough ranting. I just needed to get that off my chest, as most everyday I face the unique position of having to work in an environment where people take their health and fitness into their own hands with very little knowledge of the whats, whys and hows of what they're doing.

You (hopefully) wouldn't put your finances or education or legal matters into the hands of someone who wasn't a professional - why do any differently with your body?...

** The certifying organizations below are considered legitimate and 'the top' in the health and fitness field. Look for these acronyms when scoping out a trainer's background.
NSCA = National Strength and Conditioning Association
ACSM = American College of Sports Medicine
NASM = National Academy of Sports Medicine
ISSA = International Sports Sciences Association

3 comments:

boxcatav said...

I understand your frusturation. I experience it in my industry too. Everyone thinks they can do PR. "Oh, it's just a matter of slapping your logo on a t-shirt". First of all, that's not PR. Second of all, just because you like people doesn't mean you are a PR professional. Will your industry ever seen regulations? I know the massage therapy industry is the same way. Keep doing the good work you are doing, Jess. It makes a difference in the lives of your clients. I also think you never know who might be looking at you and a client and think "should I get a trainer". They might not act today, tomorrow or next year but hopefully they will see the potential benefit and consider investing in themselves.

tim, brooke and teagan said...

Very true and well said! All of your hard work, time and dedication over the past years has made you amazing at what you do!

Derek and Darcie said...

This must happen in more industries than we know! I run into the same thing - someone buys a home decorating book for 30 dollars, reads it, and assumes they're well trained to be an Interior Designer! That's not why I studied for 3 years!!!