There isn’t a single gym in the United States that you can step into without being bombarded by their so-called “personal trainers”, but how knowledgeable are these people when it comes to how the body really works?
Now, some of them might have done the work to learn the ins and outs of the human body. The proper ways to lift weights to avoid injury and some may even be well versed in nutrition. However, in my experience, there are some that get hired as “personal trainers” that don’t have the first clue about fitness in general, as witnessed by their own lack of fitness, or their inability to train without causing injury.
You have to be very careful when picking a personal trainer; just because the person is built like a bodybuilder doesn’t mean that they know the proper way to train someone. So, if you want to hire a personal trainer, do your homework, and make sure they did theirs.
A good personal trainer will at the very least have a certificate from a legitimate training school. Even better, if they are NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified, then you know that they have received mandatory CPR/AED certification. Additionally, it also means that they are continually learning and keeping up to date on best practice techniques and guidelines, as NASM certified personal trainers have to recertify every two years.
Another thing to keep in mind when picking the right personal trainer, is do they listen? Yes, a personal trainer is going to push you a little bit, but if you are telling your trainer that you are hurt, or that something is wrong, and they keep pushing or even start berating you…leave, they are NOT a good personal trainer.
If your trainer isn’t NASM certified, that’s ok. Another great certification program comes from NPTI (National Personal Training Institute), receiving a personal trainer certification here means that they received more than 600 training hours in both personal training, and advanced personal training.
So what if you want to BECOME a personal trainer? Well, either of the options mentioned above would be a great start. Additionally, personal trainers are at the forefront of the fitness business, so the opportunities are always growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Personal Trainers have a job growth over the next 10 years, of 15%, and make a median of $40K a year. So it isn’t a bad career path IF you truly want to help people better themselves and take control of their health.
So in summary, research your personal trainers BEFORE you get started, make sure that they know what they are doing, and know your limits, and are willing to abide by them. If you are looking to become a personal trainer, check out a reputable training program and get a good education, not just a cheap one…it truly will make all the difference. As the saying goes…you get what you pay for, and I promise, you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit because you injured a client due to shoddy training!