Many fitness corporations are hiring individuals with only a high school degree and are predicating their entire search criteria on sales experience and communication skills. Individuals who accrue a single personal training certification are calling themselves fitness professionals which is mind boggling to say the least. I also find that many managers have an overtly biased outlook on personal training certifications and place an emphasis on hiring individuals who are certified with the same organization.
I would not call the field a joke. There are so many knowledgeable and great trainers out there. However, I do see many trainers who lack professionalism, never change their program, do not correct their clients form, and rely on high risk exercises. I find this very frustrating, in fact, this is why I started a blog, hoping to inform consumers, so they know to search out the good trainers. I do agree that too many gyms hire minimally certified (weekend or online) trainers, and that most of us are biased towards our certification organization.
there is not a field in which there are not ‘professionals’ and professionals. A personal trainer with only one certification after having taken a weekend course may have other education that makes him a good trainer. That person may also educate him/herself subsequently and end up a very good trainer. On the other hand, a list of certifications only indicates that a person is good at the science of training. It is not a guarantee for good training, either, even though – admittedly – it is a better predictor.
I am not sure where you are coming from in calling the entire industry a joke. You chose not to enter a profile in IDEA FitnessConnect.
So I want to throw you the gauntlet: what are your qualifications to make such a statement?
When people hire unqualified personnel to fill vacated personal training positions and when companies are selling supplements to their clients then I can safely state that it is a joke. Why on earth would any sedentary individual need a supplement like a protein shake when they can get their essential amino acids by ingesting any dairy product. The industry is so infatuated with sales and revenue that it takes the onus of off promoting health. Coupled with the fact that many trainers are extremely ill prepared to write an exercise prescription and screen their clients thoroughly. I spoke to a personal training manager and even he conveyed that this industry is simply predicated on making a profit and not on helping individuals.
You only talk about one side of the fitness industry. I never had a protein shake in my life, and I do not recommend it to clients. I do not sell supplements. I know how to screen clients, and I know how to write an exercise program (by the way: we do not write ‘prescriptions’).
I am also a very proud member of the fitness industry, and I know many other trainers like myself who are dedicated to help their clients.
I am sorry for you that you obviously have not had the good fortune to encounter any of us because there are many. I wished you could have been at the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute Alexandria, VA. You would have seen rooms full of extremely qualified personal trainers.
I believe that many industries as a whole are a joke. It’s safe to say that many personal trainers are not professional. However the same can be said about many doctors or otherwise highly trained individuals. No matter how high of a percentage of our industry is more concerned about money than fitness, there will always be great trainers and great doctors out there to pull you out of the murky waters of commerce. I am greatful for all you trainers who try your best and really care about your clients. Personal trainers REPRESENT we stand out!