I can count on one hand the clients i’ve had that actually was strictly cosmetic reasons. It makes me laugh a little when someone has an issue and asks me if i have ever worked with anyone like that before, and i almost want to tell them i have the least experience with “normal” people. Just about everyone has an issue or imbalance, and if you actually assess the person with range of motion exams and what not you will find it and can even further prevent risking injury that the person is a ticking time bomb for.
So yes, i believe what you say is true, and i have personally been through education that reinforces that.
There are many certified personal fitness trainers (PFT) who have a lot of years of work experience and advance education. I believe some PFT have attained the same amount of education through taking courses in college and/or private organizations as well as other resources. I believe state license professionals such as physical therapist (PT) should be the only one using the term and performing rehab exercises for persons with injuries. They should not be prescribing exercises. PT have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in fitness-related field, attended Pt school and has pass a state exam. A PFT with just 1-2 certification doing the same work sounds scary. When I was in school earning my Kinesiology degree, we has to learn and be tested on information before we were allowed to start working with the clients. Their programs were designed by college kinesiology teacher who had a PhD. I believe certain PFT who have advance theory and practical training can implement a program that was design by a PT or higher. As PFTs, we should work under the supervisor of PR or higher. I read a lot and attended a lot courses on the legal issue of being a fitness professionals. In certain states, it can be a bigger issue if PFT work beyond their scope of practice.
My advise for people who want to work with special populations;
1. Earn a minimum of bachelor’s degree in exercise science, kinesiology, etc.
2. Attain multiple ADVANCE certifications through different organizations such as ACSM, ACE, AFAA, NSCA, etc,
3. Attain advance theory and practical courses in these specialize areas. Courses should be taught by PT, ATC, PhD, etc
4. Always have a network of degree fitness professionals to consult with and make referrals to.
5. Check out PRC Publishing – Subscribe and read Exercise Malpractice Reporter,
Michele Blake, BS (kinesiology)
Wow, I love the diversity to the answers. I do believe a person should be diagnosed by a physician or physical therapist. What could appear to be a rotator cuff injury could actually be cancer. So diagnosis is best left to professionals. That being said, I believe a trainer can be very beneficial to the injured or limitations client. Most of my clients tend to have some injuries, limitations, surgeries that limit range of motion, etc. And I myself am in my 50’s and have experienced some limitations. From life experience, I have learned rehab moves and strengthening moves to help my clients. I also teach yoga which tends to strengthen and balance out our weak areas. With assessment of each individual I am usually able to get them some release in their pain and a little farther range of motion. So a good, experienced, observant, and intuitive PFT could enhance healing for special populations once diagnosis has been made.