Good afternoon everyone and I hope you are all having a great productive day! I have a question I have been wondering about a lot lately. Over the past few years of being a trainer I have noticed there are so many false and negative outlooks on personal training in general. I feel a lot of the general population has no idea what exactly a personal trainer entails nor really cares as long as they produce results. The biggest issue I have is the lack of respect the personal training industry receives from other professionals in the health and medical field. I personally think this is because pretty much anyone can be a trainer if they want, there are no regulations, and its upsetting to me having worked so hard for the past 2 years and actively trying to pursue my degree while working and gaining hands on experience. The point I am trying to get at which leads me to my question, what is everyones opinion on how to make the personal training industry more professional and more respected by other professionals? At the previous gym where I was working I worked with a girl who had her 4 year degree in exercise science but wasn’t certified and neither the gym where I was working or this other gym she applied at would hire her as a trainer because she wasn’t certified and had no hands on experience. I sometimes feel a lot of gyms care more about a certification than a degree, but obviously not every gym, so my friend was working the front desk while a kid who had a basic certification was training full time, so wrong in my opinion. I am not saying every trainer needs to go out and get a degree, there are lots of great trainers without a degree but I just feel like there should be some nation wide licensing exam that everyone should have to take regardless. Would like to get some peoples input on this if possible, what are your thoughts? Thanks a lot everyone!
At the end all that matters is you. The certifications and the degrees are just one way of acknowledging that you have received some type of education and that you have the book knowledge to explain and educate your clients about fitness and exercise. But to become a great trainer you will also need the experience and the ability to think outside the box. Also for legal reasons (there are many) I would not hire or work with a trainer that doesn’t have a certification. There are so many trainers out there who have a college degree and it has nothing to do with fitness. A certification will at least test your knowledge in exercise, anatomy, biomechanics, physiology and your ability to teach others the correct way. The existing organizations that are out there have done a great job coming up with tests and certifications that will test you in all of the above factors, so trying to come up with one test that fits all it will be very difficult and challenging in various ways.
Sometimes extensive experience can make up for a degree or a certification, but this happens only in a few selective cases of trainers. The best out there are always looking for ways to improve their knowledge and challenge what is already known. A combination of experience, education and a certification is the best thing to keep in mind when looking to hire a trainer. As I mentioned earlier a certification can save you and/or the gym where you work at from a lot of legal troubles and I believe this is why your friend sits behind a desk and not training clients.