My head has been spinning for the past few months as I have quietly observed the number of fitness 'experts' and 'coaches' who have popped up because they know how to market themselves, have followers and likes or have finished a marathon or Ironman - it is mind blowing. For the number of amazing experienced coaches and trainers who have spent decades fine tuning their craft, I understand the frustration to being pushed aside for not playing the popularity game.
I do a lot of 'fixing' these days after these new 'popular' trainers and coaches have had their hands at newborn athletes. I thought it might be of benefit to give you a few things to think about before hiring a coach or trainer. You really should conduct an interview with the person who is going to take over the management of your Health and Fitness Program. That is a huge responsibility and your health is a lifelong investment, so know who you are hiring.
Anyone can become a certified personal trainer if they know how to take a test. TRUE. So it is easy for someone to appear intelligent about what they are saying if you haven't studied exercise science or physiology. There is a huge difference between theoretical and practical training. Just because one program works for someone, it doesn't mean it will work for you. I did an interesting study a few years ago at a very popular gym in Mumbai on trainers.
I spent a week observing trainers working with their clients, all while running endless hours on a treadmill. Every single trainer gave all their clients the exact same program. The only variance between women and men were the women got lighter weights and more reps. Same exercises, same type of programming for everyone each day. That is NOT personal training.
I have competed in over 100 races throughout the years in distances from 5km road races to Ironman distance triathlons. I have made it to the podium in over half of those, most all being in Sprint and Olympic triathlons. I have taken 3rd in US Nationals in two different events and 13th at World Championships and know what it takes to train to compete and win, not just finish a race. I started running at the age of 12 and haven't stopped for 30 years. Every sport I did became a study of biomechanics to gain an edge over my competitors, which eventually lead me to a position as Star Trac Coach. I have spent over 15 years working in the fitness industry constantly working to improve myself as a coach and sharing as much knowledge and education as I can - giving real science and not theoretical information to clients and other trainers.
So what should you be looking for?