This is a question that brings up all kinds of different answers. I’m not talking about whether they flirt with you, how they are dressed or even if they look like they workout.
I’m talking about Continuing Professional Development; the continuing education that your trainer embarks on to improve him or herself to help them work with you to achieve your fitness goals.
Many trainers out there have a personal training qualification. Others actually like to think that they do when they’re not actually even qualified. Unfortunately, when carrying out personal fitness sessions the truth is rather sad: many individuals either don’t have the right qualification or it was valid years ago and never renewed – not great if you’re entrusting the development of your body with this person.
Most people, like you, will never ask to see a fitness coach’s certificates. In a way, I’m glad; not because I have anything to hide, but for the fact that I continually update my training and I have a lot of certificates (I’ve been on many courses because I believe it is important).
What that means, however, is that if you choose a professional outside of MPT then they might not even be currently qualified. If in doubt, you should always ask to see their qualification/certificate.
However, the sad truth is that once an individual has completed their personal training qualification, most decide that they know all they need to know and stop learning. Something that I strongly disagree with for a number of reasons.
In my opinion, these trainers are bad; this is not because they don’t know what they are doing in relation to counting a rep or a set. And if that is all they are doing then you shouldn’t really be paying them more than £7 an hour, as they’re just acting as a bean counter.
It’s my opinion that you want more than someone to count the number of reps or sets you perform in the gym. You want someone who designs an individual fitness programme tailored to your body and your fitness level, while also pushing your abilities to exceed more and achieve the results you desire for your body.
If this is the type of individual you want to train with then they should be paying to continually improve their knowledge and education, by going on different training courses every year just like a doctor does (and just as Hayley has done recently).
The sad state of the personal training industry in the UK is that a person can go on a six-week training course and get sent out into the world of fitness, diet sheets and advising. Yet, another individual who has been going on different training courses for years, developing their knowledge and wanting to help their clients achieve better results, has to brand themselves as a personal trainer as well.
There is currently no distinction between the two, which is rather alarming considering what service level some newly qualified PTs offer against what they charge.
You will also find that very little of them will be able to offer the services of a health and wellness coach or C.H.E.K Practitioner, both of which are important to understanding your body, movement and the best range of motions to achieve better results. As well as understanding the way your body should be trained and what types of exercises you should be completing.
Next time you meet your personal trainer ask them what courses they have been on lately or when they last received certification from a recognised body in the fitness industry. You might be surprised with the answers.