And no – not mad – although it does help to be a little bit outside the box in this industry…. No – have you actually checked their qualifications?
If you had a legal issue, would you use the services of someone who knew something about the law but was not a qualified solicitor?
Would you go to a doctor who showed no qualifications on their walls – and who turned out to be someone who had a health related certification, had an interest in the topic but not the paperwork to back it up?
I somehow doubt it.
Yet, how often have we been tempted to rock on to a class or session because its a) cheap, b) its promising us loads! we place our trust and our bodies in the hands of someone we do not know advertising sessions without first confirming they have the necessary qualification to back it up? Unfortunately while there are some great people out there, as in any profession, not all trainers are created equal.
We tend to accept on PURE FAITH that based on the fact that someone is offering a service – of course they must have studied, passed the necessary exams and been certified otherwise why would they be advertising the service, and it never occurs us to question or to check references.
We believe THE POSTER.
We’ve all seen the online adverts and flyers for classes, Facebook pages with – ironically – a faceless, nameless person behind it. Have you ever looked at them to see who they are and what their actual qualifications are? Many times there has been no information on the person behind the ad.
Ask yourself – If a trainer is not willing to put their name, reputation and qualifications out there – on the line, front and centre behind all they are about, would you feel inclined to try them out?
Facebook Faith. Its very easy to be anonymous, because so many people are literally desperate to get fit, and they will try anything, any gimmick to get there, including taking magic juju berries, starving themselves, and doing all sorts of exercise if they thought they could get there in quick time. Facebook has literally become the base of all information for everything!
But bear in mind when looking for a trainer – any trainer worth their salt would, just like the GP or specialist, would put their qualifications clearly visible and fully transparent so the client can decide.
I started in the industry in 1995 as my second career (I was an artist first and took a wee side step) and was blown away by the sheer quantity of information I had to learn and the amount of assessment involved even at the fitness instructor level. I learned a lot, but yet at the end of the course, I was amazed at how much there was still out there I did not know. So I dived into the next challenge of the next course to start to specialise, and then the next, building on my qualifications over the years and gradually built my wall of fame (or frames) that you see above. With each qualification, skills evolve and combine with past experience affecting how I look at my clients and how they will then evolve in their training. Continuing Professional Development is a never ending path – but there is always something to learn and qualifications to gain.
Don’t always believe what you read – the simplest and safest approach is to always make sure your trainer is fully certified to the best level possible to train you in the field they are advertising and never be afraid to ask for references or confirmation of experience.
Its your body, and you only get the one.