This is something that has caused me a great deal of concern for many years. Lately there has been an increase in the number of personal trainers, normally I would suggest this can only be a good thing. The problem for me lies in how the qualification is obtained, there are an awful lot of providers offering four week courses. Does this truly provide the level of detail needed?
The age old argument has always been, if you're experienced you shouldn't need a qualification. Let's apply this to another profession, nursing! Now ask yourself should a nurse be qualified to provide care or does experience in caring for a relative give them the necessary skills to provide care to all types of patients suffering from many different illnesses?
If you are like me then your answer is most likely no. What is the difference then with a personal trainer? Of course you've spent many years lifting weights, competing in various sports, you know very well how your own body works. What about someone who is not as physically active or healthy. Would you know the contraindications for coronary heart disease, more importantly would you know how to plan an exercise programme for an at risk client?
I do not mean to burst any bubbles or belittle the hard word that goes into obtain a qualification even an express one. The issue I take with it is that if you truly want to make a difference and be the best trainer you can be and deserve to be, you shouldn't cut corners just to get a piece of paper that states you are qualified when in reality you are not.
Even after you've qualified and with all your many years of experience shouldn't there be an element of on the job training. Again I'll take the medical profession, a Dr will spend between 10 and 12 years studying before they are given a licence to practice medicine. Of this between 3 and 5 years will be vocational on the job training. Imagine if you will that all it took to qualify was theoretical examinations. I am unsure that this would truly provide them with the level of expertise to diagnose an illness. Why is it different for personal trainers?
As a Personal Trainer you should have the same depth and level of knowledge in anatomy and physiology as a Doctor, then I believe you should spend time on the floor putting the theory into practice with client's whilst supervised by an experienced trainer.
Like I say this is not knocking anyone for attempting to better themselves, that is a good thing. For me the risks of inexperienced, under qualified trainers offering guidance is dangerous.