This article will take you 4 minutes to read. Feel free to leave your questions in the comment section, they will be answered!
As you progress in your training and see greater results, you might notice that many of the Personal Trainers (PTs) working gyms nowadays might not be as knowledgeable as they used to be. Myths and misconceptions are being reinforced and this rise does not come as a surprise. The popularity of crash-course Personal Training qualifications is higher due to the boom in potential profit in the fitness industry.
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Personal trainer qualifications: money buys everything?
It feels like the PT’s world has totally shifted. We thought making an entire article would be important if you are planning on getting a personal trainer.
It’s now very easy to obtain a PT qualification in as little as 4-5 weeks. All that needs is enough savings (£1000) and some time to read up and learn on the theory behind personal training and the job is done within two months.
Following these courses, working for a gym is then made possible. We can then question:
Will the clients get the results they expect for what they pay?
Too much theory, not enough practice?
While the theoretical content that these fast-track PT courses use is somehow accurate, it is mind-boggling that courses now exist to become a PT simply from studying theory and few days of practice. Becoming a qualified PT without having spent time in the gym is like reading a book on tennis and claiming to be an expert tennis player.
We can all see that learning to play tennis exclusively by studying the technique will be a tough challenge. Putting that theory into practice in order to understand the sport and develop skills is required. The same goes for personal training.
We believe going through a long personal experimental process to thoroughly understand how things work is key. When studying medicine, for example, understanding first the theory and science and then begin training as an intern and putting your knowledge into practice for years to come is a great approach.
The process of progressing from an intern to a fully qualified doctor takes years. Why is this transition from theory to practical experience ignored in the PT industry?
Why it can be an issue
Increasingly, seeing underqualified PTs in gyms teaching (or neglecting to correct) incorrect techniques and bad forms is not that rare anymore.
Their clients are sometimes hunching, arching on rows like mad cats, bringing their shoulders forward on chest exercises. There is sometimes a lack of basic knowledge of what a good form is.
A lack of individualisation
The worst aspect for a client with an inexperienced PT is that there is no individualization. Some PTs take clients after clients with the same program and don’t look at the unique individual in front of them. Some exercises which are popular might just not be a good fit for you. There is no indispensable exercise.
Of course, not all PT courses are like this; there are some better and longer courses on the market but this really has become the new trend.
‘Become a qualified PT in less than 5 weeks’.
By simply Googling ‘qualified PT’, you can find a few examples.
These courses do have a place on the market. For example for those who already have a lot of experience in the gym. These condensed courses are interesting in this case. Not having to spend 2 years studying the very basics which are already known is time-saving.
This does not mean being a professional bodybuilder is a necessity. Many PTs focus on specialties other than building muscle or are not aiming to become as ‘big’ as possible.
Being ripped does not always equalize knowledge, but having a wealth of personal experience is undeniably important.
Having a personal trainer is a long-term investment – choose wisely
Before investing huge amounts of money into personal training, take the time to research PTs and get to know the person you are looking to hire.
What is their experience? What are their personal interests in fitness? Do they understand your fitness goals?
Personal Training does not come cheap. If you have two sessions a week, let’s say £40 per session (if not more), then that comes to £80 a week and over £4000 a year. You do not want to be investing that much money (and trust) into someone if he is just barely more experienced than you are!
Look into their history and make sure that they have experience in the field you want to improve upon. Although an official qualification is important, a piece of paper that cost £1000 cannot make up for a wealth of first-hand experience.
We hope this article will help people considering making a thoughtful decision before hiring a personal trainer!
Do you think the personal training fitness industry has changed?
Let us know in the comments!