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The Importance of your Trainer's Qualifications

Wise people learn when they can; Fools only learn when they must.

Saw this quote the other day after writing down the future blog post topics – one of them being “The Importance of your Trainer’s Qualification” – and this quote just seemed so fitting!

By now, you’ll probably know that I love learning. I seriously love it. Don’t ask me why. But I simply do! I always dread the idea of having to go sit down and get started, but I love the learning process. Our brains are ever expanding and ever-growing new branches (go read our blog post on Neural Pathways). I am all about continuous professional development and ongoing learning. Especially in an industry like health and fitness – where things are ever changing an new research gets done on a daily basis! So I am always on the lookout for new courses and workshops – to expand my knowledge.

I believe that being a fitness professional comes with a massive responsibility. And I don’t think nearly enough people realize that. We at FIT BEST, aim to serve. We aspire to inspire. We keep on learning in order that we can serve YOU better. It’s not about me being awesome doing one course after the other. It’s about being able and qualified to give you the very best service, to stay at the top of our game and to continuously adapt and evolve to help you the best way we can!

Ever since lockdown started, we have seen a massive surge in online fitness content! And although it is great that the general public have so much free workout inspiration right at their fingertips. It also comes at a cost. The cost of your health in fact! We have been shocked by the amount of people who offer free workouts and classes or post videos on Instagram – who should barely train on their own – without supervision of a qualified fitness professional.

There are so many fitness professional titles out there, that we totally get why it’s easy to assume that the person is qualified to voice their opinion, when in fact – they really shouldn’t. This is not to bash influencers about posting workout videos freely on social media. But we as (true) fitness professionals can simply not sit back and watch how people are blindly following influencers - when the influencer can barely maintain proper posture themselves. Your health is way to important, for us to keep quiet about the risks involved!

A thorough background and knowledge on anatomy and physiology is VITAL if you want to propose yourself as a force to be reckoned with in the fitness industry! Health is our greatest wealth. And there is just no way to beat around the bush and pretend like you can get it done without having the proper qualifications! As a fitness professional you have the health and well-being of your clients in your hands, literally!

We love social media for the fact that we can connect with so many of you guys so effortlessly. But that’s also the sad and scary part about social media! Let’s create a typical scenario…. Sarah started training a year or two ago, she really loves fitness and learned a lot along the journey on how training works. Along her journey she learned what works for her and what doesn’t. She maybe got help from a fitness professional on the journey or maybe she found a program or three on the internet. Some worked, some didn’t. Fact of the matter is, Sarah now has an amazing Before and After photo. And deservingly (she worked damn hard for it), she loves to share it on social media. So people start asking her; what did you do? How do you train? What do eat on a daily basis? How many days a week do you train? And because Sarah’s own journey was so dear to her heart and she discovered a real true love for fitness, she starts sharing her “secrets” and tips. And long story short, next thing you see is Sarah’s new training program or Live classes being advertised on social media. Now I’m not sure about you – but I haven’t heard the part where Sarah studied to become a personal trainer? Have you?

You see, the problem is not people discovering their love for fitness whilst they were on their own journey to figure things out. That in itself I think is pretty damn awesome & I am so glad that so many people do discover the joy and love for fitness! The problem comes in when people want to start sharing what they have learned with others – without having a proper qualification!

All fair and well – our hypothetical Sarah might write an “OK” program and her Before & After picture might be (probably will be) the “selling” factor. But just imaging how much more she would be able to offer her clients, if you can call it that, if her programs were backed up with the knowledge of how the body actually functions and how training should be programmed based on how your body will react to certain exercises and certain training styles. I’m sorry girl, basic biology in matric won’t cut it!

Throwing a few exercises together and calling it a workout is not a Program! And definitely not something you should be asking money for!

The sad thing that we have noticed, is that most of the followers of those trainers influencers (they’re not trainers) – are girls who have not been on a fitness journey before. Girls who don’t know what to look for in a trainer and girls who are desperate to see results. It’s mostly girls who won’t realize that the influencer is not a qualified fitness professional because everything fitness related is new to them.

None of the above criteria is wrong. Not at all. But this is their (the influencers’) target market. That’s why they will use phrases like “I’m sharing with you what took me 3 years to figure out, so you won’t have to struggle that long / are you tired of not seeing results, let me help you.”

Don’t be fooled girl! No two people will get the same results! You can live in the same house, have the same mom & dad (thus coming from the same gene pool), eat the same food, sleep the same number of hours, follow the same training program and still not get the same results!

Another thing that we have noticed with these fitness influencers, are that they seem to be very “transparent” about their journeys. When in fact, that is BS! Let’s just call it what it is! Sharing your before and after photo and starting to share what you have learned from your fitness journey is NOT being transparent! It is everything but! Because most of those girls went through food deprivations, excessive hours in the gym, calculating every single calorie, felt guilty about having that piece of cake. And finally, after going through all of that – they managed to get that "inspiring" After photo. But that’s not what you hear from them, is it? They don’t mention that “you probably won’t look like I do by simply following the program and not restricting yourself from this this and this… (insert the never-ending list here). No, that they don’t mention!

So, you end up buying their program. Doing the 6- or 8- or 12-week challenge. And to your surprise, your After picture don’t look like hers. Damn right it doesn’t and it never will. Because that was false transparency used to drive sales! And it makes me sick to my stomach! But sadly, it’s the reality out there.

A true fitness professional will NEVER promise a specific outcome. By saying promise – I mean to advertise using words like “get results in 8 weeks” or “this will change your life” – you know, all of those phrases you read in the caption of the Before and After photos.

A true professional will never make statements like that, because a true fitness professional will have the knowledge to know better!

When I started FIT BEST Training, I wanted to show women that fitness can be fun. It can and should be something that you enjoy. You should not be training to achieve a specific physical appearance or to reach a certain number on the scale. Fitness goes so far beyond any of that! Your fitness routine should be sustainable. Just like anything else you do in life. I always say, if it’s not sustainable – then there is no point in doing it.

Your training should be conducted in a sustainable way. To improve your health and fitness levels in all aspects. And yes, we would all love to look great and have amazing bodies (which you already have by the way #peptalk101)… But your fitness journey is a journey! And your health and well being is of utmost value! Don’t risk injury or waste your time on money on empty promises and soothing marketing phrases. A true fitness professional won’t try to catch your attention with their own fitness journey. The focus should never be on the trainer, the focus should be on you – their client! And if they had a qualification, they would know it!

Training with an unqualified person, not only waste your money… But you are also literally risking your health every single day and opening the door for injuries and bio-mechanical complications. I don’t know about you, but to me – that does not sound like living a healthy lifestyle nor is it sustainable in any way!

If you are a fitness professional and you feel offended by this blog, go check your qualifications. There are pretty cool courses available you might be interested in!

If you are a girl, just getting started on her fitness journey. Or even if you have been training for a while now – don’t feel scared after reading this – there are so many amazingly qualified fitness professionals out there. And those who are properly qualified will have the documentation to prove it. NEVER be ashamed or scared to ask to see their qualifications. And if the trainer asks you why you want to see it – run for the mountains! Even if you are unfit, just run! haha

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