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After almost 19 years in the health and fitness industry I have seen them all: from the most professional and qualified ones to those that are a downright disgrace to the training profession, and then everyone in-between. And what I see does not really surprise me anymore, but what does people's ability to tell the difference. So here are some helpful hints that will not only tell you what to look for if you are thinking of hiring one but maybe make you think twice about the one you already have. And please, do not tell me that you've had them for a while, you are used to them, you do not like changes, they are your buddies, etc., etc. and that's why you continue training with them because, trust me, that's not a good enough reason.
So let's start with the basics.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING – EDUCATION and CREDENTIALS
1. Although our industry is not regulated just yet (there is no licensing system) there are many educational bodies that insure proper training of personal trainers. Make sure they have a nationally recognized certification from a reputable organization. The best ones in the industry at the moment are:
-American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
-National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
-National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
-American Council on Exercise (ACE)
The above organizations have operated for many years and provide the highest standards in training fitness professionals. There are a few others, less known ones but the bottom line is: make sure they are accredited by NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies). You can find the list of accredited organizations on their website.
2. A degree in a related field is helpful though not absolutely necessary. I have seen many excellent trainers without degrees and terrible ones with degrees. A degree of B.Sc. Egypt M.Sc. in the field of exercise physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics etc., gives a lot of valuable background knowledge that can be used successfully to train clients but it does not prepare one for a training position all by itself as the knowledge gained is mostly theoretical and not practical. Certification from one of the above mentioned organizations is still absolutely necessary.
3. Many universities now offer special certificate programs in personal training *. These are advanced, college level courses that give not only theoretical but also practical knowledge of the exercise field. Many of them count towards Master of Science degree should a trainer wish to pursue one. (One such example is UCLA Extension which for many years has been considered one of the best programs of its kind). Some require a certification as a prerequisite to enrollment.
* Note that the Certificate is not the same as Certification but after completion of a university level certificate program most students are able to successfully pass certification exams as their level of knowledge is a lot more advanced.
4. Is the trainer's certification current?
Each organization requires a certain number of continuing education units … Read More
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A big issue in the fitness industry, in general, is personal trainers going outside their scope of practice. These days functional training has taken over the personal training industry as the best evidence based practice. However, this has lead to many trainers crossing the line of their qualifications. Many health clubs and personal training studios have their trainers perform things such as postural assessments and functional movement screens to diagnose potential problems to normal everyday activities. How many trainers are actually trained to do this? For example, I have seen X-rays of people that look like they have exaggerated postures when looking at their skin but the X-ray shows nothing abnormal. In this context, if we attempted to correct the situation, we could actually be doing more harm. The question that needs to be answered is: are we really qualified to diagnose anything?
A lot of “functional” trainers walk a fine line between physical therapist and personal trainer by diagnosing problems (muscle imbalances, joint pain, etc.) and attempting corrective exercises to fix the problem. Is this really within the scope of practice of a personal trainer? Let’s take a closer look at some definitions of scope of practice by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). These are three very well recognized and established personal training certifications within the fitness industry. The NSCA developed a practitioner definition for their premier certification, the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), which states that the CSCS is a professional who “practically applies foundational knowledge to assess, motivate, educate and train athletes for the primary goal of improving sport performance.” It further states that it is the job of a CSCS to consult and refer athletes to medical, dietetic, athletic training and sport coaching professionals when appropriate. ACE says nothing in their definition of a personal trainer’s scope of practice about diagnosing abnormalities. It does mention that trainers can develop and implement programs for individuals who are apparently healthy (what does “apparently healthy” really mean? Is it a judgment call?) or have medical clearance.
Similar to the CSCS practitioner definition, it specifically says a trainer’s job is to “recognize what is within the scope of practice and always refer clients to other healthcare professionals when appropriate”. The ACSM states that “The ACSM Certified Personal Trainer is a fitness professional involved in developing and implementing an individualized approach to exercise leadership in healthy populations and/or those individuals with medical clearance to exercise”. There is nothing in their scope of practice statement that says a trainer should be able to diagnose and/or treat any ailments. These statements are echoed by Eickhoff-Shemek & Deja (2002) in their article “Four steps to minimize legal liability in exercise programs”. Sean Riley, a licensed attorney and exercise physiologist, warns us that a trainer legally can only design and implement training programs (Riley, 2005). He further states that acting outside of this scope is to unlawfully practice medicine (Riley, … Read More
For your weight loss to be successful, it is essential that you adhere to a structured routine that holds you accountable and keeps you efficient. In this article, you will find lots of great tips and tricks to help you lose weight.
Self-hypnosis can be an effective way to drop extra pounds….
Tagged: , lose weight , weight loss … Read More
Top Quality Equipment for an Excellent Workout
It may seem to be stating the apparent when I start out this review of the Life Fitness X7 Elliptical Cross-Trainer with Advanced Console that the goal we all have in purchasing home gym equipment is to gain a total body exercise in a way that balances the upper and lower body movement. It is that console that is required to the success of the Life Fitness X7 Elliptical Cross-Trainer with Advanced Console that helps reach that high standard for those who seek to buy this supreme home exercise equipment.
Advanced Console. – The high-tech controls of the Life Fitness X7 Elliptical Cross-Trainer with Advanced Console can be programmed so you can actually adjust your workout while it is in progress. The extra creative design that has into that advanced console mean that the assortment of state-of-the-art programs will give you a lot of options when it comes to how to reach your exercise goals each week. The Life Fitness X7 Elliptical Cross-Trainer with Advanced Console is equipped with five HeartSyc workouts that are manipulated by how your heart rate responds to your workout. And your ability to monitor your heart rate on this unit is on the button because of the wireless monitoring technology in the handlebar and a precision Polar chest strap for monitoring your heart rate. Both units are totally wireless so your workout is not weakened by a lot of wires and assemblages.
Advanced Features for a Great Workout – Like you, I expect a lot from an exercise system that comes at a high price. The Life Fitness X7 Elliptical Cross-Trainer with Advanced Console delivers with a broad plethora of features to live up to the expectations of everyone who will use it. There are modes you can set the Life Fitness X7 Elliptical Cross-Trainer with Advanced Console to operate under that will reach for a particular exercise goal. For example, the LegSculptor Mode modifies the length of your stride by increments of two inches every couple of minutes to the focus of the exercises changes to develop various lower body muscle groups. Likewise, the Total-Body Trainer Mode points you in building up different muscle areas.
Designed With You in Mind – When I am working out, I count on my exercise equipment to worry about me rather than me having to worry about it. That standard of excellency is clearly how the Life Fitness X7 Elliptical Cross-Trainer with Advanced Console was designed from the footing up. The engineering that ensures that the stride is always extremely fluid, natural and quiet is named the Whisper eStride system. There is a shock absorption system called FlexPedal constructed into the pedals so that you never have impact problems while exercising on the Life Fitness X7 Elliptical Cross-Trainer with Advanced Console. During your workout, you can keep an eye on and increase/decrease your stride length and the resistance level of your workout using an LCD display system that shows your resistance … Read More