Having moved from a country where fitness professionals are subjected to vigorous vetting and screenings, and must pay insurance every year to where nothing is controlled, I have learnt a lot. I have learned how the practice is not controlled, and that there is a lot of wannabe’s who walk around with huge egos and less concern about the clients in general.
The increased need for personal training does not guarantee the success in the end, and this needs to be addressed from the point you meet. Fitness trainers should abide to professional etiquette and code of ethics like in any other professional field. Misdiagnosing trainers don’t understand the complexities of pain or biomechanics, and they end up diagnosing every client with breathing dysfunction or another popular dysfunctional pattern they learned about in their recent CrossFit weekend course. That’s a risky move.
Trainers should leave the diagnosing to the sports doctors and physical therapists, and should stick to their expertise, including:
- Writing well-rounded programs.
- Teaching excellent technical form.
- Prescribing appropriate graded exercise that is adapted to the individual.
- Motivating clients and holding them accountable.
- Educating the clients and pointing them in the right direction for further study.
- Referring them to experts when necessary.
Misdiagnosing can lead to nocebo effects which can do considerable harm by preventing clients from realising their full potential. This is not a joke. Your problems might be coming from your trainer, who doesn’t want to refer you to a medical professional. Simply because you are a «cash cow» and if he does that to ten of you then he/she might not be out of business.
A lot of fitness experts probably know less than what you do, and if you are not in a hurry to get proper advice then shopping around before buying this crucial service won’t hurt you at all. It’s the same as you do when you want to get a new TV or a haircut – do your research. The Personal training clients buying decisions are based on how he or she feels about a certain training facility and its health and fitness professionals. This feeling is influenced by the level of customer service received and value offered. As a client you have all the rights to demand the value and the promise of the outcome, but also if you follow the advice given without interrupting it.
Clients use the services of health and fitness professionals for a variety of reasons. These range from cosmetic (appearance) to improved performance to general health and increased physical capacity in activities of daily living. Whatever the reasons, the motivation is the desire to improve quality of life.
Personal Fitness training is seen as luxury, but it’s moving towards becoming a necessity due to the nature of how the situation of the entire population is at the moment. Where money exchanges hands then the clients needs to understand and demand the right to question accountability and good customer service. But before you jump gun and believe that you can do it alone, then you need to do it clean and safe.
Have a knowledgeable day!
The fitness column is written by personal trainer, Idris Aura.