ARE YOU …….?
There is this ongoing discussion, whether investment in education is a good idea in the field of fitness training, strength training or personal training.
It is important to have experience spending years working with people as you gain more information to help the clients you are working with and build a knowledge on what works and what does not, based purely on your personal experiences.
On the other hand, it is also important to have dedicated formal education, which makes you to study, not merely read. Studying makes someone to sit down, dig deep into the information, and not merely memorize it but implement it.
Here are the few pointers that one gains through experience:
- Decent aptitude in bodybuilding, powerlifting and general fitness
- Usage of basic strength and cardio equipment
- Personal health and physique
But, one would also need further knowledge/education to work on certain conditions:
- post-surgical, arthritic conditions, postural issues
- Cardiac issues
- Neurological conditions
- Lifestyle / health issues
- Sports fitness / Athletes
Not everyone has the means or aptitude to sit in a classroom and study for a fitness certification.
Conversely, those who get basic fitness certification tend to fare better when it comes to longevity in health and fitness industry. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of trainers over the years, and I’ve found that those with certification has the higher motivation to staying.
Of course, we are biased towards the educational aspect of things, as having completed a degree and additional certifications give confidence and knowledge to work with people in the best ways possible and to increase the skill sets.
There is a limited understanding of things like anatomy, physiology, and exercise program development knowledge in most trainers.
That said, for people wanting to get into personal training for the best reasons of helping those who come to see them it is imperative to understand the basics of anatomy, physiology and workout design. Especially if they want to continue to expand their knowledge while working with clients, improving the service they can deliver, and work towards becoming the best trainer they possibly can.
Likewise, having all the education in the world does not automatically make you great, or even good for that matter. What is important is to implement the skill sets and knowledge gained.
At the end of the day, there is no replacement for education. There is also no amount of studying that can give the knowledge gathered from hands-on experience. This is one reason why fitness training like every other profession requires a period of dedicated study followed by an on the job experience phase.
By Y. Ramakrishna,
Sports Biomechanist, Fitness Expert, Physiotherapist.