Hey San Antonio:
Heard a radio ad today for a chain of gyms that is using the “Want to avoid roided up guys in the gym” and playing on most people’s perceptions that most people in gyms are in amazing shape, the guys are huge and hulking and the females are all fitness models – a laughable notion that is as far from the truth as possible (most gym members are normal people just looking to stay in shape).
While my client and I were laughing at the incredible stupidity of the ad (and for the record, it is an ad for Planet Fitness, WHOM, BY THE WAY, serves pizza to its members on Fridays – yeah, real serious about your fitness), she told me that she was talking to a friend that had some questions about something her personal trainer had told her, and my client told her friend that “my trainer (me :) is an encyclopedia for fitness, you should ask him about that and see what he says”. Long story short, my client’s friend called me and asked about a few exercises her personal trainer had told her about that are designed to target belly fat.
While the average person is often led to believe that belly fat can be spot reduced by specific exercises or different foods, it does not take a “fitness expert” to know that site reduction of fat is impossible.
I decided to look up this personal trainer’s website and read about his principles, his experience, etc. Of course, it was littered with false truths, catch-phrases, and told very little about the personal trainer’s background (other than his weekend based certification). It simply proved a point that I often make: unfortunately, personal training is a career that has a very low border of entry, and to become a personal trainer simply requires a small investment. Even the most respected of “certifications” is not all that difficult to obtain – ANYONE can be a personal trainer. However, how many people can be successful at personal training and can live off of their income that they make by helping others?
I have received over 17 different certifications, a degree, have competed as a bodybuilder, have trained several figure competitors, bodybuilders, pro athletes, and individuals of all walks of life, special populations, and everyone else that falls into that spectrum. I have had my private personal training studio in San Antonio open since 2006. While I am obviously not a fly-by-night personal trainer, I must say that it is not one of those things that qualifies me as a fitness expert. Nor is it that I have been a personal trainer for over 15 years – it is a combination of all of those things. The great thing? I am educated and experienced enough to admit that the learning process is always continuing, and that being a fitness expert is not something that is obtained with a weekend course or even an in-resident program or advanced degree: it is something that is cumulative, obtained with years of doing more than simply surviving as a personal trainer.
While there are a few personal trainers that survive and do well in this business, most are unable to operate as fitness trainers for more than 12-18 months. Before you throw your money away on a novice personal trainer that is just learning the ropes, do your homework: while many gyms have personal training for $10-$20, understand that you get what you pay for, and the investment will be worth the made up time and the knowledge that your personal trainer is willing to share with you.
There IS a difference!