If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re looking into working with a certified personal trainer. You might also be looking at working with a trainer who isn’t certified and wondering, “what’s the difference?”
We don’t often acknowledge this, but exercise journeys can be incredibly personal. Whether you want to lose weight, rehabilitate your body, or just improve your fitness level, it’s difficult to know who to trust. Especially when there are so many lies being spread each day about nutrition, exercise, and health on social media and other platforms.
The fitness industry has come a long way in the past decade. Instead of exercising just for the sake of outward appearance, more and more people are dedicated to living a truly healthy lifestyle. A lot of these people have the help of a personal trainer.
So what is the difference between a certified personal trainer and a personal trainer who isn’t certified? Does it really matter? And if it does matter, then why? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more.
What is a Certified Personal Trainer?
By definition, in order to be a personal trainer, you must be certified. So you should be wary of any “personal trainer” who doesn’t have certification. Technically speaking, a personal trainer is someone who has earned a certification and demonstrates competency in creating a safe and effective exercise routine for clients.
Unfortunately, legally speaking, personal trainers don’t have to be certified. Other professionals, like athletic trainers, are regulated and licensed by the state. Still, a legitimate personal trainer will be professionally certified by a reliable certifying body like the American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), or the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).
Trainer Fitness as a Pop Culture Fad
The fitness industry has always been big business. But, with the explosion of social media and self-proclaimed fitness gurus popping up as influencers, exercise content has only become more popular. This means that misinformation can be spread more easily, and it’s harder to find people to trust.
On social media, context gets thrown out the window. Why would anyone spend time researching what workout regimen will work for them if there are so many influencers telling them what is good and what is bad through Instagram captions?
The reality of the situation is that different bodies need different things. Your body and your fitness journey is unique to you. Following popular trends is not a great way to take care of your body. This is why a certified personal trainer can be so helpful. They assess your individual needs and help you accomplish your goals.
Spotting Credibility in an Unregulated Industry
So now that we’ve gone over what a personal trainer is and is not, let’s get into how to find a personal trainer who is reliable and trustworthy. Since the industry is unregulated, people can play tricks to deceive you.
You want to be sure about the person you choose to be your trainer. If you aren’t careful, you could potentially get hurt, end up in the midst of a pyramid scheme, or land yourself in some other less than desirable place.
Remember, anyone can claim to be a fitness professional and offer you personal training services. Again, the best way to find out who is a fraud and who isn’t is based upon accredited certification. Here are some subjects that NASM personal trainers are educated in, for reference:
- Speed, agility, and quickness training
- Nutrition best practices
- Professional development
- Client interaction
- Fitness assessments
- Basic exercise science
- Human movement science
So, with all of this being said, you can’t simply trust the biggest guy at the gym to be your personal trainer. It’s pretty easy to spot someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing once you’ve done a little bit of research. Of course, the biggest red flag is someone offering personal training services who has not gone through the certification process.
How to Find a Personal Trainer You Can Trust
Depending on your location and needs, it can be challenging to find a personal trainer on your own. The internet is a double-edged sword; there are tons of fake online “experts” who like to talk about exercise, nutrition, and health, but you can also find incredibly reliable and effective trainers through online research. Your best bet is to find a personal trainer through an accredited company or business.
For example, we at Silicon Valley Health & Wellness offer personal training services. We are completely transparent about our trainers’ certification and background. You can peruse our website and find all of our services as well as our contact information if you want to know more about a specific program.
We do this to show our clients that we can be trusted to help them begin or continue their fitness journey. Of course, there are plenty of independent personal trainers out there who are completely trustworthy, but here are some red flags to keep in mind during your search:
- Lack of experience in personal training
- Unable to provide you with previous success stories
- Doesn’t ask about your fitness history or goals
- Only asks about financial information
- Presents you a “personalized” program without getting to know you
So, just because someone appears to be in physically fit condition and has a fitness Instagram page, doesn’t mean that they are a personal trainer. There is a process of learning and practice that comes with certification that these people might not have. To prevent yourself from getting scammed, do your research.
Find Your Certified Personal Trainer Today
At Silicon Valley Health & Wellness, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the best exercise and health regimens for their personal fitness journeys. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or you have a specific problem you’d like to rehabilitate, you’ll be getting much more than a workout. Our trainers stay up to date on trends and techniques in order to provide the highest quality workout for our clients.