Over the years, I have had the great opportunity to observe hundreds upon hundreds of "exercise" trainers; they come and they go. They leave apparently for several reasons, too many to name here. One thing I can say for sure is that most approach this field as an opportunity for quick and easy financial gain, as would those that enter vocations such as Real Estate and Insurance. It becomes a numbers game as such. I understand and agree with capitalism and free trade, where the value based on the perception of the worth of the exchange between traders. In other words a value is delivered, and then some quality is gained by both parties. But, there are striking similarities between what goes on in the exercise industry and the monetary motive rackets, as the objective is to gain as many "clients" as possible. (Such is not the case here.) Therefore we see an inordinate emphasis on frivolous and obnoxious marketing in this industry. There is an over abundance on how to allure the unknowing customer to buy into "personal training," rather than rational and ethical approaches to deliver the finest available in proficient training (The Value). To understand the problem with these motives, someone once said “money is not a goal, it is a tool,” which is the rational objective. There is certainly a fine line.
Much of the underlying problem has to do with the fads that are misrepresented as Exercise and then are then being touted as the "in" way to do it, or “just do it.” In a field that is ever changing (beware of this type of change), there is much to do about much ado about changes that are never inherently better. One thing you must do first is that you must guard yourself against the technical mumbo jumbo and buzz words spewed by the "Experts." By and large, they are delivering a bill of goods. To help you spot these marauders, it must be understood that there must be evident, some important tenets in this trade.
The pure objective in an Exercise program is to improve one's current physical condition. There are required elements that a Professional must have to make these means successful and to deliver the goals intended for potential physical improvement. First, there must be a written diagram, a theory, just as one would consult a detailed map for travel. Proper Exercise progression requires a plan that is charted out. An actual written chart must be used as a base line reference to mark exact (the key word EXACT) improvement. Then there must be clear concise nomenclature used to mark this chart with. It must be legible to be read by trainer and trainee, and not with random and scattered meaningless numbers. There is a glaring majority in Exercise Industry that ignores this important aspect and or pretends that it doesn't exist, even if simply by their own actions. All efforts must be made in the direction for maximum results; therefore precise tracking of records and progress is a must. Think of it this way, does your Doctor, Dentist, Lawyer, Teacher, or Accountant keep a detailed record of your events, or do they just wing it? Yes, such details are that important! It allows one to optimize their physical potential.
A main point is that the trainer must check his or her ego at the door and make the best planned script possible for the ego of the client or trainee. This means that a trainer is no different from other important professions that put the individual in the best position to win.
A stop watch can be used as a device for an accurate measuring tool to quantify a better, more accurate way to assess exercise time and form. It is used in place of the inappropriate and lame approach of counting reps (the movements that are a series of grossly applied jerks and heaves to obtain some random number), the watch allows for direct scrutiny of slow controlled muscular contractions and the correction of misapplications of potential poor technique. (Exceptions exist where manual exercise is used for therapeutic needs and must be applied rather exacting manner, based on individual muscular strengths and weaknesses, therefore the watch is impractical).
Then there is the perspective of professional interaction during training, however imperative, it is rarely seen. The object is the maximum Exercise benefit that can be obtained and that can never be understated. So any interaction and conversation is kept largley to the subject of EXERCISE. Proper exercise instruction is essential, when formally defined; it is the strategic pattern of motivational phrases or sentences delivered in a sincere manner to encourage accomplishment of the established goals. This simply means there should be no inappropriate behaviors, or conversations that exist outside this realm. Also remember, you as the trainee are not paying for psychiatry and believe me, the run of the mill trainer does not care about your true inner feelings. Just recently I observed a "trainer" stepping away from a "client" to answer and talk on his cell phone, not once but twice, in the midst of the "client" continuing doing "repetitions." These types of behaviors are very common place in this field. Unfortunately, it is hardly ever understood by the consumer that such conduct is disrespectful and should not be tolerated. Some people pay up to $175.00 per (hour?) and much of that time is counterproductive as a result. Is it not the desire to bring about physical improvement from your exercise program? ANYTHING that disturbs this process as such is neither unnecessary nor desirable.
Formal attire and hygiene is a must for the Professional Exercise Trainer. Remember, it is the student who is training, not the supervisor of the training. Therefore, the clothing worn by the exercise professional should not be in the traditional "Jock Look." Think about it this way, if the "personal" trainer is exercising with you, how does he or she observe and watch your exact procedures? This behavior is not acceptable, although it is traditionally used and followed blindly. The Professional Exercise Trainer should be always vibrant and attentive, as well as looking the part of the Exercise lifework. I would have to say that the man who definitely would be the model for the near ideal would be the "Young" Jack LaLanne, as portrayed in his early television shows. That man had tailored fit clothing, and a true professional look, in the meanwhile being in terrific condition to boot. (He still is at age 95!) Understand that the image of a professional trainer should not only be that of their physical fitness, but of more importance their physical fitness from the neck up. I could go on and on about this subject, but the message should be clear that there is a major problem in the lack of professional standards in this field. It is the object to show professional courtesy and respect for those that want to improve themselves in every way possible.
This all being said, I hear the constant designation of "Client" being used to describe some type of business relationship with the behaviors that have been previously indicated. The field of "Personal Training" for the most part has no right to share in this classification. The prime objective is to provide the best we can possible. In order to find out what is right, I have investigated that which is wrong. Consultations can be available to you and we have a nationwide network of trainers that we feel that are qualified to follow these standards that will be exclusively for those whom are truly interested. I am in communication daily, with those who share my direction. I am also open to suggestions always and it is in the best interest of our pupils the gain the best results possible. Please beware of those offering just a "service." At Exercisefraud, I am the watch dog of the exercise industry, the “new” sheriff in town so to speak. I am a consumer advocate agency. Please Email me if you have suggestions.R>
© 2010 David Landau