By: Rachel Mangold
Edited by: Zachary Sparks
Right now, it’s pretty trendy to see online fitness influencers selling programs and workout regimens. However, how do we know if they’re really qualified? In some cases, they are. More often than not, unfortunately, they aren’t.
As a certified personal trainer, I understand the requirements and values it takes to fill that role. I went through a semester in small groups of other trainees for lectures and studying in order to pass the national test, which was given through the American Council of Exercise (ACE). Now, after working for nearly a year as a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), I have experience working with clients from all backgrounds, ages, and physical abilities. Am I the best trainer out there? Absolutely not. But, if you want to hire a personal trainer, I urge you to find someone who went through the proper training, has the proper certification, and has some experience working with individuals in person.
It’s one thing to form an online program to sell to people and another to tailor a program specifically to a person’s needs, goals, and abilities. Certifications through ACE and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) are both highly accredited and require extensive knowledge. A bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science is also a good indicator that the person knows and understands body mechanics and exercise movement.
Before I became a trainer, and when I first started working out, I got trapped into a lot of online schemes that not only didn’t work for me but put me in a really bad mental and physical state. Just because someone looks good or has a nice ass on Instagram does not mean they are capable of formulating workout routines that will actually work for YOU. Furthermore, they can’t be by your side to correct form, posture, and help motivate you.
I will be honest and state that hiring a personal trainer can be expensive, but you don’t have to hire them forever. A huge part of what I stand for in my training is to teach my client’s proper form and movements and teach them how to put a workout together: my job isn’t to work with you forever. Take the time you need with a trainer so that you can feel comfortable in the gym, do exercises, stay accountable, and stay motivated. Find a trainer that has excellent communication and will go out of their way to help build you up. Don’t fall into traps of carbon-copy workout programs or get stuck in an Instagram feed. If you really want to learn how to lift, workout, and feel like you need a personal trainer in order to do so, hire someone that is going to be worth the investment and will invest in you.
It can be dangerous to work through a program that is not designed for your specific needs, and most of the online programs available do not accommodate any pre-existing physical limitation or abnormal body mechanics. Not all online programs are terrible, though. Just be cautious of the ones being advertised by someone underqualified and uneducated that simply has a lot of followers. Your health is important, and you deserve better.