By Bedros Keuilian
If you want to lose weight, improve your athletic performance or build muscle mass, you need a certified personal trainer to help you. There are plenty of good-looking “trainers” who will promise to make you look like them, but that’s not enough. There’s a world of difference between a fitness enthusiast who can get in shape personally and a true coach that can deliver those same results to other people.
I no longer train clients myself, but I do make sure that every coach at every Fit Body Boot Camp (FBBC) franchise is certified by a nationally accredited program before they train. I even worked with my team to develop an FBBC specific certification, because I know continuing education helps our coaches deliver better results to clients like you.
Your Body is Different from Everyone Else’s
You have your own medical history, your own eating habits, your own genetics, and your own lifestyle. If you ever find a trainer or fitness expert who offers you a “one size fits all” solution, you need to run the other way. The truth is that there are no “one size fits all” solutions. A properly certified trainer or coach knows this because all the major certification programs talk about it.
Knowing how to identify your unique needs as a client is the most important first step to getting results. A good certification teaches coaches and trainers how to do that. It shows them all the different muscle groups in the body and how they interact with each other. That way, they can identify your strengths and weaknesses and program workouts that will challenge you without hurting you.
Plus, a certification shows trainers how to adjust workouts to deal with injuries. Injuries are a fact of life—they can happen even if you never set foot inside a gym—but that doesn’t mean that you ever need to give up your dreams of having a fit, healthy body. That’s because a certified trainer can keep you 100% on track to your results, even with an injury.
Work with Professionals
Think about it this way, would you ever go see a doctor who doesn’t have a diploma hanging on their wall? Probably not. You would want to know that your doctor has done the research and hard work. You’d want to be sure they understand the human body and know how to fix whatever issue you bring to them.
Now, personal trainers aren’t as strictly regulated as doctors, but they still need to do their homework. Just because they legally can train clients with no certification, doesn’t mean they should. The trainers and coaches who truly care about their clients understand that certifications are the only way they can guarantee a safe workout with real results. If a trainer refuses to get certified, or they refuse to get re-certified whenever their certifications expire, that’s a sign that they don’t take their work seriously.
In the same way you wouldn’t trust a doctor without a diploma, you shouldn’t trust a trainer or coach without a certification. Lucky for you, there are plenty of good trainers out there who are fully certified and ready to train with you.
Make Sure They Have the Latest Science
Speaking of re-certification, you also want to make sure that your trainer is keeping up with the latest science of exercise and nutrition. That way, they can help you sort through fad diets and exercises and stick with a program that will actually benefit you right now.
Every year, nutrition and exercise science makes major leaps forward. Still, there is a surprising amount we still don’t know about how the human body processes food and builds muscle. There’s still room to discover even more effective diet and exercise techniques, and a good trainer will stay certified so they can keep on the lookout for those.
In fact, here’s the dirty little secret about personal trainers: we love pizza and donuts too! We make sure to eat cheat foods in moderation and burn them off in the gym, but still if we can find a faster, easier way to get results and keep them, we’ll take it!
Trust the Results
I always tell my personal trainers that the best way to bring in clients is to deliver real results and then show their work. The flip side of that is also true: whenever you’re considering a personal trainer, gym, or boot camp, always look at their past and current clients to see what kind of results they’re getting.
Here’s what you’re going to find: the trainers who deliver the most consistent results to the largest number of people are the trainers who get certified. They’re also the trainers who get re-certified regularly and also insist that their staff is certified as well (if they hire other trainers).
Getting fit and healthy involves more than just lifting heavy weights and eating broccoli. In fact, a certified coach or trainer can show you how to train more efficiently. That way, you don’t have to spend hours in the gym every day, keep eating the foods you love, and still get the results you want.