By Tara Daye, PTS, FIS, canfitpro PRO TRAINER
Go to any gym and you will more than likely see a trainer working the floor or training clients. It is apparent that they are guiding their client through a workout, giving them tips on form, spotting their difficult exercises and pushing them to their limit. Looking through Pinterest perhaps, you can find many people posting workouts and or tips to help get you in shape. You may have thought at some point that you would like to be on the receiving end of the training team or use those online services or references.
To onlookers, you would naturally assume that an individual working as a trainer is a certified professional. Unfortunately, that may not be the case, but how would you know and why should it matter? They are employed by a gym. They appear knowledgeable, what you hear them say makes sense, their client seems happy and its business as usual. This does not necessarily mean however, that they are certified and insured.
Why is it truly important to have a trainer certified? Why not just go with someone who looks fit and has experience? Why not ask that friendly guy in the gym that knows how to use every piece of equipment to help you out and give you some suggestions?
There are many reasons to ensure your trainer is certified, but I feel the most important reason is that someone who is certified is trained and tested on all current aspects of fitness from cardiovascular health guidelines, to strength, flexibility, mobility, injury prevention, basic nutrition, general recovery, sports specific training and more! Simply knowing how to lift is a very small piece of the wellness puzzle. Taking into consideration everything about you as an individual, your life and goals and then building a safe, appropriate workout plan using researched methods that are scientifically proven to produce results is a trainer’s main goal. The methods do change over time as more research gets completed, and certified trainers are required to continue their education on a yearly basis to stay certified. You know that you are getting the latest, safest means to your goals with a certified professional.
Another important factor to consider is insurance. As a conscientious person, you make sure your house, belongings and vehicles are insured. Did you know that Personal Trainers also require insurance? This helps protect the client as well as the facility in the unfortunate case, that an injury or accident occurs during the training. Insurance companies as well as Work Safe NB will not insure someone who is not certified. Most companies are insured, but it is essential to make sure that the individual providing the instruction is covered as well.
Did you know that Personal Trainers that hold current certifications are also required to have updated CPR and AED skills annually? If you have ever taken CPR courses in the past, you know that things are ever changing in regard to delivery and effectiveness. Renewing CPR yearly ensures that your trainer is up to date and refreshed on all the skills necessary to provide emergency medical help if the situation ever should arise.
By asking the question, “Where and when did you receive your Personal Training Certification?” you can quickly find out your trainers’ credentials. Many people, however, find it awkward to ask such questions because, after all, they should be certified, should they not? Maybe it feels as if you are taking a knock towards their credit just for questioning certification. If you don’t feel comfortable asking the trainer directly, you can always ask other employees of the facility or the manager.
Many certified Trainers will have an online Facebook Page, Instagram account or some other type of social media platform in which to sell their services. A quick online search may also provide you with the answers. Look for Biographies that tell you about the trainer, their education and their experience. Most often, if a trainer is certified, they are proud to display their accomplishments.
In Canada, the national organization that certifies individuals as Personal Trainers and is recognized throughout the country is canfitpro. canfitpro is a nationally recognized certification provider that is also recognized in the U.S.A. and a few other countries overseas. Fitness NB is another provider that is recognized here provincially. It is very easy and quick to go to either one’s website and search for trainers in your area. If they hold a current certification, their name will appear on the list. If they are not certified, you will not see them listed.
As with any other things in life, you want to make sure you are making the best decision when it comes to your health and functionality. After all, if you wouldn’t let someone with no mechanical experience tear apart your new car, why would you risk the more precious, essential and only one of its kind – you? Knowing that someone you trust to take your health into their hands has all their “T’s” crossed and “I’s” dotted, is the safest bet.