There is no doubt the fitness industry has been growing larger and faster than anyone thought possible. The last 10 years have brought an explosion in personal training, boutique fitness and various other gyms. In 2006 the fitness industry was expected to grow so quickly there would be 50% more trainers in the industry. We have seen at least that, if not more. People have been quitting their jobs to pursue a career in what was, at the time, a hobby or passion of theirs in order to make $50-$100 an hour.
We as trainers have a great desire to help. We understand and hold a certain admiration for those willing to give up a pension to help people live longer healthier lives.
However, there is a lack of education throughout the fitness industry. You have the option, as a health & fitness professional to choose from many different certifications. You order a book, study for three months and take a certification test; or maybe you took a weekend certification course. If you pass you’re a trainer! Congratulations, but, I have to ask, what do you actually know about the body, anatomy, injuries, joint integrity, stability, mobility or reciprocal inhibition? Now let’s discuss the heart the nervous system, how the body is wired to the brain. Can that be taught in a weekend course or in three months from a book you’re left to interpret on your own?
Physical therapy is now a doctorate program and medical school is still 4 years. Fitness professionals, doctors, and physical therapists all work together. There is a certain rhythm, if you will, to fitness and the medical industry. We have lost sight of the fact, there are still 5 components to fitness. Personal training programs are not a one size fits all. The numbers of sets and reps you are doing are not arbitrary. These protocols have been set after years of research, muscle biopsy, and metabolic testing.
We have seen an influx of fitness professionals without the proper education teaching others without using any type of assessment. They are loading your body with weight asking you to do exercises and movements you have never tried in your life much less heard of! Crossfit, P90X, Insanity all have a reported injury rate of 75%.
Is your trainer or strength coach qualified to have a discussion with your doctor, will they understand your doctor? Do they know what functional anatomy is or what series of events happens in your shoulder, back and neck in order for you to raise your hands over your head?