This may surprise you, but the fitness industry, and more specifically personal trainers, are largely to blame for the poor numbers on the CDC report. And it’s my belief are largely responsible for the growing obesity epidemic!
The CDC released its morbidity and mortality report recently showing a shocking 80% of Americans are not meeting physical activity recommendations. You can see the report for yourself here: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0502-physical-activity.html
The question everyone’s asking is why are these numbers so bad? In fact, the media contacted me to get an expert opinion on why the health and fitness of Americans is declining at such epidemic rates. You can see that article “Finding Time For Physical Fitness” and get some great tips on motivation here http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20130521/HEALTH/305150075/Finding-time-physical-fitness
Let’s discuss what’s going on here. Take New Year’s Resolutions for example, as I know most are familiar with this scenario. Every year droves of people head to a local health club inspired and ready to finally get fit and healthy, only to be disappointed and quit after just 30 days. It’s almost become a joke among gym owners who know every year a large number of new people will join and within 30 days will never be seen again. Sad!
More often than not, the reason those people failed is because the so called “fitness professional” didn’t do their job and provide what’s necessary to achieve success in the first place.
The most overlooked component of any fitness program is the measurement of progress. There is a lot of programming being offered out there, but not a whole lot of measuring going on.
A mentor of mine, John Ashworth, states it very well in saying, “When it all comes down to it, our job as fitness professionals is really a matter of encouraging and inspiring the adoption of healthy habits. And not just to encourage them, but to find a simple and effective means of measuring that action and adoption of behaviors over time.”
Simply put, a personal trainer’s job is to track, measure and report back to participants on their adherence to their program on a consistent basis!
I’ve had countless new clients join my program who were previously with another personal trainer, and when asked during the assessment,” have you ever had this done before?” the answer is, no. Again…sad!
Let’s be clear…
Personal training is assessment; you can’t have one without the other! If you’re working out with a personal trainer and not tracking behaviors and measuring actions, you’re not receiving personal training!
You’re just working out, that’s it!
What you’re doing is wondering around in the dark with no flash light hoping to end up in the right place. You’re all alone, and if your personal trainer is giving you advice without analyzing the numbers and looking at food journals, he or she is guessing.
A personal trainer’s ability to provide adequate, efficient, and logical programming depends on consistent assessment and re-assessment to measure the adoption of healthy habits over time.
Goals without measurement are simply dreams!
Insist that your personal trainer does an assessment every 90 days minimum to measure your progress, update your goals, and provide an action plan to get you from point A to point B.
Before you commit yourself to just any program, have due diligence and make sure the program and trainers have integrity. You can start by asking these 5 questions:
- Certifications?-Ensure your instructors are certified! This may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t assume that just because the instructors work at a gym that they are certified.
- Experience?-Even more important than a certification is experience! Be sure that the program and trainers you’re investing in are backed by years of experience.
- Proven Results?-Talking the talk is easy, but walking the walk is another story. Make sure what your trainer claims is true, and insist they show you proven success stories.
- Structured System?-It is easy to throw a few exercises together and call it personal training. As the consumer you must make sure that the program is structured and has a very precise system to ensure safe forward progress.
- Progress Assessment?– Make sure the program includes consistent measurement and assessment of actions and behaviors.
When making an investment in your health be picky and don’t settle for a substandard fitness program. When making your choice, if you can confirm with confidence that the program has integrity then you have a winner on your hands and with commitment you should be very successful.
On the other hand, if you fail to make what we talked about here a priority, you could be setting yourself up for certain failure and possible injury.
Punch Kettlebell Gym Dover
Best Selling Author
“3 Steps To Your Best Body In Record Time”