It’s easier than you might think.
You: Doctor, is it bad?
Doctor: I’m afraid so. We may have to amputate.
You: Seriously? But doc, it’s just a sprained ankle. Isn’t that a bit extreme?
Doctor: Not at all. The only way to fix this problem is by taking the most extreme measures possible.
You: Uh, are you sure that’s such a wise idea?
Doctor: Trust me. I got certified online and have seen every episode of Grey’s Anatomy twice.
Now let’s change the word “doctor” with “trainer”, “sprained ankle” with “lose some fat and get in better shape,” and “Grey’s Anatomy” with “XYZ trainer on YouTube”.
Just as asinine, but hundreds of times more likely to happen in the real world. And through some weird twist of fate, while most people see both doctors and personal trainers as professionals in their own right, the world of personal training seems to attract a certain “diety-of-choice, take-the-wheel” mentality that gets grown adults to throw caution and their better judgement to the wind in the belief that someone who very well may have been a mere hobbyist a few months prior somehow now has the authority to help you lose fat by a complicated cocktail of jumping on top of things, shoddy Olympic lifting, and nose-bleed high-rep sets of kettlebell and bodyweight exercises until your body tells you to go F yourself.
A word to the wise:
If you’re a consumer and you’re choosing a personal trainer, he/she should be able to tell you:
– What it is you’ll be doing and why
– How you will progress
– How the training will work in terms that are simple and comprehensible
– Knows when to say “Stop – that’s enough for today” and not just “keep going.”
– Knows how to change course when your best interests call for it
Anything less is putting your health into the hands of someone whose only real concern is separating you from your money, and whose only real claim to “professionalism” is knowing a few big words and the phrase “just trust me.”
And when that’s the case, smile politely, back away toward the nearest door, and run like hell.
Personal trainers ARE meant to be real professionals. If it matters enough for you to hire one, don’t settle for the exercise equivalent of a quack!
“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”