Kidding! Actually, YES I AM a certified and experienced fitness professional.
Let’s make one thing clear from the outset. The expert in anything was once a beginner. I get that. The difficult trail that leads to becoming a specialist at anything is usually long and involves an education on that particular subject, and then continuing education after that, usually for life. It also includes real life experiences that do not come from a set of books. Lastly, I believe it comes from a love of that subject and that’s what takes the expert to an entirely different level where they can influence people because of their exceptional skills at conveying that specialty. You could call these people gurus.
We’ve probably all experienced that in one way or another. Perhaps in high school or university you had that ONE teacher that made learning interesting and worthwhile. Maybe you had a doctor that not only was extremely knowledgeable, but also had a warm bedside manner that made you feel as if you were truly important. Or maybe you had a fitness instructor that made you feel that you simply could not miss one of their classes which translated into more hours per week that you were active and taking your health and wellness seriously. (Didn’t take me long to come to the real subject now, did it?)
I cannot speak for other professions, but I CAN and will speak for the fitness profession when I say that the cream usually does rise to the top. The people I admire most in my industry are fully qualified certified individuals that have a deep love for helping people achieve health, wellness and self confidence. They make people feel valued, motivated and safe. No coincidence then, that these same people have packed classes and successful outcomes for the majority of their clients. It’s a win/win for both the teacher and the student, non?
Why then do so many people rely on unqualified celebrities and other untrained and unlicensed “fitness trainers” who coast along on a six pack and a smile for fitness advice?
You need to know whether your “trainer” bought their certification over the internet for ten bucks or has legitimately worked to obtain it. I have no doubt that there are people out there who have magnificently toned arms and sculpted legs and have been able to achieve that on their own. On the other hand, maybe they haven’t, and instead have relied on a certified trainer to take them to that level. Commendable. Newsflash: That does NOT make those same people who were successful with a trainer, qualified to tell YOU how to do it. As my cancer surgeon told me: “Every cancer is different”, well….every PERSON is different and what works for one body might not work for another. That’s where a fully qualified trainer comes in. They will assess YOU and your needs. Your likes and dislikes. Your likely compliance to a fitness prescription and your need to see complimenting professionals such as a nutritionist or a lifestyle coach. Very few fitness trainers, in my experience, can encompass every single facet of what a person may need to get on the path to wellness, but what they can do is refer you to the right people who can help you. The best trainers have a small ego and have no problem referring you to someone that is better or more experienced at a certain aspect of health and wellness.
One of my pet peeves as a fitness professional are the frauds out there. There, I said it. The frauds. There are some pretty famous ones, and not so famous. The latest “it” actress may have the EXACT assular area you want for yourself, but sweet turkey niblets, why on earth would you rely on her advice from the latest issue of People magazine to get you there?
We all read those fitness articles with varying titles like: “The Ten Ways To Strengthen Your Shoulders” or “The Six Methods To Get Your Six Pack” or “The One Step Butt Definer”. Blah, blah, blah. People love numbers and, to be fair, many of these articles have some well researched exercises and are written by extremely qualified individuals. They can also be written as fluff pieces by celebrities that don’t come remotely close to having the necessary credentials, and can be aimed at the lowest common denominator, which is to make you think that there is an easy fix for every unattractive body part you may think you have. I can’t tell you the number of times I have had to talk a friend, client or participant down from a cockamamie idea they had for an exercise/diet plan they got from an entertainment site.
It’s hard to believe that there are people out there that think it could be a good idea to eat nothing but cabbage soup!!! Yes, there is a cabbage soup diet…..sigh….a qualified professional will be glad to tell you that after years of research and thousands of studies, there is no conclusive evidence that focusing on macronutrient composition, such as proteins, fats, and carbs, will burn more fat with one diet than with another. After about six months, all diets lead to similar results, which you can read about by clicking here. The real key is to understand that by focusing on the “ideal” diet, attaining weight loss becomes “unidimensional.” Two of the three major components to lifestyle interventions go ignored: behavioral modification and exercise. See what a certified person can tell you? You’re welcome!
Since starting to blog here at WordPress in November of 2015, I have looked at hundreds of posts from various blogs. At first I concentrated on colon cancer blogs as that was what I was going through myself at the time. I certainly was not reading them for advice on how to handle my cancer. I had that locked down with my medical and surgical team. I was reading them for the HUMAN aspect. To understand how other people were getting through the mental and emotional anguish of a cancer diagnosis. It was a life line at the time, and I made some amazing connections with many people who have since started following my blog and have become welcome members of my WordPress community and have also become fans of my Capable Fitness with Gail Facebook page. I have since branched out to reading some running blogs and general fitness blogs. I’ve found a few gems, and low and behold, those are being written by fully qualified individuals who dispense advice that is based on solid science, empirical evidence, actual real life experiences and a passion for what they do as fitness professionals who happen to write a blog. Yes, to answer your question, I am going to name those blogs at the end of this post because I think they are infinitely shareable.
I’ve also read a lot of fitness blogs that are written by completely unqualified people, but they are upfront about that and are merely offering their fitness journey as a way to motivate themselves and others to reach for a healthy lifestyle. They don’t even pretend to be experts in the fitness industry and I respect their honesty. I particularly enjoy reading these blogs because, like the cancer blogs, these are filled with inspiring stories that detail the human journey to seek health and wellness. How can that NOT be uplifting and engrossing?
As a fitness professional, I particularly like reading these because it is a HUGE reminder that it is hard for so many people to start and stick with a fitness plan. As someone who absolutely loves running and exercising, sometimes I need to be reminded that not everyone thinks hill repeats are like a huge bowl of salted caramel ice cream with hot fudge sauce on top. They also provide insight for me from a psychological point of view. So many of these blogs are so raw and the authors lay all their insecurities about their bodies right out there for everyone to see and comment on. I’ve gotten some amazing ideas on how to deal with certain push backs from clients based on candid portrayals of what works for these people and what doesn’t. Honestly, some of these blogs are better than my textbooks! I’ve also left some comments on many of these blogs, explaining that I am a fitness professional and offering some advice or sometimes I’ve just given them a written high five. In every single case I have received some wonderful comments back, as well as questions that I have been more than happy to answer. There really is such a great community of bloggers at WordPress!
So what are the blogs that are being written by fully qualified fitness instructors/trainers? Well, I LOVE this one. It’s called Lori’s Life and Other Stuff. Lori describes herself this way: “I am many things; a writer, a runner, a military spouse, and mama to 2 minions to name a few of those hats! I am passionate about all sorts of things including my family, fitness, fur-babies and fun. I enjoy working out, cooking, writing, playing with my kids, and spending time with my husband when he is not deployed. In one year, I lost 50lbs and ran a marathon and completely changed my life. This blog is all about that journey…and and beyond. I remain focused on living a healthy lifestyle and paying forward the gifts I was given. I now teach spin and work with clients individually as a certified personal trainer. And I have curly hair”.
The only pet peeve I have about this blog is that she does not post enough! I’d love to read more.
I also think this one is stuffed to the rafters with amazing factual information. It’s called Synerylife. Wilfred Paul is an online Weight Loss & Health Coach and describes himself in this fashion: “I have a sporting & fitness background, taking part in numerous different sports. have 7 years of personal coaching expertise. I have a deep desire to help people achieve their fitness potential and be the strongest version of themselves physically, mentally & emotionally. My goal is to share my accumulated knowledge and experience on: Weight Loss, Health & Lifestyle, and The Healthy Mind”.
He gets that there is a body/mind/spirit connection. You should too.
I’m always looking for a NORMAL nutrition blog written by a fully qualified individual. I hit the jackpot in this case because not only is this blogger a certified fitness trainer, she is also a nutritionist. The Holy Grail. It’s called Brunette in Balance. Meghan describes herself this way: “I’m passionate about combining nutrition and fitness for optimal health. When considering a name for my blog, I knew the word “balance” had to be included. I’ve learned first-hand that balance is a key ingredient in maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit. I began my health and fitness journey as an overweight, anxious teenager. Like many teenagers, I initially approached weight loss with an extreme attitude, eating one meal a day, avoiding exercise, and ending up on the verge of a full-blown eating disorder. Thanks to my wonderful Mother’s genuine concern (and a fainting spell caused by taking laxatives on an empty stomach), I decided to take a more balanced approach to health, and have maintained my weight for over a decade. Today’s lifestyle does not favor balance. We are inundated with a host of misinformation regarding diet and exercise. We’re constantly on-the-go; putting nutritious food, exercise, sleep, and relaxation at the bottom of our “to-do” lists. The media (and some in the health and wellness industry) create fear through their message of restriction. All of these elements can make living a healthy lifestyle challenging, but my journey has taught me that balance is not only possible, it is crucial to living a life of health and peace. In this blog I will explore many aspects of wellness, including fitness, food, mental, and spiritual health. I pray I can provide information that will help you live a healthier life; spirit, mind, and body”.
You can probably see why I love this blog. Meghan thinks the way I do concerning misinformation about diet and exercise.
Finally, I saved the best for last and ironically it is NOT authored by a fitness professional, as far as I can see by his biography. He might as well be, though. I absolutely ADORE this blog. I have read a large sampling of his posts (okay, I had a rather slow evening a couple of weeks ago and a bottle of cab that was screaming to be opened and savored and I binge read his blog) and each one that had to do with fitness was SPOT ON. I can’t judge the other topics, but I’m sure they are equally as factual. I envy his writing skills. The blog is called Fit Recovery and Jim describes himself this way: “My name is Jim, I’m
41 42 43 44 45.I don’t drink, don’t do drugs, don’t cheat and for the most part, I stay out of trouble altogether. I work hard and play harder. There is no greater joy in my life than my two daughters and my wife is my best friend and soul mate. I started biking in June of 2011 because I wanted to see if I could complete an Olympic length triathlon and found I love it… If I could just find someone who is crazy enough to pay me to ride a bike. I’m not going to hold my breath. I’ve been married for 14 15 16 17 18 years and my wife and I have been together for 16 17 18 19 20. My hobbies include cycling biking, running, swimming, hiking, golf and taking my girls riding, swimming and running in the summer and sledding in the winter. I have a good day job and I’m lucky enough to enjoy what I do. I have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. I am a recovered alcoholic/addict. To explain how I did this, with the help of many, many sober friends, is the main purpose of this page. Originally I hadn’t planned on concentrating so much on the recovery part of my life as the fitness but the two have ended up converging and it has turned out that the fitness helps with the recovery a lot more than I initially thought… In addition, I’ve written a few posts about the subject and they were well received by several other bloggers. I also wanted to provide a sort of “one stop shop” for other alcoholics – recovering or otherwise”.
You NEED this blog in your life.
Alrighty then…I’m working on my next post which will be all about the BEST way to lose weight. You can rest assured it will be to the point, and, spoiler alert, it’s NOT about edible magic fairy dust.
Dear readers: Are you a Facebook user? If you liked this post, and my style of writing, please share this blog post on your Facebook timeline. There’s a FB icon button just below this post that you can click to do that. Thank you!
I also invite you to go to my Capable Fitness with Gail Facebook page and click the “like” button. That LIKE button is right there on my cover picture of me and Seamus O’Malley. You can instantly go there right now by clicking this: https://www.facebook.com/capablyfit/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. You’ll find doable exercises, delicious recipes, actionable fitness advice, inspirational messages and some laughs as well, all delivered to you on a daily basis. I’d love to have you on board as one of my “fans” and hearing what YOU would like to see on my page.