Never Hire a Personal Trainer!
Hello! I’m Kevin Webb, and I’m the owner of KW Fitness in Vestal, NY. I’m also a Certified Personal Trainer. So why on Earth would I EVER tell you never to hire a Personal Trainer?!
Let’s examine what a Personal Trainer is trained to do:
-Learn some anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology
-Learn the very basics of designing an exercise program to help an individual reach a goal
-Super basic psychology/client-relationship management
Seriously…that’s about it, and I’m certified by one of the leading Personal Training Schools in the country, the American Academy of Personal Training (AAPT). While I learned a ton getting certified, a Personal Trainer certification is, in my opinion, only crossing the entry barrier to getting into the field. Anyone who wishes to work in the field better strive far beyond the basics, if they’re deserving of actually working with people in an attempt to change their lives.
Now, let’s examine what a Personal Trainer is NOT trained to do:
-Assist with nutrition (it’s actually illegal in many states)
-Perform useful movement screenings to determine faulty movement patterns and other assessments
-Coach any equipment-specific or modality-specific type of training – barbells, kettlebells, TRX, bootcamp, etc
-Be motivating, inspiring, and stay on the edge of all things fitness
-Walk the walk
The lists above are certainly not exhaustive, but I want to share a little story with you. Let’s go back some years when I moved back to the Binghamton area and got my first job as a Personal Trainer at the YMCA. I remember feeling almost a high after training my first client ever. I couldn’t believe I got paid for it! I got to tell someone what to do, make them sweat, feel good about doing something good for someone else, and get compensated! It was awesome.
But as I did some reflecting and some serious observing of the other trainers around me, I knew I needed more if I was going to make it, if I was going to REALLY be able to help other people, which led me to more. Since then, I live, sleep, eat, and do “all things fitness”. If I’m reading, it’s probably exercise or nutrition-related (mind you, I have an associates in Business). I seriously can’t get enough, and because of this, I’ve chosen to no longer be a Personal Trainer. I am a Coach.
This didn’t happen overnight or in a year or two, and honestly, I had no idea what I was doing when I started training people. It wasn’t until I breathed this stuff night and day for a few years that I actually became good!
Let’s face it, ANYONE can put you through a workout and make you sweat, but not everyone can get people results!
What’s the difference between a Coach and a Personal Trainer? Let me elaborate…
I’ve known, observed, and followed literally hundreds of trainers and coaches, and there is such a clear difference, but you may not know it unless you’re experienced. So I’m writing this article so that you know what to look for if you’re considering hiring someone to help you with your fitness goals:
1. Your coach MUST be invested in his or her education. I invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to attend the school I went to in Boston, MA. And it wasn’t any weekend course, that’s for sure. Believe it or not, there are some trainers out there who just take a test online and become “certified” with no real hands on experience. I’ve seen Groupon specials for $68 Personal Trainer certifications – that’s not who you want to work with. Here at KW Fitness, we invest a lot of time and money making sure our coaches continue their education. Our team has an insatiable appetite to continue learning, so they can make sure our clients get results.
2. Your coach must have social proof! Want to lose 30 pounds? Awesome! Whoever you hire should have a book full of before and after pictures and testimonials (not just from one person). I have witnessed too many people train with a trainer for YEARS and never change or lose weight. Ask for proof! They should have tons of experience working with people who’ve had goals that are similar to yours.
3. Your coach should walk the walk. They should be fit or working toward becoming fit. They should be healthy. They should have goals that go beyond body composition. They should feel a serious passion for what they do. They should always strive to be better.
Again, this isn’t a crazy-long list, but at least it’s a start. I literally have friends and contacts all over the world, not just locally in Vestal and Binghamton, and I am asked all kinds of questions all of the time, so I wanted to give people something to think about if they’re thinking of investing in a person to help them get fit.
Here’s how I look at it – I don’t want a doctor who doesn’t have the very best education and experience to perform surgery on me. Do you? If the answer is “no,” don’t accept less from a trainer! There are professionals out there who take training and coaching clients very seriously. But the title of COACH must be earned.
If you live in Vestal, Binghamton, Johnson City, Endwell, or Endicott and you want to lose body fat, get your eating on track, and get in the best shape of your life, please let us know by clicking here, or call 607.217.7634 and I promise we’ll make it happen!
My intention is to inform, and then you are free to make the best decision for YOU. I wish you the best in your health and fitness journey, always.
Kevin Webb CPT and Coach
Owner, KW Fitness