There are certain situations in our lives that consistently lead people to ‘call in the experts’! When you have money issues (good or bad) you call a financial consultant. When you are having trouble going through a break-up you call a therapist. So why is it that when you are not happy with your body (the way it feels, the way your joints work, your body fat level, your lack of strength) that you hesitate to call an experienced personal trainer or registered dietitian?
I know some of you have a lot of experience in the gym and with eating right: working out for years doing exercises or programs your college roommate taught you, trying every fad diet your boyfriend tried, cycling through supplements that your best friend claims gave him a six pack and a bigger chest. The problem is that most of these guys knew very little about what they were teaching you other than what worked for them. And after more than ten years of training clients if there is one thing I have learned is that what is good for one client is RARELY good for another client. It is not the best idea to trust these random guys with decisions affecting your body and your life. Your body is your temple, your most valuable tool and you should be making extremely educated decisions on how to keep that machine running well!
I recommend each of you take a step back and review the current state of your health and wellness, in addition to how your body feels and what goals you would like to achieve this year. Then based on this information, make the investment of working and mentoring with an expert (personal trainer, nutritionist, lifestyle coach) to not only help you achieve your goals in the most efficient way, with the most current information and tools, but also to insure that you meet your goals safely and that you have your body’s best interest in mind in the long run.
One important note – NOT ALL TRAINERS ARE MADE THE SAME! When you are looking to select a trainer to work with look for the following details: (1) you should expect a thorough full body assessment including testing for flexibility, body imbalances, strengths and weaknesses, postural assessment (2) a full health history should be gathered including previous injuries, surgeries, medications, childhood activities, etc (3) the trainer should be able to design an exact program for you based on these assessments, health history and your goals (4) trainers should hold a degree in exercise physiology or kinesiology or have held one of the following national certifications for at least 3 years (NASM, NSCA, ACSM, NATA, Chek Institute Practitioner).
Not convinced you need an expert’s help? Then one final pop quiz:
- Still doing leg presses instead of squats?
- Still using ‘those’ abdominal machines or doing hundreds of crunches thinking that is the key to getting a 6-pack?
- Still doing more machine based workouts instead of dumbbells and cables?
- Still eating ‘healthy’ cereal for breakfast?
- Still eating artificial or processed foods (protein shakes, power bars, canned or boxed foods of any kind)?
- Still trying out every new supplement that comes on the market?
- Still eating wheat or soy products?
- Still using artificial sweeteners in any form (gum, in your coffee, diet soda)?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, look in your area to find a qualified fitness/wellness mentor! You still have some great info to learn about taking better care of your body and there are trained professionals out there who can help you achieve optimal wellness.
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