A Month to Get Become a Qualified PT

The fitness industry (and its clients) measures a personal trainer’s ability to do their job by how many certifications they have. They’re always so proudly listed on the “Meet the Team” board in the gym. Seriously, there’s a fucking certificate for every bit of kit in existence… ropes, kettlebells, TRX, circuit training, Bosu, Swiss ball. I have like a bajillion qualifications myself. But it’s only occurred to me recently how weird that is.

Surely having a degree in exercise or sports science would mean that you know enough about human movement and fitness training methods to know that a push-up is a push-up whether it’s on a ball or a rope? Proper knowledge of human biomechanics should be a prerequisite for the job, right? You shouldn’t need to go on a training course to learn how to pick up a different shaped heavy thing or fling a rope around. The problem we have is that barely PTs rarely have that grounding of knowledge. Most know fuck all about how people work, in body or mind.

You can become a qualified personal trainer in as little as a month and for less than a grand. Many online qualifications don’t even need to see you working with a client, just fill in the open-book multiple-choice exam and write a workout programme. That’s terrifying. Other people’s bodies and even lives are in these people’s hands. Only recently someone had a stroke in a gym because their trainer didn’t recognise that when a client complains of dizziness and blurred vision you shouldn’t push them to go harder!

But instead of ensuring that ALL personal trainers have the relevant experience and knowledge to work with real live people, the Fitness Industry is more interested in making as much money as possible off its staff in pointless little qualifications. Disgusting.