Everyone's an Expert

My wife is an interior designer.  She went to college for design and has over 20 years of experience as a residential designer.  Despite all of her certifications, education and experience she still runs into the occasional person that claims to be a designer because they claim to “have an eye for it.”  Or they really like the “fixer upper” shows on tv and now they can help their friend. Or the person that thinks because they receive compliments on their own home that makes them a natural born gifted designer. However, the education and experience has taught my wife things like a room needs 3 layers of light. Or the bottom of a light fixture should be 30” above a dining room table and 36” above a kitchen island, as a general rule.  Experience has taught her things like; getting your proportions right. Because that big oversized chair that looks perfect in the showroom doesn’t mean it’ll look equally amazing in your small living room. 
Where am I going with this? The same problem goes on in the fitness industry.  Just because someone looks great on Instagram doesn’t mean they have an ounce of knowledge to help you.  Just because your friend has a great bench press, doesn’t mean they can help you drop 35 pounds. Or just because your sister ran a 5k doesn’t mean she can help you get into shape and run your first marathon.  I get it, generally these options are cheaper, but in the end, it only bites you on the ass. So, what should you look for?
(Room Created by Innovative Interiors by Tricia)
If I’m hiring a personal trainer to help me achieve a goal, I want to know their track record with other clients. Talk to other people. Google them. Check out their history. Have they written articles? Have they been featured on TV as a local expert? Do they have credible testimonials? Have they been able to retain clients for an extended period of time? Are their clients happy with what they’ve been able to accomplish? These are all things that need to be considered before you give anyone your money to help you with your health and wellness.  
If I’m hiring a personal trainer to coach me for a strength or endurance event, help my son get stronger for his chosen sport, or to help you look smoking hot for a Caribbean vacation; have they ever done any of these things? Why would you have someone help you do something they’ve never done? How can they coach you when you’re struggling through your intervals 5 weeks before your event first 10k?  Why would you trust someone to write your program for a strength event or off-season training if they’ve never walked that journey themselves? They’ve never experienced the ups and downs you’ll go through, how can they give you GOOD advice?
If I’m hiring a personal trainer I want to know about their education, certifications and accomplishments.  Is this something they went to school for? Have they worked toward numerous certifications? Do they ever get out of town and attend workshops? Do they mentor other personal trainers? Have they been asked to speak at any college fitness classes? What is their educational background? Or are they someone that just likes to read fitness magazines and run?
If I’m having chest pains I want the most qualified person available to help me.  As my breath quickens, my chest tightens, and pain shoots down my arm, I really don’t care about the cost.  I just want to live. I’m not calling my neighbor that binge watches “True Stories of the ER”, I want the best doctor I can get.  You might think that’s an extreme comparison but you wouldn’t believe the amount of times I’ve had someone tell me a friend trained them and they needed shoulder surgery because they got hurt. Seriously think about who you’re giving your money to. Whether you want to run a Tough Mudder, compete in a powerlifting meet, help your child get stronger for football, or you just want to look knock out sexy in your bikini, do your homework and hire a professional.