What is a fitness 'professional'?

I attempt to make my blog all about health and fitness tips and information that benefits you. This week is no different, although it may come across as shameless self promotion. That is only because I actually practice what I preach!
This is something that everyone needs to think about when choosing a fitness facility or a fitness professional. Are they truly a professional?
Think about it this way, would you go see a physiotherapist who only was a physiotherapist part-time and the rest of the time they worked as a bartender? Would you go see a massage therapist who was not an RMT and was only doing massages to make some money to move on to another occupation? What about a mechanic whose car is falling apart?
While on the car analogy; would you take your car to an auto shop where you paid a fee for access to the garage and equipment but did not receive any guidance on diagnosis or how to fix any problems you might uncover? Then the shop offers you manuals that you can purchase to give you some guidance, which you can follow along. If you are really concerned, you could pay an even larger fee to have a mechanic assist you. And what if they offered you the option of different quality mechanics? For this much per hour you can have this new, just started part time mechanic but if you pay this higher fee you can have a full time experienced mechanic. Doesn’t really matter what the problem is both can assist, one is just better than the other. Totally your call.
You may or may not see where I am going here. The above examples are exactly what people do with their health and fitness all the time.
You go to a gym where you pay to rent equipment. If you need diagnostic help or someone to help you out it’s an extra fee. That instruction manual that may or may not be of use is an extra fee as well. You may or may not get a good trainer to assist you, completely depends on how much you are willing to pay and if they have someone with the skills or experience to work with you and your particular needs.
And what about that trainer? Are they a professional? Is health and fitness what they do? Is this their career or their hobby? Do you want a hobbyist or a professional? What are you getting? It’s your body, do you want a summer student working on your most prize possession (your body if you are not following me) or someone who has and will continue to dedicate their life to health and fitness.
You don’t go to doctors who are also hair dressers. You don’t go to physiotherapists who are also bartenders. You don’t take advice on fixing your car from your 20 year old neighbour who drives a Ford Pinto that sounds like a Harley. Yet we do it with our fitness all the time.
You need to go to a professional. You need to go somewhere they are actually dedicated to showing you what to do and not leaving you all alone to hopefully, maybe, accomplish your goal.
Yes, we do that. But we are not the only ones. There are many people out there who know what they are doing, have the experience, and will continue to pursue a career in health and fitness. Otherwise they are just a hobbyist.
And that might be alright for building a model car but we are talking about the one body you have for your entire life. Don’t leave it to the amateurs.

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