We hear of celebrities and sportspeople having their own personal trainers. On the lighter side, rumor mills are all agog when a film star is seen in public with his or her personal trainer with speculations about their ‘dating’ and spending time together filling the gossip columns! These trainers are of both genders; women have also stepped into this once all-male bastion and shaking up the health and fitness industry like never before.
Recent news about the UC Berkeley’s personal trainer still continues in the same vein speculating about his alleged closeness with the university’s Chancellor and his wife that has included unexplained spending and favors concerning undue sports facility membership grants.
These are certified fitness professionals who provide instruction and prescribe exercises to achieve fitness for general health as well as for specific goals such as weight loss, muscle building, resistance training etc and for excellence in sporting activity. Personal trainers are very often involved in setting nutritional guidelines as well for their clients to achieve set goals, monitor prescribed activities and give necessary feedback. There are several instances where former sportspeople and athletes have sought to become personal trainers once their own sport playing days are over. For former boxers and wrestlers, there are many opportunities to not only provide professional expertise and advice to clients but also take on roles as ‘bodyguards’.
These trainers are not confined to any location and may work in homes, offices, fitness facilities, health clubs and outdoors. They can also be involved in specific sports activities such as tennis, football, cricket, swimming, and many others and can very well be specialists in certain types of training. Even in community gyms a personal trainer can be present to recommend and suggest exercise patterns, diets and assist the general public in their fitness assessments.
Over the years, these trainers have come to be more involved in the psychological, philosophical and spiritual aspects of a person’s wellbeing in addition to exercise and training patterns. This has led to a kind of open debate about whether or not they are qualified to handle these aspects and if these should fit within the scope of their practice.
Accreditation for personal training is a process that provides a ‘certificate of competency’ to an individual to practice as a personal trainer. Certification processes and standards usually vary from country to country.
In the US for instance, there are literally hundreds of personal training certifications but only those accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies are held good in many instances.