The objective of this guide is to pull back the curtain on some of the topics to be watching out for when working with a personal trainer.
There is one phrase that needs close attention, which is”scope of practice” Scope of practice is a phrase generally used in the medical field that dictates the boundaries within which doctors and therapists can do the job. This is applicable to any personal trainer as well, because there are a few boundaries that a coach should not cross.
In most states massage therapists need to be licensed. The title licensed is essential, here.
Licensure”is the nation’s grant of legal authority, pursuant to the state’s police forces, to practice a profession within a designated scope of practice. Under the licensure system, states specify, by statute, the tasks and function or scope of practice of a profession and provide that these tasks could be legally performed only by people that are licensed. Therefore, licensure prohibits anyone from practicing the profession who is not licensed, regardless of whether or not the individual was certified by a private organization.”
Certifications, on the other hand, are a voluntary procedure provided by a PRIVATE organization that states the obtainer has finished preset coursework and a potential exam. This is a really important distinction, as to be licensed means that there is stringent government oversight that orders the practitioners’ ability to do their trade.
The reason massage therapists will need to be licensed is because giving a massage is an extremely invasive procedure. There is an enormous quantity of manipulation of the muscles and body, and there’s a particular risk factor with massages, also.
With the way that muscles are manipulated, it’s highly possible for an inexperienced person to cause considerable injury to the client. That is why Licensed Massage Therapists spend countless hours studying human anatomy, angles of pinnation, muscle actions, and anatomy to know exactly how to manipulate the body safely.
A whole lot of personal trainers– especially those inexperienced– want to provide clients”extra attention and service.” This is when inexperienced coaches will break scope of exercise, and massage customers to”release trigger points” and alleviate pain. The problem with this is that they underestimate the risk they’re putting their clients in.
This is the specific reason that experienced coaches teach their customers to utilize self-myofascial release.
Stretching is another location where trainers can get a little too invasive. A negative effect of resistance training is the tightening of muscles. So, stretching is absolutely necessary for maintaining loose muscles and protecting range of motion. Again, with an inexperienced coach this may result in injury.
Stretching is unquestionably within a trainer’s scope of practice, BUT it has to be done sensibly. Overstretching a muscle or stretching a muscle in the wrong direction may lead to muscle or tendon tears. Not following proper protocols for stretching may also lead to injury. Stretching should always be performed after a workout; not before. This will protect the client during the workout.
Stretching should ALWAYS be performed with muscles that are heated up. If you’ve ever tried to pull a rubber band that is extremely cold, you notice that it is brittle and snaps. Muscles work the same way; if they’re cold and the trainer tries to stretch them, there is a possibility of them snapping.
This is extremely important when using advanced stretching techniques such as PNF stretching, where the muscle is stretched, contracted, and stretched again to create a larger stretch and range of motion.
It is also key to have great tactile awareness. Your personal trainer in essentially where ever you look in Connecticut has to be experienced enough to know exactly how much to stretch the muscle without going too far.
A knowledge of anatomy and muscle action is also imperative. Muscles move in certain patterns according to their angle of pinnation. If you try to stretch a muscle against the pattern, you’re putting the customer at risk, or will no longer be hitting the ideal muscle.
Knowing muscle activity is also very important for stretching. If it’s the joint is flexed or extended will determine whether specific muscles are contracted or relaxed. It is very simple to teach a client how to stretch themselves correctly, which will allow them to control how far and how much pressure is used. This is a far safer method when supervised by a knowledgeable personal trainer.
Don’t forget about the comfort factor for a customer. A personal training connection should be a safe and comfortable one. A personal trainer like where I’m located or where ever you’re looking should NEVER make a customer feel uncomfortable with dialog or”too much” touching. Touching should really be kept to a minimum. The only time a client should ever be touched is to create quick positional adjustments, or in an effort to help with stretching. This touching should be as minimally invasive as possible, and there should always be consent from the customer.
In my 10 years as a very successful personal trainer, I have not had to touch a customer for more than a brief position adjustment, to emphasize where the focus of the work should be, or to help with mild stretching, when requested to do so. I have not had an issue with clients being not able to learn how to stretch themselves, or to use self-myofascial release. As personal as this industry is, there is such a thing as too personal!
Finally, the biggest sign of an inexperienced or insecure trainer is over-compensation. I have discovered the loudest trainer at the area will be the one that should overcompensate for their lack of knowledge and confidence. These are also the trainers who tend to be the ones to learn a new”ability,” and that is all they do until they learn the next one. These coaches have the need to demonstrate how much they know by using”parlor trick” exercises or”new” methods, but they do so with no rhyme or reason. The ideal trainer is the one who can gently get a client the results they desire for their specific objectives, without shouting about it, and without boring the customer with information they, honestly, usually do not care about.
The majority of clients don’t necessarily care about the how; they only want to attain their goals. It is up to the coach to have all the tools necessary to help the customer achieve those goals. The best trainers I have ever met know a great deal about a lot… However, you may never know because they do not have the need to prove they are better than any other trainer. Their sole objective is to help their clients reach their goals. A good trainer never overdoes new tricks they learn. Rather, they cherry pick out of their bag of knowledge to get the most effective methods for the right clients!