Is Your Personal Trainer Really Qualified to Train you as an Athlete? It is very common to see personal trainers offer programs for athletes. Before you sign up for one it is a good idea to do some assessment first. Keep in mind that your run of the mill personal trainer has no degree, or at least not a degree relating to exercise science or human performance. This means that they haven’t had anatomy, or physiology, or exercise physiology, or motor learning, or biomechanics. These are fundamental courses for understanding how the body works and adapts and how all of the parts work to together. Compound that with the fact that most have never successfully worked with athletes.
Why do I add that last part about steroids?
Many personal trainers are experts in one thing, how to get their clients effectively on steroids. Its the part of the industry that no one talks about. Its the nature of the beast. For a very small percentage of the population, being muscular, lean, athletic, strong and having a constant supply is natural. For the rest of us normal people, we are lucky to get ONE of those natural gifts, the rest have to be worked for, and worked smartly for. So, many trainers juice to fit the bill that potential clients expect. Its sad, but at least 50% of the personal trainers (excluding strength coaches) that I have met and worked with over the last 18 years either periodically or constantly cycle steroids. So its only natural for them to recommend steroids to clients that are “non responders” to their system. In addition, many of their successful clients have followed their advice.
A GOOD RULE OF THUMB: one of my old bosses in college strength and conditioning use to say “If they’re bigger than everyone else, and leaner than everyone else then they are either a freak among freaks or they’re on the juice. And its much more likely that they’re on the juice!” After 18 years in the industry and training 2500 athletes including 4 Olympians and 500 plus SEC level athletes, I have met about 5 of the freak among freaks. Three ended up getting paid for their freakness. For those freak among freaks that didn’t ended getting paid, its because they were too lazy or too dumb to make it at the next level. In either case, you don’t want them as a trainer. So if your potential trainer looks like a freak of nature (and they were never successful athletes), your alarms should go off.
OK, so now that we cleared up some of the red flags, what do you want to see in an effective personal trainer for athletes?