As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that people put more effort into their personal appearance more so than when they were younger. Whether it be because of some new beauty trend, or a dislike or discomfort of their current personal appearance or because they simply have to do something for the benefit of their own health; the want to be a better “you” is there and it is going strong.
All over the world, there are new and changing fitness trends happening every day. With that comes an influx of new fitness professionals all specializing in one thing or another. One of the biggest trends happening right now are what are call GroupX classes, or Group Exercise. In GroupX classes certified instructors (or what we hope are licensed instructors) lead a group of participants in classes like Zumba, Pound, Piloxing, Les Mills programs (body pump, body combat ect), HIIT, Plyoga and so many more! Each of these programs has its own standard of training and understanding of movement of the human body that the certified instructors must go through to properly execute and thus instruct in their classes to ensure the participants are not only getting the most out of the class and the workout but to also ensure no one is putting themselves in a position to injure themselves.
There are layers, however and in my opinion, to being a fitness professional. The first, again in my opinion, are those people who want to be fit and healthy and thus jump on the supplement and meal replacement band wagon. These are the people who are looking to eat healthier and supplement bad foods for “better for you” meal fillers. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with this, given you understand that in order to lose weight naturally you have to not only supplement and eat REAL healthy food AND exercise… yes you can eat healthy and lose weight without exercising, but what good does it do you to lose weight but not be heart healthy and strong too? The whole point in losing weight is to be healthy and in order to do just that you have to be willing to justifiably weigh your healthy eating habits against your exercising, because let’s face it, you can’t do one or the other to have a whole.
The second layer are the people who are confident enough to become a GroupX instructor. They go through the training for said class training and teach only that one type of class (so no nutritional training and no other format types). Take, for instance…Zumba. There are instructors out there that have gone through their B1 training to become a licensed Zumba Instructor, they have their 1-2 classes they teach a week and that’s it. They have no desire to seek any additional training in nutrition, exercise or other GroupX type classes and yet give advice on such things although they have no formal education or training on it. Wheat bagels and lite cream cheese are NOT a healthy breakfast no matter how WHOLE GRAIN that bagel is!
The third tier (about where I’m at right now), are the people who take fitness pretty seriously, they don’t do it full time, but do it enough that it could potentially become a full time career. These people seek out information, training and certifications/licenses to enhance their knowledge, their instruction and teaching to not only enhance their knowledge but to also provide a better, more well-rounded workout/eating regime to their participants. These people will look outside of the program or fitness trend that got them started and seek professional licenses allowing them a wider range of possibilities in classes and programs to offer outside of the “trends” in the fitness market. These people realize that there is a process for seeing results and are willing to drop what they need to to work with the participants they have to reach their personal goals.
The last, fourth tier, are the absolute professionals – those people who started out at a level 1 and have worked through the ranks, and have not only continued their training through various fitness training, but have also gone on to college and obtained degrees in sports medicine, nutrition/dietetics, athletic training, or health and wellness. These are the people who are making their living getting people fit 24 hours a day 7 days a week and doing a bad ass job of it. These are the people who can and will test your limits, make you hate, but oh so love fitness, and push you to the brink of giving up. These are the true professionals, the ones who don’t necessarily need to look up an answer to your question (like a tier 3 might) and who are quick to offer the best professional advice as catered to YOU.
Occasionally you will run into those people who want to get fit, eat healthy and live a better life for themselves and their families but aren’t willing to “pay” for it, so they will seek out alternatives to get around having a professional’s help in their process. Some may supplement the wrong foods, the wrong ingredients or even use the wrong supplements (CHECK THE INGREDIENTS…some are pure SUGAR = BAD) and wonder why they aren’t losing any weight. Others, on the other hand will set exercise regimes for themselves at home that are so repetitive that they either never see results or they do for a short while but then plateau or simply give up out of boredom. Or, you have those people who are so apt to WANT to exercise, but need the motivation of others to do it so they start their own GroupX classes performing workouts together that they’ve found online, having no formal training on proper movements, proper form or any clue what they are doing – leading others in a scheduled workout likely leading to SOMEONE getting hurt in the process.
Don’t be that person. Don’t be those people.
Any fitness professional, someone who is licensed and accredited in their professional field, DOES know what they are doing when it comes to the classes they are leading. Professionals pay a good deal of their own money to get the training, licenses and knowledge they do so that they can better serve YOU. Fitness professionals are not out to do you harm, are not going to be the ones who over do it to hurt you and will certainly do their best to give you the best sound advice possible for YOU – because let’s admit it, not everyone is the same in their needs.
Long story short, don’t short yourself the professional help needed to meet your fitness goals by attending a class by an unlicensed “professional” or “layman.” Your overall health and well being should mean more to you than losing 2 lousy pounds doing crunches the incorrect way (ah yes, there is a correct way to crunch!).