So, you’re interested in getting into shape, you’re not sure where to start, and so you want to recruit the services of a professional. Just keep in mind, not all services are alike – especially in the fitness industry. To name a few: You have one size fits all bootcamp and Crossfit systems. You have the “functional” crowd, who are stuck on using unstable surfaces, like Swiss balls. You have the big athletic centers that run young athletes through a thousand different speed & agility drills, but they can’t even squat their own bodyweight. And then, worst of all, you have the big-box commercial gyms and their pathetic offering of personal training.
Anybody, and I mean ANYBODY can tell you to run over there, then run back, then lift that thing, then swing this thing, then do some pushups then jump on that balance ball, (and “Don’t fall and break your neck!”), etc. And you are going to huff and puff and sweat. After a few weeks of this, you are going to feel a little stronger and you’re going to lose some fat. Remember, anything you do at this point in the game is going to make a difference – to a point!
Real world, tried-and-true, non-trendy fitness training is designed to take you well beyond this initial training curve. It is designed to transcend plateaus through the use of pre-planned strategies combined with adjustments based on the individual’s current conditioning level, current circumstances, and their goals. It is designed to transcend the overwhelmingly prevalent state of yo-yo conditioning that most of us experience when we either join a big-box gym, or fall under the influence of a trainer or training system that does not incorporate a focus on the “individual” and a knowledge of proper programming.
In terms of choosing your trainer, this is the point which separates a person who looks good in a wife-beater so they decided to become a personal trainer – versus – a person with a passion for understanding real exercise programming, with some knowledge in exercise bio-mechanics – the kind of stuff you’re not going to get from some fitness certification. We’re talking about having some concept of the great former Eastern Bloc strength scientists. We’re talking about studying the material provided by these masters, as well as the Western masters who have been applying these materials to real-life settings for years. Ask your trainer who he or she reads. If you don’t hear names like: Verkoshansky, Zatsiorsky, Rippetoe, Kurz, Simmons, Siff, Issurin, etc. – this “trainer” might not have a passion for truly getting you into shape.