What They Don’t Teach Trainers About Exercise Prescription

The list of things they don’t teach trainers – whether in a four-year degree or a certification is long. Consider that there are such a broad wealth of foundational skills a trainer or fitness instructor needs to know and there’s generally a specific promise about the time and energy investment required to earn the degree or certification. 

We’ve already got limits on what can be taught

A four-year degree isn’t a trade school, it’s not a specialty or an intensive training. Many of us know, it’s an experience in learning how to learn and realizing there are many moving parts in learning about one topic. 

With certifications, we’re preparing the fitness instructor, trainer or coach with the minimum viable information to enter the field. That’s the instruction provided to us as exam item writers and reviewers. So, with that, the weight you might place on, “Are you certified?” should be taken into consideration. 

That said, there are a wide variety of trainings available. Some are a significant investment in time, money, and energy to study and to pass. Others are weekend investments and passing grades come easily. Those that are more rigorous are fewer and further between. 

I recall someone once saying, who because a director for university fitness programming, “It’s just exercise. It’s not that serious.”

And yet, to address a special need or specific health issue, it does become more than that. There’s a reason chiropractors, functional doctors, and physical therapists now often have physical fitness training programs within their businesses. There’s a need for closer supervision, a match for the dose response that often doesn’t happen with random drop-ins to a gym or studio. 

What We Don’t Teach Trainers

1.  Exercise is Stress 

a. Cortisol is the energy and the stress hormone. For a body in situational stress or a life phase where the negative effects of stress are going to change, understanding this relationship is key. 

b. Adrenal stress can exist even before physical exercise is attempted and the quota and typical exercise recommendations based on minutes, steps, nor intensity should not override the individual’s status. 

c. The trainer or health coach will be the one to identify this when the client doesn’t. 

2. What Happens to the Body When Sleep Deprived 

a. Reaction skills are similar to that of a mildly drunk individual after a night with 2-hour sleep deprivation.

b. Reaction skills are similar to that of what would get you locked up for DUI with 4-hour sleep deprivation.

3. Menopause 

Most 4-year degrees in physiology or kinesiology are void of any discussion about menopause.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a discussion about the side effects of menopause and of PMS for that matter. But when you consider that weight gain, bloat, and belly fat can all be signs for each, and a trainer without understanding why these things happened may go too quickly to a “fat burning exercise or protocol.” This can backfire. We have to know more than what is a sign of something not going right, and know why it is happening before we can determine an exercise protocol that will solve the problem. 

Certifications for Trainers Aren’t Better 

Certifications are very similar. There’s nothing – absolutely nothing – about working with women in perimenopause or training her around her cycle, or when it becomes erratic, or she is experiencing: 

a.     Hot Flashes & Night Sweats 

b.     Belly Fat 

c.     Insomnia 

d.     Weight gain she can’t remove 

e.     Pre-diabetes or insulin resistance 

f.      libido

g.     Or any of the other 34 symptoms directly associated with menopause that can begin to influence how she will most benefit and how she’ll be most likely to sabotage herself with exercise.

4.  How to determine the exercise based on the collective of joints, muscles, bones, and hormones.

When you consider the components of fitness, the physiology, the anatomy and joint actions of the human body, and physical fitness it is far easier to understand why a basic degree or a single certification doesn’t truly prepare a health & fitness coach to make all the decisions for every individual. 

Can they begin to describe basic safety concerns and precautions with exercises, usually yes. That too can depend on the individual. You want to realize within exercises, a range of motion, a placement of elbows, and a stopping or starting point … can change the safety and effectiveness of movements. 

Caution with Generic Trainer-Created Exercise Programs

We can’t say, a deadlift is a deadlift and it’s safe for everyone if it’s done like “this.” 

We can’t say, here’s how to do this machine row and be sure that an individual is taught to retract their scapula. Even machine weight use, though often thought of as “safer,” is not necessarily a guarantee one is doing a balanced working based on their body. 

For instance, in recent months working with a long-time client we’ve removed chest press from her workouts. Why? An imbalance between pushing and pulling strength and a season of activity that is going to make that even more true means we’d be moving toward greater injury risk than toward greater strength. 

Advanced Specialist: https://www.flippingfifty.com/specialist 

If you’re a fitness or health professional or want to be, you don’t want to miss this open-enrollment period for the Flipping 50 Menopause Fitness Specialist. We’re doing something incredibly special right now with two huge bonuses. If you’re coming during a time we’re closed, add your name to the notifications list for our next cohort for a special discount rate for fast-action takers when we do open. 

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Hot Not Bothered Challenge: https://www.flippingfifty.com/hnb-challenge

Advanced Specialist: https://www.flippingfifty.com/specialist 

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