Over the past fives there has been some significant changes, while other things have remained relatively intact. I’ve changed my mind on a number of things and make no apologies.
I still prefer free-weights over machine training, however I am not as opposed to machines as I once was and they serve a purpose beyond aesthetic development.
It’s been my observation that many trainers cannot teach the proper execution of the basic barbell lifts, or even machines for that matter. This is indicative of a problem in the certification process. The value of courses with live components that test ones ability to perform and coach lifts cannot be emphasized enough. Simply passing a written exam is not enough, not matter how academically challenging.
Bodyweight training has always been present, and over the past two years has increased in my programming.
I still don’t train people on unstable objects, but would if there was a direct need. Trainers that are quick to put people on unstable surfaces often have a very hard time telling me their “why?” behind the exercise.
My client base has completely changed completely, and many of the clients I had five years ago are still with me. For that, I am a blessed man. In addition to my in-person training, I have several international clients as well as deployed military personnel. At present, all my clients are younger than me.
Five years ago greater than 70% of my clients were older than me and nearly 100% had notable physical issues. Although it partly contributed to minor professional burnout, part of me misses working with that population, and I still believe they are under-served. I’ve found that I do best when my client types are relatively balanced. Being something of an extrovert by nature, I thrive with stimulation.
Due to a highly packed schedule it was previously difficult to find time to train myself. Now I have more than enough time to accomplish both, as I intentionally limit the number of clients I see in a single day. I’ve personally found it best to separate my training from days I train others. Both ends suffer when I combine them, and I refuse to be one of the idiot trainers that get in their own workout during the clients paid time.
While not a present issue, If licensure for Personal Trainers were to become law, then there is a good chance that I would leave the profession both as a coach and an educator. Would I still attend courses and keep my reading habits? I’m sure I would. It would just suck that there would be nobody to share it with.
I have found myself moving in the opposite direction of my initial certification body. This feeling has continued to grow stronger over the years and I don’t see things changing anytime soon.
In terms of the majority of commercial gyms, I am convinced that I am unhireable. Not so much due to my education or certifications but rather due to a combination of my age and the 100% likelihood of me speaking my mind….and the fact that I’ve been told I can be intimidating during interviews.
My advice to first and second year trainers, if you are offered upon hire the position of assistant fitness manager/assistant personal training sales manager I ask that consider NOT taking the offer. Did you go through the process of getting certified in the first place to sell personal training packages, or actually train people?
Professionally, I have become less tolerant of under-performers. This could be a result of age,unrealistic expectations or previous bad experiences. I will gladly help someone trying to elevate themselves, and I continue to do so at my own financial expense. You wouldn’t believe how many books have never been returned, and even some equipment loans have failed to come back.