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It is commonly accepted that systematic exercise is one of the most vital and decisive links in the health chain for preventing health problems.
Especially today, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the numerous conditions caused by a sedentary lifestyle, such as musculoskeletal disorders, obesity and diabetes, the role of sports and physical activity has been upgraded and transformed into a "medicine" of body, soul and mind.
Preventative and therapeutic "medicine" that although everyone can have it at their disposal "free of charge", is infinitely preferable when administered correclty by a specialist, one who really knows, in a personalized way and always in the appropriate dosage.
The responsibility, role and opportunity of personal trainers
In its strict sense, the term Personal Training (PT) means that an exercise professional, who has been properly trained and certified (by an accredited professional training body) for his knowledge, abilities and skills, is engaged in designing and preparing a trainee's personalized fitness program, guiding him personally ("1-on- 1"), after extensive individual evaluation as well as medical investigation, consent and certificate of fitness for sports.
The personal trainer IS NOT a doctor or physiotherapist or dietitian or psychologist and does not replace them or any other health professional.
The role of the personal trainer level 4 is NOT the diagnosis or in-depth assessment of the health status of the trainee, NOR the treatment or rehabilitation of injuries or conditions.
The role and competence of the personal trainer
To contribute to the prevention of health problems, to better health and to the improvement of the physical condition of the client through personalized RECREATIONAL sports (recreational sports) and multifaceted personalized counseling support towards a healthier lifestyle.
Within the aforementioned framework, the sensitized professional personal trainer who has a high level of knowledge, skills, abilities, deep empathy and a sense of social responsibility, can be a positive catalyst for future developments, contributing greatly to the health, robustness and well-being of his clients, whether he provides his services in person or remotely, e.g. via the Internet, or in combination.
As a result, the already expanded need for properly trained personal trainers is expected to increase even more in the future. It is no coincidence that in many countries the presence of a personal trainer is considered a necessary condition for the implementation of each medical order for physical sports, especially in countries with health policies that emphasize the provision of personalized prevention services and the multidisciplinary cooperation of a team of specialists.
The "keys" to professional success in personal training
Today, in an era with so many different requirements and needs, the personal trainer needs to build structure and continuously develop and evolve for life through their initial and ongoing training.
However, the basic characteristics that make up the "heart" of the personal trainer's education/training are the solid steps of a pyramid that leads to professional success: knowledge, skills and abilities.
Knowledge – Skills – Competences
According to the Law on "Professional Profiles" (Operational Programme "Education and Lifelong Learning"):
The term "knowledge" is defined as the result of an intellectual process and an internal representation of concepts, facts and actions, which may come from both professional or practical experience and the system of formal education or training.
The term "skills" is defined as the combination of knowledge and experience required to achieve a specific physical or mental work or to carry out work.
The term "competences" is defined as the ability to apply knowledge of skills and know-how, so that the individual can meet the current conditions and requirements of his work but also to adapt to changing work environments.
1 – Knowledge
Certified knowledge, as certified by accredited training bodies, is the minimum necessary asset for any personal trainer. It proves that its holder has been drawn up in a specific working context, applies a specific code of professional ethics and is well aware of the services it can offer and to what extent it can intervene. And of course, true knowledge, applicable knowledge, is the focal point for generating answers for all the "why?", "what?", "how?", "how much?" and "for how long?" in every training choice, in every training plan.
After all, the self-confidence that comes from true knowledge - and not the arrogance that results from half-learning or complete ignorance - is what will help you do the best you can for each of your clients, to give the right solutions, to bring out your best self at all times.
Furthermore, continuous training is the key to maintaining professional competence and a long-term successful career. In the service industry, they usually say that "as long as you don't get better, you get worse and someone else will take your place because he will have become better than you!". And this is absolutely true, let alone in such a competitive professional environment as that of personal training.
2 – Skills
Ask yourself: "Can I successfully respond to the challenges and difficulties of the profession I have chosen?".
Everywhere and always, successful professionals are not born, they do not owe their success to inherited genes or genetic origins, but they become successful with hard and systematic work, with patience and perseverance.
In short, the personal trainer must diligently take care to acquire, develop and further cultivate, through his systematic initial training and continuing lifelong training, all those skills required to successfully meet the requirements of the profession, such as - effective communication, techniques and the art of questions, hearing (listening and understanding what they tell me), argumentation, negotiation and persuasion.
The personal trainer must leave nothing to chance, but systematically take care of the acquisition and improvement of his/her abilities – these presuppose and require objective introspection, honesty towards himself, commitment, dedication, constant effort for development.
Besides, if you want to convince your practitioner to do something good for him, it is not enough to tell him what to do, you have to show him how it is done.
If you can't do it yourself, if you can't inspire first by example and then by your word, the relationship of trust is lost, "often in an instant." This is the moment when you may be trying to impress without much thought, when you are asking for something to be done that you have not achieved first, if you provide a mediocre service that is not even worth mentioning, when you say big words without meaning or you give an unrealistic promise of a result that will never be achieved.
For professional success in personal training there are no magic recipes, there are no secrets, there are no infallible lines and guidelines with a general application. Nothing comes easily in life, no path is easy.
Professional success does not come directly or without doubts, it is built slowly, step by step, step by step, step by step, not by leaps, not by explosions, not like a hare or with a shooting star.
"To make the right choices of education, to continue to train for life, to have a vision, to set goals, to commit to your development and to try with all your strength to bring out the best version of yourself, what you really are", this is the only advice, these are the facts and with them you have to fight. In this war no one else will fight but you. Choose allies and move on...
This article was written by Stavros Dedoukos who is in charge of the training program at the Personal Training program of Studio One Sports & Fitness School by Omega-Mega Academy.
Read the article here(GR): https://studioone.gr/epaggelmatias-personal-trainer-den-genniesai-ginesai/