In this day and age of technology we are inundated with a myriad of people in the blogosphere who proclaim themselves an expert in whatever field they want but, what truly makes someone an expert? What is a health and fitness expert exactly? Well, the definition of an expert is someone who has comprehensive or authoritative knowledge in a particular area. A better definition would be “somebody who obtains results that are superior to those obtained by the majority of the population. Alternatively, an expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. Experts are called in for advice on their respective subject, but they do not always agree on the particulars of a field of study. An expert can be believed, by virtue of credential, training, education, profession, publication or experience, to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon the individual’s opinion. Historically, an expert was referred to as a sage (Sophos). The individual was usually a profound thinker distinguished for wisdom and sound judgment.”
With the evolution of social media, YouTube, bloggers and Podcasts most of the online data really has only been created in the last few years. Think about that for a minute, it’s really still in its’ infancy! Now let’s look at who you follow on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook just because they take great fitness pictures or, post delicious looking food on a pretty plate. They may have a ton of followers and get hundreds of likes and because of this you may think that person is an ‘expert’ and in truth they may have proclaimed themselves the same without anything to back them up. Does saying something make it true? No, of course not but, to the average person they may think that yes, it does. Why is that? It’s an interesting phenomenon and social science study. Seems like social media is a big huge online high school non reality type of campus. Who has the most ‘likes’? Who has more followers? It’s really kind of crazy.
Now what about famous actors or actresses who decide they will write a book on being a health and fitness expert? Most people don’t know that they don’t even write their books but use ghost writers. Which, is totally understandable with the busy lives they must lead however, what gives them an expert opinion? Some simply hit the genetic lottery, got lucky or, had a talent for acting and became famous. However, they have not worked for countless hours with clients to help them with their health/fitness goals, struggles or pains. In all likelihood they hired the expert trainers and nutrition gurus to help them stay fit and, eat right. Where is the experience that is so important to gain by doing hard work of this kind of job working with clients? What about the endless hours of study? Working on cadavers in school to learn more about anatomy and physiology? Countless hours of diverse clientele to learn from, thereby gaining even more practical knowledge? Why would you follow someone who doesn’t have any experience or expertise in a field you are trying to get help from? I liken it to asking my 2 1/2 year old niece an adult question. It makes no sense.
Seriously though, the internet is such a wonderful tool but at the same time can make people very confused when it comes to a myriad of subjects but especially, on how to get fit and healthy. There are so many articles, blogs and various ‘experts’ out there with different advice to give that it can be very hard to find someone you trust. It is saturated. There is also a lot of bad advice and untruths on the internet by people who want to sell something to you. We used to be able to just go into a person’s office and see the degrees they had on their walls but, with the internet and random people just posting their opinions it’s not possible to be able to check expertise in this way.
Of course there are those that may not have a 4 year degree but, 20-30 years of experience and other certifications, this is also a positive comparable and in many cases an expert. Depending on the field, you don’t always have to have formal education either.
How can you find out who is a health and fitness expert then? What can you do when you are looking to hire someone to help you? The following 5 questions to ask are a good start to assess who is a health and fitness expert or, any expert you want to hire.
In this day and age mistrust it is unfortunate that we have to do our own due diligence instead of just relying on the word of others. There are so many instances of falsehoods even in the so called College degrees that some people obtain off the internet. Sad but, true which is why it’s important to ask poignant questions to those you seek to hire. Once you’ve made your decision to hire someone then it’s important for you to adhere to their advice or in my field it would be to a program designed for you.
Not that long ago I had someone come to me for a program and so I did my full assessment that takes about an hour then I wrote the program which, takes another hour that I don’t charge for as I include it in the package. I then went over the program and recorded it on her smart device. Long story short she did not do my program but instead got a modified program from another trainer to try that one. When I checked in with her she then asked me to look over his modified program. I can’t tell you how frustrating this was for me. I spent a lot of time going over a program I wrote based on the assessment and what she asked for. She of course was very confused after reading things off the internet and from whatever this other trainer said to her. This is exactly why you have to not only do your own due diligence by asking good questions but also once you’ve decided on your ‘expert’ of choice you must follow what they create for you to give it a fair chance before either moving on or, asking to tweak something. It is not fair to either of you if you don’t trust the person you hire. It is a waste of your money and, their time and energy.
Again, the internet is not the end all be all of truth. There are tons of misguided people not only searching for answers but, selling trying to scam or sell things to you. You will end up being very confused by so many different theories if you don’t try to think for yourself as well. Sometimes you have to be your own guinea pig, trial and error for certain things and or finding who is a health and fitness expert to get the results you’ve been searching for. Either way there is no magic pill or quick solution that does not require something from you as well. Nothing worth having comes easy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to interview a potential hire to see if you are a fit, and to see if you trust them.