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Fitness expert

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Who is a health and fitness expert?

Fitness expertIn 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.

Health and fitness expertHow 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.

Experts for hire?

  1. How many years have you been in your business? If a person has been in his/her field for over 10 years working with people then it is a safe bet they have something positive to offer.
  2. What kinds of degrees or certifications does your field require and, what do you have? It’s important to be informed when looking to hire someone if the person keeps up with his/her certifications or, has an equivalent 4 year degree you know they spent a lot of time learning about his/her field.
  3. Do you have a passion for what you do? I like to ask this question because I think it’s important to have passion for something you’ve spent years learning or studying especially if I’m going to hire this person for an important job that may have risks to my health. Also because they tend to spend more time studying and taking courses that interest them, learning about new innovative things that come out in the industry.
  4. Why did you choose this field? Again, I think it’s important to ask this question because you can always read between the lines and get to know the inner workings of a person you may hire. For example, many therapists I’ve known chose to become therapists to solve some inner conflict if, they have not done so I would not hire them due to the fact that they may transfer their issues to you.
  5. Do you have references or portfolio of jobs done that can be verified? Depending on what the expertise you are hiring for you may want to see not only a list of jobs performed but, references you can call to verify.

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.



4 Responses

  • Eric Harper

    June 5th, 2017

    Well said. I like the part where you say “They may have a ton of followers and get hundreds of likes and because of this you may think that person is an ‘expert’’. I find this is the case a lot of times in my line of work (music) where you see a song that has millions of plays on youtube but in its essence is not really a very good song but more a product of a company pouring lots of money into a song to have it played over and over again to give you the false impression that this is a great song. Just because something is “liked” a lot doesn’t mean it’s great. And same goes for online personal fitness. It might be the case that the person in the pictures is simply very physically attractive and is generating large numbers of likes due to their outside looks and less for their expertise. I see this frequently in the online yoga profession.

    I also like how you offer 5 steps for finding your own personal expert and don’t just harp on the negative universe of self-proclaimed “experts”.

    Overall, engaging article and a point of topic we could all stop to reflect on.

  • Sculpted Physiques

    June 6th, 2017

    Thank you! Yes, I’m sure it’s the same in your industry. Social media can be a great tool but at the same time very misleading due to the fake accounts and dishonest people. Sad.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the blog post and found it to be insightful!

  • Kat S

    June 8th, 2017

    Yes, these points are so important. What I have found is that years of experience are important and passion for what one is doing. The best trainers I have had are the ones who have passion for their work. When I think of another trainer I had prior to you, she was just not that interested in her clients but becoming a well known fitness expert. She was not training people in a safe way because she lacked experience and knowledge.

  • Sculpted Physiques

    June 10th, 2017

    Yes, that happens. Some people are more interested in the industry and money but forget that it’s about helping people and having passion/purpose for what you do.

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