The fallacy of personal training is that a “certified” personal trainer could easily lack even the most basic knowledge.
There is currently no regulation of personal trainers, no liability insurance requirements, nothing. Anyone can claim to be a personal trainer. Go ahead and print your own business cards and start today. There is no law stopping you. And to become “certified”, means you only have to one test, offered by an organization that also has no regulation.
I am not sure why the government requires your hairdresser or manicurist to go to college, pass a state board exam and be licensed, but not a personal trainer. Are there risks of heart attacks and musculoskeletal injury that I am unaware of when you get your fingernails painted?
Human anatomy and physiology is incredibly complex, and I am sorry, but passing one test does not make a person qualified, or anywhere close to being called an expert. Nor does taking a weekend workshop and then being called a “specialist” in post-partum, senior fitness, functional training, etc.
The lack of regulation is largely why the lucrative income of the personal training industry has many trainers with very little knowledge of anatomy and physiology, but plenty of experience in bull sh#$ing their way through.
Am I out to slam the certified personal trainers of the world? Certainly not, as many are exceptional and highly qualified. But I feel it is important for the public to be aware of the truth regarding the qualifications of those in the industry, so they can place their health in the right hands.
If you have an ache or pain, should your trainer know the musculature and kinematics of the involved joint in order to improve this problem? Should they know what to avoid? Should they know enough about the anatomy of the lumbar spine to avoid movements that can lead to a herniated disc? The answer should be “yes” to all these questions.