How Much Training Does Your Trainer Have?

Want to tear your hamstring? Try pushing into a split when you're not warm (or ready).

Ever want to see me get fired up? Tell me about someone trained in a single weekend, without any anatomy being part of that training and who is out there teaching someone fitness. Or worse, someone who was trained for their fitness certification in an online course. Actually, my heart rate just went up writing that paragraph. I hope I survive writing this blog post (although the fact that I work out nearly every day offers me a good deal of cardiovascular protection, right?) As we are currently finishing up one of our Fuse mat teacher trainings, I’m thinking about that hot topic again. How much training should your fitness instructor  have? Honestly, a lot. But how they get their training – that is something that is variable. Some people take a lot of training courses and some are trained as apprentices. Some people have a mentor and others simply don’t have access to that but are great at continuing self-study after a shorter training. Frankly, some teachers have a lot of training, but they still aren’t great teachers. Others have less but have a natural ability to teach. Any good teacher will understand the importance of continued education and self-practice. Most importantly, a good teacher will be concerned with their student’s success. I once worked at a studio where I walked by a room and the teacher told a student that to get into the splits, she should just “push more.” After my brain exploded, I had a flashback to the time many moons ago when I tore my hamstring doing the exact same thing. I never found out if this girl also tore her hamstring. I can only assume so. Another time, I was taking a class where the teacher told a student that squats on her toes would give her skinny thighs. This is actually not true. In fact, the opposite is. Tip-toe squats are a great way to target your quads, and targeting a muscle tends to build it. It will tone those muscles. It quite possibly could make your thighs bigger. Anyone with basic anatomy training would understand how exercise builds muscle. A good teacher will offer the group modifications so that stronger and more experienced students can take it up a notch, and newer students can be challenged but still feel successful. If you come up to the teacher in advance and say you have a disk injury, a labral tear, or are recovering from a torn meniscus, or if you have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, or another chronic condition, it’s ideal that your teacher knows how to modify for you. If the teacher doesn’t know the exact injury (there are so many), a quick description of the injury or disease process should be enough for a knowledgeable instructor to make appropriate adjustments. And, sometimes, that adjustment is to say that his or her class isn’t safe for you. You’ll be spending some time to acquire and maintain your healthy, hardcore body, so be your own consumer advocate and make sure to spend adequate time reviewing the credentials and skills of your instructor(s). While working out, you want to make sure you’re doing so safely and with someone who can help you achieve the results you’re seeking! Stay hard core, Mariska  

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