|Jim, Sarah, Mike, me, Little Stevie, Molly, & Mike Robertson at I-FAST|
I listened to a lecture from Rob Panariello on ACL rehabilitation. It was refreshing to hear a bunch of terminology that I haven't heard since I was taking Anatomy & Phys for my nursing prerequisites! This guy knows his stuff. He went over the different options for ACL surgery, things to watch for when recovering from it, and how to get your client/athlete back into the game post-op. It was excellent information and I really enjoyed it.
The lecture from Charlie Weingroff was quite dynamic. If you've ever heard Charlie speak, you'll understand what I mean. I'm not sure he inhaled once during the entire 90 minutes. He opened his presentation with a video of him squatting 800 lbs in full gear as a 220. He then focused the rest of his talk on the core and it's many components.
Listening to these speakers got me thinking about how much I've grown in fitness. If somebody were to ask me how to find a good trainer, my answer now would be completely different than it would have been 5 years ago. 5 years ago, I'd have recommended that you find a trainer that will kick your butt for an hour. Now there are many components that a person should take into consideration before hiring a trainer.
A good trainer should be able to do the following:
1. An assessment.
How in the world are they going to strengthen your weaknesses if they don't even know what is wrong in the first place? A proper and thorough assessment is the foundation! You can't build a house without the foundation!
2. Corrective work.
The includes mobility work, stability work, and be able to recommend appropriate tissue work. If your trainer is able to tell you what is wrong, they need to know what to do in order to fix it.
3. Give room for progression.
Your program needs to have an intelligent plan for progression. This is how people get stronger, faster, leaner, etc. You do NOT get better by simply getting your ass kicked every session with a random smorgasbord of unplanned exercises. There needs to be a specific purpose for what a trainer is having you do, and no, "There were no other machines available" is not a good reason!
4. Help you meet your goals.
Your trainer should be aware of your goals and they should be able to tell you exactly how they plan to get you there. If you have some hairball goal that is completely unrealistic, a good trainer should have the courage to tell you where they realistically think they can get you.
Of course there are other qualities that make a good trainer, but I firmly believe that if they are not able to do the things listed above, you should look elsewhere. Certifications are great, but they don't always matter. I know people that carry elite certifications that are unable to do the 4 things listed, but I know people that do not have any certifications and they can! What it boils down to, is real world application. Anybody can read a text book, memorize the information, and pass a test... but not everybody can apply that knowledge. The same goes for certifications.
Remember, there is a big difference between just working hard and working smart. You want a trainer that will have you to work smart!
Like Rachel Cosgrove said:
"More isn't better. Better is better."