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Who Should I Hire To Train My Mom?

Almost two years ago, my mom suffered a massive heart attack after undergoing major back surgery. This was followed by 9 months in hospitals and rehab, followed by heart surgery, and more rehab. Months later, she suffered a minor stroke. I’m happy to report that mom is doing well, back at home, living independently, and enjoying her life. She now is trying to improve her health and fitness, joined a gym and hired a Personal Trainer.

After her first session, mom was in so much pain and discouraged. She now thinks exercise is “not for her.” I asked about her personal trainer’s credentials. She had no idea, other than the fact that he “looked good and had lots of muscles.” I called the gym and learned that he had been certified for one year. The certification included a home study book and a written exam. That was it! No hands-on training or testing! No advanced degree!

I’m sure this frustrates you as much as it did me. Given her age, health history, risk factors and medical concerns—I can’t believe that the trainer did not require medical clearance, consult with her cardiologist and/or other physician. My mom could have been severely injured and is now afraid to exercise.

This personal experience is unfortunately all too common in our industry. There are so many certifications— all resulting in the same credential, but requiring very different education, training, and demonstration of competence. We need to come together to change this if we want to elevate the creditability of our profession and to have “fitness” considered part of the health care continuum. It is imperative for our industry AND more importantly, for the health and well-being of our family, friends, and communities.

Please share your thoughts on these issues and what you believe we can and should do to improve professionalism and standards in our industry. Also, If you are going to be in Chicago for Club Industry, please attend the 3rd Annual Personal Trainer Summit, where we will continue our previous years’ discussions on industry standards.

A change is needed. My mom’s health—and your mom’s health—depend on it!

Thank you for letting me share my personal story. Please share yours.

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8 thoughts on “Who Should I Hire To Train My Mom?

  1. I have been through the same type of situation with my mom, who is in her “senior” years and has health concerns as well. It is very frustrating, I agree. It amazes me how many crash courses are offered to obtain a certification in a profession such as personal training…and with no practical application of the knowledge and concepts learned. I definitely think people need to start looking closer at the quality of the certification personal trainers have, not just the monetary value associated with it, or the “big name brand”. Those two things mean very little if our loved one is depending on their personal trainer to help them become better or healthier.

  2. Thanks for sharing your story!

  3. I’m sure you can find a perfect persna that can train your mom. Good luck. And for those who are looking and interested to hire a good and experienced personal trainer you can check the site of No Excuse Fitnes Gym or you may just call them on their number (949) 313-4034. Their trainers are really one of the best and you will not regret hiring them.

    1. Great to know! Thanks!!

  4. I ask every single person I know who hires a trainer if they know what is the background of that person. Most tell me they think he or she is certified. WHAT? I try to stay calm and supportive without calling out a potential disaster. How can you not require or check out this person! It is crazy stuff. If we go to buy a car or a TV we all do painstaking research and follow up on these products. Why not on our own health and well being?
    We ran a local survey 10 years ago and found 40% of the trainers in gyms were either not currently certified or were never certified at all. Last year at the Club Industry Personal Trainer Summit in Las Vegas we had a wonderful key note speaker from IDEA. Mike Bannan took us all through some insightful data that they had gathered from their free service – Fitness Connect. Fitness Connect is a way to register yourself and list your capabilities for people that are looking for a personal trainer. The nice part is that they verify the education and training. In that data in 2012, 40% of the trainers claiming to have certain credentials as a fitness professional did not. We need to do more to put out a common industry message collectively. Does everyone remember the “GOT MILK” campaign to the public. Why not fitness? This will be one of the topics at the Summit meeting this October 24 at 2pm in Chicago at the Club Industry Business Conference. Come join us and other employers, trainers and education associations. We all need to step up to make sure our mom’s have only the best care. We need to protect our industry for when people decide to take that bold health and wellness lifestyle change.

  5. That was a sad story! But I am happy to know that your mom is now recovering from that stroke. I think the one who are privy by this matter is a physical therapist. Because they are the one who are experts when it comes to an injuries. Maybe you tried it, I hope my suggestion will help. Thanks!

    1. Thank you for your kind words and for your suggestion. I agree that a Physical Therapist would be a better match for mom’s needs. I wish the personal trainer she went to would have recognized that her risk factors warranted a more collaborative “team based” approach for her training to be safe and effective. Fortunately, there are professionals like you out there!! Please keep in touch and I’ll tell mom you said hi 🙂

  6. This is really sad to know, but your mom is now recovering from that stroke is good for you. We all take care of our health. To stay healthy and to live a longer life one needs to eat healthy food and must have a specific fitness goal.

    Offyaglutes – Personal training gym in Australia

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