T Nation

Cockroaches Of The Athletic World?

http://blogcritics.org/archives/2007/03/15/215541.php

Athletes Continue To Suffer From Personal Training Poseurs
Written by Sal Marinello
Published March 15, 2007

[i]About 20 years ago the term “personal trainer” became part of our society’s vernacular and the title meant something positive. However, the latest steroid scandal, with an unqualified and uncertified personal trainer who is a half-assed “bodybuilder/fitness model”, sullies the reputations of all of the legit fitness professionals out there.

As the fitness industry has grown over the past two decades, the term personal trainer has lost much of its luster, as anyone who has ever worked out regularly thinks that they are qualified to tell other people how to train. For some reason there is this perception that because a person spends time in a gym, looks good and/or is “big,” they are A) qualified to be a fitness expert, or B) considered to be a fitness expert. Over the past 20 years I have seen way too many unqualified “trainers” take this path.

Unfortunately, there are too many gyms that are willing to employ these types as personal trainers after having them undergo a substandard, two-day training seminar. After all, fitness is big business and real qualified trainers are hard to find and expensive. The vast majority of gyms can’t afford to pay the going rate for qualified trainers, so they offer cut-rate prices for a cut-rate service.

The high school steroid scandal in Hanover Park, New Jersey serves as the perfect illustration of the misconception that exists regarding what passes for a fitness professional these days.

At the center of this scandal is a bodybuilder who possesses no valid qualifications or certifications to work as a personal trainer, yet works at a gym as a trainer and was able to get a volunteer position in a high school football program in large part because he weighs 245 pounds. Here we have yet another “personal trainer/fitness model” whose idea of fitness is based on the drug-addled abomination known as bodybuilding.

Which brings up another point that needs to be made clear; bodybuilders are not athletes, know nothing about athletics or athletes, and should be kept as far away as possible from legitimate athletes. Bodybuilding has nothing to do with health, fitness, performance or any other of the legitimate concerns of true sport and competition. Bodybuilding is an activity that is based on looking a certain way and has nothing to do with performance in any meaningful athletic sense.

Bodybuilders are the cockroaches of the athletic world. Just like the Periplaneta Americana, bodybuilders operate under the cover of darkness and usually go scurrying when light is shined upon them. Where the American Cockroach gains entry by accessing cracks in a building’s foundation, the drug-using American Bodybuilder - Gymrattius Americana - insinuate themselves into the athletic world by preying on the ignorance and insecurities of the unsuspecting, or by exploiting those who will do anything to succeed.

Every major steroid/performance enhancing drug scandal involves bodybuilders.

There are a lot of legit personal trainers out there who know what they are doing; certified, qualified, experienced professionals who know that the key to health, fitness, better performance and all of that jazz doesn’t reside in a pill bottle or a vial and syringe. Personal trainers certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) are among the most qualified fitness professionals in the industry and receive the highest level of instruction and continuing education in order to become - and stay - certified.

People need to realize that the big guy or the hot girl at the local gym isn’t qualified in any way to be a personal trainer strictly by virtue of their appearance. The general public needs to be made aware that there are many great personal trainers - and other more qualified fitness professionals - out here that are waiting to help.

Hopefully, scandals like the one unfolding in New Jersey will encourage people to seek out qualified personal trainers and not just consider the real professionals in the same group as the poseurs, dilettantes and bodybuilders at the center of these scandals.[/i]

I don’t agree with everything he says, but the guy does have a point. We’ve had a couple of doping problems with Belgian cyclists and nearly all involved bodybuilders…

Most of what he wrote is complete bullshit so I don’t see what you agreed with. Most personal trainers today are NOT people who even look like they lift. In fact, most gyms seem to specifically employ those who look LESS built because they feel that the average soccer mom will relate more to someone more average.

Whoever wrote that article seems to still be living in the 80’s. It USED to be very easy for a larger bodybuilder to get a job as a personal trainer in a gym. Afterall, once you get to a decent size, people are constantly asking questions about how they can do the same.

This has changed so drastically over the past 15 years that it makes every word written here complete nonsense. If anyone falls for it, I feel very sorry for them. It is now RARE to walk into a commercial gym and see any extremely built people working as personal trainers…so what the hell is this guy talking about?

And how does he claim bodybuilding is so removed from athletics when many bodybuilders have strong pasts in sports that include football and or competitive powerlifting? Chances are, if you are speaking to a guy who would truly qualify as “big”, he probably played sports before in most cases…so why would someone say his advice is useless with regards to sports?

This “article” is a load of bullshit, plain and simple.

In my opinion most bodybuilders who have done it for awhile know more than the average personal trainer, however, this does NOT necessarily make the average bodybuilder a strength coach.

I suspect the authors’ experience with “bodybuilders” is pretty limited to just a few who are probably no better than very bad personal trainers who lift more weights than usual and take steroids hence putting on some size, but still being pretty unqualified.

It is hard enough working out what works for yourself (something many people fail at doing) let alone knowing enough to be able to deal with a wide range of clients.

The approach taken to succeed at bodybuilding IS very different to what you would need to do to succeed at any athletic sport including ones that are very “close” to bodybuilding e.g powerlifting.

In my opinion the author of this article is just as ignorant and ill-informed as the personal trainers they are criticising.

I wish there was a higher standard of journalism in the world. I guess it is up to all of us to filter out the crud. Thank god for the internet.

Hey Wreckless, I think I tracked down your avatar! :stuck_out_tongue:

Translation: Never keep a fart inside, because it then goes up through your spine all the way to the brain. That’s how shitty idea are born…

Seriously, I think the perspective of the article is skewed with roids prejudices and misconceptions. It goes to great length to associate steroids use and muscle, while vilifying (yep I said that) bodybuilders and incensing PT with NSCA certs.

What muddies the water is that it mixes a bit of truth in it. I do agree that most times even with an athletic background BB are not the best of athlectic trainers. Some are not even ‘athletic’ themselves, although they look the part. But to associate systematic steroids use with muscle while glorifying athleticism is a snake-oil salesman argument in my book.

It’s really pimping a deliberately select group of people as training references, namely the NSCA-certified coaches to the population. That in itself should be enough to make you raise an eyebrow.

On the other hand, I can but wonder at how he qualified BB. Because it certainly is truth that they’ve fallen from grace. From heros and icons in the 60’ and 70’, they’re now viewed as freaks and addicts. Prof X is right when he says that no muscle is required to train someone, even someone who is there specifically for that purpose.

But even that is becoming rarer. I can’t count the times I had a client come up to me and said they wanted to get in shape, but nothing like Arnold… Like it’s gonna happen to you by accident if you don’t watch it!

This is what that article as me thinking about: have the roids use so perveded people’s mind that they think every muscle gain, or 6-pack abs due to them only? It certainly seems so to a majority of people. And grimmer still, the BB have brought it upon themselves.

Not all of them of course, but this is a case of everyone put in the same bag as the rotten fruits…

[quote]Zen warrior wrote:
Hey Wreckless, I think I tracked down your avatar! :stuck_out_tongue:

Translation: Never keep a fart inside, because it then goes up through your spine all the way to the brain. That’s how shitty idea are born…

Seriously, I think the perspective of the article is skewed with roids prejudices and misconceptions. It goes to great length to associate steroids use and muscle, while vilifying (yep I said that) bodybuilders and incensing PT with NSCA certs.

What muddies the water is that it mixes a bit of truth in it. I do agree that most times even with an athletic background BB are not the best of athlectic trainers. Some are not even ‘athletic’ themselves, although they look the part. But to associate systematic steroids use with muscle while glorifying athleticism is a snake-oil salesman argument in my book.

It’s really pimping a deliberately select group of people as training references, namely the NSCA-certified coaches to the population. That in itself should be enough to make you raise an eyebrow.

On the other hand, I can but wonder at how he qualified BB. Because it certainly is truth that they’ve fallen from grace. From heros and icons in the 60’ and 70’, they’re now viewed as freaks and addicts. Prof X is right when he says that no muscle is required to train someone, even someone who is there specifically for that purpose.

But even that is becoming rarer. I can’t count the times I had a client come up to me and said they wanted to get in shape, but nothing like Arnold… Like it’s gonna happen to you by accident if you don’t watch it!

This is what that article as me thinking about: have the roids use so perveded people’s mind that they think every muscle gain, or 6-pack abs due to them only? It certainly seems so to a majority of people. And grimmer still, the BB have brought it upon themselves.

Not all of them of course, but this is a case of everyone put in the same bag as the rotten fruits…[/quote]

I wouldn’t even say bodybuilders have brought it on themselves as much as society is filled with people who look for excuses for their own short-comings. The author of that “article” sounds like some of the posters here who have “trained” for 20 years yet don’t look like they lift…therefore, everyone who has actually made significant progress is on drugs.

It takes a lot of hard work to actually build your body up from small to anything resembling “extreme”. The current belief seems to be quite the opposite and that people only get big through drug use. That stupidity can only be blamed on the general public for believing it, no one else.

I know I personally would not waste my time walking up to the smallest personal trainer in a gym for “advice”. That is basically what this “author” is suggesting along with a specific certification while blaming every negative media incident on people who actually look built. I am actually amazed someone posted this crap on this forum as if it were truth.

If I want football training, I would go to someone who either played football before or has coached football players for years. If I want larger muscles, I am going to go to the guy who has actually done the same with his own body, not some guy who barely looks like he lifts just because he has a certain certification.

It must cause this guy to go into fits if he ever runs across an ex-football player who also looks like a bodybuilder. I guess those two never come together in the same body.

Awful, ignorant piece. I was hoping “Maybe the blog doesn’t get read much.” But then I noticed the author has his own website:

www.healthandfitnessadvice.com/

It looks like part of his motivation in the blog piece is to steer people toward the NSCA for their personal trainer needs. The top article on his website is all about finding a certified personal trainer.

Here’s an excerpt:

[quote]
Every trainer should be willing to provide you with their resume that includes their educational background, certification status and certificate number, years of experience and a list of at least 5 clients that you can speak with. You should also ask the prospective trainer what their training philosophy is and what their athletic background is. My advice is to stay away from bodybuilders and distance runners. Also, ask the trainer if their workouts are machine based or ground based, and if they use single joint or multi-joint exercises.

Training sessions should involve very few, if any machines. With the exception of the pull down machine and the seated row machine, you should spend all of your training time on your feet and not sitting or lying on equipment. You also, don’t need to have your trainer watch you spend long stretches of time on cardiovascular machines. This you can do on your own. Run from anyone who shows an unwillingness to share any of this info with you.[/quote]

No lying on equipment. Guess any bench work for chest is out.

This person sees, pros and experts as the zenith of human ability. This common POV is very limiting.

I suppose the greatest guitarists in the world are big name pros right? Oh and the best golfers must be pros? The cream always rises to pro/expert status right? Not true. Anyone whom has been serious about anything knows that there is an “underground elite.”

This is true in sports, in music, in industry, in science, and in body building ( a sport! ). I personally know more than a few non-competitive body builders that look better than guys with their “pro card.” So what does that say about personal trainers?

Not every one with a thousand degrees, certs, and an e-book knows their shit to the max, and even some of the “good ones” will not be as “good” as someone with a GED and lifetime of weight training xp.

This self righteous “writer” also seems to think that bodybuilders are the only users of steroids…Is that really serious? Roids are everywhere, sure AS are required to win Olympia, but this “article” seems to suggest that every other sport is somehow “clean.” Bullshit.

Oh yeah, and the NJ steroid scandal…That’s just the team that was caught. Oh sure not every HS is juicing, more are than people are willing to admit though, and “evil” bodybuilders have nothing to do with those schools.

Oh yeah and since when were pro sports about health and fitness?

Further I think this “article” focused too much on the steroid taboo, and not enough on less scandalous “points,” which could be countered with less controversy.

There are a lot of legit personal trainers out there who know what they are doing; certified, qualified, experienced professionals who know that the key to health, fitness, better performance and all of that jazz doesn’t reside in a pill bottle or a vial and syringe.

Personal trainers certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) are among the most qualified fitness professionals in the industry and receive the highest level of instruction and continuing education in order to become - and stay - certified
quote}

NSCA might be the best of the worst regarding certification, but ask Poliquin how is a regular speaker for them. he’ll tell you that they are light years behind.

Yea, that article is a complete crock of shit.

I assumed, by the title of the article, that it referred to people who write Internet articles about subjects they have no expertise in. (E.g., writing articles about training football players when you’ve never actually trained football trainers.) Guess I was wrong. Instead of making a valid point, some guy with a 13" in neck (much like the OP!) blasted people much bigger than him. Pathetic.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
<<< It takes a lot of hard work to actually build your body up from small to anything resembling “extreme”. The current belief seems to be quite the opposite and that people only get big through drug use. That stupidity can only be blamed on the general public for believing it, no one else. >>>[/quote]

The other side of this coin is the mistaken belief that anyone who ever touches an anabolic drug is huge and didn’t really have to work to get where they are.

The intellectually lazy public will largely believe whatever they see on the news and bodybuilding in the news is all about drugs.

Nobody ever does a piece on the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that is required to excel in the discipline. With or without enhancement. Indeed “discipline” is the exact opposite of the way it’s portrayed.

They will concentrate on a death or scandal to the the point where the consuming public is convinced that “that” is bodybuilding in it’s entirety.

We see the same thing here. Somebody posts a video of Coleman pushing over a ton on a leg sled and out come the hawkers declaring that it’s all drugs. Like he ran up a few flights of stairs during a cycle, jumped on a machine with 10,000 plates and found himself that big and strong.

I don’t see public perception improving much in the future either.

there are no cockroaches here just cats, fats ones running the commercial fitness industry

NB if an un qualified 250lbs “steroid monster” can get a job str+con coaching a football team, why cant this qualified 235lb tool get a job doing the same the mind boggles