T Nation

PT Survey Question

I am about to graduate college with an exercise science degree. Me and a few buddies were talking, who are all very into lifting. I am the smallest of the group at 6’5 215lbs at 8% body fat. The question is:
As an employer or client, would you want your trainer to look the part and know a little or be very qualified ( ACSM or NSCA certified ) and not look the part?
Look forward to seeing everyones responses

I think the obvious response is you want both things, somebody that looks good and has knowledge. Just having one is probably not going to cut it. As a science I see fitness/kinesiology as a pretty young science and there is a lot we don’t know. For that reason you can’t simply learn enough about it in a book, you have to do it. It is an applied science. No one is going to learn the nuances of lifting, etc just by reading and observing. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a world champion PL or a bodybuilder or something, it just means you have to participate in it. So if you look terrible, why? If you had some injury or disability or something that is perhaps okay, but if you “look like nothing” (to quote Arnold) then it is probable that you don’t know as much as you should.

To sum up, you can be adequate by just working out on your own and seeing results, and you can be adequate by just studying on your own, but you can’t be great without some of both. That is my opinion.

It would be nice to have both, but if I had to choose I’d always go for the guy who knows his shit.

I’ve found that some of the “lookers” try to teach genetics. Their advice often consists of stuff like telling you how doing curls can give you massive calves, it worked for them…

I remember seeing this little guy coaching a basketball team one day and thinking, “That guy must really know his shit. He doesn’t look like he could hit a basket from the free throw line, but his team is always winning.” In a hypothetical, if I really wanted to learn, I’d probably pick him over some 6ft 10in ex-NBA start.