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There’s no denying that working with a certified coach is highly beneficial to you. However, the hunt for a quality coach who has your best interest at heart can feel quite overwhelming. There are several factors you need to take into consideration when making your selection on a credible coach. In fact, one of the most important factors for you to verify is their credentials. At Measure Backwards, we’re a team of certified fitness experts.
Whether coaches obtain a relevant degree or certification, it is always advantageous for you to understand their education background. For example, to keep a Personal Training and Health & Wellness Coaching certification active, it is required to complete a certain number of continuing education credits every two years. Similar to careers (nurses, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and therapists) that commonly require certifications or licensures, the continuing education credits allows a certified professional the opportunity to continuously learn and stay current about the industry. When coaches are not certified or have a relevant degree, it is important for you to understand which resources they use to research information. For example, if they are only using Google University, perhaps it might be in your best interest to explore other options.
When it comes to your personal health and fitness goals, you deserve only the absolute best from a coach. At Measure Backwards, we value education and professional development to provide quality service to each of our clients. This article highlights a few of the advantages and what you can expect while working with certified professionals.
Being a certified fitness personal trainer is imperative to safely and effectively design fitness programs that help clients achieve their goals. A certified Personal Trainer understands that every person is unique and needs to be evaluated based on individual fitness needs.
Sadly, there are currently no national or state licensing requirements for working as a Personal Trainer like there are for other health care professions such as; doctors, nurses, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, and athletic trainers. Therefore, without licensing requirements, anyone and everyone can claim to be a fitness professional and offer personal training services.
But fitness professionals are a growing and essential part of the allied health industry. So, how is someone to know whether the fitness professional they hired (or are simply following on social media) is, in fact, a truly qualified pro? The answer lies in accredited certification.
Here are some of the subjects that certified Personal Trainers are commonly educated in:
- Exercise Science (Anatomy, Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, Biomechanics)
- Health & Fitness Assessments
- Exercise Programming for Healthy Adults
- Principles of Nutrition & Weight Management
Similar to this, they have to have the skills to build programs for all types of people, like those who are obese, older, injured, have medical conditions and so on. Our team knows exactly what to do in all of these cases.
The knowledge gained from earning a Nutrition Coach certification provides tremendous support to clients towards achieving their goals through combining a strategic nutrition plan. A nutrition certification strengthens a coach’s ability to help their clients make better nutrition choices and develop long-term healthy habits. Additionally, it is highly beneficial to learn how to effectively guide clients in selecting fresh, nutrient-dense foods, and how to shop for and prepare healthy meals.
Among the key areas of study are:
- Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals
- Food as energy for maintenance, physical work, and repair
- Effects of exercise on nutritional needs and how nutrition affects exercise
- Assessing a client’s nutritional situation and their needs
- Determining the best approach for each client
- Progressing clients until they reach their goals
It is beneficial for a Nutrition Coach to be well-versed in all the popular dietary trends and sharing knowledge about unpopular truths. Much like there is no one-size-fits all approach with certified fitness professionals, there is also no one-size-fits-all strategy with nutrition. And there are also many angles you can take to create a tailored plan.
Health & Wellness Coaching
Health & Wellness Coaching is different from personal training because it takes an integrated approach to overall wellness in three primary areas: physical, behavioral, and nutritional wellbeing. Certified fitness Health & Wellness Coaches work with their clients to develop individualized plans to meet their goals that include weight loss, fitness, stress, life, sleep habits and nutrition.
Going through the Health & Wellness Coaching certification provides insight on how to develop integrated wellness strategies such as setting goals, preventing disease, stress management, improving mind-body connections and behavioral change. To expand on this, when you are looking to make behavioral changes, it will only work if the plan is self-directed by you. Long-term change is most achievable when you collaborate with a Health & Wellness Coach to make your own decisions that will aid in self-discovery and empower you to mobilize internal strengths and external resources to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors.
The coaches at Measure Backwards are certified in this style of coaching that will help you to achieve your personal goals while building healthier sustainable habits into your life. A certified Health & Wellness Coach provides more of a hands-on style of coaching that helps guide you throughout your journey while you remain in the driver seat. Therefore, a Health & Wellness Coach will never tell you what to do, but will instead encourage you to make decisions based on what you feel is best.
A few of the key areas of study for a Health & Wellness Coaching certification are:
- Adult Learning Concepts
- Interpersonal Communication Skills
- Theories and Models of Behavioral Change
- Motivational Interviewing
- Goal Setting
- Overcoming Barriers to Change
The Complete Package
The power combination of education and experience are the secret sauce when it comes to credibility as a coach in the field of fitness, nutrition and wellness. At Measure Backwards, we place high value in education and staying current with the latest research. We strongly believe that our clients deserve to work with a certified fitness professional who will provide continuous support using evidence-based science to ensure a safe, successful journey towards reaching their goals.
That’s why you need to be extra careful when searching for a qualified coach. Simply put, there are many “influencers” out there that may look like they know how to help you get the body of your dreams, but in reality, they may lack the knowledge and experience that is needed to provide quality coaching. Just because someone puts in their bio that they are an “expert” or has over 10,000 followers, doesn’t automatically make them a qualified professional. More often than not, these influencers have biased opinions and could potentially put your health at risk.
Here is a deeper look into what you should watch out for.
6 Social Media Red Flags
- Does the influencer have appropriate qualifications? Check their “about me” section to look for verifiable credentials from accredited institutions.
- Are they transparent with where they get their information (linking to sources or including citations to credible research articles)?
- Are their recommendations and postings based on fact or opinion? Linking to or citing scientific studies is a good indication that they’re using evidence-based information.
- Do they criticize a particular food or food group? Do they recommend or push certain programs that primarily involves pills, detoxes, teas, or other specialized supplements?
- Are they passionate about coaching to help people or to make money? Read through their website, social media content, and schedule a consultation call.
- What kind of services do they offer? What all is included in each of the packages?
Unfortunately, when it comes to fitness and nutrition, there is an overwhelming amount of information and it is extremely confusing. Even though it is natural to see a picture of someone and automatically think they would be the perfect coach for you because they have a desirable physique, it is still advantageous to take a closer look at their qualifications as a coach. When it comes to your personal health and wellbeing, you will never regret taking your time to find a coach that you feel comfortable with and trust.
At Measure Backwards, we are certified fitness professionals, and we are fully transparent about our experience and credentials. We are passionate about helping people and believe in being a lifelong learner to serve our clients to the best of our abilities. Do we know everything? Absolutely not. Whenever we are unsure of something, we will tell you and see it as an opportunity to conduct research and learn. We strongly believe in building and maintaining honest relationships with our clients.
Regardless if education is obtained from a bachelor’s degree or certification, it requires a person to invest time, money, and dedication. Sure, just about anyone can read a book, study, take a class, and pass an exam. However, this is why Measure Backwards is different. We aren’t coaches because we simply went through the motions to become one. We are coaches because we feel it in our hearts that this is exactly where we want to be and feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity to help people, just like you, achieve their health and fitness goals.