Engaging A Fitness Trainer/Coach – Are You Taking a Big RISK?

August 14, 2015

Picture of fitness providerWith Singapore fast emerging as a major Fitness Hub in the world, it is no surprise therefore to see a corresponding jump in the number and variety of exercise trends emerging in our fitness landscape.

As of today, practically all kinds of fitness and exercise-related services could be found in our little island-state: ranging from the common: private personal training, group aerobics, fitness boot camps etc; to the weird and exotic: anti-gravity classes, animal movement-based exercises, hybrid workouts, extreme calisthenics etc. All co-existing pretty much side-by-side and offering the Public a mouth-watering buffet of fitness options.

And with this slew of choices, many people are also now open to the idea of sourcing for and engaging their very own private fitness provider, individual coach and/or personal trainer to lead them and their loved ones in the workout of their choice.

And herein lies the DANGER.

For with the increase in popularity and demand for fitness providers, and a corresponding SURGE in the numbers of such instructors and coaches in recent years, questions have been raised about the QUALITY of these personnel working in the industry.

Add to that, quite a few HORROR stories have been emerging of trainers/coaches who have been a great DIS-SERVICE to their clients in one way or another and who, in the process, have TARNISHED the fitness industry with their UN-PROFESSIONALISM (think: trainers from HELL!!).

To help consumers reduce their RISK of engaging a provider with questionable credentials and/or intentions, we – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network – have come up with the following CHECKLIST that would serve as a useful guide to all consumers.

Do use it to SCREEN all your potential coaches, instructors and trainers:

Fitness Provider Checklist:

 A. Professional Qualifications & Certifications

  • What are the qualifications that the trainer/coach/instructor possess?
  • Are these qualifications/certifications from reputable and recognized institutions/organizations?
  • Is there a way to verify if they are genuine and valid?
  • How many of these qualifications indicate advanced/specialized skills attainment?
  • Does the provider possess a specific certification/qualification that caters to your own unique situation or condition (medical or otherwise)
  • How often do these qualifications have to be renewed and what is the process involved?
  • How often does the provider attend upgrading and/or continuing education courses? When was the last time he/she attended one?
  • How thorough is the entire certification/education process? (Is it attained via online/on-site/correspondence? Does it take a 12 months/3 months/1 week /1 weekend/1-day to complete?)

B. Relevant Experience

  • How many years of coaching experience does the trainer/coach/instructor has?
  • Are these years of experiences formally clocked-in and tracked?
  • How diverse and sustained were these coaching experiences?
  • Is there a way to verify and validate the authenticity of all these coaching experiences?
  • Are these coaching experiences relevant and specific to your goals, needs, age and/or medical conditions?

C. Client References/Testimonials

  • Does the provider offer testimonials, references and other social proof?
  • Are the testimonials comprehensive and diverse in nature?
  • Are there ways to verify if these testimonials are genuine and unadulterated?

D. Individual & Personality Characteristics

  • Does your provider show pride in appearance and attire?
  • Does he/she come across as positive and enthusiastic?
  • Is he/she pleasant, respectful and non-judgmental?
  • Does he/she give you the impression of someone who is well-organized and well-prepared?
  • Does he/she come across as mature, dependable and trustworthy?
  • Does he/she demonstrate competence and knowledge in the required subject area?
  • Does he/she have a good and fluent command of the language you use?
  • Does he/she exhibit good overall communication skills?
  • Do you feel comfortable opening-up and talking with him/her about your health/fitness issues?
  • Do you find it easy to strike up a rapport with him/her?
  • Finally, does your fitness provider look the part? (think: “walking the walk”)

These and more are the questions that EVERYONE should be asking himself/herself before committing to any paid fitness regime.

If your provider ticks 90% or more of the above boxes, then – CONGRATULATIONS – you got yourself an AWESOME trainer!

However, if it’s more misses than hits, then perhaps it’s better for you to reconsider your choice and look elsewhere!

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Hiring The Right Fitness Provider In Singapore

November 11, 2013

Image of a fitness specialistWith the growth and expansion of the fitness industry in Singapore, more and more people are now turning to professional fitness providers to meet their various fitness needs.

And with the wide variety of fitness professionals available in this country, each specializing in a specific fitness niche, it can be quite overwhelming and even confusing for the average consumer to decide which kind of fitness professional to turn to for his/her fitness needs.

Just as you would not turn to a dentist for a stomach ailment, nor a doctor for a gum problem, it is crucial that you do NOT end up with the WRONG fitness provider for your fitness needs.

Not only would it be a pure waste of your money and time if you do so, but also almost a sure bet that you would hardly see any progress – if any – in the health/fitness area that you are seeking help for.

Therefore, BEFORE you engage a fitness provider, make sure you run through the following checklist to make sure that you get the RIGHT match for your fitness needs.

A point to note also before we present the checklist:

You may come across certain fitness professionals who claim they are able to meet ANY and EVERY of your fitness need that you have – from correcting your posture, to overhauling your diet, to even providing you with needling/acupuncture/body massage/sports apparel/fitness equipment/supplement sales services etc etc!

As good as this may sound, BEWARE of these everything-goes “Jack-Of-All-Trades” super salesmen / saleswomen !

To our knowledge, the truly SERIOUS, SUCCESSFUL and RESPECTED fitness pros here in Singapore are those who are SPECIALISTS in their respective niches: professionals who focus on just a few closely related areas and services within their fitness scope.

They are definitely NOT generalists (or should we call them OPPORTUNISTS???) who try to cater to everything and anything under the sun!

Enough said. The following is a checklist of WHO to turn to – when you are seeking help for a specific fitness need:

Fitness Needs & Their Respective Specialists:

1) For General Fitness Conditioning/ Fat Loss / Weight Gain >>>>> Get yourself a Personal Trainer or a Fitness Coach

2) For Optimum Sport Performance Enhancement >>>>> Get yourself a Sports Conditioning Specialist or a Strength -&-Conditioning Coach

3) For Postural Correction, Muscular Imbalances, Injury Rehabilitation  >>>>> Get yourself a Corrective Exercise Specialist or a Physical Therapist

4) For Mind/Body Wellness >>>>> Get yourself a Yoga Teacher or a Meditation Therapist

5) For Specialized Core Conditioning or Core Rehabilitation >>>>> Get yourself a Pilates Instructor or a Core Conditioning Specialist

6) For Nutritional Counselling or Dietary Modifications >>>>> Get yourself a Sports Nutritionist or a Dietician

5) For Pre-Post Natal Fitness Conditioning >>>>> Get yourself a Pre-Post Natal Fitness Specialist

6) For Specific Medical Issues Or Metabolic Conditions  ( diabetes, hypertension, high blood cholesterol etc) >>>>> Get yourself a Special Populations Fitness Specialist

7) For Other Special Populations ( Kids, Older Adults, Physically Challenged) >>>>> Get yourself a certified fitness trainer in that particular area of need, for example, a Kids/Youth Fitness Specialist, or an Older Adults/Senior Citizens Fitness Specialist etc.

Well, there you have it – a comprehensive list of the various fitness specializations available here in Singapore.

So the next time you need a fitness provider for a specific fitness need you have, not only would you know where to look for one, but also learn how to avoid the common mistakes that other consumers make.