Diagnose Medical Conditions
Never begin a new exercise program without clearance from your family physician. Although conducting a fitness assessment is an important part of your personal trainer’s job, such assessments do not diagnose underlying medical conditions.
You must have a full physical before you start working with a personal trainer.
Your trainer should then use your physician’s findings and recommendations to perform a systematic fitness analysis of both your physiological needs and limitations. Your personal trainer will use these results to create an individualized fitness plan that will meet your fitness and physiological goals while taking into account any limitations you may have.
It’s not uncommon for a physician to recommend exercise and weight loss as a means of treating certain diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. However, it’s not your personal trainer’s responsibility to manage chronic diseases. Therefore, you need to think of your fitness program as a tool that you can use to live a healthier lifestyle.
Recommend Supplements and Specific Diets
Clients are always asking their trainers what they should be eating and which supplements they need to take. In addition to not being able to diagnose medical problems, personal trainers cannot prescribe dietary supplements.
Unless they are registered dietitians or have nutritional certification, he or she should not tell you which supplements to take either. If you’re currently on prescription medication, taking fitness supplements without consulting your physician is dangerous. In fact, many herbal supplements become toxic when combined with prescription medication or taken in excess.
Your personal trainer also needs the appropriate certification to create personalized meal plans. While it’s okay for them to suggest decreasing your overall fat intake, it’s not okay for them to tell you to increase your protein or other nutrients. Without a medical degree or dietary certification, a personal trainer may not have the knowledge or expertise needed to give such advice.
Provide Diagnostic Testing
Even with master trainer certification, personal trainers cannot run diagnostic studies for high cholesterol or other types of maladies. Although they should be certified in first aid, CPR, and be able to perform physical assessments, they’re still limited in what they can do. Only a trained medical professional can order and perform diagnostic testing.
Provide Physical Therapy Sessions
Unless your trainer is certified to provide rehabilitation services, he or she is not qualified to provide physical therapy services. It’s best that you view your gym only as a place to where you go to lose weight and build muscle.
Never look at your personal trainer as a cheap alternative to an experienced physical therapist. Although there are unethical trainers who will step in and attempt to fill the shoes of a licensed physical therapist, their lack of knowledge may cause more harm than good.
Provide Psychological Counseling
While it is recommended to exercise regularly, even when you are feeling down, it’s important that you seek out the appropriate help if you are battling depression.
Ongoing sadness warrants the help of a trained professional who can help you start feeling better as soon as possible. Your personal trainer is not qualified to give advice on psychological issues.
Your personal trainer’s job is to show you what you can do and encourage you when you feel like giving up. But they can’t be there holding your hand all time. Personal trainers help people make a change for the better, but they are not miracle workers.
Knowing what you want and working hard is the key to success. Personal trainers can improve your mind, body, and spirit, but like you, they are also only human.