Should Personal Trainers Be Licensed?

Some people have been injured by personal trainers.

Some people have been helped by personal trainers.

There’s a big gap between the skill level of trainers and there are some with very high level certifications that frequently hurt their clients. Similarly, there are trainers with very low level certifications who know the body very well. All of this raises the question, “Should personal training be regulated by a state license program?”

After all, state licensure is being pushed by the medically driven, ACSM and the NSCA so wouldn’t it ensure that personal trainers have strict guidelines to follow, thus provide perfect training for every client? Wouldn’t it mean that the very best science is being used to promote the very highest quality training? Shouldn’t we rely on the United States governing medical organizations for the best up-to-date information? Shouldn’t those we aren’t licensed be punished for giving advice contrary to the Doctors?

In my opinion, the answer is no. 

…and it is a very strong opinion.

Here’s the deal.

I was once entrenched in a one-thought, medically bound doctor and science mentality. I was a hard convert in to the idea of free-thinking and individualism for alternative health professionals. You see, personal trainers who purely seek to make people stronger are simply personal trainers. But those of us who seek to aid with nutrition, strength training, flexibility to increase quality of life cease to simply be trainers and become Alternative Health Specialists. I worked in cardiology for three years, physical therapy for three years, have a degree in preventative medicine …..I used to push/drink the medical kool-aid. However, after seeing the kool-aid’s lack of results, I began to research on my own and change my tune.

…and I have been very successful with it…

I can only begin to count the amount of clients I’ve been able to help with chronic pain, debilitating arthritis, “chronic” conditions with blood sugar and cholesterol, depression, addictions, etc. by betraying the medically sound chains I cut my teeth on. It’s part of the beauty of being an Alternative Health Specialist. I get to use tools from every train of thought to create what I feel helps my clients best.

I was angry when I found out that much of my college education on nutrition wasn’t adequately backed by studies. In fact, I found that most of what I had been taught was actually contrary to peer-reviewed studies. I was confused as I bounced through several training organizations and found that NONE of them held the perfect solution. I continue to be upset at the way big companies have the power to sway health organizations based on their money.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that Alternative Health is an art and a science. My experience has been that licensing doesn’t make a program more sound or less individualized. Licensing alternative health fields simply leads to a program that’s been individualized to a single train of thought, which is ultimately based on a single people group.

Lets keep alternative health programs alone and leave the licensure to the doctors

CLICK HERE to read the original article that inspired this post.


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