How do you know whom to trust these days? There are people all over the internet claiming to know “the” answer. Everybody has the cure for fat loss. Everyone has the best way to put on huge slabs of muscle. There is an expert in every town that has a blog and a website, just waiting for you to log in and “trust” them.
Every gym out there has the “best” trainers. If you don’t believe me, just ask them. I have been in and out of gyms, all of my life and every single one I have been in had the best. That is an amazing accomplishment. So many of the best spread all over the US.
There are doctors and chiropractors out there that all have the “best” answers to all of your problems.
Now, there are “corrective” trainers that can fix you in a moments notice, just by you explaining what is wrong with you…over the internet even! Experts are everywhere! It must be maddening for the consumer out there that really doesn’t know who to trust and what to look for.
Don’t worry, this isn’t another “15 things you need to look for in a trainer” or anything like that. Rather this will be more of a wake up call for everyone, whether in the field or not. There are 20-some-year old message board guru’s with degrees and certifications from all over the world and internet articles in the 100’s, along with testimonials 4 pages thick from everyone under the sun. Usually they have a few “pro” athletes, college stars, and a fitness model or two in their resume. So they must be experts, right? Well, maybe.
You see, anyone can claim that they are an expert and most of us do in one way or another. So what makes an expert? Better yet, who can you really trust to get good info and how out there really knows their stuff? These are very hard questions to answer. I know a lot of “coaches” and “trainers” that are excellent and I would recommend them and trust them with about anything fitness or performance related. There are others that have made themselves look the part, that in reality…really know nothing more than you could dig up in a few books. These people have become excellent marketers and know how to pimp themselves very well. Experts? Well, maybe.
When it comes down to it, I honestly believe that experience trumps everything else. What that means is that no degree or certification means much without some solid years of experience to back those things up. It is easy enough to study for a fitness certification exam and pass it. No experience necessary in most cases. A degree is very valuable and tells me that the person at least studied in the field, but again, many of these people come out of their college or university programs swinging, but have no real experience. Don’t get me wrong, I value certifications and degrees a lot. I have a few of both and they go a long way. However, what really sets apart the “expert” out there; in my opinion, is real experience.
If I am going to look for answers on fat loss training, I am looking to guys like Alwyn Cosgrove and Craig Ballentine first. These guys have years of good, solid experience and its all backed up with a ton of success. They hold nothing back and have both gotten solid results. If I am looking for answers for getting bigger and stronger and improving my athletic performance, I am going to look to guys like, Jason Ferruggia, Zach Even Esh, and Joe Defranco. Again, years of solid experience and tons of outstanding results.
If I am looking for advice on fixing someone’s physical problems, guys like Mike Robertson, and Bill Hartman, are the first people I would confer with. If I am looking for solid information on diet, and nutrition, I look to guys like John Berardi, and Chris Mohr. These guys know their stuff and have the experience to back it up.
There are plenty of other names out there that I would also look to, but again, for me it comes down to experience in doing what you are advertising your expertise in.
Someone called me an expert the other day. I laughed. I don’t know if I am an expert or not. I know I am good at what I do and have over 15 years of experience in doing it. Me being an expert is for someone else to decide. I do however take pride in having my degrees, certifications and a lot of years under my belt. I know that stands for something and makes me a lot more effective than I was at 24 years old. People tend to get caught up in the hype of internet gurus and don’t ever check to see if these people have any real world experience or not.
What is scary is that I see new “experts” popping up almost everyday with a blog and a website, promoting their services to the general public, and most of these people have zero experience other than lifting weights, training on their own and 1000’s of post counts on internet message boards. These people even have tons of support from the zombies sitting at their computers for 12 hours a day logged on to the favorite fitness message board site.
I wonder if there is any other profession out there where someone can become an expert overnight and sell themselves as a guru just by writing some articles for internet sites, and having a cheap certification or two?
Let’s stop the madness. If you are a consumer, ask questions. Ask for their experience first. Don’t get caught up in how many articles your trainer has written for an off the wall internet muscle building site to deem this person the next coming for personal trainers or performance coaches. Don’t be afraid to ask these people how old they are and how many actual years that have been doing this outside of school. Do your homework. If you are one of those “experts” do yourself a favor… Keep working hard, keep studying the craft, and be patient. Get all of the experience you can get before you make yourself out to be the next Alwyn Cosgrove, Bill Hartman, or Mike Robertson. Hell, even the next Keith Scott. (I had to throw that in there for a laugh!)