Do You Need to Be a Qualified Trainer to Know What You're Talking About?

A certificate can’t replace what you learn in the gym

Do You Need to Be a Qualified Trainer to Know What You're Talking About?

My co-worker Matt Tuthill recently asked me if I had a C.S.C.S. certification (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist). For some reason, he thought I did. I don’t. I mentioned to him, probably in some desperate attempt to validate my standing as a senior staff member at a fitness/bodybuilding magazine, that I’ve interviewed enough highly regarded trainers, strength coaches, and athletes that my fitness knowledge is probably as great, if not greater, than the average personal trainer’s.

Is this true? Who knows, but it sort of makes sense. Let’s be clear on one thing: I don’t consider myself an expert in the field of high performance training or sports nutrition, but I’ve certainly learned a lot over the years from individuals who’ve logged thousands of hours training clients, as well as from successful athletes and actors who practically live in the weight room.

Here are a few of those nuggets of wisdom: Writing about people who’ve faced adversity is my favorite assignment. I’ve interviewed famous athletes that came from humble backgrounds (Terrell Owens and Adrian Peterson, for example); a young man who got in the best shape of his life and became a national champion bodybuilder after becoming paralyzed from the waist down (Colt Wynn); and inmates serving life sentences who decided to focus their energies on bettering themselves through weight training and competing in prison bodybuilding competitions. All of these guys had one thing in common: excuses that could have easily kept them out of the gym but didn’t.