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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

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

Vince McMahon, of WWE fame, once gave me a great tip relating to gym motivation. On days when you’re feeling too lazy to hit the gym, commit at least to a short training session. This way, the workout won’t seem so daunting. “Just say, ‘You know, all I’m going to do today is cardio,’ ” McMahon said. “And once you’re [at the gym], maybe that’s all you do, but chances are it’s not. You’ll probably end up doing more.”

Not having a gym to train in is no excuse either: Your body is a gym. Dumbbells and barbells and benches are great, but you don’t always need them. Pushups, burpees, body-weight lunges, pullups on the kids’ play set down the street—all exercises for which you don’t need a gym but that will kick your ass into shape. “The great thing about body-weight moves is that your gym’s always with you,” says Dan John, one of the most knowledgeable trainers I’ve ever interviewed. (Check him out at danjohn.net.) “Sometimes [when traveling] the hotels will have a weight room, and the heaviest dumbbell is 35 pounds. So I do pushups and handstand pushups against the wall.”

It doesn’t take an advanced degree to learn this information, but these are the lessons they usually don’t spend much time covering in the certification courses.

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