When I decided to embark on my first ultra marathon run of 100 kilometres non-stop, I had no idea what was involved or if it was even possible. I had only done one previous marathon and that was 26 years previously and had ended up walking the last 6 miles after blowing up. So I resolved to get as much information as I could about how to handle this event.
Where is the best place to look for reliable information? Answer; the people who have already done it successfully. So I bought the autobiographies of the top ultra marathon runners in the world – here they tell you not only about their experiences during races and how they coped, but also how they trained, what nutrition they used etc.etc. Not all were the same because people are different – but there were some common threads, so I started with these and then experimented with the others to see what worked best for me.
The same applies to everything. The people best qualified to give you sound advice are not the people who have paper qualifications coming out of their ears. If you want to lose weight, ask somebody who has lost weight and kept it off, not some overweight GP or some nutritionist or celebrity chef or trainer who has never known what it’s like to be fat. If you want to get rich, you don’t take advice from a pauper or from some financial ‘expert’ or someone with a master’s degree in economics or business studies, but from those who are rich. Read the autobiographies of multi millionaires and learn from those who have done it, not those who claim to have all the answers but have never put it into practice (and there are many self-proclaimed experts and gurus on the internet whose personal results don’t match up to their claims).
The same applies to personal training. Whatever your goal is, choose a trainer that has already experienced it and really knows what it takes to achieve it, not someone who claims to have a certain qualification or a great new system of training. Many clients have said to me that they chose me as their trainer because they knew that I had once been overweight and out of shape, a heavy drinker and chain smoker but am living proof that you can change your life. You can read all the textbooks in the world and you can be the most experienced trainer in the world, but, unless you KNOW what it feels like to be in your client’s shoes and KNOW from your own experience what is required, you will always be at a massive disadvantage in real knowledge.
So if you want to be a bodybuilder or a power lifter choose a trainer who has been there and bought the tee-shirt – regardless of how many years he has been training people he will at least understand what’s required. If you want to improve in a particular sport, you’d do best to choose a trainer who has some experience of playing that sport at a reasonable level at least.
You can save yourself a lot of time following false trails if you go straight to the people who have already achieved what you wish to achieve and mostly they are more than happy to share their knowledge with you.