I am starting to see some substantial change in our industries fitness professionals. A change for the better.
What I am seeing within the fitness industry is a greater appreciation of diversity. Please bare in mind that I am not talking about the professionals who chose to associate themselves within a speciality like bodybuilding, competitive CrossFit, powerlifting, olympic weightlifting etc where there is a clear means to their activities. These are performance based sports that do not always have health, wellness and general fitness in mind. The group I am talking about are the true fitness trainers who are working with “average Joe’s”, not athletes, who are willing and able to adapt their strategies and techniques to suit the very mixed range of individuals that seek help to be the best version of themselves.
Here are just a few ways in which the successful fitness professional of the future will be able to identify and implement diversity:
These trainers are able to help clients with lifestyle changes and adapt exercise and dietary protocols to suit their client’s situations and do not try to fit them into a peg hole that suits their own personal background and interests. They will understand that there is no one diet or training protocol that rules them all and their ability to identify suitable and sustainable methods for each client will make them stand out from the rest.
If you really take time to listen to your clients goals and needs as well as the logistics and limitations there lifestyles provide, then more often then not you will find that our industry text books and scientific evidence do not provide us many answers, rather theoretical models under controlled environments that may not always be relevant for your client. Methodologies and populations are often far from your reality, due to practical constraints and required controlled environments. Make sure you understand the limitations of each study and make a choice based on your clients situation and do not forget what is most important, sustainable compliance.
P.S. If you do not stay up to date with the scientific literature at all, then shame on you.
A forward thinking professional will also understand that function needs to come before performance if sustainability and longevity are priorities. Enhancing function is where diversity becomes very important. Because of our diverse range of movements in life and certainly in competitive sports, we need to rethink if the constraint of traditional bodybuilding exercises actually prepares us for the wonderfully awkward movements and quick turns that life throws at us. 3D training is increasing in popularity as a growing study of chain reaction biomechanics is taking place, which allows us to design movement programs that are much more “functional” for those wanting enhanced bodily function for life and sports.
I sincerely hope that my observations are true and that this is not just a selective perception due to mingling with like minded individuals. There are at least an increasing number of educations and individuals providing and promoting the insights I have mentioned above and if you want to remain in the top of the fitness profession, then I think you need to get on this wagon.