Well hey there friends! Sorry for not chatting earlier, I got caught up with….life. 


Anyways let’s take a quick look at some pictures to get us all caught up and then on to the good stuff!



rice cake cereal

RIce cakes as cereal as I have no willpower with real cereal



Clif Bar was nice enough to send some samples for our athletes



I have been working really hard to building my booty



Straight up killing my workouts



Seeing some awesome progress 🙂



Planning and preparing


Being a conditioning bad-ass



So that’s what I’ve been up to lately and now, onto more pressing matters.



The truth of it is, this has been bothering me for quite some time so I’m not going to waste any getting to the point. Some blogger falls in love with fitness, starts preaching to everyone and anyone that will listen about their fitness beliefs, gets certified and immediately starts taking on clients without EVER HAVING TRAINED SOMEONE UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF QUALIFIED!





They get their certification and 5 seconds later are offering online training with cookie cutter programs you can pull off the internet for free and pimp themselves out as a ‘certified trainer’.


Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not against online training, there are some very talented people who offer their services and have actually put in the work it takes to become a good trainer. It just makes me sick that people think they can get a simple certification and then start dishing out advice without learning the ins and outs of everything first. Just because someone looks healthy and fit doesn’t mean they should be giving paid advice to others. Anyone can get certified (through at least some organization, they all vary in their requirements) but that doesn’t mean that person is qualified to be giving out advice to others.





There are so many different certifications and pseudo-certifications out there it’s enough to make your head spin (personal trainer, group fitness instructor, crossfit certified, bootcamp cert, bosu cert, kettlebell cert, etc). The funny thing is, I don’t agree with a lot of what various cert programs teach – squats are dangerous, different form cues, don’t have people do such and such, and just the general way most teach you to design programming. A certification is just a piece of paper. It takes personal knowledge, research, and then trial and error to find out what works best sometimes.



I just don’t think you can learn what you need to be a good trainer from one course. I feel that every trainer needs to have hands on experience working with someone who really knows their stuff. I love what Nick Tumminello says in this article:



It doesn’t matter which certification you’ve got because most of the stuff you’ll actually use “in the trenches” will come from non-certification based education anyway.


If you’ve passed a test from an organization, it simply means that you’ve memorized what that specific organization feels is important based on their system.




I really don’t care what certifications someone has, I want to know their personal fitness beliefs, who they’ve worked with and the results they’ve gotten, and how they come up with programs. I also think attitude and chemistry between a client and their trainer is really important.


And this whole getting certified thing doesn’t just apply to personal trainers, it’s everywhere in the health industry because it’s so hard to regulate who gets to call themselves what. Heck, almost anyone can call themselves a ‘health coach’ these days.


Nutritionists & nutrition coaches make me very nervous in particular. I find it terribly frightening that certain people feel qualified to give advice to others when they themselves may need nutritional guidance. Certain bloggers mask themselves as ‘healthy, happy, and having a great relationship with food’ when it really couldn’t be further from the truth. They appear malnourished, clearly deprive themselves of certain ‘bad foods’ and over exercise (usually while wearing oversized headbands) and call themselves ‘healthy’. Being super skinny does not make one healthy, but I worry that young girls may see it that way. The fact that people like this are going to soon be giving advice when they should be the one receiving it is a scary thought that genuinely makes me shudder.




The fitness/health industry is a difficult one to work in and navigate through. Difficult in the sense that clients I work with are constantly being bombarded with information and it can be challenging to get them to stick to something without them wanting to jump ship the next time a crazy fad comes along (HCG drops anyone?).


That is why client/trainer trust is so important. My clients trust me enough to get them results – and I work hard to build and maintain that trust without taking it for granted. I encourage my clients to ask a lot of questions and if I don’t know the answer, I don’t bullshit them. I say I’m not certain but I’ll look into it or point them in the direction of someone who does. I’d rather be honest and say I don’t know then tell someone something untruthful. I also make sure that they know that certain things I do (the way I eat, my training schedule) works for ME and may not be right for them but that we can work together and find something that suits their goals and their lifestyle.


There is too much pride in the fitness industry. No one wants to admit they were wrong or that they changed their opinion. Changing your opinion is normal and shows growth. This time last year I still believed that you had to eat several small meals a day in order to keep your metabolism going and now I don’t usually have my first meal until 12pm – 3pm (That being said I do still believe multiple meals works best for the majority, Jen Comas Keck wrote an article about it HERE).



I am by no means a perfect trainer. I am still learning, growing and evolving and will continue to research and learn as I go. I have made mistakes and I always try and learn from them. I have learned what works and doesn’t through trial and error. I still have things that I test out and try and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I am not ashamed to say that I could have done certain things better.This job requires you to continually read articles and research about different training tools and methods and then you have to sort out the bullshit from the truth. You cannot be complacent, you have to want more.





So please, if you’re someone looking to hire a trainer or nutrition coach online or in person, please, please, ask lots of questions. Don’t assume that because they look a certain way that they have a good knowledge base of what they’re doing (they could just be following free program from bodybuilding.com). With so many people out there calling themselves ‘fitness experts’ it can be hard to navigate. I know people want results fast but that doesn’t mean you should rush to train with someone. Take your time and do your homework!








P.S. If you are looking for an online fitness/nutrition coach I’d be happy to recommend a few that I greatly respect.




Let’s Chat –

Any Personal Trainer Horror Story’s?



Being Certified Doesn’t Make You Qualified
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16 thoughts on “Being Certified Doesn’t Make You Qualified

  • August 17, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I adore this post, and 100% agree with you. I’m actually nervous when it comes to picking out a nutrition or fitness coach, because it’s so easy to become ‘qualified’ nowadays. It frustrates me to no end that people can put themselves out there as a certified coach when they have little practical experience, and are clearly harbouring some extremely disordered tendencies themselves. And as for your little jab there….yea. It’s people like that that just piss me off.
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted..Five Things Friday 08/16/13.My Profile

    • August 17, 2013 at 11:49 am

      Haha I didn’t know how many people would pick up on that. I am just so beyond frustrated with people who influence others when they should be seeking help themselves. They think that passion translates into knowledge which it doesn’t and they take their own experience and think they can coach others. Grrrr.

  • August 17, 2013 at 10:28 am

    I couldn’t have said it better myself! I have stopped reading many bloggers specifically for the reasons you talk about here. Some more than others (and I know we’re on the same page here), but there seems to be such a trend of selling yourself as the world’s newest expert on such-and-such workout plan or diet, when really it’s all just bull shit. The even worse thing is the large number of readers who take everything they read on the internet as 100% truth, especially when it’s coming from emaciated “trainers” and “coaches” who have never actually worked with a human being in their life. Argh, it frustrates me so much.
    Stephanie @itrainthereforeieat recently posted..New Food FindsMy Profile

    • August 17, 2013 at 11:42 am

      There are just way too many people who fall in love with some fitness trend and then tout themselves to be an expert on it by taking some online course and then sell themselves to their readers. It is so dangerous that there are impressionable people who believe whatever these bloggers say because of the way they look. It is infuriating!

  • August 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I love this so much and am sharing it with quite a few people. This needs to be said, understood and realized. Thank you for this, I hope it truly speaks to people and helps them better understand where you’re coming from.

    p.s. adore your blog, too 🙂 cheers.

    • August 18, 2013 at 10:43 am

      Thanks so much! I had been getting frustrated and upset for a while, so it was time to let it out. I especially don’t like when people pretend to be one thing on their blog but act differently elsewhere, there’s nothing wrong with admitting your life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

  • August 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Thank you so very much for this post! As a “health coach”, it saddens me to see that some of my peers have simply passed a test and gotten a certification. I have a Master’s Degree in Nutrition, spent years figuring out my own nutrition before even thinking about advising anyone, and am constantly educating myself and learning more. It gives us all a bad reputation when so many others are simply picking up on a fad and dishing out advice. It’s definitely hard to see some of the bloggers out there who are influencing so many women. It’s all too easy to fall into the comparison trap and when we are comparing ourselves to unhealthy behaviors it can lead to a dangerous outcome. Thank you so much for your honesty and sharing light on this very important topic!
    Danielle recently posted..Is the Scale Worth the Fight?My Profile

    • August 18, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Thanks Danielle, it really does make it hard for people who have done the research and work and put the hours in to combat those who simply get their piece of paper (or not) and start dishing advice left right and centre. It is definitely one of the most frustrating things about the health and fitness industry – along with shake weights and people thinking they can drink green coffee and lose 20lbs in a week.

  • August 18, 2013 at 9:00 am

    I could not have said this better myself! Sometimes you just want to shake people and say “wake up, your actions are negatively affecting others!” It also makes the job of real qualified, professional health and fitness experts so much more difficult.

    • August 18, 2013 at 10:48 am

      I often wonder if some people realize the detriment and harm they are doing to others, or if they are just completely oblivious. Either way it is something that I don’t see going away soon so people will just have to continue to speak up and out.

  • August 18, 2013 at 9:57 am

    So honest and raw! I once fell into the trap of getting an online coach without doing the research first, and ended up with a cookie cutter program that wasn’t at all what I had asked for. I ended up with a couple hundred less in my pocket but at least I learnt my lesson. I can understand how frustrating these things must be though for other trainers who are actually qualified. Have you checked out biolayne before? He’s on YouTube and has a ton of knowledge about the fitness industry. His videos are long lol but I always learn something from them.

    • August 18, 2013 at 10:50 am

      I adore biolayne and have spent many a night just watching his videos – usually in the dark, lol. I once hired a nutritionist as well and got the most basic cookie cutter program and after he sent it to me I never once got a follow up email asking how I was doing, if things were working, nothing.

      I just feel bad and worry that certain people will listen to what these ‘coaches’ say verbatim whether or not it’s healthy or right for them.

  • August 22, 2013 at 9:39 am

    I hear ya!

    p.s.: You are doing great!
    p.p.s. Clif Bars are awesome. They are my fuel for those extra long rides/runs! I want me some samples too! lol 😉

    • August 22, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Thanks Kierston, once again just trying to be patient with my body. Ya cliff just sent an email to our gym account saying they wanted some fitness/nutrition people to give them out to athletes – sweet deal 🙂

  • August 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Just catching up on your blog – had to comment on this post!!! Love it!!!!

    You know I 100% agree with you. My opinions on certain topics have changed over the years, and I’m happy to admit it, but recently got criticism for it – like you, I think showing a change in belief systems just proves that I am a better trainer now than I was then, but I guess some people don’t see it like that.

    As a manager of a gym, I oversee a team of 80+ trainers and get sent CVs almost every day. The certification doesn’t matter at all – it’s all about someone’s passion. That being said, if they are cultish about what they believe in, that’s not good either! What I look for is someone with an open mind, who is confident in their own system, but still willing to learn from others.
    Tara @ Sweat like a Pig recently posted..Training in IbizaMy Profile

    • August 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      I totally agree with the open mindset, it’s so important otherwise you’ll never continue to learn and grow in whatever field you’re in. I have been the worst at commenting but I have been reading each and every one of your posts and love them, especially the one today. I already have a reverse diet in place for after my show so I can re-build but I’m taking in 2-3x the carbs this year than I was last year. I love being strong 🙂


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