Are Your Fitness Coaches Really Qualified?

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It is clearly evident that the health and fitness “trend” has finally become an epidemic in Egypt. All of a sudden, everyone is a coach, an “athlete” or something in between. Frankly, it’s about time we get with the program.

There are so many incredible new training techniques and fitness tools that go beyond the old school “salet el hadeed” approach. These awesome techniques are finally becoming a highly popular alternative to body building. Why? Because they’re fun, realistically challenging and they make us look and feel good.

Your average working class, Egyptian boy and girl, man and woman, is now doing burpees as if their lives depended on it – it’s a love/hate relationship, we know. Not only that, but they rave about it all over social media the next day. Yes! It’s finally cool to be fit.

The most exciting thing about this revolutionary fitness movement throughout the country is that it is changing our culture for future generations to come; inspiring people to get off the couch and into the “playground” – The Fitness Playground – has never been this easy.

It’s great if you work in the fitness industry; now is definitely your time to thrive. However, as a participant, there are several questions you should be asking about the people who are prescribing your training programs. Like doctors and engineers and teachers, all fitness practitioners are required to go through extensive training and education before they are allowed to prescribe training programs and coach individuals and groups.

Some of the questions you should be asking are:

Does my coach have any kind of theoretical training education in this field? If so, did they receive this extensively sophisticated training over the course of one weekend? One week?

Do they have any understanding of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics? Do they even know what tendons and ligaments are, how they function and how they affect the elasticity of muscle and movement?

If your coaches are, in fact, trained and educated and certified, through which fitness organization did they acquire this training, and consequently their credentials?

As a participant you need to know that there are numerous fitness organizations out there that give credentials to anyone wanting to start a career in health and fitness. You have the NSCA, NASM, ACSM, ACE, and the ISSA, just to name a few, the ISSA probably being the least competitive out of the aforementioned. Why? It is an online education course, relatively superficial in content and the certificate is awarded once you complete an online, open book, finish-at-your-own-pace exam.

personal_trainingHaving said that, any education is surely better than none. And then you have the CrossFit Level 1 Coaching Certificate that is awarded over the course of one weekend. Anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, program design, injury prevention, nutrition, strength, cardiovascular and power training techniques in less than 48 hours; any one who has received proper fitness education before will laugh at the prospect.

We are talking about educational content that is normally delivered, lectured, practiced, appreciated and understood in university programs that span 4-6 years and have a rigorous examination process. And yet we so casually “give” ourselves freely and trustingly to our coaches, because surely they know best. But do they?

Ask. Ask them about their education background, not just their athletic background. Some of the best athletes in the world have been the worst coaches. Competing and coaching come from fairly different worlds, believe it or not. It takes discipline to be an athlete, it takes on-going education to be a coach.

Make sure your coaches have experienced both worlds. Don’t follow blindly just because they do what they do, and they look good doing it. You only have one body to live in and it is your duty to make sure that your coaches fully understand the programs they are prescribing.

So, now you know which questions you need to ask your coaches.

Who are your coaches? Are they educated in the field of health and fitness? Do they have credentials? If so, how in-depth is their theoretical knowledge of this practice and how good are they at applying it to YOUR training?

You would never go to an unlicensed medical practitioner for your health, now would you? The same should apply to your fitness.

The road to athletic excellence begins in the classroom. Make sure your coaches have been there.


The author of this article can be contacted directly at The same author can be contacted for training and fitness education purposes.


WE SAID THIS: Check out our interview with Nirvana Zaher, founder of The Fitness Playground, which focuses on education and technique training unlike other fitness groups.