Why is CPD important for a fitness professional?
This is a guest blog post written by David Donaldson, founder of Prestige Fitness. David is a celebrity personal trainer based in Manchester and has worked with the likes of Tulisa, Chelsee Healey, Capital FM and others, with numerous fitness qualifications.
When you work in the fitness industry for a long time, you develop your own methods and principles which become embedded in who you are and what advice you give out to the universe, so it’s absolutely imperative that you develop yourself as a coach of any discipline. The common pitfall that professionals encounter is that their training qualifications can become outdated, irrelevant and even inferior to competitors.
The fitness industry is a goliath of evolution – it is constantly changing. Every day you find new information on everything you thought you knew. This in turn gives you two options; keep up or get left behind.
There are two vital cases for CPD in my opinion; one is safety and proper practice, the other is personal development.
As a personal trainer, nutritionist and performance coach, I have been on more courses than I can remember (luckily I have the certificates!), but the knowledge gained from them is a completely invaluable asset in my artillery. We train people from all walks of life who very often want to know more and expect you to know everything – from learning the basics to picking your brain about reflexology. In the client’s eyes, you are an expert. Even though we know it’s not possible to know everything, in my opinion if you have been on a course and have the fundamental knowledge of a certain area, then you are a good personal trainer or coach – not an average one.
Closely related are the safety implications of attempting something you know little about. As I’m not a yoga teacher and have no training whatsoever, I wouldn’t offer yoga-specific corrective exercise with a client without this training. Unfortunately, a lot of professionals believe they can just adapt their existing knowledge with no specific training and, whilst this may be possible in some areas, it could be potentially dangerous in something specialised.
Even what we would believe to be minor training, such as learning how to use battle ropes, skipping ropes and even boxing, is important. Some personal trainers don’t invest in proper training and just copy YouTube video exercises which they swiftly implement into a client’s program. To date, I haven’t come across any proclaimed professionals online who completely know what they are doing and watch in disbelief as they attempt to copy something without understanding it themselves. The CPD courses are a worthy investment – from learning the proper biomechanics of loading, gauging and activating a very simple movement to understanding the logic of performing an action at a certain speed – proper training is crucial and as a professional you can tell you who knows what they are talking about and those who sadly don’t.
As a personal trainer, I routinely get our trainers together and ask them to train each other and even myself. This is to ascertain different and new training techniques and to understand how they are implemented. Every trainer’s way is different and this is why there is a lot of controversy in the industry about what is “the right way”. This is why CPD courses are designed to be fresh, updated and based on firm evidence and countless case studies – you can be confident that what you learn today will prepare you and your clients for tomorrow.
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