From the Chief Editor: Lessons from 2017

“If you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.” - Terry Pratchett

It’s important to review where we have been so that we can make intelligent decisions about where we want to go. This is true in both our professional and personal lives. We must take time to reflect on the past year; to identify mistakes and make corrections; to review the data and set goals; to decide whether our previous steps have set us on the right path, a different path, or the wrong path.

As we begin a new year, I would first like to take a moment to thank our esteemed authors for their contributions to our blog. I would also like to thank our readers (you!) for being so supportive and engaging. Our blog team works very hard to create content that will support you in your efforts to improve world health. We do not take this responsibility lightly and we sincerely thank you for placing your trust in us.

I’d like to share with you the top articles from our readers and lessons we learned in 2017.

Age is just a number

Time and again our trainers have proven that age is nothing more than a number. Our chronological age simply identifies our eligibility for certain civic duties and benefits: obtaining one’s driver license, registering for a voter’s card, purchasing alcohol, receiving Social Security, and getting a discount at the local buffet.

One of our most popular articles from 2017 is a response to a question posted on our Facebook page, “Am I too old to be a Personal Trainer?

No matter your age, the comments left on that article will leave you with a sense of inspiration and renewed purpose.

You can achieve anything you set your mind to, your age should never be an excuse. 

Fitness is a self-regulating industry

Our most controversial article, “Make Fitness an Easy Choice: 3 Tips to Help Clients Save Money and Get Fit” was simultaneously stressful and motivating. The fitness industry is not currently regulated by the government. Very few states require personal trainers to even have a certificate to work with clients.

Unfortunately, without regulation, our industry is much like what I imagine the “Wild West” to have been. Everyone wants to be the Sheriff. We all have our ideas of what is right and wrong and we are quick to draw when it comes to defending our territory.

But fitness is not a one-size-fits-all product and self-regulation can create more harm than good. All the bickering and chest-thumping does not serve our industry. That isn't to say that we shouldn't be diligent - just that we need to respect and support one another in a collaborative manner.  

As the Chief Editor, my team and I are dedicated to presenting the science behind each of the claims made in our articles. Notice that I didn’t say anything about right or wrong, good or bad. Our goal is to arm you with the latest research. 

In truth, you are the one who needs to determine what is good for your client to help them achieve their goals. You have conducted assessments, interviews, and workouts. You’ve gotten to know and understand your client’s mindset and goals, their healthy and unhealthy habits, how their body moves and functions. 

Many of our articles will not be exhaustive, examining all facets of a topic (although that is a goal we are striving towards), but we will work hard to present a factual, evidence-based perspective for you to review and decide how you will use the information for the benefit of your clients.

Vanity reigns

It’s hard to deny that vanity is the number one reason any of us has clients. But if that’s what gets them in the door and keeps them coming back - we can certainly deliver and maybe sneak in some holistic fitness in the process.

Some of our most popular articles address certain body parts: the glutes, because everyone “likes big butts and cannot lie.” (Thanks Sir Mix-a-Lot!) And don’t forget about washboard abs! Everyone seems to want a six-pack.

But our articles about exercise and brain health, the connection between obesity and cancer, and functional fitness are not as hot.

This might be because we want to help our clients and therefore our reading habits tend towards finding solutions to their questions. Or could it be that we’re not selling the real benefits of fitness as a lifestyle? You know - the health aspects of exercise.

I think this question should drive our focus in 2018 and push each fitness professional to consider the implications of selling vanity over longevity.

On behalf of everyone at the ISSA, thank you for your time, dedication, professionalism, and passion.

May your new year be happy, healthy, and prosperous.

To your success,

Christina Estrada, Chief Editor

  • Published on January 4, 2018
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