>First off, I never have nor ever will claim to be an expert in anything, at least for another 10 years or so LOL, but I do know that from my experience and education (you will never not see me reading something or trying to learn something new, yes I spend my limited free time learning not partying lol). I am in a decent enough place to rant about some of those I have “seen” and heard. I have previously learned and continue to learn from some of the best resources(internet and magazines don’t count ;p) and people out there and it boggles my mind those who claim to be some kind of expert and don’t even have the basics down of an effective way to even DESIGN a program. I truly believe that EVERYONE has something they can offer but some are just not open minded enough or don’t even pay attention to the needs of their clients instead of the $ and that downright pisses me off! I find it astonishing how so many trainers or coaches out there don’t even take the time to assess their clients before designing their programs. How can you possibly expect to help your client(s) excel and/or move forward in their goals when there is no idea of their past training/ nutrition, injury profile and so forth is. Not to mention the psychosocial and other psychological aspects of that persons life that you are supposed to be helping. What is your clients training/nutrition knowledge and background? Do you know even know the absolute basics like the difference between a Par-Q and Parmed-x (I bring that up because in the past week I have had that question asked to me by a freaking trainer ;p)and the importance of a SWOT analysis (business term but very pertinent here too) on someones training and nutrition plan? Do you know how to read and fully understand research studies? Some of these people don’t even know what anthropometric measurements are! Really?!?!? My test for those out there looking for help is this, if they don’t ask you your past, how can they help your future? A good coach or trainer will actually encourage you to learn so you can have control of your health and maintain the lifestyle. If they simply tell you things without teaching you WHY than maybe it’s because they don’t know why and you should look elsewhere. It is also very important to really meet your trainer/coach and be sure they are the right fit for your personality and psychological needs. Motivation is sooo important and the person you hired for help must also know how to tap into whether or not you are best motivated by extrinsic or intrinsic factors, negative or positive motivators and so on. Ask questions and expect answers because these answers will help lead you to your ultimate, progressive and positive life changes. Don’t ever just accept what someone tells you…and most of all listen to your gut. They have got to work the mental muscle too and empowering you to be able to be at least somewhat self-sufficient with your health and fitness needs.