Today I took the qualifying examination for the officially recognized „fitness instructor“ course.
The test had us complete a cooper test (running 2600 meters in less than 12 minutes) and some body-weight exercises (20 Pushups, 20 Crunches, 10 Pullups and a flexibility test).
Also, each applicant had to present 5 strength exercises for each of three randomly chosen muscle groups.
For me, that was „shoulders“, „shin“ and „hip flexors“. Now maybe that’s just me, but training the tibialis anterior for strength seems strange. I can’t think of a sport (not even Muay Thai where you’d block a low-kick with the shin). I even question training the hip-flexors in an isolated way. Isolation training as a whole is a dubious concept for most trainees.
Anyhow, as I was going to present handstand-pushups, divebombers etc. as a means of strengthening the shoulders, the examiner told me to show him isolation exercises with the dumbbells. So, I ended up presenting stuff like lateral raises – the very isolation stuff I so despise.
As for the practical part, I passed the strenght-part with flying colors – obviously, as it’s a joke. The running wasn’t all that great, but I could complete my rounds in time. Now, my knees are aching, though. With my torn ligament, I wasn’t able to run, so I did this with no training at all.
Again, I challenge the examination mode: as a fitness trainer, I’m helping people get stronger, faster and fitter. I’m doing so in an indoor studio of any kind – in my case, that’s my dojo. Very few studios I know of actually have a running track. Even if they do – people usually don’t spend money on personal training to have someone watch them run indoors.
Now running can be a part of a good training program, there’s no doubt about that. But to test a fitness trainer, I’d rather have him complete a high pensum of strenght training than run on a track.
Just my 2 cents.