“False Prophets of Fitness” are those people who do not have the degrees, certifications or credentials to be health and fitness experts. These “prophets” start blogs. They create online fitness videos and dvds. They lead boot camps and other workout classes. They give advice on diet/nutrition and tell you how and what to eat. You might say to yourself, “What is the harm?”
The harm with false prophets of fitness is that inappropriate workout and nutrition plans can affect the body in a negative way and can cause long term medical and health problems. False prophets of fitness do not have the education, skills, training and knowledge needed to develop safe and effective
workout and nutrition plans. Unlike certified/credentialed personal trainers,
nutritionists and dieticians, false prophets of fitness do not take classes, go
to workshops or training seminars, or otherwise stay current on scientifically
based health, fitness and nutrition matters. The workout and nutrition plans
that false prophets of fitness promote are usually not researched, tested or
Now, you might still be saying to yourself, “What is the harm with taking health, fitness and nutrition advice from someone who doesn’t have the appropriate credentials?” Well, I would like you to ask yourself, would you take advice from an unlicensed/uneducated lawyer or doctor?
Like a lawyer or doctor, a personal trainer/nutritionist/dietician must take classes and pass exams in order to get certified. Once he/she has received his/her certification, in order to maintain it, the personal trainer/nutritionist/dietician must stay knowledgeable on current scientifically based health, fitness and nutritional developments. In order to stay current, a board of certification’s approved continuing education classes (CEUs) must be taken. If the CEUs do not fit the board’s required standards, the certification does not get renewed.
Certified/credentialed health and fitness professionals are held accountable to a national (or international) health and fitness board. The board ensures that
trainer/nutritionist/dietician is qualified, maintains a level of competency and knowledge that protects the health and safety of the community which the health and fitness professional serves. That being said, certified/credentialed health and fitness professionals must be CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and AED (Automated External Defibrillation) certified. These are life saving techniques. Without these certifications, the board of certification will revoke the
In addition, like a lawyer or doctor, a certified/credentialed personal
trainer/nutritionist/dietician must follow a code of ethics and conduct. If the
personal trainer/nutritionist/dietician does not follow the code of ethics and conduct and/or the board does not feel that the trainer/nutritionist/dietician is competent, knowledgeable or is using safe practices, the board will cancel the certification/credential.
In the Health and Fitness industry, there are many False Prophets of Fitness. The workout programs and nutrition plans that false prophets promote are usually not researched, tested or scientifically based and can cause long term health problems. When looking for fitness videos and classes as well as looking for diet and nutritional advice, it is important to do research to make sure that the fitness information and nutritional advice is from a reputable source. A reputable source is a source that has the background, training, knowledge, education and credentials that gives that source the ability to pass on information and advice on health and fitness matters.
10 common signs of a “False Prophets of Fitness”:
1. Will not have the appropriate degrees, credentials and/or certificates in health, fitness and nutrition.
2. Will not list his/her credentials, certifications, education, training or background.
3. When asked, what his/her certifications/credentials are, a false prophet of fitness will have a difficult time giving a straight, to-the-point answer.
4. Will claim to have a specific certification/credential but his/her certification/credential cannot be validated through a recognized certifying agency.
5. May only have a specialty certification (Zumba, TKB, BodyPump, ect.). A specialty certification allows the instructor to teach that format but does not allow the instructor to give specific, individualized health and fitness information or advice.
6. Will sometimes use credentials, that are not relevant to health, fitness or nutrition (such as a Ph.D/Doctor of Computer Science), as a method to make themselves appear to be a doctor or expert of health and medicine.
7. May usually prescribe the same workout and nutrition plans to all of his/her clients.
8. Is usually unable to answer health, fitness and nutrition questions.
9. Will post articles and other documents, which are repeats of information already posted by certified/credentialed experts, and may try to pass this information off as his/her own.
10. Is usually not CPR/AED certified.
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