Research Techniques for Personal Trainers

Ron Clark

Being an effective personal trainer requires constant education. Exercise physiology and nutrition, which represent the core knowledge of an efficient personal trainer, have always been exploding technologies. Textbooks in these fields are continuously replaced because of the plethora of new studies constantly emerging in these fields.

Your clients will no doubt be exposed to misinformation fed to them through various media. They need to be able to look to you as an authority to either confirm or refute much of the material they are exposed to concerning diet and exercise. It is therefore up to you to understand the research techniques that will make you stand out among less informed personal trainers. Your clients will consider you an up-to-date expert that they can rely upon for accurate information.

Make sure you keep up with various magazines and newspapers. Such sources are variable in their accuracy in reporting new trends in nutrition and exercise, but serve as a primary source of information for most of your average clients. Your clients will be reading these and come to you with questions from these.

Research

If you need information from magazines on virtually any topic, your first stop should be to your local public library. Ask a receptionist for a reference book called The Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature. It lists just about every subject you can think of. Public libraries also have newspaper files, usually on microfilm. These too supply usually accurate information in a nontechnical manner. A particularly good source is the New York Times Index.

You might also want to check out the book stacks that cover subjects related to diet and exercise. Most libraries rapidly obtain new books on these subjects because they generate intense interest in most people. Again, such books vary in accuracy. Beware of books offering easy diets or scams. They are most likely sheer garbage.

Check back next Wednesday when we’ll discuss scientific journals and how to distinguish the good versus the bad!

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