I admit to feeling a bit bad about dissing Jillian Michaels on my blog. It isn’t in my nature to do this so publicly and I surely dislike knocking another trainer. We all work differently and come from varying educational backgrounds so our styles and approaches vary widely. However, Michaels has crafted herself in to a very public, fitness-for-the-masses figure and, as such, must exercise extreme due diligence in her profession. She is admired and emulated by so many people who are working toward a healthier lifestyle. It is precisely because Michaels has so positioned herself that I expressed my concern.
Well, I have another concern regarding instruction on kettlebell use. IDEA Health & Fitness Association hosts large fitness conferences, the place where many fitness professionals obtain continuing education, practice new skills, network with other fitness professionals and then bring this all back to their fitness publics. A recent IDEA session on kettlebell use is the case in point. I am not going to repost the video here for a couple of reasons, but if you are figuring out how to use kettlebells on your own, follow the link, have a look at the video and the comments below the video by Josh Hillis. Josh’s points are constructive, instructive and professional. The video poses a number of concerns but definitely highlights how poor form is encouraged by kettlebells which are too light.
This also emphasizes the fact that health & fitness consumers need to be aware when seeking services. A certification in one aspect of fitness does not necessarily qualify an instructor in another aspect. I do not look for obstetric services from my orthopedic surgeon or autobody work from my mechanic, unless, of course, they are qualified in both fields. And, while the internet provides fabulous resources, you must be an educated and critical consumer in order to sort the good from the not-so-good out here.
So it goes for health & fitness. A kettlebell certification does not qualify me to teach studio cycling and a personal trainer or group fitness certification does not qualify me to work, without specialized training, with all the equipment which is available.
When it comes to your health and fitness, keep your eyes open, ask questions, do your research, double check. As with most things, it is a matter of caveat emptor.