When we say safety, we are talking about the whole, complete personal fitness training experience. From the safety of the programs, you design to the control of safety concerns in the operating environment.
Our message, to “do no further harm to the client”, is not stated casually or with any less importance. Safety is something that needs to be considered before there is a problem from the lack of safety awareness.
The Importance of Safety Awareness
The type of training that you do will determine whether or not you are working in a fitness club or in other types of training environments (home gyms, outdoor training). A PFT has to know all of the relevant safety information for each and every setting where training occurs. This means assuming responsibility for the safety of both yourself and your client, at all times.
Sometimes not viewed as important, or a priority, it is a mistake to underestimate the need for safety in personal fitness training. Think about it – we typically ask/require clients to sign a waiver to release any responsibility for injuries (this should be in one of your business forms), only to then put them squarely in the middle of an environment where accidents can, and do, happen.
So there are a couple of different ways to view safety:
How safe is your equipment?
Do you provide the proper amount of space for all of the activities you ask of your client?
Is the area clear of debris or objects, in the event of a fall?
Do you train your clients within safe physiologic limits?
Nearly every aspect of being a PFT involves safety. Since it is common for fitness clubs to maintain safety policies for the safety of all members, each PFT should also follow this rationale.
Using the fitness club model of safety as an example, most modern clubs are equipped with AED’s and First Aid/CPR/ AED certified personnel. This is the only way to ensure that the safety needs of any client are able to be met. Therefore, all trainers, regardless of experience or tenure, should expect to maintain current First Aid and CPR/AED certifications. In cases where it is not required, it either soon will be (by changing regulations and laws) or should be (independent contractors are an example).
The longer you work as a trainer in the industry, the greater the odds are that you will encounter an emergency situation, sometimes arising from sports play in fitness clubs. or people just being active, in general.
When people exercise in close proximity to each other, the need to help an injured party may extend beyond the safety concerns of just your client. In other words, you may find that you will be required to intervene where or when a safety concern has turned into an injury. For this reason, it is important to be able to help someone in need, while staying mindful of policies that protect all parties involved. In the USA, most states have Good Samaritan laws that protect first responders, when certain provisions are met.
One such provision is the standard of care that comes with being First Aid/CPR/AED certified. When properly certified, you are protected legally from injured parties while rendering aid to the best of your trained abilities. Again, these policies vary by location, and it is the PFT’s responsibility to both know and imple- ment safety standards into their practice. This is just another way of how we show clients (or bystanders) that we care.
First Aid/CPR/AED Training
The need for trainers to be able to help an injured client is not unusual. For this reason, we recommend that all PFT’s (including candidates) should carry current certifications for Basic Life Support (BLS) by taking a valid course. It is im- important to learn how to treat emergency situations in an acute sense. In the USA, the Ameri- can Red Cross is one standard provider. In other territories outside of the USA, agencies like the Red Crescent (or similar) offer this type of training.
Check out what it takes to start a career in personal fitness training. This is your most affordable and fastest way to become a highly qualified personal trainer.
Is your recertification coming up? Learn more about earning your CEU credits. You can find the full list of CEU courses here.
There is always something exciting about earning a new training or coaching certification and applying that new knowledge of how you train your clients. This also helps you hit the reset button.
NESTA and Spencer Institute coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.