Let’s just say you are an average Jane or Joe who has been exercising, either for a long time or only recently, but have been asked by a friend or family member to “try out what you are doing.” Let’s further say you are not a fitness trainer and have never trained anybody before.
What are the pros and cons about sharing with this person? What should you be concerned about? What are you worrying about that maybe you shouldn’t be?
If you are in this position, this post is for you.
I’m going to start off by discussing what the pros are for sharing a Functional Fitness program with somebody. By definition, Functional Fitness, is a form of fitness which is a more generalized, avoid injury, stay healthy, well-balanced, help with old age, kinda fitness. Therefore, you have an advantage of not sharing something incredibly crazy and extreme as a rule of thumb. Take note, however, there are many workouts and exercises which have potential to harm. I am just saying the overall theme is a pretty safe, well balanced one.
Another pro is that you might be teaching somebody how to engage in a type of program that will have benefits for many years and into old age. In contrast, running and some forms of weight lifting can take their toll on older folks if done to extreme. I have argued and will continue to argue that the type of fitness you get from Functional Fitness programs (if done right) is the type of fitness you can take with you your entire life. So, remember you are giving a very special gift by helping somebody “get into” your program.
But you are not a traininer? No problem. I trained folks for years before getting a certification. And even with that, I do not have a masters degree in fitness or any other health related field. The key here is to only share what you are actually knowledgable on and do not exceed your level of understanding.
With that said, you shouldn’t be doing something you don’t know enough about to do in a safe manner to begin with! If you never learned proper form on Deadlifts or Kettlebell Swings, then shame on you! Stop what you are doing and learn proper form for yourself. Best case, you are missing out on the benefits, but worse case you are on a path to injury. If you can do it safely, then you can share with others how to do it safely.
My main point here is you are most likely qualified to share with people, but make sure you are being safe about it. Just be honest. Say to them, “I’m not a certified trainer or anything, but I know how this works. You can join me and I can share with you what I know.”
The first question I ask newbies is what part of their bodies gets sore easily or where do they have any injuries. As long as they don’t need to rest a body part due to a recent injury and are cleared medically to exercise, then we just start slow. Don’t work through the pain! Don’t try to “break” you friends to get a good laugh about how you can kick their butt! Be responsible, kind, and share safely and honestly.
Oh, and one last thing – make it fun!