Increasing emphasis on maintaining a healthy lifestyle has led many individuals to seek advice on exercise from personal trainers. There are few studies to date that evaluate personal trainer education, practice trends, and injuries they have seen while training clients. A survey was distributed to personal trainers using Survey Monkey® (Palo Alto, CA, USA) with 605 personal trainers accessing the survey. An exercise related bachelor's degree was held by 64.2% of survey participants and a certification in personal training by 89.0%. The most common personal trainer certifications were from American College of Sports Medicine (59.2%) and National Strength and Conditioning Association (28.9%). Only 2.9% of all personal trainers surveyed had no exercise-related bachelor's degree and no personal trainer certification. The most common injuries seen by personal trainers during sessions were lumbar muscle strain (10.7%), rotator cuff tear/tendonitis (8.9%), shin splints (8.1%), ankle sprain (7.5%), and cervical muscle strain (7.4%). There is variability in the practices between different personal trainers when analyzing differences in collegiate education, personal trainer certifications, and strength and conditioning certifications. The clinical implication of the differences in practices is unknown as to the impact on injuries or exercise prescription effectiveness.
Keywords: Fitness; Injuries; Kettlebells; Olympic weightlifting; Personal trainer; Stretching.