Anna Kournikova is a personal trainer? That was news to me when I heard that Anna Kournikova was hired to be one of the personal trainers on the Biggest Loser. Most people know Anna Kournikova as a tennis player, but is she a certified personal trainer? I looked into this just in case you too wondering about it and discovered some interesting things.
Is Anna Kournikova Certified?
I did a Google search for “Anna Kournikova personal trainer” and “Is Anna Kournikova a certified personal trainer?” I couldn’t find any proof that she was certified until I found websites where I read that that Anna Kournikova is certified by the ISSA – International Sports Science Association.
That’s great, but the bigger question is “when was Anna Kournikova certified?” So I called the ISSA and asked them. The ISSA told me that Anna Kournikova was certified as a personal trainer on December 23, 2010. Her certification expired on 12/23/12.
So it may be she became certified prior to the taping of the biggest loser TV show.
But certified or not, does Anna Kournikova know as much about exercise as Bob Harper – or even Jillian Michaels or the other personal trainers appearing on the show? Since it appears shes recently certified, odds are not as much. Both Bob and Jillian were likely doing personal training long before the Biggest Looser made them household names.
What is the ISSA Certification?
The ISSA is the International Sports Science Association. Its been around a long time and is a respected organization. As I understand the process, people study at home on their own and then when they are ready, they take a test that is mostly composed of essays. There may also be a video portion where people demonstrate an exercise technique. People send the test back to ISSA to be graded.
I've taken essay tests in college so I can tell you that essays are pretty hard. Essay exams are good because they help demonstrate a greater level of understanding than a test that’s made up of multiple-choice or true and false questions. That’s very good.
The Biggest Loser: Good or Bad?
The Biggest Loser is more about TV ratings and “branding” than actually helping people. Most people regain the weight they lost and some research finds the TV show messes up the metabolisms of contestants. Unfortunately, The fitness industry has been too chicken to address the shortcomings of this TV show.
Other than myself, I don’t remember seeing anybody in a national fitness trade journal even raising an eyebrow over Jillian or Bob Harper selling weight loss supplements. The only thing I could find was an article in the LA Times that was critical of the Jillian Michaels Kettleball DVD. All that notwithstanding, I think hiring a professional athlete to play the role of a personal trainer takes things to an even lower level.
What if there was a reality show about doctors giving people advice about medical disorders and Anna was hired as one of the “doctors”? There would be blood in the streets caused the outrage by physicians! The fitness industry on the other hand just seems tickled to death that “personal trainers” are getting some national attention.
While personal trainers are not doctors, personal trainers do PRESCRIBE the most powerful drug in the world – exercise.
Should You Watch The Biggest Loser?
If you use it for motivation, great. Just don't follow the insane exercise routines people on the show are forced to do. Also, consider where the exercise advice is coming from for trying to do what you see on TV.