Why is there a need for Gordon Ramsey? Why does the world of fine dining restaurants need a chef screaming at line cooks and wannabe executive chefs that their skill level is equivalent to that of a donkey? Are there not by-laws and regulations including health, safety & food handling standards that all restaurants and chefs and food handlers are to be abiding, and not just fine dining, but all businesses that prepare and serve food? Are there not inspectors ensuring that all the by-laws, regulations, and standards are being followed, and enforcing them whenever needed?

There are.

So why is Gordon Ramsey needed?

Because despite all the attempts – via government interventionism – to ensure that all restaurants, all chefs, cooks, and food handlers are preparing meals in a manner that won’t kill someone, the reality is as anyone can witness on any episode of “Hell’s Kitchen”… raw seafood is at times sent to the pass in order to be served to a guest who in one case just happened to be pregnant! In another case raw pork and chicken were almost served to guests at another table. Thankfully Ramsey was running the pass, assessing the quality of each and every plate to ensure that food was cooked right, was presented appropriately, and above all tasted as good as it looked.

And its not like raw food is a one off. Watch Ramsey’s program titled “24hrs to Hell & Back” and you will see him going through the walk-in freezer of restaurants that have called him in to help revive their businesses and you will see him pulling out rotting meat, putrid seafood and shellfish, and in some cases, having to watch his feet as rats, mice, and roaches roam freely around the kitchen.

In fact, it should make us wonder… where are all those by-laws, regulations and standards when you realize that Ramsey is not standing in some restaurant that’s been shut down, instead he is embarrassing the owner and the entire cooking staff in a restaurant that is as he speaks… is serving food to guests.

I believe Ramsey is doing more for public health and safety than all the policies, regulations, by-laws and standards that all governments put together have achieved because he is educating the public by taking us behind the swinging door in and out of the kitchen revealing the substandard approach to food handling and preparation, and educating the public that expecting your food to be at temperature, cooked thoroughly, and presentable is not asking too much, in fact it could save you from a night spent puking as a result of food poisoning, or a night in ER because of the raw protein you were served.

The world of personal training, coaching, instructing needs the same sort of shake up…

The health & fitness industry has its equivalents of raw chicken, pork and rotting seafood and shellfish, it just comes in the form of trainers, coaches, and instructors who are convinced they know what they are doing, but like line cooks sending out raw food are simply overly confident in how competent they are.

Consider this…

The typical education that a personal trainer has received in order to be able to call themselves a personal trainer is attending the annual Can Fit Pro conference weekend. The typical education that a sport coach has received in order to be able to call themselves a coach is even less: a mere handful of hours is sufficient. Literally anyone can walk out of these sessions and claim to be a certified personal trainer or a NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) Coach. Amazing! In less time than what people spend waiting in line for the release of the newest iphone, a person without any education or experience can claim to being an expert in all things health, wellness, strength & conditioning, nutrition, etc…

Now consider this…

My degree in rehabilitation medicine took 4years, required a full cadaver dissection to learn human anatomy, another course to learn neuroanatomy where the brain was dissected, additional courses in physiology, psychology, pathology, plus countless clinical hours, finished off with written and practical exams. And all of that led me to graduate feeling that I knew… nothing! Which led to another 50 post-grad courses in rehabilitation, not to mention more than two decades of experience gained while working as a registered physiotherapist with diseases ranging from Cystic Fibrosis to Alzheimer’s to all the major cardio-respiratory, neurological and orthopaedic conditions, plus accident & trauma victims, across pediatric cases to the elderly and the terminally ill.  Then add in a Certificate in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, a published research paper, NCCP coaching certification in one sport with additional coaching courses in two other sports, a year as a volunteer strength & conditioning coach for an age group swim club, an athlete at the Varsity level who was coached by several top Canadian coaches including a Hall of Fame coach… and I still believe that I have only begun to appreciate the complexity of the systems which make up the human body.

Go figure…

Going on 3 decades of formal and informal education and I am still actively studying and learning each and every single day… meanwhile, the typical trainer or coach has none of the relevant education to claim to be an expert in anything, yet relying on a handful of seminar sessions and maybe a competition or two and they think they are God’s gift to the world of training, racing and coaching.

It does not add up.

We are being sold by the uneducated and the inexperienced what sounds like short cuts to our health goals, to our physical performance goals, but what is truly being sold by these trainers, instructors and coaches… is raw chicken, raw pork, raw seafood… stuff that will likely either injure you, making you seriously ill or in the worse case prep you for the Emergency Department of your local hospital.

Its one thing to fix the skill level of kitchen staff… stick a thermometer into the meat and make sure its cooked.

Its an entirely different skill set to guide someone to health, performance and sport goals… you need more than a thermometer, lots more.

If you are serious about your health, your performance and sport goals… find a leader in the industry, not a hobbyist, a hack or a wannabe.

It is after all… your health that is on the line.