The Importance of the CRAAP Test for Personal Trainers: Evaluating the Credibility of Fitness Information Sources

As a personal trainer, it is your duty to provide your clients the most extensive and reliable fitness advice and fitness programs. Even so, with the large amount of information available online, it can be challenging to know which sources to trust. This is where the CRAAP test comes into play, as it offers a method for evaluating the credibility of sources by assessing five critical components: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.



Staying current with the latest fitness trends and recommendations is essential, as new research is constantly emerging, and exercise practices can evolve quickly. Hence, personal trainers must remain up-to-date with the latest information and use sources that reflect the most recent knowledge. Outdated information can be detrimental to clients, hindering them from achieving their fitness goals.



Ensuring that the information source matches the client’s specific fitness goals and levels is also important. Using irrelevant or tangentially related sources can result in ineffective workouts and wasted time. Personal trainers need to find sources directly related to their clients’ goals and fitness levels, to provide the most comprehensive workout program possible.



The authority of the source is another critical factor to consider when evaluating the credibility of sources. Qualified and reliable authors must author these sources, ensuring that the sources are credible and trustworthy. Personal trainers must use sources written by respected authors with a proven track record of producing accurate and reliable information.



The accuracy of the information is also crucial when selecting sources. Personal trainers must rely on sources that provide truthful and reliable information based on sound research. Inaccurate information based on rumors, myths, or untested theories can be dangerous, leading to ineffective workouts, and even injuries.



Finally, understanding the purpose of the source is essential. Personal trainers must evaluate why the source was created and determine whether the information aligns with their clients’ goals. Using sources that are made for commercial purposes, such as marketing materials or advertisements, may not be reliable and may result in bad outcomes for your clients.


By applying the CRAAP test, personal trainers can carefully evaluate the sources they use in developing exercise programs for their clients. For example, you as a trainer can ensure that the research article you use is recent and that the cited research has not been outdated by more recent findings. You can also look over the author’s qualifications and credentials, verify the research methodology and findings, and ascertain whether the research was an undertaking  for scientific or commercial purposes.


In conclusion, the CRAAP test is an invaluable tool for personal trainers when selecting information sources to develop fitness programs for their clients. By assessing sources for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose, personal trainers can provide their clients with the most up-to-date, accurate, and relevant information available. This will make sure that your clients achieve their fitness goals safely and with best practice, leading to a better fitness outcome and lead you to be a top tier fitness coach.


Author: Michael Lea, Onfit Education Team