You know there has been progress, but there is still an annoying public misconception about jocks being big dumb meatheads. I've seen people actually make such comments in restaurants and such. I myself have had people make remarks about personal trainers, adventure recreation students, exercise physiology students, etc, something to the effect of being an okay program if you're not cut out for the real university level work. This is about the most annoying thing in the world, if people understood how much a trainer must know to get certified they would quickly change their tune. It's a lot more then giving out 10 exercises to do, involving things like endocrinology, human physiology, kinesiology, exercise prescription for special populations like cardiac patients, chronically ill people, respiratory patients, patients with orthopedic injury and structural disability, nutritional science, advanced human anatomy, and a ton more. There is a significant percentage of people that have four year degrees in exercise science that do not pass the Personal Trainer exam, yet we are still often viewed as big dumb jocks with a job.
Thankfully, as health consciousness increases in the United States, that's improving as the Trainer is slowly beginning to be a valued asset in the quest for fitness and health, but it is still coming slowly especially in slightly older populations. You would amazed at how many people disregard the instructions of the trainer, because of the dumb jock stereotype and ego that thinks they know better. Every year cardiac patients who choose to be non-compliant with the programs recommended by qualified trainer end up with complications, heart attacks, arrhythmias and other fun problems because they still choose to believe this stereotype that the trainer is a dumb jock that might know how to get muscle bound but doesn't know medicine, which is ridiculous and sad.
In many cases personal trainers, exercise specialists and the like know more about health then doctors. Now before I get flamed for that comment hear my reasoning. When a student goes to medical school they don't teach them health, they teach them the treatment of disease. Most MD's have less then a week of nutritional training during the course of their studies, they are taught preciously little about exercises and training, only how to treat injuries related to that when some dip stick inevitably refuses to follow the recommendations of the trainer, the one professional that actually knows about health instead of disease.