Picking The Right Trainer For You

After 4 years as a personal trainer all over the world I have been made quickly aware of the fact that to be successful in the business you had to devote more of your time in sales than you did in training. This in a sense is true, you can know every aspect of fitness, know every page of the sports science journals and be in fantastic shape but not sell a single session if you have not got the “gift of the gab”. This is the sad, unfortunate truth of the business that is tailor-made to help people but underlying this “help” is a subtext that is ripping off personal training clients not just across the UK but across the world. I am campaigning for the trainers that put in the hours learning new techniques and planning workouts for their clients everyday only to be undercut by a salesman in a pair of shorts.

Which brings me to this article and the purpose of this expose` if you will into the nature of personal training and how you, as a future client can make sure you pick a real personal trainer not a salesman in disguise. When I left the UK for Australia just over a year ago I was one of four personal trainers at the largest gym in Wales. All of us had worked extremely hard to gain our qualifications and secured a successful business, promoting wellness and getting great results for our client base at our gym. In that same gym today a little over a year on there are 17 personal trainers !! I feel that's worth repeating, 17 !!!!!! All chomping on the bit for your custom. This is the norm all across the board, but how do you tell the difference between one trainer to the next? This is how …

As mentioned before, there is no denying that the fitness boom is truly upon us. Corporations are spending millions of pounds on getting their staff to lose weight to promote a healthy lifestyle and health clubs profit margins could not be higher. But in the space of a year where have all these personal trainers come from? Could it be just a coincidence? These Sports and Exercise graduates have qualified just in time for the boom to hit? The short answer is … No.

The surge of trainers is simply due to the fact that in 2011 in the UK you can become a personal trainer in as little as four weeks. That is 28 days !!! This is the person that you are giving free rein to your wellbeing for 1 hour? I would not let someone walk my dog ​​after just four weeks of training, but maybe that's just me. No matter how you look at it, your personal trainer is your fitness oracle for as many sessions a week as you can afford. If he / she tells you to jump on to a 2 foot box with your hands above your head you'll do it, because that's what you pay him / her for. Right? If he / she tells you to throw a kettlebell as hard as you can in front of you you'll do it, because that's what you pay him / her for. Right? Hmm …

I could go on spewing rhetoric and all the rest for ages but the real reason you should be reading this article is because, you have made steps to getting healthy and are maybe considering a personal trainer. So here is how you find a real personal trainer:

1 . Ask to see their Qualifications – Treat personal training as a primary medicine, because in the wrong hands you are vulnerable to a lot of structural and internal harm. Check the certificates before going into any session and restore some peace of mind.

2. Ask for a Guarantee – A Trainers job is to get you in shape, end of. You, as their employer are well within your rights (if they are not doing their job) to not pay them. ALL GOOD TRAINERS WILL OFFER A 100% GUARANTEE! It is as simple as that.

3. Observe before you buy – Watch a trainer over two sessions, if they seem to be doing the same set of exercises all the time, it is because they are. These are factory-line MensHealth subscribing “personal trainers” who are reeling off the same routine with varying rep amounts to everyone. Nothing “Personal” here, save yourself thirty bucks and go buy the magazine.

4. Do not be a Gimmick! Be a Result!

– It is your second session, you have just mastered the front raise and now to show your fantastic progress, your trainer hands you a kettlebell because you are clearly ready for kettlebell throws (does this sound familiar?). This is the largest alarm bell for you to get the hell out of there. Imagine its your second driving lesson and now that you've mastered putting the car in gear, you are now going to perform a hand brake turn at 60mph while tuning in the radio. Ok that might be a slight exaggeration but you see where I'm going with this.

-Kettlebell throws and cleans, although a great exercise, are designed as a ballistic exercise aimed at a mere 5 maybe 10 percentile of the fitness population with a solid structure to support them, and yet you see trainers giving these exercises to clients who can barely hold a plank. I have been fortunate enough to work with private Orthopedic doctors and Chiropractors who make a business off poor informed trainers inflicting these workouts on people. They simply replace their pupils with £ signs and lick their lips when I tell them of the horrors I witness in the gym everyday with regards to gimmicks like this,

-Same goes for TRX straps, fantastic bit of equipment for a lot of things but if you are not able to do a push up on your knees yet, you should not be suspended above the ground by your feet in vinyl strapping in the push -up position just because (to the naked eye) it makes your trainer look good.

And Finally ……

5. Do not be afraid to ask!

You Are The Boss, The Grand Poobah, The Big Cheese! In any personal trainer-client relationship, the client is paying the wages, the client is in charge.

If you are unsure of why you are doing something then ask for a reason as to why you're doing it:

-Why am I doing bent over rows with a kettlebell when there's a dumbbell right there?

-Why am I paying you to watch me on the treadmill for ten minutes?

Why have not I lost a pound this month?

Why are you on your phone?

Why am I throwing this weight in the air?

Why does my back hurt?

Should my head be bleeding?

Ok ignore those last two, but again, you get my drift! You are paying for knowledge, you are paying for results, you are paying for someone to help you make a positive change in your health and wellbeing. If at the end of every week you are not feeling this then you need to start asking some questions.

I support personal training as an industry and a profession with all of my being, which in effect is why im writing this article. The results that can be achieved and the changes that can be made in peoples lives are truly breathtaking when done properly. The trick is to look at having a personal trainer as an investment in YOU! What do you value YOU at? I would not take my Aston Martin DB9 to Jim's Auto Repair for a service I'd take it to Aston Martin for a service and I'd want a massage while I wait!

Expect nothing but the best and get the best bang for your buck you can find, and reap the rewards that are coming to you because you will earn them with the help of your top of the range personal trainer!

Yours,
Dave

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4 Reasons To Become A Personal Fitness Trainer

Have you ever thought about becoming a personal trainer? Are you fit and active and looking to make a career change for the better? When you think about it there are many reasons to become a personal fitness trainer and below are just a few.

You can set you own hours

You might like to be up and out early so the opportunity to give early before work morning classes would work well for you. Similarly, you may prefer to work in the afternoons or evenings. Whatever your preferred work time is, you will be able to work in your preferred schedule.

You keep fit by helping others keep fit

Spending your days exercising will get you fitter than ever and as you learn and teach new exercise moves, your body will develop muscles that you had. By teaching others you will be giving your clients the gift of health and weight loss, helping them to feel good about themselves. Being a personal fitness trainer is about making a difference in people's lives, which is one of the best things that we can do with our time.

Low start-up costs

You do not need to buy a lot of expensive equipment like they have at the gym. You could start by teaching simple cardio exercises that do not require equipment. You could even start your classes with a warm up run followed by some stretching and strength exercises such as sit ups and push ups. As your client base and income expand, you can then look to investing in more equipment.

Being able to work locally

Every suburb has tenants that both want to get fit and lose weight or who want to stay trim and toned. You should be able to build a decent client base within a 5 mile radius of where you live meaning that you will not have a great deal of travel to do.

As you can see, the above are just a few reasons to consider becoming a personal trainer, and there are a lot of other reasons that you can probably think of as well .. If you build a reasonable business you will find that the work is good for you and you can build the time required to run your business to whatever suits your needs or personal financial goals at a pace that suits you, after all you will be the boss.

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Fat Loss Thoughts

The most effective fat loss exercises are the ones that use muscles the way they were designed to work

During the millions of years humans have been evolving, we have developed certain basic tasks running, jumping, climbing, throwing, hitting, pulling, squatting and lunging. With this in mind we can create hundreds of exercises but we can also eliminate hundreds of exercises that have absolutely nothing to do with basic human movement.

The goal of each workout is to set a new record

To gain maximum results in the gym, each workout should be progressive. Try to accomplish something in each workout that you have never achieved before. It does not necessarily mean lifting more weight;

-it could be doing more exercises or sets of a given exercises than you did last time
-it may be reducing the rest time between exercises
-it may be increasing the amount of reps for that exercise

It may even be a combination of all of the above but to be honest it does not really matter. The important take home point is that you are pushing yourself harder and progressing in each and every workout.

Avoid Machine exercises!

The problem with machine based exercises is that machines work on a fixed plane of motion. This forces your joints into unnatural angles creating damage on not only the joint but the tendons, ligaments and muscles.

Compare this to free weight exercises where there are no fixed planes such as exercises with dumbbells or barbells. Your joints are not taken into any compromising positions and your stabilizing muscles are forced to work to stabilize and support your joints, keeping you healthy and injury free.

Do not judge a fat loss program by the personal trainer promoting it

As an expert in the field, I find it absolutely ridiculous that someone would judge a persons knowledge by the size of their arms! Yes I would very much have my doubts about paying a personal trainer that was in bad shape. You would hope a personal trainer would have the passion for both lifting weights and eating a healthy diet. Personal trainers should have experience and know exactly how an exercise exercises, but in a world where most personal trainers are at least decent shape, it is pointless to pick the guy in the gym with the best arms and decide he is the most knowledgeable. Maybe he has more time to train, maybe he uses performance enhancing supplements, or maybe he is just born with good genetics. As someone who is hugely passionate about helping people, my point is to do a little homework on your personal trainers. A good personal trainer will guarantee you results, a bad personal trainer will just leave you out of pocket and fat!

You will get better results working really hard at a bad program compared to lazily moping your way through a good program

Training hard and consistently is the key to making gains. The only difference is when you work hard and train consistently on a good program, you will quickly see incredible results.

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Can You Ever Be Too Strong? How to Achieve It

Strength training

Long-term readers will certainly have gathered that I place a great deal of emphasis on strength as a key (but, by no means, the only) marker of athleticism. A question that I often get asked is, “can you ever be too strong?” It's a tricky question and one, I suspect, which real meaning is, “will I ever have to stop strength work?” My answer to this question is, no, I do not think you should ever stop strength work but there are certain times when it does not need to be the primary focus of a program. I'm now fully ensconced in the rugby league environment now and so far it's going well. The players are really committed and we have a great group of professionals here. There is a big emphasis on strength in rugby leagues, understandably given the brutality of this sport. We need our guys to be strong not just to be able to physically dominate their opposition, but to be able to withstand the forces imposed by the opposition who, strange as it may seem, have the same physical dominance objectives.

The other thing to remember about strength work is that your body needs to struggle if it is to adapt to the demands placed upon it. If you want to get stronger, you need to challenge your muscles. There's no point lifting something that is so light that you can do it 15 times without effort. If you can do that, it's too light and it will not make you stronger. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make in the gym, which makes them disillusioned with their lack of progress. True strength work requires the load you are trying to shift to be heavy enough that you can not complete more than 4-6 repetitions (sometimes even less). Condition your body with strength training and you'll not only increase your performance potential, but you'll protect yourself from injury at the same time. (Plus, add much-needed variety to your training, too.)

strength and power : Strength is not just a requirement of heavy-duty sports like rugby … It's the basis for optimum speed, agility and power. Sprinters … swimmers … even cyclists need to strength train.

Essentially, you will not get very far in your sport without incorporating it into your year-round conditioning. At some point, you'll stop seeing improvements and hit the dreaded 'plateau'. But simply developing non-specific base strength can significantly boost your performance and fitness levels. Through performing new exercises you've not tried before, you'll shock your muscles into growth but without adding any extra 'bulk'. Each workout takes a strand of strength development – such as lower body or chest and back – and targets those muscles through specific movements.

We need to appreciate all the factors that go into athletic performance and see whether muscular weakness is the major factor that is leading to a lack of athletic performance. To build strength and endurance as well as speed you must strengthen your core and that is what I focus on in my personal training programs. For example, a middle distance runner that is lacking aerobic power should probably focus on aerobic capacity development, and not unnecessarily strength work. On the other hand though, a judoka that is cardiovascularly fit but not strong may not make it past the first round in a tournament.

Once you know and understand the kind of athlete you want and need to be then the proper programs should be implemented accordingly. Thank you.

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Exercise Secrets to Prevent Shoulder Problems

Many athletes and physically active people experience shoulder problems – pain, weakness, or stiffness in some combination.

Maybe you're one of them – your shoulder's been injured from throwing a football or swinging a tennis racket, too many laps in the pool, or simply trying to manage an unruly dog ​​who's constantly jerking on the leash.

Even if you've been lucky enough not to throw your shoulder out of whack from activity , there's another risk to avoid –activity . Your shoulder can also wear down from long hours spending tapping computer keys, scrolling with your mouse, and generally not getting out to play often enough.

If you have shoulder problems you're not alone. Orthopedists estimate that about 600,000 shoulder surgeries are performed in the United States each year. And the cases that require surgery are only a small fraction – the worst of the worst.

In light of these dismal statistics, strengthening your shoulder muscles sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately, every sports trainer, fitness instructor, and physical therapist seems to have a different strategy for strengthening shoulder muscles. And approaching shoulder exercise the wrong way can backfire.

Where Danger Lurks

You probably already know that the shoulder joint is a classic “ball and socket” joint.

The end of the arm bone (they call it the “humerus”) is the ball. Brilliantly sculpted to work in harmony with the ball, a cavity on the shoulder blade (the “scapula”) forms the socket.

But danger lurks just a few millimeters above this harmonious geometry. Less than half an inch above the humerus there's a bony shelf formed by the clavicle and scapula.

All the time your arm is gyrating through its full range of motion, the arm bone has to fit underneath this bony outcropping. But wait – there's more. There also has to be room for the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles. It's easy to picture this space getting constricted. Then your rotator cuff is sure to experience friction and inflammation.

In some cases, what starts out as a minor problem can progress to become a more severe and disabling shoulder condition: frozen shoulder syndrome . With frozen shoulder syndrome you lose much of the range of motion of your shoulder joint. It can take six months or even longer to fully regain function (if you ever do). That's a scenario you want to avoid at all costs.

Why does a therapeutic exercise program sometimes fail?

  • Certain shoulder exercises can irritate the exact muscles or tendons you're trying to strengthen and make them worse instead of better.
  • There are hundreds of different exercises that have been recommended at one time or another for the shoulder. How do you choose which ones will work positively for you?
  • Even if you're doing the correct exercises, you could be doing them the wrong way.
  • You may not have access to fancy equipment. Not everyone is a member of a pricey gym with state-of-the-art machinery.
  • You have a limited amount of time in the day to deal with you shoulder problems. If you're at all like most of my patients, you're not going to spend thirty minutes (or even twenty minutes) a day working on your shoulder. You've got too many other priorities.

That's why, from my years' of experience with shoulder problems, I've extracted three basic movement principles that your shoulder exercise program should incorporate.

Three Secrets of Optimal Shoulder Exercise

Secret # 1: Use isometrics to train your muscles to keep your arm bone in a centered position within the shoulder socket.

If the humerus rides up in the joint space, you're going to experience impingement against the overlying shelf formed by the clavicle and acromion. That will unleash a cascade of problems.

That means you need to develop strength in the muscles that anchor the arm bone in the joint .

The problem is that most of the time we do not think about these muscles at all. Instead, we think about the muscles that move your arm in space – pushing, pulling, swinging, lifting, reaching, and all those other external actions.

That's a shortcoming of most conventional shoulder exercise programs.

In a typical shoulder exercise, you hold a weight (or the pad of an exercise machine, or a strand of elastic band) in your hand. Then you move your arm through an arc in space.

With this type of exercise, your muscles are organized to control what's happening way out at the end of your arm – where the weight is moving through space. Your muscles are not being trained to control what's happening at the near end of your arm – where the ball fits into the shoulder joint.

If your arm bone is improperly positioned in the socket, all those reps you're doing are reinforcing the negative pattern of impingement. That will give you shoulder problems down the road – or make today's shoulder problems worse.

Isometric exercise – training the muscles that pull the arm bone into the socket, without external movement – is the first secret to proper shoulder exercise. It can be as simple as grabbing hold of a door know and pulling – the door knob will not go anywhere, but the force of the pull will cinch your arm bone into the socket.

Secret # 2: Perform simple limbering exercises using different angles of shoulder rotation, and include loosening for the neck and upper back

One antidote to shoulder stiffness, and a wise ounce of prevention for frozen shoulder syndrome, is to regularly limber the shoulder joint and the joints of the neck and upper back.

Secret # 3: Strengthen the muscles that anchor the shoulder blade back and down

If your shoulder blade alignment is off and you're too round-shouldered, the arm bone will have less room to swing under the overhanging clavicle and acromion process. The likelihood of rotator cuff impingement is much greater.

You can accomplish this goal with a rowing exercise. Just be sure to pull the shoulder blade back and down (not up toward your ear) to reinforce the proper alignment.

Keep Your Shoulder on a Healthy Path

If you're starting a therapeutic exercise program for your shoulder, make sure it incorporates these three principles. And if you've already begun a program, review it in the light of these three principles to make sure you're getting all the benefit you deserve.

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About Weight Training and Circuit Training

Weight training, as the term suggests, is based on the use of either rigid resistance machines or non-rigid free weights. Circuit training is a series of exercises that use the body's own weight as the resistance and are normally undertaken in sequence based on a set time or number of repetitions. Both have a part to play in your preparation, but must be part of an integrated training regimen – there are some who believe that weight and circuit training programs are the essential and often dominant ingredient for success, yet this is rarely the case, and they should not replace running sessions.

Weight Training

There are a number of key guidelines that must be adhered to when weight training: –

  • Start slowly, using light weights and seek advice from an expert coach.
  • Safety is paramount – learn the correct techniques and warm up properly.
  • If using free weights, never work alone.
  • If a running session is performed on the same day, this should be after, not before, weight training.
  • Sessions should be between 30 minutes and 1 hour in length.
  • During the off-season and preparation stages, two to three sessions a week are sufficient.

One of the main physiological benefits of weight training is an increase in the diameter (not the number) of muscle fibers, which in turn creates a larger, stronger and more powerful muscle. Additional muscle bulk is not advantageous for middle distance or endurance runners, who require extra energy to carry increased weight around the track, so weight training for these events should focus on developing strength endurance, using relatively low weights and resistances, and high repetitions (number of lifts). For sprinters, the extra muscle gained from weight training can lead to a reduction in joint flexibility, so it is vital that weight training is combined with a regular stretching and mobility program.

Weights and circuit training can form an important part of an integrated training session and the results will show in your track performances.

Circuit Training

Circuit training is a far simpler form of strength training than weight training, normally requiring only minimal apparatus. There are a variety of exercises and routines that can be adopted – the exercises are normally performed in a rotational sequence during which the number of repetitions of each exercise, and the number of rotations (or circuits) can be changed. Circuit training can be performed individually or in groups, with a coach controlling the time spent on each exercise and the number of circuits. It is always possible to add variety to a circuit training session and the format allows you to work within your own capabilities. A modern variation on circuit training is the outdoor 'trim trail', which enables you to work outside and combine a running session with a series of resistance exercises.

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Is High Intensity Training Right for You?

To determine whether or not high intensity training or HIT is right for you, you have to first learn what exactly it is. This is because knowing what it is for and what your limits are can allow you to have normal expectations of the HIT program and what you might accomplish from it. It is a form of strength training that came about to be known in the 70s by a man named Arthur Jones. He is also the founder of Nautilus. This specific type of training focuses mostly on the performance quality of weight lifting repetitions to getting to the point of muscular failure momentarily. With this training, it consist of the amount of weight, the number of repetitions being done, and the amount of time that the muscle has this tension put on it. All of this is used to maximize the muscle fibers within the body.

So what are the principles of this training program? The exercise done in this program is brief, intense, and done infrequently to get the best results. All of the exercises throughout the program were designed to be done with a high level of intensity and effort in order to stimulate the body for it to produce muscular strength and size in large amounts. A lot of people believe that this is the best method to use when you want to increase size and strength compared to many other methods out there. This program grows with you. The more strength you have, the more weight and resistance you will train with. You're basically giving your muscles the overload to pump them up faster and more intensely. This helps to stimulate improvements further into the program.

There are standards however since the human body can only exercise for so much, and for so long. This is why high intensity work outs are brief. Since the program is tough and reliably fast paced, the body needs time to recuperate afterwards. There is more emphasis on resting through this program than with many other programs out there. In the resting phase, the body is able to produce those hormones needed for muscle growth. Having a training schedule for any type of workout, especially HIT should allow you enough time in between training sessions to recover and rest without working out.

The basic thing that you need to know when doing this type of exercise is that you need to have a high level of effort and intensity. It can be brief and infrequent, but it has to be fast paced and intense for it to fully work. You do not have to do this work out daily, and absolutely must give your body time to rest. You want to avoid all bouncing, yanking, or jerking of the body and the machines during the weight training session. You should work at a fast, natural, and smooth pace while training to provide enough work out time but also so that nothing is dropped in the body. It should only take a few seconds to complete a repetition.

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Fitness Marketing Secrets Revealed!

If you're wondering how to market yourself as a brilliant fitness trainer and get more clients, be sure to read on. Being a fitness trainer, you may have a glamorous body but your job is no longer glamorous if you do not have stable clients. There are millions of unhealthy and obese individuals but what does it take to drag them to your gym? The fitness industry has been booming more than ever. The time has come to give up all those traditional marketing gimmicks and switch over to some of the modern fitness marketing tricks and tactics. Here are some personal trainer marketing tips and techniques, strategies and ideas that you may find useful for your fitness business.

Fitness Marketing Tips and Techniques

* Firstly, be passionate about your job. If you really love your job, you should train your existing clients with great care. Once you do that, referrals will soon start flooding in. Give complete attention to your clients and encourage them to gain a perfect body shape. This itself will help market your fitness services.

* Do not be rude to your existing clients. They will not only stop availing your services but will also spread negative statements about you. This will bring a bad name to your gym and stop others from enrolling. Have patience, control your temper and treat your clients with respect and warmth.

* Design some hot and glamorous fitness packages to attract clients. This may be one of the most important fitness marketing strategies for your gym or fitness center. Offer complete details about these programs and packages to your existing clients so that they spread the word.

* You may be missing out on loads of money by not understanding what exactly clients want from their gym trainer. Try to understand their psyche and offer what they are looking for. Along with this, make your clients feel comfortable. Everything becomes easy when you know what they want and why they want that.

* Follow a fitness centered lifestyle and ask your clients to adopt it to remain healthy and slim all through their life. Almost two-third Americans are obese or overweight. They are looking for someone who can guide them regarding health matters. Try to set an example so that they can relate to it. This increases your popularity and helps in fetching more clients.

* Remember it's all about people. Try to build your own network of clients so that you can get more business by word of mouth. Being present on networking and blogging sites is an important requirement these days. Be in touch with your old clients as they may help you in fitness marketing and also send you some referrals.

* Boot camp marketing can be effective if you go belly to belly and get in front of people and encourage open-ended discussions so that they can share what they feel and what they require.

These are some of the fitness marketing secrets and using them may help you get more business.

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A Personal Trainer Should Offer More Than Just Fitness!

It seems that which ever way we turn we are confronted by images of beauty and perfection. These images have two effects; they either nudge us to make changes in our lives or they simply make us feel inadequate. It is these reactions which personal trainers continuously have to manage; and I do mean manage. The reactions to images of perceivable perfection and beauty can be very harmful. A personal trainer in London can not even organize an outdoor session without subjecting his clients to these pictures and computer enhanced photos.

If you go to a gym and you simply use the equipment you are pretty much your own boss. This really suits some peoples personalities, but it can be rather dangerous. Let say that you are on a mission to loose a beer belly or to drop a dress size. The chances are that you will have a two pronged attack; you will firstly adjust your diet and secondly you will train. This is the way forward, but the two need to be done together and they need to work together. It is absolutely pointless putting in so few calories that you can not effect train!

This is where the personal trainer comes into his own. A personal trainer has a much closer relationship with their clients. They see the changes in them from one session to the next. An alert PT will know if their clients are depressed, if there are mood fluctuations and also if there are weight fluctuations. Without understanding these factors your training sessions will not be particularly personal!

When you pay for personal training sessions you want to achieve your goals and you want to achieve them efficiently. The appeal of this route is that you get personal treatment and as a result each and every session is tailor to your fitness abilities, your goals and your personal health situation.

If you just want to get fit then you can go to the gym and do the classes, you can run around the park. But if you want to get healthy, to discover a better quality of life, to have more energy then you need to find yourself a good PT!

If you have not done this before then you are about to start on a wonderful journey. You will find that getting fit and losing a bit of weight can be fun. You will discover a friend and an ally against your weaknesses. A personal trainer in London, and other major cities, deals with so much of the stress that is thrown at their clients that they are also counselors, stress managers and general life coaches.

At first I used to worry that my personal trainer in London thought I was a bit nutty, but actually he had seen it all before, and he understood better than me that my life was complex and that I was sometimes lost!

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How to Release the Awesome Power of ‘Plyometric Training’

Have you ever watched a top sprinter and considered just how fast they are running? Usain Bolt would get a speeding ticket in built-up areas! And what about the slam-dunk in basketball? How on earth do players like Shaquille O'Neal leave planet earth and attain such heights? And what of Sir Christopher Hoy and Alberto Contador? Unbridled, these cyclists would seem to be able to tear their bikes apart! Wherever you look in the world of top-class sport, power counts; and one of the best ways to develop this most precious commodity is through plyometric training.Put plainly, plyometric exercises develop fast muscle fiber. It's based on the understanding that a concentric (shortening) muscular contraction is much stronger if it immediately follows an eccentric (lengthening) contraction of the same muscle. It's a bit like stretching out a coiled spring to its fullest abundant and then letting it go: immense levels of energy are released in a split second as the spring recoils. Plyometric exercises develop this recoil. Muscle fiber stores more elastic energy and transfers more quickly and powerfully from the eccentric to the concentric phase.It's a form of training that offers you a huge amount of athletic reward because it develops precious sporting commodities like speed and power through replicating the speed and movement patterns of your chosen sport.And on top of this plyometric training can be practiced absolutely anywhere. All you need are the necessary workouts to do it.general sports-specific movement pattern conditioning.The first stage provides you with a series of exercises that work on developing a strong foundation of power as well as increasing your speed and reactions. Stage two increases the workload and incorporates a further selection of dynamic exercises before upping the intensity in stage three by using a combination of running drills. The final stage focuses on using plyometric training to increase your speed endurance.Combine these workouts together and you've got a four part plyometric training program packed full of quality drills that will ensure you possess the power to take your performance to a whole new level .

Avoiding the wrong kind of plyometric training: It has long been accepted that weight training can improve performance. Many athletes and coaches get caught up with this 'bigger is better' strategy. But, contrary to popular belief, lifting progressively heavier weights does not in itself lead to improved power and speed. In fact the opposite happens – it can slow you down. Weight training so often fails to live up to its promise. It's not always accessible and not everyone wants to use them. The Peak Performance Plyometric Training plan shows you how to reach your full potential by reinforcing movements rather than muscles with exercises you can complete anywhere – even in your local park! Get it right and you will release awesome levels of power. All you need are the workouts and you're ready to go.

Plyometric Training: Example Workouts Below you will find a sampling of the fantastic workouts available to you in the first part of our Plyometric Training program:

Squat jumps 4 x 8 repetitions of each exercise 2 minutes between sets Fatigue must not impair speed of performance
1. Start with feet just beyond shoulder-width apart
2. Bend the knees to a three-quarter squat position
3. Extend the legs to jump into the air
4. Land and immediately power up into another jump
5. Keep the torso upright
6. Look straight ahead
7. Land on the balls of the feet
8. Use your arms to assist your jump power

Side to side jumps 4 x 8 repetitions of each exercise 2 minutes between sets Fatigue must not impair speed of performance
1. Stand with your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart
2. Slightly bend your knees
3. Extend your legs and leap to one side
4. Land with your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart and on the balls of your feet
5. Immediately react to the ground and jump to the other side (use a relatively low trajectory)
6. Land and jump back across to the other side
7. Keep your trunk upright and look straight ahead of you Bunny Jumps 4 x 8 repetitions of each exercise 2 minutes between sets

Fatigue must not hurt speed of performance
1. Start with feet just beyond shoulder-width apart
2. Bend your knees to a three-quarter squat position
3. Swing your arms back and past your hips
4. Drive your legs explosively upward to lift your body from the ground and jump forward
5. Keep your trunk upright during flight
6. Extend your legs in front of your body to get you feet out in front of you
7. Land on the balls of your feet and spring into another jump

Used in the right program these simple yet effective exercises can revolutionize your training and performance by dramatically increasing your speed, power and reaction times. Whether it's tennis, running, golf, basketball, football, swimming, rugby, rowing or cycling, there is one reason for an athlete's leap in performance – and that's the appliance of scientifically proven techniques. Whether it's introducing specialized circuit training, or resolving a weak area with strengthening and mobility exercises, once the athlete has access to the right advice he builds power and performance with every new day. The methods presented here are used by the most thought-after coaches. They are proven to be effective and once applied you'll see a marked and continuous improvement in performance and injury avoidance. Have a great day and thank you!

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Personal Training – It’s Tax Time! Here’s Some Tips!

June 30th is the official end of the year (well the financial year anyway) which as a business owner is the one that matters. In my experience as a PT and through chatting to lots of other Personal Trainers over the years, there tend to be a lot of confusion about Tax Time; what are your responsibilities? What can be claimed?

Unfortunately many PT's out there go through their day to day activities throughout the year without giving our taxes obligations a second thought. Then Tax Time arrives and they realize they're not prepared and the stress levels increase! Sound familiar ??

New Personal Trainers just starting out in their own business can find themselves putting the 'tax' and 'book-keeping' obligations on the back-burner because they are SO busy with the day-to-day tasks of running their business.

Outsourcing is a powerful tool as a business owner and my suggestion would be to outsource some tasks in your business so you are not doing everything.

One task to outsource could be your bookkeeping. Having someone employed to keep your accounts up to date and to discuss with you your tax obligations and opportunities can reduce your stress levels and allow you to concentrate on what you do best.

Employing a bookkeeper may not be as expensive as you may think, do some homework and if you are running a small PT business you may only need to meet your bookkeeper fortnightly or monthly. My big tip with outsourcing your accounts, is to NOT turn your back on them. You need to know what is happening with your money and should be able to look over your Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement with your bookkeeper and understand your current financial position.

Tip! Do not wait til June 30 to get your accounts in order!

Tip! If you are not good at the books, outsource them to a professional & work with them.

Be Prepared.

As mentioned earlier, paying your tax needs to be scheduled throughout the year and not left until the last minute. One way to ensure you do not get caught out owed money and not having any to pay the bill, is to allocated a portion of your income each week to tax and put it aside. Then DO NOT TOUCH IT!

Tip! Online bank accounts such as ING Savings Maximizer offer a 'fee free' banking solution with a good interest rate. Transferring your money allocated to tax into an account like this will hopefully stop you potentially spending it on other things and it will be sitting there for you come tax time each quarter.

Keep your receipts … Simple!

This one is not hard, but it is amazing how many people fail to do it. Owning your own business can have its benefits in terms of writing some purchases off as business expenses. But in order to do so, you must keep your receipts!

Tip! Get into the habit of collecting receives for everything. Keep a box in your car and just throw them in. Sort through them at a later scheduled time with your bookkeeper.

What can you claim?

You can claim business expenses, so items that have been purchased specifically for your business. This can include:

  • Uniforms (with logo) & laundry expenses
  • Training Courses (CEC courses)
  • Travel expenses (including parking, air fares, accommodation)
  • Internet and phone usage
  • Meals (remember only if specifically for your business)!
  • Fitness Registration Fees
  • Equipment
  • & more ….

The Final Tip!

Get advice from a professional. Talk to your accountant and together work out the best strategy for you to stay on top of the accounts. Be honest with your accountant about your knowledge on the topic, your past results and your goals. Seeking an accountant that has experience in the Fitness Industry would be a bonus if possible.

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How Do A Cycling Coach and Athlete Work Together?

If you're not a pro-athlete, you might not know much about how a cycling coach works with their protégé. One of the common misunderstandings of cycling coaches is that they only work with professional cyclists and triathletes. In reality even many amateur cyclists and triathletes work with a coach. Anyone who wants to improve their performance in the cycling sport can benefit from it.

Cycling coaches can work with their trainees both directly and via distance.

If they choose to work face-to-face then they can actually train together on cycle ergometer or newventions like the cilomulino which originated in Italy.

If the relationship is based on distance training, the Internet has allowed cycling coaching to communicate thru email and the web. For example devising training and nutrition programs and monitoring progress. Having a relationship primarily through the Internet can be successful if approached properly.

Here are some ways to improve your relationship with your cycling coach and guarantee you get the most out of the partnership.

Set your goals

To be successful in any phase of life, we must have goals and cycling is no exception. You and your coach should identify these goals and make sure they are detailed and achievable. You do not want to have a goal like “win races this year,” but somewhat categorize which particular races you want to succeed, what time you want to achieve and why.

Raise and ask issues

If you do not know why you are doing a specific training, do not hesitate to ask your coach to give an explanation. As an athlete, it's essential that you know why you are undertaking certain drills and how they may contribute to your goals. Many workouts have a specific physiological factor that relates to a race condition or preparations you for a particular type of event. There is nothing better for a cycling coach to hear than for an athlete saying that they had won a race because a particular situation in the race reminded them of the consistent training they have done.

Temper and anxiety levels affect your training. Many athletes and all amateurs also have full-time jobs and have family obligations. It's normal to be stressed, and this stress level can affect your training and racing. A coach, devising a program or getting an athlete prepared for a huge race, needs to take these situations into account. You should keep your coach updated on almost everything that is going on with your life. You do not have to give the full details, but it's a good idea to keep them abreast of your disposition and anxiety levels. This will help your coach create a program that is flexible enough to put up with the unavoidable life issues that emerge for most people over time.

Recovery

Improvement and recovery from races and training might be the one most important part of your cycling program. How you recover from rigid training days and racing will conclude how your program is expanded over time. It is also important to know which activities are most suitable to be included in your recovery program Be positive to relate this important information to your cycling coach.

It goes both ways. A cycling coach really learns about improving their coaching skills from the athletes. The best source of a coaches knowledge is from their athletes, so good communication is vital. A good coach will be open to learning from their athletes and will have something to offer in return. Your coach should have an objective view of you and your training, helping you become the best athlete you can be. Ride safe, ride strong!

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Personal Training: Top 8 Reasons For Personal Training

Life can be chaotic and out of control and people use that as an excuse not to train but that is actually a huge reason for fitness training. Training can change your whole perspective and actually save your life without you even knowing it … even if you are not directly at risk of any illness or disease in particular.

1) MONEY $$ – In the long run personal training will save you massive amounts of money. People look at personal training as an expense. The reality is that it will end up saving you thousands of $$$ on insurance, hospital and doctor bills as well as expensive medications. We are an instant gratification society and it is hard for us to look that far into the future, but it is now a proven fact that personal training will save you massive piles of hard cold $ CASH $ in the future. So spend a couple hundred a month now and save $ 10-20K later. Also, people may go to the gym for a couple hours a week and cause undetected damage called microtrauma (small unnoticeable injuries). Continuing doing “the wrong thing” and causing these microtraumas that build up over time, often times leads to a serious injury – all due to improper training – which again can cost you thousands of dollars in surgeries and physical therapy. Also, what price can you put on spending many more healthy years with your family?

2) Time – If you are training properly you can save yourself massive amounts of time, and time is money (which goes right back to # 1). If you are working with a personal trainer who knows physiology and anatomy and the right combination of exercise at the right time, then you can limit training to 2-3 hours a week and see amazing results. Whereas many people might go to the gym for hours and never see any results.

3) Productivity – We have energy systems in our body and if you train properly you can build those energy systems in a way that makes you 20% more productive. In combination with eating the right food, the energy can build and build. When you're more productive you can do more and have more positive energy at work, which can lead to making more money. It will also reduce your level of stress as well as increase your ability to cope with stress making your job and life much easier.

4) Be More attractive – The proper training will help you burn fat and gain lean muscle, which will give you a better figure, bringing the skin closer to the muscle (reducing wrinkles) but that's not the only thing. When you are training and taking care of your body your hormones are more balanced and what makes us more attached to each other are Pheromones, which become stronger through training.

5) Feel better about yourself – Personal training adds a tremendous amount of self-confidence and self-esteem. There is no value to feeling good. We are only on this Earth for a small amount of time; we might as well feel good for as much of it as we can. Also, personal training has been scientifically proven to be more powerful than anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications to keep a positive mood balance.

6) Make Life Easier – It's easy to see that if you are more productive, make and save more money, have more self-confidence and self-esteem, more energy and more love, then life automatically become much easier. Unfortunately, some people are always looking for a shortcut and ways to circumvent the necessary work to get these numerous benefits of personal training. What's even more unfortunate is that these people end up feeling empty and unaccomplished.

7) More Muscles – Consider this equation: Work = Force (muscle) x Distance. The more muscles you have the easier it is to move your bones, which means it requires less energy to move your body around. For example, if you have more leg muscles and need to walk up the stairs everyday all day it will take less energy to do so. But smaller muscles use a ton of energy and you will be malnourished at the end of the day just from walking up and down the stairs.

8) Be a role model to friends and family and the world – We are quickly becoming the unhealthiest nation in the world. It is important to do personal training to lead our community members and family members to a healthier lifestyle so we can in turn become a stronger nation mentally and physically.

In a world where people are caring less and less about their health and looking for shortcuts, it is the cool thing to take the road less transported and receive all the above benefits that will give you a competitive advantage in life. A strong person instantly has an easier life.

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Become a Certified Parent Coach

Life-coaching has become one of the fastest growing industries when it comes to parenting skills. If you're looking to do something more worthy with your career, and have a true passion for working with people, especially families and children, you should consider becoming a certified parent coach. A certified parent coach lectures parents effective methods in dealing with their children, and coaches them in every area of ​​parenting including the enforcement of household rules, handling schoolwork related issues and also guides them in ensuring that their children become happy and balanced individuals.

In today's world, most families have two working parents, who including juggling their own careers also have to deal with their children's schedules for school, after-school activities, extra lessons as well as trying to keep their children disciplined. Very often, due to exhaustion and neglect, tempers flare and family life can become draining and exhausting.

What does it mean to become a parent coach? Simply put, when you become a parent coach, other parents come to you for help in dealing with their difficult child. Most often than not, these parents do not realize that they could be contributory factors to the overall problem. This is when the parent coach steps in, and guides the parents into seeing that changes in children start from changes with their parents. And through proper coaching, not only do the dynamics of the parents change, but the change affects the entire family.

Becoming a certified parent coach is simple. Start by searching online and offline for recognized institutions offering certified parent coach programs. Visit your local government office and inquire about possible programs. When searching online, simply type keywords associated with your parent coach certification and a list will appear. Take note however that parent coach programs are not monitored by any regulated body so make sure you select one that is reputable and recognized.

There are many certification programs you can choose from, but select one that compliments your finances as well as your daily schedule. If you're working a full-time job, chances is that time will not be on your side, which is why an online program will be better suited for you. Not only will it not interfere with your job, but generally online classes are far more cost-friendly that attending classes. Once more, make sure that the program is recognized within the industry.

Send in your application for the program you have selected. Ensure you are aware of the deadlines for submission as well as your fees. Make it a point to apply early so that you have time to focus on other areas like purchasing any necessary supplies and reading material to help you complete your certification. Do not worry, once you've been accepted, your instructor will advise you on these.

You're on your way to becoming a certified parent coach. It's important to make sure you attend your lessons on time and regularly. Absorb as much as you can and before you know it, you'll be helping families change their lives.

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Finding an Effective Workout

There maybe 24 hours in a day, but nowdays it feels like each one of those hours is accounted for, whether it be commuting, working, spending time with family, socializing etc. etc. the list goes on.

The culture in America is one of a fast food mentality – we are creatures of convenience. We want what we want and we want it quickly. There are drive throughs for everything – dry cleaning, pharmacies, food, you name it, there's probably a drive through for it. Understandably, once we finish work we are tired, there does not seem to be enough energy left in the day to visit the gym.

So what's the alternative? There are many people who get up an hour earlier and spend that time exercising or working out, but that takes planning and a careful scheduling. There's also the option of working out during a lunch break, but unless there are really good facilities close to where you work, you'll probably spend that time in a hurry trying to get a workout in, rather than focus on the quality of the workout.

Those of you who have families know that summer is one of the busiest times of the year. The kids are home from school and they have nothing to do for months on end – so it's your responsibility to keep them occupied and out of trouble. Does that sound like the kind of schedule that allows for an effective workout?

But just what qualifies as an effective workout – is it including cardio, toning, and strength training? Or is it focusing on just one muscle group? And we're supposed to spend time doing all three of those.

What if I told you that there was a convenient, efficient, and high quality workout device that you could wear to focus on one of your muscle groups and it did not interfere with your daily activities? Great, right?

For those of you who like to visit the beach during the summer you'll most likely be focusing on your abdominal muscles. Giving yourself an ab workout is essential as part of a core exercise routine, and you'll feel great. Better yet, you can do it while walking the dog, reading a book, watching TV, pretty much any time any where!

A workout is not about the amount of time you spend, it's about doing the most with the time you have. Your workout should not suffer because you do not have the time, you simply have to find a more efficient way.

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