Help Your Personal Training Clients Relax During Heart Health Month

Any personal trainer can exercise a client until she is tired and sore. Can you make her more fit while giving her more energy? Can you teach her how to improve her weight loss success by relaxing? There are thousands of trainers and even more virtual programs to choose from. When you provide results your customer can not even put into words you'll create a brand that makes you stand out.

Wellness and health coaches are growing in number. New behavior change certificates are finally a part of your options for increasing your fitness professional toolbox. There's proof out there that we're missing a big gap in helping customers solve problems. We've been good at addressing symptoms. We've gotten microscopic about exercises but we have not even touched the underlying reasons someone reached out for help. Why did they gain the weight in the first place?

It's time to approach the symptoms. Here's how. The focus of these tips is how you can increase the value of your current sessions with the right words. You'll learn how to invest a small amount of time to create game-changing results for your customers. The output will be better results for them and more satisfied customers for you.

1. We know that cortisol, the evil villain stress hormone, helps store fat. There's a strong chance that it has been diet habits ,activity, and stress have all teamed up against the efforts of your client and it's because they came looking for you.

If you're working with a woman age 40 to 60 chances are she may have reduced estrogen and progesterone levels that make her weight go to her waist easier than it ever did. Men with lower testosterone levels can experience more fat and less muscle too.

Consider starting with some mindful questions about what's going on. Make it a point to let your client share her biggest stressors. Encourage her to share how she reacts. This conversation is not one that can happen on a treadmill next to others. If you're not in a private studio to find a spot to talk for a few minutes with a customer so you can create your plan. You want to have a workout plan and then a workout plan for your client under stress.

2. Provide comic relief for your customer. While laughter has long been a part of a stress relief tool kit, there are two ways to use it. The first is the most common. Just laugh. Find a sit-com or a funny friend. Visit a comedy club. Watch a video of a laughing baby. These focus on distraction. The laughter is not directly tied to the problem. It helps create the positive pleasure hormones like dopamine, serotonin and oxytoxin.

That's good. What would be great? Find a way to laugh at the absurdity of a stressful situation. Too often we have irrational thoughts about our stressors. What seems so serious to us when we replay it again in our own heads can seem silly, and laughable, when we say it out loud. That's the point.

A stressor may not go away. We're going to face them until we die. If you can help your client laugh about the actual stressor you can change their biology and reduce the negative effects of stress. Recent studies suggest that just trying to increase stress coping skills is not as effective as when we change our view on stress. When we view it as something that will make us stronger, even though it's a pain, we live longer.

If you can share a moments with your client when it looks like everyone in the world is crazy but you, you will have lightened the load and become a catalyst in not only their fitness but their wellness.

3. Encourage meditation. Just thinking about meditation is a challenge for some of our clients. They want to move fast and get results faster. You can teach basics of meditation with progressive relaxation in your cooldown. You know your client better than anyone. You might want to avoid the word meditation.

Meditation, even for short periods of time, is proven to have positive effects on relaxation and reduction of cortisol. Studies show obese women going through a weight loss program who mediated lose more weight than those who did not but who had the same nutrition and exercise intervention.

If the time you have with your client is too short or the environment too chaotic to support meditation or relaxation at the end of a session try something else. Within minutes you can create an audio recording of your voice leading a client through a brief meditation or progressive relaxation.

Keep it to five minutes or less until you have compliance. Emphasize the regular practice instead of doing it for a long time. Then all you need to do is focus on accounting and recording how the client is responding. You may never increase the time. On the other hand, if your customer requests for more you can easily provide it.

There's low to minimal cost involved in creating an audio and loading to a third-party host. You'll need to learn how to do that once. Small investment of time with potentially big rewards.

Very few customers have a fitness professional who addresses every component of wellness. If you can begin to have broader conversations about the factors that lead to success before you narrow your focus to work on priorities, you'll be rewarded and so will your clients.

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Role of a Personal Trainer in Helping You Maintain a Good Health

A personal trainer plays a specific role that allows people to work out in the correct manner and teach them a few specific things. To help your clients achieve the best of the modern workout plans, you'll need to perform the tasks of coaching, planning, motivating and educating very effectively. You'll need to explain these faces to the client in advance.

All fitness clubs and workout centers must assign a certain profile for their trainers:

Regardless of whether the clients are interested in taking part in flexibility, walking, aerobics, cv machines or weight training, specific hourly sessions are followed by personal trainers. Levels of heart rate are studied by these trainers using body-fat testing methods while monitoring and recording the progress of their clients during such session sessions. Key nutrition and health information along with suggestions on lifestyle alterations are provided by a personal trainer.

Designing customizable educational programs is the primary task of a personal trainer upon joining a health and fitness center. Such programs help develop fitness and health programs upon setting of realistic goals. A personal trainer is expected to produce workouts for individual participants by sharing in-depth knowledge on designing own fitness programs, lifestyle management and usage of equipment.

Responsibilities and duties of a trainer

• Paperwork tracking for clients is important for all trainers

• Recording sessions of client training for the purpose of payment

• Sharing the challenges and progresses of client programs with the chief of fitness center

• Helping clients in various ways and feeling proud about their achievements

• Abiding by the necessary guidelines and policies while conducting sessions on personal training

• Maintaining punctuality and professionalism while conducting training

• Updating and finishing of training involving first aid and CPR

• Pursuing education for obtaining certification on personal training

Periodical Responsibilities

• Reviewing procedures followed for combating emergency and risks

• Attending all fitness supervision trainings

• Representing various fitness programs from time to time

• Performing various associated tasks assigned by the chief of fitness center

Upon achieving the necessary qualification by following courses on personal training, a trainer may choose to join any associate membership network. These networks will help them stay in touch with numerous other UK trainers. Various training networks are available both online and offline. Such extensive networks can only be availed once you possess experience worth 12 months. The member's area associated with each of these networks allows you to access contact information of other similar trainers in your locality. You're likely to see quality business opportunities once you obtain the benefits of these memberships along with their expert advice on tax and VAT.

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Fitness, Social Media and Etiquette

Every day, social media is increasingly more popular .. Anything can go viral, at any given time. With the blink of an eye, we have our newest instant celebrity. The same applies to fitness. Some fitness pages have become extremely popular. Social media is used by many fitness professionals and fitness enthusiasts alike. You can showcase your workouts, your skill set, your body or anything you can snap a picture of. You can even fill your profile with a new selfie every three hours if you so desire. On These social networks, you'll find an overwhelming amount of fitness pages, with pictures, videos and information. Some pages provide accurate information, educated opinions and proper practicing techniques. Others just demonstrate how little knowledge people have about fitness.

The upside to uploading videos and pictures is that you can gain exposure, the downside is that you open the gates of criticism. Personally, I do not knock anyone for exercising or any other personal trainer that is dedicated to their craft. I offer help to anyone that is seeking it. As a professional, I am trained to critique form, posture and movement patterns. So when I see an exercise done incorrectly, it's an instant eye sore for me. It's unfortunate that I see a lot of it. The problem is that the form is not corrected, it will further alter movement patterns and lead to a string of other issues. The other problem is that even if you are exercising with bad mechanics, you will notice results. Your body is spending more energy and you are still activating muscles that you were not using, prior to exercising. Now that they are seeing results and other people are noticing, that automatically makes them a pro. Never did they take the time to correct their own form, yet they are willing to offer advice to others.

The majority of us are self taught, which means that we did not have any guidance through or anyone showing us the right way to do things. I've made plenty of mistakes along my journey and have sustained some injuries as a result. This is why safety should be highly regarded. There are some videos and picture I've seen that make me cringe. Daring is one thing, dangerous in completely different. Injury is not something you want to encounter. Even if it looks cool or fun at the time, it is not worth the likes.

Another rising problem I see is that someone watches a video, the person in the video makes an exercise look easy. The person watching the video gets inspired and wants to try it and post a video. The problem is that it does not come as easy for you. Your body is not ready to try it and you put yourself at a greater risk for injury by trying it. Everyone is looking to advance to do all these cool videos but they are not putting in the hard work required to get there. Take the video that was watched and the video that was made. If you can not see how much worse the move looks, then you really need to work on the basics.

Personal trainers also open themselves for bad publicity. If a video is uploaded with a client doing an exercise incorrectly, that's going to hurt their credentials. Even at the gym, I have seen trainers that do not correct bad body mechanics. Anyone that knows anything about fitness can see it too. That is not a good way to gain clientele or network with other trainers. Personally, those are the trainers I go out of my way to avoid.

I understand that fitness is a new found passion and that there has been progress made since the quest began. That's a great accomplishment. Do not let your new fit attitude affect your picture and video content. Allow me to provide some social networking etiquette. Do not criticize others that are not exercising, you were one of those people at some point in your life. Do not flood your page with selfies, they're just annoying. If you're going to try a workout you saw someone else do, make sure you can execute the move correctly. They may be doing an advanced workout that you simply are not ready for. If you're going to post videos with bad form, at least be humble and ask how your form is. Do not get upset when someone tells you that it's terrible. Do not think that you can be a trainer because you gained some muscle or lost some weight. It is not as easy as you may think it is.

These are all topics I've seen and comments I've read on social networks. There is no need for all of the negativity. I look for inspiration on social networks and I hope to be an inspiration to others on my own pages. Let's keep fun fun, safe and practical.

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Why You Need Boot Camp Music In Your Boot Camp

Having music on during a boot camp session can be a highly motivational tool for your participants. Humans and songbirds are the only creatures that can automatically feel the beat of the music. Everyone has a song that just makes them want to get up and move to the beat, the heart will synchronize to the beat. Music makes the body want to move, the body will want to synchronize its movements to the music.

Although not fully understood in science, music's reaction within the body ranges through physiology, to bio-mechanics to neurology. In the book Applied Sports Psychology, it talks about “alleviating choking – the sounds of distraction” This looked at basketball players whom when playing at high levels “chocked” under the pressure. They found that if the basketball players that were recently to chocking, listened to upbeat motivating music prior to their match, their performance was significantly improved, but why?

Music has the ability to distract the listener from oneself and from everything going on around them. It means the brains attention is directed to the music rather than being misdirected elsewhere.

Music has both a psychological effect and a physiological effect. So rather than your participants focusing on how hard the burpees are at that moment in time and how tired and fatigued they are, their mind is distracted by the music and at the same time the music is elevating the heart beat and breathing, making the body want to move to the rhythm and the beat, so a double whammy if you like.

Loud upbeat music has an energizing effect on the body; it can promote feelings such as excitement and vitality. It can help the listener to push themselves an extra 10% harder by pushing away the feelings of fatigue and exhaustion.

Why not try it for yourself? Set yourself a timed workout, firstly do the workout without any music, then do it the next day with slow, calming music, then do it the following day with upbeat stimulating music. Record your results and see how music can motivate you to work harder.

This is where automated music can make your job so much easier. Let's look at the benefits:

1 – -> Countdown to begin the workout. The music counts your participants into their interval. So no surprises when you shout go, there are no excuses of not realizing the workout is about to begin and no time wasted. This frees you up from clicking on your stop watch and you can watch your participants from the word go.

2 – -> The participants know how long they have to go and so do you. This gives them extra motivation to complete the workout. Prompts from the music of 10 seconds remaining can help participants to push themselves that little bit harder.

3 ->> No checking your stop watch. Automated music means no more checking your stop watch for time and no whistle blowing to stop the workouts. This frees you up to completely concentrate on your client's workout. Gives you a chance to give uninterrupted motivational help and to ensure clients are using the correct techniques and working to the best of their ability.

4 – -> Rest times. Automated music also lets your participants know their rest time and the countdown to the next interval, giving them time to prepare and recover for the next exercise.

5 – -> The music is motivational. Music helps people both psychologically and physiologically to push themselves an extra 10% in their workouts, meaning a benefit to both you and the participants.

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Why You Should Use Boot Camp Music In Your Workouts

Everything is an effort, lethargy is setting in. You know this feeling well, we all get it, but how can you help your boot camp members when they are feeling like this, as you can bet your bottom dollar this happens to them too.

Music has a tremendous ability to manipulate emotions within the brain. We all have a favorite bit of music, and more than likely there is an emotion or memory attached to the music. Recent studies being carried out suggest that rapid tempos and upbeat music can evoke a happy emotion within the body.

Soft, slow music is often played in doctor's waiting rooms or when you are having a massage to induce emotions of calmness and tranquility. If music can create these types emotions it can also induce emotions of motivation and drive. Happy uplifting music can make a workout when you are tired and lethargic just seem a touch more pleasant.

So let's go back to your boot camp session. Your members are tired, they have another 3 rounds of intervals to go, they are flagging. Then an uplifting piece of automated boot camp music comes on. You know how long till the next interval starts, the beat is pumping, your breathing regulates to the music as does your body, in fact your body is tuning into the music.

The music is evoking emotions of excitement in your body, it is time to smash this workout, and it will not get the better of you. When the music comes on it works as a distraction to your mind, concentration switches from feelings of tiredness to listening to the music. You are enjoying the music and in turn enjoying your workout. Only 10 seconds remaining of the interval and you feel the swell of the beat from the music and you can complete this workout, in fact you do not just complete it you smash it.

Music works better as a motivational tool than any type of shouting and motivational speak to clients. Is not it time you added music to your workouts?

Boot camps are springing up all over the country, so what can set one apart from the other – well music can.

If you are the boot camp operating without music then you are likely to be the one that loses out, because the boot camp that does use music to motivate its clients, knows the value of peoples need to groove and move.

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The Right Program

If there is one mistake that amateur athletes make, it is writing their own program. It does not matter how much you know, how many years you have been training, how many websites and blogs you read – any program you write for yourself will let you down. Why? Because you will write a program that reflects your strongest areas or those you enjoy training. No matter how much you think you have balanced your training, it will reflect what you want to train.

In addition to this, your program is illegally to address what it actually needs to – your weaknesses. Good programs are focused on developing your weaknesses as well as your strengths. It's pretty hard to identify your weaknesses; it's something a good coach is trained to identify and address. Failing to adequately address your weaknesses will lead to either a stall in your progress or an injury. Guaranteed!

A great example of this is a powerlifter I coach. This guy is strong, seriously strong … in his chosen lifts. But, he has major weaknesses that exist because his programs have never been written by a coach. The consequences of this are that he can not realize his potential because his weaknesses are holding him back. He trained to his strengths, and for years has made almost no progress. Addressing his weaknesses should change this.

So, how do we get training that balances developing strengths while reducing weaknesses? The best solution is to use a well-trained and experienced coach, for the reasons listed below.

  1. Coaches are trained to identify your strengths and weaknesses as well as the needs of your sport. This is a critical foundation for an effective program.
  2. Coaches are objective, their goal is to balance your development and maximize your performance. If a coach thinks you need to focus on an area, there is generally a pretty good reason why.
  3. A good coach will understand how to train to reduce your injury risks, or to train you after you have been injured. This is a vital component of maximizing performance.
  4. Good coaches understand that you have areas you want to train, and they will structure a program to reflect this. They will not take your favorites away from you; they will just adjust the volume.
  5. A program written by a coach will be underpinned by short, medium and long-term development and goals.

If you really want to maximize your performance, hand over the programming and monitoring to a coach. They will get you training for balanced development, reduced injury risk and superior performance, and let's face it, that's what you're training for. And in return, you get the gains you want, and one less job to do!

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Why Use a Personal Trainer and How Do You Choose the Best One?

Visit ten commercial gyms or fitness centers and ask them why you should use a Personal Trainer and you will get ten different answers, based around why you should use a Personal Trainer from their facility. The problem with the advice you are receiving from these professional sales people, is that the advice is driven by sales targets and is designed to help build the businesses of the resident Personal Trainers.

Now do not get me wrong, I am a Personal Trainer working out a large commercial gym and I also want to build by business. Gaining access to gym members who have been sold on the virtues and values ​​of personal training certainly makes that job so much easier. But, I would much rather have my clients decide to use a Personal Trainer (preferably me) for valid reasons and with a realistic view of what they can expect to receive in return for their hard-earned dollars.

Let's start at the beginning; why is it best to workout with a Personal Trainer? Essentially, there are ten reasons why most people choose to engage a Personal Trainer and they are:

1. You are not seeing results . Many people will begin an exercise time with a general goal in mind, usually weight loss, and work like crazy for weeks, months and even years without getting any discernible results. A good Personal Trainer will begin your journey with a comprehensive Pre-Exercise Screening questionnaire and will have an in depth discussion with you about your goals, motivation and previous exercise history. Only then, after gaining an understanding of where you currently are and where you want to get to, will they begin formulating an exercise and nutrition plan specifically for you. Included in the pre-exercise screening, will be body weight assessment, girth measurements and possibly even skinfold measurements taken to establish a baseline against which your future progress will be measure.

2. You do not know where to start. No Personal Trainer worth wasting your money on will assume that you have any prior knowledge of anatomy & physiology, nutrition or exercise science. The reason is that if we absorb that every client is a blank canvas and develop the workouts based on the principles of sound technique and progress, every client has the opportunity to learn the safest, most effective way in which to build their strength, cardio vascular fitness and insure against unnecessary injuries. Most people who join gym do not know how to exercise effectively or safely and there is no-one better to teach you how to do that than your Personal Trainer. A large number of people will download a templated workout from their favorite website or get advice from their “fit” friends. The problem with this approach is that you may not know how to use the equipment safely and the workout has not been tailor to suit your individual needs and / or limits.

3. You are bored with the same old workouts. I know from personal experience that if you do not change your workout on a regular basis, or add interesting cross-training options into the mix, you become very bored with the workout and are less likely to even attempt to do it. Bang, there goes your motivation. A good Personal Trainer will be continuously reviewing your progress, how your body is adapting to the exercise and, assessing your motivation. If any, or all, of these indicators show signs of plateauing or you are less motivated, he will change your routine and add some variety into your workout to keep it interesting and to continuously challenge your body.

4. You need to be challenged. If you are like the majority of the exercising population, there will be days when you simply do not feel like pushing yourself to your limits or, just feel like slacking off. A Personal Trainer will not allow you to bring out the BS excuses to not workout. He will push you to complete that last two reps and encourage you through the set when the weight looks far too heavy. He will be your conscience, your mentor and your cheer squad, but he will not be your Mother.

5. You want to learn how to exercise on your own. Even if you want to exercise on your own, it is a great idea to engage a Personal Trainer for a few sessions to learn the right way to exercise. This is especially true if you want to learn about the muscles in your body, how to target those muscles and how to complete the exercises with good technique. Just a few sessions can teach you about your body, how it works and what you can do to get the best out of it through exercise.

6. You need accounting and motivation. Personal Trainers come with built-in motivation. You are investing both money and time in your health and fitness and there is nothing like a standing appointment to get you off your butt and moving. A good Personal Trainer will also provide accounting; so if you do not turn up for an appointment, they will be straight on to you to find out if you did the missed training in your own time. They will regularly quiz you on your eating and sleeping habits to make sure you are staying on track.

7. You have a specific illness, injury or condition. If you have specific conditions like, Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, arthritis or old injuries, working with a Personal Trainer, who can work with your Doctor, Physiotherapist or Chiropractor, can help you find a program that suits your particular circumstances, help heal injuries and, avoid further problems. Keep in mind that you want to find a trainer who has experience with your issues and make sure that trainer works closely with your doctor and / or physical therapist for the best experience.

8. You are training for a sport or event. If you're training for a marathon, the football season or some other type of sport or event, an experienced Personal Trainer can help you decide what you need to do to stay strong without detracting from your other training. He can also help create a training program and map out a periodisation plan for the coming event. Just make sure he's experienced in the sport you're training for since not all trainers do sport-specific training.

9. You want supervision and support. Some people do know how to exercise for best results and do know how to exercise safely but still want to have a Personal Trainer around to supervise their workout and provide support (including spotting heavy weights) during the workout. The Personal Trainer then becomes more of a training partner.

10. You want to workout at home. Many people have a good collection of exercise equipment at home but are not sure how to use what they have or lack the motivation and discipline to actually exercise. A Personal Trainer can show you exactly how to use what you have gotten and the knowledge that your trainer will be arriving at a particular time in the specified day will help motivate you to do the work.

Now that you have some really compiling reasons why you should use a Personal Trainer, the next question is: How do you pick the best one?

I could be facetious and simply say, “pick me!” but there are some fundamental, and non-negotiable, criteria that you should insist on seeing. The first of these is an appropriate, recognition qualification in fitness or exercise science. As an absolute minimum, the Personal Trainer must have a Certificate III & IV in Fitness. If they have a Diploma in Fitness or Under Graduate Degree in Sports or Exercise Science, then so much the better.

Secondly, if they do not have additional qualifications, eg Certificate or Diploma level, in Nutrition or Dietetics, they should not be offering nutritional or dietary advice beyond the scope of the National Dietary Guidelines. If, on the other hand, they do have additional qualifications in Nutrition and / or Dietetics, they can help you analyze your diet and offer nutritional guidance and advice.

The third factor to consider is their specialization. Every Personal Trainer has been educated to a level that will allow them to offer support and guidance to a broad range of people with a broad range of objectives and challenges. However, I have yet to meet a single Personal Trainer who does not have a specialization or, a preference for a particular type of training. If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and your goal is to lose weight and control your condition, it would have been pointless teaming up with a Personal Trainer which specialization or preference is for body building and competition. It would be equally pointless for an aspiring body builder to team up with a Trainer who specializes in post-pregnancy weight loss. The experience would be underwhelming and frustrating for both parties.

Finally, compatibility is a key factor in deciding who you should entrust with your health and fitness journey. You may have found the best Personal Trainer on the planet but if he has a huge ego and has difficulty relating to you, on your level, he is not the guy for you. Spend the time to sit down and have a chat, find out something about the Trainer's background, their personal fitness journey and what they enjoy doing in the gym. If you find a kindred spirit who has all of the qualifications and a specialization that fits your needs, they are the Trainer for you.

When you do find that perfect Personal Trainer, do not make the mistake of putting dollars in the way of achieving your goals. The investment in the right Personal Trainer will be worth every cent. Let's say you are asked to invest $ 50 per session twice every week to get the Trainer of your choice. In isolation, $ 100 can seem like quite a large amount of money but you need to put it into context; what is your life and long term health worth? If you eliminated all junk food, cigarettes and alcohol from your diet, how much would that save you each week? If you were able to stop taking the drugs that are currently keeping you healthy, how much would you save? The dollars should not be the determining factor.

It is very easy for me to state “I can get you into the best shape of your life” and in fact, many of my contemporaries do exactly that in their advertising, but what does that mean in the context of your life? I would much rather say: “I can help you find the strength of purpose and discipline to be fit and healthy for the rest of your life.” This is a reality that we can both commit to and make it happen. Only you can change your life; I can teach you how and help you achieve it.

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Hiring Your First Fitness Coach

Congratulations you've begun to build a successful fitness business and are ready to hire your first fitness coach! This is a big step for your business that will help you take it to the next level by allowing you to step away from training every single client who comes through the door and spend more time working on your business.

So what qualities should you look for in this first hire?

You can teach a skill, but you can not teach personality and work ethic. Many owners and managers make the mistake of hiring for skill and education thinking that previous experience, degrees, and certifications will make for a successful coach in their businesses. Unfortunately, these are usually the worst people to hire. The trainer, who is fresh out of college with his or her shiny new certification or has just come off their internship, thinks they know everything and how things should be done. Even though you own the business and have made it successful you're the old guy or gal and an idiot in their eyes. This is not to mention that their work ethic is less than sub par and on time means 5 to 10 minutes late. In addition, you will also end up with an over qualified person who you're paying too much and is not able to do the job you hire them for.

On the other hand when you hire based on personality and work ethic, you get a person who can shine in your business. This person needs to have good energy, which comes natural to them. One of the worst things is a trainer who is trying too hard to create energy and it's just natural to their personality. They also need to be open to new ideas and have a strong willingness to learn and teach ability. Typically, this person is not found were most owners and managers look. Many times this person is already right under your nose. Take a look at your current clients. Is there one or two that are exceptionally into it and could potentially fit the part? Bring them in and talk to them about the possibility, many times these people make great trainers. They have already bought into your system and way of doing things, they love the gym and want it to be successful and be a part of that success.

If you do not have any clients you think could fill this role, then look at people who are in a current service based industry – that barista who always has a smile on her face and always goes the extra mile for the customer or the Nordstrom employee who takes a little extra time helping you and making you feel special. Any person you come in contact with that has a good personality and the ability to relate to and serve the customer is what you are looking for.

But, what about the background you ask? After all these people have no experience in fitness. Is what we do really that difficult that you can not teach someone to deliver the program? If so, you've created a major flaw in your system that will hinder your success until fixed. Your new job will be to become head trainer – meaning that you will now be designing all the fitness programs for the members and teaching the coaches how to deliver them. Get them certified, teach them how you do things and then get them shadowing you and working with the members.

A word of caution is to watch that you do not throw them into the mix too early, before they are confident in themselves and their ability to run a session. So take it slow and act as a mentor to them. You will know when they are ready.

In the end the sage advice to “Hire slow and fire fast.” Is the best advice for making your first hire and any hire there after. Take your time looking for the right person and once you find someone what you think may be the right fit, put them on a 90-day trial period. At the end of the 90-day period sit down with them and evaluate their performance and discuss if this looks like a good fit for the both of you. If so great, but if not keeping looking the right person will come along.

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Icing an Injury – Research Says Avoid It

Icing an injury has been a very common practice for many years but new research may shed a different light on the use of ice. RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) is the familiar acronym trainers and athletes use. What does it really do and how can it be potentially harmful?

The vast majority of medical kits used by sports teams contain a chemical cold pack. The plastic bag has two sections, one containing water and the other a salt like ammonium nitrate. The water pouch is broken by squeezing it between your hands allowing the salt to dissolve in the water as an endothermic process that uses energy from the environment. It is a convenient way to have a cold pack without the uncertainty of carrying ice in a cooler that may or may not last long enough if needed late in the day.

When an athlete is hurt (like a sprained ankle), past practices recommended the person to lie down, elevate the limit above the heart and icing an injury by applying an ice pack. Elevating the limb helps stop blood from pooling in the area, reducing swelling and the ice does much the same. Cooling the area restricts blood flow but also helps to reduce pain by numbing the area. Although this does make sense, there is no consistency in the research. Gary Reinl (the anti-ice man) wrote a book, Iced! The Illusionary Treatment Option, and is a big believer that ice is a waste of time.

There have been NO clinical studies on the effectiveness of ice to treat acute muscle strains according to a 2012 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine . To take it a step further, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research says icing an injury could actually delay the recovery process. Dr Gabe Mirkin was the originator of the RICE theory in 1978 and he has since then agreed that the lack of evidence about ice's effectiveness is problematic. He does state though that recovery from injury is dependent upon returning basic functionality to the area which requires boiling to be reduced as soon as possible.

The book Do not Ice that Ankle Sprain by Dick Hartzell goes into the use of ice by baseball pitchers for shoulder injuries and he states “It should be illegal.” He has since invented a huge rubberband called a Flexband to use as gentle resistance to work an injured muscle or joint.

John Paul Catanzaro is a trainer in Ontario, Canada who was injured doing yard work. To test this new idea, he avoids using ice and instead grabbed a stretch band you can find at any drug store. He attached it to a bar and used it to do gentle basic movements with his ankle as a means of active recovery. The following morning, the swelling and pain was minimal and overall movement was not reduced. This was quite shocking for someone who had religiously been icing an offense with clients for years. John now recommends a very different memorable acronym, METH. It stands for movement, elevate, traction and heat. In his experience, it works far better to get athletes back to training and competition in less time.

As is the case with icing an injury, there is no data to support either option. Which should you use? I would suggest trying both methods and determine the best course of action for yourself. from my own perspective, I am a believer in active recovery. My father-in-law had knee replacement surgery and took months to recover using RICE. One of my friends had both knees done at once and underwent active recovery and was walking with no crutches or cane in less than 2 months. The difference is astounding.

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You’re Certified As A Personal Trainer, Now What?

A fitness career has amazing potential right now. There's never been a better time to get involved in the fitness industry. Few professions offer the high job satisfaction rates that personal training does.

There are some things to consider now that you're certified that you might not have gotten serious about before the exam. If you already have a place of employment lined up or your own business pro forma written and accepted by a bank, you're already well on your way!

Sneak a peak at these often forgotten small things that can make a big impact on your early success as a fitness professional.

1. Get Associated. You've got a certification. Take a look at joining an association that takes care of some of your continuing education credits as well as connects you to other fitness professionals. Once you get going in your business you'll find you have a lot of hours working with one client or in groups, but few hours to interact with other professionals. Associations allow you to chat in forums, on private Facebook groups, and share ideas or problems and challenges with people who've been there too.

2. Use Your Social Media Network. Like the association you got certified by but also like the other major certification's Facebook pages. Follow them on Twitter. Look at their likes and followers or who they follow to grow this network. Do the same with the fitness collections you already have. This will help you grow referrals or know who the right person to ask about a problem might be – before you need it.

3. Check Out Fitness Conferences Online. It's early and you just finished your certification but your year or two year period will go by before you know it and you'll need to recertify. Budget for the travel, and the conference ahead of time and let the date motivate you. You'll be recharged by attending events and networking while getting new ideas.

4. Interact with the Fitness Business Community. Make your presence known. You have eyes and ears even if you do not yet have a lot of experience. Share and comment and interact whenever you read an article or watch a video online. Contrary to popular belief that it makes you look like a “fan” instead of a pro, this interaction helps you as much as it helps the person who posted. Do the same in person. Attend open houses and grand openings. Congratulate other people and they will in turn support your business.

5. Look at Yourself As a Customer. From your personal social media accounts to your dress code and your tattoos or earrings. No insulted intended, but none of us can please all the people all the time. Consider who you want to work with and whether you are going to be appealing and attractive according to their standards. Would they be offended by anything on your social media? If they can see it, it could be reason to hire you or pass you by.

In a more competitive fitness training world all the little things matter. People will Google you and learn more about you. You should beat them to it. What will they find? Can you begin a YouTube channel or write articles on a site, like this one, or your own website? It will gain you traction in attracting customers. When all else is equal with education and experience, or someone else is ahead of you in that game, how much they like you could tip the scale in your favor.

Enjoy your experience. You have an amazing opportunity to improve the quality of lives you touch. Make it easy for people to find you, to like and to trust you.

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Do You Need a Physical Fitness Trainer? Here’s How You Can Decide! Part 6

In previous articles in this series, I first discussed the services that a physical fitness trainer can provide you with. Next, I discussed the ways in which an exercise buddy or a mentor can assist you in your fitness training. Finally, I discussed exercise programs and courses and how they can help you out. In this article I'll compare the strong and weak points of these four options so that you will be able to answer the question in the title of this article series: “Do You Need a Physical Fitness Trainer?”

In the following listing I've indicated activities that support a physical training program. They range from establishing goals to the moral support that is often the key element in a person's success. The listing also explains to the four types of assistance that are commonly available to help a person out with a training program: a trainer, an exercise buddy, a mentor, and a course or program.

Activities that Different Kinds of Assistance Can Help You Out With

Assess your physical condition: Trainer, Mentor
Help you make goals: Trainer, Buddy (possibly), Mentor
Develop exercise course: Trainer, Mentor, Course
Provide instruction: Trainer, Mentor, Course
Provide moral support: Trainer, Buddy, Mentor
Serve as your work out partner: Buddy, Mentor (maybe)
Help you update goals: Trainer, Buddy (maybe), Mentor

By looking at the listing, you can see the degree of support provided by each type of assistance. For example, a trainer will provide assistance with almost every activity except serve as your work out partner. He or she will be devoting his or her time to helping you, not to his own fitness interests.

At the other end of the spectrum is an exercise buddy . He will help you out in only two ways but they are extremely important. He will obviously be your work out partner. In addition, he will provide the moral support that can make your workouts a social event rather than an ordeal.

An exercise mentor will probably be able to help you out in all the ways a trainer can. Most likely, a mentor will be someone that you work out with who has had significantly more experience than you. The degree of experience (and / or training) that your mentor has will determine the amount of help he or she can give you. Of course a mentor will be free whereas you will have to pay for the services of a trainer.

Finally, most people embarking on a physical training program do it on their own, often without even a course to guide them. I do NOT think this is wise as I have seen many young men using work out routines that are very unbalanced — that do not exercise one or more major muscle groups. If you go it alone, always follow a good exercise course or program (see Part 5 of this article for more information on this). According to the listing above, an exercise course will not help you out with too many of the activities that support a physical training program; it will only give you a list of exercises and tell you how to do them. However, if you have an exercise buddy to work out with, you will be in very good shape as these two forms of assistance (exercise buddy and course) complement one another perfectly. This is the approach I used when I first started to exercise with barbells — now approaching 60 years ago!

There you have it. The important thing is to get started! A trainer or a good mentor can help you every step of the way. However, an alternate approach is to simply use a good exercise course or program as a guide. If you also exercise with a buddy, although you may not experience all the benefits of having a trainer or mentor, you can still do very well. If your buddy has some good experience under his or her belt, he or she can take care of some of the activities that a mentor or trainer would help you out with (like assisting you with setting up goals and changing them as you make progress) . In college, after I had a number of years of weight training experience, I began to advise fellow students that came to my basement gym to work out. I still had a lot to learn, but, to a degree, I was able to serve as their mentor.

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Do You Need a Physical Fitness Trainer? Here’s How You Can Decide! Part 5

In Parts 3 and 4 of this article series, I explained how an “exercise buddy” or an “exercise mentor” can help you out in many of the same ways that a physical fitness trainer can. In this article, I'll explain how you can get similar help from a good exercise course or program.

The Difference between an Exercise “Course” and an Exercise “Program”

First of all, it's important to be clear on the difference between an exercise “course” and an exercise “program.” Some people may define these terms in other ways. Whatever the case, it's essential to recognize that they are two different animals. Here's the way I define them:

• An exercise course is a list of exercises that a person should perform in order to achieve a certain objective (like increased strength or improved overall fitness). The course would explain how to do each exercise on the list and indicate the number of times you should do it.

• An exercise program is more than this and explains the concepts behind a well-balanced exercise course. Such a program will often give examples of specific exercise courses based on these concepts. It would be possible for the person who masters the program to design additional well-balanced exercise courses.

To summarize, according to my definitions, you may say that an exercise program is a “textbook” that teaches you how to write exercise courses.

As you gain experience with a number of courses and, sometimes, do some studying on your own, you will come to realize that good well-balanced exercise courses must follow a “template” in order to cover all the bases. Such a template would include all the major movements that the human body is capable of making. Examples might be a pushing exercise (like a bench press) or a pulling exercise (like pull-ups). Templates like this are found in exercise programs. When you understand the concepts upon which the templates are based, you will be able to come up with your own exercise courses.

What Your Physical Fitness Trainer Will Do for You

In Part 2 of this article series I explained that a physical fitness trainer (or personal trainer) will design an exercise course for you to help you achieve your fitness goals and will modify the course as you make progress and / or your goals change. In addition, he or she will personally show you how to perform the exercises in the course. These are very valuable services and, along with personal supervision and encouragement, are the meat of what a fitness trainer or personal trainer will do for you.

It's important for you to notice that a trainer has had the experience and / or training that a good exercise program provides. That's what enables him or her to design the different exercise courses that are required to suit the needs of different people.

Can You Do This by Yourself?

If you purchase a new barbell set, the package will probably include a number of different exercise courses. They may be labeled as being for new, intermediate, or advanced bodybuilders — or something like that. Most courses of this type are pretty good. They are well-balanced — meaning they hit all major muscle groups — and can be done in a reasonable amount of time per exercise session. So, if you use such courses, you can make excellent progress. If, in addition, you work out with an exercise buddy who provides companionship and support, you might do just as well as you would under the guidance of a trainer. In a nutshell, it is definitely possible to exercise without a personal trainer by your side.

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Do You Need a Physical Fitness Trainer? Here’s How You Can Decide! Part 4

In Part 3 of this article series, I explained how an “exercise buddy” can help you out in many of the same ways that a physical fitness trainer can. In this article, I'll point out additional ways in which an “exercise mentor” can help you out. We will discover that an exercise mentor can provide you with pretty much the same benefits as a physical fitness trainer.

An Exercise Mentor

A mentor is a person that you greatly admire for his or her accomplishments in a certain field of endeavor and that serves as your guide or coach in this field. Concerning exercise, a mentor would be someone who is exceptionally accomplished in strength and / or endurance exercise —- at an advanced age. Age might be the best indicator that what the person advocates is “on the money” as it has stood the test of time. For example, which impresses you most, a 25 or a 75 year old man that can bench press 300 lbs? Obviously, the 75 year old. There are thousands of 25 year olds that can do the 300 lb lift but only a useful of 75 year olds.

A Very Special Exercise Mentor and Friend

I was fortunately to have had such a mentor in the early 1970's. Win Franklin operated a small health club in New Jersey that I now realized was his dream job — his way of sharing his amazing abilities and experience with the community in which he lived. Win was really a “superman” and excelled at both strength and endurance sports. In fact, in his seventies, he would celebrate his birthdays by first running a marathon (26-1/4 miles) and then continuing to run and walk non-stop until he had gone a mile for each of his years. He was not creeping along either! A reporter that covered one of his runs did some research and found out that his marathon time would have won first place in the 1908 Olympics! To top this off, he was not the typical skinny distance runner. At 5 '- 8 “tall, he weighed in at a burly 175 to 180 lbs, a weight more typical of a strength athlete — which he certainly was! only mention one of them: a one arm “bent press” with 220 lbs.

Back to Physical Fitness Trainers …

The point is that, if you're fortunately enough to know a person such as Win, or even someone who is less accomplished than he was, he or she might be willing to serve as your mentor. Exercise is not rocket science. There were strongmen and endurance athletes a century ago. What worked for them will work now. In any field, whether it is engineering (my profession) or exercise, the principles are timeless and the person who has mastered them will be the best teacher. To be sure, changes occur as the years go by. In engineering, we now are blessed with computers that enable us to solve problems that we could not begin to touch 50 years ago. In physical training, there are now many different kinds of machines available to exercise with. However, once again, the principles upon which most fields are based do not change. A person who has mastered exercise principals and successfully applied them to him or herself is potentially a great teacher — a great exercise mentor.

What Can an Exercise Mentor Do for You?

The list is essentially the same as the list for a physical fitness trainer (see Part 2 of this article series). He or she can:

  • Assess your physical condition telling you your strong points as well as areas in which you may need improvement. Your mentor might even recommend that you see a physician if there is doubt in his or her mind that you are capable of beginning a physical training program.

  • Help you zero in short and long-term fitness goals and then modify them as you make progress.

  • Help you choose exercises to accomplish your goals and, later on, change them to insure well-rounded development and to avoid staleness.

  • Supervise you while you exercise. If you're really lucky, your mentor will exercise with you! No physical fitness trainer will do that!

Most important, an exercise mentor is your friend. Like an exercise buddy, an exercise mentor spends time with you and helps you because he or she enjoys your companionship and believes in you — in your ability to succeed with an exercise course. This is not a business relationship for your mentor. Friendship is free!

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Best Gym Gloves for Grip

If you're into pumping iron in the weight room, or sweatin 'buckets during a CrossFit workout, chances are at some time or another you've felt the frustration of a sloppy grip. So what's the solution? There is a ton of workout gear options but what is the best gym gloves for grip? Let's first understand what “grip” is and what you can do to improve your grip and get the most from your next workout.

Definition of Grip:

1. It can be a measure of Force. Think of doing a basic Bicep Curl and holding the dumbbell in your hand. The “grip” is the strength or force of your hand and forearm muscles to make a fist and hold that weight. Many exercises can help you increase the strength of these muscle, and quite your grip.

2. It can be a description of a Surface. Using that same dumbbell example, if you notice the metal handle of the dumbbell is probably textured. This is to increase friction and the “grip” of the metal against your hand. At it's most basic level, it is a safety feature designed to keep the weight from slipping out of your hands. Unfortunately it is this precise friction against the skin that causes calluses.

Best Gym Gloves For Grip

Material: Look for something that's made from Genuine Leather. It is by far the most durable material for gym gear. Want proof? Look no further than your own gym shoes! People are attracted to spongy rubbery lifting grips because they feel tacky and seem to have a non slip surface. They will tear apart after a couple of uses because the bar or weight is supposedly to rotate naturally in your hands, not stick to them.

Construction: You may be more comfortable wearing a full traditional gym glove. These generally have a half finger design and a closure at the wrist. While they are very versatile and popular, if you've ever worn them during a sweaty workout, you know that they can get pretty uncomfortable. Another option to full workout gloves are lifting grips. These are usually small pads of material that fit right in the palm of you hands. These serve to protect the pressure points on the palms of your hands where you hold the weight or in the case of body weight exercises, the pressure point on the hand.

At the end of the day, there is no one stop shop so to speak for you to find the best gym gloves for grip. It's a combination of the strength of your hands and arm muscles, the construction of the gear that you're using, and the exercises you're doing.

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In Getting a Personal Fitness Trainer

There are numerous times when plainly doing things by yourself just will not cut it, one of those times is when you are out to start working out and preparing to get fit. Though it is good to try out new things for yourself, you will have to reconsider when looking into getting fitter. You see, when you do things alone, there are bound to be things that will not work out so well for you. Luckily though, there is always that one person that can help – a personal fitness trainer! Yes, when going to the gym or just plain exercising to get rid of excess weight and getting a better body, the best thing you can do is get a trainer. But what exactly does a trainer do?

Discuss where to start

Contrary to popular belief, a personal fitness trainer is more than just a coach yelling at you while you are on the treadmill. No, a trainer does so much more than that. In fact, the work of a personal trainer starts way before you even set foot in the gym. The personal trainer will help you discuss where you are going to start. You will have to do some thorough assessment as to how you are doing and what the things are that are preventing you from reaching your goals.

Planning phase

After the assessment discussion with your trainer, you will have to move on to the next step which is the planning phase. Your personal trainer will now discuss with you what you want to achieve out of your partnership and how you are to achieve it. Also, the specifics of your regimen and training will be determined on.

Step by step instruction

Your personal fitness trainer will then proceed with training you in the best way possible for you to reach your goal. Because you most probably would not know what to do or how to do it, your instructor would teach you every step of the way so that you do not end up hurting yourself. If that will not produce good results for you then surely nothing will.

Encourage

For certain, there will be times when you get discouraged by your path, that you may find what you are doing is hopeless. Your trainer will then help you to get back on your feet and regain your confidence in your cause. Because of this, you will get more encouragement and motivation to get back out there and continue what you were doing right. This by far, is one of the most important functions of a personal fitness trainer.

What to expect

When choosing a trainer, it is very important to note that they will not do the work for you. You will have to do the heavy-lifting: literally and figuratively. You still need to work hard and to do your best, but your trainer will still be there to lighten the burden and help you with your training. So why wait? Get a personal trainer!

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