A Personal Trainers Scope of Practice

A big issue in the fitness industry, in general, is personal trainers going outside their scope of practice. These days functional training has taken over the personal training industry as the best evidence based practice. However, this has lead to many trainers crossing the line of their qualifications. Many health clubs and personal training studios have their trainers perform things such as postural evaluations and functional movement screens to diagnose potential problems to normal everyday activities. How many trainers are actually trained to do this? For example, I have seen X-rays of people that look like they have exaggerated postures when looking at their skin but the X-ray shows nothing abnormal. In this context, if we attempted to correct the situation, we could actually be doing more harm. The question that needs to be answered is: are we really qualified to diagnose anything?

A lot of “functional” trainers walk a fine line between physical therapist and personal trainer by diagnosing problems (muscle imbalances, joint pain, etc.) and attempting corrective exercises to fix the problem. Is this really within the scope of practice of a personal trainer? Let's take a closer look at some definitions of scope of practice by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). These are three very well recognized and established personal training certificates within the fitness industry. The NSCA developed a practiceer definition for their premier certification, the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), which states that the CSCS is a professional who “practically applies fundamental knowledge to assess, motivate, educate and train athletes for the primary goal of improving sport performance. ” It further states that it is the job of a CSCS to consult and refer athletes to medical, dietetic, athletic training and sport coaching professionals when appropriate. ACE says nothing in their definition of a personal trainer's scope of practice about diagnosing abnormalities. It does mention that trainers can develop and implement programs for individuals who are apparently healthy (what does “apparently healthy” really mean? Is it a judiciary call?) Or have medical clearance.

Similar to the CSCS practiceer definition, it specifically says a trainer's job is to “recognize what is within the scope of practice and always refer clients to other healthcare professionals when appropriate”. The ACSM states that “The ACSM Certified Personal Trainer is a fitness professional involved in developing and implementing an individualized approach to exercise leadership in healthy populations and / or those individuals with medical clearance to exercise”. There is nothing in their scope of practice statement that says a trainer should be able to diagnose and / or treat any ailments. These statements are echoed by Eickhoff-Shemek & Deja (2002) in their article “Four steps to minimize legal liability in exercise programs”. Sean Riley, a licensed attorney and exercise physiologist, warns us that a trainer legally can only design and implement training programs (Riley, 2005). He further states that acting outside of this scope is to unlawfully practice medicine (Riley, 2005). Trainers can be found guilty of a crime if they “practice or attempt to practice, or … advertises or holds himself or herself out as practicing, any system or mode treating the sick or afflicted … or who diagnoses, deeds or operates for or prescribes for any ailment blemish, disorder, injury or other physical or mental condition … without being authorized to perform such act … “(Herbert & Herbert, 2002). This was specifically written for California but many states have similar statutes. As with the aforementioned scope of practice statements by the NSCA, ACE and ACSM, Riley points out that it is “… up to you to resolve clients whose needs exceeded your abilities and knowledge”. This opens up a whole new can of worms as most trainers are paid on commission so making it difficult to turn clients away.

It IS appropriate for us, as exercise professionals to notice limitations in our clients. This could range anywhere from limitations in ROM, strength, coordination and even mental capacity. From here, unless you are a qualified professional, it is our job to work around these issues while keeping our clients active and healthy and not make the problem worse. Bottom line: personal trainers must keep themselves in check and know when their job ends and another professional's begins.

Eickhoff-Shemek, J. & Deja, K. (2002). Four steps to minimize legal liability in exercise programs. ACMS's Health and Fitness Journal, 4 (4), 13-18.

Herbert, D. & Herbert, W. (2002). Legal aspects of preventive, rehabilitative, and recreational exercise programs. (4th ed.). Canton, OH. PRC Publishing.

Riley, S. (2005). Respecting your boundaries. IDEA Trainer Success, 2 (4), retrieved from http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-articles/personal-training/personal-training-ethics-scope-of-practice

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Fitness Education or Glorified Group X?

All certified personal trainers are expected to keep up their certificates by completing a certain amount of continuing education credits; typically within every two years. They do this by attending seminars, workshops, webinars, take home tests, etc. One of the most popular ways trainers do this is by attending weekend long fitness conferences.

My experience with these fitness conferences leads me to question whether or not trainers are actually learning anything. Now, I can not say I've been to all the conferences ever offered but I've been to a few. In 2005 I went to the IDEA Fitness Conference in Vegas. I came out with two conclusions: 1) Vegas was way more expensive than everyone said and 2) the conference was a complete waste of time. Just about every class, with the exception of two, were no different than taking a group exercise class at 24 HR Fitness except that there were 100+ people in the class. This was my first major conference so I had my hopes up. Bad idea I guess. I could not believe they called a glorified group X class continuing education! Great, I learned a list of new exercises to take home with me. As mentioned, I could've done the same thing at 24 HR Fitness. I've also attended some smaller, localized, conferences thinking that the more intimate setting might produce a better atmosphere for more in depth, learning that is evidence based. However, they were all pretty much the same thing. I have not gone to any conferences in a very long time because of this. Not to mention the outrageous costs incurred in order to attend one of these. I came out of the IDEA Fitness Conference in Vegas about $ 2,000 poorer! The bad part is, this cost problem will never go away because CEC's are mandatory and trainers must attend these types of things in order to keep their certifications current. This further questions the efficiency and legitimacy of CEC's courses. Most personal trainers “attend” the courses or seminars, but are not really “present”, just so they can claim their CEC's that they paid for.

With all that said, I do see the importance of having CEC's. However, personal trainers must have a desire for professional growth and be intrinsically motivated in order for CEC courses to be effective. Time and experience alone will aid in personal growth; but the continuous acquisition of knowledge can further develop oneself which, if obtained and applied correctly, can result in an individual being up to date with skills and current science practices. It is imperative if we are to recognize ourselves as professionals to maintain credibility by keeping up with the latest research. But it does not stop there, personal trainers must also know how to apply this information. The smartest trainer in the world, does not always make the best trainer in the world.

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Raising Your Game With These Perfect Partners

Half your workout time and increase your pulse rate by pairing up exercises. I've developed a program that targets the full body and should take about 20 minutess. By pairing up exercises that work different muscle groups together, your heart has to work harder in order to move blood to all the areas that you're working. It's more intense but there are great cardiovascular gains to have been carrying out your toning exercises in this way. Good news for you as you'll get toning benefits along with a good calorie burn and you'll cash in on a higher post exercise after burn … meaning you'll continue to burn calories for some hours following your session. Talk about efficiency. That's what we like!

Do the following 7 exercises continuously, without resting. Then rest for 1 or 2 minutes and do the circuit again. Repeat this circuit 3 times in total. For maximum results do it 3 times a week on non-consecutive days. All you need is one set of dumbbells or even 2 large bottles of water would do the job.

1. Wide leg squat with tricep extension
Stand with your feet wide apart, toes pointing 45 degrees outwards. Hold 1 dumbbell with both hands (if heavy) or have a dumbbell in each hand (if light) behind your head, arms extended in line with your body. Align the knees with the toes and lower your body until the thighs are parallel to the floor while simultaneously bending your arms and lowering the dumbbells behind your head. Ensure elbows are pointing forward and close in to the head the whole time. Return to starting position. That's 1 rep, do 15.

2. Plank hold single arm row
Hold a press up position, with the dumbbells in your hands. Hands are slightly wider than your shoulders and feet slightly wider than your hips. Engage your core and glutes to keep your hips square to the ground and bend your right elbow to row the weight up to your torso, keeping the elbow back. Return the weight to the floor and repeat with the left arm. That's one rep. Do 15. Repeat on the other side.

3. Squat press
With your feet parallel, and weight in to your heads squat down with a dumbbell in each hand, resting at shoulder level (palms facing forward). With your weight in your heels and core engaged extend the legs to standing and extend your arms above your head into a shoulder press.

4. Lunge with a bicep curl
Hold dumbbells at your sides and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step back with one foot, bend both knees to lower your body until your right knee is bent to 90 degrees. At the same time, curl the dumbbells in to your chest. Lower the weights then return to standing. That's one rep. Do 15, then repeat on the opposite side.

5. Side plank rear fly
Grab a dumbbell with your right hand and lie on your left side, then prop yourself up on your left forearm and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line. Extend the weight in front of you at shoulder level. Slowly raise the weight towards the ceiling, keeping your arm straight and pulling your shoulder blades together. Return to start. That's one rep. Do 12 to 15, then switch sides.

6. V sit decline press
Sit with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your shoulders, elbows out to the side. Lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle, then lift your lower legs until they're parallel to the floor, keeping your knees bent. Engage your core and press the dumbbells up and away from your body at chest level until your arms are straight. Return to start. That's one rep. Do 15 to 20.

7. Leg abduction with lateral raise
Stand tall with feet parallel and hip width apart. Have a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing into the body. Abduct (raise) your left leg out to the side keeping the foot flexed and toes pointing forward. At the same time raise both arms up to shoulder level (keeping your arms straight). Retract the leg and the arms back down. That's one rep, repeat 15 times then do again with the right leg

8. Single leg extension with 'W' shoulder press
Stand tall with feet parallel and hip width apart. Have a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in the direction of the ears and weights at ear height. Bend your left leg, raising that leg up and then extend out so the leg is parallel to the floor ront of the body while simultaneously extending your arms out, forming the letter 'W'. Then bend the leg back in (without putting your foot down) and retract the arms. This is one rep. Repeat 15 times and then do the same on the opposite side.

9. Deadlift with upright row
Hold dumbbells in front of you, palms facing your thighs, and stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Keeping your back slightly arched and your core engaged, hinge forward at the hips and slowly lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor. Pause, then squeeze your bum and push your hips forward to return to standing, pulling the dumbbells up to your chest by bending your elbows out to the sides and raising your forearms. Return to the starting position. That's one rep. Do 15.

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5 Reasons Why Sex Is The Best Exercise Routine

Many people are looking for a good way to burn calories. When it comes to burning calories, most prefer to exercise or workout in a gym. That would definitely help anyone out in burning those undesired fats. But for people who want to burn calories fast, jogging is not going to cut it right away. People often criticize about the idea of ​​sex as an exercise, but sex is actually a good way to burn those calories. Yes, you read it right. Training in gym with exercise tools can help you gain a fit body but sex can bring more benefits than going to the gym. Knowledge dictates that sex burns 100 calories per half hour. That's a lot more times than jogging.

Sex, in its own way, can be safe or dangerous. People who have no idea about contracepts and jump right into sex will have a high chance of getting pregnant. So if you are thinking of sex as a regular exercise regimen, please use caution and make sure it is safe to do so.

As mentioned before, sex has a potential to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Not only does it use almost all the muscle of the human body to reduce fats, but it also has other health benefits as well. Here are 5 reasons why sex is the best exercise routine.

1. It Promotes heart health. Sex does not only reduce one's calories but it is also good for the heart. Earning intelligence accomplishes that and a lot more. That means not only are you getting emotional benefits, but physically too. Sex 3 times a week may reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. That's like hitting two birds with one stone.

2. It develops and strengthens the immune system. Sex helps a person's immune system get stronger. Sex once a week will increase immunoglobulin A by 30 percent. Immunoglobulin A is an antibody that helps your body ward off viruses and diseases. That means a free flu shot by having sex to avoid that hurtful needle.

3. It can help relieve pain and stress. Studies show that sex reduces all kinds of pain. During intercourse, the body produces endorphins that helps get rid of discomfort. If you or your partner are hurting, sex is a good way to get rid of those headaches and feeling pleasure in one package.

4. It helps prevent cancer. Women who do not have sex have three times the risk than those having regular sex to acquire breast cancer. In other words, sex also helps enforce cancer immunity.

5. It aids in making you look ten years younger. According to several studies made, sex indeed makes you bloom and look younger than your real age. Sex can help you get rid of those wrinkles without those anti-wrinkles cream. It can also give a great aura the following morning after a great night with your partner.

Sex makes a great exercise because of these great benefits that some exercises do not really bring. So if you do not have the patience to go to gym and follow strict exercise and food diet, you can choose to make your body healthy by a more fun method that is sex.

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5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Personal Trainer

Do you need a Personal Trainer? – If you have a goal or something you want to achieve, the answer is yes. Working with a personal trainer has been PROVEN to achieve better & faster results than working alone.

What do you want from your Personal Trainer? – This is probably the most important question. Yet it is often the least explored. Most people will consider cost as the main priority. However, while money is an important factor, as everyone has their own budget, there is no point in getting the wrong service for the right price. If you are looking for a personal trainer to work with, then you are most certainly looking for a result of some kind. Therefore you should be looking for the best coach that you can within your budget. As yourself, “what do I want to achieve?” and then find the best person to help you achieve that. One session, week or even just one chat with the right person will be vastly more beneficial than any amount of sessions with someone who is throwing generic workouts at you.

How much should you pay for a Personal Trainer? – It may not seem so right now, but this is, by far, the least important question. The way to get the best results for your investment is to work out in advance what you can GENUINELY afford to pay, find the best person for your purposes and then work out the best way to put those things together.

Who is the best Personal Trainer for you? – Only you can really know the answer to that. But, you are going to be working with this person for a while and you will be spending a lot of time with them, so you MUST find out if you feel comfortable with them. You may be able to get a feel for this from their website, flyers etc. If they can not be bothered putting the effort into their public image, then how much effort are they likely to put into your training.

Do they offer a free consultation? : They should be confident enough in themselves to be willing to speak to you about them with no outlay on your part and use the consultation to make sure you are speaking to the right person for you.

5 Things to ask at the consultation:

Treat it like you would an interview. Make sure you know what you are getting for your investment. This should not just be about your gym sessions. Remember there are 168hrs in a week, unless you intend to spend most of that at the gym then you need to know that you are using the rest of your time wisely. W hat kind of nutritional advice will you receive? Will you be given a diet analysis? Will you get meal plans tailor to your needs? Etc.

How will your progress be tracked? The only way to track body composition improvements is by measuring body fat. This should be done through the use of skinfold callipers NOT through the use of an electronic body fat tester or scales. How often will this be tracked? Ideally you are looking for weekly feedback to ensure you are not going for long periods doing the wrong thing. Even if a program SHOULD work, everyone is different and there are no guarantees so you need to get regular feedback.

How will your workouts be created? Too many Personal Trainers treat every client like the next on the conveyor belt. If you are female, short and looking to flatten that stomach for your holidays, you should not be doing the same workout as a 6ft male who is obese and trying to stay out of hospital. So if you find you are turning up and doing the same workout as the person that just left, I'd be asking the effort and thought that is being applied to your training.

What is your guarantee? Your personal trainer should be able to Guarantee your results if you follow their guidance correctly. You should not be paying for 1hr sessions. You should get the session length that is right for you. Different people respond better to different training times. So if you are someone who is better suited to short sessions, you should not be doing 1hr sessions. If you are someone who is qualified to long sessions, then you should not be getting cut off at 1hr. You are paying for a result and if you do not get one then why should you pay for fruitless use of your time.

Once you get started

Watch out for bean counters – If you do sign up with a trainer, check that you are getting useful feedback. There are too many trainers who seem to think that their job is to count the reps out for you. If your 'feedback' is simply “ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, keep going, FIVE, SIX … etc” You may want to re-assess what you are paying them for.

Keep these things in mind and find the right Personal Trainer for you and whatever your goals (flatten that stomach, burn the fat, shape your shoulders or increase your endurance) and it could be the best investment you've ever made. For more information on this subject then have a look at this article on what to look for when choosing a Personal Trainer

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5 Snowboarding Exercises That Get You Ready For The Slopes

Snowboarding is fun. It's a very dynamic sport and requires a lot of agility and physical strength. You can get a lot of health and fitness benefits from this sport, but going out in the cold slopes without prepping up could lead to muscle cramps, jumpy actions or even worse, untimely death.

Warming up prior to snowboarding is very beneficial, whether you are an amateur or an expert a snowboarder. Warm up exercises enable you to utilize your muscles efficiently, and it conditions your nerves for the actual run. Warming up per se lets your body know that you are about to undergo a more intensive activity which prepares your body systems to work in unison making you feel more relaxed, thereby improving your body posture and range of motion. There are two types of exercise to perform, previously pre-boarding (the actual warm up) and post-boarding (cooling / relaxing state after a warm up).

There are several warm up exercise that you can try, among others are general, dynamic stretching, technical and speed warm up. You have to remember that with pre-boarding exercises; you really have to start with slow movements, gradually increasing intensity to full speed, just as if you are in the slopes snowboarding. With post-board however, you will just be using static exercises so your muscles and other body systems return to the normal, resting state. To assist you in prepping up for a snowboard run, here are 5 snowboarding exercises that get you ready for the slopes.

1. Toe and heel walk

This type of exercise will generally help your calf muscles to avoid cramps. To do this, simply walk on your toes, at a distance of about 20 meters. Do the same while on your heels. Whenever you feel muscle ache, you could stop for a while.

2. Skipping

This is particularly useful in snowboarding, as usually you can encounter obstacles while in the slopes. Try the skipping exercise for 20 meters, landing with your mid-foot, not the heel or the toe. You also have to flex your knees slightly higher than the normal strides.

3. Hip circles

It will make your buttocks and midsection more stable with the pressures in skipping or changing angles in snowboarding. Perform by having your hands on the hips, with feet together. Raise and bend one leg in front of you, rotate it up to your side and lower it. Do the same on the other leg, and do this ten times per leg.

4. Lunge

This gives a stable forward thrust in the field. Do this by standing on your feet, and slowly raise your knee up to the chest and release. Do this ten times, then on the opposite leg.

5. Inchworm

This can warm up your whole leg, with a good stretch to your hamstring and calf muscle group. Begin by assuming a push-up position. Slowly walk your legs towards your hand, and then walk your hands away to assemble the push-up position again (like the inchworm). Repeat this for five to ten times.

Aside from warm-up exercises for snowboarding, you can also do regular training and workout to keep your body fit and healthy. This will not just improve your skills in snowboarding, but your total well-being.

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Thinking About A Personal Trainer Career?

Believe it or not, personal training is one of the hottest jobs out there these days. For those who have a passion for fitness and love to help people, working as a personal trainer is like a dream come true. If you have given any thought to starting your own career in the field of personal training, you may be wondering if it's right for you.

Make Sure You Are Fit

Of course, to teach others about diet and fitness, you need to prove that you are an expert. Fitness clubs and gyms will not hire people as trainers if they are unfit and unable to end strenuous activities for hours each and every day. In fact, you need to be fitter than fit if you want to be a trainer. Trainers are entirely dedicated both during work and outside or work to keeping their fitness level at the highest level possible.

Make Sure You Have A Great Personality

As a trainer, you need to have excellent customer service and communication skills. Your number one priority is to motivate and help people while also remaining patient in times of difficulty. You need to be enthusiastic, energetic and charismatic to retain your clients and generate referrals for your business. Without people skills, you can not succeed as a personal trainer.

Join A Gym

One of the best ways to see if a career as a personal trainer is right for you is to put yourself in a personal training environment first. Join a gym and consider hiring a personal trainer. You will become familiar with the equipment, routines and overall atmosphere of good personal training, all while gaining valuable knowledge and experience in the field.

Get Certified

The last thing you need to do before you can start your career as a personal trainer is to get certified by an accredited organization or fitness institution. All certificates vary from place to place, but most require that you are at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma. Some may require that you already have CPR / AED certification.

Consider Starting Your Own Personal Training Business

You do not have to be employed by a club or gym to work as a trainer. If you want to embrace your inner entrepreneurial spirit, you can consider opening your own business and gathering your own clients. With your own personal training business, you have the opportunity to have your own boss. You can work with whoever you want, whenever you want. The independent business idea is one of the most attractive features of a career as a personal trainer.

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5 Awesome iPhone Fitness Tracking Apps

Do you want to keep track of your health and fitness? With the virtual personal training apps bought to you by Apple mobile technology, you can now monitor your health and fitness through your own iPhone. Now, you do not have to look for a training instructor or a workout partner. All you need to do is to install these virtual training apps on your iPhone!

There are a wide variety of health and fitness applications that you can install on your iPhone. Each app has its own design and theme so you can choose which one best suits your lifestyle. If you are planning to get iPhone training apps, you will check out these 5 awesome iPhone fitness tracking apps.

1. iFitness
iFitness is probably the most user-friendly fitness app available today. It is very convenient so that general users will have no trouble in using this app. iFitness can assist you with all the basics when it comes to training your body. For more advanced users, iFitness features can also be customized to match your needs.

2. iPump Total Body
This iPhone is most appealing to those people who really regularly workout regularly. If you are a workout-oriented person, iPump Total Body can help you with your training. If you are tired of reading books and watching DVD's for workout tutorials, you can simply get iPump Total Body to level up your training routines.

3. GymGoal Lite
For all those who regularly have gym workout, GymGoal Lite is your best virtual fitness app. GymGoal Lite does not really teach you what kind of workout to do, but it assists in sorting and organizing your training goals. If you are aiming for fitness goals, you can set it up on GymGoal Lite for easier organization. This app aids in sorting out and managing your gym training milestones.

4. C25K Couch To 5K
This fitness app for iPhone is intended for users that have little background when it comes to training. The app is developed to help those couch potatoes and turn them into physically fit persons. From simple walking and jogging exercises to running marathons, this C25K Couch To 5K app will enable you to make your lazy body into a fit and energetic one.

5. Go Pedometer
Go Pedometer is probably one of the basic workout apps that you can install on your iPhone. It is not too focused on heavy strength training and weight loss workouts which is why it can be used by everyone. Go Pedometer is merely a simple pedometer app that monitors your walking distance, time consumed in walking, the number of steps done, walking speed and calories burned over a time frame. Go Pedometer is specifically designed to be a pedometer so if you desire for a muscular body, then this app is not really the one for you.

These 5 awesome iPhone fitness tracking apps have captured the interest of many training newbie and expert gym trainers alike. The best thing about health and fitness iPhone apps is that they are very convenient and cheap. So if you want to turn your weedy body to a healthy, strong one, or even if you just need training assistant, go to iTunes now and search for your preferred iPhone virtual fitness tracking apps.

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What Athletes Should Know About Overtraining

All successful athletes need to be able to push themselves, often to the brink of injury. As you seek to improve your performances, you will have to train harder because as you approach your genetic limits, there are inevitably diminishing returns from each increase in training volume and intensity. The key to success is to understand how hard to push, and how much recovery to include in a training program to give your body a chance to rest and adapt to the training stimulus.

Unfortunately, in the desire to improve, many athletes fail to include sufficient recovery in their training and often experience either a rapid decline in performance or injury. This is often referred to as 'overtraining', and can occur to both experienced and novice athletes alike. It is worth remembering that a training program that can easily be accomplished by an experienced athlete may be too hard for a beginner, and you are often at the greatest risk of overtraining simply because you may increase the intensity of your training too quickly.

Fatigue

If you are a part-time athlete, combining training with a busy work and personal life, it can be the cumulative effect of your lifestyle, and not just the training alone, that leads to overtraining and fatigue. Of course, almost all athletes will experience some fatigue as a result of their training and this is perfectly normal. The skill is to recognize the abnormal symptoms of chronic fatigue, such as poor sleep patterns, irritability and frequent illnesses and injuries, and do everything possible to prevent these occurring or getting worse. Prevention is usually more than just rest – it involves recognizing that training and lifestyles are becoming too intense or too addictive, and making a conscious effort to change.

Prevention

It is generally accepted that endurance athletes are most likely to overtrain, simply because of the high distances that are covered in training. Fortunately, since overtraining tend to be a gradual, rather than a sudden process, it is possible to recognize symptoms and prevent the problem from getting worse. Complete rest is often not necessary, and with a coach you can work to include more rest into a program and reduce the volume and intensity of the training program.

For beginners without a coach, avoiding the temptation to do 'too much to soon' is imperative, especially when starting out on a training regimen. Simply listening to your body and being prepared to take time off to rest or recover is crucial. While it may seem as if a few days off will lead to a decline in fitness, in the long term it is much better to take this step than to continue overtraining and allow more serious problems to develop.

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Training for Racing Weight in the Quick Start

Your training during a quick start period can and should be quite different from your training within the training cycle. To start with, because the quick start precedes the beginning of race-focused training, your training volume needs to be lower. If you tried to shoulder the burden of peak training volumes before the training cycle even began, you would certainly burn out before you primary race. High training volume is an effective way to stimulate fat loss, but it is certainly not the only way. The quick start training plans that are available maximize fat loss in a volume-efficient way with a combination of very high intensity interval sessions, strength training, and prolonged fat-burning workouts, some of which are performed in a fasted state.

These key workouts also serve to prepare your body for the race-focused training to follow. Sessions of very short, very high intensity intervals burn a lot of fat, especially during the few hours after you complete them, through a phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). They also cultivate reserves of speed and power that you can develop into sustained speed in the training cycle that follows. Strength training will slightly increase your muscle mass and with it your metabolic rate, so your body burns more calories at rest. It will also give you a solid structural foundation to absorb and profit from race-focused training later. And prolonged fat-burning workouts maximize fat burning within the kind of steady endurance format needed to prepare you for the base training that will follow the quick start.

Combining high-intensity interval training with calorie restriction was less effective in increasing the power-to-weight ratio in cyclists than either interval training or calorie restriction alone. Since weight loss is a higher priority than performance improvement within a quick start, combining high-intensity intervals and calorie restriction in this context is appropriate. You will take full advantage of your quick start weight loss to maximize your performance later, within the training cycle.

You could map out your own quick start with these guideposts. As long as you understand how to reduce your calorie intake appropriate, how to format a sport-specific strength program, and so forth, it is illegally that you would make any wrong turns. But if you want a guarantee of no wrong turns, I suggest you simply follow the detailed quick start meal and training plans that have devised for you.

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Failure Is Great!

What comes to mind when you hear the word failure? You most likely think of something negative like not reaching a goal, failing a test, or maybe even you're a loser, etc …. We are taught in our society that failure is negative and it's not acceptable. I am here to tell you it is acceptable and it's a positive thing. It's your choice in how you view it.

Whenever we fail, we are trying to accomplish something. It can be taking a test, losing weight, running a marathon, or even losing a relationship. It's normal to get upset when we do not get the result we wanted. The problem is when we ruminate on what we've lost or did not accomplish. When we do this, we are thinking of something in the past and wishing it was different. It's in the past and therefore can not be changed. (Without I create a time machine -LOL- Just Kidding) This is when failure is negative!

When we fail at something, we have the opportunity to look back and learn from our mistakes, so next time we are faced with a similar challenge or working towards a new goal, we can make wiser choices to achieve our desired result. You may fail again and that's ok. You just repeat the process and continue to learn from your failures. This is how we learn, grow, and evolve as human beings. This is how you turn failures into positives.

Failure can also get you down and make you feel hopeless. If this happens, I encourage and challenge you to look at life as opportunity. Failure happens to teach lessons so when the next opportunity comes along; you are better prepared to achieve it. This changes hopelessness into hope and is another positive way of thinking. There is positive in everything … sometimes it's just hard to find.

“Failures are building barriers to learn, grow, and evolve as human beings”

Now let's use an example: Let's say you set a goal to lose 10 pounds in the next two month. When the two months is up, you only lost 4 pounds. You failed at reaching your goal. This part is a fact. You now have the choice to get down on yourself because you did not reach your goal or you can look at the situation and see what you can learn from it. Ask yourself: What could I have done differently so I could have reached my goal? Then set a new goal, use your newly earned positive knowledge, and get back to work. This is how you learn from a failure and turn it into a positive experience!

We always have the choice of how we view things in our lives. Things can be looked at positively or negatively. It's our choice! When you fail, find the positive by learning from it! This is how we grow and this is how we succeed in reaching our goals. Always remember it's your choice!

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Getting in Shape Fast So You Have More Time to Study

Research has shown that keeping fit can help the brain concentrate and perform at a higher level. But with so much school work to do it is difficult to find time to hit the gym. The average gym workouts last around an hour, which can be too long for students who have a busy work schedule.

Thankfully there are several techniques that require less gym time and still maximize productivity.

Cardio workouts are a vital part of any high level fitness regime. The problem is that most cardiovascular activities are extremely time consuming, with sessions on a treadmill, bike or elliptical lasting at least 30 minutes. These workouts are usually done at a slow pace so the body can last the full amount of time. Luckily, there are various techniques that are equally as productive and take up as little as a third of the time.

Interval training builds lung capacity and burns calories fast. The best interval workouts last for 12 minutes, with a change in pace every other minute.

For example; start at a medium pace that feels comfortable then increase the pace for one minute. After that minute go back down to a comfortable speed. Keep alternating between fast and slow every minute for 12 minutes. This technique will bring fast results in a fraction of the time spent running long distances.

Lifting weights can be a daunting task for inexperienced gym goers who want to tone and strengthen their bodies. Those that do lift weights typically spend an hour working on specific muscle groups. High repetition low weight workouts are good for muscle endurance but take a long time to complete. For busy students who can only spend a limited time in the gym the best type of weightlifting is high weight low repetition workouts.

For example; find a weight that pushes your muscles to the max. Attempt to curl, press and raise the heavy weight 4 times. Each workout should be concentrated on 3 specific muscle groups; an example of this would be biceps, back and chest. Sticking to a high weight low rep session will ensure the workout is fast and effective.

Apart from studying, a good social life is usually high up on a student's list of priorities. Incorporating fitness into your social life is a great way to make more time to study. Spending time with friends is hugely important because it helps to give students a break from their school endeavors. However, whether it's going to parties or just hanging out, enjoying your friends company is seldom a productive or fast paced activity. In reality, you can have fun with your friends while also getting some great exercise.

For example; playing games that involve a lot of your buddies like basketball and soccer are fantastic for building cardio and hand eye co-regulation. Racquetball is the best sport to play with friends on a regular basis because it helps to tone leg and upper body muscles. Regardless of what your preferred sport is there is no better way to enjoy your friends company at the same time as improving your fitness.

Staying in good shape at college will help with you mentally and physically in a number of ways. With good fitness comes an increase in self confidence, better concentration and more physical endurance.

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Living The Fitness Lifestyle

A number of you have written me about how to approach the days when you are not working out, when you are not following a meal plan and when you are not scheduled to participate in a physical fitness event of some kind. We tend to call these “off days” or “rest days,” some people even have an “off-season” and I tend to think these names are pretty appropriate. I think the major idea or concept we who engage in and live the fitness lifestyle must have is that there is never a time when our body is doing nothing. The only time your body will even come close to doing nothing is when you are dead and then it is still doing something; it's called decaying. But on a serious note, we have to get it in our minds that living fit is more than a gym workout or a series of well planned meals, it really is a lifestyle. Media and marketing do a great job of selling products but they have also given many people an unrealistic idea of ​​what being fit is, what it looks like and how to live fit.

Popular mindsets to avoid

So often I talk to people who engage in body building and physique competitions. These are sports that I personally love and respect. These sports are characterized by a huge number of amazing athletes and they have always had a firm place in my heart as some of my favorite personalities and friends. However, most people (but rarely the athletes) tend to place the wrong label on these people and incorrectly think of these people as the ultimate symbol of the fitness lifestyle. In the majority of cases (there are exceptions) I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. I lived that lifestyle for the majority of my life so I know what I'm talking about.

In my experience the majority of these people only engage in fitness lifestyle endeavors around the clock when it's time to get ready for a competition. The rest of the year many of them will not train for weeks at a time, they eat anything they please and engage in binging, literally gorging themselves with food then turn around and initiate extreme dieting in order to prepare for their show. In addition to this, most of the people I've known in these sports (including myself at one time) only exercise and eat “clean” at various times throughout the year during the years that they are competitive.

Over time, the great fluctuations in body weight, the steroid abuse and constantly changing dietary procedures take their toll. Once their lives have moved past the competition phase, most of them tend to become recreational exercisers and end up having the same physical fitness shortcomings that most other people face. While sport is a wonderful way to stay in shape and enjoy our lives we have to ensure that we create lifestyle characteristics that will remain once our days of competition have passed. I struggled with this for years and can tell you that this is a tremendous challenge for the former physique athlete.

Get To Know Yourself It's Going to be a Long Ride

Living fit (for life) is about you becoming aware of your body's fitness shortcomings and designing a lifestyle that will improve them and maintain them at a high level. It's really that simple. It's not a get ripped-up for summer then gain all the weight back in the fall type of lifestyle. Sure there are times when a fit person may decide to take some aspect of fitness and improve it considering in order to enjoy the benefits of it, but the thing to remember is there is no stopping point.

This is a key concept that is so simple, but so absent from most people's lives. The fitness lifestyle never stops. It does not end when you quit playing a sport, it does not end when you get married and it does not end when you start your own business. There is no stopping point for those who live fit. Sure we all have setbacks, struggles and challenges to overcome; but we welcome them. We know that these setbacks, struggles and challenges will be overcome while living in the fitness lifestyle. In other words we do not modify our lifestyle in order to deal with issues, we deal with issues while maintaining our lifestyle. As simplistic as this sounds, I've found that this is sometimes the hardest aspect of living fit that most people deal with.

Of course there are meals, days and times when we do things that are contrary to our fitness beliefs and lives. But they are the exception, not the rule. These things are allowed into our lives as a break from the norm, as brief events that add to our lives in other ways and are worth the cost.

Some examples may be:

  1. Eating cake with your child on their birthday – there are so many positives that come from this
  2. Having some drinks with an old friend who needs to talk – friends are priceless, this will not hurt you
  3. Enjoying cultural events by partaking in its food and drinks – many things in life can not be replaced

So you get the picture. Living fit is not about sporting six-pack abs year-round (but can include this) until you get married then adopting the beer belly. Living fit is about a lifetime of choices and actions that lead to your physical betterment as your life goes on from phase-to-phase and relationship-to-relationship. The greatest thing I love about the fitness lifestyle is that it is never too late to begin. This is an amazing concept that has changed the lives of millions, myself included, and it can do the same for you if you so choose.

I challenge you to take a long look at many of the lifestyle choices you now make and consider ways to Incorporate a healthier fitness mindset into those things in order to create and build a lifestyle that will provide you with a great level of fitness from this moment forward. You can do it! Living fit is a choice and that choice is yours.

Here's to you!

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3 Tips for Retaining Personal Training Clients

Personal training is all about service. That is why it is important to keep the word personal in the business at all times. Your clients want and will expect quality service from you during every session. Running any business where you are dealing with the public is all about customer service. If your clients are not satisfied, they will simply go somewhere else where they will be satisfied. Below are three tips that every personal trainer wants to incorporate into their business to make it as successful as possible.

1. Be Professional. This entails simple tasks like being clean, wearing appropriate clothing to each session, and acting like you run a top of the line business. Reporting to appointments on time is a must. If you are expected to train a client you want to be set up and ready 15 minutes in advance. Nothing looks worse to a client then a hurried, disheveled trainer reporting to sessions consistently late. Preparation is key, it shows your client that you are prepared and organized. There are many areas to work on being a professional however, this is one area that I find time and time again plagues the industry.

2. Get to Know Your Client. Knowing your client is something that many would consider basic information. Again, this is an area that you as a trainer wants to be polished on. Getting to know the client understands more than how many children they have and where they live and work but, understanding what drives them as individuals. Knowing what is important to your client and why they have retained your services is paramount. Other then getting into shape and losing a few pounds there are other motives. Knowing this information will help you to get the most from your client each session. Find that trigger point and work it to motivate them to be the best they can be.

3. Program Set Up. Setting up a personalized program for each client is a must. By taking the time to get a medical history from your client for instance and what they are trying to achieve is important in setting up the proper program. Having the same type of cookie cutter program for every client shows a lack of professional standards. Sure some clients will respond to the same program but many will not. Also, clients talk. They will know and understand if you lack the knowledge to design and develop training programs that will meet their needs.

Having good people skills along with being organized and caring will play a big part in retaining personal training clients.

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The Benefits And Responsibilities Of Becoming A Personal Trainer

Being a personal trainer is probably one of the most rewarding careers that one can pursue. Not only is the job personally rewarding, but you have the ability or option to either work for a gym and a boss, or to be your own boss and build your own client list and run your own business.

Personal training people for fitness or for weight loss gives you the opportunity to choose your own direction by giving you more choices than a number of other career options do not. While there are many of us that enjoy working out and keeping fit, by becoming a personal fitness trainer, you get to spend your days working out if you choose as you can either keep pace with your clients or stand back and give them feedback on their posture and effort.

As a fitness trainer, you also get the job satisfaction of watching your clients improve strength wise, become fitter by doing more repetitions or actually begin to lose weight while they are working with you. One of the most worthwhile activities that we can do is to personally impact other people's lives for the better, and by assisting and training your clients to become fitter and healthier and lighter.

Personal trainers enrich people's lives because clients begin to feel better about themselves and not just while they are training with you but for the rest of the day as well. You actually are responsible for improving their work ethics as they become fitter and in many cases their sex lives as well as they begin to feel better about their bodies as well as themselves in general. Let's face it, a man or woman that has lost 20 pounds is going to feel a lot better about themselves with their partners. And if they are single, they are going to feel much better internally that a partner could be just around the corner.

Becoming a personal fitness trainer is more than just having people do exercises to a pre-written schedule, it is about motivating your clients in so many other ways than that. You should also be giving your clients basic dietary advice such as swapping sodas for water and reducing their calorie intake so that when working out with you they have the best potential of losing weight and regaining fitness.

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