Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Personal Fitness Trainer - Should You Get One or Shouldn't You?

You hear so much about the benefits of having a personal fitness trainer that you wonder whether or not you should also have one. Read about the pros and cons of having such a person help you with your exercise and fitness program. If you think that only movie stars have their own personal fitness trainer, then you may be surprised to learn that most people who subscribe to a gym membership have a trainer that creates a workout routine suited just for each individual.

The trainer is knowledgeable about all facets of anatomy and physiology as well as diet and nutrition. Therefore he/she can provide the guidance you need for your routine and help you out with all of the exercises.

A fitness trainer will set out a regimen of exercises that you do at the gym under his/her guidance as well as give you advice on other exercises that you can do on your own at home. If you want to purchase specific equipment, the trainer can give you advice on the best pieces to buy.

Having you own fitness trainer to work with you and encourage you will help you to have a workout that pinpoints the specific parts of your body that you need to work on for strength training or just toning up the muscles in general. By following the program, you will be ensured that you are not overdoing it and are getting the proper cardio workout your body needs.

The downside of having your own fitness trainer is the cost. You will have to pay for the sessions with the trainer. Some trainers charge a fee for a set number of workouts, which has to be paid in advance, while others will just charge for individual sessions.

The fact that you have a scheduled workout is great for some people, while others prefer to work out on their own time when they feel like doing it. You could try a free session at the local gym and see whether or not this is a route you would like to take.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

12 Week Personal Training Programme - Functional Resistance Training

Moving on to the intermediate level of resistance and the exercises begin to get a little more challenging for your core, proprioception, balance and stability. This is intentional, not only does it fire up your nervous system but it also helps carry over the benefits into our daily lives.

Week 7: Resistance Intermediate (Strength & Stability)

It's time to get functional

We all have goals that we are aiming to achieve when we embark on an exercise programme, for most of us it is the losing weight and looking good that is most important. However, very little thought is usually taken over exactly how our exercises will transfer over into daily life. How many times have you attended a gym or health club and been show how to use all the machines, then had a programme designed by a, so called, fitness professional that has you moving from one machine to the next. In our daily life, do we sit down and perform these unusual movements? No, we stand and bend and twist as we balance our way through daily life. Our exercise programmes must be based on function, not only because the movements are more natural but because they are far more successful at achieving your overall goals in the first place.

Functional exercise is by far the most productive form of exercise prescription whether it be for daily living, sports specific like golf, or for rehabilitation after injury. If you want help or advice on a functional exercise programme to suit you then you can contact me directly but for a few basic rules on whether a routine is functional or not you can ask yourself the following questions:

1) Does the movement follow a natural path or is it forced? Most machines have fixed hand positions that do not mimic our natural range of movement and can be bad for our joints.

2) Is it isolated (sacrifice function) or integrated (cause chain reaction throughout body)? Movements should be compound (Multi-joint). They burn more calories, are more natural and require more stability. If you think about any daily activity it never involves just one muscle, muscles have no functional individuality so why train them this way?

3) Are you challenging your balance and stabilisation like you do in daily life? We rarely spend time symmetrically on both feet, whether walking, running, bending, reaching etc. we are always transferring weight from one side of our body to the other.

4) Are you exercising 3-dimensional, are we moving in all 3 planes of movement, Sagittal (forward facing), frontal (to the side), transverse (twisting). We live in a 3D world, so we must train that way.

The following exercises show a good progression from week 3's basic resistance programme into functional training. Most of the exercises demonstrate a good functional movement for improving daily life activities. If training for a particular goal or sport like golf or tennis then the introduction of equipment may be necessary eg. stability balls, medicine balls, bands etc. but for basic function these exercises are a good starting point. Perform each exercise 10-20 times depending on ability and try to improve each workout. Complete this resistance program 3 times a week with a gentle 5 min walk before and afterwards, complete the stretching routine after that. Allow a days rest in between to recover.

A Cautionary Note

No exercise program should be painful, there is a difference between being tired and in pain. If you feel pain at any time then stop and consult a doctor. Pain indicates either incorrect technique or a medical problem. If you have any doubts about your current state of health then consult a medical professional before embarking on any fitness program.


Weeks 1-2 (3 x week)

5 Min Walk Warm up

2 x Complete circuits 10-20 x per exercise

5 Min Walk Cool Down

Stretching routine particularly those tight muscles.

Weeks 3-4 (3 x week)

As above but 3 x complete circuits 10-20 x per exercise

Next week: Nutrition

1 Leg Balance and reach

Great exercise to fire up the nervous system, improve balance, stability, flexibility and the core.

a) Stand tall on one leg arms above and shoulder width apart

b) Reach over to the side keeping your back straight as far as your flexibility will allow, if your balance fails try again but don't reach as far over.

c) Also try reaching forward, overhead and twisting to reach behind.

d) Swap legs, if one is weaker then spend more time on that side.

1 Leg Squat and Reach

This is a natural progression from the regular squat from week 3. It's very functional as we spend time bending and picking things up off the ground. It also challenges balance, core stability and works the quads and glutes intensely.

a) Standing on one leg gently lower yourself down, breathing in deeply and chest high, ensuring you keep your heel in contact with the floor. Try to get your thigh down to horizontal before reaching forward to touch the floor in front. Maintain a balanced pelvis throughout.

b) Exhale and push up using your leg.

c) This exercise takes time to perfect and I like to use an object to pick up and put down again for focus.

d) Try touching down in various areas in front to improve functionality.

Isometric prone up and down

This is a functional progression from week 3's prone position. It's dynamic and improves shoulder strength as well as overall core stability.

a) Lie face down on the ground. Place elbows and forearms underneath your chest.

b) Prop yourself up to form a bridge, using your toes and forearms; make sure your shoulders are directly over your elbows.

c) Maintain a flat back and don't allow your hips to sag towards the ground.

d) Now one hand at a time push up into a press up position, hold for a few seconds and return back to the original position. Photo shows transitional stage from elbows up to hands.

e) If you find this too difficult then try it off your knees.

Multi Directional Lunge

The lunge strengthens the legs, glutes, and improves balance and flexibility and sculpts the lower body. By making the lunge multi directional it mimics our daily movements.

a) Stand with your feet together with hand by your sides.

b) Take a step forward, inhaling on the way, descend slowly by bending at the hips, knee and ankle. Keep your lead foot flat on the floor.

c) Exhale and push back using the lead leg, returning to the start position.

d) Now repeat to the side at various angles and also behind by stepping backwards.

e) Keep torso upright, as leaning forward can cause injury.

Bridge one legged

Stimulates the glutes (bum), tightens up the backs of the legs and strengths the pelvic floor.

a) Lie on your back with one leg bent and the other straight out inline with the other thigh, heel in contact with the ground. Rest your arms by your side, palms downwards. Take a deep breath.

b) Exhale slowly, lifting your hips off the floor, squeezing your glutes until there's a straight line between shoulders, hips and knees. Don't force hips up further as it causes the back muscles to overwork.

c) Hold at the top of the movement for a second, squeezing the glutes tight, then lower the pelvis back towards the floor, inhaling on the way, not letting your backside touch the ground, then repeat.

d) Keep the one leg extended throughout the exercise and change legs half way through eg. 5 one leg and change.

Quadruped one arm one leg

Great for coordination, balance and transverse (twisting) core stability.

a) Begin on all fours, in neutral spine, with abdomen drawn in and chin tucked

b) Slowly raise one arm (thumb up) and the opposite leg, toe pointed away (triple extension).

c) Keep both arm and leg straight while lifting to body height.

d) Hold and return both arm and leg slowly to the ground, maintaining optimal alignment and repeat alternating sides

Certified Mobile London Personal Trainer based in Hampstead and also covering Belsize Park and Finchley areas. Offers a more holistic approach to health and fitness believing that without a sound understanding of all areas of health, namely: Posture, Flexibilty, Nutrition, Stress Management, Cardiovasular and Functional Exercise, true health can never be experienced. One to one personal training sessions are available

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Top 5 Weight Loss Strategies From A Top Level Personal Trainer

You are ready to shed those energy draining, body crippling, unattractive extra pounds and you are ready to make it permanent this time. You are on the right track because you've taken the most important step toward your goal. That step is the decision to take action and stay committed. The following five proven strategies will serve as essential elements in your quest to achieve your weight loss goal.

1) You must put yourself into the right mindset. Don't think of your new efforts at weight loss as trying to do certain things every day. See your self living a new lifestyle, a new lifestyle that naturally includes behavior conducive to positive changes in your health and fitness levels. You transition into this new lifestyle by makng adjustments to your daily habits until these habits are in alignment with the goals you are aiming for.

2) Find an exercise partner. It can be a friend, a co-worker, or a family member. Why is this important? An exercise partner is a tremendous source of support. A partner is crucial on those days when you really don't feel up to exercising. Unless you are sick, a good partner won't let you slack and likewise your partner will need you to pull them up when they are not up for the workout. You being needed is an indirect but important type of support. With an exercise partner comes the element of accountability, which subconsciously reinforces your commitment to your quest.

3) Have a baby or get a puppy. These two strategies work in the same manner. I write about this one from first/second hand experience. My wife, Jeri-Jo, gave birth to our daughter, Darah, nine months ago. Today, she weighs less than she weighed before she got pregnant. What is the mechanism here? Jeri-Jo claims, "With Darah to care for, my mind is focused on her and her needs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not at risk for malnutrition, but I don't eat out of boredom any more simply because there is always something to do. The day flies by and I don't have time to snack on foods that cause weight gain."

The puppy strategy is very similar to the baby strategy. If you are not playing with it, training it, feeding it, walking it or cleaning up after it you are too tired to overeat. And, before you know it your new puppy is done napping and ready for more activities. Like caring for a baby, your puppy requires a lot of attention and mental energy. This prevents many people from unnecessary snacking that prevents weight loss.

4) If you are not ready for a baby or a puppy then take a up a new hobby. A new hobby will get you out of the house, stimulate your mind and prevent you from eating out of boredom. If your hobby is a fitness related activity, such as mountain biking or hiking, then you are really going to make some progress.

5) Drink more water. I know, you've heard this one before. But, can you truthfully say you are doing it? Not many people can. Ponder this. You consist of about 73% water. Your body gives off water all day and all night. You must continuously replenish your water levels in order for your body to function at its highest levels. Many fitness professionals talk about the metabolism slowing down as a result of too little food intake. However, just as important, yet rarely mentioned is water intake and its effect on metabolism. Not getting enough water can cause water retention and a slowing of the metabolism. Both of these can prevent weight loss and cause weight gain.

One little known strategy for boosting water intake is to drink 8 - 12 ounces as soon as you wake up. This helps wake up your metabolism. Another way to boost your water intake is to drink 10 - 12 ounces when you start to feel hungry. Instead of immediately reaching for food, drink the water and see if that calms your hunger until you are ready for your next meal.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Personal Trainers Can Make Or Break Your Success

Do you need a personal trainer? That is the first question that you should be asking yourself. The answer is quite simple... If you walk into the gym and feel lost or confused, then you definitely need a personal trainer. Or, if you pretty much know what you're doing but are seeing very little or no results, you should consult a personal trainer to help make the difference. Believe it or not, even experienced exercise enthusiasts seek out the assistance of personal trainers when they seem to be unable to make any more gains from their daily workouts.

Personal trainers are supposed to be the sole resource necessary to succeed in the gym. The time and education that is required to obtain a certification as a personal trainer is definitely not easy. You should be able to consult your gym's personal trainer regarding your current workout routine and your goals. They should be able to give you suggestions, guidance, and instruction, as well as show you where you are making mistakes.

Most personal trainers also have and in-depth knowledge of dietary needs and requirements, and should be able to give you guidance in those areas as well. In fact, many trainers also compete in body-building or fitness competitions. These trainers are extremely focused on dietary requirements as their body fat content must be extremely minimal during an actual competition. They can give you dietary guidance that is worth its weight in platinum, so pay heed.

Sometimes, you will get lucky and will find a personal trainer that has prior military experience, possibly even Special Forces, who can give you guidance that you couldn't get from your traditionally educated trainers. Believe it or not, most Special Forces groups in the United States Armed Forces go through the same training programs. The Navy SEALS, Army, Marine Corps, & Coast Guard all go to the same Dive School to obtain their dive certification. The physical training that they undergo is grueling to say the least. The same can be said for airborne certification schools that are hosted by the U.S. Army. Every step of the way involves more and more physical training that ensures that their bodies are perfectly tuned for the difficult and continuous abuse of combat, and that they are conditioned for any situation that may arise in the area of their certification. They are the best of the best for that reason, and a personal trainer with that background is an extremely valuable resource.

Some personal trainers aren't so valuable. When the personal training arena became a national craze, a lot of weak certification programs sprung up across the nation. Some people saw personal training certifications as a money maker, and rushed programs into existence to take advantage of the market. This enabled masses of people to take a cheaper course and to acquire their certification in less time. Experience with personal trainers will give you the ability to discern between the two. Having a properly educated personal trainer is a wholesome and completely different experience than having someone trying to train you that knows only a little more than you do. If you have one of these trainers at your gym, avoid them like the plague. Always use a personal trainer with the knowledge to help you, because the lack of this knowledge can literally hurt you.

In the end, your fitness goals must be achieved. If a personal trainer is not helping you to make any gains or improvements, don't be afraid to try someone else. Sometimes a trainer's area of expertise may not coincide with your current fitness needs. Believe it or not, experience depicts how effective that a personal trainer is in certain areas. In this way, personal trainers are very much like Physicians because they can specialize.

Many personal trainers have experience with dealing with certain body types or types of metabolisms. Someone that constantly trains body-builders may not be the trainer for you if you are a beginner or have a higher body fat content than most people... Don't be afraid to ask any and all questions that you may have, including questions regarding the personal trainer's experience. They should be unafraid to hand you off to another trainer that is skilled better to assist you with your current fitness needs. Make sure that you have the right personal trainer for you, and you will see nothing but continued success!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Personal Training - How Do You Choose A Personal Trainer?

In Part One of this article I discussed several benefits of a personal trainer. As a result, many of you may have expanded your understanding of what a personal trainer has to offer and have now decided to consider the services of a personal trainer. This is great news! However, not all trainers are created equal. You must be selective in your choice of a trainer. This article will provide an overview of what to look for in a trainer who will be a good fit for you.


One of the most obvious qualities a personal trainer must possess is a thorough education in the field of exercise science. Their education may be through formal education or self-education. Having had a formal education in exercise science, I can say from experience that there are things you will experience in a degree program that you simply will not be exposed to through self-education alone. Likewise, there are experiences through self-education that you will not be exposed to in a formal education setting. Therefore, I would recommend finding a trainer who has both a formal education (minimum of a bachelor's degree) and a thorough self-education.


A qualified trainer should be certified. The reason I say this is not due to the certification alone, but instead due to the continuing education units required to keep the certification. Like trainers, not all certifications are created equal either. Some require a bachelor's degree in a related field and some do not. The two most reputable certifying organizations are the National Strength and Conditioning Association and American College of Sports Medicine.


Experience is an important aspect of personal training. Why? Because no matter how much knowledge a personal trainer has it basically useless unless he/she is able to effectively apply it to a real life setting. No amount of formal or self-education can take the place of experience. I recommend choosing a trainer with at least two years experience with training a variety of individuals.


The most overlooked quality of a personal trainer is his/her adaptability! Through my experiences as a personal trainer, I have never trained two people who were exactly alike. This applies to their personality traits as well as physical characteristics. You need to find a trainer who can adapt to your individual needs, whether they are physical, emotional, or other.

Now that you understand the benefits (from Part One) of a personal trainer and how to go about selecting a trainer who is right for you, I encourage you to consider this option if you are serious about getting in shape. Contact a few trainers in your area and arrange a consultation (most do this for free) to speak with them one-on-one and see what they bring to the table. I am confident that with the right trainer, personal training will prove to be a very gratifying experience and a rewarding investment.

Friday, September 30, 2011

How to Become a Great Personal Trainer

It's a great question, and an important question. With the loss of traditional jobs and a move to service-industry economy in North America, personal training is a way to earn a relatively good living while helping others.

In my opinion, there is a huge shortage of good trainers in the workforce.

Now it's relatively easy to become a certified personal trainer. Simply look up one of the popular certifications (ACE, NSCA-CPT, or whatever certification the gym you want to work at requires), get their study materials, and then pass their test. Then you certified and can be a trainer. That's it. (So it's easy to see why there are so many bad trainers out there. Remember that the more people the organizations certify, the more $$$ they make...)

However, to become a good trainer, you will need to learn much, much more and invest far more time and education than you need to just get a quick certification.

You will need to start by mastering the basics such as anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and an introduction to sports medicine.

For without this foundation, it is easy for a trainer to fall for the latest gimmicks and fads. If you don't know how the central nervous system controls the muscles, then standing on a wobbling board while doing biceps curls with a rubber band while reciting your ABC's backwards might seem like a good idea. But if you have a strong education in the foundations, then you'll take one look at that stuff and realize its bunk.

Fortunately, you can learn as much studying on your own as you could by being enrolled in a University Kinesiology program.

The plus side of going to University is that you will get a recognized degree and it also happens that a University or College degree (any subject however) is a pre-requisite for possibly the most recognized certification, that of the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).

However, the obvious downsides of University are the required investments in time and money. You must study on the University schedule and the fees are substantial.

One additional downside to a University education is the heavy emphasis placed on aerobic exercise science. Not only has this lead to the "You must do aerobics for fat loss" mentality, but also to the ill-advised "high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets are best for fat loss and health" nutrition recommendations.

While some coaches regard the formal education process as un-necessary, and feel that all the requisite knowledge can be gained on their own and in the trenches, I am a strong supporter of a formal education - provided the quality of education is high. Perhaps these coaches attended less than stellar Kinesiology programs (which I know do exist).

However, the education that I attained from McMaster University is without a doubt the reason for the quality of my programs and the level of my knowledge. Most influential was the neuromuscular physiology course taught to me by Dr. Digby Sale at McMaster University. But since you will never have the opportunity to attend his classes, I recommend in his place you read:

Supertraining - by Mel Siff


The Science and Practice of Strength Training - Dr. Vladimir Zatsiorsky

Either way, as Michael Masterson of EarlytoRise says, expect to spend 1000 hours of study to become competent (as he suggests is the case with any discipline). Of course, having a good mentor can significantly decrease the amount of time you will need to study (perhaps by 50%).

So those are a couple of roads on how you become a competent personal trainer. But they aren't the only ones. I've even met former University-educated engineeers that are great trainers, as they seem to bring a unique perspective to training.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Personal Trainers Insight into Weight Loss

Unfortunately, in today's world, the easiest way is the best way. Today, if you are overweight, there are a million and one diets, training programs and supplements which guarantee you success. Indeed, many of them deliver and customers have excellent success. 
But more often than not, those who begin a diet or program fail. They either drop out, or the results don't come.

But why? Why is it that the obesity epidemic is sweeping the world with a force, if there are so many easy weight loss methods available? 
Because current trends are to let others do the thinking for us.

We follow a particular diet. Foods we can eat, cant eat. Train at this time, run for this long. All you are doing is following someone else's rules without actually learning anything yourself. And this is the key to a new lifestyle and weight loss- knowledge. Understanding which you can act on in any situation at any time in your life.

If you understand how the body works, in relation to nutrition and training, if you become familiar enough to recognise and react to your bodies messages and changes, if you understand enough about yourself- its then, and only then, you can live a LIFESTYLE of healthiness which will keep the weight off with no drudge diet, no starving, no 0 carb or 0 fat menu's.

This is the difference between those who lose weight and keep it off and those who are forever struggling. Those who learn not only rules, but the reasoning and the knowledge behind these techniques, who understand bodily processes, how their body works, why it works that way, and how to ensure your lifestyle is optimum for your body, these are the ones who not only will lose the weight, but can simply live a healthy lifestyle armed with this knowledge. Day by day they can live happy and sure, knowing how to treat their body correctly without any crazy diets.

Im not saying that weight loss programs out their are incorrect- they will work in many cases. But your body is a clever thing. It adapts, it resists. Unless you can manipulate your lifestyle for your particular needs, and react to different situations not outlined in a general diet, you wont succeed, or your success will come at a dear price. Who wants to follow a certain menu day in day out? Its bound to fail. Who wants to cut all the carbs out of their diet? The only thing which will happens is your metabolism will slow so much, when you do eat carbs again it will result in weight gain. The cycle begins. It's the knowledge of the science of your body which will allow you to understand EXACTLY why your putting weight on, or why your losing weight, and how to reverse or encourage trends in your everyday life.

In the morning when i wake up, i know if i don't eat within 30 minutes my body will start to tap into my muscle stores and fat stores for glucose. As im trying to gain muscle, this is unacceptable. When my body is overly tired, ill postpone a workout, consume some extra protien and carbs and allow plenty of rest. Its all about understanding your body and meeting its needs. One diet can work for everyone. You need to know your body and know how to treat it in any situation. This is the key to long term weight loss, and a fun, invigorating new lifestyle.

So before your begin your diet or training program, take the time to learn about the science of your body. Research the processes of fat storage, fat breakdown. Research muscle growth, research nutrition. Knowledge. Its worth more than its weight in gold. Aquire it. Understand the world you life in and the body you walk around in. This is your key to success.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What Is Men's Personal Fitness Training About?

Most men, when it comes to men's fitness training, look at building mass instead of losing weight. There are two different options then when it comes to this type of training. The first is getting a really solid buff body, while the other is just a healthy body. Either way, these workouts are the way to go.

No matter the reason men are choosing this training program, they will receive many health benefits as well. In fact, such training can give men many health benefits. These include living longer and losing weight if desired. Not only can this form of training let men live longer, but also live a healthier life.

When it comes to these workouts you can choose from doing it at a gym or at home. Which one you choose, is ultimately up to you. These questions when it comes to this form of exercise it will depend on your time limitations and what you want to achieve. At home you can have privacy and more time. While at a gym you can have a trainer to help you, but it costs membership fees and you may not have a lot of time. You will also have to work around the gym's schedule, unless you are lucky enough to find one that is opened twenty-four hours a day.

Before you decide which way to go with the program, you should first get a doctor's opinion. This opinion can be invaluable and help point you in the right direction. Some suggestions from friends can also help as well.

When you decide that you are going to use a gym for your fitness training, you will want to decide which one you are going to join. This will involve looking at prices and facilities offered. This includes if they offer personal trainers or not. Compare fees to find the best one for you and your needs.

On the other hand, if you choose home equipment for your training needs, then you will need to shop around as well. This includes comparing prices and warranties of the products that are offered. There are many out there, but is up to you to choose the training equipment that will suit your personal fitness needs and goals.

As you can see, if you are a man, you may have many options to choose from when it comes to these workouts. Men's fitness training also has many health benefits. Whether you choose a gym or home equipment and whether you are choosing to bulk up or just tone what you have, these workouts are the way to go. Either way you will avail the health benefits and that is a good a reason as any.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why Do We Need Personal Fitness Trainers?

If you are looking for a new fitness routine, you may want to consider checking out personal fitness trainers. Personal fitness trainers are a good idea to help motivate you and keep you on track. Not only that, but they can make up a good exercise routine that is personalized just for you and your fitness goals and needs. Besides this, these trainers can help you in some other areas as well.

Of course the main job of these trainers is to keep you on track with your workout routine. This is great for those who are not very disciplined when it comes to this aspect of staying in shape. It is also great to have positive motivation no matter what. They sometimes use pushy techniques to get you there, but this may be what some people need to really stay on track.

Besides keeping you on track with your workout, personal fitness trainers will show you how to eat properly. They will show you some healthy alternatives to other foods that you may want to eat. They can also show you how to prepare some of these dishes. Not only will they show you how to eat healthy and properly, but they can show you the correct size proportions to eat. Because it isn't just eating right, but eating the right amounts that will make a difference. They will also know what kinds of food and serving sizes will work with your fitness routine, in order to maximize your weight loss.

The first thing to do when you begin looking at personal fitness trainers is to get advice from your doctor. They can not only give you advice but also refer you to ones that may be right for you. Local fitness centers can also give you some referrals as well. Asking your friends isn't a bad idea either. Once you find a few that you may like, taking the time to interview them thoroughly. Let them know what your fitness goals are and ask them what they would do to help you. Be very specific with them, in order that they have all the details to choose from. Go over every aspect of their plans afterwards and compare them side-by-side. This will help you pick the one that you believe will meet your needs the closest or best. Another thing to check out when it comes to choosing among personal fitness trainers is the times that they are available. This is very important when coinciding with the times you are available. You want to make sure that you are meeting with them at least a couple times a week.

As you can see, choosing personal fitness trainers will take a little research and time. But in the end, if you desire good motivation and a healthier lifestyle, it just may be the option for you. Once you find one and see how well they work out, you'll be glad you took the time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Personal Trainer Toronto

Personal Trainer Toronto - Your New Year's Resolution Gift 
January is almost over and already you begin to see people falling off the wagon with their workout routines. Five days a week is quickly turning into three and soon the average resolution setter will have long disappeared leaving the gym crowd-free once again.

Many of these people are lacking one simple element of motivation. They don't have a strong enough reason WHY they want to lose the weight or get in shape. There is nothing to keep them going, there are no clearly defined benefits to continuing to go to the gym. 

Personal Trainers are a great motivating tool when it comes to staying on track. They not only keep you accountable but ensure that you are getting the most out of your workout. 

1. An individualized fitness program designed specifically for you

2. Maximize your workout time

3. Increase performance in the areas of strength, flexibility, endurance, posture, balance, co-ordination, and cardiovascular health and fitness

4. Reach or maintain a healthy body weight

5. Learn correct form and technique for cardiovascular and strength training

6. Prepare for an event such as a wedding

7. Relieve boredom from the same workout routine

8. Learn new ways to improve your health

9. Have fun with your workouts by training with a motivating and fun individual

10. Reduce stress and anxiety

When looking for a personal trainer, make sure they offer a free evaluation or consultation before you train with them because this is the best way to see if you like their training style.

Stay strong with your New Year's resolution and get fit in 2007. Having a healthy and sexy body is the best gift you can give yourself.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Personal Training Certifications - Not All are Created Equal

Personal trainers play an important role in the lives of many who are struggling and aspiring health and condition-conscious people. But how do you 'validate' your skills as a personal trainer? Personal training certifications are essential if you are a dedicated personal trainer (PT), interested in giving the best to your clients, and to get a good income of course.

Just perform a Google search on "Online Personal Training Certification", and you'll actually come across a whole long list of certifications - there was one which seemed like a joke as it costs only USD49.99! But the fact is .. that there are tonnes of personal training certifications out there - which one is the best and can offer you the experience, knowledge, training, satisfaction and a chance at a great personal trainer salary?

In my opinion, the personal training scene here in Malaysia is not as competitive and as lucrative as it is in most other countries. If you would read up the profile of the personal trainer at your gyms, you would notice that only a handful have taken the initiative to get certified by an independant and recognised certification body (ACE, FISAF, etc), while the rest of them (which is almost MOST of them actually) only possess an in house certification.

In my opinion, unless the PT has a real genuine passion for his job, he'd make a lousy trainer if his knowledge and expertise depended SOLELY on what he learns at the in house certification course. Most of the time, the in house courses are only recognised by that one fitness chain itself, and not the others. I've also had the opportunity to glance through some of their training materials, which interestingly, even addresses the area of convincing members at the gym to sign up for personal training packages. It even includes sample questions and answers, what you should say if given a particular excuse not to sign up, etc. Yes, thats sick! Now you know why some of the rotten ones can sometimes be so persistent and annoying.. its cos they studied how to!

To those of you who have not heard of the ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) the ISSA is recognised worldwide and are very highly respected in this field. Anyway, personally, I've always been very keen on certifications from the ISSA myself, mainly because:

1. I know people who have sat for ISSA certifications - and they are top notch personal trainers.
2. I've seen some of their examination questions before, and they make the most sense when compared to a few others.
3. The convenience and the freedom/flexibility to study at your own pace, and sit for an online exam.

For me, being here in Malaysia, having to juggle a busy work schedule and my time at the gym doesn't leave me much time to enroll myself in a class to study for a certification. I wish I could just sit for the exam and skip the course materials! And the ISSA gives you just that - the freedom to study at a relaxed pace and to sit for the online exam when you're ready. That alone, is enough to swing my decision to them, but the fact that they actually are a credible voice in this industry.. is a very welcome bonus.

There are many who aren't all out for online certifications, and I don't blame them. For example, a complete newbie would need to familiarize himself with exercises, technique, and have a good understanding of our health and bodies. For someone like me, or anyone who's been around the scene for a good few years - an online certification could be just what they need to take their career to the next level since we already have the basics nailed down. Although there's nothing like having a real live person in front of you to interact with, I'm actually pretty comfortable with their in depth study materials and support offered.

The ISSA offers a completely online personal training course. You can sign up, read materials, take practice tests, and sit for the real certification exam all online. No need to talk to a real person. This does have its up and downs.. but I do believe that the quality of their syllabus, and if you really are a dedicated person and are passionate about it - getting certified will easily place you 10 notches above the average PT in your gym who only carries an in house certification.

The ISSA offers certifications in various categories, but I've personally had my eyes set on the Specialist in Performance Nutrition (SPN) certification for quite some time now. Its not really a course that gets you involved in training an individual, but pretty much a specialised course to understand the role nutrition plays in our bodies and how we can best maximise that for maximum performance by our bodies.

In Malaysia today, especially among the fitness chain giants, where a majority of PTs only possess an in-house certification program - having your own cert will differentiate you from the rest. If you're looking for the best 'study-as-you-go' certification that will be able to fit in your busy schedule, I'd say that an ISSA certification would be your best option. Hey.. it's what I myself would sign up for. ;)

I write with great interest about the ISSA simply because in the right hands - it has the benefits of excellent in-depth materials coupled together with convenience. Now thats a perfect combination. I plan to get ISSA certified over the next few months if all goes well... so wish me luck!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Those Who Disgrace Their Profession - Gym Personal Trainers

I've been doing some research on thermogenics/ fat burning/ fat blocker supplements, so I headed to the gym today and asked a Personal Trainer over there about a certain thermogenic product.
Anyway, he recommended a 'personally-guaranteed' product... a mixture of Ma Huang* and something called ******? He hesitated in spelling it for me.. and kept pushing me to buy it.. which kinda turned me off.. 2-4 pills a day he said, up to 2 weeks, followed by a one month off period.

I am searching online for the latter ingredient.. but can't seem to get the spelling right. Ma Huang is also called Ephedrine which accelerates heart rate (the PT said).

He mentioned that 80% of his clients are taking these tablets and all of them absolutely love it.. so I did ask him: why do i need to buy a hundred tablets? can't i just take 50 tabs first? his reply to me was: oh but u can keep u see... so i said: if 80% of your clients are taking it, im sure u can help me find someone who wants to buy the other half since it's so popular anyways.. he had nothing to say.

Previously on another occasion some months ago when I felt as if my workout wasn't quite going anywhere, I asked him how to get rid of the last couple of layers of blubber.. he straightaway launched into this ONE-week programme thing that he designed.. 6 days of workout, high-protein high fibre diet, some pill-popping, then on the 7th day, only SIPS of water allowed to get rid of water in your body.. he guaranteed me 6 packs.. i was like WHAT?!

I thought I'd share my experience with you.

Cheers! Fitchick

This is like giving a kid a can of beer when all he needed was a glass of milk. It's just MEAN. This is just SO WRONG is SO MANY ways I just don't know where to start.

It is extremely disappointing to hear such recommendations come from the mouth of a Personal Trainer (PT). It is people like these who tarnish an awesome life-changing and inspiring job of being a Personal Trainer. What I find disappointing is that he suggested an easy way out (which also happens to be a very UNSAFE one) to someone who was keen on doing things right. What he suggested very much sounds like a recipe for a heart attack... jokes aside.

Also, the diet he suggested sounds very much like a pre-contest diet where bodybuilders strip their last bits of bodyfat to look good just in time for a contest and appearing on stage. You should ask the PT.. what happens after the 1 week of madness?

If I were you.. I would NOT go down that path of drug abuse to achieve weight loss. This entire topic is very, very controversial, and surprisingly - very widespread wherever you go. It's just that it is rarely discussed, for obvious reasons - it's illegal, and has the potential to do you harm if you're not careful.

As for Ma Huang - it's pretty common and can be found in most thermogenic supplements - but in controlled doses so that you won't run the risk of screwing yourself.

Here's a description of Ma Huang I got off the net:

*Ma Huang is an evergreen plant derivative. It acts as a stimulant by supposedly boosting energy and helping with weight control, and is chemically similar to ephedrine. Ephedrine accomplishes weight control partly by reducing appetite and by boosting your heart rate, etc.
Any products containing ephedra were made illegal for over-the-counter sales by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 12, 2004. Prior to this date, ephedra was available legally in nutritional supplements, energizers, and dietary teas, as well as in herbal "ecstasy," which was the impetus for its controversy. The US FDA banned ephedrine after it "...received an increasing number of reports of adverse reactions associated with ephedra use. These reported reactions vary from the milder adverse effects known to be associated with sympathomimetic stimulants (e.g., nervousness, dizziness, tremor, alterations in blood pressure, headache, gastrointestinal distress) to chest pain, myocardial infarction, hepatitis, stroke, seizures, psychosis, and death." Some 32 deaths were also attributed to this drug. 

However, the whole ephedrine abuse drama too, is controversial, and there's always been two sides of the story, just like everything else. I'd rather not go there.

And a note to everyone - I do not condone the usage of Ephedrine, or any other drug for the enhancement of sport performance, no matter what your excuse is. Nothing beats proper nutrition, diet, and exercise.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us Fitchick. I appreciate it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Athlete's Succeed With The Help Of A Personal Trainer

Sports are big business - profitable for athletes and individuals who prepare athletes for competition. Professional and amateur athletes at all levels - from grade school teams to the National Football League - need assistance of expert personal trainers who can make them excel at their sports. Until recently, most people believed that power athletes were born not made. That's changed. Modern training techniques can make anyone faster, stronger and more powerful. A Certified Specialist in Sports Conditioning through International Sports Science Association can provide powerful tools needed to prepare athletes for professional, college, school, or recreational sports.

Through this internationally recognized certification the Sports Specialist has mastered the basic science and exercise programming techniques behind training athletes for competition. This detailed certification course covers the major bones and muscle of the skeletal and muscular anatomy and how this relates to sport performance. This information is of vital importance in determining the muscles involved in specific sports and exercises to develop them. For example, a baseball pitcher must have strong arms, shoulders & back muscles to throw the ball but he must also possess balance and strong legs and lower body as well as core strength in order to pitch at peak performance.

Having knowledge about the basic methods of measuring speed, endurance, power, strength, and flexibility is essential for this certification. This includes popular tests used by the NFL and other professional teams for measuring sports specific physical fitness. Improving skill is the best way to develop power for sport. They show proven techniques for using video to build skill systematically.

Via this certification one learns scientifically proven methods for building endurance, strength, flexibility, speed, power and agility. These techniques are incredibly effective techniques to help athletes perform to their full potentials. These methods can make even people with modest talents far better than they ever thought possible.

To pass this certification one has to design programs for major athletes involved in such sports as football, basketball, soccer, track and field, baseball and softball, bodybuilding, weight lifting, and golf. The program designs were very specific and included periodized training according to season and needed performance. In other words it is very specific, right down to seasonal training per sport.

An army runs on its stomach and so do athletes. No personal trainer's knowledge is complete without thorough knowledge of sports nutrition, supplements, and drugs. The material studied is unbiased as well as scientifically accurate information about these vital topics. Please note that personal trainers are not equipped with the knowledge and certification to provide true nutritional advice. Only registered, licensed dietitians are credible sources of this information. However a Certified Personal Trainer has a wide array of resources that we rely on for this aspect of training.

Motivating athletes is a difficult and complex task for trainers and coaches. This is my specialty because I possess a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. I am always studying some sort of psychological aspect of sports, fitness and lifestyle. Understanding psychological characteristics of champions and basic psychological techniques to help athletes keep training and withstand the pressures of competitive athletics is imperative as a trainer of athletes. Imaging is tool used by successful athletes. Imaging will help the athlete practice and focus on their sport when they are not on the field. You often see young athletes practice imaging when they play the sport on a pretend level. True athletes never stop this pretending (aka imaging)!

Pain and injury are, unfortunately, part of playing competitive sports. As a personal trainer of athletes we often design programs that help rehabilitate injuries while building or re-building fitness. We help athletes develop fitness systematically without injury. And our work can even help prevent injury! This is extremely important in working with youth athletes as I have to come to know by working with my young sons. Hiring a trainer for your young athlete can be one of the best things you can do because the work the trainer does with the athlete helps them improve performance on the field and strengthens the child so he/she is less likely to injure them self in the sport. Who would not want injury prevention for their child? And as an added bonus the child is guaranteed* to be more powerful athlete which can lead to significant gains later in life and a stronger athlete - period!

I now have a wonderful opportunity to significantly impact the lives and careers of the people I work with because I am a Certified Specialist in Sports Conditioning. I treasure this opportunity and do my best to provide meaningful service and impart important knowledge about exercise, fitness and training. With my help and guidance, combined with a passion for excellence, I hope to inspire those I guide to higher levels of achievement. Thanks to my certification with International Sports Science Association, I hope to help my clients, family and friends to aspire athletic dreams every day! It is a Win-Win situation!!!

God Bless!

Kathie Ingram Owen 
Richmond, TX 
Athlete's Succeed with the Help of a Personal Trainer

*Results on a consistent program with Kathie are guaranteed!

Kathie Ingram Owen is a Certified Fitness Trainer with Certified Expertise in Athlete & Older Adult Fitness. She enjoys helping others achieve a well-rounded self through fitness: mind, body and spirit. Kathie provides online fitness training to clients all over the world. She also trains clients in person and is a Certified Fitness Instructor teaching a variety of aerobic classes. Check out her website to find out more.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

a personal trainers - holidaze

Rules of day to day no longer apply as you surrender to the hearts and minds of those closest. Conversation, food and wine are intoxicating. You can't leave the table the conversation is too good. The holiday food keeps coming. I fall back into the silken warmth of family stories and recollections of past years.

I generally eat until I am sated but now... its quest for space, I must keep up, I can't be that... "I don't eat that wimp". I can't spoil this mood and bring everyone down to reality! Somehow I manage to find space for that piece of dark nutty chocolate beckoning me to come home to my pallette, where it would receive all the comfort love and warmth I need to express in this state of holiday bliss. I have now surrendered..... The conversation wonders back to a particular chocolate that sister in law is passionate about and as she unfolds its mysteries you must taste and discover. This is no time for excuses.

Feeling good. Eyes wonder out to the blanket of snow and everything feels safe and warm. The last place I would want to go is out into the cold ('reality' I think). All is swell; until that transition day when you walk back into the doors of your own home.... if you can fit.

All the good times, and intoxication are fading into never ever land. I look at myself in the mirror and think "I did my duty". Then dreamily go into a fond reverie....until I try on those tight jeans!!!

It's time to take action, I feel passionate again, my workouts are inspired. I'm like Rocky Balboa. Underdog to champion. As long as I try my best I am guaranteed results, I can only get better from here. It's back to clean living and motorvation.

More than anything I think it's the transitions that are harder than anything. Resisting the surrendering to the holidaze, then resisting leaving them. And it's exactly this change that fuels the fire within. Change, is like a breath of fresh air. The air causes a conflagration, of fire for inspiration.

DEBORAH is a highly respected authority in personal training for overall health and fitness, with more than 22 years of experience and success. Her credentials include...

Currently licensed Registered Nurse specializing in Rehabilitative Nursing Medical Exercise Therapist: certified by AAHFRP, an internationally recognized physical rehabilitation certification

Maternity Specialist Pre & Post Natal certified by Maternal Fitness Personal Fitness Specialist: certified by NASM, an internationally recognized certification

Yoga Teacher Professional Health Member, National Organization of Fitness Instructors (IDEA), a leading membership organization of health and fitness professionals.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

personal trainers with real people



Jeanne is a client I have worked with for a number of years, and through a couple of births with very quick recoveries. She is naturally tall and thin with wide hips and very flat abs. She has that perfect body for wearing couture as you can see from her Vogue magazine write up in October of 2003. She is the type that doesn't want muscle showing at all, just long sleek 'feminine' lines. We have stepped up her workouts of late because she is getting stronger and we do need to keep up the challenge to maintain that high metabolic burn rate for caloric expenditure, without creating muscle definition. Jeanne doesn't like doing cardio so that's not a solution.

Recently when beginning our workout Jeanne stops, pulls up her t-shirt and shows me her abs. Iam very pleased with what I see, which is the definition of where the lower obliques end and the rectus abdominus (your quadrants, also known as '6 packs') begin. There was strong deliniation indicating the muscles beneath. Jeanne points to it and says " I don't want this." In my shock the only thing I can think to say is "If there were a group of women in hear watching us, they'd all groan at you."

Everyone is different and has different goals. So Jeanne now thinks that she should just not do abdominal exercises and asks "Why do I need to do them, my abs are fine the way they are? Can you write about this in your next newsletter so I better understand why I need to do abs."

I then launch into an explanation of the importance of core work(abs). About how your abs stabilize you and help prevent injury by bracing and tightening. The brain sends a message to the transverse abdominus (remember that girdle muscle we all spent time on, with the breathing exercises) before it tells any other muscle to move. For example, the mind tells the knee to lift but before the quadricep muscles initiates the lifting response the transverse abdominus recieves the message to react by tightening for balance, control and strength. So essentially you brace yourself from your abs and then you initiate the movement, braced and centered. Which is why I constantly repeat "pull your navel in and wrap it around your spine." The more this response is practiced, the more proficient, balanced, coordinated, centered and strong you are plus the flatter your abs are.

There is a highly credentialed school of thought that advocates: "Every exercise, every movement and every activity you do is an abdominal exercise if you draw your belly button in and brace your abdominal muscles. Sit-ups and crunches waste your time and do not produce results." I personally believe that there is not one formula for all bodies. For those that have no lower back problems, ever, plus perfect balance, coordination and that conditioned response to pull the navel in to the spine, I say yes, you don't need to do abs. But for us mere mortals who at times twist, bend and pull things (or children!)and forget to brace...well you still need to do your abs. Remember practice makes perfect and that bracing response at varying resistances and degrees is not innate but practiced. So based on this article I will let Jeanne be her own judge and in an informed way let her decide whether she needs to do her abs or not.

PS. If she decides to not do them I will monitor carefully her balance, strength , coordination and lower back response and if I do see any signs of weakness I will discuss with her the need to suffuse an ab workout intermittently.


Jeanne has since clarified that she doesn't want the muscle definition but most of all she doesn't want any roundness of the belly. So, we entirely ommitted crunches. By eliminating the crunches and working the abs through whole body movements and engaging the twisting and bending movements her abs have flattened out entirely again. She has not lost balance, strength or coordination and her conditioned response is now to pull navel in and brace her abs. She will not have that 6 pack definition that is so sought after, but that is her personal choice. For myself personally and all clients who choose to do so I will continue to do crunches, coming up and working only to the point where the navel can stay in towards the center of gravity(spine). If the abdominals pop out at all the belly will develop roundness, and that conditioned response to pulling in may be weakened. But isn't it great to know that you can be working your abs all day long, in whatever you are doing, just brace them and pull in! Voila! Flat abs.

DEBORAH is a highly respected authority in personal training for overall health and fitness, with more than 22 years of experience and success. Her credentials include...

Currently licensed Registered Nurse specializing in Rehabilitative Nursing

Medical Exercise Therapist: certified by AAHFRP, an internationally recognized physical rehabilitation certification

Maternity Specialist Pre & Post Natal certified by Maternal Fitness

Personal Fitness Specialist: certified by NASM, an internationally recognized certification

Yoga Teacher

Professional Health Member, National Organization of Fitness Instructors (IDEA), a leading membership organization of health and fitness professionals Deborah Caruana RN, AAHRFP, NASM, ACE.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How to Get the Most from Personal Fitness Training

Have you ever considered using the services of a personal trainer to help you get fit? Well, I've been in the training business for several years and have made some important observations. Because my mission is provide you with the most valuable information I can, I'd like to suggest you read this before you spend your first dollar. You won't be sorry.

Millions of dollars are poured every year into private sessions with personal fitness trainers and results are often limited. Sometimes women aren't even sure what results they can expect. And they are never asked what results they want.

Often when women are asked why they want to work with a trainer, they will look somewhat puzzled. Then they will stammer, "I need someone to make sure I exercise" or "I want to get in shape". Go one step further and ask them what results they are really after and again they are stopped dead in their tracks. It is very important that you know what you expect so that your exercise prescription can be designed with very your specific goals in mind.

Hiring a personal trainer is one of the best investments you can make if you want to get into shape.

Time and again I've watched women come into the gym day in and day out exercising on their own and getting absolutely no results. They are certainly committed. They are willing to spend their time and effort. But designing a fitness program is a science with countless variables and one needs knowledge to have exercise sessions be most effective--and safe.

Most women won't ask the questions they need to ask. They simply muddle through on their own. And many do a pretty good job of muddling through. But there comes that moment when, in order to really break through and get impressive results, they need to consult a professional. After all, how many people can learn to play the piano or ski well without at some point getting expert guidance?

However, once they take the step to hire a personal fitness trainer to guide them, many clients don't demand enough of their trainers and many trainers don't get results for their clients. They have a nice time together chatting and catching up but it ends up being more social than sweat.

Securing the right personal fitness trainer is not always simple to do. Most women have no way of knowing who is and who isn't a good trainer. Although the fitness industry is working hard to upgrade the image of fitness professionals, there are still plenty of practitioners around who believe that just because they know how to get themselves into shape or because they care, they are qualified to train other people.

Here are some of the potential pitfalls:

On the part of the client:

The client...

. Isn't clear about what he/she wants to accomplish.

. Doesn't demand the best from trainer.

. Accepts unacceptable behavior on part of trainer;

i.e.,lateness, lack of attention, no charting of sessions 
to track progress, talking while client is exercising, use 
of cell phones during training session, or not 
planning sessions with an eye to results.

On the part of the trainer:

The trainer...

. Doesn't ask client what they really want.

. Doesn't customize the sessions, using boilerplate workouts.

. Doesn't set goals with the client.

. Doesn't dress appropriately.

. Doesn't hold the client accountable, accepting unacceptable client behavior; i.e., cancellations, lateness, no-shows.

. Doesn't keep his/her eye on the client during the session.

. Accepts less than perfect form.

. Doesn't continually instruct client.

. Doesn't educate client.

Getting the Client/Trainer Relationship You Want

There are several ways in which you can assure yourself that you are selecting the trainer who suits your needs. Here are some guidelines:


Not every trainer and client are suited to one another.

The first thing you need to do is make a few decisions before you interview even the first trainer. Do you want someone who is "tough" like a drill sergeant or does a gentler type of coaching appeal to you? Do you want someone young or someone more mature? Do you feel more comfortable working with a man or a woman? If you have a preference, for goodness sake, don't waste your time talking to anyone else. You need to feel comfortable with the person you select. You end up spending a great deal of time together. You need to find someone you can trust. After all, you are going to have to be willing to surrender to their coaching so you need to feel that whatever they are suggesting is in your best interest.


What is their training philosophy? How do they work with clients? How do they feel about what they do? Do they take their work seriously? Are they committed to fitness as a career? Are they ongoingly engaging in educating themselves about the most current developments and techniques in fitness? As in any discipline, research is always being done that produces new insights into the most effective ways to get results and, if they are truly committed to their chosen profession, they will want to find the most valuable information.


There are trainers who are most effective with athletes; some work well with seniors, some with disabilities, some with pregnant women.

You need to know what you are looking for. What kind of trainer do you want? If you are a 50-year-old woman and hire a trainer who is interested in working with youthful body builders, you will surely be disappointed with your training sessions.


You want to find out what degrees and/or certifications they have. I don't mean to suggest that there aren't terrific trainers who don't have the best credentials, but the quality of the education is a pretty good indicator of their dedication to stretching themselves. They aren't willing to slip by with the most minimum of training. And are they continuing to educate themselves and keep up with the latest training techniques?


Ask for referrals. How do their current and past clients feel about them?

A few other important items

Do they have hours flexible enough to accommodate your schedule? They need to accommodate you; you don't need to accommodate them.

Notice their personal appearance. Are they neat, clean, well groomed? Do they take pride in their appearance? A word of warning here. If you notice that the trainer is more interested in looking at him/herself in the mirror than watching you, you need to find someone else. His/her attention should be on you at all times.

Are they reliable and prompt? Were they on time for the interview? After all, you are going to be paying them for their time so they need to be there when they scheduled you.

And you're not off the hook. Once you have made the commitment to personal training and have a found a trainer with whom you want to work, there are a few rules to which you need to adhere . . .. if you want to get the most out of your personal training.

You need to be on time for your training sessions.

You need to make your fitness a priority. Canceling sessions frequently displays a lack of commitment to the program. Consistency is important.

If canceling is unavoidable, you need to give your trainer sufficient notice. After all, it is their business and what they sell is their time.

You need to follow the trainer's instructions given without whining. After all, you've put your trust in them.

You need to let your trainer know if you are having a physical problem. That will allow them to make intelligent decisions about your workout session. Don't assume it doesn't matter.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How To Find The Right Personal Trainer

This article will spell out for your the most important questions and points needed to guarantee that you will find the best/most qualified personal trainer available to you.

The first and most important question a personal trainer should ask you is "What are your goals?" or "What are you trying to accomplish"?

You are employing him or her to teach you the proper techniques needed to utilize the equipment effectively and safely, yet providing you the results that YOU desire. You want a personal trainer who will listen to you and be sensitive to your limitations at your present fitness level.

He or she needs to assess your level of endurance, strength, and coordination to actually provide you an exercise program designed specifically for you. A perfect way of doing this is by describing past workouts, prior activities, former experiences with personal trainers, and daily activities.

The chemistry between trainer and client is very important. You are entrusting your body to a stranger, be sure you are on the same page when it comes to fitness goals. Your physical well-being is at stake.

All goals are discussed and agreed upon before action is to begin. A trainer should know the fine line between pushing the client and when to ask for input. Asking if the weight being used is too heavy or are you getting enough out of the exercise is paramount. This is extremely important since you deserve to get the most efficient and safest workout possible in the time you spend with the trainer. There needs to be a high level of communication between client and trainer during training sessions to promote safety and professionalism.

He or she needs to know if a certain motion irritates a body part or joint. This will allow you to feel comfortable with the trainer and permit you to have a positive outlook on your workout.

The second, and equally important, question you need to discuss is that of physical limitations. This is what you can and can not do to permit a safe and productive exercise program. Physical limitations can be anything that prohibits any kind of activity. Limitations may include cardiovascular risk factors such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a sedentary lifestyle, tobacco use or a family history of heart disease. Others may include joint, ligament, or tendon weaknesses. These involve knee pain, lower back pain, or range of motion limitations in your shoulder. You should advise the trainer of all these items or problems.

You should also see a physician before starting an exercise program if any question remains with any kind of physical restrictions. The potential personal trainer should take into consideration all your limitations with each and every exercise that is presented to you. This will prevent any new injuries from developing and stop old injuries from reoccurring.

With all this physical history about yourself, the trainer can design a workout regiment for you. He or she should also tailor your workout to your goals, your time frame, your fitness level, and give you a realistic perspective on what to expect. You have every right to expect this kind of service since you are paying 
money to look and feel the way you want.

You should also ask as many questions as needed to allow yourself to feel comfortable and put to rest any concerns you may have prior to commencing your workouts.

Inquiring about liability insurance is another criteria needed to use in selecting a personal trainer. All personal trainers need professional liability insurance to protect themselves in case of unforeseen accidents. It's the law. Professionals should not be offended by such questions, which are a necessary formality. Just 
like an uninsured motorist, an uninsured trainer is not ready for the unexpected and occasional accident. A free weight dumbbell, which is handed to the client from the trainer, may fall and hit and break a toe. This could end up costing thousands of dollars after all medical bills are paid.

Does your prospective trainer know cardiopulmonary resuscitation? Also known as CPR. All certified trainers must pass this before they can teach someone fitness. They must be prepared to perform CPR at any time. Make sure that there is an emergency plan in place. This planning can mean the difference between minor injury and tragedy. This is a very important criterion you need to check and feel comfortable with when choosing a personal trainer.

In conjunction with your new trainer, you can now set realistic goals. You will also set a realistic time period for when you want to see results. Ask your trainer for the most efficient and safest way to achieve your goals. Frequency, duration, and methods of training will be discussed at this time. For example, to get rid of 
those love handles: the most effective way to do this is to increase the level and intensity of your cardiovascular workouts. A time span of two to three months is ideal, since it is long enough to get your body exposed to a new workout and produce results.

As a client of your trainer, you should always demand professionalism. Your trainer should always dress appropriately, be on time, speak to you respectfully and courteously, and encourage you constantly while supervising you during your workout. A trainer who wears skin tight clothes or yells at you during agreed 
upon sessions is probably more interested in his outward appearance and showing off to others surrounding him than helping you attain the look and health you desire.

After your new workout is custom designed and goals are agreed upon. It is time to set a time frame to achieve your goals. This will provide urgency to start working out and sticking to it. Above all, do not gauge your results by the number on the scale. A better measure of goal attainment is how you look and feel in your clothes in targeted areas. With your specific goals in mind, and 
the properly chosen trainer, you then can start an effective training regiment.

Monday, June 6, 2011

6 secrets of award winning customer service

Would you believe that your ability to provide quality customer service to your clients is at least as important as your ability to get them results from their training program? Did you even know that customer service was going to be part of your business model? After all, what does personal training have to with customer service?

The answer: everything. Remember that your clients are people first, and their status as one of your clients comes second. Knowing how to tend to the needs of your customers will literally make the difference between a long and prosperous career in the fitness industry, or a short-lived stint that leaves you wondering what career path you should try next!

In order to assist you in walking down the success path, here are six methods that you can use to "WOW" your clients on a regular basis, keeping them happy, loyal to you, and engaging in long-term prosperous business relationships. In no particular order they are: contact, date and event recognition, listening, flexibility, forward thinking, and over-delivering.


When you get a new personal training client, many people will still second-guess their decision to hire you. After all, a personal trainer can be an expensive asset, and your clients need to believe that they made the right decision. One of the easiest ways for you to ease their mind in the beginning as well as during the course of their training program is by simply staying in contact with them.

Most clients will see you at most 3 times each week, and some clients even less than that. With at least 4 days in each week when your clients don't see you, you are influencing them less than 50% of the time! Many clients hire a personal trainer because they need constant guidance and support, and less than 50% could hardly be considered constant.

An easy solution to this is to send your clients a few emails a week, or mail them an actual snail mail letter once in awhile. Clip an appropriate article from a magazine and make copies of it to mail to your clients, or email them the URL of a great motivational story about weight loss that you found on the Internet. Forward them funny anecdotes about health and fitness, or drop them a postcard congratulating them on their latest progress.

For that matter, pick up the phone! Call Suzie Client on Saturday to let her know that you just got done updating her client record and had reason to again marvel at how great she is doing with her program. You just can't pay for the type of customer feedback you will get from something like that!

Stay in contact with your clients in between training sessions, and the increased attention will remind them on a regular basis that in the beginning you committed to a one on one training program for them, not just to stand there 3 times a week while they exercise.

Date and Event Recognition

Recognizing special dates in your client's lives is another great way to show them that you are thinking about them in between training sessions.

- Send your clients a birthday card, or even a small but thoughtful gift. - Congratulate them on their wedding anniversary, or even send flowers or a card to their house. - Ask them how excited they are about the upcoming graduation of their child from high school or college. - Have a special token of your appreciation sent to their home or office after a set amount of time that they have been training with you - maybe annually or semi-annually. - Give them a special award every time they lose 5 pounds, or drop a percentage of body fat. - Attend the race or other fitness event that you have been training them for.

As you can see, the possibilities are limitless. The lesson that you want to take away from this section is that you went above and beyond the call of duty to recognize a date or an event that was important to your client. They won't forget that when it comes time to decide whether or not to keep working with you!


The fact that you should listen to your clients should go without saying. If your title is "Personal Trainer", please take a moment at this time to re-read the first word! Too many trainers fall into the familiar trap of just taking their clients through workouts. Your clients aren't paying you to workout with them. They are paying you to give them dedicated one on one service, and the actual workout is only one part of that.

In addition to the exercise programming, you must again think about the fact that your clients are humans before they are clients. As humans, they have as many outside considerations as you do. If you are only seeing them 3 hours per week, that leaves 165 hours each week when you are not around, and the lifestyle events that happen during that time will spill over into the training sessions.

Your clients will talk about their jobs, their spouses, their relatives and in-laws, their children and their neighbors, their gardener and their mailman, etc. Any good personal trainer realizes that although we have no business actually dispensing professional advice on personal or spiritual matters, we are a 3 time per week sounding board for our clients, and that is just part of the job. Listen to what your clients have to say, help out without leaving your professional boundaries, and let your clients know that you care about what happens to them, not just about what happens during the training session.


Although a trainer's day is usually dictated by a preset schedule, if you paint yourself into a corner with your calendar, you will quickly find that some of your clients can't stick with their program because their schedule is just not that black and white. In today's world of the ever-changing landscape of professional as well as personal lifestyle factors, many people have trouble doing the same thing day after day, and week after week. In order to keep your clients happy and on track with their programs, you must "roll with the punches" and exhibit some flexibility when it comes to scheduling and training issues.

It is a very good idea to have a running cancellation policy for your business, and it is an equally good idea to educate your clients on the need for regularity in their training program. However, being so inflexible that you charge a client $50 every time they get a flat tire, have to work late, or have a family emergency will quickly eliminate any professional bonding that your clients may have previously felt was a part of your working relationship. Enforce your policies, but be realistic about the fact that life is just not as black and white as it may have been 20 years ago.

Forward Thinking

This is as much of a sales technique as it is a great customer service tool. In a nutshell, it means that you should always be planning for the future when it comes to your clients. Talk to them about how you are going to start running with them once they get their weight down enough for their knees to handle the stress. Explain to them how much fun it will be when you can start taking them through the new training protocol that you put together. Get them excited about how good they are going to look on the beach this summer after several more months of working out with you, or about how their cousin Sally is going to be so envious at Christmas time this year when she sees how much weight your client has lost.

All of these things plant the seed for your clients that you are thinking about their future, and not just taking them through a workout. Let them know that you have great plans for them in the future, and that you can't wait to see their results when they get to a certain point in the program that you have them on. Again, your clients are people, and they want to be made to feel important, needed, and respected.


Over-delivering value to your clients is probably the most important technique out of any that have been listed so far. It is last in our list of customer service secrets so that it is the one that you remember the most!

Over-delivering is just what it sounds like - giving your clients more value for their money than they originally expected to get. In fact, all of the items listed above are great examples of over-delivery. Do you think that when your clients hired you they expected to be getting gifts on their birthday, expected you to be excited about the graduation of their children, or that they could vent to you about their mother-in-law during training sessions? These are all examples of the infinite number of ways that you can over-deliver value to your clients.

In addition to what has already been listed, you can get much more specific with your over-delivery efforts. Each of your clients has a very well defined fitness goal that they are diligently working towards. As a fitness professional, you should be regularly keeping up with the latest news stories about health and fitness, as well as getting Continuing Education Credits.

Put that information directly to use for your clients! How impressed do you think your client would be if their fitness goal is to be a competitive swimmer, and you take a course on training competitive swimmers? What about if you have picked up some clients who are over the age of 55 and you start reading books and clipping articles on Senior Fitness? How about a bonus training session that you give your client when they reach a goal? What about if you have a client who is on the high school wrestling team, and after working with him for 2 months, you offer to do a free class for his entire team? The teenager becomes a hero because his personal trainer gave up some winning tips before the big meet, and you get a boat load of free publicity!


The pattern developing here is clear, and the above examples are only sketches of things that you might consider. Remember that every successful personal trainer runs a business, he or she doesn't just workout with their clients. Get under the hood of your business, tinker around with the wiring, and find ways to "WOW" your clients everyday!