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.