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.