Showing posts with label personal training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personal training. Show all posts

Personal Training Certifications - Not All are Created Equal

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 independent 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.

Personal Training

Personal Training
Personal training should be just that. Entirely personal and catered to you - what you want, and your overall well being rather than just a generic work out regime that possibly doesn't even focus on your results. 
There should be people listening to exactly what you need whether it is that you are training for a sports season or marathon, or just want to feel healthier. An effective personal training program has an impact on every element of you, and how you feel inside and out, increasing both happiness and confidence.
Picking a good personal trainer who delivers exactly what you want is crucial to your enjoyment and success. Any good personal trainer does this by first and foremost, understanding how the body works and being well trained themselves and certified as a professional. However, being great at getting people to their goals takes far more than a piece of paper.
They should always be motivated and good at making you feel motivated. Being friendly is a must as feeling comfortable, not inhibited, will make the process easier and the time spent with your trainer fun. 
It will also help the results come much faster. It is also imperative to find someone who is versatile. You may not just want a trainer for yourself but somebody who can train your whole family from the youngest to the oldest member and a personal trainer should be able to choose suitable activities and exercise for everyone of every age.
You may not currently have a large family, or children, but your trainer should also be ready to deal with any situation, (such as pregnancy) with intuitive ways to keep fit and healthy. Lifestyle and food is also a very big factor in fitness and a trainer should offer vast amounts of sound, but realistic advice on how to alter your diet to co-inside perfectly with your fitness plan and goals creating a healthier you.
By having a bespoke training and nutrition plan, then whatever your circumstance, you are most likely to stay focused and work hard and inevitably get to where you want to be. One company that employs dedicated and enthusiastic personal trainers who commit themselves to attaining what each individual client wants is Body Solutions in the North West.
A company that will create the perfect fitness package and offer first class rehabilitation to those with injuries means that with them, you are in safe and supportive hands.
 A good personal trainer will inspire you to change your life for the better, and who knows? You may even become the inspiration yourself.

How to Design a Fitness Training Plan

How to Design a Fitness Training Plan
Your fitness training plan should be designed to provide clear and personalized direction toward achieving your goals. It is a blueprint that organizes all of your exercise activities into one cohesive program for success.
Before you design your plan, establish specific training goals. Also, gather results from any health or performance-related assessments, such as body composition, stress tests, or strength tests. Your goals and current condition offer meaningful information on which you can craft your individualized fitness training program.
Steps 1-6 summarize how to design your plan.
1. Set your target date for achieving your goals and work backwards to the present.
2. Break down your total time line into training phases of at least 4 weeks (with some latitude), starting with your initial conditioning phase.
3. Assign a purpose to each of the phases of training so that, collectively, they lead you to your goals. For example, phases may have a purpose of increasing strength fitness, cardio fitness, or maintaining fitness. All exercise activities should work in concert within the same phase. The use of training phases, or cycles, is known as periodization.
4. Within each phase, or cycle, include variations by week and by day within a range that fits the purpose of the phase. Slight variations in training regimens produce more consistent gains and prevent boredom.
5. Choose the primary exercises and alternatives that you plan to incorporate in your program in light of the exercise equipment and facility you have available. Work in any prescribed exercises you may have received from a health professional.
6. Plan detailed daily workouts for the first training phase. Select the exercises and activities for each training session and determine the order in which you will perform them. Allow ample time for all activities, including warm up and cool down.

Design a Personal Exercise Plan - 7 Elements to Consider

Design a Personal Exercise Plan - 7 Elements to Consider
Making the decision to exercise regularly is an admirable one. However, actually keeping the commitment to yourself to exercise regularly is truly praiseworthy. Given all of the directions in which we are pulled each day by the commitments in our lives, it is a wonder that we can ever find the time to work out.
One sure-fire way to increase your chances of sticking with an exercise routine is to design a personal exercise plan that is tailored to your body and your schedule. If you are looking to design your own personal exercise plan, here are 7 elements to be sure to consider:
1. Determine your maximum heart rate:
The first thing you need to is to "know thyself" better, as the Greek philosophers used to say. In the case of creating a personal exercise routine, you need to calculate your maximum heart rate. Wait - don't skip ahead - this is very simple math and takes just a second. Ready? Just subtract your age from 220 (220 - your age = your maximum heart rate). That was easy, wasn't it? Okay, keep that number in mind.
2. Check with your doctor first if you are new to intense exercise:
If you are a stranger to intense exercise or have taken more than a two or three year break from a regular routine, check with your doctor to make sure you have their blessing. In particular, ask him or her if there is anything you should avoid, given your medical history.
3. Find the right target training zone:
Now, you need to figure out your target training zone for your heart rate for when you are doing aerobic (or cardiovascular) exercises. This, too, is super-quick calculation now that you know your maximum heart rate. First, you will need to determine where you are in terms of your intended intensity level. This is a function of your exercise history, your current state of health, and your goals. In general, here are the various target heart rate training zones you have to choose from:
* 50-60% (of your maximum heart rate) for beginners or people resuming after a long break 
* 60-70% for people who are already involved in a regular workout routine 
* 75-85% for competition or athletic performance
4. Incorporate one or more aerobic exercises:
Your personal exercise plan will need to include both aerobic and weight or resistance training-type exercises. Aerobic exercises are simply those that get your heart beating faster than your resting heart rate (see #3 above) for extended periods. This type of exercise is great for your overall heart health and can include: biking, jogging, walking, climbing stairs, swimming, etc.
5. Include weight training or resistance training:
The other major component of your personal exercise plan should include lifting weights (either free weights or machine weights) or resistance training (isometrics). Weight training is the only effective way to build muscle mass and increase overall body tone. The benefits of weight training include having a more well-defined musculature, looking fit, and reducing your chances for injury.
6. Determine the right workout frequency:
You will want to work out at least 2 times per week if you are just getting into an exercise routine. However, if you are already into the swing of things, your goal should be 3-5 times per week, with no more than 48 hours between workouts.
7. Duration (or how long you should work out):
You should plan to do at least 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise each time you work out. Then, do some weight training for another 20-30 minutes. Or, if you find yourself getting into intense workouts, try alternating your aerobic workout days with your weight training days, thereby devoting a full 45-60 minutes solely to one or the other each time you work out.By designing your personal exercise plan correctly, you will be much better equipped to stick with your plan long-term in order to see the results you desire.