Tag Archive | Personal Training

Is fitness overrated?

Runner - running shoes closeup of woman barefoot running shoes. Female jogging in Central Park, New York City. - stock photoBefore anyone shouts at me lets just be clear, I am a personal trainer, I have clients, I workout every week but……it seems to me that this is a very odd industry to be in.

Being a PT is one of those rare occupations where you get to be a key part of someone’s life, you can help them make all kinds of changes but the bottom line is that they will never treat you as anything more than a casual hairdresser, someone who they can pick up and drop as and when they want. And mostly, there is a Hand with money isolated on white background - stock photogeographical limit to how much people will pay per session and no matter how many qualifications you have or where or how you operate they still wont pay any more per session.

So whilst a few at the top of their game will always prove the exception and make a ton of money there are a whole load of good (and bad) trainers further down the pyramid who are ticking over but will never make enough to finance the dream.  I am one of those lucky people who has a day job they love and started down the PT route as a hobby; my intention was always to make it my full time job but having spent some time around trainers and the industry I do think I would be hard pressed to replace my current salary.

I think we all aspire to be fitter, healthier etc but the fitness industry has spent so much time trying to get new people in as trainers there is a massive glut of qualified trainers out there who lack the empathy and life skills to really engage and unfortunately the 18-year old straight from school trainer is the one that gives all the other trainers a bad name!  How can someone who has 10 years experience and expects it to be reflected in their rates compete with a newly qualified  trainer who has nothing to lose and can charge a rock bottom price?

An inspirational 3D text message, "Live Your Dream", possibly for a business or personal strategy. - stock photoSo what does that mean for me and the dream?  Well the dream moves onwards and upwards but just in a new arena and into the area that started the whole Beauty Fitness Fashion blog – in the next few weeks we launch our new on-line Fashion store selling a whole range of fabulous new clothes including some amazingly gorgeous corsets.

So forgive me if for now, I have become disillusioned with fitness and start to shamelessly promote the new business!




Why women should train like men!

stock photo : athlete  bodybuilder at contest in EstoniaYes I did say that!  I don’t mean that we should adopt the less savoury behaviours we have all seen at the gym or the meatheads with appalling technique cluttering up the weights area but simply that if women embraced the attitude that men have to weights and training they would get the results – and the body – they really want.

So many of us have seen or heard the old story that lifting weights will make you big or bulky and most of us – stock photo : Image of muscle posing woman on competitiongod I hope its most of us by now! – know that its complete nonsense.  To get the lean, toned, sexy body that most women crave women need to get off the cardio and get into weights but how do we encourage that?  How do we break that mindset? Continue reading

Calories are Stupid!

stock photo : Cup of coffee and the blueberry muffin with calories count labelsOne of my favourite experts in the field of health and fitness is Charles Poliquin and I love his take on nutrition, exercise and lifestyle generally.

There is so much information out there that confuses the public and trainers alike and most of it is around calories consumed – how many, when, how many meals per day and its always useful to find someone who provides clear advice alongside easy to understand science!

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Obese People Are Not Lazy!

stock vector : fat men on couch watching tv with dog

I came across this yesterday and I love her take on things Obese People Are Not Lazy.  In particular, I love this paragraph SOOO much and I agree with the sentiment 100%

“…Trainers, competitors, fitness enthusiasts–YOU have the know-how. Don’t hoard it! Give it away! And it may not be as simple as giving someone a diet to follow. You might have to actually ASK THEM how they feel, what struggles they are having, and take responsibility for their results. My mentor Alwyn Cosgrove talks about this often – he puts it on the backs of the trainers to get their clients results. It’s convenient to simply say that our client is noncompliant and doesn’t want it badly enough – it easily takes the onus off us. But, why do we get to be off the hook? They are paying US to help them be more compliant and learn to want it. So let’s take on the challenge….”stock photo : threat to a dieter who was caught cheating

As trainers, so often the view is that it must be the client’s fault, they must be cheating, they lack commitment or focus, they don’t want it enough and speaking as both a trainer AND a client “…They are paying US to help them be more compliant and learn to want it…” is exactly right. As a PT client, when everything is going well its great but when I am having a bad week and failing at everything I need someone to understand why, to ask me how I really feel, to want to help, to give me a nudge back on track and be there until I am.  Demanding? Absolutely, but I am investing my time, my money and my trust why wouldn’t I expect 100% service?

stock photo : man fitness personal trainer in sport club

In my opinion the best thing a PT can do to help his or her clients is to be a client themselves at some point in their career – there is nothing like being the other side of the fence to make sure you empathise with your clients, you appreciate why they think that some exercises are undignified or that they look silly, you understand why trainers need to get explanations and instructions right and you understand about motivation.  There is something about changing the power dynamics that really changes the way you relate to clients – from my own experience as a client I make sure that when I train other people I always ask them how they are, find out what is going in their lives, understand their stresses and try to offer some advice.

But back to the original concept of this post!  One of the key things we should all do whether we are trainers, clients, gym members, stock photo : road in forestfriends, colleagues, partners, neighbours whatever is to stop passing  judgement on everyone we meet based on how they look, whether they are overweight, fat, thin, old, young, it doesn’t matter.  None of us can know how or what their lives are like until, as the old saying goes, we walk a mile in their shoes so, lets all try and being a little less judgemental and a lot more supportive!


When one size doesn’t fit all!

stock photo : Planning of a diet. A notebook c an inscription - the Diet, a measuring tape, an apple and penOver the last year or so I have been reading voraciously (I love that word!) about diet, health and fitness and have begun to develop my own really strong opinions about the advice given to the general public, about what makes a good, healthy diet and about the shocking state of the foods we routinely feed our families, old and young.

Working with clients has made me think again about the advice I give out to people and how my own view on what is healthy colours what I tell clients, so it was interesting to read this article Why One-Size-Fits-All Diets Do Not Work » Metabolic Effect Blog. The whole concept of  “one size fits all” is something I feel really strongly about especially in relation to health and fitness; one size fits all diet plans, one size fits all exercise plans or one size fits all resistance machines – they all assume everyone has the same range of movement, is the same size, has the same needs and the same goals and we all know that that simply isn’t true.

stock vector : stages of weight loss

I have felt for some time now that part of the reason people get so disheartened when they diet or decide to change their life is that their decision is usually based on something they read or something a friend or family member told them; they decide to try whatever plan is the next craze and then wonder why it didn’t work for them.  One size really doesn’t fit all and for me, that goes for Personal Training too.

Not all clients are the same, not all bodies react the same way so why do so many trainers persist in dishing out the same fitness plans, the same diet plans and even, worst of all, the same exercises to all clients? There has to be a better way to help our clients get fit, be healthy, eat well, lose weight and any of the million other goals they all have  – I read something earlier today about PTs thinking outside the box and I think now I have a little clear space in my life I need to work on what type of trainer I really want to be.  Do I want to be the same as every other PT, getting as many one on one clients a day as I can, taking the money, delivering an ok-ish service or do I want to offer more?  Better service, more bespoke, more results driven?

stock photo : benefits of setting goals presented on blackboard with color sticky notes and white chalk (give direction, energize, provide challenge, make your think outside the box)I think the answer is pretty obvious – how to do all of that is the tricky part!

Is Zumba the best or worst thing to happen to fitness?

Zumba – hmm, well the one thing we will all agree on is that is its absolutely EVERYWHERE! On every infomercial or shopping channel, being supported by celebs, in every gym, fitness centre and even, for goodness sake, in every local village hall!

But whilst I cannot fault the marketing, spin, promotional material etc that has made it ubiquitous (well for now at least!) is there any real fitness based foundation behind the scene?  Does it deliver anything special for the millions of people who go to classes each week?

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Is Personal Training too easy?

stock photo : Young fitness woman is exercising with barbell in gym to strengthen the muscles

I posted a while back  on what makes a good personal trainer and having spent time around trainee trainers its been interesting to see the standard and quality of those people trying to get into the business and the level of knowledge they bring with them.

In the UK the exam board certification is very different to that in, for example the States and whilst I am not saying either method is best, it seems they have a lot to learn from each other.  The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Person Trainer (CPT) is a very thorough course and covers anatomy, nutrition and exercise prescription in a great deal of detail – far more than the equivalent course in the UK.  The UK Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS), a Government based quango that attempts to regulate the fitness profession through voluntary membership (really?!) has, for some inexplicable reason, determined that such a course is only a Level 2 despite using the information provided by ACSM as part of their course material for Level 2 and 3!

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