Viewing entries tagged
Personal Trainer

I Have Flown Countless Times But That Doesn't Mean I can Fly a Plane

I Have Flown Countless Times But That Doesn't Mean I can Fly a Plane

I have flown countless times but that doesn’t mean I can fly a plane....yes, that's the funniest thing I heard today! And it's so true. Actually, we were talking about health and fitness at the time. In particular, we were talking about gyms. It's no surprise that so many members pay the hefty gym fees but don’t use the gym...

A Client's Journey Part 2: "Getting Going"

A Client's Journey Part 2: "Getting Going"

This is going to be a monthly feature probably. We are still following one particular client, this journey started many moons ago and still brings something new to the table each time we visit it. Imagine how you could be inspired by reading the words of someone who actually went on a real weight loss journey, after all the words are the words of a real life person like you or me...

10 Signs Your Personal Trainer is a Keeper !!

From the outside looking personal training  is a strange business, it probably has the largest mismatch between ( under ) education and income than any other occupation out there.Its  an easy business to enter but its hard to sustain a full time income unless you become good at what you do. There probably is no other occupation where such ( under) education can return so much income..no other industry  where anyone can call themselves a " personal trainer"...but know one can define what that really means. Its an industry littered with the most bizarre array of skills, abilities, certificates, courses, awarding bodies, and without regulation even a top grade qualification is no indication of the ability of a trainer.

So here are some thoughts based on observation, experience, and generally working with clients for the last ten years. In no order;

10 Signs You Should keep Your Trainer

1.The trainer has more than one certificate and has undertaken some relevant course in the last 12 months, stuff changes all the time...so should your trainers skill set.

2. If  No1 appears not to be happening does your trainer keep abreast of trends in the industry or maintains knowledge intake in other ways...this doesn't include reading the old copies of Mens Health in the Doctors waiting room. I read  a new habit, nutrition or health related book each month.

3.They listen to what you say and tailor your workouts accordingly, they have more than one way of altering  the exercise and can do that seemlessly . They explain the change and don't blind you with bullshit.

4.They turn up on time, return calls and emails , are presentable , are not on the phone ( really as a trainer how many times do you need to check your phone in one hour?) texting away. My dentist doesn't use a mobile phone whilst drilling in my mouth.

5.Gets the balance right between listening,understanding, pushing, advice , encouragement.. you feel comfortable with this person.

6. Your trainer has some personal goals and visions for their own health and fitness, they are proud of their achievements to date and are always trying to " grow"

7.Your trainer takes notes, records data and offers advice based on the information from  that  data ..

8. Your trainer inspires and encourages you, picks you up when you are down without negative judgement , you want to leave the session feeling positive...right?

9. Always knows when to refer out...I am not a doctor, a marriage counsellor, a specialist in migraines, a lifestyle coach ( I do refer out to for clients who need this type of coaching, it helps me along the way )

10. Doesn't let you get away too easily,we all have a list of excuses , yes me included, but hey we are here to change things  , sometimes tough stuff is needed!!

Thoughts and comments always welcome.

Another Day in the Life of a Personal Trainer....

Occasionally we are going to do a snap shot of a day in the life, today is the second in a series , its hard hitting and nothing in here is untrue or spiced up to sensationalize . Read on. Its Friday , for most the last day of the week, for me its day 5 of 7 this week....trainers can get worn out too!! The day starts early, 5.30 am , I eat before I leave, this never changes even if I am running late, its cold as I hop on the bike, probably about minus 5 degrees but its only a short trek to the studio. First up its bootcamp ( BC for short) now it our third year and still full up 3 x a week. It takes a lot of effort to attend at that time of the day and we are still rolling with a full house, today is a station circuit , 50 seconds per station, 10 second rest, 3 sets per station , ( we do a working set, an isometric set and a working set back to back depending on the exercise) we work hard , we still have a laugh . Three bootcamp members (later) today are starting a journey to become personal trainers , which is awesome , I am going to be more than happy to help them grow and develop as they work towards their goals. I am proud of them...

One hour later we are done and off people go to work ,get the kids ready for school,and the next client comes in. We will call the client DP We have been working together for over 4 years and have a fantastic relationship, always smiling and sharing a similar sense of humour  aids to the session flying by. DP missed the first session this week so we pull back a little on the resistance levels paying close attention to a couple of injuries , we always do something new, I like to challenge each client mentally and physically. The client is having with breaking or changing some food habits and we agree to have a sit down hour in the coming week to go over some issues and hopefully we can find some agreed solutions.

Next up come a couple who are relatively new to Inspira. Last week the gentleman came on his own and felt the after affects of solo attention for a few days. From a training perspective its not nice to get feedback that points to me overloading the client and we agree to lighten up today. I regularly check in during the session to see if we are aggrivating any part of his body that was bothering him last week.We regularly rest as required. The session goes real fast and we swap  coaching ideas ( he is a lifestyle coach...always full of pearls of wisdom that I rebound back on to my clients)...we always do an educational component to each session , usually about movement patterns, what does what and why  in the body. I encourage them to get at least one session done before we meet next..

Back on the bike for a 20 min cycle south, its still colder than I would like, I guess its good for the complexion...and it burns a crap load of calories.I have pre written the next clients programme but H has just come back from an injury so we have to see how it goes, for example one row motion hurts the elbow, a quick switch doesn't help so we search for an alternative exercise. Ok thats better and the client can continue without pain... H is another long term client who always makes time to ask how I am and we swap a few stories health related along the way. Its all good at the end, I must remember to follow up on that elbow situation in a few days.

Moving again to another long term client, I arrive and SC seems bit down and quiet , it takes me at least ten minutes to ask and I find that she has been diagnosed with arthritis in her big toe,( she has been in a lot of pain probably from running and has other foot issues) this is a big problem as she is running a 30 k at the weekend and worse is leading a team of Running Room entrants ( and doesn't want to let them down at the last minute) . In short we are going to have to modify many exercises ( those that use the big toe to push off , bend , generally use...did not realize that even eccentric part of the squat was also a problem) ..so we have to think quickly, do some mental reassurance and show some quick " foot box" exercises for the ankle to try and take the pressure away from the painful area...( I found out 2 days later that the race was run and the soreness in the toe probably changed the gait pattern and caused some grumbles in the hip musculature..but hey we got there...)  We did discuss the possibility of not running especially as the " pain" and other potentially related injuries seem to be increasing with time and usage.

A quick 20 minute cycle back uphill and into the wind ( cold, cold, cold..) to the last client of the day,,,we have been training frequently just recently , working at increasing strength and at the same time introducing new and different exercises. We have been training over a year and progressing nicely . K was a complete gym and weights virgin a year ago , now she can do many many things that make me proud...her skill set has gone through the roof and she is probably only one of a very select few who has never sworn at me during a session. Soon..maybe soon.

Its bloody cold but I go home, exhausted, change clothing and pop out for crushing 30 min run in the cold, hard but enjoyable, have to keep in shape, have a 10 k coming in May so have to start training earlier if I want to beat last years time....,I am tired ,its early to sleep tonight.

A Day in the life of a Personal trainer

5.30 am , rudely awaken by the incessant buzz of the alarm, its not attractive but up we get, quick check outside , good no more snow, can cycle to work today, it maybe minus 8 but its a good warm up. Quick check of the emails and texts to see if we have had any overnight cancellations , a fantastic and nutritious shake ( spinach, walnuts , almond milk, blueberries, 2 scoops of protein powder if you want to know) , a fish oil capsule, some multivitamins and its out the door.

First up today is a one hour circuit style bootcamp , quickly set some equipment up ( we planned our circuit the night before) and get ready before the clients come in. One class member brings in an article on stretching , we quickly chat about that and welcome the other participants, its Friday, the last class of the week. Its cold and snowy but we still get a good turnout , its nice to see the regulars, some of whom have been coming for over a year, 3 times a week. How is that for dedication? We warm up and work them hard, bit of banter flies around the room and we smile our way through the next hour, everyone seems in fine form and no one is complaining. One hour later and we are done, they work hard, I am always impressed with their attitude and commitment.

Next up is todays first client, bouncing in, smiling and ready to go, we swap a few lines , check on a few issues that may affect the session and we move into a short warm up, some mobility exercises and we are then hitting the weights, nothing too aggressive today, more like a maintenance session. We move round the studio concentrating on some big key exercises, an hour later we are done and we go our separate ways.

Today I am moving on to cover another client , 5 k south and decided to use the subway, the first two clients today are both longterm ( 4 and 3 years respectively) and they are both a pleasure to work with. Its only a ten min travel time and the session has been pre planned so we hit the ground running straight on ten o clock, the time flies by, the whole studio is talking about Lance Armstrong who was on TV last night , general consensus was he was a cheat and now do we believe a word he is now saying. The session glides past , a moan and groan along the way but no problems to report,coat on and back out into the snow, chat with the client as we leave and discuss nutritional strategies for her partner who I also train.

Onwards, quick duck into Hortons , grab a coffee and a tea ( my client deserves it !) and walk 5 mins round the corner. This client is very unique , she has lost way over 50lb since we started and kept that off, albeit with a few bumps along the way for over a year. Quality. Secondly we train beside a swim pool with a temp of 86 degree , its different and challenging, especially as we are going to work mini circuits today, high reps, low weight, no rest periods and additional cardio, it adds up to a killer session, more , more , more, come on lady push it out. We even had the kids cheering along, wonderful moment, sweat is dripping off and there are no prisoners today. Does she work hard, my god yes.

Travel time again, client is running late and forgot her cheque book, after 5 mins I am accused of persecuting her on the basis of those two facts, its not true but we both smile at the thought of that prospect. Short session today but effective, try to re arrange an extra session next week but no times exist that work...shame.

Break time .Return subway journey north and a quick bike ride home, time to sit and relax, take in some food, let that digest and we are going to get on the spin bike for 30 mins and listen to some tunes, love these quiet times getting some cardio in.

Couple of quick phone calls to staff and leads , write up my next programme, only one more session today. Have cut down my workload on  Friday and its helped to free up some quality time. 6pm last session of the day, client is never late and walks to ever session regardless of the weather. I am impressed. Its been just under a year of workouts ,   my client works hard and gives her all, at this time on  Friday night I can ask for no more.

Its been a great day...still got to write up tomorrows programmes though...early night I think

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