Personal Trainers with Real People, Real Situations

TO DO OR NOT TO DO? … ABS

TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO WRITING ARTICLE:

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 receives 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 …

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.

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Personal Trainers

We hear of celebrities and sportspeople having their own personal trainers. On the lighter side, rumor mills are all agog when a film star is seen in public with his or her personal trainer with speculations about their 'dating' and spending time together filling the gossip columns! These trainers are of both genders; Women have also stepped into this once all-male bastion and shaking up the health and fitness industry like never before.

Recent news about the UC Berkeley's personal trainer still continues in the same vein speculating about his alleged closeness with the university's Chancellor and his wife that has included unexplained spending and favors concerning undue sports facility membership grants.

These are certified fitness professionals who provide instruction and prescribe exercises to achieve fitness for general health as well as for specific goals such as weight loss, muscle building, resistance training etc and for excellence in sporting activity. Personal trainers are very often involved in setting nutritional guidelines as well for their clients to achieve set goals, monitor prescribed activities and give necessary feedback. There are several instances where former sportspeople and athletes have sought to become personal trainers once their own sport playing days are over. For former boxers and wrestlers, there are many opportunities to not only provide professional expertise and advice to clients but also take on roles as 'bodyguards'.

These trainers are not confined to any location and may work in homes, offices, fitness facilities, health clubs and outdoors. They can also be involved in specific sports activities such as tennis, football, cricket, swimming, and many others and can very well be specialists in certain types of training. Even in community gyms a personal trainer can be present to recommend and suggest exercise patterns, diets and assist the general public in their fitness assessments.

Over the years, these trainers have come to be more involved in the psychological, philosophical and spiritual aspects of a person's wellbeing in addition to exercise and training patterns. This has led to a kind of open debate about whether or not they are qualified to handle these aspects and if these should fit within the scope of their practice.

Accreditation for personal training is a process that provides a 'certificate of competency' to an individual to practice as a personal trainer. Certification processes and standards usually vary from country to country.

In the US for instance, there are literally hundreds of personal training certifications but only those accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies are held good in many instances.

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A Personal Trainer’s Certification – Understanding the Alphabet Soup After the Trainer’s Name

Virtually every Personal Trainer will have a series of letters after their name indicating some, if not all, of the fitness certifications they hold. Often it will be CPT, meaning Certified Personal Trainer. The organization that bestows the title is more important than the letters CPT. This article will give you an idea what to look for AND what to look out for in a Personal Trainer’s certification. Armed with this information, you will have a much better opportunity to hire the right Personal Trainer for YOUR needs.

Currently there are currently only seven organizations in the exercise industry that meet the stringent requirements of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, The Cooper Institute, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the National Council on Strength and Exercise, the National Federation of Professional Trainers, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Holding a certification from one of these organizations does not mean you’ve found a Great Personal Trainer. It means that individual meets one of the criteria for being a Great Personal Trainer (see my article on The Five Traits of a Great Personal Trainer) and may possibly be the person to help you get in the best shape of your life. Getting in the best shape of your life does not include limitations for age or your current physical condition. Unless you are afflicted with an ailment that precludes exercise, a Great Personal Trainer can help you get in the best shape of your entire life, as safely, painlessly, and expediently as possible, regardless of age or current physical conditioning. That is the Personal Trainer we are seeking!

A certification from one of the above organizations means the Personal Trainer has met a strict and thorough process to become a Certified Personal Trainer. They have an understanding of anatomy and physiology, which exercises work various muscle groups, a basic understanding of designing an exercise program for a variety of clients with differing physical abilities, and the knowledge to implement those programs. Importantly, the organizations also require CPR certification and continuing education to maintain certification. CPR certification is important for obvious reasons…and not just in an exercise setting. If you are not CPR certified, consider doing it. You will learn how to potentially save a life with a few hours training.

The continuing education requirement for Personal Trainer certification is vital because exercise science is a dynamic discipline. Ongoing research studies by non-biased entities, such as universities and hospitals, provide constant information updates on our understanding of how exercise affects the human body. This promotes more effective program design and more efficient results for the client. In other words, by staying informed about updates in exercise science your Personal Trainer can continue to help you achieve peak performance, improving your fitness level as proficiently as possible!

There are too many “Certified Personal Trainer” programs to list that do not meet the standards of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. …