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Our Official Blog

keeping you up to date with the latest industry news

We are pleased to announce 100% ownership of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) as we strive to enhance the offer to members and ultimately improve the service of the register. While doing so, we are committed to working with the industry to ensure that REPS is current and fit for purpose.

Throughout all of our work we will ensure that the qualification and CPD offer from REPs meets the current national and professional standards expected by employers. We will also work with an independent endorsement provider to ensure the provision of our service meets the required high quality.

Fitness professionals make a significant and vital contribution to an active nation. Whether this is a personal trainer, leader or an instructor, these individuals provide the excellent experiences needed to ensure that people across the UK become and stay active. We intend to provide the necessary high quality support to help them in their everyday efforts. To do this we will:

  • Bring the register back to life and make sure more people can access the opportunities available from being part of the most recognised register for the fitness industry.
  • Provide benefits that work for our members.
  • Keep members up to date with the latest industry information.
  • Enhance our customer experience.
  • Make it easy for members to promote themselves as fitness professionals.
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Places for People snag top award

Places for People Leisure recently received the coveted Multi Site Approved Training Centre of the Year (15+ sites) at the IQL UK Awards 2015. This award recognises a training centre with 15 or more sites who demonstrates a clear dedication to the provision of pool lifeguard training, career development and the promotion of wider water safety messages.

The prestigious Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) and IQL UK National Awards returned this year with the addition of six new categories. The event, which took place on Friday 12th June 2015, gave Pool Lifeguards, Trainer Assessors, National Trainer Assessors and Approved Training Centres the chance to recognise and celebrate those who continually raise standards and make such a valuable contribution to pool safety and drowning prevention.

In addition Places for People Leisure were also finalists in the Trainer Assessor of the Year category with both James Dumper from Gosport Leisure Centre and Paul Kelly from Farnham Leisure Centre recognised and members of staff at Kings Leisure Centre were also nominated for Lifeguard Team of the Year.

Andy Read, Safety and Quest Manager at Places for People Leisure who oversees Lifeguarding, adds: ‘We are delighted to have received the RLSS's award for Approved Training Centre of the Year, as an acknowledgement of all the hard work and passion which has gone into drowning prevention and water safety. Receiving this award is a credit to all our team who educate and keep millions of people safe every year.'

For more information please visit www.placesforpeopleleisure.org

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PTs gather to learn at UK’s first Meeting of the Minds

‘Don’t stop learning’. That was the verdict from some of the industry’s top Personal Trainers and thought leaders at this year’s Meeting of the Minds, hosted by FitPro and Lifetime Training, who almost unanimously voted on the importance of ongoing education and training beyond becoming a Level 3 Personal Trainer.

The day-long educational event - Movement, Mindset and Metabolism - was the UK’s first Meeting of the Minds (MOTM), which originated more than seven years ago in Colorado under FitPro’s PTontheNet, and saw around 160 leading industry professionals receive exclusive invites to attend ExCel in London and learn from world-renowned speakers and authors.

Presenters included Rodney Corn, Annette Lang and Anatomy Trains author Thomas Myers, as well as industry innovators such as Bobby Cappuccio, who explained that ‘all successful fitness trends are community driven’ and Douglas Heel, who believes ‘if a client isn't ready to do the work it's not your job to fix them’.

Brian St Pierre advised the audience to ‘only make nutrition as complicated as it needs to be, not as complicated as it can be’, whilst Ian O’Dwyer controversially claimed our industry is lacking direction and leadership, and Anthony Carey posed the question: if tissue heals why does pain remain? and explained it's bio-psycho-social - not all in the mind or all in the body.

On registration, attendees filled in a questionnaire and, throughout the event, took part in an interactive wall survey giving their opinion on sector specific issues, such as ‘how is technology changing the way you work with clients?’, ‘do you believe the health and fitness industry is evolving at a fast enough pace?’ and ‘what would be your top tip to becoming a successful PT?’. Not surprisingly, the registration questionnaire also showed there was an overwhelming importance placed on the client and client relationships, with attendees citing the most important factor to being a successful PT as listening, communicating and interpersonal skills (36%), while deciding another top tip to being a successful PT was all about building and maintaining good client relationships (35%).

Brent Hallo, FitPro’s Founder and Chairman said: 'The event was an altruistic effort to gather top industry experts together to deliver cutting-edge information in a TED Talk format to selected individuals who represent the pinnacle of practical leadership in the region in a bid to further enhance their knowledge and training base.'

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Slo-mo running helps to burn fat

New research from TomTom reveals that nearly 40% of Brits believe High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will see fast fat burn results, but less than 20% actually know that slow and steady running can be just as effective.

Weight loss is the reason that 60% of the nation starts a new training regime and more than one in 10 (13%) plans to pull on their trainers and head out for a run to lose the pounds. With 69% of Brits considering themselves overweight, a quarter are seeing the summer months as a reason to adopt a new fitness routine, with 20% adding that a forthcoming holiday is enough motivation to get exercising. Almost a fifth said that using a heart rate monitor to analyse their training had helped them lose weight.

Notably nearly a fifth (18%) of those who had used a heart rate monitor to train stated that it had helped them lose weight. 57% also believed it had helped them to understand how their body responds to exercise and 29% felt it helped hone their technique and achieve their goals.

For more information visit www.tomtom.com/en_gb/sports/running/heart-rate-training

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Life Fitness take on active ageing fitness market

Life Fitness, the global leader in commercial fitness equipment, has announced that SCIFIT Systems Inc. will join the company’s brand family. The addition of SCIFIT provides Life Fitness with an expanded product line-up and increased access to the growing active aging market, as well as the medical wellness and rehabilitation fitness segments. SCIFIT was acquired by Life Fitness’ parent company, Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC).

Founded in 1987, SCIFIT has an extensive line of fitness equipment designed to address the needs of active seniors and patients undergoing rehabilitation. With products that are highly accessible for any age or ability, SCIFIT products are staples in facilities where users are building or regaining strength, or maintaining wellness. Their comprehensive product line-up features equipment that can be focused on the needs of the upper body, lower body or total body movements using machines that can be customised to the user’s specific needs and ability level. With low starting resistance, step-through entry for wheelchair access, and built-in workload safeguards for cardiovascular training, SCIFIT provides a safe and user-friendly solution for seniors or those who train them. The equipment is also ideal for rehabilitation for athletes and uniformed services personnel, as well as those with special needs.

In addition to benefitting from the Life Fitness industry-leading biomechanics team and the company’s long tradition of product innovation, SCIFIT will also now be available to the Life Fitness global network.

Chris Clawson, president of Life Fitness, said: 'With our industry leadership and SCIFIT’s innovative products and expertise within the active aging and medical exercise categories, the SCIFIT acquisition positions Life Fitness to provide products to support the rapidly growing senior population. Life Fitness will now be able to equip facilities from retirement communities and assisted living centres to nursing homes, long-term care environments and rehabilitation centres with fitness products tailored for the facility’s users.'

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E-zine

Women across the exercise sector joined forces on Saturday 7th March to celebrate the first ever all female fitness professional conference, Women In Fitness Empowerment (WIFE), tying in with International Women's Day. A top line-up of speakers, including Katie Bulmer-Cooke from BBC1’s The Apprentice, Charlotte Ord, former trainer on ITV’s The Biggest Loser and regular contributor on Sky News, as well as Rachel Holmes one of the best known female presenters in the UK, covered topics such as mentoring, eating disorders, social media and marketing as well as public speaking and successful presentation skills for trainers.

Attended by 80 women, the event was founded by fitness tutor and personal trainer Jacqueline Hooton, who has been working in the industry for over 12 years. Jacqueline says: ‘Women working in the industry are outnumbered by men, we often find ourselves in the minority at training events and many industry days are dominated by male speakers. The aim of the conference was to give women a platform to speak, celebrate the contribution we make to the industry, and raise our profile. I also wanted a place where professional women could network and support one another as many of us work isolated, free-lance, or from our own facilities which can leave us lacking the support of our peers. Many women working in the industry share similar pressures and concerns, the objectification of women in fitness, and the success of Sport England’s “This Girl Can” campaign were just two current themes that caused much debate and discussion’.

As well as the talks and presentations throughout the day the delegates were able to enjoy networking over lunch which was included in the ticket price as well as during refreshment breaks. Due to the success of the conference, Jacqueline is promptly making plans for future events, including WIFE Rising Stars on Saturday 19th September, as well as new networking group WIFE on Wednesday.

For more information on WIFE, contact Jacqueline on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07708 839330.

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E-zine

Leading fitness equipment supplier and manufacturer Precor has announced its latest addition to the Preva network fitness portfolio, the Preva Exerciser Activity Report, a new way to gain visibility into member activity on cardio usage equipment. Located on the Preva Business Suite dashboard, the Exerciser Activity Report provides a variety of data that operators can use to better target members and get the most out of their cardio equipment, while providing them with user insights to help attract and retain members.

The report will display useage trends, as well as offer contest participation so that clients can engage in friendly competitions over distance travelled or calories burned, for example. It can also highlight personal weekly workout goals, also offering insight in clients' cardio sessions.

Jeff Bartee, ?Principle Product Manager for Networked Fitnessat Precor, said: 'We discovered that operators face a huge barrier when it comes to running personalised in-club promotions that keep members engaged. The Preva Exerciser Activity Report gives operators a business edge – it offers detailed information about members’ equipment usage, patterns and preferences, which operators can use to deliver personalised class and service recommendations.'

For more information, visit www.precor.com

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E-zine

With figures published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre revealing that there was a marked increase in the proportion of adults that were overweight, from 57.6% to 67.1% in men and from 48.6% to 57.2% in women, BodyPower have chosen the ideal time to launch their exclusive Body Transformation Challenge. Beginning back in January, currently more than 2,000 people have registered to the scheme, which aims to help exercisers achieve their health and fitness goals.

The 17 week challenge is designed to motivate and incentivise participants to achieve their goals, with registration free for all entrants, and entry remaining open so that people who wanted a shorter challenge could do so too. Each participant also benefits from access to free fitness articles written by some great contributors from the fitness fraternity. To help encourage participants, weekly emails have included training tips, nutrition advice, competitions, and masses of inspiration.

Winners of the contest will be announced on Saturday 16th May, 2015. There will be two grand prize winners, one male and one female. For more information about the 2015 BodyPower Transformation Challenge sponsored by Musculi, please visit www.bodypowerexpo.co.uk

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E-zine

UK vocational training provider Lifetime Training have brought their Personal Training Diploma online so that students can access learning resources no matter where they are, or how busy their schedule is. The online diploma includes all the modules currently available in the Level 2 Fitness Instructor certificate and the Level 3 Personal Training diploma, such as Anatomy and Physiology, Planning and Instructing Gym Sessions, as well as Nutrition and Business Planning.

Within each course there are multiple ways of learning, including resources to read, videos with tutors to highlight teaching points, webinars with slides to illustrate underpinning theories and learner videos which provide course participants with the opportunity to analyse and correct via peer assessment. An app, which is available on Android and iTunes, is also available so that learners can download and access content on the move. Lifetime Training's brand new social learning hub ‘mylifetime’ is also featured in the portal, where all members.

Mike Jones, Commercial Director at Lifetime Training, said: 'By providing our PT diploma online, we can make this qualification accessible to different markets of learners, including professional athletes, who simply cannot attend course days due to training and competition commitments, and people whose busy working lives don’t afford them the flexibility to attend the tutor led sessions which form a key part of our intensive and part-time PT diplomas.'

For further information visit www.lifetimetraining.co.uk/onlineptdiploma

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Working in Fitness

Findings from the Working in Fitness Survey 2015, conducted by SkillsActive and the Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership (EMDP), have revealed that:

  • 70% of fitness professionals want to work in the fitness industry because they have a genuine passion for fitness
  • 44% of respondents came into the sector because they wanted to be a help to other people
  • Women working full-time in the fitness industry earn 97% of a full-time male salary
  • London has the highest average wage, and East Midlands the lowest

SkillsActive & EMDP surveyed the 35,000 members of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), which works to support, develop and unite the brightest and best fitness professionals in the UK.

Download Working in Fitness 2015 report
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Barefoot running, fasted cardio, when to eat carbs… the fitness world is awash with videos, articles, podcasts and webinars on just about every controversial topic you could think of, and we've all seen the social media debates (in some cases all out wars) on some of them.

For those of you who like doing your research and staying on top of current thinking, it can get very confusing with so much information, often contradictory, flowing into your inbox and Twitter feed on a daily basis.

While the internet has provided an open forum for anyone to give their opinion, it’s the established experts that actually give us the real headaches. When an authority figure you respect has a seemingly differing view to another, or takes a stance that conflicts with what you believe, you’re left thinking ‘who’s right?’ Up until a few years ago I too often felt overwhelmed by the confusion. Then I realised 3 things which took the stress out of it and actually inspired me to become a better trainer. Here they are:

  1. It’s a good thing to be made to think
  2. The PTs that aren't bothered by all the new information available are those that haven’t changed their practices since they started, be that 5, 10 or 20 years ago. Sure, there are some fundamentals that have been universally agreed for years - and if what you do works, stick with it - but there’s a difference between that and sticking your head in the sand when it comes to anything new. I know I sometimes cringe at some of the methods and approaches I used with clients before I knew better. The differences that exist force you to question why you do one thing and not another, and that makes you more credible.

  3. No one knows all the answers
  4. There are some incredibly knowledgeable PTs, coaches, researchers and authors out there, true leaders in their specialist fields whose opinions I value greatly. But even they would the first to admit they don’t know it all. The best teachers are still students, constantly learning and developing, so all they can ever pass on is what they believe to be ‘correct’ right now. What is fact today might be disproven tomorrow, so the best course of action is to take all views on board and make your own decision about what you believe to be the best option at the current time. Humans have an in-built need to be consistent, but when we accept we are allowed to change our minds it takes the pressure off.

    It also means you are perfectly entitled to come up with your own approaches, based on your experience and research. You may blend certain techniques from one school of thought with those from another which produces great results for your clients, and that’s hugely rewarding and motivating. Indeed, that’s how many of the world’s top trainers got to be so successful themselves!

  5. Experts’ clients are different to yours
  6. This is probably

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