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Osteoporosis is a disease characterised by brittle bones, resulting in an increase in fracture risk. In the UK, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporotic fractures (National Osteoporosis Society, 2016) and this high prevalence causes a substantial cost to the National Health Service, writes Dr Jacky Forsyth – who works in the centre for Sport, Health and Exercise Research at Staffordshire University.

Osteoporosis is not limited to old age – deterioration in bone health can start at a young age due to inappropriate lifestyle choices – however, osteoporosis is generally not diagnosed until later in life. For this reason, osteoporosis has been described as a ‘silent disease’, in that an individual will not realise that they have it until they suffer from their first osteoporotic fracture, by which time, it is often too late to repair the damage already done.

Preventing the occurrence of osteoporosis, through changes in exercise and diet, is key to ensuing that this disease does not progress in our burgeoning ageing population. The role of the fitness professional in promoting positive lifestyle changes to improve people’s bone health is important in this prevention. The purpose of this article is to provide background information on bone remodelling and osteoporosis, and to suggest some novel, research-informed ideas that can be used to promote good bone health.

An individual is said to have osteoporosis if they have a T score, as measured using DXA (which stands for Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) below -2.5, which means that their bone mineral density is 2.5 standard deviations below that of a healthy, young adult (World Health Organisation, 1994). A Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX®) has also been developed, which uses risk factors such as sex, age, family history of osteoporosis, and smoking status, to ascertain the likelihood of sustaining a fracture over a given period of time. Worldwide, an osteoporotic fracture is estimated to occur every three seconds (Jonell & Kanis, 2006), and as a result, wellbeing and quality of life can deteriorate (Forsyth & Babatunde, 2015). Determining risk of fracture by understanding the risk factors is the first step in preventing osteoporosis.

Bone is in a constant state of remodelling, whereby osteoclasts – which are the bone-absorbing cells – break down the bone leaving spaces, termed resorption pits. Osteoblasts – which are the bone-building cells – migrate towards these pits, secreting collagen and various proteins, to rebuild and re-mineralise the bone. This process is constantly happening in all parts of the bone, but at different stages, and takes approximately three months to complete (Forsyth & Davey, 2008).

Bone remodelling is determined by several factors, including the amount of calcium available in the blood, and the availability of hormones, such as oestrogen, growth hormone and testosterone. For instance, when blood calcium levels are low, bone is resorbed (breaks down), so that calcium stored within the bone is made available in the bloodstream. Conversely, when blood calcium levels are optimal

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We have some great news about our plans for 2018, which we are confident will enhance your member experience.

Having listened to your invaluable feedback, over the next few months we will be introducing:

• A new-look website with improved functionality
• A new and simplified CPD points system
• A new-look quarterly REPs magazine filled with the latest fitness and coaching tips from some of the Industry's leading voices
• A new hub, the PD:Portal, for finding endorsed training
• ‘Price Promise’ on our Insurance Premiums.

Along with plans to introduce other member benefits over the year, we will continue to provide:

• Bags of information and regular educational updates to keep you at the cutting edge
• International recognition and portability to 10 countries across the world including the US, UAE, Australia and New Zealand.

Keep an eye out for further information.

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After receiving a number of enquiries regarding the introduction of the Professional Standards, we wanted to let you all know how REPs will manage the transition from the National Occupational Standards (NOS).

CIMSPA received funding from Sport England to create the Professional Standards, which will be made available to the sector and underpin health and fitness qualifications. These standards will gradually be embedded into qualifications by Awarding Organisations to replace the current qualifications that are underpinned by NOS.

REPs will continue to recognise and register people who have completed qualifications under the NOS standards until the Professional Standards are fully embedded. In order for new qualifications to be recognised by REPs, a formal approval process will be available to Awarding Organisations through PD:Approval – the independent organisation contracted by REPs to carry out its endorsement process.

We can assure you that once a timeframe for this transitional process has been established we will make sure REPs members, REPs recognised training providers, corporate account holders, and the sector in general are aware of the process, and any additional training that may be required to bridge any skills gaps between NOS and the Professional Standards.

We hope this provides some clarity and can assure the industry that REPs will continue to maintain standards and quality whilst working with the sector to implement these changes.

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Solent University

Each year 13 million people are diagnosed with cancer worldwide (Moore, Durstine and Painter, 2016), writes Rob Williams, senior lecturer at Southampton Solent University. In 2014, 356,630 people in the UK were given a diagnosis of one form of cancer or another (Cancer Research, UK) and there are over 200 different types of cancer, the most common being cancers of the lung, breast, prostate and colon (National Foundation for Cancer, 2016).

Although cancer prevalence continues to rise, people survive now more than ever before due to advances in public awareness, diagnostics, surgery and treatment, with 2.5 million people currently living with cancer in the UK, which is projected to rise to 4 million by 2030, according to Macmillan. Ten-year survivorship following diagnosis is now predicted in at least 80% of people diagnosed with cancer of the skin, breast and prostate, an encouraging statistic due to the latter 2 sites being the most prevalent in women and men (Cancer research UK, 2016).

Cancer diagnosis is followed by an often long and traumatic journey of treatment; including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and in some cases years of hormone-altering drugs. There are physical, psychological and emotional effects which affect the patient and their family, and of course the legacy of surviving cancer is the fear and worry that it may come back. People often survive, but don’t flourish and instead become depressed, fatigued and withdrawn, struggling to cope with life after cancer, a concern voiced by cancer charities such as Macmillan.

This has seen a call for interventions to support the increasing number of survivors throughout and following their treatment and has been the catalyst for a body of evidence investigating the role of lifestyle and physical activity in cancer prevention and survivorship over the past 10 years or so.

Exercise and cancer rehabilitation

People who exercise regularly throughout their lives are seen in many population studies to reduce their risk of developing cancer. In many cancer sites, there seems to be a dose response, the more exercise the lower the risk (World Cancer Research Fund Expert Report, 2007).

Cancer Research UK suggest that about 40% of cancers are preventable and for bowel cancer the most physically active can reduce their risk by 40-50%. Indeed, there is strong evidence to support the benefits of exercise and weight control at significantly reducing risk in bowel, breast and endometrial cancers (Thomas et al., 2014). Exercise during treatment should be under the clearance of a physician and should be patient centred and individual to the person, taking into account fatigue, anaemia, mood status and severity of treatment side effects (Courneya and McNeely, 2016). The person should do what they feel able to comfortably do, but can see benefits in reduced fatigue and improving mood if they are able and willing (Shmitz et al., 2010).

Following treatment, a programme of rehabilitation should be supervised by a REPs level 4 Cancer Rehabilitation Specialist who should consider all the effects of past and current therapies. Effects of treatment

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Les Mills top picture blog 1x

A flat stomach can play hard to get for both genders. It’s a soft spot that can be one of the hardest to tone up, but recent research highlights one method that works better than most.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is known to burn serious amounts of fat, seriously fast. But not just any fat. New research shows that specific forms of high-intensity interval training can be key to cutting fat from your tummy.    

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The tummy trimming benefits of high-intensity interval training are highlighted in
a recently published study into how different approaches to training can affect fitness
and body composition in healthy adults1. The study tested two groups of exercisers. One group followed a conventional gym training program four days a week, the other did two conventional gym workouts and two high-intensity interval training-based LES MILLS GRIT™ Cardio workouts a week. Both groups trained for the same total amount of time each week.

At the end of the eight-week study, both groups saw a reduction in total body fat, but it was those doing high-intensity interval training who really took the fat burning up a notch. These individuals eliminated an average of 2.2cm from their waistlines and experienced an overall loss of 2.2% visceral fat – that’s the awful gut fat that clogs up our organs, affects our hormones and increases the risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes. They also benefited from a significant increase in cardio-respiratory fitness.

While the results are significant, the length of the workouts was not. Those who incorporated the high-intensity interval training didn’t need to slog it out for hours at the gym – the LES MILLS GRIT sessions they did twice a week were just 30 minutes long.

LES MILLS GRIT workouts are short, but explosive. Combining intervals of speed training with body weight exercises such as squat jumps and lunges, they are designed to maximize calorie burn during the workout, and beyond.

Further research into HIIT and continuous training will be necessary to support the findings of this study.

1 References: Giannaki, C. D., et al. "Eight weeks of a combination of high intensity interval training and conventional training reduce visceral adiposity and improve physical fitness: a group-based intervention." The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness (2015).

More information can be found here.

Les Mills top pic blog 2x


Forget clocking up more time on the treadmill. Research suggests that it’s intensity not volume that gets results – whether you’re an active adult or an athlete, your fitness will fly when you add LES MILLS GRIT into the mix.

There’s no doubt that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) drives amazing results. Several studies, conducted with sedentary adults, provide compelling evidence that HIIT can rapidly build fitness. This study was conducted on fit and active adults instead to better understand the effect of HIIT on this population.

In two separate studies (Christoforos 2015), Dr Jinger Gottschall and a team of researchers at Penn State

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Rebound website

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is something of a buzzword at the moment – and rightly so. Highly popular* and results driven, the American College of Sports Medicine states that the benefits of HIIT include increased aerobic and anaerobic fitness, lowered blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health and insulin profiles, and a reduction in abdominal fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass. And with new workouts and studios launching with increasing regularity, HIIT appears to be a trend that is still very much on the rise.

However, with many HIIT sessions offering not just a high-intensity but also a high-impact workout, there is a growing need within the industry for alternative, lower-impact options, as a means of providing suitable classes for clients of all fitness levels. It is also important to offer recovery-style classes that can be interspersed with HIIT, to include more variety, reduce injury risk and even add longevity to your career as a personal trainer or instructor, due to the fact your body will be subjected to fewer stress-inducing workouts.

Essential recovery

‘If you’ve done a HIIT workout properly then your muscles will be ripped to shreds, so recovery is absolutely crucial,’ advises James Winfield, sports scientist, personal trainer and founder of ReboundUK.

‘You really can have too much of a good thing. If you over train and find you plateau or burn out with your HIIT sessions, this is a sure sign you need to switch it up, find an alternative high-intensity exercise, or intersperse with some other styles of workout.’

University of British Columbia state that ‘high-intensity “sprint training” may be gaining popularity at gyms, but if you are new to this form of exercise, the workout could do more harm than good. A study has found signs of stress in the muscle tissues of their non-athlete, untrained subjects after ultra-intense leg and arm cycling exercises. Perhaps more concerning, researchers reported the untrained subjects had a weakened ability to fight off free radicals, molecules that can alter DNA and harm healthy cells.’

‘Our study raises questions about what the right dose and intensity of exercise for the average person really is,’ said Robert Boushel, the study's senior author and director of the University of British Columbia's School of Kinesiology. ‘We need to be cautious about supporting sprint training in the general population.’

The study was carried out on a dozen male volunteers in Sweden, all of whom were in good health but self-identified as untrained or only moderately active. The men participated in high-intensity training over the course of two weeks that involved repeated 30-second all-out sprints, followed by rest periods.

On the flip side, then, it appears HIIT can place a huge strain on the body, especially for those clients are out of condition to begin with, or those who rarely mix up their HIIT sessions with other activities and workouts.

‘There are a lot of people out there who love HIIT training, and that’s great,’ says Winfield. ‘I just think for deconditioned people,

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BP Fitness Trade Show 250

The Register for Exercise Professionals (REPs) will be in attendance at the BP: Fitness Trade Show, taking place on the 12-13 September at the NEC, Birmingham.

The trade show will focus on education and the business of fitness, delivering an extensive exhibition with over 100 innovative brands that offer fitness solutions to various markets, including: Personal trainer studios, independent gyms, universities, schools and colleges, hotel gyms, boutique fitness studios, student accommodation gyms, corporate and company gyms, CrossFit gyms, gym chains and franchises, and residential care homes.

Such is the push to develop a trade show that delivers world class education, and brings together the right speakers to the right audiences, the BP: Fitness Trade Show has developed strategic partnerships with the likes of REPs, Advanced Coaching Academy (ACA), Pure Gym and Lift The Bar.

At the show REPs members can expect to learn and gain continuing professional development (CPD) points from a line-up of exceptional educators, including: Phil Learney of ACA, Luke John, founder of Shredded By Science and Martin MacDonald of Representatives of REPs will also be on hand over the two days to answer questions in the ‘Trade Lounge’.

The trade show will also see REPs hold its first Advisory Committee meeting, where stakeholders from the health and fitness industry and associated health professionals will be making decisions for the development of the organisation.

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Bex Townley 250

The issue of pre-exercise screening and assessment is potentially contentious, writes Director of Later Life Training Bex Townley (pictured). 

As the evidence for exercise strengthens and the awareness of its benefits in improving health outcomes widens, so the demand for longer-term community exercise provision increases. Leisure trusts, community projects, public health commissioners and clinical commissioning groups are all in the frame for funding and establishing evidence-based exercise interventions to support people living with long-term conditions.

For Later Life Training [LLT] trained instructors working with clinical populations, this takes the form of the L4 Postural Stability Instructor (PSI) and Exercise and Fitness after Stroke (EfS) qualifications. However, the issues raised in this article are relevant for any instructor working with clients that may require liaison with health care professionals (HCPs) – ie, L3 Exercise Referral Instructors and Specialist Exercise Instructors.

This growing need for community provision should be good news for the fitness sector – clients and specialist exercise instructors delivering evidence-based programmes (stroke survivors, frailer older people at risk of falls). It should also be good news for our partners in health: the referrers (physiotherapists, GPs) who can direct those with the most to gain to targeted exercise programmes. But like most good things, along with the benefits are the challenges and compromises.

This article sets out to open the discussion and urge specialist exercise instructors, services and leisure facilities to consider their pre-exercise screening and assessment practice. It cannot provide all solutions to the challenges of pre-exercise screening and liaison with referral partners but LLT feels it essential to raise this amongst fitness sector organisations spearheading the current changes to training frameworks, and also the insurance providers who have an invested interest in safe/best practice.

From our experiences with students and conversations with service leads around the UK, time dedicated to pre-exercise screening and assessment is being reduced and in some regions assessment is being replaced with a ‘health commitment statement’ or service written ‘waivers’. These are designed to reduce the burden on GPs and health care providers/professionals (HCPs) and thus increase participation. What this also means is that potentially essential information is not passed onto the specialist exercise instructor.

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It is expected that someone holding a L4 specialist exercise instructor qualification will have the knowledge and expertise to tailor and adapt a programme to suit the client’s health needs and preferences.

For LLT PSI/EfS specialist exercise instructors working with frailer older people at risk of falls, and stroke survivors of all ages, a meaningful pre-exercise interaction or consultation should include:

  • a fully completed clinical referral form from the clients’ HCP (eg,   physiotherapist) ideally at point of discharge
  • for self-referrals: completion of the physical activity readiness questionnaire (PAR-Q) to ascertain if liaison with GP is required or referral from GP or HCP from health care setting (ie, physiotherapist from falls team or stroke team)
  • assessment of motivation and the application of person-centered goal-setting and other behavior change strategies
  • completion of agreed relevant outcome measures (monitoring and documenting
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BP Fitness Trade Show 250

REPs members can experience an exceptional line-up of educators including the likes of Phil Learney, running his ACA conference for non-members, Luke Johnson, Chris Burgess and Martin MacDonald.

Whether it’s fitness business discussions, including client retention, sales or marketing, or practical coaching and nutrition, BP: Fitness Trade Show on 12th and 13th September 2017 is a perfect destination for any fitness professional.

The NEC, Birmingham will host thousands of likeminded trade professionals and BP: Fitness Trade Show will feature an extensive exhibition with varied networking opportunities. We will be in the Trade Lounge during the two days to answer any questions or just to say hi.

Experience unrivalled education and learning opportunities completely free, all you need to do is register by clicking here, or alternatively register through their Facebook page. You will get CPD points as well :)

We will be there as well! So come and see us in the Trade Lounge during your visit.

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One of the most frustrating aspects of growing a fitness business is developing others to sell your services for you.

But until you are able to multiply yourself in this area of your business, you are forever tied to speaking with every prospect and personally completing every consult just to bring new revenue in the door.

If you want to step out of the sales role in your business, follow these steps to get the right people on board and lead them to success month after month.

Once you have the systems and tools to duplicate yourself AND understand how to hire, train, and develop someone else to perform the sales role in your business effectively… you’ll be on your way to more sales, more freedom, and more growth!

1.    Get clear on your vision

Ask yourself questions to get clear on your vision for:

Your Life

What does your ideal day look like? What do you want to have more freedom to do outside of your business?

Your Business

How many clients do you want your studio to be serving? What type of revenue will that generate for your business each month?

Hiring Your First Sales Professional

What are the qualities that you want to see in someone else representing your business with a new prospective client?

2.    Check your mindset

Too many fitness business owners have the mindset of “I’m the only one who can sell.”

If you believe you are the only one who can do it, you are right. If you want to do everything forever, keep selling by yourself.

In order to grow as a fitness business owner, you’ve got to adopt the mindset that others can sell, and you must learn how to recruit, develop, and lead others to sell for you so you can make a bigger impact.

3.    Assess your team

Prospective clients pay for VALUE.

V = CE + R + R (Value = Client Experience + Relationships + Results You Deliver)

If the people you’re recruiting (for any role!) aren’t a good fit for your culture, chances are that they are not going to support your mission of providing a great client experience or building close relationships with those clients.

4.    Enroll your team

There is nothing more frustrating from a staff member’s perspective than to not understand what success looks like, what is expected of them, and how to perform their job well.

Enroll your team by:

1.    Developing a scorecard which has three main components:

a.    Mission – The essence of why the top exists and should be tied directly to your company’s overall mission.

b.    Outcomes – The 3 - 8 things that someone in the role must get done, listed in order of importance.

c.    Competencies – What a candidate must bring to the table in order to get the job done such as honesty, integrity, etc.

2.    Understanding what motivates your staff and putting incentives in

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an umbrella term for all diseases of the heart and circulation including coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, atrial fibrillation (AF), congenital heart disease and inherited heart conditions. There are an estimated 7 million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK with coronary heart disease being the single biggest killer in the UK.

An ageing and growing population and improved survival rates from cardiovascular events could see these numbers rise still further. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) occurs when coronary arteries become narrowed by a build-up of atheroma, a fatty material within their walls. The pain or discomfort felt from such narrowing is called angina and if a blockage occurs it can cause a myocardial infarction (heart attack). Most CHD deaths are caused by a myocardial infarction.   

Healthy eating, regular exercise and smoking cessation are important elements in the prevention of further cardiovascular events. For those who have a myocardial infarction, undergo revascularisation or have heart failure, attending a comprehensive cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation programme has been strongly recommended in recent scientific research papers and has become part of routine cardiology care in the UK over the last few years. The physical activity and exercise component of a programme is an integral part both in the early stages of recovery and also in the longer term. The role of an exercise professional, who must be able to demonstrate that they have the appropriate training, qualifications and skills, is important in delivering effective long-term exercise programmes and in maintaining long-term exercise habits.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the UK with almost 160,000 individuals dying from CVD every year in the UK. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the single biggest killer in the UK and is responsible for nearly 70,000 deaths in UK each year, an average of 190 people each day, or one death around every eight minutes. Most deaths from CHD are caused by a heart attack. An estimated 915,000 people alive in the UK today (640,000 men and 275,000 women) have survived a heart attack. More than 2.3 million people in the UK are living with some form of coronary heart disease (CHD) and more than 500,000 with heart failure.  

Risk factors for CVD, both modifiable and non-modifiable are well established and lifestyle interventions which target the modifiable risk factors have been shown to have many benefits including reducing cardiovascular mortality, reducing hospital admissions and improvements in health related quality of life. 

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BACPR Executive Director Sally Hinton

Physical inactivity is a key preventable risk factor of CVD and is considerably more prevalent than other major risk factors. Increasing overall levels of sustained in physical activity and avoidance of prolonged sedentary behaviour are associated with reduction of CVD risk. In addition low physical fitness is a strong independent predictor of CVD events. The mechanisms by which physical activity and increased fitness may decrease the risk of developing coronary heart disease include the favourable effect that

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Let’s make this perfectly clear: The difference between qualifications and CPD courses

We all do courses and training to improve our knowledge and skills, but what do these terms mean? Do they result in you being appropriately qualified to teach the new skill to your clients and customers? Tom Bell, Director of PD:Approval, with experience of endorsing REPs-recognised training for over 12 years, will tell you everything you need to know about choosing the appropriate piece of training…

In the course of our work as the endorsement body for REPs, we come across many fitness professionals, training providers, employers and general public who are unclear about the difference between a qualification and a piece of continuing professional development (CPD) training, or indeed realise there is a difference.

The simple explanation is that qualifications are listed on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which is the national framework of UK qualifications, and the certificate of achievement is issued by an Awarding Organisation. Your certificate means you are ‘qualified’ in that subject. Certificates for qualifications included in the REPs framework will include the REPs CPD point logo.

CPD can be developed by any individual or organisation, but unless it is endorsed by a recognised body, ie PD:Approval, does not come with any safeguards in quality for learners or any support for the learner if things go wrong. The certificate will be issued by the endorsed provider and means you are ‘certified’ in that subject. Certificates for PD:Approval endorsed training will include the REPs, CPD point, and PD:Approval Endorsed logos.

There is also a lack of understanding about what learners should know about the training they are undertaking – will there be an assessment, what does the certificate mean, is my insurance affected? We hope to be able to provide a clear picture to help you in the training choices you make.

Education and training is an essential part of any profession and most professional membership bodies require a qualification or degree to gain entry. Each profession and sector is different and all have their own ways to protect the integrity of their industry and qualifications. But they all recognise the importance of the provision of recognised skills for employment so that the learner is competent as well as confident in what they are doing.

REPs and PD:Approval champion the provision of recognised skills and aim to ensure that we continue to drive up achievement within the UK through the REPs framework of qualification categories (Level 2, 3 and 4). Coupled with PD:Approval endorsed CPD training to support ongoing learning, this offers a clear career pathway for REPs members to progress whilst gaining recognition for their efforts. More importantly, it gives them peace of mind knowing that all endorsed training is covered by their REPs insurance (REPs members can use other bodies to provide their insurance but REPs insurance guarantees cover for REPs recognised training).

To be able to make a more informed choice it is important to understand the detail behind the different levels of learning.


Vocational Qualifications:

Vocational qualifications provide the skills for employment

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Level 3 is just the beginning for a Personal Trainer

Once someone has passed their Level 3 personal trainer course and achieved the qualification, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that studies are done and work begins. The focus will naturally move towards bringing in clients, client retention and job prospects. Prospects should of course be paramount in a personal trainer’s thoughts, but never at the expense of continued education.  In an increasingly popular and competitive marketplace, it’s becoming ever more important for one to continue to learn and develop new skills. Indeed, by choosing not to, a personal trainer may well be harming their potential earnings and job security.  

“Put yourself in the potential client’s position. They have any number of personal trainers they could work with. If you were that client, would you go with the trainer who has a Level 3 certificate and some workplace experience, or the trainer with a Level 3 certificate who also has sports conditioning, suspension fitness, kettlebells and Olympic lifting certificates plus workplace experience?” comments Steele Williams, Director of TRAINFITNESS.

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So, what are some of the other benefits of upskilling and what sort of courses could a personal trainer benefit from?

Working with niche clients

There are a range of different clients out there with different needs. Some might be looking to improve general health, fitness or fat loss, while others will have specific needs they’ll want a personal trainer to address. These might be sport-specific, strength or posture-focused. With the population becoming far more in tune with what it takes to live a healthier lifestyle and having a much great awareness of and interest in specific skills and training protocols, personal trainers need to have a greater range of knowledge under their belts to satisfy client requirements. Courses such as Padwork, Sports Conditioning or Olympic Lifting can widen a client base and ensure that clients have their every specific need met.

Staying relevant

The health and fitness industry is one of the fastest evolving out there. Each day brings new techniques and innovations. After only a few months of working as a personal trainer it’s likely that something has changed or a new technique has become popular.  Training techniques can go in and out of fashion, so it’s a good idea to upskill to stay ahead of the game. One day kettlebell training is all the rage, the next group exercise, HIIT or outdoor fitness. For a personal trainer, having those additional courses under their belt can help maintain relevancy and most importantly, keep a PT busy.

Keeping it interesting

A personal trainer might get bored delivering the same sessions week in week out.  Clients might get bored receiving the same sessions week in week out too, even if they’re seeing progress. By upskilling and making sure there is the ability to offer a variety of training styles and activities, a personal trainer can keep workouts fresh and interesting, even if it’s only a case of adding one or two new ideas and techniques into the

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Strength Training for Distance Running

At first it might appear as though training with heavy weights and distance running are worlds apart. Why would the distance runner need to get weight on the bar and bust their gut in the gym when they could be out pounding the roads and getting more miles in?

But it’s actually in this very question that the problem lies. It’s this constant pounding that the body takes that can lead to injuries and stagnate performance levels.

Clearly there needs to be a certain volume of work completed which will be different for every individual and for each event that is being trained for, however unnecessary volume can at best be wasted time and at worst lead to overtraining and/or injury.

This time could be better spent strengthening the body and recovering.

What do the best do?

At the highest level, distance runners embrace strength training and are seen to be engaging in strength and conditioning programmes that they feel are a key area to their success.

Here is a comment from Bernard Lagat after being beaten by Mo Farah in the Monaco 5000m:

“To be able to beat Mo Farah I need to put my training up a notch," Lagat said. "I am happy with my speed. The only thing I need to work on is the strength. I can see that Mo Farah is a guy that is very strong. He is like a racing horse. What I need to do are the things that will get me even with him.”

And what about our very own Paula Radcliffe? It’s well known that Paula is an extremely hard trainer and engages in many types of training to improve her performance. Here’s a quote from her physiotherapist Gerard Hartmann outlining the approach they took with Paula:

“Paula runs twice a day, and that may account for 1.5 to 2 hours of her day. On top of that she is spending between another two and five hours between her treatments, her stretching routine, her plyometrics, her core stability, and her strength training."

“It is no different to what Sebastian Coe did with his father, Peter and with George Gandy many years ago. Seb Coe was not the biggest of athletes, but they developed him into an athlete. He did not just run, he did dynamic exercises, plyometric exercises, strength exercises, squats, lunges, and heavy weight sessions. We brought this approach to Paula Radcliffe’s training program after the Olympic Games and it was less than a year later that we saw she won her first world title”.

Although it seems pretty clear that the top runners are looking to strength and conditioning to gain that extra edge, for recreational runners the message doesn’t seem to have passed down as many runners are not aware of the potential benefits of a good strength training programme.

Is it our god given right as a human to be able to run? Shouldn’t we be doing a little more to prepare our bodies for the

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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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Two of the UK’s leading sports organisations are joining forces to maintain a register of qualified exercise professionals.

Sports coach UK, a charity that promotes the education of sports coaches, has teamed up with SkillsActive, a careers advisory council, to run the national Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS).

First launched in 2002, the independent register had previously been run by just Skills Active. It regulates health and fitness instructors across the UK.

It allows employers and members of the public to check that exercise instructors meet the National Occupational Standards set by the industry.

Anna Lowe, co-founder of social enterprise Active Together, told Frontline: ‘Physiotherapists and exercise professionals have a shared interest in supporting the national physical activity agenda, both have a huge role to play in encouraging and enabling people to be active whether this is through sport, activity or rehabilitation.

‘Ensuring quality and governance in this sector is essential and safeguarding the future of the Register of Exercise Professionals is a really positive step.

'This is a great opportunity to further align health and fitness sectors with the aim of creating flexible, accessible activity opportunities for everyone.'

Joining the register

CSP members are not automatically eligible to join the register, but physio students, assistants and qualified physiotherapists can be included if they gain a recognised exercise referral and instructor qualification. More details on joining

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SkillsActive REPs Sports Coach UK

Two leading sports organisations have announced a major initiative to create better strategic alignment and clarify the sporting landscape. sports coach UK and SkillsActive have collaborated to run the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), the independent, public register which provides regulation for health and fitness instructors.

REPs was launched in 2002 to provide confidence to employers and the public that instructors and trainers meet the National Occupational Standards set by the industry. As well as protecting the public, the Register enhances the employment prospects of exercise professionals by recognising their skills and qualifications. For employers, it offers an efficient mechanism for verifying qualifications and ensuring the competence of staff, especially in the specialist areas linked to health rehabilitation.

The immediate benefits of this initiative to the 30,000+ registered members of REPs are continued quality of service, protection and the opportunity for further relevant professional development and on-line learning, ensuring they are properly equipped to meet the emerging needs of the government’s new sports strategy.

For the wider sport and activity community, the benefit is that the service is capable of extension to a wider set of registers and users, providing employers and the public with the same confidence that the REPs badge has bestowed on its members since 2002.

Commenting on the initiative, Sport England’s Director of Sport Phil Smith said: "The Government's new strategy for Sport Sporting Future is very clear about the need for the industry to support its professionals at all levels. Sport England has recently consulted widely on what the industry needs to do next, and the call for simplification was loud and consistent. This change is a positive step in that direction and is aiming to make life better for exercise professionals."

Sports coach UK Chair Gillian Wilmot said: “We’re committed to driving the development of coaching across the whole sport and physical activity landscape. Exercise professionals play an important role in motivating people to become active and stay active, whether through sport or physical activity. The whole sporting workforce should be equipped to deal with the challenge of getting everybody active every day.”

SkillsActive Chairman Peter Rowley said: “We recognise this opportunity to benefit employers, professionals and the public in other sectors of sport and wellbeing. There’s great scope for structures like REPs to increase public confidence and engagement, ease employer processes and simplify the professionalisation of sporting skills in line with the new DCMS strategy. Skills Active will focus on playing a full role in the standards for the skills agenda in sport underpinned by initiatives such as the Registers.”

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REPs has been leading the way in representing exercise professionals in the UK since 2002. The membership has grown steadily and stands at over 30,000 current members which is over two-thirds of the fitness workforce in Great Britain! There is no scheme as successful nor as recognised anywhere in Europe in any sector.

Every month we communicate with more than 3,000 members. We listen, we consult and we develop more ideas to support the opportunities for you - our community of members. In any month we consult more people and more members than any consultation in the history of the fitness sector but we don’t make a song and dance about it – we just get on with doing our job for you.

Lately there has been untrue rumours spread by poor imitators perhaps – you tell us and we’ll put the facts straight. So far we have just been doing what we do best – run a service for you. You have told us that you want to keep the costs down and focus on key insurance benefits, so our costs are amongst the lowest of any professional registration membership. So we haven’t spent your money on PR consultants, rumour mongering, constant Twitter feeds, lies, lobbying and misquotes.

But let us focus even more on what you want and let us be more responsive to your needs and those of collaborative employers.

2016 will be a year of transformation with REPs seeking to provide a stronger membership offer throughout all membership levels and giving you a voice within your industry.

We are here to create, develop and improve - and over the next few months we will be launching our Member Satisfaction Survey 2016 which will allow you to shape the future of your register, give your views and have your say on where and what you would like REPs to do in 2016 and beyond. We are by far the UK’s largest exercise professional registration body, and throughout 2016 we will continue to attract recognition within the UK, allowing us to grow our offers to members.

Further, we can offer our members a route into working in fitness internationally, including Australia, New Zealand, the USA, the UAE and others.

Watch out for news on our website over the coming weeks and months about our future developments and as always if you want to get in touch for any reason, please give us a call on 0330 004 0004 or email at

Be part of the future, be part of REPs.

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NHS England announced today the launch of their Diabetes Prevention Programme with the aim of identifying those people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and referring them onto an evidence-based behaviour change programme to help reduce their risk. There is robust evidence that behavioural interventions, which support people to maintain a healthy weight and be more active, can significantly reduce the risk of developing the condition.

Initially up to 20,000 places will be available on the scheme, with the aim of having 100,000 referral places by 2020. There will be a strong emphasis on interventions focused on increasing activity levels amongst those referred onto the scheme, and REPs members will be ideally placed to provide the activity advice and exercise programmes which are a cornerstone of the programme. In particular, those members holding the Level 4 Obesity and Diabetes category will have the specific skills and knowledge to work in this specialist area.

Visit the SkillsActive Quality Training Portal for more details on endorsed courses which will train you to work in this important and exciting area.

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logoforrepsarticleResearch commissioned by e-commerce fitness specialist Gym-Partners shows that 43% of gym members would be ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to purchase fitness products from their gym, if it had a well-stocked online store.

The You Gov research, which polled 1500 gym members, also found that:

  • 53% of members spend money on fitness clothing every month with 12% spending over £25 and 5% spending over £50
  • 29% spend up to £50 a month on supplements
  • 18% spend monthly on equipment

Gym-Partners works with leisure operators, fitness companies and industry influencers to provide a turn-key, online retail solution, which monetises their health-conscious database. These businesses and individuals benefit from a high-quality webshop, built to their brand standards and tailored to their exact requirements, completely free of charge. Gym-Partners takes care of sales and promotion with a range of targeted email and SMS communications, supported by in-gym POS and staff and member promotional codes. They also handle all orders including delivery and tracking.

Social influencer, PT and calisthenics Pro Stephen Hughes-Landers is working with Gym-Partners to promote his favourite fitness products to his network of over 50k people, while Jubilee Hall Trust is the first operator to successfully trial the concept:

“We are always looking at ways to improve the gym user experience and to increase secondary spend opportunities,” says Phil Rumbelow, Chief Executive of Jubilee Hall Trust. “This partnership enables us to achieve both of those things with minimal risk and without the inconvenience of carrying large quantities of stock. So far, the feedback from our members has been very positive and we look forward to developing the concept across all of our clubs.” Stephen Coles, Director of Gym-Partners adds; “Operators are fast realising that, aside from bricks and mortar, the value of their business is tied up within their database. An online retail offering can generate substantial additional revenue, but it can also directly and positively impact member experience and retention. Those members who invest early on in the right kit - especially new members - are more likely to feel comfortable in the gym environment, be more "tooled-up" to achieve their goals and therefore more likely to continue their membership. Allowing them to go elsewhere to buy what they need is a huge missed opportunity.” Gym-Partners retails in excess of 50 brands including Adidas, Fitbit, MaxiNutrition, Under Armour and Trigger Point.

“Some of the major barriers for operators in setting up retail opportunities are understanding the art of retailing, holding stock/fulfilment and being able to source a wide enough range of products to create a truly complete solution,” says Coles. “At Gym-Partners we take care of all of this, leaving the gyms to concentrate on their core business.”

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