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Big Burn bannerWe have teamed up with BIG BURN, the new mass participation fitness event in London, which is taking place on 31st May at Alexandra Palace. BIG BURN offers a spectacular festival atmosphere with 1,500 people working out together. Each session will be led by a celebrity instructor to help people get in shape for the summer!

BIG BURN is offering you, as REPs members, the opportunity to take centre stage and teach thousands of people your work out. One lucky member will picked from the competition to teach their routine to a live audience.

Here is all the information you’ll need to enter:

Competition Details

Step 1 Click here to enter

Step 2 Upload your best picture and 20 words about your routine by 31 March 2014

Step 3 Share, tweet & send to your friends and fitness followers asking them to vote for you

Step 4 Remember that voting closes 30 April 2014 - Vote Here

Selection Process

  • You MUST be a REPs certified instructor to enter the competition
  • The 5 instructors with the most votes will be reviewed by the BIG BURN panel
  • 1 instructor from these top 5 will be selected to perform their fitness routine on stage at AlexandraPalace, London on 31st May
  • The winner will then be announced on 6th May

More information

  • The fitness routine will last between 10 and 15 minutes and take place as part of one of the headliners sessions
  • The routine must be equipment free
  • The winner will receive a range of promotional benefits from BIG BURN
  • Headliner instructors include Darcey Bussell, Josie Gibson and FitSteps® duo Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite
  • Go to www.BIGBURN.co.uk for more information about the event

So what are you waiting for? Get ready for the BIG BURN and enter the competition now!

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Newspaper

In recent times it has become the norm to open the paper and to find out that something is bad for our health, can give us cancer, or can help fight obesity, which for the average member of the public can become very confusing, and lead to a contradiction in determining which advice to take.

In the past couple of months there have been reports that "Seaweed could slow the obesity tidal wave", "High Protien diets are just as bad as smoking" and "Want to lose weight? Play Tetris: Classic game distracts dieters from food cravings", all of which have featured in broadsheets such as The Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, not just the tabloid newspapers.

With the case of high protein diets and smoking, we were quite shocked that the newspapers could even put the two in the same category as we all are fully aware of health implications smoking can cause. The NHS has decades of evidence proving that smoking kills and – fortunately for meat lovers – it would seem that this latest comparison with high protein diets is to be a triumph of PR spin. The story itself came to light in a recent press release about a large study which found that for people aged 50-65, eating a lot of protein was associated with an increased risk of dying. However, the study, which assessed the diets of Americans in a single 24-hour period (rather than long-term), found in those aged over 65 that a high protein diet was actually associated with a reduced risk of death from any cause or from cancer. These differing findings meant that overall there was no increase in risk of death, or from dying of cancer with a high protein diet.

As stated in the NHS's Behind the Headlines "We need to eat protein, we do not need to smoke." and here at REPs we certainly agree with this.

The NHS stated: "The reporting of the results of the study was reasonable. However, the prominence given to the story (which featured as a front page lead in The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian) in the UK media seems disproportionate. The headlines suggesting a high protein diet is “as harmful as smoking” was not a specific finding of the study and could be seen as unnecessary fear-mongering. This is particularly of note given that the effects of a high protein diet were found to differ dramatically by age.”

Here at REPs we understand the effects health articles in the media can have on our perceptions, which is why as Exercise Professionals we should perhaps being telling our clients to sometimes question what it is they are reading and to seek out professional advice when it comes to our health.

The NHS’s Behind the Headlines is a great place to start if you are wondering whether or not a health story has any truth in it, as they provide an unbiased and evidence-based analysis of health stories that have been in the news.

At REPs

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us reps

REPs is pleased to welcome the all-new U.S. Registry of Exercise Professionals (USREPS), which launched last month. The Register has been designed for those who seek to hire, work with, or are referred to a qualified, certified exercise professional. The public can easily search, find, and verify all of his or her credentials in real time.

The introduction of the USREPS registry is the first move by the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP, pronounced C Rep). CREP is comprised of exercise certification organisations in the USA that have programmes which are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the recognised standard in the US for the assessment of professional competence.

The CREP organisation will maintain USREPS and advocate on behalf of exercise professionals that hold current, NCCA-accredited certifications and the stakeholders of the profession. Current member organisations of CREP include:

  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • AmericanCollege of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Cooper Institute (CI)
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • Pilates Method Alliance (PMA)

“This launch is a big step towards the inevitable inclusion of highly qualified exercise professionals into the healthcare continuum,” said Graham Melstrand, CREP Board of Directors President.

“Recognition of exercise professionals as health providers is a logical progression due to their unique expertise in the areas of disease prevention and wellness promotion. Until now, truly capable professionals have been inhibited by concerns regarding the qualifications of individuals representing themselves as exercise professionals, and the lack of an easily accessible mechanism to identify and verify professionals with current NCCA-accredited certification programs. That barrier is gone, which we expect will help exercise professionals gain the respect and recognition they deserve.”

Similar to us here at REPs UK, USREPs mission across the pond is to secure recognition of registered exercise professionals as health providers, in order to make structured physical activity accessible and safe for all.

What’s even better is that CREP is now a full member and part of the ICREPS family, which allows for more job opportunities available to REPs members, offering international recognition in America.

To find out more about USREPS please visit www.USREPS.org

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reps website

As some of you may have already noticed, we have updated the REPs website. The new site offers a more refreshed, modernised look and feel as well as making the time spent on the site more enjoyable.

We caught up with SkillsActive Head of Digital, Doug Burtenshaw, who gave us a little insight on the site update.

In a newly structured team, Doug leads on all things digital at REPs, and you will be sure to see the impact of his role over the coming months.

Why has the REPs website been updated?

Primarily, user Journeys needed to be improved. We needed to make sure that when people visited the site, they could get what they need as quickly as possible.

The new site is a lot more compact, and there is a clearer focus on finding the information quickly.

What can REPs members expect from the new site?

There are now more direct ways of finding the information you want, which is fundamental.

We have also updated the design, meaning the website is now responsive to tablets and mobile devices. The upward trend we are seeing in people accessing the site from these devices is huge, so this was at the core of the re-design.

Following from this trend, we have also ensured the new site has an increased social media presence, making it much easier to interact with REPs across our social media channels.

There has to be substance with this new-found style, too. Through the new website, REPs members will find it much easier to source CPD points and new training.

What about those who aren’t REPs members, what difference will they notice?

The new site will make it much easier for members of the public to find a qualified exercise professional. This is a great service, and means REPs members can showcase their qualifications, and assures the public that their trainer is appropriately qualified.

What more can we expect to see from the digital side of REPs?

There will be a lot more to come from us. With a structured team in place, we are confident we can make some real strides and bring a lot more to the table for a REPs member. Our cards are close to our chest for now, but watch this space as there is definitely more to come.

Visit the new REPs website here: www.exerciseregister.org

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Running-in-Hyde-Park-Lond-007

In light of recent press coverage surrounding trainers using public parks, REPs outlines its stance on the issue.

When enforced responsibly and professionally, we are supportive of local parks and public spaces charging a fee for exercise professionals to use these spaces.

At REPs, our primary concern is to protect the public from rogue trainers. The maintenance of public parks will make for a better space, thus offering the public a better training environment. We appreciate the need to pay a fee in this circumstance, and are ensuring that parks and local councils make their plans clear and go about this in a professional manner.

To hear from members of aggressive behaviour being used as a deterrent is concerning, and REPs stresses the need for parks to carry out their duties in a responsible manner.

REPs encourages members to contact us if they feel these regulations are not being carried out as they should.

While we encourage our members to take advantage of these spaces, we do appreciate that, as with any business venture, there is a cost involved.

REPs is pleased that the issue of the significant difference between a 1:1 session and group exercise has been considered and as a result, pricing has been adjusted accordingly.

While many exercise professionals have acknowledged the need to charge for a group exercise session, a cause for concern has been those delivering 1:1 sessions, where the profit to be made is much lower. REPs is pleased that parks have also acknowledged this, and have created a price structure that is in tune with this.

We encourage members who use parks to pay these fees, just as we encourage parks and local councils to act professionally and appropriately in managing this.

We advise members to check the regulations of parks before use, and not consider this a deterrent, but to acknowledge that these fees will help protect and maintain these spaces, making them sustainable for ongoing use as a high quality exercise space.

REPs Compliance and Standards Manager Rob Wilkie will be available from 10:45 – 12:00 on Friday 28th February to discuss the issue with you across our Facebook and Twitter channels.

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[caption id="attachment_2357" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Over 80 delegates enjoyed the latest REPs convention Over 80 delegates enjoyed the latest REPs convention[/caption]

Taking place at the Sport Wales National Centre yesterday (12th February), the REPs Welsh Convention was a great success, enjoyed by both REPs members and the wider exercise community.

REPs conventions, now running for a number of years, offer a unique opportunity for members to earn CPD points across a range of activities and workshops in what is a day-long event.

On this occasion, sponsored by Nordic Walking UK, Timely and LeisureForce, over 80 delegates enjoyed workshops from SkillsActive endorsed training providers including KBT Education and PTA Global.

John Byers, REPs representative for Wales, managed the event and was delighted with how the convention went.

“Yesterday was certainly one of our most successful conventions to date. We were fortunate to have some leading industry experts leading workshops which were of real value to delegates.

“Having so many professionals at the convention looking to learn, develop their skills and network with likeminded people is real mark of success for REPs, and we look forward to continuing these conventions for our members , and the fitness community, across the country in the future.”

REPs Compliance and Standards Manager, Rob Wilkie, who opened the event with a welcome speech, was equally thrilled with the day.

“Members looking to upskill and commit to CPD is always pleasing. To have over 80 exercise professionals with us in Wales for the event made it a real success, and on a personal level it was enjoyable to be able to meet and speak to so many members; being able to address and any concerns and share plans and thoughts for the future.”

The next REPs Convention will take place in the south-east this summer. Keep checking the REPs website for updates.

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Wow 2013 certainly was a busy year for REPs, gaining some great coverage across both national and local press as well as featuring in various magazines. So we thought we would share a few of our highlights with you.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen national media approach REPs more often for comment across a range of exercise and health issues.

dailymirror

(Daily circulation of 1million)

DM article

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(Circulation of 1.9million per issue)

TM

 

We also worked with Women’s Health on a fantastic article which discussed how important it is to have an appropriately qualified trainer.  (Monthly circulation of 107,965)

wh logo

wh article

MO

REPs Operations Manager, Greg Small also featured in the Mail Online commenting on Miley Cyrus. While we can all agree the topic is perhaps not the most newsworthy, it’s great to be acknowledged as an ‘expert’ when health and fitness is being discussed in mainstream press. Click here to read the article in full. (Daily circulation of over 10million unique browsers)

gs mo quote

As well as our print and online press coverage, we were delighted to feature on BBC Radio 5 Live Radio (audience of 6.12 million listeners) and BBC Breakfast (daily reach of 6.8 million), giving our expert advice on key fitness issues.

 

bbc-radio-5-live-logo                            BBC-Breakfast-logo

We hope 2014 continues to be a prosperous year for the Register!

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As we write these blogs, the process often starts with some research, be it online, on the phone or even directly with you, our members.

Something we perhaps didn’t see coming was the current discontent around hygiene in gyms, something that is coming more to the forefront at a time of year known for being that bit busier with newer gym goers.

Despite being known for the place to go to remain fit and healthy, we were drawn to wonder whether there is actually more chance of picking up a bug or illness in the gym.

In a survey in a popular fitness magazine, it was seen that germs appear in all corners of gyms, right from benches to changing rooms, and of course, in swimming pools.

The lack of hygiene in some areas has concerned trainers, who, spending much of their working week in these environments, have to keep a close check on their health.

While a gym filled with sweat and kit will unlikely ever be ‘germ free’, we have recommended some tips that may help keep risk of illness to a minimum.

Sanitisers
Encourage your gym to install hand sanitisers. You’ll find people are encouraged to use these, and they will help prevent the spread of germs.

Towels
Does the person before you wipe down the equipment after use? Encourage your gym to encourage its members to bring towels, or at least provide tissues and spray to clean equipment after use.

Flip flops
Shower at the gym? Make sure you cover your feet. Changing rooms are a hotspot for verrucas and athlete’s foot.

Staying hydrated
We all re-use water bottles, so there’s no shame in that. Just make sure you change it every couple of weeks.

Image credit: www.capitaltimes.co.nz

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wales banner

CPD points are on offer at our next convention, taking place on Wednesday 12th February at the Spot Wales National Centre in Cardiff.

A major event for exercise professionals, a range of workshops will take place throughout the day, offering an excellent professional development opportunity.

Our key note speaker Matthew Wallden (Faculty Member, at CHEK Europe), will be delivering 'Flatten your abs forever', which will be an eye opener for all attending. The workshop will use the unique holistic and multidisciplinary approach that the CHEK (Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology) Institute is renowned for.

Matthew will explain all the reasons why your exercise programme may not be getting the results it should. You will also learn about the common problems preventing people from achieving flat abs including ineffective exercise programming, poor nutritional habits, hormonal imbalance, gynaecological, gastro-intestinal disorders and much more.

We are certain that you will leave this presentation with some new ideas to take back to your classes, PT sessions and exercise programmes!

There will be a choice of 12 interactive and informative workshops to keep you up to speed with all the latest industry news and developments.

Along with Matthew’s session and 11 other interactive informative workshops, the REPs Convention is also a chance to speak directly with some key people at REPs, including Compliance and Standards Manager Rob Wilkie. Delivering the ‘Welcome’, Rob will be available throughout the day to address any concerns or questions you may have.

The day-long event is £45 for REPs members (£60 for non-members) and this includes refreshments and a buffet lunch. Please note any bookings made after the 4th February are subject to an additional £5 ‘late booking’ charge.

FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR MORE INFO AND TO REGISTER NOW!

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Anne Taylor

We are delighted to be partnering with the European Commission on a new two year project, European Fitness Inclusion Training for Work, which will equip fitness professionals with the sufficient knowledge, competence and skill to work with people with disabilities in fitness environments.

The initiative is led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair in Inclusive Physical Education, Sport, Fitness & Recreation, and is also being delivered in partnership with the European Observatory of Sports Employment, Universidad Poltenica De Madrid, Palacky Univerity, MonentumBD Ltd and International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).

The project uses an innovative approach by embedding inclusive fitness professional training within the fitness club environment in a sector skills alliance involving trainers, trainees, employers and people with disabilities.

Justification for the project stems from the reality that people with disabilities are three times less likely to be physically active and twice as likely to be obese than the able bodied population. They are under-represented in mainstream fitness environments. Many fitness centre managers and instructors do not feel confident working with people who have disabilities. This unease is exacerbated by a lack of awareness among employers, those with disabilities and their families regarding the benefits to be gained from their participation. A number of factors contribute to this including: the vocational preparation of professionals, operating policies and attitudes of staff, employers and society as a whole. Few Vocational Education and Training (VET) programmes equip fitness professionals with sufficient knowledge, competence and skills to work with people with disabilities. The project will be piloted initially in Ireland, the UK, Spain, France and the Czech Republic with instructors in their work environments.

This is huge project of which REPs is proud to be a part. Importantly, this project is predicted to have an impact upon 30,000 clubs, and over 1 million staff and associated VET providers.

If you have any questions about the project or would like more information please contact our Compliance and Standards Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who will be leading this project.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please don’t hesitate to comment in the space below.

Image credit: www.theguardian.com

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Dementia

As exercise professionals we most certainly welcome the Government announcing the funding research into dementia doubling.

The Government has already committed to spend £52 million in 2012 to 2013, and up to £66 million by 2015; the ambition is now to double public, commercial and charitable R&D in dementia in the UK by 2025, supporting leading scientists, universities and other institutions in seeking the next breakthrough.

Greg Small, Operations Manager for REPs, says, “While it’s obviously upsetting there are so many dementia and related conditions needing this funding, the investment is a welcome boost that can positively affect the lives of those people suffering from these conditions. Dementia issues already cost the NHS £5 billion each year – yet data shows that physical activity can drastically reduce the risk of major illnesses.”

A study [i] published this week in the journal PLOS One found that people who consistently followed four or five key behaviours experienced a 60% decline in dementia and cognitive decline, with exercise being the strongest mitigating factor. The other four behaviours were low bodyweight, a healthy diet, low alcohol intake, and not smoking.

Greg, who is also a REPs registered instructor, continued to say: “The increased funding should enable health clubs and leisure facilities to ensure people can get bespoke, professional training – enabling those people who need it the most to access appropriate fitness training from qualified professionals. REPs fitness professionals are fully qualified to provide the best possible encouragement and motivation, and ensuring correct exercise habits.”

According to the National Health Services, mental illness accounts for a third of all illnesses and, at any given time, one person in six experiences anxiety or depression. It is estimated that 25% of the UK population will experience at least one mental health condition at some point in their life.

Greg concludes, “Our aim as exercise professionals is to help everyone in the UK to get more active, and fitter. Through the combination of this additional funding, medical intervention and physical activities, we can all work together towards relieving families and society of the awful impact of dementia and its related conditions. If spent well, this investment will ensure patients and clients will receive the best possible treatment from those professionals qualified to do so.”


[i] Published in the PLOS One journal by researchers from Cardiff University, the study is the longest of its kind to probe the influence of environmental factors in chronic disease. http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/news/articles/healthy-habits-reduce-dementia-risk-12191.html

 Image Credit: www.nuffieldbioethics.org

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not-enough-time

Do you ever feel like you could do with an extra hour in the day just to fit everything in? Finding time for ordinary tasks such as washing your hair can feel like a luxury for which you have to set aside time. People are living increasingly busy lives, any free time is considered sacred. With time so precious, putting a large chunk of it aside for exercise is an indulgence many feel they cannot afford.

The average Brit spends 43 hours in full-time work each week, without taking into account all the other duties required of them. Many industries are rethinking the way they provide their services due to the increased demands on time. An open-all-hours culture is already rife in the beauty industry, a trend set in cities that don’t sleep such as New York. On demand services are also popular, where people can get express treatments without having to book a long way in advance, every moment of spare time needs to be taken advantage of.

To exercise professionals, the benefits of making time for workouts is obvious, not least for the extra energy it can give for the day ahead. It is easy for exercise to be lingering at the bottom of the list of priorities in a hectic schedule; fitting in gym classes or personal training sessions is just not a realistic possibility for some. Short of becoming nocturnal, it is hard to fit it all in. Kim Kardashian might be a fan of 3am workouts, but realistically this is not feasible for making long-term changes. Incorporating exercise into the lives of busy people may seem like a daunting prospect, but it is imperative that exercise is an important focus. Showing how this can be achieved through changes to the daily routine, without sacrificing too much precious time. Being busy should not be an excuse for not staying fit!

Make it part of the commute

Commuting is a fact of life for most people, an ordeal to be endured every day. An office-based job encourages a sedentary lifestyle, so having an active commute can help counteract that. Brainwaves such as Home Run, a series of guided runs home from Central London, help achieve that. Following popular commuter routes such as Waterloo to Clapham Junction, covering distances between 2 and 6 miles, Home Run takes the tedium out of one of life’s necessities. They even carry your bag!

If running is not for you, or your commute still requires more traditional means, there are still plenty of ways to make it more active. Fitting in as much walking as possible is a step in the right direction; walking to the station, taking the steps rather than the escalator and getting off a stop early will get the daily miles clocking up. Apps such as Moves calculate all movement throughout the day, a great way to quantify how much you are actually doing, and a great incentive to keep on improving that figure.

Be organised

Being

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fitness

Some people love the gym. It can offer some well-deserved time to focus on you, a great stress reliever and releases endorphins that make you happy. Others view it as an experience similar to the dentist; bringing a sense of foreboding, an uncomfortable experience to put off for as long as possible. Just like the dentist, many people have irrational fears about exercise, avoiding it wherever possible rather than realising the benefits it can bring.

Having the right mindset for exercise is so important in allowing it to become a lifestyle. Exercise professionals understand the benefits and pleasure that exercise can bring, and the difference it can make to an individual’s life. Communicating this positive attitude to someone who has negative connotations associated with fitness can be as important as anything else you teach them. You must train the mind as much as the body; it should not be underestimated what a useful tool a positive mindset is when it comes to achieving your goals.

Getting people to realise that exercise is something accessible to them, can provide a moment of awakening in people’s lives.  To do this, the common misconceptions must be challenged.

I have to work hard for hours to see any results

Nothing worth doing is ever going to be easy; not putting the necessary input into exercise will not bring any noteworthy results. Not trying small changes with the belief it won’t make a difference is counterproductive. To someone with a sedentary lifestyle, adding 15 minutes a day will make a difference. Keeping that up will allow for the duration and intensity to be increased.  Making small changes can make a big difference, doing something is far better than doing nothing at all. Every step forward is one step closer to achieving a fitter, healthier lifestyle, and they all count.

15 minutes a day is almost two hours each week, or 104 hours a year; compared to doing nothing before, 104 hours is not to be sniffed at.

I’m too old or unfit to exercise

Exercise professionals have a duty to quash this misconception completely; exercise isn’t just for those who are young and fit, in fact it is arguably more important for those who don’t fit into this category. It is vital for these groups to understand that exercise can be individually tailored for any specific requirement. It is not necessary to compare themselves to anyone else’s standards, other gym users are far too engrossed in their own workouts to worry what anyone else is doing. What’s more, however long exercise has been ignored, it is never too late to start.  It’s not the level that is started at that it is important, just the direction headed.

The gym is boring

Going to the gym may not be for everyone, but it does offer a practical solution to being able to exercise for lots of people. Gym boredom can be kept at bay by switching between gym work and other activities. Running

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Scottish convention

Nearly 100 attendees enjoyed a variety of sessions at The REPs Scottish Convention held at The Lagoon Leisure Centre, Paisley. The event included a brilliant keynote presentation from Keith Smith (Global Master Trainer, Life Fitness) on ‘The biggest market for the fitness industry in the next 20 years - The Independent Older Adult’. Keith was exceptionally insightful and spoke with great passion about the next “big opportunity” in fitness.

REPs Compliance and Standards Manager, Rob Wilkie, who was present on the day, gave the following feedback: 

“The day was a resounding success with fantastic information delivered to a crowd of extremely dedicated members. The variety of workshops on offer is testament to the varied numbers of roles we see as members of the Register.” 

Here’s what REPs member Kathyn McCubbin had to say:

“I really enjoy coming along to the conventions. There were so many good workshops today I couldn't decide! It is also a great chance to meet other fitness professionals and network”

Kicking off with the day we had a number of workshops covering a spectrum of activities relevant to our members, here are highlights from a few of those workshops.

Lincoln Bryden spoke at length on ‘Metabolic Physique Conditioning: Bridging the Hormonal Gap between Muscle Growth and Fat Loss’. Highlighting that metabolic conditioning is wonderful at burning fat, but it continually falls short in the muscle building category. He explained the variances and outlined what we as a team can do to help restore the balance.

KBTEducation highlighted the benefits of advanced Olympic lifting and functional training. Lifting weights can be the ideal training for many of your clients, some of which may never have considered it.

Premier Training International led a session focused on several often ignored health and lifestyle factors that must be fully understood and applied in order to witness truly successful, long term weight management. This scientific approach to beating the bulge was a great session.

Classical Pilates UK also delivered a brilliant session outlined how current science is only now catching up with one of the longest lasting functional training methods.

Later Life Training ran a workshop that looked at the importance of evidence and good practice guidance, as recognised by bodies important in the writing of National Level Strategic Documents, including the Department of Health and Royal College of Physicians.

Drummond Education gave us all a crash course in social media in the run up to one of the busiest times of year for an instructor. This timely session gave us all insight into the ways in which we can be smart with our engagements and increase the number of clients we have, alongside keeping better connected to our existing clients.

This is short round up of what we would all agree was a fantastic day. The number of people who took time out of their busy schedules to earn CPD points and also contribute to valuable discussions was fantastic. We would like to say a large thank you to the

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Healthy

A slim and slender frame is often viewed as the most coveted body shape for females. This ideal is reinforced by the media, fashion industry and popular culture on a daily basis. Magazines, adverts and model campaigns all show evidence of this aesthetic being lauded, and anything that deviates from it being considered less appealing. The coveting of this form appears to dictate that only skinny is desirable, showing little acknowledgment of any other form being remotely appealing.

Thankfully, there appears to be a new influx of women who are shunning this perceived ideal in favour of a healthier, more toned physique. Acknowledging their influence, many in the public eye are using their bodies to promote a healthier ideal. The July addition of Sport magazine used a stunning piece of photography on their front cover. Jessica Ennis-Hill, national treasure and London 2012 poster girl, hands on hips with her trademark abs of steel on full display.

The public reaction to this pictorial suggests healthy bodies are beginning to get the recognition they deserve. Sport magazine received many tweets praising their use of such a powerful image of whom they describe as ‘Wonder Woman’

‘In total awe of Jess Ennis’ abs on the front cover of @sportsmaguk today. More female body role models like this in the media please #positive’ @LeishaHawkEye

‘Stunning image of the iconic @J_Ennis on the front of @sportmaguk. Sometimes they really get it right.’ @rolyhamroll

‘Woah, HOW awesome does @J_Ennis look in today’s @sportmaguk? Now that is a powerful and healthy body. What a woman!’ @Sarah_robbo

The girl who can do no wrong epitomises that fit, healthy and active is beautiful. She certainly recognises the influence she holds, recollecting how she avoided the local chippy in the lead up to 2012 with her honed physic looking down on her from a poster outside.

Ennis is not the only popular figure who realises the effect her notoriety can have. Jennifer Lawrence, star of the Hunger Games, spoke of her desire to promote a healthy body image through the medium of the film.

Speaking to Newsnight’s Zoe Conway, Lawrence said:

“We have the ability to control this image that young girls are going to be seeing (in the Hunger Games). They see enough of this body that they will never be able to obtain and it’s an amazing opportunity to rid ourselves of that in this industry”.

The growing support of healthy bodies could not come at a more important time; obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the USA in the past 30 years according to the Centres for Disease control and prevention. The figures from the UK are following the same worrying pattern.

A trend towards a strong muscular physic is a positive one. The job of exercise professionals is to encourage women that this is a healthy body to strive for, and to facilitate the ability to make it both attainable and maintainable. It is important to communicate the importance of

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Guest blog from our Registers Operations Manager Greg Small .

Christmas is coming, the release of the new John Lewis advert to pull at our heartstrings serves to confirm the fact that the festive period has officially begun to descend upon us. As well as an onslaught of highly emotive adverts, decorating trees and shopping this entails, Christmas also means endless rounds of parties, stockpiling of chocolate, and for many, the excuse to consume to excess, forgetting what exercise is. The author of this blog may have got up for an 8am 10k cross country run last Boxing Day, but many of us are not that inclined to work off this Christmas turkey, or indeed have the time to indulge in such activities. Despite the best of intentions, many might lack the time and motivation to focus on their training schedule; the warm twinkly lights and festivities of the season prove far more appealing to the harsher glare of the gym. The gym drop out rate for the Christmas period is palpable. Many adopt the ‘I’ll start again in January’ mantra, writing off their month of inactivity and poor eating choices. Over indulging will only make it harder to get back into a routine and find the motivation to do so. As exercise professionals, it is important to show clients that the festive period needn’t be a time to put exercise on hold, but can be carefully incorporated into their plans. Planning is the key to a successful Christmas. Working together on a plan that works for your clients should ensure that exercise can still have its place in their Christmas calendar, and all the good work done throughout the year needn't be undone in one food-coma inducing sitting. Knowing when their next session is will help keep them on track.  Looking ahead into the New Year is another way of ensuring they are of aware longer term targets and have the motivation to achieve them. Communicating with your clients through this time will make them less likely to fall off the radar. Make them aware of special offers and promotions that are going on. Offering reward incentives are great ways of ensuring clients don’t become strangers! Encourage your clients to remember why they came to you in the first place, and re-address the original goals you made with them. If weight loss was the incentive, remind them of how far they have already come. Taking another set of measurements will be a sure-fire way to make anyone think before tucking in to another helping of Christmas pudding. As an exercise professional, keeping focus and not letting things slip might seem imperative, but you must communicate this mindset to your clients. You are not with them all day to guide them, so they must learn to help themselves. Ensuring that they have the right mentality to want to eat healthily and exercise properly will mean that half the battle is already won. Calling upon personal experience when giving advice on

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Guest Blog from REPs member Tim Drummond 

So I'm sitting here on my balcony, with an amazing view of the beach, listening to the sea and generally feeling pretty content with life.

I'm away taking a well-earned break before my September book launch, and allowing myself to reflect on everything that I’ve achieved over the last year.

The thought which has popped into my mind is; that these experiences are WHY I got into this fitness game…

It’s for moments like this. It was because I loved the idea of being my own boss and taking off to do what I choose and what I am passionate about, away from work.  It was out of my passion for health and fitness and a want for knowledge and to further myself. It was to help as many people as possible. It was because I wanted to create an amazing and extraordinary life for myself, and those around me.

The reason I am writing this is because I truly feel that I am so fortunate to be involved in everything that I do within the industry. I am very grateful that I have been lucky enough to stumble across genuinely inspiring people who have helped bring me to my own relative success.

Here is what I see in this industry. We all get into it for many noble and deeply emotional reasons, be that wanting to help people as one’s life purpose or wanting to be stinking rich. Both are fine you know.

But the reality ends up being far different. We don’t feel valued by crappy clients who don’t value what we do. We aren’t working within the pro-sports, or celebrity training environments. We don’t have abundant money. We live a week-by-week, stress filled life in which we are worried where our next client will come from. We don’t have time to train ourselves as we would want to. We work mornings, lunchtimes and evenings as we want the extra 10-block sale and therefore bend over backwards for our clients.

One of the reasons we started the Fitness Mogul Mindset is that we feel that the first thing which needs to change in the vast majority of people in this industry is the limiting mindsets of what they can achieve.

I don’t believe that PT’s sit there and think they cannot be a success. I just feel that what the perception of that success is can be limited. When I first started in the industry 5 years ago I though success was the guy working 40 hours per week, charging more than anyone else in the gym.

But you see this is the problem. This is not success when defined by the reasons you originally went down this career route. Well probably not anyway. 

So here’s what I would do with the next hour. Write down WHY you got into this industry. If you don’t know, ask yourself. Ask yourself WHY you love this.

If it is for some of the

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The REPs Scottish Convention takes place on Wednesday 13th November at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley. There is still time to book your place and earn some valuable CPD points!

 REGISTER NOW 

THE LINE UP:

Our key note speaker Keith Smith (Global Master Trainer, Life Fitness) will give us all great insight as to what the next biggest market will be within the fitness industry.

There will also be a choice of 12 interactive and informative workshops to keep you up to speed with all the latest industry news and developments.

The charge for the day is £50 for REPs members (£70 for non-members) and this includes refreshments and a buffet lunch.

FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR MORE INFO AND TO REGISTER NOW!

EARN your CPD points today and visit us in Scotland

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ImageREPs member Anne Mercer shares her story on how she has succeeded on a prosperous career in the fitness industry.

I have been a full time fitness instructor for just over 30 years now. I started in aerobics, moved through ‘Bums, Legs and Tums’, callanetics and even line dancing to an altogether more interesting and rewarding area of fitness...

Exercise for all ages and conditions. I struggle to find a name to cover all that I do but I think that this pretty much does it. It’s a rewarding area requiring experience and specialist knowledge. I never simply go through the motions of a class. There is no standard class format. Every movement is thought through to consider what it does in terms of the potential benefit as well as the potential risk. This specific approach enables almost anyone to take part in my class. Some may need to lie on a massage couch rather than the floor, the class size is very small and I have a selection of pillows for added support and cushioning.

I base my class on the focus, control and concentration of Pilates. Clients learn to control every movement their body makes and to be aware of exactly which muscle is causing the movement or stabilising the body while it moves. Added to this I use the fundamental back care exercises as recommended by Williams and McKenzie. I consider the spinal load through each movement. I never teach roll downs, sit ups and rarely use seated positions.   The recommended range of movement required by life is my goal with clients aiming for this, not the extreme range some exercise regimes use. Bio Mechanic principles of pelvic stability and nerve mobility play a large part in ensuring mobilisation and the prevention of dysfunctional muscle tissue. I work on the abdominal stability muscles along with the gluteals, teaching the principle that our muscles provide the scaffolding to our bone structure. Balance is another important area with simple exercises to improve balance and to reduce the risk of falling in the future. To complete this I work on postural muscles of the upper body to ward off the hunched neck position so often seen in the older generation.

Some of my clients have back pain, joint replacements, degenerative conditions of the spine, or are recovering from mild strokes. Most simply have the general aches and pains that accompany getting older. They need a class which supports them in their quest to keep fitter and keep active as they age. Many classes (including those that I have taught) are aiming at an altogether higher level of fitness which my clients would feel intimidating and at which they would probably be unable to do many of the exercises. Even clients at perimenopausal age have muscular aches that appear from nowhere and affect their ability to exercise.

Over recent years I have seen huge progression in my clients which I find incredibly satisfying. They show a great tenacity in sticking with the exercises and the results are well worth it.

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