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keeping you up to date with the latest industry news


There’s still time to book your place to join us at the National REPs convention, which will take place during Leisure Industry Week, on the 25th and 26th September.

The REPs convention is your chance to meet other like minded industry professionals, gain CPD points and enhance your knowledge.

Here’s just a sneaky peak of you can expect!



REPs members can attend this fantastic event at a discounted price:



Click here to see a full list of sessions and guest speakers happening over the two days at the convention.

Coming to LIW Wednesday 25th September?

Why not join us for a complimentary drinks reception with industry leaders from 5pm at the Skills Active stand (H730)?! This is your chance to have an informal chat with endorsed training providers, awarding organisations and operators from the fitness industry whilst enjoying a relaxing end of day drink.

We’d love to see you there!



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Do you have any news, ideas or tips you’d like to share with the REPs Community? If so, then we would love to hear from you. We’re always open to your suggestions and contributions for our blogs.

This could be about your experience as a fitness professional, or your views on the latest training, industry news and research. Maybe you’d like to share different techniques that you use in sessions with your clients or tell everyone about an event happening in your area. Whatever you fancy really!

With the potential for your blog to be read by over 30,000 fitness professionals we’d love for as many of you as possible to be involved, so even if you already have your own blog then please do get in touch as we’d like to promote (and cross-post from) a wide range of fitness blogs.

If you are interested then please send your ideas and blogs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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We would like to say a big congratulation to Kim Ingleby who has managed to secure her place in the final 10 of Life Fitness’s ‘Personal Trainers to Watch’ program.

The ‘Personal Trainers to Watch’ program rewards and recognises personal trainers from all over the globe that embody passion and commitment to healthier lifestyles.

The competition started back in June, with the nomination process closing at the end of June. Since then the public have been able to vote for their favourite on the Life Fitness website. Now it has been whittled down to just ten finalists from around the world included our very own Kim Ingleby!

Full of enthusiasm Kim Ingleby said, “I really can't believe I've made it to the Final 10, totally amazing, humbling and exciting. I love what I do, always learning, developing Energised Performance and working with a huge range of amazing clients all over the world, it's a true privilege”.

Kim then expressed her gratitude to those who nominated her, “a huge, big thank you to everyone who nominated me, I have no idea who did, but I really, really appreciate it, thank you! It's especially poignant being short listed this year, as I have had an interesting few months overcoming Weil's disease. I will do my very best at the Live Final Judging on 27th September, fingers crossed”.

With less than a month to until the final, the finalists will face panel of industry experts who will take the following criteria into consideration when judging:

  • A Personal Statement
  • Education
  • Awards
  • Tenure as a PT
  • Client experience
  • Third party endorsements

The finalists will also be taking part in a personal trainer’s workshop on the day which their participation levels will go towards their final score. The winner of this prestigious competition will receive a $5,000 USD cash prize.

We wish Kim the best of luck for the finals and you can too by sending her tweet @kimingleby. The finals will be taking place at Nuffield Health, Fitness and Wellbeing Centre on September 27th 2013!

For more information about the competition and the other finalists taking part please visit the Life Fitness website.

About Kim

Kim is the founder of Energised Performance located in Bristol and has over 15 years experience in the industry. Her mission is to give clients the tools to empower them to be their best, inside and out, becoming fitter, stronger and more energized. She is an award winning brand ambassador, fitness model, athlete & coach and writes for various leading UK national fitness magazines. In addition, Kim is passionate about fundraising, having raised thousands of pounds for charity.

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New research by Bristol University has found eight out of 10 people do not do enough to keep fit. The research also found social and economic reasons were often factors of determining how likely people are to exercise.

The fitness industry is one of the fastest growing industries, however it can often prove expensive. Gym memberships can range from over £100 per month to a more affordable pay-as-you-go scheme. The cost of the kit we all wear to the gym and supplements ranging from £30 to £100 (depending on what you take) all adds up!

So what can we do about this?

  • Train in the park (there’s been a real emergence of Parkour and outdoor bootcamps recently, it’s definitely something to look into)
  • Do what you enjoy – if you enjoy dancing, dance. If you enjoy running, run. If you enjoy lifting, lift
  • Commit to a balanced diet and consult a GP if you are concerned or feel you need supplementation 

Here is a selection of 50 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere by Laura Schwecherl.  Laura is Growth Director at Greatist, a leading health and fitness website.

Clock Lunge: Time for a challenge. Complete a traditional forward lunge, then take a big step to the right and lunge again. Finish off the semicircle with a backwards lunge, then return to standing. And all that’s one rep! Aim for 10 reps and then switch legs.

Squat Reach and Jump: Ready to add some pizzazz (and cardio!) to that squat? Perform a normal squat, but immediately jump up, reaching the arms straight overhead. Aim for 15 reps, taking a quick breather before the next set.

Standard Push-Up: There’s a reason this one’s a classic. With hands shoulder-width apart, keep the feet flexed at hip distance, and tighten the core. Bend the elbows until the chest reaches the ground, and then push back up (make sure to keep the elbows tucked close to the body). That’s one!

Superman: Want some superpowers? Lie face down with arms and legs extended. Keeping the torso as still as possible, simultaneously raise the arms and legs to form a small curve in the body. Cape optional.

Mountain Climber: Starting on your hands and knees, bring the left foot forward directly under the chest while straightening the right leg. Keeping the hands on the ground and core tight, jump and switch legs. The left leg should now be extended behind the body with the right knee forward. Next up? Everest.

Shoulder Stabilization Series (I, Y, T, W O): OK, it may look crazy, but stay with us. Lie down on your stomach with arms extended overhead and palms facing each other. Move the arms into each letter formation. (Gimme a Y, you know you want to!).

Segmental Rotation: Target those obliques. Lying on your back with your knees bent and core tight, let the knees fall gradually to the left (feeling a good stretch). Hold for five seconds, return to center, and repeat on the right side.

Russian Twist

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The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, which is part of the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, is looking for volunteers to get involved as Lay Committee Advisors, helping to shape the future of Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM) in the UK.

This is an exciting opportunity to volunteer your views and learn more about Sport and Exercise Medicine, giving valuable input into the UK’s leading organisation for promoting and setting standards in Sport and Exercise Medicine.  The FSEM’s Council and Committee members include some of the UK’s leading medical experts in sport and exercise who work on a voluntary basis for the organisation setting standards, overseeing research, training, curriculum and assessment of SEM Doctors. Successful applicants will be working alongside our doctors as Lay Advisors.

The Faculty of SEM is looking for volunteers who are passionate about exercising and take an interest in exercise as a means to health and recovery from illness to take an active role in Committees and Working Groups.

The Faculty is also looking for volunteers who play sports regularly, have experienced a sporting injury and are passionate about sports to take an active role in the FSEM’s Committees and Working Groups.

Volunteers will be able to get involved in raising the profile of sport and exercise medicine, enter into the debate helping to ensure standards are high, develop the arguments for investment in the specialty within the UK and bring new ideas to the Council from a public perspective.

Sport and Exercise medicine not only treats elite sports persons, it also has a large scale application in improving the health of the general public through exercise advice and prescription. There are around 70 physicians registered as SEM specialists with the General  Medical Council (GMC), a small percentage of the 235,000 GMC registered Doctors in the UK*. The FSEM would like to see many more Doctors specialising in SEM, especially within the NHS, in order to improve the health of the nation and recovery time from illness through prescribed activity.

If you think you fit the bill or you know anyone you’d like to nominate as a volunteer Lay Committee Advisor** for the FSEM please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or download an application form here

*Source: General Medical Council July 2013 

** Applications for Lay Committee Advisors will be reviewed by the FSEM Council. Please note Lay Committee Advisors offer their services on a voluntary basis and will not be remunerated.

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With recent obesity statistics coming to light, the REPs level 2 qualification (Physical Activity for Children) is of the upmost importance. Data from the NHS, as part of its annual child measurement programme, has revealed that between 2006 and 2012 there were seven children who weighed over 20 stone.

Established in 2006, the National Child Measurement Programme measures the height and weight of children in reception and year six annually.  Available under Freedom of Information laws, OpenWorld News discovered the data revealing one boy aged just 11 years old standing at 1.32m (4ft 4in) weighing 147kg (23st 1lb). 

As REPs members it crucial to stress the immense health and economic implications of this data and to highlight the need for accessible, practical education and support for overweight children and their families.

As Registered Exercise Professionals and having the expert industry knowledge, we have the ability to combat this issue, but surely prevention at an early age is best way to move forward. This however, can only be done through collaboration with parents, schools and the NHS with REPs at the forefront of a development strategy to keep children active and engaged in a healthy lifestyle.

Greg Small, Operations Manager for REPs said, “Ensuring children are engaged and enthusiastic about learning the correct exercise habits from an early age should be a major responsibility of accredited professionals. It’s imperative that parents have confidence in their children’s physical activity programmes, knowing that professional guidance is ensuring not only a safe and health weight, but also the self-confidence to go through the teenage years as a happy, healthy weight-appropriate adult. We must ensure that the battle for our children’s health and future happiness is in the best possible professional hands and the work of the Register of Exercise Professionals is an important part of achieving that goal.”

Educating children about the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle is the first step to tackling this strong national crisis. As we all know prevention is better than cure.

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ImageWith little over six weeks to go until LIW and the REPs National Convention, there is still time to book your place at what is undoubtedly a major event in the REPs calendar.

Taking place at LIW in Birmingham, the two-day September event will offer great development, networking and learning opportunities for our delegates.

With keynote speakers Dr Ian Campbell (as seen on The Biggest Loser) and Keith Smith (Global Master Trainer for Life Fitness) already confirmed, the programme is not one to be missed.

Download the full programme here.

Want to know a bit more about what a REPs Convention is like? Watch our short film on the last event held in London earlier this year.


REPs members can attend the convention at a discounted price: Image


Leaving your booking until the last minute is just too risky. Why live on the edge? Don’t leave anything to chance and sign-up today.

If you are interested in attending LIW then you will need to visit the LIW website and register. Providing you register in advance it is free for you to attend. However, non-registered visitors will have to pay a £30 entry free on the door.

This annual trade show connects you the with the latest products, services and innovations the industry has to offer and with the attendance of leading companies and industry experts you will be able to see what’s new on the market, and be inspired to develop fresh ideas and experiences for your members and customers.

We really hope to see you all there!

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Guest Blog from Lucy Miller:

- When it comes to careers and relationships, we know we need to stick to it and put in plenty of effort and enthusiasm to get the best from it. Somehow, this doesn't seem so easy when it comes to a fitness routine.

Mothers in particular feel time-pressured, juggling endless tasks at home with work commitments, nursery drop-offs, the school runs. A day can regularly spill into the night, and there‘s often an overwhelming feeling of not being able to get anything done. Once you factor in the dreaded sleepless nights, it can be almost impossible to even contemplate putting on trainers and heading out to take part in something that will exhaust you even more.

Added to this, we cannot discount the women who just dislike exercise. Or at least assume they can’t do it. Let’s not forget the thought of all that lycra. How can we be expected to dress like that and share our post-baby bodies with the general public?

As a mother of two, married to a super-committed, international jet-set career man, work means juggling the children, housework and my own business. Managing as a single parent until superman returns, it can be hard to keep on top of things.

In my experience, an understanding of the everyday pressures of my clients is vital to my programming calendar. Sometimes this means offering classes at times when I’d really rather be relaxing on the sofa. Some of my most successful courses for women have taken place as the sun comes up on a Saturday morning and sets on a Sunday evening.

The 2 most important factors that make my classes a success are:

1. Timing

Familiarise yourself with your clients’ personal commitments. Be flexible. Find a time that will always work for your clients. It will be harder for them to turn you down. It will be harder for them to fail.

2. Variety

If your fitness routine is the same every week, you will get bored. Fact. Commit to making your routines as varied as possible. It keeps your clients guessing, eliminates boredom and keeps them entertained. Oh, and of course, it gets great results.

The best measure of success for me is how much fun my clients are having. If they are enjoying my workouts, I will be too. They will want more, and so will I.

About Lucy

Lucy Miller is the founder of Urban Fox Fitness. After successfully launching her business in south east London, Lucy is now developing her client base with native English speakers in Berlin, Germany.

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Leisure Industry Week (LIW) will take place over three days from 24th – 26th September 2013 at the NEC Arena in Birmingham and REPs will be there for the duration. The REPs Convention will take place on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th September.

We have two exceptional keynote speakers this year, both of whom will enhance your experience at this much-anticipated annual event: Dr Ian Campbell (as seen on The Biggest Loser) and Keith Smith (Global Master Trainer for Life Fitness).

Over the two days we have a busy schedule, delivering over 30 workshops; you will take away information on:

  • Weight loss
  • Posture and movement correction
  • Nutrition
  • Working with disabled clients
  • Social media marketing

To see a full list of the events happening over the two day convention please follow this link.

 REPs members can attend the convention at a discounted price: 


If you are interested in attending LIW then you will need to visit the LIW website and register. Providing you register in advance it is free for you to attend. However, non-registered visitors will have to pay a £30 entry free on the door.

This annual trade show connects you the with the latest products, services and innovations the industry has to offer and with the attendance of leading companies and industry experts you will be able to see what’s new on the market, and be inspired to develop fresh ideas and experiences for your members and customers.


We really hope to see you all there!

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Now that the Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby boy, REPs advises that effective physical activity during pregnancy will help to lose the pounds now the baby is born.

There are many new mums under pressure to get back into pre-baby shape as soon as possible and as REPs members you have the opportunity to develop your skills in the ante- and post- natal activity category. It is important to let expectant mums know that you can give tailored advice and create a fitness regime that is both safe and effective and is specifically designed for them. A bespoke fitness regime will bring health benefits and help women get back into shape after giving birth.

Sarah Bolitho, a REPs registered trainer specialising in ante- and post-natal exercise, says: “The Duchess of Cambridge will have found out by now that during pregnancy a woman’s body is working very hard to create a baby and this can be physically exhausting as it takes a lot of energy. It is also a tiring time emotionally for many women as they may be anxious about their health, or the health of the baby. These factors mean that exercise is often the last thing on a mum-to-be’s mind, yet it has so many benefits it should be promoted as much as healthy eating during pregnancy. There are now so many activity options to choose from that there is bound to be something that you find appealing, from swimming, ante natal classes, walking groups, the gym or even yoga.”

Sarah Bolitho also has some useful health tips that will be very helpful when advising expectant mums.

Sarah Bolitho’s top active tips for a healthier pregnancy:

  • Focus on building activity into your daily life. Take a short walk every day, or take the stairs instead of the lift.
  • If you exercise a lot, or are an athlete, then accept that for nine months your training routine will be different, and focus on learning new ways to be active.
  • As pregnancy progresses you should reduce the amount and intensity of activity so that by the middle of the third trimester you are exercising at around 70% of your pre-pregnancy levels.
  • Always listen to your body and if you feel you need to cut back more then do so, or adopt a more gentle form of activity.
  • If you attend classes or the gym, make sure your instructor is qualified in working with ante- and post-natal women, is a member of REPs and has appropriate insurance.

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Guest blog from Greg Small, Registers Operation Manager here at REPs

As a trainer, gaining; retaining and training are in my eyes the three principal foundations to a successful business. One out of the three above is easy. We are qualified; we know our clients and we know the exercise methodology required to get the results our clients want. The other two are more difficult. Many trainers have cottoned onto the concept of image as a sales technique with some undesirable affects others over preach technical and somewhat confusing newly learnt anatomical tag lines to impress clients. ‘Have we gone over the top’ the basics in health and fitness – that work, should be used, abused and recycled; this of course has nothing to do with programming but is about the way that we work. Gaining a new client should stem from our personal ability to speak to any member that we come into contact with. Practicing our personal skills on a daily basis starting with body language and tone of voice will allow you as a practicing instructor to be able to approach ‘potential’ clients more easily. As a human we have an inherent fear of rejection so we often lower our heads and hide in the corner fearing that someone may see us or ask us something we don’t know. If we can change our mindset and greet everyone with positivity and enthusiasm rather than anxiety and a fear of rejection, this can potentially make us the first point of contact for future interactions. How can we change our mindset?

  • Smile: a welcoming smile will generally return a similar response
  • Speak clearly and factually without being condescending – big words may impress some but it may just irritate the hell out of others
  • Headphones are not a barrier – body language does not need to be heard
  • Offer your services – the amount of business I have personally generated from being approachable and available to assist is substantial
  • Have confidence in your skills – not arrogance. Your ability to be humble in an arena where most people aren’t confident or comfortable will set you aside from others
  • Go above and beyond. Let’s be real! We befriend a lot of our clients. Keeping a professional manner about yourself at all time will not only allow your clients to reach their goals but ensure your abilities as a trainer are clear
  • Set yourself realistic goals.

My first ever role 11 years ago as a fitness instructor back in Australia my first manager wasn’t exactly the easiest manager to work for. His one task for me went a little like this. ‘Greg, here is a clipboard I want you to speak to 100 members in your shift. I want their name, phone number and three things about them.’  What did I learn from this? I learnt that I had to speak to anyone and everyone (with varied results) and that I actually had it in me. It was a shock to

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REPs Member Lucilia Holder

My name is Lucilia and up until 8 years ago I had never been near a gym, let alone in one! So here goes my story in a nutshell… 

9 years ago I had moved to a new part of the country due to my husband’s job. So with 2 young children, and not really knowing the area, I got chatting to my neighbour, and one day over a few glasses of something chilled she told me about the local gym which had a creche... I later joined the gym but struggled with the gym on my own and found my nieche with instructor-led classes.

I used to attended aerobics classes 2/3 times a week and 3 years ago my favourite instructor announced that she was moving away; well I was devastated because I loved everything about the classes! She was a freestyle instructor and no two classes were ever the same.  

We got chatting later that day and she said that I should take over her job and that this was how she got into this industry...a lot of laughter later and I had enrolled into a college course to start my Level 2 ETM the following week.

Fast forward 8 years and I am now teaching at that gym... to anyone who thinks that they are too old to get involved in this industry I would say think again. Most of the instructors who inspired me along the way did not choose fitness as their first career choice.

That was in 2010. I qualified in June 2011 and have not looked back since. I am not going to lie and say that it was easy to start out in the industry because a lot of the time gyms want experience and apart from attending classes I clearly did not have any, but prove yourself in this business and good things will come!

Since finishing I have also qualified for Indoor Cycling, Pump Fx and Zumba. I am now currently in the process of completing my HRE for children, my Level 2 Gym and my Level 3 PT has also just started so life is never dull! I teach a wide variety of freestyle classes from LBT (my all time favourite) to Pump, Spinning and Abs based classes and love them all!  I love the gym where I work, Andover Leisure Centre it’s what inspired me in the first place, they understand me and know that I am a little bit crazy but oh so passionate about my job! 

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It’s been another busy week here at REPs as we attended Flame 2013, an event run by ukactive.

With a conference taking place during the day, a fantastic learning and networking opportunity was presented to the delegates, made up fitness professionals from all across the industry, from gym instructors, right to regional managers and CEOs.

The conference boasted an impressive programme with seminar-style sessions covering a diverse range of topics, including marketing, technology, management, personal development, sales and service.

The event culminated with an awards evening where fitness, leisure and health clubs were rewarded for excellence and best practice over the past 12 months.

The ukactive and Matrix Flame Awards are recognised sector-wide as the most prestigious health and fitness facility awards.

Winners included DC Leisure, who won the Leisure Centre Operator of the Year award, and Featherstone Sports Centre, who won Educational Club of the Year (Schools).

Flame offered a great chance to catch-up with some familiar faces, as well as meet some new ones in what was a fantastic event.

We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!

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Are you one of the world’s top Personal Trainers to Watch? Want to win $5,000 for your business and international media recognition?

With the deadline for entries on 29th June, there are only a few days left to enter the 2013 Personal Trainers to Watch awards by Life Fitness.

The programme seeks to recognise and celebrate personal trainers who demonstrate exceptional leadership, client support, motivation and inspiration. The top 10 finalists will be sent to London to take part in a final live judging event in September, where the 2013 top Personal Trainer to Watch will be announced.


 Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hash tag #PTtoWatch.

For questions on nominations, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Over 100,000 people have visited the REPs website in 2013, so make sure you upload your profile and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to promote yourself to thousands!

So what exactly is the Member Directory Profile and what’s included?

This is your space on the REPs website, giving you a platform to showcase your skills and qualities.

There is room for you to really sell yourself. In this section you could talk about your specialities, location, training and experience.

The Profile allows members of the public to search for registered instructors. Having been advised to work with REPs members, it is likely this will be their catalogue when looking for a new exercise professional.

You can even be contacted (via an email) directly through your Profile without having to share your contact details with the public.

It allows you to add a picture, links to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn pages as well as your YouTube channel if you have one. There is also an icon available to link to your website.

Your registration details will also be displayed, including categories of registration and your expiry date.

Here’s a sneaky peak of how your Profile can look.


You will also be able to update your privacy settings, allowing you to choose which pieces of information you wish to display; providing full control of your personal details on the Directory.

So why not Login now to complete your Directory Profile and maximise your potential?!

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There is the unique opportunity for fitness trainers to run classes in the beautiful surroundings of the famous Royal Parks. Having a vision of where you would like to train is important, however it is necessary for fitness professionals to understand the current licensing laws that may affect your business.

The Royal Parks have recently introduced Fitness Training Licences for the use of their green spaces. Places affected include Hyde Park, Richmond Park, Regent’s Park, Greenwich Park, Bushy Park and Green Park. This means that if you would like to use these places for personal training or to run group fitness sections, you must apply for a license. The Royal Parks encourages the highest quality from their fitness professionals. To be a licence holder you will need REPs level 3 or equivalent. Your business will then be promoted on their website and social media channels.

The table below gives you the charges for the daily, weekly and yearly rates.

table 1

The website already displays the groups and individuals who are currently in possession of a licence. These include various boot camps; from military style to 1000 calorie boot camps, classes for mums; mums in shape, buggy boot camp and Buggy Runner, Kiddikicks Sport and running classes.

Click here if you are interested in finding out more about the Fitness Training Licences.

Image Credit:, and

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REPs Member Fiona Snailham

I recently signed up to a coaching course run by UK Athletics, the intention being to incorporate my love of running into my work as a personal trainer.  The (expertly delivered) course commenced with a group discussion about the need for a coach to be ‘athlete centred’; setting aside his or her own goals to focus on the needs and desires of the athlete being trained.  I left the first morning of the course considering the cross over between the central role granted to these hypothetical athletes and the way in which we, as personal trainers, position our own clients.

I have to be honest with you - had I been asked about client centred practise when I first qualified, I would have made a comment about writing an individualised programme and left things at that.  Today, however, I’d like to think I have a slightly better insight into what it really means. Although bespoke programmes are an essential part of the work we do, client centredness is not just about being able to write periodised session plans that have been tailored to your client’s goals. 

An equally important part of our work, I believe, comes from a softer skillset – the trainer’s ability (and desire) to consider the motivating factors behind the goal that the client set him/herself before coming to their very first session.  It is this understanding that enables us to couch any discussion about the client’s training in appealing language that will encourage them to persist even when times get tough. 

Take, as an extreme example, the obese client who approaches the PT wanting to lose 2 stone within a fortnight.  Clearly, the time scale that they have set is not realistic.  As PTs, we have three options; (a) we could agree that the client needs to lose weight, write a fat loss plan, take their cash and then watch them fail to achieve their goal then give up on personal training; (b) we could tell them that they are being unrealistic and wave goodbye as they head off to find another PT who will take option (a); or (c) we could put them at the centre of the experience – talk to them about their past weight loss experiences, discuss their current goal and ask them why they want to achieve it in such a short period of time. 

Opening up such a discussion usually gives the PT an insight into the way in which the client is thinking and often offers a pathway towards resolving the imbalance between reality and expectation.  In the case in question, it turned out that the client had read about a celebrity’s rapid (and arguably unattainable) weight loss in a gossip magazine and wanted to achieve the same before a family event.  Talking about the reason for the timescale and the underlying motivating factor (having her family see her lead a healthier life) we were able to open up a discussion about the pros/cons of

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Exercise professionals can often compromise their health and well-being because of the pressures they face in trying to embody the image their own clients are trying to achieve. Although the welfare and safety of clients are of the utmost importance, the industry must promote the importance of exercise professionals’ health.

The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) which regulates the fitness industry, ensuring that exercise professionals in the UK meet the National Occupational Standards for the knowledge, competencies and skills required to perform their roles, is urging fitness professionals to look after themselves. REPs believes that if professionals are in good health, they will be in a position to give the best possible advice to their clients.

It is something of an open secret that there are fitness instructors suffering from eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, with some imposing strict fasting regimes on themselves and using laxatives, and others suffering from overdependence on exercise - all in the name of encapsulating and projecting a certain image. And let’s not forget that instructors tend to work up to 12-hour days, carrying out energetic, back-to-back fitness sessions. In so doing, they will have to eat a certain amount of food in order to sustain their energy levels throughout their working day. However, on their days off, their bodies will still crave the amount of food they would normally eat on their working day in anticipation for fitness sessions. This can be a problem because if instructors indulge in that amount of food on a day off, they might feel guilty and then take measures to reduce the impact of this.

We all know that our bodies need a certain amount of nutrients in order to function properly. For exercise professionals to be able to perform consistently at optimum levels and to be able to do so safely, they need to be mindful of their nutritional intake. Food from the four major food groups should be incorporated: chicken, fish, meat or a vegetarian option, such as beans; vegetables and fruit; cereal foods such as rice, pasta, bread; diary foods and an adequate amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The body needs a certain amount of vitamins and minerals which play a vital role by supporting the systems in the body and energy production. The major food groups provide these.
Neglecting on certain food groups can be dangerous. For example, a lack of calcium and iron - two minerals that merit extra attention for people with eating disorders, can lead to osteoporosis and anaemia. In short, a balanced diet is crucial for maintaining enough energy to fuel training sessions carried out by instructors.

The sensitive nature of the issue means the lack of evidence is unsurprising, but fitness professionals are not exempt from suffering from eating disorders. REPs has guidelines on best practice which includes health and fitness advice for instructors and their clients. We would urge anyone who is concerned about a client or colleague to read those guidelines.

Now, with summer

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REPs Member Leon Melnicenko

Stand yourself in front of the mirror, any mirror will do. Now repeat these words: “Am I making fitness fun for my clients?” Or better still: “Do I even know how to make fitness fun for my clients?”. Two years ago I asked myself the very same questions, my group and PT sessions had taken on a whole new level of boring and I knew that for my own sanity, things had to change. I wanted to have fun doing what I loved. I spent the next 6 months researching, planning, and thinking up new ideas that would serve my new found goal and give my sessions a whole new lease of life.

I came up with a very simple four step plan for designing a fun and interesting workout.

Step 1: Decide on the training methods needed to meet the client’s goal

Step 2: Design the workout

Step 3: Add the fun/challenging element

Step 4: Adjust the programme to ensure it suits the abilities of the client or clients (especially important to consider this when planning a group session)

I’m pretty sure that by now you have got Steps 1, 2 and 4 covered, so let’s address step 3. Here are some great ideas that I came up with that enabled me to begin injecting life back in to my workouts.

  • Introduction of solo and group games
  • Timed events  - Players race against themselves and gain points for every second they beat their original time by
  • Creative PT/Group circuits
  • Creative finisher drills
  • High Intensity interval training using the fun whistle method (individuals switch exercises when the whistle is blown)
  • Team/Individual challenges – using dice,  a deck of cards, whistles, coins, tennis balls, ropes, tyres etc
  • Team interaction drills – techniques to get the team interacting and having fun
  • Team/Individual movement drills – creative ways to move locations when out and about.

These are just a handful of the methods that I deploy to ensure that every single session is fun, unique and interesting. Take the time to plan your workouts carefully and make sure you have all the essentials covered before you start. These are some of the things that I take into account whilst in the planning phase.

  • Health and safety - First aid kit, checking the safety of equipment and chosen training environment, appropriate and valid REPs insurance, assessing PAR Qs, storing medications etc.
  • Exercise restrictions – dealing with clients who are restricted or recovering from injury, pregnancy etc
  • The introduction for new clients within a group setting – putting them at ease, reassurance, encouragement etc

Your imagination is the key to succeeding in the fitness industry, if something isn’t working you then have the courage to change it, I did.

After leaving the Royal Marines 12 months ago to pursue a career in fitness, Leon set up an outdoor fitness service called Sound Fitness Team Training. He lives in Plymouth with his wife, stepson and two dogs. Leon has recently started a

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reps stand 3

First of all we’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who attended the REPs South East Convention! We really hope you enjoyed your day (or days) and we really look forward to hearing your feedback in the coming weeks.

Secondly, not to worry if you couldn’t attend as we’ve got a great round up for you of all the events and workshops that happened over the two-day convention!

Eileen Alger and Ricardo EdwardsREPs members Eileen Alger and Ricardo Edwards upon their arrival to the South East Convention

Wow! What an exciting and busy two days it was! Both days started off with a great introduction from John Byers, who ran the convention, followed by a REPs update from Rebecca Weissbort, External Liaison Manager for REPs.

It was fantastic to have the support of our sponsors, Kinectica and Shock Absorber, who gave a great speech on the importance of sports bras and how to tackle the subject with your clients.

There were a total of 24 workshops for our delegates to get their teeth stuck in to.

Day 1

Highlights included Lincoln Byrden  Metabolic Physique Conditioning, Exercise Anywhere Exerpoling, KBTEducation Advanced weightlifting & functional training and of course the key note speech delivered by Dr Ian Campbell : “Weight loss – What works, what doesn’t and why!” – His speech was followed by a very lively Q&A session debating opinions on the 5:2 diet and high intensity training in regards to weight management!

We went along to Exercise Anywhere Exerpoling, which seemed like great fun for all those involved in the session! The session was lead by Nordic Walking UK and was aimed at PTs wanting to use poles to create an outdoor full body workout experience similar to a cross training machine but didn’t want to have to spend time teaching the full Nordic Walking technique!

nordic blogRep’s members Tali Swart and Nadia Pavlof taking part in the Exerpoling Session

nordic lungesReps members warming up during the Exerpoling session

Here’s what REPs member Danny Barker had to say on the session: “I really enjoyed this session. It’s something I’ve never done before but as I live in rural area it’s something I wanted to get involved in as I feel it could really benefit me and my clients.”

We got speaking to a few of our members over both days and here’s what they had to say.

Here we have Monika Zalewska who attended Advanced weightlifting & functional training. 

Advanced weightlifting & functional training - Monika Zalewska2

“I love weight lifting as it gives me the best results for my body! I thought the session was really great! Very informative and Professional!”

Leigh Aliss“I came along to convention last November and thought it was a great day so why not come again, and I’m glad I did as I found the day really interesting. I thought the key note speech raised some great points about weight loss and weight management, especially the fact that there is no magic pill that may work!”

We also spoke to Reps

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