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Our Official Blog

keeping you up to date with the latest industry news

Winning-Mindsets

Do you want to provide your clients with advanced level, tailored fitness programmes and propel yourself to the status of elite trainer? Come along on Thursday 9th April to find out how.

Earlier this year, SkillsActive partner Thomas International Sport launched a new series of masterclasses designed to help sport and fitness professionals to find their ‘winning mindset’ through a deeper understanding of behavioural and emotional traits.

The latest instalment of these interactive evening sessions focuses on psychometrics in the fitness industry and explores how an understanding of behavioural styles can:

  • Enhance goal setting with personal training clients
  • Improve client retention
  • Help create athlete development programmes 
  • Develop your ability to manage yourself and your teams
  • Enrich your personal development

This London-based workshop will be hosted by an expert on psychometric assessments and an experienced fitness specialist who will share the successes he’s already achieved with clients and colleagues through using tools that augment existing measures of physical ability with a rigorous evaluation of cognitive characteristics.

Speaker James Hutchison explains: “Psychometrics can really help fitpros to reach their potential and ensure their clients get the best results – not by changing themselves, but by maximising what they already have.”

Delegates will receive a complimentary Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) assessment and full feedback from Thomas and will gain 1 CPD point as the PPA is fully endorsed by SkillsActive.

To register your attendance or find out more about the event, visit:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/winning-mindsets-masterclass-psychometrics-in-the-fitness-industry-tickets-15779302318

- - - - - -

Thomas Sport has already joined forces with numerous household names (such as Derek Redmond, Naomi Riches MBE, Sir Steve Redgrave and top flight teams including Saracens RFC) and has partnered with SkillsActive both internally and in support of various programmes, including REPs membership.

Mike Walker, MD of Thomas International Sport, commented: “By combining our knowledge of psychometrics and SkillsActive's industry knowledge, we are dedicated to supporting all sporting professionals and organisations to deliver the best possible results.”

For more information on the partnership, visit www.skillsactive.com/products-and-services/thomas-sport

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change

A potential client, Martin, calls me on the phone to ask how I could help him. Martin wants to lose around a stone he says, and improve his muscle definition. After explaining that the best way forward is for us to meet for a consultation (a free one I might add) so I can do an assessment and get a better idea of his goals, he explains he is looking at a number of personal trainers and doesn’t want to commit to anything yet.

“Not a problem” I say, “there’s no obligation to sign up to anything”.

I’m quite impressed he’s doing some research and commend him for putting some thought into his decision. But Martin is adamant he just wants a chat for now. So I spend a good ten minutes answering as many of his questions as I can, and offering whatever advice I can based on what he tells me (incidentally many trainers are reluctant to do this, but in our internet age where an almost unlimited amount of freely available information is just a click away, you can’t expect to charge for every bit of knowledge you offer. Instead you need to convince people that you are the best source of that information and therefore worth paying for. That’s a topic for another day).

So following our conversation, Martin says he’ll be in touch if he wants to work with me.

A fortnight later he calls me back.

I answer the phone, feeling pleased that my efforts to help him must have paid off and he is now ready to become a client. Very quickly my heart sinks as he says he’s now looking at other options besides personal training and wants my thoughts on DVD and mail order training plans. At least he values my opinion I guess…

Martin says he’s heard good things about one particular product (for legal reasons I’d best change the name, let’s call it ‘Madness’). I give my honest views on it, explaining that regardless of the actual exercises involved, any plan you follow has to address all aspects of your lifestyle that impact on progress towards your goals; nutrition, stress, sleep, etc.

Martin agrees with me enthusiastically and seems to be convinced that personal training is the best option for him after all. “I just need to do a bit more research” he continues, “to make sure your style of training is right for me”.

Another three weeks go by and this time I follow up with Martin. He’s still doing his research but hopes to make a decision ‘soon’.

I don’t hear from Martin for a further month but he’s on my email list so I know he’s been reading my newsletters and tips, so I call him once more. Now more than two months since he initially contacted me, Martin still hasn’t begun any sort of training plan, is the same weight he was before (if not a little heavier) and doesn’t feel he’s made any progress

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mc wif
 
We are delighted to announce that REPs member Maureen Chitty has won an iPad after taking part in the ‘Working in Fitness Survey’ back in November. 
 
Developed in partnership with The Exercise Movement & Dance Partnership (EMDP), the 2014 survey, which is the largest and most extensive of its kind, was open to the fitness industry’s entire workforce, and covered a host of key issues including:
 
• Training
• Career pathways
• Earning potential
• Professional development and much more.
 
The Results of the survey are currently being analysed and will be announced over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out on our website. 
 
Having been a member for 10 years, REPs spoke with Maureen to find out a bit more about her and her experiences of working in the fitness industry. 
 
Maureen started in the fitness industry after retiring from competitive athletics. She represented Great Britain in the long jump between 1968 and 1974, but after having a second child, Maureen was looking for a career that would fit round her children and commenced teaching aerobics in 1980.
 
maureen
Maureen competing for Great Britain
 
Telling us about her experience starting out Maureen said: 
 
“I have always enjoyed being fit and once my athletic career had ceased I needed something to help me stay in shape.  Having trained as a PE teacher at Chelsea College of Physical Education (now Chelsea School of Human Movement) and having left teaching in 1974 to start my family I decided, having attended a fitness class locally, that I could teach one myself.   
 
She continued to say:
 
“Deciding that I should probably embark on some training I contacted the London Keep Fit Association but there were no courses at that time.  Whilst attending a Laban based dance class I met a member of the Surrey Keep Fit Association who informed me that there was a Keep Fit Association teacher training class due to start locally and she was to be the trainer.” 
 
Maureen told us that what keeps her motivated to work in fitness because she particularly loves the dance aspect and she also likes to stay fit in general. She said: 
 
“I really love the camaraderie of the industry, particularly when working as a member of a team for displays and competitions. The Keep Fit Association and REPs have helped me to further my career by providing lots of valuable CPD.  The Keep Fit Association also encouraged me to take the Teachers Advanced Certificate and then to progress to the Regional Trainers Qualification.”
 
Like many others within the fitness industry Maureen felt it was important to join REPS to stay in touch with the latest news in the fitness industry and to gain valuable CPD.
 
“The clients who come to my sessions know that I have a recognised qualification and that what I give them to do is designed to be safe and enjoyable.” 
 
Upon giving her advice
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CharlotteOrd

“Are we part of the solution or are we part of the problem?”
Jacqueline Hooton, WIFE Conference Founder

Saturday 7th March marked a day for Women in the fitness industry. Thirteen women stood strong at the front of the Holiday Inn Guildford conference room sharing their stories, successes, business know how and most importantly their passion, so we sent along our very own Customer Experience Executive and Personal Trainer Raschique Narwan along to the event to find out more.

The WIFE conference was a day dedicated to empower, motivate and encourage females working in the fitness industry. Jacqueline Hooton brought together an array of speakers and presenters who have been highly successful in business within the fitness. We asked Jacqueline what inspired her to put together the WIFE Conference. She said,

“I really wanted to provide a platform for women to speak in the industry, because I don’t think there are enough women that are vocal enough and I don’t enough of them speaking out in the industry. I think we have enough issues, unique issues, perhaps we want to address and I wanted to give women an opportunity to come together to express that.

She continued to say:

“I think a couple of the speakers today have touched on this, this morning; there is a really strong male rhetoric in the industry. We don’t need to resort to speaking in a manly way; Christianne was talking about that as well. We can still talk to people in fitness but use a feminine language that people can relate to.”

Key themes of authenticity, fearlessness and passion threaded through every speaker and presentation. The event was fearless to address issues that are unique to women but are ignored in the mainstream representation of the fitness industry; mental health, the visual representation of women in fitness across social media platforms, eating disorders, and spirituality in fitness. Every speaker was unique, honest and forthcoming in sharing their experiences, tips and advice.

From a business perspective, the information and advice relayed to delegates was useful and tunnelled towards the needs of the many roles women in fitness fulfil; friend, motivator, confidant, life coach to name a few.

In my opinion, this event will be a huge inspiration for newbies joining the fitness industry and is a think tank for those who are already in the industry. You will walk away from this event on a mission to making that fantastic idea, that’s been stored at the back of your mind, into a reality.

You can read the rest of Jacqueline Hooton’s interview below.

For more information on the WIFE conference and future events: www.wifeconference.co.uk

For EducatedFit training enquires: www.educatedfit.com

For more insight on each speakers success and advice, blog updates and helpful information, follow me on twitter @thechiqueexpo.

Why do you feel it is important to have an all female event?

“There are plenty events in the industry but I found myself, when I go to events, the they are very often very male dominated.

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REPs is proud to announce the introduction of the new Level 4 specialist category of Strength and Conditioning. It has been a long time in the making but now Level 3 Personal trainers that undertake training specific to S&C will now be recognised on the register. Strength and Conditioning is the physical and physiological development of athletes for elite sport performance, and the cross over from general public to athletes will provide a great transition for PT’s looking to make the leap into the athletic world of training.

For those that have historically completed their S&C training a mapping form will be available for completion and assessed by REPs Compliance and Standards Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download the application form hereYou can also read the National Occupational Standards for the new Level 4 category here.

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NAW2015

 

Its day two of National Apprenticeship Week 2015 and REPs is has some great feedback to share, including the announcement of a brand new entry point to the register.

We spoke to with 17 year old apprentice Spencer Ride, to find out how an apprenticeship has impacted his career and the difference it has made.

Spencer is currently completing an apprenticeship in Level 3 Personal Training with Focus Training, one of SkillsActive’s endorsed Lead Provider’s. The apprenticeship offers Spencer the opportunity to combine learning the trade with studying the qualification.

When asked what he has gained from his apprenticeship, Spencer said, “I’ve now got a much stronger CV with the qualification and experience … I have learnt to deal with the public better in a working gym”

So why do employers offer apprenticeships?

Adrian Lea, Director at Pro Active PT Ltd (with Energie Fitness Wilmslow) fully supports apprenticeships and said:

“I believe heavily in developing people and seeing them achieves goals that improve their livelihood and careers firstly. There is also the financial benefit of the scheme, which includes £1,500 towards the business and keeps payroll down helping the gym commercially”.

Adrian also recommends other organisations to sign up to an apprenticeship scheme and says, “Like Spencer said… just do it!”.

Spencer would like to become a full time PT and progress within his career by completing further training in Nutrition and Physiotherapy. We wish Spencer the best of luck with his training!

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, we are also proud to announce that Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) has introduced a new entry point to the register via apprenticeships. Those undertaking apprenticeships that will lead to gaining a recognised fitness qualification will be granted free of charge membership to the Register of Exercise allowing them to be a part of a 31,000 strong group of health and fitness professionals.

Commenting on this announcement Head of Membership for REPs Greg Small said:

"I am delighted that we are able to support young people coming into our sector. Membership of REPs will give young people the support and networking opportunities needed to develop their skills and continue their professional development throughout their career, not just as an apprentice."

To join REPs as an apprentice or student please click here or call us on 020 7840 1919. 

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burlexercise

Recently endorsed by SkillsActive, we decided to a little bit of digging to find out more about the ever so popular Burlexercise!

Founders of Burlexercise Sarah-Lou and Katie told us about their story.

“We founded Burlexercise, our Burlesque inspired fitness class, in May last year. The aim was to create a fun and exciting workout that really gets results. Working as professional Burlesque dancers we decided to combine Burlesque with our fitness backgrounds - The Ultimate Showgirl Workout was born!”

Burlexercise is designed specifically for an all over body workout, burning calories in the cardio section, toning and tightening during the resistance part, all whilst incorporating fabulous showgirl moves. The great music, fun atmosphere and showgirl sassiness means you get a class that is energizing and entertaining as well as a good workout,

Telling us a little bit more about their journey Katie said to us:

“We were having so many requests for classes around the UK that we decided to endorse our instructor training course through REPS, so we could find fantastic instructors to teach Burlexercise across the country. We held our first training day in London at the start of this month and had a great day introducing ten instructors to Burlexercise.”

The day involved learning about the history of Burlesque and some of the classic Burlesque moves, to see where the inspiration for the class came from. The classes start with a Burlexercise masterclass, moving on to teaching the technique of incorporating this style of dance into cardio. This included Burlesque dance moves such as the 'wiggle' and the 'shimmy', and showgirl genres such as the Charleston and even a bit of the Cancan! They’ve also added weight training into the classes and teach instructors a segment on how to use their own weighted boas.

We went on to ask Sarah-Lou how the classes have been received,

“We had brilliant feedback from our new instructors; they loved the content of the course and they’d left the day feeling inspired! They are now looking forward to setting up their own Burlexercise classes in the very near future!

She added:

“We are really excited about our next training day on 1st March in Birmingham. If you are a fun fabulous fitness instructor and would like to be one of the first to teach Burlexercise, whilst earning yourself 10 CPD points, we would love to hear from you!”.

Next Burlexercise Training days coming up - Sunday March 1st, Birmingham & Sunday April 12th Manchester.  Book with a friend and save £20 each! Visit www.burlexercise.co.uk to find out more. 

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seniors weights

Perhaps it was when a 74 year old woman approached me and said "I want to get fit" and weeks later, she was speed walking on the treadmill, working with light weights, balance boards and Swiss balls and making great progress.  Maybe it was when a 68 year old man came to me and said "how long should we be holding a plank position for because I'm holding one every morning now for 8 minutes".  Perhaps it was me, qualifying as a Personal Trainer aged 42, a couple of stones overweight, not particularly fit but three years down the line, two stones lighter, fit and strong.  Any one of these scenarios tells me one thing.  It is NEVER too late to review a diet and exercise regime and improve, big style!

Barriers to fitness?  There are many and age is just one.  It is a  thought to get a tired, inflexible and perhaps overweight body to move.  It is far easier for people to believe that the potential for change has passed.  It is up to us to inspire, motivate and encourage in as many ways as we can.

Over the course of each week, I see around 60 female clients through a mixture of one-to-one PT, group PT and classes.  They fall into two categories; 40 – 60yrs and 65yrs and over.

Let’s take the first category.  With no wish or intention of putting everybody in the same basket, having worked with this age group for some time, there are a number of things that I see and hear on a regular basis.  Many women neglect their fitness after having children, not through choice, more through lack of time and a change of priorities.  Stepping back into an exercise environment after several years is brave.  I acknowledge this and spend time making sure every client builds self-belief and regains confidence in the fact that they’ve made a really positive decision for themselves and will benefit greatly over time, both physically and mentally.

Secondly, people have busy and often stressful lives.  Exercise is an effort so it needs to be enjoyed.  Most women in this age bracket are not looking for a GI Jane style of instructor.  Some are, in which case they will enjoy Bootcamp, Metafit or Insanity but a more gentle approach works with my clients and I have great rates of retention.  I create an environment where we can all laugh at ourselves.  A loud ‘harumph’ by one lady ten seconds into holding a plank allows everyone to relax and have a giggle, despite the fact that others may be holding their plank position for two minutes.  I make sure that we are all supportive and encouraging towards each other and this allows me to provide adaptations easily, without causing embarrassment or making anybody feel less able.  One of my clients said to me recently, “I work hard all day and despite the fact that exercise is good for me, I would not be rushing home, sorting

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astley sports

Astley Sports Village


Astley Sports Village in Dukinfield, Cheshire, owned by secondary school Astley Sports College, has launched an innovative programme – Make a Difference (M.A.D.) - to tackle childhood obesity, with impressive results.

“There are lots of reasons why children become overweight and eat unhealthy foods. We want to help them choose the right pathway to improve their health and wellbeing and make a difference to their lives,” states Mark Storie, Director of Astley Sports Village and M.A.D. programme coordinator.

M.A.D. was created to help re-educate young people to participate in sport or activities with their classroom peers, support them with associated emotional issues and encourage them to be health conscious and take on a healthy lifestyle.

Students that meet the M.A.D. guidelines of being significantly overweight, in-active and having low self-confidence, participate in a 10-week programme using their once-a-week tutorial periods to visit Astley Sports Village for an hour of group physical activity such as basketball or dodgeball, followed by a 30-minute session in the gym.

Pupils exercise in the newly refurbished 150 sq m fitness suite, which features state-of-the-art Precor equipment, all equipped with Preva networked fitness, a cloud-based software platform that helps both gym operators and exercisers achieve their goals. They also use integrated RFID tags, giving access to the fitness suite, lockers, all programmes on the Precor equipment and Preva, so they can monitor their workout progress.

A commitment to fitness:

Storie comments: “It’s essential to provide a fun team work environment, but pupils also need to engage in the fitness suite with a more independent effort and commitment and use the machines on their own.

“Students are drawn to the high level of technology provided by Precor equipment. Preva Personal Accounts enables them to input a long-term focus, such as losing weight, and set targets, such as distance or calories. They can monitor their progress with the weekly goal summary, which even indicates if they’re on or off target, giving them a visual reminder they can work to achieve. They can strive for milestone badges too. They love they can access their data via the app on their mobile phones and iPads, and the fact they can access their favourite TV programmes and listen to bands via the equipment while they workout.

Why it works:

Students are encouraged to be active by running, throwing and catching, and to try to ensure their team wins whichever game is being played. The motivation for this is one of the biggest barriers students need to overcome Storie states: “It’s a big thing to get them to actually want to run for that ball and win that catch against a fellow student.”

The Sports Village experts are essential for the planning of activities and their knowledge of fitness and skills helps students to achieve not only weight loss, but improvements in their cardiovascular system, reduce their resting heart rate and see the transformation in their body shapes.

A healthy diet and a new way of thinking:

Nutrition education

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older women

As we all know physical activity is a cost effective measure in reducing the risk of diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, while fostering social interaction, community participation, and improved levels of social cohesion. 

SkillsActive and REPs are delighted to be taking the lead in developing a training package to be used by exercise professionals involved in a new study - The Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Ageing (PAHA) project - and will be co-ordinating the delivery of the activity intervention in the UK.

The PAHA project is a tailored intervention for older adults with different functional capacities. Through a supervised and structured exercise programme for those aged between 55 and 65 years old, PAHA intends to convert currently inactive people into regular exercisers at a level that is beneficial to their health, supporting the EU Guidelines on Physical Activity and the European Week of Sport.

Commenting on SkillsActive’s and REPs involvement, Compliance and Standards Manager Rob Wilkie said:

“It’s fantastic that we can be involved in projects like Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Ageing.  With a growing ageing population in the UK it’s important we develop the right programmes to ensure the future health and wellbeing of adults.”  

In each one of the 8 project partner countries – Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal and the United Kingdom – 3 fitness centres will run 3 trial sessions of supervised exercise of 6 weeks duration, for 15 participants at each session. The aim is to create a methodology that can easily be adapted and replicated in different settings, allowing more citizens to take up regular exercise and health-enhancing physical activities.   

If you would like further details on the project, please contact Rob Wilkie This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

EC Logo   PAHA Logo  

 

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As Head of the School of Personal Training that might sound like I’m committing commercial suicide. It’s also one of the common reasons PTs (especially those new to the industry) give when they’re struggling to find clients.

However it is true - most people really don’t want personal training, because very often they don’t understand what it is, and when people don’t understand something, it’s very unlikely they will buy it.

So what’s the solution? As with many things in our industry, a change of mindset is required – if people don’t want PT, offer something they do want!

Let’s go back to the point above. Think about what the average person understands by ‘personal training’. Although perceptions are beginning to change as our industry becomes more professional, they probably think of military style instructors making people sweat, or perhaps celebrities being put through their paces in a glossy magazine. Or maybe if they go to the gym they have seen the trainers there doing fancy, complicated exercises with their clients. These ideas are all focussed on the process of training, but is this what people actually want? Or do they really desire a flatter stomach, or more toned arms, or to have more energy? Do they want to feel better? (Arguably everyone’s goals boil down to this in one way or another). These are the results of training and have emotion and therefore motivation attached to them.

It’s not about WHAT you do, it’s about WHY you’re doing it.

Think of some common headlines you see on the cover of fitness magazines – “get big arms in 4 weeks”, “3 moves to guarantee a six-pack”, “melt away fat in 20 seconds a week” (okay I made that last one up, but it wouldn’t surprise me to read it somewhere). They are all carefully written to appeal to what people desire: quick, simple RESULTS.

Now I’m not suggesting you make outrageous claims like those above, but if you can find out what result someone is seeking, and can provide a specific solution to achieve it, you have something people actually want and will be motivated to pay for. So think of ‘personal training’ as just the field you work in, or the process, rather than what the client actually receives. To use an analogy, people don’t really pay a plumber to work on the pipework in their house, replace washers and tighten up some valves (the process of plumbing); what they’re actually paying for is the comfort of getting a hot shower and knowing they’re not wasting water through a dripping tap (results).

How do we put this into action? Imagine, or better still, go and talk to, your potential clients. Find out what they want and more importantly why they want it. Whether it’s in the gym or at a free talk you’ve organised on your specialist area, this market research then doubles up as a perfect rapport-building exercise.

You can then structure your services and marketing around what you discover. For example, male clients may want to add muscle in order to look better.

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As Head of the School of Personal Training that might sound like I’m committing commercial suicide. It’s also one of the common reasons PTs (especially those new to the industry) give when they’re struggling to find clients.

However it is true - most people really don’t want personal training, because very often they don’t understand what it is, and when people don’t understand something, it’s very unlikely they will buy it.

So what’s the solution? As with many things in our industry, a change of mindset is required – if people don’t want PT, offer something they do want!

Let’s go back to the point above. Think about what the average person understands by ‘personal training’. Although perceptions are beginning to change as our industry becomes more professional, they probably think of military style instructors making people sweat, or perhaps celebrities being put through their paces in a glossy magazine. Or maybe if they go to the gym they have seen the trainers there doing fancy, complicated exercises with their clients. These ideas are all focussed on the process of training, but is this what people actually want? Or do they really desire a flatter stomach, or more toned arms, or to have more energy? Do they want to feel better? (Arguably everyone’s goals boil down to this in one way or another). These are the results of training and have emotion and therefore motivation attached to them.

It’s not about WHAT you do, it’s about WHY you’re doing it.

Think of some common headlines you see on the cover of fitness magazines – “get big arms in 4 weeks”, “3 moves to guarantee a six-pack”, “melt away fat in 20 seconds a week” (okay I made that last one up, but it wouldn’t surprise me to read it somewhere). They are all carefully written to appeal to what people desire: quick, simple RESULTS.

Now I’m not suggesting you make outrageous claims like those above, but if you can find out what result someone is seeking, and can provide a specific solution to achieve it, you have something people actually want and will be motivated to pay for. So think of ‘personal training’ as just the field you work in, or the process, rather than what the client actually receives. To use an analogy, people don’t really pay a plumber to work on the pipework in their house, replace washers and tighten up some valves (the process of plumbing); what they’re actually paying for is the comfort of getting a hot shower and knowing they’re not wasting water through a dripping tap (results).

How do we put this into action? Imagine, or better still, go and talk to, your potential clients. Find out what they want and more importantly why they want it. Whether it’s in the gym or at a free talk you’ve organised on your specialist area, this market research then doubles up as a perfect rapport-building exercise.

You can then structure your services and marketing around what you discover. For example, male clients may want to add muscle in order to look better.

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logo moveit

REPs is pleased to announce that MOVE IT 2015 is the latest event to be endorsed so that members can gain CPD points for attending. 

‘MOVE IT’ is the UK’s largest dance event, with over 20,000 dancers and performers expected at this year’s event which runs from the 13th-15th February at London’s Olympia venue. The show provides opportunities to get involved and try the freshest dance crazes as well as watch performances from Twist & Pulse, Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, the Strictly Come Dancing team and many others.

With dance-based fitness classes rocketing in popularity, this year a number of REPs-endorsed Training Providers will be showcasing their products through demos on the Dance Fitness Demo Stage. This provides a great opportunity for REPs members to sample classes that they may wish to teach themselves. FitSteps®, TOMBOOGIE, SOSA Dance Fitness and Gemma Quinnell's Fitness will all be running demos across the 3 days so why not try them out? Attendees can claim 3 CPD points for attending the show which can be claimed after the event in your Members Area.

Tickets for an Adult pass start from £15 so to find out more or to book tickets for the show, visit the MOVE IT 2015 website -  http://www.moveitdance.co.uk/

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goals

With New Year’s resolutions in full swing (and I dare say some already abandoned), it seems fitting to write about goal-setting this month. As fitness and health professionals, we're probably all familiar with the SMART acronym and think we know what it stands for. Yet I bet if you asked 20 different trainers you'd get a variety of suggestions. The S, M and T parts are straight-forward - everyone generally agrees on specific, measurable and time-framed (losing 3kg of body fat in 12 weeks for example) but A and R are more debatable.

Commonly these are defined as achievable (or attainable) and realistic but as I ask students on every course I teach - what's the difference? If it's achievable to lose 3kg of body fat in 12 weeks then it's also realistic and vice versa, so one of them is redundant (and before you say 'but SMAT or SMRT don't work', there are alternatives for A and R!). There is an argument that a goal could be achievable in the sense that it's physically possible, e.g. to train 3 times a day for 6 weeks, but not be realistic, whereas a goal that's realistic - such as dropping a dress size in 2 months - by definition is achievable, so of the two options, realistic seems to cover all bases

At the School of Personal Training our A is agreed - both trainer and client must be happy with the goal, meaning it has to satisfy the other four elements to be complete. It could also be extended to the clients social support network - if close friends and family don't agree with the goal for some reason it could compromise progress.

Another alternative is appropriate - for example if your client is looking to gain muscle mass, an appropriate short term goal might be to consume an extra 500 calories per day. However it would obviously be inappropriate if these calories were from highly-processed sugar-laden foods. Note you don't have to pick one definition for each letter in SMART and only use that - after reading this you may decide SMAAARRT is the best option!

Onto R then. While the School of PT has opted to keep realistic over achievable, there are other options to consider. Similar to appropriate, it's important the goal is relevant in the sense that it motivates the client. They may not see the point setting a target of increasing their bench press 1RM by 5% if all they're interested in is looking good in their swimming costume for example. As a caveat to that, if you can explain how this goal can contribute to the aesthetic one (progressively overloaded muscle fibres leading to more lean mass and increased metabolism for fat loss, etc), then it may become relevant to them.

Another R is recorded. It's debatable just how much of a difference writing goals down has on the likelihood of achieving them (if you aren't familiar with the '1979

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inactive

New research carried out by the University of Cambridge has revealed today that about 676,000 deaths each year were down to inactivity, compared with 337,000 from carrying too much weight.

Experts have said that getting everyone to do at least 20 minutes of brisk walking a day would have substantial benefits. Making such a simple change and eliminating inactivity in Europe would have the ability cut mortality rates by nearly 7.5%, or 676,000 deaths, a huge reduction we are sure you would agree.

Commenting on these latest statistics our Head of Membership, Greg Small who is also a personal trainer himself said:

“Improving the health and fitness of our nation is our responsibility – as statistics released today show a minimum of 20 minutes brisk walking can be all that it takes to ensure longevity.

He continued to say:

“I would highly urge our members to push their clients to spread the word to family members and friends to increase incidental exercise and ensure the minimum is met. By making simple changes to our daily lives such as walking to work we can increase our life expectancy.”

All REPs members meet the health and fitness industry’s agreed National Occupational Standards. We can give you confidence that all of our members are appropriately qualified and have the knowledge, competence and skills to perform their role effectively so that you can train in the knowledge that you are in safe hands.

If you’d like to make the change and get active in the hands of a professional and qualified personal trainer why not take a look on our public directory and find a REPs member in your area.

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JH Wife

REPs are delighted to be endorsing the all-female fitness professional’s conference, which takes place on 7th March 2015 at the Holiday Inn Guildford. REPs members will be able to gain 3 CPD point by attending.

WIFE Conference aims to empower, motivate and support females working in the fitness industry. Through bringing together fourteen top female speakers and presenters who have developed successful businesses, or work in specific niches, delegates will benefit from hearing about their achievements, insights and advice.
WIFE Conference seeks to create an opportunity for the sharing of ideas, business strategies and common issues affecting women working in the fitness industry today. A wide range of topics will be covered throughout the day including marketing, social media, eating disorders, business development, local and national publicity, developing an international fitness business, female health, creating a brand and building credibility, physical health and mental well-being as well as an expert panel who will be ready to debate and answer questions from delegates.

In addition this ground breaking conference aims to provide female fitness professionals with an opportunity to network with like-minded women working in the industry and encourage the sharing of ideas as well as offering support and advice.

Presenters

WIFE Conference Founder and HostJacqueline Hooton Fitness Tutor and creator of Educated Fit teaching fitness professionals the skills of presenting, teaching and public speaking and finalist in the UK Active Physical Activity Professional of the Year.

Guest Speakers

  • Katie Bulmer-Cooke who recently appeared on BBC 1’s The Apprentice and named UK Fitness Professional of the Year and Personal Trainer of the Year.
  • Charlotte Ord two times winner of Personal Trainer of the Year and Fitness Expert for the Sunrise show on Sky TV as well as trainer on ITV’s The Biggest Loser. 
  • Rachel Holmes one of the UK’s best known Fitness Presenters and owner of Choreographytogo, Fitness Pilates and Kick Start Fat Loss.
  • Jenny Burrell from Burrell Education and the UK’s leading-edge professional in the field of modern Pregnancy, Post Baby, 3rd Age and Female centred health. 
  • Yvonne Radley media expert creator of Big Me Up Media responsible for helping many fit-pros gain exposure and publicity including Katie Bulmer-Cooke (also presenting at WIFE).
  • Dal Rai-Dhaliwal the UK’s first Indian female health fitness TV Presenter and co-producer of a variety of TV and radio shows and fitness expert for BBC Asian Network. 
  • Christianne Wolff celebrity trainer, fitness columnist and author of The Body Rescue Plan and regularly featured in national newspapers and magazines as well as on TV and radio.
  • Rachel Hobbs performance Dietician to a variety of GB elite athletes as well as an international athlete in Powerlifting and current British Record Holder and European Champion.
  • Nicola Hobbs teacher of yoga for athletes and sports teams and yoga therapy for those going through depression, eating disorders, or any kind of mental health challenge. Nicola is also an Olympic Weightlifting English champion.
  • Chris Tuck creator of Breaking the Cycle Health and Wellness programmes and author of her ‘Through the Eyes of
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In recent months, here at REPs we have noticed some confusion on social media with regards to the type and level of nutrition advice which Personal Trainers are able to give. It can be an emotive area as many PTs believe that their nutrition advice is at least as important as the exercise advice they give their clients. Unfortunately, it is apparent that many in our industry fall under the influence of the latest fad or celebrity diet, and thus give poor, confusing or potentially dangerous advice to their clients. In this statement, REPs will try to clarify what the boundaries of appropriate nutrition advice are.

All REPs categories have what are known as ‘Occupational Descriptors’ which describe what instructors should or shouldn’t do as part of their job role. When it comes to nutrition advice, the Occupational Descriptor clearly states:

L3 Personal Trainers should NOT:

4. Provide prescriptive nutritional advice or develop bespoke individualised nutrition plans for clients.

This basically means that PTs should only provide general advice on healthy eating, rather than give specific, prescriptive advice. If PTs start giving nutrition advice to alleviate real or suspected medical conditions, then they are operating outside of their professional boundaries and may find themselves in trouble if problems with clients occur. In the UK, the only group of people who can legally give this type of advice are called ‘dieticians’ who will have completed a 4 year degree programme. This job title is legally protected (unlike the job title ‘Personal Trainer’) and is regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

So, what are the basic messages here?

• Personal Trainers should certainly encourage their clients to change their dietary habits to encompass recognised and evidence based healthy eating guidelines.
• PTs should avoid giving advice which is based on fads, trends or has celebrity endorsement.
• PTs should avoid giving advice which calls for the omission of food groups or encourages restricted eating patterns.
• Finally, PTs should recognise that they should not write specific, individualised nutrition programmes for their clients unless they can legitimately use the title ‘dietician’.

If you have any further queries regarding nutritional advice or are unsure about anything please do get in contact with us by emailing Robert Wilkie our Compliance and Standards Manager - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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Lifetime Training is launching a series of seminars specifically designed to highlight the benefits of becoming and building a business as a Personal Trainer.

Hosted by fitness industry and business development expert and author, Dave Fletcher, alongside members of the Lifetime Coaching Team, the PT Success Seminars explore the whole ‘journey’ from qualification to the creation of a thriving business. 

The seminars feature highly pertinent themes such as choosing appropriate qualifications, maximising income potential, the pros and cons of employment versus self-employment, identifying what makes a great Personal Trainer, generating new clients, building a business efficiently and effectively, as well as exploring long term opportunities within the fitness industry.

The first seminar will take place on 14th March 2015 at Regent’s Place Health Club in London with further Success Schools to be held across the UK in 2015.

Mike Jones, Commercial Director at Lifetime Training, commented: “Our goal is to find and develop the next generation of Personal Trainers and offer support and education to help them become highly paid and sought after professionals. By partnering with Dave Fletcher, who is a highly experienced Personal Trainer and business mentor, we can help people to make the right choices at the start of their career and assist them to build their business for the future.”

To register your interest for the first seminar in London visit http://www.participant.co.uk/ptsuccessseminar1

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Would you like free “state-of-the- art” fitness testing for a selected client or yourself?

If so the University of Westminster would very much like to hear from you.

The University of Westminster run a Master’s programme in Sports and Exercise Nutrition. As part of their coursework students spend some time shadowing a practicing professional delivering nutritional advice. 

The University are very keen to contact members if you are a personal trainer who offers nutritional advice in the London/SE England area, and if you would be prepared to offer this chance to our aspiring sports nutritionists. It would involve you allowing the student to observe you in practice for anything between 4 and 12 hours spread out over a number of weeks.

The aim is for students to get a feel for how real life practice differs from textbook so we would be happy for them to be exposed to the full range of activities in which you are involved. They are well aware that confidentiality is paramount and they are all mature students with a minimum age of 21 years.

At University of Westminster they have very well equipped Human Performance laboratories, with state-of-the art equipment including Cortex breath by breath gas analyser, hypoxia chamber, BodPod etc. and offer a full range of fitness and metabolic testing e.g. VO2max, lactate threshold, substrate utilisation, resting metabolic rate etc to clients.

In return for your participation the University are happy to offer free fitness testing or body composition analysis (BodPod) for one of your selected clients or indeed for yourself. Normally the fitness package of VO2max, lactate threshold and BodPod would cost around £350.00.

You will also earn 4 CPD points as you will be mentoring and sharing your work practice with the students.
If you would like the opportunity to be involved please contact Dr Jane Naufahu PhD, BSc (Hons), FHEA Lecturer in Human Nutrition and Performance, University of Westminster via email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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SkillsActive is delighted to have announced the approval of a new set of ‘National Occupational Standards’ (NOS) for the fitness industry across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with immediate effect.
 
The new standards have been approved by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and regulatory bodies in each of the four nations of the UK, after direct input from SkillsActive and leading employers in the fitness industry.
 
Ian Taylor, Chief Executive of SkillsActive said:
 
“The development of these robust and rigorous UK-wide occupational standards is the result of widespread employer engagement. I want to put on record my personal thanks to the hard work of the employer members of the ‘Fitness NOS Group’ - 
 
Active Communities
Active Communities, West Belfast
Active Belfast
Aurura Leisure Centre
Antrim Borough Council
Babcock
Ballymoney Borough Council
Banbridge District Council
Belfast City Council
DC Leisure
Everyone Active, SLM Ltd
Falkirk Community Trust
GLL
Nuffield Health
Newport City Council
Newry and Mourne District Council
OCLL
Pembrokeshire County Council
Renfrewshire Leisure
Sport Aberdeen
South Lanarkshire Leisure
Swansea City Council
Virgin active
West Lothian Leisure
Watford YMCA
 
Ian Taylor continued to say:
 
“Employers and professionals can be confident that a set of national occupational standards have been created which will meet the needs of the fitness industry. We, at SkillsActive, however, will remain vigilant over future skill needs. Job roles are continually changing and we need to ensure these are reflected as industry changes. Going forward, we need a ‘fitter workforce for longer working lives’ as the state pension age increases beyond 65.  I firmly believe that ‘skills for wellbeing’ will be seen as just as important as ‘skills for growth’ by the end of the decade.”
 
 
For further information please contact
 
Ian Taylor, Chief Executive, SkillsActive -  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Stuart Turner, Group Director of Standards and Qualifications, SkillsActive - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Notes to the Editor:
 
About SkillsActive 
 
SkillsActive is the Government Licensed Sector Skills Council for the Active Leisure and Learning Industry. SkillsActive is an officially recognised and licensed organisation that sets the best quality standards for skills, offers effective training solutions and facilitates career development in the sport, fitness, outdoors, playwork and caravan industries. Visit www.skillsactive.com for more information.
 
Steering Group Members /Expert Working Group Members
Evolve
FutureFit
GLL
Intelligent Training Systems
Les Mills
Lifetime Training Group Ltd
Middlesex University
Nuffield Health
OCLL
PFE Training
REPs
SkillsActive
Southampton Solent University
University of Bedfordshire
Watford YMCA
YMCA Fit
 
Focus Group Members 
Active Belfast
Active Communities 
Active Communities, West Belfast
Active Stirling
Antrim Borough Council
ASA
Aurura Leisure Centre
Babcock 
Ballymoney Borough Council
Banbridge District Council
Belfast City Council
CCEA
Crown Fitness
DC Leisure
Edinburgh College
EDLeisure & Culture
Everyone Active SLM Ltd
Falkirk Community Trust
Fitness Wales
KA leisure
Newport City Council
Newry and Mourne District Council
Pembrokeshire County Council
Renfrewshire Leisure
South Lanarkshire Leisure
Sport Aberdeen
SQA
SQA/Edinburgh
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