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Our Official Blog

keeping you up to date with the latest industry news

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.

Read more

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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nos-image
 
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
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pt

Last week Future Fit won ‘Innovative Training Programme of the Year’ at the ukactive Active Training Awards, an accolade we are immensely proud of. After posing for photographs and splashing our achievement across social media, it got me thinking about the ways our industry defines success.

Whilst it’s fantastic to receive recognition for what you do, clearly as a training provider we don’t exist with the sole aim of winning awards and trophies – if anything these are reward for success. There’s a parallel with music business awards such as the BRITs – I can’t imagine many world-famous bands are fixated on winning the ‘best album’ title and give that more significance than playing to 50,000 people in stadiums and arenas. 

So what about personal trainers? How do we measure success? This is a question I often ask fitness professionals and the answers are both varied and insightful. On the face if it, it may seem like an easy question; but it will very much depend on your own perception of what success is, and that in turn is closely tied to your personal goals.

Let’s have a look at some common markers – which would you focus on?:

Number of sessions

Being fully booked may be your aim. ‘25 sessions a week’ seems to be a common target for a lot of gym-based trainers, although many do far more. The classic model for most one-to-one trainers is to have perhaps 15-20 clients at any one time who have 1-3 sessions per week. However I once worked with a trainer who had around 60 clients and saw each once a month. Either option can deliver the same level of income but the point is that enough people value your services to keep you busy, which indicates you are doing something right.

Digging a little deeper, we could ask how you become fully booked in the first place. Is a successful personal trainer one who is exceptional at marketing and sales? Undoubtedly this is an important set of skills to have – it’s the entrepreneur mindset that’s necessary for self-employed trainers to build their business, but is this enough?

Income

I know of a trainer who was ‘fully booked’ within 3 months of starting at his gym. He gave up PT 3 months later as he wasn’t making any money. Why not? He’d started with a ‘2 for 1’ offer which proved very popular, to the point where he felt he had to continue it to retain his clients. So whilst he was doing 30 sessions a week, he was only earning £12.50 a session, something that wasn’t sustainable financially. So the number of appointments you have may not be the key statistic when it comes to being successful. With higher fees you can do far fewer sessions and still make good money. There are top PTs in the UK charging the equivalent of £200 a session and more. So if you’re making a small (or large) fortune from your PT

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instruct

Disabled people can face many challenges when they think about going to the gym but for deaf people the biggest issue can be the communication barrier.

Now two deaf people, who use British Sign Language, have qualified as gym instructors and are currently based in leisure facilities in the West Midlands.

Husband and wife, Ishtiaq Hussain and Kerry Ward Hussain from Stourbridge recently qualified as fitness instructors through the multi-award winning InstructAbility programme. The project, funded by Sport England, was created by Aspire, the spinal injury charity in partnership with YMCAfit, to enable unemployed, disabled people to train as gym instructors. The newly qualified instructors then work to engage more disabled people in fitness sessions.

Ishtiaq and Kerry who are both profoundly deaf, have personal experience of the difficulties in communicating with staff and members whilst in the gym. They were often unable to access the advice and knowledge of how to develop their fitness.

Kerry, who has recently started a placement at Fitness First Sollihull said,

“I would have loved to have a fitness instructor who could communicate and support me in the gym environment. Now I am in a position to assist other deaf people in a way I didn’t get when I joined a gym. I am really looking forward to developing my skills as a fitness professional with Fitness First and making people of all abilities feel welcome."

Ishtiaq, who recently completed a work placement at Wolverhampton Swimming and Fitness Centre, managed by Places for People, has now been offered a contract to continue his work supporting deaf people in fitness activities.

Jason Pitman, General Manager commented,

“We’re absolutely delighted the InstructAbility work placement has proven a resounding success and provided the opportunity for us to continue and expand deaf friendly sessions at our facility. I am extremely thankful for Ish's determination and the support provided by BSL interpreters that has proved instrumental in incorporating deaf friendly sessions into our core activity programme.”

Ishtiaq is now excited about his future and for other deaf people in the local community, he said,

“I have learned and achieved so much since becoming part of the InstructAbility project. I understand the frustration and feeling of being isolated that so many of the deaf community experience when visiting a gym. I am thrilled to be able to overcome these barriers and directly support the deaf community into an accessible fitness environment.”

Hilary Farmiloe, National Manager of the Instructability programme concluded, “By working in partnership with leisure operators the scheme is enabling disabled people to demonstrate the unique skills they can bring to the industry workforce. The potential for these particular instructors to support deaf clients is very important. Sport England’s Active People Survey shows that disabled people are much less likely to participate in sporting activities and people with a sensory impairment have the lowest participation rates. We hope that this is the start of a new way forward for deaf people to participate.”

See Ishtiaq's signed video here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=814784541878445

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Shoulder injuries are common not only in the sporting arena but in the health and fitness environment as well. Recent research by Kolber et al (2013) found a significant association between doing exercise in the ‘high-5’ position and anterior shoulder instability leading to a range of common shoulder injuries. The high-5 position (or ‘at risk position’ as it is otherwise known) is when there is 90° or more of shoulder abduction and 90° or more of shoulder external rotation as depicted in figure 1.

Fig 1. The High-5 position

high 5

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket synovial joint where the head of the humerus (ball) meets the glenoid fossa (socket). This creates a mobile joint that can be stabilised by way of ligament and muscular tension. The joint is surrounded by tissue known as the joint capsule which can also contribute to its stability. As a result of the balance between mobility and stability, the shoulder joint is often susceptible to a range of injuries especially when the humeral head is placed in certain positions. Stability is increased if the head of the humerus is compressed into the glenoid fossa thereby reducing the potential for excessive translation (movement of the humerus away from the fossa). Strengthening the rotator cuff and other scapular musculature (trapezius, rhomboids etc) can help provide the compressive force required to stabilise this particular joint.

Exercises performed in the high-5 position have been shown to increase the risk of humeral translation and thereby the risk of injuries such as joint capsule and ligament damage (Tzannes 2002). In the health and fitness industry, exercises that are often responsible for this include behind-the-neck pull downs, behind-the-neck shoulder press, bench press (to chest) and dips. Performing these exercises with good technique however, can reduce humeral translation and in turn reduce the risk of associated injury.

Lat pull down
These should be performed to the front of the chest instead of behind the neck (Kolber et al 2013) to avoid shoulder instability. The bar should be pulled down to chin level only to avoid excessive strain on rotator cuff muscles (going below chin level would require a degree of internal rotation of the humerus).

Shoulder press
The starting point should be with the upper arm roughly parallel to the floor and the hands about 20 degrees angle forward (colado et al 2009). Perform the exercise in a standing position to activate core musculature (Harman 1994) and bend the knees slightly to reduce pressure on the intervertebral discs (Wilke et al 2001).

Bench press
The bar or dumbbells should be lowered until the upper arm is roughly parallel to the floor. This would mean that when performing a bench press with a bar, the bar should stop about 3-4cms above the chest (Colado, et al 2009).

Dips
It is impossible to keep the shoulder joint in a stable position when performing dips using a bench or chair. It is possible however to perform dips using a specific dip machine but care

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We are delighted to announce a new entry point onto the register with the inclusion of Level 2 Exercise, Movement and Dance qualifications. This decision has been made to reflect the growing popularity of, and participation in, dance based exercise classes.

Commenting on the new entry point, Head of Membership Greg Small said:

“With the growing popularity of danced based exercises classes, I am delighted that we are now able to offer this as a point of entry for Level 2 qualifications to the Register.”

The practicalities of this change is that the current Exercise To Music category will be renamed Group Exercise and will encompass those members with either the traditional Exercise To Music qualification or the new Exercise, Movement and Dance qualification. The certificate you receive from your training provider will still say Exercise to Music or Exercise, Movement and Dance, the only difference will be the name of the REPs category.

If you have any further questions about this new category then please do not hesitate to get in contact our Membership Advisory team by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 020 7840 1919.

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As some of you may already know, and for those who don’t I run PTtoolbox.co.uk, my courses and a couple of other businesses on the move (mainly from coffee shops!).

As long as I have my trusty backpack and wifi then I can work from anywhere in the world. This gives me a lot of freedom with time, location and working around other commitments however there are days when it is very easy to get distracted and even more so as a society we are becoming more and more connected via social media, email and the myriad of other different methods of communication.

So here are my top three tips if you are working on the move but they are also applicable to most working environments.

1) Delete emails and social media from your phone

In a recent workplace study it was discovered that the two top distractions in the majority of workplaces were social media and pointless emails. 

In all honesty how important is social media to your business? 

I keep two social media apps on my phone, Facebook messenger and Instagram, why?

Because these are apps that are required for mobile working for my business and a lot of my customers, prospects and contacts communicate via Facebook message (I don't give out my number to a lot of people!).

The rest of my social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter are auto scheduled to post for me and are also accessible from my laptop and iPad so I have no need for them on my phone.

On a personal note I also detest parents that ignore their children whilst browsing social media so that was another motivator for me and my little girl.

2) Turn off wifi on your laptop while working on offline tasks

About 75% of my working tasks are based around offline software such as Microsoft office so when I'm writing blogs, power points or editing videos I turn off my wifi to ensure that I don't get tempted to quickly login to Facebook, check my emails or watch epic fail videos on YouTube.

The same goes for if I'm working from my iPad, I'll switch on airplane mode until I've finished the job I'm working on then once the allotted time is up or the job is finished I may have a short break then crack on with the next task.

3) Set times of the day where you pick one to three tasks and disconnect from the online world

Typically after my morning training session I will choose one task that is the most important for me to get done then two other tasks that are time limited. I will then set two to three hours to get through all the tasks or get as much done as possible.

Once I've decided on the tasks and the timeframe all of my electronic devices either get turned off or put on airplane mode depending on what I need to use to get the

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