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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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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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Zumba/2014/05/cyq-ftc-2014-winners-with-presenters-richardburley-carole-stott-and-justin-smith-2.jpg?w=510" alt="CYQ FTC 2014 winners with presenters RichardBurley Carole Stott and Justin Smith (2)" width="510" height="340" />CYQ Competition winners with  presenters Richard Burley, Carole Stott and Justin Smith

The winners of the CYQ/BCS Fitness Trainer Competition have been announced after an exciting national final at the prestigious home of the FA, St George’s Park on 1 May 2014.

REPs would like to give a huge congratulations to this year’s winners and we were delighted to be involved in this year’s competition by offering the winners free membership on to the Register.

There were 15 finalists in total who competed in three categories, Level 2 Fitness Instructor – Gym, Level 2 Fitness Instructor – Exercise to Music and Level 3 Personal Trainer, to lift the coveted 2014 trophies.

Kathryn Ingles from Warwickshire College was named winner of the Level 2 Fitness Instructor – Gym competition, Deborah Terry from Truro and Penwith College took the Level 2 Fitness Instructor – Exercise to Music prize and Callum Green from South Downs College was awarded first place in the Level 3 Personal Trainer category.

The winners were presented with their trophies by a line-up representing the organisations behind the competition including Lori Randall of CYQ, Head of Business Development; Carole Stott, Chair of World Skills; Justin Smith of Technogym, and Richard Burley, the outgoing Vice-Principal of Burton and South Derbyshire college.  The winners were understandably delighted with their success.

REPs Head of Membership Greg Small said:

‘This competition is such fantastic opportunity for these young, aspiring trainers to apply their knowledge and skills in a controlled environment. The experience will enhance their CV and further prepare them for a career in the fitness industry.

We are delighted to have been able to support this CYQ event, and feel the trainers will greatly benefit from this partnership.  Contests of this nature can only help to improve standards in the industry and be of benefit to participants.’

Greg continued to say:

‘I would like to congratulate Callum, Kathryn and Deborah on winning this competition. To see the competitors show the same values as REPs through their commitment to career development and professionalism is particularly pleasing, and it is a pleasure to be able to offer the winners complimentary membership to REPs.’

Callum Green, winner of the Level 3 Personal Trainer category, enthused, ‘Before enrolling on my personal trainer course at South Downs College, I did not have much of an idea as to where my career was heading. The knowledge and tools my tutor - James Clack - and all of my lecturers have provided me with have been instrumental in my success. I can't thank them and CYQ enough for this amazing opportunity.’

Kathryn Ingles, winner of the Level 2 Fitness Instructor – Gym competition explains, 'I am thrilled to have won. It was an honour to be involved in such an event and, although nerve wracking, the day exceeded all expectations.’

And Deborah Terry the Level 2 Fitness Instructor – Exercise to Music category

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