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Our Official Blog

keeping you up to date with the latest industry news

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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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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emd logo

 

REPs are delighted to fully support the Exercise, Movement and Dance (EMD) Academy’s launch of their new training grant opportunity - the Open Bursary Scheme. The scheme aims to offer financial support to passionate individuals hoping to train or develop their career in teaching Exercise, Movement and Dance.

 

Commenting on the launch, Head of Memberships for REPs, Greg Small said:

 

“In the current financial climate, it’s fantastic that the Exercise, Movement and Dance Academy have launched new bursary scheme as it means those who perhaps couldn’t afford to take up a qualification now can.”

 

He continued to say:

 

“I would highly encourage anyone wanting to take an exercise, movement and dance qualification to apply for the bursary.”

 

The bursary is available to anyone wanting to take an exercise, movement and dance qualification or course so long as EMDP are happy it’s of a good quality - we want the best for you after all. Please see the criteria document for more details.

 

You can apply for up to £100 towards Continued Professional Development (CPD)/ short courses and workshops and up to £150 towards recognised qualifications. EMD Academy will pay up to these amounts or 50% of the cost (whichever is lower).

 

Applicants can use the bursary in addition to other bursaries or funding they may have found, like Government Grants or Coaching Bursaries from your local County Sports Partnership for example.

 

All teachers who receive the bursary will also get a year’s free affiliation toThe EMD Community, where you get all of your teaching essentials all in one place.

 

Please click here for more information and to apply. Remember to check the criteria before applying. 

 

Not sure it’s for you? Give EMDP a call on 01403 266000. 

 

For more information about the EMD Academy visit: www.emdacademy.org

 

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NFD logo

As exercise professionals it our role to inspire others to get active but to also enjoy it, which is why we are fully supportive of National Fitness Day and highly encourage our members to get involved in the free taster sessions which will be happening right across the country on Friday 26th September. National Fitness Day is the largest celebration of physical activity in the UK, the nation will become a hive of activity as thousands of people don their exercise gear and flock to gyms, health clubs, leisure centres and parks around the country to take part in free ‘Power Half Hour’ exercise events.

Run by not-for-profit health body ukactive, National Fitness Day sees the health and active lifestyle community unite to raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity and make it easy and fun for members of the public to try something new with free taster sessions.

Better Gyms, British Military Fitness, Club Company, Energie, Everyone Active, Fitness First, Lifestyle Fitness, Gym Group, Places for People, Pure Gym and Spirit Health Clubs are just some of the major fitness providers inviting the public to try a variety of free sessions at more than 1000 sites - from indoor cycling, exercise to music classes and swimming to yoga, boot camp and pilates. More venues are joining daily and are searchable through the digital activity finder at www.nationalfitnessday.com.

As well as major gyms being involved, National Fitness Day will also play host to a series of mass participation and showcase exercise events engaging hundreds of people in London (Covent Garden), Birmingham (Victoria Square) and Bristol (Centre Promenade), on Friday 26th September - ‘National Fitness Day LIVE in association with Les Mills’

‘National Fitness Day LIVE’ events will comprise Les Mills BODYCOMBAT™ and SH'BAM™ sessions led by A-list instructors from the global group fitness brand. Taking the cities by storm, the events will celebrate the fun that physical activity delivers and will look to inspire onlookers into an active lifestyle. National Fitness Day LIVE is supported by Sanofi and their Sanofi Challenge programme which encourages everyone to get out of their comfort zone and take on a physical challenge to improve their health and the lives of others.

Greg Small, Head of Membership for REPs said:

“It’s fantastic to see so many of our employer partners involved and opening their doors to those who are perhaps unfamiliar or scared of the gym environment by hosting National Fitness Day sessions. By going to one of partners members of the public can assured that they are in the safe hands of qualified, registered exercise professionals when taking part in physical activity.”

He continued to say:

“Collectively as exercise professionals we a duty to improve and ensure the British public have access to quality instruction and with this in mind we should aim to inspire a new generation of physical literacy.”

National Fitness Day was founded by the Energie Group in 2010. Individual clubs will be running fundraising drives in aid

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PT

It’s that time of year when many people are receiving their exam results and perhaps wondering what career is right for them. So in order to give a little insight in to the life of an exercise professional we thought we’d ask our members and our Head of Compliance and Standards Rob Wilkie to finish this statement “You know you’re an exercise professional when...”.

We received over 30 comments when we asked the question on our Facebook page, here are just a few of our favourite answers from our members:

  1. “…when you don’t think twice about getting up at 5am five mornings a week to start training keen and enthusiastic clients at 6am” Terri Donoghue
  2. “…when you have enough integrity to recognise you are not qualified to work with a clients and refer them to the right person. Don’t mess around with people’s health.” Julian Charria
  3. “…when the most common question you get asked at dinner parties is “how can I get rid of my belly fat?”” Irm Saleem
  4. “…when you go to your wardrobe to get all dressed up… and you realise it’s 99.9% gym stuff.” Charlotte Blake
  5. “…when your client’s achievements are a greater source of pride than your own achievements.” Glen Williams
  6. “…when you listen to someone and go out of your way to be there 100% to support them. “ Charlotte Hayers

Here are Rob’s top answers:

  1. “…when you stop jumping from one fad to another, and stick with the evidence based methods.”
  2. “…when you don’t judge a colleague by what they look like; you judge them by how well they treat their clients.”
  3. “…when you run your affairs in a business-like manner by keeping accounts and paying your taxes.”
  4. “…when you don’t stand there and count reps.  If it was that easy, my four year old nephew would be the world’s best PT.  Instead we give positive and constructive feedback.”

To see the full conversation why not check it out over on our Facebook page

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With just one week to go until this year’s South East Convention (18th and 19th July), which will be taking place in association with FitPro at London’s Excel Centre, we thought we’d let you know about the great opportunities a REPs convention can offer! 

REPS BADGE CPD 3 LOGO

 

CPD Points

Gain three Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for attending the Conference.

CPD is recognised by professional bodies, clients and employers. Gaining CPD certification indicates that you are maintaining, improving and broadening your knowledge and developing the professional qualities necessary for your business or employer and your fitness clients.

CPD certification allows employers and clients to have confidence in the high standards of your performance; it is a quantifiable demonstration of capability and demonstrates your commitment to upholding world class standards within the fitness industry.

Networking

What would a REPs event be without the networking opportunities? Share your learning with the #AskREPs and #SEconvention hashtags.

To ask questions to the Nutracheck sponsored Q+A, please send your nutrition questions to: #AskREPs and we will put your questions to the panel!

nutracheckPresenters

To be at the REPs South East Convention is to learn from the fitness industry’s elite. All training providers meet rigorous standards to that uphold the quality of education, the value of the sessions and above all fitness safety.

Learning from presenters who take to the stage and give it their all is priceless. They share their passions and their knowledge, and simply shine on stage. They give you, the fitness experts the motivation to continue doing what you  do with passion, commitment and dedication!

Business Classes

Take your ideas home and ensure that your business is in the best shape it can be, by meeting the REPs business experts. Delivered by experts in their field: Eventbrite, Barnes & Co, Perkins Slade and Timely, covering : 

- How to attract more customers using social media
- How the REPs insurance benefits you
- How to organise your business diary to drive profits
-  Q&A with the panel 
- Tweet us your questions including #AskREPs

Exhibition

We are proud to be delivering our REPs convention is association with FitPro. This means that you have the added benefit of exploring the FitPro exhibition. Take a walk through the hall and discover the latest training providers and technologies, this is the perfect complement to your academic REPs learning content.

It’s certainly one event you won’t want to miss out on! To see our full line up and book your place to this year’s South East Convention click here.

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shutterstock_95075494The first stage of the All-Party Commission on Physical Activity report: ‘Tackling Physical Inactivity’, makes recommendation to address the harmful levels of inactivity in the UK.  The population’s sedentary lifestyles pose a serious threat to health, wellbeing and life expectancy posing a huge burden to public services. As exercise professionals we have a large part to play in raising activity levels for children and adults.

The study has found that only 51% of children reach the recommended levels of sixty minutes of daily exercise, which falls off dramatically by the time they reach adulthood. Only 22.5% of adults perform half an hour of exercise a week, as compared with the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more. This highlights the need to encourage activity at every stage of life, particularly in young children to establish an active lifestyle habit that they can take with them to adulthood.

As REPs members, we are a critical part of addressing this problem at every stage of life by ensuring that all instruction is of the highest quality.  Sport experiences must be to motivate and inspire children to maintain the recommended levels of activity into adulthood. In delivering physical activity for children therefore, we have the responsibility to ensure that we arm children with the necessary physical literacy from a young age, helping to encourage participation in sport at a later stage of life. If properly instructed from a young age, we can have a pivotal role in giving them the foundations and skills for an active life.

In terms of instructing adults, we need to ensure that we are regularly updating our qualifications and experience to address the afflictions of much of the population; rising obesity and physical illiteracy require that we need to keep updating our skill set to cope with this unique set of challenges that many more clients present to us. Many obese adults with low levels of physical literacy have received medical referrals and have to be taught very basic skills.

As the report highlights, for the first time in history, the current generation of young people is expected to die five years younger than their parents. It has never been more important to engage today’s young people in physical activity and keep them engaged into adulthood.

To read the report in full please click here.

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Newspaper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At REPs

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us reps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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wales banner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR MORE INFO AND TO REGISTER NOW!

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Dementia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 Image Credit: www.nuffieldbioethics.org

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not-enough-time

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

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

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

Make it part of the commute

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

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

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