Leticia is getting in shape for the “Nuestra Belleza Latina” contest and she’s already progressed to the second round! Today her training was plyometrics (in the garage behind the studio) followed by some relaxing stretching.Read More »
You do not need to be a bodybuilder to benefit from strength training. A well-designed strength-training program can provide the following benefits:
- Increased strength of bones, muscles and connective tissues (the tendons and ligaments). This increased strength decreases the risk of injury.
- Increased muscle mass. Most adults lose about one-half pound of muscle per year after the age of 30, largely due to decreased activity. Muscle tissue is partly responsible for the number of calories burned at rest (the basal metabolic rate, or BMR). As muscle mass increases, BMR increases, making it easier to maintain a healthy body weight.
- Enhanced quality of life. As general strength increases, the performance of daily routines (carrying groceries, working in the garden) will be less taxing.
Starting with the basics
Many exercises can be combined into a program that works all the major muscle groups. Neglecting certain groups can lead to strength imbalances and postural difficulties. A certified fitness professional can help you develop a safe, effective program. You may also wish to consult with a certified fitness professional to learn safe technique before beginning a strength-training program.
One set of eight to 12 repetitions, working the muscles to the point of fatigue, is usually sufficient. Breathe normally throughout the exercise. Lower the resistance with a slow, controlled cadence throughout the full range of motion. Lifting the weight to a count of 2 and lowering it to a count of 3 or 4 is effective. When you are able to perform 12 repetitions of an exercise correctly (without cheating), increase the amount of resistance by 5 to 10% to continue making safe progress.
An encouraging aspect of strength training is the fact that you’ll likely experience rapid improvements in strength and muscle tone right from the start of your program. Don’t be discouraged, however, if visible improvements begin to taper off after a few weeks. It’s only natural that, as your fitness level improves, improvements in strength and appearance will come at a slightly slower pace. To help keep your motivation up, find a partner to train with you.
Aim to exercise each muscle group at least two times per week, with a minimum of two days of rest between workouts. Training more frequently or adding more sets may lead to slightly greater gains, but the minimal added benefit may not be worth the extra time and effort (not to mention the added risk of injury).
Mixing it up
Machines and free weights are effective tools for strength training, and a combination of the two is generally recommended. Utilizing both machines and free weights provides exercise variety, which is important for both psychological and physiological reasons. Variety not only reduces boredom, but also provides subtle exercise differences that will enhance progress.
The benefits of strength training are no longer in question. Research continues to demonstrate that strength training increases both muscle and bone strength and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. A safe strength-training program combined with cardiovascular and flexibility training will give you the benefits of a total fitness program.Read More »
“Lyen is a great motivator and she really makes you want to exercise and eat healthy. She is very honest and upfront with you about your goals and training program. There is never a dull moment with her program, she switches up the routine and makes it so that you are able to do it. When you tell her you can’t go on she says “yes, you can”. She is awesome and I am very happy with her. She makes me feel comfortable and she gets to know your fitness level so that you can gradually build up and become stronger. If you’re looking for specific needs and want to see results, I highly recommend Lyen.”
Julia K. (Homestead, FL)Read More »
- Custom programming. A knowledgeable personal trainer will create a customized exercise program for you, designed to help you reach your unique health and fitness goals. A trainer will also take into account special considerations (e.g. existing medical condition, pregnancy, post-rehabilitation, medications taken, etc) when creating a program exclusively for you.
- Safe and correct technique. When exercising, safety is the number one priority. A personal trainer will teach you the proper mechanics of each exercise and will ensure that you are performing each with correct form, thus maximizing the efficiency of your workouts.
- Motivation. Having a scheduled session with a trainer promotes accountability on your part, and can assist in developing adherence in the long run to making exercise a regular part of your routine. In addition to the outside motivation, a personal trainer can also help you develop a more positive outlook on exercise by exploring options for making exercise more enjoyable, reviewing short-term progress towards goals, and assessing feeling- and mood-state changes related to exercise, thereby improving self-confidence and self-motivation.
- Boredom prevention. A personal trainer can help you select activities that you enjoy, and also choose exercises that will keep you challenged and on track towards reaching your fitness goals. Personal trainers have vast knowledge of various exercises, tools and techniques that can make your workouts both fun and effective.
What can I expect during my initial training session?
During your initial meeting with a trainer, he or she will begin the process of getting to know you, in terms of your health and fitness goals, your health and exercise history, as well as your likes and dislikes. It is this information along with your trainer’s expertise and experience that will assist them in developing a customized program for you. Depending on your fitness goals, your trainer may administer a variety of assessments during the initial session, or may reserve some assessments until a point in your program that is more appropriate. The assessments that are ultimately selected are done so in line with your fitness goals, and are used to establish a baseline for progress comparison further down the road. Assessments are also used to gauge your current level of fitness, which can assist the trainer in developing your customized program (in terms of selecting proper exercise intensity, appropriate weight for strength training exercises, etc) and meeting your health and fitness needs. Examples of assessments that may be conducted include body composition assessments, movement screens and postural assessments.
How many times a week should I work out with my trainer?
Just like the program itself, how many times you meet with a trainer is a very individualized decision that depends on a variety of factors, including your schedule, fitness goals and your motivation level. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of a quality personal trainer is to promote self-efficacy within the client, enabling them to take ownership of their exercise experience. It is for this reason that a good trainer will seek to truly educate clients (about things such as proper form, appropriate intensity, ways to stay motivated, ways to progress, etc) as opposed to just simply putting clients through a workout without having them understand the rationale as to why certain exercises were selected, and how the developed program relates back to their health and fitness goals.
How do I know which trainer is right for me?
It is important to note that not all trainers are created equal. When in comes to selecting the right personal trainer for you do some research and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember that it is your body and also your time and money. Choosing the right personal trainer ensures that you will receive the most from your training sessions and also that you will enjoy the experience. Keep in mind that an investment in the right personal trainer is an investment in your health and your success.
1) Look for an NCCA-accredited professional
A personal trainer should hold a current NCCA-accredited certification. This will give you the assurance that you are working with a professional who has the knowledge and skills to provide you with a safe and effective workout.
The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) has decades of experience accrediting health professions such as registered dietitians, nurses, athletic trainers, and occupational therapists. A fitness industry initiative launched in 2003 called for organizations offering personal trainer certifications to seek NCCA-accreditation of their certification exams in order to raise the standard of personal training and better serve and protect consumers. Currently, only 10 of nearly 70 certification agencies have achieved this recognition. For a complete list of the NCCA-accredited certification agencies, visit the ICE webiste and select “Fitness and Wellness”. Never be afraid to ask to see a copy of a personal trainer’s certification to ensure that it is current. You can always contact a certification agency to verify a trainer’s status. Most certification renewal periods run between 2-4 years and require that personal trainers take continuing education designed to keep them up-to-date on the latest information and training techniques.
2) Consider experience and specialization
Ask how many years of experience a personal trainer has working with clients, particularly those with your needs or limitations. Does he/she have expertise in a certain area of fitness or prefer to work with certain types of clients, for example sports conditioning, pre-natal fitness or post-rehabilitation? If you have a medical condition or a past injury, a personal trainer should design a session that accounts for this. If you are receiving care for a medical or orthopedic condition, a personal trainer should obtain your consent to discuss exercise guidelines and contraindications with your healthcare provider. Your personal trainer should also ask the doctor for medical clearance.
3) Choose the right training environment
Some personal trainers are one man/women shows that come to you and train you at your building and/or outdoors, others are employed by large gyms or work for specialized personal training only studios. You should consider what kind of environment you want to train at and if you will have the right equipment available to reach your objectives. Working out at your home gym, the gym room at your building or outdoors may not provide you with the professional equipment you need to best results. Large gyms are usually well equipped but you have to share the space with many other members, especially at crowded peak hours. Specialized personal training studios usually provide a focused training environment and the right equipment. Just make sure that the place you choose is conveniently located so that you can comfortably built your training schedule into your day.
4) Do your research
Do a search online and find out if other clients have reviewed the personal trainer you’re looking at. Also, ask the trainer for names, phone numbers and testimonials of other clients he/she has worked with, particularly those who share similar traits and goals. Trainers may be more likely to empathize and understand your unique challenges and needs if they’ve worked with similar clients. If available, call previous clients to see if they were satisfied with their training experience and results. Inquire whether the personal trainer was professional, punctual and prepared, and whether the client’s individual needs were addressed.
5) Consider the rates
Personal training fees vary based on a trainer’s experience and reputation, facility prices and geographic area, but they are well worth the investment. Although you may meet with your trainer more frequently at first, your financial investment should decrease as you become more independent, knowledgeable and fit.
6) Check for professional liability insurance and business policies
Find out if the trainer you want to hire carries professional liability insurance. A reputable personal trainer should make sure you understand the cancellation policy and billing procedures. The best way to avoid confusion and to protect your rights is to have those policies in writing.
7) Trust your instincts
Developing a personal, yet professional relationship with your trainer is very important. Ask yourself if you think you could get along well with the trainer and whether you think the trainer is genuinely interested in helping you. The personal trainer you select should motivate you using positive, not negative, reinforcement. Importantly, that trainer should be someone you like.
8) Decide if this is someone you can work with
Some people like to exercise in the morning, some in the evening. Can a personal trainer accommodate your schedule? What about the trainer’s gender? Some people do better working with a trainer of the same sex; others prefer the opposite sex. The knowledgeable and experienced personal trainer who fits your style is the one to hire – because that is the professional who will help you achieve the best results.Read More »
Personal trainers will not make you slim and fit just by hiring them. But the right trainer can and will be of great assistance when embarking on your health and fitness journey. This is what a qualified and experienced personal trainer will do for you:
- Qualified and properly trained personal trainers help you set realistic and attainable goals to meet your fitness needs
- A personal trainer will help you to safely start and maintain an effective and professionally designed exercise program
- Working with a personal trainer will assist you in sticking to your exercise program and holding yourself accountable
- A good personal trainer is a great source of motivation and encouragement, as well as a resource for the latest objective health and fitness information
- He or she can also help you fit exercise into your busy schedule and teach you how to make the most out of your time in the gym
- And the most important reason: personal training gets results!
We have created PEAK PHYSIQUE & PERFORMANCE to produce results for each of our clients in the most efficient yet safe way.Read More »