It’s almost the weekend. Keep cool and your head down!
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It’s almost the weekend. Keep cool and your head down!
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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.Read More »
“I was able to avoid back surgery because of Lyen and the team at Peak Physique. About 3 months ago I started with my workout sessions at PPP. At the end of the first week I already felt an improvement with the sciatica pain which I was used to having everyday. I’ve got 5 herniated disks.
Since then, I have been doing 3 sessions per week and the combination of stretching and weight lifting has not only made me cancel my already scheduled date for back surgery but has also given me confidence which I had lost a while ago – I had stopped working out since it would aggravate the pain each time. I am looking and feeling good again!
Lyen is an experienced personal trainer who understands that everyone is different and a formula that works for some clients will most certainly not work for others. Basically, it’s a highly personalized program which I like to think of as the anti-“CrossFit”.
The gym is clean, bright and airy. The equipment is new and team friendly. There’s free and easy parking most of the time which also makes it convenient. I highly recommend Peak Physique, specially if you have some kind of medical limitation when it comes to exercising. They may be the solution you have been looking for. It’s working for me…”
Fernando DaSilva (Miami, FL)
(link to this review on Google)
Once you’ve decided to hire a personal trainer, how do you know you’ve found a good one? Great question.
Once you find a good hair stylist, you’re set, but if you get a bad one…ugh. It’s a little bit like that with a trainer. The best way to find a good one is to ask around—word of mouth is a great way to find someone great. However, you should also talk to a few trainers and ask some questions of your own. You may not know anyone who has hired a trainer so word of mouth may not be a viable option.
Here’s how you find a good one.
1) How many questions does the trainer ask that have nothing to do with fitness directly?
A good trainer will want to know about much more than your fitness goals. If you talk to one and they ask you about your attitudes and opinions about exercise, your work schedule, family commitments, your history of stopping and starting exercise, etc., you’ve probably found a great trainer. Why?
Great trainers realize that the workout program they create is the easy part. Any trainer can make a half-way decent workout program for most people. The real measure of fitness success is in your ability to adopt behaviors that become part of you. To make changes that last, a trainer must know the obstacles and opportunities for exercise in your schedule and all of the many non-workout factors that will determine your ability to absorb a fitness routine into your daily life.
2) Does the trainer teach you movement or just exercises?
This one might not be so obvious from your first conversation, but you can either ask directly or listen for how the trainer describes what they do. As my friend and fellow ACE consultant Chris McGrath says, “Exercise is optional; movement is essential.” Everyone moves, even if they don’t exercise. Thus, a good life starts with a foundation of quality movement when you’re doing chores, playing with your kids, walking the dog, putting away groceries and all the various tasks of daily life.
Perhaps more importantly, though, quality movement allows for exercise at an appropriate intensity that will stress your muscles (which is what you want) and not your joints. With the increased popularity of high-intensity training, trainers who don’t want to become good at teaching movement need to look for a different line of work.
How can you tell if a trainer focuses on movement quality? Here’s a big clue: When they describe what they do, they explain that they will first determine what your body is capable of given any current or previous injuries or limitations you may have. Regardless off how they describe it, the trainer you hire should care about how you move your body—both during and outside of the exercise session. Alternatively, you can ask them directly. For example, you could ask, “How will you address any specific joint issues I may have?”
3) Do you get a good workout at the first session?
I hope not. A terrible trainer puts people through hard workouts at the first session. A great trainer needs to get to know the people behind the programs they create—that’s what makes the training personal. Until I see you move and can gauge your response—both physically and mentally—to certain movements, it is impossible for me to create an effective program that will get you the results you want.
During the first session, a quality trainer might teach you movement skills or exercise technique, or address specific issues you may have, but they cannot possibly have a full workout ready to go until they spend some time with you in person. Hard workouts are easy to find and trainers that can deliver hard workouts are a dime a dozen. Any trainer who boasts of making clients sore for days is to be unequivocally avoided—they don’t know exercise, they only know intensity.
Ask around, or ask the trainer you are considering these questions. Better yet, why not do both? A trainer-client relationship is a very personal one and you want to know that you are wisely investing your body, your time and your money into working with a competent, caring professional, one who helps you find the right starting point to fitness and helps you progress at the right pace to keep you engaged mentally and appropriately challenged physically.Read More »
Watch international figure competitor, fitness model and and personal trainer Lyen Wong do her annual birthday workout. It’s her 39th this year…
Lyen also does individual birthday workouts with our clients if they’re lucky (or foolish) enough to come in for a training session on their special day!
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Carmen Geiss of “Die Geissens” fame on German television needed a German-speaking personal trainer to get back in shape while filming the new episodes of “Die Geissens” in Miami. Lyen Wong was just the right person for the job – watch the fitness routines that got Carmen her body back! The training sessions, both at the the mansion and at PEAK PHYSIQUE & PERFORMANCE, were also filmed by the TV crew that follows Carmen everywhere. They will air in Germany when the next season of the show starts later this year.Read More »
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 »