December was the start of FLM Training’s last Personal Trainer course of 2015. It’s been a busy year at FLM Training with several Gym Instructing Courses, Personal Training Courses and Sports Massage Courses being delivered in Manchester as well as various other locations in the UK such as Leeds, Cardiff and Newcastle.
We finished the year strong with 15 candidates on the Personal Trainer course, all of whom were keen and eager to learn by broadening their knowledge of training methods, weight management, muscle building and nutrition. The candidates consisted of gym instructors, bootcamp instructors and gym managers as well as professionals from other sectors who were looking to improve their knowledge for their own development. When we designed the delivery of the Personal Training course we made a conscious decision to focus on the client consultation and planning more than other providers. The reason for this is that we understand that the quality of what you deliver as a Personal Trainer depends on the quality of the consultation and ability to plan specifically for your client and their goals.
During the course all candidates learnt how to assess the client’s posture, blood pressure, circumferences and their relationships with health and also how to calculate body fat % and lean mass using skin fold callipers. The course is extremely practical and within the first couple of hours, candidates were pinching each other and taking skin fold assessments before calculating their body fat. Some of the candidates on this course have competed and aspire to compete in physique and bodybuilding competitions, as a result they found this section really interesting and relevant to their own training and programming.
As well as the anthropometric testing outlined above, we also discussed and looked at various fitness tests to implement with clients. A thorough assessment of any client is vital when starting off as it provides a more complete picture of their ability, starting point and any potential areas for improvement. During the Personal Training courses we split the Fitness testing into three categories: A) Range of Movement and Flexibility B) Cardiovascular Fitness and C) Muscular Strength and Endurance.
Range of movement testing is vital. Poor range of movement can result in injuries and some exercises can potentially exaggerate some conditions even further. For example, if a young man is slightly Kyphotic from a muscular imbalance between the chest and upper-back, focussing on chest development and strength would only exaggerate the problem and potential result in a shoulder injury. One of our favourite tests to teach is the overhead squat. This gives a dynamic and valid assessment of all major areas and joints such as the shoulders, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, hips and even calves.
Cardiovascular and Fitness testing is rather more specific to the individual, whereas the ROM testing above is generally required with all clients. We advise that all consultations should include both CV and Resistance assessments but mostly as a form of good practise. In most cases the tests completed will be specific to the individual and their goal. For example, you may not decide to complete a timed 10km run with a weightlifter but rather complete several strength based assessments.
Following on from this we then discussed the importance of evaluating a client’s food diary and nutrition habits. It was clear from the group that they have had experience in this and identified key things to look out for:
- Quality of food (Organic and Fresh vs Packaged and Processed foods)
- Calorie in take
- Macronutrient split
- Water in take
- Inflammatory foods or sources of refined foods or high in hydrogenated fat
- Alcohol and caffeine in take
- Nutrient timing
- Any supplements used
- Trigger foods!!
Almost all clients have a trigger or several trigger foods. These are the types of food we eat and say ‘I’ll only have one’ but leads to the whole packet being eaten and more! These are trigger foods which result in a lack of emotional and physical control. It is important to identify these types of food with new clients and initially steer clear from. This is an area we focus heavily on during our Applied Nutrition course which also looks at how to programme effective and sustainable nutrition plans with clients.
Following on from this weekend, the next weekend we will focus on programming, planning and periodising training. As well as this we will look at the various advanced resistance methods and CV training methods. The planning aspect is crucial and as a result it’s an area we focus heavily on as any Personal Trainer who ‘wings’ their sessions or programmes are in most cases setting themselves and their clients up to fail.
As well as the above we will cover nutrition strategies, delivery methods as well as discuss business strategies to help all the candidates become as successful as possible!
For more information on our Personal Training courses or the Applied Nutrition courses, please give us a call or drop us an email.