Every one of us has heard the news talk about how to pick a good trainer. Well as an owner/trainer of a fitness and wellness company I also have to worry about whether or not I have picked a good trainer to work for my company. I have hired and let go many trainers over the years, all for many different reasons. Every trainer I hire for example has to pass a qualifications test. The qualifications test involves a hand written test as well as a practical test. Even if a trainer can pass both tests he/she must be certified with an accredited Certifying body from the National Committee of Certifying Agency. If a trainer has a degree they must also be certified.
Now with that being said being a trainer is not just about having the knowledge to train clients. A trainer’s job consists of many levels. The first level of a trainer’s job is customer service. Whether a trainer is working in a big gym or a small fitness center or even a client’s home, the trainer must provide customer service. The second level to being a good trainer is to listen to the client’s needs. Now when I say client I mean anyone in the gym, the trainer does not have to be working with the person one on one. Listening to the client will help the trainer to understand what will best fit each client’s needs and goals. The third level of a trainer’s job is to be able to sell themselves not the service. I say this because if a client does not believe or trust the trainer then they will never do what is asked and then intern never reach their goals. The last level and most important is the trainer needs to be able to pass their knowledge to the client. If trainer cannot pass their knowledge to the client the client will never learn how to be successful to maintain and reach new goals on their own.
Ok, so the last section tells you more about what makes a good trainer. Now how do you pick a trainer that is right for you? First things first don’t ever choose a book by its cover. Many trainers are very qualified to train in many disciplines of exercise. Picking a trainer is like picking a school to attend. What you learned in school will last you a lifetime so should what a trainer teaches you. The connection you make with a trainer will last a lifetime, so pick your teacher well. Once you have selected a few different trainers you will have to check out the backgrounds for each one. For example; experience, type of experience, certifications (specialties), and last in what exercise discipline is the trainer most experienced. All of these questions should help you make your choice as to which trainer to work with in the present and future. There will always be one important fact that you will never find on any paper. Do you interact with the trainer well? Only you can answer that question.
Now you should have all of the tools you need to choose the trainer that will best help you reach and exceed your goals.
When everyone walks into a gym the first thing they most often see is machines. Every big gym has them. Are they great to work out on No, but they do help the client feel comfortable about training. They are easy to adjust and come with pictures. Although, when using machines you still need to follow a program.
Free weights, cables, resistance bands, exercise balls and steps all need to be shown to the clients to prevent injuries. This is why gyms have machines. Most clients are intimidated by this equipment because it does not come with pictures. This type of equipment though does make you activate more muscles. For example when you are using a chest press machine nothing has to be stabilized. When you are using dumbbells for a chest press every part of the range of motion needs to be stabilized. Hence more muscles are being activated. The more functional you can make an exercise the more it will benefit you down the road. I am not recommending you stand on an exercise ball either. That is an exercise that is not very functional unless you’re an elephant in the circus.
Many clients lack the strength needed to perform weighted functional exercises. Those clients need to start on machines to develop the base strength while still incorporating functional body weight exercises to also develop the stabilizing muscle strength. A prime example is a push up. Some older adults cannot even do a push up on their knees. Those individuals need to start on machines to develop that strength.
Once a client has developed a base of strength and stabilization it’s time to move on to complete functional training. Although this can take some time to get to this point. Most clients only want to train once a week with a trainer and then maybe come in once on their own to perform the same workout. This is ok but it severely slows the clients’ progress forward. Each individual adapts at a different rate and that is truly based on dedication to reaching their goals. The more a client trains the faster they will adapt and progress towards their goal. Every client however does need to have an assessment performed before ever touching a machine or anything else. This assessment will tell the client and trainer what muscles are active, over active or under active. By knowing this information a personalized program can be designed to address any muscular issues.
Functional training, why is it needed? Think about holding dumbbells and stepping up and down off of a box. In real life this is like carrying grocery bags up stairs. Now think about a dumbbell shoulder press. In real life it’s like putting a box up on a shelf in the closet. Ok, last one a dumbbell chest press. In real life it’s like holding a child over your chest while playing. Basically every exercise you perform that’s functional has a purpose in real life. That’s why free weights, cables, resistance bands, exercise balls and steps are considered functional equipment.
If you have performed a proper assessment and can move directly to functional training I highly recommend it. The more muscles you can activate during a workout means more calories burned, as well as, more strength developed. Don’t be afraid to move away from the comfort zone. Ask questions of a qualified professional. Hire a trainer and actually work with them often.
I hope this has helped to explain more about when to use machines VS everything else. Thank you for reading my article. Please feel free to always ask me questions or make comments about anything you have read. My email address is Bill@rossfitnesselite.com.
The phrase Interval Training is very often said. But what does it mean?
Interval Training can be either of the following:
Heart rate /Zone training or a mix of weights and cardiovascular in the same workout
On a basic level interval training is the raising and lowering of the heart rate during a given workout. So, why do we want to raise and lower the heart rate? For years the answer has been because it helps you lose weight faster. Well that answer is correct, but how do you lose weight faster.
The body is just like any machine. Meaning it has an optimal operating range. If your heart rate is too high it has a negative effect on the desired results. Now if your heart rate is too low it also has a negative effect on the desired results. So what is the optimal heart rate range? For each person it is different. For example there can be three adult males all 5’ 10” tall and weighing 195lbs. All three workout on a regular basis. All three have a different program that they follow. All three have a different optimal heart rate range. The first could be between 135 to 150 beats per minute. The second could be between 160 to 175 beats per minute. The third could be between 120 and 135 beats per minute. Each one of these three have trained their bodies to be efficient in their heart rate range. The heart rate range is where the body will burn the most body fat and build the most muscle fiber.
Can you change your heart rate range? The answer is YES YOU CAN! That is what interval training is all about. Earlier I spoke about the raising and lowering of your heart rate. Why do we want to do this? The reason is you have anaerobic threshold and an aerobic base. The anaerobic threshold is the top level of the optimal heart rate range. When this threshold has been crossed the body no longer burns body fat efficiently and instead uses muscle for a source of fuel. The reason your body use muscle as fuel is because your glycogen stores have been fully used. The aerobic base is the lowest end of the optimal heart rate range. When the heart rate has not reached the aerobic base it is not burning body fat and not building muscle fiber efficiently.
Interval training over time can both raise the anaerobic threshold and the aerobic base. Body fat loss will still occur during this type of training because your body will be in the optimal heart rate range 30% of the training time. The reason for 30% of the time is because if you have never participated in an exercise metabolic test then you will never know you personal optimal heart rate range.
Metabolic testing is the measurement of your carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange in the body, while monitoring the heart rate to see what is your personal optimal heart rate range. With most exercise metabolic tests you should receive a cardiovascular workout plan to increase both your anaerobic threshold and aerobic base. Ross Fitness does provide a cardiovascular workout plan to take you to the next level.
Now back to the original question of this article “Is Interval Training Good or Bad?” The answer is GOOD; because even when you have not participated in an exercise metabolic test there is a good chance you will be in your optimal heart rate range 30% of the time.
If you participate in an exercise metabolic test you can reduce how long it takes you to reach your personal goals by 50%. The reason is because you will know your personal optimal heart rate range.
Personal Training 30 Minutes VS 60 Minutes
Personal training is obviously a passion of mine. I understand not everyone feels or understands the passion I have for fitness training. Therefore Ross Fitness Elite offers 30 minute and 60 minute personal training sessions. In the past 30 minute sessions were primarily for rehabilitation sessions or the extremely unhealthy. Now as people are more pressed for time the 30 minute sessions are more popular than ever. The 30 minute session is a very intense session. Since there is less time to train a trainer must squeeze 60 minutes of a workout into 30 minutes. Hence, meaning less rest between sets and exercises. For some this is a great option, but not for all.
60 minute sessions are really the ideal session for the extremely unhealthy, as well as, the people needing rehabilitation training. 30 minute sessions as discussed earlier provide less time to rest and recover. There is also one more thing; it is less time to learn. Most people will never learn everything that is being taught to them the first time. Not to mention how much is being taught in 30 minutes. In the very first training session a trainer must perform an evaluation to best understand how to help you exceed your goals. This will include learning about muscular imbalances, joint range of motion, and strength/endurance. Everything the trainer discovers in that first session now needs to be put into a program and taught to you. Not only does the trainer need to teach you the exercises but they need to explain to you why the program is designed for them. Basically a trainer needs to give you a crash course in anatomy and biomechanics. Think about having to learn all of that as a beginner new to exercise in 30 minutes, let alone 60 minutes. This is why trainers always recommend no less than 12 sessions to any and all clients.
As you can tell from what you have just read there are pros and cons to both programs.
Do you believe in eating before you workout? If so what?