What are the benefits of having a personal trainer?

Those of us in the fitness industry know the joys both of being fit and of getting fit. Doing so with a personal trainer can be even better. Indeed, it is why many of us enjoy doing the job and many others are looking to train.

But outside the world of exercise some people do not understand personal training and the real benefits it can give to everyone, whether you’re an established athlete or an out of shape middle-ager. Sometimes you find yourself defending your craft or needing to discuss its positive impact on potential clients or friends and family.

To help you do so we have put together a pretty exhaustive list on the real benefits of having a personal trainer. These range from knowing how to lower cholesterol levels to getting that longed-for toned up body, but there are so many more. Read on and if you have further suggestions about why this profession is so great, and feel free to leave a comment below.

Understanding exercise

One of the most important things a personal trainer does for her or his client is to help them put their physical workout into a broader context. Yes, anyone can skip for ten minutes and go for a jog round the park, but a personal trainer is the real expert. They understand these activities and their impact on the body. They know when to do one activity rather than another and a good personal trainer will explain all this as they go along. Exercise isn’t just about the movements you make, it’s about the complex bodily systems that determine their impact on your physique. A lay person is not going to understand these issues, but with a personal trainer they will get the insight to understand why those star jumps really matter. And what’s more motivating than that?

Advice on healthy eating

As those of us in the industry or who are looking to join the industry know, personal training is not, however, just about the work out. A good personal trainer assesses, supports and monitors her or his client holistically. So many different things affect health and fitness, that it is important to understand each aspect and give advice accordingly. One really important part of this is advice around healthy eating. A lot of clients come to personal training to improve their overall health, and that is of course highly influenced by what they eat. You might be working with someone who wants to know how to lower cholesterol or control their diabetes. That person will be looking to you for advice on what to eat during their new exercise regime in order to get fitter and healthier.

Getting a personalised routine

Anyone with a clear goal in mind is also going to be keen on getting something personalised. This is where a personal trainer can really come in handy. We have all been to generic gym induction sessions where they show you how to use the equipment and give some basic tips on different moves. But really, if you want to get specific results and know you are going about it the right way, a personal trainer is the only option. PT styles differ, but many start with an assessment session where they will find out about the client’s goals and why they signed up. The trainer then works their magic tailoring a course or series of activities that are going to help that person achieve their goal. This is crucial; it’s only when people start seeing the results they want whether its getting good cholesterol levels or tighter abs that they really see the value and want to keep going.

Mixing things up

Sometimes though, it’s not the new fitness enthusiasts that come to personal training, but the oldies; people who have been working out on their own for years and got good results. The thing is, everyone gets in a rut now and then, and sometimes you need someone else to help you climb out. A personal trainer is a fresh pair of eyes, they can see what you’ve been doing and how you can mix things up to get better results or just reignite a passion for exercise that’s been draining away. There’s nothing like blaring out tunes in a park at 7 in the morning with someone shouting encouragement at you to spark that fitness flame once more.

Meeting other fitness bunnies

One of the reasons people sometimes get bored with their exercise regime is in fact because they are lonely. If you are not big into team sports or group exercise classes, you might find yourself feeling a little isolated in your work out regime. Hiring a personal trainer for some people is like getting themselves a morale-boosting fitness buddy. And as anyone who’s trained with a good friend before will know, they can make all the difference in giving you the confidence and enthusiasm to go at it hard. Not only does working out with a personal trainer give you another person who’s there the whole time, supporting you in your goals, they can also be a way into the exercise world. As personal trainers, we know a lot of other personal trainers, athletes, runners and general sport enthusiasts. It is a bit of a community and helping clients to get into that community, to meet other people, share tips and hobbies is a great advantage of hiring someone to get trained.

Quantify your health

Some people love exercising for the sake of exercising. They run 17 miles of an evening and enjoy the sunset while dripping in endorphins. And good on them for doing so. But for others, part of the joy and fascination in toning up is seeing the very real, physical and biological results this has. Personal trainers often have the best gear and know how to help clients truly quantify their health. This is a new trend, but it is growing fast and more and more people want to know exactly how far they ran, the number of steps they climbed or the calories sweated out during that spinning session. As a personal trainer, you can help them do so accurately and with expertise. You are their partner in reviewing the huge amounts of data gathered, selecting what’s relevant and helping hone their workout to maximise its benefit on the basis of this information. What’s more, many personal trainers understand health metrics which may also influence how a workout is designed. For example, you might know about blood glucose monitoring or maybe you understand the best way on how to lower cholesterol. All this will come in handy when helping your client.

Toning up for a big event

As any established personal trainer knows, one of the biggest groups of clients that comes to them for new work out sessions are the people shaping up in time for a big event. Be it a wedding, school reunion or important work social sometimes people want to feel their best and that involves getting rid of those chicken wings and muffing tops. For those trying to do this on their own they might have a bit of success, but it’s very easy for good intentions to go bad. Maybe they have a few productive weeks where they are eating right and running every other day. But then something happens: they have a night out with friends, a stressful week in the office and suddenly training hard and eating your greens does not feel quite as appealing. This is where the personal trainer comes in. Helping

your client reach their mile stone is what it’s all about and really where the personal trainer specialises. We understand what the client wants, when they want it and how much they can put it. Personal training is about triangulating these points to ensure that the person is able to reach their goal. That means when the going gets tough clients have someone standing on the sidelines, helping them through it, giving encouragement and seeing where the problems might occur. As personal trainers, we know that a stressful week at work might make people want to sit still and eat a tub of ice-cream, but we have the techniques and insight to change those habits and help them get back on the fitness wagon.

Essentially, the real benefit of hiring a personal training is outsourcing your commitment. Whatever goals people want to reach personal trainers are the ones who can help them to get them. We do the sorting, the organising, the thinking so that all clients need worry about is turning up in appropriate footwear and getting moving. There’s nothing like outsourcing commitment to achieve important goals, it’s a massive boost in potential for success and really does change outcomes. As personal trainers, we have seen clients come in unfit and unready for action, but by putting in the effort with our help the sky really is the limit.

5 Exercise (Medicine Ball) Workout

The Medicine Ball is a simple piece of kit accessible by home users and at any local gym, they offer additional intensity to core exercises while adding dynamic & functional movements to others. If you don’t already own a medicine ball, it’s a worthwhile investment for your home workouts. In this weeks workout, we’ll be using a Medicine Ball to stimulate the core, choose an appropriate weight and get started.


Equipment Required

Workout

Frequency, Intensity, Time & Type

Perform workout with 2 or 3 sets of 18 repetitions on each exercise with a weight between 1 & 8kg. This is a basic workout format, perform each exercise sets and reps before moving on to the next exercise. Rest between exercises.

Exercises

  1. Medicine Ball Weighted Crunch
  2. Medicine Ball Russian Twist
  3. Medicine Pass Around
  4. Medicine Ball Seated Rotation
  5. Medicine Ball Reverse Crunch

1. Medicine Ball Weighted Crunch

2. Medicine Ball Russian Twist

3. Medicine Ball Pass Around

4. Medicine Ball Seated Rotation

5. Medicine Ball Reverse Crunch


 

QUICK 5 EXERCISE MEDICINE BALL WORKOUT Workout Plan

Medicine Ball Quick 5 Exercise Core Workout Plan by Daniel Jeal Kiss Fitness Personal Trainer Social

Get the workout plan based on this QUICK 5 EXERCISE MEDICINE BALL workout with additional core focused progessive workouts over a 4 week training plan. This a simple workout plan to supplement any training regime or schedule.

You Get:

  • The Workouts and Plan to Download and keep.
  • 4 weeks access to Kiss Fitness Online
  • Messege a Personal Trainer
  • Track Stats and Workout
  • Full Video demonstrtions of workouts
  • Full instructions
  • Calender of planned workouts
  • Add your own workouts

All for £2.99

Purchase Workout Plan

TRX 6 Minute LBT Circuit Workout

This workout users the TRX! Don’t have one? Then you need one. The TRX Suspension Trainer is simply the most versatile piece of training equipment you’ll ever need, it will last for years. I highly recommend you purchase one, unlike the Swiss Ball which is gathering dust somewhere in your house, you’ll actually use this, you can work every area of your body with it, ditch that gym membership and get yourself one of these. Click the links below to search Amazon.co.uk for the current best deals.

 You are also likely to find The TRX Suspension Trainer hanging up in the functional training area of your local gym, take this workout with you. Buy this Workout on Kiss Fitness Online to track this workout via your phone or tablet using our Online Training App powered by Trainerize

This Leg’s, Bum’s & Tum’s Circuit workout is a quick fix, you can choose to do 1,2 or 3 circuits with each round lasting just 6 minutes. Ideal for when you are short of time, workouts don’t have to be long and this work certainly is not. It will however be effective. Choose an angle of intensity that challenges you to get the most benefit from this workout.

Equipment

Workout

Perform 1,2 or 3 rounds of 40 seconds work and 20 seconds rest.(6 minutes per round)

The Simple Guide to Creatine

Creatine pronounced (Kre’ah-tin) is becoming increasingly popular in the health and fitness supplements market. No doubt you’ve heard of it but it’s unlikely that initially you’ll have any idea of what it is or why it could help you achieve more and reach your goals.

Creatine is a supplement to primary increase muscle size, it’s not a weight loss supplement, creatine should be taken as per suppliers recommend guidelines together with a structured exercise programme for increasing muscle size and a balanced healthy diet.

It’s worth noting that it will only have any effect if you do indeed work out, it will have no effect if taken on it’s own without working out, other than increasing the amount of Creatine stored in your body which is useless as you are not working out.

What is it?

Creatine Structure

Creatine Structure (Image Credit; Wiki)

The most common form being Creatine monohydrate, it is a combination of amino acids naturally found in the body as well as dietary sources such as meat and fish. 

How does it work?

Before we get on to what Creatine does it helps to have some background knowledge to it’s role in muscle contraction.

Within our bodies and more specifically our muscles, creatine needs to connect with phosphate in order for it to be in a form that we can use, this is called Creatine Phosphate (CP). Muscle contraction is achieved by breaking down ATP (Adenosine Tri-phosphate) which enables contraction of the muscle and is the only energy source your muscles can use for contractile activity. 

At this point we probably have enough energy released to provide action for about 4-6 seconds, this is not much time at all and therefore ATP needs to be regenerated from it’s now broken down form of ADP (Adenosine Di-phosphate) back into ATP, this happens in a fraction of a second. This is achieved by the utilization of 3 pathways, one of these pathways uses Creatine Phosphate as the energy source to regenerate ADP into ATP.

Creatine is simply a high energy molecule that regenerates ADP to ATP, this is used in order to regenerate ADP to ATP, this all happens while slower metabolic pathways (the other two pathways used for regeneration of ADP to ATP) are adapting to the increase demand. Our muscles actually store more Creatine Phosphate than ATP and coupled together the stores of ATP and the almost instant regeneration of ATP with Creatine Phosphate allows for maximum muscle power for around 15 seconds, enough to complete a hard set of 6-8 bench presses.

What Does it Do?

We now know what Creatine is and how our bodies use it, so lets have a look at how it’s going to help your workout and the stimulation of muscle hypotrophy (increased muscle size)

The theory of using Creatine to cause muscle hypotrophy is that we can increase the amount of Creatine Phosphate stores in our muscles, which in turn will slightly increase the amount of maximum muscle power at any one time. Basically, this could increase the amount of reps by 2-3 on each set. This will ultimately lead to an increase in tearing and damage to the muscle. Providing we have a good diet and adequate rest, the muscle should re-build more muscle fibres and lead to muscle hypotrophy.

Summary

Creatine does not directly increase muscle size, it provides the means for this to be possible by giving your muscles the ability to perform additional reps at maximum power. This action leads to increased muscle damage and subsequently increased muscle repair and growth.

Side Effects

As with any additional supplement or performance enhancing product, sometimes side effects are reported and creatine is not without it’s fair share. Some of the most commonly reported side effects for creatine use are listed below: 

  •  Odema (water retention) especially in women 
  •  Undesirable weight gain (through water retention) 
  •  Muscle cramps and spasms Gastrointestinal (abdominal) discomfort 
  •  Muscle tears 
  •  Nervous twitches 
  •  Heightened awareness and insomnia 

As well as these side effects it’s possible there are others, supplements will effect people differently, it’s worth noting that in many cases people using Creatine do not report any side effects at all.

How Much Protein do Women Need?

Using protein supplements is often seen only necessary for males or those looking to gain huge bulk in muscle. However this is untrue as we all require protein in varying amounts depending on the demands we put on the body. Often the amount of protein our bodies require from training is more than what we can provide in our everyday diet. To enable full recovery of our muscle and maximize muscle growth that will tone and define, protein supplements might well be the answer. Here is a quick guide to protein for women.


The Basics

When we exercise we break down our muscles, followed by the re-building. This enables us to build strength. Using protein helps this re-building process – without it your body cannot repair itself and can lead to injuries. Without the raw material to build new muscles you won’t be able to progress your fitness, instead your routine will feel harder as you start to feel run down.

How much protein?

An average woman will need 80-100g of protein a day. This can be 2 eggs for breakfast, chicken breast for lunch and piece of fish for dinner.

Protein as a supplement

If you are not getting enough protein in your diet you can use a protein powder. Women may think using a powder is going to make you bulk up like Arnold Schwarzenegger! But don’t worry, just stick to whey protein (the raw form of protein) and this will aid the recovery of muscles and can reduce the effects of DOMS. Make sure you read the ingredients label before buying.

Protein powders are convenient and provide high quality protein. They come in a variety of flavors and can be mixed with water or milk. It doesn’t have to be boring either, you can sprinkle it on your cereal or porridge or make pancakes or home-made energy bars with it!

3 Reasons to Hire a Personal Trainer

Is having a personal trainer a luxury? well sure it’s easy to come to this conclusion when for many, it’s expensive and something they don’t have to have. For years personal training has indeed been seen as a luxury reserved for the high income individual or celebrity but that’s just not the case anymore. The personal training market is booming, there are many more personal trainers than there once were, for the consumer this generally means cheaper and more choice when it comes to hiring a personal trainer.


1. Prevention is better than cure

Health is a concern for most of us, we want to be in good health and lead relatively healthy lives, we even protect ourselves from sudden ill health with health insurance, but what if we prevented this is the first place. Now i’m not saying you don’t need health insurance but if you invest in a prevention method as well as a cure for ill health, you’ll be well covered. This is where personal training can really add value, planned workout programmes designed specifically for you and your abilities, done at a convenient time and usually you don’t even need to leave your house. We don’t normally consider the health benefits when we have a health & fitness goal to lose ‘x’ pounds in ‘x’ months but it’s certainly a by product of living a healthy lifestyle, being more active and reducing the risk of disease & illness is an investment, not an unnecessary cost!.

2. Get results, get healthy, get fit with accountability

One of the most common reasons that most people will fail or cease an exercise programme is that they don’t see the point anymore, they are not getting results or have an apparent lack of time. These are easy decisions to make although I might call them excuses. A personal trainer however brings in accountability, the fact you need to do what your trainer sets you and knowing they will check up on you and that there is a someone to report to. Much like in a work environment, if you didn’t have a boss, you might not be as productive. Don’t worry a personal trainer does’nt normally act like a boss, shouting orders at you, but the effect is similar.

3. Health is Wealth

One of the most valued feelings is good health, to be in good health, look and feel healthy, vibrant, stress free and always smiling. To be honest you can tell the stressed manager or director that doesn’t take care of their health, they look tired, they are normally pretty grumpy and generally not in good health. Increasing your fitness, becoming more healthy and start leading a healthy lifestyle through the professional assistance of a personal trainer will make you more productive, happier not to mention less stressed and vibrant.

 

Invest in your health today, hire a personal trainer, be it online or mobile, make a lifelong investment.

Breakfast | The Key to a Healthy Lifestyle

Eating breakfast is nothing new, I’m sure you have heard it all before, it’s likely someone has told you “you really should eat breakfast if you want to lose weight” a smart person they are too. The advice is often not received and I am baffled as to why? It makes no sense not to eat breakfast, well perhaps it’s knowledge that is the problem so let me help fill that gap and hopefully make some better decisions with your diet & nutrition.

Let’s start with why!

Looking at the issue form a logical point of view, by the time we wake up most of us should have had a healthy 7 to 8 hours of sleep, so that’s 7-9 hours of not eating, consuming or refuelling. Don’t panic, your body was in standby mode and therefore was burning much less energy however now you have got up and started burning fuel again.

In order to function normally, eating breakfast is what’s needed to kick start your metabolism and getting all your systems running healthy, without it your body is going to stay in starvation mode! That’s burning as little calories as possible to survive, your body after all is designed to survive, it’s amazing at adapting and will do this very well. However I’m sure if you are looking to lose weight you are going to want your body to burn more calories, use fat and reduce weight. Well the truth is, if you don’t eat breakfast it’s going be very hard to achieve that.

Take this example, of how you drive your car. If your car is low on fuel and a fuel station is not that close you are going to start driving your car really conservatively to conserve fuel, so no hard accelerating  low speeds and all to save fuel. That’s exactly what you body is doing before it get’s breakfast, the sooner we refuel, the sooner we can start driving normally. 

Now what should we eat

To be honest it doesn’t really matter, obviously a massive fry up or a bacon sandwich every morning is a concern so be sensible. The point is at this time of day nearly everything you eat will be turned into energy, your breakfast can be large, a large selection of breakfast foods from toast to fruit, yoghurt and cereal. Why not mix and match! Take your time over breakfast, enjoy and restart your fuel system and fire up your metabolism for the day.

Why don’t we?

I believe the biggest reason we don’t eat as we should in the morning is time, we just don’t have much time or we don’t plan well enough. If you have to get up earlier, do it and that’s even better as you will burn more calories.

We don’t have much time for breakfast with our busy lives but we do have to MAKE time. 

 

4 Ways to Increase your Motivation to Exercise

Getting out of the front door is absolutely the hardest part of any workout or group exercise session. Once you’re out of the front door you are halfway there. However, the getting out of the door part is often a major psychological barrier, it’s often the reason why you might not workout today or give the exercise session a miss. 

If you have been exercising for a while, you are into a regular habit and this is not a problem then you are already past any psychological barriers and have exercise as part of your lifestyle, if not, this is what we are aiming for. To do that we need to make ourselves accountable and avoid the ‘excuse” cycle towards inactivity.

 


Create accountability

In order to increase exercise adherence you need to create some form of accountability, if no one cares you are going to workout, going to an exercise session or working out then you have no consequences and no feedback from not going.

Reasons for not going might include:

  • I don’t have time
  • I’m tired
  • I have something else to do
  • etc etc etc

Truth is, these are not reasons, they are excuses!

Creating accountability to increase exercise adherence, keep us motivated and move towards a lifestyle activity rather than something we have to do to lose weight, get fit, feel healthy etc can be done by;

1. Train with a friend

Taking a friend along, making an arrangement to pick them up and training together creates accountability and responsibility, this makes you less likely to back down, more likely to achieve your goals. Instead of a barrier to going we’ve created a barrier to not going which wasn’t there before, a consequence to our actions.

Arrange to meet a friend at a session, at the gym or just to go for a run will focus you towards the activity, make you accountable and make it more enjoyable sharing the experience with a friend.

2. Book a class

If you are attending a group exercise session, BOOK IT! Why because you create consequences for not going, it focuses you towards that session and it’s now clearly allocated within your diary. Now you are thinking I AM GOING not I COULD GO. 

3. Tell friends & family your goals

Share you goal with friends and family, if they know what you are wanting to achieve they can help you along the journey and provide motivation when you most need it. 

4. Hire Personal Trainer

Personal trainers provide many of the benefits outlined above and much more, real accountability with long term planning, goal tracking and constant progression and motivation. I mentioned getting out the door is the hardest part, well when you hire a mobile personal trainer you often don’t need to get to that point as the trainer comes to you with all the equipment needed. Aside from saving you bags of time, its convenient and highly effective. 

If you struggle to motivate yourself, employ some of the tactics above and/or hire a personal trainer. Stop making excuses and start making reasons to workout that will lead you to a lifestyle habit.

4 Reasons why you should be Stretching

Stretching is thought of as a component of warm ups and cool downs and indeed, it plays an important role in these phases of preparing the body for actions about to take place during a workout and lengthening muscles post workout back towards their original state. However Stretching is not just a component of warm up and cool downs, its a fundamental component of ‘fitness’ thus true fitness is not achieved through muscle building and aerobic exercise alone. 

Depending on your goal, be it health related, function or for sport and performance, flexibility training will play an important role in all these. Adaptations to FITT principles, Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type to achieve the desired result. 

 


Benefits of a Stretching Workout

1. Improved Posture

Muscle imbalance is a cause of poor posture and and pain and discomfort in all areas of the body. General stretching will help, however for most cases targeted stretching combined with strength training on week or inhibited muscles is required. 

2. Increases Mobility

Improving ranges of motion of joints and allows free movements, some exercises and every day tasks might not be possible with limited mobility, stretching will correct and allow for further progression in training whist improving the ability to perform everyday tasks.

3. Injury Prevention

Good mobility & flexibility allow for full ranges of joint movement through their planes of movement reducing injury risk and ability to cope with hyper extension of muscles.

4. Increased Performance

A sports person will of course include stretching specific programming to ensure excellent ranges of movement through actions they regular perform in their sport or activity, this reduces risk of injury and increase performance.

What stretching should you do?

Including stretching in your workout routine as a separate workout is excellent but remember to plan for your desired goals. Any workout should take into account your end result, why you need flexibility, your likes and equipment available. 

The combinations of workouts for different goals is vast and varied with many types of equipment therefore, I’ll not be documenting every kind of stretch and workout but getting you to think about what Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type of stretching is required to adequately and safely perform your task, activity or sport with better performance and reduced risk to injury.

If you suffer from muscle stiffness, static stretching will help lengthen tight muscles and relieve stiffness holding for 20-30 seconds or until the stretch discomfort decreases, you should be stretching to a point you feel mild discomfort but not pain.

For muscle imbalances, it’s likely regularly activity or positions adopted have resulted in tight muscles, hear we would want developmental stretching (holding for a longer period up to 30 seconds and more if needed). Introducing the form roller for SMF (Self Myofascial Facilitation) would aid lengthening of very tight muscles.

A sports person will be training to allow maximum ranges of movement without risk of injury in the actions and movement patterns they perform. A combination of static, developmental, SMR and PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) will achieve this. 

There is a good chance for most of us all this sounds like a different language, that’s why getting the help of a professional is essential in building well planned programmes for your goals, a personal trainer is trained in advanced stretching techniques and programming, they should be your first stop for achieving your goal in a safe and effective manner.

12 Reps but not 13! (How to choose the correct free-weight)

10 reps, OK, done! Is it? Whether you’ve joined a gym, Googled a workout or been given a workout program you are no doubt familiar with sets and reps, that is the number of sets and repetitions of an exercise to perform. 

If you’re going for 12 reps (this kind of rep range is quite common, it’s bang in the middle of strength & hypertrophy so you’ll likely see it a lot for generic programs) then if you’ve executed 12 repetitions and you could have done 13 or worse, more………

Then….Your weight’s not heavy enough!

It’s a trial and error game to be fair and if your executing each set as intended you’ll no doubt see some decent gains in strength and this will therefore change the weight you need over time.

Unfortunately it’s you women who tend to under estimate the weight and us men whom over estimate the weight, for fears of looking like Arnold schwarzenegger and dreams of (for us men), you likely pick up a weight much less than what’s effective for your goals. It’s likely you see little results and come February you’ve had enough and ditched the whole thing. If it was that easy, men wouldn’t be in the gym everyday picking up the heaviest weights they can shift off the rack, but they are! while consuming every protein shake and recovery drink they can afford. So trust me, If you’re aiming for the 12-15 rep range, you WILL develop some lovely tone and definition but will NOT look like Arny! You will NOT.

When I ask my clients to perform a set of exercise and I’ve set them 12 reps, I’ll always say. I want you to do 12 reps, the 12th should feel tough, possibly not doable but you defiantly don’t want to be able to do the 13th! That’s the intensity you’ll need to get the results you want. This is a classic example of why personal training is so valuable, because you will do it and you will do it right. 

Don’t just do the reps, do it right, the right intensity for your goals, if you’re in doubt and want some sound advice and a training planed designed for you, consider training online with one of our qualified personal trainers.

Rep Range Guide

The Repetition Maximum Continuum Photo