3 Tips to Becoming a Successful Trainer

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What makes a successful trainer these days? Is a successful the trainers who have the largest followers on Instagram, Facebook, etc. or is it the personal trainers making over 6 figures a year? The answer, depends on your definition of “successful”. The answer should be none of the above, but this unfortunately is not the case if you ask most people in the fitness industry these days.

The most popular fitness trends and fads are exactly what is wrong with my beloved fitness industry and in need of a desperate change. Personal trainers have stopped truly caring about their clients best interest and overall health, and more about making money off promoting garbage and unnecessary supplements in addition to cookie cutter nutrition plans that are being recycled and peddled to the masses. Want to become a successful trainer, then start with not selling out your integrity. Want to be successful and help thousands of people better their quality of life, then start by following these simple steps.

1. Educate Yourself

One of the best decisions you can ever make for yourself and others is educating yourself.  When I first was debating on entering into the fitness industry over 8 years ago, I first wanted to know more information about health and fitness besides from what I had learned reading Men’s Health magazines. I started my journey by walking into several local gyms in my area asking what I needed to do to become a trainer. The very first question every manager asked was, “are you certified?” Obviously, being brand new my reply was “no.” So, I asked every manager I spoke which certifications they recommended or they thought were the best. Several pointed me towards the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

So, anxious to learn more, I went online and researched NASM and along with other certifications to make sure I didn’t waste my money or time. In the end, I ordered my NASM course material and book and would say this was by far the best investment I would ever make in my future. Once certified, I was offered several jobs at local gyms and was lucky to pick a great gym with amazing mentors. I have since received several other certifications, read hundreds of books on health and nutrition, and while each have taught me a lot, I would say NASM is the best structured and most scientific certification I have come across to date.

beebs carbsSince becoming a trainer and working for years mastering my craft, I have watched my industry go from bad to worse when it comes to education. The majority of personal trainers these days are not only certified, they don’t even have the slightest clue as to proper nutrition or even basic exercise science. To top that off, they are using Bro-Science which by definition according to Urban Dictionary ” is the predominant brand of reasoning in bodybuilding circles where the anecdotal reports of jacked dudes are considered more credible than scientific research.” Not only does this way of thinking not work with most individuals, it is actually dangerous when working out with improper form or writing meal plans and recommending supplements that have toxic and untested chemicals you can’t even pronounce in the ingredients, yet explain why you should be consuming them. This equities to you basically paying to be a walking science experiment.

2. Always Be Prepared

The First Meeting, Consultation or Session

Next tip, is to “Always Be Prepared” which is also the Boy Scout motto. What does “being prepared” mean? First, this starts with your first meeting or consultation with your respective client. This is your best time to gather as much information about your client before starting your fitness program with them. While asking a lot of questions is important, knowing which ones to ask and what to cover is even more important.

Best advice I can give you on this, is you can’t help someone if you can’t identify problems before you even step out on the workout floor with them. While there is a lot of subjective feedback you can get from your potential clients verbally, you can also identify as much if not even more by objective feedback from doing posture assessments, weight, body fat, and other measurements. If you client has postural imbalances or from a previous injury, you are increasing the chances of having that client injury themselves with you or worst if you don’t fix or address the problem.

During Your Sessions

image“Success is where preparation meets opportunity.” Having a plan and building your clients workouts in advance before you meet with them increases you likely hood for success. First thing you should do with a client before starting your workout is making sure your client has warmed up, foam rolled and has stretched any tight muscles or problem areas that may be bothering them. Your client may be coming into a session tight from work, have been sitting at a desk all day or still tight from your last workout, so it’s your job to make sure they take care of tight muscles and you identify and address any problems before you start to train them. Leaving any altered, shortened, or tight muscles constricted before exercising is not only dangerous, but drastically reduces your clients ability to efficiently and effectively train or get the most out of each workout.

Once you have ensured your client is warmed up and ready to work out, it’s time to start your workout. When training a client, always start with light weights and slow controlled movements with either dumbbells or light machines. When spotting a client, always watch the movement around their joints which indicate what muscles are being targeted, proper movement patterns, and range of motion around a joint. If a client is feeling pain in a joint or muscles other then the specific muscles you are targeting, stop immediately, get feedback from your client and either reduce the weight or intensity, or change exercises completely. If the pain continues after doing all the above, stop the workout.

When working out with clients, you should make sure you are being efficient and effective with your their time, energy, and money. Use circuits and supersets to optimize your time. If your client wasn’t sore for a day or two after your last workout, it is time to change up your workout. If your client is still sore in the muscle group you were planning on hitting, Use F.I.T.T.E. (Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type, Enjoyment) principles to ensure your clients don’t plateau and continue to progress and enjoy their workouts.

3. Don’t Sell Out!

Too many trainers are quick to sell out their clients to supplement companies in order to make a few extra bucks or jump on the latest popular fitness fads from selling their clients body wraps or starting a cross fit gym because they don’t cost much to start and have high profit margins if you can get enough members. You don’t have to be up-selling your clients if you need to make more money. If you really and truly help your client feel better, enjoy themselves while being active, and improve their overall quality of life you will be both monetarily rewarded through them referring you to everyone they know, to ensuring they will most likely stay with you for many years to come. The biggest killer in the fitness industry is turnover and client retention. If your clients trust you and you actually deliver results and not at the cost of their health or happiness, then you are truly a successful trainer.

 

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5 Simple Tips to Conquer Every Day Like a Super Hero!

Super Hero

Do you ever wonder how some people are so successful? We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How does so many people accomplish more than others. It’s no accident and start with these 5 simple tips to help you conquer every day like a super hero and seize every day.

1. Prepare for your day, the night before

This is one of the most influential things you can do to set you up for success the next day. Start by making a short “To-Do List” of 5-10 things you plan to accomplish for the next day. Next, schedule time to accomplish these tasks. Why schedule it? If you don’t take the time pencil it in to your schedule or calendar on your phone, the odds are against you that procrastination will kick in or something will come up and it will be pushed to the end of the day after work, time with the family, or even forgotten.

2. Get At Least 7 Hours of Sleep

Sleeping Baby

The rest of this blog post is worthless if you don’t make sleep a priority. Who cares if you wake up at 4 A.M. if you went to bed three hours earlier?

You won’t last very long!

You may use stimulants to compensate, but that isn’t sustainable. In the long-run, your health will fall apart. The goal needs to be long-term sustainability.

Getting a healthy amount of sleep is linked to the following:

• Increased memory
• Longer life
• Decreased inflammation
• Increased creativity
• Increased attention and focus
• Decreased fat and increased muscle mass with exercise
• Lower stress
• Decreased dependence on stimulants like caffeine
• Decreased risk of getting into accidents
• Decreased risk of depression

And tons more… Seriously! Google it.

3. Don’t Skip Breakfast

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I’m sure you’ve heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet either skip it or eat a small bite before running out the door to head to work. This is a big mistake. When you wake up in the morning, your blood sugar levels are at rock bottom. You’re body has been burning calories while you were sleeping for at least 7-9 hours. This means your tank is on empty and your brain is running on fumes at best. It’s important to fill up the tank, before you start your day to give your brain and body the fuel it needs to get the pistons firing on all cylinders.

4. Get Your Workout in Before You Go To Work

If you want to be among the healthy, happy, productive, and successful people in the world, get in the habit of regular exercise in the morning before excuses and life get in the way. Exercise has been found to decrease your chance of depression, anxiety, and stress. It is also related to higher success in your career. Whatever your preference, get your body moving. If you don’t put your health first, every other aspect of your life will suffer as a consequence.

5. Consume More Protein

Types of ProteinTim Ferriss, in his book, The 4-Hour Body, also recommends 30 grams of  protein 30 minutes after waking up.

Protein-rich foods keep you full longer than other foods because they take longer to leave the stomach. Also, protein keeps blood-sugar levels steady, which prevents spikes in hunger.

Eating protein first decreases your cravings for white carbohydrates. These are the types of carbohydrates that includes bagels, toast, and donuts.

For people who avoid dairy, meat, and eggs, there are several plant-based proteins. Legumes, greens, nuts, and seeds all are rich in protein.

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How to keep sodium from ruining your weight loss goal

One of the largest obstacles in the majority of people not hitting their weight loss goals is due to sodium, not just calories. Sodium does not add fat or calories. However, sodium does cause your body to retain water. Most people are very conscious of calories and the accompanying affect these days on weight gain, though few understand how much the sodium hidden in their food and beverages is weighing them down. Literally! Here are a few tips to help you overcome this unnecessary road block on your way to your weight loss goal and a healthier body.

1. Read EVERY Label

Most manufacturers add sodium to most processed and prepared foods and beverages not only for taste, but to preserve them. Sodium is an essential electrolyte the body needs, but in small doses. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg if you’re age 51 or older, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. One tablespoon (15 milliliters) of soy sauce, for example, has approximately 1,000 mg of sodium. Click HERE to view the Center for Disease’s Dietary Guidelines for Sodium.

2. Prep Your Own Food

The best way to ensure you don’t fall victim to sodium, prepare your own meals everyday and week. Even though a lot of restaurants post their calories on the menu, few have sodium added on their menu. According to the CDC, 75% of sodium Americans consume is in processed foods and restaurant meals. Also, most processed foods typically have salt or other additives containing salt. Processed foods include bread, prepared dinners like pasta, meat and egg dishes, pizza, cold cuts, bacon, cheese, soups, and fast foods. If you are looking to start making major cuts at home, I would recommend starting with cutting or reducing some of these foods from your diet first.

3. Don’t Add More Salt

While some recipes call for adding salt, many foods already have sodium in the naturally.  Some foods naturally containing sodium include all vegetables and dairy products, meat, and shellfish to name a few. Condiments also contain salt, so be sure to read the labels and add in moderation.

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4 Reasons To Eat More Protein


Complete Proteins

Are you consuming enough protein? For the majority of you the answer is no and I’ll explain the 4 reasons why you need more protein in your diet. There are so many different types of food, protein shakes, bars, powders these day. It’s hard to know which actually provide an adequate amount or quality of protein and which supplements are just sugar and fairy dust these days with the amount of health misinformation out numbering the actual health facts.

1. What Is Protein, and Why is It Important?

First, lets start with what protein is, and why it’s so important to get sufficient amounts of it in even if you are not a frequent visitor to the gym. The building blocks of muscle are protein and the building blocks of muscles are amino acids. They are used for many functions such as building/repairing body tissue/structures, synthesis of your hormones, and enzymes. There are two main classes of protein: essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body or can but in insufficient amounts. Non-essential amino acids are called non, due to the fact the body is able to manufacture them from dietary nitrogen as well as from fragments of carbohydrates and fats.

2. Not All Protein is Created Equal!

While most of you eat protein in almost every meal, not all protein is equal. What does that mean? There are two types of proteins: complete proteins and incomplete proteins. A complete protein is any food or dietary supplement that supplies all of the essential amino acids in the appropriate ratios. An incomplete protein on the other hand lacks in one or more of the essential amino acids the body requires. If one or more essential acids are missing or there is an inadequate amount at the time of digestion your body’s protein will be reduced.

Types of complete protein sources are: Whole egg, meat and poultry, fish, milk and milk products, quinoa, and whey protein. If you are a vegetarian or vegan there are a list food combinations you can eat together to ensure you are consuming all of the essential amino acids. These combinations are rice and beans, peanut butter on whole wheat bread, yogurt and granola, oatmeal with milk.

3. Why does cutting your caloric and carbohydrate intake actual hurt you more then help?

I’ve come to learn that most of us hurt our metabolism and weight loss programs more than help it when drastically reducing our carbohydrate and caloric intake in addition to increasing our activity levels. The reason for this is due to your body’s constant need for energy for our brain and nervous system. When cutting your calorie or carbohydrate intake too low, the body has no choice but to utilize your protein intake for immediate energy needs then using it for building muscle and other essential functions.

4. How much protein should you consume?

This is a component of peoples diet that most struggle with. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for sedentary adults is 0.4 grams per pound. According the Center for Disease Control, it’s recommended that 10–35% of your daily calories come from protein. These percentages vary depending on what your goals are. For instance, a strength athlete requires more muscle and in turn more protein to gain muscle mass while endurance athletes don’t require as much lean body mass, so the required amount of protein needed is less. No matter what the percentage amounts to at the end of the day, your protein numbers should fall within the recommended ranges below depending on the sources/types of protein, weight, and goals according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

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A Successful Workout Is When Preparation Meets Opportunity

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I’ve heard almost every excuse in the book as to why people are not able to achieve success with their workout, ideal physique, and/or fitness goals. Here are the 5 most valuable tips I share with all my clients to overcome obstacles that you get for free, so pay attention and take notes!

1. Track Your Food 

You will never be able to create solutions without being accountable and identifying problems. Any time you go to change your body composition it comes down to calories in vs. calories out or energy in vs. energy out. I teach my clients to treat calories like currency to help them better understand the importance. Medical studies show and prove that keeping a food journal doubles your likelihood for weight loss! I recommend tracking your food/beverages by either grabbing an old fashioned notebook, creating a spreadsheet on excel, or by simply downloading one of thousands of free calorie counting applications and websites available. One of my favorites is MyFitnessPal (www.MyFitnessPal.com). I use this program with most of my clients because It’s simple to setup on your mobile device and user friendly. It even has a bar code scanner that has most items in it’s database. In addition, you can create custom recipes and break down specific serving sizes to more accurately track your caloric intake.

2. Prepare Your Food/Snacks In Advance

If you take the time to cook your food and prepare healthy snacks, you will most likely eat healthy throughout the day. I have taken dozens of my clients grocery shopping and seen every one of them succeed by simply taking an hour to cook all their food for the week in advance and storing it for later. Thus, it is cheaper and healthier to make food in bulk and in advance than eating any value meal from your nearest fast food restaurant.

3. Don’t Skip Meals

 Without proper preparation, you may skip meals or you wait too long to eat in between meals, your blood sugar or insulin numbers will drop off causing you to see a drop off in energy, reduce your optimal brain function, and lead to possibly overeating or worse creating deficiencies.

4. Commit Time Everyday to Exercise = No Excuses

Even though I’m a personal trainer, it is difficult for even myself to get workouts in. If you are like myself and feel exhausted by the end of a long work day, then I would recommend scheduling a workout in BEFORE you go to work to reduce the chances of you not getting in at all. Even if you don’t make it to the gym, you can walk even just 15-20 minutes before work, set a timer every hour or two to get up or stop what you are doing to walk for 5-10 minutes, and then commit to walking another 15-20 minutes before dinner. Congratulations! You just did and hour of exercise and didn’t even have to drive to a gym. Mission accomplished!

5. Drink More Water

You might just be thirsty! Feeling hungry or cravings kicking in? Sometime it is your body telling you it is thirsty. No joke! Approximately 60% of the adult human body is composed of water. While deficiencies from lack of macro-nutrients, vitamins, and minerals can take weeks to years to develop, the human body cannot survive without it for several days. So, how much water should one consume? According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), 13 cups of water for sedentary men and 9 cups for sedentary women. If participating in a fat-loss program, add another 8 ounces of water for every 25 pounds of weight you are above your ideal body weight.

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