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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Build a Stronger, Leaner, and More Defined Core with These Exercises

Six Pack

Are you sick of doing endless amounts of core exercises, videos, classes, diets, and the list goes on and not seeing the results you crave? There are many secrets to building a solid core without having to commit a lot of time. Yes, while diet plays a big role in losing fat around the midsection, this alone does not help build up your abdominal muscles and give you those sexy cuts and definition. Start by doing these core exercises to start building a solid six pack today!

Plank

Planks are a great way to strengthen your core isometrically while also being able to incorporate a number of variations to target multiple muscles. Here are several variations of planks. If you are new to working out I would recommend starting with the first exercise. Once you have mastered a traditional plank, then I would recommend working your way down the examples each set or workout until you reach the last one.

Tips: Make sure you don’t forget to control your breathing. This is something most people forget to do with this exercise. Also, aim to keep your elbows or hands if in a pushup position below your shoulders, back straight, your abs and butt flexed/tight while completing this exercise and variations to keep your core more engaged. 

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Prone Iso-Abs

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Planks with Alternating Toe Touch

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Plank with Side Knee Raises

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Plank with Straight Knee Raises

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Crunches

Crunches are a great exercise to strengthen your abs and core through flexion and extension of your spine.

Tips: Most people when doing crunches usually overcompensate with their hips taking tension off their abs. It is important to remember when performing a crunches to only bring your shoulders up until your feel a pinch in your upper abdominal muscles, then slowly lowering down until you feel a slight pulling in your upper abdominal muscles. When targeting your lower abdominal muscles with exercises bringing your knees up towards your chest, bring your butt up just slightly off the bench, ground, or swiss ball until your feel your lower abs engaged. Then, slower, I repeat slowly lower your legs down in a controlled manner so you don’t put unnecessary pressure on your lower back and/or hips. 

Swiss Ball Crunches

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Swiss Ball Crunch with Weight

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Swiss Ball Reverse Crunch (Knees Bent)

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Swiss Ball Reverse (Straight Leg Raises)

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Oblique Extensions

Oblique extensions are a great way to give your obliques and sides more definition. When you are looking to sculpt your sides, these are the best exercises to do just that.

Tips: For the best results without compromising your form or spine it is important to keep your abs tight and drawn in, your body in a straight line, shoulders pulled back, and to lower in control without jerking with your hips.

Oblique Extensions 

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Oblique Extensions with Reach

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Weighted Oblique Extensions 

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Standing Weight Oblique Extensions

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 Overhead 1-Arm Kettle bell Oblique Extensions

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For more information on training, exercises, tips, and more please signup for a Free Consultation with one of our certified personal trainers or email us at BodyByDaveInc@gmail.com.

Pictured Fitness Models: Nico Johnes – Certified Personal Trainer with Body By Dave, Ricardo Velarde – Body By Dave client, and David Troupin – Owner/Certified Personal Trainer of Body By Dave

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The Only 3 Exercises You’ll Ever Need to Sculpt Your Abs!

Are you sick of wasting hours of your valuable time, energy, and even money each week trying to chisel your abs and not seeing any results? Most people do dozens of ab exercises, videos, and extreme diets in some hope that they start to see their abs or some sort of definition around their waist or mid-section. Little do they know, dieting does not create abdominal muscles or do anything more than eliminate fat. Want to know the secret most trainers and video won’t tell you? It’s really easy. Do these 3 exercises until failure in order resting for a minute between each set for 3-5 sets and start seeing and feeling the results today:

Decline Crunch

Decline Crunch - Starting position  image

This exercise uses gravity to force you to use your upper abdominal muscles more and hip flexors less. In order keep your abs under tension, and not just your hips and back, start with your back, shoulders, and head all the way down on the bench. Next, bringing just your shoulders and head off the bench until your fill a pinch in your upper abs and stop and hold it for a second or two then slowly drop your shoulders back down to the bench.

Tip: Do not bring your back all the way up off the bench. Once you have completely rounded your back bringing your head and shoulders off the bench and your abs and back are flexed, you have reached maximum benefit for this exercise. Any additional movement past this point adds more tension to your spine and hips, while taking tension of your abdominal muscles you are aiming to target.

Modification: To make this exercise easier just start by lying on a floor or flat bench. In make this exercise harder, keep your arms pointed straight up over your shoulders and pulse straight up keeping your arms directly above your shoulders at all times. Still too easy? Start adding weight in your arms.

Hanging Knee Raises

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This is one of the most effective exercises to target your lower abdominal muscles. You can do this exercise several ways depending on our fitness level and equipment you have for use. One variation, you can find any pull-up bar outside or in the gym and grab hold of the bar. While hanging from the bar, you can bring your knees up towards your chest and hold for a second or two then slowly release them down without letting your feet touch the ground. Other variations, you can use straps or a fixed arm rest to keep your arms suspended in, if you arms or grip strength is not strong enough to grip the bar long enough to fatigue your arms.

Tip: Breathe out as your bring your knees or legs up and breathe in slowly as your lower your legs down.

Modification: To make this exercise more difficult, you can straight your knees and legs out to add more torch and tension to your abs. Only do this variation, if you can do the first variation in control without letting your legs fall down wildly otherwise you increase your risk of injuring your lower spine.

Standing Oblique Extensions

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One of the best exercises for sculpting your obliques. Start by standing with your feet together or hips width apart holding a light to moderate weight in one arm and opposite arm up with your hand behind your ear. Then, slowly, I repeat slowly leaning down to the side with the weight until you feel pulling on the opposite side of the body from the hip up to the rib cage then bring your body back up to neutral.

Tip: Keep your shoulder pulled back and abs tight and drawn in to keep your body in a straight line and to reduce unnecessary tension to the back. Breathe in on the way down and out as you bring your body back up to neutral. 

Modification: To make this exercise harder, just add more weight. To make this exercise easier, you can keep both shoulders back touching behind the ears with no weight in hand. Then. slowly bending laterally in one direction, then slowly bending back up to neutral. 

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