Personal trainers assist in weight loss and nutrition through weight lifting, aerobics, and nutrition guidance. The best way to lose weight is a combination of activities and healthy eating.
It is crucial we gain fitness without getting injured. Being a week end warrior is not fun if we have to visit the chiropractor on Mondays. Daily activities are not as satisfying if we have limited capabilities or have to compensate for pain and weakness. Being fit is enjoying the wonderful body Nature/God evolved for us over millions of years. We often discount this progress through neglect and arrogance. We often fail to make fitness a priority until something reminds us of its importance.
Fitness has many levels. The extreme athlete and the person who enjoys daily activities or weekend recreation have different needs. The athletic competitor and the week end warrior have different training routines. The person entering body sculpting contests and the person who enjoys a lean figure also have different needs.
The Many Levels of Fitness
The Personal Trainer and Health Coach Associations teaches us there are several general categories to which people can aspire:
As a Personal Trainer and a Certified Ace Health Coach as well as a Fitness Nutrition Specialist, I appreciate the need to continuously learn how our body functions with various types of training and diets to achieve different goals.
The unconditioned and over weight person needs to lose fat and condition their muscles to ingest glucose for energy. Their body is most likely in the habit of sending glucose, (muscle fuel) straight to adipose tissue (fat). They need to begin aerobic activities to teach the muscles to absorb glucose and then move to resistance training to continue the body’s education. At the beginning they will have little stamina because the muscles can’t use fuel.
Coaches begin the unconditioned at the top of the list with function and movement to ensure proper practices that will minimize the risk of injury once they begin exercising and loading. Ensuring the body and joints are moving correctly as well as evaluating strength is first tested with squats and planks to measure posture, flexibility, and core strength.
The person engaging in some exercise and having weight loss or weight gaining goals needs a program to increase exercise with aerobics and weights plus diet routines that encourage the conversion of fat to muscle or adding lean body tissue (muscle).
Goals of Active Exercisers
The active exerciser with strength and stamina goals needs to introduce weight resistance and loading in reasonable increments to build overall body strength and endurance. Proper nutrition is focused on preparation and recovery to maximize results. Aerobics strips fat and muscle and resistance training preserves and adds muscle.
The competitive athlete that often needs to reach 100% of capacity needs to have exercise sessions that train at 90%+ of their capacity and also follow nutritional practices to prepare for loading and prevent lean muscle loss during recovery.
Knowing Your Body
Basic information to be gathered for each individual includes Resting Metabolic Rates (RMR) for determining calorie needs. Maximal Heart Rates (MHR) to determine training capacity. Body Fat Percentage (BFP) to track training progress. Blood pressure and resting pulse rates to ensure safe practices and assist in optimizing practices.
People wanting to work with a coach have to meet minimum health conditions to minimize risks for training. Clients suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory illness, obesity, joint or muscular impairments might need a doctor’s clearance or monitoring to meet coach liability insurance issues.
Getting Started with Aerobics
Aerobic training is a start for unconditioned but healthy individuals that have function and movement capabilities. Training can begin with ten to fifteen minutes a day but aims for 150 minutes a week and then 300 minutes a week in at least 5 sessions a week. Research has shown that people who have a goal of losing weight and maintaining those losses have long term success when they exercise an hour to an hour and a half a day.
In advanced aerobic training we work with VO2 Max to determine cardiovascular fitness in which intervals increase stamina for higher level performance and competition. Even though advanced athletes will train for their limits, most of their training time is spent at low to moderate levels of exertion.
Beginning Resistance Training
Resistance Weight training begins with assessing posture, flexibility, and functional movement before introducing loads. The beginner weight trainer with goals of building strength, endurance, and fat loss begins with weights that might be 55% of their maximum capacity and 20 to 25 rep sets to train their body. Lots of reps aim at fat burning and have to be combined with proper preparation and recovery nutrition.
The intermediate weight resistance trainer might use heavier weights in rep sets of 12 to 16 to create strength and endurance. Their goal is general endurance and strength and loads can be continuously increased to improve performance.
The advanced weight resistance trainer has a goal of strength and size. They lift weights up to 80% or 90% of now a high capability in rep sets of 4 to 6. Their intense work outs can only be performed a few times a week to allow for adequate muscle recovery. They can also set up daily training of different muscle groups with a recommended two-day break after a 5 day week.
Reach Your Goals
I design training programs for the unconditioned and the conditioned that include warm up and gradual increases to higher loads to build capacity and strength while minimizing the risk of injury. Long term health and fitness should be the goal with adherence to regular exercising and self-monitoring to improve results.
Goals are personal and workouts can be customized. The idea is adherence and self-efficacy. When a person starts telling them-self they need to exercise because it has become a part of their life, our main goal has been reached.
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