Tag: Trainer

Cardio isn’t required in your training routine but it is highly recommended. In order to keep things simple I will only focus on performing LISS(Low Intensity Steady State) cardio as opposed to discussing all forms of cardio. Along with benefits such as increased heart strength, most people utilize cardio to burn extra calories to increase fat loss. The best times for you to perform your cardio will ultimately depend on your goals and/or lifestyle. In the past, I’ve done cardio post workout, pre workout and even fasted. Each time frame has its own benefits believe or not. Choose the time frame that will benefit you the most in your own journey.

Post Workout Cardio

If your goal is to build the most amount of muscle possible, cardio at the end of your workout will be the smartest choice. Main reason is to be able to utilize your energy on the lifts that will build the most muscle instead of cardio. If you have scheduled to perform a 30 minute cardio session and you get that done first, you’ll have less energy during your strength training portion of your workout. It’s completely fine to warm up with 5-10 mins of cardio but completing the entire cardio session before hand can impact your strength levels during your strength training. Prioritizing your energy for the heavier lifts will allow you to lift the most amount of weight while applying the most amount of tension to your muscle. With LISS cardio being low impact on the body, you should still be able to perform it towards the end of your workout.

Pre Workout Cardio

Let’s say your someone who doesn’t care much about building or retaining muscle while dieting, performing your cardio before hand is an option. Also if the strength training fatigues you to the point of where you have little to no energy to perform the cardio post workout, doing your cardio first will benefit you tremendously as well. I always emphasize to my clients to incorporate strength training and cardio together because it’s the smartest way to lose fat, but if the strength training is more taxing on the body, prioritizing cardio first will ensure that you have the energy to complete your full routine.

Fasted Cardio/Separate Session

Fasted cardio is a concept a lot of individuals believe in. The theory is that if you perform cardio while being in a fasted state, your body resorts to its fat stores as energy to get through the cardio. Makes sense right? Only problem is that there isn’t any studies to back up this claim. Instead we have a study where 20 women were divided into two groups, one group performing cardio in a fasted state and another group performing cardio after consuming a meal. The conclusion was that body compositions were similar between the two group regardless of being fasted or fed prior to training. Click here for the full article on the study. So what’s the point of doing fasted cardio anyway? Fasted cardio or performing your cardio session separately can help with potential time constraints while at the gym. For example if you prefer to strength training later in the day when you’ve eaten a good amount of calories but only have about an hour for your session, doing your cardio separately can help you not feel like there isn’t enough time to complete your entire routine.

After reading this article you should now understand that the best time for YOU to do cardio is the time that works best for YOU! There is a lot of misinformation in the fitness industry that has cause many of us to over complicate our lives to reach our fitness goals. If you don’t like doing cardio first thing in the morning, you can do it at other times of the day. Cardio is a tool that is used to create a larger caloric deficit therefore as long as you get it done and the time you choose to perform it aligns with your goals, you will lose fat and reveal the physique you desire.

When embarking in anything new, it’s important to to start small so that you prevent feeling overwhelmed. A lot of times we tend to want to become experts to start something, when in reality waiting will only delay the results we desire. When it comes to your fitness journey, look at all the habits that are prevented you from achieving your dream body and focus on the small things you can change in a short amount of time versus the overall big goal. If the small goals are headed in the same direction as the larger goal, you will see progress in the efforts you are making and eventually become successful at your goal if your remain consistent & discipline.

The Scale

Let’s say you have a weight loss goal of 50 lbs. This may seem like an eternity if the scale isn’t moving fast enough. A quick fix that a lot of us fitness professional implement is creating a weekly weight loss goal. For my online coaching clients, I give them a goal to lose 1-2 lbs per week and over a period of time they get closer to their end goal. 1-2 lbs a week is more realistic than finding a way to lose 50 lbs in the fastest way. Remember that outside of the gym you have other responsibilities that require your energy so following a diet that can potentially affect your energy levels dramatically isn’t the smartest idea. Please refer to my past blog article “Losing Weight Too Quickly? A Bad Thing?” for more information on the risks involved when losing weight too fast.

Buy Food In Servings Not Bulk

Next time you step foot in the kitchen, take a look around and look for foods that attract your taste buds. If they are sweets, soda, chips or any other processed food, just go ahead and toss those out or give them away. You don’t want them in your home if they are triggers for you. They will serve no benefits in your current fitness journey especially when it comes to weight loss. But if you have some healthy options or foods that aren’t very calorically dense, next time you go shopping look into buying them in individual serving sizes. Reason being is that it’s easy to snack on a bag of almonds or rice cakes and realize a few minutes later that you’ve eaten more than you should have. I’ve been guilty of this and I can assure you that you are not alone! The convenience of having separate serving may cost a bit more so if you prefer saving a few dollars at the store, use gladware or zip lock bags to package them separately instead. It’s all about building the discipline to eat just one or two servings but not over indulge. Also if you’re always on the go like myself, having these quick servings ready to go make great snacks to ensure you are not going long periods of time without fueling your body. Even though you are dieting, missing meals or unintentionally fasting should be avoided.

Compete With Yourself

Have you ever been in the gym, took a look around and saw someone with an physique you admire? I’m sure everyone has experience that but I’ll say this, don’t worry what the next person is doing! Just focus on you and only you because everyone is at different points of their fitness journey. Comparing yourself to another individual will only cause you to lose the motivation in your journey. I highly suggest getting a workout journal or downloading an app on your phone to document your workouts in the gym. If the next week you do more repetitions, lift more weight or perform the same distance of cardio in a shorter amount of time, thats a small win! Not only does that give you satisfaction that your efforts are working, it’s also keeps you motivated to continue your own journey. At times we miss the small progress we make in the gym because we focus on the bigger goal way to much. Yes improving our appearance is important to us but if your getting stronger or able to move like you’ve never had before, thats a huge accomplish too!

If your ultimate goal is to pack on the most amount of muscle you possibly can, the exercises you choose to perform matter. Most of the old school movements fall in the category of exercises that allow you to maximize the most amount of tension. Not to say that some of the newer exercises won’t provide you with results, but the risk of injury are much higher and/or the effectiveness of overload is very limited. Muscles understand tension therefore choosing exercises that allow you to successfully progressively overload, will serve as the best options for you for gaining muscle. If you’re unfamiliar with progressive overload please refer to my article “Progressive Overload Is The Key To Continuous Progress In The Gym“.

Plate Presses

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Even though the chest is being contracted because the arms are horizontally adducted in frontal plane of the body, there are other isolation movements such as the the pec dec machine, cable flyes or dumbbell flyes that will allow for a greater way to progressively overload. I’ve perform this exercise in the past just to test it out and what I’ve discovered is that at some point you won’t be able to hold more than a 45lbs plate in your hands. The only way to continue to progress through this movements to stack weights above your body which creates the risk of weight falling on your chest if they happen to slide out of your hands. Very high risk for the reward in my opinion!

Alternating Lat Pull Downs

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This is a popular exercise that a lot of individuals are performing in the gym. It allows for each lat to be isolated individual while using a bilateral attachment. Bilateral simply means both hands are needed to perform the movement. The problem I see with this exercise is that tension isn’t evenly distributed between each lat which can cause imbalances in the future. Instead I suggest used a single handle attachment versus a bar attachment to prevent imbalances and to help strengthen each lat individually.

Behind The Neck Shoulder Presses

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I think we can all agree that shoulder health is extremely important. If you’ve been performing this exercises for some time and have the shoulder mobility to perform it great! But if you don’t and feel pain while performing it, I’d suggest you to stop immediately! This exercise puts the shoulders in a very vulnerable position which is why I’ll suggest to stay away from it. Instead performing the standard military press will be a safer choice being that the arms are in front of the body which is a natural range of motion for the shoulders.

Behind The Neck Pull Downs

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Similar to the Behind The Neck Shoulder Press, this one also puts the shoulders in a vulnerable position. This pull down variation not only recruits the lats it’s also activates the mid back as well which is why I believe a lot of people lean towards it. But again as stated on the shoulder press, if the shoulder mobility is there carry on. But if its not, perform your standard lat pull down in the front of the body which is again a natural movement for the shoulders. Then you can perform a row movement to target the upper back mid back.

Glute Band Work

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While I believe that bands have a place in time in everyone training, I also know that just because you feel a burn in a muscle doesn’t mean it’s the most optimal approach. If you want to maximize the most amount of muscle you can build for your glutes, exercise such hip thrust, deep squats, cable kickbacks & romanian deadlifts are better options because the higher chances to progressively get stronger with these movements. Now I’m not saying that using bands are bad because they have great benefits for untrained individuals or when combining them with weighted exercises. For example if you perform hip thrust with bands around your legs, the force from the bands will cause you continue to push your knees outward throughout the movement, which from experience, has help increase my muscle to mind connection with my glutes. But just doing band work alone won’t give you the same results as the exercises that I listed above. There’s always a better & more effective way!

Personal training is a field that is constantly growing. The amount of institutes that exist now makes its extremely convenient for anyone to become of trainer. But beware not all personal trainers are created equal. Let’s be honest back in 2014 I quit my 9 to 5 job, decided to pursue my passion as a trainer, bought a certification package from NCCPT and pass it with flying colors. Yes that easy I become a trainer. But I’ve dedicated years in learning how the human body works, how muscles contract, what diets are best, understanding macros and the listed goes on. If you’re a new trainer or thinking about it, just like any other job that’s providing you an income, take it seriously and honor your craft.

I’ve trained at so many gyms in my lifetime and as a personal trainer myself, seeing trainer who don’t take their craft seriously really upset me for several reasons. One this is a very rewarding professional that give you the opportunity to help someone reveal the best version of themselves. Two the people you train, your clients are paying good money for your service. Commercial, private or online, it isn’t a cheap expense. And three, I’m someone who’s always thinking of ways to provide a better service for my clients and I wish more trainer had a similar mentality.

Knowledge is power. I’m sure everyone has heard that saying at least once in their lifetime but knowledge isn’t much if you don’t apply it. Therefore to me “applied knowledge is power”. More trainers need to understand that the fitness industry is always changing therefore us as trainer need to adapt. Adapt to new training strategies, diets, macros and scientific studies in order to provide accurate information for our clients to help them reach their goals. Every time a trainer ask me for advice on how to become a great trainer my response 10 out of 10 times is always the same, “never stop learning”. The more versatile you are as a trainer, the more lives you can change with your service. This goes beyond money. You can have all the money in the world then suddenly die and no one will ever miss you. If you have hundreds, thousands or even millions of lives that you’ve touched, you’ll never been forgotten.

Gyms have always been male dominant. I’ve trained at gyms where the amount of women that were in the gym(not include the gym staff) you could count on one hand. So I get how easy it can be to get a new client who’s a female, good looking and may want more than training sessions with you. Please try to avoid this at all cost because it can ruin your entire reputation as a fitness professional. Business and pleasure never mix well similar to water and oil. Treat all your clients equally. If you wouldn’t sleep with the client who is slightly overweight, don’t try it with the one who isn’t. Great rule to live by for any professional in any industry.

Honor your craft! We live in a time period where we use social media multiple times throughout the day. I’m guilty of this myself. But I’ve never trained a client while being on my phone texting, checking my Instagram, sending Snapchats, etc. because my eyes always need to be on my client(s). The beauty of being a personal trainer is that you can identify problem areas that yous client had no idea about. How will you be able to catch these things if you eyes are glued to your phone? The honest truth is that you can’t because your focus is elsewhere and not on your client(s).  The last you want is your client to get hurt during a training session. Next time your training a client follow these simple steps:

  1. Set your timer for the length of the session
  2. Put your phone on vibrate/silent
  3. Put your phone in your pocket
  4. Only pull out your phone to check how much time you have remaining then immediately put away
  5. Put all your focus on your client(s)
  6. Simplify how you would like them to adjust their form if needed
  7. Pull your phone out when the time goes off

This behavior of how you conduct yourself as a trainer will not only bring you more clients for your business. you’ll be viewed as the trainer that honors their craft. The people who constantly watch others in the gym will have no choice but to respect your work ethic and there’s no better feeling than that. Trust me when I say this. THERE IS NO BETTER FEELING!