Friday, 15 April 2011

Fitpro Spring Convention 2011

This weekend I was at the FitPro Spring Convention at Loughborough University in the north of England – and it was an amazing event!

Spring Convention is a massive, annual fitness conference, with hundreds of sessions and classes and workshops led by leading PTs and instructors, and its crammed with people who live and love everything health and fitness.

TRX equipment in the sun at Convention

I came away realising just how much I think I know is only the tip of the iceberg. Two lectures in particular have really changed my view of exercise and how I train my clients.

Who’s playing the game?
Scott Hopson

I really enjoyed Scott’s lectures on biomechanics – it was a total eye opener into looking at exercise as full-body movement, compared to isolating body parts as with body building exercises and fixed resistant machines.

It’s amazing how many exercises you can come up with if you pick one ‘traditional’ exercise such as a lunge and manipulate the movements. For example, lunge around an imaginary clock face on the floor, with your leading foot touching 1 o’clock, 2, o’ clock and so on with a different variation at each hour:

Lunge to 12 o’ clock with a shoulder press
Lunge to 1 o’ clock with a bicep curl
Lunge to 2 o’ clock with a lateral rise

Such a simple exercise, but by manipulating the movement you increase the number of muscles worked, increased metabolic output and just have an opportunity not to get bored with your workout!

All my clients want to work their abs, and I came away with loads of exercise ideas featuring a bungee rope: I tie the rope around their waist creating momentum to pull them back or to the side forcing them to use their abs and core to stabilise themselves. They love it!

What is balance within the body?
Douglas Heel

Doug presented a great lecture that opened my mind to movement. He spoke about a sphere of movement and the importance of having correct posture and balance within the body to create strength.Your sphere of movement is when you take a lateral, sagittal and posterior lunge and reach as far as you can. Imagine this to be a dome around your body with the highest point being how high you can reach or jump. I now look at the sphere and what movements (exercise) I can create within these boundaries.

I can’t wait for next year’s Convention!
In the meantime, check out powerclubs - just one of the demos in the trade show.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Beach body bible

Summer is coming. If your clients are looking for the Daniel Craig beach body or worried about getting into their bikini on their summer holiday, then this is the blog for you!
To get your clients’ beach bodies ready, they need to follow four simple steps:

1) Perform compound exercises
2) Increase their cardio
3) Eat a healthy balanced diet
4) And, most importantly, work hard!
Building skeletal muscle is half the battle. This will help to increase your metabolic rate and melt away the unwanted pounds. Squats, lunges, bent over rows, deadlifts, clean and jerks and bench presses are all excellent exercises for shedding fat and increasing muscle tone. Aim to be working out three to four times per week, performing three sets of 12- 15 repetitions with a minute’s rest in between exercises. 

Cardio is an important aspect of creating a beach body, as it improves muscle tone and burns fat. Start by choosing your client’s favourite cardiovascular exercise and performing it for three to four times a week for 30 minutes, increasing the time or distance slowly. Encouraging your clients to take part in sport is a great way to get gains in a fun environment.
You want to be pushing your clients lactate threshold; a great way to do this is interval training. This will improve their fitness and start to manipulate their metabolic rate. Interval training includes changing the pace and effort. This can be done on the treadmill by running at a pace clients are comfortable with, then increasing the pace to a workload that can only be maintained for a short period. Aim for two minutes at a comfortable pace, one minute at a hard pace for a 20 minute session.
Nutrition is very important in getting a beach body. You are what you eat. Try to follow these three simple steps to a healthier diet:

1) Reduce your clients’ intake of simple carbohydrate: chocolate, white bread, pasta, rice and cakes. Suggest they try to eat complex carbohydrate: wholegrain bread, rice, pasta, couscous and quinoa.
2) Ensure your client is eating five fruit or vegetables a day.
3) Stick to fixed meal times. If your clients get hungry between meals, then ensure they are snacking on healthy food.
I hope this helps, good luck!