Tuesday, 28 June 2011

PTs: what are your favourite ways to train?

Here are my favourites. 

Free weights
Free weights are great for getting results with. Try to avoid fixed resistant machines where you can; free weights are far better for your fixators, core and for recruiting more motor units.

Likewise, ViPR is a great personal training tool that can be used with any client. I use it for clients with different goals from weight loss to sports conditioning and everything in between. It’s fantastic for a wide range of whole body exercises that can be tailored to your clients’ abilities. It’s a great piece of fun kit that my clients use to carry out personalised programmes from home with.
Boxing is a hard, fun workout. I find women love it and it’s a great way for your clients to let off some steam. Try mixing boxing with a mixture of body weight exercise for a great, high intensity workout.

Levers, gravity, ground reaction and momentum
Levers, gravity, ground reaction and momentum are often overlooked when training with a client. Think about how you can use these forces to reach your client's goals. For example if your client wants to work their stomach try a posterior lunge with a bilateral overhead reach. You’re going to have to work the abs as they control the posterior momentum created by legs and gravity.

The great outdoors
Training doesn’t always need to be in a gym! Try training outside; it's a great way to motivate clients and mix things up. Some possibilities are interval training on bikes and hill sprints.

What are your favourite equipment or environment, and why?

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Training a client for dance - using ViPR

Here's a short video of me with one of my PT clients, who is training for partner dances. Here I show him how he can use the ViPR to train at home, without his partner, to build strength and speed to perform the 'dead man's drop'. I'm using a 6kg ViPR and the lateral tilt move.

With thanks to for letting me host my video at their YouTube channel ... keep an eye out for my own channel coming soon ...

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

PTs: do you have a fitness newsletter?

In my last couple of  posts, I've talked about newsletters and partnerships - they are a great way of adding value for existing clients as well as reaching out to new ones. Here's an example of one I send out from FeelGoodPT in association with 
Have you set-up any partnerships? Do you send out a newsletter? Let me know your stories.

Tip of the month

Let’s talk about squats

Squats are a great exercise for the glutes, hamstrings and quads. A great quality of the squat is there is room for progression and the option to incorporate other major muscle groups.

Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your eyes and shoulders facing forward, gently lower yourself in a control manner ensuring you keep a straight spine and stop when you reach a 90% angle at your knee. Pause then return to the starting position.

If you find you’re tight in your calves and your heels are coming off the ground try taking a wider stance. This should stop the heels rising and give more stability.

To progress the intensity of this workout you can add a new variable such as, dumbbells, Olympic bars, kettlebells or a VIRP to create a new stimulus.

To increase the intensity of the exercise you can incorporate different muscle groups and compound movements.

A few good combinations are:

  • Squat to shoulder press
  • Squat to bicep curl
  • Squat to frontal or lateral rise

Try mixing squats with different exercises for a great full body workout

For more information on Personal training see

Dominic Burns Reps Level 3

How do you recognize a ‘good’ fat?

There has a been a deluge of information about fats in the media but how confident are you that you know what makes a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ fat? Fats can be broadly considered in three groups – saturated, unsaturated and trans-fats. The classifications may be based on the chemical structure but there are everyday observations that help us identify which fat is which.

Saturated fats contain no double bonds and are solid at room temperature e.g. Butter, lard. Saturated fats are not essential to good health but they are probably not as harmful as previously thought. A diet containing low levels of saturated fat is consistent with good health. Most saturated fats come from animal products with palm oil and coconut oil being the only significant vegetable sources. When heated saturated fats cannot form trans-fats and are therefore suitable for heating.

Unsaturated fats contain at least one double bond and are therefore liquids at room temperature e.g. olive oil, sunflower oil. Diets containing unsaturated fats are essential for good health. Omega 3 fats and omega 6 fats are essential in the diet as our bodies cannot form these fats any other way. These oils, found in nuts and seeds, avocados, oily fish, olives, eggs etc should be included in the diet daily. However when heated unsaturated fats can form trans-fats, which are the most dangerous fats to our health. Don’t use olive oil or other low smoke point unsaturated oils to fry foods.

Trans-fats are unsaturated fats found both in nature and in processed foods such as hydrogenated oils and heated unsaturated fats. Naturally formed trans-fats such as those found in milk are not thought to be harmful whereas those formed by processing are considered very harmful. Avoid all foods containing hydrogenated fat and foods cooked at high temperature in unsaturated oils.

For more information see

Claire Barker DipION mBANT, Nutritional Therapist


Nutritional plan and online exercise programs
Just £75 per month
Email me:

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

PTs: how can you create a successful support network?

Make a list of local providers
At Feel Good PT I've been creating a support network for myself and my clients.

Having a support network behind you is a great tool for marketing and ensures you can provide for all the needs of your clients. Useful contacts include nutritionists and physiotherapists.
Creating this network will benefit you by being able to consult with other professions to ask for advice and offer the opportunity to refer/gain clients. The support network benefits clients by your contacts being able to offer promotions/discounted rates on first sessions.
A great way to pitch this idea to other professions is by contacting them offering a referral scheme. The advantages for them are getting more clients and the possibility of free marketing in your client's training folder.
I recommend meeting up for a relaxed coffee to give you the opportunity to get more information on each other’s services. Some of the key areas to ask about include prices, locations that you’re both willing to travel to, whether you/they work from a studio, plus insurance, qualifications and past experience. It also presents a good opportunity to discuss what marketing has/hasn’t been working for both of you in your local communities.
Ways you can generate new clients through a partnership include
  • Referrals
  • Website links
  • Promotional material in client folders
  • Newsletters
  • Exclusive discounts/ introduction price
Do you currently do anything like this? If so, let me know how its working out for you.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Getting into small group training

Feel Good PT had its first group personal training class today at Dunorlan park in Tunbridge Wells. The group was made up of three ladies wanting to improve their fitness, tone up and lose a little bit of weight. We looked at a mixture of VIPR work and free weights all tailored to the client’s individual fitness level. Looking forward to running my next class on Thursday at the Vine cricket ground in Sevenoaks
Any tips on what you have found your clients to enjoy in group training?