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TRAINFITNESS Personal Trainer & Fitness Blog

The team of personal training and fitness professionals at TRAINFITNESS post regular articles with news and updates about the fitness industry. Our news and articles offer a great resource for all fitness professionals, from Personal Trainers, Group Exercise Instructors, Pilates and Yoga Teachers, or anyone interested in teaching any aspect of fitness.
  • Written By

    Matt Bowen

    Category

    Nutrition

    Posted On

    8 August 2017

    Can you believe its August already? It seems like only yesterday that we were sitting in our deck chair sipping Pimms and enjoying the heat of a typical British summer, now we find ourselves approaching Autumn, how disappointing.

    While we wait in hope of an Indian Summer, we can at least be sure of good food. August brings with it some lovely eats, read on to discover what should be on your plate this month.

    Apples – The original super food.  There’s a reason for the adage ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’.  Apples come packed with the good stuff. What makes apples so good we hear you ask, well it might be the levels of Vitamin C which help boost the body’s resistance to infectious agents as well as blocking the damage caused by free radicals. Or it might be the B complex vitamins, dietary fibre or the phytonutrients or even the minerals such as calcium, potassium and phosphorus. See a powerhouse of the nutritional world. Plus with multiple varieties and being inexpensive, they are an easy addition to the daily routine

    Related Material: Learn more about the right foods on our body fx nutrition course

    Blueberries- Another original superfood. Blueberries are tasty health bombs and absolutely should be on and in everything you make this month. Blueberries come with iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K helping the body maintain healthy bones. The addition of potassium can help to naturally decrease blood pressure. There’s also healthy doses of fibre, folate, vitamin C and B6 – these contribute to a healthy heart and if you add in the vitamin A, blueberries act as a powerful antioxidant helping to protect the cells against free radical damage, helpful in the fight against cancer. The contents of a blueberry can help fight wrinkles, can help improve digestion and help with weight loss too. Literally popping to the shop to buy a kilo….

    Cobnut- Undergoing a bit of a revival recently, the cobnut is becoming more popular and more widespread and for good reason – they have some of the good stuff in them. Cobnuts come with a whole host of healthy properties, they have oleic acid which can help to lower cholesterol, they also have levels of folate, carotenoids, flavonoids, proanthocyanins, manganese, selenium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Cobnuts are also a great source of vitamin A. That’s a wide spectrum of health benefits and more than enough reason to get out and get buying

    Marrow – Not the bone variety, although that is very good for you also, but the squash variety.  The marrow can be eaten in a variety of ways; soups, stews, on its own stuffed with something. It is also used in poultices for scratches and other traditional medicines all because of the high nutrient value. Marrow has much to offer and should definitely form part of a healthy diet. With lots of fibre marrow will help look after your digestive tract.  Marrow also has significant levels of carotene making it a great antioxidant helping to protect against the negative effects of free radicals. Marrow can also help maintain a healthy heart, boost energy, aid weight management and improve bone density. Plenty of reasons to stick it on your plate.

    Related Material: Meal prep, a quick guide

    Scallops- Yes, easy to overcook and make rubbery, but get this right and you have a luxurious, delicious feast! Not only are they opulent treat, they happen to be a bit of a nutritional badass too. With Omega 3 and vitamin B12 you get a great dose of friendly cardiovascular help, a nice balance to your cholesterol levels and a boost to red blood cell strength. Scallops are a lean protein (more than 80% protein) and they are also a great source of magnesium and potassium. They also have good levels of iron too. On top of all of this they taste great. Struggling to find a reason to not eat them!

    Corn- We love corn over here at TRAINFITNESS HQ, it’s got that sweetness that is hard to resist, yet it doesn’t come with the negatives of a bag of Haribo. How you eat it is down to you, but you definitely should be eating it. The vegetable is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including B1, B5, vitamin C, manganese, folate and dietary fibre. The benefits to the body are wide, Folate can help reduce the risk of a heart attack, whilst B1 can contribute to better cognitive function. All in all, this sweet veg is fun to eat and beneficial too!

    Other foods to think about:

    Peppers

    Venison

    Apricot

    Aubergine

    Chicory

    Courgette

     

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  • Year on year the popularity and attendance of group exercise classes keeps on growing. Ranging from 30 minute fast classes through to hour long training sessions, this format of training can offer both physiological and psychological benefits as well as the social inclusion of attending a group exercise environment.

    Related Material: Putting the personal into group exercise

    Exercising in a group environment can not only be challenging but a lot more fun than just working out on your own. You may also find that the people in the classes have similar goals and likes so it is a great social environment and a chance to meet new, likeminded people. Working out in an environment where everyone else is exercising towards the same goal and having the encouragement of an instructor to guide you through the class can greatly improve your motivation.

    Group exercise training can cater to a variety of fitness goals, if you are looking to lose weight then aerobic type classes such as body conditioning, pump fx, circuit training, T3 HIIT and indoor cycling are for you. Flexibility goals can be achieved in classes such as yoga and Pilates and if you’re just looking for general fitness then you can try a varied combination of the many classes that will be on offer at any local health club/gym.

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    For most it is thought a common reason to quit a gym or exercise program is boredom or lack of understanding of what to do to start seeing actual results. Classes can offer this structure, support and motivation system that attending the gym alone cannot. Furthermore, group exercise is formatted in a way that means a class should cater to all, there should be relevant adaptations and progressions offered by instructors which allow classes to act as a stepping stone into exercise for some, whilst a week in week out physical training session for others.

    Become a group exercise to music instructor today. https://train.fitness/exercise-to-music-courses

    Group exercise instructors can offer participants a safe and effective, well-structured workout including all the components of fitness, from flexibility through to cardiovascular and muscular strength and/or endurance. Often when working out alone participants will miss out important components of a session, such as post workout stretching, this could be due to time constraints or just not having a correctly structured plan.

    There are several plus points to group exercise, mainly its diversity. From outdoor training boot camps to salsa dancing at the local community centre. The face of group exercise has changed in recent years, making it more accessible to those who do not necessarily own a gym membership. If we can keep people moving and more active doing something that’s fun and enjoyable, surely it can only be a good thing.

  • Written By

    Matt Bowen

    Category

    General Fitness, Nutrition

    Posted On

    28 July 2017

    Stumbling across #mealprep is unavoidable.  A quick flick through social media and you can be certain to find plenty of images of pre-prepared meals; row upon row of containers filled to the brim with veg, protein, carbs, fruit, snacks and everything else in between.

    There are several possible reactions to this.  First up is smugness, because you are one of the #mealprep crew.  You have prepped a weeks’ worth of meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner. Showoff!) and had the time to let your followers on Instagram see. Well done you.

    Or, reaction two will be disbelief; disbelief at quite how many containers one person can actually own and disbelief at how said person found the time to cook 21 meals on a Sunday. We are with you on this, some people have a lot of containers and can magic up a lot of time.

    Don’t worry though we are here, as ever, to help and we have some TRAINFITNESS tips and tricks to help guide you to #mealprep heaven.

    Plan Plan Plan

    All the enthusiasm in the world won’t cover a lack of key ingredients or a lack of containers or fridge/freezer space. Before you even think about prepping a weeks’ worth of meals have a plan. Do you need breakfast, lunch and dinner prepped or do you just need lunch? What food are you actually going to eat, do you have the ingredients to make everything. When are you going to do your cooking, can you dedicate a good couple of hours to it without distraction? These are the questions you need to ask yourself.

    Write down what you would like to eat and what meals you need to cook ahead of time. Create a shopping list, set aside a few hours dedicated to prepping, make sure you have all the utensils and paraphernalia to hand, crank the music up and then get cracking.

    Related Material: Learn more about nutrition and healthy eating on the body fx course

    Keep it simple but don’t be boring

    As a general rule, the more complicated the dish, the less tasty it will be after a few days in the fridge or freezer. While we wouldn’t suggest dishes of plain rice, protein and broccoli day in day out, we do recommend keeping it fairly simple. Instead of going mad on the dish, go wild on dressings and marinades.  Play with marinades and sauces, herbs and spices. A lemon and olive oil mix can bring a salad and veggies to life. A spicy rub of oil, cayenne pepper, paprika and chilli flakes can bring great flavour to a chicken breast. Herbs, spices and marinades are the best way to make your creations interesting. Buy small sealable pots for your dressings and sauces so you can put them on your veggies and salads just before eating. It will stop them from going soggy when stored in the fridge.

    Additional portions please

    Meal prep can sometimes be as simple as cooking a meal that is large enough for a dinner and a lunch. If you are having a lasagna on a Wednesday evening (good choice) make a slightly bigger portion and Wednesday’s dinner becomes Thursday’s lunch too, genius. If you are really clever you could make even more and freeze a portion for another day or even next week. If you can keep doing this, you could have a range of lunch-time meals without having to prep too much ahead of time.

    Become that container person

    Yes, you might not have believed it was possible to own that many containers, but to effectively prep your meals you will need something to store them in. Glass, stainless steel or plastic (BPA-free please), there are plenty of options out there that don’t cost a fortune plus most containers are stackable, ensuring they don’t completely take over your kitchen. Whatever you go for, make sure you have plenty of them in a variety of sizes.

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    Half prep – make cooking easier

    Don’t be fooled into thinking #mealprep means making enough food for three meals a day, seven days a week all on a Sunday afternoon. If you can do it, great, go for it. For everyone else relax, you can #halfprep your meals.

    Pre-chopping your veggies and storing them in food bags means you won’t have to do it when you get back home. You can do the same with your protein, pop it in a bag with a marinade and all you have to do when you get back is pull it out of the fridge and cook it, along with your veg.  This will save you valuable time when you get home and help ensure you stick to your set caloric requirements i.e. less temptation to go and pig-out.

    Meal preparation is great; it allows you to have some tasty and healthy meals ready to go and it takes the guesswork out of eating. But don’t let it be a chore, cooking itself should be a pleasure and the eating even more so. Even more important, don’t obsess. Some days you just won’t have the time to prep everything. When those days happen, head out and pick the healthiest meal you can. Don’t sacrifice a good meal out or a cheeky (occasional) takeaway because it doesn’t fit in with your prepped meals either. Eat well, have balance, be happy

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  • Written By

    TRAINFITNESS Support

    Category

    Personal Training, Training and Education

    Posted On

    24 July 2017

    What a great turnout we had at our most recent Virtual Open Day. Michael Betts, our company director, explained to the group the process of becoming a personal trainer with TRAINFITNESS covering the various course options available. Michael then went on to talk about the support offered both during the course and after.

    We conduct our VODs once a month and anyone can attend. All you need to do is register here and we'll send you all the details. It only goes for 30 minutes and you'll have a chance to chat to our enrolments team and tutors.

    Our next one is on the 15th August. We look foward to seeing you then.

    Here's what happend at our most recent one:

     

  • Written By

    Matt Bowen

    Category

    General Fitness, Personal Training

    Posted On

    12 July 2017

    You’ve just finished your course and you are now a fully qualified PT, but how do you start making real money?

    1. Communicate – talk to people
    2. Keep learning new skills
    3. Be Flexible with your Pricing and Packages
    4. Get reviews

    But, before we dive in and explore some of the secrets of success you should be aware that being successful and making money will first and foremost take a lot of grind. It won’t come easily and you will have to work hard, but apply our tips and you will be on your way to financial success.

    Communicate - Talk to people

    How on earth are you going to expand your client base if you aren’t going to talk to people. You may have all the knowledge, wisdom and skills in the world, but who’s going to know just by looking at you? By talking to people, they get to see how friendly and approachable you are as well as knowledgeable. Think of it this way, assume most people in the gym do want a personal trainer but don’t know where to start or are too nervous to ask or approach you. You can burst through that barrier by breaking the ice and saying hello. You might not gain a client that day, but they will come to you when they are ready.

    Related Material: Interview with Charlie King

    Consider group training

    Walking up to people in the gym is one way to talk to potential new clients. But running a group exercise session is another way of getting in front of a captive audience. Now this could take a few forms. Firstly, you can go bootcamp style, gathering lots of people together for a pretty grueling session. This can take some planning as you will need an appropriate space and equipment. But it is an attractive option as it puts you in front of multiple people who might be open to 1-1 sessions as well.

    Secondly you could take a group fitness class in a gym. If you have the qualifications you could run a HIIT class, indoor cycling or a circuit training session. While the pay may not be as great as a PT session, anyone who attends your class could be looking for 1-1 options at some point. This is a great way to get some exposure, add a bit of variety to your schedule and meet potential new clients.

    Related Material: Our Personal Training Diploma includes HIIT, Indoor Cycling & Circuit Instruction courses

    Keep Learning New Skills

    We say it all the time; as a PT you should always be looking to learn more skills and techniques.  Put yourself in the client’s shoes for a second; would you rather train with a PT who has learnt many skills by attending lots of courses such as kettlebell, Pilates, massage, Olympic lifting, suspension training (the list goes on) or with a PT who has their basic qualification and not much else? We thought the first one looked more attractive too. It isn’t just a case of seeming knowledgeable either. Knowledge will enable you to work with the widest range of clients possible, good times!

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    Be Flexible with your Pricing and Packages

    Tight budgets or short on time, ‘no problem’ we hear you say. Develop packages that appeal to everyone. Only have 45 minutes to spare, more than enough time to put a good session in. Can’t afford the standard hourly rate, offer a cheaper bulk package. Don’t want to do 12 weeks but would like a 4-week plan, no problem. Of course, we want clients to sign up for the longer term and to pay full whack, but offering lots of differently priced and sized packages is a great way to stay busy, bring in money and spread the word about just how adaptable you are. It will keep you busy.

    Get reviews, referrals and testimonials

    At this point it’s probably a good idea to seriously consider setting up your website, or to at least have somewhere for reviews to be left. Think like Amazon, customers leave reviews and those reviews will shape another customer’s buying practices. If you have a page of 5 star reviews and a couple of positive testimonials you are more likely to win business than if you don’t. You are not the only PT looking to attract more business. Stand out from the crowd with some lovely feedback from your clients.

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  • Written By

    Matt Bowen

    Category

    General Fitness, Nutrition, Personal Training

    Posted On

    5 July 2017

    Hello summer!  A time for sizzling sausages on the BBQ, dropping a cube or two of ice in a glass of Pimm’s and passing factor 50 all round. Or will it be a complete wash-out? Who knows, it literally is a lottery. While the weather might sometimes be unpredictable in the UK summer months, the food isn’t.

    Broad Beans – Once you have dealt with the minor annoyance of de-shelling them (you can always buy them prepared) you will be treated to a nutritional delight. Broad beans are an excellent source of protein and fibre as well as being rich in folate and B vitamins, which are vital to nerve and blood cell development as well as cognitive function and energy levels. Why not try them in your next salad or with some quinoa and protein of your choice

    Beetroot- Beetroot isn’t for everyone, but if you can stomach the unique earthy taste then you absolutely should add it to your shopping list. What makes beetroot so nutritionally sound? Well to start it’s a fantastic source of nitrates. When eaten, these nitrates convert to nitric oxide, this can help widen arteries and lower blood pressure. Beetroot has also been found to reduce ‘bad cholesterol’ as it contains high levels of soluble fibre, flavonoids and betacyanin, these help protect the heart from heart attack and stroke. For the athletes, beetroot can improve stamina, thanks to those handy nitrates. As well as a host of anti-cancer properties, being rich in vitamin C and potassium, beetroot also comes packed with vitamin A, C, calcium, B6, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus. But you will find these in the leafy tops, do not throw them away!

    Related Material: body fx Nutrition Course

    Cherry – The cherry, we love cherries here at TRAINFITNESS, not only do they taste great, but they also come with a whole host of nutritional benefits. Cherries are a great sauce of anthocyanins and cyanidin, powerful antioxidants. Cherries are also packed full of fibre, vitamin C, carotenoids each of which have great benefits to cancer prevention. As well as keeping you ticking over while you are awake, Cherries come with good levels of melatonin which can help improve sleep quality.  Great, we could all do with better quality sleep! Cherries have also been found to improve arthritis pain, help to reduce fat, reduce post exercise muscle pain and lower the risk of stroke. With so many benefits we aren’t sure why you aren’t already stuffing your face with them.

    Fennel – Yes, like marmite you either love or hate fennel, there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. But if you can stomach it you will reap the rewards as fennel is no slouch when it comes to providing us with the good stuff. Take ageing, no one likes getting old or looking old before their time. Step forward fennel, mother nature’s natural face lift. Packed full of B vitamins and vitamin C, fennel provides the body with what it needs for good skin health. Now your face is looking younger than ever, fennel can also help protect against cancer, can help relieve menstrual cramps and plays a role in fighting off obesity with its fibre content.

    Raspberry – Sharp, somewhat sweet – summer is the time for the raspberry. These little red nuggets are a nutritional powerhouse and should be making it onto your porridge or into your Eton Mess! The raspberry is full of antioxidants (one of the highest concentrations out there) as well as having good volumes of potassium, vitamin C, magnesium and vitamin A. They are an allrounder helping to combat cancer, dementia and infertility whilst boosting mood, immunity and eye health. We are nipping off to the shop to pick some up…..

    Mackerel – We love all things fishy at HQ, and a good mackerel fillet is hard to beat (salmon comes very close). It’s adaptable, tasty and nutritionally has so much to offer. The fish is brimming with omega 3 fatty acids, these have long been known to help prevent heart disease. Mackerel happens to be a great natural source of vitamin D too. This vitamin is important for calcium and phosphorus absorption, maintenance of bones and teeth and can help protect against multiple diseases- think cancer and diabetes. All in, mackerel is not to be sniffed at and should definitely be on your next shopping list. Have it grilled with pepper and a drizzle of fresh lemon, yum.

    Summer doesn’t just have to be about burgers and hot dogs, there’s so much on offer that it would be a shame to ignore the options. Go explore July’s food offering and get creative in the kitchen.

    Other foods to think about-

    • Redcurrant
    • Sea Bass
    • Peach
    • Globe artichoke
    • Kohlrabi
    • Chicory
    • Crab

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  • Written By

    TRAINFITNESS Support

    Category

    General Fitness, Training and Education

    Posted On

    30 June 2017

    With so much information and so many providers to choose from it is very easy to become quickly overwhelmed when looking at where to start your personal training career.  Starting on the path to becoming a PT shouldn’t be complicated and it certainly shouldn’t leave you confused and frustrated.

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    Avoiding frustration and confusion is why we run a monthly Virtual Open Day or VOD. The VOD is an opportunity for you to plug in, from the comfort of your own home and meet our team. In thirty minutes, we go over how we work, what you can expect from your time at TRAINFITNESS, what we offer, how we support you during the course and how we continue that support long after you have finished with us.  We also answer any questions you might have.

    We feel this is a far more digestible way of finding out the facts and the information that is important to you than reading through hundreds of search results, mind boggling amounts of sales talk and conflicting information. At the end of the VOD you are free to make up your mind about training with us; there is no pressure and no obligation. If you have further questions our team are on hand to answer questions, be it on the phone or through email

    If you want to join us in our next VOD on the 18th July 2017, then all you need to do is click here to book your free place.

    If you want to see how a VOD works, feel free to watch the video below. If you still have questions, give us a call or send us an email, we’re a friendly bunch and we love to talk.

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  • Written By

    Matt Bowen

    Category

    General Fitness, Personal Training

    Posted On

    27 June 2017

    SMART or- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound, is a way of focusing your efforts and using your time wisely to achieve whatever it is you hope to achieve, be it improving performance, nailing exams or making improvements to your general health and wellbeing.

    1. S – Specific – A goal should be clear, simple and specific, allowing you to focus your efforts.
    2. M- Measurable – Once you have a specific goal you will need make sure you can track the progress of your work.
    3. A- Achievable- Is your goal realistic, have you set your goal to high? If your goal is to run a marathon in a month having never run one before is an example of an unachievable goal
    4. R- Relevant- Is the goal relevant to you, is it important to you or is it a goal that has been set for you by others
    5. T- Time Bound- Put an end date on your goal. You are more likely to accomplish your goal when working within a specific time frame

    If you are currently working towards a fitness goal or a study goal, SMART might be a great way to focus your efforts and help you achieve your goals. Let’s take a deeper look into what it means to have SMART goals.

    Learn more about SMART goals on our personal training course

    SPECIFIC

    We have mentioned that ‘specific’ means having a clear goal, but what does clear mean? Most people’s motivation when hitting the gym is to ‘get fit’, this is a broad term and not specific enough. Instead, think of what it is that will make you fit. Is it “I want to lose body fat”, or “I want to build muscle”. These are more specific goals. If you are a student, your goal might be to “study hard”. A nice ambition but again too broad, what do you mean by study hard? Be more specific and the goal becomes “I plan to study hard to get a certain grade or to pass my assessment”.

    Measurable

    Now you have your specific goal you can turn to how you will measure your work and determine whether you have accomplished your goal. Take losing weight, this is relatively easy to measure; you want to lose X number of kilograms. When it comes to your study, how do you measure “studying hard”? Perhaps “I will study X hours per week” is your measure or “I will practice delivering sessions with X number of friends and family ahead of assessment day”. These are more clearly trackable and hence measurable.

    Achievable

    You have your specific goals and you have your means of measuring your success, but are your goals achievable. A big mistake when setting goals is to set them so high you make them unattainable.  Take weight loss, is the amount you intend to lose in the time you have set manageable and healthy? The same with study or session practice, do you have enough spare hours to do that additional study, are your friends and family readily available to help you out? Have ambitious goals, just make sure they are safe and attainable.

    Relevant

    Is this a change you want to make or one someone thinks you should make? Are you motivated by your own desire to do well and to achieve, or are you being bullied/peer pressured into making changes? If it’s the former, you have relevant goals. If it’s the latter, you are setting yourself up for an almighty failure because you didn’t set the terms. Think again and come back with goals you want to achieve.

    Learn more about motivating clients for success in our Neuro Linguistic Programming course.

    Time Bound

    Each of your goals, whatever they are, need to have a defined timeframe. If you want to put the hours of study in, your time frame would be shaped by when the assessment is, so “I want to study for 30hrs per week for the next 6 weeks before my assessment date” is a time bound goal. With weight loss, “I want to lose 5kg in 12 weeks” is a time bound and safe goal.

    SMART goal setting is not the only way to create and then stick to goals, but it is a very efficient way to reach your end result and most importantly stick at it.

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  • Written By

    Matt Bowen

    Category

    Training and Education

    Posted On

    27 June 2017

    You’ve spent hours poring over job specs; you’ve looked at graduate roles; you don’t know what you want to do but you know for certain that you don’t want to be sat behind a desk pushing papers for the rest of your life. Perhaps, you already are wondering how the hell you got there?

    If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to reassess.  Ask yourself, do you like working with people? Do you like the gym environment? Do you like the world of health and fitness? Do you like being on your feet, teaching, training, coaching, communicating?

    If the answer is yes, then perhaps it’s time to get the trainers on and consider a career as a personal trainer.  

    Now is a fantastic time to be taking those first steps. The industry is booming and the growth of 2017 is set to continue well. With the total market value estimated at around £4.7 billion and with over a 5.1% rise in gym memberships (that equates to 1 in every 7 people in the UK being a gym member), there are plenty of potential clients for personal trainers to be working with.

    If you’re still uncertain, have a look at some other reasons why a career as a PT could be your future.

    • Do something you love
    • Chance to make psoitive changes in people's lives
    • Challenging and diverse
    • PTs are in demand
    • Financial reward

    Do something you love

    If you spend your spare time training, love sport, love exercise and are ready to hand out tips to random strangers in the gym, then clearly you need to think about training to become a PT. You get to do what you love doing every day and you get paid to do it. What could be better than that? Turning your passion into your career will make work less like work and more like fun.

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    Chance to make positive changes in people’s lives

    What can be more rewarding than helping others create and then achieve goals? As a PT you have the chance to change lives by helping people achieve a happier and healthier existence. You provide the knowledge, guidance and support to help clients transform their lives.  The reward? Being there every step of the way, watching, encouraging and helping clients achieve those physical and mental changes.

    Challenging and diverse - daily

    No two days need ever be the same. Yes, lots of the movements you might teach will be the same, but the people you train won’t be. Variety is, after all, the spice of life. Not only will the people you train be different, but so will the motivations they each have for training; rehab, prehab, transformation challenges, sports-specific training, lifesaving changes. Each client will have unique needs and you’ll have to come up with approaches to meet them.

    Related Content: How to write a good personal trainer CV

    PTs are in demand

    Here’s a straightforward one for you - PTs are in demand. As a nation, we ‘re now much more in tune with what a healthy lifestyle is and isn’t. We’re also much more conscious of making the right choices as well as being prepared to spend money making those choices.  PTs help individuals maximise their training, help get results and help to make positive changes in people’s lives. Those changes are what people value and that’s why as a PT you could be busy, busy, busy doing what you love doing.

    Financial reward

    Do it right and you could earn an extremely good income as a PT. As more individuals are becoming aware of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, demand for personal training has grown. Getting yourself onto the best course, getting hired by a gym, or taking the freelance route can put you in a great position to take on clients and enjoy a very attractive income. The more you put in, the more you could be earning.  The only thing holding back your earning potential is you.

    Build a regular and solid client base, get plenty of experience under your belt and you could be on your way to financial gain.

    Switching careers, or taking your first step into the working world might be daunting for you, but the resources are there to help you get the necessary foundation training, as is the support for ongoing and continued learning. If you love the world of health and fitness, if you like working with people, and you like diversity, a career as a PT may well be right for you.

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  • Written By

    Matt Bowen

    Category

    Nutrition

    Posted On

    15 June 2017

    Mitochondria (pronounced might-o-con-dria) have recently undergone extensive research and are proving to be extremely interesting. What’s been discovered is that they are crucial to our overall health as they moderate the disease and aging process. However, their primary role is to produce energy (ATP) for each cell they reside within.  

    The most fascinating aspect of Mitochondria is how they came to be part of human physiology. Many lines of evidence support the idea that mitochondria were originally ‘free-living cells’, meaning that they weren’t part of other more advanced cells.

    Then, likely more than a billion years ago, an ‘endo-symbiotic’ event occurred where a free-living mitochondria was taken in by another primitive cell (or maybe it was trying to invade the cell – we don’t know! This would suggest that this new super-charged cell gave rise to the original eukaryotic cell – a cell with greater complexity that has a nucleus which houses the cell's DNA and directs the synthesis of proteins, the very tissues which make us!

    Why is this so interesting and important? Well it could just be that without this chance endo-symbiotic event, the evolutionary lines to the modern human may never have occurred!

    As Lee Know ND puts it “The acquisition of mitochondria seems to have been the decisive moment in history of life as we know it… if not for mitochondria, the world would not have evolved beyond single cell bacteria”.

    From a natural selection perspective, organisms which can tough it out and survive in their environment are much more likely to pass on their genes to the next generation. Therefore, any survival or reproductive advantage can help prevent extinction! By joining forces with the mitochondria the cell had obtained an energy producing piece of machinery. As the host-mitochondria relationship developed, so did an entire life form!

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    We now know that our mitochondria are inherited through our maternal line, passed down from the mother’s egg. Mitochondria even have their own DNA, separate from that of our own cells and there are many hundreds to several thousands of mitochondria in each human cell. Examples being tissues that are very energy hungry, such as the brain and liver which have greater numbers of mitochondria to support the extensive and continuous work they do.

    Day-to-day, the job of the mitochondria is to produce energy for the cell – we call this energy ATP. Many people have heard of aerobic (with sufficient oxygen) or anaerobic (insufficient oxygen) energy production and it is the site of the mitochondria where aerobic energy production occurs. Aerobic ATP productivity is much greater than anaerobic. For example, for every molecule of glucose the anaerobic system creates x4 ATP, whereas complete breakdown of that same glucose molecule within the aerobic system provides 36-38 ATP!

    The fact that mitochondria really are the ‘power-houses’ of our cells is both a blessing and potentially a curse (using the word ‘curse’ is a bit OTT, mind). And this ties in with the ‘mitochondrial theory of aging’. Simply, the theory states that aging and many diseases which accompany it are caused by a slow degeneration in the quality of the mitochondria.

    Mitochondrial function is important because, during the aerobic production of ATP, reactive molecules known as ‘free radicals’ are produced – this is a completely normal process. However, over time, it has been suggested that free radical generation may cause some damage to near-by cell machinery, in particular the DNA of the mitochondria and the nucleus of the cell.

    Whilst each cell in the body is equipped to deal with free radical ‘leakage’ and can repair damage caused, long term oxidative stress can breach a threshold for the health and function of the cell.  This deterioration eventually leads to the cell dying. If the cell cannot produce the energy it requires, then it cannot do its job properly, that is, to be an important part of the ‘tissue family’ within which it resides. Indeed, the tissue those cells are part of (for example the heart, skin or muscle) also deteriorate – one of the hall-marks of aging.

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    One important factor which regulates the amount of damage which might be caused by the oxidative stress of free radical leakage from the energy production line is the rate at which we use up ATP. If there is too much fuel relative to demand, then a spill-over effect occurs and free radicals are lost/escape.

    The job of anti-oxidants within each cell is to convert the mischievous free radical into good-old H2O – yes, each cell actually produces its own metabolic water as a result of making energy and mopping up free radicals (quite a useful by-product).

    It is important not to take the leap of faith however and assume that ‘cellular vitality’ can be restored and optimised so that we can live forever.  Taking in lots of exogenous (external) antioxidants in the form of supplements – has been shown, through research, not to work!

    So, from a practical stand-point, the key message here is this: in order for the antioxidant systems of the cell not to become overpowered by too great a buildup of free radicals, we need to be conscious of energy balance:

    • Low physical activity → lower fuel (food intake) to prevent free radical leakage
    • High physical activity → maintain or increase fuel (food intake) as back-up in the production line is prevented by energy usage

    From this we can deduce that keeping one’s weight in check is not just a means of staving off diabetes and cardiovascular diseases but offers a means to act against diseases of aging. This also provides a rationale for the use of dietary strategies such as intermittent fasting, which is a form of calorie restriction. Some research in animals provides support that chronic calorie restriction may extend life expectancy (but a leap of faith is needed to extrapolate this to humans).

    In addition, regular moderate-intensity exercise is important for wider health and indeed, mitochondria. Even though exercise requires more oxygen and energy, which produce more free radicals, it also serves to keep the energy production line moving and stimulates ‘mitochondrial biogenesis’, defined as the growth and division of pre-existing mitochondria, which increases the cells ability to make adequate energy for itself.   

    Finally, a nutrient-dense and diverse diet which supports energy production and mitochondrial health is another piece of the anti-aging puzzle. Nutrients such as B-vitamins, iron, magnesium, coenzyme Q10 and copper should feature in foods eaten regularly:

    B-vitamins

    Salmon, asparagus, red peppers

    Iron

    Chicken liver, spinach,

    Magnesium

    Pumpkin seeds, quinoa, yoghurt  

    Coenzyme Q10

    Oils from nuts, fish and meat

    Copper

    Cashew nuts, lentils, walnuts

      

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