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Finding the right personal trainer

When it comes to choosing a Personal Trainer, many people are unsure of what questions they should be asking and what qualifications they should be looking for. Should they focus on the trainer’s experience or their education? Should they stick with one trainer or work with multiple trainers? It is important to identify what you want out of your training. For instance, do you want to be pushed hard? Are you willing to sweat? There are no simple answers to these questions as they will depend on your individual goals, needs, expectations and availability.

At Body & Soul, our trainers complete personal profiles which summarize their experience, education, interests and, in some cases, include information on the different ‘type’ of clients they have strong experience working with such as seniors, athletes and clients recovering from injuries or health conditions. As you read through the profiles, consider what it is you need from your Personal Trainer.

While we understand that clients develop strong bonds with certain trainers, we encourage you to train with 2-3 trainers as this will ensure you have other options in the event that your trainer is sick or on vacation. It is also a great way to change up your workout as each of our trainers has a unique training style.

Photo credit: Alexander Mainwaring

Fitness File – May

fitness files

The May issue of our monthly e-newsletter – The Fitness File – is available now! This issue covers the following:

  • what to expect when you return to training
  • fitness tip: single-leg hamstring curls
  • nutrition tip: the nine essential amino acids
  • COVID-19 studio update(s): small group personal training capacity
  • club news: studio closure, and happy birthday Body & Soul
  • staff spotlight: Scott Hallam (Assistant Head Trainer)
  • studio Q&A: I want to get back into running, but it hurts my knees. What should I do?

Check it out here.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone – Neale Donald Walsch

In many aspects of our lives, we find comfort in what’s familiar and known to us. While this may seem harmless, complacency can hinder one’s progress, particularly when it comes to individual health and fitness goals.

At some point, most of us have reached a plateau with respect to our goals – i.e. unable to lose the last five pounds after significant weight loss over several months – and the frustration can lead us to completely abandon our current routine and seek new, and sometimes desperate, alternatives (i.e. supplements or extreme dieting). What many people don’t realize is that the body may have simply adapted to the current demand (load, reps, intensity, etc.) and may just require modifications to once again be challenged.

Photo credit: Alexander Mainwaring

Be sure to control the movement

As fatigue sets in, it can be difficult to maintain proper form; however, it is important to be in control of your body’s movement with each exercise to avoid unnecessary strains or injury as well as to gain the full benefits of a given exercise. As an example, consider the movements of a complete push-up: it is important to maintain a tight core, neutral neck position and to control the motion of lowering your body to the floor (or ball/bench), as opposed to letting gravity do its work.

A well rounded workout program

A well rounded program should involve lots of primary movement exercises; for instance, squats, lunges and chest presses. These exercises incorporate the movement of multiple joints and muscles. Once you feel comfortable doing primary exercises, and your body has adjusted well, consider introducing secondary exercises to your routine. Secondary exercises, such as bicep curls, focus on single joint movements and target specific muscles or muscle groups.

Start off by doing 3-4 primary exercises, 3 sets and 15-20 repetitions, followed by an aerobic exercise of your choice, i.e. biking or running. Once you are comfortable doing this, decrease the number of repetitions to 8-10 and add secondary exercises to your routine, keeping the secondary exercises to 3 sets of 15. Finally, finish off your workout with about 10 minutes of stretching. Overall a well rounded program should challenge all aspects of your fitness, including muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, cardiovascular system, and balance.

Remember to consult with your doctor before beginning a new training program.

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