Can’t Afford a Personal Trainer You Say?

On most occasions, trainers come up against this one overriding question on receipt of an enquiry – “how much do you cost”?

Yep, money rules but to quote the cliche, ‘you get what you pay for’… or do you?

Firstly, when you meet a trainer one-to-one, you aren’t really paying for a particular service, you’re exchanging a fee for their skills, experience and knowledge. If you are looking for a safe and effective outcome or experience, you’ll most likely place this on your prerequisite not cost.

a8305f265e95a6a0be0508d6a27c1566Think about it. If you wanted your hair done for a night out on the town, are you likely to choose the cheapest hair dresser?

I doubt it. I imagine you’ll want someone with experience and skill to look after your plumage. Why then would it be different when choosing someone you’ll be entrusting your physical wellbeing with?

The Problem

The average professional career life of a trainer in Australia is between 1 – 3 years according to the Australian Fitness Network. Many factors lead to the end of the dream for these 1000’s of trainers every year but sadly this reflects on the experience levels of trainers out there. In 2012 approximately 10000 personal trainer candidates where studying for their certificates. Whilst I do commend those pursuing a career in fitness, I must confess, it’s takes a lot of ongoing education past the initial cert 3 and 4 in Fitness. It takes determination, networking, lots and lots of marketing just to get a few new clients.

With so many new trainers circulating, the average experience level is very low and yes, many new trainers will respect this and have lower fees to reflect on this. Conversely though, it makes it harder for the in-the-market-for-PT customers to weigh up their decisions. A newbie may charge $25-$35 for a session whereas an experienced trainer with 8-10 years may charge $75 to $100 an hour.

The Solution

Thinking empathetically of the average customer, it can be a challenge to pay for a well experienced trainer to train them 2-3 times a week. However, rather than turn away this potential customer, many trainers, myself included have addressed this issue by providing Sharing solutions and Online Training.

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Working out with kettlebells

Shared or semi-private training allows for 2-3 people in a session where the trainer can supervise and instruct individuals successfully. A good indicator of an experienced trainer is just that – being able to instruct 3 people simultaneously! The investment is lower for the participants whilst the trainer is remunerated appropriately.

 

Online Training is a great way to gain training in the comfort of your own home or gym without the trainer having to actually be present. Systems are set in place where the client is provided with a detailed program, delivered via a smartphone app and uses a combination of videos and instructions. Accountability is provided by in-app messaging and frequent check-ins with the trainer.Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.50.08 AM

Online training again, is a cheaper alternative as a lot of the resources supplied by the trainer is already on file or automated cutting down on trainer workload time.

So, whilst face to face training can be cheap and nasty, or an investment, there are options. If looking for a trainer, be sure to ask them what experience they have, how they continue their education and of course, do they provide shared training and online training.

I sure do and love the variable working styles each provide me.

If interested in learning more about what FitStrong Brisbane does, or if you’re a trainer wondering how to step up your skills, please do get in touch.

Yours in health,

Jamie Hunter

 

Winter’s Coming, so Get Flexible!

As winter sets in here in Australia, many of us will inevitably spend more time sitting, huddled up in the evenings and maybe not doing the full range of physical activities we pursue in the warmer months. Now, I know this won’t apply to everyone but, in particular, I’m addressing the cold haters… you know who you are!

This lack of moving has no rewards. Your body doesn’t need to be huddled up. And we’re not hibernators. There, I said it!

With a lack of incidental mobility, flexibility will in turn take a hit and this causes problems. 

I’m actually writing this straight after a training session with a client who has just had a week off work. His biggest issues today were his hamstrings and hip flexors. He did stay active during his work break and in fact he did a 12km walk a couple days earlier but, his sitting quotient rose considerably over the week, despite his higher than usual physical activity.  An extra couple of hours of exercise in way balances out an extra 30+ hours sitting when he’d normally be on his feet at work. It’s not a criticism, it’s just what happens when when we remove mobility, purposeful or incidental.

Getting back on topic – flexibility. It’s a controversial subject that causes riffs in the strength conditioning world. Many trainers will shun ‘doing stretches’ whilst others will proclaim it’s a high agenda component of recovery post exercise.

The reality, it’s probably somewhere in the middle of priorities for the average population but as we age, or become less active such in the colder months, its importance rises.

The benefits of flexibility are so great that training experts like Ian King call flexibility the last frontier of human performance. King also said:

Flexibility, generally speaking, is the most important physical quality. The impact of the flexibility on all other physical qualities is greater than the one of any other single physical quality. Flexibility potentially improves strength, speed and endurance more than any of these qualities impact on the other. In addition, I believe of all physical qualities, this one has the greatest impact on injury prevention. Flexibility training also potentially has the greatest contribution to recovery of all the physical qualities.”

(cited from this article: https://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/flexibility-is-like-any-other-discipline-it-takes-discipline)

So, what’s a reasonable action we can all take? I say reasonable because I could very well list 6-10 stretches to do in the evening and after whatever exercise you are doing but ‘nah’, you’ll probably not do them. Instead, I want to share what is in my opinion, the best of all stretches for unravelling our bodies tension from all the poor postures we put ourselves into.

Enter The Brettzel…

Brett Jones and Gray Cook introduced the world to this stretch in 2008 and it has slowly spread around the training circles. It’s a simple shape to get into although it may still be challenging to some. It will help reduce tensions but also helps us to identify asymmetries and imbalances in all the corners of the body.

Without further nattering from me, here are a couple of videos of the Brettzel. I would really encourage you to play with this simple stretch. Don’t go to pain and if you can’t breath properly, you shouldn’t be in that position. If concerned, just drop me a message.

 

Here’s another version of the Bretzel:

 

So, instead of huddling up, learn the Brettzel… maybe in front of a heater!

Motion is Lotion

A wise man once told me how motion is lotion. How true these words ring with me.

Let me explain.

I’m getting older and I seem to be training greater percentages of people in my age demographic. Yes, I still train people much younger and older than me who present themselves with their own physical strengths, limitations and goals but, what I see in everyone in their late 30s to 50s is really quite specific.

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The pain points that resonate are both actual pain points as well as intrinsic pain points and drivers. The problems facing each of us include:

  1. Posture related issues from years of working behind a desk
  2. Old sports injuries or other acquired injuries and strains
  3. Stress from work and modern life
  4. Lack of exercise full-stop

These are the problems or burdens of course, the pain points are deeper and emotional. Lets look at the above list to develop the pain points you may see reflected in yourself.

  1. Posture issues = pain, stiffness, sore heads, poor sleep. These things are what you want to feel less of and experience more of the opposite.
  2. Old injuries = almost as above but if you exercise or still desire to participate in your sport of choice, you might want a way to still exercise, play sport but without the old injuries resurrecting.
  3. Stress = relationship strain, poor work performance, no balance or escape. You simply want away from those stressful environments to work on activities that are not stressful. Play, fun, uplifting physical activities have been shown time and time again to help cope with stress.
  4. Lack of exercise = feeling weak, unfit, old, achy, tired all the time, unable to cope with stress and pretty much most of the above! If a lack of exercise is acknowledged it can be daunting and confusing deciding how to start an exercise plan.

For all these issues, the salutogenic factor is the lotion of motion.

Motion is the purest and simplest remedy to many physical and emotional strifes.

manky_old_trainer_by_heitchbee

Old Trainer!

As a trainer, getting older, with a list of old injuries from sports, early gym endeavours (yep, I made a fair few mistakes in the early years and I paid for those experiences) I can empathise with my peers. Now, 5 years ago I would be advocating all the big barbell lifts. Deadlift, Squat, Bench Press, Military Press and flipping big tyres but you know what, as fun as they are, they just a few things we can do, should do and are designed by nature to do.

Moving well should be the first priority, long before a barbell should be hoisted up for action. If we can’t move ourselves through a variety of positions, then should we really be attempting to move a heavy external load? If you feel you can answer that with an honest rational, then please do.

We owe it our bodies to best prepare it for life and all nature has planned for us in the future. How do we do that then? By just playing with movement.

I’m not saying to drop the kettlebell or barbell exercise, don’t get me wrong, I love my kettlebell training but, I probably wouldn’t be able to do exercise with kettlebells or bars if it wasn’t for the other ‘stuff’ that I play with.

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I’ve always loved calisthenic movements, even though I play mostly with the simplest, rudimentary forms of them but, they keep me lubricated,  greased and ready for doing the heavy stuff.

In the past couple of years I’ve been introducing more body movement activities, from the systemised Original Strength to other movements, and less heavy activities especially for my age demographics. Mostly, the pain points get addressed, actual pain is reduced, the sense of wellness increases and one great testimony I receive is …

I leave the gym feeling better than when I came in!

That right there, is what I want to help more people with. But, to start with, I need to get more people on board with doing more body weight exercise.

The problem most exercisers have with unloaded body weight exercise is that they see it as something too easy, something real beginners do cause they don’t have weights equipment to do trix with yet!

kill-bill-volume-1-silly-rabbit-trix-are-for-kids

And yes, Trix are for kids, but kids mostly still move and play…..AND SO this brings me to close this rather lengthy post.

This week I’ve introduced a Strength Mobility Challenge to FitStrong.

No weights, no kettlebells, just three body weight movements most people can do.

You are more than welcome to give it a try and post your results below. I’ll be running open events for FitStrongers to give it a go too and of course, I shall undertake the challenge very soon myself.

Here it is:

 

 

 

Good luck, move well, move often and smile 🙂

Jamie