How to Overcome Barriers to Health and Wellness

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Overcome Barriers Measure Backwards

Overcoming barriers in your personal health and wellness can be difficult.  Even if you know the change will be good for you, it’s often uncomfortable.

That’s especially true when it comes to making health and wellness changes. Many bad health habits are deeply ingrained. Replacing them with healthier ones requires a lot of work . . . and a lot of patience.

The first step to success is having a clear vision of what achieving health and wellness looks like to you. In other words, you must know your priorities and identify goals that align with your values.

But no matter what your health and wellness goals may be, one thing is certain: you will encounter barriers along the way.

To achieve lasting change, you have to expect barriers. You also have to recognize them as you encounter them, and create a game plan to overcome them.

How to Identify Barriers to Change

A barrier is anything that gets in the way of you achieving your goals. Barriers pull you off track, slowing down or even stopping your progress.

Unfortunately, many people run into these obstacles and then give up. Sometimes this happens because they don’t know how to navigate through to successfully overcome barriers. But other times it’s because they don’t recognize the barriers in the first place.

If you want to reach your health and wellness goals, you have to be able to clearly identify what your barriers are. Only then can you figure out a game plan for overcoming them.

You should keep in mind that some barriers are external, like a busy schedule, distractions, or health issues. Other barriers are internal, such as lack of knowledge, fear, or low self-esteem. Some barriers will prevent you from even getting started at all, while others will arise later.

To identify your own barriers, think about your goals and the last few times you tried to achieve them. If you didn’t succeed, what held you back? Was it your mindset? Was it certain habits?

Or if this is the first time trying to achieve a goal, what do you think will or could stop you from making long-term changes in the future?

Everyone will make mistakes and encounter challenges during their health and wellness journey. But if you try to anticipate obstacles and identify them as specifically as possible when you meet them, you’ll be much more likely to overcome barriers.

How to Overcome Barriers to Change

Once you’ve identified your barriers, you should brainstorm realistic ways to address them. You should consider as many solutions as possible, even if you haven’t tried them before. Be creative!

Then think about the pros and cons of each possible solution, and choose an approach that you think will most likely help you reach your health and wellness goals. Understand that you may need to try more than one approach and that is completely okay. Just keep experimenting until you find a way forward!

Below are some ways you can overcome barriers to make sustainable long-term change in your life.

Create A Plan for Achieving Your Goals

Many people don’t follow through on their goals because they don’t think they have enough time. They think they’re too busy, or they have more important things to focus on right now.

Does a perfect time really exist for you to begin working towards an important life goal? To be honest, there is not. However, this is where time management skills will be saving your grace. And time management starts with a plan.

You can get ideas for your plan by speaking and looking at how others manage to incorporate healthy habits into their busy schedules. And once you’ve decided the best way to incorporate healthy habits into your life, create a plan of action.

This means identifying what you need to do to succeed, including the first step you need to take, and when you need to take it. You should also think about barriers you may encounter and how you’ll deal with them.

For example, if you want to start exercising more, you have to decide which days, what time, the type of exercise, and how long you’ll exercise. If you think a busy schedule will get in the way, plan your workouts on different days and times for a week to figure out which works best for you.

The more specific and detailed your plan is, the better! If you have a vague plan, you’re much less likely to follow through on it.

Set Realistic Goals and Break into Subgoals

When you have a big goal, the sheer size of the undertaking is sometimes enough to throw you off track.

To increase your chances of success, make sure your goals are realistic. For example, it’s not a good idea to try to lose a large amount of weight in a very short period of time or eat a “perfect” diet every single day. Unrealistic goals will likely do more harm than good.

Instead, figure out what’s achievable for you. Then once you have a realistic goal, as noted above, you should have a detailed plan to reach your goal. That plan should include breaking each of your goals into sub goals. Having these smaller short-term goals will help you gain momentum since you’ll have more frequent “wins” and will actually enjoy the process.

For example, instead of doing a complete overhaul of your diet, you can start by eating two vegetable servings a day or hitting a daily protein goal.

Even small changes in your life can have a huge impact. And overtime, they’ll add up to big changes. If you try to make too many changes at once, you’re likely to give up on all of them. But if you keep your goals simple, measurable, and manageable, you’re much more likely to feel motivated to keep going.

Build Your Confidence and Self-Esteem

Mindset issues are one of the biggest roadblocks to change. It’s impossible to achieve lasting change if you have a fixed mindset and don’t believe in your ability to change. Negative thoughts like “I already messed this up” or “I’m too set in my ways” aren’t productive and will not allow you to make progress.

But like all other habits, you can change your mental habits. You can focus on having a growth mindset and learn how to embrace the uncertainties that come with change.

Of course, this is easier said than done.

But to start, it can be helpful to keep a record of your thoughts. When you’re feeling negative, write about the situation and how you’re feeling. Then write down your underlying thoughts and ask yourself if they’re helpful or accurate. Over time, you should be able to identify which thoughts are helpful and healthy, and which ones are holding you back.

It can also help to educate yourself on health and wellness. This can boost your confidence in your choices. And as noted above, setting smaller, easier sub goals can help as well. Sub goals are not as intimidating and achieving them can change the way you view yourself and your ability to change.

Expand Your Health and Wellness Knowledge

To reach your health and wellness goals, you have to be willing to learn. You need to know which of your habits need to change and why. You also need to know how to effectively make those changes.

If you don’t take the time to properly educate yourself, there’s a good chance your progress will slow down or come to a complete halt.

For example, if you want to improve your sleep quality, it is important to not only understand what is causing your sleep quality to be low, but you need to also learn the techniques you could try to sleep better at night.

Luckily, there are many free credible websites, books, and other resources you can utilize to strengthen your health and wellness knowledge. And if you don’t know what to focus on, consider getting the help of an expert, like a Health & Wellness Coach.

Developing Your Internal Motivation

When trying to reach health and wellness goals, many people start by relying on external motivation.

External motivation is based on factors outside of yourself — like rewards, competitions and punishments. While this type of motivation may help at the beginning of your journey, many people hit barriers once those external factors are removed.

If you want sustainable change, you have to develop your own internal motivation. Internal motivation comes from within. It’s understanding your personal content and reasoning for your goals to achieve long-term success.

Developing internal motivation is a process. You’ll have to devote time and energy into self-discovery to figure out what your true reasonings and content are for your desire to change. But it’s absolutely worth doing to help you overcome barriers you will face during your health and wellness journey.

Face Your Fear

Stepping outside of the comfort of your old health habits can be difficult and scary. You may be afraid that you don’t have what it takes. Or that you’ll never be able to eat the things you love again. Or that you’ll look like a newbie in the gym. Or that you need to find the perfect program or know everything before you get started.

Fear is a normal response to things that are unknown or challenging. But if you allow fear to control you, you will let it interfere with reaching your goals. Fear can affect you emotionally and physically, and it has the power to stop you from even trying.

Fortunately, you can manage your fear. You can use your reasoning skills, mindset work, and your support systems to overcome barriers related to fear. You can speak about it or write down your feelings to help identify triggers or determine how present you are being in your life. As noted above, it can also help to create sub goals, so that your goals aren’t completely overwhelming.

If fear is standing in your way of true progress — explore techniques for managing it. However, keep in mind, you can’t just try one and if it doesn’t work then give up. It is important for you to keep trying different methods until you find one that works for you!

Address Physical and Mental Health Issues

There are some barriers that require the help of a professional. For example, you may have certain health conditions or physical limitations that might require a different approach to successfully reach your goals.

That’s why it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor before making big life changes to your current eating and exercise habits.

Your mental health is equally as important. If you feel stressed and hopeless all of the time, you will not be in the best mindset needed to make positive changes. Issues with mindset can also have a huge impact on your ability to recognize and analyze your unhealthy behaviors.

But with expert diagnosis, you can receive the treatment you need to overcome these types of barriers. You’ll then be ready and able to pursue your goals both physically and mentally.

Seek Support

No matter what your barriers are, it can make a world of difference if you have support as you work through them. Strong support systems are critical to successfully achieving your goals.

Many people turn to their family members and friends. For example, if you’re trying to be more active, you might recruit your spouse or a friend to join you, or at least cheer you on. You can also ask them for help in changing your habits and keeping you accountable.

Even before you encounter any barriers, you should think about who in your life can support you on your journey. And don’t be afraid to lean on them when you need to!

If you don’t feel like there’s anyone you’re comfortable relying on, a professional like a Health & Wellness Coach can be an invaluable source of support, encouragement, and knowledge.

Whatever You Do, Just Keep Going

When you first start working towards a goal, it can be exciting. Your motivation is high, and the “newness” of it all keeps your spirits up.

But sooner or later, you will encounter barriers. And if you’re not prepared for them, your progress may stall or even be lost. This can be rather discouraging, causing you to give up altogether.

The most important thing is to remember that health and wellness is a lifelong journey. If you encounter a barrier, the ideal solution is not to give up. Many people have been on this journey before you, and there’s a way to break down every kind of barrier.

Therefore, whatever you do, just keep going. Keep trying to find solutions for overcoming your barriers. And don’t forget to celebrate your successes, too — no matter how small!

To overcome barriers more quickly, you should also consider working with a certified Health & Wellness Coach. Your coach will have the experience and knowledge to help you identify your personal barriers and figure out ways to overcome them.

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Personalized Workouts for You and Only You

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Measure Backwards Personalized Workouts Tailor Workout 3

Working out can be extremely rewarding and fun if a program is tailored to you. There are countless ways to exercise and if you don’t like something, you don’t necessarily have to do it. Sure, some methods may get you results a little bit quicker than others, but a personalized workouts approach is what will always work the best for you in the long-term.

To build an effective personalized workout plan, you should first answer a few important questions. Here are just a few you may want to consider:

  • What is your goal? What are your sub goals?
  • Will you be working out at home or a gym? Which exercises do you enjoy?
  • How many days per week can you dedicate to working out?
  • What resources do you have available to you?
  • Do you have a strong social support system? If not, how can you build one?
  • What possible obstacles could you face? How will you handle them?
  • What will accomplishing this goal mean to you?

If you went through these questions and felt overwhelmed or uncertain about how to answer any of them then don’t worry, that is completely normal. This is just one of the many reasons why you could benefit from working with a Personal Trainer who can help you to successfully achieve your goals through strategically creating a personalized workout program for you.

This article discusses a few of the main benefits of building an effective workout routine that suits your goals, fits your lifestyle, and is enjoyable.

Defining Goals

It is imperative for a Personal Trainer to understand each client’s goals and how healthier habits will connect to their values in life before they can begin creating personalized workouts. Collecting this information will help a Personal Trainer provide effective guidance to help clients overcome obstacles and challenges. Identifying life values can help a Personal Trainer ensure that goals are real and relevant by framing the lifestyle behaviors in terms of those values. When people first begin working with a Personal Trainer, their goals tend to be generic, vague, and ambiguous. By putting the goals in context of what the client values, the Personal Trainer can facilitate the process of transforming the goals from abstract ideas into personalized and realistic plans of action that clients are motivated to begin. This can be achieved by using open-ended questions to identify the reasons why the goal matters to the client.

Sub Goals

Successful behavioral change is almost always the result of small achievements accumulated over time. However, the opposite is also true—the cumulative effect of repeatedly engaging in a series of small behaviors (missing several workouts in a row, eating a few extra “treats” every day, or regularly overeating) can have a big impact over time. These are essentially the way people make physical changes—for better or for worse. Over time, making poor choices and developing unhealthy habits, may inspire someone to make a decision to get back in shape, hire a Personal Trainer for guidance, and follow personalized workouts created specifically for them.

More often than not, once a person decides to take action towards living a healthier lifestyle, they will expect to see results immediately. This is where a Personal Trainer can help you understand the importance of making a series of small behavioral changes that will ultimately lead to a big change. Even when your daily life gets hectic and you fall behind on errands, work/home projects, and family demands, the support from a Personal Trainer can help you navigate through challenges while staying on track towards reaching your goals.

Identify Potential Obstacles

The pattern of starting a fitness program and then quickly stopping it is a very common theme for many people. Often, at the beginning of a workout program, people will be more focused and motivated because they are excited, and it is the beginning of a new endeavor. But there may be significant reasons why people never enjoy real and lasting change. Uncovering these reasons is valuable information to a Personal Trainer when developing a personalized workouts. Furthermore, it is essential to reexamine the goals in light of any obstacles and discuss potential changes that may be warranted. Common obstacles to health-behavior change—just like the motivations for health-behavior change—can be either internal or external. Internal obstacles relate to a client’s attitudes, opinions, thoughts, feelings, and self-talk about health, fitness, exercise, or nutrition. External obstacles can include time, family, and work responsibilities.

Internal Obstacles

Often times when people first begin working with a Personal Trainer, the have an unhealthy mindset that can adversely affect their attitudes, thoughts, and feelings toward change. For example, it is common for people to have tried several times previously to make changes but have failed each time. People often feel overwhelmed by daily demands, and their significant unhappiness with how they feel or look has decreased their level of hope that change is possible for them. A few examples of statements that Personal Trainers often hear from people with this type of experience are, “Exercise does not work for because I have bad genes,” or “I have tried everything, and nothing works for me.” Statements such as these reflect a fixed mindset of someone’s inability to change. As a result, they avoid challenges, give up easily see effort as worthless and feel threatened by the success of others.

If you can relate, it is essential for you to work with a Personal Trainer who can steer you toward a growth mindset as they create personalized workouts.  They will enable you to learn and grow, embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, view effort as the path to improvement and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others. To successfully facilitate this change, a Personal Trainer can simply begin to examine the potential challenges you may face now and have faced previously in pursuit of health improvement. An important element of this is exploration with you is to learn what you have done to cope with challenges more effectively in the past and how you plan to cope with current challenges.

During this process, it helps a Personal Trainer avoid the common practice of telling you what to do and instead treats you like you have the ability to find the best way around your own obstacles by facilitating the development of your own unique solutions. For example, if a client admits that they need to drink more water. Instead of telling the client how much water to drink, a Personal Trainer can ask more questions such as, “How will you ensure that you begin to drink more water?” and wait for the client’s response. The client might have an idea about how best to achieve this goal. If the client needs help, then the Personal Trainer can offer suggestions, while still allowing the client to choose which of the offered suggestions seems to be best suited for their particular lifestyle. For example, the Personal Trainer may offer the following suggestions to help the client achieve the goal of drinking more water:

  • Always pack a water wherever you may go during your daily routine.
  • Link the behavior to something commonly done throughout the day, such as taking a sip of water every time you look at your phone.
  • Set an alarm on your phone for every hour to help keep you on track to hit your water intake goal for the day.

Out of the recommendations provided, it is the client’s decision to choose which option would work best.

External Obstacles

Frequently, when discussing goals and the available time for commitment to the exercise and nutrition changes necessary, a client will provide a Personal Trainer with best-case scenario answers. However, it is essential for a Personal Trainer to understand the realistic time that is available and the motivation level of the client. By having these honest conversations, it allows the Personal Trainer to build personalized workouts that will truly fit a client’s life and avoid setting up a situation where the lifestyle changes are in direct competition with other priorities and commitments.

The first step in identifying external obstacles is conducting a realistic examination of the opportunities for change remaining in a client’s life, after including all the daily work and family responsibilities. For example, pretend that you told your Personal Trainer that your schedule would allow you to workout 5 days per week for 1-hour sessions. But after further investigation, your Personal Trainer discovers that this schedule will only work if you leave work on time, don’t have any pre-scheduled after school activities that you need to drive your kids to, and don’t have any house chores that evening. After further exploration, you may have significantly less actual exercise time available given these realistic life considerations. If these factors are not uncovered initially and your Personal Trainer simply proceeds with developing a program for you, you will eventually feel the stress and pressure of the competing demands and the workout program will often be what is compromised.

Create Solutions Before Problems Appear

A huge benefit of following personalized workouts and working with a Personal Trainer is that they will provide their clients the opportunity to think of solutions before facing an obstacle. When facing an obstacle that has historically thrown you off course from your health goals, the most familiar path will be the one that is taken unless a different response has been planned. With guidance from your Personal Trainer, you can gain confidence from the knowledge that there has been a different solution created that will motivate you to successfully work through an obstacle. For example, if you get frustrated because you miss a few workouts and let your negative emotions take control, you will likely feel like giving up. After discussing this with your Personal Trainer, you realize that you will not get into great shape from one or two workouts and, similarly, you will not get out of shape from missing one or two workouts. Having these conversations with a Personal Trainer will help you to maintain a positive outlook and focus on your reaching your goals.

Everyone Has Strengths

You have likely been asked the interview question, “What are your strengths?” Regardless if you love or hate this question, candidates are expected to communicate their level of confidence in having the necessary skills required to be successful in the available position. However, when it comes to health and fitness, many people lack confidence in their own abilities, are likely to try the latest fads, and have difficulty focusing on their goals. When creating personalized workouts, a Personal Trainer will help you to reframe your goals by aligning them with areas where you are already confident. For example, if a client is an exceptional Financial Analyst, but has terrible nutrition and exercise habits. The attention to detail and organizational skills required to be a successful Financial Analyst are not that different from those required to successfully follow through on a personalized program. A Personal Trainer can reassure clients that they already possess the skills necessary to be successful in reaching their goals by pointing out the areas in which they are already confident and capable.

Remember, everything in life is hard before it is easy. You need to embrace the newbie stage until you have done it enough for you to get better at it. This is may seem simple, but it is still an important lesson that needs to be learned.

Bottomline

If you are ready for an effective workout routine that suits your goals, fits your lifestyle, and is actually enjoyable, it’s time for you work with a certified Personal Trainer. When it comes to setting yourself up for success, a Personal Trainer can help you to define your goals, understand your strengths, and identify solutions to possible obstacles. All of these are important elements to take into consideration while developing effective personalized workouts.

At the end of the day, a certified Personal Trainer will design the best workout program according to your specific goals. Additionally, you will receive guidance as you begin to transition into a healthier lifestyle and develop new habits. Again, these are only just a few examples of the many benefits a Personal Trainer provides to ensure success in reaching your personal goal.

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Custom Nutrition Goals Help You Meet Your Needs

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Custom Nutrition Goals Measure Backwards 1

 

When it comes to setting custom nutrition goals and creating a personalized nutrition plan, there are no secret hacks or tricks. It takes a bit of reflection on your habits, recognizing what and why you desire change, and taking small steps toward those changes every day.

By eating fruits and vegetables, ensuring adequate protein intake, selecting unprocessed fats and carbs, and paying attention to serving sizes are all helpful tips when it comes to nutrition. However, every single person is different, and what works for one might not work for another.

This article will explain how working with a Nutrition Coach can help you to better understand the long-term effects of your goals, how to build healthier habits into your life, and how to effectively align your action plan with your custom nutrition goals.

Benefits of Long-Term Nutrition Goals

In this day and age, it’s difficult for many people to be patient. One reason is because of the advancement in technology, which has spoiled us. For example, packages no longer take up to 2 weeks to be shipped to our doorstep, it now usually takes just 1 day. Unfortunately, instant gratification does not work when it comes to setting custom nutrition goals and patience is a must.

There are many issues with fad diets, but one of the biggest problems is that they are not sustainable. Spend a few weeks starving yourself and you’ll feel lethargic, miserable, and miss out on some of the finer things in life. Is this really worth putting your health at risk to fit into a dress that you will wear for less than 4 hours of your entire life? Some might say it is worth it. But what happens once it’s over? You’re so tired of lettuce and plain chicken that you binge on pizza and beer. Or what if you develop an unhealthy relationship with food? The constant flux of yo-yo dieting is not safe or ideal for anyone.

Smart nutrition goals, on the other hand, focus on the long-term. They are created based on sustainable changes that you can make today. Maybe that’s simply writing down what you had to eat so you’re more mindful. Or maybe it’s adding meal prepping to your Sunday routine.

Building Healthy Habits

When you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, it is important to focus on the process. Adaptation is a process and being process-oriented rather than results-oriented may lead to better long-term results. Although it is tempting to want immediate results, hiring a Nutrition Coach will help you to learn, grow and progress towards your custom nutrition goals in multiple areas of health and wellness.

Building the following healthy habits may help improve your chances for success in accomplishing your custom nutrition goals.

Increase Your Awareness of Current Habits

Many people have a tendency to mindlessly consume food and having an awareness is the vital first step in developing healthier habits. A Nutrition Coach can help you to recognize and care about what you are (and are not) eating and how much. You do not always need to count your calories, but every calorie does count. For example, keeping a detailed food journal (either on paper or online) will allow you to identify patterns and triggers/cues.

Plan and Prepare Weekly Dinners

Making smart choices can be especially challenging when life becomes hectic. Consider a typical evening after a long day at work, picking up the kids, sitting in traffic and arriving home at 7pm. You are likely feeling mentally and physically exhausted, many people are far more likely to order a pizza or grab fast food rather than decide what healthy food to make and then take the time to actually cook it. When you plan a dinner menu for the week removes the energy associated with making a decision when you are tired and hungry. Further, it helps create a strategic shopping list for the week with food items that you will be using to prepare your meals.

Sit Down to Eat, Share and be Present

When you eat alone, it can be associated with both less nutritious food consumption and increased technology usage. In other words, individuals are much more likely to engage in emails or social media, rather than having a conversation or focusing on the meal. Sitting down to eat with family or friends can encourage healthy behaviors and allow you to be more mindful. This can help you to stay on track and remain focused on your goals while enjoying some company.

Enjoy Food

Periodically eating indulging foods should not produce guilt. When referring to foods and behaviors, eliminate the words good and bad. Instead, consider what should be done more frequently and what should be done less frequently. It is important for you to eat a variety of foods and it is absolutely okay to live life and indulge occasionally. Developing a good relationship with food is essential when it comes to your ability in achieving your custom nutrition goals.

The Power of Goals and Sub Goals

When you establish custom nutrition goals and create a series of sub goals to progress toward that end goal, it will allow you to practice consistent healthy behaviors that develop into habits. An example of this could be to sign up for a race or event (5k, half marathon, Warrior Dash, etc.). This is what will motivate you to complete those extra 20 minutes of exercise that might not otherwise have been done. And those 20 minutes, a few days a week, over the course of a year add up to a significant change and hopefully new habits. Additionally, a Nutrition Coach will encourage you to have a growth mindset that will not allow you to define yourself by your shortcomings or failures. After a minor hiccup, do not wait until Monday (or the 1st of the month) to reboot, but instead start back up on a healthy eating plan the very next day.

At the end of the day, hard work, consistency and patience are vital to fostering lasting results.

Align Action Plan to Your Goals

A Nutrition Coach can support you to not only identify your custom nutrition goals but can also assist in creating an effective action plan. Once your goal has been determined, an action plan should take the following factors into consideration:

  • Tracking your progress
  • Identifying potential barriers
  • Getting support

Tracking Your Progress

Keeping track of your progress helps you see how far you’ve come while also holding you accountable to stay with your plan. Below are a few suggestions a Nutrition Coach might ask you to do to track your progress against your custom nutrition goals:

  • Use a notebook or food journal to keep track of the healthy things you do. You can use this to look this over when you begin to doubt yourself or feel discouraged.
  • Pay attention to how you feel. Can you notice any difference when you are eating better? Or do you notice any difference when you sometimes eat poorly?
  • Notice whether your food preferences change. As we change what we eat, we learn to like new foods. You may find that you don’t like some of the foods you used to eat before you started making changes in your diet. And you may learn to like new foods that you thought you didn’t like.

Consider Your Barriers

Take the time to think about what things could get in the way of your success. By taking time to think about potential barriers to achieving your custom nutrition goals, you can plan ahead for how to deal with them if they happen.

Here are some tips for dealing with barriers:

  • It’s perfectly normal to try something, stop it, and then get mad at yourself. Lots of people have to try and try again before they reach their goals.
  • If you feel like giving up, don’t waste energy feeling bad about yourself. A Nutrition Coach can help you to remember your reason for wanting to change, remind you about the progress you’ve made, and guide you back on track.
  • When you hit a barrier, your Nutrition Coach can talk you through how to navigate through it.

You can expect to encounter some barriers and a Nutrition Coach can help you to identify them ahead of time to plan what you will do to deal with them.

Get Support

The more support you have, the easier it will be to accomplish your custom nutrition goals. If your Nutrition Coach, friends, and family members are telling you that they love the idea of how you are becoming healthier, you will probably be motivated to keep up the good work.

And there’s more support out there. You can even ask for encouragement. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Friends and family can encourage you by saying how they admire you for making challenging changes. Don’t be afraid to tell family and friends that their encouragement means the world to you and that you appreciate their support.
  • Don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach one of your goals. For example, if you hit your protein goal every day for a week, your reward could be buying a new protein powder flavor to try or a new cookbook. The reward should be something that excites you and makes achieving your goal satisfying.

Bottom Line

Successfully creating, planning, and achieving custom nutrition goals is never straightforward. Creating custom nutrition goals is never simple or easy. However, when you work with a Nutrition Coach, it makes the process a little easier by helping you to understand the value of setting long-term goals, building healthy habits, and developing an action plan that aligns with your specific goals. When you have a certified professional guiding you throughout the process, it will allow you to remain focused on your action plan and continuously make progress towards accomplishing your goal.

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We’re Certified Fitness Experts!

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certified fitness expert measure backwards

There’s no denying that working with a certified coach is highly beneficial to you. However, the hunt for a quality coach who has your best interest at heart can feel quite overwhelming. There are several factors you need to take into consideration when making your selection on a credible coach. In fact, one of the most important factors for you to verify is their credentials.  At Measure Backwards, we’re a team of certified fitness experts.

Whether coaches obtain a relevant degree or certification, it is always advantageous for you to understand their education background. For example, to keep a Personal Training and Health & Wellness Coaching certification active, it is required to complete a certain number of continuing education credits every two years. Similar to careers (nurses, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and therapists) that commonly require certifications or licensures, the continuing education credits allows a certified professional the opportunity to continuously learn and stay current about the industry. When coaches are not certified or have a relevant degree, it is important for you to understand which resources they use to research information. For example, if they are only using Google University, perhaps it might be in your best interest to explore other options.

When it comes to your personal health and fitness goals, you deserve only the absolute best from a coach. At Measure Backwards, we value education and professional development to provide quality service to each of our clients. This article highlights a few of the advantages and what you can expect while working with certified professionals.

Personal Trainers

Being a certified fitness personal trainer is imperative to safely and effectively design fitness programs that help clients achieve their goals. A certified Personal Trainer understands that every person is unique and needs to be evaluated based on individual fitness needs.

Sadly, there are currently no national or state licensing requirements for working as a Personal Trainer like there are for other health care professions such as; doctors, nurses, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, and athletic trainers. Therefore, without licensing requirements, anyone and everyone can claim to be a fitness professional and offer personal training services.

But fitness professionals are a growing and essential part of the allied health industry. So, how is someone to know whether the fitness professional they hired (or are simply following on social media) is, in fact, a truly qualified pro? The answer lies in accredited certification.

Here are some of the subjects that certified Personal Trainers are commonly educated in:

  • Exercise Science (Anatomy, Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, Biomechanics)
  • Health & Fitness Assessments
  • Exercise Programming for Healthy Adults
  • Principles of Nutrition & Weight Management

Similar to this, they have to have the skills to build programs for all types of people, like those who are obese, older, injured, have medical conditions and so on. Our team knows exactly what to do in all of these cases.

Nutrition Coaching

The knowledge gained from earning a Nutrition Coach certification provides tremendous support to clients towards achieving their goals through combining a strategic nutrition plan. A nutrition certification strengthens a coach’s ability to help their clients make better nutrition choices and develop long-term healthy habits. Additionally, it is highly beneficial to learn how to effectively guide clients in selecting fresh, nutrient-dense foods, and how to shop for and prepare healthy meals.

Among the key areas of study are:

  • Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals
  • Food as energy for maintenance, physical work, and repair
  • Effects of exercise on nutritional needs and how nutrition affects exercise
  • Assessing a client’s nutritional situation and their needs
  • Determining the best approach for each client
  • Progressing clients until they reach their goals

It is beneficial for a Nutrition Coach to be well-versed in all the popular dietary trends and sharing knowledge about unpopular truths. Much like there is no one-size-fits all approach with certified fitness professionals, there is also no one-size-fits-all strategy with nutrition. And there are also many angles you can take to create a tailored plan.

Health & Wellness Coaching

Health & Wellness Coaching is different from personal training because it takes an integrated approach to overall wellness in three primary areas: physical, behavioral, and nutritional wellbeing. Certified fitness Health & Wellness Coaches work with their clients to develop individualized plans to meet their goals that include weight loss, fitness, stress, life, sleep habits and nutrition.

Going through the Health & Wellness Coaching certification provides insight on how to develop integrated wellness strategies such as setting goals, preventing disease, stress management, improving mind-body connections and behavioral change. To expand on this, when you are looking to make behavioral changes, it will only work if the plan is self-directed by you. Long-term change is most achievable when you collaborate with a Health & Wellness Coach to make your own decisions that will aid in self-discovery and empower you to mobilize internal strengths and external resources to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors.

The coaches at Measure Backwards are certified in this style of coaching that will help you to achieve your personal goals while building healthier sustainable habits into your life. A certified Health & Wellness Coach provides more of a hands-on style of coaching that helps guide you throughout your journey while you remain in the driver seat. Therefore, a Health & Wellness Coach will never tell you what to do, but will instead encourage you to make decisions based on what you feel is best.

A few of the key areas of study for a Health & Wellness Coaching certification are:

  • Adult Learning Concepts
  • Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Theories and Models of Behavioral Change
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Goal Setting
  • Overcoming Barriers to Change

The Complete Package

The power combination of education and experience are the secret sauce when it comes to credibility as a coach in the field of fitness, nutrition and wellness. At Measure Backwards, we place high value in education and staying current with the latest research. We strongly believe that our clients deserve to work with a certified fitness professional who will provide continuous support using evidence-based science to ensure a safe, successful journey towards reaching their goals.

That’s why you need to be extra careful when searching for a qualified coach. Simply put, there are many “influencers” out there that may look like they know how to help you get the body of your dreams, but in reality, they may lack the knowledge and experience that is needed to provide quality coaching. Just because someone puts in their bio that they are an “expert” or has over 10,000 followers, doesn’t automatically make them a qualified professional. More often than not, these influencers have biased opinions and could potentially put your health at risk.

Here is a deeper look into what you should watch out for.

6 Social Media Red Flags

  1. Does the influencer have appropriate qualifications? Check their “about me” section to look for verifiable credentials from accredited institutions.
  2. Are they transparent with where they get their information (linking to sources or including citations to credible research articles)?
  3. Are their recommendations and postings based on fact or opinion? Linking to or citing scientific studies is a good indication that they’re using evidence-based information.
  4. Do they criticize a particular food or food group? Do they recommend or push certain programs that primarily involves pills, detoxes, teas, or other specialized supplements?
  5. Are they passionate about coaching to help people or to make money? Read through their website, social media content, and schedule a consultation call.
  6. What kind of services do they offer? What all is included in each of the packages?

Unfortunately, when it comes to fitness and nutrition, there is an overwhelming amount of information and it is extremely confusing. Even though it is natural to see a picture of someone and automatically think they would be the perfect coach for you because they have a desirable physique, it is still advantageous to take a closer look at their qualifications as a coach. When it comes to your personal health and wellbeing, you will never regret taking your time to find a coach that you feel comfortable with and trust.

Bottom Line

At Measure Backwards, we are certified fitness professionals, and we are fully transparent about our experience and credentials. We are passionate about helping people and believe in being a lifelong learner to serve our clients to the best of our abilities. Do we know everything? Absolutely not. Whenever we are unsure of something, we will tell you and see it as an opportunity to conduct research and learn. We strongly believe in building and maintaining honest relationships with our clients.

Regardless if education is obtained from a bachelor’s degree or certification, it requires a person to invest time, money, and dedication. Sure, just about anyone can read a book, study, take a class, and pass an exam. However, this is why Measure Backwards is different. We aren’t coaches because we simply went through the motions to become one. We are coaches because we feel it in our hearts that this is exactly where we want to be and feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity to help people, just like you, achieve their health and fitness goals.

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It’s All About You with Measure Backwards

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About You with Measure Backwards

In any business, there is a very important interaction that needs to take place between a potential customer and a specialist. One can call this human connection or emotional connection. To put it into simple terms, it’s building trust, loyalty and rapport, and it’s all about you with Measure Backwards.

Without this step, a business might not know all the facts about the person they are talking to and that can prove to be a fatal mistake. And far too often, this is the very case in the fitness industry.

Prospective clients want to feel comfortable, important and valued. At Measure Backwards, it is a top priority to focus on each individual client through establishing a trusting coaching relationship to ensure proper guidance towards achieving your goals.

Benefits of Individualized Coaching

If you want to find information on how to become healthier, there are thousands of resources easily available to you such as; websites, articles, podcasts, videos, lectures, webinars, classes and books about exercise and healthy eating. Some resources may suggest following specific programs that include detailed guidelines about what you need to do. However, more times than not, these recommendations are not be the best option for you since these are generic programs that don’t take into consideration anything about you.  Understand that individualized coaching with a qualified professional is the best way to get the help you need, and it’s all about you with Measure Backwards.

When reading about various health related topics, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • How credible are these resources?
  • How accessible are they?
  • Can they be adapted to fit different people and situations?
  • Is this something that is sustainable?
  • What are the risks?
  • Will this program teach me how to overcome obstacles?

What is Coaching

The International Coach Federation defines coaching as, “Professional coaching is an ongoing professional relationship that helps people produce extraordinary results in their lives, careers, businesses or organizations. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life.” Unlike a standard program package, one-on-one coaching is all about building trusting relationships and self-efficacy with their clients.  It’s all about you with Measure Backwards.

For example, certified coaches are trained to:

  • Accept and meet you where you are today
  • Ask you to take charge
  • Guide you in doing the mindful thinking, feeling, and doing work that builds confidence
  • Help you define a higher purpose for health and well-being
  • Uncover your natural impulse to be well
  • Address mental and physical health together
  • Help you to set and achieve realistic goals
  • Harness the strengths you need to overcome your obstacles
  • Reframe obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow
  • Inspire and challenge you to go beyond what you would do alone

Accountability Partners

Working with a coach will provide you with a tremendous amount of support to help you have the tools, resources and education to achieve your goals. Part of this support will be in the form of holding you accountable. A coach is your ‘accountability partner’ and this accountability may be in the form of ‘homework’ assignments and/or motivation, inspiration and encouragement. During each coaching session your coach will ask you for an update on your progress towards your goals. Your coach can also help you move away from giving excuses as to why objectives were not achieved to taking accountability for what was achieved and adjusting the plan to ensure success.  You will have full support from our coaches as it’s all about you with Measure Backwards.

Client Assessments

Assessments are invaluable to coaches in the health, fitness, and wellness industry. The process of deliberately answering questions about your priorities, needs, values, readiness, and challenges in health and wellbeing promotes self-discovery and expands awareness. Assessments essentially begin the coaching process even before your first coaching session. People become more aware of who they are, where they are starting, what well-being encompasses, and where they want to go.  You can develop this awareness with our team because it is all about you with Measure Backwards.

For example, an assessment could help a coach to better understand your:

  • Energy levels throughout a typical day, including energy boosters and energy drains
  • Life satisfaction to determine your sense of purpose, joy, gratitude, work satisfaction, and personal relationship satisfaction
  • Mental and emotional fitness that may include coping skills, resilience, sleep patterns, stress levels, emotional status, social activity/support, and personal loss
  • Weight management that includes your Body Mass Index, height, weight and waist measurement
  • Physical activity and exercise to learn frequency and types of physical activity
  • Nutrition to understand your eating behaviors and relationship with food by looking at your daily intake with snacks, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, water, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and trans fats
  • Overall health with blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, relationship with a physician, women’s/men’s health issues, frequency of illness, medications, tobacco use, and personal/family health history

Prior to your first coaching session, a coach will take the time to carefully review your completed assessment. This will allow a coach to prepare specific questions to ask during your assessment review to learn more about who you are and your goals. During your first coaching session, a coach will confirm important items noted from your assessment that might be significant in working towards your goal.

Staying in Touch

A coach will have scheduled meetings with you to help keep you engaged and motivated. By doing this, it will give you an external push to stay on track throughout your fitness journey while encouraging you to work hard at achieving your goals. Technology provides countless ways to make it easier in staying connected. Whether you prefer to receive emails, texts, phone calls, or FaceTime a coach will frequently touch base with you to ensure you stay on track.  We will communicate how you want to communicate because it’s all about you with Measure Backwards.

First Coaching Session

Your first coaching session is extremely valuable because it is where a coach will begin the process of getting to know you and understand who you are. Typically, your first session with a coach will include a conversation about your expectations, assessment results, identifying your strengths and values, creating SuPeRSMART goals and developing action plans. Your coach will be taking notes and asking powerful questions in order to provide you the best coaching experience possible because it’s all about you with Measure Backwards. There are several other key elements that your coach will be listening for during your first session as well.

Preferred Learning Mode and Style

When it comes to generic cookie cutter programs, customizing the program to your specific preferences and goals is nonexistent. However, working with a coach who will adapt to your preferred learning style will positively contribute to your success throughout your journey.  You can get the program you need to meet your specific preferences and goals with our team because it’s all about you with Measure Backwards.

There are several different learning styles to consider:

  • Visual (Spatial) – Visual learners learn best when they have images to help them process the information. This learning style requires the learners to first see what they are expected to know. They may also need to map out or write out their thoughts in order to really process what they are thinking.
  • Aural (Auditory-Musical)– Aural learners respond best by listening and would rather listen to someone speak than read information or see illustrations.
  • Verbal (Linguistic) – Verbal learners learn best through the words they hear. Typically, they love both written and spoken word, excelling in both. These learners are typically those that go into public speaking, writing, journalism, and debating.
  • Physical (Kinesthetic) – Physical learners are extremely animated and always need to be moving. They learn best by going through the motions of what they are learning.
  • Logical (Mathematical) – Logical learners are the individuals who want to understand the reason behind content or skills and tend to enjoy games like chess and doing brainteasers.
  • Social (Interpersonal) – As the name suggests, social learners are true people persons. They often prefer direct involvement with others in group projects. They are stimulated by dialog and may seek out feedback from instructors. However, they may not be comfortable or perform best when required to work alone or on self-paced projects.
  • Solitary (Intrapersonal) – Solitary learners are individuals who prefer to learn on their own. They are self-motivated and highly independent. They favor a quiet environment both in their personal and academic lives.

Bottom Line

Although people turn to coaching for their own unique reasons, it’s time for you to invest in a certified coach if you are:

  1. Done with fad diets and yo-yo dieting
  2. Wanting to focus on your health for the long-term
  3. Ready to make the commitment
  4. Tired of endless amounts of false information and want to be properly educated
  5. Build your confidence

What it all comes down to is asking yourself whether you would be more successful long-term if you purchased a generic program or working with a coach who will help you to discover your strengths, identify your goals, develop your plans, and design your strategies for growth and change.

Remember, during your fitness journey, you will inevitably encounter challenges and setbacks. A generic program will likely not address or guide you through those difficult moments. Whereas, a coach can assist you to view such times in a positive light – as opportunities for you to learn and grow. A coach can assist you with developing an effective problem solving strategy that includes brainstorming, creating self-awareness, increasing your desire to stay on track, and experimenting with new action strategies or tweaking your behavioral goals themselves.

Before investing in a generalized program that is built for anyone and everyone, make sure it is the best option for you to successfully achieve your specific goals. If you are not 100% confident that it will align perfectly with your goals, working with a certified coach will most definitely be your best option.  If you have any questions, feel free to schedule a free consultation and you can learn more about how it’s all about you with Measure Backwards.

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Review Workout Videos with an Online Coach

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Measure Backwards Workout Video Review

 

Have you ever tried a new exercise and then ended up quitting just after a few reps because you couldn’t quite figure out how to do it correctly? Did you have anyone to review workout videos so you could understand what you need to improve?  It can be discouraging when you want to add a new exercise into your routine but can’t because you have no idea what you are doing wrong or how to fix it.

Regardless if you are brand new or have been working out for several years, partnering with a certified Personal Trainer will help educate you to understand the purpose and technique in performing various exercises. This article highlights reasons why it is beneficial to work with a Personal Trainer who offers to take the time to evaluate your workout videos.

Reasons to Submit Your Workout Videos and Photos to a Personal Trainer

Working with a qualified fitness expert who provides you with regular feedback on your workouts is going to help you in both the long and short-term. So instead of feeling alone, confused and intimidated, a Personal Trainer can provide you with constructive feedback to help you learn and strengthen your confidence throughout your fitness journey.

With remote, online Personal Trainers, you are encouraged to record yourself performing exercises and ask any questions you may have.  When they review workout videos, they can analyze your technique, tempo, ROM (range of motion), intensity, volume, etc. Just remember, you will receive the best answers by a certified Personal Trainer who understands your background and specific goals.

Help You Learn Proper Technique

Have you ever been frustrated because you struggled to learn how to perform a particular exercise? A Personal Trainer’s job is to teach you proper technique and there are a few different strategies to break down how to perform an exercise.  They will be able to review workout videos, understand where your improvement opportunities are, and coach you accordingly.

Personal Trainers Can Adapt to Your Learning Style

Everyone has a preference when it comes to how they learn new information, such as watching, listening and doing. This is an important topic to discuss with a Personal Trainer during an initial consultation to ensure efficient communication. For example, a Personal Trainer can visibly demonstrate what an exercise looks like and explain what is happening.

Utilize Tech Tools

Your photos and videos taken while performing exercises can enable a Personal Trainer to help you understand and improve your technique issues. It can be quite beneficial to review workout videos or see a photo of yourself that has lines, angles, and arrows added by your Personal Trainer showing you a desired movement.

Restart Button

Sometimes it is best to push the restart button and approach the exercise differently. A Personal Trainer might review workout videos then have you eliminate equipment and focus on using bodyweight basics. Another approach might be to try alternative exercises that would help you learn how to isolate the same muscle before trying the exercise again.

Strengthen Your Confidence

Submitting videos and photos not only shows a Personal Trainer your form, but it also reveals your strengths. Instead of feeling like you are doing the exercise completely wrong, by seeing a photo or watching videos, a Personal Trainer can communicate what you are doing right after they review workout videos. By recognizing your strengths, you will begin to strengthen confidence and focus less on what you can’t do and more on what you can do.

Remind You of Where You Started

As you go through your fitness journey, there will be days where you don’t feel like you are making progress and want to just give up. These are the times when a Personal Trainer can review workout videos with you that were recorded at the beginning of your journey to remind you how far you have come since then. In those particular challenging moments, it is easy to focus on your current slump and forget about everything you have already accomplished. Videos and photos are great reminders as to why you should be extremely proud of yourself and to keep pushing forward.

Educational

Not everyone enjoys taking pictures or videos of themselves, especially while working out, but it can be extremely valuable to see your form when you review workout videos. For example, you might think you have perfect technique while holding a plank, but after watching a video of yourself, you may notice your back is arching and as your abdominal and arm muscles start to fatigue, your hips begin to sink. Although you may have felt like you were holding a plank correctly, you are now able to see how you can improve your form for the next time. Taking photos and videos of yourself is not only helpful for a Personal Trainer to provide recommendations, it is also an excellent way for you to learn as well.

It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect

The main purpose of having a Personal Trainer review workout videos is to have them evaluated so that you can receive quality feedback. You do not need to worry about making the best video of your life by finding the best angles, quality lighting, or which outfit you should wear. The only person viewing these will be your Personal Trainer who will provide specific instructions on how you should record and take pictures of your workouts. You don’t have to smile, talk, or have your best workout gear on – just follow the instructions, record the video and/or take the picture in one attempt, send it to your Personal Trainer and call it a day.

Online Personal Trainers Accessibility

With the more traditional form of Personal Training, your ability to ask questions and seek advice is limited to the scheduled appointments that you have made with your trainer at the gym. And more than likely, the trainer has another client immediately after you so there is not a lot of opportunity to ask any last-minute questions. Plus, if you do have a question after completing your session on a Wednesday night, chances are you’ll need to wait until next Wednesday to ask it if you even remember what your question even was by that point and time.

Things are a little different while working with an online Personal Trainer where the window of communication is wide open.  An online Personal Trainer can review workout videos just about any time!

It is common for most online Personal Trainers to make themselves accessible through emails or other communication apps, meaning you will likely receive a response within 24-hours.

The Value of Constructive Feedback

Aside from answering specific questions, there is tremendous value in receiving constructive feedback. Personal trainers have a responsibility to help clients use the feedback provided to move forward in their accomplishing their goals.

Feedback should achieve 3 specific goals:

  1. It focuses on what was done well or correctly.
  2. It offers gentle corrections to any errors made.
  3. It will provide a motivational aspect to encourage clients to keep moving forward and practice their skills and behaviors.

Providing constructive feedback can enhance your development both physically and mentally, along with increasing your knowledge of training. This in return can encourage long-term commitment and more importantly strengthen your motivation to continue training to the best of your ability.

Increases Your Insight and Perspective

Constructive feedback provides you with a new perspective and opens your eyes to things you may have overlooked or never considered. It can help you grow by shedding light and giving you the opportunity for improvement. Just remember, it’s important that you don’t take criticism too personally, it’s meant to help you learn and grow and is not an attack on your skills or character.

Strengthens Coaching Relationships

Your Personal Trainer should genuinely care about you and want you to succeed. Receiving feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, is a good thing because it just goes to show that your Personal Trainer is invested in your future and wants to help you learn. Rather than not caring and letting you fail; a Personal Trainer believes in you and will do anything to support you in your journey.

Cultivates Trust

Would you listen and take advice from someone you didn’t trust? Establishing a safe, transparent, collaborative trusting relationship with a Personal Trainer is essential for you to learn and make progress towards achieving your goal.

Personalized Advice Based on Your Goals

One of the best things about asking a Personal Trainer to review workout videos is knowing that they have your best interest at heart.

Discussing fitness and diet with an expert who knows you and understand your specific goals, strengths, and weaknesses are unquestionably more valuable and effective than talking to a random person on the internet, or someone only offering generalized advice. Why? Because fitness is personal! When it comes to fitness, there are some incredibly educated people out there. But that does not mean simply because a person used to compete in bikini competitions that they should be giving you the same advice. As personalized medicine, health, and wellness continue to develop in the United States, it is becoming more and more obvious that (while there are certain universal health-truths), many health-related topics vary from person-to-person.

Prior to asking a Personal Trainer to review workout videos, you will have detailed conversations about your goals and what you want to get out of working together. These discussions are particularly valuable because throughout your fitness journey, your Personal Trainer will incorporate exercises in your workout regime that align with your goals.

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An Exercise Database to Keep Your Workouts Fresh

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Measure Backwards Exercise Database Article

An exercise database will help you take the guesswork out of knowing which exercises target certain muscle groups, how to use various workout equipment or understanding proper form can make your journey a bit easier towards reaching your goal. By doing the right types of exercises, you will yield results. They will help you burn fat, gain muscle, and look and feel better. On the other hand, you want to avoid doing the wrong types of exercises that could cause injury, slow your progress, and leave you feeling discouraged and wanting to quit.

To help you succeed, an exercise database is an excellent tool that will not only help you now, but it can also be valuable in the future as well.

Why You Need an Exercise Database

There are many reasons you will benefit from using an exercise database. These include:

  • It Makes Life Easier: The easier you can make things on yourself mentally, the better. Constantly stopping your workout to watch YouTube videos about how to perform a certain exercise in the middle of your workout session can be disruptive and time consuming. With access to an exercise database, it will allow you to remain focused and feel more confident during your workouts.
  • It Ensures You Are Doing the Right Workouts: All exercises are not created equal and, depending on your goals, there usually is a right answer. For example, if you want to target certain muscle groups or try different exercises, you can use filters in the exercise database to easily find what you are looking for.
  • It Organizes Your Weekly Routine: Whether you want to find exercises on the fly or if you want to design your weekly training program, you will greatly benefit from using an exercise database to help keep you organized.

Support Your Workout Goals

A huge benefit of using an exercise database is to help you achieve your fitness SuPeRSMART goals. By having access to hundreds of workouts in an exercise database, it can ultimately help you in the following ways:

  • Target Muscle Groups: Whenever you are not sure how to do an exercise or don’t have access to certain equipment, you can search through an exercise database to find alternate options to target specific muscle groups.
  • Muscle Strength/Muscle Endurance: If your goal is to improve your muscle strength, this means that you want to increase the amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert in resistance to a single effort. Or, if your goal is to increase your muscle endurance, this means that you want a muscle or muscle group to repeat a movement many times to hold a particular position for an extended period of time without fatigue.
  • Stretching: Often ignored, but very important. Stretching can help improve your flexibility and the range of motion of your joints.
  • Workout Variations: Although you don’t need a lot of variety when it comes to exercises in your current workout plan, it is still beneficial to challenge yourself to learn new exercises. Whether you are following a program prescribed by a certified Personal Trainer or developing your own, being able to understand different types and proper forms of exercises will maximize your progress.

Focus on Primary Muscle Groups

There are a number of ways that people choose to workout. Some people choose to do upper body days followed by lower-body days. Some people use the push/pull method. Others switch off between days of cardio and days of weightlifting, and some simply do full-body workouts every time they’re at the gym. While the best approach depends on your goals—perhaps the best method of all (or, at least, the most popular) is to divide your workout days up by muscle group.

Using an exercise database to divide your workout days up by muscle group and or combining certain muscle groups up with others is a consistent and organized way to meet your fitness goals.

There are six main muscle groups you should focus on incorporating into your weekly training program:

  • Chest
    • Pectoral
  • Back
    • Trapezius
    • Rhomboids
    • Latissimus dorsi
    • Erector spinae
  • Arms
    • Biceps
    • Triceps
    • Forearms
  • Shoulders
    • Anterior Deltoid (front)
    • Lateral Deltoid (middle)
    • Posterior Deltoid (rear)
    • Trapezius
  • Legs
    • Quadriceps
    • Hamstrings
    • Glutes
    • Calves
  • Trunk – Three muscle groups:
    • Abdominals
    • Obliques
    • Lower Back

Muscle Strength/Muscle Endurance

When training for a specific goal it is important to understand which phase you should be using. The main objectives of muscle strength is to become stronger, more efficient in movements, a better sport specific performer and to have denser muscles.

Muscle endurance is the best phase for a beginner or an endurance athlete. Beginners would benefit from this phase more because the light weights make it easier to learn proper form and perform consistent ROM (range of movement) throughout the exercise.

Stretching

Before assuming you know how to stretch, referencing an exercise database and watching videos can be advantageous to make sure you do it safely and effectively. While you can stretch anytime, anywhere, proper technique is key. Stretching incorrectly can actually do more harm than good.

Here are a few tips to keep stretching safe:

  • Don’t consider stretching a warmup. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. Before stretching, warm up with a light walk, jog or biking at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. What typically works best it to stretch after your workout when your muscles are warm.
  • Focus on major muscle groups. Concentrate your stretches on major muscle groups such as your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Make sure that you stretch both sides.
  • Don’t bounce. Stretch in a smooth movement, without bouncing. Bouncing as you stretch can injure your muscle and actually contribute to muscle tightness.
  • Hold your stretch. Breathe normally and hold each stretch for about 30 seconds; in problem areas, you may need to hold for around 60 seconds.
  • Don’t aim for pain. Expect to feel tension while you’re stretching, not pain. If it hurts, you’ve pushed too far. Back off to the point where you don’t feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
  • Keep up with your stretching. Stretching can be time-consuming. But you can achieve the most benefits by stretching regularly, at least two to three times a week.

Workout Variations

Another great thing about the exercise database it that it enables you to work out the right muscles independent of the equipment you have available. For example, if Monday is normally your chest day and you are currently on a business trip and only have access to a rather rinky-dink hotel gym. You are used to your gym at home that offers several options of dumbbells, cables, benches, smith machines, and barbells. However, at the hotel, you only have a limited set of dumbbells, a bench, and a few resistant bands. Instead of just skipping the workout all together, you could use the exercise database to select workouts that use the equipment that is available to you.

Additionally, instead of scrolling through hundreds of exercises, you can use the filters to help you quickly find what you are looking for in the exercise database. You can search by body part, level of experience, or equipment.

Provides Education

An exercise database is an excellent education tool to help you learn the names of exercises, which muscles are being worked, and proper form. Since you are already investing time to workout, you might as well learn about the exercises that you are doing. Also, if you are not comfortable trying out new exercises at the gym, using the videos to practice the movements at home first might help boost your confidence.

Motivational

Everyone has days when they struggle with motivation to workout. Whether you had a stressful day at work, the weather is gloomy, or you just feel glued to your couch, an exercise database could help inspire you to workout. How? Sometimes it can be helpful to actually see the workout you have planned to talk yourself into just getting it done. Or it can be helpful to make a few minor tweaks to the workout instead of just not doing it at all.

Conclusion

Having access to a library of workouts right at your fingertips is an invaluable tool for anyone with a fitness goal. Whether you are working with a certified Personal Trainer or developing your own workout plan, an exercise database will support you in identifying exercises that target specific muscle groups, style of strength training, stretching, and workout variations.

It is also convenient to have exercises in one place. Have you ever saved exercises that you saw on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube and then either completely forgot about them or forgot which social media platform you saved it on?  Instead of wasting time scrolling through all of your social media accounts, do yourself a favor and use an exercise database created by a certified Personal Trainer. Not only will this help you save time, it will also help to educate and motivate you to make progress towards achieving your fitness goals.

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You Keep Regaining Weight

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Keep Regaining Weight Measure Backwards

When it comes to maintaining weight loss, you cannot control a few of the complicating factors, such as your age, sex, and genetics. However, you can control important health behaviors such as your food selections, how much you exercise, and how often you stand or move throughout the day to make sure you don’t keep regaining weight.

Losing weight is only half the battle and for many people, the bigger challenge is keeping the weight off long-term. This article describes a few common reasons why people regain weight and tips on how you can prevent it from happening to you.

Blame it on Your Brain

The truth is that, if you keep regaining weight and want to be successful at keeping weight off, the cards are stacked against you because your brain and body are hard-wired to regain lost weight. This, combined with the abundance of high-calorie foods available today, makes it all incredibly easy to put the pounds back on.

After you lose weight, your metabolism slows down which causes you to burn fewer calories than would be expected, even when you’re at rest. This happens because your brain senses your fat storages are low and sends signals to the muscles to become more efficient in using energy causing you to burn fewer calories.

On top of this metabolic slowdown, multiple systems in your body undergo changes that affect your desire to eat. For example, after losing weight, your appetite increases causing you to eat more to feel satiated and you may choose to consume higher calorie foods. Areas of the brain involved in the ability to resist eating are also less active, which could make it difficult to choose healthier food choices.

Fell into the Short-term Mindset

One of the biggest reasons people keep regaining weight is due to having a short-term mindset instead of a long-term vision. In order to successfully achieve weight loss long-term, you must change your lifestyle. A big mistake people commonly make after achieving their weight loss goal is thinking that they can go back to eating the way they did prior to beginning their diet and not exercise as much.

To be honest, weight maintenance is just as hard as weight loss. The changes you make in your nutrition and exercise regimen do not stop once you hit a certain number on the scale. This is why it is so important for you to make changes that are sustainable for you long-term.

All or Nothing Mindset

It is normal for a fitness journey to have a few bumps in the roads and it is rarely ever a smooth ride for most people.  There will be days when you hit all of your goals and there will be days when don’t. However, when people have an all or nothing mentality to maintaining their weight it could lead them down a slippery slope very quickly. When people have this type of mindset, it means that they are either doing every single thing “right” when it comes to eating, exercising, getting enough sleep, etc. for their health or once they get off track, they tend to make everything an unhealthy choice. For example, if a person with an all or nothing mentality misses an early morning workout they may think, “Since I already missed my workout earlier, I will have pizza and ice cream tonight.”

Having an all or nothing mindset can negatively impact the success of weight maintenance because any type of setback will derail all other choices. Instead of going off the rails after one unhealthy mishap, recognize that you have control in your other choices to be healthy and you can get back on track without punishing yourself or getting stuck.

You Assume All of the Weight You Lost Was Fat Loss

Most people lose weight quickly on fad diets because it’s likely that most of the weight lost is from water and lean muscle, not body fat. With this type of weight gain it can be very easy to put the weight right back on again. Therefore, people who go from one fad diet to the next tend to keep regaining weight and be unsuccessful in achieving long-term weight loss.

Losing fat mass may take longer, but it usually tends to not fluctuate as quickly as losing water weight.

How to Maintain Weight Loss Long-Term

As mentioned before, you already know that a body at a higher weight burns more calories than the same body at a lighter weight because there is less mass to move around and keep alive. Muscle mass is directly linked to resting metabolic rate, as this tissue requires more calories to keep you alive. When lean muscle mass makes up a significant portion of total weight loss, your resting metabolic rate takes a nosedive. However, when you build a weight-loss program that promotes weight training to increase muscle mass, this can potentially offset the decline in metabolism.

Achieving successful weight maintenance is absolutely possible. Below are a few tips to help you maintain your weight-loss goals:

Stay Consistent Both with Your Activity Levels and Eating Plan

When it comes to reaching goals, whether it is graduating from college, accepting a job offer, or buying a new home, it usually calls for a celebration. Similarly, when people achieve their weight-loss goals, they stop what they’re doing, celebrate and subsequently revert back to their old habits. Unfortunately, that is a perfect recipe for weight gain. Keep in mind, you no longer burn the same amount of calories as you did at a heavier weight, so make sure to recalculate your calorie needs and make adjustments to your nutrition and exercise routine.

Build Your Muscles

As mentioned earlier, muscle mass is directly tied to your resting metabolic rate. Having more muscle mass means your resting metabolic rate will be higher. As a result, strength or resistance training is the only way that you will create new, metabolically active muscle tissue. When it comes to weight maintenance, weight training is equally, if not more, important and beneficial as aerobic conditioning.

Continue to Set Goals

It is beneficial to set both long-term and short-term goals while making sure that they are both realistic and achievable. Goals can be about exercise (trying something new), nutrition (Switching up macronutrient percentages, decrease sugar, or stick with a whole-food diet) or training for a race. You might also consider setting goals outside of the nutrition and exercise realm, such as listening to an inspirational podcast. When you are having fun and are happy, you reduce your production of the stress hormone cortisol, reducing the risk of keep regaining weight and allowing you the ability to be successful with maintaining your weight.

Practice Mindful and Intuitive Eating

Mindful eating means that you are present when you eat and eliminate distractions such as; television, emails, social media, or surfing the web. When you focus on your meal, you actually pay more attention to the taste, texture, temperature and aroma of the food that you are eating. Also, by paying attention to what you are putting in your mouth, you will be more likely to stop when you are feeling full.

Have A Plan

Take the time to write down your action plan for each week by identifying daily actions that will help you reach your goals. By having a set plan in place, you will be more likely to follow it and be successful.

Create A List of Non-Food Coping Strategies

Emotional eating is extremely common and causes people to turn to food when they are feeling sad, angry, frustrated, disappointed, bored, lonely or even happy. Unfortunately, the foods that most people reach for are salty, crunchy, fatty foods and sweets. When you are in an emotionally neutral state, develop a list of non-food coping mechanisms that can make you feel better. For example, you could go on a walk, talk with a friend or family member, watch a favorite movie, clean, or journaling.

Find Social Support

Going through a challenging time while also feeling alone is usually not a good combination. It can be both comforting and rewarding to reach out to someone your trust to express your thoughts and feelings. You will not only feel better but will also be amazed by an increased sense of motivation.

Eat Whole Foods

After hitting your goal weight, you might feel like having an extra few slices of pizza or another slice of pie will not make a big difference. However, those high-calorie food choices will add up quickly if you aren’t careful. Remember that it took a solid nutrition plan to get you to your goal weight and you can’t just toss that out the window entirely. Adding real, whole, clean foods, such as vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, clean complex carbs and plenty of water is what will keep you at your maintenance weight and will reduce the risk that you keep regaining weight.

Stay Within 3 Pounds

It is not ideal to constantly weigh yourself, but once-a-week you should check your weight to make sure you are staying on track. If the scale indicates more than a 3-pound gain, it’s time to evaluate yourself and figure out what you’ve been doing differently. Are you tracking your food? Did you get enough sleep? How is your stress level? All of these factors could play a role in weight gain.

Setbacks Happen

Traveling, holidays, celebrations, weddings, and reunions are all an exciting and fun time, but they typically have an abundance of food available. Learning how to navigate these food environments and finding balance is quite difficult, but it is doable. To avoid overindulging, make sure to go in with a plan and stick to it. For example, plan to eat a healthy snack at home before attending the event or bring a healthy snack with you in case there are limited options available.

Drink Water

Did you know that Up to 60% of the human adult body is water? As for how much water you should be drinking each day, a general rule is to drink (in ounces) half of your body weight (in pounds). For example, if you weigh 150 pounds (150 x 1/2 = 75), you need to drink 75 ounces (approximately 10 cups of water). Add 1 cup if you live in a hot climate and another cup when exercising and sweating.

Manage Your Stress

Stress plays a big role in weight regain. The main stress hormone is cortisol and when it is high, due to stress, it causes your body to become more insulin resistant. Insulin is a fat-storage hormone, so the more you have floating around your bloodstream, the more fat you are likely to store, especially around your abdominal region. There are many stress-management techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, walking, coloring, exercising, and laughing.

Sleep 7-9 Hours

When you sleep fewer than 7 hours per night, there is a disruption in the production of 2 main hormones that control hunger and fullness. Poor sleep causes your brain to produce more ghrelin, which makes you feel hungrier, and less leptin, which helps make you feel full. A salad or scrambled eggs likely do not sound too appetizing when you are feeling hungry and tired. This is what it’s like when ghrelin and leptin are out of whack. To avoid this from happening, make sure

Final Thoughts

There is not a single person in this world who has ever said that losing weight and keeping it off is easy. However, it is possible to lose weight and it is even more possible to keep it off. If you keep regaining weight and are struggling to maintain your maintenance weight, you could benefit from working with a certified Nutrition Coach.

A Nutrition Coach can help you figure out the root cause of regaining the weight and support you in making changes to create consistency. Your health should always be a top priority and by partnering with a Nutrition Coach, you can learn how you to live a sustainable long-term healthy lifestyle.

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Why You Are Not Losing Weight

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Not Losing Weight Measure Backwards

Have you ever made healthy changes to your diet and started following a decent exercise program, but you were just not losing weight after several weeks? If so, there may be a few reasons to explain why this happens.

Remember, achieving long-term weight loss is a slow process and learning how to properly navigate through the challenging times of your journey is crucial.

While there is no easy fix to losing weight, there are plenty of steps you can take to develop a healthier relationship with food, curb emotional triggers to overeating, and achieve a healthy weight.

Calorie Deficit

If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight. Sounds easy, right? Then why is losing weight so hard?

Because 3,500 calories equals approximately 1 pound of fat, it’s estimated that you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound.

Generally speaking, if you cut 500 to 1,000 calories a day from your diet, you would lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Yes, it sounds quite simple? So why are you not losing weight?  It is way more complex because when you lose weight, you usually lose a combination of fat, lean tissue and water. Also, because of changes that occur in the body as a result of weight loss, you may need to decrease calories further to continue losing weight.

Cut High-Calorie, Low-Nutrition Items

By removing just one or two high-calorie items from your daily life is a great place to start when cutting calories. For example, you could skip your morning latte, soda at lunch or that bowl of ice cream you always have after dinner.

You may be not losing weight because you aren’t thinking about what you eat and drink each day and identifying items you could cut out. If you think that skipping your indulgence will leave you with a craving, try a low-calorie substitution.

Swap High-Calorie Items for Lower Calorie Options

Choosing simple substitutions can make a huge difference when it comes to cutting calories and getting over the problem of not losing weight. For example, you can swap ground turkey instead of ground beef. Instead of having a second slice of pizza, reach for some vegetables. Or snack on fresh fruit instead of a cookie

Reduce Your Portion Sizes

Most people severely underestimate portion sizes, which affects how many calories they are consuming. Therefore, if you think you are only eating 1 serving, but in reality, you are consuming closer to 3, you could be adding an extra 200-300 calories and not even realize it. However, measuring and controlling your portion sizes is an excellent way to take control of your calories and keep you from not losing weight.

Here are a few additional tips for you:

  • Start with small changes. Place a slightly less amount of food on your plate at each meal than what you normally would eat. If you’re still hungry, eat more vegetables and fruit.
  • Place your food onto a dish and do not eat it straight from the package. Eating directly from a package gives you no sense of how much you are actually eating, especially if you are watching a show or looking at something on your phone. Seeing food on a plate or in a bowl creates awareness of how much you’re eating.
  • Learn how to read and understand nutrition labels. Knowing what a serving size looks like and the nutrition facts is beneficial. You may discover that the small bag of nuts you eat every day is 2 servings and not 1, which means you are eating twice as many calories than you thought.
  • Use a calorie counter. Make it easier on yourself by using a reputable app that allows you to scan the barcodes of the food items that you eat.

Calorie Cycling

Calories cycling allows you to cycle between low-calorie and higher-calorie periods. It also can play an important role in protecting your metabolism and hormones, which can often plummet during typical low-calorie diets.

There are many ways you can structure calorie cycling. For example, one way can allow you to have days throughout the week where you eat more calories, and days where you eat less calories. This type of structure provides more flexibility by giving you a mental break and supporting a balanced lifestyle.

However, in order for this to successfully work, you need to track your calories properly so that you can appropriately follow the cycling.

For example, if you need 1,800 calories per day on your current fat loss diet, that’s 12,600 calories a week that you get to spend. Knowing this, you now have the option to be more flexible with eating more on 2 days and less on the other 5 days of the week. You can select whichever days you want for the high and the low, just make sure your overall weekly caloric intake equals that 12,600 total.

Increase Your N.E.A.T.

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (N.E.A.T.) includes the calories expended outside of exercise, eating and sleeping. There are many N.E.A.T. activities that we already do but may not realize its caloric output effect. Simple tasks such as cleaning, physical labor, climbing stairs and even fidgeting help us expend additional calories. In essence, N.E.A.T. increases your metabolic rate and results in a substantial energy cost overtime.

Research suggests that individuals who move throughout the day are more likely to reach or maintain weight-loss goals versus those who are sedentary throughout the day and vigorously move during one exercise session and consequently are not losing weight. Therefore, a greater caloric output occurs throughout the day rather than during one vigorous exercise session. A researcher named James Levine, M.D., who has published several journal articles on the positive effects of N.E.A.T., found that incorporating N.E.A.T. behaviors can increase daily caloric expenditure by as much as 350 calories per day.

The majority of people spend most of their day at work. One way to increase caloric burn is to implement non-exercise movement throughout the workday. Landscapers, construction workers and doctors/nurses are excellent examples of high N.E.A.T. jobs because they require a high demand for continuous movement throughout their workday. On the other hand, desk jobs are primarily sedentary and do not expend much energy cost. If you have a desk job, here are a few ways to integrate movement into your day:

  • Implement walking meetings. Walking is an effective way to burn calories, stimulate the brain and promotes healthy habits to your co-workers.
  • Make it a goal to drink 32 oz. of water in the morning and another 32 oz. of water in the afternoon. This will help to get you up from your desk not only to fill your water, but also use the restroom several times during the day.
  • Take the stairs. This is an oldie, but a goodie. Skip the shortcuts and elevator rides to take the stairs to keep your body in motion throughout the day.
  • Stand instead of sit. Adjustable and treadmill desks can be pricey, but well worth the investment since your heart rate is higher while standing than sitting, which increases your caloric output.

Rather than spending several hours at the gym to rev up your calorie burn, choose the N.E.A.T. way instead. N.E.A.T. is a great addition to your exercise regimen that does not take time away from home or family.

Focus on Protein Intake

Truth be told, if you’re not losing weight, you may need to understand that protein is the most satiating macronutrient. When compared to carbs and fat, protein makes you feel fuller (per calorie) for a longer period of time. If you struggle with always feeling hungry during a calorie deficit, you should focus on hitting your protein goal to help keep you feeling full.

Another advantage of protein is that it will help you to maintain and gain muscle while losing fat. A lot of people say they want a “toned” look, which ultimately means you want to have muscle definition and therefore, protein is how you will successfully achieve this desired look.

Lastly, protein has the highest thermic effect of food. What this means is that your body burns calories when it’s digesting food and your body expends the most energy digesting protein. Long story short, the more protein you eat, the more calories you will burn while digesting it.

Strength Training Is Key

You want to only lose fat when you are in a fat loss phase, right? In order to only lose fat, you need to incorporate strength training into your workout regimen 2-5 times per week. Despite popular belief, you will not get “bulky” from strength training because you are in a calorie deficit. Increasing muscle size not only requires a calorie surplus, but it also takes a LONG time.

The Truth About Cardio

Is cardio required to achieve fat loss? No, a calorie deficit is required to lose fat. Cardio varies from person-to-person and is ultimately up to you. If you enjoy and have the time to do it, then keep doing it. If you have a busy schedule and absolutely hate doing it, then there are other options.

Sleep Is Essential

If you’re not losing weight and your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like trying to fill up a kid sized pool that has 4 large holes in it with water. Similar to the kiddie pool example, you might lose some fat, but you will never hit your goal without getting adequate sleep. You should pay attention to how much you are sleeping and make it a priority to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Obtaining adequate sleep may enhance the beneficial effects of a diet whereas not getting enough sleep could defeat the desired effects.

Drink Your Water

Science suggests that water can help when you’re not losing weight in a variety of ways. It may suppress your appetite, boost your metabolism, and make exercise easier and more efficient, all of which could contribute to results on the scale.

Reasons drinking more water may help you to lose weight:

  • Can naturally suppress your appetite.
  • Might stimulate your metabolism.
  • Could help reduce your overall liquid calorie intake.
  • Helps during exercise.
  • Helps the body remove waste.
  • The body needs water to burn fat.
  • May improve motivation and reduce stress.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to losing weight, there are many variables to consider and it is anything but black and white. It is a challenging, confusing, frustrating, and long process that you don’t have to go through alone. Choosing to with a certified Nutrition Coach can be highly beneficial in guiding you throughout your journey by eliminating all of the guess work while helping you to better understand the what’s, why’s, and how’s. With a Nutrition Coach by your side, you will not only crush your goals, but you will also learn valuable knowledge that will not only benefit you now, but also in the future.

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Tailored Workout Programs that Meet YOUR Needs!

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Tailored Workout Plans Measure Backwards Article

Tailored workout programs put your needs first. Instead of following a cookie-cutter program, customized workouts are designed with only you in mind. Because let’s face it – one size does not fit all. By identifying your strengths, biggest obstacles, and experience level, you can achieve real sustainable results.

Working out, exercising, getting fit, being physically active plays an integral part of an active and healthy lifestyle. A certified Personal Trainer can play a critical role in helping others learn how to become more physically active and, more importantly, make it a regular habit. The biggest challenge is helping clients find ones that are suitable to their interests and abilities.

A Personal Trainer can build tailored workout programs for you while keeping in mind where you are at in terms of individual goals and hurdles. This will enable a Personal Trainer to build a program that matches you both physically and emotionally.

Tailored workout programs designed for the purpose of achieving a specific, desired outcome should include:

  • Building and maintaining rapport with each client.
  • A health risk and needs assessment to determine an individual’s current health status and to identify any special factors.
  • An appropriate application of the variables of exercise program design. (For example, exercise selection, intensity, repetitions, sets, tempo, rest interval and post-training recovery should all be consistent with the individual’s health status, training experience, current fitness level and desired goals.)
  • Sufficient intensity, volume and frequency of the workouts.
  • Adequate periods of recovery after workouts.

As you can see, there are many factors to take into consideration to build a tailored workout program for each individual to obtain his or her desired results. If you are considering to begin a workout program, it is critical for you to choose one that will help you to achieve specific results that align with your goal.

This article will help you to understand how a Personal Trainer analyzes various elements and creates a strategy while developing workout plans for each individual.

How A Personal Trainer Builds Rapport

Three attributes are essential to the establishment and maintenance of successful client–trainer relationships. What makes rapport unique is that it is an ongoing process, which means that health and fitness professionals must always be mindful of the following attributes, regardless of how well they feel they know a client or how strong of a relationship there might be.

  • Empathy is the ability to experience another person’s world as if it were one’s own.
  • Warmth involves an unconditional respect for another person that offers acceptance, regardless of his or her individuality or uniqueness.
  • Genuineness is the ability to be honest and open.

Empathy is one of the most important skills for health and fitness professionals, particularly when building tailored workout programs for clients who are struggling to overcome barriers that may have been holding them back for years. A Personal Trainer can demonstrate empathy by:

  • Being attentive.
  • Being conscious of how cultural and ethnic differences affect communication.
  • Distinguishing between factual messages and those composed of feelings and emotions, which often are expressed via nonverbal communication.
  • Being cognizant of how a client’s emotional patterns change based on the topic being discussed.

Being empathetic to a client’s struggle better positions you to understand his or her mindset and facilitate ongoing behavior change.

Analyzing Client Assessments

Personal Trainers continue to build rapport with clients while also utilizing a health-history questionnaire and preparticipation health screening to identify individuals in need of medical clearance before beginning an exercise program or before increasing the intensity, frequency and/or volume of an existing exercise program. During the first client session, it is necessary to review the health history and conduct a preparticipation health screening.

The purpose of reviewing a health history and conducting a preparticipation health screening is to identify current physical activity levels, the presence of cardiovascular and/or metabolic disease, signs and symptoms of underlying renal, cardiovascular or metabolic disease, and any possible stressors that could affect the body’s response to exercise. If a client who is beginning tailored workout programs presents with renal, cardiovascular or metabolic disease or symptoms of such a disease, it’s important that he or she receive medical clearance before participating in regular exercise. Reviewing the health-history form with the client provides a Personal Trainer with both the opportunity to ask questions related to the client’s overall health and to identify common areas of interest upon which further rapport can be established.

Tailored workout programs doesn’t need to be overly complicated to be effective. A Personal Trainer can manipulate a few of the variables, such as intensity, repetitions or rest intervals, can change the demand on the body and produce vastly different outcomes. A few factors responsible for each individual’s specific training outcome include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Existing fitness level
  • Training experience
  • Genetic profile
  • The amount of time allotted for rest and recovery after exercise
  • Nutritional intake
  • Hydration
  • Other emotional and physical stressors such as pressures from work or family

Benefits of A Tailored Workout Plan

A Personal Trainer will select specific exercises to create your tailored workout programs and the order in which they are arranged. While building your customized program, a Personal Trainer will consider the following elements:

  • Each exercise in a program should address an individual’s needs while also being relevant to his or her training goals.
  • Selecting and organizing exercises into a logical sequence based on an individual’s current strength, training experience and movement skill, which makes a pre-exercise assessment essential for long-term success.
  • Equipment available to use with a particular client; some in-home clients may have little-to-no exercise equipment while others may have memberships at a gym.

When it comes to developing a workout plan, it’s not quite so black and white. There are many variables that influence exercise selection and programming. There are a few important factors to keep in mind that shed some light on why there’s no such thing as “the best” exercise.

The Enjoyment Factor

From a behavioral perspective, it’s important that movement is enjoyable. The more people enjoy the exercise experience, the more likely they are to make physical activity an integral component of their lives, which is ultimately what has the greatest impact on their health and well-being. Health and fitness professionals should choose forms of movement that resonate with their individual clients and truly support their overall enjoyment and success in the exercise experience.

The Unique Needs of Individuals

Health and fitness professional should include exercises and movements that are both safe and effective for their clients. Because of this, it allows Personal Trainers to recognize that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to building tailored workout programs. Although humans may be of a similar structural design, we each have unique considerations and factors that affect our physical abilities. These, in turn, influence the selection, sequencing and progression of exercises that ultimately will safely and effectively best serve clients.

With an understanding that each person has unique needs and goals for his or her exercise experience, a Personal Trainer can appropriately select and tailor movements accordingly. This requires an understanding of program design and progression principles. Also knowing how to manipulate variables to meet individuals where they are presently and help them progress toward their personal goals and improved health and fitness in a safe, smart and successful way.

Bottom Line

While there are many exercise programs and certainly ones that may be more effective than others, at the end of the day there is no single “best” exercise that is perfect for everyone in the same exact form. When you work with a Personal Trainer, you can expect tailored workout programs that are built for you and only you according to your specific needs and goals.

The bonus of working with a Personal Trainer is that you will also receive guidance throughout your training. This includes feedback, resources, education, and continuous support. Although you could purchase a generic program and get some results, you have to consider the following questions:

  • Will you learn the what, why, and how from that particular program?
  • Will you have support through challenging obstacles and learn how to navigate through them?
  • Can you ask specific questions and receive answers in a timely manner?
  • What kind of resources will you have access to?
  • Who is checking in with you to see how you are feeling about your training?
  • How can the program be adjusted if you have a medical condition or injury?

What it all comes down to is that when it comes to exercise and making healthy lifestyle choices, a Personal Trainer understand that every client is unique, with varying levels of skills and motivation. Understanding client motivations and attitudes about exercise can help a Personal Trainer tailor communication and expectations to accommodate each individual’s needs.

Cookie-cutter programs are quite risky and may or may not be the best option for you to be successful in reaching your goal. However, partnering with a certified Personal Trainer who can create and adjust a workout plan according to you and your unique goals tremendously minimizes your level of risk and significantly increases your chances of successfully accomplishing your goal. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself how much do you value your health?

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