National Council on Strength & Fitness
 
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Setting Standards, Developing Professionals, and Serving the Public through Education and Certification
 
NCSF Trainer's Store
 
The Personal Trainer's Store allows you to browse and purchase a variety of personal training products. Browse the store and begin shopping.
 
 
 
 
NCSF Dri-Fit Polo Shirt
 
 
Signify your certified personal trainer status by wearing 100% polyester wicking & antimicrobial knit Polo shirts with a silk-screened “NCSF Personal Trainer” logo on the front. The Antimicrobial knit controls the growth of odor causing microbes & wicks moisture away from the body. In addition, the Polo encompasses double-needle stitching & hemmed sleeves and bottom for ultimate comfort and performance.
 
List Price:$39.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
NCSF Dri-Fit Men's T-Shirt
 
 
Signify your certified personal trainer status by wearing 100% polyester wicking & antimicrobial knit men shirts with a silk-screened “NCSF Personal Trainer” logo on the front. The Antimicrobial knit controls the growth of odor causing microbes & wicks moisture away from the body. In addition the men shirt encompasses double-needle stitching & hemmed sleeves and bottom for ultimate comfort and performance.
 
List Price:$24.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
NCSF Membership (One Year)
 
 
A one-year membership is included with the registration of the NCSF personal trainer certification program, however you don't need to be certified to take advantage NCSF member benefits. You can enroll as a non-certified member and enjoy many of the same benefits afforded those who are NCSF certified. The annual membership fees is $65 while current fulltime college students qualify for the $55 student rate. As an NCSF member you will have access to a variety of professional services and programs.
 
List Price:$65.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Advanced Concepts of Personal Training  Textbook
 
 
Book is included with the registration for the Home Study or Workshop Course.
The Advanced Concepts of Personal Training textbook contains all theoretical concepts, guidelines, and relevant information necessary to pass the NCSF-CPT Exam. Divided into nine (9) units mirroring the certification exam, the textbook progresses from an introduction of Anatomy and Biomechanics through Nutrition, Weight Management, Exercise Prescription, and Training Instruction, and culminates with Exercise Programming for Special Populations. The textbook features learner-friendly highlights throughout each chapter which practically apply chapter concepts to personal training. Reading the Advanced Concepts of Personal Training textbook and applying the information to the NCSF e-Learning lesson notes will provide you with the information needed to pass the NCSF Certified Personal Trainer Exam and enter the fitness industry as a competent and qualified personal trainer.
 
List Price:$79.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Business of Personal Training Course
 
 
Workbook Manual and Exam

3.5 NCSF CEUs

Starting a business can be a very complicated process and the risks for failure are high. Personal training businesses are no different, so to succeed you must take the right approach. The business of personal training program will help guide you through the start up process and help you make the right decisions regarding your business. Knowledge is the key to success and this course can dramatically help your chances of starting and operating a successful personal training business.
  • Creating a Business Plan
  • Business Structure
  • Licensing and Insurance
  • Marketing Channels
  • Pricing and Scheduling
  • Hiring Employees
  • Managing your Business
 
List Price:$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bosu Strength and Athletic Conditioning for Personal Trainers
 
 
DVD, Exam

3 NCSF CEUs

The Bosu Strength and Athletic Conditioning for Personal Trainers continuing education course provides you with the opportunity to learn movement skills, exercises and drills that will help develop high levels of functional strength and power, dynamic flexibility and balance, as well as agility. Using a Bosu and a variety of other equipment, this continuing education course shows you how to develop strength and improve overall functionality and athleticism in your clients.

 
List Price:$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength Ball Training
 
 
Textbook, Exam

3 NCSF CEUs

The Strength Ball Training CEU course examines the use of training balls in the development of strength, power, coordination, balance, and core stability. The use of exercise balls allows individuals to train the body as a linked system rather than targeting muscles in isolation.

 
List Price:$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Resistance Training Instruction: Trunk
 
 
DVD, Exam

3 NCSF CEUs

Resistance Training Instruction: Trunk is a continuing education course that focuses on strengthening and developing the trunk and core musculature. The core muscles, or what is oftentimes referred to as “the inner unit” work interdependently with the outer abdominal and oblique musculature to stabilize the spine and produce a variety of movements. The program demonstrates how to correctly perform and instruct numerous resistance and physioball exercises to strengthen the core muscles and trunk region.

 
List Price:$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
e-Gift Card
 
 
The NCSF e-Gift Card is the “sure to please” gift for any occasion. e-Gift Cards are available in virtually any amount you need and are sent immediately by email in a print-ready form for use online at www.ncsf.org. Make someone happy today by giving an NCSF e-Gift Card.
 
List Price:$0.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sport Injuries
 
 
Textbook, Exam

4 NCSF CEUs

The NCSF Sports Injuries continuing education course addresses over 130 common injuries that affect the clientele of the practicing personal trainer. The course provides detailed descriptions of common causes, injury identification cues, explanation of symptoms, full-color anatomical illustrations, treatment options, and a plan for returning to action quickly and safely. The course was developed with the input of 25 leading sports physicians and therapists and contains additional coverage on conditioning, body maintenance, and nutrition to assist in injury management

 
List Price:$99.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength Band Training
 
 
Textbook, Exam

3 NCSF CEUs

The NCSF Strength Band Training continuing education course presents fitness professionals with over 160 exercises and predefined fitness and sport-specific workouts for endurance, power, and rotational sports. The program illustrates how strength bands aid in the development of strength, speed, and power and provide benefit to individuals of varying needs and abilities.


The course is designed to teach you how to apply resistance in multiple planes of motion to simulate sport-specific demands, improve core stability, and assist in injury prevention or recovery.

 
List Price:$79.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Athletic Fitness for Kids
 
 
Textbook, Exam

3 NCSF CEUs

The Athletic Fitness for Kids continuing education course educates fitness professionals on how to develop and enhance athletic skills for young athletes using a fun, self-directed, and self-tested system. The course is designed to teach professionals game like activities aimed at helping young athletes develop in seven key components related to athletic performance:

  • Flexibility
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Endurance
  • Strength
  • Speed
  • Agility
 
List Price:$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Golf Anatomy
 
 
Textbook, Exam

3.5 NCSF CEUs

Golf Anatomy is the ideal course for professionals working with clients wishing to improve their performance on the golf course. The program includes 72 of the most effective exercises, each with step-by-step descriptions and full-color anatomical illustrations highlighting muscles in action. Additionally, you will be exposed to activities designed to improve mobility, stability, body awareness, muscle strength along with injury-prevention exercises for the lower back, elbows, wrists, shoulders, and hips.


Learn what it takes to improve consistency and performance on the course by increasing strength, power, and range of motion for longer drives and more accurate shots.

 
List Price:$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Soccer Anatomy
 
 
Textbook, Exam

3.5 NCSF CEUs

Soccer Anatomy takes an inside look at the world’s most popular sport. Learn how to elevate your game by increasing strength, speed, and agility for more accurate passes and powerful shots.


The program includes 79 exercises, each with step-by-step descriptions and full-color anatomical illustrations highlighting the muscles in action. Illustrations of the active muscles involved in kicking, heading, tackling and diving show you how each exercise is fundamentally linked to soccer performance.


From attacking to defending to goalkeeping, Soccer Anatomy will help improve every aspect of your game. You will learn how to modify exercises to target specific areas based on your style of play, personal needs and applicable goals. Prepare for competition by minimizing injuries using a system developed by FIFA’s medical research program.


Combining authoritative advice, expert instruction, and stunning four-color illustration, this course is truly an inside look at this one-of-a-kind sport.

 
List Price:$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tennis Anatomy
 
 
Textbook, Exam
3.5 NCSF CEUs

Learn what it takes to improve consistency and performance on the court. The NCSF Tennis Anatomy continued education course will show you how to ace the competition by increasing strength, speed, and agility for more powerful serves and more accurate shots.

The program includes more than 72 of the most effective exercises, each with step-by-step descriptions and full-color anatomical illustrations highlighting muscles in action.

Tennis Anatomy goes beyond fundamental exercises and places you on the baseline, at the net, and on the service line. Illustrations of the active muscles for forehands, backhands, volleys, and serves demonstrate how each exercise is fundamentally linked to tennis performance.

The course instructs how exercises can be modified to target specific areas, improve your skills, and minimize common tennis injuries. Tennis Anatomy will ensure that your training program is tailored to maximize performance outcomes on the court.
 
List Price:$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Athlete's Guide to Sports Supplements
 
 
Textbook, Exam

4.5 NCSF CEUs

The Athlete’s Guide to Sports Supplements separates fact from fiction, providing quick answers to the most common questions, and delivers accurate information to the fitness professional. For many professionals, supplementation can be a confusing and serious matter with a countless number of new, renamed, and varied sport supplements on the market.

The Athlete’s Guide to Sports Supplements course provides concise descriptions for 120 of today’s most popular supplements. For each entry, you’ll discover what it is, how it works, potential performance benefits, research studies and outcomes, dosage recommendations, and possible health concerns. You’ll also find recommendations for master’s athletes, those competing in extreme environments, and those with special dietary needs, such as food allergies, diabetes, and vegetarian.

Each supplement is listed alphabetically, providing quick and easy navigation throughout the course. Alternatively, use the supplement finder to locate supplements for a particular purpose, such as recovery, endurance, and strength.
 
List Price:$99.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Diet Induced Thermogenesis
 
 
Did you know that anywhere between 3%-10% of your daily caloric expenditure can come from the biological processing of your food? Diet Induced Thermogenesis provides you with an overview of the caloric expenditure required to process and breakdown food into a usable form as well as the desirable chemical make up that increases the thermic effect of consumed food.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Advanced Concepts of Personal Training Textbook (Digital Edition)
 
 
The digital edition of the Advanced Concepts of Personal Training textbook is easily accessed from your NCSF account and viewable on your desktop, tablet or smartphone devices. The textbook can contains all theoretical concepts, guidelines, and relevant information necessary to pass the NCSF-CPT Exam. Divided into nine (9) units mirroring the certification exam, the textbook progresses from an introduction of Anatomy and Biomechanics through Nutrition, Weight Management, Exercise Prescription, and Training Instruction, and culminates with Exercise Programming for Special Populations. The textbook features learner-friendly highlights throughout each chapter which practically apply chapter concepts to personal training. Reading the Advanced Concepts of Personal Training textbook and applying the information to the NCSF e-Learning lesson notes will provide you with the information needed to pass the NCSF Certified Personal Trainer Exam and enter the fitness industry as a competent and qualified personal trainer.
 
List Price:$79.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Postural Assessment
 
 
Textbook, Exam

3.5 NCSF CEUs

This course provides Personal Trainers with an excellent resource to break down the complex process of assessing posture. In-depth procedures and detailed illustrations guide students to master the concepts and apply the results to assist clients manage muscular or fascial imbalance. Students do not need any formal anatomical schooling to understand and use the illustrations throughout the textbook covering body landmarks and postural variations. This course provides guidance in identifying common postural forms and interpreting those observations. The information obtained from this program is ideal for any Personal Trainer looking to add specifics to their functional testing and exercise screening programs.

 
List Price:$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Online CPT Exam Prep Flashcards
 
 
Ideal for smartphone, tablet, or desktop use, the NCSF Digital Flashcards can dramatically improve content comprehension and shorten study time in preparation for the CPT exam. Combining a traditional question and answer format with a modern digital layout, the 248 flashcards are proportioned in accordance with the weight of each topic covered on the NCSF-CPT Exam.
 
List Price:$29.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
Exercising During Your Pregnancy
 
 
Exercising Through Your Pregnancy examines the risks and rewards associated with exercise programming related to both pre- and post-natal conditions. Although some women opt to side with caution, and avoid exercising when pregnant, recent research shows that women can safely and effectively exercise throughout their pregnancy term with numerous benefits for both mother and child. Exercising Through Your Pregnancy will cover a variety of exercise programming topics dealing specifically with the pregnant population.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Online Certified Strength Coach Practice Exam
 
 
The practice exam is designed to present students with an testing experience that will resemble the level of difficulty and specific content areas of the certification exam. This valuable study tool will allow participants to evaluate their readiness for the examination and to become more comfortable with the test content and format. It contains all seven content areas covered on the NCSF-CSC test, and with a test question bank of over 200 questions and answers, our randomized system ensures you have a different exam every time you test your knowledge. The program presents the questions first and upon answering presents a detailed explanation of the content thoroughly enhancing the learning experience.
 
List Price:$59.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
Online CPT Practice Exam I
 
 
The Online Personal Trainer Practice Exam 1 provides instant access to this study resource and is designed to resemble the level of difficulty and relative content of the CPT Exam, so that students can self-evaluate their readiness to take the NCSF-CPT board exam. This practice exam has been designed to serve as a valuable study tool, enabling test candidates to address the questions first without seeing the answer and then referring to detailed explanations. This allows the test candidate to evaluate themselves and better understand any items answered incorrectly.
 
List Price:$39.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
NCSF Dri-Fit Women’s T-Shirt
 
 
Signify your certified personal trainer status by wearing 100% polyester wicking & antimicrobial knit women shirts with a silk-screened “NCSF Personal Trainer” logo on the front. The Antimicrobial knit controls the growth of odor causing microbes & wicks moisture away from the body. In addition the women shirt encompasses double-needle stitching & hemmed sleeves and bottom for ultimate comfort and performance.
 
List Price:$24.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hypertension in Physically Active People
 
 
Most people do not associate cardiovascular disease with individuals who are physically active, but this is a reality for millions of Americans. It has been estimated that 1 out of every 4 adults between 30 and 60 years of age have some degree of hypertension. Physical activity may play a positive role in reducing the risk of developing the disease, but it may not be enough to prevent it.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Online CPT Practice Exam II
 
 
Similar to Volume I, Online Practice Exam 2 provides instant access and is designed to resemble the level of difficulty and relative content of the CPT Exam, so that students can self-evaluate their readiness to take the NCSF-CPT board exam. This practice exam has been designed to serve as a valuable study tool, enabling test candidates to address the questions first without seeing the answer and then referring to detailed explanations. This allows the test candidate to evaluate themselves and better understand any items answered incorrectly.
 
List Price:$39.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
Speed for Sports Performance
 
 
DVD, Exam

3 NCSF CEUs | 6 CDR CPEs

From football to tennis, track and field to volleyball, speed is a critical component of every athlete’s repertoire. Even recreational athletes often desire to increase speed. However, the proper way to design a safe and effective speed-training program is uncommon knowledge. Speed for Sports Performance will instruct fitness professionals in the proper way to assess and increase reaction time, technique, stride, mobility, and first-step explosiveness ultimately leading to increases in acceleration, maximum speed, and endurance. The different phases of the season within the calendar year are taken into consideration and exercises to decrease recovery time from/prevent injury are also explained.

 
List Price:$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Menopause and Hormone Replacement
 
 
In order to practice safely and effectively, Personal Trainers need to understand the various systems of the body. This article will focus on the hormonal changes which occur in women as they progress through menopause. It will explore how the changing levels of hormone concentration affect the body both at rest and during exercise.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Online CPT Practice Exam Combo
 
 
The Online Practice Exam Combo gives exam candidates instant access and the opportunity to simulate testing conditions for two full-length NCSF-CPT Exams. The questions are designed to resemble the level of difficulty and relative content of the NCSF-CPT Exam, so that students can self-evaluate their readiness to take the NCSF-CPT Exam. The Online Practice Exam Combo has also been designed to serve as a valuable study tool, enabling test candidates to address the questions first without seeing the answer, then referring to detailed explanations. This allows the test candidate to evaluate themselves and better understand any items answered incorrectly.
 
List Price:$69.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
Flexibility for Sports Performance
 
 
DVD, Exam

3 NCSF CEUs | 6 CDR CPEs

This new DVD course moves fitness professionals through a series of self-assessments, which allows for identification of areas requiring improvement and establishes a baseline for a flexibility program. Additionally, the program will identify exercise techniques designed to avoid injury and optimize muscle function on the court, field, course, track, mat, or in the water.

 
List Price:$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nutrition Bars
 
 
Nutrition Bars have become a common item in many diets due to the convenience and perceived nutritional value of the food source. The article examines the possible benefits of utilizing meal replacement bars before, during, and after exercise. This article provides information about the nutritional content of popular bars as well as insight into why some fitness enthusiasts over consume both calories and fat due to a heavy reliance on nutrition bars.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Online Sport Nutrition Specialist Practice Exam
 
 
The practice exam is designed to present students with a testing experience that will resemble the level of difficulty and specific content areas of the certification exam. This valuable study tool will allow participants to evaluate their readiness for the examination and to become more comfortable with the test content and format. It contains all five content areas covered on the NCSF-SNS test, and with a test question bank of over 200 questions and answers, our randomized system ensures you have a different exam every time you test your knowledge. The program presents the questions first and upon answering presents a detailed explanation of the content thoroughly enhancing the learning experience.
 
List Price:$69.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
Power for Sports Performance
 
 
DVD, Exam

3 NCSF CEUs | 6 CDR CPEs

Successful athletes must demonstrate good technique, proper conditioning, and a strong competitive spirit to execute winning performances. But one factor that decisively separates elite athletes from the rest of the pack is their ability to produce explosive, powerful efforts on demand. Generating the necessary power is only possible through an effective, multi-faceted power-training program designed to develop, enhance, and harness athletic power. Power for Sports Performance provides the tools to build a program for your needs, your sport, and your goals.

 
List Price:$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stress and Exercise
 
 
Stress and Exercise looks at the acute stress response and the dynamics of the orchestrated interplay of several neurotransmitter systems in the brain. The article will provide an overview of the various psychological as well as physiological responses to stress and how each effects exercise outcomes. The article discusses the important factors related to stress and health.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Online SNS Exam Prep Flashcards
 
 
The NCSF Flashcards can dramatically improve content comprehension and shorten study time in preparation for the SNS exam. Combining a traditional question and answer format with a modern digital layout, the 200 flashcards are proportioned in accordance with the weight of each topic covered on the NCSF-SNS Exam. Ideal for smartphone, tablet, or desktop use.
 
List Price:$29.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
Understanding Fibromyalgia
 
 
Fibromyalgia is defined as a chronic pain disorder of unknown etiology, characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and tender points, alterations in sleep patterns, and changes in neuroendocrine transmitters. Understanding Fibromyalgia will examine the underlying causes and effects this syndrome can have as well as the possible treatment and management of the syndrome.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Weight Gain Supplements
 
 
Weight Gain Supplements have become a staple in the diets of exercisers attempting to increase their lean mass. The article examines a few of the more common supplements available over the counter such as chromium, creatine, HMB, and protein as well as other popular ergogenic aids. The article will explore whether or not valid research supports the purported effects of each of these supplements and the possible side effects associated with their supplementation.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Online CSC Exam Prep Flashcards
 
 
The NCSF Flashcards can dramatically improve content comprehension and shorten study time in preparation for the CSC exam. Combining a traditional question and answer format with a modern digital layout, the 200 flashcards are proportioned in accordance with the weight of each topic covered on the NCSF-CSC Exam. Ideal for smartphone, tablet, or desktop use.
 
List Price:$29.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
Establishing Peak Bone Mass
 
 
Establishing Peak Bone Mass examines the importance of accruing bone mass at an early age during the critical developmental stages. The article also looks at differences across gender, ethnicity, and age. The determinants of bone mass such as heredity, bone stress, and level of physical activity will also be reviewed.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Advanced Concepts of Personal Training Lab Manual
 
 
The NCSF Lab Manual is compendium of integrated practical activities found throughout the NCSF study materials, consisting of topics and situations often experienced and required in the field of personal training. The 180 page manual is comprised of (10) labs, each containing several activities that students can use to further their understanding of the field.
 
List Price:$39.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
American Adipocity
 
 
With the incidence of obesity continuing to rise at an alarming rate, understanding the cause and effect of the disease is of the utmost importance. This article examines the reasons why obesity is so detrimental to one’s health and why, on average, health care insurance for an obese individual is nearly 6 times more expensive than that of a normal weight individual. The interconnected systems of the body relating to weight homeostasis and set point theory will also be examined.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Advanced Concepts of Personal Training Study Guide Answer Key
 
 
The Answer Key contains all of the questions and answers to the Advanced Concepts of Personal Training Study Guide. The books are identical except the answer key allows students to quickly reference all of the answers to the competency questions and exercises. This manual is used in conjunction with the Advanced Concepts of Personal Training textbook.
 
List Price:$34.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
New Year's Marketing
 
 
The beginning of the New Year is an ideal time to create an environment for business success that can carry a personal trainer throughout the year. New Year’s Marketing explains the strategy behind creating a successful marketing campaign for the new year to ensure success while also looking at some of the common pitfalls many trainers are faced with when planning their New Year’s marketing.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength Training Anatomy  3rd Edition
 
 
This detailed illustrated text provides in-depth, three-dimensional views of the muscles in action during almost every strength exercise. This reference provides you with comprehensive anatomical drawings of every major muscle group and associated bone structure during each phase of movement throughout an extensive library of exercises. Tailoring workouts to specifically target muscle groups has never been easier thanks to Strength Training Anatomy.
 
List Price:$22.95
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Process of Professional Credentialing
 
 
The fitness industry has experienced a positive shift toward legitimizing fitness certifications. The International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) has made a recommendation that trainers seek fitness certifications from certifying organizations that have been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). This article examines the impact this recommendation has had on the fitness industry as well as the importance of possessing an accredited credential.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Center of Gravity
 
 
Personal Training has experienced an industry shift towards integrating exercise for function and human performance. The concept of stability training aims to not only burn calories and strengthen an individual, but more importantly to see those components of health and physical fitness translated into improvements in one’s day-to-day activities. Center of Gravity examines training modalities geared specifically to this type of integrative exercise programming.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Training School Course Materials Package
 
 
The NCSF Training School material kit includes all the necessary content to pass the certification exam and succeed as a personal trainer. The package includes unique items that reflect the supervised instruction provided during the course. Students notes, practical lab experiences, and reviews are all included to systematically prepare students for the NCSF board examination. The cost of the items have been significantly reduced to ensure all students can optimize their participation in the program and succeed on the exam.
 
List Price:$276.00$89.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shin Splints and Stress Fractures
 
 
Shin Splints and Stress Fractures is an article that examines the cause of what is quite a common ailment for many physically active individuals. Traction Periosteitis, or more commonly Shin Splints, limit activity performance in millions of people. This article examines the possible causes of both shin splints as well as stress fractures. The article will also discuss possible prevention and treatment plans.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Food Labels Reading Between the Lines
 
 
Attempting to get the proper amount of nutrients into the body can be a difficult task. With foods undergoing unnatural processing and food labels difficult to understand, most consumers are left guessing as to the overall nutritional content of their diet. Reading Between the Lines will attempt to clarify the language of food labels and identify many of the misconceptions commonly encountered when planning a healthy diet.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Drink to Your Health
 
 
Alcohol is a unique energy supplying substance linked with several aspects of human life. This article examines the pros and cons associated with moderate amounts of alcohol consumption on a day-to-day basis and how your overall health as well as physical performance capabilities can be affected.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Converting Carbohydrates to Triglycerides
 
 
This article examines the process by which your body converts extra calories from the diet into stored fat. Most people are under the impression that drinking fat in the diet is the main cause of weight gain. While this can be true, ingestion of excess carbohydrates can also result in elevated blood lipids and fat storage. Converting Carbohydrates to Fats examines that process and the negative health consequences associated with refined carbohydrates and excess calories.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Post-Training Nutrition
 
 
This article examines the process by which your body converts the nutrients consumed after an intense workout, most notably carbohydrates and protein, into a usable form to replenish energy stores and promote muscular growth and strength gains. Post-Training Nutrition explores the specific nutritional needs of trained individuals immediately following their workouts and provides a great outline of dietary recommendations related particularly to the 2-3 hours immediately following an exercise session.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Energy Drinks
 
 
If product sales is an indication of need then there is evidently a deficit in energy. A growing craze to keep up with the hustle and bustle of modern society is to power down “liquid energy”. What better solution for daily fatigue than an on the go energy boost?
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stature Weight Indexing, Central Adiposity, and Risk for Disease
 
 
A variety of different techniques and calculations are available for personal trainers when the appropriateness of a client’s body weight is being assessed. One of the more popular and easy to calculate measurements is known as Body Mass Index, or BMI as it is more commonly referred to in the fitness industry.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sugar Exposed
 
 
One hundred years ago the average individual intake of simple sugar was less than 10 lbs. per year. Today’s estimates suggest the average person in the United States consumes over 100 lbs annually.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Plyometric Training
 
 
Working as a qualified personal trainer requires the ability to devise exercise programming specific to the wants and needs of your individual clients. Oftentimes personal trainers, like some of their clients, can get stuck in a rut with their programming and neglect to draw from the plethora of training techniques they have available. Due to the fact that many exercise systems and techniques can be employed for the same outcome, personal trainers have many options to keep exercise physiologically challenging and psychologically stimulating. Traditional resistance training programs (2-3 sets with 8-12 repetitions of the prime movers) interspersed with aerobic training is a very typical exerc
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cross Training for Runners
 
 
Adding an alternative mode of exercise training can be a great way to increase aerobic capacity and running performance. Cross training is a concept that allows for higher volumes of training without overtraining specific tissues of the body. Repeatedly performing the same movement increases one’s risk for overtraining and developing muscular imbalances.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Maintaining Proper Hydration
 
 
Unlike anything else we put into our bodies, water must be consumed in ample amounts on a daily basis. It is the ultimate essential nutrient. The body can sustain life without food for an extended period of time, but without water physiological processes are comprised and death occurs in a matter of days.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
How to Develop Muscle Mass
 
 
When attempting to increase one’s lean muscle mass, it is important to realize that several factors play key roles in this process and that the interaction among these components can greatly affect one’s success in this endeavor. Focusing too intently on a simple aspect such as resistance training, or neglecting a given component, such as nutrition can have a direct influence on muscle development and the degree to which it occurs. One key factor involved with increased muscular growth is related to body composition.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Creating a Needs Analysis for Sports Training Programs
 
 
The popularity of sports specific training has grown in recent years. Clients strive to improve in their sports and activities and look to personal trainers to help attain those goals. Many trainers though, are at a loss when it comes to creating sports specific programs because the dynamics of the training are completely different than that of weight loss and health attainment. The key to success is to match the demands of the activity with the exercise selection and programming variables. Applying traditional strength exercises is the most common error made when programming for sports performance enhancement because these exercises do not match the demands of the sport. Benching and squatt
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Exercising Programming for Special Populations
 
 
Dynamic changes in the health of the country are leading more people to the services and knowledge of a certified personal trainer. Personal trainers are finding greater responsibilities related to providing the appropriate exercise prescription for each of a wide variety of special populations. Most personal trainers are very comfortable training a client who is apparently healthy, between 18-40 years of age without any major medical conditions.
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Benefits of Sprint Training vs. Traditional Aerobic Training
 
 
A common issue facing many personal trainers on a day-to-day basis relates to program management and limited client contact time. The majority of personal trainers will typically train a client two or three times per week for approximately 60 minutes per session. In order for the results that most clients are looking for to be achieved, trainers must employ specific training strategies to maximize the training time. Two common requests made by clients are weight loss and increased muscle mass. The difficulty of programming for successful attainment of these goals lies in the fact that they require concurrent training for aerobic and anaerobic adaptations. This suggests resistance training fo
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Obesity and Inflammation
 
 
A common theme that links many diseases and chronic illness is uncontrolled cellular inflammation. It is a factor in diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and many autoimmune-related conditions. Obesity has recently been added to this group of diseases as it is now known to present a low grade inflammatory response within many of the body’s tissues, which cause deleterious effects, often leading to the development of cardiovascular and metabolic disease. It is well known that being overweight is detrimental to one’s health, but until recently the known mechanisms were limited. Scientists over the last decade have started to unravel the mystery of why obesity
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Facts about Common Nutrients
 
 
March is National Nutrition Month (NNM) 2007, and in the spirit of this month, the following information is designed to provide readers with an overview of some of the more commonly consumed nutrients, and the guidelines, suggestions, and pitfalls associated with each. Personal Trainers can play a large role in assisting in the proper dissemination of quality information, which does not often effectively reach most consumers. The constant bombardment of fad diets, misleading supplement advertising, and media messages “lost in translation”, further contribute to the confusion of establishing healthy eating and lifestyle behaviors. Focusing on balance, variety, and moderation still holds the s
 
List Price:$15.00
 
 
 
 
 
 
Determining Heart Rates from MET Intensities
 
 
Prescribing exercise for aerobic training, circuit training, and conditioning has traditionally used heart rates to quantify the intensity based on premeditated structured training zones. Two common methods to identify the heart rate training zones include the Max Heart rate Formula and the Karvonen or Heart Rate Reserve Method. Of the two, the heart rate formula is most widely used and recognized. The formula simply uses a prediction of heart rate max (220-age) and defined percentages (75-90% HRmax) of that value to determine the training intensitie
 
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Obesity and Cardiomyopathy
 
 
The link between obesity and insulin resistance and atherosclerosis has been well established in modern literature. Researchers have recognized the relationship between obesity driven low-grade inflammation and cytokine (cellular secretions) dysfunction and alteration. These pathophysiological changes explain why metabolic and heart disease manifest rapidly in obese persons, particularly when the level of visceral fat dominates or heavily contributes to adiposity.
 
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Creating Hiring Criteria
 
 
Hiring employees can be a positive or negative experience depending on the factors that affect the outcome. In the personal training industry, hiring new employees is even more challenging than in many other businesses. The main reason for the added difficulty is the variation in competency development among personal trainers, the dynamics of the job, and the constant demand for trainers, compounded with a high attrition rate. The variation in competency is common as some trainers may not have a formal educational background whereas others maintain extensive education and degrees in the field. Secondary to this issue is the fact that personal training not only requires competency but also a
 
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Progressive Overload
 
 
Performing routine exercise as recommended for health improvements is hard enough for most people, finding the time, establishing a routine and sticking to it requires focus, motivation, and a daily commitment. For those who have the fortitude to accomplish this challenge it would seem that the rewards should be forth coming. But exercise performed for positive adaptations requires more then just the commitment to daily training.
 
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Controlling Calories - Helpful Reminders
 
 
Trainers consistently strive to address the goal of weight loss in many of their clients. The largest challenge is altering caloric balance. When the equation is viewed, Calories in - Calories out, it becomes very obvious that the easier of the two sides to manage is the calories in. Addressing caloric expenditure is equally important, but when running a mile burns only one hundred calories, skipping the coca-cola seems the easier of the two routes to take. Likewise the type of calories can present metabolic shifts that further complicate the problem and since most in
 
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Understanding Exercise Order
 
 
There are so many variables to programming exercise that proper design can be challenging and sometimes confusing, even for experienced trainers. Analysis of proper programming requires a review of program principles, exercise principles, and their respective application relative to a client’s needs and capabilities. When programming for personal training clients the difficulty is increased because contact time is limited and numerous stress variables are necessary to produce the various adaptation response. This takes the tradition out of traditional programming. One way to make the programming easier is to utilize a system for defining the implementation of the exercises selected for the c
 
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Managing the Endocrine Response
 
 
An often overlooked physiological relationship that dictates adaptations to exercise is the connective link between the nervous system, immune system, and the endocrine system -- collectively called neuroendocrine-immunology. In response to exercise the tissues must undergo metabolic and cellular processes to support the demands of the work being performed. The harder the work, the more the tissue is “disrupted” from its homeostatic state. Contractile forces upset and damage the muscle fiber, metabolism alters tissue and blood chemistry, and the demand for oxygen challenges the cardiopulmonary system. These acute alterations serve to support and satisfy the effort. One of the contributing su
 
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Power for Performance
 
 
Increasing interest in personal training has focused on training for sports performance. More participants in recreational and organized sports are recognizing the importance of conditioning for competitiveness and injury prevention. Personal trainers can take advantage of this growing market-interest by becoming more proficient in the techniques that can be used to enhance speed, power, quickness, and specific movement economy. Immediate limitations though, stand out in personal training for these goals, compared to traditional strength and conditioning programming due to the limited contact time. Strength and conditioning programming is usually developed in a 4-7 hour contact f
 
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Carb Loading Reviewed
 
 
Carbohydrates stored in the muscle and liver are important for both anaerobic and endurance performance. The form of carbohydrate stored in the tissue is glycogen, a polysaccharide of glucose stored with phosphates and water in a 1:3 ratio. Muscle glycogen provides the necessary fuel for energy metabolism in striated muscles, while liver glycogen supplies glucose to other cells and maintains blood glucose levels for brain function. During exercise, muscle tissues begin to use glycogen while the liver releases glycogen into the blood at a proportional rate to thwart hypoglycemia. Fatigue during endurance events or prolonged anaerobic activity has been associated with low glucose levels in the
 
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Concurrent Training
 
 
Serious fitness and performance participants routinely battle with the need for concurrent training models which include both anaerobic and aerobic components. Due to the demands of the activity it is valuable to identify the magnitude and intensity of each type of training to optimize the desired performance characteristics without the adverse effects of overtraining.
 
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Caffeine and Hypertension
 
 
Caffeine consumption is prevalent across the population. The stimulation of alertness and focus via the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) make it a routine chemical in many American diets. It is commonly ingested as part of morning rituals to wake up from a basal metabolic state in dosages of about 125 mg per cup of American coffee or to prevent the midday doldrums in the form of diet sodas, “energy” drinks, or designer coffees at 40-200 mg depending on the product and serving consumed. Caffeine is also regularly found in weight loss products serving as the most popular appetite suppressant in over-the-counter supplements and also acts as a diuretic. The widespread use and social acceptance of the stimulant leads one to assume the product is benign to the body and routine consumption would not present any negative impact to health. For many Americans consuming caffeine in moderation, this is true. But some people fail to realize that caffeine does have an impact on the body, particularly on the cardiovascular system. This fact becomes more relevant when caffeine consumption is increased in efforts to thwart the effects of mild sleep deprivation, as a support mechanism to passive (psychological) stress, or to enhance motivation for training in the gym when mental fatigue is a barrier. The addition of caffeine to these stress-present conditions increases its cardiovascular effects.
 
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The Importance of Continued Education
 
 
Continued education should not seem like an unnecessary burden placed on credentialing professions, but rather the process of on-going learning should be considered an opportunity, an asset to one’s profession. As with any improvement strategy in business, continued education should be thoughtfully considered. A simple analysis of one’s competency status can identify key areas which may warrant improvement or specific attention. Performing a SWOT analysis aids in identifying business or professional characteristics that may present risk or financial opportunity. The SWOT analysis requires a business to audit its operations and capabilities and can be very useful for expanding a marketing or service strategy. The S in SWOT represents all the business or professional STRENGTHS; these are the aspects of the business that best support financial vitality. Opposing business strength is the W of the SWOT analysis – WEAKNESSES. A business weakness may be low competency in particular areas, lack of business knowledge, undercapitalization or any host of other limitations. But as with any weakness the right application of effort can often negate negative outcomes if those weaknesses are identified and rectified before they manifest into collective failure. The O of the SWOT analysis is often the most exciting aspect as it represents business OPPORTUNITIES. Opportunities are those aspects and areas where the business can improve. Different aspects of opportunity are commonly found in market expansion via new marketing or promotional channels, new revenue streams, or a decrease in costs. Opportunities should present a positive outcome and lead to financial stability and growth. But opportunity must be carefully managed, as good opportunity can create a risk if misdirected. The final stage of the SWOT analysis is the T, which represents THREATS. Threats are any number of factors that present risk for some type of loss. Threats are commonly seen in the form of competition, liability risks, lack of capital, inability to deliver products or services, and/or loss of market share due to any number of controllable and uncontrollable factors.
 
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Physical Function
 
 
Physical function is a factor of efficient performance of tasks; where neural patterns cause harmoniously synchronized muscle contractions that transfer energy effectively to accomplish a desired action. Standing on a physioball is not functional – it is a circus act. Picking up a relatively heavy laundry basket of wet clothes and placing it on the dryer is functional. Functional training applications should emphasize improving components of the body that present limitations to the performance of activities the body is exposed to at some level of frequency.
 
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Gluten and Celiac Disease
 
 
“Gluten-free” is becoming a more popular label descriptor found on many processed foods containing grains. Is gluten something we should be trying to avoid? Gluten is actually a mixture of proteins called prolamine, an insoluble protein constituent of wheat and other grains which allows baked goods to rise. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley making it the common denominator in the majority of grain-based products consumed by Americans including breads, cereals, and pastas.
 
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Strength and Power Training for Endurance Sports
 
 
Strength and high-velocity power training components are not commonly included in the training regiments of many endurance athletes. Although there is widespread acceptance related to the benefits of including power and strength training in endurance programs, many coaches and athletes still forgo the training. Strength and high-velocity power training components are not commonly included in the training regiments of many endurance athletes. Although there is widespread acceptance related to the benefits of including power and strength training in endurance programs, many coaches and athletes still forgo the training. Several reasons are given for the exclusion, but most focus on the fear that added bulk will make the athletes slow and that the high tension training will compromise the endurance training performance due to fatigue or soreness. This explains the current trend of avoidance of power and strength training for many endurance athletes.
 
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Implementing Superset Training
 
 
The implementation of a new training system is an excellent way to rejuvenate a workout or add more volume and intensity to a training program that must be completed in a specified period of time. A training system employs a technique that allows an exercise or group of exercises to better serve a defined purpose. One of the most popular of the anaerobic training systems is the supset. Supersets combine two or three exercises (tri-sets) in sequence with only transitional rest between the sets. Transitional rest refers to the amount of time it takes to switch from one exercise to the next with no additional rest.
 
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Tweaking your Workout
 
 
The body’s ability to learn and improve explains why progressive stress must be applied for continued training improvements. When a training stress is placed upon the body, the body responds via a unified reaction of systems in varying proportions that attempt to manage the stress as efficiently as possible. Initial actions by the body are often distressed due to the lack of experience with internal management of the exercise. The metabolic systems try to deliver the appropriate amount of energy, while cardiopulmonary actions work to increase oxygen to active tissue.
 
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Congestive Heart Failure and Muscular Fatigue
 
 
A common inquiry among exercise enthusiasts is the specific physiological cause of muscular fatigue. Scientists at Columbia declare that they have not only come up with a response, but have also devised an experimental drug that has been tested in mice that can actually prolong exercise time to exhaustion. The physiological cause of muscular fatigue has been largely ignored and misunderstood for decades. Muscular fatigue due to lactic acid release was a popular theory early on , but exercise physiologists realized it is simply a plausible component based on intensity and physical condition and has since been discredited as the main cause of muscular fatigue according to Dr. George Brooks, from the University of California, Berkeley. In a recent report published in an early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Andrew Marks, the principal investigator of the new study, claims that calcium flow inside the muscle cells is the most likely cause of fatigue.
 
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Sub-Threshold Training
 
 
Adaptation response is very specific to the physiological demands experienced by the body and the frequency with which the stress is experienced. An individual who routinely goes to the gym ensures two things: 1) a frequency of physical activity has been established, and 2) more calories are being expended by the body than if the person was sedentary. For some reason, people believe that by simply being in an environment where physical activity occurs and engaging in some level of the activities, they should attain all the desired results associated with the activities. From a physiological standpoint, this is way off base, as specific research in the area indicates otherwise. An evaluation of a traditional approach to weight lifting and the common intensities used based on one’s own accord indicates these actions will likely yield a low caloric expenditure and no overload on the tissue. The obvious variable is the intensity. According to several research studies published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, most people self-selecting intensities train between 40-60% of 1RM but do not use corresponding repetition ranges that cause volitional failure and therefore do not stimulate any overload. The research also suggests that both men and women have a tendency to select intensities far below threshold for the repetitions they perform, which explains why so many people exercise with limited results.
 
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Exploring the Rotator Cuff
 
 
Improving one’s performance in sports and daily activity is a factor of neuromuscular efficiency and metabolic enhancements. To attain proficiency, reaction force must be effectively transferred through force couples at a velocity consistent with the requisite movement speeds of the activity. The attainment of efficient movement is dependent on the muscle’s force production and reduction capabilities, magnitude of reaction force, and proprioceptive management of the action (including postural equilibrium). This is accomplished, in part, through the use of neutralizing and stabilizing muscles to prevent diminution of reaction force across joints and to accelerate the movement as needed for the action. Much of the recent literature has focused on the trunk musculature to transfer ground reaction force across the spinal segments in closed-chain movements. By now many professionals are more familiar with the muscles of the inner unit (transverse abdominis, diaphragm, muscles of the pelvic floor and the thoraco-lumbar fascia) and the role these muscles play in stabilization and energy transfer. These muscles should be trained to functional levels specific with the highest demands of routine stress. This being said there are additional stabilization and energy management demands once the reaction force has been transferred through the trunk. Since most actions outside of slow bipedal locomotion use the upper body, stabilization at the articulation sites of upper limbs is very important. Most of these actions manifest in the hands, therefore energy must effectively reach this terminal area. Analyses of the joints of the upper limbs identify the shoulder as the weak link in the system. Working backward, the wrist is a gliding joint and the elbow a hinge, both of which are very stable joints. The shoulder, though, is an incomplete ball and socket joint, giving up stability for mobility. The glenohumeral articulation, as it is formally referred to, has a shallow fossa which allows the limb to be fully abducted and flexed and provides for large ranges of motion in multiple planes. In fact, the human body is designed specifically for range compared to speed or high force. This factor limits the application of high force in exchange for lower force over a greater range. This fact lends itself to the importance of stability.
 
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2008 Physical Activity Guidelines
 
 
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in an on-going effort to combat the national obesity and physical inactivity epidemics that are affecting the nation. The Guidelines provide information related to the duration and level of intensity of suggested activity necessary for health benefits for all Americans over the age of six. The current trend in America is an ever expanding waistline and decreasing levels of physical activity throughout the country. As more and more Americans decrease their level of physical activity, they burn fewer calories leading to excess weight gain, thereby limiting their ability to exercise, at the same time routine physical inactivity decreases flexibility and strength measures, all of which eventually culminate in chronic inactivity and negative health consequences including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and eventual loss of independence. Even with increased education related to the benefits of regular exercise participation over the past few years, America has continued to become less active.
 
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Chronic Sleep Deprivation and Negative Health Affects
 
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data collected with the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 2004-2006 demonstrates that an estimated 70 million Americans are negatively affected by chronic sleep loss or sleep disorders.
The data collected was analyzed for the prevalence of smoking, alcohol use, physical inactivity, and obesity as they relate to usual sleep duration. Furthermore, the data was stratified by gender, age, and race/ethnicity. The goal of the study was “to identify variations in prevalence of these health risk behaviors by usual sleep duration and to identify subgroups for which these associations may be particularly noteworthy.” Although determinations of causality cannot be inferred from correlation studies, conclusions can be drawn about the possible clustering of behaviors that result in negative health outcomes.
 
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Decoding Athletic Genetics
 
 
A December 1st article in the New York Times reports that in Boulder, Colorado parents have been given the opportunity to genetically test their children through Atlas Sports Genetics. A $149 test is now available, which aims to “predict a child’s natural athletic strengths.” Atlas states that focusing this testing on children from infancy to about 8 years in age is ideal, because “physical tests to gauge future sports performance at that age are, at best, unreliable.” Research primarily performed at the University of Sydney and published in 2003 regarding the gene ACTN3, prompted this business endeavor. This single gene, of the more than 20,000 in the human genome, is being touted as a reliable predictor for whether a person would be well-suited for speed and power sports versus endurance activities.
 
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Continuing Education for the Professional
 
 
Many professionals view continuing education as merely a necessary evil to maintaining their certified status. This, though, is a very shortsighted and inaccurate perspective to have regarding continued learning. Continuing education is much more than a professional obligation; it represents the pursuit of personal improvement and professional evolution. The quantity of evidence-based information is staggering related to the competency domains requisite of the fitness professional. Even seasoned experts maintain only a small amount of knowledge compared to that which exists. Therefore anyone who actually believes they know all there is to know about human health and performance is demonstrating their significant ignorance. It is not a factor of what one needs to learn for continuing education as much as what small area should one concentrate on at this particular time.
 
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The Reality of Long-term Weight Loss
 
 
The New Year brings with it another opportunity to resolve to lose weight and get back the body image of past years or maybe even get into the best shape of one’s life. Conceptually, the possibility exists – roughly 40% of outcome is genetic dependent, while the rest is shear desire, effort, commitment and some knowledge of what to do. Therefore, with a new year and a reasonable gene pool it is not unreasonable to think those weight loss goals can become a reality this time. The real challenge is what is necessary to actually shed stored energy and the time it takes when one acts sensibly. Sure low carb diets can deplete glycogen stores releasing metabolic water making it look like one is losing fat weight and significant caloric restriction can certainly stimulate catabolism as the body’s starvation defense kicks the adrenal glands on to spare sugar, but why go down those paths again?
 
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A Closer Look At Skinfold Assessment
 
 
Skinfold analysis is a common field assessment used by fitness professionals to predict body fatness. The technique is based on the fact that 50-70% of stored fat lies between the skin and muscle, referred to as subcutaneous fat. The measurement technique requires the tester to identify gender specific sites which reflect predetermined assessment locations for regression equations calculated to predict body density. Two of the most popular groups of equations identified by their respective name sake are the Jackson & Pollack, and Durnin & Wormersley multi-site skinfold equations. The equations are based on the measure of skinfold at select sites expressed in millimeters of thickness. The skinfold measurements are entered into the population specific regression equation to predict body density which is expressed as a percentage of fat. According to the literature, use of field method prediction equations developed from 2-component model (Siri equation) reference measures of body composition systematically underestimate relative body fatness based on comparisons to hydrostatic (underwater) weighing. Ethnic differences further invalidate the Siri equation as seen in American Indian women, African-American men and women, and Hispanic women when standard equations are used. Researchers suggest that this is due to the fact the average fat free body (FFB) density of these ethnic groups exceeds the assumed value (1.1 g/ml). Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of field method prediction equations have been developed and cross-validated for Caucasian populations and are based on 2-component model reference measures. Because ethnicity may affect the FFB and regional fat distribution, race-specific prediction equations should be used to enhance the accuracy of the assessment.
 
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Easy Ways to Increase Caloric Expenditure
 
 
Personal training has always been associated with golden handcuffs. Although quality personal trainers provide proper instruction and exercise programs for numerous benefits, the limited contact time presents a ceiling to results. Unlike the “Biggest Loser” clients are completely responsible for their lives outside of the two or three session periods each week. During a one hour session, most clients can burn between 200-400 calories per session. In most cases, the average personal training client does not meet the minimum recommendations for health related physical activity (1000 kcal/week) through exercise with their personal trainer alone. This limitation is exacerbated when clients do not control caloric intakes. It’s often stated that for the 120-180 minutes of training performed with a trainer a week, a client has 9900 minutes a week to ruin the effort. Many people are surprised to find that a person who engages in no structured exercise, but is physically active most days of the week, has a lower risk of weight gain than a personal training client who works out two or three times a week but is otherwise sedentary.
 
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The Best Kept Secret to Maximizing Training
 
 
Exercise principles define adaptation response. Most Americans who work out lack an understanding of basic human physiology, causing them to forego specifically applied progressive overload. Selye’s general adaptation theory states that when the body is strained it will adapt to and overcome the stress. However, after adaptation has occurred, a new level of stress is required. The same absolute stress will not be perceived as “a new stress” by the body. If the stress is reduced, the body will in turn reduce the response and the principle of reversibility is invoked, explaining the adaptational diminution. This being said, physiological adaptations are simply a response to stress that is applied at a frequency significant enough to require the body to change in order to better manage it. Inherently the body does not like to change, and in fact, is resistant to chronic adjustments. For instance, muscle hypertrophy training can be applied for 4-6 weeks before the body will increase contractile protein content, and the body will continue to resist significant change for 18-24 months before a shift to higher protein synthesis, associated with higher anabolic hormone concentrations, occurs. This is a natural defense mechanism to heightened metabolism. Tens of thousands of years ago a human with more muscle would need more calories, and in the type of environment experienced at that time, a high metabolism was a curse rather than a blessing. Likewise we have defensive mechanisms for weight loss. Consider the same human 30,000 years ago; a high metabolic rate equates to a need for more food, and a low body fat meant risk for starvation and hypothermia when exposed to the elements. Most resistance to physiological adaptations stem from defense mechanisms for survival. These mechanisms also explain our actual impressive initial resistance to obesity and paradoxical ability to add fat and mature lipid cells.
 
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New Supplement Database
 
 
All the media coverage and press on supplements and ergogenic aids used by athletes, recent lawsuits and injury associated with weight loss supplements, and increasing knowledge of the lack of regulations of the supplement industry in general, has led government agencies to commit resources to help consumers make more educated decisions regarding the supplements they buy. A cohort of governmental agencies including the Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL), Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and the USDA along with the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health (ODS/NIH) and other federal agencies have been working to develop a Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database (DSID). The goal of the project is to evaluate levels of ingredients in dietary supplement products for consumer protection and product safety.
 
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Professional Ethics
 
 
Within any professional environment, sensitive or difficult situations arise which require a decision making process leading to a path of action. The path one follows is based on one or more of the following: an established moral code, written policy or awritten code of ethics and a personal value system. In some cases there is not only one acceptable answer, but this is where ethics, rules and regulations diverge in the best approach to resolution. Rules and regulations are established to deal with a variety of situations and outline a single defined path or response for each. However, some areas may not be so black and white and responding ethically to a situation requires an individual to look objectively at the circumstances and then make a determination based on both logic and sensitivity. A personal trainer with a solid ethical background is able to judge almost any situation and make the right choice for that particular event. Additionally, a personal trainer with a strong value system is likely to make the right choice regardless of the popularity of that decision because he or she has a strong ethical character. To help personal trainers guide and gauge their decisions the NCSF Board for Certification has a published Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practices which define and outline proper professional behavior.
 
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Planning for New Clients
 
 
Proficiency in exercise science and practical training instruction are necessary to get results through client programs but they may not be enough to get the clients in the first place. Many personal training programs rely heavily on orientations and initial consultations to convert leads into new personal training clients. Although this is a certainly a good opportunity for new clients, never forget about the largest segment of the membership, which sadly is the group of members who use the club the least. These are ideal candidates to pursue for personal training. They obviously care enough about their health and well-being to join a gym, but like most members fall into the fitness attrition cycle because they do not see the results they expected within their preconceived timeframe. Personal trainers should go through the membership lists and identify those individuals who have stopped using the gym or those who have serious inconsistencies. Make a list and designate a period of time to call these leads and plan to make a conversion.
 
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Defining Professional Ethics
 
 
Professional ethics are an inherent part of every occupation and attempt to develop or evaluate moral standards for a defined group. Health-based professions have a unique relationship in the dynamics between patient and provider, the integrity of which must be protected in order to maintain the professional relationship between the individuals. Many medical based organizations have a written code of ethics for their constituents and members to follow, but ethics in personal training has only recently begun to realize the profession has many aspects that are affected by a moral code. At the onset, ethical focus centered on the trainer and his or her clients from a relationship and level of due care standpoint, but as the profession evolves more emphasis is being placed on the importance of preserving the integrity of the profession as a whole. This places added ethical responsibility upon the professional to serve the client, organization, profession, and society. Of course the foundation of any health-based profession is protecting the client’s best interests, but with prevention becoming a growing aspect of the future of health and wellness in this country, personal trainers will be further scrutinized for competency, peer interactions, and professional role delineation.
 
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A Closer Look at the Warm-up
 
 
Fitness professionals, sport coaches and physical education teachers have been recommending and implementing warm-ups prior to exercise for a variety of reasons including psychological preparation for game/activity focus, injury prevention, and physiological preparation. Research has demonstrated some equivocal evidence related to the use of warm-ups on certain measures, including injury prevention. Yet despite the relatively limited scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness, pre-exercise warm-up activities are well-accepted and commonly employed in fitness/performance environments.
 
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Advantages of Vitamin D
 
 
Vitamin D has gained greater attention over the past few years based on a growing body of evidence that suggests a greater physiological need of the vitamin may exist for optimal health and function. This information has been compounded by an increasing concern of worldwide deficiency. Due to the fact that vitamin D supports a large number of physiological processes the current pandemic (50% of the population) increases international susceptibility to health problems. Early on, the known benefits of vitamin D were essentially limited to calcium homeostasis and the prevention of bone disease. Today it has become clear that vitamin D is actually an emerging super nutrient, serving a role in disease prevention including cancer and heart disease, inducing cellular differentiation, increasing cognitive function, enhancing muscle morphology and of course reducing the risk of osteoporotic fractures.
 
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Clinical Considerations when working with Hypertensive Patients
 
 
With the increased emphasis of the changing healthcare system on prevention, there is no question that the personal trainer’s role in an effective therapeutic lifestyle intervention to combat major diseases is more important now than ever in the United States. Therefore trainers need to better understand clinical aspects of common co-morbidities with cardiac and metabolic diseases, such as high blood pressure – or what is commonly referred to as Hypertension. To underscore this relevance, estimates are that approximately 70 million American adults have high blood pressure.
 
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Inflammatory Dynamics and Nutrient Intake
 
 
The correlating factors behind systemic inflammatory dynamics and various lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity and diet are presently a topic of significant interest to scientists and health experts. This interest has spilled over to the general public as evident by an increase in anti-inflammatory products like omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Most individuals are familiar with the classic signs of injury-related inflammation including; redness, swelling, pain, loss of function, and heat at the site of a given wound. In modern research, significant focus has shifted from acute inflammatory response to chronic low grade inflammation associated with android obesity, physical inactivity, and poor dietary sources. Chronic systemic inflammation is now associated with premature aging, autoimmune disorders and several epidemiological ailments including diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease. Systemic inflammation is heavily affected by behaviors and may be promoted or diminished through intricate dynamics related to body composition, nutritional choices, physical activity levels, hormonal balance, and stress.
 
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Importance of Ethical Integrity within the Trainer-Client Relationship
 
 
Maintaining ethical integrity as a professional is essential to quality business practices within any career field. Personal trainers should advocate and promote ethical behavior to enhance personal attributes and the profession as a whole. On the personal level there must be significant trust and rapport linking the fitness professional and the client for goal attainment. A client who does not display trust in their personal trainer may be less inclined to adhere to the entirety of the trainer’s recommendations for fitness improvement. This can be especially applicable outside of the fitness facility where the client may need to make lifestyle, diet, or activity modifications without direct supervision.
 
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The Back Squat
 
 
The back squat is one of the most functional exercises among the repertoire of compound lifts. The high axial position of the resistance places significant demands on key spinal stabilizers as the center of gravity is elevated while the muscles of the hip and knee act to coordinate acceleration and deceleration. The squat yields significant benefits for several applications, including strength, power, and muscle hypertrophy. When performed with correct form, the action at the acetebulum (hip) and the knee create force couples that strengthen hip and knee extensors while stabilizer contribution secures the axial and upper appendicular skeleton. When this system functions efficiently, ground reaction force is effectively transferred into the bar and the skeleton moves in proper alignment.
 
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Correcting the Bent-Over Row
 
 
Although the anterior chain often receives more attention in most fitness centers than the posterior chain, next to the pressing machines undoubtedly there will be an equal number of machines aimed at training pulling movements. Likely, 50% will address shoulder adduction (lat pulldown) and 50% will serve the actions of horizontal abduction and shoulder extension (seated row). Since many of the machines are done in the oblique plane (somewhere between true sagittal/frontal or sagittal/transverse) the muscles of the shoulder complex work together with the muscles of the shoulder to accommodate the force demands. In a seated high row for instance, where the load is elevated above the chest, the rhomboids are involved in some level of scapular retraction and downward rotation aided by the trapezius, while the latissimus dorsi contributes to shoulder extension and adduction. When the resistance is lowered for the seated cable row, the rhomboids and mid-trapezius dominate but are assisted by the lats and teres major for shoulder extension. Exercises like the lat pulldown, high row, and seated row certainly have merit in a resistance training program aimed at strength and hypertrophy but for performance and function these stable, machine-based exercises pale in comparison to exercises like the pull-up and bent-over row.
 
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Low Back Pain
 
 
The statistics surrounding Low Back Pain (LBP) are staggering. At any given time, 31 million Americans experience some level LBP. Experts estimate that at some point in their lives, 80% of the American population will experience LBP ranging from acute discomfort to chronic disability.
 
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Weight Loss and Resistance Training
 
 
Weight loss is a factor of caloric balance, or more easily stated, energy-in, versus energyout. The seemingly simplistic equation suggests that if a person consumes less energy than they expend per day they will lose weight. This in fact is true, but the weight that is lost does not always offer the benefit that is expected.
 
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Drugs, OTCs, Herbals and Hepatotoxicity
 
 
Drug-induced toxicity is the leading cause of acute liver failure and acute hepatitis in the United States. Prescription drugs such as amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, troglitazone, antiretrovirals, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I), anti-diabetic agents (acarbose, gliclazide, metfomin, and insulin), anticonvulsants, antiepileptics, and other psychotropics (e.g. selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs]) have all been implicated in liver damage.
 
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Managing your Professional Image
 
 
NCSF-CPT credential? Check. CPR/AED certification? Check. The necessary skills and abilities to train an individual effectively? Check. Seems like all the components that make up a successful Certified Personal Trainer are all in place, except for what is perhaps a fundamental, oftentimes overlooked component that separates a knowledgeable trainer from a professional trainer – professionalism. The term professionalism is an all encompassing term used to describe many aspects of an individual – how they dress, how they speak, the way they interact with co-workers and clients, and the manner in which they conduct their business. Regardless of an individual’s aptitude, people who are deciding between two prospective merchants will more often than not select the one they feel exudes the right “feel” or presents the “image” they perceive to be optimal and even if less qualified or not as substantive. You probably wouldn’t hire a Harvard educated lawyer if he came to court in sweatpants and a T-shirt, but you might hire a less qualified lawyer who is dressed in a well tailored suit, carries a leather briefcase and portrays a certain confidence that instills in you, the client, a feeling of comfort and impending effectiveness.
 
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How Core Stabilization Translates to Sport Performance
 
 
Properly challenging the core musculature through resistance and stability training techniques for adaptations related to sport performance is currently a topic of debate. To ascertain what methods could be considered optimal, one must first understand muscle action inherent to the core region of the body. The core does not simply refer to the abdominal musculature as many believe, but is actually a functional group of muscles that act on the spine and pelvis. The core of the human body constitutes all of the lumbopelvic musculature and is utilized to maintain proper body alignment and protect the spine. A few of the major muscle groups and functional connective tissues that are emphasized when enhancing core function include: the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, erector spinae which serve prime movement and phasic energy transfer and the diaphragm, thoracolumbar fascia, multifidus, transverse abdominis and pelvic floor which stabilize both static and dynamic action. These groups are further coupled with muscle actions of the hip including both flexors and extensors. When stability, range of motion, and/or balance in one (or any number) of these muscle groups becomes compromised, an individual may have reduced ability to efficiently transfer force through the trunk to the upper or lower extremities. Essentially, force capacity may be lost during movements utilizing the entire kinetic chain. Due to the need for ground reaction force transfer, energy loss along the kinetic chain presents a predominant challenge in optimizing the efficiency of the often complex movements demanded in competitive sports. For this reason core stabilization has been indicated as an important aspect of athletic conditioning.
 
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Lifestyle and Cancer Risk
 
 
Risk factors for disease associated with health risk appraisal have strongly sided with concerns for cardiovascular disease and metabolic conditions. Exercise and behavior modifications have focused on prevention of the number one killer of Americans, coronary heart disease along with its precursor’s hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia. Interestingly though, the most feared disease in the United States gets little attention related to preventative behaviors. Cancer is not a single disease but rather a collective group of diseases that all lead to premature death if untreated. Changes at the DNA level account for the difficulty in reversing the process compared to diseases like type II diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension which are very responsive to weight loss, dietary adjustments and exercise. Although some cancers can be managed with dietary strategies and some research supports the positive effects of exercise on outcomes, prevention is still the best strategy.
 
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Integrating Ballistic Training
 
 
The integration of ballistic exercises and ballistic circuit training has gained popularity in recent years fueled by television infomercials (P90X and Insanity) and performance based group exercise programs like CrossFit®. Oftentimes utilized in the athletic environments, ballistic training can certainly present new challenges to an exercise program and promote additional adaptations beyond traditional strength training, but not without certain risks. As fitness enthusiasts look for new and entertaining stimulus to promote physical fitness, many activities once reserved for conditioned athletes enter mainstream fitness. Personal trainers should have a clear understanding of the risks, benefits, and purposes of these training techniques so they can best implement strategies to promote safe and effective training.
 
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Contraindicated Exercises
 
 
The fitness industry has made significant advancements in using research to improve the biomechanics of lifting and to prevent imbalances by connecting motion segments to optimize coordinated efforts in sports and in life. For knowledgeable exercise professionals the traditional approach of body part isolation using “3 sets of 10” has faded in light of programming for purpose using stress specific exercise techniques. Of interesting however is that with all this new knowledge common biomechanical errors still exist and are performed in fitness centers everyday throughout America.

Likely, some of the most common errors that exist include actions at the shoulders and low back during pulls and presses, knee translation and pelvic instability during hip and knee flexion and excessive recruitment of the hip flexors during abdominal exercises. The usual reasons behind poor lifting technique is exercisers receive incorrect instruction or copy what they see in the gym, or movement compensation occurs due to weakness along the kinetic chain. When force couples fail to exceed the resistive stress along the movement plane other biomechanical actions are used to create momentum to accommodate the movement range of motion.
 
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Weight Loss Metrics
 
 
One of the more trying, and yet rewarding components of personal training is assisting clients with successful long-term weight loss. And with 100,000,000 obese individuals in the United States this clientele and specific goal is not going to go away. The old adage of calories-in versus calories-out seems like a logical approach, but is not quite as simple as the statement itself. Most professionals realize that weight management dynamics are more complicated than a basic in and out equation and that the type of activities, albeit movement based or tension based, play a role in both metabolic and endocrine responses, as do the foods and drinks an individual consumes. This being said, the first step to successfully engaging and guiding clients to goal oriented outcomes is to establish tracking metrics. Metrics are quantifiable measures that provide useful information in gauging treatment effectiveness and monitoring changes. For example, to implement the calories in, calories out equation it becomes relevant to be able to measure the factors of thermodynamics - how much energy was put into the body (metric 1) and how much energy was expended by the body (metric 2).
 
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A Pound of Muscle Burns 30-50 Kcal Day, Really...
 
 
Two “expert” fitness websites contradict each other – according to one “each additional pound of muscle equates to an increase of 50 kcal of resting metabolism each day” but the other online site suggests “you will burn an additional 30 calories a day by adding a pound of muscle mass.” Which is correct? As you may expect from the internet, neither website is correct. Presumably these inflated numbers come from antiquated studies with poor conclusions that looked at the effects of resistance training on muscle mass gains and metabolism. Several early studies demonstrated gains of 1.5-2 kg of lean mass in untrained individuals performing resistance training for 8-12 weeks. The metabolic result was a daily increase of 200-300 calories above previous measured daily expenditure. Doing some simple math, if a person added 3 pounds of muscle and burned 240 calories more per day the net gain would be 80 kcals per pound. But this would not be the doing of lean mass alone.
 
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The Ethics of Resume Writing
 
 
In many cases, ethical crossroads and challenges occur throughout a professional career, but sometimes they may actually present themselves right at the start. When it comes to honestly representing oneself, employing professional ethics should precede actually earning a job. It is estimated that 33% of resume information is misleading, embellished, or blatantly inaccurate, as career seekers “dressup” their resume to improve chances at landing a job. The ideal situation is to have followed the path of a strong candidate and therefore never trip over the ethical line. Most people though, vary in the level of education, academic achievement, public service, work experience, and professional aptitude. Due to the variability and the often known traits of an “ideal” candidate, individuals seeking gainful employment attempt to produce a resume that looks more like the “ideal” than the actual.
 
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The Benefits of Yoga
 
 
Yoga has become an extremely popular form of physical activity in the United States over the past decade and has even generated enough interest to support studios that focus on a particular form of yoga or a variety of activity-related disciplines. There is no questioning the many benefits of yoga which include reduced stress, reduced risk of lower back pain, and improvements in flexibility among both fit and unfit populations. In sedentary populations and untrained populations, studies have indicated some improvements in strength and mild improvements in cardiovascular conditioning. However it is important to note that although these benefits certainly can contribute to an improved quality of life, using yoga as one’s only form of exercise may leave some physical deficiencies.
 
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Why Train Your Calf Muscles
 
 
The muscles of the calf are often considered “genetic” muscles among fitness enthusiasts, suggesting that one is born with sizable and well developed calves or not. Do to the symmetry and balance with other leg musculature the calves are commonly trained mainly for aesthetic purposes. But the muscles of the lower limb play a more important role than simple accents to basketball shorts or high heels. During standing posture, the soleus muscles act to control sway in the anteroposterior (AP) direction aided by contractions of the gastrocnemius. Since the soleus does not cross the knee (meaning it is not involved in knee flexion) it serves as an anchor to the foot, fibula, and tibia. In contrast, the gastrocnemius crosses the knee and contributes to locomotion via both plantar flexion and knee flexion.
 
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The Ethics of Selling
 
 
Most personal trainers enter the profession out of a passion for fitness, an enjoyment of the physicalsocial environment, and an ability to connect with and help others reach personal goals using their expertise. Many trainers though, lose a taste for the profession when the painful reality of selling moves to the forefront of the business. Although this should have likely been expected, as all business relies in whole or in part in the “sale” of the product or services, selling seems to be a completely separate mindset from the intended services of the personal trainer. Exercise science students are taught the background disciplines similar to related fields like athletic training and physical education, but are unique in that to engage in their trade they must sell their services, as they are discretionary rather than peripheral aspects of schooling or sports activities.
 
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Variations to Exercise Programs
 
 
Variations to exercise programs are an integral part to maintaining a continued level of adaptation response. Although motor pattern development varies among people, generally it takes 7-12 exposures to the stress for adaptations to accommodate the physiological challenge. If the stress is simply a new movement the nervous system will begin learning immediately and with subsequent rehearsal develop a motor pattern through muscle synchronization. In most cases the body has adequate potential in the musculature for appropriate force management, it though needs to figure out how to access the motor units properly which comes from practice. Once the nervous system figures out the situation the demands are reduced. This is easily exemplified with the act of swimming. Asking a person relatively unfamiliar with fitness swimming to perform a 100 meter free stroke distance and they will likely have a high perceived exertion with the activity. But after repeat bouts over a one week period will likely consider it a relatively easy task to perform. This is not due to some newly developed muscle or exaggerated improvement in VO2 but rather an improvement in economy.
 
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Branched Chain Amino Acid Supplementation
 
 
Popular bodybuilding websites that promote products for muscle mass suggest that branched chain amino acids (leucine, valine, and isoleucine) are so key to muscle hypertrophy that they are a requisite dietary supplement to mass gain. Other claims include branched chain amino acids are needed by athletes to fuel exercise, spare glycogen, increase protein synthesis, reduce protein loss during exercise, reduce muscle soreness, reduce fatigue, improve immune function, and consequently improve performance from potentially any of the above. Although a lack of supportive evidence has been demonstrated in controlled trials, fitness enthusiasts, body builders, and athletes still use the dietary supplements in hopes of gaining a training edge.
 
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Wii Fitness
 
 
Competition is heating up as other companies enter the active video gaming (AVG) sector to challenge the Wii. Children and adults alike have taken to the fun associated with physically interactive games. In fact, manufacturers suggest that these games may be an important part of modern lifestyle activities. Several recent research studies have explored the actual contribution these games have on daily energy expenditure with mixed reviews. The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport (2010) examined gaming outcomes in energy expenditure for 11 and 12 year old boys (n=26). Subjects participated in both sedentary (resting, watching television and sedentary gaming), and active playing activities on the Nintendo Wii (Bowling, Boxing, Tennis, and Wii Fit Skiing and Step), as well as performed traditional walking and running, including a maximal fitness test.
 
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Exercise for Appetite Management
 
 
New research published in the Public Library of Science Biology (PLoSB) Journal reveals that exercise can induce the sensation of satiety due to the triggering of specific neurons in the brain. A research panel at the University of Campinas Exercise in Brazil affirms they have found that an exercise stimulus can actually improve (or restore) sensitivity of neurons involved in the control of satiety, and therefore contribute to reduced caloric intake and weight loss over time.
 
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Caffeine Consumption Among Children and Adolescents
 
 
Caffeine is the most widely utilized psychoactive substance among people of all age groups and cultural backgrounds. This is most likely due to the fact it is legal, easy to obtain, and socially acceptable to consume. It is classified as a stimulant drug, and is typically used to arouse the central nervous system for cognitive or physical endeavors. It is generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but when taken in excess can result in serious side effects, health hazards, or even in rare cases, death. Caffeine is produced by a variety of beans, leaves, and fruits; but is most commonly consumed in the forms of coffee (70%), soda (16%), and tea (12%). Approximately 9 out of 10 adults report regular use of caffeine, with an average daily intake of around 230mg.
 
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What Makes an Expert?
 
 
The internet provides instantaneous information on virtually all subjects currently known to man. It allows for immediate data related to a multitude of disciplines; allowing for research to be performed related to a subject, instructions to be provided for a specific task and advice to be gained by an “authority” in the area of interest. What is amazing is the number of “experts” who exist in each domain and this may be no more evident than in the fitness industry. Every newsletter, e-news, blog, instructional video, webinar, etc. is presented by an “expert in the field.” But what defines the word expert?
 
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What Should You Eat Before, During, and After Prolonged Training Sessions?
 
 
New and experienced exercisers alike are always looking for the most rapid results and the easiest way to attain them. In addition to the role of training most exercise enthusiasts recognize the relevance of proper diet in health and physical fitness goal attainment. This helps explain the extreme proliferation of the supplement industry. Although most supplements have not demonstrated any efficacy during clinical investigations there are strategies that use energy yielding nutrients for optimal returns.
Professionals should recognize that the three energy yielding nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) have varying roles and functions in the diet. For instance, proteins serve over 50,000 different functions in the body and interestingly energy metabolism is not a primary role. Carbohydrates function to maintain the central nervous system and fuel work, while fats serve to spare glucose and fuel low level efforts and resting activities. Due to the role carbohydrates, fats, and proteins serve in exercise and recovery, gaining a thoughtful understanding of each will promote the desired outcomes of the training.
 
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HCG and Very Low Calorie Diet Problems
 
 
Much like many scams, the hCG injection and very low calorie diet (VLCD) has cycled back into mainstream media and is being advertised as the cure for obesity. Advertisements suggest as much as a pound a day can be lost using this “medical” treatment, drawing the attention of many individuals wishing to lose weight. The injections are comprised of low-dose human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and when combined with a severe diet, functions as a popular treatment for obesity, despite a lack of evidence of its effectiveness. hCG is secreted by the placenta during early pregnancy to maintain corpus luteum function and stimulate placental progesterone production. It is found in the urine and blood serum of pregnant women and is commonly used as an indicator of pregnancy.
 
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Physicians Can Refer
 
 
There have been white papers written, presentations by the Surgeon General, reports by the CDC and NIH, and even financial analysis of the cost associated with the American sedentary lifestyle. Yet very few people use these resources to improve their health, well-being and quality of life. Due to the fact that about 70% of the population has an unhealthy imbalance between fat and lean mass and most get little physical activity if any at all; it should be of no surprise that the regular dialogue from physicians include recommendations of weight loss and exercise participation. This is where a potential disconnect begins. Physicians are trained for treatment-based care, whereas personal trainers are trained for prevention. Who is implementing the strategies to promote weight loss and safe exercise participation based on the recommendation? It certainly is not the physicians. In fact, in many cases the physicians themselves need assistance and in their defense they were not trained to create exercise programs or instruct physical activities; hence the prevalence of physician recommended walking programs. Therefore, much in the manner that a personal trainer needs to refer clients to a physician for exercise clearance in particular situations, a physician should also refer patients to personal trainers when they need assistance in preventative medicine or health based therapies when insurance coverage for medically supervised programs runs out.
 
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Tax Deductions for the Small Business Owner
 
 
Last month everyone in the United States had the responsibility to file income taxes. In some cases people gained a handsome return likely accompanied by feelings of both joy and relief, while others disappointedly wrote a check to the IRS. To avoid the latter, personal trainers should know their taxable status and function to optimize profitability by not wasting monies they are entitled to with legal deductions. A freelance personal trainer is considered a business even if a person has not formally created a business in their city or county. Personal trainers who train clients outside of a corporate employee status (W-2 tax form) are considered sole proprietors unless formal documents have been filed to denote a partnership or corporation. An easy way to determine if you in fact are considered a small business is if you receive checks in your name from clients you train or if you receive a 1099 tax form from a company you work with. If you are receiving direct funds for your work and no company is claiming the income or paying your withholdings than you are responsible for the taxable income. This is a blessing and a curse as now you must pay taxes on the total revenue, but on the bright side, you have the ability to reduce that tax burden through legal tax deductions. Essentially, the more tax deductions your business can legitimately take, the lower the taxable income and the more money you potentially take home. Tax code provisions that govern deductions can also be used to provide personal benefit beyond that found in a traditional employee-employer relationship. For example, using your vehicle to transport equipment from a client’s home or driving to different training environments can justify deductions. Likewise, combining business trips and vacations can be afforded a small business owner. In many cases, complying with IRS rules allows numerous deductible expenses that may be incurred in whole, or in part, in the process of day to day activities, thereby reducing the total taxable income at the end of the year. Who wouldn’t want to reduced annual car or vacation expenses and add an extra couple of thousand dollars a year income.
 
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Youth & Energy Drinks
 
 
Sports drinks and energy drinks have become main stream and the consequent market has erupted in recent years. Hundreds of different brands are now marketed, and according to Drug and Alcohol Dependence (2009) caffeine content ranges from a modest 50 mg to an alarming 505 mg per can or bottle. Mini markets now have whole cooler sections devoted to the products, and if 16 to 20 ounces is a bit much, there is an assortment of shots available at the checkout counter. While energy drinks are marketed more socially, sports drink companies glamorize the products using superstar endorsements. Although an effective marketing scheme, the market reach has exposed children to these products and in some cases the lines are being blurred between sports and energy drink purpose. Children want to be just like their sports heroes and certainly attempt to emulate their lifestyles so that they may someday walk in their footsteps. Based on new research, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) has outlined how these products are constantly being misused and poorly consumed by the majority of youth athletes.
 
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Stair Exercises
 
 
If you know someone who is overweight and trying to shed a few pounds, chances are they have been told to use the stairs more frequently for physical activity related weight loss; and if you’re a personal trainer, you’ve likely been the one to make the recommendation. The stairs are a simple physiological challenge to the body based upon the laws of physics. Stairs combine vertical and horizontal displacement, thereby increasing the force demand beyond normal horizontal locomotion. Stair climbing’s positive contribution to weight loss explains the popularity of the Stairclimber machines in the 90’s and although the elliptical trainer has since replaced many of the traditional Stairclimbers, they are still commonplace in most gyms/fitness facilities.
 
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High Sodium, Low Potassium Diet Linked to Increased Risk of Death
 
 
It is no secret that the typical American diet contains too many processed foods, while at the same time not nearly enough fruits and vegetables. This consumption imbalance has led to a diet high in salt and often insufficient in potassium. Recently reported by the CDC, this dietary practice is extremely detrimental to physical health. The study data conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and Harvard University was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2011). According to the CDC, Americans who consume a diet high in sodium and low in potassium have a 50% increased risk of death from any cause, and about twice the risk of death from heart attacks.
 
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Effective Use of Training Time
 
 
Effective use of training time is a key priority for all personal trainers. The 120-180 minutes of usable training time per week often makes it difficult for trainers to help their clients reach all their perceivably attainable goals. This is particularly true when the needs include all aspects of health related fitness. The traditional, but antiquated, model of personal training that uses body part emphasis and three sets of ten repetitions provide limited benefit for the average person with multi-factor need. Attempting to fix range of motion issues, musculo-skeletal imbalances, as well as body fat reduction and the often associated metabolic and cardiovascular conditions with three sets of ten using bodybuilding exercises is an inefficient use of time. Rather, the exercise program should be broken down into segments with specific emphasis. Separating the needs into discernable categories allows for a more efficient use of the training time and places specific stress related to the desired adaptation.
 
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Heart Rates for Energy Expenditure
 
 
Weight loss is difficult. Not in theory – eat less and move more – but in implementation. One of the major obstacles for most people is the lack of knowledge and/or confusion surrounding caloric intake and expenditure. Most people consume more calories than they realize and burn far less calories than they expect. Knowing what (# of calories) is actually in the foods they consume is one problem and knowing how calories are referenced is another. A breakfast muffin for instance may have 400-600 kcal. While the label says 200 kcals/serving, some overlook that the label also states there are two servings per muffin. At quick glance the calories and fat presented are only half of the actual value. A similar problem occurs in the gym. The Stairclimber shows 300 kcal after a 30 minute workout. In reality, the value is only correct if the individual maintained an upright posture, did not lean on the machine, and maintained proper pace and range on the pedals; or more importantly sustained heart rates. Just like the serving and portion sizes matter in food, heart rate matters when performing continuous exercise aimed at achieving weight loss.
 
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Corporate Wellness Programs Return $6 for Every $1 Invested
 
 
In the past, companies that offered a wellness program for their employees were considered good-hearted, but for many the benefit really only provided an add-on for those already physically active. However, in today’s market there is a growing interest in the role exercise plays in productivity and fiscal well-being. Initial proponents looked at corporate wellness from a perspective of workplace disease prevention and the wellness programs were aimed at lowering health costs. Due to the fact that employees spend most of their waking hours in their work environment, the workplace is becoming a natural place to invest in employee wellness. Some of the benefits of an effective corporate wellness program are savings in health care costs, increased employee productivity and employee retention, among others. Enough data has been collected to justify the spending on these programs in exchange for improvements in employee productivity and a significant reduction in missed work days. Companies like Johnson & Johnson which have been implementing wellness programs for their employees have reported saving $250 million on health care costs within a decade; both Citibank and Bank of America reported an estimated saving of $4.5 dollars in medical expenditures per dollar spent in employee wellness.
 
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Understanding the Kinetic Chain for Goal Attainment
 
 
The body has numerous defined actions and movements. Providing resistance to those actions or movements represents an exercise. However, effective exercise selection should entail more than simply identifying a movement and loading it. Rather, the decision for a particular exercise should be based on individual client need, which in many cases is multi-factorial. Does the joint need more stability? Should the prime mover experience higher loads? Do the hip and trunk play a role, and if so is it for acceleration, deceleration or stabilization? Is range of motion an issue? Does the individual have the musculoskeletal or neuromuscular aptitude to perform the activity? All of these questions should embody the thought process of a certified personal trainer, which then leads to a prudent exercise decision in the workout design.
 
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Five Risky “All Natural” Herb Supplements
 
 
Recipes Offered by EatingWell.com
 
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Continued Learning and Recertification
 
 
Continued learning is a rudimentary component to the maintenance of competency and growth as a professional. It is also a relevant ethical responsibility for individuals who participate in the health care and guidance of others. In most cases, continued education is required for professional and vocational jobs that require certification and/or licensing. The foundation for this type of education is defined by the role delineation study or job task analysis. These studies reflect in depth evaluations of what a professional does on a daily basis, as well as the knowledge and skills that support those responsibilities. These same competencies are measured on assessment instruments (exams) used to qualify a candidate for professional credentialing and therefore are an obvious foundation for continued learning as well. When continued education is constructed in this manner – with an emphasis on the domains of a profession and is supported by strong industry standards, the work embodies key aspects of professionalism and represents best practices.
 
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Patellofemoral Pain
 
 
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb and is a common problem among many exercisers. The issues are often associated with musculo - skeletal deficiencies and repeated use injury response. One of the side effects of PFPS is quadriceps inhibition as a result of swelling in the knee joint.
 
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Training System for New Clients
 
 
When people are new to exercise or returning from a long time away from the gym, there are often deficiencies in key metabolic and movement systems of the body.
 
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To Perform with Less Effort, Practice beyond Perfection
 
 
In the fitness industry the quest for caloric expenditure during exercise has reached a pinnacle as boot camps, industrial training, and pseudo-athlete conditioning have all become trendy and popular. However, if one is training to optimize safety and promote performance, an emphasis simply on caloric expenditure is counterintuitive. Strength and conditioning programs and skill-specific practices for athletes should be aimed at energy conservation so that adequate glucose is available to support the highest level of performance for the longest tolerable time. This requires proficiency in both the neuromuscular and metabolic systems. The improvements come from repeated rehearsal in the appropriate pathways in conjunction with the removal of resistance to the movement. While the prior suggests practicing the skill or task in the appropriate environment, the latter suggests foundational corrections for postural imbalances, improved stability, and improved range of motion at each joint.
 
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Most Weight-Loss Supplements are Ineffective
 
 
A recent review of the body of evidence around weight-loss supplements performed at Oregon State University and published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests, again, that a magic pill does not exist for weight loss. Supplements are a $2.4 billion dollar business in the United States, but the data collected on hundreds of weight-loss supplements showed that, for the most part, the results they produce are disappointing. The primary researcher, Dr. Manore, a professor of nutrition and exercise sciences at OSU, suggests “no research evidence exists that any single product results in significant weight loss – and many have detrimental health benefits.” Among those evaluated, a few products, including green tea, fiber and low-fat dairy supplements, demonstrated a modest weight-loss benefit of three to four pounds (two kilograms), but an important caveat is these supplements were tested as part of a reduced-calorie diet. Consistent with the belief of most experts, Manore said that "for most people, unless you alter your diet and get daily exercise, no over-the-counter supplement is going to have a big impact.”
 
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Popular Diets do not lead to Weight Loss
 
 
According to the Boston Medical Center, approximately 15% of the population attempts to lose weight each year, mainly through dieting. That same group will spend $33 billion on weight-loss products and countless dollars on books and magazines advertising dietary solutions. For their time and effort, only about 2% of these people will attain and maintain long-term weight loss as a result of dietary restraint. For those who add exercise to the mix, however, the likelihood of both weight loss and weight maintenance improve. According to researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, obese patients can lose weight and keep it off using the most traditional method of eating less and exercising more. In an article published April 10 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Nicklas and colleagues analyzed data culled from more than 4,000 obese (BMI >30) individuals. Of those surveyed, 63% reported that they had attempted weight loss. Of the 2,500 individuals in this category, 45% reported they were able to lose more than 5% of their body weight, and another 20% lost 10% or more of their body weight.
 
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Integrating Flexibility
 
 
Recent year trends suggest the number of Americans with postural distortions and back pain continues to increase. This is due partially to weight gain but more so from a chronic lack of activity which has contributed to strength imbalance and changes in seated and standing posture. When boney structures become conditionally manipulated the attached musculature responds by adapting to the environment.
 
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We're Fatter than We Think
 
 
According to the most recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 36% of the American adult population is obese, and 17% of American children are following suit. If this trend continues, a recent study predicts that 86% of Americans will be overweight or obese by 2030, and by 2048, every single American will be either overweight or obese. We are progressively getting fatter, and alarmingly enough it appears we no longer recognize how large we are becoming. With the advent of vanity sizing, women who would have worn a size six or eight fifty years ago now fit into a size zero or one. Children are not aware of their size because they see everyone around them at the same size. Michelle Justus of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement said “part of it’s the way our lifestyle is now.
 
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Programming with Emphasis
 
 
Programming components in personal training often require more knowledge and adaptability than the traditional programming approach of three sets of ten repetitions. Programming starts with a laundry list of client needs that often limit program aggressiveness due to low levels of fitness, inhibitory dysfunction from musculoskeletal imbalance, and lack of flexibility; this is compounded by a lack of training frequency. The standard 120-180 minutes of contact per week makes it difficult to provide effective results, particularly when the client’s exercise tolerance, whether psychological or physiological, is low. Most clients are driven by vanity-based goals; they want to lose weight and look better, both of which indicate a need for greater training volume.
 
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Professional Standards and the Personal Trainer
 
 
People make decisions every day. Some are relatively simple and affect only the individual: bagel or eggs for breakfast? Jeans and t-shirt or khaki pants and collared shirt? Other decisions require an individual to process multiple aspects of a situation involving others and make a decision based both in logic and emotion. In cases such as these, individuals must follow established guidelines, along with their own personal code of ethics, to help them make the soundest decision possible. Personal trainers, along with other health practitioners, find themselves making such decisions every day. It is important to keep in mind that health practitioners are held to a higher standard than the average vocation because of the uneven relationship between the professional and the patient, so trainers must be especially careful to follow ethical guidelines and maintain the highest professional standards possible.
 
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Deadlift
 
 
The word deadlift references one of man’s oldest movements; picking up a static object from the ground. Even today man cannot get away from the functional task on an almost daily basis. Much like the squat, the deadlift exercise has several variations but differs in the fact that the load does not change its location. During the squat exercise the resistance is moved around the body to change the muscle activation emphasis, whereas in the deadlift the body makes the adjustments around the load. The three most common exercise variations include the traditional deadlift, modified deadlift, and Romanian deadlift; all of which use a straight bar as the requisite loading medium. Of interest, each of these exercises can be further manipulated to produce a more specialized, desired stress by changing the loading conditions (i.e., dumbbells) hand positions, and symmetry of the lift.
 
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Relationship between Percent HR Max and Percent VO2 Max
 
 
While aerobic exercise is an important fitness component for health and weight management it rarely gets the appropriate emphasis in a program aimed at cardiorespiratory improvements. Whereas most people recognize lifting light weights and performing inadequate volume limits strength gains and related benefits, when it comes to “cardio” people often climb onto a treadmill and start walking without taking into account the training zones in which they should be working. It is not uncommon to see exercisers reading the paper while riding the bike or intently watching a television program on the cardio theatre. As a result, the only physical response they can expect is the production of heat because the intensity is too low for cardiovascular benefits. On the other end of the spectrum is the former athlete who decides to get back in shape; recalling former training volumes they start out at too high an intensity and quit as a result of burnout or injury. Therefore, it stands to reason that to make the most of each bout of exercise, individuals should train in an appropriate and systematic manner.
 
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Bodyweight Variations and Metabolic Compensations
 
 
Weight loss is likely the most sought after goal exercise programs. Self-proclaimed gurus and DVD divas are constantly coming up with new movements and methods to optimize caloric expenditure per given time segment. And while some programs falsely flaunt +1,000 kcal/hour workouts, research has indicated these claims are simply not true. In a recent study published in Obesity (2012), investigators cited the less than expected caloric expenditure associated with common exercise regimens. Weight loss expectations remain high when engaging in routine physical activity but weight loss resulting from an exercise intervention tends to be significantly lower than predicted. Additionally, repeated studies have shown that many people who begin an exercise program lose little or no weight while others actually gain weight. Researchers comparing weight loss to actual expenditure conclude that the small magnitude of weight loss observed from the majority of evaluated exercise interventions is primarily due to low doses of prescribed exercise energy expenditures compounded by a concomitant increase in caloric intake. So while some people believe they should lose weight because they perform exercise, most of them do not engage in enough exercise to offset the calories consumed.
 
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Core Stabilization
 
 
The term “Core” has become all the rage in the fitness industry; both athlete and fitness enthusiasts alike are aware of the need to maintain a solid foundation. However, the meaning of the word may be very different depending on the person. For instance, at the collegiate and clinical levels, the term represents the more than 30 muscles that act on the motion segments of the hip and spine. But in a gym, a core class may be comprised primarily of crunches and multiple variations of supine trunk flexion. Arguably, the core concept is appropriately applied in the relationship of stability and energy transfer, where the inner unit functions with the global stabilizers and movers of the outer unit.
 
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Active-Assisted Stretches
 
 
Adequate flexibility is fundamental to a functional musculoskeletal system which represents the foundation of movement efficiency. Therefore a commitment toward appropriate levels of flexibility should be part of every comprehensive exercise program. Due to the limited changes in body aesthetics associated with its inclusion, many fitness enthusiasts forego the stretching segment for activities that may have a greater affect on vanity or perceived performance. However, appropriate flexibility is linked to improved joint function, reduced movement restriction, a reduced risk of low back pain or injury.
 
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A Closer Look at Shoulder Complex Dysfunction
 
 
Certainly the more physically active a person is the greater their risk for injury. It may seem counter intuitive but the facts are a healthy body requires movement, and movement by its nature places greater stress on the body presenting in both positive and (sometimes) negative outcomes.
 
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Flexibility and Myofascial Release
 
 
Flexibility can be defined as the ability of a joint to move through a full range of motion (ROM). ROM defines the functional capacity and movement potential of a given joint or a bodily segment. Therefore, flexibility plays a major role in one’s ability to engage in various types of physical activity; and while a significant factor in human function, it often receives modest attention in many exercise programs. Major benefits associated with superior flexibility include a reduction in the rate of functional decline; increased training capabilities; improved postural symmetry and muscle relaxation; reduced tension in muscles, joints and connective tissues; a reduction in the risk for injury; potential relief of pain; and improved quality of life (QOL). Maintaining a level of flexibility over one’s lifespan is associated with a decrease in functional decline and greater independence, whereas a reduction in flexibility can ultimately lead to restriction, chronic pain, dysfunction, and reduced QOL. Inflexibility generally leads to musculoskeletal injuries as a result of various mechanisms, including the loss of postural symmetry, distorted muscle alignment, excessive soft tissue stresses, and movement compensations during exercise and movement. Prime examples of flexibility-related distortion include an anterior shift of the shoulder joint as part of upper-cross syndrome and pelvic instability due to a compromised tilt position.
 
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Phytonutrients – Another Major Reason to Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
 
 
Phytonutrients (phyto = Greek for plant) are specific, organic components found in plants believed to promote health benefits. They are officially categorized as non-nutrients and unlike vitamins are not considered essential due to the fact that no known nutritional deficiencies occur without intake. Even though phytonutrients are considered nonessential, there are several means by which they are believed to protect human health. These mechanisms include serving as antioxidants; enhancing immune system function; enhancing cell-to-cell communication; altering hormonal balance (such as estrogen metabolism); converting beta-carotene into vitamin A; eradicating cancer cells; and repairing DNA damage caused by smoking or other toxic exposure. The numerous types of phytonutrients can be divided into different classes. The common classes include carotenoids, flavonoids (or polyphenols), isoflavanoids, inositol, lignans, isothiocyanates, phenols and cyclic compounds, saponins, sulfides and thiols, and terpenes. Carotenoids and polyphenols are currently the most understood and have received the greatest deal of attention in research.
 
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What’s Not to Love about Caffeine
 
 
For centuries, caffeine has been the stimulant of choice among humans. Evidence suggests that even in Upper Paleolithic times (10,000 years ago), the raw fruit of the coffee plant (Coffea Arabica) was used to brew a beverage with stimulant properties. Caffeine naturally originates in 63 species of plants as various types of methylated xanthenes, but the most common forms consumed today include coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa beans, and cola nuts.
 
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The Impact of Stress on Health and Performance
 
 
Most people recognize that stress is not healthy but most fail to realize the significant impact stress can have on both physiological and psychological well-being. Estimates vary, but experts believe about 70% of doctor visits and 80% of serious illnesses may be exacerbated or linked to stress. Whether it is an acute bout of frustration, as experienced when cut off in traffic, or a major life event such as a divorce, losing one’s job, or being diagnosed with a disease, stress can negatively affect all systems of the human body. Interestingly, even though stress is an innate response it varies by person. Stress is heavily rooted in perception; one individual’s unpleasant experience can be another’s enjoyable undertaking. Essentially, stress can produce positive or negative metabolic and hormonal responses based on the internal environment and the balance maintained between the stress itself and recovery measures to attenuate its response (e.g., proper nutrition, sleep, and stress management techniques). Adequate stress, whether physical or mental, is needed to promote adaptations in a bodily system; while excessive stress results in systemic breakdown. Eustress is the term utilized to describe appropriate stress routinely applied for the provision of positive adaptive outcomes; distress describes an excessive level of stress that promotes negative outcomes.
 
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Creating an Action Plan
 
 
Physical activity inherently comes with an assumption of risk. It is well documented that even in controlled environments, conducive to the activity being performed and compliant with national standards and guidelines, that unintended events happen. In fact, injury or incident may occur even if the activity has been performed hundreds of times prior to the occurrence of a single negative event. In many cases, the activity itself serves as the trigger, but the event was actually caused by a mix of factors culminating to create the problem or situation. Due to the fact that it is difficult (if not impossible) to account for all possible risk factors that may present a negative event in a given situation, the prudent course of action, following efforts of prevention, is to have a plan to manage the incident. A comprehensive action plan should be constructed to ensure that negative outcomes are minimized or limited to the greatest possible degree in the event of an incident or injury. Several aspects of a plan affect its effectiveness to reduce the impact of the incident. Therefore, the plan should be comprehensive in its development, thoroughly reviewed, competently implemented and practiced, and regularly updated.
 
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Expanding Behavioral Change
 
 
The growing cost of health care combined with an aging population experiencing health decline is creating a significant social/economic burden upon the country. Strategies to pay for our traditional approach to medicine, particularly with the current social distribution of resources, are driving forces for change. Without significant changes, it is apparent that the strategy outcomes will result in reduced markers of health for the majority of the country. It has become quite clear that the “medication generation” was not appropriately managed as pharmacological interventions have not cured any of the major risk factors associated with disease. Rather, many medications allow people to continue to function while developing other comorbities which has created the most costly group of Americans to date. Clearly, behavioral change is necessary and multifaceted, placing emphasis on physical, psycho-emotional and dietary modifications. In the current model, only those individuals who pay for one-on-one services receive some level of support and in many cases the attention is categorically specific. People hire personal trainers, dietitians, or psychologists to help them with behavior modification. Of the three professions, personal trainers as defined by the scope of the profession have the technical skills to provide assistance in several areas of behavior change and may best function to serve in the preventative care model.
 
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Lift Correctly, Optimize Gains: Volume 1 – Bench Press
 
 
Any resistance training activity, regardless of complexity, can be performed in one of two ways: (a) correctly, and in a manner that optimizes potential adaptation and muscle activation, or (b) incorrectly, and in a manner that increases the risk for injury and reduces intended muscle activation due to biomechanical compensations. For the purpose of this discussion we will review common compensatory actions associated with one of the most popular recreational lifts - the bench press. Even with a relatively stable, single-plane and straightforward activity like a chest press, numerous actions can be performed that reduce the transfer of force, or place joints/bodily segments in positions that minimize the workload of the prime and assistive movers for the movement.
 
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Teaching the Olympic Lifts
 
 
The recent popularity of the Olympic lifts within the fitness industry has added a new dimension to many training programs. The increased use of highly technical exercises requires adequate preparation on behalf of the client from a musculoskeletal stand point, as well as a greater degree of instructor competence to properly teach the lifts. Clearly a weekend workshop is insufficient instruction for an individual to safely teach these types of skill-based lifts. Therefore, personal trainers who want to employ these exercises will find it beneficial to pursue additional training so that they can properly instruct them. Unlike a traditional strength exercise like a military press, the Olympic lifts are velocity based and increase neuromuscular and musculoskeletal requirements. Trainers must be familiar with proper teaching cues as the movements are complex, fast and place significant stress on the body.
 
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Lift Correctly, Optimize Gains: - Volume II - The Lunge
 
 
In this second segment of the “lift correctly – optimize gains” series we will cover aspects related to proper technique during the forward lunge. Lunging exercises of all types are very popular among fitness enthusiasts and offer variety to training the hip and knee. Since most people are not properly instructed on the movement techniques, the actions are commonly performed with movement errors or in a way that creates an elevated risk for connective tissue irritation or acute overuse injury at the knee joint. This is quite unfortunate as the lunge is a very programmatically-useful, closed-chain exercise; activating a number of muscle groups in the lower body and trunk. An added advantage of the lunge movement is the muscle activation and ROM can vary based on the direction of the action and the position of external load. Adjustments allow for improvements in strength and flexibility at the hip, knee and ankle joints when performed correctly. Another relevant aspect of the movement is related to the split stance position used during forward and backward lunging. The exercise action enhances pelvic stability by preventing undesirable tilts of the pelvis during the movement.
 
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New Dietary Implications for Optimal Bone Health
 
 
The skeleton is well-designed to resist various types of mechanical stresses while providing shape and support to the body and its internal structures. It is comprised of various types of bones which possess mineral and protein components that optimize its rigidity and resistance to tension. The protein component is mostly collagen (and forms the attachment sites for muscle) which represents about 33% of bone, while the mineral components (calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, carbonate and phosphate) represent the structural component.
 
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Postural Distortion and Back Pain
 
 
The vast majority of American adults have experienced acute low back pain at some point in time, and a notable percentage of them suffer from varied levels of chronic pain. In fact, nearly 90% of adults acknowledge spine pain to their primary physician – most commonly radiating through the lumbar spine area. In response, many visit the local chiropractor for relief but an adjustment may not be what the doctor ordered. Low back pain can be caused by numerous factors ranging from significant pathologies like spinal impingement, to a cancerous tumor, to mechanical issues including congenitally-derived scoliosis. More commonly though low back pain is associated with mechanical issues derived from both hypo and hyperkinetic induced postural deviations. Hypokinetic disease is a fancy way of saying sedentary; individuals that do not move enough will likely be fat and have seated posture issues including weak and shortened hip extensors. Watching television promotes a posterior pelvic tilt and flexed knees, which creates pelvic instability. To the contrary, the chronic exercise enthusiast that has run 10 marathons may stand at the starting line with arched hips, denoting the tight hip flexors (psoas major, iliacus and rectus femoris) common of lower cross syndrome.
 
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Personal Trainers and Anabolic Steroids
 
 
Anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) have become commonplace in sports as an extremely effective means for performance enhancement. In the sixties and seventies the drugs were far less common, and use centered on bodybuilding and resistance-based sports; although some documents suggest Olympic athletes were already using them with some level of consistency.
 
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Nutritional Considerations for Vegetarian Clients and/or Athletes
 
 
It is well known that proper nutrition is an integral component of successful exercise and sports participation. The quantity and quality of nutrients consumed as well as meal timing can have a significant impact on measures of athletic performance or goal-specific milestones associated with routine exercise. That being said, personal trainers should become familiar with specific challenges and considerations related to clients who do not subscribe to optimal dietary strategies. In some cases, clients do not follow recommended dietary prescriptions for economical, social, religious, or other personal reasons; or they may have specific health or idealistic purposes such as is common of vegetarians. It is believed that a plant-based diet is a much healthier way to eat compared to the more common omnivorous diet. But many people do not fully understand plant-based diets, and some vegetarians actually make unhealthy food selection in their efforts to avoid animal products. A vegetarian’s dietary intake can vary greatly depending on the individual’s palate, dietary knowledge, access to food, and how strict the individual is on avoiding animal-based foods (e.g., meat, poultry, seafood, fish, eggs, or dairy). The following figure briefly describes the dietary measures engaged within the common forms of vegetarianism.
 
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Training Clients with Fibromyalgia
 
 
Fibromyalgia is characterized by musculoskeletal pain throughout the entire body usually accompanied by a number of other chronic issues. It has traditionally been categorized as a rheumatic-like disorder that creates widespread pain and accompanying psychological issues, but current research points toward fibromyalgia being caused by neurochemical imbalances in the central nervous system (CNS) that increase the perception of pain. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), fibromyalgia affects 5 million Americans 18 or older with between 80-90 percent of those diagnosed being women. However, men and children also can also develop the disorder, with the majority of diagnosis occurring during middle age.
 
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Breast Cancer Awareness
 
 
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month as evident by pink garnishes sprinkled throughout landmarks of the pop-culture. It may seem like a limited awareness campaign, with many forms of cancer in existence, but for women there is significant relevance. According to the CDC statistics (which did not include skin cancer) cancers of the breast in the United States represents the most common cancer in women, regardless of race or ethnicity. Additionally, it is the most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women and the second most common cause of death from cancer among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women. The most recent statistics available are from 2009; during that year 211,731 women and 2,001 men in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,676 women and 400 men died (from breast cancer) that year.
 
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Weightlifting and Metabolic Syndrome
 
 
When an individual is diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (MSyn), he or she is suffering from multiple cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors for disease. These physiological agitators function synergistically to increase the risk for numerous health complications and early mortality. Some of the major health consequences include type II diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD), myocardial infarction and stroke. Genetics certainly play a role in the development of the MSyn but lifestyle/environmental issues such as a low physical activity, poor diet and progressive weight gain significantly contribute to risk.
 
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Sport Performance and Resistance Training for Young Clients
 
 
Participation in organized youth sports and training for performance is occurring at increasingly younger ages in recent years. There are various sport preparation clinics as well as high-intensity group exercise programs currently available that specifically target young aspiring athletes and fitness enthusiasts. This has raised concern among parents, clinicians, coaches and other fitness professionals as to the competency of these groups as well as the potential negative implications of participating in such programs. The key question arises – how young is too young to safely engage in specialized physical training involving high-intensity weightlifting activities? There are a number of factors that must be considered to properly address this question such as chronological age, sex (gender), psychological maturity, current training age physical experience and the specific activities/programmatic stresses being prescribed. The term youth refers to children (approximately up to age 11 among girls and 13 among boys) and adolescents (approximately ages 12-18 among girls and 14-18 among boys). The term preadolescent refers to boys and girls who have not yet developed secondary sex characteristics.
 
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Understanding Clients with Bulimia Nervosa
 
 
Clinical eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder as well as subclinical issues including anorexia athletica involve severely unhealthy emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding body weight and caloric intake. Eating disorders are serious psycho-emotional-physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for both sexes, but the prevalence of these issues is much higher among females. These disorders can create many health problems due to reduced energy availability and micronutrient deficiencies. For highly active female clients in particular, inadequate intake of calcium, iron, and select B vitamins can become serious concerns. Eating disorders have explicit negative effects on a client’s psychological mood state, overall growth and maturation, reproductive functions and bone health. There is also a correlation between eating disorders and an increased risk for mortality (anorexia nervosa range is reported at 1-8% due to cardiac arrest or suicide).
 
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Teaching Techniques for Overhead Ballistics
 
 
Overhead lifts place the shoulder joints in relatively compromised positions that increase the risk for injury. An open glenohumeral joint combined with the intention to resist a significant load in a vertical direction against gravity can spell disaster if proper technique and biomechanics are not adhered to.
 
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Understanding Common Postural Distortions
 
 
Many clients will possess postural distortions or imbalances which greatly impede their ability to safely and effectively engage in a comprehensive exercise program. Postural imbalances can impair joint function and stability, compromise coordination between bodily segments, increase energy demands during completion of any given task, reduce force transfer through the kinetic chain, and increase the overall risk for injury (among other negative effects). In some cases the distortions impede neural signaling which impacts proper activation causing movement compensations which lead to injuries.
 
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What is the Best Option for Relieving DOMS
 
 
Variations in training volume and methodology as well as individual characteristics can impact a client’s ability to fully recover from training sessions. Muscular adaptations to exercise vary depending on the individual’s gender, biological and training age and the nature of exercise engaged. A common occurrence following a bout of unaccustomed physical activity is the delayed sensation of skeletal muscle discomfort or pain, known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The discomfort associated with DOMS is often characterized by muscle stiffness and tenderness. It is generally accepted that DOMS follows an inverted U-shape curve over time, in which the intensity of discomfort increases during the first 24 hours following the cessation of exercise, peaks between 24 to 72 hours, then subsides and eventually disappears by 5-7 days post-exercise. Eccentric exercises are primarily cited for evoking DOMS as the nature of the contraction as well as the potential for greater loading promotes more muscle damage than concentric or isometric contractions.
 
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Insight on Appetite Control
 
 
Understanding the difference between hunger and appetite and how to control the latter is a key component to weight management. Hunger is a physiological perception of energy needs directly regulated by the brain while appetite is a physiologically-driven, but psychologically-based perception of energy needs. When hunger is not properly managed, appetite will present itself and greatly increase the risk for overconsumption of calories as the psychological perception of energy needs typically outweighs true needs. Appetite is essentially tied to the old adage, “he ate with his eyes and not with his stomach”
 
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US Registry of Exercise Professionals
 
 
A professional’s success is, to a large degree, the outcome of processes developed over time. It entails more than can result from any single event or particular occurrence; it is rather shaped through experience. Experience may be related to or attained via education, one’s work environment, shadowing/mentoring or a combination of all three. The idea that someone can become a professional due to a single experience is ultimately flawed.
 
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New Training Recommendations for Osteoporosis and Spinal Fractures
 
 
Experts from the Too Fit to Fracture Initiative recently presented new study results to establish exercise recommendations for individuals with osteoporosis, including those who have suffered a spinal fracture. The results were presented at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases in Seville, Spain. An international multidisciplinary panel identified important clinical questions regarding the efficacy of exercise on pre-specified outcomes in individuals with osteoporosis, such as risk of falls, fractures, adverse events and bone mineral density (BMD), as well as pain, quality of life, and physical function after a spinal fracture.
 
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Proper Lifting Technique
 
 
Observing the participants engaged in exercise in any fitness facility across America identifies that there is a general lack of understanding related to proper exercise technique. When it comes to training technique only two choices exist: 1) correct biomechanical form or 2) incorrect biomechanical form. Therefore, any deviation from that which would be identified as correct would in essence be considered improper execution (or just plain wrong). Interestingly, due to the movement capabilities of the human body it is plausible to “exercise” and not accurately perform any actual exercise when scrutinized for form and technique. This explains in part why there are so many variations in the way exercise is performed in fitness facilities, and possibly why many enthusiasts perceive themselves as having a high fitness IQ when much of what they do is incorrect. The most common errors include incomplete range of motion (ROM) (the half of a half squat), use of momentum (the barbell swing curl), incorrect body position during the exercise (knee crosses the toe lunge) and excess movement in non-motion segments (the hip extended side raise). Many of these errors stem from two issues, (1) no one ever taught the participant how to exercise properly, so their education stems from copying someone else’s bad form or (2) the weight is too heavy for the exerciser. It is fascinating that people often prefer to exercise incorrectly (so as to move more weight) than correctly with the potential to obtain better results. Is it a matter of ego, or the assumption that heavier loads provide better results?
 
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Weight Management Strategies - A Holistic Approach
 
 
The World Health Organization has estimated that by 2030, the obesity rate in the United States will increase to 70%. The steady rise in obesity is already causing a significant strain on the health care system to the point that it affects the US economy. The pertinence of the obesity problem has caused Universities and government organizations to allocate increased resources towards researching the leading factors and the major roadblocks of successful weight loss. In conjunction, weight management has become a leading responsibility of personal trainers. Therefore, it is integral for personal trainers to understand both the health risks of obesity as well as proper management procedures. Countless clinical trials have found that dieting alone is insufficient to cause long-term weight loss. More recent research has focused on the specific effects of sitting and lack of exercise on public health, finding that both appear to be bigger threats to obesity than previously expected.
 
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Tri-Sets
 
 
Training systems can provide useful applications for many exercise programs when properly aligned with the desired adaptation. Pyramid sets, strip/drop sets, and supersets all provide distinctive benefits when programmed in accordance with scientific principles. Historically, each training system has been uniquely employed for an adaptation-specific purpose, but novel uses have expanded the utility of some of these systems for newer training techniques. Looking at the scientific support helps gauge the use of the training system and when it is most applicable to positive adaptations in a program.
 
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The Facts about Eating Carbs Before Bed
 
 
Nutrition will always be at the forefront of discussion amongst personal trainers, exercise enthusiasts, and competitive athletes alike due to the critical role it plays in adaptations and performance. With any fitness goal in mind, nutritional support must be considered as it often plays a large part in overall success. The old concept was to maintain a balance in nutrient intake along with meeting total energy needs. Today, nutrient timing nd nutrient mixtures get more attention due to the known relevance of endocrine system involvement, the role hormones play in energy storage and usage, as well as the demands for recovery. Today’s exercisers know to maximize gains nutrition must be part of the equation.
 
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Activities to Help Alleviate Plantar Fasciitis
 
 
Plantar fasciitis is a relatively common overuse issue responsible for inferior foot pain among runners. The condition occurs due to repetitive microtrauma and undue stress placed upon the plantar fascia, which runs along the bottom of the foot and supports its natural arch.
 
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Unilateral-Based Training
 
 
Many exercise professionals are shifting the focus of personal training from vanity-driven exercise programs to those which emphasize health and improved quality of life. The general population is in an overall state of health decline; a lack of physical activity combined with excessive sitting and energy-dense dietary practices have created significant problems.
 
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8 Foods to Strengthen Your Immune System during the Flu Season
 
 
During the flu season, those who exercise vigorously on a regular basis should take extra steps to ensure their immune system remains strong. Many do not realize that an intense training regimen can suppress immune function; especially when combined with inadequate recovery and nutritional support.
 
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Helping Clients Suffering from Golfer’s Elbow
 
 
With spring in the air, golfers are dusting off the clubs to head back to the links. And just like any activity cessation to participation, too much too fast is often a misguided issue. Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylosis, is an overusesyndrome caused by repetitive and forceful wrist flexion and pronation– as seen during a golf swing. High-volume overhead throwing (e.g., baseball players) will also increase risk for the issue. As its name indicates, it is associated with significant inflammation of the medial epicondyle of the humerus within the elbow (located on the inside aspect of the joint). A slow onset of pain and tenderness during activity will generally be experienced over the origin of the wrist flexor muscle group; most commonly in the trailing or dominant elbow. This pain may radiate down the forearm along the full course of the muscle group. Essentially, repetitive microtrauma to the respective tendons creates an inflammatory response that can send pain signals down the entire arm.
 
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Successful Professionals Make Every Minute Count
 
 
Personal training is one career that offers quite a bit of diversity due to the many types of physical activity and the populations that seek the services. For many, this is one of its strongest allures alongside their love of fitness and physical engagement. One may work in a corporate gym or wellness and recreation center with a somewhat dependable schedule and salary; work independently with their own schedule or even work part-time while taking on other endeavors completely outside of their primary field of interest. Following any of these paths can lead to financial success of varied proportion. In fact, trainers who own their own business or work for high-end facilities often boast incomes of +$100,000 on an annual basis. Even parttimers in the right situation and right environment have a relatively high earning potential. On top of this, recent surveys show that most personal trainers truly enjoy what they do and feel they are doing something worthwhile for other people. What could be greater than that?
 
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Hip Flexor Mobility on Performance
 
 
Tight hip flexors are commonplace among runners and cyclists alike (as well as those who habitually use the stair-climber and elliptical machines) and certainly require attention, such as adjunct stretching and muscle balance work, to avoid overuse injuries.
 
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Using Contrast and Complex Sets for Improving Strength and Power
 
 
Varying demands placed upon the musculoskeletal system present different adaptation responses within the tissues. Properly identifying the muscular stresses needed to reach a given goal is a crucial skill which allows the personal trainer and strength coach to choose the best activities to include in a weight lifting program. There are a number of resistance training systems at one’s disposal which have demonstrated effectiveness for addressing almost any given need (or combination of needs) when applied in a proper fashion. Choosing the right systems for the right needs will enhance the magnitude and rate of desired adaptations. The exercise professional providing the leadership may be metaphorically described as a chef; when he or she uses the right ingredients (systems) in the correct quantities for their recipe (program) – the dish (adaptations) will come out as planned.
 
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Review of Popular Protein Supplements and their Effectiveness
 
 
Dietary supplements are consistently used as part of regimens to increase physical performance or aid in weight loss. Protein powders and individual amino acids are very popular options among health enthusiasts.
 
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Medicine Ball Drills for Improving Human Performance
 
 
Medicine balls (MB) are an age-old versatile training tool in sports and fitness environments. They can be used during all types of activities including foundational exercises for technique mastery, ballistics and plyometrics for power improvements, and combination exercises using unique loading applications for kinetic chain enhancements.
 
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Endurance Athlete Training Zones for Long-Distance Competition
 
 
Properly quantifying an endurance athlete’s training zones or “gears” when preparing for a marathon or similar long-distance event requires specific procedures and calculations. Interestingly, many methods for training elite endurance sport athletes are based on empirical evidence and routines shared among athletes. There is a comparative lack of published peer-reviewed literature on the subject as research relies on the stringency of the scientific method; which often creates limitations to real-world applications for coaching and conditioning. For example, research often emphasizes VO2max values when examining improvements in aerobic capacity, but many coaches prefer monitoring progress using heart rates (HR) or movement speeds for simplicity. The following information relies on strategies applied by successful coaches with progressively improved race times functioning as the supporting evidence for improved endurance event performance.
 
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What is A2 Milk
 
 
A2 milk is currently marketed as a heathier choice over “regular milk”. It is purported to provide explicit benefits including easier digestion for those who are lactose intolerant and reduced risk for several disorders. But what is the difference between these products and are the claims actually true?
 
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Understanding the Relationship between Immune Health, Exercise and Nutrition
 
 
The immune system plays a major role in training adaptations, but is poorly understood by most exercise professionals. Part of the reason is medical science has yet to unravel all of the functions, reactions and interactions of this system.
 
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How Much Caffeine is In Your Cup
 
 
Human caffeine consumption is by no means novel, dating back almost 5,000 years - but todays’ on-the-go society certainly thrives on the stimulant.
 
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Leading a Team to Success
 
 
As with any profession there is always a top and bottom 10%. Some individuals aspire for greatness while others tend to contribute to the negativity associated with any job.
 
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Performance Enhancing Drugs - Scandals, Oversite and Advancement
 
 
Following an Olympics shadowed by the Russian performance enhancing drug (PED) scandal; banned substances once again reach the forefront of the sport’s media.
 
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Do These Supplements Increase Muscle Size
 
 
Anabolics, or compounds purported to increase lean mass, are one of the most popular categories of dietary supplements amongst bodybuilders, athletes and exercise enthusiasts alike. Legal compounds purported to increase muscle mass have experienced a “mixed bag” of results in the literature.
 
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Push or Pull  Using Sleds for Sports Performance
 
 
While pushing a sled loaded with multiple 45lb plates might make for a popular Instagram picture, utilizing an excessively heavy load is one of the most common errors associated with sled training for sport performance. Sled training actually falls under a category of sports performance called drag training. It can be used for short-burst reactive strength as well as improvements in strength endurance.
 
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Training Force Couples for Optimized Sports Performance
 
 
An athlete’s ability to handle their own body weight is foundational to competition-based actions. Thus, strength to weight ratio is a key correlate of improving sport performance.
 
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Bottled Water
 
 
Bottled water is a staple in many people’s households and generally consumed daily at the office, gym, or when running errands. Statistics estimate at least 30% of the American public regularly consumes bottled water with the U.S. seeing double digit growth since 2014; but how many of these consumers know what is in their bottle or where it comes from?
 
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The Ultimate Deadlift Guide
 
 
The deadlift’s simple elegance combined with the potential for heavy loading makes it a very popular exercise. It is a connector drill – optimizing the kinetic chain that links knee and hip extension across a stable trunk to vertically displace a load.
 
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Heart Health Numbers You Should Know
 
 
The current top three causes of mortality in the United States are #1 heart disease, #2 cancer, #3 chronic lower respiratory disease – collectively accounting for 50% of all yearly deaths. Heart disease (HD) has widely been the main cause of death to Americans and accounts for nearly 1 in every 4 deaths(23.4%).
 
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How to Fix Desk Job Posture
 
 
The United States is becoming more sedentary. Physical education is being eliminated from schools, video games and multimedia are replacing physical activity, jobs in general are becoming more deskbound, and people spend inordinate amounts of time on their cell phones. This poses a serious public health problem; not only due to reductions in activity levels, but also toward lack of muscle activity creating relevant postural imbalances.
 
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