Monday, November 16, 2015



Don't sacrifice your muscle gains this holiday season. Follow these tips to keep your physique on track.

With the holidays just around the corner, most fitness enthusiasts are thinking about two things: cheat meals or vacations. After all, what's the point of being in shape and killing it in the gym all year long if we can’t indulge once in a while, especially for special occasions? Those who want to stay lean and mean and not destroy the whole year’s worth of training always have a choice. It is still possible to take part in those family gatherings without jeopardizing your hard work and months of training and dieting.


Traditionally, this is what we have to deal with at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners:

Goose and/or duck
Winter squash
Mashed potatoes
Deviled eggs
Bread rolls
Mincemeat pie
Sweet potato pie
Pumpkin pie
All kinds of salads
Cranberry sauce

Once you are stuffed like the turkey you just ate, here come the desserts:

Chocolate cream pie
Apple pie
Pecan pie
Pumpkin pie


Here are some basic rules to follow in order to enjoy and digest properly:


Don’t skip breakfast to leave room for the large meal at night. Sumo wrestlers do exactly that – eat one or two meals a day and go to sleep. I’m sure you have the visual of your uncles going to the couch to nap after stuffing themselves. Having your regular meals throughout the day won’t leave you starving when the feasts come, preventing you from overeating.


That way, even if you overeat, your body will store the excess calories as energy, not fat.


I would also suggest some type of glucose disposal herb like fenugreek, which helps your body and insulin deal with the elevated blood sugar.


Split your dish into three sections. One third is protein, another third is vegetables, salads and greens, and the last third is what I call category-2 vegetables, usually higher on the glycemic index like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams or rice. The charrt above is what it would look like.
I suggest you stay away from sauces and pies. Sauces always have some kind of sugar, which makes everything harder to digest. The crust from the pies always contain gluten, unless specified otherwise. Gluten is also in most sauces and other desserts. Unless it was planned as a cheat, stay away from desserts and pies.
If you are the host, you can always treat your guests with healthier choices like organic turkey (raised without antibiotics), gluten-free pies, frozen or fresh vegetables and fruits. Ditch the traditional mashed white potatoes, which are known for being high in pesticides. Opt for mashed sweet potatoes or cauliflower instead.
Make sure to check out today!   561-702-2308

Call your Mirasol OrangeTheory to book a free session today!! West of the Turnpike, in the Publix plaza, by PGA National

serving Palm Beach Gardens 33418 and 33410 zip codes and many more.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Stress Management: A Wellness Lifestyle Approach

Stress Management: A Wellness Lifestyle Approach

Stress is a part of life, but the healthier you are, the better able you are to manage stress when it happens. Chronic stress can impact your immune system, which lowers your resistance to getting sick. Approaching stress management from a wellness lifestyle approach can give you "money in the bank" when it comes to preventing stress, and can give you the energy you need to handle stress when it happens. The following components are part of a wellness lifestyle approach.
"Attitude is everything." What does that mean? The way you think about things can make all the difference in how you react to events. In this section, we explore how you can change the way you think in order to reduce stress.
Healthy Eating: 
Good nutrition and healthy eating habits can help you through your stressful times now, not just prevent a heart attack 30 years down the road. Eating well will increase your physical, mental, and emotional stamina. Fueling yourself with nutrient dense foods can boost your immune system, help you maintain a healthy weight and help you feel better about yourself. Check out the Healthy Eating section for a quick diet assessment and ideas on how to fuel yourself better.
Physical Activity: 
Physical activity provides immediate stress relief as well as long-term stress management. Just 20-30 minutes of walking a day, for example, can give you more energy, help you put things in perspective, improve your sleep, sharpen your mental productivity, and boost your self-confidence. Our bodies are made to move and everyone can find some type of activity that is enjoyable.
Relaxing Your Mind and Body: 
There are a number of relaxation techniques that can help you manage stress and also improve your concentration, productivity and overall well-being.
Consistent sleep is critical for a healthy life. Although we all need varying amounts of sleep, if we do not get enough sleep, everything from our immune system to our ability to learn and remember information will be negatively affected. Sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise when preparing for peak performance.
Healthy Relationships: 
Changes in relationships can be a source of stress for many students, as can feeling socially isolated. At the same time, talking with a supportive friend or family member can be helpful in coping with stress. This section emphasizes conflict resolution for stress management.
Time Management: 
Sometimes all the things we have to do can seem overwhelming and impossible to accomplish. Learning how to be a good time manager is a skill that you can use throughout your life, which can make work, play and studying more manageable, more productive and less stressful. Learn about the ABCs of time management.
Alcohol and Other Drugs: 
Alcohol and other drug use can lead to many problems that can add stress to our lives. High-risk use can lead to poor decision-making, impaired abstract thinking, injury and legal problems. By understanding your overall risks, you can make healthier choices.
Tobacco can impact your sleep, ability to fight infection and overall health. These issues can create stressful situations. Tobacco use by some, however, is seen as a stress reducer. In order to achieve a healthy lifestyle, it is important to learn strategies to deal with stressors and to understand that quitting tobacco use takes time and practice.
Money Management: 
When you consider that the average credit card debt of an undergrad is $2,748, it's no wonder why finances are a common stressor for college students. This section offers tips on money management and credit card use.

Spirituality means finding personal meaning in your life; it doesn't mean just following a particular religious dogma. This section describes how exploring spirituality may be helpful in managing stress.

Our team is here to help you in many aspects of this journey, come in to try a class.

or call the studio to book. 561-702-2308

Monday, October 5, 2015

21 rewards that you will gain from regular exercise, Tips from Jim Sayih

I understand the frustrations that you have when it comes to you body. I know all about your insecurities over the size of your thighs and how hopeless that can feel.
The answer to your body frustrations is to get you up off the couch and into the gym, day after day. So here’s my pep talk in bullet form—21 rewards that you will gain from regular exercise.
Do yourself a favor and print this list and post it where you’ll see it every day. When you need motivation or encouragement, simply read over this list and take action.
Remember that action alleviates anxiety. So whenever you’re feeling anxious over the current shape of your body, take that as a reminder to jump into action. And then begin to reap these 21 rewards of exercise...
networking fitness

1. You’ll reset your body:
Exercise has been described as a giant reset button. A good workout will block appetite swings, improve your mood and even help you sleep.
2. Your clothes will fit better: Consistent exercise will tone and tighten your body, causing your clothes to not only fit better but to also look nicer. Also exercise ensures that soon you’ll be trading your clothes in for smaller sizes.
3. You’ll be less stressed: You have enough stress in your life—it’s time for a break. A good workout invigorates your muscles, leaving you relaxed and less stressed.
4. You’ll have more energy: WebMD tallied research studies and concluded that 90% prove exercise increases energy levels in sedentary patients. Next time you feel fatigued, fight it with the most powerful tool available: exercise.
5. You’ll be stronger:Exercise improves muscle strength and endurance, two things that you use throughout each day. When you exercise consistently you’ll be pleasantly surprised when difficult tasks begin to seem easy.
6. You’ll be less likely to binge: Exercise has a powerful anti-binge effect on the body. This is due in part by an increase in sensitivity to leptin, a protein hormone, which has an appetite-taming effect.
7. You’ll burn calories:You know that excess body fat is made up of stored and unused calories. Fight back by burning loads of calories with fat-blasting workouts.
8. You’ll be more confident: Who doesn’t wish they walked and talked with more confidence? A consistent exercise program will do just that. As your body becomes more fit, watch as your confidence sky-rockets.
9. You’ll have fun: Believe it or not, exercise can be extremely enjoyable. Remember how fun it was to run around as a child? Tap into your inner child as you find a mode of exercise that gets you excited.
10. You’ll reduce your blood pressure: Exercise has been proven more effective than medication in reducing blood pressure to normal levels. A single workout has been shown to reduce blood pressure for the day and regular exercise reduces overall blood pressure in the long run.
11. You’ll lose the jiggles: Regular exercise tightens flabby arms, legs and waistlines. So wave goodbye to the jiggles with a solid exercise program.
12. You’ll increase insulin sensitivity:Researchers at Laval University in Quebec discovered that exercise improved insulin sensitivity dramatically. Peak after-meal insulin levels dropped by more than 20 percent after as little as 3 weeks of consistent exercise.
13. You’ll sleep better: Do you toss and turn for hours before falling asleep? Exercise is a powerful sleep aid. Your tired muscles encourage your body to quickly fall asleep so they can get their overnight repair work done.
14. You’ll lower your risk of heart disease: Regular exercise strengthens your heart and makes it more resilient against disease. A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for heart disease, so rest assured that consistent exercise is your ally against disease.
15. You’ll feel great: Vigorous exercise releases natural endorphins (happy hormones) into your blood stream that dissolve pain and anxiety. You’ve probably heard of ‘runner’s high’, this can be achieved by any great workout.
16. You’ll lower your risk of diabetes: Studies show that exercising as little as half an hour each day can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes. If you are at risk of diabetes, or already have diabetes, regular exercise is the most effective treatment for reversing the disease.
17. You’ll meet cool people: You could benefit from a group of new, energetic friends, right? Gyms, boot camps, workout centers and even the jogging trail are all great places to connect with fun new friends.
18. You’ll improve your BMI: You know that maintaining a healthy BMI is key in disease prevention. Exercise is the best way to keep your BMI under control.
19. You’ll increase your endurance: Do you ever get out of breath when walking up stairs or through the mall? Regular exercise builds your endurance for everyday activities.
20. Your doctor will be impressed: How many times has your doctor given you the lecture about losing weight and exercising more? Exercise regularly and get your MD off your back!
21. You’ll look amazing: Are you happy with the shape and size of your body? Regular exercise works wonders on your physique. Within a few weeks you’ll see shape and tone in all the right places.
Are you ready to alleviate your anxiety by taking action? Good!
Simply pick up the phone, or reply to this email, and let me know that you’re ready to get started. I have a fitness plan that’s just right for you and together we will get you into the best shape of your life.
Let’s do this :)

Jim Sayih, MS, CSCS
911 Fitness
Personal Training,  Nutrition  and Triathlon Programming

Affordable Personal and Group Training, OTF

OrangeTheory Fitness Palm Beach Gardens West
Mirasol Walk Plaza (next to Publix),  Across the street from  PGA National Resort and Tunnies

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

20 amazing Body Weight Exercises & Why You must do

20 amazing Body Weight Exercises & Why You must do 

- Core:
Core exercises involve much more than just sit ups these days.

No, I'm not talking about planking — these planks take a lot more effort.
To do a plank, get into a push up position, then bend your arms so that your forearms (rather than your hands) are resting on the ground. Use your stomach muscles to hold yourself up and prevent your back from sagging. This is called a plank because your back should be as strong and straight as one when you're in it.

Beginner Tips: If you can hold this even for a few seconds, that's a start! Do a couple of sets and work your way up from there.

Side Plank:
A side plank is similar to a plank, but it works the sides of your abdominals and core, a part of the body that often gets neglected at the gym. To do this exercise, roll to your side and come up on the outside edge of one foot and your elbow. Make sure your hips are lifted off the ground so that you feel your core working. Hold for as long as you can manage!

Beginner Tips: Just as with plank, if you can hold this for a second or two, don't worry. Start there, do a couple of sets and work your way up to holding for 30 seconds to a minute on each side.

Shoulder Bridge:
Your core isn't just your stomach; it includes your back too, and shoulder bridge is designed to work just that. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Place your arms down at your sides, then lift your hips and back off the ground. Hold and repeat.

Beginner Tips: This is pretty accessible for beginners, although you may have to work on how long you can hold this, how high you can lift yourself, and how many repetitions you can do.

Supermans don't feel like flying, but they'll help you build super-hero strength in your lower back. Lie face down with your legs extended and arms out in front of you. Raise your arms and legs off the ground. You'll look like Superman soaring through the sky, but you'll feel a serious burn in your back.

Beginner Tips: Lack of strength and flexibility can make it hard from some people to get any height here — or even get their limbs off the ground. That's OK. Make the attempt to lift them and it will come with time. You can also lift your arms and then lower, followed by your legs.

Supine Twist:
This supine twist provides a good abdominal workout — and a nice stretch for your sides and lower back. To do this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent into your chest and your arms extended in a "T" shape. Then, gradually roll your knees over to the right, allowing them to drop as far they'll go on one side (they may or may not touch the ground). Lift back to center and repeat on the other side.

Beginner Tips: This will be difficult for those who have limited flexibility in their backs and chest. If you're struggling to roll your legs over, try making small circles over your body first, and then progress to rolling your knees from side to side over time.

In yoga, this is called boat pose, and it is very hard to keep a placid face while holding it. To do this pose, sit on the ground and balance on the space behind your tailbone. Extend your legs out in front you so that your body forms a V shape. Then extend your arms forward at a 90 degree angle from your body.

Beginner Tips: In order to do this properly, you have to be strong enough in your core to keep your back from rounding out behind you. If you can't do this with straight legs, bend your knees until you can. If you still can't do it, try it with one or both feet on the floor first.

Experts Rank Orangetheory Fitness Concept as the Top Trend in Fitness for 2014

November 21, 2013 12:59 ET

Experts Rank Orangetheory Fitness Concept as the Top Trend in Fitness for 2014

High-Intensity Interval Training Debuts at Number One on ACSM Worldwide Survey of Top Fitness Trends
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwired - Nov 21, 2013) - Orangetheory Fitness® (, the energizing interval fitness franchise and first to use heart-rate-monitored training for scientifically proven results, has blazed a trail in the fitness industry with many firsts, the latest of which is having a workout based on the number-one fitness trend for 2014: high-intensity interval training.
In its debut year on the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) survey of top fitness trends, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) tops the list of the 20 trends for 2014. More than 3,800 fitness professionals were surveyed for their expert opinions on worldwide trends in the commercial, corporate, clinical and community health fitness industry. The results of the eighth annual survey were published in the "Now Trending: Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2014" article published in the November/December issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
Lead author of the survey, Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, commented that High Intensity Interval Training's first appearance on the list in the top spot "reflects how this form of exercise has taken the fitness community by storm in recent months."
Orangetheory Fitness has led the fitness industry revolution in HIIT, launching the concept in 2010 and growing its footprint exponentially to 195 franchises across the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. David Long, CEO of Orangetheory Fitness commented: "The 'surprising results' of the 2014 ACSM survey are not a big surprise to Orangetheory Fitness. We're thrilled that more than 3,800 fitness experts around the world agree that high-intensity interval training is the biggest change in behavior in the industry and the top trend for 2014."
He adds that the Orangetheory concept is actually an ideal combination of several of the top-20 fitness environments in the study: HIIT, strength training, and group personal training all ranked in the top 10 and are components of the Orangetheory Fitness workout. Based on science and physiology, Orangetheory minimizes the risk of injury sometimes associated with HIIT because of the workout's unique format, ongoing research and development, a personalized heart-rate monitored approach, and skilled personal trainers who lead every session.
"The 2014 ACSM trends study validates our 'theory,' and the fact that it shows up for the first time at number one speaks volumes. Orangetheory Fitness will continue to propel the growth of this concept as a leading brand in the fitness industry," Long concludes.
Orangetheory Fitness is currently accepting qualified franchisees and area developers for U.S. and international markets. Learn more at

About Orangetheory® Fitness
Orangetheory® Fitness ( is a one-of-a-kind, group personal training workout broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. Backed by the science of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), Orangetheory's heart-rate-monitored training is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. Led by skilled personal trainers, participants use a variety of equipment including treadmills, rowing machines, SBT Suspension Training and free weights, burning up to an average of 900 calories per session. The result is the Orange Effect -- more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours post-workout.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


It's always free to try!!

Heart rate based, interval training in a fun and energizing group environment. Burning calories AFTER you workout? That's the orange effect!


The Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat – 5 Most Common Mistakes That Cause Belly Fat

If you do everything in your power, but different diets and intense training like OrangeTheory Fitness and  still fail to help you lose belly fat, you may be making some mistakes which are stopping you from reaching your goal. Here are five major reasons why the fat on your waist just doesn’t seem to want to go.

Lack of Magnesium

The body needs magnesium for the heart, nerves and muscles. It participates in the activation of over 300 enzymes that ensure the smooth running of many processes in your body.

But this important nutrient also affects weight loss and body shaping. Research published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the sufficient intake of magnesium is associated with lower levels of glucose and insulin, which are otherwise indicators of obesity.

Another study found that magnesium beneficially affects the feeling of bloating during menstruation. Namely, women who have the right amount of magnesium in their body feel less swollen.

Tip: Some foods rich in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, beans, legumes, and nuts. If you want to take magnesium in the form of dietary supplements, make sure to consult a doctor.

Food With Too Much Salt

When you have a bloated feeling after eating a salty meal, this is the reason why. Too much salt in the body causes the displacement of water from the bloodstream into the skin and a large consumption of salt can give you a bloated appearance.

Over 90 percent of people regularly cross the recommended daily intake of 4 grams of salt, sabotaging their efforts to get rid of belly fat.

Tip: Get rid of that habit of adding salt to dishes. Instead, improve the taste of a meal with various spices.

Consumption of Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated soft drinks are full of empty calories that affect your waist, like soda pops and junk calories drinks. Just two glasses of soft drinks a day can cause fat in the abdomen to accumulate 5 times faster. In addition, the huge amount of sugar in soft drinks fosters a desire for food, which is why we eat more than we really need.

Not Enough Sleep

If you aren’t getting enough sleep, even though you’re obviously constantly tired, you are also preventing the removal of belly fat. Research published in the American Journal of   that women who slept only five hours a night are 32 percent more likely to be overweight than those who slept longer.

Due to a lack of sleep during the day, you consume foods with more fat, and ghrelin is the one to blame. The production of the hunger hormone, as it is called, grows because of a lack of sleep.

Tip: To regulate appetite and thus, weight and fat around the stomach, sleep 7-9 hours a night. To sleep better, remove any electronic devices from your room and hold the temperature slightly cooler than the rest of your home. The ideal room temperature for sleeping is around 18 degrees Celsius.

Avoid caffeine late at night and try to keep a regular routine, even if it means getting up at the same time over the weekend.

Eating The Wrong Fat

The body reacts differently to each kind of fat. Studies show that a high intake of saturated fats (such as those in meat and dairy products) increases the accumulation of fat. On the other hand, unsaturated fats that contain omega 3 fatty acids, such as those in nuts, sunflower seeds, salmon, olive oil, and avocados, have beneficial effects on the body.

Tip: Balance your intake of fat because an excessive intake of either saturated or unsaturated fat, will have a negative effect on your body.

TRY A FREE CLASS AT OUR STUDIO (Local residents of Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beaches area)

By PGA National and just about 1 mile west from PGA Commons (Rocco Taco's) 

 (West exit on the Turnpike and PGA Blvd) ( Not East, OTFPBGEAST)
 (Local residents of Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beaches area) zip codes area 33418, 33418, 33410, 33411, 33408, 33407, 33412, 33470
Not your typical gym, like LA Fitness or Crunch, We are a High end personal fitness studio

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Basics
The hour-long Orangetheory Fitness classes focus on strength, endurance and power, ricocheting from treadmill to rowing machine to TRX straps to free weights to body weight moves and back again. A heart rate monitor tracks exertion; your stats (calories burned, heart rate) display on a big screen. The trick is to stay within certain target zones (five to be exact) for certain percentages of the entire workout. The orange zone is where the magic happens: Spend between 12 and 20 minutes performing at 84 percent or more of your maximum heart rate and the resulting afterburn can smolder for up to 36 hours post-workout. (Science calls the phenomenon excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. We call it lots of calories burned after the hard work’s been done.) The franchise has several hundred locations across the country and the world. We tried New York City’s Chelsea outpost, which opened earlier this year.
The Experience
We started out fast and furiously with alternating rounds of rowing (200 meters as quickly as possible) and squats before moving on to more rowing paired with TRX push-ups (a triceps version, too), burpees and chest and shoulder presses with dumbbells. Once we transitioned to the treadmills, which are visited several times throughout, work consisted of sprints (30 seconds to a minute) followed by longer stretches at an easier base pace. (If you’re not a runner or just not feeling it, you can power walk the intervals.) Workouts change daily and instructors gamely demonstrate modifications—a nice touch for pregnant women and new moms who are feeling their way back into post-baby fitness.
The Verdict
Fast, challenging, satisfying. The constant variety keeps things interesting and though it’s tempting to keep your eyes glued to the big screen at first, you’ll figure out how to read the data and tailor your efforts accordingly. “The heart rate monitoring is a tool, not a distraction,” says Ellen Latham, Orangetheory founder. “It is terrific for keeping one motivated and inspired. We all want to see and feel we are getting better and this system is set up for constant feedback.”

We are Orangetheory Fitnes PGA  (west, at Mirasol plaza)
Not the East.
Dont be confused with the one OTf being built at the Trade Joes plaza, We are up and running, in fact our 1 year anniversary party will be April 17

6271 PGA Blvd #203/204, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

P: 561-702-2308    561 -450-5202 /

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A qualified trainer can assess individual fitness, create goals based on the status of that assessment, and motivate the client to adhere to the program as outlined. A proper program should address both the exercise and nutritional components of the client's lifestyle. This article describes the credentials you should consider when seeking a personal trainer. Professionalism, experience, and a personality compatible with that of the client are also important and can be assessed with a few simple questions.
Academic Degrees
The basic requirement should be an accredited degree in exercise science, kinesiology, exercise physiology, physical education, sport management, or similar field, from a reputable college or university. An exercise-science-related degree requires between 2,000 and 3,000 hours of in-class instruction, many exams, research papers, laboratory courses, and much outside studying and writing—in short, a high level of dedication and comprehensive educational prowess. A normal time frame for completion is four to six years that provide a solid background in human anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, motor learning techniques, exercise leadership, and exercise prescription techniques.
Many community colleges offer a one-year, non-degree exercise science program that provides another pathway to becoming a personal trainer. The courses usually include kinesiology, exercise physiology, sports nutrition, sport injury prevention, exercise for special populations, weight training techniques, fitness assessment, exercise leadership, and sometimes an actual internship. General education courses are usually not included, because the programs are strictly for a certificate. While not nearly as comprehensive as a four-year degree, these programs are taught by qualified instructors and can be considered satisfactory preparation when combined with a recognized personal trainer certification.
Certification is another important element in choosing a trainer. The main organizations that are attempting to create viable credentialing and industry standards are:
  • NOCA (National Organization for Competency Assurance)
  • Idea Health and Fitness Association
  • NBFE (National Board of Fitness Examiners)
  • IHRSA (International Health Racquet and Sports Club Association)
NOCA, which is the most prominent, has been certifying many types of allied health professionals since 1987 through National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA Web site states:
NCCA uses a peer reviewed process to: establish accreditation standards; evaluate compliance with the standards; recognize organizations/programs which demonstrate compliance; and serve as a resource on quality certification. Certification organizations that submit their programs for accreditation are evaluated based on the process and products, not the content, and are therefore applicable to all professions and industries.
It is the responsibility of each respective organization to pursue NCCA accreditation. So far, ten fitness organizations have achieved NCCA status for at least one or more of their fitness related certifications. It is a time-consuming, expensive, and most likely, tedious process. The organizations that have achieved status are all long-standing organizations that were already respected in the fitness field. You can be sure the educational content contained within their exams is valid, up to date, and challenging. So check your trainer’s standard personal fitness certification and additional certifications to ensure that they are from one or more of the following:
Two more tenured certification organizations deserve an honorable mention but are currently not NCCA certified:
There are varied reasons why a trainer would choose one of these organizations over another. Prior education and possibly influence from a particular professor, suggestion of a colleague, desire to specialize in a particular area; ie: nutrition, strength and conditioning, corrective exercise, boot camp instructing, child or geriatric fitness, or desire to pursue advanced or master fitness certifications. The bottom line is that if the certification is issued by one of the above organizations, it can be considered a quality gauge of a trainer's knowledge, skills, and abilities. One final note: as many of these organizations conduct research into human performance and exercise physiology related topics, they may teach differing methodologies and avenues for professional success of their graduates.
Nutrition Credentials
No personal training program is complete without proper nutrition. The quantity and types of nutrients consumed weigh heavily on the outcome of your program. Trainers with a Registered Dietitian (RD) credential from the American Dietetic Association should be able to provide in-depth nutrition advice. However, a Registered Dietetic Technician (DTR) credential or an associate or bachelor's degree in nutrition from an accredited institution of higher learning may be sufficient for providing basic dietary guidelines. Work experience in the field of nutrition is also a plus. These additional credentials in nutrition should be considered as an adjunct to, but not in place of, the aforementioned exercise science degree and personal trainer certification. Dietitians with proper experience may obtain a specialized sports nutrition certification from the American Dietetic Association, but most personal trainers, and even RD’s and DTR’s, will need to explore sports dietetics options within the organizations listed above. If their goal is to work with athletes and improve performance in a particular sport, this point becomes even more important.
Additional Credentials
As training methods evolve, the demand for “specially trained” personal trainers continues to grow. Those with additional education and certifications in Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, kettlebell training, stability balls, child/geriatric fitness, boot camp instructing, lifestyle management, sports conditioning, group fitness, adaptive exercise for special populations, etc., can market themselves even further. Clients who wish to focus on certain areas within a session can seek out trainers holding specialized skills in these areas. Mixing sessions utilizing weight training, cardiovascular workouts, circuit training, and many of the above techniques from session to session can reduce boredom and accentuate results as well.
Exercise Standards
In 1995 the ACSM and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a consensus statement that, “Every U.S. adult should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.” This level can be met with activity, such as a 2-mile walk, that expends approximately 200 calories per day. This recommendation was intended to complement rather than replace the guidelines for higher-intensity exercise to develop aerobic fitness. It also acknowledged that most of the disease-prevention benefits of physical activity will occur with moderate-intensity activities outside of formal exercise programs. Similar recommendations have been issued by the U.S. Surgeon General and the American Heart Association. The latest U.S. government advice was published in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, which recommended:
  • At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, above usual activity, on most days of the week.
  • For most people, greater health benefits can be obtained by engaging in physical activity of more vigorous intensity or longer duration.
  • To help manage body weight and prevent gradual gain in adulthood, engage in approximately 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week.
  • To sustain weight loss in adulthood, participate in at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity while not exceeding caloric intake.
  • Achieve physical fitness by including cardiovascular conditioning, stretching exercises for flexibility, and resistance exercises or calisthenics for muscle strength and endurance.
  • Children and adolescents should engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.
  • Pregnant women, in the absence of medical or obstetric complications, should incorporate 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week but should avoid activities with a high risk of falling or abdominal trauma.
  • Older adults should participate in regular physical activity to reduce functional declines associated with aging and to achieve the other benefits of physical activity identified for all adults.
What You Should Expect
The first step in developing a fitness regimen will be an explanation of your health history, fitness goals, and exercise preferences. In addition, there will be several important forms to be filled out:
  • Health history form. This will contain questions about past and current medical problems, family history of disease, and possible risk factors which are contraindicated with exercise. Truthful responses are crucial in maintaining client safety.
  • Physical activity readiness (PAR-Q) form. This additional document will assist the trainer in gauging whether the participant should seek physician approval before beginning a program of progressive exercise
  • Informed consent. This should outline the benefits and risks of engaging in an exercise program and states that the client accepts the said conditions without any undue deceit or coercion. It is required by law where program participants may be exposed to some type of harm, be it physical, psychological, or other. Potential clients are advised to read it carefully. Signing the document renders it legally binding.
  • Physician approval. Although not absolutely required for apparently healthy individuals, it is prudent for many people to discuss their training plans with a knowledgeable physician. A conscientious, safety-first trainer will require written approval from the client’s physician prior to commencing with an exercise program.
  • Periodic re-evaluations. Trainers should periodically re-perform diagnostic tests, re-examine client goals, and either maintain or reformulate program goals based on participant responses. Important in maintaining continuous optimal program design.
Once clearance has been secured, the trainer may ask the client to perform several tests to provide baseline information about their level of flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and cardio-respiratory endurance. The tests utilized will vary depending on available equipment at the trainer’s disposal and whether or not the client will be training at home or in a health club environment. They can include stretching, lifting weights, walking on the treadmill, using the stationary bicycle, and taking a body-fat percentage using skin-fold calipers. The initial interview and tests will govern the type of exercise, equipment, and initial level of intensity that are used.
Warning signs
The majority of reputable trainers will abide by the professional code of ethics of their certifying organization. Professionalism is highly stressed by all respected organizations listed in this article. You should be skeptical of your trainers professionalism a trainer:
  • Insists on an actual workout during the first meeting. Most personal training sessions last either 30 or 60 minutes. This initial meeting should be used to explore what you need and process necessary paperwork.
  • Tries to sell you dietary supplements. Most people who not need dietary supplements. If supplements are advisable, it is generally best to buy them from a retail or mail-order outlet that has low prices.
  • Says that his or her style of training is the only way to get results. Although self-confidence is a positive attribute, different organizations teach different methods for client success. There is no single correct method to train.
  • Is hesitant to provide you with proof of credentials or references. This can be a sign that the trainer’s credentials may be less than credible.
  • Is uninsured. Liability insurance is a must for every personal trainer.
  • Is not punctual about appointments, or is unavailable via telephone or email: A professional trainer should be punctual and ready for appointments, and reasonably available to answer client questions after hours.
  • Is unclear about the cancellation policy. Clients have a right to know how much time they have to cancel a session in advance without being obligated to pay the fee.
  • Does not keep up with current developments in the field of exercise science: It is important to keep abreast of any advances or new developments in this ever-changing profession. This can be done by taking accredited continuing education courses offered by the 12 certifying organizations, and reading professional publications such as the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), Journal of the American Dietetic AssociationThe Physician and Sports Medicine, and The Journal of Sports Medicine.
  • Does not maintain current CPR certification. Every trainer must maintain current CPR certification and be trained in basic lifesaving skills. Do not hire a trainer until you have verified this certification. Common certifying organizations are the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association.
  • Does not practice what he/she preaches. Those who do not train their own body may lack the dedication and motivation needed to inspire their clients.
Jim Sayih, MS, CSCS
Professor Broward College, Health Sciences
Head Coach/Owner at OrangeTheory Fitness PGA (Palm Beach Gardens West)
President's Council on Physical Fitness, Community Leadership Award
Best Selling Author, The Success Secret