People often talk about being physically fit, but what do they really mean? This is just one of the questions we pose during your personal trainer course. Why? It enables our students to get behind the words and into the detail of need to know knowledge that enables them to confidently assess client fitness later on.
In its simplest sense physical fitness is possessing a set of attributes that enables a person to perform a physical activity. But it’s more than say being able to run for the bus without getting out of breath or lift certain weights in the gym, and these measures are so often the gauge we use to measure fitness.
Being fit is not defined only by what kind of activity you do, how long you do it, or at what level of intensity. While these are important aspects of fitness, they only address single areas in isolation.
Health related fitness looks at 5 key components:-
It follows that as a future Personal Trainer you need to understand and consider all of these components if you’re assessing your client’s level of fitness…and that’s why we teach this stuff in detail.
1 – What is Muscular Strength?
This is the amount of force a muscle can use or apply when up against resistance. The key to making muscles stronger is working them against resistance, whether that’s from weights or gravity.
2 – What is Muscular Endurance?
This is the ability to use muscles continually for a period of time before the onset of fatigue.
Improvements can be made to muscular endurance through cardio respiratory activities such as fast walking or swimming.
3 – What is Cardiovascular Fitness?
This is sustained physical activity that exercises the whole body for a duration of time. Cardiovascular health looks at the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to working muscle tissues together with the ability of these muscles to use the oxygen to produce energy for movement.
Run walk interval style training programmes can be a great way to build up cardiovascular health whilst training within safe parameters.
4 – What is Flexibility?
Being flexible is a real asset for health related fitness because it can help prevent injuries.
Improvements can be made to flexibility by completing stretch based activities designed specifically to lengthen key muscles.
5 – What is Body Compostion?
In its broadest sense this looks at how much of the body in percentage terms is made up of fat, muscle and bone.
When it comes to body shape composition many a client’s favourite pair of bathroom scales can be more enemy than friend, often throwing up some very confusing numbers! For example, a professional rugby player of 15 stone may be considered to be ‘overweight’. However, look closely and you discover they have high muscle and bone composition and low fat percentages. Actually they’re in their fitness prime!
Whilst for clients seeking weight loss the bathroom scales will be the thing they’re focused on, it’s important that you, the personal trainer focus on the bigger picture and recognise that the scales are just one element.
Let’s get practical
There’s a saying that ‘applied knowledge is power’. Equipped with all this expertise you’re certainly in a good place to advise and show expertise to your clients.
But what about actually assessing and testing fitness? This is where the practical part of your personal trainer course in London fits in, and where we teach you the craft of client assessment.
Here’s a flavour of the practical skills you’ll learn to assess health related fitness:-
1 – How to take circumferential measurements of key body areas
2 – Conducting a flexibility assessment of key muscle groups
3 – Posture assessment
4 – Cardiovascular endurance testing techniques
5 – Testing for muscular endurance
It’s through these assessments that our personal trainers can then make informed decisions for their clients exercise programmes. We certainly deter the use of all guesswork when dealing with clients…after all we all know how far guesswork takes you!
The Academy of Fitness Professionals provide the gold standard in accredited fitness qualifications including Fitness Instructor courses and Personal Trainer courses. A recognised industry leader their fitness advice has featured in the Daily Mirror, BBC2 and Women’s Running.