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n i a r T for s s e c suc spring 2014

Create your PT legacy Tips for


Mobile Personal Trainer

Fartlek Training How Random??

Pole Fitness Trigger points when pain is not all it seems!

Rugby Fit

Strength and Conditioning for Young Athletes

Preparing for Cycling Performance Buying the right

kettlebell Deadlift

true tests of “strength”

Plus much more

A magazine for fitness professionals Spring 2014 | PTM | 1

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Protein supports healthy muscles. 2MAXINUTRITION, | PTM | Spring 2014 and PROGAIN are registered trade marks of the GSK group of companies.


editorial spring 2014

Core strength; how firm fitness foundations allow cutting edge training and business development. Every business needs an ethos – a vision that informs the direction of the work. In the health and fitness industry, whether a one-person PT startup or a national gym chain, it’s no different. Sometimes these company visions might just sound like flash words put together to sound professional, but if that’s all they do then there’s something wrong. Your vision should be something you always have in mind when making business decisions, and should almost be a guide in terms of developing in a way that suits the services you offer. After all, the worst thing that a business can do is to lose sight of what it is, and how it has got where it has. For example, at Premier, every time that we begin work on developing a new course for our industry we ensure that it is relevant to the market and as accessible as possible, but also that it is grounded in the core principles of industry science and research. We absolutely believe in innovation and new methodologies to help Premier learners to go on to become the most progressive and exciting trainers in the country but this must never

be at the expense of the core research, knowledge and understanding that our profession is grounded in. It’s this that has allowed Premier to become so respected in the industry. I mention this not to blow the Premier trumpet, but as a means of emphasising that good business development and success is based upon the consistency and confidence of your service. It might not necessarily need to be manifested in formal visions and mission statements (although often it really does help to have something symbolically enshrined in text) just so long as you, and everyone else in the business, is fully clear as to what the business is about and where it is going. To provide context on a more operational level, we might look at Premier’s new Strength and Conditioning for Personal Training course. The course is one that seeks to educate about very specialist training disciplines – methods that are associated with elite athletes but can also have real benefits for more day-to-day personal

Magazine Editor Julian Berriman Research and Development Director of Premier Training International

training. However, in order to deliver this in a way that fits with Premier’s ethos of reflecting the very latest in industry research and thinking, we have worked with Brendan Chaplin, a leading expert in strength and conditioning training in the UK (who has worked extensively with professional rugby players, MMA fighters and cyclists on a regular basis). The result is a course that represents the pinnacle of scientific training theory, and yet is something that has a clear practical application and attraction for trainers to offer to their clients. This combination gives the course real integrity and reflects, in a far more general sense, what Premier Training International is all about. To conclude, and without relying too much on metaphor, in many ways a good health and fitness business is like good health and fitness training. First you need to know what you want to achieve, then you establish a solid core strength - and that becomes the foundation from which you develop, grow and have fun. Spring 2014 | PTM | 3


Contents spring 2014



6 - Tips for a Mobile Personal Trainer 12 - Preparing for Cycling Performance 16 - Premier Lifestyle 22 - Rugby Fit 26 - Buying the right kettlebell 28 - Fartlek Training How Random?? 32 - Pole Fitness A Consumer’s View 36 - Strength and Conditioning for Young Athletes 46 - The Deadlift 48 - The Premier Review- press Thy SandBall 50 - Trigger points when pain is not all it seems!


marketing 8 - Real Business Working out the opportunity; health clubs, gyms and the business of health and fitness 20 - Boundaries With Client Relationships

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Premier Training Magazine is available on the iPad/iPhone - search for Premier Training Magazine in iTunes. Â Editorial Contributors Steve Harrison Ben Davis Julian Berriman Richard Hanney Nikos Skevis Perry Howard Richard Scrivener Brendan Chaplin Garrath Pledge Alex Davies Kayley Tobias

Magazine Development Victoria Branch Zoe Rodriguez

Magazine Editor Julian Berriman

Layout Designer: Andreas Michael


Advertising Sales Andreas Michael telephone: 07950 338897 Â Produced by Andreas Michael on behalf of Premier Training International

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here may not be in agreement with those of Premier Training International and their employees. The above parties are not responsible in any manner whatsoever for any injury or health condition that may occur consult with your physician before starting any exercise programme.

Published online and via Apple iTunes Premier Training Magazine is published 4 times a per year

How To 40 - How to Perform: the Snatch High Pull



Ask the expert 44 - Ask the expert pre and post natal clients Spring 2014 | PTM | 5



By Mel Ward-Nicholls Premier Training International Tutor.

Tips for a Mobile Personal Trainer Mobile personal training is an extremely versatile, flexible and rewarding direction in which to focus your business. Having no rent to pay can be extremely inviting, although this does need to be offset with the consideration of having to not only ‘cart’ your stuff around with you, but also buying it in the first place.


he answer to this is not to over indulge in equipment when you are first starting out. A wellqualified personal trainer (PT) should be quite happy to conduct an effective training session using only bodyweight exercises, so in actual fact using any other equipment can really be a nice bonus. Being resourceful, by using your environment and reinventing other uses for some household items, can also be an invaluable skill. Remember as a mobile PT your clients may not have access to a wellequipped gym, so designing a suitable ‘home programme’ for them with no or limited equipment is a must. This is not as daunting as it seems and in some ways can improve

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your training practice. It requires the development of a strong exercise knowledge base and skill set to create inventive training sessions rather than simply falling into the habit of working through a series of resistance machines. You will stand out from the crowd!

and no child care. 2. Filling large milk bottles with water/sand and using as dumbbells. 3. Fill up a rucksack and use it for weighted squats, lunges etc. 4. The stairs or a sturdy chair can be used for step ups or tricep dips.

Here are a few ideas that I have used in the years I have worked as a mobile PT.

Taking your clients outside will add a great dimension to your training and often adds renewed motivation for the client too. You have the whole of the outdoors at your disposal (parks, woods, fields, hills, beaches, etc) as well as numerous obstacles that could be included into your session ( park benches, low hanging branches, small fences - the list is endless!).

1. Designing a play programme if the client has a young child, the child can be used as the weight. Piggy back squats, lifting overhead, lunge walking around the house with the child. This works really well when mothers have limited time

It is always wise to check out any outdoor areas before use and ensure you have carried out a brief risk assessment on the area to be sure you are happy it is safe for use as you are responsible for your client while they are working with you. Please do check with the local council about using the local public park as this may incur unexpected charges.

.With the correct .approach you will have .an endless stream of .flexible, energetic and fun .sessions with hardly any .equipment.

With the correct approach you will have an endless stream of flexible, energetic and fun sessions with hardly any equipment. I often take my clients out running equipped with only a small suspension kit bag. Here are a few pieces of light, portable equipment that I have found to be extremely useful when I do use equipment with my clients:1. Boxing gloves and focus pads 2. One or two light kettlebells 3. Suspension straps 4. Small marker cones These training items will not cost you the earth, are very easy to transport and are excellent functional training tools that will keep your training session’s fun, motivating and effective. Keep your personal training sessions functional, focused and fun and you will keep your clients. Spring 2014 | PTM | 7

Real Business Working out the opportunity; health clubs, gyms and the business of health and fitness By Debra Stuart, CEO of Premier Global

From the outside looking in, the health and fitness industry looks extremely crowded. It looks like a busy market place, with gym businesses targeting all levels of social demographics jostling each other for a small sliver of the pie. In short it doesn’t seem like a particularly attractive or wise business investment – and perhaps not the place to begin a fledgling business. However, even despite the fact that the industry has already grown hugely over the last 15 years, and taking into account the huge range of gyms and gym companies on offer to the average consumer, this is a perception that is only part of the picture. The reality, beyond the simplicity of treadmills and dumbbells, contrasts areas of market saturation with areas of rich entrepreneurial potential.


o explain this a bit further, and explore exactly what I mean, it is worth taking a brief look at both the market and the evolution of health and fitness. As I

8 | PTM | Spring 2014

mentioned, the industry has seen tremendous growth over the last 15 years – a growth that you might think suggested that the UK has become much fitter and healthier. In fact, the

vast majority of this growth has been fuelled by the increased fitness appetites of those who were already active, while the rest of the population has got progressively less active

of trying hasn’t managed. Ironically, the first thing to do is to stop focusing on the gym environment – because that market is saturated. While there is always scope for good businesses that are run well, the high margins that prompted high-profile business personalities such as Duncan Bannatyne to enter the industry are far harder to come by. You can, of course, go luxury or budget, but in both cases you are simply another fish in the same sized barrel.

.It’s not rocket science; .those who may be .overweight and self-. conscious about their .weight, or those who .have no natural affinity .towards exercise, are .highly unlikely to walk .through the doors .of places culturally .associated with .intimidatingly sculpted .bodies. and less fit - illustrated by the unerring rise of obesity and diabetes. The proportion of people who have gym memberships in the UK is just 12%, and has been so for the entirety of this 15-year period. Fundamentally, this is why the market seems crowded; because despite fervent consumption within that 12%, the market remains small. And yet, as a business opportunity, there is huge potential here.

This mystical 12% figure represents a glass ceiling that is eminently smashable – it just requires a few businesses savvy enough to wield the hammer with craft and confidence. After all, once that 12% becomes 15% or 20%, then the industry will once more offer extremely strong opportunities to investors and entrepreneurs alike. But this is the tricky bit; how to do what 15 years

Instead, the industry needs to evolve to help address the major social and health concerns affecting modern generations; inactivity and obesity. To me, this is where the industry has both responsibility, and from a business perspective, opportunity. To do this, the fitness industry needs to go beyond health clubs, and provide new services to suit the needs of the 88% who have remained resolutely unmoved by the charms of the Spring 2014 | PTM | 9

gym. It’s not rocket science; those who may be overweight and self-conscious about their weight, or those who have no natural affinity towards exercise, are highly unlikely to walk through the doors of places culturally associated with intimidatingly sculpted bodies. A different tack is required, one that engages wider communities through activities such as walking groups, weight management groups, outdoor exercise classes and boot camps. The Government has placed a huge emphasis on getting individual health and activity into the public consciousness, with multimillion pound advertising and marketing campaigns. Smart health and fitness start-ups that have seized upon the present momentum are able to use such campaigns almost

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as secondary marketing, essentially bringing target consumers into marketable range. It is an evolution of the health and fitness business that is almost limitless in its opportunity. Many companies have already taken full advantage – you will see outdoor fitness classes like British Military Fitness posting strong profits, while weight management programmes such as Premier Lifestyle are also growing rapidly – but such is the genuine need for the UK’s general health to be improved, there remains a huge proportion of people who still need activity that is suited to them. These could be gentle group walks to provide a social element to the older population, or indeed specialist fitness provision for those who are battling obesity, but at this present time there is huge

scope to find new business niches within the industry, and for existing companies to adapt their offering. Ultimately, the trick to beating oversupply in the gym industry is to look beyond the gym. Health and fitness has always been an industry that is extremely reliant on the changing trends and lifestyles of the populous, and ultimately, this is its greatest strength as an attractive prospect for new business. However, never has the potential market for innovative health and fitness companies been as wide open as it is at present. While obesity and inactivity are very much the scourge of the industry, the rising prevalence of both simultaneously provide more business opportunities for health and fitness than ever before.

Spring 2014 | PTM | 11


Cycling Performance

Preparing for Cycling Performance By Shaun Eden, Premier Training International Tutor “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.�


ike any sporting endeavour, outstanding cycling performance must be based on a solid foundation of targeted and progressive preparation. This preparation can represent a tough slog, executed through the cold and damp of the off season and requiring a mind-set that mere mortals can only wonder at. To maximise the returns from those gruelling early mornings and weather beaten hours on the road we need to take a closer look at the key features of any well put together preparation phase.

12 | PTM | Spring 2014


Get the volume/ intensity relationship right It is hard or nigh on impossible to train both high intensity and high volume at the same time, although some do try! This almost always ends up with over-trained, fatigued or injured athletes. General cycling preparation is centred primarily on high volume/ low intensity work, with the later specific preparation and competition phases shifting towards higher Intensity/ lower volume training. Training intensities


can be accurately determined by using your aerobic and lactate thresholds.


Determine your aerobic (AT) and lactate thresholds (LT)

Aerobic threshold (AT) Described as the training intensity point at which blood lactate levels show a slow but sustained increase above resting levels (usually around 60-75% Max HR or 3-4 on a 1-10 rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale). There tends to be little stimulus for aerobic adaptation below this

training intensity, however AT is still an important tool within a training protocol and can be used to a cyclists advantage for early preparation training and recovery runs. Lactate threshold (LT) There are numerous different terms related to LT including; onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA), functional threshold power, functional threshold heart rate and more...but the basic definition is the exercise intensity at which blood lactate begins to accumulate more rapidly and faster than the body can remove it from the blood stream. In some circles, LT is now being identified and measured as the effort or intensity of training that can be maintained for up to about 60 minutes, or an athlete’s ‘hour power’. LT can therefore be estimated using heart rate or watts e.g. what is the average HR or watts recorded over a near maximal 60min effort. Experts have estimated LT to commonly be between 75-90% HR max or 7-8 on a 1-10 rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale. This variation shows the individual difference you can expect to see and highlights the importance of testing and keeping training at the right intensity. Note: there appears to be a pretty good correlation between AT and LT, so that if you know one you can predict the other fairly accurately. They are in fact, about 20 beats per minute (bpm) apart. So, for example, if a generally

fit cyclist knows his or her LT to be 160, then the AT is approximately 140 (although it should be appreciated that the AT and LT will vary for the same individual from sport to sport).


Slow and steady wins the race – rein in the intensity To maximise aerobic adaptation most training work should be performed at AT and sub LT levels. This enables a greater volume of

work to be done over longer periods of time to lay a solid aerobic foundation. However, it is carried out by sacrificing any truly effective intensity work (which will come later). The cardiovascular system will adapt by physically improving the carrying capacity for delivering oxygen to the working muscles and allowing the muscles to utilise the delivered oxygen more efficiently. Cardiovascular adaptations include: Spring 2014 | PTM | 13

• increased total blood volume • greater red blood cell production • larger stroke volume • decreased resting heart rate increased overall efficiency of the heart • lower heart rate for any given intensity • increased capillary network density at the lungs and the muscle tissues • bigger and increased number of mitochondria • increased aerobic enzyme activity This physiological adaptation process is a fine balance between the growth and

repair of tissues during rest and recovery and the stress and damage that occur to the tissues during training. Training at too high an intensity early on in the preparation phase will inflict too much microscopic damage and stress on the muscles and cardiovascular system without enough time rebuilding and strengthening the tissues which will likely limit the gain to be had in the future. It is vital to keep in control of training intensity and to maximise growth and recovery in order to benefit from these early adaptations for the duration of the coming season.


Effective preparation must be identified within an overall plan To set up an appropriate and effective preparation phase start with your main objective and work backwards. You may have a national event to aim for or another specific race (Sportive or Triathlon) but whatever your goal devoting your energies to a clearly identified and hard earned preparation phase will be the ‘unsung hero’ that will allow you to attain previously unattainable levels of performance. Example: Year overview

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June Jul Aug Sept Oct Phase Preparation Preparation Competitive Season Post-season Sub General Specific In season In season Rest Phase (Nationals)

Nov Dec Preparation General

Within the highlighted general preparation phase the main aims will be to build the aerobic system with steady state exercise and to get used to riding at near/sub LT levels (90% LT). As an example, here is a typical 12 week training programme. As previously stated, to maximise aerobic adaptation in this preparation phase, most training work will be performed at AT and sub LT levels. Weeks 1-4 Monday 2 hours (AT) Flexibility work

Tuesday LT 60mins (6 x 5mins @90%LT 3mins rest)

Wednesday Rest Day

Tuesday LT 60mins (3 x 10mins @90%LT 5mins rest)

Wednesday Rest Day

Tuesday LT 60mins (2 x 20mins @90%LT 5mins rest)

Wednesday Rest Day

Flexibility work

Thursday LT 60mins (6 x 5mins @90%LT 3mins rest)

Friday 2 hours (AT) Flexibility work

Saturday Sunday Long Ride(3+ Family Day hours) Flexibility work

Thursday LT 60mins (3 x 10mins @90%LT 5mins rest)

Friday 2 hours (AT) Flexibility work

Saturday Sunday Long Ride(3+ Family Day hours) Flexibility work

Thursday LT 60mins (2 x 20mins @90%LT 3mins rest)

Friday 2 hours (AT) Flexibility work

Saturday Long Ride (3-4 hours)

Weeks 5-8 Monday 2 hours (AT) Flexibility work

Flexibility work

Weeks 9-12 Monday 2 hours (AT) Flexibility work

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Flexibility work

Sunday Family Day Flexibility work

It should be seen that the high volume of work and steady state exercise at AT is maintained throughout this period with a progressive increase in the length of the intervals spent at near LT intensities. This then provides excellent preparation for the lower volume but higher intensity sessions employed during the specific preparation phase and competitive season.


Bike fit, body fit!

During the post-season and the start of you general preparation phase for the following year is the perfect time to get a bike fit, or better still a body fit! The strains and stresses of bike racing and training over time can take their toll on the body including joint mechanics, posture and muscle tissue quality. If the body and joints move efficiently it will have the potential to perform better and be less prone to injury. It should be a priority to deal with any postural or movement imbalances first then get fitted for your bike as this

will optimise the potential for performance. I use the term ‘potential for performance’ because combined with intelligent training a wellbalanced body will convert that potential into performance gains. Take some caution regarding having a bike fit early on as it is possible to be fitted around your physical imbalances without necessarily addressing them. A postural and movement correction specialist will be a great help in highlighting issues and subsequently addressing muscular imbalances ensuring all joints are moving better. Once addressed and then fitted for a bike this should allow better recruitment and synchronisation of key muscles, giving better transfer through the pedals and ultimately more power and speed. Improved posture and flexibility may also enable a better aerodynamic position when cycling.


Commit - I love it when a plan comes together!

The biggest barrier to performance is personal motivation and commitment. However, having said that, the rewards are there to be grasped by any competitor in any age category. It is important to trust in the training plan and commit to execute it as laid out. Measuring progress every 6-8weeks (range of motion, LT, RHR, average HR, race performance) can help to reinforce personal commitment as gains are observed and performance is tracked in line with the plan. Using an effective training plan and putting the necessary volume training into action during a preparation phase will serve as a springboard to further progressive phases of training at higher intensities that will sharpen performance in readiness for the racing season. Often high quality performances can be tracked back to good planning and effective foundation phase training.

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Tell us about Premier Lifestyle? Premier Lifestyle is a weight loss programme that combines nutritional advice with recommended exercise, activity and education. It was created with the aim of helping people achieve genuine, sustainable weight loss results.

Where did the idea come from? The vision behind Premier Lifestyle stemmed from an idea brought to the table by Debra Stuart, CEO of Premier Global. Debra had always wanted to take action after becoming concerned that the health and fitness industry weren’t doing enough to educate those who didn’t necessarily have an interest in sport or a desire to visit a gym. Debra was also worried that there was a genuine misconception about what we should and shouldn’t be eating to maintain a healthy diet, and felt that; overall, people were misguided about their dietary needs. Debra was particularly concerned that we were being fed dated information on how to achieve weight loss. Debra believed that it was a combination of these things that has contributed to the escalating obesity epidemic in the UK and she wanted to act 16 | PTM | Spring 2014

now to try and slow down this ticking health bomb.

How does Premier Lifestyle differ from other programmes on the market? What differentiates Premier Lifestyle from other weight loss programmes is that it doesn’t advocate eating low fat and low calorie foods.. The vision is to encourage people to eat fresh, un-processed foods and ingredients and to stop eating sugar and refined, starchy carbohydrates, that science shows are two key factors that cause weight gain and even worse type two diabetes.

What is your unique selling point? The USP around Premier Lifestyle is based around the way in which the organisation operates, which is completely different to other well-known weight loss programmes on the market. Meaning, unlike other programmes, Premier Lifestyle doesn’t believe in counting and restricting calorie intake but instead offers an alternative approach to healthy and sustainable weight-loss, which is based around modern nutritional research. For example, people on the programme and indeed supporters of the approach believe that nutritious fats

such as butter, cream, olive and coconut oil do not lead to weight gain, but sugars, syrups, processed vegetable oils, refined grains and other various man-made ingredients in processed foods are in fact the primary culprits. The programme aims to help people change their lives for the better and prevent them constantly battling weight issues throughout their life – something that often happens with quick fix dieting programmes. For this reason, Premier Lifestyle doesn’t classify the programme as a diet; it’s about making lifestyle changes, increasing activity and eating fresh, healthy food.

same challenges that every new business faces. For instance, breaking into an established market is always going to be difficult, which is why the organisation is determined not to force its arm but instead want to ease the product into the market and demonstrate the product successes. The aim is to steadily grow the Premier Lifestyle brand and establish Premier Lifestyle as an alternative weightloss solution. The strategy is focused around identifying immediate changes that can make an early difference and then sticking to longer term nutrient and health goals, which will result in successful weight-loss and maintenance.

Why did Premier Lifestyle start up against the likes of Weight Opportunities? Watchers and Slimming World? Premier Lifestyle is offering Premier Lifestyle spotted a gap in the market in some respects, despite a number of established brands dominating the weight loss industry and believes that this programme is more sustainable for weightloss in the long term but also has a positive affect on the health of the people who enjoy it.

What challenges does Premier Lifestyle face? The organisation faces the

personal trainers the opportunity to run their own Premier Lifestyle business with the potential to change the lives of people who continue to struggle with weight issues whilst earning a significant income at the same time. People can opt for a full franchise or become a licencee but full support will be given from ongoing training, marketing and PR. Premier Lifestyle is also working with leisure and sports operators to white label this programme and product and Spring 2014 | PTM | 17

offer it through established outlets. Again, this will ensure a new income stream for the operator. In terms of the market potential…it’s huge; literally. It’s reported that nearly 25% of men and 26% of women are obese. What’s more, a new campaign has started to enlighten the public’s misconception about sugar when leading medical and nutrition experts released a call for a 20-30% reduction in sugar added to packaged and processed foods over the next 3-5 years. The expert group, ‘Action on Sugar’, estimates that this change would result in a reduction of roughly 100 calories each person eats per day, and will eventually reverse the obesity epidemic. The media has picked up on this statement in a huge way, with headlines like ‘Sugar is the new tabacco’ and ‘Sugar is enemy number one in the western diet. Although these headlines sound sensationalist, they are right and we believe 2014 is the perfect time for the full roll out of Premier Lifestyle.

What is Premier Lifestyle’s background and how did it gain investment? The initial concept was devised in the autumn of 2011, and the programme was put

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into development towards the end of that year. With the operational structure, literature and lifestyle programme in place by the spring of 2012, the company launched a series of pilot schemes across the Cambridgeshire area, which demonstrated a series of strong results in terms of both weight-loss and quantifiable health improvements. After the successful pilot, the company trained its first group of qualified Premier Lifestyle leaders – each of whom is now able to run their own classes in their local community. This franchisee model is to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2014, so that personal trainers nationwide have the opportunity not only to diversify their private business operations, but also join Premier Lifestyle’s campaign against the obesity epidemic. Investment into the product came from the Premier Global Group, which has been operating in the health and

fitness industry for more than 20 years. It has a first class reputation in delivering quality education since 1992 and has some of the strongest sports scientists and industry experts helping shape syllabuses and training delivery. The company vision was, and remains today, to raise standards throughout the health and fitness industry.

What does the future look like for Premier Lifestyle? The immediate future of the Premier Lifestyle programme looks to be extremely exciting. By the end of 2014, it’s hoped that it would have established a national presence in the UK – with a fast-growing reputation as both a key revenue earner for both facilities operators and personal trainers. The company is also looking to facilitate and launch online franchise and licensee training. This would essentially function as an extension of the webbased learning that already forms part of the class-based tutor programme - but with the added advantage of the Franchisees being able to enroll on the programme without regard to their geographic proximity to our training venue.

Start your own

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Great income and referral opportunities Full business support from Premier Training International Full training Exclusive franchise territory Huge PR opportunities for your businesses

Sign up to Premier Lifestyle before the end of the June for only £350 which includes training, a marketing pack and business support. Training is online and can be completed in your own time with the Premier Lifestyle team on hand to support you in setting up your business. You will receive a franchise business with an exclusive territory, training and marketing tools. Sign up TODAY for only £350 plus a £25 per month management and support fee and £1 per member, per class costs once you get started. WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE?

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Marketing Boundaries With Client Relationships

Boundaries With Client Relationships

By NPE’s Ben Davis

I think one of the big reasons people struggle with raising prices for clients is that people are afraid because they are ‘friends’ with their clients - and no one wants to upset or offend their friends.


frequent quote I use is, “clients will come and go”.

And they will. Don’t get too sucked into the relationship you have with your clients that you let that relationship hold you back from making appropriate adjustments in your business, as and when they need to be made. Likewise, don’t allow a negative interaction with a client to affect yourself and 20 | PTM | Spring 2014

your day. It’s important too remember that clients' issues are their issues. Not yours. Your responsibility is to take care of yourself. Own your side of the street, and take care of your team. If a client has some major hang-up or problem, that’s their problem; don’t accept ownership of their crap or issues. And sometimes, as a consequence, it might be time for them to go. After all, very

few client relationships will last a lifetime. As a coach and service provider, clients will come to your business for certain reasons, at certain times in their life, and that’s all good. You work with them; you serve them the best you can, hopefully delivering as much value to their lives as possible. But you must have some boundaries in your

If you need a hug, go get one from a friend or family member. Don’t seek emotional fulfillment in your life from your clients and base your self-esteem on “how much they love you today”, because it just isn’t productive not productive. So this year, I’m sure it's time to raise the rates for your clients, and base it on a ‘business’ decision and not your friendship status. NPE is giving away a free magazine and online video series which shares the stepby-step strategies, systems, and secrets you can use to avoid burnout and make more money in your fitness business. Go to

to grab your copy now.

Who is Ben Davis and NPE relationships. I would submit to you that it’s important for you to be “friendly, but not friends” with your clients. You and I can’t do the best job we need to do as business owners and coaches when there is not a healthy boundary in the relationship you have with a client. I know a lot of people want to go on and on about how they love their clients, and their clients love them - like it’s some big emotional Woodstock festival of free love where we all hug each other every day and sing ‘Kum Ba Yah’ together.

But that’s not healthy for business. For example, try training your friends and family members and let me know how well that works out for you! I’m guessing, not too well! I know that as coaches we’ve all made very significant impacts on the lives of many, many clients we’ve worked with – and that it can get emotional to talk and think about both for us and for them. I’m certainly not doubting that. But the bottom line is that for you and I to do what we do best, we need to have healthy boundaries in client relationships.

BEN DAVIS, NPE’s UK/ EUROPEAN DIRECTOR Ben Davis is a former UK NPE client and Member of The Year Finalist. After attending NPE’s MEGA TRAINING™ conference in 2008, Ben used NPE’s programmes to build his fitness business from 12 to 248 clients, with a staff of seven. Now, Ben is sharing his hands-on expertise to support the growth of NPE around the world.

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Brendan Chaplin MSc CSCS ASCC is a performance coach working with elite athletes within team GB and also through his role as the Head of Strength and Conditioning for Leeds Met Carnegie. He has a regular blog which is available at www. He works with Rugby players, MMA fighters, Olympic sports and many other athletes from his base in Leeds, UK. Brendan is also the founder of Strength and Conditioning Education (www. strengthandconditioningeducationonline. com) The UK’s leading provider of coach education for the performance PT and S&C professional. You can follow Brendan on twitter @ brendanchaplin or search for him on facebook.

The sport of Rugby has changed significantly over the last 20 years. The level of athleticism is phenomenal. Players are stronger, bigger, faster and more robust (Baker, 2001). The backs of today are bigger than the forwards of the 80’s. Collisions are like car crashes! As strength and conditioning professionals and performance trainers working with this client population we need to ensure that we are preparing for battle in the correct way. Muscle

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mass is important, but so is force production and velocity, mobility and stability. We need to get the balance right between these physical goals.

Having worked with both rugby union and rugby league athletes at professional and amateur/semi-professional level I’ve come up with a list of key areas to address when

it comes to building the rugby athlete. There is the key word that I think is important to stress before we get into the details…. and this is that training athletes needs to be functional! Just simply adding mass for the sake of it is not intelligent training when you also consider that athletes need to produce force relative to their body weight in order to move quickly and to endure the demands of their sport. With that being said, here are 10 of my top tips for functional training for the rugby athlete.


Train for strength and power as well as hypertrophy: yes the classic 4 sets of 8-12 reps may produce some gains in hypertrophy, but the key in hypertrophy training is activating those high threshold motor units and these are best targeted through training with heavy loads and training explosively, so get some heavy squats and deadlifts into your programme, as well as some sprints and Olympic lifting movements.


Train unilaterally: we don’t do anything with both feet planted simultaneously in sport or life in general! So training unilaterally makes sense from a functional perspective. However in addition to this, the minute you switch to a single leg or single arm exercise you include a whole variety of muscles that are not recruited during bilateral movements. So throwing in some single leg squats and single arm presses

and pulls to compliment your major exercises will help you to achieve your goals no end.


Multi-joint movements over isolation and single joint movements: yep, this is super obvious, but it’s amazing how many people still base their training programme around isolated, single joint movements like leg extensions and bicep curls. Replace these two straight

away with squats and chins and you’re onto a functional hypertrophy winner!


Hypertrophy supersets and Time Under Tension (TUT) to improve strength and mass: one of the tools I like to use with my athletes is to superset heavy strength exercises such as squats for 5 reps with an accessory movement such as lunges. So the goal is to recruit Spring 2014 | PTM | 23

sprinting. You can expect your players to get slower if all you do is heavy strength training. When you need speed cut the volume down, introduce more power and plyometric work in the gym, and get your players running FAST!


Movements not muscles: from an athletic standpoint, this is probably the key point in the entire article! Training for performance means training the body’s natural movements to produce and resist forces. So squatting, lunging, single leg stances, pressing, pulling and rotating are all key areas that need to be strengthened, not quads, glutes, calves, shoulders, chest, arms and back!

7 the high threshold motor units through the strength exercise then fatigue them through the accessory movement. Bench Press to push-ups works well, as does chins to DB Rows basically any major full body movement supersetted with a similar supplementary movement. Time Under Tension - minimum 40s of time: I think it was Poliquin who brought this to the forefront, but essentially 24 | PTM | Spring 2014

you need to put the muscle being trained under tension for a minimum of 40 seconds to be in the hypertrophy zone. This principle works well for accessory exercises. So you might go for 8 reps with a 5 second eccentric to achieve this, or you may go 10 reps with a 3 second eccentric.


Train fast to get fast: when it comes to developing speed there really is nothing better than

Train smart!! use joint friendly movements such as neutral grip presses, trap bar deadlifts, etc: if you want to be training for any period of time either as an athlete or a weekend warrior, you need to train smart! Choose neutral grips that are easier on the shoulders and fewer but heavier reps when you squat deep to help your hips. Include rotator cuff exercises, stretch and foam roll to improve your tissue quality. Listen to your body, don’t train through pain and work around injuries not through them! When it comes to energy system training remember that volume is a speed KILLER. If you are putting your players through hell they might be getting worse not better. Utilise high intensity interval training, metabolic circuits, and keep

the conditioning work specific to the sport. Gym-based sessions are excellent for this as are outdoor conditioning sessions including grappling and wrestling techniques.


Recover well: fuelling your training through pre and post workout nutrition is certainly important but stretch and foam roll every day! Yep, this is the boring stuff but arguably the most important. I always tell my athletes to train hard and recover hard, and this doesn’t mean on the dance floor! Push yourself in the gym by all means but make sure your post workout shake is ready and that you stretch off and foam roll daily. You will benefit in the gym no question and your body will thank you!


Eccentrics are the way forward: strength is about adaptations in the nervous system and hypertrophy is all about stress on the muscle fibres which cause muscles to grow during the adaptation process. Eccentric contractions produce more damage than concentric or isometric contractions. With heavy eccentrics the fibres need to cling on to each other to try to hold the weight. Throwing in a phase of eccentric training every now and again can really help you make gains. I like to work in 5s eccentrics for 6-8 reps on exercises like

squats, bench press, chins etc.


Core training to resist movement as well as produce it: flexion, extension and rotation are all staple core movements in most health clubs and gyms. In reality, functional core training is all about resisting movement not producing it. Not only will you benefit from a performance perspective, but your hypertrophy gains will be better too as your body will be stiffer in the big exercises areas allowing you to lift more weight. Make sure you can hold a 2 minute front plank and a 1 minute side plank, then work towards anti-rotation presses, single arm farmers walks, barbell rollouts and many more higher level movements that stress the prevention of movement rather than the production of it! So there you go, a few tips to fine tune your training for the rugby athlete at whatever level they are playing and to help them become stronger, bigger, faster and better able to withstand those car crashes! Premier have teamed up with Brendan to offer a Strength and Conditioning for PTs course. Find out more and how to book at

Spring 2014 | PTM | 25

fitness kettlebells

By Perry Howard - Premier Training International Tutor

Buying the right


The question that arises almost immediately when trainers want to start using kettlebells with their clients is “which kettlebells should I buy?” This is a valid question, since there is now a BOOM in the manufacturing of kettlebells. Not all kettlebells are made equal, and that is why finding the right kettlebell for you and your clients can be very confusing. Knowing what sizes to purchase, or even what brands to invest in can also be very overwhelming. The aim of the following information is to help you to purchase the right kettlebells.

26 | PTM | Spring 2014


hen you’re shopping for kettlebells, invest in a good, high-quality kettlebell. After all, you certainly don’t want to be slinging a cheap

kettlebell around your body and head. Good kettlebells are strong and sturdy.


ompetition kettlebells are a uniform size regardless of weight. This is so that lifting technique does not have to change as you become stronger. Cast iron kettlebells increase in size as they get heavier. This creates some change in the lifting groove and how the bell sits in the rack position.

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on’t buy kettlebells made from plastic. Competition kettlebells are constructed from one cast and made of steel. Steel is more durable than cast iron. A good cast iron kettlebell will be made from one cast too, but many on the market are not - you don’t want your kettlebell to come apart while you’re swinging it!


urchase kettlebells without a vinyl coating. Vinyl coating doesn’t enhance performance or protect your floors, and it won’t have much longevity as it starts to crack and peel.


on’t buy kettlebells that are adjustable. The size and shape make them harder to perform certain exercises.


nsure the kettlebell has a smooth handle. You will be swinging, jerking and flipping the kettlebell during your workouts. If the handles are not perfectly smooth, the skin on your palms and even between the thumb and index finger is going to suffer chafing and abrasions, or even tear.


o test the handle size wrap one hand around the handle to make sure the tips of your fingers are only a couple of inches from your palm.

The sizing has to be perfect because many kettlebell exercises involve a flip movement. If the distance is not correct, tremendous stress is placed on the wrist.


ook for a kettlebell with a solid iron base that is perfectly flat. This means the kettlebell has a low center of gravity and is very stable. This is an essential requirement because some kettlebell exercises require the kettlebell to be on the floor. These are just some of the

basic guidelines to consider. Spend some time doing your research on different kettlebells, and read some reviews before you buy. However, make sure the reviews are from trained professionals that understand the basics of kettlebell training. The right kettlebell makes for safe and effective training sessions and will provide you and your clients with the necessary confidence to fully exploit the many advantages of this excellent training tool. Spring 2014 | PTM | 27

Fartlek Training How Random??

By Steve Harrison - Premier Training International Tutor Manager

Fartlek training is a training method often used in cardiovascular workouts for either aerobic or anaerobic development, developed in 1930’s by Gösta Holmér – a Swedish national coach – to enhance the training programmes of his cross country running athletes. Fartlek, which means ‘speed play’ in Swedish, is an unstructured form of interval training, in that, during Fartlek sessions intensity and/or speed varies, as the athlete wishes. A session therefore will consist of fast, medium and slow running over a variety of distances. It maybe that the runner identifies a landmark (tree, lamppost) 100m away 28 | PTM | Spring 2014

and runs flat out to it then recovers at an easy pace, before running at something approximating their 10 km pace for 1000m. The runner then continues to mix up distances and speeds for the remainder of the session. The main feature of Fartlek intervals is their lack of structure and random format.

In a typical structured interval training session, a coach tries to control as many aspects of the session as possible: intensity, duration, volume, rest, time of day, environment, and even nutrition and hydration levels. The random nature of Fartlek on the other hand, recognises that real life race situations are not this structured and can

throw unforeseen challenges at the athlete. In this sense therefore, Fartlek provides a useful addition to any training programme.

.The random nature .of Fartlek on the .other hand, recognises .that real life race .situations are not this .structured and can throw .unforeseen challenges at .the.athlete. While there are advantages with using Fartlek as opposed to a more structured session there is also a danger that, as a less controlled training option, training using this medium can lack focus and purpose. So if we are to gain all the advantages of Fartlek but avoid a potential loss of direction in our training a possible adaptation of Fartlek is to limit its random application to one component of the session. This component could be rest periods, while the length and intensity of efforts are performed to a predetermined structure. Example: • Take a 10km training run (best achieved on a running track) and give it the Fartlek treatment by including three running styles within the run - full out sprints, 85% efforts and 5km race pace efforts. Aim to achieve: o 4 x 2km efforts at 5km race pace (8km total) o 3 x 600m (1.5laps) at 85% effort (1.8km total)

o 2 x 100m full out sprints (200m total)

is therefore, random in the true sense of Fartlek

• During the rest periods between intervals perform light mobility work as you continue to run but at below 10 km race pace to ensure you recover well

• When you choose to perform the listed efforts within the 10km is also random and up to you (although I would suggest your first effort is 2km @ 5 km race pace)

• The amount of rest you have after each effort will vary according to how much you feel you need in order to perform the next interval – it

• do not let your rest be counted towards the overall distance of the session – your training session duration will be increased, Spring 2014 | PTM | 29

this format will certainly take you longer than a general 10km run, but the overall intensity of the workout for the same distance will be increased dramatically. Also the ability to let go of the time factor can give a feeling of freedom to the session that is very appealing. • If you choose to perform this session again on another day, then mix up the order of your efforts and try not to compare resting times between sessions as this is irrelevant and will not allow you to focus on performing well on each effort, which is the primary goal It is interesting that in our fast paced modern society we have also adopted a fast paced training mentality High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a huge trend in

30 | PTM | Spring 2014

fitness currently, based on the premise that performing high intensity exercise for short time durations is more effective than long steady training workouts. . However, longer endurancebased training also has great benefits, especially if the event that the athlete is training for requires a base aerobic foundation, e.g. a 10km run. What Fartlek perhaps shows us is that these training goals can co-exist even within the same session. Joe Rogers, assistant track coach at U.S Military Academy and former head cross country coach for Ball State University, stated that Fartlek is considered ‘the most variable workout’ and that within a Fartlek session all energy system training targets can be addressed. A Fartlek session can cover the distance required for foundation runs whilst also including threshold building efforts of up to two

minutes and even fast pure speed efforts of up to 8 or 10 seconds. In this way, a Fartlek session can achieve a full spectrum of training goals within one workout. There are many different interpretations of Fartlek training but while its random nature is often appealing it is important to apply it within some defined parameters in order not to lose sight of sought after training goals. Fartlek has been very popular with many well respected athletic coaches due to the freedom it offers and its ease of adaptation to fit many different training programmes. So, by all means loosen the shackles on your training and embrace the intuitive nature of Fartlek, just make sure you maintain some method to your randomness.




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Spring 2014 | PTM | 31

Pole Fitness

By Kayley Tobias Pole Fitness Devotee

A Consumer’s View

What does a typical pole fitness class involve? A typical class lasts around an hour and is made up of a warm up, strength work and then we work on different spins and pole moves. We always finish with stretching as flexibility is almost as important as strength within pole fitness. I attend three classes a week 32 | PTM | Spring 2014

and I have my own pole studio at home and practice on a weekend, although there are many that can only attend once a week due to time constraints. What’s a typical class size? At the studio I attend, Pole and Shape in Oldham, class sizes are up to 8 people as we have 1 student per pole. I like it that

way as each student gets the maximum amount of time on the pole. It’s not uncommon at other studios to have up to 3 girls per pole, so class sizes could potentially be up to 20 students or more per class. Why do you personally enjoy pole fitness classes? From my perspective, I enjoy

the dance and performance element to pole fitness. In the pole industry I can see two very strong sub-categories forming and almost becoming separate genres in their own right. There is the original style of pole dancing which includes the huge heels, body rolls and is more focused on the sensuality of the dancer. Then there is the newer side of pole fitness, which is more focussed on the sport element of pole. Both types of pole dancing require strength, flexibility and athleticism and it is down to the individual as to which style of pole fitness they prefer or if they wish to do a combination of both styles. I prefer the sexier side of pole dancing as it gives me a fantastic reason to wear 7 inch heels!

.I prefer the sexier side .of pole dancing as it gives .me a fantastic reason .to wear 7 inch .heels! The other element that I love about pole fitness is that it is very social. I have made so many amazing friends from attending classes and there isn’t a day that goes by that we aren’t together or talking to each other about pole. It’s safe to say we are all addicted! The pole community is so strong and encouraging. Whether someone is a complete beginner or an elite-level competitor, we stand together and motivate each other to master the next move, get deeper in the splits or even feel more comfortable in our own skin.

It looks like hard work, do you have to be really fit or the classes tailored for all levels of ability? When I originally started pole fitness, I had already been a regular long-term gym user. However, after my first session I ached for literally days despite having done free-weight training for many years previous! After your first few lessons this subsides and strength, coordination and flexibility

quickly improve. When you are a beginner, you are learning something new every lesson. Beginners often feel a huge sense of achievement and it is that feeling that gets people hooked! Do you have a favourite pole fitness exercise or routine? My favourite pole move is Extended Butterfly, it requires a lot of arm strength and shoulder stability and it took me a while to get. I am Spring 2014 | PTM | 33

currently creating my first full routine as I have a competition next year. I have entered Pole Theatre UK, which focuses more on the creativity and performance of the dancer. I have a few tricks up my sleeve for the competition and I am so excited to be performing live on stage in front of an audience! The competition was created by two of my all-time favourite pole dancers, Michelle Shimmy and Maddie Sparkle who are two sisters from Australia. Michelle and Maddie are such an inspiration to me, as well as Alethea Austin and Sarah Scott.

for your first class. Please do not be put off by the aches after your first session, they soon subside and it’s perfectly normal to ache after any new fitness regime. Pole fitness is for everybody regardless of gender, race, body-type or fitness level. Everyone has to start somewhere and you will feel like you have achieved something even after just your first class! If you do not have a local pole studio, you can buy a pole that you can use at home that will not damage your ceilings and there are tonnes of fantastic online tuition sites that can help beginners.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of trying pole fitness?

I literally can’t imagine my life without pole dancing as it feels like such a huge part of me. I’m so glad I decided to take the plunge and attend my first class, I haven’t looked back

Go online and find your nearest studio and book in

34 | PTM | Spring 2014

since. I have noticed significant improvements in my strength and flexibility, as well as a full social calendar from all of the pole events and new friends that I have made. I am literally counting down the days until I compete at Pole Theatre UK so wish me luck!

.If you do not have a .local pole studio, you .can buy a pole that you .can use at home that will .not damage your ceilings .and there are tonnes of .fantastic online tuition .sites that can .help beginners.


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Spring 2014 | PTM | 35

Strength and Conditioning for Young Athletes

By Garrath Pledger Premier Training International Tutor

The development of physical fitness and performance in young athletes has been an area of rapidly increasing interest for strength and conditioning coaches, sports coaches and educators, as well as the parents of such young athletes. The outdated beliefs that resistance training during youth was unsafe and inappropriate have now been replaced by a growing and very compelling body of scientific evidence, which actually supports its use by children and adolescents for a whole range of performance, health and injury reducing benefits (Lloyd, et al., 2012). Benefits Youth resistance training has shown many benefits, such as enhanced bone mineral density and a reduction in the incidence of sport related injuries. These are important considerations when viewed from the perspective that 36 | PTM | Spring 2014

between 2005 and 2007 there were estimated to be nearly 1.3 million cases of sport related injuries requiring hospitalisation in Europe for children under the age of 15 (Bauer & Steiner, 2009). It is becoming more apparent

that training carried out in a progressive manner under the supervision of a qualified fitness professional has the capacity to reduce the likelihood of traumatic sporting injury. The education provided by qualified trainers is just as important as the training itself.

This increases the frequency of positive early experiences with physical activity and education which has been associated with a greater incidence of lifelong involvement in physical activity (Kirk, 2005). There is a growing volume of scientific evidence to suggest that there are many benefits to resistance training at a young age. Regular participation can, in an appropriately structured programme, have a favourable effect on musculoskeletal health, body composition and cardiovascular risk factors (Faigenbaum, 2007). When physical training is individualised and athlete centred, so that the development of the child is promoted over the performance outcome, it helps to develop intrinsic motivation for participation, which is a strong predictor for well-being. (Lloyd & Oliver, 2012) The regular repetition of fundamental movement skills during early development is associated with both physical and psychological benefits. The overlapping improvement of multiple fitness components enables those involved to experience continued mastery of new tasks throughout their growth and development which is again associated with increased enjoyment, perceived competence and a belief that applied effort leads to success (Lloyd & Oliver, 2012). Outdated Ideology A common misperception is that resistance training will stunt a child’s growth

and or damage the growth plates within the skeletal system. However, as long as appropriate guidelines are followed, resistance training has been shown to have a favourable influence on growth at any stage of development (Falk & Eliakim, 2003). Since physical inactivity is a risk factor for increased risk of injury in a sporting or physical activity-based environment, it can be argued that youth who regularly participate in a fitness programme that includes resistance training appropriate

to their age and skill level, will be at less risk of injury than those who are less active. Given the increasing prevalence of rising inactivity and obesity within the youth population, it should be advocated that children take part in a structured physical activity programme that should include appropriate resistance training. A qualified strength and conditioning coach can possess the knowledge and skills to prescribe resistance training to meet the needs of Spring 2014 | PTM | 37

all children and adolescents, regardless of their size, shape or ability level. Injury prevention Appropriately prescribed resistance training is considered safe in comparison with many other sporting and physical activities in which children and adolescents participate on a regular basis (Hamill, 1994). This does not suggest that there have never been any injuries within this environment, of course there have. Just like any sport coach, the strength and conditioning coach must adhere to recommended safety and exercise prescription guidelines when working with this specific population group. Although the most common concern for youth injury tends to be growth plate fractures, of greater concern may actually be the risk of repetitive use soft 38 | PTM | Spring 2014

tissue injuries, in particular to areas such as the lower back and shoulder (Faigenbaum, 2008). Although the complete elimination of injuries is probably unrealistic due to the inherent risks associated with physical activity, appropriately designed preparatory exercise programmes from a strength and conditioning coach can help reduce the likelihood of injuries in this population.

.Appropriately prescribed .resistance training .is considered safe in .comparison with many .other sporting and .physical activities in .which children and .adolescents participate .on a regular basis.

An all-round training programme that aims to improve muscular strength, enhance movement mechanics and improve functional capacity will be very supportive for reducing sports related injury occurrence in young athletes. Immediate involvement and participation in competitive sport is often not a suitable introduction to physical activity. It is better that a young individual begins with a progressive preparatory fitness programme that is structured to suit their growth, development and skill levels over time. This multi-faceted approach to resistance training will also help to reduce abnormal biomechanics and reduce the injury rates in young female athletes. The absence of neuromuscular adaptation that comes from a resistance

work together to implement good quality rest and recovery strategies in order to optimise a young athlete’s preparation for the next session of planned activity. It is vital that strength and conditioning coaches seek a well-rounded education in order to understand relevant safety concerns and the physiology of growth and development of young athletes. In this way, coaches can ensure that any activity is an enjoyable and beneficial experience for young children and adolescents. This will help to support the young athlete’s inner drive to be involved in such sport and activity well into adulthood. In conclusion This article was not intended to cover all elements of strength and conditioning as it relates to youth development and how it should be applied, however it does address the idea that young athletes should be training and be supported by a coach who knows the benefits of the right type of training and how to apply it. This will benefit and aid their development both physically and psychologically.

training programme within young female athletes during physical growth periods, such as puberty, may further the development of abnormal joint mechanics and increase injury risk factors (Hewett, Myer, & Ford , 2004). Other strategies to reduce injury risk and over-use injuries in youth populations are to educate parents about the benefits and

risks of competitive sports and the importance preparatory exercise plays in that development. The encouragement of children and adolescents to participate in structured activity all year round, in order to vary the stimulus and exposure to different sporting and movement based activities, should also be emphasised. Strength and conditioning specialists and parents should

There are numerous factors that should be considered when working with a young athlete in their preparation for physical activity. It is important that a well thought out, holistic approach to development be taken. However, for a strength and conditioning specialist the main priority is still to develop the needed physical performance qualities with the other factors such as biological, social and psychological traits to follow closely after. Spring 2014 | PTM | 39

40 | PTM | Spring 2014

How to Perform: the Snatch High Pull

By Richard Scrivener

Weightlifting exercises (frequently referred to as the Olympic Lifts) are some of the most effective and rewarding exercises when it comes to developing whole body athleticism and a great physique. It’s probably fair to say that these lifts are unrivalled with respect to muscle activation; highly beneficial from the perspective of force generation within a competitive sports situation e.g. jumping for a ball in a rugby line-out or accelerating from a static start.

.They are particularly .favoured by Strength and .Conditioning Coaches in .athletic training but can .take a substantial amount .of time and coaching to .master. They are particularly favoured by Strength and Conditioning Coaches in athletic training but can take a substantial amount of time and coaching to master. There are however, derivatives of weightlifting lifts that the PT may effectively be able to use with their clients, which are equally yielding in their benefits but somewhat simpler to coach. The Snatch High Pull from the hip is such an example and is described below:


Set-up: the athlete/ client stands with feet positioned underneath their hips, knees flexed at 30 degrees, and hips flexed to the extent that the athlete/ client can rotate forward and 'lean' slightly over the bar (shoulders ahead of bar). In this set up position the barbell should sit against the 'crease of the hip'. The grip used should be overhand, wide (allowing for the bar to sit at the correct height), with the thumb tucked under the fingers along the line of the bar (known as a hook grip). The elbows should point along the length of the bar and the wrists should also be cocked (slightly flexed). The athlete/clients posture should be open and extended with the chest held up and out with the eyes directed ahead and

shoulders retracted.


Execution: from a static position (imagine being a statue you cannot move downwards first, only up) the athlete/client explodes out of their set up stance using an aggressive triple extension pattern through the ankles, knees and hips, “driving hard through the ground”. The body weight shifts from a balanced mid-foot distribution to the toes during this explosive action. Immediately after triple extending the joints the athlete/ client should shrug through the shoulder girdle which directs the barbell up along the length of the torso (approximately upper chest height, providing a fast enough action which is sequenced well). Spring 2014 | PTM | 41


Catch: the high-pull variation does not require the lifter to catch the bar and stop its motion back to the hip or ground; the lift ends with the bar momentarily suspended at its highest position (full triple extension) before gravity takes hold; the lifter simply controls its decent to ensure a safe ‘landing’.

.To safely catch the barbell .overhead the athlete/lifter .extends the cocked wrists .and externally rotates .the shoulders rapidly .creating a ‘pulling action’ .on the bar (at its highest .position). However, if desired, the barbell

can be caught overhead (used as a progression). To safely catch the barbell overhead the athlete/lifter extends the cocked wrists and externally rotates the shoulders rapidly creating a 'pulling action' on the bar (at its highest position). Once overhead the elbows should be fully extended and the shoulders 'locked' with the barbell aligned with the crown of the head or fractionally beyond. The athlete/client can choose to receive the barbell in one of three catch positions: 1) 'drop' under the bar (thus receiving the barbell in an overhead squat position), 2) catch the bar in a ¾ squat stance (power catch position) or 3) remain largely upright/extended (referred to as a muscle snatch, especially if the upper body is engaged earlier during

the explosive pulling motion).


Recovery: if in an appropriate facility with rubber bumper plates and a lifting platform the client/athlete can perform a 'controlled drop' of the barbell in order to return it to the ground. Alternatively, the barbell should be lowered under control back to the hip position for further repetitions or to the ground to end the set.

.if in an appropriate facility .with rubber bumper plates .and a lifting platform the .client/athlete can perform .a ‘controlled drop’ of the .barbell in order to return it .to the ground.


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Ask the


Answered by Nikos Skevis Premier Tutor

Q. I want to add an extra dimension to my business, and have thought about specialising in training pre and post natal clients. Can you tell me where to start and give me any tips? A. Working with pre and post natal clients can be extremely rewarding, but also a little daunting if you have no experience in this area. Your first step is to find a good qualification in pre and post natal exercise. This will give you the skills and knowledge to design and adapt exercise based on the many different changes that occur throughout pregnancy, and to begin exercise with clients after the birth. Once you are qualified you need to think about where you will train your clients. A gym-based environment is perfectly fine, but you may find some clients prefer to exercise in a more private environment, such as a studio. This also becomes important in the post natal period, as offering the option to bring the baby along to sessions could be a real bonus if childcare is ever an issue. You will also need to decide if you will run one-on-one or group sessions. Group sessions allow expecting or new mums to socialise with others who are in the same situation, and give you lots of options. You could consider running different groups aimed at different stages of pregnancy (for example, a trimester 2 group and a separate trimester 3 group) to allow for changes in exercises and exercise intensity. Post natal clients will need to be trained in a separate group, as again the challenges facing this group differ from those before pregnancy. There are several franchise opportunities 44 | PTM | Spring 2014

available designed around this concept, such as Push Fit and Buggyfit which could be an area to explore if you want to be part of a bigger brand. Finally, you must consider how you will reach your target audience. All local GP or midwife practices will provide information to mums to be, so networking here could be a real boost to your business. In some areas information packs are given out, if you can get a flyer into these, potentially every new mum in the area will know about your service. If not you may be able to leave posters or flyers in the surgery. You could also see if there are any new mum and baby groups in your area and offer to run a 30 minute wellbeing session as part of their regular meeting. Working with pre and post natal clients is considered a niche market, and with a little planning and preparation it could be a successful and rewarding addition to your business.

Be part of the Virgin Active experience Virgin Active's vision for the future is to become the world's most-loved health club whilst remaining an inclusive business that prides itself on the diversity of its team. Our people will always be chosen purely on their talent and the value they can add to our work hard, play hard culture. And, we will seek to make sure they reflect the diverse make up of our membership. As a Virgin Active Personal Trainer you will be recruited with this in mind and when you start you become an employed member of staff, with a five Tier Pay Structure based on delivery, and we have an extra Master Personal Trainer Tier where your session delivery pay rate is fixed for every session delivered. The average earning of our trainers is around 25k pa, with our top trainers on 60k pa.


ll of our Trainers are Reps L3 for a general PT and Reps L4 preferred but not essential for the Master PT. We offer a clear progression and PT journey for our fitness coaches which uses our unique relationship with Premier Training International who provide the bulk of our fitness training courses. The main benefits of working for Virgin Active is the use of our world class facilities and innovations, access to a large membership base of potential clients, and a dedicated Personal Training Manager to support you in your development. All our trainers are entitled to be paid for 28 days holidays, the benefit of not paying any rent, and they are supplied with full uniform. The ethos is about being part of a team and working alongside your

fellow personal trainers to ensure our members have a world class personal training experience. The experience for Personal Trainers at Virgin Active includes various innovation courses, a specialised PT course to help you with your initial business set up, continued in-house training and encouragement to complete out of house courses to help with your CPD opportunities. As a Personal Trainer at Virgin Active you'll consistently deliver and promote a range of personal training services that offer members a safe, effective and fun way to achieve their fitness goals. The many benefits your clients will receive from you include your regularly scheduled sessions, your undivided attention to detail and your passion for improving their fitness and wellbeing. You'll be a real

presence on the gym floor, ensuring that you take charge of your personal training business to successfully build your client base. You will need to be a real 'people focused person' - your knowledge and enthusiasm about fitness and your gift for motivating, engaging and inspiring people will enable you to shine. Please visit our careers site for further details on vacancies in our clubs jobs/vacancy/find/results Alex Davies, UK Personal Training Specialist - Milton Keynes Head Office VIRGIN ACTIVE HEALTH CLUBS Spring 2014 | PTM | 45

The Deadlift By Garrath Pledger, Premier Training International Tutor

The deadlift is one of the true tests of “strength”, this is because it’s one of the few exercises where you lift a dead weight (a weight lying on the ground). In executing this exercise you are training the majority of the prime movers and synergist muscles in the lower back, upper back and lower body. There is a dominance of muscle usage in the posterior chain but also a large amount of work in the quadriceps anteriorly. To start with in the deadlift you have two main grip options. The first involves a normal overhand or pronated grip and the second being a mixed grip with one hand pronated and the other supinated. The benefits of the mixed grip are that it overcomes the risk of the bar rolling out of the hands due to forearm fatigue or weakness by creating a reverse torsion effect. The technique for the conventional deadlift involves starting with the feet under the

46 | PTM | Spring 2014

bar, shoulder width apart, with the bar appearing to be over the balls of the feet if you are looking downwards at the floor. Then squat down and grip the bar in your chosen way, the width generally being just outside the feet for a standard deadlift. Sitting into the squat stance maintaining a neutral spine and a hip position just above the knees and with the shoulders in line with the bar. You should ideally be looking straight ahead at this point. Begin the upward movement

by extending the knees and raising the body simultaneously, maintaining the angle of the upper body to the floor. When the bar reaches the knees begin to forcefully extend the hips, maintaining a neutral spine all the way to the top of the concentric phase. The more accomplished you become with this lift the smoother the transition you can make between these two actions. The more co-ordinated these actions become the better able you will be to maintain

the bars position close to the body and its movement in a vertical direction. This is also aided by a weight shift during the exercise from mid-foot to the heels in the first phase and then back to the mid-foot during hip extension. For the eccentric phase the actions are simply reversed, initially flex the hips shifting the weight backwards through the feet allowing the bar to stay close to the legs and under the shoulders. Once past the knees, they should then flex with the weight shift now moving back to the forefoot and a more seated posture whilst maintaining a neutral spine, and the the bar close to the legs and under the shoulders. The most common variation to this exercise is the Romanian deadlift (RDL), this variation places greater emphasis on the gluteals and hamstring musculature and is an excellent lift for developing strength and muscle mass in the posterior chain. The action is very similar to the conventional deadlift however, there is no dynamic knee

flexion or extension in the movement. The knees stay static in a slightly flexed position, and all movement comes from the hips in both the eccentric and concentric portion. On the eccentric phase it is essential to only go as low down as you can whilst maintaining a flat or neutral back. Go too low and the risk of hurting your lower back will increase significantly. Don’t get carried away with the weight either, and only lift what the maintenance of good technique will allow. The sumo deadlift is a variation whereby the legs are moved further apart, with toes out replicating a sumo stance, this variation places greater emphasis on the legs especially the quadriceps and less on the erectors of the back, thereby making it easier to maintain a neutral spine and offering some protection to the lumbar spine. It is a great choice for those with some mobility restrictions (perhaps at the ankle, hip or thoracic spine) because the wider stance means that lifters don’t have to work so hard to get low. The only potential downside of

this variation is that it tends to beat up the hips which would indicate that it should only be used to spice up a workout for a few weeks at a time. Traditionally the deadlift is performed with an Olympic bar however, variations can include dumbbells, barbells with one hand or two, and one or two legs. Variations are only really limited by the exercisers imagination as versions such as side deadlift (holding weight on one side – sometimes referred to as the ‘suitcase deadlift’), rack pulls or deadlift from a box (deficit deadlifts) are all viable options. As a compound exercise (involving triple extension of the hip, knee and ankle joints) the benefits of the deadlift are many. The dynamics of the lift can lead to gains in both hypertrophy and strength, and can be even broader, since from a rehabilitation perspective, activation of the hamstring muscles to a moderate level (depending on the variation used) has been hypothesised to protect against anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Spring 2014 | PTM | 47

The Premier Review- press

Thy SandBall by Alpha Strong

Reviewed by Steve Harrison – PTI Tutor Manager • Weight capacity 4.5 - 13.5kg • Ergonomically designed, padded handles for superior grip • Double set handle configuration for maximum versatility • Over 44 BarTacked reinforced stress points • Ten layer "rip proof" handle attachment construction • Load weight using the easy access, wide mouth, double closure opening • Sand sealed away behind four closures • Includes No Leak inner sandbag liner that holds up to 13.5kg (sand not included)*

Who is it aimed at?

Thy SandBall™ is a very versatile piece of kit and although it is as much at home in a traditional gym setting as any other piece of weight training equipment, I feel its true potential lies in small group training activities. Bringing a myriad of training options into one piece of kit, the sand ball is a great and versatile product. • Sand balls can be lifted and moved through traditional push and pull movement patterns as a ‘dumbbellesque’ piece of kit • Sand balls can be thrown 48 | PTM | Spring 2014

and caught like a medicine ball • Sand balls can be swung, juggled and rested in a clean/rack position like a kettlebell • Sand balls, with their comfortable to lean on material, can even be used simply as a balance support The great thing about Alpha Strong’s Thy SandBall™ is that you can really get a full and effective workout session and only need to use one piece of kit – it is very strong and sturdily made, it isn’t too unkind on the grip and will allow you to really let your imagination run wild in your training plans.

Personal Experiences

I took Thy SandBall™ for a throw about down my local park and soon found that it was my lungs that were burning as much as anything else. Not being too heavy I found I was performing a variety of exercises using enduranceorientated repetitions; I paired throws of all different planes and angles with plyometrics, carrying the bag in different

positions and then finishing off with a swing or momentum styled exercise – this was great fun and really did get me puffing and feeling the effects. An example of one of the mini circuits/tri-sets I performed was: • Overhead throw as far as possible then turn and sprint to the landing spot, turn and repeat again. Perform for 15 repetitions • Burpee with one hand on the handle grip, as you jump up pull the sand ball with you to shoulder height and then let it drop down to the floor behind your shoulder/back, turn on the sport and repeat the exercise with the other hand in the handle. Perform for 20 repetitions • Inside to outside of the leg sand ball swings – as in our Master Kettlebell course, perform a traditional one

handed swing but as the ball drops in between the legs, quickly switch hands and use your powerful hip snap to thrust the ball back up and away in front of from around the outside of the leg, then as it drops again repeat this with the other hand, creating a figure of eight shape around your legs – remember to keep the hip snap performance strong throughout. Perform for 20 repetitions


The maximum weight of Thy SandBall™ is 13.5kg and although this is plenty for an endurance-based workout, it would be less applicable for some real strength and hypertrophy training goals. It is easy to carry, fill and prepare for training but still that is only if you have one – if you needed several then you would need to consider an alternative means of transportation. As with many functional training tools, the biggest limitation is your imagination, the sand ball is great for many simple and complex movements alike - just how many ideas do you have?


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Tough, comfortable and suitable for a wide range of exercises although mostly within the endurance training area; limited to 13.5kg but has a big range of weight options from 4.5kg up to this maximum. Great fun and provides a challenging workout. The Alpha Strong™ Range is available online from JordanFitness

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Spring 2014 | PTM | 49


trigger points

Trigger points when pain is not all it seems!

By Dave Fiala Premier Training International Tutor

There a certainly injuries out there which are easily recognisable, most being of a very traumatic nature. It is hard to argue that Aaron Ramsey didn’t break his leg in 2010; I am sure most of the observers that day didn’t need an x-ray to confirm the nature of the injury! Injuries however, are not always so easily recognisable. It is easy to jump to a conclusion regarding injuries sustained in a gym or health and fitness environment based on some pretty thin knowledge of common injuries. For example, pain on the lateral side of the knee…most likely runners’ knee / iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome? Or what about a pain in the shoulder during shoulder exercises such as a shoulder press… 50 | PTM | Spring 2014

impingement syndrome? It is the purpose of this article to highlight another factor, which may either, be contributing to or solely responsible for the pain experienced in both of these cases, and other common presentations of body pain. A trigger point (TP) is generally described as a mini-muscle spasm, so rather

than the entire muscle going into spasm, such as with a cramp, only a part of the muscle will shorten. Clients and practitioners often refer to this muscle spasm as a ‘knot’ within a muscle. Such TPs may be one of the most debilitating injuries you will come across. You have probably fallen foul to their menace in your lifetime without even knowing it. These points

have even been shown to effect young children and babies. As a massage therapist, a real life TP presentation I worked with was a client complaining of pain in the front of their shoulder, which started during a workout. The pain persisted for days, and was so bad that they could not lift a can of deodorant to spray under their armpits. After a detailed assessment, the treatment of a single TP in the front of the shoulder (anterior deltoid), not only eliminated the pain, but also lead to the shoulder regaining all of its range of motion - and of course a happier, fresher smelling client! It is not clearly understood how or why TPs form. The current understanding is that TPs will develop due to ‘stresses’ (e.g. muscle trauma, muscle strain from repetitive movements, postural strain, emotional stress and even nutritional deficiencies) and as a result the muscle/s they lurk within go into a protective spasm. Long-term muscle spasm will create pressure on surrounding capillaries and lead to a lack of blood flow. Over time a metabolic crises occurs at the site of the trigger point as energy is continually expended by the sustained mini-muscle contraction that a TP represents. This crises result in the accumulation of toxic metabolic wastes (e.g. carbon dioxide and lactic acid) which then start to irritate local nerve endings in the area and cause pain. What is clearly endorsed by research and important to note

is that these mini-muscles spasms can also give rise to referred pain either at rest, during activity or when direct pressure is applied to them, and not just any referred pain but ‘a distinct and discreet pattern or map of pain’. For example, a trigger point in the masseter muscle in the jaw commonly gives rise to toothache like pain. Sound familiar?

rise to pain down the side of the leg.

ITB syndrome pain

Showing 2 trigger points in the masseter muscle

Showing pain referral patterns trigger points in image 1


It is easy to see how trigger points or trigger point referral patterns can be confused with other conditions. For example, the clinical symptoms of an ITB syndrome, a pain on the lateral condyle of the femur (or pain on the outside of the knee), correspond closely with the symptoms that present from a trigger point within the tensor fascia latae (TFL) or gluteus minimus muscles which, as with the ITB, give

Pain referral TFL

from trigger point in

Pain referral from trigger points gluteus minimus


Spring 2014 | PTM | 51

I am sure as you read this, there are people in gyms busily stretching out their ITB or rolling it on a foam roller after being told that the pain down the side of their leg is caused by a tight ITB. In some situations, ITB syndrome may indeed be at the heart of their pain symptoms but this is not always the case. As a result, some unlucky, and I suspect extremely frustrated individuals, may have been following such advice for months or longer without any discernible result. They may

believe that the amount of stretching and often painful foam rolling they are doing must eventually yield a result. Or maybe the ITB was never tight in the first place? Maybe what they are experiencing is the referred pain from a trigger point/s in the TFL or gluteus minimus, or both??? Painful soft tissue dysfunctions and injuries can sometimes be easily identified and treated but are often more complex - in both cases they should only be treated by an informed

Want to become a Sports Massage Therapist? Premier offers a Level 3 and 4 Sports Massage Therapist Diploma. Find out more by visiting 52 | PTM | Spring 2014

and skilful body worker. Consequently, if as a personal trainer you have no specialist training in soft tissue therapy it is always better to refer your clients to informed practitioners who are trained and competent in injury assessment and treatment. For the injury specialist not versed in trigger points, becoming more knowledgeable in trigger point therapy will take you that one step closer to having a more clinical and informed approach to getting your clients pain free.

Spring 2014 | PTM | 53

Courses available within the Premier Portfolio Get Qualified – Become a Personal Trainer

Advanced Skills Courses

Diploma in Fitness Instructing & Personal Training QCF

Diploma in Exercise Referral (20 REPs points)

Certificate in Fitness Instructing (Level 2 – 20 REPs points)

Sports Conditioning Instructor Training (16 REPs points)

Certificate in Personal Training (Level 3 – 20 REPs points)

Award in Designing Pre and Post-Natal Exercise Programmes (20 REPs points)

Reach Level 4

Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (20 REPs points)

Diploma in Specialist Exercise (Low Back Pain) (20 REPs points)

Postural Assessment and Corrective Exercise Instructor Training (20 REPs points)

Diploma in Specialist Exercise (Obesity and Diabetes) (20 REPs points)

Nutrition Courses

Certificate in Exercise for the Management of Low Back Pain (20 REPs points)

Advanced Nutrition for Weight Management (4 REPs points)

Certificate in Exercise and Nutritional Interventions for Obesity and Diabetes (20 REPs points)

Advanced Nutrition for Physical Performance (4 REPs points)

Fitness Courses

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Functional Fitness Courses

Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage (20 REPs points)

Master Kettlebell Instructor Training (16 REPs points)

Level 4 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy (20 REPs points)

Total Padwork Instructor Training (16 REPs points)

Certificate in Neuromuscular & Soft Tissue Mobilisation Techniques

ViPR Training Kettlebell Instructor Training (8 REPs points) Suspended Movement Instructor Training (8 REPs points) Running Technique Instructor Training (8 REPs points) First Aid

Certificate in Applying Objective Physical Assessments Certificate in Corrective Exercise for the Management of Common Injuries Pregnancy & Post Natal Massage/Remedial Therapy

Group Exercise Courses


Studio Cycle Instructor Training (8 REPs points)

An Introduction to Kettlebell Training

Certificate in Exercise to Music (20 REPs points)

Nutritional Advice for Physical Activity (4 REPs points)

Total Group Instructor Training (20 REPs points)

Obesity Myths Fuelling Exercise for Physical Activity Power Club Training Padwork Training Advanced Kettlebell Training Medicine Ball Training Suspended Movement Training Running a Successful PT Business (4 REP’s points)

54 | PTM | Spring 2014

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Premier Training Magazine - Issue 7  


Premier Training Magazine - Issue 7