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March 10 l issue 16

Journal Kelly Holmes interview Pole fitness Growing your own business Motivational interviewing plus all the latest news

Produced in association with


After the cold start to the new decade it finally feels like spring is on its way – and for many in the industry that means the annual fitness convention at IHRSA. As well as being a showcase for the latest developments in fitness equipment and trends it also offers a unique opportunity for the yearly meeting of registers around the world. It’s hard to believe that just seven years ago REPs stood alone with Australia as the only professional register of exercise instructors in the world and now there are five of us. As well as being one of the largest, REPs is also used as the model for most new exercise registers.

The Register of Exercise Professionals Third floor, 8-10 Crown Hill, Croydon, Surrey CR0 1RZ Telephone 020 8686 6464 Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch Registration Manager Alison Frater Systems manager Rob McGregor CPD Compliance Manager Dottie Calderwood

Qualifications & Training Standards

SkillsActive Castlewood House, New Oxford St London WC1A 1PX Telephone 020 7632 2000 Technical Unit


Publisher: Tor Davies, sportEX Editor: Sarah Joy, REPs

Advertising enquiries Telephone: 0845 652 1908 Email:

Design & Production Debbie Asher

Published by

sportEX (Centor Publishing Ltd) Contact: Tor Davies Telephone: 0845 652 1906 Website:

We’re working hard to develop reciprocal working agreements with our counterparts across the globe. The new standards, recently agreed and underpinning the new REPs structure, are being mapped against standards from the other international registers. This is important to ensure that your membership can continue to be recognised as verification of your experience and qualifications across Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. Back home we’ve been busy organising our ever-popular calendar of conventions and gearing up for the new National Occupational Standards which will come into effect in April and continuing our work with healthcare organisations and the armed forces. Jean-Ann Marnoch, Registrar

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Guest contributor - Dame Kelly Holmes Latest news from REPs The pick of exercise news Don’t miss out on your member ezine Pole fitness – exploring the benefits Growing your own successful business

Motivational interviewing – what is it and how can it be used to help people become more physically active?

DISCLAIMER While every effort has been made to ensure that all information and data in this magazine is correct and compatible with national standards generally accepted at the time of publication, this magazine and any articles published in it are intended as general guidance and information for use by healthcare professionals only, and should not be relied upon as a basis for planning individual medical care or as a substitute for specialist medical advice in each individual case. To the extent permissible by law, the publisher, editors and contributors to this magazine accept no liability to any person for any loss, injury or damage howsoever incurred (including by negligence) as a consequence, whether directly or indirectly, of the use by any person of any of the contents of the magazine. Copyright subsists in all material in the publication. Centor Publishing Limited consents to certain features contained in this magazine marked (*) being copied for personal use or information only (including distribution to appropriate members of the public) provided a full reference to the source is shown. No other unauthorised reproduction, transmission or storage in any electronic retrieval system is permitted of any material contained in this publication in any form. The publishers give no endorsement for and accept no liability (howsoever arising) in connection with the supply or use of any goods or services purchased as a result of any advertisement appearing in this magazine.


guest interview

Dame Kelly Holmes Olympic champion, Dame Commander of the British Empire, winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and former Army PTI – Dame Kelly Holmes talks to the Journal about her life-long love of fitness… Journal: What or who first inspired you to take up sport? DKH: “I really loved P.E. and that, along with the encouragement of my teacher, made me think about joining athletics clubs and take running more seriously. “When I was about 14 though I remember watching the Olympics and thinking – that’s what I want to do. Sebastian Coe was my hero! “I was also really interested in the Army and wanted join as a PTI which I did when I was 18. “I guess I’ve always loved being fit, running, working out (even though it’s a chore at times). I love the way it makes me feel – and look!”

Journal: So when did your Olympic dream start to become a reality? DKH: “While I was in the Army I started competitive running again – first for armed forces tournaments (both at home and abroad – in fact I’m sure I still hold some Army records!) but it was when I won a silver medal at the European championships followed two weeks later by a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 1984 that I realised I could actually do it!”

Journal: How important is fitness to you in your life and do you still train? DKH: “It’s very important. When I was competing, training was a big part of my 04

life and when I retired from sport I did take some time off but I actually really enjoy it. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work as a fitness instructor myself, as well as training with coaches, so I know what works for me. As well as running I play squash and when I go the gym I use the crosstrainer and stepper and do circuits and weights. “I also find exercising makes me more alert and focused. I do a lot of thinking when I’m running – I plug in my music and away I go. I’m always rushing home after a good training session to jot down ideas in my notebook!”

Journal: Having worked as a PTI what do you think of regulations among fitness professionals? DKH: “Clearly having a validated system for fitness instructors is a must. I think it’s really important that there is regulation and I think more quality assurance can only be a good thing. It’s vital that people who are investing time and money in training courses know that they are getting a worthwhile qualification at the end of it. “Working in fitness should be a journey of life-long learning – it’s all about progression, progression, progression. There has to be a high-level of competence within the industry in both skills and attitudes. “In fact I’ve just started working with a hotel group (Village Hotels) and

one of things I’m doing is meeting the fitness instructors who work in its gyms. During these sessions we’re exploring motivational techniques and people skills – all the things you need as an instructor to back up your technical knowledge. “Clients can often feel a bit nervous or intimidated and the right attitude and help from a motivated and knowledgeable instructor can make all the difference to them. Retention is clearly a big factor for gyms and health clubs and I think that if the instructors are good then that’s half the battle won!”

Journal: Finally what do you feel has been your greatest achievement? DKH: “Obviously winning the double Gold in 2004 was unbelievable – it was everything I’d ever imagined. To have a dream at 14 and then to realise it at 34 after all the set backs etc. was amazing. “But I’m also really proud of the way I never gave up on that dream. At times it would have been easy to walk away but I’m so glad I stuck with it even though it meant making some really tough decisions like leaving the Army.” Dame Kelly is working with Village Hotels to help shape a new members engagement programme For more information on Kelly’s other projects visit

The reps Journal 2010;16(March):4

reps news

Getting to know you… As from the next edition we’ll be running a regular Meet the Member feature in the REPs Journal. If you’d like to be featured please answer the questions below and send them, along with a high-resolution photograph to lN  ame? lA  ge? lL  ocation? lM  embership number? l J ob Description?

FIA News

Let’s dance

Hot on the heels of the FIA’s MoreActive4Life campaign the next high profile Department of Health (DH) funded exercise initiative, Let’s DANCE with Change4Life, salsas in. The campaign, which is part of the three year Change4Life programme, is primarily aimed at 7.5 million ‘at risk’ mothers and families - who do not find the time or the inclination to exercise - and is underpinned by a £750K marketing campaign. Inspired by the latest TV craze, this new initiative has captured the imagination and set feet tapping across the nation – from street dance in Streatham, to waltzing in Warrington; from tap in Telford to salsa in Scunthorpe. ”Any new healthy lifestyle initiative must be creative, fun and, most importantly sustainable – and dancing ticks all those boxes. What a great way of tapping into the current craze and get more people, more active, more often” said the FIA’s Executive Director, David Stalker.


lQ  ualifications? l Best thing about your job? Whether it’s motivating someone or getting to share your passions tell us about it. lL  ightbulb moment? This could be the moment you realised fitness was for you, when you found your niche or when something you found particularly hard just clicked into place. lT  he next step? Want to retire to an Ashram in India, open a sleek city studio or learn something new?

Here to help The REPs Member Services team has welcomed two new staff on-board.

passionate about both the fitness industry and helping people so this job is perfect for me.”

Joyce Nunu and James Lim Qi-an will be part of the crew manning the phones and computers at the Croydon office, answering queries and questions from its 28,000 plus members.

With a background in sports development and guitar coaching this is James’s first foray into the fitness industry but he admits he’s already got the bug.

Joyce has worked in the industry for 15 years, both in clubs and at the Fitness Industry Association. She told the Journal: “It’s great to now be dealing with those who are in the front-line of the industry, so to speak. I’m

He said: “I never fully appreciated how dynamic fitness instructors are - I’m really enjoying speaking to people on a daily basis who are so committed to their work and helping them achieve their goals.”

As part of the 2010 focus on adults, the new Change4Life initiative has been underpinned by a major national advertising, direct mailing and online campaign. But most exciting of all is the opportunity for participating consumers to video their routines, post it on a dedicated YouTube ‘Let’s DANCE with Change4Life’ page and, if they are voted the best act, win the chance to dance with one of Britain’s top dance acts. “If it’s fun and it excites people enough to try something new, then it’s a success” reflected Stalker. “The challenge for us as an industry is to convert that initial enthusiasm into a sustained commitment to be more active.”


EREPS news l The European Register of Exercise Professionals – EREPS – now has members working in 25 different European countries. The mobility of workers – moving from country to country for employment and also for training opportunities – is already a reality. This is an important principle of European thinking and EREPS provides the recognition of achievement for individual exercise professionals so their qualifications can be recognised from country to country. l The European Health and Fitness Association sets the standards and technical criteria for EREPS and they are currently looking at how a whole range of training can be used for CPD – both by formal and informal

learning. The focus of learning in Europe is now based on outcomes – a move away from the more traditional approach of input based learning which is about duration, location, programme (syllabus) and who the provider is. l The big difference for outcome based learning is that it is about what an individual is expected to know or be able to do at the end of a learning experience. Training providers will have to be more open and honest in what they are offering in the future – and to be more accountable. EREPS is promoting a better relationship between the industry and training providers – with exercise professionals as the main beneficiaries. l Europe is a borderless community in many respects and a large part of the work

Book for Birmingham!

that EREPS is doing is in support of national partners to ensure that there is a wide range of quality training available. Languages, availability of programmes and the cost are also factors in the choice that exercise professionals make when selecting training to help them with their career development. The industry is moving quickly and members of EREPS are expected to maintain their professional status through CPD and also for their career development. The European Union promote heavily the concept of lifelong learning and EREPS fully supports this through its CPD programme.

The REPs National Convention will once again take place during Leisure Industry Week at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. As in previous years delegates to the REPs convention will be able to visit the LIW trade show as well as enjoying presentations by keynote speakers, a buffet lunch and a range of interactive seminars and workshops, and earn themselves 4 CPD points. Thursday, 23rd September might seem a long way away but this is one event you won’t want to miss so put it in your diaries now! Further information can be found on the REPs website www.


European Register of Exercise Professionals

SkillsActive News


Earn first aid and CPR CPD points through the Register Tom Bell, Endorsement Manager, SkillsActive First Aid and CPR training are important life skills that can play a vital part in helping individuals and communities withstand emergencies.

The best way to learn first aid and how to react and deal with an emergency situation is through practical learning. Online classes and do-it-your-self manuals provide a great deal of basic information, but cannot replace hands-on training.

Although they are not requirements in order to achieve a fitness industry qualification or gain entry on to REPs, first aid and CPR courses should not be overlooked. As an exercise professional, you may find yourself in various emergency situations during your career, and knowing CPR 06

and first aid will maximise the safety of your clients. It is therefore ultimately down to you as a professional (or your employer) to risk assess your working environment and decide what type of courses will best meet your needs.

As a member of REPs this is part of the Code of Practice you have signed up to. Also completing an HSE approved first aid or CPR course can earn you up to 8 CPD points if you choose from the REPs training portal. Should a risk assessment only require you to undertake a CPR qualification or a refresher course, then this could earn you a maximum of 4 CPD points. To find an HSE endorsed first aid or CPR course now, please visit The reps Journal 2010;16(March):5-7

reps news

Dr John Searle, Chief Medical Officer Fitness Industry Association and personal trainer asks

How much exercise do older people need? Working with older people is rewarding, fun and the benefits of exercise are evident quite quickly. But how much exercise do they need to get those benefits which as fitness instructors we all know about? New guidelines are shortly to be issued by the Department of Health which are very much in line with the recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine. Somebody over the age of 65 needs to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity (still able to talk but unable to sing) each week or 75 minutes of high intensity activity (only able to say a few words without stopping to catch a breath). Two strength training sessions a week are vitally important to maintain muscle strength. These should include all major muscle groups performing 2 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. When a client can perform 2 sets of 15 reps then it is an indication to increase the resistance. Flexibility and motor skills training are also essential components of the programme. How can an older person get to this level of regular activity? There are three key principles in achieving it. First, the activities of daily living need to be steadily increased over six to eight weeks: walking more, increasing mobility such as getting up and walking about during the TV adverts, using stairs instead of lifts and elevators and so on. This is also the time to help them look at their nutrition and where necessary move towards healthy eating patterns. These behavioural changes are vital and clients require a lot of support and encouragement to establish them as a routine part of their lives. The good news is that they will begin to feel that they have more energy by these simple measures. Secondly, progress towards achieving the necessary levels of exercise should be gradual but definite. But it requires a high level of motivational skills by the instructor and careful monitoring during a session. Older people are often good at charting their own progress and are enthusiastic about making progress. Thirdly, the worst thing that can happen to an older person is that they are given an induction programme and then left to get on with it. Whether they are working on their own or in a class, regular support and assessment are essential. Programmes need to be changed regularly. This not only prevents boredom setting in but also gives an opportunity to learn new skills and techniques. Quite apart from the physical benefits this promotes cognitive health too as they have to think about doing new things. Older people require a progressive increase in their levels of activity accompanied by committed, expert programming, support and encouragement. We respond to it well!


news exercise update

A recently published research experiment on inactive men with high blood pressure shows that just three months of soccer practice twice a week causes a significant fall in blood pressure, resting pulse rate, and percentage of body fat, and is more effective than the doctor’s usual advice on healthy diet and exercise. Other parallel experiments on both women and men further demonstrate that a regular game of soccer affects numerous cardiovascular risk factors such as maximal oxygen uptake, heart function, elasticity of the vascular system, blood pressure, cholesterol and fat mass, far more than for example strength training and just as much, if not more than running.

Football fitness The soccer experiments are part of a large-scale research project on soccer and health carried out at the University of Copenhagen, four Danish University Hospitals, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Schulthess Clinic in Zurich. one of the researchers states, “Our research shows that soccer is a versatile and intense form of exercise that

provides a positive effect on cardiovascular risk factors in a large group of untrained adult men and women,” and continues, “based on the results, soccer can be recommended as part of the treatment for high blood pressure and for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.” A number of scientific

articles from the project were published on 2 February 2010 at a seminar at the University of Copenhagen and will also be published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports in a special edition issue entitled “Football for Health”. Source: Medical News Today articles/178005.php

Active travel a ‘must’ for kids Children who cycle to school are more physically active and fit than those who use other modes of transport, according to new research from the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. The findings are based on a study of 6,000 children, aged 10 to 16, from the eastern region of England. The children’s cardiorespiratory fitness and travel habits were assessed during 2007 and 2008. Researchers found boys who walked to school were 20 per cent more likely to be fit compared with those using motorised transport such as busses and cars, and girls who walked were 30 per cent more likely to be fit. Boys who cycled to school were 30 per cent more likely to be fit, but there was an even more dramatic difference in fitness among female subjects. Girls who biked to school were seven times more likely to reach the minimum fitness standard than girls who used motorised transport.


In all cases, children who were driven to school had the lowest levels of physical fitness, being less fit than walkers, cyclists and even children who took the bus. Cyclists were also found to be more physically active at other times of the day when compared to children using other transport modes. Source: Medical News Today

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exercise update news

Activity boosts cognition in elderly

Moderate or high physical activity appears to be associated with a lower risk of developing cognitive impairment in older adults after a two-year period, according to a study involving nearly 4,000 people older than 55, from southern Bavaria. At the beginning of the study, 418 participants (10.7 per cent) had cognitive impairment. After two years, 207 (5.9 per cent) of the remaining 3,485 unimpaired study participants developed cognitive impairment. “The incidence of new cognitive impairment among participants with no, moderate and high activity at baseline was 13.9 per cent, 6.7 percent and 5.1 per cent, respectively,” the authors write. Source: Archives of Internal Medicine 2010;170(2):186-193

Energy expenditure protects from brain cancer It now seems that energy expenditure in childhood could protect you from a rare but often deadly form of brain cancer. Researchers from the National Cancer Institute have found that the occurrence of this particularly deadly form of brain cancer, which accounts for nearly 80 per cent of brain and nervous system cancers, may be linked to early life physical activity and height. Dr Steven Moore, a research fellow in the Nutritional Epidemiology Branch of the National Cancer Institute said, “Our findings suggest that biological factors related to energy expenditure and growth

during childhood may play a role in glioma etiology. This clue could help researchers better understand important features of glioma biology and the potentially modifiable lifestyle factors that could be important in preventing this disease. He added, “engaging in regular physical activity throughout the lifespan conveys many benefits.” Results of this prospective study have been published online first in the American Association for Cancer Research’s journal, Cancer Research. Source: eCancer Medical Science

Exercise instructor network

BACR Exercise Friday 23rd Professionals April 2010 Group Study Day Birmingham NEC ‘New Dimensions for Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health’ KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr Jonathan Myers, Director of Cardiopulmonary Research at Palo Alto VA Medical Centre, USA Fitness - the under rated Predicator of Mortality Breathlessness or muscle fatigue in chronic heart failure – which is more limiting? Topics to include: World Class Commissioning, Tai Chi and Cardiac Rehabilitation, Pulmonary Rehab and Heart Failure and dealing with those difficult-to-answer exercise questions Cost: £115 (BACR, ACPICR or BASES members) £135 non-members For details contact 01252 720640


news exercise update

As if we need more convincing that people need to get active? We have known for some time that physical activity can reduce depression and fatigue. However researchers in the US studying people with chronic diseases have found that it can do this by increasing self-efficacy, or the belief that one can master physical goals and attain a sense of accomplishment from applying oneself. These were the findings of a study by lead author Dr Edward McAuley, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Dr McAuley’s research appears in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Source: Psychosomatic Medicine 2010;72:224-225


Exercise and nutrition protects against diabetes for up to 10 years New research suggests that a period of careful eating and regular physical activity could prevent diabetes for up to a decade. US researchers followed up nearly 3,000 overweight people who had taken part in a three-year diabetes prevention programme. They had initially been divided into three groups, one undertaking a diet and exercise programme, the second taking the anti-diabetic drug metformin and the third group a placebo.

a diet which aimed at achieving 7 per cent weight loss, combined with half an hour of physical activity five days a week. The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes was reduced by 58 per cent in the diet and exercise group compared with the placebo group. The group on metformin saw their risk decline by nearly a third.

ended, both the drug and placebo groups who were continuing to eat more carefully and take regular physical activity, saw the rate of diabetes fall. Source: Diabetes UK http://www. articles/169376.php

Seven years after the three year trial

According to the researchers, the people who were dieting gained the greatest benefit. The trial, carried out by the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group, was based on

The reps Journal 2010;16(March):8-10

reps ezine

Don’t miss out on your

NEW REPs member ezine

l Links to back issues of the ezine

Five months and a lot has changed with the monthly REPs ezine. The ezine comes automatically as part of your membership to REPs, but we do need to have your email address in order to send it to you! So if you haven’t been getting your ezine it’s a sure sign that we either don’t have your email address on file or have an old or invalid email address.

l Exclusive REPs member offers on training

Please contact the REPs office, by sending an email to and we will update your account. It may be worth checking your spam folder also and if your emails are going there add us to the ‘safe senders’ list to avoid this happening in the future.

l Job opportunities

The ezine is designed to offer a balance between useful articles and information along with opportunities to help you develop your career. We’ve also thrown the odd bit of fun in there too! l Resources and articles to support your work

Regular features

l Free ticket offers to future events

l Online access to the printed REPs journal

l A list of upcoming CPD

l Exercise update - summaries of new findings about exercise

l There are also new book and DVD reviews

l PLUS every month a chance to win a 2nd generation iPod shuffle worth £45


email with your email details if you’re not receiving your copy


Vertical impact – exploring the fitness benefits of pole fitness

REPs council member and fitness instructor Mada Jooste looks at the controversial discipline of pole fitness – love it or hate it, everyone seems to have an opinion on it so take a read and let us know what you think… 12

The reps Journal 2010;16(March):12-13

Fitness Introduction Not so long ago pole dancing was thought of as the domain of adult entertainers. On stages in clubs of ill-repute pole dancers plied their trade in front of paying clientele. How different things are now… while it might have started its existence in the shadows, pole dancing has now emerged into the light as a fully-fledged exercise and fitness discipline.

move it is also of great benefit to the stability and integrity of the shoulder joint. The swan targets a large amount of the muscles in the body.

As well as promoting and requiring a lot of all round body strength, pole fitness is an excellent regime to incorporate into any fitness programme to really enhance the participants’ co-ordination as well as their upper body and core strength. It also improves the stability and integrity of the joints and targets a large amount of the musculature of the body. Each of the pole moves uses different parts of the body, and new sets of muscle groups. And of course, don’t underestimate the positive effect it can have on the self-esteem and confidence levels of the participant.

It is started by an initial spin, initiated by the hip flexors of the lead leg and abductors of the trailing leg as with many of the moves involving a spin, after which point the relevant muscles are contracted isometrically (static hold) to perform the main bulk of the exercise. By isometrically pulling with the top arm, whilst simultaneously pushing with the bottom arm, in order to create the correct angle away from the pole, this works the latissimus dorsi and biceps/pectoralis major and triceps respectively. The gluteus maximus, abductors (side portion of the glutes), hamstrings and calf complex as well as the entire core musculature are contracted isometrically to maintain the swan position as the participant spins and descends the pole.

Art forms related to pole fitness and pole dancing appear to have been known for many centuries in India and China, but it emerged in its current form in the adult entertainment industry in the United States in the 1990s. From there it made the jump into mainstream fitness classes and now has a wide following in the United States, Canada and Australia marking a distinction between pole fitness (an exercise discipline focused solely on moves, spins and holds) and pole dancing (this combines the same moves with sensuality and dance expression).

Climbing the pole This exercise utilises both concentric and isometric muscle contractions in its execution, requiring the participant to lift their entire body weight from the base of the pole to the top. So it requires good upper and lower body strength.

General health benefits Burns calories: Pole fitness uses many muscles at the same time both for movement and for corestabilising. As we know the more muscles you use the more calories you burn. The average one-hour pole dancing session will burn in the region of 250 to 300 calories and through exercise that is non-impact. Increases metabolism: Pole fitness helps maintain healthy levels of muscle in the body, and muscles consume energy even while at rest. By toning muscles effectively pole fitness will increase the body’s metabolism. Promotes good posture: The modern office worker is prone to poor posture due to hours in triple flexion. Many exercise programmes will tend to escalate the problem by isolating the wrong muscle groups. The twisting, holding and moving around the pole causes one arm to pull while the other is pushing, balancing the body and strengthening the postural muscles around the shoulder blade.

Some specific moves The Swan This impressive and elegant move is one of the more difficult beginner exercises to perform. It requires a good deal of all-round body strength. It is an excellent exercise to incorporate into any routine to really enhance the participants’ co-ordination as well as their upper body and core strength. Due to the nature of this

Both of the arms are used to pull the body upwards thereby using the biceps to flex the elbow and latissimus dorsi to extend the shoulder. The leg which hooks the pole uses an isometric contraction of the tibialis anterior muscle (to hold the ankle in dorsi flexion) with the subsequent extension of the knee and hip as the participant climbs the pole being provided by concentric contractions of the quadriceps and glutes respectively. The push off the ground from the initially planted leg is provided by the calf complex and throughout the whole move the adductor muscles work hard isometrically to grip the pole between the participants’ legs. The different muscles utilised on the descending phase are totally dependant on the move employed coming down the pole.

Conclusion The health and fitness benefits of engaging with the pole in a vertical fashion are unlimited. In a nutshell, all the major muscle groups are involved in a variety of contractions throughout static and dynamic planes. This fitness phenomenon harnesses the proverbial body-mind connection sought after by so many other sporting disciplines. Inevitably a powerful, toned physique is created in harmony with a confident inner self. What more is left to say other than... get out of the box and onto that pole!! THE AUTHOR As a committed fitness professional and personal trainer Mada’s internationally recognised qualifications and certifications (RSA, USA and UK) include: Exercise to Music, Spinning, Weight Management and Nutrition. She currently works mainly in the South East and specifically in the West Kent area. 13

Social media for fitness professionals In our November ezine survey we asked you whether you had too many, too few, or just enough clients to keep you happy. More than sixty per cent of you replied that you could handle more clients. This article is the first in a series which will show you how you could use social networking tools to achieve this, regardless of whether it is for you as an individual, on behalf of your club, or both. Not only can you use these tools to grow your client base but you can also significantly increase the satisfaction (and therefore retention) of your current clients. 14

By Tor Davies This first article aims to put things in context and give you a brief overview of how and why social networking might work specifically for you as a fitness professional. In each journal after this we will focus on one or two specific projects giving you a step-by-step guide on how to bring that particular campaign to life. We could give you hundreds of ideas, but it’s better to do a little often and make sure you keep it going, rather than trying to do everything in one go. If you get going and want more ideas, or you’re already using social media tools in this capacity, visit my blog (http://sportextor.wordpress. com) and click on the Marketing you and your business category.

Dispelling the myths of the dark arts Depending on how comfortable you are using the Internet the phrase ‘using social media to market yourself’ might sound complicated and intimidating, but really it isn’t. All you need to focus on is ‘sharing’ and how sharing through the extended networks that social media creates could help bring you customers. First of all, what is social media? In its simplest definition it is information which has been designed to be shared through the Internet and the growing number of web-based tools or ‘social networks’. What is a social network? It is simply a group of individuals that are connected by a common interest. They share and communicate using social media tools (see next page for more details). There are hundreds of new social platforms being launched every day but they are all based around the same principle of groups with shared interests using tools designed to help you network with other people. Perhaps a better name for them would be ‘sharing’ networks, as this is fundamentally what they are all about.

It all starts with you! It all starts with you and a group of people around you, a so-called ‘social network’. Because this new form of media was born and initially developed within a social context these networks have generally been organised around groups of friends, but don’t let that put you off. Increasingly they are forming around work

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social media

restrict this) and the main goal generally is to gain readers who then receive your new posts either by email or RSS feeds. Common blogging platforms are Blogger and Wordpress.

settings, clubs, membership associations, universities, courses – basically any group with a common interest. So while your social networks could be built around your friends, they could also be built around one or more groups of people. For example, those who regularly attend your exercise classes, or your one-to-one clients, or you could form a network on behalf of the club/s at which you work.

But why? Well the point of these social media tools is that they are specifically designed to let you share, and when you share with your friends (or contacts) not only do they see your information but generally speaking so do your friends’ friends and so on. This causes a huge ripple effect to spread through hundreds and maybe even thousands of people you don’t know, some of whom may be potential customers. Instead of you talking to your mate, who may or may not talk to his mate i.e. the traditional word of mouth route, through social media you have access to many, many more people.

Some common platforms you might use A platform in the social networking sense is generally a website which you log into, to network i.e. interact with other people. These sites are all ‘hosted’ online so you don’t need to download any software onto your computer to access them. Social networking sites e.g. Facebook/Bebo/MySpace/Ning – are free-access social networking websites where you find friends and then link to them. At the same time you can share things you’re doing through your own page. You can see what your friends are doing and they can see what you’re doing. You can join special interest groups or create groups of your own, like your personal training clients, or your group exercise ‘faithfuls’. Blogs – are effectively web diaries. People create them about everything and anything! Some people write specifically about a topic area they are passionate about, others might write about a personal journey. Blogs are generally public (although you can

“Your social networks could be built around your friends, groups of people who attend your exercise classes or your one-to-one clients”

Microblogging – Twitter is the most commonly cited example and is still in my opinion, despite some bad press, one of the most powerful marketing/sharing tools in the ‘social media’ toolkit. It got off to a self-confessed wrong start by asking people to tweet (i.e. post a comment) about what they were doing that minute. Unsurprisingly this resulted in a platform full of day-to-day irrelevance! But increasingly it’s finding its feet. The idea is SMS on acid! Find something interesting, condense into down to 140 characters and generally include a weblink for more information (using a URL shortener to cut down characters). Find a bit of research that would be interesting to your clients or something they might be interested in, summarise it, and ‘tweet’ about it. Happy client, happy days! Media-specific sharing sites Photosharing – sites like Flickr or Picassa. Create an account, upload your photos and choose who you want to share them with. Great for holiday snaps and family get-togethers but plenty of work-related uses too, like pictures of exercises that people struggle with, photos of your club or facilities, photos of you that help them build a better rapport with you and give you things to talk about – there are lots of applications. Video – YouTube and Vimeo – same principle as photosharing sites but using videos. You could create videos of exercises, sample videos of classes so people can view a class (or an instructor) before signing up. You could video interviews with peers on subjects which might be interesting to clients, you could answer FAQs or post videos of new club facilities or renovations, the sky’s the limit! Music – iTunes is one good example particularly with the sharing of playlists and the Genius function which matches songs you like to songs that other people with shared likes, also like. is an internet radio station which allows you to create playlists around artists you like and customise it by clicking a ‘love this song’ or ‘ban this song’ button while you’re listening. Using your preferences, matched with the information being constantly gathered from other users with similar tastes, it generates music which becomes more and more refined to your taste. Great for sharing motivational songs or playlists. Bookmarks/news/information – sites like Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon, and Delicious to name but a few, let you share news, information, even web bookmarks. For more information click the following link to take you to a presentation I made at last year’s FIA Conference – it also contains a range of ideas to get you started. THE AUTHOR Tor Davies is a self-confessed web-enthusiast who is passionate about the collaborative power of the internet! She is also the founder of sportEX and the publisher of the current REPs journal and ezine. 15

Growing your own successful business Nic Jarvis, leadership development expert, fitness consultant and regular speaker at REPs conventions shares his expertise on how to succeed in business…


ver the years I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of fitness professionals in all sectors of the market, full and part-time, staff and freelance. One of the things that has never ceased to amaze me is how many of them see their ultimate goal as running their own business. This shows me they want to take responsibility for their futures and to create something that has their own unique spin on it. Sadly I also see most dreams unfulfilled and as a result, these people leave the industry and take dead-end jobs, which they hope will pay more. Or they stay in the industry, dissatisfied and de-motivated and unfortunately pass this on to their customers. I believe that with some simple education this situation can be reversed to the benefit of not just the fitness professionals, but also the employers and of course the customers. My solution focuses on two primary things; teaching fitness professionals the basic stages of developing a business and providing coaching on how to implement each stage.

The strategies for growing a business There are three key strategies for growing a business: 1. increasing your client base 2. increasing transaction frequency 3. increasing average spend The first is quite obvious, the more clients you have the larger 16

your income will be. The other two are often overlooked by business novices, but can make a crucial difference to your income. For example if you are a personal trainer who has 40 clients in a year, who on average purchase 1.5 blocks of 10 sessions at £300 a time, your income will be £18,000 pa. By adopting the three-strategy approach and changing each aspect by a small amount you can make significant improvements. So add 5 clients making a total of 45, increase the average number of times they purchase by a quarter to 1.75 and add £50 to their average spend by selling additional equipment or supplements and your annual income increases to £27,562.

The six steps to growing a business Would be entrepreneurs, or those who just want to become selfemployed, take the three strategies and integrate them into six steps, which have been proven to build many kinds of small businesses and work well for personal trainers, studio teachers, etc. The six proven steps to grow a business are: 1. A product that customers immediately want and you find easy to explain so they are happy to invest in a long-term relationship with you. Most fitness professionals don’t know what their product is and they definitely don’t have a Unique Selling Proposition (something that differentiates them from the competition). The reps Journal 2010;16(March):16-18


2. Tried and tested ways of engaging with prospective clients and converting them to customers through the provision of education and without the pressure of selling. 3. A range of proven products that provide a total solution to customers in order to deliver their desired results. 4. A customer relationship management process to ensure the product/programme is used and the customer gains the perceived benefit. In the health and fitness industry this means coaching so that customers change their lifestyle habits and become habitual exercisers. 5. An internet service which enables them firstly to keep in contact with customers, but also to provide services to those who cannot afford face to face service or simply cannot access them. 6. Ways to grow a business with others without the commitment of financing a studio or the hassle of employing people.

Implementing the six steps Most small or self-employed businesses will follow these six steps, but still many do not survive. For me the primary reason for this is that the fledgling business person does not receive the appropriate support. Most people who start businesses, do so because of their love for the work and their technical ability to do it. Few have the necessary business skills to thrive. Below is a coaching model we use at New Wave Training to help people to implement the six steps. Step one – vision l What is it you want to achieve? What is your goal or what problems do you want to resolve? l What will achieving that do for you? Why do you want it? l Be clear and specific. l Create a blueprint of what it is you want to have; remember an architect designs plans before he starts building. Step two – present situation l Analyse where you are today in relation to your goal, particularly what’s working for you and what’s not working for you? l Why haven’t you got what you want? What challenges do you have? What’s stopped you achieving what it is you want? l Make sure you are taking ownership of where you are today. People that are successful in reaching their goals realise that they are the only thing that ultimately determines their progress. Other less successful people are continually blaming things that are outside of their control for their lack of progress. Step three – outcome l What are the things you need to achieve to enable you to

“Most people who start businesses do so because of their love for the work and their technical ability to do it. Few have the necessary business skills to thrive.”


move from your present situation towards your vision? What milestones must you meet or stages reach? l Which of these are the most important? What will produce for you the biggest returns for the least effort? l Write these as SMART Goals, where SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable (by you), Realistic and Timed. Step four – write an action plan l What do you need to do to achieve your Outcomes? What actions or steps must you take? l List all the tasks you need to do to achieve your Outcomes. l Put them in order, i.e. what must be done first, second, third, etc. l Then write these as SMART Actions. Step five - execute l Implement what you said you were going to do – take action. l Take one step at a time and in the correct order. l Keep focussed and disciplined. Ensure you carry out your priorities, i.e. the things that will produce the biggest results for you. Step six - review l Monitor your progress and review how well you have done. l You could use a review process called ORCE, which stands for


Observe, Record, Categorise and Evaluate. l Review against what you wanted to achieve and identify what new obstacles you have uncovered. l Keep repeating the process and you will keep moving forward. l Remember the principle that if it’s not working change it and that there is no failure only feedback! This is a very comprehensive process which if implemented in the correct way substantially increases your chances of being successful. But it takes commitment and determination to keep going. If you want something different than what you currently have, you must change and change is uncomfortable but worth it in the end – good luck!

THE AUTHOR Nic Jarvis is the senior partner at The Alignment Partnership, which focuses on providing leadership development programmes and is the founder of New Wave Training, a community of freelance personal trainers. He has worked throughout Europe and with many of the UK’s leading health and fitness clubs including Holmes Place, Fitness First, Virgin, LA Fitness and David Lloyd. Nic is also a consultant for Fitpro and PTontheNet. To find out more visit:

The Thereps reps Journal Journal 2009;00(Month):00-00 2010;16(March):16-18


MI and physical activity Motivational interviewing (MI) was initially developed as a useful method to help individuals change problem drinking behaviour. Historically MI has an impressive history in helping individuals to change various addictive behaviours. However, since the 1990s, MI has developed an increasingly diverse profile with positive trials of MI being documented in the management of various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and hypertension. This article looks at what MI is and how it can be used to help people become more physically active.

By Charlotte Hilton and Edward Poulter

What is motivational interviewing? The method of MI is often confused with the stages of change component of the transtheoretical (TTM) theory of behaviour change (1). However, it is important to note that, although the TTM theory and MI method have developed at roughly the same time, the two are completely independent of one another. The TTM may help us to understand the processes of behaviour change, while MI should be considered as contributing to our understanding of how we go about facilitating behaviour change in practice. The spirit of MI MI is not a technique that is used on someone or applied as a method of persuasion to those that are particularly resistant or considered completely unmotivated. Indeed, as individuals involved in the role of helping people, perhaps it is far more productive to consider that everyone has motivation for change. The role of a skilfull practitioner is to elicit these motivations in a manner that is collaborative, evocative and honours patient autonomy (2). This is referred to as the spirit of MI and is considered fundamental to the integration of MI into everyday practice. Attempting to integrate MI using the guiding principles and methods of MI without the spirit are often referred to as being like ‘dancing without music.’

The guiding principles of MI Underpinning MI as a method are four guiding principles, namely: 1) To resist the righting reflex 2) To understand and explore a person’s own motivations 3) To listen with empathy 4) To empower the client, encouraging hope and optimism. 1. The righting reflex. The righting reflex refers to our innate desire to direct someone away from harm. In the helping professions, it is particularly easy to fall into the trap of identifying those factors that indicate an unhealthy lifestyle and proceed to explain how an alternative behaviour could contribute to improvements in health. The intention is to help clients understand how they may choose alternative health behaviours and to offer them advice and knowledge in the hope that they may understand things differently. However, the difficulty with this response is that it tends to increase the likelihood of resistance to change. 2. Understanding an individual’s own motivation. Identifying individual reasons for behaviour change allows a practitioner to understand a person’s own motivations and strengthen statements that suggest an individual is ready, willing and able to undertake behaviour change. MI refers to these statements as ‘change talk’. 3. Listen with empathy. Collaborative, empathic discussions strengthen a person’s perception of their ability to change behaviour. 4. Empowering the client. A skilfull practitioner should empower the client to make changes.

O.A.R.S Four methods form the typical style of an MI consistent


conversation, namely: 1) Open questions – questions that encourage a longer answer ie. not yes/no. Some less open questions may be necessary during a consultation but should be limited during early conversation. 2) Affirmations – may include compliments or statements of understanding and appreciation. Timing and delivery is critical to appropriately affirm the client’s strengths and efforts without sounding condescending. 3) Reflections – arguably one of the most central components of MI. Reflections allow a practitioner to check that they have heard and understood exactly what the client intended, and create the opportunity for elaboration. Common reflective statements include repetition of statements, substitution of new words or offering an explanation of what has been heard and understood. 4) Summaries – are usually integrated towards the end of a consultation and have a number of roles including demonstrating to the client that the practitioner has been listening carefully, reinforcing what has already been said (including an emphasis upon change talk) and providing an opportunity for elaboration. Integrating the four main methods of MI into a consultation allows a practitioner to explore and elaborate upon individual reasons for behaviour change and strengthen those reasons with the aim of eliciting change talk. These are often remembered by the acronym OARS. For a more detailed description of MI principles and methods see references 2 and 3. Communication style Central to our understanding of how MI fits into everyday practice is the consideration of three communication styles. Generally, throughout the course of a conversation we are able to identify the style in which verbal exchanges are made and typically these often fall into either: l Guiding l Following l Or directing approaches. Generally, an MI practitioner’s approach is often in the style of guiding. A skilful practitioner will shift this style to more of a following or directing style as they move through a collaborative conversation with a client.

How can MI help within physical activity promotion settings? Physical activity counselling is becoming increasingly more common, and the use of brief interventions within primary care has received a favourable response from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) (4). The integration of MI into routine conversations with individuals has a significant role to play in helping people change physical activity behaviours. Many individuals working within settings that aim to support individuals to change physical activity behaviour will recognise some of the descriptions of MI as something with which they are already familiar. There may be some elements that exercise professionals recognise as being methods they already find useful, and in some respects MI is nothing new. Indeed, MI training is becoming increasingly more popular within health and exercise settings.


One of the most effective ways of enhancing our ability to help individuals change behaviour is to increase our mindfulness of how well we engage with the spirit of MI. For those who are new to MI, simply increasing awareness of the style of communication used during routine conversations with clients can be helpful. It is all too easy to adopt a more directive style of communication when time is limited. Couple this with the common expectation that certain client information needs to be collected for routine auditing, health and safety, and evaluation purposes, and it is not difficult to understand why conversations may become more directive. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves and the people we help, how can we best make use of the time we have together? We know that individuals are more likely to at least initiate behaviour change if the reasons for behaviour change are identified by the client. Exercise and health professionals are ideally placed to elicit these reasons and strengthen the motivation for change through integrating MI into existing practice.

Initial MI training Introductory training in MI usually lasts a minimum of two full days, although it is not uncommon to find taster sessions that are shorter. In order to have sufficient opportunity to learn about the principles and methods of MI and provide adequate opportunity to practice, a full two-day course as a minimum is desirable. Follow-on training or ‘advanced’ training is available and some MI trainers may design a course for the needs of attendees. Wherever possible, appropriate supervision for those newly trained and those developing their MI skill set should be sought. Integrating MI-consistent practice into consultations frequently is advisable. At present, there is no official accreditation for MI although membership of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) requires a competent level of proficiency in MI. A list of MINT trainers is available on the MI website (

Two recent examples of integrating MI into public health practice LEAPs In early 2004, the Local Exercise Action Pilots (LEAP) (5) went live. LEAP, a £2.6 million programme jointly funded by the Department of Health, the Countryside Agency and Sport England was designed to investigate innovative ways of encouraging people to be more active, especially those who do little exercise and those at risk of health problems. Ten primary care trusts (PCTs) were selected to take part in LEAP of which Wandsworth PCT was the only one from London. The interventions tested in LEAP ranged from physical activity campaigns to senior peer mentoring and from GP exercise on referral to community walks. Two PCTs, East Midlands and Wandsworth, included in their LEAP programmes interventions based on MI. In Wandsworth, the intervention was called a Physical Activity Clinic (PAC) and comprised a 30-45 minute one-to-one consultation between the client and an exercise specialist also trained in MI. The underpinning concept was to provide GPs and practice nurses, whose consultation times with patients are often extremely restricted, with a referral pathway through which achieving physically active lifestyles could be discussed at some length.

The The reps reps Journal 2009;00(Month):00-00 2010;16(March):19-22


During the LEAP in Wandsworth, 597 referrals were made to PACs leading to 462 attendances. The average age was 54.8 years and 55% were from black and ethnic minority groups. A local analysis showed that 74% of those attending were inactive at baseline and of those 60% had made a positive change in physical activity behaviour three months later. The national evaluation The National Evaluation of LEAP was carried out by the Carnegie Research Institute, Leeds Metropolitan University (in association with Matrix RCL and Ipsos MORI) and the results were moderately encouraging (5). Among those attending the MI interventions and inactive at baseline, 89.3% were achieving the CMO recommended level of physical activity at three months follow-up. The increase in physical activity was 360 MET-minutes/week – the equivalent of 120 additional minutes of brisk walking. The research showed that MI was effective in facilitating an increase in the physical activity levels of adults or older adults. However, the authors pointed out that the sample size was small and that further research was required over a longer time frame. Even so, the lessons from LEAP have lead to another physical activity initiative.

Let’s Get Moving initiative Let’s Get Moving (LGM), is the new adult clinical care pathway for physical activity delivered through the NHS, which utilises motivational interviewing to support behaviour change to increase physical activity levels. Launched by the Department of Health in 2009, LGM is available for PCTs to commission across England. It is up to each PCT whether they choose to commission LGM, which patient population is targeted by the service and who is commissioned to deliver it. Prior to rollout, LGM was evaluated by the BHF National Centre for Physical Activity at Loughborough University through a feasibility trial in 14 GP surgeries across 11 PCTs in London. The results were very positive. LGM is based on NICE Public Health Guidance 2, Four Commonly Used Methods to Promote Physical Activity published in 2006, which endorsed brief interventions in physical activity in primary care as being both clinically and cost effective. The initiative also draws on NICE Public Health Guidance 6 on behaviour change and other best practice including the Local Exercise Action Pilots (2004). LGM allows health practitioners to systematically identify adults not meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations for physical activity (using the GP Physical Activity Questionnaire). It then uses an MI approach to providing feedback and supporting the patient to become more active, including signposting them to local activity opportunities. Setting a physical activity goal is based on patient choice, and is a collaborative agreement between the patient and the health professional. To help support this initiative, there is a new national search tool for physical activity opportunities available on the NHS Choices website Health professionals delivering Let’s Get Moving must be trained using the national training materials. For more information on this programme please go to LetsGetMoving where you can find out more information including the commissioning guidance and patient resource pack.


References 1. Prochaska JO, DiClemente CC. Stages and Processes of Self-Change of Smoking: Toward an Integrative Model of Change. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1983;51:390-395 2. Rollnick S, Miller WR, Butler CC. Motivational Interviewing in Healthcare: Helping Patients Change Behaviour. Guilford Press 2008. ISBN-10:1593856121 3. Miller WR, Rollnick S. Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People for Change. Guilford Press 2002. ISBN-10:1572305630 4. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Four commonly used methods to increase physical activity: brief interventions in primary care, exercise referral schemes, pedometers and communitybased exercise programmes for walking and cycling. NICE 2006 5. Department of Health. Local Exercise Action Pilots (LEAPs)

The Authors Charlotte Hilton is currently co-ordinating the evaluation of the PACP pilot. Charlotte is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and an MI practitioner and trainer. For more information about MI and MI training contact Charlotte Hilton. E-mail For more information on MI visit Edward (Ted) Poulter started his work in physical activity with a career shift from the world of media in 2000 and now works as Physical Activity Lead in the Public Health Department of Wandsworth Primary Care Trust in SW London. He is a qualified specialist exercise instructor (NVQ 3) and holds an MSc from Bristol University in exercise and health sciences. For more information about the work in Wandsworth PCT please contact

answer the following questions online to earn cpd points Please login to the members area of the REPs website to give your answers


Does MI work by? a.Contributing to our understanding of how we can facilitate behaviour change in practice. b. Giving coping strategies. c. Teaching people how to order their desires.

a. 2 b. 3 c. 4


a. 3-4 b. 5-6 c. 7-8

Is the Righting Reflex? a. The desire to direct someone away from

harm. b. The desire to order things correctly. c. The desire to always start a movement with the right side of the body.


Does OARs stand for? a. Open questions, affirmations, reflections, summaries. b. Order, articulate, reason and simplify. c. Offer help, allow self-correction, re-affirm decisions and solidify resolutions.

a. 3 b. 4 c. 5

NB. Do not attempt to answer the questions in the interactive version of this magazine The reps Journal 2010;16(March):19-22


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REPs Journal - March 2010  
REPs Journal - March 2010  

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