Hey everyone UFIT has updated its website and I’m pretty happy with it! For those of you that know me, I will always speak the truth on issues related to the fitness industry my first blog shouldn’t come as any surprise! Honestly there is so much rubbish printed and spoken in our business (I guess it’s probably the same in most industries) it’s most unbecoming to what we should all be striving for. And that is increasing standards in our industry and thereby increasing levels of confidence people have when engaging a Personal Trainer. You only need to read some of the testimonials written by our clients on our website www.ufit.com.sg/testimonials to see the level of distrust many people have of Trainers in Singapore so who do you trust?
So where do PT’s in Singapore usually go wrong? A Trainer should ALWAYS begin a relationship with a new client by NEEDS ASSESSMENT. This is the case in any industry, in any given situation, you have to know what a client needs. In our business this can only be done with a, knowledge of the history of the clients health; b, the clients goals; c, the condition of the client with regards to his/her physique (structural and aerobic/anaerobic condition).
In my experience Trainers in Singapore sometimes address a, usually address b, and rarely, if ever address c. Unfortunately c is the most crucial but again unfortunately it is the part of the assessment that requires the most skill. A functional assessement by a Personal Trainer is the only tool he/she can rely on to provide an accurate picture of the state of a client and therefore a baseline for designing an intervention to meet the goals of the client.
No functional assessment, no personalised plan. How many Trainers claim they provide personalised programs? Most do. How many truly are? Hmmmmm. A functional assessment is usually a movement screen and a posture analysis. From the functional assessment a PT can determine which muscles are working correctly and incorrectly. Most individuals do not have a proper functioning posture, this is a medical fact. This can result in big problems when engaging in physical activity. A poor posture won’t support itself in situations where physical work is being undertaken and injury is usually the result.
Fortunately the functional assessment will pinpoint the problem areas in the physique. To a well-trained PT, then incorporating exercises that re-engage muscles in a poor posture within a program meeting a clients goals is relatively straightforward. This is truly a personalised program.
If you are thinking of engaging a PT in 2010, make sure that the 3 areas identified above will be addressed –
a, Medical History
c, Functional Assessment
Hi everyone this is UFIT Singapore, we are a fitness business (personal training singapore and bootcamp singapore) with a difference! Why? Well for a start we operate in the gym and out of the gym (Botanic Gardens, Fort Canning). We do Bootcamp group sessions and we do personal training. Included in the PT is a sports rehabilitation and injury rehablitation service. There are 3 of us working in UFIT currently and there are plans afoot for an additional trainer to join us early in 2010.
This enables us to offer the variety of fitness services available at UFIT. Darren Blakeley (the writer of this blog) earnt a Masters Degree from the Uni of Liverpool (UK) in Exercise and Nutrition Science. He specialises in sports fitness, Bootcamp design and nutrition. Dean Ahmad is a NASM-qualified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. His healing powers are amazing and he has amassed a magnificent list of testimonials! But not only does he heal (backs, knees, ankles, hips, shoulders) he also improves you, he makes you better! I get a lot of very positive feedback from Dean’s clients. A lot of the time they say things like, “I’ve never done stuff like this before yet I’m stronger, fitter than ever! Sessions are so different to what other Trainer’s do and no one session is ever the same!” Joining Dean and myself recently, Sherlin Foong brings a heap of Group X experience from the large gym chains around the island. She has developed a new class, BAAT (Butt, Abs, Arms, Thighs) and we run this Monday 9.30am Botanics. Additionally Sher runs our standard UFIT sessions Sunday 8am Botanics and Wednesday 6.15pm Botanics.
What sets us apart? For a start every new PT client is put through movement screens and postural analyses. Why? Well if a Trainer doesn’t do this, he or she knows NOTHING about your physical shape and well-being. For instance, if you exhibit poor posture and the reality is 80% of humans do, exercise will exacerbate the situation and ultimately you will suffer injury. I’ll let you onto a secret, we get passed rehab clients by a prominent physiotherapists large practise and a lot of the time they have been injured by Personal Trainers. Read Dean’s testimonials, one of his very best clients reckons he knows more about training than most local trainers, I think he’s probably right! He’s been seeing Dean for more than a year now!
So all Trainers do the movement screens and posture analysis? Nope. And some do but most are doing them to tick boxes, they don’t interpret what the results mean and certainly don’t use them in the design of the exercise program, the intended use!
I’m not saying all trainers in Singapore are lousy, this is not true but I ask you, did your trainer do movement screens and a posture analysis? And did he/she then explain the results and the impact on the exercise program you will be entering into? Seriously it’s like a doctor saying, “you know, we should do some x-rays but my gut instinct tells me you will be fine, just take these pills and cross your fingers….” Or, a car mechanic saying, “we could take a look at the engine oil using the dipstick but you know what, I’ve looked at the engine, it’s fine, just keep driving the car”. Is this professional advice or behaviour? You will trust a trainer to have you walk in the gym, fill out a form, measure your bodyfat and weight, put you on a treadmill for 10 minutes and say, “right, let’s get started!” I think not, I HOPE not!!
And on the subject of the treadmill for 10 minutes consituting a warm up, treadmills are bad, they will potentially ruin your kinetic chain which is the relationship between your limbs and joints from feet to back (you should know that ankles, hips and the thoracic spine are mobility joints whereas the knees, lumbar and cervical spines are stability joints). We see so many ankle and calf issues (shin splints particularly) that can be directly linked to treadmill (over)use it’s maddening! Only use a treadmill ocassionally and only if nothing else is available. And if your trainer says he has you on a functional training program and uses a treadmill, get rid of him/her asap, they don’t know the meaning of the term. I’m serious.
A proper warm up consists of many facets. You want results, you need to get your body in a state of maximal readiness for the work you will be doing. It takes more than 10 minutes on a treadmill. Ideally you will roll (self myofascial release), stretch, yes static (despite what some “experts” may say, a static stretch has an important role in the integrated warm up), mobilise joints, activate muscles, activate core, dynamic stretch. At UFIT our clients learn how to perform an intergrated warm up. They can come in early and complete the warm up or they can do it under the guidance of the Personal Trainer. But the important thing is once they have completed the warm up, the work they do following it, is absolutely the best quality and most beneficial work they can do. Every muscle and joint is at a heightened state of readiness and in full communication with the nervous system so that whatever is completed within the session, maximal muscle fibre recruitment and optimal neural activity occurs.
Some may say, “what, it’s just a gym session?” We say, “yes, and you’re paying good money for it and you expect results!” I know of people (and sometimes well-paid execs!) that have had the same trainer for years, probably paying a fee that reminds me of the saying, “pay peanuts….”, well, you get the idea and I see them and you know what, NOTHING has changed, NOTHING!
Pay a little bit more and get BIG returns – UFIT!!