HEALTH & FITNESS - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ's)
June's Questions & Answers
Q. What should I study with ACS if I want to become a Personal Trainer or Life Coach?
ACS can certainly help you toward your goal of becoming a personal trainer, however, you should first be aware of a few facts about this industry:
- Various fitness industry jobs including fitness leader, personal trainer and life coach are not always clearly defined.
You are likely to find what you think the job is about; and what others (different clients, employers, colleges and industry bodies) think, is sometimes not the same.
- The fitness industry has been changing rapidly over the last ten years:
- In the last 5 years we have seen 3 very different National Fitness accreditation/registration schemes
- There is an accreditation system currently through Fitness Australia, but we pulled out of the accreditation (we were in it previously) when this came into effect, simply because it was out of step with our international accreditation and what we saw as long term trends
In the light of these and other considerations; you should understand that there is nothing more certain than change; and in today's world, this is happening faster than ever.
As such, no matter what you study, or where you study, there are no guarantees that formal national or international recognition might not be different at the end of a course, to what they are when you start a course.
In the light of all this, you then need to consider, what should I study, and where should I study?
I would suggest you look at three things in making such decisions:
- What is being taught?
- Who are the teachers?
- What is the reputation of the school (both formal and informal recognition)?
- What is being taught?
A longer course or more in depth course will always put you in a better position than something short and easy. (on a global basis, any certificate that is under a couple of hundred hours will not be considered as serious professional training). Very short courses may sometimes give you the rubber stamp you require to do something; BUT, in the long term, they can create legal problems. Consider, if a client sues you, and you did a 2 day fitness leader qualification, how are you going to prove that you are highly qualified when cross examined by an aggressive solicitor?
- Who arte the teachers?
Some courses employ people with university qualifications and years of experience (we do). Some courses are taught by people with only certificates and sometimes very little experience, or out of date experience (many government recognized courses in Australia unfortunately do this today)
- The school's Reputation?
- Schools that have existed for decades should be more reliable than new ones (they must be doing something right to still be around -and they can teach from experience)
- Some type of formal recognition or endorsement of training will indicate a degree of credibility . no school has it all though! We have courses accredited with Australian Counselling Association and with International Accreditation & Recognition Council. We're also liaising with a newly established Life Coaching Association and expect some accreditation or recognition with them in due course.
- Membership of professional bodies by the school or its staff will also indicate something (We have various credentials in that respect).
Where from here:
The best option I could suggest is to do both our Elite Fitness Certificate plus our new Life Coaching Course.
These would provide an excellent basis to move into the sort of thing you are asking about.
You should always be prepared for ongoing training though. Beyond this you may continue doing short courses periodically with us or elsewhere; or you may choose to go on to a diploma or degree.
If you are providing guidance to others, you need to be prepared to work at staying ahead of the crowd yourself; and that may mean never stopping study.. Maybe only the odd seminar or short course, or read of a book .but you do need to be prepared to keep improving your own situation and staying up to date.
If you wish to discuss the options further, we have staff who would be only too happy to advise you.
Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous Months Questions & Answers
Q. I have just purchased your Resistance and Gym Supervision video, it is really educational however I need to know a few things about some of the exercises and their technique. Why and how important is it to keep the knees bent when performing a bench press? Also why should you not lock your elbows and knees when finishing an exercise? Shouldn't you use the entire range of motion?
A. I am pleased the video is a good resource for you. Firstly, the main reason for keeping your knees bent on a bench for the bench press is to keep the back flat and eliminate any arching while completing the movement. Excesive back arch can cause injury and this can occur when the legs are straight and hanging off the end of the bench. For a beginner weight trainer their feet should be bent up on the bench or crossed up in the air to keep the back flat. For a more advanced weight trainer they may like to keep their feet flat on the ground for extra support. Secondly, yes we need to complete the full range of motion during our selected exercises however locking or extending the limbs with a severe action can cause stress on the joint. It is important to keep the action soft at the top of the movement minimising all stress on the joints.
Q. My friend keeps telling me not to do full sit ups when working on my abdominals, this really burns my stomach muscles however she insists on me only going half way up.
A. This is a very common question and easily exaplained. With the knees bent up towards the bottom and the hands secured behind the head, flexing the trunk and coming up only half way or until your shoulder blades are just off the ground isolates your main abdominal muscles. When you continue to go further than this you are actually bringing into action your hip flexor muscles. Having really strong hip flexor muscles compared to abdominal muscles may in time cause back problems becuase the abdominals are weak and cannot maintain good posture with the hip flexor region being extremely strong. Therefore your friend is giving you correct advice about only coming up half way to only work the abdominal muscles.
Q. I do aerobics every day at least 5 days a week. I lost a little weight in the beginning but now I am not losing any. Do I have to work harder or just attend more classes?
A. Your body allowed you to lose weight initially when you first began participating in aerobics. It seems to have now platued. Aerobics is not always the answer to losing body fat. You need to change your exercise regime and shock your body again like in the beginning. Implementing a weight training program into your weekly workouts would be a great way to lose more weight, tone up and get stronger. The more muscle you build the faster your metabolism will become. You will not need to participate in as many aerobic classes because you will have increased your metabolic rate.
Weight training does not mean you are going to look big and bulky, it takes months and years of dedicated training to increase your muscle mass significantly but completing a weights program three times a week with 2-3 aerobics classes for increasing your endurance and reducing body fat levels will overall give you better results. Just remember that muscle does weigh more than fat so do not use scales as a guide to how much weight you are losing, instead use the mirror and your clothes to indicate how your body is changing.
Anything more than 3 - 5 aerobics classes a week is really not benefiting you, if anything it is increasing the risk of injuries by not allowing your body to recover. For more information on training and recovery try our Resistance and Gym Supervision Module. It takes approximately 40 hours to study and provides you with great information on pre/post fitness testing, the best methods of training and how to design programs to achieve your goals.
Q. I have just started weight training and I am really enjoying the increased muscle mass I am putting on. What type of diet do I need to have to maximise my potential?
A. It is great to see you achieving results from your hard work. To increase your muscle mass you need to check that you are receiving an adequate amount of protein. It is suggessted that you consume at least 1-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For example, if you weigh 75 kgs then at least 75 and up to 150 grams of protein should be eaten every day. 100 grams of lean chicken breast would give you approximately 27 grams of protein. Make sure however that don't eliminate the other food groups essential for a healthy diet. It is important that your diet remains balanced getting all the required nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
If you want to learn more about understanding foods and balanced diets try the Nutrition courses that we offer. We have three Human Nutrition courses with a Proficiency Award in Nutrition available to study.
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