Top 10 Lessons I’ve learned as a London Personal Trainer

Top 10 Lessons I've learned as a London Personal Trainer.......

Having been a London Personal Trainer for quite a few years and I like to think I've picked up a thing or two in the varying environments I've been in, working previously for UP Fitness where I honed my skills in Body Transformations and also subsequently working as a free lance trainer first at Gymbox which is a commercial gym environment, and now currently in a Private gym where I rent the space to train my clients.

I strive to be the best personal trainer I can be so I am constantly assesing my own actions to make sure I am improving so to come up with a list of ten things I've learned during my time so far as a Personal Trainer........ I mean it's practically impossible,  this list could go on and on way past 10 things, but hopefully these gems will be a good start.

10 week body transformation london - Before and after - Duncan

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1. Asses before you guess, the more metrics you have to track the more able you are to improve these metrics. remember the old adage a measured thing is a managed thing. I track my clients bodyweight and use either Inbody scans, skin fold calliper readings or in some cases Dexa scans for body composition, I use a comprehensive pre exercise and lifestyle assessment form and also various movement screens to make sure I have as detailed a view of my clients before I have them do any exercise or make any changes to their diet.


2. Once you have assessed, make a change and observe the client for a response. When I make a change to a clients diet or activity I am expecting to see a corresponding response from them, if I get the response I want I know to continue with that path until things stall, if I don't I know that further changes are required to get on the right path. Human beings are not robots so you cannot expect them all to respond same way.


3. Set SMART goals for every stage of the journey, you may want to look like a cover model and that's great but you'll likely have to break this down into lots of smaller goals in order to get there. The little wins will all add up over time.


4. Don't beat yourself up when things don't go according to plan, Look folks life gets in the way sometimes, work commitments, unexpected events, kids...... sometimes we simply cannot get to the gym or avoid a meal that's less than optimal and let's not shy away from the fact that EVERYONE falls off the diet wagon once in a while. the key here is to not beat yourself up about it and simply get straight back on the horse. restricting yourself further to try and catch up or throwing unplanned additional activity at it is a recipe for disaster, just get back on the horse and back to moving forward.


5. NEAT cannot be underestimated, What is NEAT? Well simply put it's just your non exercise activity, the day to day stuff you do that isn't in the gym........ and guess what, it will have more of an effect on your fat loss goals than anything you could do in your one hour gym session. get into the habit of tracking your activity by tracking your steps and you'll have one more variable to manage to improve your results.


6. Your gym sessions shouldn't be about burning fat, You should be in there aiming to get stronger, build muscle or retain muscle when dieting and that's it, don't get me wrong cardio can be a tool for helping along fat loss but it shouldn't be the backbone of your gym program, get strong and maintain muscle, that way you'll look better naked and not just in clothes when you do lose that additional body fat.


7. Know when to back off, not everyone can get a transformation at the first attempt, sometimes you have to know when to back off to keep the client healthy, sometimes you'll need multiple back off periods in order to facilitate a truly impressive transformation. a good coach will stop you from getting to the point of looking like a prisoner of war a bad coach will take you there just to feed their ego.


8. The best time to start getting in shape was a year ago, the second best time is now! stop waiting for the perfect moment, stop waiting for Monday, or next week, or next month, stop waiting for life to get less stressful (guess what this never happens) put foot one down now, follow it with foot two and then keep repeating this process.


9. Taking time off occasionally will not hurt your gains, in fact it may very well improve your ability to make progress. planning time away from hard training should be on everyones agenda, take training holidays and diet breaks at strategic points to give your body a chance to recover.


10. Create an environment of accountability, tell your friends and family what you are doing and get them involved, hire a Personal Trainer who can demonstrate proof of their results, book a photo shoot. basically anything that you can do to add in further layers of accountability will help you stay on track when things get tough.



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