Why the Country Needs Personal Trainers?

The following is an interesting, thought-provoking and detailed guest post article on although gym memberships have grown in the UK so have UK Waistlines and thus why the country needs personal trainers. The guest article was kindly written by Scott Beaman who works with Robert Hicks, the head content writer for Insure4Sport (http://www.insure4sport.co.uk/), who provide specialist insurance for Personal Trainers. Robert also writes for national newspapers, numerous lifestyle magazines and several sport publications.

Enjoy the read,


As it stands, the UK is on the verge of an obesity epidemic. At the beginning of 2014, the Health and Social Care Information Centre published its annual report on ‘Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet’ and it doesn’t read well.

According to the report:

- The proportion of adults with normal Body Mass Index (BMI) decreased between 1993 and 2013 from 41 per cent to 32 per cent among men and from 49.5 per cent to 40.6 per cent among women.
- There was marked increase in the proportion of adults that were obese between 1993 and 2012 from 13.2 per cent to 24.4 per cent among men and from 16.4 per cent to 25.1 per cent among women.
- The proportion of adults that were overweight, including obese, increased between 1993 and 2012 from 57.6 per cent to 66.6 per cent among men and from 48.6 per cent to 57.2 among men.

However, despite the UK’s waistline growing significantly larger, gym memberships are actually increasing: something doesn’t quite add up.

There are many theories to explain this conundrum: are people signing up to the gym but lack the motivation to go or could it be the case that people simply don’t know what to do at the gym in order to get the results they want? They are interesting ideas, but what if we look at the issue from another angle? Could it be a case of people knowing too much?

Too much of a good thing?
Lets break it down. We live in a world where social media has never been greater and information is freely and instantly available. This is undoubtedly a good thing for the majority; people have access to research papers and nutritional information and are able to leave their comments and opinions below. But the issue lies with the information that is being presented. Is it valid? And if it isn’t, who’s stopping these people from taking it literally. Even if the research is reliable, who’s controlling those who are misinterpreting it?

Take protein shakes for an example. These are an important part of the recovery process after significant, strenuous activity. In order to rebuild muscles, adapt and therefore become stronger, the body needs an adequate amount of protein to start the rebuilding of muscle tissue. People will read this information - which is available on many websites and social media platforms such and Twitter and Facebook - and then head off to their local sports shop and buy a tub of protein powder to feast on when they get home, thinking they are building their body’s and helping it repair.

However, a lot of these people don’t know enough about the subject and fail to understand when and why such recovery drinks are needed and this is where the problem lies. In a lot of cases, some gym goers are only exercising for 45 minutes or so. Do they know that for any low intensity exercise under 90 minutes, the need for such a high protein intake, which also contains a significant amount of carbohydrates, isn’t needed?

The same can be applied to energy drinks. It’s amazing how many people will eat a carbohydrate rich meal, or drink a bottle of Lucozade prior to an hour’s workout. They may think they are doing the right thing – fuelling the body - but do they know that the body has enough stored glycogen levels to last for any moderate exercise up to 90 minutes? In effect, these people are consuming too many calories and not burning them off. They are putting on weight!

Research changes
Sport Science is developing and growing all the time. It was only a year ago when the world was told about the effects dehydration has on performance and health. It was claimed that just a two per cent drop in fluid loss could impact performance by up to 10-20 per cent. These worrying statistics created an obsession among amateur athletes to stay optimally hydrated and resulted in a surge in electrolyte, hydration drinks being bought.

However, now in 2014, the International Olympic Committee have stated that it’s far more important to minimise dehydration rather than maximise hydration as too much water consumption could lead to hypernatremia, which dilutes our sodium levels even further leading to nausea, dizziness, weight gain and even sickness.
Yet people continue to drink too much water – through a lack of knowledge in the subject, or maybe haven’t read up on the latest research - parting with their hard earned money and putting their health at risk.

Why the country needs personal trainers
Type ‘How to lose weight’ into Google and you will be inundated with training techniques that claim they can help people shed the pounds, and slim down in a matter of weeks. Each website conflicts with the next, and some charge such outrageously large sums of money to gain access to their training programmes it’s scary. Not only is it confusing the public, it’s conning them too. Sports nutrition and fitness is huge business and invaluable if utilised correctly, but there are too many people who claim to be an expert, trying to make a fast quid on an ill educated society.

It is because of these reasons why the figures don’t add up. People need guidance and help on the basics of health and fitness and how to apply simple yet effective nutrition. The country is in need of you, personal trainers.

Your role
Personal trainers were once thought of as over exuberant, under qualified motor mouths, intent on making life in the gym a misery for all. But times have changed. Nowadays, personal trainers are skilled individuals who work with their clients and help them achieve their goals in a safe and effective manner. They are able to devise specialised training plans and structured sessions based on individual fitness and ability, conduct fitness tests and advise on nutrition.

As a personal trainer, you are there every step of the way to ensure gym time is being maximised and offer words of encouragement when needed, or that kick should enthusiasm levels start to fizzle out. You are in a position of trust, offering impartial advice to help the nation become fitter and healthier. You can make the figures add up.

Become a Personal Trainer
At a period where the interest surrounding health and fitness has never been greater, there’s never been a better time to be a personal trainer.

Whether you want to be a resident Personal Trainer in a gym, or a freelancer working at clients’ homes or outdoor on location, there are a number of courses run throughout the UK in order to help you achieve your personal trainer qualifications.
Courses tend to take two to six weeks to complete, although many will take longer depending on how much further you want to develop your skills.
Further qualifications specific to this career include:

- Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training
- Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training

As a personal trainer you are in charge of people’s health and need to know what to do and how to act should an injury or serious emergency arise. This means you must also have a first aid award – which includes a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation certificate – and also hold public liability insurance.

Working in gyms will mean you are working with heavy machinery. If you happen to be working out in the open or at a client’s house, using your own equipment, accidents could possibly arise. It’s therefore very important that your equipment is covered too. Some insurance companies offer equipment cover as well as public liability insurance, loss of earnings and personal accident cover, so you can get cover that’s tailored to your individual needs.

If you want to help the nation get fit and explore the possibility of an active and flexible career, then why not look into starting a Personal Trainer course.

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" Every week he is a joy to workout with & continues to challenge me. He always knows when I can push a little harder, climb a little further, run a little longer but his real talent is to make you believe you can do it!"