How to Get Fit? Take Your Pick: Top 20 Fitness Trends 2014

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Every year newspapers, magazines and blogs forecast the fitness trends for the coming year. Almost all quote ACSM, American College of Sports Medicine, who conduct an international survey and publish a Fitness Trend Top 20.
On the basis of their survey ACSM determines, what is trending right now, and also what are real trends – what has come to stay – og and what are fads and on their way out. This year Zumba went out and HIIT made it straight to number one!

Fitness trends top 20 list and photo of kettlebells Photo Henrik Elstrup

Here is the ACSM list. I have added the rank of last year and below are my comments along with select ACSM comments.

TOP 20 Fitness Trends 2014

  1. High-Intensity Interval Training (new on the list)
  2. Body Weight Training (3.)
  3. Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals (1.)
  4. Strength Training (2.)
  5. Training and Weight Loss (5.)
  6. Personal training (7.)
  7. Fitness Programs for Older Adults (6.)
  8. Functional Fitness (8.)
  9. Group Personal Training (10.)
  10. Yoga (14.)
  11. Children and Exercise for the Treatment/Prevention of Obesity (4.)
  12. Worksite Health Promotion (11.)
  13. Core Training (9.)
  14. Outdoor Activities (13.)
  15. Circuit Training (18.)
  16. Outcome Measurements (17.)
  17. Wellness Coaching (20.)
  18. Sports-Specific Training (back on list, 17. in 2012)
  19. Worker Incentive Programs (15.)
  20. Boot Camp (16.)

1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Intensive training with short bursts of high-intensity work periods followed by a short period of rest, typically with a total training time of less than 30 minutes. Not a new trend, on the contrary, HIIT has been part of classic sports training for many years and lately also part of many CrossFit workouts. HIIT has been suggested as a trend earlier on, but has only just entered the Top 20 list this year. Until now, though, it has most certainly been part of many boot camp programs, which have been on the list for some years.

According to ACSM HIIT is very popular, despite warnings from some fitness professionals: ”“Very, very popular. However, high injury rates. We need more highly trained professionals working this area.”

2. Body Weight Training (3.)

Working out with body weight entered the list last year as number 3 and is now number 2. Has body weight training not been popular previously? Yes, almost since the dawn of time and it has been one of the most popular group exercise formats since fitness started in the 70′s with Jane Fonda’s Workout a.o. This indicates, that is not the training as such, but the way it is named and marketed, that puts it on the hit list.

3. Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals (1.)

This trend has occupied the number one spot for six years consecutively and for the first time it has been overtaken.
This does not mean, that it is not still a top priority. Rather the growing popularity of high-intensity training and (complex) body weight training means, that educated instructors are needed even more than before.

4. Strength Training (2.)

Strength training is no new phenomena. It has been popular since antiquity. What is new, is that today many do strength training for its own sake and not just as a means to an end, e.g. improving sports performance.

Strength training is also growing in popularity in all sectors, not just in the fitness sector, but also in the health sector and for all target groups including children, seniors and people with lifestyle diseases.

5. Training and Weight Loss (5.)

Training for weight loss has become more and more popular since these surveys started, maybe as a result of the growing need for this kind of workouts and as a result of still more research showing, that the combination of exercise and diet is essential for weight maintenance and can improve compliance with diet and weight loss programs.

6. Personal training (7.)

Personal training, one-on-one training with various fitness modalities, especially strength training, is ever increasing in popularity. Partly because of exercisers wanting better results faster, and partly because more and more personal trainers are being certified.
Also more marketing means, that more people are becoming aware of this option.

7. Fitness Programs for Older Adults (6.)

Training for older adults has been on the Top 20 list since its appearance in 2006. Only natural as the number of people over 60 has tripled for the past 50 years. And this number is estimated to triple in the next decades, so by 2050 close to 2 billion people will be over 60 (www.un.org)!

This trend is supported by a multitude of research on seniors and exercise with overwhelming evidence, that exercise for seniors is not only beneficial, but essential for function, health and wellness late in life. ACSM recommends, that fitness centers offers more programs for seniors, e.g. during the daytime.

8. Functional Fitness (8.)

Functional Fitness, which has been on the list since 2007, is defined by ACSM as ‘using strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance to improve someone’s ability to perform activities of daily living’.
It is mentioned, that functional fitness programs replicate actual activities you might do as a function of daily living, hence they are recommend for older adults.

Note, that the term functional fitness is often used to describe other types of fitness programs and modalities with a specific function or purpose related to either every day living or sports.

9. Group Personal Training (10.)

Personal training for small groups, on the list since 2007, continues to be a popular trend. The training is for 2-3 exercisers at the same time (up to 5) and is not only reasonably ‘personal’ and goal-oriented, but also economically sensible for both the trainer and clients.

10. Yoga (14.)

Yoga entered the Top 20 list in 2008, fell out in 2009, but made back and has been on the list since 2010. However, yoga has been popular for thousands of years and will continue to be so, whether on the Top 20 list or not. Not strange, since there are many types of yoga for different target groups and from easy to advanced level. Also there is a huge number of yoga teachers, books and films making yoga accessible to everyone. 

11. Children and Exercise for the Treatment/Prevention of Obesity (4.)

Children and obesity, as this trend was named, when it entered the list in 2007, has dropped a few spots, but is still increasingly important, as obesity among children and juniors is a major problem internationally. There is a continued need for both national and local initiatives and specific fitness exercise targeted at stopping and reversing this.

12. Worksite Health Promotion (13.)

An obvious place to implement fitness and health initiatives is on the worksite and luckily this is a trend, that continues to grow, both within companies and corporations or in collaboration with independent commercial or community-based programs.

13. Core Training (9.)

Core training are exercises, which focus on strength and stability for the core muscles, inner and outer unit muscles from the pelvic floor to the diaphragm: “Strength and conditioning of the stabilizing muscles of the abdomen, thorax, and back. It typically includes exercises of the hips, lower back, and abdomen, all of which provide support for the spine and thorax” (ACSM).

Core training is no new trend. This kind of training has been used by gymnasts for ages. What is new, is that it is a fairly new trend within fitness and in fitness settings you often use equipment such as exercise balls, BOSU balls, wobble boards, foam rollers, etc.

Even though core training has lost ground and has dropped from a steady top 5 position from 2007-2010, it is still popular. In the future maybe more so as an integral part of other programs such as Functional Fitness.

14. Outdoor Activities (13.)

Outdoor activities not only include running, walking and cycling, but according to the ACSM survey also hiking, canoeing, kayaking, games, sports – and even overnight camping trips.
Even if the weather in certain countries makes this a ‘seasonal’ activity, outdoor training in many forms is becoming increasingly popular, partly because more countries, states, and cities are starting to offer designated fitness facilities, e.g. outdoor training pavilions.
Fresh air and better overall health is a superior bonus of this fitness trend.

15. Circuit training) (18.)

Circuit training appeared on the list for the first time in 2013 and has increased in popularity since then. According to ACSM survey circuit training is “a group of 6 to 10 exercises that are completed one after another and in a predetermined sequence. Each exercise is performed for a specified number of repetitions or for a set period before having a quick rest and moving on to the next exercise”.

Circuit training, though, has been fairly popular since the 60′s and the classic definition is a series of 9-12 consecutive exercises with no rest-pause or only a short rest-pause between exercises.
As part of the increasing popularity of short duration high-intensity workouts, circuit training has been marketed and implemented vigorously and is now super popular, e.g. in HICT termed ‘the 7-minute workout (partly wrong) by many fitness blogs and magazines’.

16. Outcome Measurements (17.)

ACSM defines this, outcome measurements, as “a trend that addresses accountability, the efforts to define and track outcomes to prove a selected program actually works. (…).
New technology has aided in data collection to support these efforts”.
Tracking outcomes not only has to do with compliance, but can also include fitness testing, the physical results (leading to succesful change of negative lifestyle habits).
Outcome measurements was on the list previously, fell out, but returned last year.

17. Wellness Coaching (20.)

Wellness coaching, which came on the list in 2010, is similar to coaching, but integrates behavioural science into health promotion, disease prevention and rehabilitation programs.
According to ACSM “Wellness Coaching often uses a one-on-one approach, similar to a personal trainer, with the coach providing support, guidance, and encouragement. The wellness coach focuses on the client’s values, needs, vision, and goals”.
This is really what a competent personal trainer does, but perhaps with an increased focus on total lifestyle; diet, sleep and activities of daily living.

18. Sports-Specific Training (back on the list)

Sports-specific training was on the list from 2010, fell out in 2013, but is now back again. According to ACSM this trend includes sports-specific training for sports like baseball and tennis and is designed especially for young athletes.
With this definition it is no wonder, that the trend is not higher on the list. If the definition included sports-specific training for all age groups and all sports, e.g. skiing, golf, soccer, basketball, etc. and even running and cycling, which are sports, too, sports-specific training probably would be higher on the list and permanently, too.

19. Worker Incentive Programs (15.)

This trend came on the list in 2011 and has been on it since then. This trend is about incentive programs “to stimulate positive healthy behavior change as part of employer-based health promotion programming and health care benefits”.
“Worker Incentive Programs are associated with the trend to provide worksite health promotion programs in an attempt to reduce health care costs”
 (ACSM).
As worksite health promotions affect a huge number of the population, they are essential to public health.

20. Boot Camp (16.)

Boot camp training appeared on the list in 2010, after having been just outside the Top 20 for the previous two years. ACSM defines Boot Camp, as a ‘high-intensity structured activity patterned after military-style training. Boot Camp includes cardiovascular, strength, endurance, and flexibility drills and usually involves both indoor and outdoor exercises typically led by an enthusiastic instructor. Boot Camps also can combine sports-type drills and calisthenics’.

The name Boot Camp is also used to market various 8-10 week fitness programs in which the workouts often match the above description, they can, however, also come in other formats of lower intensity.

The Top 20 Fitness Trends Survey
The Top 20 list covers the results of a Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends based on a list of 38 possible trends. 25 from the previous year as well as 13 new trends proposed by the staff of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. Survey participants must give a score of 1 to 10 and are invited to comment.

The survey was sent to 28.924 fitness professionals, 3.815 responded, a return rate of 13 %, which is an excellent return rate.

On this years list, Top 20 2014, Zumba is out, and Pilates, Spinning, Balance training and stability (exercise) ball training are out for the second time, which by ACSM standards indicate, that they are just fads. ACSM recognize though, that these activities still exist in the fitness industry.

It is not strange, that certain activities disappear from the list. This is bound to happen, not necessarily because they become unpopular, but to make room for new fitness modalities, either trends or fads.

As seen previously, also in ACSM surveys, certain fitness activities fall out and then enter again or enter again under a new name or as part of another trend.

This is the ACSM Top 20. Is something missing from the list? Some would say CrossFit a.o., however, this and some other popular fitness modalities are related to some of the above mentioned trends for instance HIIT, High-Intensity Interval Training, strength training or functional fitness and hence are covered for now.

The Top 20 list gives an exciting overview of the fitness trends of 2014. At the same time, take a peek at Google’s list of the most popular workout search terms, keywords:

Google Top 10 Most-Googled Workouts 2013

  1. Insanity Workout (US concept, intense cardio/strength workout)
  2. CrossFit Workout (international concept with high-intensity workouts)
  3. Ab Workouts (abdominal exercise in all forms is always a hit)
  4. Bicep Workouts (workouts for the arms are a male thing)
  5. 7-Minute Workout (a media name for circuit workouts with a 7 minute base)
  6. Kettlebell Workout (maybe this will be on the list soon)
  7. Shoulder Workouts (ever popular, ever overworked …)
  8. Back Workouts (back and lower back area; numerous exercises)
  9. Plank Exercises (planks, a core exercise stable, are still popular)
  10. TRX Workout (suspension training, e.g. TRX’s, is increasing in popularity)

You can read more about the different fitness modalities in books, at fitness sites and blogs, including this one. Furthermore there are millions of exercise videos and a growing number of apps for most of the above workouts.

Happy workout!

References

ACSM: Now Trending: Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends 2014 

ACSM: Worldwide survey reveals fitness trends for 2013.

High-Intensity Training, CrossFit Top Google’s List of Most Searched Exercises

Top 5 Expert Anti-aging Tips: Look Younger and Healthier Now

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Who does not want to stay in shape, have nicer skin, hair, nails and radiate health and power … and have a longer, healthier, happier life … without spending a fortune.
Fortunately the very best anti-aging means are the least costly! Try them today, they work: Feel the effect here and now and onwards.

Anti-aging via clean air and daylight

Fresh air and daylight does wonders for you.

Sound Sleep
Research has shown, that good sleep aids weight loss and weight maintenance, improves health, energy level and performance.
You live longer with more energy and look younger, when you get 7-8 hours of good sleep every night.

Sleep problems? Do: Exercise (no later than three hours before bedtime), drink calming herbal tea, avoid food, coffee, tea, alcohol and violent stressing films or tv-programs just before bedtime.
The bedroom should be dark, quiet and cool.

Super Strength training
Strength training is the most effective method for preventing muscle cell aging! Strengthen you muscles with resistance training 2-3 times 20-30 min. per week.
Strength training gives you physical and mental power and improves performance; one study showed, that 80-year olds after a period with strength training had the same functional age as 60-year olds!
You will look younger and get more out of your life with a stronger body.

No time or desire for training? Your body needs it, so you have to do something. You can do a super short program of 5-10 minutes to get started with the healthy habit as soon as possible; it is easier than you think. Here is an easy home workout.
Supplement with cardiovascular training, e.g. jog, run, cycle, as part of your warm-up.

Delicious Diet
There is no way around it; Health, fitness, life quality and a youthful look is fed by healthy eating. However, this does not have to be less tasty or boring!
Eat whole grain produce, vegetables and healthy fat and oils (in fish, olive oil, organic eggs etc.) and keep skin, hair and nails strong and youthful.
Vary your meals, try different foods, so you experience new and exciting tastes.

Do at times – in moderation – enjoy less healthy foods, but then do enjoy it.
Focus, be present, eat slowly, chew 30-50 times and be conscious of the taste.
Mindful eating can help you lose weight or maintain weight and improve quality of life.

Does healthy eating seem difficult? It is easier than you think, if you start gradually. Take one step at a time; e.g. start by eating whole grain variations of your favourite foods, they taste better and are more filling.

Fresh Air and Daylight
Come outside. There is more energy in the fresh air outdoors (unless you live in e.g. LA or Beijing) and the sun provides light and life.
Get out as often as you can, preferably at least ½ hour a day, but be careful of too much sun, protect your skin.
Breathe deeply through your nose; all of your body needs oxygen, your brain and muscles liven up, you become healthier and more energetic, when you breathe deeply, slowly and regularly … clean air.

No time or possibility of getting out? Take time. If you only have a few minutes, open the door or window and stick your head or body out. Take 10 deep inhalations, feel your lungs with air. Do it as often as you can.
During weekends, take time off to go to the countryside to get more fresh clean air. Try it, it makes your feel better and younger.

Soothing Sauna
Sauna is very effective for stress reduction, recovery, reducing general soreness in muscles and joints, skin rejuvenation and strengthening your immune system.

A true sauna experience is hot-cold therapy with 10-20 minutes of high temperature followed by 1-3 minutes of (is)cold bathing repeated e.g. 3-5 times. This stimulates blood flow, enhances health and well-being and boosts body and mind.

No time or money for spa-activities? Your body loves it, so take the time and give it a try. You will be surprised at just how relaxing and stimulating it is.
And it does not have to be costly. Many pool and leisure activity facilities offer sauna facilities at low or no cost.


Apart from the above physical tricks, remember the three Long Happy Life social and emotional strategies: Social activity (family and friends), laughter and love (safe sex)!

Lost Your Fitness Motivation? It Is Right Here!

Fitness workout motivation

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Today I was reminded by a new blog friend, that some (many?) think of the fitness center as ‘a modern centre for physical torture’!

It is true, that occasionally (for some most of the time) it can be hard to find fitness motivation, when you would rather do something/anything else.

Then it is time to remind yourself, that you do fitness, because
1) your body loves to move in all sorts of ways, 2) it is an easy uncomplicated method of getting into shape, 3) your mind, body and spirit benefit from it, 4) you are together with other exercisers and meet new people/friends/boy- or girlfriends and 5) when fitness becomes a habit and you know the ropes, fitness center workouts are exciting and diverse; the fitness centre becomes a motivating ‘playground for adults’.

Here is a list of some of the advantages for days, when you consider ‘should-I-workout-or-not-at-the-fitness-center-today-as-really-I-feel-I-am-too-busy (reads: not all that motivated)’:

F a n t a s t i c   F e e l – g o o d   F i t n e s s   

Fitter and Firmer

  • You tone your muscles.
  • You strengthen your muscles and improve your posture.
  • You improve your metabolism; it is easier to maintain your weight.
  • You reduce your fat mass and your waistline.
  • You increase energy consumption during and after workouts.
  • You improve mobility.
  • You improve agility and function for the everyday and sports.
  • You become and look more energetic.

Healthier and happier

  • You improve general fitness and wellness.
  • You slow down age-related muscle fiber loss and maintain strength.
  • You prevent or reduce neck- and backproblems.
  • You prevent or reduce osteoarthritis and other joint problems.
  • You strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis.
  • You slow down aging of the brain and prevent dementia.
  • You may lower your blood pressure.
  • You reduce the risk of diabetes.

Inspiration for your fitness training workouts:
10 Super Tips: Get Much More Out Of Your Fitness Training

No Time For Exercise? Microtraining Workout!

SpringtræningJumping is healthy (after basic training)
(Photo: Ski Fitness. Model: Kim Holmes)

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

“No time for exercise” is a   r e a l l y   p o o r   excuse. It is like this, “those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness” (Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby, 1826-93). And:
Lack of physical activity will result in a poorer performance physically and mentally.

More often than not; if your (exercise) activity is interesting enough, you will find time!
Also it is possible for untrained as well as trained individuals to obtain a notable training effect even with very short workouts, as long as the program has the right design; a suitable level according to your health and fitness.

If one day you believe, you have no time for exercising, then exercise for 5-10 minutes, it is far better than 0 minutes! You can maintain your current fitness level and your body loves every minute of your workout.

In the military they use 5-15 minute micro workouts on busy days with no time for regular ‘full-sized’ workouts. Even ‘everyday-warriors’ can  ‘microtrain’ and get ‘macro-results’ with cardio and strength training combined in ‘mini’ CrossFit look-alike programs (high-intensity basic training).

Microtraining can be performed in your everyday clothes (though not optimal) and everywhere, indoors and outdoors, and whenever, as it is primarily bodyweight training.
Of course you can also use nature, furniture or equipment for program variation. And you can perform either one, two or three rounds, series, of the exercises.

For maximum results the microtraining should be relatively intense, so often this means sprinting, leaping or jumping, which also functions as agility training.

Note: The higher intensity, the greater the effect, however, at the same time the risk of injury increases; train with concentration og muscular control. Start at a suitable level.

Below are some examples of microtraining workouts for intermediate to advanced exercisers (warm up, and start with a lesser range of motion). The examples show basic training and each micro workout may be changed with other exercises:

1 round (Tabata requires a 5 min. warm-up):
Tabata-routine; 20 sec. sprint, 10 sec. (active) rest-pause, repeat 8 times
12 back extensions
12 ab curls

1 round:
16 jump lunges (feet staggered, jump and change legs, repeat other leg)
16 push-ups
10 reaction drill (from prone (plank>les forward) to supine (sit-up)

2 rounds:
10 tuck jump (jump, pull the knees up)
16 back extensions
16 ab curls

2 rounds:
16 lunges (forward an/or out)
16 squat
10 pull-ups

3 rounds:
10 squat jump
10 dive bombers (circular push-ups forward and backward)
10 pull-ups

3 rounds:
10 Burpees (from prone or plank position, jump forward and up, return)
16 Lunges
12 Push-ups, narrow

Enjoy your workout!

10 Super Tips: Get Much More Out Of Your Fitness Training

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Fitness strength training is super training for every one regardless of sex and age. Unfortunately many fitness exercisers are wasting their time.
And it takes so little to make fitness so much better.

Good fitness 1) improves metabolism and increases energy expenditure during exercise and rest, 2) prevents injuries and 3) improves sports and everyday performance.

Poor fitness 1) gives minimal to moderate results, 2) may overload the body and 3) take up too much of your precious time.
Avoid wasting your time, check out these super tips for optimal fitness in minimal time.

Få meget mere ud af din fitness træning

1. Work out with direction and goal: ‘Less is more‘: It is better to work out for 20 min. in a sweat, than 60 min. with low energy levels. Go for out!

A higher intensity means saving time and getting better results:
Warm op: Do a 5 min. warm-up, and increase your performance by 10 %.
Choose effective exercises
: Do not waste your time with meaningless exercises.
Lift heavier weights: Lift ‘as heavy as you can’, meaning, that you are tired at the last lift. (1-3 sets of) 10 repetitions is a good number initially.

2. Minimize rest-pauses: Do not pause completely or rest for too long:
Optimize your workouts markedly by 1) timing your pauses; for general fitness 1-1½ minutes, for heavy weight lifting 3-5 minutes, and 2) having active rest-pauses, walk around instead of sitting down – or work other muscles during your pause (superset).

3. Quality vs. quantity. Do not lift more times or more weight than you are able to with correct technique. Better to do fewer (lighter) perfect repetitions.
Sloppy training is ‘memorized’ by the body, is stressful and very difficult to ‘undo’.
Quality training gives better results faster!

4. Train technically correct (in accordance with your goals): Only a few inches of deviation, means that the exercises work differently. Know what you are training, ensure that your body is in the right position and listen to your body – does it feel right?
Too many are pulling cables and weights in wrong directions and the effect is lost!

Note: Better workouts and results are facilitated by functional mobility, so do cool down with relevant stretches to keep the body mobile; this can improve your motor skills. 

5. Train heavy and fast. Speed improves agility. Start by lifting in a moderate tempo; 2-4 sec. for the lift, 2-4 sec. to lower the weight.
Over time: Lift faster, lower with control, e.g. 1 second for the lift, 3 sec. to lower it.
Advanced; Lift, in select exercises, as fast as you can, explosively, lower with control.

6. Awaken your muscles! The muscles get accustomed to the training, so make them react again by unaccustomed training. Vary exercises, programs and methods.
E.g. multi-angular training: Squats with narrow, moderate and wide stance and push-ups with narrow, moderate and wide hand position.

7. Change program frequently, e.g. every 3.-6. week, to keep motivation and stimulate the muscles to respond and improve.
Alternate moderate and heavy training: 6 weeks with 3-4 sets x 8-12 repetitions (hypertrophy), and 3 weeks with 5 sets x 5-8 repetitions (strength, requires basic training).
Exception: If you still progress and are happy with your present program.

8. Test yourself every month. Fitness Testing is easy and fun. It helps goal-setting, makes programming easier and training much more motivating.

9. Set goals, put them in your calendar or training log. Divide the goal into smaller goals for each period, e.g. one for every 1-2 months.
Goal-setting should be SMART, Specific and Measurable, accepted, Realistic and Timed – be concrete, eg. from 30 to 40 lbs in 1 month.

10. Train with a partner. This improves intensity and compliance. A partner can help, pace and ‘spot’: check if you are lifting with proper form and assist, when you want to lift more (if you do not have a partner, use a trainingbook or -app for motivation).

Apart from the fitness training itself, a healthy diet and lifestyle is essential for optimal results – and it does not have to be difficult. Make gradual improves using a ‘small increment technique’.

If you want more and better exercises, lots of inspiration and motivation for your fitness resistance training, check out these two bestsellers, available from www.amazon.com:

Resistance Training Exercises and Stability Ball Exercises.

   Resistance Training Exercises Fitness BooksStability Ball Exercises Fitness books

10 Top Tips: Get The Most Out Of Your Training

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Don’t waste your time! Check these 10 expert tips, based on motivation theory and advanced sports science, and get the most out of your training time.

Få Mest Muligt Ud af Din MotionFå Mest Muligt ud af Træningen      Få Mere Ud af Din Træning og motivation

1. Find your internal motivation, find out what’s fun and meaningful in training: 1) It feels good working up a sweat and feeling the muscles work, 2) you get to know your body, 3) you get more energy, perform better and can do things, you couldn’t do before.
Alternatively for external motivation: Put up a photo on your fridge of training or an athlete, that inspires you or give yourself a reward for reaching one of your training goals.

2. Enjoy your favourite form of training: Try different things; dance, martial arts, fitness, group exercise, individual exercise, ball games, racket sport, water sport. What motivates you the most, gives you the greatest chance of starting, committing and adhering to it.

3. Do cross training, mix different training modalities and activities; mix cardio, strength, coordination and balance, flexibility, indoor and outdoor, in the water or on the ground, with or without equipment, with or without music. The body and mind loves variety. It improves your motor skills and provides all-round fitness.

4. Do strength training, e.g. 3 times a week, 20-30 min. pr. time: It improves your metabolism, increases energy expenditure during workouts and recovery. It reduces the risk of injury and improves everyday and sports performance. And it’s easy!

5. Surprise your body. Your body reacts especially well to unfamiliar training, so dig out forgotten exercises and activities, e.g. hula-hooping or football. Or vary your advanced strength exercises with basic, heavy training.

6. Change your program regularly, every 4-6 weeks, to keep the motivation and stimulate the muscles to respond even better.
The exception: If you still progress and is happy with your program.

7. Organize your training in your calendar or a training log. Set time aside for training, get into a good rhythm. This is the basis for lasting result-oriented training habits and gives an overview of your training pattern; indicates if you undertrain or (rare) overtrain.

8. Set goals, a dream goal is fine, but split it up into realistic smaller goals: Taking small steps ‘Small Increment’ technique is brilliant and doable. See to, that your goal setting is SMART, Specific, Measurable – e.g. from 0-1 mile in 5 weeks – Accepted, Realistic and Timed. And in particular: Test yourself to see how you progress, fitness testing is a very motivating activity.

9. Train with a partner. Training with one or more people, e.g. group exercise, has proved to increase exercise adherence and a partner can support you and help you to increased (heavier weight, higher speed) performance.
If you prefer to work out on your own, then let your heart rate monitor, training log, training app or your workout music be ‘your partner’.

10. Make your diet and lifestyle enhance your training. Drink approx. 2 liters of water every day throughout the day. Eat in moderation and eat healthy, whole-grain, vegetables and healthy proteins and oils (e.g. oily fish).
Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. You get more out of your training and faster.
Also: See to that your training clothes and shoes have a comfortable fit, let you move with easy and are sweat-transporting (and lay it out ready for use).
This makes a difference and enhance your training experience.

Personal Training? What Is It (Worth)?

One-on-one training

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Fitness centres and trainers across the country offers ‘personal training’, but what exactly is it? In many fitness centres it looks just like ordinary fitness training with the usual fitness instructor … but costs more? So is it worth it?

Yes, mostly it is. Depending on the fitness centre, the exerciser and the trainer.
Check out here, what the personal trainer does, what personal training is, and if it is worth the extra money.

What is personal training?
Personal training started as ‘one-on-one training’, one trainer and one exerciser, and this is still the typical scenario. However, it can also be training for pairs and small groups or teams with 3-5 persons.

A personal trainer can be booked for 1, 5 or 10 sessions or longer lasting programs and he/she can a.o. 1) create a long-term training plan, often based on fitness testing, 2) create an advanced fitness program and/or 3) motivate with pep-talk and support (spotting) during workouts.

Personal training is training, which is customized and targets the goals of the exerciser (client); it is based on the health, fitness and needs profile of the exerciser.
This is not possible in traditional fitness training, because of limited time, or in group exercise, because of (too) many exercisers at one time.

Often personal training is thought of as being the same as resistance (strength) training with machines, cables, fitness equipment or bodyweight – and maybe cardio training.
However, personal training can be any kind of training; cardio, coordination, strength, flexibility, or mind-body activities as well as indoor group cycling, spinning: so this includes activities, which traditionally are practiced in group exercise or at your own.

Optimal personal training is specific to the needs, goals and lifestyle of the client and includes warm-up, specific goal-oriented training of the desired areas – cardio, strength, coordination (motor skills) or flexibility – as well as cool-down and mobility training (stretching) as needed.

Where do you do personal training?
Personal training is offered in many fitness centres, which is a ‘natural setting’, however, you can have personal training in many places, e.g. the home or outside, ‘outdoor fitness’. As the workouts can be bodyweight based, you do not require machines or fitness equipment. Although weight training equipment, in the gym or at home, is great for variety and advanced strength training.

What is the cost of personal training?
The price depends on the trainer, the extent of the program and, training and the number of sessions. The price ranges from 20-200 USD, average around 50-75 USD, however, it can be higher, if testing or lifestyle coaching is included, and it can be lower, if it is a long-lasting program with many sessions (more sessions paid in advance).
Compared to the price of a visit to the hairdresser, the price for a full-body ‘trimming’ must be said to be very reasonable.

Is personal training worth the money?
Is personal training worth the extra money, if you have already had a fitness introduction and feel confident with your fitness training? Yes, generally it is.

1) Most fitness centres only offers basic introductions, when you first start.
Note: If a  fitness centre offers ongoing instruction and you only need general exercise, you probably do not need personal training (initially).

2) A proficient personal trainer has comprehensive knowledge about anatomy, physiology and training and provides testing, precise analysis and program design, which helps clients to train better and get the desired results faster; e.g. weightloss, body-building, toning, improved health and performance.

The exception to the rule is, if the personal trainer is not very good. And unfortunately, these are around. Anybody can call themself personal trainer, so you need to watch out and ask for qualifications and references.

Who can benefit from personal training?
Almost everyone can benefit from having their training technique checked occasionally, so you do not develop faulty or sloppy movements. Also the personal trainer may boost your program and workouts with novel methods and exercises, which may lead to improved workout performance and better results.

Which personal trainer should you choose?
You should choose your personal trainer according to your special needs. And ask about qualifications, references  and results.
It is important that the personal trainer and client discuss their individual expectations and agree on the terms for the session(s). Have a good talk and find out how well you get along.

The client should be clear about the goals and communicate these.
The personal trainer should find out about the goals and level of commitment of the client and also the willingness to comply with the program and appointments.

Where do you find a personal trainer?
You can ask at your local fitness centre or check the internet for trainers in your area. Also ask friends or family, if they know of proficient personal trainers, who have helped their clients reach their goals.