These 4 secrets should not be a secret to a qualified personal trainer, and should be used as part of any weight loss or fitness program.
Weight Loss Secret Number one.
1. You have to know where you are, before you can work out how you’re going to get to where you want to be!
I know there are a lot of you out there right now saying to yourself “I know where I am, I’m unfit or, I’m overweight or, I’m just NOT happy with the way I look, why do I need to know any more than That? I just want to find ways to fix it!”
I hear you, as I have heard hundreds of clients before you, but as we will cover later in this blog post, just the psychological effects alone, of seeing in real terms later in your training, where you were, compared to where you have come to, can sometimes be the difference between getting to your goals or giving up just before the finish line!
Apart from the time, energy, frustration and money you will save by not guessing what you need to do, but by having someone accurately prescribing the right activities for you, is reason enough not to skip this step!
A thorough assessment should be done at the start of any exercise program to determine the basic markers necessary to structure an individual weight loss or other training program.
So what are some of the basic markers that a trainer needs to know to allow them to do this properly?
Let’s start with the physical ones!
Some of you may have heard of them, had them done and not realized why, or this may all be just a foreign language to you.
Some fitness centres and good personal trainers cover most of these in a general assessment, or in a more in depth assessment and consultation type program.
This is usually taken because it can really effect your programme and the large number of clients over the years who didn’t know they had high blood pressure and were at dangerous levels is quite scary.
Your Height, and your weight.
These give a basic starting point to see what size you are.
Although necessary to take occasionally, I don’t like focusing on the weight measurement for a lot of reasons, which I will cover in another post.
The short version is, people tend to become fixed on that 1 measurement (those damn scales), and almost completely discount the value of so many of the other important readings and indicators! Doing that can be really counterproductive!
Next is accurately taken girth measurements using a simple tape measure.
These measurements are usually taken around your arms, chest, waist, hips, thighs, and sometimes lower leg as well.
Just these basic measurements allow a trainer to see changes over the whole body, in areas that store obvious body fat or muscle tissue, of which tend to react differently to exercise in different shaped people, and especially from male to female.
You can read about some of those differences in my post “Must know fitness secrets if you want to succeed”.
Using the girth measurements
After taking girth measurements, we can work out things like your body mass index (BMI) and your waist to hip ratio (WHR) even your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
BMR is used for working out energy needs when doing a nutritional analysis.
More about BMR is covered in my other post as mentioned earlier, I touch on its importance a little further on in this post as well.
Body mass index and waist to hip ratio.
Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist to Hip Ration (WHR) both give us a more clinical idea of your body type and health status, as these measurements are used worldwide as medical guidelines.
BMI indicates where you are in the healthy or unhealthy weight ranges (from underweight to that word no one likes to hear OBESE), it is based on a weight to height ratio and determines your risk of heart disease etc.
WHR is a guide to the levels of visceral fat (the fat that you store on your internal organs),
again indicating your risk of heart disease.
Remember, these 2 readings are based on health levels, not how you think you look or feel. It is important to have an understanding of where they fit into the picture.
Physical Abilities and limitations
The other markers a trainer needs to know are in your general physical abilities or limitations.
Obviously if there are injuries etc these tests may vary but that’s why we like to get a whole lot of information and not just 1 or 2 of the standard readings you might have done yourself after reading Woman’s day or Cleo magazine in one of there “test yourself articles.”
Its important to have an idea of what these physicals test are as these are all terms I’m sure most of you are familiar with, your core stability, agility, strength, fitness and flexibility.
These areas properly measured can help a trainer to tailor programs that will challenge you without the risk of over training or injuring you, whilst still allowing you to get the maximum results in the shortest time frame.
Being able to map out a safe and effective workout is better done with the above measurements and markers.
This will give you measurable changes that may not be physically noticeable at the time but can really help you stay on track with your goals!
Conclusion to Part 1
Before starting any exercise or weight loss program, its important to know where you are, so you will be able to get to where you want to be safely and efficiently.
If what I have just written about is not something you have already had done, and you are trying to lose weight or make other improvements to your health and well being, then I suggest you book in to get a thorough assessment from a qualified personal trainer, or other health professional.
Although with weight loss there are 4 secrets to getting results, secret number one is to get a thorough assessment so you have a better chance of success, secret number 1 will also be a great place for you to start, if up till now everything you have tried is frustrating you due to a lack of obvious results.