Check out the article I wrote for MachineMuscle.com
What you should look for in a Personal Trainer
By: Kyle Hunt
Owner Hunt Fitness
With the influx of people jumping on the fitness bandwagon this time of year, many are looking at hiring the services of a personal trainer. I know personally at Hunt Fitness I have been extremely busy the first week of the New Year. With all of the personal trainers there are in the world it leads me to ask the question…how should you pick a personal trainer? As I began brainstorming what I personally would look for in a personal trainer, a few main points came to mind. I was able to come up with a “Personal Trainer Checklist” to go through before you hire a personal trainer. I hope this helps…
Check list to be Hunt Fitness approved!
*There are partial points awarded for some check points.
Check Point #1- Certification (1 point)
The first thing that gives personal trainers credibility would be their certification. It is too easy to acquire a certification for a supposed trainer not to have one. However, because it’s so easy you have to be mindful of how qualified it actually makes the person. There are certifications online that only cost $50 and involve passing a 50 question quiz. On the other hand there are certifications that cost well over $500 and involve quizzes, tests, practical exams and more. My main point here is make sure your trainer is certified but do not let that be the only thing you look for! This check is a pass/fail, you either get the point or you don’t.
Check Point #2- Education/Schooling (2 points)
Second on the list is education. About a year ago I would have told you that having a degree in an exercise related field is pointless. I would have said something along the lines of “it’s a glorified training certification” and I still would say that to an extent. The point is having a degree in an exercise related field widens your horizon on all aspects of fitness. Basically every class you take in the field will be the equivalent of having a certification in that aspect of fitness as long as you approach it as an opportunity to learn. Someone who has a bachelor’s degree also shows me commitment and the ability to learn at a higher level. Again it may not be the most important thing to look for, but it should definitely be noted. This check point it worth 2 possible points. (Partial points can be given to those who have an associate’s degree or a certain number of college credits)
Check Point # 3- Practical Knowledge (3 points)
Practical knowledge is right in the middle of the check list for a reason. It somewhat involves all the other aspects of the checklist but definitely deserves its own category. Practical knowledge involves knowing all aspects of fitness including training, nutrition, and supplementation as well as knowing how to implement them to benefit your clients. To gain practical knowledge it takes a constant drive to learn as much information as possible. However, there seems to be a line between people who have knowledge and those that have practical knowledge. Its seems as though a lot of people just regurgitate information, meaning they hear it somewhere and then assume they are now experts. An example of this is evident in those who are up to date on all the recent research on nutrition but if you gave them a hypothetical scenario of a client and asked them to make adjustments they wouldn’t have a clue! Knowledge is power but you need to be able to implement it! Partial points are given to those who have a decent amount of quality information.
Check Point # 4 – Experience (4 points)
As the saying goes, nothing really beats experience! There is something to be said for trainers who have been around for a long time and who have a great track record for getting clients results. I would say 2011 was my greatest year of development as trainer. One of the main reasons for that is the fact that I had my greatest workload of actual clients. I learned so much just by watching people develop and trying things out. This is definitely something you should look at when selecting a trainer! Partial points can be awarded.
Check Point # 5 – Versatility (5 points)
This is the big one and the one I feel should carry the most weight. The fact is every individual is different. Not everyone will respond the same way to a certain protocol. As a trainer you need to be able to adapt your training program to fit the individual and their goals. I see too many trainers who are set in stone to their one style of training or nutrition plans and just slightly modify it for everyone. If your workout programs look the same for everyone, there is a problem. Also if the nutrition plans you give out are basically “cookie cutter” diets that you give to everyone, yeah you guessed it there is a problem. Another thing to consider is training out of context. If you are not a bodybuilder or a physique competitor training like that is not going to be your best style of training. I see so many athletes who train like bodybuilders and focus their entire training regiment on a hypertrophy program. If you want to gain strength, power, explosiveness and functional mobility, bodybuilding training is not the most optimal means to your ends. Be mindful of the type of programs the trainer has their clients on. Of course partial points can be awarded.
To be a Hunt Fitness approved trainer you must receive at least 10 points on the checklist. This is just something to be aware of when you are looking to hire a trainer. I hope this acknowledges who the good trainers are and lets the poor trainers know they have some work to do!
Owner Hunt Fitness
Quick Home Ab Workouts
Here is the situation and I don’t mean Mike Sorrentino! You
are at the gym finishing up your workout consisting of cardio and resistance
training and after 60 minutes you are ready to go home. Sounds like a good day
at the gym however today was the day you told yourself you were actually going
to do abs! You tried in the past doing them at the end of your routine but you
never have enough energy. Someone told you to try them before your workout but
you did research (lol maybe) and found out doing abs before a resistance
workout limits your ability on a number of different lifts because your core is
directly involved with almost every key movement. So what are you to do, never
do abs again? No, a better option would be to figure out a workout that you can
do at home either on your off days from the gym or at another time entirely
that will fit your schedule.
I designed a couple different ab routines that you can
follow depending on your fitness level and access to equipment. Without getting
into detail on ab training because you can find my other detailed ab articles here
The main points to remember when training your abs are to work upper abs, lower
abs, obliques and stabilization. These workouts do just that!
*All workouts are in a progression fashion, meaning they involve
basically the same exercises but they just get harder as you move from one
level to the next.
Workout #1- Bare bones
no equipment necessary
– Crunches (feet up) 10-15 reps
– Lying Leg raises 8-10 reps
– Side crunches 15 reps per side
– Pushup position plank hold for 20-30 seconds
*Repeat circuit 2 times
Workout #2- Minimal Equipment necessary
– Exercise ball crunches 10-15 reps
– Leg lifts hold for 20 seconds
– Twisting crunches with medicine ball 10-12 reps per side
– Ab roller 10-12 reps
*Repeat circuit 2 times
Workout #1- Bare bones no equipment
– Crunches (feet up) 25-30 reps
– Lying leg raises 12-15 reps
– Bicycle crunches 20 reps each side (total of 40)
– Plank hold for 30-45 seconds
*Repeat circuit 3 times
Workout #2- Minimal Equipment necessary
– Weighted crunches 15-20 reps
– Exercise ball knee tucks 12-15 reps
– Twisting crunches with medicine ball 15-20 reps per side
– Ab roller 15-20 reps
*Repeat circuit 3 times
Workout # 1- Bare bones no equipment necessary
– Double crunches 25-30 reps
– Lying leg raises 15-20 reps
– Side plank hold for 45 seconds
– Bicycle crunches 25 reps each side
– Feet elevated plank hold 60-90 seconds
*Repeat circuit 3-4 times
Workout # 2- Minimal Equipment necessary
– Weighted double crunch 15-20 reps
– Exercise ball knee tucks 15-20 reps
– Side plank hold for 45 seconds
– Ab roller 20-25 reps
– Feet elevated plank hold for 60-90 seconds
*Repeat circuit 3-4 times
It’s that time of year again, school is finally here! As schools across the country begin
to start up, students who wish to eat healthy are faced with the challenge of
finding clean food to eat. Questions such as…. what meal plan to get? What
foods to keep in the dorm? And how to get all of your daily meals in are
probably running through your head. This article is going to outline how to
manage your healthy eating while going to school and living on campus.
Before you sign up for any meal plan first find out what your school offers. There are
probably a few different choices on campus so make sure you look at what each
place serves. This is exactly what I did. Luckily I found a few different
options on campus where I could get some food that would be suitable to my diet.
I went with the highest meal plan which offers 14 meals per week. In my opinion
the more meals you will be able to get from one of the campus dining halls the
Since it’s very likely you will only be getting at the most two meals a day from one of
the dining halls, you are going to have to come up with another 3-5 more
meals/snacks on your own. To do this you will need to get your hands on a mini
fridge and a microwave. With those two devices you should be set.
Protein Source Options
– Whey protein powder
– Canned chicken
– Canned tuna
– Egg whites
– Protein Bars (last resort)
Carbohydrate Source Options
– Brown and Basmati rice (the bags are very convenient)
– Sweet and Russet Potatoes (can be made in the microwave)
– Ezekiel Bread
Fat Source Options
– Natural Peanut Butter
– Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews
– Olive Oil
– Macadamia Nut Oil
Putting It All Together
Once you have the food you need all you have to do is put it together to meet your
needs. For this to work you are going to have to be creative and relay heavily
on the microwave. Here is how I manage my day cooking all of the food and planning
7:15 am- Wake up and make coffee.
7:20- Grab a can of chicken and drain it out. I also rinse
it with water to try and remove some of the sodium although I’m not really concerned
with my sodium intake but that’s another lecture for another time lol.
Note: The can of chicken says 13oz. When it is drained it yields
about 8oz worth of meat. (yes I measured)
7:25- Measure out my egg whites and oatmeal and cook them in
7:25 – I measure out about 3oz of chicken to have with my
egg whites and oatmeal for breakfast. The other 5oz I put in a Tupperware container
with brown or basmati rice to have for meal 2. I put that in the fridge.
Approximately 7:30- Eat Breakfast
*I take out the container of chicken and rice and take it
10:30- Eat meal 2 of rice and chicken I made up earlier.
12:00-12:15- Go to the gym
1:30- Have a whey protein shake post workout with usually 2
bananas or an oats/banana combo. This was also prepared in the morning and
brought with me.
4:30- Go to one of the dining halls. The one I like to go to
grills up chicken breast, salmon and sometimes steak for you. I go and get
grilled chicken breast, a grilled portabella mushroom and a large green salad
with a bunch of veggies every time. My carb choice changes but it usually is a
potato, rice or whole wheat pasta.
7:30- Normally I go get food again from one of the dining
halls. I will get salmon or steak if it is offered the second time I go.
Everything else remains about the same.
10:30- I finish the day off with another protein drink with
oats and natural peanut butter mixed in.
*I carry around a gallon water jug too. I do this mostly to
look cool and earn the nickname “water jug”…. #hydration
This past week I have answered numerous emails and questions about how to eat while
living in a dorm. I hope this article gives you guys a better understanding on
how it can be done effectively.
I also have great news for all students! Since I am a student I know how money can be
tight. Therefore I am giving all students 25% off all nutrition and training
If you want me to hook you up with a custom nutrition plan with all
the right macronutrients to help you reach your goals and also coach you on the
plan and make adjustments as necessary to keep you progressing, send me an
email at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can get you started!
Join the HUNT!!!
Have a great School Year!
“One Dream, One Reality”
One Year Later…..Where have the blog articles been???
As many of you know Hunt Fitness started right here on the Blog and eventually transitioned into what it is today. The first time the name came about was when I created a Word press account under the name “Hunt Fitness”, that was a little over 14 months ago. Here we are on the last day of July and I realized we are coming up on another milestone. August 28th will mark 1 year since the official Hunt Fitness website went live. I am proud to say the website as a whole has grown quite a bit over the last year. There is still a long way to go and hopefully it never becomes stagnate and always keeps improving. That’s something I think we all should think about for a moment. In life and especially in health and fitness, it’s not where you start but where you finish. Let that be a constant reminder to work harder everyday in every aspect of your life, it is rewarding to look back at how far you have come.
It has been a long time since I have written a blog article. There are two plausible explanations for this: For one, I just plain forget about it. It’s true with all that I have going on in conjunction with the website the blog sometime gets overshadowed. That is a shame because I really enjoy writing and keeping up to date articles available. Secondly, my time gets divided differently now than when I first started Hunt Fitness. In the beginning most of my time was spent writing articles and posting on the facebook page and trying to get the name out there. Don’t get me wrong, I still spend a great deal of energy and focus on marketing but now my time is better spent focusing on my clients. I love it! Team Hunt Fitness is growing every day.
I woke up on this Sunday with a focus. I want to get back to writing more articles. I want to build the Hunt Fitness Blog into a place where people can go to get quality information that will help them reach their goals. And in the end that’s what it is all about, helping people reach their goals! I am going to be incorporating scientifically backed information (no B.S) along with my opinions and views on a number of topics. You can go anywhere to get information but you can only come here to get my personal perspective. (For the most part anyway, I can be found on other pages throughout the web). So look forward to more articles on training, nutrition, supplementation, and more.
This quick blog post was just to let everyone know the blog is still here and can be found right on the website (www.hunt-fitness.com) at the top under “Blog”.
In conclusion I just want to thank everyone who has supported Hunt Fitness over that last year! I greatly appreciate it. I want us all to come together and strive for more success in years to come.
As always I can be contacted at email@example.com
Periodization can be defined as a training program that is divided into separate time frames referred to as “macrocycles”, “mesocycles”, and “microcycles”. The training cycles change after a designated amount of time thus creating a new stimulus to the body. This style of training is becoming increasingly popular in the general public however athletes have been training this way for years.
Periodization offers many different benefits to the trainee that standard training programs do not. Everyone can benefit from using a periodized plan. For one, using a periodized plan allows for the body to develop in a progressive manor without reaching a plateau as easily. The changing cycles crete a different stimulous that act like steping stones to progress. Secondly, periodization allows for the trainee to peak for a special event or a specific time. This is important because it is impossible to maintain optimum physical shape all year long. This fact is why periodization is so benefitial to the athlete that need to be at their best for a specific event as a powerlifter or strongman would. Lastly, using a periodized plan keeps the workouts fresh and interesting. Since the routine keeps changing it prevents the client from becoming bored.
Periodization can be used in any number of different ways. One way to use periodization is to use the law of overcompensation and overload. To make progress, ones training must progressively increase over time. This method of periodization can be done a number of different ways by changing up either the amount of sets, reps, exercises or intensity of the training. Another way to use periodization is through the GAS principle. A high level athlete must train at a very high intensity which requires ample time for recovery. The GAS principle rotates periods of high intensity with periods of lower intensity. Another way to use periodization is to train for a specific event. A powerlifter will use a periodized plan when getting ready for a competition. They might start out doing 4-6 reps during training and by the end they will be completing only 1 or 2 per lift. Periodization techniques are important for a trainer to understand and implement with their clients. It not only keeps the trainee making progress but it keeps them interested in the training as well.
Until next time I’m O-U-T!
Be sure to join the Hunt Fitness Forum!
The Magic Formula: Is there really a secret to fitness success?
The question in the title can be taken in many different directions. I know there are people reading this right now that are looking for me to explain a short cut or an easy way for them to achieve success. Sorry, that’s not what I mean. Other people are more realistic and think there is no magic formula and it takes years of hard work to actually achieve substantial fitness goals. Unfortunately the second group is also wrong, however hard work is very important. What I am about to explain is what I refer to as “The Magic Formula”. The Magic Formula contains three pillars of fitness. Once you have each one of the pillars mastered you hold the keys to achieving your goals.
The Magic Formula
Pillar 1- Nutrition
Pillar 2- Recovery
Pillar 3- Training
This is a fool proof plan. If you have all three pillars in “The Magic Formula” mastered I can personally guarantee success will be much easier. The hard part is mastering the formula and applying it properly. Remember everyone’s body does not react the same way, therefore there are a bunch of different nutrition, recovery and training techniques to get the job done, your job is to figure out what works best for you.
Muscle building tips Part 2: Recovery
In part two of muscle building tips I am going to cover the topic of recovery. This is something that is often overlooked by bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts alike. The problem is without proper recovery you end up doing more damage to your body then good. Use these following tips to get the most out of your workouts every time you train.
Over Training or Under Recovery?
The topic of over training has become a much more familiar word in the bodybuilding world as of late. Back in the seventies and eighties overtraining was unheard of. During that time it was common for bodybuilders to train twice a day for 2 or more hours each time, six days per week! That sounds crazy today but that was the norm during that time period. I myself prefer to call overtraining under recovery instead. I do not like the idea of putting a limit on how much or how hard someone can train. Now there are limits on how much you can do however, there are some factors to take into consideration. For one, everybody’s recovery abilities are different. What might be overtraining to one person is under stimulating to the next. You almost have to do some trial and error with yourself to figure out what amount of training is optimal. Remember more is not always better. Having a poorly designed training plan is probably the most common reason for someone under recovering from their workouts. If your program is not specifically designed for you and around your recovery abilities then there is a good chance you are not getting the most from your workouts. Like everything else nutrition plays a huge role in recovering from your workouts especially when someone is trying to lose fat. When your body is in a negative calorie state it becomes harder for your body to recover because it does not have the materials it needs. If your nutrition plan is well structured this will not be a problem. A good supplement program also comes into play here. One of my favorite supplement combos is BCAA’s combined with Glutamine. These four amino acids play a huge role in recovering from your workouts. Take this supplement combo during and after your workout to enhance recovery. Also having a good protein powder is essential, make sure to get in a protein supplement around your workouts. Another important factor to consider is sleep. Without enough sleep your body does not have a chance to recover from the day let alone intense workouts. Shoot for 7-9 hours per sleep each night. Lastly I want to talk about stress. Working out is a cause of stress so it is important to limit outside stress when training. The enemy here is the stress hormone cortisol which limits ones recovery ability. It is unavoidable to some extent but try to control any outside sources of stress as it will enhance your recovery abilities.
Use these recovery tips to make sure you are getting the most out of every workout!
Up next Part 3 of muscle building tips: Training