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
This is the most basic workout program that will deliver the most results!
The other day I was thinking about how much people look for value. This time of year is the most evident of that. Black Friday shopping is turning into more of an event than Thanksgiving itself! Keeping this in mind I thought about training value. I asked myself “what workout program would offer the best absolute value?” To come up with the answer I needed to define value in a training sense. To me, value came down to an equation.
Training Value = Results + Efficiency / Cost
To be a good “training value” the program first and foremost would have to deliver great results. When referring to results I am talking about total fitness, including strength, endurance, and cosmetic benefits. The workout must also be time efficient. Time efficiency includes how many days a week it needs to be done as well as how long the workout takes to be completed. Lastly the program must cost little to nothing so no gym membership required!
I know what you are probably thinking right now. The easy answer to this question is obviously running. It can deliver good results, is efficient and doesn’t cost anything. Well you have a point however, just going for a run does not hit all of the results requirements. In order to hit all of the results requirements the program has to be a combination of exercises matched together.
Note: This workout is bare bones! It would not be sufficient for athletes or anyone with a specific training purpose. However, it would be great for someone who wants to exercise and see great results in a limited amount of time. This is an intense workout; beginners should start with less reps/sets than the program calls for. It’s all about VALUE!!!
Here is what I came up with!
– Burpees (With a pushup at the bottom and jump at the top)
These are the 5 exercises / activities I came up with to create the best overall training value.
Here is the workout….
– The workout is to be preformed 2 days a week. Always with at least a day of rest in between.
– The workout should be timed. Try to beat your previous best workout time each attempt. It should not take longer than 45 minutes. A good goal would be a half hour.
Circuit # 1 (2 rotations)
– Burpees 15 reps
– Plank hold for 1 minute
- (2) 40 yard Sprints in between circuit
Circuit # 2 (2 rotations)
– Pushup 50
– Pull-up 20
*They don’t have to be in a row.
- (2) 40 yard Sprints in between circuit
Circuit # 3 (1 rotation)
– Burpees 10 reps
– Plank hold for 45 seconds
– Push up 25 reps
– Pull up 10 reps
- Half mile jog after all the circuits are complete.
Freelance Writing Opportunities
Here at Hunt Fitness my main priority is to help people reach their goals. Ideally I would be able to work with everyone one on one individually to provide the resources and motivation ensure everyone stays on track and meets those goals but that’s just not realistic. That’s one of the main reasons why I work so hard to continue to put out articles on the Hunt Fitness Blog. I want everyone to have another place to go to find useful information that can help people succeed! Unfortunately I am extremely busy and do not get a chance to write articles as frequently as I want! I go to school full time studding exercise science at SUNY Fredonia along with running Hunt Fitness and working with 8-12 clients at a time. This leads me to offer freelance writing opportunities for anyone who is interested. If you are knowledgeable in an aspect of fitness and would like to have articles published here on the Hunt Fitness Blog or the Hunt Fitness Blog 4 Females send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
with the article and if I like it I will publish it.
This also goes both ways. If you have a blog and would be interested in having myselfwrite articles for you contact me and we can see if we can work something out! I am busy but I love being able to give back to people in the fitness community because I feel it is important we stick together and grow the industry as a whole.
As always if you have any questions feel free to email them to me at email@example.com
One Dream One Reality
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”
6 Pack Ab Training V2.0
Like I mentioned in my last post, we are coming up on the 1 year anniversary of the Hunt-Fitness website. In honor of the 1 year anniversary I decided to create a remake of the first article that generated a lot of interest here on the blog. In May of last year “Secret to Six Pack Abs” was published and quickly became a hit. I was not surprised by this as abdominal training is one of the most popular topics in the fitness industry.
Although both “Secret to Six Pack Abs” and “Version 2.0” share many of the same characteristics, I have added a few features that will really amplify your RESULTS! In the Secret to Six Pack Abs blog I mentioned how important it is to train all four sections of the abdominals: upper, lower, obliques, and core. That fact has not changed however; this time around we are going to take it a step further. Not only are we going to train all 4 sections of the abdominals, but we are going to incorporate MORE stabilization techniques as well. When thinking about abdominal training two exercises normally come to mind, sit-ups and crunches. As many of my readers know (yes most of you are more educated on exercise than the general public) those are not the only two exercises to work your abs and not the two most effective either. The real keys to developing strong and muscular abs that create the coveted six pack that everyone wants is a combination of stabilization, added resistance and increased intensity.
Pure stabilization in reference to ab training is the ability to keep your back/spine aligned in a straight path. Basically the only real way to accomplish that is to perform a version of the plank. To make things more versatile and challenging we are going to incorporate both a regular plank and side plank along with progression techniques to up the intensity. There is also Dynamic Stabilization. This refers to the ability to stabilize the core while in motion. This opens up endless opportunities for exercises to be performed.
To go along with both pure and dynamic stabilization the ab workout is going to include direct ab work as well. The only difference here is going to be the use of added resistance along with intensity principles. Why is it that you see people do all kinds of intensity principles on muscle groups like chest and biceps but none on abs? The abdominals are like any other muscle and require a progressive resistance approach along with added intensity. Most people when it comes to ab training just increase volume to create a progressive overload. When just increasing volume to create a progression it becomes very easy to go through the motions and limit the intensity of the workout.
This ab workout is only to be done ONCE per week. I suggest training your core 2-3 times per week so for the other sessions do a workout similar to the one described in the “Six Pack Abs blog”.
6 Pack Abs Workout V2.0
– Each circuit is to be performed with no rest in between exercises.
Circuit #1 (pure stabilization) – 1 rotation through circuit
– Plank hold for 60-90 seconds
– Side plank hold for 45-60 seconds (each side)
– Feet elevated plank hold for 60-90 seconds
– Feet elevated side plank hold for 45-60 seconds (each side)
Circuit # 2 (dynamic stabilization) – 2 rotations through circuit
– Exercise ball knee tucks 15-25 reps
– Barbell roll outs 15-20 reps
– Elevated side plank bends 12-15 reps (each side)
– Exercise ball mountain climbers 25-50 reps (each side)
Circuit # 3 (Direct ab work) – 2 rotations through circuit
– Kettlebell double crunch 15-20 reps *continuation set with…
– Kettlebell crunches 10-15 reps *continuation set with…
– Crunches 5-10 reps
– Hanging leg raises 15-20 reps *drop set with…
– Hanging knee raises 10-15 reps
– Weighted rotation on ball 15-20 reps * set with…
– Rotation crunches on ball 10-15 reps (each side)
*Bonus exercise to preform at the end…
– Turkish get up ladder 5,4,3,2,1 (each side)
Note: Turkish get ups work the abs because the center of gravity is offset which causes your core to engage through the entire movement.
Try this Ab workout a shot and see if you see any noticeable changes in your physique.
As always I can be reached at Huntfitness@aol.com. If you have any questions regarding this workout or if you are interested in getting a custom workout or nutrition plan feel free to get a hold of me. I look forward to hearing from you!
“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!
I was asked a question the other day that made me realize this topic needed to be addressed. My cousin asked “why do I see so many people in the gym who go regularly but always look the same for years”? I came up with three reasons in about ten seconds and though I would share them with you.
Reason #1- Not working hard enough
Anyone who knows me knows that I believe in hard work. If you are going to spend the time going to the gym you owe yourself to put in a good effort. The fact is your body must be forced to make progress; it’s not going to happen all by itself. You need to create a training stimulus that your body is not used to. I feel like too many people get in a comfort zone when they are training and are afraid to get out of it. You should not be comfortable when training! Next time you go to the gym step out of your comfort zone and feel the difference.
Reason # 2 – Poor nutrition
These groups of people actually put in the hard work at the gym but still do not see the results they want. They go on and on telling me about all of the great things they are doing at the gym but when I ask them about their diet they immediately go quiet. Nutrition is just as if not more important than training. Every major improvement I have made to my physique has been due to nutrition changes. The problem is most people do not know what they need. If you want help with your nutrition plan just shoot me an email and we can go over what you should be doing.
Reason # 3 – Same old same old
This is probably the biggest reason why people to do not progress from year to year. Most people get in a workout routine and never change it. They do the same body part split, the same exercises for the same amount of sets and reps year after year. This goes back to progressive overload; you need to force the body to make changes. Once your body plateaus you need to change it up to start making improvements once again. Next time you go to the gym do something completely different from what you normally do, you will see a difference!
Bonus Tip: There is one thing all these people have in common and that is they do not have a personal trainer. There is a reason why people hire personal trainers and that is to get the most out of every single workout and get results!