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Author Archive

The Best Fitness I Phone Apps

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Hi All,

As more and more of us move to using smart phones, and especially I Phones. Many of my personal training clients across Manchester have asked, knowing I am a big I Phone fan for my top fitness I Phone apps.

I Map my Run – This is a great little tool to map the runs/jogs that you do.

Sprint GPS – This is a more comprehensive activity log, you can track run/jogs and bike rides. The app allows you to map the route you have taken, it will work out some vital stats such as distance covered, average speed, and calories burnt. One of the best things about this app is that you can control your music from within it.

I Fitness – This app is more of those of you who work out in a gym. This app allows you to deign and track your resistance based workouts. It has a library of exercises that is always being updated, this can really help to keep your workouts fresh.

The above fitness I Phone apps are great tools to help motivate you and make the all important recording keeping easier.

If you have any further suggestions of apps that you think other readers of the blog might fid useful, please do post them as a comment.

TOM

The state of our parks!

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Hi All,

A bit of a rant warning!

During my many years working as a personal trainer in Manchester, I have worked out in many of the citys parks and outdoor spaces (also a load in Stockport an Cheshire).

Many of the parks I have conducted personal training sessions in have been at a very high standard, but unfortunately a few have been very poor. Covered with broken glass, litter and dog dirt.  Unfirtunately I have found some siringes and various forms of bio hazard over this period of time too.

I think that we forget how important outdoor space is to the community it is a place to socialise, relax and exercise. As the spaces we live in are getting smaller and more cramped, the impitance of these green spaces will become more and more important to us.  These spaces can offer a range of great benefits not just to persona trining clients but to a wide range of people.  These include relaxation, a place to socialise, to reflect, and to exercise.

As a community I feel it is vital that we take a bit more ownership of these areas and most importantly use them.  If we ensure that these places get great use, we take pride in our space and keep them clean, tidy and great places to be.  I am sure that we will see the overall standads sky rocket.

Please do not get me wrong I have found many parks and open spaces that are great places to be, especially in Manchester, many of the local parks are getting Grren Flags indicating ther quality.  I have decided to publish a top ten list of the very best parks and outdoor spaces to train in across Greater Manchester.  Look out for that comming in the next few weeks.

In terms of improving the communities levels of health and Wellbeing these spaces play a vital role.  I have seen a steady increase in the number of people who are using the parks for health based activities.  They have for a long time been used for football, but we now see grandmothers out walking, mums and dads on a jog, kids playing in play areas, even the odd personal trainer or two!

Sorry if you find this rant a bit off topic but I just feel that we should all look after the open spaces that we have and protect them form misuse!

TOM

Interview with Matt Brennan (MB Fitness)

Monday, October 4th, 2010
TG: Hi Matt, thanks for being interviewed.  Could you start off by telling us a little about your background in the wellbeing industry?

MB: Hi Tom, it all started in 2002, I had picked up so many injuries from football, two which lead to unnecessary operations, so I wanted to learn more about my body, and how I could rehab these injuries without surgery. Whilst doing my reserach, I came across Premier training, and decided to re-train and enroll on the Premier diploma course. From there I set up MB Fitness, where I went to people’s houses for PT and massage. After two years I set up my first personal training studio. In 2007, I accepted the a role at  Ipswich Town FC as their first team masseur,  In 2008, I set up Grange Fitness on the outskirts of Ipswich, then just this month, I moved MB Fitness into a new functional training gym.
TG: Can you tell us a little about your gym and how it is different to the mainstream chain gyms?
MB: Well, as a trainer there is nothing more boring then standing next to a client on the treadmill pressing buttons, so I wanted to give the people of Ipswich something different, and after a lot of different training courses, hours brainstorming, and a few trips to some of the best gyms in the country (the one that was closest to my ideas was the underground training station in the north west) I came up with a gym that offers so much. Yes we have treadmills, bikes, rowers etc, people expect this, we also run regular fitness classes, but where our  uniqueness in Suffolk comes into play, is the metabolic resistance training classes, where we swing on monkey bars, flip tyres, pull sledges and basically functionally train! this type of training burns calories at a great rate, plus also increases strength and power at a much faster rate too, all this whilst having fun!

TG: What are your top 5 weight loss tips?
MB:              1. Set realistic and achievable goals.
2. Train regularly, intensely, and keep it varied.
3. Try to eat as many natural foods as possible – stay away from processed foods!
4. Have someone you can talk to about your fat loss problems, like a mentor or trainer
5. Stay away from the scales otherwise you will become obsessed      with what the scales show
TG: What part does nutrition have to play in weight loss?

MB: From my previous clients results, it plays a massive part of weight loss. Unless you combine training and good nutrition you will not maximise your weight loss chances. So many of my clients think they are eating healthily, however a food diary normally puts that claim to shame, once they put a little effort into planning and preparing their meals, the weight loss speeds up!
TG: How important is effective communication between personal trainer and client and how do you build this?

MB: I think it is a fundamental part of a good business for the trainer and for the client in achieving their goals. The way I build this is by being honest and upfront from the start. By setting realistic goals, and if a client isn’t doing their part, telling them, I think the client appreciates this and instantly increases their trust in me. If a member of my gym doesn’t come in for a while, I send a polite email reminding them of their goals and in most cases this is the kick up the backside my members are waiting for!

TG: How do you go about setting effective goals with your clients?

MB: I assess my clients every two months. We then set goals and agree how many sessions it will take to reach them. Two months later, If my client reaches their goals I reward them with extra PT sessions. If they do as I say but dont reach their goals for some reason, I still reward them with PT sessions for the effort the put in.

TG: How do you monitor their progress towards these goals?

MB: We have regular updates to check that the client is happy with the exercises and type of training they are following. If they are unhappy for any reason (exercise too hard, not enjoyable) we address this straight away and try a different approach to reaching the goals.

TG: What do you feel are the most important traits of a good personal trainer?

MB: Knowledge is essential, an understanding of your clients lives and how different people are is an advantage but as mentioned above, a good communicator is a must.
TG: Tell us a bit about what the future holds for you?
MB: Well, my immediate future lies with keeping my current members happy whilst trying to build up MB Fitness into the best training zone in the county! This year I would like to expand my knowledge so I can continue changing my clients lives! Going forward, I may look at taking the “MB Fitness empire” further afield, however after this last venture which took a lot of time and energy, a little more family time is needed.
TG: Thanks for your time Matt, and we wish you all the best for the future!

Western A Price Foundation in Manchester

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Hi All,

I have some great news for you all, I have recently been approved by the Western A Price Foundation to establish a Chapter in the Manchester area. I would like to say a big thanks to Kathy and Sally Fellon at the WAPF for all thier support!

We have started putting togather a list of resources and a web page that will appear on the site in the next couple of weeks.

I will also be doing a series of blog posts that will give you some background on the WAPF, it’s history and work.

If you would like to become involved in the WAPF or find out more about it please do just get in contact.

Tom

Interview with Matt Brennan (MB Fitness)

Monday, August 30th, 2010
TG: Hi Matt, thanks for being interviewed.  Could you start off by telling us a little about your background in the wellbeing industry?

MB: Hi Tom, it all started in 2002, I had picked up so many injuries from football, two which lead to unnecessary operations, so I wanted to learn more about my body, and how I could rehab these injuries without surgery. Whilst doing my reserach, I came across Premier training, and decided to re-train and enroll on the Premier diploma course. From there I set up MB Fitness, where I went to people’s houses for PT and massage. After two years I set up my first personal training studio. In 2007, I accepted the a role at  Ipswich Town FC as their first team masseur,  In 2008, I set up Grange Fitness on the outskirts of Ipswich, then just this month, I moved MB Fitness into a new functional training gym.
TG: Can you tell us a little about your gym and how it is different to the mainstream chain gyms?
MB: Well, as a trainer there is nothing more boring then standing next to a client on the treadmill pressing buttons, so I wanted to give the people of Ipswich something different, and after a lot of different training courses, hours brainstorming, and a few trips to some of the best gyms in the country (the one that was closest to my ideas was the underground training station in the north west) I came up with a gym that offers so much. Yes we have treadmills, bikes, rowers etc, people expect this, we also run regular fitness classes, but where our  uniqueness in Suffolk comes into play, is the metabolic resistance training classes, where we swing on monkey bars, flip tyres, pull sledges and basically functionally train! this type of training burns calories at a great rate, plus also increases strength and power at a much faster rate too, all this whilst having fun!
TG: What are your top 5 weight loss tips?
MB:              1. Set realistic and achievable goals.
2. Train regularly, intensely, and keep it varied.
3. Try to eat as many natural foods as possible – stay away from processed foods!
4. Have someone you can talk to about your fat loss problems, like a mentor or trainer
5. Stay away from the scales otherwise you will become obsessed      with what the scales show
TG: What part does nutrition have to play in weight loss?

MB: From my previous clients results, it plays a massive part of weight loss. Unless you combine training and good nutrition you will not maximise your weight loss chances. So many of my clients think they are eating healthily, however a food diary normally puts that claim to shame, once they put a little effort into planning and preparing their meals, the weight loss speeds up!
TG: How important is effective communication between personal trainer and client and how do you build this?

MB: I think it is a fundamental part of a good business for the trainer and for the client in achieving their goals. The way I build this is by being honest and upfront from the start. By setting realistic goals, and if a client isn’t doing their part, telling them, I think the client appreciates this and instantly increases their trust in me. If a member of my gym doesn’t come in for a while, I send a polite email reminding them of their goals and in most cases this is the kick up the backside my members are waiting for!
TG: How do you go about setting effective goals with your clients?

MB: I assess my clients every two months. We then set goals and agree how many sessions it will take to reach them. Two months later, If my client reaches their goals I reward them with extra PT sessions. If they do as I say but dont reach their goals for some reason, I still reward them with PT sessions for the effort the put in.
TG: How do you monitor their progress towards these goals?

MB: We have regular updates to check that the client is happy with the exercises and type of training they are following. If they are unhappy for any reason (exercise too hard, not enjoyable) we address this straight away and try a different approach to reaching the goals.
TG: What do you feel are the most important traits of a good personal trainer?

MB: Knowledge is essential, an understanding of your clients lives and how different people are is an advantage but as mentioned above, a good communicator is a must.
TG: Tell us a bit about what the future holds for you?
MB: Well, my immediate future lies with keeping my current members happy whilst trying to build up MB Fitness into the best training zone in the county! This year I would like to expand my knowledge so I can continue changing my clients lives! Going forward, I may look at taking the “MB Fitness empire” further afield, however after this last venture which took a lot of time and energy, a little more family time is needed.
TG: Thanks for your time Matt, and we wish you all the best for the future!

Interview with Wendy Cole (Function First)

Monday, August 16th, 2010

TG: Hi Wendy, thanks for being interviewed.  Could you start off by telling us a little about your background in the wellbeing industry?

WC: Thanks for inviting me, it is a pleasure to be able to discuss our ever evolving business I am  a late arrival to the actual wellness industry. I have always had an interest in the human body and all of the spectacular things that it can achieve, on many levels. When I was in high school I was very active in sports (1500 m in track and gymnastics) but my first love was  the human mind, and how it communicates with the body. I followed the psychology trail in my advanced education. Although I never completed my formal education, movement and the mind had always facinated me. Perhaps that explains how I wound up at Function First. Realizing the huge impact that motor control has over our every day functions, and how that influences wellness, and of course, pain.

TG: You have worked helping clients overcome injuries, what do you find are the most common problems that people come to you with?

WC: I have in my brief career had the opportunity to work with a variety of challenges. Being that I did study and sit for the ACE Clinical Exercise Test and certification, it opened a whole world of different diseases and dysfunctions within my scope of practice. It has been a real journey of discovery. I have had the ability to help individuals with back pain, knee problems, as well as many shoulder issues. The largest volume of challenged clients seemed to have back issues. As we well know, statistically  a staggering 85% of people will experience low back pain at some point or another.

TG: Low back pain is a commonly occurring problem, what steps to you take to help people overcome back pain?

WC: When it comes to low back pain issues, or ant issues for that matter, I am in full agreement with what we would refer to as Hypothesis Testing. This is where an individual would come in for an appointment and we would discuss various postures that seem to either help, or hinder their situation. We would discuss their activities of daily living, and I would observe the client in a variety of different situations. ( an example would be their seated posture, or maybe even walking.) Am impression is formed form this interview. A health history from is also part of the pool of information that goes toward the consideration of the program to follow. This can also lead to a recommendation to see a more qualified professional. Next, based upon this information. other assessments are used to produce a program specifically for this individual and their very specific needs.

TG: What do you feel are the most common causes of Low Back pain?

WC: The statistics indicate that 85% of back problems are of an “unknown etiology” (McGill) I am of the impression that back pain is more of a “cascade effect”, there is no one thing that  creates tissue breakdown, unless it is a traumatic injury such as in a fall, or something of that nature. Some of the contributing factors that contribute to this “cascade” would be anything ranging from repetitive stresses, to cigarette smoke, to improper diet/hydration, to additional undue stress of any nature, to those extra few pounds around the middle, to overexercising, exercising one side of the body more than the other creating asymmetry, to motor control problem to a completely sedentary lifestyle. These are only a few elements that can contribute to painful conditions of the back. Some of these things are under our conscious control and others are not- none the less the tissue eventually yields and compression is created. I think there is a much bigger picture than a single episode that create pain in the body, it is the result of a much bigger picture.

TG: You have worked with clients with a range of disabilities, how important do you feel it is that we as fitness professionals provide services for special populations?

WC:When I became certified I had sort of an ah-ha moment when I stopped to read the actual certificate. It stated that I was certified to work with “apparently healthy” individuals. Upon completion of the health history form(s) that I have my clients fill out, I promptly discovered I was not really qualified to work with very many people.

We seem to live in a world of relatively unhealthy people. Hypertension, diabetes, back pain, cancers, the list is really endless. Very sad. I felt a huge need   to increase my knowledge, and scope of practice,to serve my clients better. What I don’t know in many aspects could very much hurt someone. My goal is to help people, not hurt them. I don’t think you can know too much when it comes to the human body and function. As a service industry, we need to stay on top of the educational ball, especially with so many challenged clients and potential clients out there.

TG: What would you say are the three most important exercises people should do to improve their ability to live in the modern world?

WC: Everyone is different and has different needs when it comes to programming.  I follow the “for who” and “for what” train of thought when it comes to exercise- inspired by my mentor, Anthony Carey. I rarely ever suggest  an exercise without any form of assessment. However, there are some “basics” that we could improve upon to improve our quality of life. Simple things, like learning proper breathing techniques, that can impact our lives in big ways.

Most of us hyperventilate. One of my clients actually phrased it the best, “we are afraid to breathe.” We are chest breathers, this keeps our sympathetic nervous system engaged. We need to learn to slow our lives down,and our breathing down. Huge benefit can be gained from engaging our parasympathetic nervous system by breathing more slowly and deeply.  This has a global effect on everything from back pain to digestion to sleep disorders, to energy production to an overall feeling of well being. Cortisol, which is related to stress, has been linked to the inability to loose those extra pounds, also.  Proper breathing has more implications than I can even begin to cover here!

Another element of “wellbeing” that I feel is highly overlooked is our ability as humans to get up and move.We do not need permission, or an excuse. Exercise does not only happen in the gym! I like to remind my clients that I am only a small part of their actual world. They need to move more than few hours a week that they see me. If they have a desk job, I like to encourage them to get up and move through out the day. I remind them that I am a small piece of the puzzle. I try to challenge them into other FUN activities that they can do with their family, or dog. ANYTHING! We need to set the bar a little higher for our clients. I like to give “homework, ” depending on the goal/s we are focused upon.

My last suggestion continues with this  more holistic approach. We cannot separate ourselves from our diet. Even though we “workout,” we need to be more aware of the foods we eat, and the quality of the food we use to fuel our bodies, minds and spirits. We need to take the time to pay attention to our needs versus the many “tasty” temptations that are out there. We need to think about the results of the coffee’s , the deserts, the processed foods, the stop for “happy hour” drinks. These ALL impact our quality of being. They too are accumulative. I have worked with diabetics that have lost limbs, and still would not step away from their diet issues. We all have choices,but we have to remember there is always cause, and effect. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts/healthy fats and other whole foods are part of the key to good health, longevity, healing and long life. Genetics also have a huge part of this, of course. But, naturally, it is up to each and every one of us come to a place where we can own our own path to health.

TG: How do you suggest people who are mainly desk based in their working environment train to counter act the impact this has on their overall posture?

WC: I see that a majority of our modern world is desk based. The ideas presented above would be a great base for feeling better. Naturally, a personalized workout/fun program with a qualified personal trainer is the missing key from the above mentioned. I would advise anyone that has isn’t moving and loving it- to find a qualified professional to get them on the road to living a fuller, healthier, more invigorating life. It is important to realize that life is more than just work and home and sitting. We have to get up and participate in our lives,and in our health. We can’t sit on the side lines and wonder why we don’t feel good. We need to seek those who are qualified that want to help bring us to the life we visualize.

TG: What do you feel are the most important traits of a good personal trainer?

WC: To me, one the most important traits of a personal trainer are the ability to focus- really focus. We need to be able to set ourselves aside when we enter into a session. Only the now, and that client exist. We need to focus on that person, and that person alone. We need to use all of our senses to help the person learn things correctly for the right adaptation. We need to focus on hearing what the client has to say and how they “feel” things. To often we walk into a session with a preconceived  notion about we WE expect from the session. We need to hear and see our clients and realize their needs and abilities in order to serve them better, and reach their goals.  We need to turn off our cel phones, cut the chatter and stay in the moment!

TG: Tell us a bit about what the future holds for you?

WC: I feel extremely blessed to be here in San Diego, at Function First with Anthony Carey. I  plan to be here for the next couple of years learning more about human function and corrective exercise. An amazing opportunity. As I mentioned earlier Anthony has been a huge influence in my career to date. I was fortunate enough to have attended his workshops and seminars early in my career.

While I am here, we are hoping to expand the personal training aspect of the facility. We are launching a new program based upon the NEWSTART principals that I focused upon at my facility in Avalon.(More on these principals can be found on my blog www.workoutwithwendy.blogspot.com.) This program is going to start on August 2, 2010. it will be an exciting, inovative 6-week program. It will target individuals that are focused on losing 10-15lbs, already existing exercisers who are bored with their “routines,” and individuals who are experiencing challenges in their ‘diet.” Naturally we will be incorporating full body exercises using the TRX and the Core-Tex, as well as  other modalities. We are calling this series the Workoutwithwendy X-treme, X-Factor Six Week X-erFun Camp! Hopefully some you might come out and join us!!

Next summer we are also hoping to add in some summer fun camps for the youth population.

Thank you so much for including me! All the best to you ,Tom!

TG: Thanks for your time Wendy, and we wish you all the best for the future!


And Personal Training in Manchester

Monday, July 19th, 2010

To follow on from the last post we have also now uploaded info for the Manchester area!
TOM

Personal Trainers in Manchester

Personal Trainer in North ManchesterPersonal Trainer in South Manchester, Personal Trainer in Manchester City CentrePersonal Trainer in Burnage, Personal Trainer in Collyhurst, Personal Trainer in Chorlton, Personal Trainer in Crumpsall, Personal Trainer in Denton, Personal Trainer in Didsbury, Personal Trainer in Droylsden,   Personal Trainer in Eccles, Personal Trainer in Failsworth, Personal Trainer in Firswood, Personal Trainer in Fallowfield, Personal Trainer in Gorton, Personal Trainer in Handforth, Personal Trainer in Harpurhey, Personal Trainer in Hulme, Personal Trainer in Hyde, Personal Trainer in Ladybarn, Personal Trainer in Levenshulme, Personal Trainer in Longsight, Personal Trainer in Moston, Personal Trainer in Openshaw, Personal Trainer in Northenden,  Personal Trainer in Parrswood, Personal Trainer in Pendlebury, Personal Trainer in Prestwich, Personal Trainer in Rusholme, Personal Trainer in Stretford, Personal Trainer in Swinton, Personal Trainer in Urmston,  Personal Trainer in Walkden, Personal Trainer in Wardley,  Personal Trainer in Whalley Range, Personal Trainer in Whitefield, Personal Trainer in Withington, Personal Trainer in Worsley

Personal Training in Stockport

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Hi All,

Just a quick one we have just uploaded a load of information for those of you who are looking for quality personal training in the Stockport area. Look for your area below and get in contact!

Personal Training in Stockport

Personal Training in Bramhall, Personal Training in Breadbury, Personal Training in Brinnington, Personal Training in Cheadle, Personal Training in Cheadle Hulme, Personal Training in Davenport, Personal Training in Edgeley, Personal Training in Gatley, Personal Training in Hazel Grove, Personal Training in Heald Green, Personal Training in Heaton Chapel, Personal Training in Heaton Mersey, Personal Training in Heaton Moor, Personal Training in High Lane, Personal Training in Marple, Personal Training in Reddish, Personal Training in Romiley, Personal Training in Woodford, Personal Training in Woodley

Western A Price

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Hi All,

As you know we here at Foresight Fitness Services are massive followers of the work of Western A Price.

We are currently going through the process of establishing a Manchester chapter. If any of you out there would like to get involved drop us a line!

More news on this soon!

Tom

John Izzo Interview – One of the USA’s best personal trainers

Monday, September 14th, 2009

John Izzo is a role model for many personal trainers out there, he has lead the way in the industry for a number of years being top of his game in both the technical aspects of personal training but also in the business side.  For a number of years John has also helped to teach the next generation of personal trainers and help to give them a solid foundation of education and application to allow them to go out and make a positive impact in the lives of their clients.

john_izzoJohn Izzo

Tom Godwin: First of all may I thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview.

John Izzo: Tom, I’m flattered to be asked. Thank you very much for this opportunity.

TG: What first got you interested in the Personal Training industry?

John: Geez…I think it was my passion to better myself with these crazy looking metal things called plates and barbells…hehehe. When I saw improvements in my strength, appearance, and performance—I felt better physically and I had an optimistic outlook on life. That feeling was –and still is– addicting and I truly believe, what separates people from “living” their life versus “life living them”. When I was in my first fitness-type job, I was a YMCA fitness instructor working part-time while I was finishing up my undergrad degree. As for weight-lifting, I started weight-training at a local Boys Club, and then I joined a neighbourhood health club called Body-Force (no longer around). So by the time, I got my first “fitness job”, I was pretty familiar with exercises in general. During my stint with the YMCA, members were approaching me constantly for advice, opinions, and assistance. This was around 1998-99, and the personal training industry, as a whole, was just starting to take off. I enjoyed helping people in the gym with exercises or simply feeding them my advice. When I researched what a ‘personal trainer’ was…I kind of fell into it. I think you discover that the things you are good at seem to find you—rather than you find it.

TG: You are a very influential person in the world of personal training, maybe you could give us a brief outline of your background in the industry?

JI: I started lifting weights when I was 15. I purchased my first weight set from a department store and it contained cement filled plates. I built a pseudo-gym in my attic and worked out with my cousin. About a year later, I started lifting weights with my friend at a local Boys Club. I was a sponge to constantly learn the newest and latest techniques to make me stronger and leaner. I was working out constantly and taking numerous supplements, and reading tons of magazine articles. By the time I got to college, I had grown to 175 pounds and bench pressing 315 and squatting 420. I was athletic and decided to pursue a “health” degree because I wanted to learn more and more about how overall health is something that we can “control”.

Growing up, I saw old people become sick, or become sedentary. I thought that was part of life and that health was an aspect that we as a human species could not control. So with my undergrad studies, I wanted to learn more about how communicable disease, nutrition, physical activity, stress, and health-care affect our overall being. I figured if I can control certain factors in my life, my health and life could further be enhanced. In 2000, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health Promotion. Shortly thereafter, I picked up my personal training certifications through ACE and NASM.

TG: Who have been you major influences within the industry?

JI: Oh gosh…there are so many. I actually started a blog post for the month of August outlining my top 10 most influential people in my life. As far as fitness industry—I would have to go with firstly, Juan Carlos Santana. When I first heard and saw JC speak –I knew he was the type of trainer we all wanted to become. He was energetic, compassionate, motivating, and empathetic. He was strong, knowledgeable, and he had a presence. He is the total package when it comes to being a trusted fitness professional. He knows how to talk to clients, deal with different people everyday—from MMA fighters to grandmothers—and he is a loving family man. I was fortunate enough to interview him and he was a great contribution to my website: www.IZZOSTRENGThtraining.com.

Other influences include Coach Mike Boyle. When his book “Functional Training for Sport” came out, it made me look at my own training in a different light. I really bagan to understand that you can train general population clients like athletes, as long as they are progressed appropriately. I’ve seen Mike speak 5 times and every time, I take something away that makes me shake my head and say “yeah, that’s it or that’s why”.

I really like Gray Cook. His FMS screens make my job easier. His work really influenced me to look at the ENTIRE body—not just the working muscles.

From a business standpoint, I think Alywn Cosgrove has really intrigued me. He has an undeniable business savvy about him and alot of it has to do with his content, his research, and how his audience digests his information. Year after year, Alwyn puts together great products that work and are scientifically sound. That is great for business and you can’t beat that.

I also like Eric Cressey—I love his writing! He puts out great info that is backed up by research and his real-world experience—and he practices what he preaches.

I also have some personal influences that have helped me be just an overall better person and professional.

TG:  Of your many achievements in the world of fitness, what would you say has been you best to date?

JI: I think my contributions to NASM’s (National Academy of Sports Medicine) textbook for the Introductions to Personal Training course. I think what makes it sweeter to me, is that I was contacted by NASM because they found some of my writings online—mainly through my book ‘Secret Skills of Personal Training”, and they enjoyed the information that I provided to entry level trainers. That is what I set out to do, is simply educate new trainers that step foot into the industry with really no clear “map”. I try to set their right foot forward to lead them into the direction that leads to long-term success as a professional. And to be recognized by NASM to help out with its mission was an excellent honour. It is a solid organization with really knowledgeable people at the helm. I support NASM as an education provider and advocate their curriculum because I believe it is the most complete and concise way to develop training programs.

TG:  What would you say is the most important attributing factor that a personal trainer must possess and why?

JI: I think it is important for trainers to become fitness professionals. And by that I mean is act professional. I meet too many trainers that have not become fitness professionals yet, because they carry themselves in a lackadaisical demeanour within the business. Many trainers—even online—make too many jokes, show less and less compassion, ridicule, or don’t carry a sense of understanding towards the general public—which consists of many of their potential clients! Many trainers are too engulfed with their looks, cell phone, texting, relationships, or they simply don’t know how to carry themselves around public. And lot of them, go into the field thinking that they can make their own hours, live freely, and become millionaires. But the sheer truth is, most live pay check to pay check and they don’t know why that is. If they can simply “tune-up” their character, and act in a more dignified professional manner, I guarantee their business will take off.

In order to become a professional and be referred to as a “professional”, it takes performing some self-inventory AND a little coaching. The situation with the industry today is, many trainers become certified and go off to work on their own–creating their own business. So, these new trainers don’t have anyone there to provide comparison, feedback, or critiscm. So I ask you: how do you grow as a professional when you don’t have a “business mirror”? Every working stiff needs a scale to measure their value in a profession. It is how you grow towards success.

I think I learned the importance of projecting a professional image when I became a manager. It made a world of difference, when I sat across a table with 4 different trainers and noticed that the education and passion to train was there—but the attitude was not.

TG: You have released a number of great Personal Trainer Education products, such as your ‘Eye of the Trainer’ and ‘Moving More Muscles’ DVD’s.  I understand you are in the process of releasing a new DVD, ‘The Shatter Proof Spine’ can you give us a little more information about it?

JI: Thanks for asking. Shatterproof Spine is my latest DVD product and my first in 2 years. I conduct workshops for trainers that are interested in learning information from reputable sources, and maybe are not familiar with seminars like Perform Better or big names like Cook, Boyle, or Cosgrove. So, I created a smaller-scale workshop format that typically gets up to a dozen trainers to attend. In my latest product, Shatterproof Spine, I talk about the issues I come across daily working with golfers with bad backs. I’ve seen it time and time again—where desk workers become prone to back pain and it robs them of life. It robs them of playing golf, playing with kids, or simply mowing their lawn. So, after reading alot of the materials put out by Start McGill, Shirley Sarhmann, and Dr. Larry Foster, I decided to condense it down into an easy to understand lecture and practical. During the video, I show slides of actual clients of mine, assessments, and exercise drills that I put together to help those with bad backs.

I think from a personal standpoint, it shows my growth from say 2 years ago. My public speaking skills have improved over the years and my use of powerpoint makes it easy for the attendants to firmly grasp the concept. You can check out a one minute video preview of the DVD here: http://www.izzostrengthtraining.com/Shatterproof_Spine_DVD.html

TG: You have a hugely successful blog (http://lifeofapersonaltrainer.blogspot.com/), where do you get your ideas for posts from?

JI: Thanks. My blog is really—exactly what I think about on a daily basis. It is a collection of things I deal with from exercise programming, client issues, meeting with other trainers, or personal thoughts that I put on paper. Sometimes, I get an idea for an article and it comes out in a blog post—and it usually consists of a topic that I find many people having a hard time digesting. In the age of the internet, so many of us are quick to recite word for word what “so-so” wrote or the latest research—but many don’t realize that once the program is developed, delivering it to the client, executing it, and maintaining it are a whole different story. I want to show that side of it. I’m not the only one, there are tons of fitness professionals that do what I do—and I think it’s important to show the “trenches” side of personal training. It seems there is too much emphasis on glam and money in this industry. If you really put your heart into something that you love, its not always sunshine’s and rainbows.

TG: What does the future hold for John Izzo?

JI: Well, I’m working on another project with NASM focusing on the business aspect of personal training. I can’t say too much about it, but I am co-writing some material with them. With the release of Shatterproof Spine, I’m hoping that the fires will really catch in the industry and consumers will find that my products are educational and there is nothing I make that “promises” you millions. I give you the tools—to make you better. If you can make yourself a better professional, the millions will follow!

I will continue to write articles for my website and other online publications. I am putting together a calendar for 2010 of interviews I will be conducting. I’m going to try to get some pro’s back on that really gave me a good stuff this past year. I would like to also follow up with another book. Secret Skills of Personal Training is gaining some steam, so I’d like to add more information to it with a follow up book. I am getting married in 3 more months, so my time has been dedicated to clients, lifting, and wedding plans—but as soon as things settle down, I plan on pursing my NASM-CES certification (corrective exercise specialist). So, things look…busy. But I don’t mind it. I like hard-work. It makes me feel like I accomplished something—just like snatching a heavy weight or hitting a PR. You feel good afterwards…

TG: Thanks for your time John!

No problem. Thanks!!

Now that you have heard a little about John, why not have a look at his awsome range of DVD’s and books that are a must in the collection of any personal trainer, or fitness enthusiast.  Find out more here.