As someone who offers both a personal training and coaching service, I thought it would be useful to differentiate between the two services, although there is often a cross over of the two when I work with clients.
When it comes to fitness and wellness, seeking the support of a professional can be an effective way to reach your goals. However, with so many options available, it can be confusing to understand the differences between a personal trainer and a coach. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there are distinct differences in their roles, training, and areas of expertise. In this article, we will explore the differences between a personal trainer and a coach to help you decide which may be the best fit for your needs.
What is a Personal Trainer?
A personal trainer is a fitness professional who works one-on-one with clients to help them reach their fitness goals. They typically hold certifications and have formal training in exercise science, anatomy, and physiology. Personal trainers create individualised workout plans customised to their client's needs and fitness level. They also provide guidance on proper form and technique to prevent injury and maximize results.
Personal trainers work with clients for varied lengths of time, from a few sessions to months or years if continued support and accountability is needed. They may also be hired for specific events or goals, such as training for a marathon, preparing for a bodybuilding competition, or getting in shape for a wedding or holiday.
What Does a Personal Trainer Do?
A personal trainer's primary focus is on exercise programming, designing workouts that are tailored to their client's specific goals and fitness level. They may also provide guidance on nutrition and lifestyle changes to support their client's overall health and wellness.
Personal trainers work with clients to establish realistic goals, monitor progress, and adjust workout plans as needed. They also provide motivation and support, helping clients to stay accountable and committed to their fitness journey.
What is a Coach?
A coach is a professional who helps clients improve their performance in a specific area. In the world of fitness and wellness, coaches may specialise in areas such as nutrition, mindset, and behavior change. They may hold certifications or degrees in a specific area related to their coaching practice.
Coaches will often work with clients on a long-term basis. They establish a deep understanding of their client's needs and goals and provide ongoing support and guidance to help them make sustainable lifestyle changes.
What Does a Coach Do?
Coaches work with clients to help them identify their goals and create a plan to achieve them. They focus on creating behavior change that will support long-term success, rather than just achieving short-term results.
Coaches offer a holistic approach to wellness, addressing not only exercise but also nutrition, mindset, and lifestyle factors that may be impacting their client's overall health and wellness. They work with clients to establish healthy habits and provide accountability and support to help clients stick to their goals.
The Key Differences
Although personal trainers and coaches share some similarities, there are several key differences between their roles and areas of expertise. Personal trainers focus primarily on exercise programming and technique, while coaches take a more holistic approach, considering both physical and mental factors that may impact overall wellness.
Personal trainers often work on a variable time basis, while coaches often work with clients over an extended period. Coaches establish deeper relationships with their clients and provide ongoing support and guidance in a variety of areas.
Another significant difference is in the way personal trainers and coaches are trained. Personal trainers typically hold certifications in exercise science and anatomy, while coaches may hold certifications or degrees in areas such as nutrition, psychology, or counseling.
Which is Right for You?
Deciding whether to work with a personal trainer or a coach depends on your individual needs and goals. If you are primarily focused on improving your physical fitness, working with a personal trainer may be the best fit. Personal trainers are experts in exercise programming and can help you improve your technique while helping you reach your fitness goals.
If you are looking for a more holistic approach to wellness, a coach may be a better fit. Coaches can provide support and guidance in a variety of areas, including nutrition, mindset, and lifestyle changes. They can help you identify and overcome barriers to success, create sustainable habits, and establish long-term health and wellness.
Ultimately, the best choice comes down to your individual needs and preferences. Consider your goals, budget, and preferred style of working with a professional to determine whether a personal trainer or coach is right for you. Whatever you choose, remember that seeking professional support is an excellent way to reach your health and wellness goals.
Creatine is a popular supplement that is often used by athletes and bodybuilders to improve performance and gain muscle mass. However, it is not just for athletes and bodybuilders, as it has several health benefits that extend beyond the gym. In this article, we will explore the benefits of creatine and how it can help improve overall health.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a natural compound that is found in our bodies, primarily in the muscles. It is made from amino acids and is involved in energy metabolism. Creatine helps to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the primary source of energy for muscle contractions. When we exercise, ATP is broken down, and creatine helps to replenish it, allowing us to produce more energy and maintain our performance.
Benefits of Creatine
In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers found that participants who took creatine supplements for 12 weeks experienced significant gains in muscle mass and strength compared to those who did not take the supplement. Additionally, a review of studies by the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that creatine supplementation is an effective way to increase muscle mass and strength.
In a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers found that supplementing with creatine improved performance during sprinting and increased the amount of work participants were able to do during a high-intensity cycling exercise. Additionally, a review of studies by the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that creatine supplementation improved performance in sports that require short bursts of energy.
A study published in the journal Psychopharmacology found that participants who took creatine supplements for five days had improved working memory and intelligence compared to those who did not take the supplement. Additionally, a review of studies by the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that creatine supplementation may improve cognitive function in older adults and individuals who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries.
In a study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, researchers found that participants who took creatine supplements had reduced inflammation and muscle damage after an intense exercise session compared to those who did not take the supplement. Additionally, a review of studies by the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that creatine supplementation may reduce muscle damage and inflammation after exercise.
In a study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, researchers found that creatine supplementation improved heart function in individuals with heart failure. Additionally, a review of studies by the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that creatine supplementation may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels.
Creatine is a natural compound that is found in our bodies and is involved in energy production. Supplementing with creatine has been shown to provide numerous benefits, including increased muscle mass and strength, improved exercise performance, enhanced cognitive function, reduced muscle damage and inflammation, and improved heart health. If you are an athlete or someone looking to improve your overall health, consider adding creatine to your supplement regimen. As with any supplement, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider before starting creatine supplementation.
As women age and enter menopause, they go through various changes in their bodies that can impact their health. One of the most common changes is a reduction in muscle mass and bone density. This can have many negative effects, including an increased risk of osteoporosis and a loss of strength. One of the best ways to combat these issues is to incorporate weight training into your exercise routine.
Weight training, also known as resistance training, involves using weights, machines, or your own body weight to challenge the muscles in your body. This type of exercise has been shown to provide numerous benefits for menopausal women.
In a study conducted by the University of Arizona, menopausal women who participated in a weight training program for one year experienced a significant increase in bone density compared to women who did not exercise.
Research has shown that even short-term resistance training can lead to an increase in muscle mass and strength in menopausal women. A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity found that women who participated in a 16-week resistance training program experienced significant gains in both muscle mass and strength.
In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers found that menopausal women who participated in a resistance training program for 12 weeks experienced significant improvements in insulin sensitivity and blood pressure.
In a study published in the Journal of Women and Aging, women who participated in a 12-week resistance training program experienced a significant decrease in body fat and an increase in lean muscle mass.
In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers found that menopausal women who participated in a resistance training program for 12 weeks experienced significant improvements in overall mood and well-being.
In summary, weight training provides numerous benefits for menopausal women. It can help improve bone density, increase muscle mass, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve body composition, and enhance mood and well-being. If you're a menopausal woman looking to improve your health, consider incorporating resistance training into your exercise routine.
As October fast approaches my excitement levels are rising! Why you ask?!
Well, the 1st October sees the launch of my brand new online platform: The LiveFitNow Club!
The LiveFitNow Club will help you become the best version of yourself. It is a monthly fitness and lifestyle online membership.
Giving you the structure and guidance to create healthy habits and be stronger, fitter and a more confident you.
If you are looking to workout with the support and guidance of an experienced personal trainer but need the flexibility to workout around your own schedule, plus the interaction of joining live classes then The LiveFitNow Club is for you!
The LiveFitNow Club gives you structure and guidance to your workouts, as well as helping you create and follow a healthy lifestyle, that lasts.
No quick fixes or fads but fun, progressive and realistic workouts and tools to build a fitter, stronger and more confident you.
The Club gives you flexibility to use the elements as and when you need it, you can use all of it to the max or change your focus to fit your personal goals and life!
What’s included in the standard Club Membership:
- 24 structured workouts each month, designed and/or led by Vicki Brown (an experienced PT!)
- 2 live morning classes weekly (7am Monday and Wednesday)
- 2 live evening classes weekly (6pm Tuesday and Thursday)
- A pre-designed workout program on the LFN app (2 workouts per week, you choose home or gym option)
- Access to a growing library of online classes you can follow 24/7
- Tools: Templates for goal setting, weekly planner, monthly planner, habit tracker, meal planner and more!
- Community: You will be part of the Club Group on the LFN app. This is where members can chat, ask questions and support each other daily.
- Optional additional personalised support (Premium Membership)
Membership runs monthly (starting on the 1st of the month) You can sign up at any point in a month and will be able to download the app straight away once you sign up. You will gain access to the membership portal at the beginning of the month and receive the welcome pack through the post.
We have created a club to give you the guidance, structure and support to build healthy habits for life.
"The club gives you the interaction of weekly live classes and community via the app group. Structure and guidance through the resistance program and video library. As well as the tools to set goals and organise your week by using the templates that we have created for you. Helping you progress every month."
We have created the tools and community to support you in creating and living a fitter, stronger and healthier lifestyle, for life.
Are you ready to commit to your fitness, health and wellbeing, and want get started?
Join the LiveFitNow Club today!
I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about group training and the benefits that you may get from participating on the week I start my new mornings in Highclere. Two new classes and a coffee morning, building and extending the community of LiveFitNow.
This form of exercise can be a great way to increase enjoyment of exercise and the likelihood of you attending and stick with it for the longer term.
What is group exercise?
Benefits of group exercise
It can sometimes seem a little daunting and there are factors that may make it all seem a little scary. But remember, the teacher is there to help and welcome you, everyone starts as a beginner, there are always adaptations that can be made, maybe choose a "leveled" class so you can build up your confidence and fitness, because if you go to an advanced class and you've never done anything like it before you may feel overwhelmed. But if you choose a class that you feel that is achievable you are far more likely to enjoy yourself.
So why not give it a try!? Grab a friend and join a class or find a class you like the sound of and go and see if you can make some new friends! Push yourself out of your comfort zone :)
I'd love to hear your thoughts on group exercise, especially if you go and give a class a go for the first time!
It's funny because more often that not we do not think about ways in which we can relax but instead we can all think of a thousand ways in which we can fill our time.
In 2018 YouGov published statistics that stated "74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope."
This shocking statistic shows that this really is an important area to address.
What do you do to relax?
This may just be a matter of some quiet time. Ideas include:
We all relax in different ways but it is something that is so useful for us all to make time for. And find your own favourite way to relax!
Try and take 5 minutes each day for yourself, think of something that makes you calm and relax. There is no right or wrong answer, but rather what works for you.
Even though it was just last week that I found myself talking about the mind, I feel compelled to talk about it again. Which is representative of the fact that I talk about the mind and in particular mindset most days.
I don't think it is possible to overestimate just how big a part mindset can play in our day-to-day lives.
The words that we say to ourselves and to one another can be so powerful in a positive or negative way that we should all practice. Practice speaking with kindness and positivity not only to those around us but to ourselves.
The power of words is linked so closely to how we live our lives and performance. For example, if I set an exercise up and have put more weight on the bar, sometimes people will say "I can't do it". At this point, the set will be delayed because, if you start by saying to yourself that you can't do something you are dramatically reducing your chances of doing it. Of course there are exceptions to this rule but it can have a massive impact on performance and success. Trying something with the belief that you can do it is an extremely powerful, give it a go and see what happens.
I'm sure we have all seen rugby players like Jonny Wilkinson and Colin Farrell, getting ready to kick the ball at goal. They look from the ball, to where they want it to go, they use visualisation techniques and they see themselves scoring. Seeing yourself achieve something is very powerful, as is seeing yourself not be able to do something.
Don't let it stop you.
If you believe that you can't do something, how often do you attempt to do those things? Not often I'm betting, because the mind will protect you from things that it considers not safe, such as doing something "you can't do". So if you are trying to do something, start out by saying to yourself that you can, even if you don't truly know you can yet.
It would be great for you can try and add more positivity into your daily activities and workouts and see if you notice any difference in the outcomes.
Start every day by saying "today is going to be a great day!" Making such a positive affirmation to begin your day will increase your likelihood of having one.
Have a wonderful day!
This week I want to talk to you about mind-muscle connection. It is a subject that I talk to people about a lot and I thought it would be great to simply share with you all what it is and how it can help you and your training.
I will look at what it is and give you some examples to help you quantify it.
Mind muscle connection can help you understand form and technique and is also a great way of increasing intensity of training. Having a basic understanding of it will hopefully help you benefit from using it.
One way of describing what the mind muscle connection is: a conscious, deliberate muscle contraction when you are focusing on the tension created whilst performing an exercise on a specific muscle or muscle group. The brain releases a chemical neurotransmitter called acetylcholine to communicate with the muscles in the body. The connection takes place at the neuromuscular junction, crossing the synapses, binding with receptors on the surface of the muscle fibres, leading to muscle contractions.
Improving communication can allow you to recruit more muscle fibres whilst performing exercises.
There are primary and secondary muscles involved with many exercises, there will be the main target muscle but secondary muscles may help a movement be performed. It is useful to do a combination of compound and isolation exercises for this reason. If you know which muscles that you are trying to work or primarily focus on, you can concentrate on that area whilst you are performing a movement.
This can also be useful in checking form, if you are struggling to feel the muscles that you are targeting whilst performing an exercise it may be because your body is compensating in some way. This is a great opportunity to either double check your own form or get someone else to take a look at it for you.
Focusing on quality of movement and contraction can help you make progress with training. Really testing this out may mean lowering the weights you are using, if they are too heavy you may struggle to focus on controlling and squeezing the muscle in comparison, making the weight a little lighter may allow you to create the connection we are talking about.
An example of how people find it easy to get to grips with is when there are imbalances. One side is stronger than the other and one side is easier to control than the other. Your leading side is usually far easier to control than the other, this is because the pathways from your brain to the muscles is far stronger. If you then focus your energy on the weaker side you can often find a little more than it naturally wants to give. It is also easier for your "stronger" side to keep going a little longer without any focus because communication is so stronger.
Hopefully this has given you an idea about what is meant by mind-muscle connection. If you have any questions please do get in touch, I'd love to answer any questions you may have.
During this blog I am going to discuss the best place or places for you to workout.
I guess some of the big questions here are: Where should you workout?
Where will you get the best results?
Where do you need to workout?
Places You Can Workout:
Factors to take into account:
Where and what you have available to you.
This is something that you may or may not have control over, what you have available to you now may be the only option that you have. Or you may be able to change what is available to you, for example you may be able to get a gym membership, personal training, go to a class or buy some exercise equipment. This does not matter necessarily, as you can workout with no equipment, at home or outside. Or you can go to a specific location as mentioned before. If you want to move more, for fitness and/or strength you will be able to make any of those locations work. You just need to utilise what you have available to you.
Where you are most likely to workout.
It is also important to consider what is currently appealing to you. For some the idea of going to a gym or exercise class fills them with dread. It may not be the best place to start. Looking at how you can increase you fitness, strength and confidence may be more easily achieve at home. Some people prefer a class environment or at least working out with someone else. For many this accountability takes the pressure off themselves and also gives some responsibility for their friend whom they would not want to let down and are therefore more likely to partake in the planned exercise regime.
For others the joy in exercise is the opportunity for solitude, some quiet time to themselves where they can immerse themselves in the activity at hand.
There is no right answer, again, it's about what works for you, is appealing and makes you carry out the planned movement.
What your goals are.
The nature of your goal can play a big part in which place is the best for you to workout. For certain goals there may be some prerequisites that mean at least at some stage you will need to be in a particular environment.
If you have a simple overall goal of moving more, there are few limits to this, it really can be done anywhere at anytime. You just need to start!
If you want to take part in some form of body building via lifting weights, you will need either access to a gym or you could get the appropriate equipment to be able to do that style of training at home. Equipment rather than location is more important, although you may find it easier to do it in a fully equip gym.
Group environments are fairly easy to find, within gym memberships, classes at local halls in the heart of the community. It could also be as simple as meeting up with a friend in the park or going for a walk.
Think about the equipment you need for the goal and establish which way you can best access it, this may or may not be dependent on a location.
So The Best Place To Workout Is...
The truth is, there is not the BEST place to workout, but the place that you are most likely to go to, most likely to carry out the exercise and is most suitable for the goals that you have.
This may be the gym, outside, a class, personal training, or at home or a mixture of several at different times of year.
What is your best workout location/environment?
Has it changed over time?
I started my journey by joining a small independent gym but how I exercise as evolved over the years and can change depending on goals and desires at the time. I enjoy different places for different things and I think it is great to experiment and try new places. Some you may like, some you may not, others you may come back to at a later date, it can even be dependent on the weather and time of year!
I'd love to hear your favourite places to workout (and have they changed!?)
Until the next time...
I know I talk about habits a lot. It's because I know how important it is to achieving long lasting change. I know that I refer often to this so wanted to go into a bit more detail. Although this of course applies to every single aspect of life, I will mostly only refer to health related habits within this blog post.
What is a habit?
A routine or practice performed regularly; an automatic response to a situation.
Examples of habits:
How you can create a new habit
Simplicity will always win. Keep it simple and it will be easy to do. Keep it simple and you will find it easy to be disciplined and complete it, regularly and it become a habit. If it's easy to do it won't take much motivation, obstacles in the way will make it harder to carry out, thus making it less likely that you will.
It should be easy and obvious to do and satisfying once done to create and build a new habit. If you are trying to break an old habit you no longer want you need to make it difficult, remove your cues, make it unsatisfying so it is harder to do it and you don't want the results of what doing it means for you.
Think about the habits you want and the habits you want to remove and implement that simple idea.
Keep it simple.
Vicki is a Personal Trainer, and Online Coach with the aim of helping others achieve their health and fitness goals via training and habit building for a healthier lifestyle, for life.