Personal Training and Trainer
By Ashley Boyce, an allied health world staff writer
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Personal Trainer—Taking a closer look into this high-demand field
Gone are the days when the services of personal trainers were reserved only for professional athletes, celebrities, and the fantastically wealthy. In today’s health conscious world more and more people are seeking the expertise of personal trainers to help them maintain a healthy body weight, stay motivated in the gym, and exercise in the most effective way possible to achieve their personal fitness goals. Once considered a luxury available only to a few, the role of personal trainers has evolved dramatically. Personal trainers contribute to the overall health of society by helping to make strength training and specialized exercise more accessible to the average individual. Personal trainers hold positions in health clubs, gyms, and fitness centers of all kinds, and work independently with clients in their homes. They apply the principles of exercise science to educate and motivate people in the safest and most effective ways to exercise. Personal trainers work to bring a level of energy and dynamics to the gym that will inspire their clients to live healthier lives that include regular exercise.
What are common fitness goals unique to men and women respectively?
Naturally, personal trainer programs teach anatomy and an understanding of the physical differences between men and women. Among the most important differences noted by personal trainers is the difference in the distribution of musculature throughout the body. With few exceptions, a man’s largest muscles are his latissimus dorsi, commonly called lats, or back muscles. A women’s largest muscle is usually her gluteus maximus sometimes called glutes, or butt. Interestingly, the back muscles are the one’s most often neglected by men because they are not “mirror-facing” muscles, while women very often want a workout that directly addresses their gluteus maximus. Knowing the fundamental differences in physiology and anatomical structure of men and women will help a personal trainer recognize the respective limitations of both sexes, but it won’t necessarily help with designing an appropriate and effective workout routine. Being a good personal trainer means being very in tune with the distinct differences between the common fitness goals of men and women. Although many people have very unique and specific fitness goals, there was a consensus among the personal trainers interviewed for this article regarding what men and women respectively most often hope to accomplish by working with their personal trainers:
Women most often approach their personal trainer asking for slimmer hips and thighs and increased upper body strength without increased mass. Women generally want lean muscles and good definition without compromising feminine physical characteristics like a full chest and slender arms and neck. They want to take care to increase upper body strength without increasing the size of the trapezius muscles that may make the neck look big. They often want to loose body fat without getting a boney upper chest, so to prevent this their personal trainer would help them develop their upper pectoral muscles. Very often when women get older their triceps, the muscles located on the backs of the arms, begin to sag requiring targeted resistance training to firm them up.
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Men in most cases visit a personal trainer to loose weight, reduce their waistline, tighten their chest, improve their posture, and flatten their stomachs. Men rarely mention their legs and thighs. Men typically want well-defined muscles or increased muscle mass or both. Men often carry their excess body fat in their abdomen and look for a workout that eliminates their pot belly while building up the chest, neck, shoulders, arms, and back. This requires a combination of aerobic exercise to burn fat to eliminate the belly, and strength training to build muscle in the upper torso.
Personal Trainer Schools
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- Sport Management with concentrations in Golf, Psychology, and Sports Medicine and Fitness Technology, BS (Online Only)
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