Home » Personal Training

Category: Personal Training

Importance of Private Personal Training in Youth Athletes

Importance of Private Personal Training in Youth Athletes

Private personal training for youth is a significant investment in a child’s physical development, offering a range of benefits that extend beyond the traditional group training model. In a one-on-one setting, such as the one provided by SVPT Fitness and Athletics, youth can receive personalized attention, customized programs, and a level of guidance that is often challenging to achieve in larger group settings. This individualized approach not only promotes overall physical development but can also give young athletes a competitive advantage in their chosen sports.

Personalized Attention

One of the key advantages of private personal training is the level of personalized attention that each child receives. In group settings, coaches often face challenges in addressing the unique needs and skill levels of individual participants. However, private training allows coaches to focus solely on one athlete, tailoring their instruction to the individual’s specific strengths, weaknesses, and goals. This personalized attention fosters a deeper understanding of the athlete’s abilities, enabling the coach to provide targeted feedback and corrections.

Customized Fitness Programs

The customization of fitness programs is another critical aspect of private training for youth. SVPT Fitness and Athletics, for example, may offer programs that are tailored to the athlete’s age, skill level, and athletic aspirations. This approach ensures that the athlete engages in activities that are both challenging and achievable, leading to more effective progress in their physical development. Whether the goal is to improve overall fitness, enhance specific skills, or prepare for the competitive season, a customized program can address these objectives with precision.

Building Confidence

Building confidence is a crucial component of youth development, and private personal training plays a pivotal role in this aspect. In a one-on-one setting, a youth athlete can receive direct and immediate feedback, allowing them to understand their strengths and areas for improvement. Success in private training sessions can significantly boost an athlete’s self-esteem, creating a positive feedback loop that motivates them to continue their fitness and athletic pursuits. This enhanced confidence can have a profound impact on their overall well-being, both on and off the field.

Technique Focused

Private personal training also provides a safe and controlled environment for learning and skill development. Trainers can closely monitor the athlete’s form and technique, reducing the risk of injuries that may arise from improper practices. This focused attention on safety not only protects the athlete’s physical well-being but also instills good habits from the outset, ensuring a solid foundation for future athletic endeavors.

Competitive Edge

In the realm of sports, private personal training can offer young athletes a competitive edge. The concentrated focus on skill development, facilitated by one-on-one coaching, allows for a more in-depth exploration of the nuances of a particular sport. Whether it’s refining a golf swing, perfecting a tennis serve, or mastering soccer dribbling techniques, private training allows athletes to hone their skills with accuracy. This specialized attention can lead to accelerated progress, giving young athletes a competitive advantage over their peers who may not have access to such tailored coaching.

Sport Specific Details

SVPT Fitness and Athletics, with our experienced trainers, can play a crucial role in imparting sport-specific knowledge and techniques to young athletes. The trainers’ expertise in working with youth ensures that the training programs align with the physical and psychological needs of this demographic. This targeted approach not only enhances the child’s understanding of the sport but also accelerates skill acquisition, positioning them ahead of the curve in competitive scenarios.

Load Management

The flexibility of scheduling provided by private personal training is another practical advantage, especially for busy young athletes juggling various commitments. Private sessions can be tailored to accommodate the child’s other responsibilities, ensuring consistent participation in the training program. This flexibility contributes to the athlete’s ability to maintain a balanced lifestyle, avoiding burnout and fostering a long-term commitment to fitness and athletics.

Private personal training for youth athletes, exemplified by the offerings of SVPT Fitness and Athletics, represents a holistic approach to physical development. The personalized attention, customized programs, and focus on skill development not only contribute to overall well-being but also position young athletes for success in competitive sports. The advantages gained through private training extend beyond the physical realm, fostering confidence, discipline, and a positive attitude toward health and fitness. As parents and guardians seek opportunities to support their children’s athletic aspirations, personal training emerges as a valuable investment in unlocking the full potential of young athletes.

Book a free consultation and assessment today to help with your child’s athletic development.

Achieving Your Goal With SVPT

Achieving Your Goals with SVPT

At SVPT Fitness and Athletics, we are committed to creating an inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment designed to make your fitness journey not only effective but also enjoyable. Our vibrant culture is characterized by a fun atmosphere that promotes physical and mental wellness. With expert personal trainers boasting a combined total of 60 years of training experience, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your fitness goals while instilling positive habits that transcend into various aspects of your life. Additionally, our nutrition partnership with Revive Wellness provides you with comprehensive guidance to support your overall well-being.

Inclusive Culture and Safe Environment

At SVPT Fitness and Athletics, we believe in the power of inclusivity. Our community is diverse, and we embrace individuals from all walks of life, regardless of their fitness levels or backgrounds. Creating a safe and welcoming space is paramount to us, ensuring that everyone feels comfortable as they embark on their fitness journey. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or taking your first steps towards a healthier lifestyle, SVPT is designed to be a place where you can thrive and grow.

Experienced Personal Trainers

One of the cornerstones of our commitment to your success is our team of expert personal trainers. With a collective experience of 60 years in the fitness industry, our trainers bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and passion to guide you on your fitness journey. Their dedication goes beyond just physical training; they are here to mentor, motivate, and support you every step of the way. Whether you have specific fitness goals, need assistance with technique, are nursing or rehabbing an injury, or homework outside of your workouts – our trainers are here to ensure that your experience at SVPT is both effective and enjoyable.

Positive Habit Formation

At SVPT Fitness and Athletics, we believe that true wellness extends beyond the gym. That’s why we are committed to helping you cultivate positive habits that contribute to both your physical and mental well-being. Our approach goes beyond traditional fitness training, emphasizing the importance of a balanced and holistic lifestyle. From encouraging mindful practices to fostering a positive mindset, we believe that creating lasting habits is key to achieving sustainable health and wellness.

Nutrition Partnership with Revive Wellness

Recognizing the integral role that nutrition plays in overall fitness, we are partnered with Revive Wellness to help guide your nutritional path. This collaboration is designed to provide you with comprehensive guidance on nutrition, complementing your efforts in the gym. The expert dieticians at Revive Wellness will work with you to create a personalized nutrition plan aligned with your fitness goals. This partnership reflects our commitment to offering a well-rounded approach to health and wellness, addressing both physical activity and dietary choices.

Infectious Energy and Fun Atmosphere

Experience the infectious energy that defines SVPT Fitness and Athletics. Our gym is not just a place to work out; it’s a community where members come together to support and motivate each other. The lively and positive atmosphere is designed to make your fitness journey enjoyable and sustainable. Whether you prefer solo workouts or thrive in group settings, you’ll find the camaraderie and enthusiasm at SVPT to be both invigorating and uplifting.

How to Make the Most of Your SVPT Experience

  1. Connect with Our Community: Engage with fellow members and trainers. A sense of community fosters a supportive environment where everyone is working towards their goals together.
  2. Utilize the Expertise of Our Trainers: Take advantage of the vast experience our personal trainers bring to the table. They are here to provide guidance, answer questions, and ensure that your workouts are effective and safe.
  3. Explore the Nutrition Partnership: Schedule a consultation with the nutrition experts at Revive Wellness. Their personalized guidance can significantly impact your fitness journey by addressing the nutritional aspects crucial for achieving your goals.
  4. Participate in Group Activities: Join group classes or semi-private personal training to experience the vibrant community firsthand. Group activities can add a social element to your workouts and provide additional motivation.
  5. Celebrate Achievements: Whether it’s a personal milestone or a community-wide accomplishment, take the time to celebrate achievements. Recognizing progress, no matter how small, is crucial for maintaining motivation.
  6. Provide Feedback: Your input matters. If there are ways we can improve or better meet your needs, let us know. Your feedback helps us continuously enhance the SVPT experience for everyone.

SVPT Fitness and Athletics is more than just a gym; it’s a dynamic and supportive community dedicated to helping you achieve your fitness goals and cultivate a healthier, happier lifestyle. With a welcoming atmosphere, experienced trainers, positive energy, and our nutrition partnership with Revive Wellness, SVPT offers a comprehensive approach to your well-being. Come and experience the infectious energy that sets SVPT apart – where your fitness journey becomes a rewarding and enjoyable adventure. Welcome to a place where health and happiness go hand in hand, welcome to the SVPT Family.

Book a free consultation and assessment here!

Elevating Senior Health: The Power of Personal Training

Ageing gracefully isn’t just about looking good; it’s about feeling your best and making the most out of life. As we age, maintaining good health becomes increasingly critical, and it’s more than just staying active; it’s about doing the right activities that provide health benefits without causing injury. This is where personal training can significantly impact the quality of life for seniors. Here’s a closer look at why personal training is an excellent option for those in their golden years.

Customized Personal Training

One of the primary benefits of hiring a personal trainer for seniors is the customization of workout routines. A “one size fits all” exercise approach is ineffective, especially for seniors with specific or chronic health issues like arthritis, osteoporosis, or heart conditions. A qualified and certified personal trainer assesses your physical condition, notes any medical history, and creates a program that targets your specific needs.

Injury Prevention

The risk of injury can be a significant concern for seniors when engaging in physical activities. Unsupervised exercise can result in strains or falls, which could have serious implications. Personal trainers understand the biomechanics of the ageing body and can design workouts that are both safe and effective. They instruct you on proper form and technique, significantly reducing the risk of injury during exercise, everyday life, and daily activities.

Balance and Mobility

Balance and mobility are among the most important yet often overlooked aspects of senior fitness. Poor balance can lead to falls, which are the leading cause of injury among seniors. A personal trainer incorporates functional strength and mobility exercises that improve balance and mobility.

Improved Cognitive Function

Several studies indicate that regular physical exercise can improve cognitive function and may even delay the onset of conditions like Alzheimer’s. Personal training offers more than just a physical workout; it’s a mental workout as well. Following complex exercise sequences requires concentration and coordination, keeping both your body and mind engaged.

Accountability and Motivation

It’s easy to skip a workout when no one holds you accountable. A personal trainer provides that accountability, ensuring you stick to your routine. This consistency is crucial in maintaining long-term health benefits. Moreover, having a scheduled session with a trainer gives you something to look forward to, enhancing your overall mental well-being.

Social Engagement

For many seniors, social interaction becomes limited due to various life changes like retirement or loss of friends and family. Personal training provides a form of social engagement that is not just beneficial for your physical health but also for your emotional well-being. Many trainers go beyond just being a fitness instructor; they become confidants and friends, adding another layer of social support.

Adaptive Methods

Personal trainers are highly adaptable, changing your workout routine as your needs and health conditions evolve. Whether you are recovering from surgery or you have achieved a specific fitness milestone, a certified personal trainer will adapt your exercise program accordingly. This adaptive methodology ensures that you are always progressing safely and never plateauing, keeping you engaged and motivated.

Boosted Independence

The ultimate goal of personal training for seniors is to boost independence. Strengthening muscles and joints and improving balance equips seniors with the physical capability to perform daily activities without assistance. This self-reliance has a profound impact on quality of life, leading to increased happiness and longevity.

The Takeaway

Personal training can lead seniors to healthier, happier, and more independent lives. Through tailored exercise programs, injury prevention, functional strength training, and even social engagement, seniors can find a comprehensive solution for ageing gracefully. In the golden years, health becomes the real wealth, and investing in a personal trainer might be the best decision you can make for your physical and mental well-being.

Seniors 65+ get 10% off all private and partner personal training at SVPT!

Seniors fitness discount - Personal Trainer Edmonton

Set up a FREE Assessment: https://www.svptfitness.com/get-started-today/

The Game-Changer for Fitness Over 40: Hiring a Personal Trainer

Age is just a number, but when it starts to tip over 40, it seems your body scribbles memos to remind you. Activity levels slow down, muscle mass begins to decline, and suddenly, those few extra pounds don’t seem to budge as they used to. It’s tempting to take the path of least resistance, blaming age for your fitness hurdles. But what if you could defy age and reclaim your health, fitness and well-being? This is where hiring a personal trainer can be a game-changer, especially if you’re over 40. Here’s why.

Targeted Workouts

Depending on your fitness history, as we age, our bodies require modified forms of exercise to maintain good physical health. Also, our fitness interests change as we age. What we did for fitness in our 30s might not appeal to us anymore. Strength training becomes increasingly important to combat muscle loss, but cardio must also be considered for heart health. An experienced personal trainer can design a balanced workout routine tailored for the 40+ demographic, factoring in your specific health conditions, lifestyle, interests and fitness goals.


Let’s be honest. The 40s are a busy time, often juggling family, career, and many responsibilities. Skipping a workout might seem insignificant in the grand scheme, but those missed workouts add up over time. A personal trainer is an accountability partner, ensuring you stick to your fitness regimen to reach your goals and build better fitness and health into your 50s. They keep tabs on your progress, tweak your workout plan as needed, and inspire you to put your fitness goals into action so you reach your potential.

Expert Guidance

Fitness and personal trainers are often certified professionals with a deep understanding of human anatomy and physiology. As our bodies age, the risk of injury increases, making it crucial to use the correct form and technique during exercise. What we got away with in our 20s and 30s, we can’t in our 40s. A trainer provides expert guidance, minimizing the risks of strains, sprains, and other injuries. This becomes especially important for those embarking on a fitness regime for the first time or returning after a long hiatus.

Psychological Benefits

Turning 40 is often a significant emotional milestone, bringing along its own set of anxieties and self-doubts with our changing bodies. Exercise has been proven to improve mental health, and personalized attention from a personal trainer can boost your self-esteem and confidence. Not only are you transforming your body, but you’re also making positive changes to your mental health and well-being.

Social Interaction

Let’s face it: social circles can often shrink as we age. Hiring a personal trainer brings professional interaction into your life and can introduce you to a community of like-minded individuals. Many trainers offer partner sessions or semi-private personal training, creating a community of people who share similar goals and challenges.

Long-term Investment

Investing in a personal trainer is an investment in yourself. By setting the foundation for a healthy lifestyle in your 40s, you’re also setting the stage for your 50s, 60s, and beyond. With better health and fitness comes a better quality of life, whether it’s having more energy to play with your kids (or grandkids), tackling that hiking trail, you’ve always wanted to conquer with your friends on the weekend, or simply making daily activities easier.

Wrapping It Up

Hiring a personal trainer in your 40s isn’t a sign of weakness or an extravagant luxury; it’s an empowered choice to take control of your health and well-being. A good trainer provides more than just a list of exercises. They offer targeted workouts, accountability, expert guidance, and emotional support that can be incredibly beneficial for those navigating the changes that come with this life stage. If fitness over 40 is a priority for you, a personal trainer might be the game-changer you need.

Let us show you how your 40s can be better than your 30s and set you up for your 50s and 60s!

FREE Assessment: https://www.svptfitness.com/get-started-today/

Benefits of Personalized Training Programs

In the quest for optimal health and fitness, personalized training programs have emerged as a powerful tool for unlocking one’s full potential. Navigating the myriad of exercise routines and fitness advice can be overwhelming, leaving you needing guidance on where to begin or how to proceed. This is where a certified personal trainer and custom personalized training come into play. By combining the expertise of a professional with a tailored approach, you can significantly increase the likelihood of achieving your fitness goals. Tailoring exercise regimens to an individual’s unique needs, goals, abilities, and lifestyle will lead to more significant and lasting results than generic and one-size-fits-all workout routines or random workouts on social media.

Customization to Your Specific Needs and Goals

Personal trainers meet you where you are at.  Personalized training programs are designed for YOUR success and where you are starting. One of the most significant advantages of personalized training programs created by certified personal trainers is their ability to be customized to your unique needs and goals. A certified personal trainer will assess your current fitness level, medical history, fitness history, lifestyle and personal objectives to create a tailored workout plan to optimize your results. This individualized approach ensures that every aspect of your training program is geared towards helping you achieve your goals: strength, building muscle, improving mobility, increasing cardiovascular function, improving athletic performance, or enhancing overall health.

Greater Accountability and Motivation

Working with a certified personal trainer in a private gym setting provides a higher level of accountability and motivation. Knowing someone closely monitors your progress and expects you to attend your workouts can be a powerful motivator. Additionally, your trainer will provide ongoing encouragement and support, helping you stay on track and committed to your fitness journey.

Optimal Exercise Selection and Technique

Personalized training programs incorporate exercises specifically chosen to target your individual needs and goals. A certified personal trainer will ensure that your workout routines include the most effective exercises for your objectives and will teach you the proper technique to perform them safely and efficiently. This attention to detail maximizes the benefits of each workout and reduces the risk of injury.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Your needs and abilities may change as you progress through your fitness journey. Personalized training programs are designed to adapt to these changes, ensuring your workouts remain challenging and effective. Your personal trainer will continually assess your progress and adjust your schedule, helping you stay on track toward your goals and avoiding plateaus.

Time Efficiency

With busy lives and limited time, making the most of your time available for exercise is essential. Personalized training programs are designed to be time-efficient, ensuring that you get the maximum benefit from each workout. You can achieve better results in less time by focusing on exercises explicitly targeting your goals.


Ongoing Education and Support

Getting a personalized exercise program from a personal trainer allows for ongoing education and support throughout your fitness journey. Your trainer can teach you about healthier habits, exercise techniques, and other aspects of a healthy lifestyle. This knowledge can empower you to make informed decisions about your health and fitness, leading to lasting health and well-being.

Personalized exercise programs offer numerous benefits to help you unlock your full potential and achieve your fitness goals. By providing a customized approach, greater accountability, optimal exercise selection, adaptability, time efficiency, and ongoing education and support, these programs can lead to more significant and lasting results than cookie-cutter workout routines. So, if you’re ready to take your fitness journey to the next level, consider investing in a personalized training program from a certified personal trainer and experience the transformative power of tailored exercise regimens.


Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, CFSC

Hiring a Certified Personal Trainer This Fall

As summer’s carefree days wane and the disciplined rhythm of fall takes over, there’s a renewed emphasis on routines, especially regarding health and fitness. This transition offers a new opportunity to invest in a certified personal trainer. If you’re in south Edmonton, one name stands out: SVPT Fitness & Athletics. A locally owned and operated gem, SVPT has pioneered the personal training industry for 15 years, setting unparalleled standards.

Why Invest in a Certified Personal Trainer this Fall?

  1. Personalized Guidance: Every individual is unique — in terms of goals, fitness history, physical conditions, and motivations. A certified personal trainer recognizes these nuances and crafts workouts tailored just for you. Whether your summer was filled with indulgences or prolonged inactivity, they gauge where you are now and chart a path forward.  SVPT certified personal trainers meet you where you are at and will guide you to your fitness goals safely and effectively.
  2. Structured Return to Routine: While self-motivation can get you started, maintaining consistency can be challenging. With summer over, the structured approach of a personal trainer ensures you’re not only returning to fitness but also evolving in your journey. Regular sessions with a personal trainer ensure that you get started and stay committed by helping you establish a routine. Personal trainers can help you create a routine that will work for you and your lifestyle. Routine creates consistency, and consistency is the key to success.
  3. Safety First: After a summer hiatus from structured exercise or trying something new, there’s a risk of injury without proper guidance. Certified personal trainers ensure you perform activities correctly, use equipment safely, and progressively intensify workouts as needed.
  4. Accountability and Motivation: One of the critical challenges in maintaining a fitness routine is staying accountable. Scheduled sessions with a personal trainer ensure you show up, push your limits safely and effectively, and remain committed to your wellness journey even when the initial enthusiasm wanes.
  5. Expertise and Knowledge: SVPT’s certified personal trainer brings a wealth of expertise in anatomy, exercise physiology, and the latest in fitness trends.  Whether your goal is to increase strength, improve cardiovascular, and improve mobility and flexibility, this expertise translates to more effective and efficient training programs and a comprehensive understanding of your fitness journey.


Why Choose SVPT Fitness & Athletics?

With numerous fitness options in south Edmonton, why should SVPT Fitness & Athletics be your go-to destination this fall?

  1. 15 Years of Excellence: A decade and a half in the fitness industry is not just a number. It’s a testimony to consistent excellence, adaptability to fitness trends, and a commitment to client wellness. With SVPT, you’re not just getting a gym; you’re getting a legacy.
  2. Privacy Matters: Unlike crowded commercial gyms where you often wait for equipment or feel overwhelmed, SVPT offers a private gym experience. This privacy ensures personalized attention and a comfortable environment to improve your fitness and focus on your goals.
  3. Highly Qualified Trainers: At SVPT, certification is just the beginning. The trainers are seasoned professionals who undergo continuing education and training to stay updated with the latest in fitness and improve themselves as coaches. Their expertise ensures you’re in safe, knowledgeable hands.
  4. Mental Health: Fitness is not just about physical exercises. Research has shown that exercise can improve mental health and well-being.  Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. They are often referred to as “happy hormones.” A personal trainer provides a structured routine, instilling a sense of discipline and purpose. Having a routine and sticking to it can be grounding and give a sense of stability.  Interacting with a personal trainer provides social engagement, which can help reduce feelings of loneliness or isolation. Regular social contact can benefit mental health, even if it’s just one person.
  5. Community Feel: While the gym offers a private experience, it also fosters a sense of community among its members. The environment is one of mutual encouragement, motivation, and shared goals.

As we transition from the free-spirited summer to the disciplined tones of fall, ensuring your fitness doesn’t get left behind is crucial. A certified personal trainer offers guidance, structure, and expertise in this transition. And in south Edmonton, SVPT Fitness & Athletics is the best choice for a private, personalized, and effective fitness experience. As the leaves change colour, let this season be the one where you transform, evolve, and achieve your fitness goals with SVPT by your side.


Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, CFSC

Click here to book your free assessment!

Exercising vs. Training

As summer winds down, and we approach ‘fall back to fitness’, many will be seeking the fitness routine they had before summer shenanigans. So as you get back into your routine, ask yourself – are you training or are you just exercising?

Exercise and training might often be used as synonymous terms, but there are a few important distinctions between the two. Exercise can best be thought of as physical activity that serves an immediate purpose and effect. It is done for its own sake, whether that is during the workout or immediately after. This “effect” or “purpose” can include burning calories, getting a pump on, getting sweaty, or as a way to blow off steam & de-stress. Training, on the other hand, is utilizing physical activity to achieve a definite performance objective, which is often long-term. The difference between exercise and training is a question of intention.

Training is a process designed to achieve a specific result. It is a pre-determined progression of activity designed to satisfy a long-term performance goal. Training is less about the workouts individually than it is about the process of utilizing the workouts to reach the ultimate training goal, or the cumulative effect of the individual workouts. The results are reached by progressing week after week, tracking progress and adjusting as needed. Training is about long-term improvement for a specific purpose, which often means displacing the immediate feeling of having achieved a goal until that goal is realized down the line.

The primary goal of exercise is, generally, to keep you healthy. Exercising can produce immediate results, and results over the long term even; however, training is deciding on a goal and using physical activity to achieve that goal. Long-term results from consistent exercise are a welcome by-product but are not the outcome of intentional physical activity. Any program that features exposure at random to various types of physical stress cannot produce a specific physical adaptation. Past a certain point the adaptation that occurs naturally with exercise will stop, a point that occurs relatively quickly.

Should we all be training? Not necessarily. It’s more about your specific goals. If the goal is to maintain health, exercising might be sufficient, and the most important thing would then be to choose exercise options that motivate you to continue and be consistent. Jumping from program to program or choosing random workouts can be a great way to exercise without getting bored. For those who have specific goals, a long-term training program with trackable results is more appropriate.

SVPT Fitness & Athletics

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Hustle and bustle! That’s usually what comes to mind with the holiday season and family obligations, work parties, and other social gatherings. This usually means less free time and lots of (tasty) foods and drinks. Maybe this is what sparks the desire in most people to start up a new exercise program in the New Year as a result of guilty feelings towards a month of poor eating and neglecting your healthy routines. Many gyms thrive on the unrealistic goals of the “resolutionists”, but the best ones remain steady throughout the year because they teach balance and not using shame to make you feel like you need to “exercise away” the holiday weight gain.

The #SVPTway isn’t about shame or guilt surrounding the holidays. True LONG TERM success is about recognizing the ebbs and flows of life and not feeling bad when you have less time to give to your healthy habits. The holidays are a time for maintenance, not for making gains in fitness. But hey, if you are making gains then keep it up. We are just saying that maintenance is AWESOME during this time of year. Just keep moving and get some exercise in where you can. Be attentive to what you’re putting in your body, but life is short (READ: eat the damn cake). While the New Year might inspire you to get back into routine and maybe work a bit harder, remember that getting back into things means that you’re going to need to ease in to avoid a burnout. Remember that setting sustainable goals will help you stick to your new routine. Hiring a certified, qualified trainer can help you learn how to set attainable goals and stay motivated as well as keep you accountable which usually means sticking to the plan for longer.

Tips for December training:
● Try to get in exercise where you can – not only will this help you keep your gains, but also relieve holiday stress, and give you a moment of YOU time
● Don’t be afraid to change it up if travel and time means you can’t do what you normally do – opt for outdoor activities, a new class, etc. – something is better than nothing
● Try to incorporate movement into family activities when you can – get everyone moving

Tips for January training:
● Ease into it – don’t go all out in the beginning
● Create SMART goals that are attainable and sustainable – just because its January 1st, doesn’t mean your life has miraculously changed and all of a sudden you can do more than what you could in 2019
● Stay away from trends and challenges
● Hire a trainer to keep you accountable and teach you how to be independent, after all, you don’t want to be making the SAME goals next year. Next year you should be hitting NEW ones!

Functional Fitness

All fitness is functional.  All exercise is functional.

All exercise will help you do daily activities with greater ease, and therefore allow you to live a more full and adventurous life.

When most people see the words “functional fitness”, one of two things usually comes to mind:

  • Some type of circus-act exercise that makes you look absolutely ridiculous.
  • Exercise that looks exactly like the movement you will be doing in life.

We have all seen the crazy circus-type exercises on social media. Cringe.  And I am sure you have seen our commercial, where you will see people doing exercises that mimic everyday activities.

Sled pushes will help you mow the lawn, but so will any well-rounded fitness program that includes general lower body, upper body, and core strength exercises.  Landmine squats with a press will help you lift your child over your head, but so will dumbbell presses and squats, performed independently as part of a complete workout plan. Farmer’s carries will help you carry your groceries, but so will planks or chin-ups.  What we are trying to say is – full disclosure – the people in that video do other exercises too! And those other exercises are no less functional than the exercises they so expertly demonstrate for us on camera.

Functional fitness is typically considered to be less about isolation and more about integration –   all the body parts and systems working together seamlessly to accomplish a task. The more you can train your body to work as a whole, the more you will benefit in everyday life and the more injury-resistant you will be.  When you work your entire body in multiple directions of movement and ranges of motion, you can avoid overuse injury in a single direction or range and instead allow your body to be strong and functional in all of them. This style of training prepares you for anything unexpected that might occur in your day-to-day life. It’s about being proactive, rather than reactive.

Isolation exercises such as bicep curls are often criticized for not being ‘functional’, but if your biceps are a weak link in the chain of your body, then they might be an incredibly functional exercise for you. What counts as functional exercise all comes down to the individual – what is functional for one person might not be for another.  Getting an assessment from a qualified trainer to find anything that may be preventing your body from working as a strong, complete unit – and finding out what exercises are therefore ‘functional’ for you – is a great idea.  Eliminate the guessing game, save time and invest in a proper program (Shameless plug: svptfitness.com)

All consistent fitness and exercise will help you fend off those injuries that happen simply because your body is not strong enough or fit enough to handle the activities you are trying to do every day.  For some, like an older population, that means preventing falls and creating physical independence, and for the younger population that might be preventing a knee blowout at a weekend flag football game, or on that impromptu ski trip.

Finally, functional fitness is a bit more fun and a lot less boring than bicep curls!  Exercises that tend to involve more movement, in multiple directions and range of motion, can add more challenge. Because let’s face it, moving all the parts of your body at once is harder! Think about a bear crawl – fun but hard, and working EVERYTHING – co-ordination, legs, shoulders, arms and all the core in the land.  Does a bear crawl translate into everyday activity? Not straight across (unless you have to bear crawl for a living), but all the things happening when you are doing it will help you – carry groceries, play with your kids, go for a hike, help a friend move…all that great stuff.

So is running on the treadmill or sitting on the bike functional fitness?  YES! Cardiovascular health is super important for heart health and the ability to be able to sustain physical activity and daily activities longer (i.e. mowing the lawn without breaks ). Is chest and bicep day functional fitness?  YES! If upper body strength is your weak link, chest and bi’s will certainly help you in that regard. Of course, what would be even more optimal would be to include additional training that ties those muscles in with the rest of your body.

The takeaway point is – all fitness is functional and all fitness will improve your quality of life!

Shara Vigeant, BA, CPT, CFSC

What Makes a Good Personal Trainer?

A new year usually means health and fitness resolutions.  Many seek help from personal trainers, which is a great investment into accountability, motivation, technique, effectiveness, and efficiency.

The good news?  There are so many fantastic trainers out there.

The bad news?  The health and fitness industry is a billion dollar industry, making it easy for anyone to get ‘certified’ as a personal trainer.  Certifications are available to anyone over a weekend or online in hours and that means there are many bad personal trainers out there.

Trainers that lack proper and thorough education can potentially injure a client, or create a bad experience for the client, and this makes it bad for the good personal trainers out there.

So how do you find a good trainer?   Start with an interview.   You are investing a lot of money and should make sure the person guiding you on this journey is a good fit for you and most importantly, qualified.

Consider these key points in the interview:

Education.  Where did they receive education and/or certification?  Is it accredited?  Google is your friend — look into their certification and education to make sure it is legit.

Experience.  How much experience do they have? Minimal experience isn’t necessarily a bad thing (everyone has to start somewhere).  If they have a solid education and certification, experience might not be an issue for you (this leads to the next point).

References.  Ask for references from current or previous clients.  Even trainers with minimal experience will have references.  Talking to someone who has worked with the trainer can give you valuable information that you might not get directly from the trainer.

Continuing Education.  Since their initial education or certification have they continued to learn, grow, evolve?  A trainer that is always learning is one that that is passionate about their clients and career.  They are always seeking to add more tools to the toolbox and seeking to be better, so they can further help their clients.

Now that you have interviewed the trainer and have found a solid education and background, what characteristics in the trainer should you look for?

Honesty.  You are not hiring them to tell you what you want to hear; it’s about what you NEED to hear.  Sometimes you don’t want to hear what they have to say, but you have hired them to help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your body and lifestyle; and sometimes the truth hurts.

Positive Energy.  There is nothing worse than coming into a session after a tough day, and your trainer is a dull, sad panda.   Their energy should make you want to be there, to push and work harder (and have fun doing it!).

Humor.  Let’s face it, being able to smile and laugh in a challenging training session can make it a little less awful, especially when it comes to doing stuff you do not necessarily like (but need).  Exercise can be fun while working hard, maintaining proper form and focus!

Attention.  They learn about you, your lifestyle and goals and then create training around that, and not force you into a program that is unrealistic.  During the session, their focus is on you, not their cell phones, other people in the gym, or shiny objects passing by.   How can they help you if they don’t pay attention to you?

Professionalism.  They are on time, dress appropriately, follow up with emails/texts/calls regarding your sessions promptly, treat you with respect and talk to you like an adult.  Also, they leave their personal drama at home.

Approachability.  They are easy to approach with concerns or questions.  Nothing is worse than a trainer that is so scary and serious that you are scared to ask questions.

Open Mindedness.  Trainers should be open to other training protocols and what fits for YOU.  There is no ONE right way – it always depends on the client.

Problem Solvers.  They are good at solving problems or at least TRY to solve problems.  They are not scared to say ‘I don’t know’ but will look it up or ask a peer for the answer.  They refer out.  Trainers are not doctors – if they see a problem outside of the scope of our expertise, then they should urge you to see a professional.

Walk the Talk.   The best way for a trainer to relate to and coach a client is by experiencing it themselves.  They should practice what they preach and live a healthy, fit and balanced lifestyle that is consistent with what they are trying to get you to do.

At the end of the day, it comes down to BUYER BEWARE.  Take the trainer for a test drive before committing to 100 sessions.  Buy a few sessions first to make sure it’s a fit!


Shara Vigeant, BA, CPT, CFSC