Our top 5 CPD training courses for 2014

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Undergoing constant training to refresh your skills is critical as a Personal Trainer, but with so many to choose from, picking a speciality is a minefield. We summarise our top specialisms below:

HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training

With people having less and less time but still wanting more from their workouts, HITT may be just the ticket, with sessions ranging between four and thirty minutes in length.

They can be adapted to suit your client’s needs and usually consist of a warm up, three to eight repetitions of high intensity exercise with a continuation of each exercise in between at a lower intensity, known as the recovery period. HIIT works by putting the body through high intensity anaerobic exercise with short less intense recovery periods. Interval training has been around for years and this really is what it says on the tin.

HIIT works your client at 90% of their anaerobic threshold followed by a brief aerobic recovery on repeat. Perfect for time pushed clients and motivational challenges, HIIT is a great tool to have in your Personal Trainer kit.

Hydro Spinning

Participation in road cycling and cycle touring is on the increase following our recent successes at the Olympics and the Tour de France.

For the majority who want to cycle but don’t stray farther than the local gym, Spinning is a great alternative – its popularity has led to dedicated studios even popping up on our high streets. Take it one stage further and add a pool. Yes, a new form of spinning is sure to make its mark here in 2014. Hydro Spinning or water cycling involves pedalling on a static bike while waist deep in water.

It’s gained popularity in France over the past few years and it looks like it’s here to stay in the UK too. Anyone who’s taught spinning or taken part in a class will know the benefits of static cycling but hydro spinning takes things to another level, with the water acting as an additional level of resistance while also giving the benefits of water based exercise – reduced sweating, less pressure on the heart and water buoyancy reducing pressure on joints. This all tallies up to make Hydro Spinning a much lower risk activity with the benefits of still being a highly intensive workout.

Body Weight Training

Body weight training has been a fundamental training practise ever since we (the Greeks) started exercising. For the past two years the American College of Sports Medicine has named Body Weight Training as a top 10 trend for the coming year.

Its popularity continues as the need for ‘no-hassle’ exercise to fit in with our clients’ busy lifestyles remains. With the bonus of being able to train your clients in their home, office or the great outdoors thanks to the lack of equipment, It’s a great way for you to motivate your clients with their ‘homework’, given they’ve got no excuse.

Body weight training in its basic form is simple to teach and is in all personal trainers’ lockers…but more advanced techniques and exercises can be picked up through an advanced body weight training course, giving you the confidence and knowledge to test your clients by putting them through some truly demanding sessions.

Furthermore a course in suspended body weight training takes things to another level. With numerous benefits including decreased body fat, improved strength and co-ordination, increased flexibility and improved core strength, this convenient form of exercise has a lot going for it.

Children’s fitness and exercise

With children’s health under scrutiny, parents and schools are taking steps to introduce children to fun fitness sessions to encourage them to enter into them for the long-term. Now’s the time to look at a specific children’s course; a qualification like this could put your new found skills and knowledge in demand.

It goes without saying that you’ll need to be good with kids to get ahead, but a good course will give you information on children’s skeletal development and other physical and mental development issues that are crucial to consider.

You’ll also receive guidance on creating exciting but safe exercise sessions for children and teenagers. Child obesity is highly likely to lead to adult obesity so introducing children to a healthy lifestyle at a young age is critical.

To avoid common adult complaints that follow childhood obesity, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and sleep apnoea, an exercise programme needs to be attractive enough for them to want to follow through to adulthood. Many exercise classes already exist for children, but it’s more likely that they are playing team sports such as hockey, rugby, football or netball if they’re doing anything. Circuits are becoming increasingly popular for the under-18s though. Find the gaps in the market in your area and you’ll be on to a winner.

Triathlon training

We have the Brownlee brothers to thank for increasing the visibility of triathlon, and the national Triathlon bodies now have over 500 registered clubs across Britain. Business is booming in the triathlon world, so now is as good a time as any to get involved; this is one area where London 2012 really did leave a legacy. According to the British Triathlon Association, formal age group events now start from age 8 and finish at veterans of 80 and over to accommodate all of the willing participants, so you’d need to be able to train all age groups and abilities.

Base fitness is critical with triathlon and encouraging participants to understand that they can’t move on to specific training without it is sometimes difficult. The two critical factors in a triathlete’s fitness are strength endurance and anaerobic endurance; working out the best combination of strength, stamina and efficiency for each athlete takes skill. Becoming a triathlete coach is quite a specific challenge, as you’ll need to offer motivation, techniques across three different disciplines and work around the annual triathlon season to shuffle clients at peak periods.

Whatever your discipline in personal training, you’ll need to be covered so make sure you’ve got adequate liability insurance just in case the worst happens. Find out how little it could cost for a comprehensive policy with Protectivity.