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An Update From The Director of Curriculum

Greetings everyone! I hope this update finds you well. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful for your dedication and perseverance to both your education and your clients. Fortunately, the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter each day, as more people become vaccinated and case counts decrease. Most states have begun to ease restrictions and fitness facilities across the US are re-opening their doors to eager people who are looking to shed their own personal “Covid-19” weight gain.

At W.I.T.S., we always aim to provide up-to-date and relevant educational programming for our students and post-pandemic life will provide us with a unique opportunity to introduce our newest certification program: Medical Fitness Specialist. This program will focus on identifying, programming for, and training clients with a multitude of chronic conditions, ranging from anxiety through cancer.

According to the CDC, nearly 6 in 10 Americans are currently living with a chronic condition and nearly 4 in 10 Americans are living with more than one chronic condition. We can also expect this number to increase in the coming months/years as a result of Covid-19 “long haulers” and the number of people newly diagnosed with conditions such as anxiety or depression increase. A key component in training these unique individuals is understanding the unique challenges and opportunities they present and this certification course will do just that!


Learn More About the Medical Fitness Specialist Certification


Medical Fitness Specialist Certification is a 30-CEC course that will spend equal parts studying core content (lecture-based) and learning hands-on approaches to training these unique clients (practical-based). When learning about each condition, students will learn about:

  • Basic pathophysiology
  • Common medications and interactions
  • Effects of exercise response and training
  • Recommendations for exercise training
  • Exercise program recommendations

We are extremely excited to offer this course and our developers are working diligently to get this course completed as quickly as possible while maintaining the educational standard you’ve come to expect from our coursework. Stay tuned for its release in May 2021!


Learn More About the Medical Fitness Specialist Certification


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Ultra-High Repetition (UHR) Training: Insights, Perspectives, and Programming Considerations

by Joe Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS
Faculty Member, World Instructor Training Schools

The events of 2020 have plunged many of us into the caverns of our deepest possible introspections — the way we evaluate our lives, purpose, and appreciate each waking moment is magnified. Amid the differences the mass media conveniently highlights to divide us and through our daily struggles in this volatile world, there is one common denominator among us — something that has served as our cornerstone — training.

The way we as coaches, athletes, fitness professionals, and enthusiasts view training has indelibly changed. One thing this year has taught our collective brethren is to be more resourceful and resilient than ever. Brick and mortar business models are now shifting to virtual mediums. Programming is now more flexible, not in the literal sense, but in the practical one, given the pre-emptive and seemingly pulsatile closures of gyms and fitness facilities, otherwise deemed as “non-essential” businesses.

Nowadays, much of my work revolves around instituting, delivering, and evaluating wellness initiatives within higher education, though I continue to support a small contingent of clients, including a handful of professional basketball players. Though an infinitesimally small sample of the population we serve, the adverse impact on their personal and professional lives is representative of those wanting to doggedly continue the pursuit of their training goals.

With limited to no access to facilities and most having a sparse collection of equipment at their disposal, their predicament forced us to establish a new normalcy through sustainable programming.

Enter ultra-high repetition (UHR) training…

At first glance, employing repetition ranges beyond (20) may have limited utility. And in traditional settings, performing exclusively higher repetitions may not favorably elicit adaptations in maximal or limit strength, however, UHR does warrant consideration in several circumstances beyond those rehabilitating from injury.

It has been well established that higher repetitions per set will tap into the oxidatively mediated Type I muscle fibers that are responsible for stability and motor control, thus providing an adequate stimulus requisite for activation.

However, those beginning an exercise program or returning from a long layoff, perhaps prompted by facility closures and limited access to equipment, could benefit from UHR training.


Add dumbbell training to your programming knowledge base


An experimental design consisting of circuit training sessions performed 3x weekly conducted over a period of (12) weeks involving repetitions as high as (36) per set, yielded considerable improvements in strength and body compositions among the training group [4]. Among untrained individuals, little differences in strength were realized upon completing 3x weekly sessions for (7) weeks for groups performing 3-5 repetitions, 13-15 repetitions, and 23-25 repetitions [9]. An earlier study involving untrained subjects demonstrated increased time to fatigue, maximal aerobic power, and significant improvements in muscular endurance upon completion of performing an (8) week battery involving a repetition range of 20-28 repetitions for two sets interpolated by one minute of rest [1]. Additionally, dual energy X-ray scans following 27 weeks of low-load, high-repetition resistance training revealed significant improvements in pelvic bone mineral density and accretions within the appendicular skeleton and lumbar spine [5].

Acutely, energy expenditure was found to be comparable between time matched sessions involving lower loads with higher repetitions and higher loads for lower repetitions [6]. Lesser loads representing 30% of 1RM, when brought to momentary muscular fatigue, were shown to educe acute myofibrillar protein synthesis rates comparable to 90% of 1RM among untrained, but active young men, when paired with immediate post-session protein enriched recovery supplement [3]. Performing repetitions to failure at 30% 1RM within an (8) week program evoked increases in physiological cross-sectional area of the lower thigh, or quadriceps (7.8%) similar to high load, repetitions to failure (8.1%) and high load, repetitions not taken to failure (7.7%) [2]. Comparable increases in muscle thickness were observed among groups of women engaging in either 30% 1RM or 80% 1RM over a period of six weeks [8]. And though Schoenfeld and colleagues (2015) illustrated improved strength among highly trained subjects performing a protocol of higher loads and moderate repetitions (8-12 repetitions), comparable increases in thickness of the elbow flexors and extensors and knee extensors were attained with lower loads and higher repetitions (25-35 repetitions) absent any deliberate nutritional modifications over (8) weeks [7]. As observed in multiple prior studies, muscular endurance significantly improved.

It can be speculated that the training intensity achieved in said protocols was sufficient to activate the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), an enzymatic protein that stewards muscle protein synthesis, which is a key determinant of hypertrophy.

Broadly speaking, training with higher repetition ranges builds and maintains the foundational work capacity required for more intense training as denominated by external load, volume, tonnage (load x volume), or density and permit for more frequent training, which in turn, permit enhanced muscle protein synthesis. Frequent training, absent circa maximal loads and attendant mechanical tension, is also more conducive to inter-session recovery since muscle soreness and taxation of the central nervous system are of little concern.

Below are some programming considerations:

  1. For injured persons, beginners, and those lacking relative strength, or proficiency with their bodyweight, and or limited proprioception, light dumbbells, household objects and canned goods with even weight distribution are recommended.
  2. If possible, bodyweight exercises should be performed as they enable a myriad of progression schemes: repetitions and sets (volume) and density and can also be performed intermittently. Bodyweight exercises, almost exclusively, are credited for sculpting Herculean physiques, including that of former Heisman trophy winner, Herschel Walker, who performed hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups daily.
  3. Bands also permit the execution of high repetitions sets while mitigating post-session and day after soreness. Bands accommodate the strength curve on exercises. Overload is experienced closer to the end of the exercise’s respective range of motion or “lock-out”.
  4. High intensity plyometric exercises, such as bounding, broad and vertical and other multi-directional jumps, and those intended to develop muscular power should not be performed in high repetition sets.
  5. Olympic lifts should not be performed in high repetition sets as technical execution and motor learning tasks take precedence over muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness.
  6. Though the loads may seem light from the outset, its prudent to adhere to progressive overload and not drastically increase volume or intensity arbitrarily and/or in subsequent training sessions. Also, limit training to failure to one set per training session and build up to one set per exercise performed, ideally the last set of said exercise.

Add dumbbell training to your programming knowledge base


References

  1. Campos, G.E., Luecke, T.J., Wendeln, H.K., Toma, K., Hagerman, F.C., Murray, T.F., Ragg, K.E., Ratamess, N.A., Kraemer, W.J., & Staron, R.S. (2002). Muscular adaptations in response to three different resistance-training regimens: specificity of repetition maximum training zones. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 88, 50-60.
  2. Lasevicius, T., Schoenfeld, B.J., Silva-Batista, C., de Souza Barros, T., Aihara, A.Y., Brendon, H., Longo, A.R., Tricoli, V., de Almeida Peres, B., & Teixeira, E.L. (2019). Muscular failure promotes greater muscle hypertrophy in low-load but not in high-load resistance training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, [Epub ahead of print].
  3. Mitchell, C.J., Churchward-Venne, T.A., West, D.W.D., Burd, N.A., Breen, L., Baker, S.K., & Phillips, S.M. (2012). Resistance exercise load does not determine training-mediated hypertrophic gains in young men. Journal of Applied Physiology, 113 (1), 71-77.
  4. O’Connor, T.E. & Lamb, K.L. (2003). The effects of Bodymax high-repetition resistance training on measures of body composition and muscular strength in active adult women. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 17 (3), 614-620.
  5. Petersen, B.A., Hastings, B., & Gotschall, J.S. (2015). Low load, high repetition resistance training program increases bone mineral density in untrained adults. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 57 (1-2), 70-76.
  6. Rustaden, A.M., Gjestvang, C., Bǿ, K., Hagen Haakstad, L.A., & Paulsen, G. (2020). Similar energy expenditure during BodyPump and heavy load resistance exercise in overweight women. Frontiers in Physiology, 11, 570
  7. Schoenfeld, B.J., Peterson, M.D., Ogborn, D., Contreras, B., & Sonmez, G.T. (2015). Effects of low- versus high-load resistance training on muscle strength and hypertrophy in well-trained men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29 (10), 2954-2963.
  8. Stefanaki, D.G.A., Dzulkarnain, A., & Gray, S.R. (2019). Comparing the effects of low and high load resistance exercise to failure on adaptive responses to resistance exercise in young women. Journal of Sports Sciences, 37 (12), 1375-1380.
  9. Weiss, L.W., Coney, H.D., & Clark, F.C. (1999). Differential functional adaptations to short-term low-, moderate-, and high-repetition weight training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 13 (3), 236-241.
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Medical Fitness Specialist Certification – Prepare for the Future

Author – Pamela G. Huenink, MS, EP-C

Are most of your clients healthy with no underlying conditions? Most likely no. In fact, the majority of your clients probably have at least one risk factor that puts them at a higher level for complications and restrictions with normal physical activity and exercise.

The increase in the incidence of disease has risen astronomically over the past 15-20 years. Many factors have played into this, such as a decrease in daily movement (usually because of the use of technology), increased portions sizes, bad health and wellness choices and even the lack of nutrition in our consumable whole foods. This has taken the previous fitness field as we know it and started to push it into a new direction: medical fitness.

A classic personal trainer certification teaches you the basics to assess, program and progress workouts for what we are told is the average client, but that healthy person is no longer the average client. So how do you prepare yourself as a personal trainer in this new developing area of medical fitness?

We all know that if we could take the effects of exercise on the human body and put it into a pill form, there would be no need for half of the jobs in the medical and fitness world.

The American College of Sports Medicine has long used the phrase Exercise is Medicine (EIM). Their EIM global health initiative “encourages physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans and to refer patients to evidence-based exercise programs and qualified exercise professionals. EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health and is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions.”

World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) has always been committed to providing the most up-to-date training for our personal trainers. Their new Advanced Medical Fitness course is bringing the medical fitness world to your doorstep and giving you the skills necessary to work with the new average client who may suffer from one of many underlying health conditions. This course will give you the knowledge to work with these clients and take referred patients from medical professionals looking to incorporate activity into their patient’s daily life. Your knowledge from this class can also protect you legally due to your ability to provide an increased safe workout environment.


Learn more about the Medical Fitness Specialist Certification


The following topics will be covered in depth in this course:

  • Exercise Is Medicine in Chronic Care
  • Basic Physical Activity and Exercise Recommendations for Persons With Chronic Conditions
  • Art of Clinical Exercise Programming
  • Art of Exercise Medicine: Counseling and Socioecological Factors
  • Approach to the Common Chronic Conditions
  • Chronic Conditions Strongly Associated With Physical Inactivity
  • Chronic Conditions Very Strongly Associated With Tobacco
  • Cancer, Significant Sequelae Related to Common Chronic Conditions
  • Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Prepare yourself for the future with this Medical Fitness Specialist Level I Certification that puts you a very large step above the rest of personal trainers! The MFS Level II Certification with more in-depth coverage of disease and chronic conditions will be available in the Fall of 2021.


Learn more about the Medical Fitness Specialist Certification


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A Discussion on Home Treadmills

By: Mark S. Cassidy, MS

Mark Cassidy - Certified Personal Trainer InstructorMost people want and enjoy working-out with others. This is why there are gyms! People can socialize, receive motivation, and learn new techniques by being involved with fitness facilities.

But that does not mean that people also like to have fitness equipment at their home, for those occasions where working-out with others is not an option.

As a Fitness Professional / Strength Coach I have had numerous students, clients and athletes ask me for recommendations when it comes to purchasing in-home fitness related devices. The goals of the specific user have the greatest influence on how I respond to the question. However, there is one piece of fitness equipment that usually comes up right from the jump, from every individual.

“Hey Coach, is there a treadmill you recommend?”

My reply to this is always the same – “You probably don’t want to do that.”

It’s not that I have anything against a treadmill – I use them myself. It’s because of the things that most people never consider when having one in their place of residence. Let me explain….

Treadmill Delivery

Treadmills are not small pieces of equipment. So, putting one to the roof or in the backseat of a car is out of the question. A truck of some sort is going to be required to transport it to your house. They also can be very heavy, which means you will need 2-4 other people to get it out of the truck, then into your house. A paid delivery service may be necessary for installation. Other things that have to be thought of is how big is the door / entrance way, how wide are the hall ways, and are there steps to navigate to get the treadmill to it required location.


Learn the Conditioning and Science of Running


Treadmill Location

Due to a treadmills’ foot-print, you will need a decent size location to keep it. Figuring that a treadmill can be 6-feet by 3-feet (at that is a minimum), along with needing space to access it, you can figure on 28-30 square feet of space. Also, keep in mind that once its ‘there’ – its going to stay ‘there’, due to its size and weight. The type of floor that you place it on can also be of concern. If the flooring is a softer wood, the treadmill may damage the floor, so rubber matting may be necessary.

Treadmill Power Source

Although there are some treadmill models that are self-generated, which means the belts will move by the user themselves, they are not many. This means that you will have to have an electrical outlet to power the treadmill. Because a treadmill can draw quite a bit of electricity through a wall outlet, if too much electrical volume is drawn out of an outlet, that outlet can overheat and/or the circuit breaker in your home’s fuse box may trip, causing the treadmill to stop dead. This abrupt stoppage can be mechanically taxing on the treadmill and physically dangerous for the user. So, you will have to hire a certified electrical contractor to ensure the safety of any electrical outlet in your home, for your treadmill.

Treadmill Motor Strength

The strength of the treadmill motor is critical to the level of its success. Because if the motor is too ‘weak’ for how the user intends to work-out on it, it will break down.

A treadmill’s motor powers the belt. Treadmill motor power is described in terms of horsepower (HP), and you specifically want to know the treadmills’ continuous horsepower (CHP) capabilities. CHP is most useful measurement because it indicates how much power a motor can put out continuously, while in use, versus just when it is at its peak. Treadmill motors vary from a very low 1.5 CHP to full commercial machines with 5.0 CHP motors.

How much treadmill motor power do you need will depends on your type of exercise regimen and your body weight.

For people weighing up to 200 pounds, here are general recommendations:

  • Walking: Choose 2.0 CHP or higher
  • Jogging: Choose 2.5 CHP or higher
  • Running: Choose 3.0 CHP or higher
  • If you weigh more than 200 pounds, then add another 0.5 CHP

Understand that a treadmill which lists it has ‘4 HP’ does not necessarily mean it has ‘4 CHP’.

CHP means that the motor will run at that given horsepower indefinitely without burning up the motor. If you get a treadmill with a motor rated at 4 CHP, it will provide 4 HP for numerous years without a threat to damaging the motor.


Learn How to Improve Running Performance


If a treadmill only lists HP of the treadmill, it is really only listing the highest generated horsepower that can be produced by the motor for a very limited amount of time, prior to the motor itself actually ‘burning-out’. You can find peak horsepower ratings listed on lower priced treadmills ranging from 2.5 to 4.0 HP. So, the actual continuous duty rating of these motors is in the 1.25 to 2.0 range, which is extremely low and will not maintain a belt speed that will be very effective. The more CHP the treadmill possesses, the faster and smother the belt will speed up and slow down during a workout.

Treadmill Price

Treadmills on average are the most expensive pieces of fitness equipment in any fitness facility. Although some can be found in the $1000 dollar range; the majority of the ones that have motors required for long term usage and reliability are well above that price. I tell everyone who ask about how much to expect to spend on a reliable treadmill for home use, to be prepared to take $2000 to $4000 dollars out of their wallet.

Conclusion

As I initially stated, I am not against anyone using or purchasing a treadmill. I just strongly feel that when it comes to buying one for your house, there are all the points in this article to consider. It’s the job of fitness professionals and strength coaches to be helpful and informative when we get any and all questions related to our profession. If all of the issues I stated are easily overcome, I would tell the student, client or athlete who asked about purchasing a treadmill – “Have fun and go shopping.”

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What does Dosha have to do with Exercise?

As a personal trainer, you will hear all kinds of excuses from people as to why they can’t lose weight, gain muscle with weight training, or stick to a workout plan. And sometimes your response will be an internal eye roll along with the thought, “here we go again!” But hold on a second because sometimes their excuse is actually valid.

Ayurveda is the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and believes that energy systems called doshas govern physiological activity. There are three doshas – Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. We encompass all three systems but usually have one predominate system and sometimes a close secondary. For example, I am a Pitta with a Vata secondary.

The cool thing is that as trainers, we can use someone’s dosha to guide their nutrition and workout programs. As it relates to exercise, most trainers that love working out with weights are Pitta body types. It makes sense because a Pitta Dosha needs to pump some iron to be healthy. A Pitta is like a Mesomorph – they build muscle easily. However, if you are training a Vata body type (think Ectomorph) and you start overloading them too quickly (or in some cases, at all), they can start to feel sick, get injured, feel discouraged and quit.

Here is a breakdown of body types and the best type of exercise for them. A Vata needs more zen-like exercise to be healthy – yoga, tai chi, brisk walking, biking, martial arts, and dancing. A Pitta does well with weight training, circuit training, biking, hiking, swimming, tennis, climbing, and skiing. A Kapha (Endomorph) needs to work up a good sweat and does well with aerobic activity such as brisk walking, jogging, running (if their joints are healthy and they don’t have too much extra weight on them), spinning, dancing, circuit training, and rowing.


Browse these courses on sport and exercise nutrition.


As I mentioned before, most people will have a primary and a secondary. You may think the primary is easy to discern based on their body type, but this may not always be accurate. You may think someone who is carrying a lot of extra weight is a Kapha, but if they were thin children and only gained the weight later in life, they could be a Vata or a Pitta who just needs to lose some weight. A true Kapha will be those people who say they have always had trouble with their weight, even as young children. You may think that someone extremely thin is a Vata but could possibly be someone with an eating disorder and that someone muscular is a Pitta but could possibly be taking steroids. It is always best to have them take a dosha quiz.

If you figure out your clients’ doshas, you can tailor a workout that will excite them, get them results without injury, and keep them motivated. Using myself as an example again, I love to be in the weight room, and I thrive with that style of workout. However, having a Vata secondary, I know that my Pitta can become imbalanced which leads me to being highly driven with an energy level that can sometimes be way out of balance. In order to balance that high energy, I need to add some Vata elements into my routine so I have a balance of Pittas. I do this by regularly taking slow, meditative nature walks and taking an occasional yoga or dance class.

Check out a video I did on this subject at www.rhondahuff.com, Videos, Chapter D and you can find a cool Dosha worksheet that you can use with your clients in my book, Healthy Living From A To Z: The Guide To Finding Who You Really Are & Feeding Who You Were Created To Be which can be purchased on the website or, along with my first book, The Addictive Personal Trainer: The Client-Centered Approach That Keeps Them Coming Back For More at www.Amazon.com/author/rhuff.


Browse these courses on sport and exercise nutrition.


Bio:

Rhonda is currently working on a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and is an Exercise Physiologist with a BS in Fitness-Wellness and an MEd in Education. She is a certified personal trainer, a board-certified holistic health and nutrition coach, a master neurolinguistic programming and hypnosis practitioner, an advanced Frequency Specific Microcurrent practitioner, a published author, a motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur. Rhonda currently resides in Atlanta, GA, but also calls NYC, NC and VA home. Learn more about Rhonda and her work at www.rhondahuff.com.

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Pooling it Together: Benefits of Aquatic Exercise

By Joe Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS

Among the numerous exercise modalities studied, practiced, and employed within the fitness industry, aquatic exercise / pool exercises and the cadre of benefits it boasts, is often overlooked by fitness professionals.

According to a 2013 report furnished by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association entitled “Sports, Fitness, and Leisure Activities Topline Participation”, 9,177 people out of 42,365 respondents or 22%, indicated participation within aquatic exercise at least one time in the past year. Per the IHRSA 2018 Health Club Consumer Report, a biennially conducted survey, showed an increased participation rate of 5% in aquatic exercise.

The utility of aquatic exercise and its far reaching health and performance boosting benefits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to rage on in conjunction with the onset of flu season in geographic locales throughout the United States and the rest of the world, should be given closer consideration for acceptance within a comprehensive fitness program. (more…)

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The Use of Waivers of Liability by Health and Fitness Trainers/Facilities to Protect Against COVID-19 Infection Claims and Litigation

As of the date of writing this article, more than 3 million Americans have become infected with the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”). Worldwide, that number has exceeded 12 million cases. Deaths from the virus have exceeded 137,000 in the United States (US), while deaths worldwide have climbed to over 550,000. These numbers are increasing.

Those who are most susceptible to contracting COVID-19 and/or dying from it include the elderly and/or obese and those suffering from auto-immune issues or heart disease, those that have preexisting lung conditions and/or other similar issues. While the virus has the capability of rapid community spread and contraction, the virus has a somewhat low mortality rate with more than 7 million people worldwide recovering from the virus to date (almost 1 million in the US). (more…)

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Prevent Groin Pulls with These Exercises

By Joe Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS

Injuries of the groin muscles, or adductor muscles complex, are one of the most problematic issues in a number of sports. According to a 2007 report featured in the Sports Medicine Journal, groin injuries are most common in field sports such as rugby, soccer and ice hockey [1]. Groin overuse injuries are also relatively common in other field sports such as football and lacrosse.

The report identified core weakness as a possible underlying cause in groin pain in athletes & groin injuries, as coactivation, or simultaneous firing of the core musculature and adductors must occur during the athletic movements the adductors generate.

The adductor complex is a composed of an assemblage of muscles layered on top of one another, cordoning the inner thighs. They balance the pelvis during gait and as mentioned earlier, contribute to athletic movements, which include twisting, turning, and pivoting, they are also key players in pelvic stability, such as activities of daily living which include climbing stairs and picking up objects. (more…)

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Tiny but Mighty – The Strength Band

By Abby Eastman

As new trends emerge in fitness, sadly, we often forget about staple equipment. Strength Bands were made famous in rehabilitation settings and are often seen in group exercise classes, but they also deserve a prominent gym spot. With results much the same as traditional weight training, they are small and inexpensive yet mighty useful.

Off-hand, you might recall quickly some exercises that can be incorporated into a client’s training routine using bands. From squats to bicep curls, the band provides versatile options for clients of all ages and training levels. When we dig deeper, you will find they provide even more innovative ways to diversify your client’s routine. Including but not limited to: (more…)

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Introduction to Dumbbell Training

Believe it or not, dumbbell training has been around since ancient Greece. They used stone or metal that was carved to include a handle and weighed between 4 and 20 lbs. They were called halteres. The term dumbbell, however, is believed to have originated in England (Hedrick, 2020). Various types of dumbbells can be used with a single or a pair of dumbbells in a bent over row, bench press and more.

These include adjustable, fixed, and selectorized. no matter what style you use, dumbbells have many benefits, and these include:

Practical Advantages

  1. Low Cost
  2. Adaptability
  3. Can be used anywhere
  4. Suited for explosive training
  5. Little training space is required
  6. Can train all muscle groups
  7. Only need a relatively small number of dumbbells
  8. Safer than barbells on specific exercises
  9. Easier for individuals with injuries
  10. Easier to learn than barbell exercises

Physiological Advantages

  1. A more complex motor activity
  2. Opportunity to perform alternating movements
  3. Opportunity to perform single-arm movements
  4. Adds a balance requirement which works core muscles
  5. Stabilizing muscles are more active
  6. Reduces the potential for injury by enhancing joint stability
  7. Increases potential range of motion
  8. Adds variation to the training program (Hedrick, 2020)

Now that you know why using dumbbells is essential in a workout, let us look at how to incorporate them into your program. You can either incorporate dumbbells into an existing program or design a whole new program for your client. Either way, there are some necessary steps you will want to take.

  1. Decide on your philosophy of training.
  2. Establish your client’s goals.
  3. Use scientifically sound information and concrete guidelines (Hint: You can find these in a W.I.T.S. course).
  4. Use the concept of periodization: The practice of dividing training into specific cycles with each cycle targeting a specific physiological adaption.
  5. Incorporate training variables.
  6. Teach proper technique. Technique should always take precedence over intensity.

There are a plethora of dumbbell exercises out there. These dumbbell exercises can work all the major muscles for the full body effect. Those exercises can work the tricep muscles, upper arms, and develop full range of motion.

Almost any exercise your client is doing on a machine can be done with a set of dumbbells. Add in simple variations on each exercise, and you have just quadrupled the movements you can do. You can work on muscle isolating movements like bicep curls or compound movements that work multiple muscles at one time, like squats. You can even put the two together and have your client do a squat-bicep curl move.

“This is the interesting part of designing training programs because it is part science and part art—art in the sense that you can use your creativity to design what you believe is the best approach to improving athletic performance. Although the art aspect provides room for creativity, the vast majority of a training program should be based on science” (Hedrick, 2020)

So take a look at the programs you are designing and ask yourself where can I add in some dumbbell training? Want to know more about programming, various exercises for upper body, weight loss aspects and more? Sign up now for the Introduction to Dumbbell Training in the W.I.T.S. Store

Check out this great Infographic about guidelines of resistance training

Stop by the W.I.T.S. store to check out the Introduction to Dumbbell Training course and our other C.E.C. offerings. Check back in often as we are beginning to develop a new line of courses specific to trainers’ current needs.

References

Hedrick, Allen, (2020). Dumbbell training. (2nd ed.). Human Kinetics.

Presenters Bio

Martha Swirzinski, Ed.D.Martha Swirzinski

Martha holds an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and a master’s degree in Kinesiology. She has over 25 years of experience in teaching exercise science, health education, and personal training. She teaches in higher education and develops courses worldwide for various organizations. She has been with W.I.T.S. in multiple roles, including mentoring online programs, course development, webinars, and teaching since 2009.