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Role Of Fitness In Sports Training

A person running

While the functions of fitness training and sports are essentially the same, i.e., improve our health and help us achieve a fitter body, their principles are different. When it comes to fitness training, people, as well as personal trainers, are more focused on burning fat, achieving a leaner body, building more muscles, and improving bodily functions.

On the other hand, sports training is focused more on building endurance, strength, speed, flexibility, coordination, cognitive abilities, and stamina. Compared to regular people, athletes go through much more intensive training and take fewer breaks in between to reach their peak performance.

The techniques used in sports training and nutrition are also quite different from those used in fitness training. Personal trainers are more focused on making athletes perfect in their field, and hence the trainers need proper certifications such as the one offered by W.I.T.S Education. This training helps trainers understand the athlete’s different requirements and develop training programs accordingly.

What Is Sports Training?

Sports training refers to the process of training an individual to become skilled in any given sport. Sports training is mostly preferred by athletes and involves intense training and workouts to help people reach their peak performance. It is assumed that sports training is only related to physical training, but that’s not true. Instead, sports training includes physical, technical, intellectual, psychological, and moral preparation.

This training is part of the daily routine for athletes, and they undergo exercises to build up strength, endurance, and confidence to succeed in their sport. Besides that, the training methods and techniques used depend on the kind of sport the athlete plays. For example, if it’s football that requires precision footwork, then athletes’ training includes exercises that build and tone leg muscles and give them the agility to be quick on their feet. But if they’re gymnasts, then they need exceptional upper body strength to allow them to perform.

This is why gymnasts work on building their torso muscles and improving their coordination. Due to this, sports training is quite dynamic, and trainers need to develop workout plans depending on the kind of sport the athlete will play.

Cycling

How Trainers Build A Sports Training program?

A fitness trainer needs to develop an athlete’s training program with care and proper attention because the workouts are intense and can lead to injuries or other damages if not done properly. There are many things that a trainer needs to consider before they can plan a functional program for the athlete. These things include looking at the athlete’s health, fitness, end results, and any underlying injuries that can affect their health during the training. Here are some of the things trainers need to keep in mind.

The Goals Of The Athletes

Before preparing any training program, trainers need to understand the results the athletes are looking for. This just doesn’t depend on the kind of sports they play but also on the areas they need training in and want to improve. This can include endurance, nutrition, physical strength, or cognitive development. As a trainer, it’s your job to understand the goals of the athletes and develop plans that work around them.

In some cases, athletes have the required strength, but they lack the coordination and swift response times that put them at a disadvantage. Other times, they can have the strength and coordination, but they lack the stamina to keep going. In both cases, it’s up to the trainer to create workouts to help them.

The Kind Of Sports

Unlike regular fitness training, where the exercise plans are more or less the same, with some variations depending on the client’s needs, sports training is heavily dependent on the sport. A plan developed for gymnasts cannot work with a cyclist. Similarly, a plan developed for a football athlete can’t work with an ice-hockey player.

Form the stretching, warm up to the actual exercise, and finishers; trainers need to keep in mind the sport their athletes will play. A slight miss in training can compromise the outcome and performance of the athlete. It can also decrease their chances of winning and lead to injuries.

That Age And Health Of The Athlete

It’s no secret that athletes retire at an earlier age than the rest of the working folks. That’s mainly because the amount of physical training and endurance their body requires can only be sustained at a young age. Once the athletes cross the 30-year benchmark, their performance slowly declines. This is because their bodies and joints can no longer take the tough training, and the chances of sustaining a serious injury increase.

This is the reason why athletes start their training at a very young age, and trainers need to make sure that the training program is appropriate for the age and health of the athlete. If the athlete is older, then a demanding exercise plan is not right for them.

Image Filename: Fitness-training-and-cycling

Image Alt Text: Two people cycling

Length Of The Training Session And Recovery Time

Since sports training is quite intensive and can cause serious muscle fatigue, athletes need ample time to rest and let their muscles heal. In addition to this, trainers are tasked with developing sessions that don’t cause any extensive muscle damage because that can lead to injuries. The general rule is that for every workout, an equal amount of rest time is needed to let the muscle heal.

Obviously, it isn’t mandatory for each workout and depends on the health and stamina of the athlete. However, they still need time to rest to heal from the muscle damage. If you’re recommending crash training to your athletes, then they need a day’s rest after each crash training session. Similarly, other forms of training need adequate rest time to let the muscles and joints recover.

Nutritional And Physiological Requirements

Besides the physical training, nutritional and physiological requirements are important as well. If the body isn’t getting the required nutrition, it won’t function properly, and athletes will not be able to give their peak performance. It is estimated that, on average, athletes require 2500 to 3000 calories daily. This is around 500 to 1000 calories more than an average person requires. Not only that, but during active competition, the athletes require even more calories to keep their balance.

The downside is that with these calories, they also need other nutrients. So trainers are asked to develop diet plans while working with nutritionists that can supply the athletes with the required calories without cutting down on the other nutrients.

Additionally, trainers need to focus on the physiological health of the athletes as well. Physiological health is responsible for keeping the body in a healthy state and preventing injuries. It also ensures that the bones and joints are in top health and won’t cause trouble to the athlete.

The Timeline Of Preparation

Athletes always have some deadline to follow when they’re in training mode. That’s why their training should be mindful of the timeline they have before their next performance. This timeline dictates the course of the training and how intense it will be. The shorter the timeline, the more intense the training is.

But this isn’t always good; a shorter timeline would mean that the athletes would have to compromise on the recovery time and push themselves beyond their capabilities. In the long run, this can cause serious side effects. Generally, trainers design plans that span several months to even years before an athlete is fit to perform.

People working outdoors

The Kind Of Training Required

After sorting all of the above, it’s time for the trainers to figure out which training is best for the athlete. There are several kinds of training athletes can take part in; some trainers even mix them up for better results.

However, the choice depends largely on the sport the athlete is a part of. Normally crash training is included when it comes to athletes so they can increase their stamina and train their bodies to endure more stress. Another form of training is Fartlek training which means speed play. This training is a combination of continuous training and interval training that emphasizes increasing speed and coordination.

Circuit training is also popular among those looking to increase endurance. This training utilizes diverse types of muscles and is ideal for complete body training. Athletes also require flexibility and mobility training to develop quick reaction times and unlock a wider range of motions.

How Is Sports Training Changing The Fitness World?

While it’s true that sports and athletic training are generally designed for athletes, more and more personal trainers are incorporating elements of sports training in their workout plans. Clients can achieve better and faster results by adding sports training into regular fitness training. Not only that, but it also helps them increase their stamina and develop endurance. Here’s how sports training is influencing the fitness world.

Introduction Of Crash Training

Crash training was originally strictly for athletes and bodybuilders who wanted to train their bodies to handle more stresses. Now, however, fitness enthusiasts can try it as well and expand the bounds of their fitness. Although for regular clients, crash training is toned down not to cause any injury because their bodies are not used to such stresses.

Moreover, this training is usually incorporated into the workout routine along with other exercises to maintain a balance. But despite that, clients can achieve better results and improve their joint functions along with cognitive functions to lead healthier lives.

Interval Training

Interval training is a combination of high-intensity and low-intensity training involving ample rest time. This training involves doing high-intensity training for a short while, followed by low-intensity training to take the body into the normal state slowly. This is followed by a rest period to let the muscles heal. For athletes, this method is great for releasing small bursts of energy and filling the body with oxygen.

This training helps them develop stamina and endurance. This is why when regular folks do it, they see an increase in their stamina and muscle development. The unique aspect of interval training is that it triggers quick muscle development without exhausting the body and causing muscle wastage.

an athlete jumping

Better Management Of Muscle Damage And Injuries

One of the core components of sports training is handling injuries and muscle damage. Athletic trainers are skilled in prescribing exercises and remedies to heal muscles and help athletes recover from injuries quicker. Personal trainers can take certifications in medical fitness, such as the one offered by W.I.T.S Education to learn more about injuries and how to heal them.

Equipped with the knowledge of medical fitness, personal trainers can help their clients prevent workout injuries and help them recover faster. They can also help clients learn better muscle management and develop exercise programs that work better with their endurance level.

Endurance And Stamina Training

Endurance training is another popular form of sports training in which athletes train their bodies to increase their stamina. Generally, a heavy cardiovascular workout session is required when it comes to endurance training. Personal trainers can add elements of endurance training into their less rigorous workout plans.

For example, they can include running, cycling, or swimming to help clients build endurance. Because all of these activities involve a heavy cardio activity that’ll fill up the body and the brain with oxygen and increase the energy levels of the body. This energy is created when the body breaks down insulin in the body.

Improving Coordination And Flexibility

It’s no secret that the best athletes are the ones that have impeccable coordination and ample flexibility. No matter what sport it is, coordination, agility, and flexibility are important. Coordination training helps improve workout techniques and form to get the best results. When an exercise is performed properly it helps the brain coordinate better and along with reducing the risks of injuries.

In the fitness world, most injuries occur due to wrong postures, techniques, and forms. That’s why personal trainers can introduce coordination training exercises to help clients achieve better results.

A person jumping ropes

If you want to advance your career as a personal trainer, check out the certifications offered by W.I.T.S Education. At W.I.T.S Education, you can enroll in a number of certifications related to fitness and become a medical fitness trainer, senior fitness instructor, group fitness instructor, and even youth fitness instructor. You can even enroll in the fitness management course and start your own fitness studio as well.

The courses at W.I.T.S Education are accredited by the NCCA and the American council of education, so students can earn college credits. The courses are divided into online lectures and in-person hands-on practical labs that help students gain valuable skills for real-world challenges and not just be book smart. Get in touch to learn more.

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6 Type Of Trainers You Should Hire At Your Gym Today!

Three people working out

It’s no secret that people are more cautious about their health and fitness now than they were ever before. As a result, the fitness industry has expanded and has become one with the wellness industry. People want a lot more from gyms compared to before. They don’t want to go in, work out on a few machines, and then go home. Instead, they want their needs to be catered to.

For example, some people might want age-appropriate workout routines, while others want to build muscles. These are two quite different requirements and can’t be fulfilled by the same fitness trainer. That’s why as a gym owner, you should invest in a diverse group of trainers to ensure all of your clients get some value from your establishment.

Why Should You Hire A Diverse Range Of Trainers?

These days people select a gym based on the number of services it offers instead of just looking at the equipment. In the past, gyms usually had personal trainers who helped reach their fitness goals, now things have changed. Since the fitness industry merged with the wellness industry, people expect a lot more from a gym than just a place to work out. They want more options that can cater to their individual requirements, including medical ones.

That’s why gyms are under constant pressure to cater to the needs of the clients. Having a diverse range of trainers can help your gym offer a wider range of services along with taking care of their different needs. Not to mention you’ll be able to pull in clients from different walks of life and grow your business.

Gym Equipment

What Type Of Trainers Can You Hire?

Here are the different types of trainers you can hire at your gym to expand your business and get more clients. Not only that, but these trainers can work with different clients to help them reach their fitness goals.

Personal Trainer

A certified personal trainer is a must for every gym. These trainers are responsible for making sure that each client follows through with their exercise program properly. Not only that, but they also make sure that the exercises are performed with proper posture, positioning, and form. Otherwise, the clients can pull a muscle or two and end up in quite a lot of pain.

Besides training, these instructors work with different clients and go over their fitness goals to determine which exercise program would suit them the best. In some cases, these personal trainers also help develop diet plans for the clients so they can reach their goals faster and won’t suffer from workout fatigue.

Body Builder Trainer

It’s no secret that a lot of people hit the gym to build their muscles and develop their bodies. But bodybuilding is a lot different than simply working out and gaining a few muscles. In bodybuilding, clients need to follow a rigorous workout and diet plan before seeing any progress. Not only that, but they also need to develop their endurance and take supplements that heal their muscles faster. Otherwise, they won’t see the desired results. That’s why they need trainers that specialize in bodybuilding to help these clients reach their goals.

Another important factor to consider during bodybuilding is that it requires consistency. Normal personal trainers aren’t that invested in their clients, but bodybuilding trainers are trained to motivate their clients and push them to work out more.

Group Exercise Instructor

A group exercise instructor is trained to help clients with similar fitness goals workout together. For example, if people want to try aerobics, it’s more productive if they do it in a group instead of individual training. But group exercise instructors work differently than personal trainers. That’s because they need to keep an eye on the individual progress of each client and make sure that the entire class is on schedule.

These instructors are trained to deal with all sorts of people and make them work together as a group to reach their fitness goals. Group exercise instructors are a great addition to gyms that frequently do boot camps.

People working out outdoors

Senior Fitness Instructor

Senior citizens have started taking quite a lot of interest in their fitness. That’s why gyms across the country are becoming more inclusive and allowing special sessions for seniors to get fit quickly. However, elderly people usually have a lot of health issues, including issues with their bones and joints, which prevent them from working out with regular clients. Not to mention, most trainers aren’t equipped to work with the elderly.

On the other hand, senior fitness instructors are trained to develop exercise programs that align with the fitness goals of these senior citizens and won’t be too harsh on their bones and joints.

Medical Fitness Trainer

To expand their clientele, gyms and training centers need to cater to individuals who suffer from chronic conditions or have disabilities that may prevent them from working out normally. Medical fitness instructors are trained to work with people suffering from chronic illnesses such as arthritis and people with disabilities.

These trainers can identify different chronic disabilities and modify exercise plans to fit the clients. They need to consider different factors, including physical and mental health, along with any ongoing medication, before they can suggest a workout plan. This is something regular trainers aren’t equipped to do.

A person on a yoga mat

Yoga Instructor

Yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise these days, and due to its low impact routines, many people opt for it. But to excel in yoga, people need to perfect the postures and form, or else they won’t see any results. Personal trainers don’t have sufficient knowledge to help clients interested in yoga. This is why you need to hire a certified yoga instructor to teach the clients. These instructors monitor the client’s posture, form, and how they execute each pose so they can perfect it and see quicker results.

If you’re interested in getting a fitness trainer certification, join W.I.T.S. Education today! W.I.T.S is a fitness training institute that offers multiple courses for people looking to enter the fitness industry. Their courses include a personal trainer course, group exercise instructor course, youth instructor course, and many more.

In addition, W.I.T.S. Education is the only institute that has been accredited by NCCA and offers college credits to students. Their courses have online classes along with hands-on in-person training labs that are located all over North America. W.I.T.S Education is focused on equipping its students with practical knowledge instead of making them book smart. Take a look at their course catalog and enroll today.

 

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Keeping Kids Active When Schools Are Closed

Kids active

By Dave Johnson, MEd

The COVID-19 pandemic has been, and continues to be, a struggle on virtually everyone across the globe. Economies are tanking, people are losing jobs, and prolonged isolation is driving record cases of depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders. Most attention during the pandemic has been on adults; after all, they are (generally speaking) more at risk of complications from this virus than children and, for the most part, have been the ones driving infections.

The start of the public school academic year, however, is right around the corner and many school districts are struggling with the learning environment and the decision whether or not to physically welcome students back in their buildings. While evidence suggests that children are less likely to have severe complications, we have seen the number of children contracting COVID-19 dramatically increase since schools and camps started re-opening. A recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that, in the last few weeks of July, 97,000 new cases of COVID-19 in children. As more states begin to re-open their schools, it’s anticipated that the number of cases will skyrocket. Online education is an option but this article is about being at home.

Why does this matter to personal trainers? Odds are, if numbers continue to climb, schools will close again. If schools close again, that means that most interscholastic athletic teams will also stop playing and practicing and children will not be physically active during physical education class. Simply put, this means that most children will not have any guided physical activity in their lives. This is a major public health concern! As a baseline, during normal times, fewer than 25% of children meet the recommended physical activity guidelines for their age. Even those children who are involved in sports fall victim to this. Have you ever thought about how much time is spent during practice simply standing around?

If you’ve read my previous blog post (The Hidden Benefits of Physical Activity in Youth), you’re already familiar with some of the lesser known benefits of physical activity in children. From a COVID-centric perspective, though, there are three major benefits to focus on:

Regular exercise boosts the immune system – Research has consistently shown that regular, moderate-intensity exercise has immune-boosting benefits that may help children and adults to fight off infections, including COVID-19.

Regular exercise may prevent weight gain – Energy balance and how it applies to body composition is well-known among personal trainers, but consider that kids are eating more fast-food than ever. That, coupled with childhood obesity rates being what they are, means this is a target demographic that desperately needs our help!

Regular exercise will reduce stress and anxiety – We know adults are stressed but kids are, too! One of the most important components of in-person schooling is the enhanced social dynamic it provides or a work online learning balance. Simply being around their peers is incredibly beneficial for most children and, since March, many have been isolated and have not had the opportunity to engage in regular age-appropriate conversation with friends.

This all may seem bleak but there is good news: we can help! There are strategies that personal trainers can utilize to help families stay active together and promote a healthy lifestyle for both their children and themselves. Join me in our upcoming BlogCast to learn more about these strategies and how you can help this unique demographic survive and thrive during this pandemic.

Please register for Keeping Kids Active When Schools are Closed on Aug 19, 2020 3:00 PM EDT.

Want more specific ideas to excel with our youth and your children? Check out our Youth Fitness Foundations programs and others for direction to expand this market as a Personal Trainer and as a parent. Check these out!

Youth Fitness Foundations

and

Youth Fitness Practical Review

 

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At Home Workout Success

Bodyweight Strength Training

By Abby Eastman MS Ed, Professional Fitness Trainer and Entrepreneur

A couple months into our newish normal during Corona Virus shutdowns I was missing the gym, my friends, the energy of teaching a classes and the encouragement of my gym family. I knew I needed to get into a better routine and figure out a way to navigate the roads ahead. In our area of the country we still have shutdowns and not everything is open. And although it has been tough not having my normal space, toys and connectivity with clients, adjusting to a new normal has had a lot of perks! I have more time to exercise on my own and experiment with new full body workouts and pop into my favorite group classes I can’t normally attend via zoom. I have even brushed up on my video training skills while gaining new clients virtually.

Even though heading to your favorite gym for a daily workout or train might not be a possibility right now, here are a few tips for setting up a home workout space.

First: When at all possible stick to your regular full body workout time and help your clients do the same. Are you a morning exerciser? Great – schedule yourself in at the time you would usually hit the gym! Work with clients to help them keep their regularly scheduled time even if it has to be a remote session. Having a sense of routine in this uncertain time can help us mentally and physically stay in shape.

Second: Trainers, explore what new options you can offer clients virtually. Reach out to current and past clients to share your new services. You can provide custom, home-based programs on the equipment they have available. Try scheduling a free 15-minute virtual session to give them a jumpstart. Boot camp, small groups, private sessions, outdoor sessions and pop up workouts are just a few options you can offer if you haven’t started already. Share with clients the benefits of booking additional check-in sessions the keep their momentum. It will keep them accountable and connected while building your business.

Additionally, this is a wonderful opportunity for us as personal trainers to break out a new fitness plan and get out of our own training rut. You could try a new workout routine app, hop in a fellow trainer’s virtual class, or breakout those old workout DVD’s. Have you been meaning to try kickboxing, martial arts, or yoga? Been eyeing a new certification or continuing education course? Now is a great time to experiment with activities you may not normally get the chance to from the comfort of your own home. Bonus: now you can have your AC adjusted just how you like it! Clients will enjoy the spice you bring to their sessions.

Third: Create your space! You do not need a lot of space but having dedicated area can help you stick to your routine. Great fitness at home workout equipment options include:

  • Free weights
  • Kettle bells
  • Resistance bands
  • TRX
  • Bosu
  • Stability Ball
  • Step

These items do not take up a lot of space and can make for a great total body routine whether building muscle, bodyweight exercises or anything with fitness at home.

If you have extra space, search through your local online yard sales and gym equipment sales. Many sell refurbished gym equipment for great prices. Grab your favorite cardio machine and pair it with a bench, corner cable unit and you will have a whole new area to look forward to. Challenge yourself to stick with your workouts and reward yourself with new toys.

Trainers create your virtual space for optimal training by:

  • Taping off a pre-determined space for filming. Place an “X” where your computer or camera stand goes and a square of tape around the perimeter that is within the viewing area you need to stay within while filming. Makes it easy to jump into a session quickly and ensures clients can see you!
  • Try an adjustable camera stand. You can easily adjust the viewing area so the client can see your form while standing, seated or reclined.
  • Be sure the lighting is pointing toward you. Lights shining in from the side or behind you make you look like a dark shadow. It also makes it hard for clients to see you.
  • Set the stage you created with all equipment clients will need so it is visible to them when they sign on.
  • Create a clean background behind you that is simple.
  • Wear bright colors! You will show up best on camera in bright, solid colors.
  • If you are filming at your facility, show off a familiar space to help clients feel at home.
  • Welcome clients just like you would at your facility and invite all types of strength training, body weight, cardio, HIIT exercise requests if possible.

While this may not be the way we are accustomed to working with clients there are plenty of ways we can continue to reach people virtually. Many clients are finding virtual workouts with a personal trainer easier to attend. Clients can stay in the comfort of their home or office, kids can be in the background and they can skip traffic!

Share with us what ways you are reaching clients; we’d love to hear what new tricks you’ve learned!

Check out our new workshops @ Pre-Sale Courses with all new full body workouts that are on pre-sale in August. Use this link to get all 3 for this special price of $195.00 Pre-Sale Courses and check out the PRE-SALE special or use the PROMO CODE minus20cert to get any individual course for 20% off individually.

Want to talk some more? Join our BLOGCAST August 11 @ 1pm EST. Send a request to register to jdelvec@witseducation.com

Presenters Bio

Abby Eastman, Ms Ed, ACSM C-EP, ERYT-200, CHWC

Abby holds a BS and Ms Ed in Exercises Science. She has over 20 years of experience teaching health education, group exercise, yoga, and personal training. She has taught at the university and community college levels and directed a variety of community fitness programs. She has been working with W.I.T.S. in various rolls including mentoring online programs, continuing education creation, leading webinars, and teaching in-person certifications since 2004. She believes everyone deserves to feel and live their best life and is passionate partnering with others to help them get there.

Abby Eastman MSEd, ACSM Exercise Physiologist/EIM II, CHWC, E-RYT200

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Exercise Immunology 101: Considerations for the Fitness Professional

Outdoor Exercise

by Joseph Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS

As the COVID-19 pandemic transforms our society and a myriad of industries, including our own, concerns about safely continuing to pursue fitness goals have emerged as fitness instructors and the clients they support weigh the risks versus rewards during these unprecedented times.

Nationwide, cases have continued to surge in spite of attempts to temper the proliferation of the virus as government organizations at the federal, state, and local levels work to strike a delicate balance between curating the health of citizens and restoring the economy. Measures such as abridging capacity and hours of operation of multiple fitness and recreational facilities, including temporarily shuttering venues and suspending services, while disruptive, are intended to keep us healthy.

Long term held beliefs about exercise adversely impacting immune system is the functioning has been corroborated by a landmark review authored by Gleeson (2007). The review demonstrated that the inflammatory response of a singular bout of intense and prolonged exercise mirrors that of infection, sepsis, or trauma, triggering the release of inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor, and interleukins 6 and 10, C-recreative protein, and interleukin-1-receptor antagonists that, in concert, influence the augmentation of circulating white blood cells, known as leukocytes.

Hormonal secretion following an intense bout of exercise induced activity, specifically epinephrine and cortisol blunt the secretion of leukocytes and impair cell mediated immunity and inflammation, thereby increasing the susceptibility of infection and modulating the morbidity and severity of illness. Previous research established a strong correlation between a exercise dose and upper respiratory tract infection among humans. Health fitness exercise bouts consisting of a stimuli that is too novel, too frequent, too intense, and too voluminous to which the subject is accustomed have been found to increase pathogen infection risk. There has been a considerable amount of studies that have demonstrated the temporary ergolytic effects of acute exercise on immune system functioning, ranging from three to 72 hours post-exercise. Researchers and health and exercise professionals have coined this period of time characterized by temporary suppression of the immune system as “the open window”.

To simultaneously curtail infection risk and facilitate the achievement of improved fitness industry qualities or biomotor skills, one must account for life stress, energy availability, sleep duration and quality, travel, and exposure to environmental or climate extremes beyond the exercise frequency, intensity, volume, and type, according to Professor Neil Walsh, a faculty member at Bangor University in the United Kingdom, who outlined recommendations for athletes to maintain immune health.

Key guidelines among the few dozen presented are summarized below for personal trainers in working with potential clients:

  1. Undulating training stress throughout training cycles and weeks
  2. Incorporating active recovery sessions
  3. Incrementally increasing volume and intensity, but no more than 5-10% per week
  4. Minimize unnecessary life stress
  5. Monitor, manage, and quantify all forms of stress, both psychological and physical
  6. Aim for more than seven hours of sleep each night; nap during the daytime, if able to, or necessary
  7. Monitor sleep duration and quality; ensure darkness at bedtime
  8. Be cognizant of reduced exercise capacity in hotter, more humid environments
  9. Permit acclimatization to changes in, or extreme weather
  10. Uphold optimal or recommended nutrition, hydration, and hygiene practices
  11. Do not engage in extreme dieting; be sure to consume a well balanced diet
  12. Discontinue training if experiencing symptoms “below the neck” as they could be indicative of an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)
  13. Avoid sick and/or symptomatic people
  14. Practice good hand hygeine

Exercise evokes a hormetic effect, or dose-dependent response, meaning that moderate exposure can be beneficial, but amounts either too minimal or excessive can cause harm. This is precisely why exercise physiology scholars and health and medical professionals alike have embraced the mantra of “exercise is medicine” in recent years. Too little exercise results in greater cardiometabolic disease (aka conditions of “disuse”) risk, whereas too much exercise results in greater injury or illness (aka conditions of “overuse”). As mentioned in an earlier post, “acute singular bouts of exercise at or above lactate threshold (55% of VO2max among untrained individuals; 85% of VO2max among trained individuals) for periods of up to, or more than one hour, contributed to temporary immunosuppression. Regular exercise among individuals has shown to yield immunoprotective benefits. The takeaway here should be, exercise during this time should be regarded as a tool to reinvigorate and recover, not bury and deliberately fatigue. Sparingly perform sets to failure and limit volume at or beyond lactate threshold.”

In summary, immune system performance and overall health can be achieved through regular exercise. During times of greater illness transmission and infection risk, fitness professionals, athletes, and enthusiasts must practice both diligence and vigilance to ward off foreign pathogens. Fitness goals should be targeted and inputs, such as time and effort should be quantified to calculate training load. Rest and recovery should be as equally, if not greater prioritized.

References

  • Gleeson, M. (2007). Immune function in sport and exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 103 (2), 693-699.
  • Kakanis, M.W., Peake, J., Brenu, E.W., Simmonds, M., Gray, B., Hooper, S.L., & Marshall-Gradisnik, S.M. (2010). Exercise Immunology Review, 16, 119-137.
  • Murphy, E.A., Davis, J.M., Carmichael, M.D., Gangemi, J.D., Ghaffar, A., & Mayer, E.P. (2008). Exercise stress increases susceptibility to influenza infection. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 22, (8), 1152-1155.
  • Nieman, D.C. (1994). Exercise, infection, and immunity. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 15, S131-S141
  • Walsh, N.P. (2018). Recommendations to maintain immune health in athletes. European Journal of Sport Science, 18 (6), 820-831.
  • Wong, C., Lai, H., Ou, C., Ho, S., Chan, K., Thach, T., Yang, L., Chau, Y., Lam, T., Hedley, A.J., & Peiris, J.S.M. (2008). Is exercise protective against influenza-associated mortality? PLoS One, 3 (5): e2108.

 

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Suggestions on How to Safely Re-open your Fitness Facility

By: Mark S. Cassidy, MS

Let’s face it, the COVID-19 pandemic (in relation to a baseball analogy) has been a curveball that no one has been able to hit cleanly. That being said, we all still need to stand in the batter box and take our best swing.

As states across the country begin to allow fitness centers, health clubs, wellness centers and athletic facilities to open, there are still numerous precautions that have to be considered with coronavirus. For all of us who are actively involved with the Fitness Industry, we can’t simply think that it is going to be business as usual. Its not. All of us (members, clients, personal trainers) are going to have to be much more conscious and take a proactive approach to try and ensure the safety of everyone. This won’t necessarily be easy, but it is doable.

The following is a usable list of suggestions that should be considered when you prepare to reopen to start fitness sessions and training activities for your client base:

Fitness Facility Usage

  • Remove equipment (strength and cardio) from some areas and have it located in another part of your facility to help with physical distancing
  • Make some equipment (strength and cardio) unusable (maybe by posting sign on it), then changing which equipment is usable daily
  • Utilize multiple doors in the facility – One for “Entrance” – One for “Exit”
  • Temporarily remove all fitness accessories and portable recreational equipment (bands, balls, bars, etc.) from the fitness area
  • Supply additional cleaning supplies, then require all participants to clean up / wipe down fitness equipment after use
  • Require wearing a mask or cloth face shields be worn by everyone in the facility
  • Perform temperature checks for everyone entering the facility
  • Air flow is key so use your fans in the building and leave your fan setting for the A/C on.
  • Require all members or clients to sign a Liability Waver specific to COVID-19
  • Additional Hand Sanitizer units should be installed in facility
  • Limit that only 2 people may be in any rest room, at any time
  • Limit that only 2 people may use the elevator, at any time (if you have one)
  • Consider establishing a “fitness room capacity’, then require any interested participant to schedule an appointment time, in order to use the room / equipment
  • Consider to temporarily not allow access to the locker rooms / showers
  • Consider foot-plates or arm-bars to open the doors in the facility
  • Consider offering any live fitness-group classes virtually
  • Temporary suspend any recreational activities, games, and competitions on a basketball court, racquetball court, or turf field where intentional or inadvertent physical contact may occur
  • Eliminate the use of any room or area that cannot be monitored by a staff member
  • Rearrange Fitness Staff or Sales Staff offices, to help with social distancing and allow for immediate cleaning when their use is completed
  • Consider adjusting the operating scheduling of the facility (longer of shorter) to accommodate community members who have preexisting health conditions, along with controlling the flow of foot traffic in the facility
  • Staggered scheduling for Fitness Staff, so not all the staff members are in the facility at the same time
  • Allow Staff Member to work from home, on task and work assignments that do not require them to be in the facility
  • Scheduled workout sessions for specific participants, with a limit on the number of participants on the court, field or gym at a time
  • Once a group session is concluded, those participants will be required to leave the facility or field, so the next group can participate
  • Don’t allow friends or family members to wait in the facility during a session
  • Clients are to bring their own fitness or athletic equipment (balls, bands, clothes, etc.), to all fitness training sessions. The Staff will not be allowed give out equipment
  • Clients or members must bring their own water or snacks with them to all training sessions

 

Fitness Facility Rentals

  • Any group that wishes to rent or reserve any field or court in the facility must do so through a designated staff representative of the facility, do so 24 hours in advance, and supply a list of all participants who will be using the field or court
  • Inactive participants, reserves, or members serving in the capacity of a “coach”, “photographer”, or “referee” must maintain a distance of six feet or more from other persons at all times
  • Aforementioned persons must always wear a facial covering, mask, or shield while not participating
  • A designated staff member will determine what sports or activities will be permitted on any field or court in the facility, along with having direct and final input on any rules that are associated with predetermined sports or activities
  • Recreational and sporting activities with greater rates of contact, whether intentional or incidental, are prohibited
  • Participants are to follow self-screening measures prior to entering premises which include temperature and symptom checks. Those who have a body temperature of 100.4F or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 are prohibited from entering the premises
  • Those who exhibit symptoms during play or while on premises, must vacate immediately and seek appropriate medical attention
  • Beverages with open containers and food and snacks, specifically gum, lozenges, and sunflower seeds are prohibited due to increased risk of transmission via saliva.
  • The sharing of beverages, including water and sports drinks, from the same container, is highly discouraged
  • Participants are strongly discouraged from high fiving, handshaking, fist bumping, hugging and sharing other forms of physical contact with one another. Additionally, participants are discouraged from touching their faces with their hands and fingers
  • Personal property is to be stored along the perimeter of the field or court, and more than six feet away from possessions belonging to other persons

 

I recognize that there are a lot of potential rules or restrictions on the list, along with other ones that could be included. However, because we all work at various locations, with different populations, with different requirements, my suggestion would be to apply as many of these as possible to your specific athletic, fitness, and wellness training situation.

Together, we can all make a positive impact on limiting the exposure of COVID-19. Then we can all get back to what it is we like to do – physically training and conditioning our clients, members and athletes… … and swinging for the fences …

Stay Safe.

Mark Cassidy explains how to safely re-open your fitness facilityMark S. Cassidy, MS has been actively involved with the Fitness and Athletic Industry for over 25 years.

He has held professional positions with The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, World Instructors Training Schools, Philadelphia 76ers, YMCA, Delaware Blue Coats, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, and American Heart Association. Mark has an Associate’s degree in Business from Delaware County Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Temple University, a Master’s degree in Organizational Development/Business Psychology from The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He has professional experience as a Fitness Instructor, Strength Coach, Sports Coach-Counselor, Exercise Therapist, Sales Manager, College Professor, and Athletic Facility Director

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Preparing for Basic Training in the Era of Social Distancing

By Mark S. Cassidy, MS and Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS

Weeks ago, our lives and our society as we operate have indelibly changed. In the months preceding widespread lockdowns, the insidious and highly transmissible pathogen COVID-19, stealthily coursed the globe. This virus has infected millions and contributed to an extremely high number of deaths worldwide.

Mark Cassidy - Certified Personal Trainer InstructorWhile the COVID-19 pandemic has paralyzed a continuum of industries and businesses, our nation’s great military charges on. They have assisted in erecting temporary hospitals, bolstering our nation’s law enforcement and security functions, distributing rations to displaced and needy citizens, and joining healthcare professionals on the frontlines.

And for those who have recently enlisted or are contemplating enlistment, preparation cannot cease. Just because local gyms and athletic facilities have temporarily closed, that doesn’t mean one should abandon their physical preparedness. Each recruit, irrespective of their branch, will be called upon to complete a physical fitness test.

One can adequately prepare by incorporating a full-body resistance training regimen along with high-intensity cardiovascular activities that can be performed at home with minimal to no equipment. This will ensure increases in muscle strength, lean body mass, and cardiorespiratory fitness needed to meet the rigors of basic training.

Although there are some slight variations, all branches of the military have some form of physical fitness requirement for entrance into their respective community. The following is a list of these requirements for each branch (as of January 2020). The scoring for each test is determined by the particular branch; along with the order or substitutions of exercises.

Marine Corps

  • 2-minutes of abdominal crunches
  • Pull-ups for maximum repetitions
  • 3-mile run
  • Push-ups for maximum repetitions

Navy

  • 2-minutes of push-ups
  • 2-minutes of sit-ups
  • 5-mile run or 500yd/450m swim

Air Force

  • 1-minute of push-ups
  • 1-minute of sit-ups
  • 5-mile timed run

Coast Guard

  • 1-minute of push-ups
  • 1-minute of sit-ups
  • 5-mile timed run

Army

  • Standing Power / Medicine Ball Throw
  • Deadlift for a three-repetition maximum
  • Hand release push-ups for 2 minutes
  • 50-meter sprint (3 x), 50-meter drag of a 90 lbs. sled, 50-meter carry of two 40 lbs. kettlebells
  • Hanging leg tucks for 2 minutes
  • 2-mile timed run

 

Service Academy Fitness Assessment

The Service Academies of the Air Force (USAFA), Navy (USNA), Army (USMA), and the Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) use the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA)

  • Kneeling basketball throw for distance
  • Cadence pull-ups for repetitions
  • 120 ft. shuttle-run for time
  • 1-minute of crunches
  • 1-minute of push-ups
  • 1-mile run

Although there is no direct substitute for performing any of the actual testing exercises, performing a holistic resistance training program will help with the preparation of the actual test.

The resistance / full-body workout, will hit each major muscle group. The initial program will go for 30 days (4 weeks), with 5 workout days and 2 light/rest days per week. If you do not have access to free-weight equipment, you can substitute in something else while performing the movements. (Example: therapy bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, or even bricks, jugs of water or buckets of sand could work)

It is up to each individual to determine the amount of intensity, resistance or repetitions they can handle on each day. Keep in mind that the military is a physically and mentally demanding profession, so working until a point of fatigue (or failure) can be a good guideline. However, never use a workout intensity or resistance load that causes you to become injured.

Taking into consideration any nutritional / meal requirements, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and attempting to get seven to nine hours of sleep a day, is also important during your training.

If necessary, contact a certified Athletic Trainer, Strength Coach, Fitness Professional or Health Care Provider for additional guidance.

Resistance Program

Monday:
(10 – 15 minute warm-up and stretch should be done to start the program)
(The rest time between sets can be 30 – 90 seconds)
Dumbbell Shoulder Squat: 4-5 sets 10-12 repetitions
Dumbbell Bench / Lat Rows: 3-4 sets 12-15 repetitions
Dumbbell Lifts / Back Extensions 4-sets 8-10 repetitions
Dumbbell Bench Press: 4-5 sets 10-12 repetitions
Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3-4 sets 12-15 repetitions

Cardio Work: 15 – 20 minute light jog / walk

 

Tuesday:
(10 – 15 minute warm-up and stretch should be done to start the program)
(The rest time between sets can be 30-90 seconds)
Seated Knee Tucks: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions
Wide Hand Push-Ups: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions
Full Sit-Ups: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions
Pull-Ups: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions
Mountain Climbers: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions

Cardio Work: 10 – 15 Sprints for 40-50 yards

 

Wednesday:
Active Rest Day
15 – 30 minutes of stretchers for the entire body
15 – 30 minutes of cardiovascular work by a light-brisk walk

 

Thursday:
(10 – 15 minute warm-up and stretch should be done to start the program)
(The rest time between sets can be 30-90 seconds)
Barbell Bench Press: 4-5 sets 10-12 repetitions
Barbell Dead Lifts: 3-4 sets 12-15 repetitions
Barbell Up-Right Rows: 4-sets 8-10 repetitions
Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 4-5 sets 10-12 repetitions
Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 3-4 sets 12-15 repetitions

Cardio Work: 15 – 20 minute light jog / walk

 

Friday:
(10 – 15 minute warm-up and stretch should be done to start the program)
(The rest time between sets can be 30-90 seconds)
Full Sit-Ups: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions
Narrow Hand Push-Ups: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions
Standing Oblique Twists: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions
Lying Supine Back Extensions: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions
Mountain Climbers: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions

Cardio Work: 10 – 15 Sprints for 40-50 yards

 

Saturday:
(10 – 15 minute warm-up and stretch should be done to start the program)
(The rest time between sets can be 60 – 120 seconds)
Jumping Jacks: 4-5 sets 15-20 repetitions
Walking Forward Lunges: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions
Jump Squats: 4-5 sets 8-10 repetitions
Side Steps: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions
Depth Jumps: 4-5 sets 8-10 repetitions

Cardio Work: 15 – 20 minute light jog / walk

 

Sunday:
Active Rest
30 – 60 minutes of Stretching / Yoga / Meditation

 

Substitute Exercises

In the event that you would not have access to the type of resistance exercise equipment necessary to perform the movement or for some reason you found the exercise too difficult, below is a list of substitution exercises that you can utilize in any of the program’s daily workouts:

Narrow Stance Body Weight Squats: 4-5 sets 12-15 repetitions
Single Leg Body Weight Squats: 4-5 sets 5-8 repetitions on each leg
Stationary Lateral Lunges: 3-4 sets 5-8 repetitions on each leg
Single Leg Standing Calf Raise: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions on each leg
Clapping Hands Push-Ups: 3-4 sets 8-10 repetitions
Non-Symmetrical Hand Placement Push-Ups: 3-4 sets 8-10 repetitions
Single Arm Push-Ups: 3-4 sets 5-8 repetitions on each arm
Side Plank: 3-4 sets hold 30-45 seconds on each side
Bicycle Abs / Knee to Elbow: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions on each side
Superman: 3-4 sets 10-12 repetitions
Chair Dips: 4-5 sets 10-12 repetitions

 

Summary

It will be best to begin training 3 to 4 months in advance of the actual fitness testing date. This will allow time for a certified Athletic Trainer, Strength Coach or Fitness Professional to make recommendations on when to change intensity, time and exercise variations, to help the probability of your success.

To find out when a particular branch of the military is scheduling fitness tests, contact your local recruiting office for specific details.

Here are websites that can be used for reference:
The Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons
Military.com
TodaysMilitary.com

 

Thank you in advance for your service to our country!

 

Mark S. Cassidy, MS has been an educational instructor with the W.I.T.S. organization since 2000. He has held professional positions with The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia 76ers, YMCA, Delaware Blue Coats, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, and American Heart Association. Mark has an Associate’s degree in Business from Delaware County Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Temple University and a Master’s degree in Organizational Development/Business Psychology from The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has professional experience as a Fitness Instructor, Strength Coach, Sports Coach-Counselor, Exercise Therapist, Sales Manager, College Professor, and Athletic Facility Director.

Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS is an educational instructor with the World Instructor Training Schools, fitness and recreation specialist at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and an adjunct faculty member at Eastern University and Chestnut Hill College where he teaches exercise science electives. Previously, Giandonato served as the Manager of Health Promotion and Wellness at Drexel University, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Germantown Academy, and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Saint Joseph’s University.

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Insurance & Coverage In The Age Of COVID-19

CPH & Associates is committed to supporting our clients during the Covid-19 pandemic. We understand that many of you have had to alter the way you practice in order to face this unprecedented challenge.

As you shift to providing training sessions via online platforms, we are pleased to assure you that your professional liability policy covers online/video services, per the terms and conditions of the policy. There is no additional “rider” or endorsement that you need to add to your policy to be covered for these services. We encourage you to confirm that you are providing services legally within the scope of your state’s laws.

It is important to ensure you are protected while you continue to see clients during this time. Injury and mishaps can still occur, especially with the limitations of online/video training and the lack of hands-on instruction. A policy with CPH provides peace of mind while you and your clients adapt to unfamiliar methods of working together.

Questions about your policy? Please call us at 800-875-1911 or send us an email at info@cphins.com.

Interested in learning more about our coverage for W.I.T.S. members? Please click here for our Coverage Highlights.

Please let us know if you need anything else!

Sarah HolionaCPH & Associates insurance COVID-19

Phone: 800-875-1911
Website: www.cphins.com
Address: 711 S. Dearborn St, Ste. 205 | Chicago, IL 60605

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W.I.T.S. Faculty Cindy Senk Helping in a Time of Need

Cindy SenkW.I.T.S. is excited to share the amazing work our faculty are doing during this unprecedented time. Cindy Senk has been a part of the W.I.T.S. Team of Instructors for the Massachusetts and Connecticut area for the past year. Her students love her, and it is easy to see why. Cindy has over 35 years of experience in the fitness field, and a heart of gold. Cindy has lived with Osteoarthritis for the past 48 years, and has a passion for helping others living with arthritis as well! Cindy is using her skills and passion to host free classes during the Covid-19 pandemic through the Arthritis Foundation. Learn more by visiting the Arthritis Foundation’s Living With Arthritis Blog article How Can I Be of Service to Others?

About W.I.T.S.

World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) took the national stage in 1993 to change the fitness industry. W.I.T.S. develops and administers certification programs for competent practice in personal training. W.I.T.S. is the first in the fitness industry to earn NCCA accreditation for testing the written core knowledge and practical skill competencies of personal training. W.I.T.S. offers fitness courses and certification testing locations in 39 states in the U.S. and in Canada. W.I.T.S. has the largest college and university testing network in the industry.

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Maintaining Your Cardiorespiratory Fitness while Maintaining Your Distance

by Joseph Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS

Disclaimer: The content disseminated in this article shall not be constituted as medical advice, nor should any of the suppositions set forth supersede the time-sensitive directives enacted by government organizations and public health agencies which are both empirically driven and continually evolving.

The decree of social distancing has now been embedded in our lives, influencing how we tackle mundane tasks we formerly took for granted.

COVID-19 and the resultant societal shutdown have grinded virtually every aspect of life to a screeching halt, but that doesn’t mean your workouts should be shelved. In fact, with a little introspection and a modicum of creativity, one can still maintain, or even elevate their game during these otherwise trying times.

Here’s some encouraging news, in the few weeks since your gym or fitness studio closed its doors, it’s doubtful that you’ve lost everything you worked so hard for.

Aerobic endurance can be maintained for a period of up to (30) days. Though, among highly trained endurance athletes, slight decrements in aerobic power and capacity are observed within three weeks of total inactivity. However, these losses can be attenuated by incorporating cross-training, or a combination of exercise modalities to develop fitness qualities, or in this case, maintain one’s fitness level.

For those unable to safely venture outside due to a dearth of running trails nearby or residing within an area with a high population density, these workouts should do the trick in keeping you in shape. Additionally, the inclusion of traditional strength exercises, involving your bodyweight, or household objects and fixtures, something most recreational runners already eschew, can improve your running economy, a term that describes the efficiency your body utilizes energy at a given velocity. Strength training adeptly strengthens muscles and tendons, enabling them to absorb, store, and redirect forces sustained during running gait.

Here’s a circuit that lengthens and strengthens muscles while keeping your heart rate at or near the pace you’re maintaining during your runs.

Circuit

Perform each numbered block (i.e. “1, 2, 3” for as many rounds as desired, or possible with little to no rest between exercises).

1a) Alternating Heel Grab with Overhead Reach 1 x 10 repetitions (each side)
1b) Alternating Reverse Lunge 1 x 10 repetitions (each side)
1c) Shuffle Steps 20 repetitions total
1d) High Knees x :15 seconds

2a) Alternating Groiner with Thoracic Rotation 1 x 5 (each side)
2b) Push-up 1 x 10 repetitions
2c) Prone Robbery Exercise (scapular retraction and shoulder external rotation) 1 x 15 repetitions
2d) Alternating Cook Hip Lift 1 x 10 repetitions (each side)

3a) Prisoner Squat 1 x 10 repetitions
3b) Side Plank with Hip Abduction (Leg Raise) 1 x 10 repetitions (each side)
3c) Prone Alternating Shoulder Touch 20 repetitions total
3d) Burpee 1 x 3 repetitions total

Try it out and if trekking outdoors, be sure to keep your distance as the most recent recommendation is maintaining 6 feet or more between you and others who may be sharing the same trail, sidewalk, or roadway.

Reference

Coyle, E.F., Martin, W.H., Sinacore, D.R., Joyner, M.J., Hagberg, J.M., & Holloszy, J.O. (1984). Time course loss of adaptations after stopping prolonged intense endurance training. Journal of Applied Physiology, Respiratory, Environmental Exercise Physiology, 57 (6), 1857-1864.

Joe GiandonatoJoseph Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS presently serves as a fitness specialist at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he assists with the oversight of recreational and college-wide wellness programming. Giandonato also serves as a part-time faculty member at Eastern University and Chestnut Hill College, where he teaches Exercise Science electives. Previously, Giandonato served as the manager of Health Promotion and Wellness at Drexel University where he initiated and implemented the award winning A HEALTHIER U campus wellness initiative. Additionally, Giandonato serves as an instructor for the World Instructor Training Schools, through which he’s helped certify hundreds of personal trainers since 2010.