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.
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!
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:
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.
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
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:
Undulating training stress throughout training cycles and weeks
Incorporating active recovery sessions
Incrementally increasing volume and intensity, but no more than 5-10% per week
Minimize unnecessary life stress
Monitor, manage, and quantify all forms of stress, both psychological and physical
Aim for more than seven hours of sleep each night; nap during the daytime, if able to, or necessary
Monitor sleep duration and quality; ensure darkness at bedtime
Be cognizant of reduced exercise capacity in hotter, more humid environments
Permit acclimatization to changes in, or extreme weather
Uphold optimal or recommended nutrition, hydration, and hygiene practices
Do not engage in extreme dieting; be sure to consume a well balanced diet
Discontinue training if experiencing symptoms “below the neck” as they could be indicative of an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)
Avoid sick and/or symptomatic people
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.
Gleeson, M. (2007). Immune function in sport and exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 103 (2), 693-699.
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 …
Mark 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
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.
While 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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
Interested in learning more about our coverage for W.I.T.S. members? Please click here for our Coverage Highlights.
W.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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Joseph 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.
As we continue to practice social distancing and local fitness facilities remain closed, we’ve received a lot of inquiries regarding opportunities for exercising while remaining at home. We’re here to help! Here is a short list of free fitness options that you can either provide to your clients, use for yourselves, or both!
We hope you like this addition and please share what your club group or W.I.T.S. alumni business is providing for their clients and community virtually. Be safe and healthy as we do this together.
Planet Fitness – Planet Fitness is offering a way for everyone — members and non-members — to work on their fitness while at home. Every day at 7 p.m. Eastern, the gym will be live-streaming “Work-Ins” on Facebook.
ClassPass – ClassPass is offering free unlimited access to 2,000 video and audio workouts when you create an account and download the app.
305 Fitness – 305 Fitness is offering at-home dance classes that will help you work up a sweat. The studio is live-streaming cardio dance workouts on its YouTube channel twice a day that you can playback at any time.
Life Time – You can now get your favorite yoga, cardio and strength-training classes on demand! Life Time invites members and non-members to experience a good workout for free, and new classes get added every day.
OrangeTheory – Orangetheory is uploading new 30-minute workout videos to its Facebook page and website every day to help you achieve your health goals without leaving your living room. Be prepared to use just about anything you can find around the house for resistance!
Blink Fitness – Every weekday at 8 a.m. ET, log on to Facebook to get access to Blink Fitness’ live streams that will focus on a certain part of the body.
Gold’s Gym – Membership or not, Gold’s Gym is offering free access to its online collection of over 600 audio and video workouts until the end of May 2020.
Fit On – You can work out with celebrity trainers every day for free and get the superstar treatment when you try out the FitOn app. You will be able to customize your fitness plan according to your schedule and will have access to over 100 classes that focus on cardio, strength and even some exercises for pregnant women!
COVID-19 is now causing major health concerns throughout the United States along with the world. Close to 150 nations are being affected by this virus and (as of March 2020) there is no vaccine currently on the market. However, that doesn’t mean that people can’t take proactive measures to help slow the spread of the virus.
Limit social gatherings and keep approximately 6 feet of distance (Social Separation)
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Stay at home if you are sick (Self Quarantine)
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
Clean objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or disinfected wipe
Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
All of these recommendations by the CDC are important. But we can all do more.
Viruses negative effects on the body are influenced by one’s own immune system. The stronger and healthier your immune system is, the more efficient you are to fighting back against bacteria and viruses. It is very important for us to maintain a healthy immune system. Therefore, a proper diet that is filled with the necessary vitamins is needed, to help against harmful germs.
The vitamins that should be taken to help maintain a healthy immune system are as follows:
Vitamins C takes aggressive action towards germs causing damage to your immune system. Vitamin C strengthens the cells that help in killing the germs, hence providing a boost to the immune system. In the body, Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, working to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. (Antioxidant – is a substance that inhibits oxidation, deterioration or reactions promoted by oxygen, peroxides, or free radicals). Vitamin C helps the body make collagen and helps improve the absorption of iron from plant-based foods.
Citrus fruits and green vegetables are all great sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin A is often associated with vision, but it also has a positive role in a strong immune system. Vitamin A is considered to be a defensive line for the immune system because it helps keep the germs and the viruses from entering the body. Vitamin A helps in keeping the mucous membrane moist and soft (which can be found in the nose, throat and mouth). The mucous membrane needs to be kept moist and soft because this helps it in trapping the germs and stopping them from infiltration into the body. Vitamin A also creates the enzymes that boost the immune system, along with playing a role in the maintenance of body linings and skin reproduction.
Vitamin A can be found in vegetables like broccoli, lettuce, carrots and squash, along with breakfast cereals, dairy products and some types of fish.
Vitamin B6 (chemically know as pyridoxine) is a critically important nutrient with a wide range of functions. Vitamin B6 is involved with more than a hundred enzyme reactions, within the body, involved in metabolism. (Metabolism – is the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life). Vitamin B6 plays a big role in protein metabolism, making hemoglobin (that is needed in blood – oxygen transportation) and boosts to proper immune function.
Vitamin B6 comes from a variety of foods such as chicken, fish, potatoes, starchy vegetables and non-citrus fruits.
Vitamin E is good in boosting the immune system to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E helps in the production of the protein, interleukin-2, which is a protein that kills bacteria, viruses and germs when the body is infected. The protein (interleukin-2) that is produced by vitamin E is also used in the treatment of certain cancers.
Vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and green, leafy vegetables are all good sources of Vitamin E.
Vitamin D supports the immune system and is necessary for building and maintaining healthy bones. The reason for this is calcium, which is the primary component of bone, can only be absorbed by your body when adequate amounts of vitamin D are present. Your body is able to make vitamin D when direct sunlight converts a chemical in your skin into an active form of vitamin D (called calciferol).
Vitamin D isn’t found in many foods naturally, but you can get it from fortified milk, fortified cereal, and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.
Each of these vitamins can be obtained through food, eaten during a balanced diet. However, you could also choose to take any (or all) of these vitamins through supplementation. A multi-vitamin or a combination of vitamin tablets (once a day) will be sufficient to help your body’s immune system remain strong and healthy during these tough times.
Being proactive with your health, is a benefit to you and the people around you.