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It is a big decision to hire a personal trainer.  It signifies that you are finally ready to prioritise your health and do what it takes to achieve your fitness goals. If weight loss is your goal, it means that you realise that the cost of personal training is relatively modest compared to the cost of weight loss surgery.  But how do you go about choosing a personal trainer?

  1. Is your Personal Trainer a Member of the Register of Exercise Professionals?

Paramount in the decision is ensuring that you find a trainer who is properly qualified.  The UK Register of Exercise Professionals is an independent public register that provides a system of regulation for personal trainers to ensure that they meet the health and fitness industry's agreed national occupations standards. Membership of REPs provides assurance and confidence to consumers that all registered exercise professionals are appropriately qualified and have the knowledge, competence and skills to perform specific roles. Members are bound by a Code of Ethical Conduct and hold appropriate public liability insurance. In order to remain on the Register, members must continue to meet the standards that are set for their profession through Continual Professional Development (CPD).

  1. Do they specialise in achieving your specific fitness goal?

A lot of personal trainers try to be a "jack of all trades" when in reality fitness is a very wide-ranging field. The expertise required to achieve results for a man interested in bodybuilding, for example, is very different to that required to achieve sustainable weight loss. A personal trainer who specialises in the area of your specific goal is far better placed to achieve the results you are looking for.

  1. Does your Personal Trainer have a strong track record of achieving results?

The ultimate proof that a personal trainer will get you results is whether they have done so for other clients looking to achieve similar goals.  Look to see whether a personal training website contains testimonials of real life success stories.  A successful personal trainer should be happy for you to chat to previous clients about their experiences of personal training and how it helped them achieve their goals.

  1. Do they offer nutritional advice?

Whatever your fitness goal, it is impossible to achieve optimum results without paying careful attention to your nutrition.  A good personal trainer will offer appropriate nutritional advice to ensure that you achieve your goal.  The best personal training services will also include regular monitoring and feedback on your nutrition via a food diary process.  As revealed by the current Channel 4 series "Secret Eaters", we often have poor self-awareness of our eating habits and a food diary can be instrumental in revealing distorted perceptions of what we consume.

  1. How comprehensive is their personal training package?

Your personal trainer should design a bespoke exercise programme to follow in your own time.  This should be tailored to achieve your specific goals, and adapted to your personal circumstances and preferences for training - whether at home, outdoors or in the gym.  Weight loss specialist personal trainers should also closely monitor changes to your body composition rather than focussing solely on weight itself.  This will ensure that the weight you lose in predominantly due to a reduction in bodyfat, rather than a loss of water and muscle mass, as is often the case with dangerous liquid based diets such as Lighter Life and the Cambridge Diet Plan.  The best personal training services will also provide "Before and After" photographs which offer powerful motivation to maintain healthy lifestyle changes once you start seeing results.

  1. Do they have clear terms and conditions?

Your personal trainer should clearly state the terms and conditions of the personal training service.  Personal training is a serious commitment and you should expect the terms and conditions to reflect this. For example, be wary of "pay-as-you-go" personal training sessions.  A trainer who does not demand a commitment of a minimum number of sessions for their clients is far less likely to offer the same level of service, since they have no guarantee that they will ever see the client again! Similarly, just as you would for a dentist or physiotherapist, expect to provide notice of at least 24 hours to change or cancel an appointment, since your session time would otherwise be available to other clients.  If a personal trainer does not apply such conditions, it may be an indication that they are not a full-time professional.

  1. Will we get on?

Last but definitely not least, how confident can you be that you will develop a rapport with your personal trainer?  After all, this is PERSONAL training - it is crucial that you establish a positive relationship with your personal trainer to be motivated to achieve results.  There are various ways to get an insight into your trainer's personality and ethos - through website testimonials, speaking with previous clients, or attending their group exercise classes.  For weight loss goals, an important consideration is also whether the trainer has the life experience to understand the psychology of weight problems.  For example, a young male trainer may have strong expertise in fitness instruction but may struggle to empathise with a stressed forty-something professional woman seeking to lose over three stones.

 
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Bread is such an omnipresent staple of western diets.  Since their invention in the 18th century by the eponymous Earl, sandwiches have become the default lunch for many, with a staggering 11 billion consumed each year in the UK.  Such is its popularity, it would be considered unrealistic for many to eliminate suddenly bread from their diets.

At JB Personal Training, we advise our clients to follow 3 simple rules on how to incorporate bread into a sustainable eating pattern compatible with fat loss:

1) Never have more than 2 slices of bread per day. 

It is very easy to consume significantly more than this, especially if you have toast for breakfast and as a snack

2) Always choose wholemeal bread

This means not granary, not "brown", and NEVER white.

3) Count the Ingredients

Always choose the least processed wholemeal bread possible. Flip the bread over in the supermarket and have a look at the ingredients.  You may be surprised to learn that even seemingly healthy choices like wholemeal wraps have a list of ingredients as long as your arm. Take Mission Wholewheat Tortillas, for example:

Ingredients: Whole Wheat Flour, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Vegetable Shortening (Interesterified Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and/or Palm Oil), contains 2% or less of each of the following: Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate and/or Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Calcium Sulfate), Distilled Monoglycerides, Enzymes, Wheat Starch, Calcium Carbonate, Antioxidants (Tocopherols, Ascorbic Acid), Vital Wheat Gluten, Cellulose Gum, Dough Conditioners (Fumaric Acid, Sodium Metabisulfite), Preservatives (Calcium Propionate, Sorbic Acid and/or Citric Acid).

 

Contrast this with Asda Wholemeal Pitta Bread:

Ingredients: Wholemeal Flour (62%), Water, Salt, Yeast

 

The number of ingredients is a very simple indicator of how processed the bread is. So the fewer the better. A long list like the Mission Tortillas above is highly likely to have an ingredient that is damaging to one's health. A great example in this case is the presence of hydrogenated fat (Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and/or Palm Oil). This is a type of "Trans Fat", consumption of which can lead to high cholesterol levels in the blood and subsequently heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.


So next time you are shopping, take a little extra time to check the label. Don't assume that a product marketed as healthy is genuinely so - unfortunately, often the opposite is the case!

 
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As we approach the end of an amazing Olympic year, we'd like to take a moment to thank you all for your continued support and congratulate our growing JB Personal Training family on some fantastic achievements over the last twelve months.


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May:  JBPT Summer Bootcamp 2012

This year's summer bootcamp truly embodied the JBPT mantra "If it ain't raining, it ain't training." Our hardy bootcampers were undeterred, braving the elements to tackle an array of challenges from scramble nets and jerry cans to sack races!  Join the fun in 2013 with our growing range of both early morning and evening fitness classes in Swindon.

 


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June:  Michelle May's first triathlon

In June, our Michelle completed her very first triathlon, the Cotswold Women Only Triathlon, at the Cotswold Water Park just north of Swindon. Massive congratulations to Michelle not only for finishing the event but also for raising £2,000 for charity. This is a brilliant starting point for anyone tempted to "give tri a try", with a novice event swimming leg of only 200m (equivalent to eight lengths of a standard sized pool). So start training now and you will have plenty time to join us next year!

 


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July:  Run JB Couch to 5K Course Launched

Shona joined JBPT full-time in July, enabling expansion of our personal training service and the launch of Run JB, our beginners running group.  Our summer Couch to 5K course, based in Lydiard Park, was a great success, culminating with our graduates completing the 5K Swindon Parkrun in August. Check out our JBPT YouTube channel for more footage of the event!

 


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August:  Couch to 5K graduates complete ParkRun

Our Couch to 5K course runners successfully completed their first ever 5K after 8 weeks training! Many congratulations to Paul Cowling, Ann Broomfield, Nicky Daley, Linda Robinson, Sue Cripps, Aline Coutts, Loren Cowling, Barbara Kirkup and Amanda Bond!  Elsewhere, Janet Palmer took part in the Guernsey Marathon team relay event. Completing her 7km leg as a member of her family team, Janet enjoyed fabulous views and glorious sunshine!


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September:  Tony Hardy, Chris Madumere, Dan Hardy and George Reed complete Scotland Coast to Coast

In September, Tony Hardy, Chris Madumere and Dan Hardy completed the grueling 107 mile long Scotland Coast to Coast event, cycling, running, hiking and kayaking there way from Nairn to the Isles of Glencoe. Together they raised over £4000 for the Swindon MS Therapy Centre, which supported his brother Alan before he died from the illness in June last year.

 


 

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October:  Tony Hardy completes Swindon Half Marathon

Tony Hardy picked up a hat-trick of medals this autumn. Hot on the heels of the Scotland Coast to Coast, he headed for the Cricklade 10K and lastly the Swindon Half Marathon in October. Tony plans to follow this with a half-ironman triathlon in 2013!



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November:  Christine McLachlan bikes Vietnam to Cambodia

Christine battled the side-effects of numerous vaccinations to make it to the start of her epic Vietnam to Cambodia bike ride in November. The 400km route took her from Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, through traditional Vietnamese villages, gorgeous streams and rivers, passing paddy fields and stunning mountains.


 

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December:  Dawn Chivers climbs Kilimanjaro

Dawn grasped the opportunity of a lifetime to climb the world's highest free standing mountain. Its highest point, Uhuru Peak, is a staggering 5,895m above sea level. Congratulations Dawn for scaling such heights and raising £600 for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

"2 years ago I found myself over weight and extremely unfit - My biker lifestyle of beer and burgers had finally caught up with me! Something had to be done! So, I got myself a Personal Trainer (JB Personal Training, Swindon) who got me to see the error of my ways and motivated me to totally change the way that I lived. As a result, I am thinner, fitter and madder - hence this crazy climb up a bloomin' great mountain (sprained ankle and all!) that would have been impossible just a couple of years ago.


Inspired by these remarkable achievements?  Why not make 2013 an unforgettable year by reaching your health and fitness goals.  Personal Training can help you get there, whether you want to emulate such feats or simply lose weight and improve your health.  Contact us today to learn more.

 

 
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  1. Everyone is welcome. Run with your children, push toddlers in their buggies, even run with your dog if you want to.
  2. Being surrounded by nature is one of life’s simple pleasures.  No traffic, no worries.
  3. The weekend goes so quickly, so why waste a chunk of it in bed?  Getting a run in first thing on Saturday morning makes you feel virtuous and sets you up for the rest of the weekend.
  4. There’s zero hassle.  Register once, then just turn up with your barcode whenever you want.
  5. Age grading is a real motivator for improvement - you can excel whatever your age.  For example, Run JB’s oldest runner (in her 60s) is second highest in our age grading rankings!
  6. It’s everywhere.  Away visiting friends or relatives for the weekend?  No problem – just look up their local event.  With 153 locations all over the UK, chances are it won’t be far away.
  7. It’s a great social event.  You meet loads of like-minded people and can stick around for a good natter over coffee after the run.

Remember, you were Born to Run! Inspired to join in? Register online at the ParkRun website and reinvent your Saturday mornings!

For a fascinating behind the scenes account of how parkrun grew from its humble beginnings to become such a phenomenal success, check out Debra Bourne's book: parkrun: much more than just a run in the park

 
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