ISSA Chapter 1: Health, Fitness, and Personal Training
ISSA Chapter 1: Health, Fitness, and Personal Training 1

Chapter Goals:

  • Know what a personal trainer does and who they may assist.
  • Define the subject matter that a personal trainer needs to be educated in.
  • Discuss the general benefits of personal training in relation to physical activity and exercise.

The History of Personal Training

It is tough to pinpoint the exact start of personal training, but in general, the profession began in the 1950s.

This is around the time that actual certification of trainers was beginning to come into effect.

The concept of health, which is the goal to be attained with personal training, began much earlier in human history, as early as 400 BCE or more.

Personal Training Defined

The job of personal training is somewhat new and always changing and redefining the scope of the practice.

Nowadays, a personal trainer is defined as someone that educates and trains clients in the performance of safe and appropriate exercises to lead people to optimal health, effectively.

Trainers may be self-employed or work in health clubs, for physicians, physical therapy clinics, wellness centers, schools, hospitals, and more.

What a Personal Trainer Knows

As the industry grows and scientific knowledge on human adaptation and response to exercise grows, personal trainers will need to stay up-to-date in all of these primary topics:

  • Exercise Programming
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics
  • Fitness Assessments
  • Nutrition and Supplementation
  • Common Chronic Disease
  • Basic Emergency and Safety Procedures
  • Psychological and Physiological Challenges Throughout Stages of Life
  • Human Behavior and Motivation

The science of motivation and behavior change are some of the most important aspects of a successful health and wellness program.

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As it turns out, not enough fitness professionals place importance on this aspect, and this negatively affects the ability to inflict change on clients.

A plan based on all of the aspects above will educate and draw clients into the fitness lifestyle and optimal health.

A training effect is the body’s adaptation to the learned and expected stress imposed by physical activity.

When the body experiences these training effects, changes start at the cellular level, which allows for more energy to be released with less oxygen.

Adaptations can be achieved with the help of educated trainers who can make the right fitness and health plan for most people.

For effectiveness, the designed plan needs to utilize the basic principles of fitness, which are overload, specificity, individual differences, reversibility, periodization, rest, overtraining, and stimulus variability.

Plans also require the understanding of major muscles of the body and how they work, as well as things like metabolism and how it plays in exercise.

Trainers will need to learn about the function and regulation of the body’s systems at rest and during exercise.

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The Current State of Human Health

The benefits of physical activity and fitness are touted and reported, the US is still undergoing an epidemic of obesity.

Around 25 – 35 percent of people are sedentary.

To worsen this, the federal resources and funding are far from other aspects of health in the US.

Both physical activity and health are lower priorities, and they are the first aspects to go when expenditures are cut.

There are many reasons that go into these issues with the united states and the state of health.

The idea behind personal training is to reduce the factors and increase the quality of life for clientele.

Personal Training Clientele

Health club memberships are constantly on the rise, and this includes the number of personal trainers.

Some basic stats regarding clientele are:

  • 3 out of 5 personal training clients are women
  • clients report an average of 18 sessions with a trainer
  • average personal trainers charge 15 – 100 dollars per hour, with an average of 50 per hour

Benefits of Personal Training

Practically all studies done have shown that a higher fitness level relates to a lower rate of death.

Essentially, exercise is medicine.

Exercise needs to be used to reduce the risk of medical problems and decrease the rising healthcare costs for the general public.

Let’s look at some of the common health concerns and how exercise plays a role in these problems.

  • Allergies: exercise is an efficient way to control nasal congestion.
  • Angina: regular aerobic exercise dilates the blood vessels, which causes an increase in blood flow, and thus improves the ability of the body to extract oxygen from the blood.
  • Anxiety: exercise triggers the release of chemicals that alter the brain.
  • Arthritis: the skeletal system is forced to move, and synovial fluid is introduced to help cartilage, which forces it to circulate throughout the joint space.
  • Back Pain: exercise helps the abdominal muscles, lower back, and hamstring to strengthen.
  • Bursitis and Tendinitis: exercise strengthens the tendons, and this enables more resistance to be taken without injury.
  • Cancer: exercise helps keep the ideal body weight and helps keep fat levels low.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: exercise helps to build up the muscles in the forearms and wrists, thus lowering the stress on the hands, elbows, and arms.
  • Cholesterol: the exercise may help to raise the high-density lipoprotein levels in the blood and lower low-density lipoprotein levels.
  • Depression: exercise helps to speed up the metabolism and give oxygen to the brain, thus improving the circulation of the brain and increasing one’s mood.
  • Diabetes: exercise lowers blood sugar levels, and also serves to strengthen the cardiac muscles, improve circulation, and reduce stress levels.
  • Fatigue: exercise helps with alleviating fatigue-causing effects.
  • Glaucoma: exercise will partially alleviate intraocular hypertension.
  • Headaches: exercise helps to force the brain to secrete more pain-dampening chemicals.
  • Heart Disease: exercise promotes many changes throughout the body to lower the risk of heart disease occurring.
  • High Blood Pressure: exercise reduces stressful chemicals in the blood, along with other hormones which improve blood pressure.
  • Knee Problems: exercise helps strengthen the structures of the knee, which facilitates the ability to withstand stresses.
  • Lung Disease: exercise strengthens the muscles which help breathe and boost oxygen flow for the brain.
  • Memory Problems: exercise helps to improve cognitive function by introducing better blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
  • Menstrual Problems: exercise helps control the hormonal imbalances that come with PMS.
  • Osteoporosis: exercise promotes bone density, and this lowers the risk of experiencing a fracture.

The Future of Personal Training and Fitness

The requirement for personal training is continuing to grow and should continue to do so steadily as time goes on.

The evolution of recommendations for health and physical fitness continues to change, and this requires professionals to help keep the public knowing and following the current science for optimal health.

Part of being a personal trainer long-term means continuing to expand your knowledge through additional courses on topics like corrective exercise, corporate wellness, youth fitness, senior fitness, nutrition, and pre/post-natal specializations so that trainers can serve their clients better.

Both collectively and on an individual basis, personal trainers should positively guide and influence the health and fitness attitudes of the people around them.

ISSA Certified Personal Trainer Code of Ethics

Requirements for Certification

  1. Certification is not going to be issued to any student who does not complete all the qualifications or has not achieved a passing score on the ISSA exams.
  2. Certification will not be given to any student unless they have successfully completed CPR and AED certification and it is valid presently.

Code of Ethics

  • ISSA-certified fitness professionals need to keep a professional client-trainer relationship at all times.
  • ISSA-certified fitness professionals cannot discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, race, religion, national origin, color, or any other basis which is found illegal.
  • ISSA-certified fitness professionals need to maintain any and all main and supplementary certifications needed to do their job.
  • ISSA-certified fitness professionals need to uphold their social responsibility to promote inclusion and educate and inform within the scope of practice.
  • ISSA-certified fitness professionals need to use their best judgment to keep a safe training environment for clients.
ISSA Chapter 1: Health, Fitness, and Personal Training 2
ISSA Chapter 1: Health, Fitness, and Personal Training 3

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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