A workout doesn’t have to be lengthy or involve expensive equipment to be effective, fun, and functional. There are times when a no-equipment bodyweight workout is just the right approach for a client who is just not feeling the weights, or who is headed out on vacation. This no-equipment workout has many positives: it’s portable; it’s fast; it involves multiple joints and muscle systems; and it involves all three planes of motion. Try it out with your clients at your next session or send them on vacation with a ready-made plan.

The No-Equipment Workout

It’s always best practice to incorporate a warm-up that…


“Clean eating” has become yet another fitness buzz phrase as of late. I frequently hear statements such as “how do I eat clean?” or “I need to eat cleaner foods”. I’m sure this is common for you and your fitness clients, too. While these statements are well-intended and can be interpreted by exercise professionals as “my client is interested in modifying their diet to incorporate more nutritious options”, clients struggle to make solid nutrition choices because, thanks to diet culture, there’s a perceived issue of morality with food.

Food has no moral value and foods aren’t “clean” or “dirty”. Food…


When weight loss is the only goal for a fitness client, it’s natural for them to focus solely on the number on the scale. It’s a common misconception that a person’s weight is a direct reflection of one’s health or defines what “healthy” is. However, neither body weight or overall health is that simple. There are numerous factors that affect a person’s overall health that are completely unrelated to a person’s size or relationship with gravity — which is — let’s face it — what the scale actually demonstrates.

As fitness professionals, we have a duty to educate our clients…


Teaching clients how to leverage NEAT may be the missing piece to the puzzle of weight loss they have been searching for. Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy we expend each day unrelated to exercise, sleeping, and eating. NEAT “ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting. Even trivial physical activities increase metabolic rate substantially and it is the cumulative impact of a multitude of exothermic actions that culminate in an individual’s daily NEAT” (Levine, 2002).

Truthfully, NEAT makes up a considerable amount of a person’s non-resting energy expenditure. Is…


Helping our fitness clients reduce stress through exercise might be a given, but personal trainers can consider the application of “mindfulness” as a means of stress-reduction as well. And truly, mindfulness and exercise should go hand-in-hand.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is many things to many people. Mayo Clinic defines it as “a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment” (2020). Mindful.org describes this state of being as the mind fully aware of what is happening at the present moment (Mindful.org, 2020).

Still, John Kabat-Zinn, known as…


Fitness professionals are astutely aware of the need to program rest days for their clients, but how likely are they to do the same for themselves? If a client is serious about their progress, they need to be serious about their recovery as well. We know this. We plan for it. We encourage it. We reinforce it. As careful as fitness professionals are to prioritize physical rest for clients, we don’t always do the same for ourselves. Let’s be honest, fitness professionals struggle to press pause and rejuvenate. Mostly, because our professions are highly dynamic and we are constantly on…


As fitness professionals, we are called to serve a variety of clients. As part of our work, we must exercise sensitivity and cultural competence whenever a client is in our care regardless of their health status, experience level, or exercise history. This is one reason (of many) we take an individualized approach in all our efforts. Clients who experience obesity are no exception and, if anything, require a unique approach with fitness assessments and exercise programming. Here are some factors to keep in mind when working with very overweight or obese clients.

Girth Measurements and Body Composition Assessments

Clients who are affected by overweight and obesity…


As with any profession, there are misconceptions and misperceptions of what it’s like to actually be a professional in a specific field. It’s easy to hear about a profession or a job and develop a story about what being in that role entails — everything from daily schedules to salary to the ease with which a job is done. The profession and practice of personal training is no exception and no stranger to stereotypical ideologies. Here are six personal training myths I hear most often about this profession.

Personal Training Myth 1: It’s glamorous.

No. It’s not glamorous. You know what it is — uniquely challenging…


Fitness clients want to see progress; that’s often why they seek the services of an exercise professional. Progress means different things to each client (and to each personal trainer). Many clients want to see specific objective measurements such as body weight, body fat percentage, or muscular strength. Still, others want to see a change in their energy levels or self-confidence. As personal trainers, we have the ability to track the progress that matters most to our clients — not just the objective aspects we can weigh with a scale or measure with a tape measure. Beyond physical or mental progress…


We are a month into a new year and, true to form, weight loss goals dominate the minds of many fitness clients. While weight loss is a valid goal for many individuals who seek our services, it is also a product or outcome-based goal. In other words, it’s not a behavior that is subject to change. Instead, weight loss is the result of many small behavior changes.

As fitness professionals, we are well-positioned to help encourage our clients to identify non-scale behaviors to modify that can support the intended long-term outcome: weight loss. …

Erin Dollison Nitschke

Passionate college educator, writer, and health and fitness professional. I am an NFPT-CPT, NSCA-CPT, ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist, ACE Health Coach, & Pn1.

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