Tag Archives: personal trainer

Bob Harper’s Role on Biggest Loser Makes Him a Household Name in Fitness

Bob Harper is a personal trainer, born on August 18, 1965 in Nashville, Tennessee, most famously recognized for his appearance on the Biggest Loser. Before Bob made it big on reality television he was just a small-town farm boy trying to find his passion in life. Unlike his career path today, Bob did not participate in sports very much. After he graduated high school he attended Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN and then found that there wasn’t much in the Southern state for him, so he packed his bags and moved to Los Angeles, CA. There, Harper found his passion for fitness and received his fitness instructor certification from American Fitness Training of Athletics Association and the Aerobic and Fitness Associations of America.

As a personal trainer, Bob uses the “Functional Training Method.” He uses balls, free weights, and bands to train his clients. Harper’s first celebrity client was Jennifer Jason Leigh, and then his star roster grew to include such names as Ben Stiller, Ellen DeGeneres and Gwyneth Paltrow. In 2004, Harper signed on for his biggest break yet, the first season of the Biggest Loser. Bob just wrapped the show’s 13th season, which makes him the longest standing trainer with the show, and the only one there since the beginning. (more…)

Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Certification Profile

The AFAA is the world’s largest fitness and TeleFitness educator. Founded in 1983, the AFAA has issued over 300,000 certifications to fitness professionals. The AFAA prides itseld on delivering “comprehensive cognitive and practical education for fitness professionals, grounded in industry research, using both traditional and innovative modalities.”

The AFAA offers many fitness certifications, including Personal Training, Group Exercise, Kickboxing and Step. 

If you are looking to the AFAA to get your certification, you can find a variety of study materials and online courses that allow you to learn the necessary skills to be successful on your own time. Depending on how much help you think you need to pass the certification test, you can choose from textbooks, study manuals, practice tests, flash cards, DVDs and online courses to give you as much information and experience as you feel you need.

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American College of Sports Medicine Certification Profile

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) was the first organization to certify health and fitness professionals and with more than 20,000 certified professionals worldwide, they are the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world.

ACSM establishes the exercise guidelines that all the other certifications use for their own training and certification programs. ACSM certifications are NCAA-accredited, meaning they meet the highest qualifications and something employers often require when looking for certified candidates for jobs.

ACSM offers many certification programs, including:

ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, which will certify you to write and implement exercise programs safely and effectively to help clients reach their fitness goals.

ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist, a more advanced and indepth certification program than the personal trainer certification to train you to work with individuals with medically controlled diseases.

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John Carter’s Taylor Kitsch Calls Obesity Epidemic an “F-ing Joke”

Taylor Kitsch appears shirtless in most of the upcoming John Carter movie, but he isn’t just a celeb with an expensive trainer on a strict diet. The Canadian actor is actually a personal trainer and nutritionist himself, and takes his work very seriously.

Kitsch revealed in a recent Men’s Health interview that that he lost 35 pounds in just two months to play photographer Kevin Carter in 2010’s The Bang-Bang-Club, and it wasn’t easy.

“It’s just way too extreme, and being a nutritionist I found it hard. Everything I knew just went out the window,” he said, admitting that the weight loss had affected him in many ways. “I was very bipolar. My mood swings were f**king insane. I was very emotional, I had night terrors, I couldn’t sleep. It was a zoo.”

All the effort was worth it to him though, and that’s how Kitsch describes his work ethic, in and out of the gym. You have to put forth the energy in order to reap the rewards.

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Jay Cardiello’s Success as a Fitness Professional is No Accident

Think you’ve got to be on some inside track to become a celebrity trainer? Not really. Jay Cardiello, creator of the J-Core program, did so by accident. Literally. A martial artist for most of his youth, Jay left his New Jersey home after high school to attend the University of Arkansas where he was part of the 1996 national championship track & field team. He was there to become a lawyer, but an accident on the track would not only send the disks in his vertebrae “flying every which way,” but also his career plans. He landed wrong during a jump and the damage to his spine would require 13 major surgeries over the next few years.

“I knew my career as an athlete was over,” he told us in a recent interview. His life was far from over, and arguably, just getting started. He had some down time for a couple of years as his body repaired from the damage. Back on his feet, he went returned to college at William & Mary where he worked as a volunteer assistant for the men’s and women’s track teams and “got to fall in love with coaching people.” If Jay Cardiello had a calling, this was it.

What happened from there played out like a case study for being in the right place at the right time. Jay could be called a poster child for having your whole life planned, and one small accident can change the entire course of your life for the better. After William & Mary Jay moved back to New Jersey to work as the head strength and conditioning coach for the Red Dogs for two seasons. After that, he was an unpaid coach’s assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At only 26 years old, he was compared to the best of the best and it was evident he knew what he was doing by now.

After some time in Tampa he was ready to put that expertise to a different kind of test and decided to work one-on-one with clients. He moved to New York City to be a trainer at Clay, an elite gym. It was there that Jay’s career took another hard right. During his third session working with a client named Curtis James Jackson III, better known as 50 Cent, and having just signed on a NYC apartment, Jay was asked to be the rapper’s dedicated trainer. “You’re coming with us,” Jay says 50 Cent told him. It was supposed to be a three-month gig, traveling as part of the entourage and keeping 50 Cent in shape. It turned in to four years. “I lived with him as a trainer and nutritionist,” Jay told us. “I was glued to his hip.” (more…)

American Council on Exercise Personal Training Certification Profile

The ACE personal training certification is the largest, most widely recognized and widely accepted personal training certification there is out there. The draw is that you can complete the course at your own pace, on your own time, completely independently. While many find this the perfect choice to become a personal trainer, some criticize the ACE for not requiring hands on experience. While they do strongly recommend that you do 100 hours of practical experience, it isn’t a requirement. Find out more about the ACE certification process and decide for yourself if it works for you.

You can purchase study materials online that range from a simple textbook and practice test to DVDs, flashcards and practice tests. When you feel you are ready for the test, you can sign up online at any time and pick a testing area close to you.

The prices for study materials vary whether you go with the Premier, Deluxe, or Standard package, but expect to pay around $300-$400 for the exam materials. The ACE certification group also runs an Exam Review course every three months or so around the US. This counts as 1.6 continuing education credits (CECs), runs you around $220 and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. This is not a requirement to get your certification.

Also every three months, the ACE runs a 2 day, 15-hour Practical Training Program for additional help before the test to give you insight into critical areas such as Assessment, Program Design, and Strength Training. This runs about $300 and can be counted as 1.5 CEC’s but again, is not a requirement.

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Dr. John Spencer Ellis’ Advice for Resolutions, Personal Trainers, and Eating Right

Few people know more about the fitness industry than Dr. John Spencer Ellis. Active in the fitness and health community for more than 20 years, and a renowned member, Ellis is known for a variety of things, including his stint on the Real Housewives of Orange County, the creation of NESTA, and most recently the launch of DietGuru.com.

We had a chance to speak with John and catch up on a few goings-on in the fitness world right now. We talk about making the resolutions last (yes, there’s still time!), identifying the best personal trainer for your needs, and how Diet Guru can help you become an A+ eater.

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NESTA Personal Training Certification Profile

You’ve deiced to get your personal training certification- congratulations. But with hundreds of certification programs out there, how do you know which one is right for you? Today we take a look at one of the most respected programs, the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA), and what you can expect from their NESTA Personal Fitness Trainer certification.

The NESTA Personal Fitness Trainer certification is NCCA Accredited, a requirement amongst most places of employment. While the NESTA PFT is the most widely known of their programs, they also offer many coaching and specialization programs that are very unique to NESTA including the Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning Coach and the Triathlon Coach programs. They also have several programs specifically designed for the in-depth sciences, such as the Biomechanics Specialist program or the Heart Rate Performance Specialist program which was co-developed with Polar Heart Rate Monitors.

NESTA believes that in order for their graduates to be successful in the fitness field, they need a strong grasp of foundational exercise science and, more importantly, the application of that science.

“In my experience, many programs stress the science and are weak on application (or vice versa). Furthermore, the science is typically taught in a dry, boring manner. We strive to create the most engaging educational experience out there,” says Scott Gaines, NESTA’s Senior Vice President. While to program is completely online, they prefer to teach interactively, as opposed to learning material from a “boring textbook,” and use teaching methods that enhance experience, like proprietary 3D animations and visuals within the coursework.

“Most people enter this field because they have a passion for health and fitness and they want to share that passion for others. We want our education to fuel the flame of their passion for health and fitness, not snuff it out like many educators do.”

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Stuff People Say in the Diet and Fitness Industry

Originating with a Twitter account owned by Graydon Sheppard and Kyle Humphrey, popularized through YouTube video and quickly generating a whole universe of spin-offs, the “Sh*t People Say” meme has proved to be a thoroughly entertaining phenomenon. Some may take offense, some may already think it’s played out, but we couldn’t resist sharing a few of the gems that apply to our work here at DietsInReview.

Stuff Foodies Say

Our love of real, unprocessed, organic foods here at DietsInReview is sure to cause a lot of people to stick most of us in the “foodie” category. Shopping at the farmers market or Whole Foods, participating in a CSA and obsessive back-of-package label reading are some of the key characteristics of the foodie. They typically love greens, local food and sustainable farming, and may also adopt more rigorous eating regimes, such as going vegetarian, raw, local, vegan, paleo or gluten-free.

One thing we’d like to add to the script:

“I only shop at perimeters of the grocery store.”

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Empty Calories Comic: Affordable Personal Trainer

See more Empty Calories right here in the blog each week, or receive one each month when you subscribe to our free newsletter. (more…)