Coming Soon – Level 4 Specialist Instructor – Strength and Conditioning


We are afraid to announce that the new Level 4 Strength and Conditioning category will not be available from the 1st April, as previously mentioned. However, rest assured that we are working hard to have it ready in the coming months.

The new category is being created following significant demand from REPs members, for a new Level 4 role amongst Personal Trainers. This will allow them to reach the highest level of their profession (without needing a specialism in a medical area).

This category will be available to REPs instructors who have achieved the UK Strength & Conditioning Association UKSCA accreditation, which supports employability via this route.

An instructor will require a prerequisite of the Level 3 Personal Trainer Category on

We will keep you updated and let you know as soon as the New Category is ready for you to sign up for.

Come and join us at this year’s South East Convention!

This year our South East Convention is taking place on Wednesday 15 May and Thursday 16 May at Raynes Park, David Lloyd in London. Simply follow this link to book your place now.

Entry fee for each day is £45 for REPs members (£60 for non-members) and this includes refreshments and a buffet lunch.

The 2 day Convention is the perfect opportunity to keep on top of your Continued Professional Development this spring and gain valuable CPD points.

Both days, doors open at 9.15am, with sessions starting at 10.00am and concluding at 4.00pm. Both days will also have keynote presentations from some inspiring fitness professionals.



Day 1

  • Keynote presentation on “Weight Loss – What Works, What Doesn’t and Why!” Led by Dr Ian Campbell from TV’s The Biggest Loser.
  • 12 interactive and informative workshops, including: “Advanced Weightlifting & Functional Training”, “Move More – Physical Activity and Cancer” and “Bulgarian Bag Training”.

Day 2

  • Keynote presentation on “Great Trainers: Born or Made?” from Fred Hoffman, author of “Going Global: An Expert’s Guide to Working Abroad in the Fitness Industry”.
  • Another 12 great workshops including: “Metabolic Training using Ropes and Bands”, “Dynamax Med Balls” and “Integrated Bodyweight Training”.

We really hope that you can make it as we’re sure that it’s going to be an informative and fun-filled couple of days!

For more information on what’s on offer follow this link.




New Health and Wellbeing Boards – A great opportunity for Exercise Referral

Nichola Curran, Founder and Director of Evolve Leisure, speaks about how the introduction of new Health and Wellbeing Boards will benefit public health and offer a great opportunity for fitness professionals.


There is a big shake-up on its way concerning public health. From April 1st onwards, new Health and Wellbeing Boards are being introduced with ring fenced health budgets for local communities. Their aim will be to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities and reduce health inequalities.

This new approach to public health offers a great opportunity for fitness professionals who are qualified to offer exercise referral. As we all know exercise can do wonders for our health and wellbeing and the introduction of these new boards gives us a great opportunity to really become part of the conversation. We in the fitness industry need to open up to the idea of engaging with local government and GPs. This way, we can really shape the health and wellbeing agenda.

The Health and Wellbeing Boards are very much up for meeting and engaging with the public. They have a duty to meet their targets to improve local health outcomes. If fitness professionals can successfully prove the importance and effectiveness of exercise then there is a real chance that partnerships can be forged.

We in the exercise profession understand the benefits of exercise. However there is often a lack of understanding, amongst both the public and the medical profession regarding just how effective exercise can be in treating a range of ailments. For example, exercise can help combat diabetes, obesity, depression, stress, arthritis, high blood pressure…the list goes on.

Exercise can often be just as good as prescribed medicine in battling a range of health issues. As we know, prevention is often better than cure, so make sure to look out for ways in which you can engage with your local Health and Wellbeing Board. Its important to remember that we as fitness professionals are well placed to offer advice which can improve the health of our nation whilst potentially saving the NHS money.

Nichola Curran will be at the REPs South East Convention on both days and will be speaking more about this subject. To see Nichola and a whole host of other speakers, book your place now!

Also, to view Nichola’s webinar on the changes taking place, follow this link


Do Supplements improve our health?

Over 40% of us regularly take at least one vitamin or mineral supplement, but do they really improve our health, or are they just money down the drain? Matt Lovell, performance nutritionist and Ambassador for Kinetica Sports explains.

Matt Lovell

In an ideal world people would follow a regime of regular exercise and healthy eating, such as a fully varied and nutritious diet. There then wouldn’t be a need for additional vitamins and dietary supplements (e.g. protein drinks). However, we all know that time pressure, combined with modern food choices and farming methods has reduced the range of nutrients available to us.

Supplements can help provide convenience and make up for short falls in our diets. If diet alone was adequate then we wouldn’t have a large percentage of the population showing deficiencies in certain nutrients, such as omega 3 fats, b-vitamins and things like vitamin D.

Statistically, people are buying more supplements and this is both good and bad. It’s good as people might be more health aware but it is bad if they are using them instead of a varied diet. Advertising probably has a lot to do with it, as do diet programmes which rely overtly on shakes as meal replacements.

In the real world people are simply not eating appropriately. This is due to an over emphasis on omega 6 fats, a generally inadequate level of proteins and omega 3 fatty acids, combined with excess grain consumption and severely restricted vegetable and fruit consumption. B-vitamins are also hugely lacking in people’s diets, along with magnesium and other essential minerals.

It should be noted that if you supplement regularly it is advisable to get your bloods checked from a medical professional.

Also, make sure to look out for brands with a pharmaceutical grade, they should follow GMP manufacturing standards, drug screening and use quality forms of ingredients – e.g. no fillers or binders. They should also keep to bioavailable forms of minerals and vitamins – using the enzyme activated forms where possible.

Therefore, if you are going to use supplements make sure you do your research and also ensure that you follow a healthy, balanced and varied diet plan.

Do you lift?

There seems to be a fear amongst women that lifting heavy weights will cause them to bulk up and leave them with unwanted muscles.

Amanda Khouv from Women’s Fitness recently outlined six good reasons as to why the ladies out there should be lifting heavier weights. Her number one reason for lifting weights is that it prolongs your life. She explains that the essential muscle mass which you build when lifting heavier weights can play an important role in reducing blood pressure, tackling obesity and reducing the risk of developing diabetes.

The article also outlines that although maintaining a healthy diet is important, adding heavy weight training will also help to fight off toxins from pollution, stress and alcohol. Your bones and muscles store minerals which support your immune system and weight training keeps these cell spaces healthy.

liftingStrength training plays an important role in weight loss. Research shows adding strength training to a calorie restriction program (diet) results in maintenance of weight loss (DL Ballor, et al 1988). Gary R. Hunter, et al (2000), who also conducted research in this area state that performing strength training and gaining muscle you will burn more calories while resting as strength training increases your metabolism.

The table below gives you a guide to how many sets and how many reps you should be performing depending on your exercise goal.

Training goal



Rest period

General health and fitness




Maximal strength








Hypertrophy (muscle size)




Muscular endurance

12 +



Baechle, T., Earle, R. (2008)

In addition Science Daily has also made clear that despite decades of doctors’ reluctance to recommend weight training to pregnant women, a new University of Georgia study has found that a supervised, low-to-moderate intensity program is safe and beneficial. A recent keen advocate of weight training when pregnant is Nell McAndrew who is expecting her second child.

If you would like to read any of the mentioned articles in full please see the reference list below:

Baechle, T., Earle, R. (2008) Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. National Strength and Conditioning Association 406-408.

DL Ballor, VL Katch, MD Becque and CR Marks. (1988) Resistance weight training during caloric restriction enhances lean body weight maintenance.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (47), 19-25.

Gary R. Hunter, Carla J. Wetzstein, David A. Fields, Amanda Brown, and Marcas M. Bamman. (2000) Resistance training increases total energy expenditure and free-living physical activity in older adults. Journal of Applied Physiology (89), 977-984.

Patrick J. O’Connor, Melanie S. Poudevigne, M. Elaine Cress, Robert W. Motl, James F. Clapp, III. Safety and Efficacy of Supervised Strength Training Adopted in Pregnancy. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Volume 8, Issue 3, March

Should being sick put you off training?


According to medical experts February 18 was the sickest day of the year due to increased socialising, following January detoxification and Valentines celebrations. This leads us to ask: should being sick put you off training, or should you power through?

There are of course arguments both for and against. Exercising is after all good for you and often getting up, and out of the house is better than staying cooped up in bed. However, others would argue that being sick is your body’s way of telling you to slow down and you should therefore take the opportunity to rest.

An article on The Huffington Post recently weighed up the pros and cons of exercising whilst feeling ill.

On the whole it argued that exercising whilst ill was the right approach, providing that you kept the intensity low to medium.

However it did outline the following Do Nots:

  • Do NOT exercise if you have a fever.
  • Do NOT work out at the gym whilst you’re contagious.
  • Do NOT give up altogether.
  • Do NOT immediately try to make up for lost time.

Ultimately, is up to the individual, everyone is different and if you are unsure of your symptoms you should of course consult your GP.

What are your thoughts, do you power through or do you indulge in some R&R?

To read the full Huffington Post article follow this link:

Research to look at the opportunities for closer working with the adult social care sector


Skills for Care, in partnership with Skills Active, have commissioned research in order to develop an understanding of the benefits and practicalities of developing a shared workforce development programme. The research aims to explore the opportunities that may be available for greater dialogue and collaboration between social care employers and employers within the sport and fitness sectors. The research also aims to identify existing examples of sport and fitness providers/professionals engaging with social care providers and commissioners in order to deliver activities for adults in receipt of social care.

The research team is keen to speak to REP members that are either exploring opportunities to engage with the social care sector or who are already delivering services to adults in receipt of social care. Interested members should contact the research team manager Andy Parkinson on 07713 357386 or


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