Personal Trainers to Watch: last call for entries


Are you one of the world’s top Personal Trainers to Watch? Want to win $5,000 for your business and international media recognition?

With the deadline for entries on 29th June, there are only a few days left to enter the 2013 Personal Trainers to Watch awards by Life Fitness.

The programme seeks to recognise and celebrate personal trainers who demonstrate exceptional leadership, client support, motivation and inspiration. The top 10 finalists will be sent to London to take part in a final live judging event in September, where the 2013 top Personal Trainer to Watch will be announced.


 Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hash tag #PTtoWatch.

For questions on nominations, please email

Make sure you upload your details to the Member Directory Profile !


Over 100,000 people have visited the REPs website in 2013, so make sure you upload your profile and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to promote yourself to thousands!

So what exactly is the Member Directory Profile and what’s included?

This is your space on the REPs website, giving you a platform to showcase your skills and qualities.

There is room for you to really sell yourself. In this section you could talk about your specialities, location, training and experience.

The Profile allows members of the public to search for registered instructors. Having been advised to work with REPs members, it is likely this will be their catalogue when looking for a new exercise professional.

You can even be contacted (via an email) directly through your Profile without having to share your contact details with the public.

It allows you to add a picture, links to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn pages as well as your YouTube channel if you have one. There is also an icon available to link to your website.

Your registration details will also be displayed, including categories of registration and your expiry date.

Here’s a sneaky peak of how your Profile can look.


You will also be able to update your privacy settings, allowing you to choose which pieces of information you wish to display; providing full control of your personal details on the Directory.

So why not Login now to complete your Directory Profile and maximise your potential?!

Royal Parks Fitness Training Licences


There is the unique opportunity for fitness trainers to run classes in the beautiful surroundings of the famous Royal Parks. Having a vision of where you would like to train is important, however it is necessary for fitness professionals to understand the current licensing laws that may affect your business.

The Royal Parks have recently introduced Fitness Training Licences for the use of their green spaces. Places affected include Hyde Park, Richmond Park, Regent’s Park, Greenwich Park, Bushy Park and Green Park. This means that if you would like to use these places for personal training or to run group fitness sections, you must apply for a license. The Royal Parks encourages the highest quality from their fitness professionals. To be a licence holder you will need REPs level 3 or equivalent. Your business will then be promoted on their website and social media channels.

The table below gives you the charges for the daily, weekly and yearly rates.

table 1

The website already displays the groups and individuals who are currently in possession of a licence. These include various boot camps; from military style to 1000 calorie boot camps, classes for mums; mums in shape, buggy boot camp and Buggy Runner, Kiddikicks Sport and running classes.

Click here if you are interested in finding out more about the Fitness Training Licences.

Image Credit:, and

Guest Blog from REPs Member Fiona Snailham – Putting the personal back into personal training


REPs Member Fiona Snailham

I recently signed up to a coaching course run by UK Athletics, the intention being to incorporate my love of running into my work as a personal trainer.  The (expertly delivered) course commenced with a group discussion about the need for a coach to be ‘athlete centred’; setting aside his or her own goals to focus on the needs and desires of the athlete being trained.  I left the first morning of the course considering the cross over between the central role granted to these hypothetical athletes and the way in which we, as personal trainers, position our own clients.

I have to be honest with you – had I been asked about client centred practise when I first qualified, I would have made a comment about writing an individualised programme and left things at that.  Today, however, I’d like to think I have a slightly better insight into what it really means. Although bespoke programmes are an essential part of the work we do, client centredness is not just about being able to write periodised session plans that have been tailored to your client’s goals. 

An equally important part of our work, I believe, comes from a softer skillset – the trainer’s ability (and desire) to consider the motivating factors behind the goal that the client set him/herself before coming to their very first session.  It is this understanding that enables us to couch any discussion about the client’s training in appealing language that will encourage them to persist even when times get tough. 

Take, as an extreme example, the obese client who approaches the PT wanting to lose 2 stone within a fortnight.  Clearly, the time scale that they have set is not realistic.  As PTs, we have three options; (a) we could agree that the client needs to lose weight, write a fat loss plan, take their cash and then watch them fail to achieve their goal then give up on personal training; (b) we could tell them that they are being unrealistic and wave goodbye as they head off to find another PT who will take option (a); or (c) we could put them at the centre of the experience – talk to them about their past weight loss experiences, discuss their current goal and ask them why they want to achieve it in such a short period of time. 

Opening up such a discussion usually gives the PT an insight into the way in which the client is thinking and often offers a pathway towards resolving the imbalance between reality and expectation.  In the case in question, it turned out that the client had read about a celebrity’s rapid (and arguably unattainable) weight loss in a gossip magazine and wanted to achieve the same before a family event.  Talking about the reason for the timescale and the underlying motivating factor (having her family see her lead a healthier life) we were able to open up a discussion about the pros/cons of crash diets.  The client went on to achieve her weight loss goal at a slower rate.  The knowledge that she was doing so in the healthiest way possible gave her the confidence to attend the family event (at which she explained what she was doing and even referred a relative to me….).

To me, personal training is very similar to athlete-centred coaching – the client always has to be positioned in the middle of the programme.  Whilst the goals that clients relay to their trainer may be external ones (like losing two stone or building up their pecs), their motivating factors tend to sit much deeper.  It is through investigating the inner motives that we can put the personal back into personal training and become better trainers.

Guest Blog from REPs Member Fiona Snailham

Fiona is a level 3 personal trainer who lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two children. Currently working with clients on a one-to-one basis, she will start to focus on how to motivate individuals in a group setting as she launches Five Star Boot Camps in Watford this summer. Read further Five Star blogs at



Welfare of Instructors – Guest Blog from Greg Small, Registers Operation Manager here at REPs

Exercise professionals can often compromise their health and well-being because of the pressures they face in trying to embody the image their own clients are trying to achieve. Although the welfare and safety of clients are of the utmost importance, the industry must promote the importance of exercise professionals’ health.

The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) which regulates the fitness industry, ensuring that exercise professionals in the UK meet the National Occupational Standards for the knowledge, competencies and skills required to perform their roles, is urging fitness professionals to look after themselves. REPs believes that if professionals are in good health, they will be in a position to give the best possible advice to their clients.

It is something of an open secret that there are fitness instructors suffering from eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, with some imposing strict fasting regimes on themselves and using laxatives, and others suffering from overdependence on exercise – all in the name of encapsulating and projecting a certain image. And let’s not forget that instructors tend to work up to 12-hour days, carrying out energetic, back-to-back fitness sessions. In so doing, they will have to eat a certain amount of food in order to sustain their energy levels throughout their working day. However, on their days off, their bodies will still crave the amount of food they would normally eat on their working day in anticipation for fitness sessions. This can be a problem because if instructors indulge in that amount of food on a day off, they might feel guilty and then take measures to reduce the impact of this.

We all know that our bodies need a certain amount of nutrients in order to function properly. For exercise professionals to be able to perform consistently at optimum levels and to be able to do so safely, they need to be mindful of their nutritional intake. Food from the four major food groups should be incorporated: chicken, fish, meat or a vegetarian option, such as beans; vegetables and fruit; cereal foods such as rice, pasta, bread; diary foods and an adequate amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The body needs a certain amount of vitamins and minerals which play a vital role by supporting the systems in the body and energy production. The major food groups provide these.
Neglecting on certain food groups can be dangerous. For example, a lack of calcium and iron – two minerals that merit extra attention for people with eating disorders, can lead to osteoporosis and anaemia. In short, a balanced diet is crucial for maintaining enough energy to fuel training sessions carried out by instructors.

The sensitive nature of the issue means the lack of evidence is unsurprising, but fitness professionals are not exempt from suffering from eating disorders. REPs has guidelines on best practice which includes health and fitness advice for instructors and their clients. We would urge anyone who is concerned about a client or colleague to read those guidelines.

Now, with summer upon us and people preparing for their holidays, fitness instructors will be under pressure to look the part to give clients the confidence that they too can look good in time for the beach. We urge instructors who are finding it hard to maintain a healthy fitness and eating regime, to seek professional help. It takes strength and courage to admit that there may be an issue and to seek help, but in the long run, being diagnosed and getting help benefits all those involved – the fitness instructor and the clients. As they say, ‘health is wealth’.

Greg Small, Registers Operation Manager
Register of Exercise Professionals

Guest Blog from REPs member Leon Melnicenko – Making Fitness Fun!

Leon headshot

REPs Member Leon Melnicenko

Stand yourself in front of the mirror, any mirror will do. Now repeat these words: “Am I making fitness fun for my clients?” Or better still: “Do I even know how to make fitness fun for my clients?”. Two years ago I asked myself the very same questions, my group and PT sessions had taken on a whole new level of boring and I knew that for my own sanity, things had to change. I wanted to have fun doing what I loved. I spent the next 6 months researching, planning, and thinking up new ideas that would serve my new found goal and give my sessions a whole new lease of life.

I came up with a very simple four step plan for designing a fun and interesting workout.

Step 1: Decide on the training methods needed to meet the client’s goal

Step 2: Design the workout

Step 3: Add the fun/challenging element

Step 4: Adjust the programme to ensure it suits the abilities of the client or clients (especially important to consider this when planning a group session)

I’m pretty sure that by now you have got Steps 1, 2 and 4 covered, so let’s address step 3. Here are some great ideas that I came up with that enabled me to begin injecting life back in to my workouts.

  • Introduction of solo and group games
  • Timed events  – Players race against themselves and gain points for every second they beat their original time by
  • Creative PT/Group circuits
  • Creative finisher drills
  • High Intensity interval training using the fun whistle method (individuals switch exercises when the whistle is blown)
  • Team/Individual challenges – using dice,  a deck of cards, whistles, coins, tennis balls, ropes, tyres etc
  • Team interaction drills – techniques to get the team interacting and having fun
  • Team/Individual movement drills – creative ways to move locations when out and about.

These are just a handful of the methods that I deploy to ensure that every single session is fun, unique and interesting. Take the time to plan your workouts carefully and make sure you have all the essentials covered before you start. These are some of the things that I take into account whilst in the planning phase.

  • Health and safety – First aid kit, checking the safety of equipment and chosen training environment, appropriate and valid REPs insurance, assessing PAR Qs, storing medications etc.
  • Exercise restrictions – dealing with clients who are restricted or recovering from injury, pregnancy etc
  • The introduction for new clients within a group setting – putting them at ease, reassurance, encouragement etc

Your imagination is the key to succeeding in the fitness industry, if something isn’t working you then have the courage to change it, I did.

After leaving the Royal Marines 12 months ago to pursue a career in fitness, Leon set up an outdoor fitness service called Sound Fitness Team Training. He lives in Plymouth with his wife, stepson and two dogs. Leon has recently started a blog to help fitness professionals all over the world to come up with fun, unique and creative ideas. You can visit Leon’s blog at:


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