REPs supports CYQ Fitness Trainer of the Year Competition

CYQ comp 2013

2013 Competition Winners 

We are delighted to be partnering with CYQ at this year’s Fitness Trainer of the Year Competition, which will be taking place at St. George’s Park on the 1 May 2014. The competition winners will be recognised and rewarded through receiving a REPs membership, insurance and a goody bag.

The CYQ Fitness Trainer Competition is a skills competition for students of the fitness industry. Delivered in collaboration with British Colleges Sport (BCS), the competition celebrates the excellence of fitness instructors and personal trainers educated within further education colleges across the UK.

All finalists involved will be competing to become the UK’s top fitness trainers in the following categories:

  • Level 2 Gym Instructor
  • Level 2 Exercise to Music Instructor
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer

Here’s what our Head of Membership Greg Small had to say about the competition:

“We are delighted to be supporting these young, up and coming professionals in their careers. By recognising these professionals, we are offering them the best start to their careers as they look to enhance the health and fitness of the nation. This competition is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring professionals to make their mark in the industry and we’d like to take this moment to wish everyone involved the very best of luck.”

The finalists

Level 2 Fitness Instructor – Gym

Name College
Liam Swan College of West Anglia
Hannah Palk Brockenhurst College
Amy Davis Cornwall College (St. Austell)
Chris Wood Darlington College
Gareth Jones West Cheshire College
Kathyrn Ingles Warwickshire College
Jake Rock Grimsby College
Stephen Donnelly South West College, NI


Level 2 Fitness Instructor – Exercise to Music

Name College
Jack Colbourne Brockenhurst College
Deborah Terry Truro and Penwith College
Ross Jarvis Warwickshire College

Level 3 Personal Trainer

Name College
Philip Lant College of West Anglia
Callum Green South Downs College
Holly Walsh Cornwall College (St. Austell)
Ross Pickersgill Redcar and Cleveland College
Alex Bruce North Warks & Hinckley College

So what will the judges be looking for?

All finalists have already successfully completed an online test and personal statement. The personal statements’ score will be added to the marks achieved at the finals.

Each competition requires the competitors to gather information about their client/s, within an agreed time frame and instruct their session to published criteria. The Level 3 Personal Trainer also requires a progressive plan to be written within timed conditions.

The judges will be observing, amongst many things, the ability of the competitor to relate to their client/s, and the quality of the competitor’s instructional and motivational skills. Plus, they will be judged on their ability to work in a pressurised, time sensitive and professional environment whilst maintaining excellent levels of customer care.

From all at REPs, we’d like to wish everyone taking part the very best of luck.

Zuu: The new exercise regime that will bring out the animal in you

Our Head of Memberships Greg Small has featured in the Metro again, discussing body movement when exercising!

REPs Members Area – Your user guide

Having officially launched the new Members Area at the beginning of the month, we’ve had some great feedback. We are glad to hear that it’s becoming a useful resource for you. However, in order for you to get the most out of it we thought we’d put together a little guide on how to use it.

What is available to me?

On the new Members Areas you will be able to add your Qualifications and CPD (which we will go into details further on this blog), you will be able to find the latest high street offers on the new Members Area which can be found on the same page the Qualifications and CPD icon. You’ll also be able to renew your membership and download any necessary resources such as your insurance and registration certificates all from this central page.

Homepage 2


On the central homepage you will also find an icon that shows your current CPD points, as seen above.

You will have received an email from us prior to the launch of the new site stating that “You do not need to do anything in terms of transferring your details and CPD points” The new Members Area currently displays the most recent CPD added and the number of points allocated to your current membership period (i.e. 2014-2015). We are continuing to develop this function of the site and we will keep you informed of any updates to the Members Area.

How do I access the new Members Area?

Step 1) Visit

Step 2) Select My Membership -> Manage my membership -> My profile

Step 3) You will need the following in order to login

  1. Your REPs number
  2. Your Password (which is provided in your welcome email)

Step 4) Click on the REPs logo – this will take you through the Members Area



Once you have logged you will see our newsfeed on your homepage keeping you updated with what’s happening on our social media channels, providing you with all the latest industry news.

How to add Qualifications and log CPD:

The new Members Area will allow you to add your qualifications. Here is our step-by-step guide in how to add your qualifications:

Step 1) Just as you would to log in please follow the same steps. Once logged in please select the ‘+Qualifications and CPD’ icon.

cpd and quals


Step 2) Please select Qualifications that will appear in the drop down box

adding cpd and quals


Step 3)You will then be able to add your qualifications by searching ‘Qualification Name’, ‘Awarding Organisation’, ‘Level’ and ‘Training Provider’ as seen below.

quals only


Please note all of these areas with a red asterix will need to be completed in order to submit your qualification.

How to log CPD:

The new Members Area will also allow your track and log your CPD at ease, here is our step-by-step guide in how to add you CPD points:

Step 1) Just as you would to log in please follow the same steps. Once logged in please select the ‘+Qualifications and CPDs’ icon.

cpd and quals

Step 2) Please select ‘CPD ‘that will appear in the drop down box.

adding cpd and quals

Step 3) You will then be able to select your CPD from the list provided as seen below.

cpd only


If your training provider is not listed then please select ‘Other’ and enter the details of your CPD manually.

How to edit your Public Profile:

Homepage 2


On the left hand side of the Members Area you will see a pink tab that says ‘Edit Public Profile’. This is what the public will be able to on the Members Directory. You can edit your profile as much as you like, showcasing your skills by adding in any new CPD or qualifications that you hold that you think potential clients may benefit from.

Why take 5 minutes and enjoy the delights of your new Members Area?

Inactivity in Children

The recent findings from the All Party Physical Activity Commission has illustrated we must reassess how we engage children and young people in an active lifestyle. REPs member Arj Thiruchelvam  shares his thoughts in our latest blog.


The noticeable rise in obesity and inactivity in children has many causes, one possible link relates to our fear of allowing our children to compete. Therefore it is important we find the middle ground of fun and friendly competition.

Children, like adults, respond to the right individual, however unlike adults who will take it upon themselves when absolutely necessary, children will generally not motivate themselves. In the early years children will always associate their initial experience with a strong emotive response, this indicates the importance of the coach or instructor.

With such a responsibility the coach or instructor must be inspiring, a role model, fun yet serious in the correct situation to gain mutual respect from the group. So much relies on forming a good rapport and as a result the person in charge has to be a ‘people person’ who enjoys the satisfaction of seeing their young athletes develop physically and socially.

Some suggestions…

As a nation we have been overly concerned that competition will negatively impact a child if they lose. It’s quite the contrary, as long as the environment and coach or instructor are right, such as a non-judgemental group where support is very apparent, and will always aid a child following a poor performance or loss. Children tend to have a very natural tendency to compete and improve right from infancy and this must be nurtured not neglected in order not to develop this fear of failure and competition.

Therefore, create games that appear to the child, not to have any relation to the sport but actually promote components of fitness with real objectives and low levels of competition. For example an item retrieval game in teams will promote running speed and endurance (over a prolonged period). The children don’t associate this with formal sport (or competition); they develop a strong social bond with their teams (camaraderie) whilst boosting their health and well-being.

For the coach or instructor there are great progressions such as teaching simple running drills beforehand and asking the children to think of key points during the game or even stating that a new rule is to perform that drill (i.e. high knees) to the item rather than running. Always ensure the winning team receives a polite applause for positive reinforcement, whilst any booing is stopped abruptly and an inspiring message is delivered to the other teams in preparation for the next game.

As with all objectives, competition should gradually increase, if it is commonplace, it won’t be feared or become a cause of stress but in fact enjoyed by your group.

Benefits of your REPs Qualifications

Obtaining your REPs qualifications, particularly Level 2 Physical Activity for Children,is a fantastic way to give you a strong foundation of knowledge when working with children, whilst also boosting the confidence of those who may have spent some time doing so already. These qualifications blend scientific considerations you must make, such as the anatomy and physiological differences between children and adults, with the vital operational requirements such as health and safety and child welfare in a fitness environment.

Consider these physical differences when planning your session, for example endurance for a child is significantly different in intensity and duration than it is considered for an adult. This doesn’t mean you cannot introduce more challenging objectives, just do so gradually and tailor it specifically to your group.

Having worked for Local Authorities, private facilities, schools and Universities I cannot emphasise the importance of health and safety and child welfare enough. You are always responsible and the first point of contact for parents, guardians and teachers so always prepare your sessions well in advance. Ensure the environment is safe to exercise and remember the weather. Hydration and fatigue are greatly effected by the climate in combination to the session; children cannot monitor this effectively so the instructor must always do so acutely.

To conclude, to get children active again we must create fun games that have clear, fun and rewarding goals that introduce competition. From this point make sure you develop into the actual sport and outcome over time. Children love playing games, so the way you introduce them is vital, be positive! To work with children you must want to do your job, enjoy the satisfaction of seeing children progress and be prepared to be fun and inspiring whilst also possessing firm pillars of leadership.

Patience really is a virtue, so provide feedback and positive reinforcement to develop strongly secure, junior athletes to prepare them for future sporting and lifestyle challenges. You never know you may be the person who inspires a future Olympian!

About Arj Thiruchelvam

Personal Trainer/Coach/Nutritional Advisor/Sports Scientist

Arj has over 8 years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. During this time his positions have ranged from coaching to management, he has coached and trained alongside several international athletes and coaches whilst also helping others achieve their personal goals, whether that’s fitness, weight loss, lean muscle or specific physique challenges. He is currently the owner of, a nutrition, coaching and personal training company and is a regular fitness columnist for GNC, an exclusive gym group and a large sports recruitment website.


What the All Party Report means for Exercise Professionals

shutterstock_95075494The first stage of the All-Party Commission on Physical Activity report: ‘Tackling Physical Inactivity’, makes recommendation to address the harmful levels of inactivity in the UK.  The population’s sedentary lifestyles pose a serious threat to health, wellbeing and life expectancy posing a huge burden to public services. As exercise professionals we have a large part to play in raising activity levels for children and adults.

The study has found that only 51% of children reach the recommended levels of sixty minutes of daily exercise, which falls off dramatically by the time they reach adulthood. Only 22.5% of adults perform half an hour of exercise a week, as compared with the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more. This highlights the need to encourage activity at every stage of life, particularly in young children to establish an active lifestyle habit that they can take with them to adulthood.

As REPs members, we are a critical part of addressing this problem at every stage of life by ensuring that all instruction is of the highest quality.  Sport experiences must be to motivate and inspire children to maintain the recommended levels of activity into adulthood. In delivering physical activity for children therefore, we have the responsibility to ensure that we arm children with the necessary physical literacy from a young age, helping to encourage participation in sport at a later stage of life. If properly instructed from a young age, we can have a pivotal role in giving them the foundations and skills for an active life.

In terms of instructing adults, we need to ensure that we are regularly updating our qualifications and experience to address the afflictions of much of the population; rising obesity and physical illiteracy require that we need to keep updating our skill set to cope with this unique set of challenges that many more clients present to us. Many obese adults with low levels of physical literacy have received medical referrals and have to be taught very basic skills.

As the report highlights, for the first time in history, the current generation of young people is expected to die five years younger than their parents. It has never been more important to engage today’s young people in physical activity and keep them engaged into adulthood.

To read the report in full please click here.

Is BMI just a big fat lie? The obesity measure under the microscope

Great to see our Head of Memberships Greg Small in the Metro this week giving his opinion on BMI. When it comes to BMI it would seem a good case of common sense should be applied to the guidance of professionals.

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