Back To School….Food For Thought
Posted on: September 23rd, 2010 by IYCA 1 Comment
Posted on: September 23rd, 2010 by IYCA 1 Comment
Posted on: August 25th, 2010 by IYCA 2 Comments
Fitness Professionals with acumen for business will clearly recognize that the youth conditioning market represents a literal perfect storm in terms of revenue potential and stability. There are relatively few professionals who specialize in this niche and yet the consumer demand is growing by the day. In fact, unlike adult-centric demographics, the youth conditioning market contains sub-niches – all of which may satiate a respective Trainers desire to work with certain individuals and not others.
The most common opportunities found in the youth conditioning market are as follows –
Countless youth conditioning athletic organizations from a range of sports, hire Fitness Professionals specially trained in the art and science of pediatric sport development, to conduct camps and clinics for both the young athletes themselves as well as the volunteer Coaches involved with the association. The network created being involved in such an endeavor can greatly enhance a Personal Trainers ability to bring private youth clients on in a private setting.
Posted on: September 3rd, 2009 by IYCA 13 Comments
In far too many situations throughout North America, strength coaches and personal trainers make common errors in their programming for young athletes, many of which can lead to overtraining syndromes –
Critical Analysis of Biomotor Ability
In working with young athletes, there is very little reason to ever ‘test’ their ability at certain lifts or speed variances. Your programming guidelines must be based around instilling proper execution of technique in your young athletes from a lift and movement economy standpoint. Having said that, gleaning 1, 3, 5 or 8 RM values on any particular exercise should be deemed a distant secondary consideration to teaching the proper values of form and function.
By using a ‘Teaching Model’ of exercise development rather than a ‘Training Model’ you are taking the pressure off of kids to reach for biomotor improvements at the expense of developing sound technique.
Changing Exercises to Often
Although when training adult clientele, there are neural advantages to altering your exercise selection often, with young athletes the reality is that the initial stages of training should comprise little more than dedicated time to teach and become proficient in the basics of lift and movement economy.
Far too often, trainers work to make young athlete routines challenging and neurally stimulating by incorporating complex programming and exercise selection into the mix early in the athletes’ training life. Resist the urge to make a neurological impact and instead, focus your efforts on developing sound competency in just a few basic lifts – the foundation you build during this time is paramount to eventually increasing both the volume and intricacy of your programming.
Consider the Athlete’s Entire Life
You do a disservice to the athlete and your business by following this practice.
For instance, if the young athlete is in-season for a particular sport, there practice and game schedule must be considered into the reality of your overall programming. Soccer practices, for instance four days per week coupled with one to two games per week, will leave any young athlete bordering on the verge of overtraining syndrome as it is. Your job during times like this is to augment them with restorative training that does not serve to push them lower beneath what would be considered normal and healthy biological levels.
Additionally, you must work to understand your young athletes’ eating and sleeping habits as well. Inappropriate nutrition and poor sleeping patterns (which many teenagers face today) are precursors to overtraining syndrome in that they are two of the more important restorative elements trainees can use to combat such concerns.
As a professional trainer working with young athletes, you are responsible and must assume accountability for their overall health and wellbeing. When training young athletes and in an effort to ensure quality, efficacy-based training practices, resist the temptation to do the ‘norm’ by making exercise sessions hard and physically challenging. Instead, follow the three key points above to ensure optimal training conditions and guard against the very real concerns of overtraining.
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Posted on: June 8th, 2009 by IYCA No Comments
These are the means by which literally hundreds of Coaches, Fitness Professionals
and Personal Trainers from all over the world have contacted me since Friday
when I announced our exclusive Certification Weekend on July 18 – 19.
Speed & Agility Specialist – Level 1
Youth Nutrition Specialist
Never before have you been given the opportunity to obtain two cutting-edge
credentials for the price of one.
Especially not ones that have been created and will be taught by such esteemed
and world-famous Coaches:
The greatest speed and agility coach on the planet today.
Dr. Chris Mohr.
Co-author of a book with LL Cool J.
Guest on the Montel Williams Show.
Consultant to UnderArmor.
Posted on: April 14th, 2009 by IYCA 6 Comments
Stephen Holt has long been considered one of the fitness industry’s top personal trainers. He has been highlighted by NSCA, PTontheNet, Fitness Magazine, IDEA and Health and Fitness Source, to name a few. Additionally, Stephen has been named "Expert of the Year" by AllExperts.com and "Personal Trainer of the Year" by the American Council on Exercise.
BG: What’s your background in youth sports and athletics? Have you worked with young athletes?
SH: Hi, Brian. First, let my point out that I’m really glad to hear about your book. Far too many trainers and parents are forcing kids into programs designed by and for adult bodybuilders.
Back to your question & That depends on your definition of "young." When I started as a personal trainer over 20 years ago, I set a minimum age of 16 for clients. Later, as I took more courses and read more books and articles on training young athletes, I lowered that minimum to 14, then eventually 10 or so, depending on their mental and physical maturity.
Most of the young athletes I help are girls’ lacrosse players with the youngest being 11. (We started when she was 9).
Although I focus on lacrosse (it’s a major sport here in the Baltimore area), most of the girls are three-season athletes and also play soccer, field hockey basketball and/or tennis.
If the athlete is a little younger (9-11,12), I’ll typically train them along with one parent. It seems to keep all of us happier.
BG: There are a lot of coaches, parents and even trainers who treat young athletes as if they were "little adults". What I mean by that is they will take the training routine of a superstar athlete and use it as a guide when working with youngsters. Why, if at all, should we warn against that kind of training?
SH: I agree that, unfortunately, there are too many young athletes being forced to specialize in a single sport.
Although it may appear counterintuitive at first, it’s better for young athletes NOT to specialize in a single sport. A single sport will limit that athlete’s motor development. Diversity puts the young athlete in various positions and requires different motor patterns and different strategies of muscle and muscle fiber recruitment.
You’ll find that most successful adult athletes were well-rounded athletes when they were younger.
BG: The age old debate is "How old should an athlete be before they begin lifting weights." What’s your view on that controversial topic?
SH: For years we’ve heard the myth that weight training will stunt a young athlete’s growth, but most scientific evidence shows otherwise.
In fact, recent studies indicate that young athletes can make gains in strength and, in some cases, even muscle size (which we once thought was impossible) at any virtually any age.
What you do what to avoid, however, are structured weight training "routines" based on traditional bodybuilding for adults.
respond better both mentally and physically to workouts that are more like play. Games using medicine balls work well, for example.
We also know that the adult heart rate charts don’t work for children and neither do the %RM vs. reps charts. It’s clear that the "rules" that we often use in training adults don’t apply to young athletes and can even be harmful.
BG: Using your ideals, could you define "functional conditioning" for us?
SH: It’s interesting that "functional" is probably the most popular buzzword in the fitness industry these days, yet most people, even trainers who claim that they’re "functional," can’t define exactly what they mean.
My definition of functional is "fortifying the way the body is designed to work based upon anatomy, movement patterns and biomechanics."
I use what I call the "3-4-5 System."
This is a little technical, but … I make sure that my clients work all three planes (sagittal, frontal, transverse), all four outer unit muscle systems (anterior oblique, posterior oblique, deep longitudinal and lateral) and all five basic motor patterns (pushing, pulling, rotation, moving your center of gravity, and working on one leg).
If you’re doing the math and think that’s a lot of exercises, it doesn’t total up to 3 x 4 x 5 = 60 different exercises. You simply select exercises that cover multiple categories.
The scientific basis is a little complicated, but the exercises are not as complicated. I explain it all in my book and through free excerpts that I publish in my "3-4-5 Fitness Newsletter." Most people pick up the system quickly and easily.
Posted on: January 16th, 2009 by IYCA No Comments
Short and to the point.
I may even say something that offends you.
But in the end, trust me when I say you need to hear this…
You don’t make enough money.
You simply don’t earn what you’re worth.
That’s not a matter of greed or indulgence.
It’s just a fact.
Worth more than $4 billion annually in the United States alone.
Parents are willing to pay top dollar for Personal Trainers who
can rid their children of excess body weight.
Parents are happy to shell out thousands to qualified Performance
Coaches in order to improve their child’s athletic ability.
And yet there you sit.
Wondering why you’re still working from 5am – 8pm as a Fitness
Professional, training unmotivated and unhappy adults.
Jealous as you read the stories of other professionals who
have found the fitness training for youth ‘system’ to success and are now working
less hours for more money.
Concerned if all your effort and passion for this industry is
ever going to be enough and finally provide the career you
so desperately want… and need.
All religious aspects of this story aside, I’m sure you’ve heard
this tale before –
A town was flooding and its citizens were evacuating with
One man decided not to.
He opted to stay in his home and wait for God’s help.
As the water rose, he was forced to climb on top of his roof.
While there, another man in a row boat came by.
"The town is flooding. Here, get in my row boat and I’ll take
you to safety."
"No thanks" said the man. "God will help me. I am waiting
A few minutes later, an emergency craft sailed by.
"The town is flooding" the officer said. "Let us throw you a
line and we can take you to safety".
"No thanks" said the man. "God will help me. I am waiting
Several minutes later a helicopter flew by and paused over
the man’s house.
From the speaker, the pilot called down.
"The town is flooding. Let me cast down a rope for you. I
will fly you to safety."
"No thanks" said the man. "God will help me. I am waiting
Not too long after that, the man drowned.
When he arrived in Heaven, he said to God, "I believed in
you. Why didn’t you save me?"
"I sent you a row boat, an emergency ship and a helicopter.
What more do you want from me?"
You don’t earn the living you deserve.
You don’t have the career you want.
And yet the youth niche is flourishing.
You need new information, a fresh perspective and exact
blueprints of success from some of the most successful Fitness Training For Youth
professionals in this industry.
I write you emails.
I tell you what you’re going to be missing by not coming to
the IYCA International Summit in February.
More than 150 other professionals from all over the world
have already registered.
What more do you need to hear?
P.S. – Click on the link below to register for my International Summit now –
Posted on: September 15th, 2008 by IYCA 5 Comments
Because of potential criminal fallout, I’m not allowed to tell you where I saw this.
What’s criminal is the fact that this happened at all.
And the criminals in this case shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind our legal system.
But what can I say?
That’s the law I suppose.
So, with the details muddled and the offenders protected, let me tell you what happened while I was working out yesterday.
A Personal Trainer was conducting a training session with a middle-aged client.
That in itself is not a story.
The fact that I even noticed them at all was based on what I kept hearing.
Groans of effort.
Groans of effort that eventually turned into screams.
I mean tribal screams – the kind you usually only hear from elite power lifters or world-class bodybuilders.
Rep after rep after rep, this middle-aged man was literally screaming, cursing and grunting his way through the workout.
All the while, his Personal Trainer was paying literally no attention.
I mean at all.
He wasn’t even watching.
His eyes were fixed across the gym at a couple of other Personal Trainers who had joined the rest of the people in the facility as we all watched in horror at what was going on.
Only, the Personal Trainers weren’t in shock, disbelief or concern.
They were laughing.
The Personal Trainer who was actually conducting this training session was looking at his buddies and laughing.
Rep after rep after rep.
I could go on about how poorly the middle-aged client was performing each repetition and how dangerous his movement patterns were, but that is not the point of this story.
And it isn’t where I believe the Personal Trainer erred most by not watching his client…
…This guy was turning greener and greener by the second.
And the laughing Personal Trainer, acting cool to his buddies, didn’t even notice.
And then it happened.
And anyone actually watching this freak show would have predicted it.
The middle-aged client leaps off the leg press machine (don’t even get me started on that one), and runs to the closest garbage can.
In a lucky twist of fate, he managed to pull the lid off the top just as the vomit started soaring out of his mouth.
And the Personal Trainer laughed..
He didn’t once go over to his client and see that he was o.k.
He just laughed, smirked and grinned at his buddies.
The vomit stopped, the lid was placed back on the garbage can and everyone in the gym went back to there own business.
The smug Personal Trainer walked over to the now completely exhausted and defeated middle-aged client and says – and this is not me exaggerating –
“Good job. That’s the price you have to pay. Let’s get back to work”
I want to end the story there and let you stew for a moment about all the things that are wrong about that situation…. But I have more to say about it in a second.
First, think of this –
I want you to realize and even internalize the fact that when the general public, our consumers at large, think of ‘Personal Trainers’, they think of you and the jackass in this story in the same way.
To the public, you and him are the same.
Here’s how the story ends.
As I’m walking out of the gym, pretty much ‘done’ with what I had just seen, I notice a sign on the front door that I hadn’t noticed when I walked in:
‘Coming This Winter – Our New YOUTH FITNESS PROGRAM’
There was a photograph of the Personal Trainer who will be heading up this gym’s new Youth Fitness program.
Any guesses who it was?
See, this is why the IYCA was created.
To actually differentiate you from Personal Training clowns like this guy.
I checked out his bio on the website, by the way.
He is certified by all those mainstream certification companies – the ones that you are certified by as well.
And because of that, the potential customers you and him as equal.
We are the only certification agency that actually specializes in educating you on how best to train and develop young athletes and youth fitness participants.
In fact, we do such a great job at preparing Fitness and Sport Training professionals for the endless opportunities that exist in ‘Youth’ niche of the industry, we were recently featured in the internationally acclaimed magazine, Newsweek.
Our youth-based curriculum is not ‘one’ of the certifications we offer.
It is all we offer.
And I created it so that consumers knew that you were different than idiot-boy above.
Right now, the IYCA has certified professionals working in the ever-expanding field of youth fitness and sport development all over the world:
The United States
I mean, our IYCA Testimonials page has letters and comments from professional Trainers all over the world who have been overjoyed at the way there careers have changed since becoming IYCA certified.
Have a look for yourself –
The Wall Street Journal reported that over $4 billion a year are being spent on Personal Training and Coaching for youths in the United States alone.
Parents are going to take their kids to fools, or they’re going to bring them to you.
It’s your choice.
‘Till next time,
“What the IYCA has done for my career is worth more than I could ever repay”
Youth Conditioning Specialist – since 2005
Become certified as a Youth Conditioning Specialist today and see how much your career will change.
IYCA Certification is the GOLD STANDARD… Click here to find out why –
P.S. – There was a recent story in media publications all over the world showing that nearly 1 million children and teens throughout the United States alone use Personal Trainers.
Client demands are changing in the fitness industry…
Are you prepared to change with them??
Become IYCA Certified Now –