Posts Tagged ‘sports’

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Statistics say that losing weight and staying fit and healthy always make it to the Top 10 New Year’s Resolution list that people make. However, statistics also say that most people do not adhere to their resolution, or if they do, they find it hard to sustain it for the whole year! You may have been one of those who made this resolution once or twice before but can’t seem to keep it up for the rest of the year.

Setting a goal is good. But goals will only be good on paper unless we take the next steps to do them. How many people do you think know what to do next after writing their new year’s resolution? How can you make sure that you stick to your goal to lose weight, stay healthy, and get fit?

Read “Make your New Year’s Resolution WORK.

Direction.
After you set your goal for this year to lose weight, stay healthy, and get fit, the next thing that you should do is to get DIRECTION. You don’t just plan to go to a place without looking at the map to know the best route to your destination. The same goes with the goal to lose weight and stay healthy.

Having a training program is the key to get the direction you need to lose weight and stay healthy. With a good training program, you are sure to get the most out of your workouts and that you are not wasting your time.

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Measurement.
When you have the proper direction, the next thing you should do is to MEASURE. Your goals should be attainable and measurable. How much weight do you want to lose? Or to better paraphrase the question, how much weight can you lose in a healthy way? On average, it is safe to lose 1.5 to 2 lbs a week with regular exercise that includes strength training and cardio workouts.

Honestly though, weight is only a vague measurement of how fit or healthy you are. Your body weight can be affected by water, muscle mass, bone density, and much more! At 6’2″ Hugh Jackman was 198 lbs when he bulked up for the movie Wolverine. His BMI would be considered ‘overweight’ based on standard values.

What matters more is your body circumference or girth measurement. It is a better indicator for losing subcutaneous fat – the stubborn fat under your skin – than stepping on the weighing scale. When you determine which ones to measure, then you can easily track your progress and know how to keep improving in your training.

Commitment.
Lastly, you need COMMITMENT. This may sound cliche, but again goals are only good on paper unless you commit to doing them. I started to work as a Personal Trainer in a gym in the first quarter of the year.

Many of my clients who I trained signed up for Personal Training thinking that it will help them commit to pursuing their fitness goal. They got the best training program specific to their goals and needs, and I helped them determine how to measure attainable results. But only the committed clients stayed for the rest of the year.  Some were always caught up with their work schedule or other errands always seem to get in the way of training. A few realised after a couple of sessions that they were not ready to commit and sacrifice time and energy.

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If you want change to happen, you have to commit everything it takes to get the change you want. In my experience in personal training, there are people who pay big money to the gym for one on one personal training and expect that it will make them commit to their goal. It’s a big mistake and a waste of money.

As a personal trainer I can give you direction; I can motivate you towards your goal; and I can challenge you to push yourself more. What I cannot do is to make you commit to show up every training day and to give your 100% every time.

If you are serious about your fitness goal to lose weight, get healthy, and stay fit, then you just need to motivate yourself to follow these three next steps after writing your goal. Find the direction you need so that you don’t feel lost when you train and so that each training day would be worth it. Get an accurate measurement of your goal and reach for specific, attainable results to keep you motivated. Keep in mind that your goal requires long-term commitment. Don’t be overwhelmed but simply take small steps to develop habits that will help you reach your goal.

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Do you think you can commit to your fitness goal to lose weight, get healthy and stay fit? I can help give you direction and support that you need to be successful in your goal. Send me a direct message or check out the SERVICES page.

Talk to you soon!

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The only ‘bad’ workout is the one that didn’t happen!




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10 Minute Trainer - Workout for the Busiest People

Spring weather is finally here! I ran yesterday for 30 minutes in spite of -1C temperature with wind gusts of 44 km/hr and humidity of 67%. It’s not as warm as the weather in the Philippines, but it’s still way hotter than the past months!!! If you wait for the weather to ‘stay positive’ you might not be able to run outside!

Just run!




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10 Minute Trainer - Workout for the Busiest People

carbsCarbohydrates are one of the three major macronutrients that the body needs for proper functioning. It is the body’s main fuel not just to move those muscles, but most importantly to keep your brain working. Many fad diets promote carbohydrate depletion and carbohydrate fasting, which is contradictory to the essential purpose of this macronutrient. It is important to understand what the uses of carbohydrates in the body are and how the body utilizes carbohydrates to maximize this efficient fuel source.

How does the body use Carbohydrates?
The body uses carbohydrates for various and important functions. Primarily, carbohydrates are important for brain functioning. The brain exclusively uses the blood sugar glucose – the type of carbohydrate found inside the body – for its normal functioning, and the body does well to balance blood sugar levels to keep the brain fueled. Carbohydrates are also used by skeletal muscles for contraction and by smooth muscles of internal organs. The body mainly uses carbohydrates for high intensity exercises. Without carbohydrates to fuel movement, the body will look for other sources of energy which is usually protein converted into glucose. The body breaks down protein in the liver to produce the needed fuel if you do not have enough carbohydrates in your diet. Sufficient carbohydrate supply keeps the liver from using protein as an energy source so that protein can be used for more important functions in tissue growth, maintenance, and repair.  Last but not the least, carbohydrates are the key to fat oxidation in the Krebs cycle. The body needs energy from carbohydrates to start up its engine that burns fat for fuel. This means that the body cannot burn fat if you deprive yourself of carbohydrates.

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What are the types of Cabohydrates?
With regards to Carbohydrate consumption, it is the structure of these chemical compounds that determine how the body uses it. Understanding the types of Carbohydrates is important to know which ones are needed for quick recovery, maintain balanced energy in the body during competition, or which ones are best for general health.

Carbohydrates can simply be divided into two:

1.) Simple Carbohydrates (Monosaccharides and Disaccharides)
It is the chemical structure of Carbohydrates that dictates how it is absorbed by the body. Glucose is a monosaccharide that is used by human cells and can be easily absorbed by the body from your diet, broken down from more complex types, or produced by the liver through the process called gluconeogenesis. Other monosaccharides are fructose and galactose.
Oligosaccharides are composed of 2 to 10 monosaccharides that are bonded together. Examples of oligosaccharides are table sugars or sucrose, maltose, and lactose. Sucrose can be abundantly found in processed food. Other oligosaccharides are milk sugars or lactose, and grain sugars or maltose.
Food sources for simple sugars are table sugars, corn syrup, fruits, malt igredients, honey, and other sweeteners.

2.) Complex Carbohydrates 
Complex carbohydrates are polysaccharides which means that its chemical component is compound consisting from 10 to thousands of monosaccharides. In practical application this simply means that generally, the body breaks down complex carbohydrates at a much slower pace than simple carbohydrates. Starch and fiber are sources for complex carbohydrates from plants and glycogen is from animals. Complex carbohydrates usually refer to starch which can be derived from eating bread, cereal, pasta peas and beans, potatoes, and pastries. Fiber is a non-starch and non-digestible complex carbohydrate that can be derived from eating food like leafy vegetables, fruit coverings, oats, brown rice, and wheat bran.

Eatig a high-fiber diet does not directly affect sports performance but it promotes general health and prevents chronic diseases.

When to consume Carbohydrates? Simple vs. Complex Carbohydrates

So when should you eat simple carbohydrates and when should you eat complex carbohydrates?

A good way to determine which kind of carbohydrate to eat is to know its Glycemic Index. Basically, the Glycemic Index (GI) of a food tells how fast the food source is processed and absorbed by the body. Sugars in most sports drink or soda have a high GI which means that the body absorbs them quickly. It was mentioned before that generally, complex carbohydrates are broken down at a much slower pace than simple carbohydrates, but it also depends on the GI of the food.

It is best to consume simple carbohydrates with high GI after a long or intense physical activity or when your energy is depleted from exercising. Simple carbohydrates can be easily absorbed by the body and replenish lost energy stores. Also for long-duration athletes like runners or marathoners, consuming high-glycemic carbohydrates is essential in maintaining their blood glucose level during their endurance events or training.

Complex carbohydrates with low GI are ideal to be eaten in between exercise or training sessions to promote energy storage. Note again that not all complex carbohydrates have low GI. Also, cooking or processing of food changes the chemical structure of carbohydrate sources. It is better to eat unprocessed carbohydrates to maximize its benefits.

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How much Carbs should I eat?
The daily requirements for each macronutrient depends on your age, gender, height, weight, and even physical activity. Generally, 45 to 65% of total daily calories should come from Carbohydrates. Athletes need to replace lost energy from training and they may require up to 70% of calories from carbohydrates in a day! Since carbohydrates are the main fuel for your brain and muscles you definitely need much of it every day even if you are not involved in any sport.

Unlike Protein and Fats, there are no minimum daily recommended allowance for Carbohydrates. This is because the body can generate fuel from other sources apart from Carbohydrates but remember that this may mean breaking down muscle protein and deprives your brain of energy. Generally, 180 to 300 grams of Carbohydrate is enough to fuel your day. If you take part in intense physical activities such as sports, you might need to consume up to 400 grams per day to replace lost fuel.

Carbohydrate Tips:

  • If there is such a thing as a nutritional secret, then that would be balance. Eat a balanced diet composed of simple and complex carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These are macronutrients that your body needs for fuel, repair, and proper functioning.
  • Choose organic or unprocessed foods for your fuel source. Processing alters the chemical composition of food which not only lessens the health benefits of the food but sometimes may even cause other negative effects such as diabetes and heart disease.
  • Before and during high intensity activities, consume carbohydrates with high Glycemic Index to provide fuel for your work out.
  • In between exercise bouts, consume carbohydrates with low Glycemic Index to maintain your blood sugar and keep your body fueled for the next work outs.
  • If you are trying to lose weight, it is not wise to undergo carbohydrate depletion or fasting. Think about losing fat, and not merely losing weight – there is a big difference. Remember that your body needs carbohydrates to burn fat, and you burn fat through exercise. If you want to limit your carbohydrate consumption, consume at least 70 grams of carbohydrates per day to keep your brain fueled.
  • Talk to your nutritionist or dietitian for more understanding on carbohydrate consumption and what will work best for you.

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Did you know that today in 1992, the National Hockey League Players began their first strike after 75 years in the league?

image from wikipedia.com

We all enjoy watching our team win. If we play the sport that we watch (I have only tried playing on a hockey table game. Do you play hockey for leisure?) then we recognize how much hard work, discipline, and sacrifice is put in that single game. However, professional sports have gone a long way from just playing for the game. As it is, they are called “professional sports” because the players are payed for their performance – being an athlete has become their “profession.”

Shouldn’t Professional Athletes be Paid for their Skills and Talent?
We can argue that these players deserve to be paid because of their talent, skill, and dedication. But sometimes, this incentive becomes the motivation for the players’ whining.

Throughout the years in sports, teams and even individual athletes threaten not to play unless their demands were met – and these demands usually involves (getting more) money. Labor unions got involved and by forming player associations such as MLB, NBA, NFL, and the NHL, these athletes have been having more ‘power’ to demand their wants. This results in what we know as either a strike by the players or a ‘lockout’ by the owners.

The 1992 NHL strike lasted for 10 days and ended with unresolved issues. 2 years later, NHL had a worse lockout which reduced the games from 84 to 48.

Here are 9 Most Significant Strikes and Lockouts in Pro Sports History

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Why do Professional Athletes Hold Strikes and Lockouts?
It all usually boils down to money but issues such as playing conditions, benefits and feeling that the owners are unfair are also common reasons for staging these strikes. No matter what the reason may be, these whining and complaining costs lost games, discouraged fans, and even broken relationships between athletes and managers.

Athletes ought to play for the love of the game. They used to, and many still do. But some act like spoiled brats forgetting their fans and teammates and the contract they already signed to ask for new demands and opportunities. Athletes become self-centered and egoistic. They won’t ask for more money if they don’t think that they deserve to be paid more. In the American Hockey League (AHL), the minimum salary that a player can receive in 2012-2013 is $32,500. However, there is no maximum salary that they can earn.

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What makes an Athlete a Winner?
No one likes a player who always complains and whines. Surely, being a whiner is not a characteristic of a winner. The character of athletes is seen in what he or she prioritizes. Yes, the discipline, hard work, and sacrifice that athletes give for their sport is priceless, but getting the rewards should not be the focus when playing sports. There are lots of values that can be learned through Sports. Children and Teens look up to their ‘sports idols‘ as an example.

What Values can the Youth Learn through Sports and How?

Above is a link to a blog about what values that the youth can learn through organized sports. It listed discipline, hard work, sacrifice, dealing with success and failures, striving for goals, prioritization, and overcoming adversity. Another value that I think is very important but is usually neglected in the sports world today is “Humility.” All the praises and fame that a athletes can receive makes them forget how they should keep their feet on the ground. Unique skills are adored. Displayed brutal talent is admired. Humility is forgotten and sometimes thought to be for the losing ones.

Being humble doesn’t mean that we should not stick to what is right and fair even if the conditions are really bad. Humility is about thinking less of ourselves and honoring others in our team which includes our teammates, coaches, fans, and even managers. Ralph Sockman noted something worth remembering about Humility:
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“True humility is intelligent self-respect which keeps us from thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves.
It makes us modest by reminding us how far we have come short of what we can be.”

It is awesome to see how a player can do amazing stunts that others struggle to do, but it is more wonderful to see people go beyond their own comfort to make the life of others more meaningful. Only a humble person can do that. Only humble athletes can play in spite of hard opposition and difficult circumstances that put them down.

Do you feel like whining when things don’t go your way?
Do you quit easily when walk out when you get hurt or things seem unfair?

Be a winner, not a whiner!


LES MILLS COMBAT

therabandWe all know that we need to eat protein, but what is it? How does protein help someone gain weight or build muscle? How much protein should you eat? And most importantly, what are the sources of Protein for maximum results? I am writing a two-part article with the first part aiming to simplify what protein is and how the body uses it (without getting too nerdy) and the second part enumerating the different protein sources for the body.

Read Misconceptions About Protein Supplements here:

What is Protein?
Protein is one of the six essential nutrients that the body needs for daily functioning. The essential nutrients are those that the body needs to take in from outside sources, that is the food that we eat. Non-essential nutrients are those that the body can produce by itself. Proteins are made up of amino acids, a term that you may have heard of before that is usually associated with Protein. Simply put, amino acids are the building blocks, that is, the smaller chemicals that composes the structure of Protein. Smaller chemicals are called Peptides, but as promised, this article won’t be nerdy.

Proteins can be found in every cell of the body and is used for a myriad of very important purposes.

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What are the uses of Protein?
Proteins are found in every cell of the body and serve various important purposes:

  • Proteins are needed for the growth and repair of our body’s tissues and cells.
  • Proteins are involved in a variety of metabolic and hormonal activities. For example, Enzymatic proteins in the digestive system helps break down food. Hormonal proteins help control your blood sugar concentration.
  • Other proteins are used for nerve cell signaling processes.
  • The antibodies of our immune system which help fight infections and foreign substances are also made up of proteins.
  • Proteins move important molecules in our body such as the protein hemoglobin which transports oxygen through the blood.
  • Proteins compose the actin and myosin filaments, the cells in our muscles which are responsible for muscular contraction.
  • And lastly, proteins are needed by our cardiac muscle — the muscles in our heart.

One more notable use of protein is that during fasting, the body uses the protein from our muscles to produce energy. This means that if your diet has insufficient carbohydrate and fat for energy, or if you refuse to eat 2 to 3 days to lose weight, your body will resort to the best way to produce its needed energy to survive carbohydrate and fat deprivation, which is to break down protein.


What makes up the proteins in our body?
As I have said earlier, amino acids are the building blocks of Protein. There are twenty-two different kinds of amino acids that the body uses to make proteins which includes eight essential amino acids; and again ‘essential‘ means that the body cannot produce it on its own and should get it from outside sources. These are the eight essential amino acids:


            1. Isoleucine
            2. Leucine
            3. Lysine
            4. Methionine
            5. Phenylalanine
            6. Theronine
            7. Tryptophan
            8. Valine

Don’t be too blown away by the names of these amino acids. Being familiar with them may be helpful especially when you want to know which sources of protein is better, or which supplement would work best for you. Apart from the eight essential amino acids, there are seven conditionally essential amino acids. These are amino acids that the body has difficulty in processing (nerdy term: synthesizing) so they usually are needed to be obtained from your diet as well to make sure that you’re getting enough. The seven conditionally essential amino acids are:


            1. Arginine
            2. Cysteine (cystine)
            3. Glutamine
            4. Histidine
            5. Proline
            6. Taurine
            7. Tyrosine


What are the kinds of protein that we can eat?
Protein sources from our diet are also classified into two. Dietary protein can be a complete source of protein or an incomplete source of protein. A complete source of protein means that it contains adequate amounts of the essential amino acids. Animal sources such as meat, fish, and poultry contain all essential amino acids and are thus considered complete sources of protein. Incomplete sources of protein are food sources that lack some of the essential amino acids, such as vegetables, red beans, and nuts.

Also, these protein sources vary with the quality of protein it contains depending on its amino acid profile and how the protein is easily digested. This helps determine which kind of protein source or supplement produce good quality proteins.

How does our body digest and absorb protein?
Protein digestion (the breakdown of food into smaller components) and absorption (the process of absorbing the nutrients into the body) is also valuable to note. The body digests carbohydrates and fats as soon as you put the food into your mouth and the enzymes in your saliva breaks them down. However for proteins, digestion does not begin until the food reaches your stomach and the acids in your stomach breaks them down. Then the amino acids are absorbed through the wall of the small intestine. After being absorbed by the small intestine, they are transported through the blood to the liver to be utilized by the body. This means that dietary protein sources travel a long way first and takes several hours for the body to be able to use it.

In application, after a long or intense bout of physical activity, your body would need sufficient protein supply to replace the broken down protein from your exercise or sports training. If you fail to replenish your amino acids, or if you fail to eat sufficiently after your workout, you are already depriving your body of its protein needs. The body digests protein for several hours, but once these amino acids are available, they can freely enter the blood and are cleared within 5 to 10 minutes. This gives you reason to drink that chocolate milk soon after your workout or take in an extra amino acid supplement.

How much Protein does our body need?
Can we eat too much Protein? The answer is yes. We can actually ingest too much protein and it may be detrimental for our body. Note that the cells of our body only uses the amount of amino acids that they need for a certain time. The unused amino acids are processed again (called deamination) which eventually leads to that processed amino acid being required to be excreted by the body. This all happens in the liver where the deaminated amino acid is converted into ammonia. Ammonia then is converted into urea which travels through the blood and is finally removed from the body by the kidneys in the urine.

The easiest way to know how much you need is to calculate your body weight with the recommended dietary allowance. As a standard, children ages 11 to 14 years need 1.0 g/kg of body weight per day; adolescents 15 to 18 years of age needs 0.8 to 0.9 g/kg of body weight per day; and adults need 0.8 g/kg of body weight per day. This means that if you are a 75 kg adult male, you need (0.8 g x 75 kg) 60 grams of protein per day. If you are a 50 kg adult female, you need 40 grams of protein per day. Here are some references for better understanding of how much these values are in food (source: www.cdc.gov):

  • 1 cup of milk has 8 grams of protein.
  • A 3 ounce piece of meat has around 20 grams of protein. Four ounces of meat is like a deck of cards, so 3 ounces would be 3/4 of that deck of cards.
  • 1 cup of dry beans has about 16 grams of protein.
  • An 8-ounce container of yogurt has about 11 grams of protein.

Other factors such as pregnancy, obesity, and exercise affects the protein requirements of the body. It is proven that intense exercise increases the body’s protein needs. Athletes are recommended to consume 1.5 to even up to 2.0 g/kg of body weight of protein per day to make sure that the body receives enough protein supply. Generally, the more intense the physical activity, the higher the amount of protein is needed by the body. Moderate intensity exercises would require a lower amount of protein from this range. Aerobic activities also require sufficient protein replenishment that is higher than the average recommendations. Ingesting amino acids after an intense workout, then can help the body replenish its protein requirements quickly as amino acids can be readily absorbed and used by the body.



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In Summary:

  • Protein is one of the six essential nutrients that the body needs for daily functioning. This means that protein can only be obtained by the body through ingesting food sources.
  • Protein is used by the body for different important purposes.
  • Some food sources are complete sources of protein and some are incomplete. It is best therefore to have a balanced diet that provides all the essential amino acids and other nutrients that are needed by the body.
  • Proteins are composed of amino acids which takes a long time to be processed by the body. Our food sources for protein then should have good quality so that the body can replenish its protein supply effectively.
  • Check the Recommended Daily Allowances for Protein to know how much protein you will need on average.
  • Intense physical activities require athletes to consume more protein than the recommended average.

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My next post will be about the sources of protein and how they rate as your option.

Also check out my post about the effects of Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) Supplements for performance.

Visit my Articles page for more nerdy posts. 🙂

Reference: NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition. National Strength and Conditioning Association. Campbell and Spano. 2011.

Personal Training and Coaching is more than just counting reps and sets, and shouting motivational quotes to your clients or athletes for the duration of the workout session. To ensure a safe, efficient, and effective workout, the Personal Trainer and Coach must be equipped with in-depth knowledge of exercise science that can be applied and individualized for the benefit of the client. Trainers and even coaches need to be aware of fitness test standards and norms and be able to relate it to their clients or athletes so that they can set attainable goals and design well periodized training programs. They also need to be well-versed with various exercise and equipment to keep each training session not just effective but also creative and enjoyable. Any needed information is easily available today with the use of the internet but this does not ensure the accuracy, relevance, and effectiveness of the information that search engines may show you.

What is Lumon Fit?
Lumon Fit is an intelligent software application that provides fitness professionals not just the every day information that they need, but also the capability to analyze, assess, and apply the collaborated data for a more efficient and accurate training program. The first time I tried Lumon Fit for myself, I was greatly impressed by how easy it was for me to input data for fitness tests and compare it with fitness norms. Important pre-exercise screening forms were also available and can even be printed. I was able to browse a diverse inventory of exercises ranging from machines, to body weight exercises, to stretching and even foam rolling. The exercises can be explored by category and I was able to design a creative and fun workout in no time!

Lumon Fit ensures a creative exercise program with its diverse inventory of exercises.

Lumon Fit ensures a creative exercise program with its diverse inventory of exercises.

How does Lumon Fit work?
Lumon Fit takes a big step forward from conventional fitness apps that are available today. You can input your client’s data (or your own data, if you are using it for yourself) for your record and save it with other important details about your client. Pre-exercise screening forms like the Par-Q and medical clearance can be easily accessed and even signed by your client! You can then do physical fitness tests and compare it with standards and norms in an instant. As a Pilates instructor, I personally like the postural analysis part where you can take a photo of your client’s postural analysis in anterior, posterior, and lateral views so that your client can see it with your notes. This will help the client understand the postural analysis process and better understand what needs to be done. The postural analysis data can be saved for later comparison, which is good to know if your client is improving posture!


10 Minute Trainer - Workout for the Busiest People

No need to memorize or scramble to find those values anymore,

No need to memorize or scramble to find those values anymore,

Assessments and norms can be easily accessed.

Assessments and norms can be easily accessed.

After all the assessments are done, you can then use Lumon Fit to browse for relevant exercises for your clients. Lumon Fit offers a myriad of exercises of different categories. If ever you can’t find the exercise that you are looking for, there is an option where you can add your own exercise.

Can't find your exercise? Don't despair!

Can’t find your exercise? Don’t despair!

The exercises in the inventory are provided with details such as how the movement is done and what muscles are targeted. This helps personal trainers and coaches determine the relevance of an exercise to their training program for the day.

 

The only set back with this application for me is that, like any other software, you need a data plan or wifi access to be able to use the application. Some of my clients are runners and since my iPad does not have data service, I cannot use Lumon Fit for training outside.  An improvement for this app may be the option to at least save, open and review client’s data even without internet or data connection.

In any case, Lumon Fit is a very intelligent yet comprehensive application that provides almost everything that you need to know for your exercise program! This software makes it easier for trainers and coaches to design safe and effective training programs in a shorter period of time. Because the app is very easy to operate, serious exercisers can also benefit from this application and may even use it as a virtual trainer! This application has been helping me design effective training programs more efficiently, and even my clients are impressed at how it works!

 

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