Personal Trainer Resources

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Overview. The following article and linked resources are useful for a personal trainer or someone looking to hire a personal trainer.  I’ve been a coach and personal trainer for over 10 years. I’ve seen amazing personal trainers, and I’ve seen coaches that have no business training anyone. 

Declaring yourself a personal trainer and having knowledge and experience to be successful are two different things.  Here’s the formula I use, and some of the best articles on personal training I have written.  I hope they are helpful for you:

Personal Trainer Certifications

Personal Trainer Based Certifications

NCSA, NASM, and NCSF run the best personal training certifications in the business.  I’ve had about 100 coaches work for me, and it’s clear to that the coaches who have passed these certifications are much more informed than other certifications (ISSA, ACE, etc.)

Equipment Based Certifications

Starting Strength, CrossFit, TRX, RKC, and StrongFirst all offer excellent certifications.  I recommend you take at least one of these certifications before you start coaching anyone.

Mobility Based Certifications

FMS Level II is very good.  Also Kelly Starret’s Mobility Specialist Certification is excellent.  I also recommend a 200 Yoga teaching certification for coaches serious about helping clients with mobility.

Nutrition Based Certifications

Precision Nutrition is excellent.   John Berardi regularly write class leading articles and helps me stay abreast of the latest nutrition diet and prorgrams.

Personal Trainer Books & Blogs
Preparation and Organization

Preparation and Organization

I teach all of my personal trainers to:

  1. practice the workouts they are training their clients with the day before;
  2. select appropriate warm up and skill drills for the workout;
  3. make sure he or she has mobility exercises pre-selected;
  4. check if they are correctional exercises the client requires (wrist exercises, hip stretches, etc.)
  5. make the coach knows 3-4 scalings of an exercise in the event a client cannot execute the exercise properly;
  6. make sure he or she knows all the faults of the exercises;
  7. make sure he or she knows at least 2-3 cues to correct that fault.
Programming Guidelines

Considerations on Programming

Contrary to what Orange Theory or CrossFit fans may tell you, randomly performed workouts do not work well for very long.  Yes in the beginning at exercise is better than no exercise, but your progress will plateau very quickly.  Here are some tips for programming a workout program for your client:

  1. design all your programs that they are customized to a primary goal and secondary goal,
  2. address any imbalances the client may have in each workout with appropriate correctional exercises,
  3. design the workout so that it is appropriately scaled for the clients level of fitness,
  4. slowly increase complexity as the client learns more from his or her personal trainer.

The Get Healthy Stay Healthy Guide

Get Healthy Stay Healthy Guide Rectangle
Reading Time: 7 minutes

A Curated List of Effective Workouts, Weight Loss Tips, and Lifehacks to help you Get Healthy and Stay Healthy.  The Get Healthy Stay Healthy Guide covers every personal training, yoga, nutrition, lifestyle, and health topic for all people.  It contains every secret, life-hack, and shortcut.  After two hours of Googling, you finally found it.  The Roadmap, Landmark Guide to Get Healthy Stay Healthy.

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

Designing Beginner Workout Plans

Designing Beginner Workout Plans
Reading Time: 8 minutes

This article is designed for personal trainers looking to get better at writing and designing beginner workout plans.  More specifically, this video post discusses how to design functional strength training workouts for beginners.

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

Workout Plans

Workout Plans
Reading Time: 10 minutes

50 Unique Personal Training Workout Plans. Over 3,000 workouts tested, documented, and perfected. Suffice it to say, we have a workout plan that will work for you.

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

Personal Trainer Certification: 9 Mentorship Lessons

Personal Trainer Certification Mentorship Lessons Wide

Reading Time: 6 minutes One of the greatest values I can provide you as a mentor is the ability to see ahead what you cannot. To help prepare you for the challenges that lay ahead.  To set you on the right course so that you may improve.  To be a source of support when you make mistakes.  And to be Relentless in demanding that you improve.

Senior Fitness Assessment For Senior Exercises

Senior Fitness and Senior Exercises
Reading Time: 13 minutes

At Sand & Steel, the majority of my clients are in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. Most people start feeling the effects of aging in their mid-thirties, but by age 50 they really start to notice a change.  It becomes harder to lose weight, injuries heal slower, and energy levels generally decline. If you are going to be working with clients in this age population, you’ll need to know how to perform a senior fitness assessment.  Here’s how it should be done.

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

CrossFit Scaling Course Certification Review by Paul Roberts

CrossFit Scaling Course Review Certification Featured Image
Reading Time: 8 minutes

The CrossFit Scaling Course teaches and tests CrossFit coaches on how to scale exercises and workouts.  I finished the course, and here’s what I thought and what I learned.

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

Top 50 List Fitness Equipment, Food, and Supplements

Top 50 List Fitness Equipment, Food, and Supplements
Reading Time: 11 minutes

Top 50 Accessories and Foods We Recommend for New Clients

Whether you are starting a home fitness regime or working out at Sand & Steel, you’ll find a wide variety of health and fitness products to choose from.  Here are the top 50 products we recommend to our clients.  Sand & Steel tested and approved.

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

Functional Strength Training Alexandria VA 22314

Functional Strength Training Alexandria VA
Reading Time: 3 minutes

What is Functional Strength Training?

Functional Strength Training involves exercise techniques that mimic movements performed in everyday life, outdoor activities, or in a sport. This training technique involves the use of numerous tools to build the movement patterns such as: Kettle Bells, Viprs, TRX, Barbell, Dumbbell, Sandbags, Sleds, Ropes, Medicine Balls.

 

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

A Look at Sand & Steel from 5 Years Ago

Transformation Personal Training
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Aside: while doing some routine maintenance on our website, I found this old post in our 2013 archives.  It was the first article we published on our website.  I thought it might interesting to discuss Sand & Steel then and now.   Did we do accomplish what we set out to do 5 years ago?  Or did market forces and new competition like Orange Theory and Fit45 force us to change?

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

Social Media For Personal Trainers

Burpees on social media basics
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Deciphering Social Media Channels for Personal Trainers

Social Media can be tough to master for Personal Trainers.  That almost sounds like I am joking, but many of the coaches I have hired don’t even have a Facebook page!  So rather than providing a “technical” description of how to post on each channel … I’ve broken it down into a language any personal trainer can understand 🙂  Social Media in the language of the Burpee.

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

Powerlifting Alexandria VA

Powerlifting Back Squat Stength
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Powerlifting is a strength based program focused on the Bench, Squat and Deadlift. In a powerlifting program, the athlete is focused on gaining strength using the prime moves of Deadlift, Bench, and Squat.  By adding in variations on the main lifts (Sumo Deadlift, Romanian, or Front Squat, Incline Bench etc) and adding accessory moves (Dumbell press, Pull ups, Tate Press etc), you quickly and consistently gain overall strength.  This article discuss several powerlifting programs in detail as well as how to perform several of key powerlifting exercises.

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

Glutes Core Mobility Workout Zero2Fit

Core Glutes Mobility Workout
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Glutes and Core Mobility WOD:

Brand new fascia release and strength WOD for our Zero2Fit Program.  Zero2Fit is our Mobility and Weight Loss Program that is designed for people that haven’t worked out in a while who need to lose weight and build range of motion.

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

Hotel Workouts

Hotel Workout Gym
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tips For Working out in your Hotel

3 Amazing Hotel Workouts that you can do in any hotel gym.  Great for strength and conditioning programs.

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

Body Weight Exercise Program Progressions To Do Anywhere

body weight exercise program
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Body Weight Exercise Program: Exercises You Can Do at Home

The Lunge, Pushup, and Warrior 3 Pose.  Sand & Steel breaks down these movements and shows you how to do them right.  Sample Workout Included with Videos

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Beginner Warm-up and Workout Program

Band Pull Apart, Shoulders, Warmup Exercises
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Summary of Beginner Workout & Warm-up

Building beginner level programming can be challenging. Here’s a sample exercise workout that we’ve used with great success with hundreds of clients.

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Paul Bio Picture

Paul Roberts: Personal Training, Mobility, Yoga, Nutrition

View my Bio | Email me  | Newsletter
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
Yoga, M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMT, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.