Personal Trainer Resources

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.

Fitness Assessment: Building Biomechanics for Weight Lifting

Fitness Assessment Square

The Sand & Steel Fitness Assessment has been constantly developed and refined since we opened our doors in 2014.  We have done thousands of these fitness assessments over the course of five years.  Here’s what we’ve learned and how we use the Fitness Assessment to build client specific programs.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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

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.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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

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.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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

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.

 

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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

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?

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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

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.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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

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.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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

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.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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

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.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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.

Beginner Warm-up and Workout Program

Band Pull Apart, Shoulders, Warmup Exercises

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.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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.

Squat Warm-up Routine

Squat Warmup Routine Mobility and Flexibility Kettle Bell Pistol Squat

Squat Warm-up Routine:

Warming up is essential to have a productive workout, and to limit injury risk. Their are many different styles of warm-ups, but today we are going to focus on a squat warm-up routine for mobility and flexibility. Before you get to the barbell or kettlebell it is important to get the body ready for action. You may not feel that you have any tight adductors or groin muscles, but they still could be holding back you squats. If you have the classic Butt Wink or limited squat depth then something is tight or not firing. Take the time to warm up and get your body set for squats. Squats a a great strength move and proper execution is key.

10 Reasons to Hire a Personal Trainer

Hire Personal Trainer Poor Mans GHD with Rachel and Morgan

As the holidays gear up and you look towards New Year’s resolutions- can you benefit from a trainer? The answer is probably yes.

There are many reasons that hiring a Personal Trainer could be beneficial both for short term and long term periods. A personal trainer can do anything from teaching proper movement patterns to motivation. We break down the top 10 reasons to Hire a Personal Trainer

Transitioning From Exercising to Training

Is your workout routine really working for you?  Are you conflating getting sweaty with getting results (e.g. an exercise routine vs training program)?  Here are some tips to help you transition from simply working out, to building yourself a real workout program.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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.

Strength Training Foundation Movements

Strength Training Foundation Movements

There are 8 basic strength movements: the Squat, Lunge, Hinge, Push, Pull, Arc/Hollow, Twist/Resist Twist, and Gait.  We’ll cover these techniques and discuss the proper form to do them safely.  We’ll also discuss various techniques to test muscle function by selecting members from the audience, and demonstrating how to test for proper neural control of muscles, and how to utilize strength training to restore and improve muscle function.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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 Programs

Facebook Program Preview

Sand & Steel customizes and builds workout programs according to each clients unique goals and movement patterns.  Here are sample some programs we have created for current clients.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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.

Medicine Ball Workout

Medicine Ball Workout

Travelling For the Holidays

Don’t have a kettle bell to workout with? — No Problem

Medicine Ball are almost ubiquitous and can make for great calorie burning workouts.  Here’s a sample workout you can do in about 30 minutes.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, 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.

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