About Me

Jessica Burns I'm not an all-or-nothing kind of girl, I take pride in my baby steps. I'm not a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist, but I try to make sure that the majority of my meals are healthy and homemade. I still eat meat in moderation and usually only purchase chicken. I've yet to end my relationship with cheese and eggs and I don't intend to ever break up with butter. I love honey and coming from a family of third generation beekeepers I doubt that will ever change. I get excited when I discover a new recipe that's simple, healthy, tastes good and doesn't require the purchase of tofu. Sometimes I track my calories and sometimes I don't. I don't follow all the “health and fitness rules” because you can't, they change every day and newsflash....everyone is different!! I don't believe that being a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist is for everyone. But I do believe that we should all care a lot more about where our food comes from, how it's treated prior to processing and the methods by which it's processed. I'm a huge fan of D.I.Y (Do It Yourself) recipes. It's a pretty rewarding feeling when you learn how to make things from scratch, especially when they're affordable, natural and healthy. Some of the things that I make are; household cleaners, moisturizers, bug repellent, sunscreen, chapstick, bodywash, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, dog treats, sauces, salad dressings, protein bars and dryer balls. I'm intrigued by alternative health methods like; osteopathy, herbology, homeopathy, dry brushing, oil pulling, meditation, aromatherapy and essential oils. I love researching and learning and I always try to be open to new information even if it's contrary to what I think I already “know”. When it comes to working out I've been at it for years, so to prevent extreme boredom and plateaus I have to have diversity. Give me some weights, a suspension trainer or kettlebells and then I switch it up with yoga, intervals, HIIT, bodyweight workouts or just the good ole chin-up bar. I don't take a bunch of supplements to “pump me up”, I'll have a plant based protein smoothie please! I'm working on my flexibility, balance and perfecting inversions. In a former life I'd like to believe I was a gymnast and a super wicked dancer. Someday I swear I will finally enter a fitness competition and if I could meet any celebrity it would most definitely be Ellen. My boyfriend and I are avid fans of the outdoors; kayaking, backcountry camping, hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing and swimming. We're also pro's at curling up and watching movies and documentaries when required! We're working towards our dream of building a tiny home, purchasing land and living completely off-grid, with greenhouses, gardens, cob ovens, treehouses and all! I believe that overall health and fitness can only be achieved and maintained through proper balance. A cohesive mixture of growth and change, both mentally and physically, with the realization that each individual is different. What works for one will not always work for another.

Blog Archive

The Truth About Personal Training

Posted by Jessica Burns on Friday, August 31, 2012 Under: Personal Training

Before I obtained my personal training certification I assumed that becoming a personal trainer would at least involve a couple years of schooling, along with physical and written testing.........WRONG!! Did you know that anyone can sign up and take a personal training course, with no pre-requisite requirements? (yes there are College and University courses that can be taken but again not required to obtain certification!)  I was shocked to discover that becoming a personal trainer could involve as little as taking a weekend course with a written and practical exam to follow, once a passing grade is obtained your certified! The written exam is multiple choice, and you must achieve a grade of 80% to pass. The practical involves a short approximately ten minute session with a pro trainer demonstrating a handful of exercises.  Another fun fact is that its completely legal for an UN-certified person to be working as a Trainer actively training clients, IF they're enrolled or taking a Personal Training Certification Course. Now, they have to still achieve certification within a certain amount of time, but in the meantime they can still train you!! Sounds good eh!! Uhhhh not so much,.......well at least I don't think so!

The weekend course that I took consisted of following through a textbook with a teacher while sitting on a gym floor. Now I'm not knocking my teacher/trainer, she was amazing, she absolutely knew what she was doing when it came to health and fitness, however its the course itself that I feel is leaving New Trainers ill-equipped when it comes to hands on knowledge. Throughout the course we didn't practice exercises or form, we didn't practice writing programs, or learn any new exercises, nor where our personal fitness levels tested. Thats not to say that other certification courses don't require physical testing during the certification process, (ie CrossFit, or Kettlebell Certifications involve an abundance of physical testing.)  I'm speaking of a general Personal Trainer Certification which is the basis, the foundation where anyone who wants to become a trainer must start, unless taking a College or University Course.

So I came out of my course having gained knowledge on Anatomy, Energy Production Systems, Cardiorespiratory Concepts, Performing Fitness Assessments and the basics of Nutrition, however I didn't learn new exercises or practice training a client, we didn't go onto the gym floor and train with each other for a hours a day perfecting our form, we didn't learn about healthy meals and supplements, and we didn't learn any sales techniques. Huh? Sales? Yes, being a salesperson is a huge part of personal training, you have to sell yourself even when you work in a large franchised facility, your fitness manager will only help fill your training spots for so long and after that is up to you! Its up to you to produce your own leads on personal training clients and keep a full client roster, and your fitness manager wants you to achieve this too so they can get their bonuses for that month. Your fitness manager will teach you sales techniques which will vary depending on the manager and facility, and you will have to attend monthly meetings to ensure you will reach your sales goals. Now I'm not going to get into the different sales methods used in facilities that I've been employed at, but you have to learn the proper sales lingo, what words you can and can't use, how to use your body language, or how to convince people to purchase training sessions even when they say they can't afford training. There are literally scripts that are studied and used in response to client objections and how to overcome them.

With all that being said I'm not surprised when I hear the horrible stories of my clients past experience with trainers. The stories generally consist of the trainer having extremely limited knowledge of exercises or stretches, completely lacking in nutritional knowledge, and the trainer themselves lack the overall physical appearance a personal trainer should represent. So what do you do to make sure your hiring a qualified trainer? Stay tuned for my next post, How to Hire the Right Personal Trainer.

Photography By Sahara Photography Studio

In : Personal Training 

Tags: personal training  certification  nutrition  exercise 

"When I was 5 years old my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down "happy." They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life." John Lennon

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