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In conversation with... Rob Scholten

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What does being a Personal Trainer mean to you?

A personal trainer wears many hats. We're facilitators, educators, enablers and influencers (and bad ass butt kickers!). Seriously though, a good PT is someone who can help a client achieve their goals by making the world of fitness accessible and attainable. There's a lot of conflicting advice out there, our job is to debunk myths, offer evidence backed research and piece together a comprehensive programme that can potentially cover everything from weight loss to muscle mass to nutrition. The best trainers have vision and creativity, which makes them skilled at discovering new ways to move the body or making a tried-and-tested workout feel fresh. I also try to be tough, caring, aspirational and inspirational- the kind of trainer who makes you want to crush those last few burpees, even though your body's telling you it can't.

How do you plan your Personal Training sessions?

My sessions are based on a progressive approach to training according to both the client's needs and their starting fitness level. There's a widely accepted order in which exercise disciplines (usually in terms of load or force production required) should be followed. Fitness isn't about running marathons, deadlifting 70kgs or doing the splits, it's a mash up of all aspects of fitness specific to the individual. Everything I include in my programmes is based on current sports and movement science; if it's not backed by credible research, then I'm afraid it won't become part of the plan.

How do you measure results?

I measure results according to the phase of training that the client is in. Obviously a lot of clients want to improve how they look - their aesthetics - which can be measured either by skin fold tests to assess body composition or by a measurement of waist and hip circumference. We can then plot progress easily by comparing weekly stats. For performance goals there are a few relatively simple tests that can be tested and tracked. For example a client can see that, over a given time, their maximal strength has increased by 10% - we might track this through weight lifting. The beauty is it's all down on a hard copy for the clients to see, there's no guess work as to how well they're doing. 

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