The value of one on one sessions with kids

August 18, 2009

I take group training for kids aged 8-12 which mainly includes games and fun circuit based exercises with basic equipment. When you have a group of kids in a resistance based circuit it’s hard to find time to help every out and get them doing things right. Kids between the ages of 8-12 do tend to have a fairly short attention span and by the time they’ve done one or two circuits they’ll start to misbehave. So in a group it’s a tough job to teach everything you want to for each individual as they’re all at different stages of learning and maturity levels.

You may think that all kids love games and all kids want to play with balls and run in the park but this isn’t always the case.

You shouldn’t under estimate the importance of proper training in a safe environment.

  • You have the right equipment to monitor improvements
  • You can progressively overload what they are doing by increase speed, incline, reps, resistance etc.
  • They are in a safe environment with good supervision and knowledge.
  • They often enjoy feeling like an adult. They want to do things that they don’t usually get a chance to do.

The benefits of a one on one session compared to a group session are:

  • The participant gets more guidance from the trainer
  • They can do more advanced exercises because of the increase time the trainer can spend with the individual.
  • Kids like to have your attention; they generally misbehave in a group situation to impress others or to get your attention.
  • They will learn alot more one on one compared to a group session because there are no other distractions.

Overall group training is good fun but kids love having role models and they can look up to the trainer. They want to have their attention and they also want to learn and become better at certain things whether it’s a sport or to just be fit and healthy. They love to try new things and tell their friends these cool things they did. I encourage parents to keep their kids active and get involved with some sort or program, sport, or just walking the family dog! It’s that simple. Just keep it simple and regular. After all, parents are the ones in control of their children. If you teach them early on to exercise regularly they are more likely to get involved with physical education and grow up to be fit and healthy.

Tell me which of these sounds better to you..

Healthy kid who exercised regularly by walking the dog and going for runs on the beach or playing sport in the backyard who grows up fit and healthy and leads a healthy lifestyle because of his childhood experience of exercise.

OR

A kid who wasn’t bought up around exercise whether it be incidental or set execise like walking and playing sport therefore doesn’t enjoy physical education at school, often discludes themselves or gets in trouble. Grows up overweight leading to poor mental and social wellbeing and bad lifestyles choices lead them into such problems as heart disease, stroke and other realted problems.

The message: It’s in your hands – it’s your call

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The Benefits of boxing for fitness

July 14, 2009

I don’t blame people for getting tired of the same old cardio machines when you use them day after day, week after week! It’s always great to try something different. Boxing for fitness adds that extra fun into your workout and also delivers great results.

Here are 5 ways boxing can help you!

1. Increase your fitness levels – boxing is based around high repetitions with rest in between work efforts. It’s a great interval training session and, when done with correct technique, will give your whole body a good workout.

2. Help you achieve your fat loss goals – boxing is great for losing that extra fat. Its high intensity and gets plenty of muscles moving and burning lots of calories. With the right format to your session you will see great results.

3. Increase your muscular tone – punching bags or pads requires your muscles to be working pretty hard throughout the session. If you’ve ever done a one on one boxing session you know the feeling of how hard your arms have to work towards the end of a one minute round of high intensity effort. By losing that bit of extra fat and toning up your muscles through boxing training you’ll soon be seeing the results.

4. Improved coordination and agility – technique is really important in boxing. Once you know the main punches your trainer can combine these punches into combos which can include weaves between certain punches.

5. Reduce stress – we all know when we get really angry we like to hit things or take our frustration out in some way. Boxing is a feel good workout. After a long hard day in the office there isn’t much better than letting it all out and having a fun, solid workout to make you feel great and put everything else behind you.

The best way to get started with boxing for fitness is to ask about it at your gym and get a trainer to take you for a few sessions or join a group boxing class to learn the right technique and good session formats.


Group exercise for kids

June 2, 2009

I’ve recently started a program for kids at Endorphin Gym in Kingston. It’s called Kid Fit and its designed for 8 – 12 year olds.

In the build up to todays first session i assessed all the kids prior to the fisrt session. The first thing i noticed is how quickly these kids want to grow up. 

Almost every one of the kids, when i asked them how old they were, they said their actual age and then straight away said how old they were turning.

For example, one kid when i asked ‘how old are you?’, said to me “I’m 11 turning 12”, i was thinking that their birthday must be coming up in the next week or so.. so i asked ‘When is your birthday?’. They replied “november’. Meanwhile here we are in May.. still at least 5 months away from their birthday! I’m 19..i’m not turning 20. Things start to get serious when you reach the twenties!

Anyway the day of the first session comes. I try and squeeze in 4 assessment before the start of the session. Things were pretty busy with kids coming and going that i hardly had time to plan the session.

10 kids rock up to the first session which is a pretty decent number considering we’d only advertised it two weeks earlier. All these kids were so different. Some played soccer, some football, swimming, horse riding, some did dancing, some had never done a push up or sit up before and some kids couldn’t do two skips in a row so the challenge for me was to structure the class so there was something for everyone.

The class started well doing some aerobics based exercise such as step ups,skipping and running and jumping. Then came the resistance exercises.

My aim is to teach good technique and develop a solid strength base so we can run a more circuit formatted class. But for now we would all do the same thing so i could watch them all and walk around and correct them.

It was a new experience seeing the way kids work. The thing that stood out the most was one kid who had a bit more troube than the others in terms of learning new things.

Here i am trying to give all the kids options, so i run  through 4 types of push ups that they could do. The first was against a wall in a standing position. The second was on the knees with hands on the aerobics stage. The third was a knee push up and the fourth was a push up on their toes.

So i ask this kid which option he was going to do.. thinking he’d take the wall or aerobic stage option but no, without hesitation he says ‘I’m going to do the toe push ups’.

So off he went, i watched closely and he didn’t get one push up out, i can’t possibly describe what he was doing but it definately wasn’t a push up so i told him to try some on the stage which he was able to do about 5 good ones before going back to some crazy dance routine.. well thats what it looked like!

Although he couldn’t do a full one it was really good to see that he endeavoured to be as good as the others and knows where he wants to progress to.  These are the types of kids who are great to work with. Because one day down the track he’ll come in to one of the sessions and there he’ll be pumping out full push ups with proper technique and i’ll say to him ‘remember the first time you came in and could only do 5 proper ones on your knees against the stage?’ and they’ll think back and realise how far they’ve progressed and what they really can achieve if they’re given the chance. And for me that is the most rewarding thing to see. I can’t wait!

This is what Kid Fit is all about. It giving those kids the initial opportunity and knowledge to a healthy life through an emphasis on fun classes with other kids who are in the same boat as each other. 

CHEL