Can Movement Patterns Really Be Standardized?

Can Movement Patterns Really Be Standardized?

At AAPTE, we believe structure determines function and condition of structure determines opportunity. “Training movement” is a piece of the exercise equation. Our partner at The Cofactor, wrote a clear and concise article that addresses why training movement patterns without a functional understanding of what is moving, is a concern.

Movement Patterns in Fitness … Can they really be standardized? 

by The Cofactor

Movement is the new buzz word sweeping across the fitness industry, with fans, believers, and devoted followers.

Not a day goes by without an Instagram post, a blog or YouTube video saying “it is about movement” and “train movements”  etc.

In my attempt to lookup movement patterns, I found some references saying it is 5 patterns, others referred to 6 patterns and finally references to7 patterns.

Based on those movement patterns, movement screens were also developed and regularly conducted on clients and athletes, outcomes are then used to determine patterns needing work or improvement, so trainers can focus on them, at least in theory.

Based on movement patterns we are expected to squat in a specific form, push in a specific form, deadlift in a specific form etc. This line of thinking, of course, makes life easy for us trainers as all we have to do is look for a few reference points and judge if the move matches a pattern dictated to us.

It is no wonder in the age of prepackaged everything, trainers jump all over the idea, we really do not need to think, we just need to follow protocols or some pre-determined motions while sounding intelligent! rather than analyzing and getting down to the bottom of issues. The later is hard work and dedication.

Yes, I am going to rush into a conclusion and already tell you that I am not a big fan of the idea of movement patterns, and for the rest of this blog, I am going to explain why.

Read the full post here…

A Comparison Between Plant and Whey Protein Supplements

A Comparison Between Plant and Whey Protein Supplements

Your body requires a balanced diet for proper function. This includes proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, and minerals. Proteins are essential in the body for proper brain function, tissue repair and regeneration, metabolism and boosting the body immunity among others. Protein is a component of body cells and is a component of a healthy diet.

Food for thought:

Protein supplements offer a convenient way to help meet your protein intake requirements. Most people can obtain their daily dietary requirements of protein easily. However, if a situation where greater protein intake is necessary, you may need to supplement your intake.

There are two common varieties of protein supplements; plant and animal based. Favorite sources of plant proteins include peas, rice, hemp, and soy. On the other hand, whey is an animal based protein supplement. It is a highly processed derivative of milk. Whey supplements have been around for a long time while plant protein supplements are only gaining popularity in comparison.

There are distinguishing factors you should be aware of between the two. Let’s look at some of them.

Advantages of Plant Protein Supplements

  1. Effectiveness: They are just as good as whey protein supplements in getting the job done.
  2. Digestion and metabolism: They are digested better than the dairy-based whey.
  3. Healthier: Plant proteins are not processed. They do not contain artificial additives, preservatives or flavoring components. They are an exceptional source of amino acids, fiber, antioxidants and more.
  4. Taste: They are mostly considered to be better in taste and easier to mix with water.
  5. Variety: There is more choice in the food components in plant-based proteins.

However, some plant protein products contain lower amounts of specific amino acids. This is of little concern as your body will get sufficient nutrients from the combination of both your regular diet and the supplement. Alternately, you can opt for products that have the complete range of ingredients.

Advantages of Whey Protein Supplements

Whey protein supplements also enjoy a host of benefits over plant protein supplements such as;

  1. Cost effective.
  2. You will find it at your favorite local or online store.
  3. Whey is effective for muscle growth and repair. Additionally, it is packed with digestive enzymes and other nutritional enhancements.
  4. Convenience. It comes in an easy to ingest format such as a shake, which is quickly absorbed into the body.

In spite of the undeniable attraction to whey, there are several drawbacks to using whey protein supplements including;

a) Whey protein supplements are highly processed which negatively impacts the net nutritional value

b) They may contain significant amounts of artificial ingredients and flavorings

c) Most people with dairy-related allergies find it difficult to hold them down and properly digest them, not to mention elevated levels of stomach gas.


Both plant and whey protein supplements deliver proven results. Plant protein supplements offer healthier, easily digestible organic blends of two or more ingredients to achieve desired results. Whey protein supplements are affordable, convenient and have been trusted for years. Accordingly, take your pick based on individual preferences and health benefits.

4 Social Media Marketing Tips Every Personal Trainer Should Know

4 Social Media Marketing Tips Every Personal Trainer Should Know

Social networking is crucial in today’s marketing world and is an integral part of promoting your business. Being a personal trainer means you are in charge of your own marketing; Here are some tips:

Use Every Social Media Platform At Your Disposal

There are multiple social media marketing platforms that can help you reach more followers, fans, and new clientele. For example, creating a Facebook fan page for your business, which will help create a fan base that is highly interested in your personal training journey and your skills.

Similarly, it will only benefit your bottom line by creating pages across Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin. This is because fans and possible clients that you can not reach through one platform, you will more likely reach through several other social media platforms.

Post To Your Social Media Pages Everyday

Once you have your social media marketing platforms set up make sure that you are posting daily, multiple times a day. Personal trainers know that self-promotion can be tough and time consuming, but building your brand is an important part of bringing in clients. Posting daily will help to increase traffic to your pages, which means increased views, likes, and followers.

Part of this aspect means mixing up your posts, like offering tips and recommendations as a personal trainer. This means you should include videos and photos. For example, sharing a weekly video of a workout or posting before and after photos of clients that you have helped. This social media marketing strategy helps increase the popularity of your pages because it showcases your professional skills and client successes.

As your social media marketing skills begin to grow, many personal trainers admit that creating online workout programs brings in more traffic. For instance, creating a 6 to 8 week workout program that your followers could try helps to build up trust and loyalty in your skills as a personal trainer. This is because folks that are able to try your program and actually get results are more likely to seek your services in the future.

Also, a great way to make your social media pages interactive is by allowing your followers to post as well. They can post their trials and tribulations as they implement your workout program. It is important to note that having a great response rate will strengthen their loyalty, so make sure you are answering questions and commenting on their success.

Offer Incentives in Bold Posts

One of the best ways to increase traffic to your social media pages is by offering discounts and deals on your personal training sessions. When you make these promotions, ensure that your posts are noticeable and straightforward. This means make your promotional posts bold, eye-catching, and crystal clear when it comes to what you are offering. It will help bring in new clients and provide more incentive for fans that were originally on the fence about reaching out to you.

The Effects of Sugar on Health

The Effects of Sugar on Health

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting your intake of solid fats and added sugars to between 5 and 15 percent of your daily diet. Added sugars increase your calorie intake without providing the body with essential minerals. They also increase your risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart failure and obesity among others. Traditionally, fruits were the primary sources of sugar. Today, you find processed sugar in almost all packed foods.

Natural sugars available in milk, lactose and fruits benefit the body. Additionally, taking sugar in moderation helps your body function properly. Sucrose, available in table sugar, serves as your body’s primary energy source. Your small intestines produce sucrase, which breaks down the sucrose into fructose and glucose for easier absorption into the blood stream. It then travels to the liver for processing and distribution into cells, where it metabolizes into an immediate energy source.

Your body also stores extra glucose as glycogen. When the primary source of energy is unavailable, your body breaks down the glycogen into single glucose units. They serve as energy sources during workouts, at night, when you take a rest and in between meals to prevent dangerous drops in your bloods sugar levels.

Sugar critics frown on sugar for its lack of nutritional value; it delivers empty calories to the body. Nutritionists advise that you use complex carbohydrates such as starchy vegetables, cereals and grains as your main sugar sources. Simple sugars metabolize fast, causing rapid blood sugar spikes and drops. Complex carbohydrates help with more stable blood sugar levels, sustained energy levels and provide more vitamins and minerals than simple sugars.

Several scientific studies also indicate that sugar ultimately affects your health negatively. A sugar-laden diet increases your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and dementia among others. Sugar taps into your preference for sweet tasting things and can easily become addictive. While you cannot liken sugar ‘addiction’ to drug addiction, people that experience sugar cravings often exhibit dependency symptoms. A good example is obese people, who keep taking sugary things even when they experience difficulty walking or breathing.

Every time your sugar intake goes beyond the recommended levels, you increase your risk for diabetes by up to 1.1 percent. Over a prolonged period of time, diabetes becomes inevitable. Diabetes further increases your risk for heart disease; over 65 percent of diabetes deaths occur from a heart-related complication. Sugar intake also increases bad cholesterol levels and dangerous triglyceride blood fats, while inhibiting your body’s ability to clear our bad cholesterol.

High sugar levels in the blood affect your face. Sugar attaches to proteins, forming new molecules such as advanced glycation end products or AGEs. The new molecules attack and damage nearby protein, including collagen and elastin, the components that help your skin remain firm and elastic. Eventually, skin proteins become brittle, leading to wrinkly and saggy skin. AGEs further promote the growth of fragile collagen, which affects your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes. This affects your skins ability to deal sun damage and environmental toxins.

Sugar triggers your liver to increase its fat storage in weird places; eventually, globules of fat develop around your liver, heart and around your stomach. This can gradually lead to liver and heart disease.

Ultimately, sugar is not the enemy; your consumption of sugar is the problem. The first step to reducing health risks associated with sugar is reducing your intake of simple sugars, and choosing complex sugars instead. Some changes in the beginning may include a sugar-free diet, where you only rely on natural sugars from carbohydrates and fruits.

Additional Text
Sources The Washington Post: Where People around the World Eat the Most Fat and Sugar

SFGATE: Importance of Sugar in the Human Body

WebMD: The Truth About Sugar

Harvard Health Publication: Eating too Much Added Sugar Increases the Risk of Dying with Heart Disease

Prevention: 11 Weird Things Sugar’s Doing to Your Body

Effects of Plant-Based Diets on Human Performance

Effects of Plant-Based Diets on Human Performance

A plant-based diet focuses on whole, unprocessed or minimally processed plants. Fruits, whole grains, vegetables, legumes and tubes dominate the plant-based diet while encouraging the reduction or complete removal of meats, dairy products and eggs. Other foods it excludes or minimizes include oils, unhealthy fats, refined sugars and bleached flour.

When looking at the effects of a plant-based diet on performance, experts often use athletes for their case studies. There are several studies seeking to understand the effects of a plant-based diet on performance, especially on athletes switching from an omnivorous diet (eats both plant and animal products, including meat).

Athletes and bodybuilding icons such as Patrik Baboumian (Germany’s strongest man), Scott Jurek, Brendan Brazier, Rich Roll and Mac Danzig prove that one can achieve superior athletic and physical performance on a plant-based diet.

Proponents of a plant-based diet believe it is a healthier choice, and rightfully so: a plant-based diet reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes mellitus and hypertension. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables supplies the body with antioxidants, which get rid of toxins in the blood, improving the body’s metabolism.

Athletes, body-builders and other physical fitness enthusiasts believe that a plant-based diet helps them achieve the right carbohydrate intake, aids in weight management and offers a myriad of performance enhancing advantages.  Nutritionists advocate for a plant-based diet as it reduces acidity in the body, some people even refer to it as the alkaline diet. High acidity levels cause intramuscular acidity, which can limit one from high-intensity exercise.

A plant based-diet also increases muscle glycogen, improves the body’s immunity and reduces oxidative stress, all of which may improve physical performance.

Opponents of the plant-based diet fear that excluding animal products form ones diet may increase the risk for micronutrient deficiencies and reduce muscle creatine concentrations, which gradually leads to poor performance.

High-performance individuals need a diet rich in iron, sodium and calcium, nutrients they can easily get from an animal-based diet. Often times, excluding animal foods from their diets means that they may need to rely on supplements to meet their nutritional needs. For example, sodium in plants is found in some seaweeds.

Protein from meat contributes to higher muscularity and increase muscular hypertrophy, especially in resistance training. Animal foods such as egg yolk, liver and butter also provide fat-soluble vitamins, including trace elements found on the fat molecules. In activities that need endurance and strength, the fatty acids supply energy to the muscles without causing insulin swings.

Every time an athlete or physical activity enthusiast cuts a food group from her diet, there is the risk that she is denying the body certain essential nutrients. She should focus on ensuring her body gets the nutrients it needs to maintain an active lifestyle. Vegetarians and vegan athletes must focus on getting alternative sources of protein, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamin B12 to sustain an active lifestyle.

Preliminary studies indicate that consuming a plant-based diet does not hinder or improve performance, and the same case applies to an omnivorous diet.

While looking to switch to a plant-based diet, one must understand his individual needs and work towards foods that provide enough nutrients to support his lifestyle. While there are several reasons that compel people to switch to a plant-based diet, one can still enjoy a healthy lifestyle on an omnivorous diet. Ultimately, it is a matter in individual conviction and personal choice.