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NCSF Blog

Results: 26 posts

Coffee Calories – They Can Add up Quickly

August 15, 2013 by NCSF 0 comments

Personal trainers know that the average client desiring to lose weight or optimize body composition can make just a few nutritional modifications to create a significant impact on total caloric intake. One of these simple changes includes negating excess beverage calories. For example, replacing three regular sodas each day with a calorie-free beverage or water can provide for an estimated caloric deficit of 2,500 kcals (assuming 120 calories/beverage) over the course of a single week. After a month, this equals a theoretical equivalent of 2.85 pounds. Considering the impact of this simple (intake) modification it would be prudent of personal trainers to educate their clients on beverages that they should strategically avoid if attempting to lose weight. The major issue with calorically-dense beverages is that they are usually rich in simple sugar and fat and do not provide the same level of satiation as calorically-equivalent foods. Many beverages serve as a surplus of empty calories with limited nutritional value, which likely explains New York’s efforts at reducing sugary beverage intakes.

Questioning Competency without Competency

August 08, 2013 by NCSF 1 comment

If you have not had a chance to read the recent New York Time’s piece on Personal Training from Frank Bruni it is worth the three minutes. Not because it seems like a humorous attempt by the author to use every word from his thesaurus, nor because the author makes many valid points, or even paints an accurate picture of personal training as a whole; the real value of the read is in understanding people’s perceptions and, whether accurate or not, how those perceptions form opinion and how opinion is used in free press.

Overzealousness and Rhabdo

July 19, 2013 by NCSF 1 comment

It seems like anywhere you look in the media today fitness enthusiasts are embracing the next “extreme” exercise challenge. Traditional safe and effective exercise techniques have lost some luster, in exchange for “guru”-driven workouts that burn a purported >1000 calories an hour. To put it in perspective, a 200-lb man would have to train at 100% VO2max for the full hour to attain that value – sadly identifying once again the false advertising associated with many of these programs.

Arms Bigger Than Your Legs?

July 08, 2013 by NCSF 1 comment

It’s a common occurrence - you want to perform compound exercises in the squat rack and someone is performing curls. Whereas Monday seems to be a national chest day in most gyms – everyday is seemingly the ideal time to perform more curls. This likely explains the trend toward minimalist tank tops and cover-up sweat pants. While leg training is a popular activity for women, men tend to spend much more time on their upper physique leading to the so-called “chicken legs”. Certainly pants can quickly cover up the deficiency, but what many upper body enthusiasts fail to realize is the lower body is the key to total body improvements.

US Professionals May be Over-Confident

June 20, 2013 by NCSF 0 comments

Perhaps it is a cultural phenomenon or just a common character flaw, but Americans seem to demonstrate an ongoing overconfidence in their knowledge and abilities. This has clearly been established by the ongoing skill gap surveys, but also in the average American’s perception of their education and capabilities relative to other countries. On average, 16 other industrialized countries scored above the United States in science, and 23 scored above the U.S. in math. Interestingly though, America’s self assessment places the country in the top 3, suggesting that while Americans are performing in a subpar manner compared the rest of the World, surveys indicate the U.S. population rates themselves as outstanding. This is not only a problem in manufacturing, technologies and work skill readiness across disciplines, but has also bled into the average citizen’s everyday interactions.

ATS publishes clinical practice guidelines on exercise-induced bronchoconstriction

June 06, 2013 by NCSF 0 comments

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) released new official clinical practice guidelines on the diagnosis and management of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. EIB is the acute airway narrowing that occurs as a result of exercise-induced stress. According to Jonathan Parsons, MD, associate professor of internal medicine and associate director of The Ohio State University Asthma Center and chair of the committee that drafted the statement, "While a large proportion of asthma patients experience exercise-induced respiratory symptoms, EIB also occurs frequently in subjects without asthma." Among asthma suffers EIB is currently unknown, however it is estimated that 20% of those not diagnosed with asthma do suffer from EIB. That number jumps to a range between 30% and 70% for Olympic and elite-level athletes.

Posting Restaurant Caloric Content

May 16, 2013 by NCSF 0 comments

Would it help consumers if they could actually make an educated decision on what to eat at restaurants? Would people actually select a breakfast muffin if they knew it had 600 kcal? Unlike cooking at home, diners are subject to menus without complete transparency. While the restaurant industry looks to implement new rules requiring chains with 20 or more locations to post caloric content information, wouldn’t it be reasonable for all restaurants to provide consumers with the nutritional content of their products? With the new federal rules approximately 50% of the nation's restaurant locations but will be exempt from review requirements. To underscore the real concern, researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University analyzed meals from independent and small-chain restaurants. They found that on average, per portion size, caloric density was two to three times the estimated calorie needs of an individual adult at a single meal and 66% of typical daily calorie requirements.

Walking as Effective as Running for Disease Prevention

May 06, 2013 by NCSF 0 comments

According to the American Heart Association if you cannot run or jog you can just as easily lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes by taking a brisk walk. Recent findings reported in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology suggest that when walking and running are matched for energy expenditure, the benefits for disease prevention become similar.

Egg White Protein May Help High Blood Pressure

April 17, 2013 by NCSF 0 comments

Many health conscious consumers already remove the yolk from the high-protein whites of eggs (between 5-7g per serving depending on size) to reduce the fat and cholesterol content. Recent findings suggest that there may be additional benefit to consuming more egg whites; specifically the positive effects it may have on blood pressure. University professors presented their findings at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Small Group Coaching

April 03, 2013 by NCSF 0 comments

The increased popularity of social interaction in guided exercise instruction has allowed personal training to take on an expanded role into small group coaching. This training style allows participants to enjoy instruction from a qualified professional, which in turn provides a greater reach to client markets who otherwise would be unable to participate due to lack of resources or an interest in the one-on-one model. The added benefit, documented from data on participation rates, suggest that the small group model may be superior in terms of retention, weekly participation and overall motivation. There seems to be a matrix between professional instruction, social interaction/inadvertent competition, and the collective motivation of the combined peer and instructor support. This bodes well for all stakeholders and defines an important evaluative component of one’s program. Ensuring it meets these criteria warrants an audit of weekly participation rates, participant perceived value (enjoyment and motivation), as well as the average tenure of participation.