High-Quality Evidence for Tai Chi’s Benefits

If you’re serving clients with chronic conditions and you’re not offering tai chi practice, you may want to network with a local practitioner to refer clients for cross-training benefits. Tai chi has proved to be a safe, effective and enjoyable training method for overall health improvement among adults with numerous chronic conditions, according to a review of  42 review studies reported in Disability and Rehabilitation (2020; doi:10.1080/09638288.2020.1725916). “High-” and “moderate-quality” evidence indicates that tai chi practice can significantly benefit adults with conditions like heart disease, cancer, depression, lower-back pain, osteoarthritis,…

Tapering for Resistance Training: Less Is More!

Endurance athletes have used tapering for years; now there’s evidence that exercise enthusiasts and strength and power athletes can benefit from tapering phases in their resistance training (RT) programs. So, is tapering right for your clients? And when it comes to RT, can less work lead to more success? Here’s what the research tells us. What Is Tapering? Tapering is a strategically planned recovery period that occurs after a heavy training block and is often used prior to an athletic competition or at the start of a competitive season (Murach…

Periodization for Maximizing Hypertrophy

Much of the periodization literature to date has centered on the strength outcomes and sports performance of athletes striving to balance the needs of practice, conditioning and competition (Bartolomei et al. 2014). But many recreationally active clients seek to gain muscle size in personal training sessions, and few studies have evaluated whether a periodization model should be used in a hypertrophy-focused resistance training program for these fitness enthusiasts. This article highlights the best research available to help answer an important question: Should you periodize a client’s RT plan to maximize…

Surprising Types (and Signs) of Eating Disorders in Athletes

“The message we get from the fitness industry is that your body is the problem, and it’s your job to fix it,” says Gillian Goerzen, author of The Elephant in the Gym: Your Body-Positive Guide to Writing Your Own Health and Fitness Story (Winchelsea Media, November 2018) and owner of the Super You Studio. This pressure can be even more pronounced in athletes — and in the fitness professionals who train them. In fact, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, some of the hallmarks of…

Training Loads for Women Over 40

Personal trainers often have female clients over the age of 40 who have similar complaints about losing muscle mass and gaining body fat. Although these changes aren’t unexpected and can be a normal part of the aging process, they are not inevitable. In fact, the right resistance-training program can positively affect body composition by reducing fat, maintaining and building muscle, and increasing strength in this population. One of the primary reasons a woman’s body changes with age is because estrogen levels decline (Collins et al. 2019). Estrogen is vital to…