Tag Archives: gym


primal kettle balls

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Gorilla Primal Bell


Top 10 Best Personal Trainer Certifications

Top 10 Best Personal Trainer Certifications

Last Updated: Mar 03, 2014 | By Jeremy Hoefs

Top 10 Best Personal Trainer Certifications
Woman working out with personal trainer at a gym. Photo CreditJupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

With the widespread popularity of personal training and fitness, hundreds of personal training certifications have been created. However, only a few of the certifications are routinely recognized by fitness clubs and other trainers. The best personal training certifications are the most widely recognized while being accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.


The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist — CSCS — offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (nsca-lift.org) is one of the most recognized personal trainer certifications in the fitness industry. It is also one of the most difficult certifications to earn and requires a 4-year college degree. The CSCS is commonly earned by strength coaches or personal trainers working with athletes.


The American Council on Exercise (acefitness.org) offers various health and fitness certifications and their general personal trainer certification is considered one of the best. ACE offers a 2-day workshop to help you study and prepare for the certification examination. You must recertify every two years to remain ACE personal trainer certified.


The American College of Sports Medicine (acsm.org) was created in 1954 and offers one of the top personal trainer certifications. The accredited certification program requires a high school diploma and CPR certification to take the 125 to 150 question examination. After earning the certification, you must recertify every three years.


The National Strength and Conditioning Association (nsca-lift.org) started offering the Certified Personal Trainer — NSCA-CPT — certification in 1993 and is considered one of the most challenging examinations. The prerequisites for taking the NSCA-CPT test include at least 18-years old and CPR certified allowing college students to work as a certified personal trainer as they study health and fitness.


The American Fitness Professionals and Associates (afpafitness.com) personal trainer certification uses current exercise science, sports medicine and nutrition research in the certification program. The AFPA doesn’t require any prerequisites for earning the certification which makes it one of the easiest accredited certifications to obtain. You can also add various specialty certifications from the AFPA to your personal trainer certification.


Created in 1988, the National Federation of Professional Trainers (nfpt.com) personal training certification is accredited by NCCA and widely recognized as one of the best personal trainer certifications. You must have a high school diploma, be at least 18 years old and have at least two years of fitness experience before taking the NFPT certification examination. You must also recertify every year to maintain the certification.


The National Endurance and Sports Trainers Association (nestacertified.com) personal training certification started in 1992 and grew rapidly to have certified trainers in more than 20 countries. You must be at least 16 years old, have good reading skills and have basic fitness experience to take the NESTA certification examination. You must recertify every four years to maintain the certification.


Offering a total of more than 70 certifications, the International Fitness Professionals Association (ifpa-fitness.com) personal trainer certification gives you the knowledge, skills and abilities to be a successful personal trainer. You must be at least 18 years old, have a current CPR certification and a high school diploma to take the IFPA personal trainer certification. You can attend a workshop to study and prepare for the 100 question examination and you must recertify every two years.

Cooper Institute

Established by Kenneth Cooper, M.D., the Cooper Institute (cooperinstitute.org) is a nonprofit research and education organization for medicine and health. The Cooper Institute also offers the certified personal trainer examination that is recognized as one of the best certifications. You must be at least 18 years old with a current CPR certification to take the Cooper Institute exam.


Group Exercise

Booty Camp: Spring Break Bikini Butt Workout!

by Shannon Clark

Break out your beachwear, ladies: spring break is upon us! If you’ve been hibernating at home between quick trips to the gym, patiently sculpting your sun-ready physique, now is the time to showcase strategic pieces of your hard-earned bikini body!

Spring break also signals the approach of summer — 3 months of sun-drenched fun. If you don’t have one already, it’s time to go bikini shopping. Although there are plenty of cute designs, one factor remains the same for any bathing suit: your booty will be on display.

You may decide to disguise it with a wrap, but there’s no hiding a flat booty. Add some junk to your trunk with a properly-structured plan; it’s a great idea for some spring-time confidence. It will also ensure your summer bum is ready for sun.

Baby Got Back

Building a bikini booty doesn’t have to take long — provided you keep track of your diet and do the right exercises. To make your backside bumpin’ you need to incorporate strength training and cardio into your workout routine. Strength training will add curves and definition. Cardio will burn extra caloriesand reduce body fat. You do need some backside tissue to avoid “flat-butt syndrome,”
but you want that tissue to be lean muscle,not fat.

You don’t have to do cardio training if your diet is already perfect. But, most women find faster progress if they add cardio to their training regimen. Don’t overdo it by grinding away on the treadmill every day. Too much cardio can eat away at that great lean muscle mass.

Strength Training

You want to focus on compound lower-body movements, while adding glute-specific exercises to really target that backside. Many women have trouble activating their glutes because it’s incredibly easy to let the quads and/or hamstrings overpower the movement.

To activate your glutes, rely on these key moves:

Exercise 1//
Sets: 3-4 Reps: 8-12

Squats are fantastic for enhancing your booty shape, and for strengthening the quads and hamstrings. Go as low as your flexibility allows. As long as your knees don’t hurt, the lower you go, the better. Why? Deep squats provide the most glute activation.

Too many women make the mistake of not going all the way down through the movement. Go all the way down, pause, and then press all the way back up.

Exercise 2//
Sets: 3 Reps: 15

When done properly, this is a fantastic glutes strengthener. Because this exercise takes some balance, focus on the mind-muscle connection. If you aren’t actively thinking of relaxing the quads and hamstrings during this exercise, your glutes won’t activate. Use your butt to drive through the motion.

Use a barbell instead of dumbbells, which will help you maintain an upright position — a key for glute activation and good form. When you rise, think about pressing through your heels instead of through your quads.

Exercise 3//
Sets: 4 Reps: 8

This movement is a great butt-builder and will target the hamstrings and lower back, effectively hitting most links in your posterior chain. Performing it on a single leg helps activate the glutes and core.

Focus on squeezing through the glutes. If your lower back aches after performing this movement, you aren’t using the muscles as you should be.

If you do feel back pain, lighten the load. Using too much weight will force you to recruit additional muscles because your glutes aren’t strong enough to do the work.

Exercise 4//
Sets: 2-3 Reps: 12-15

Lunges target the quads, hamstrings, core and glutes. These booty-bombers will have you sore for days! You can further stimulate your butt by taking a slightly longer step forward. This increased distance will put more stress on the glutes and less on the quads.

Exercise 5//
Sets: 2-3 Reps: 12-20

The glute bridge is great because it isolates the bum. Your hammies and quads aren’t going to play a big part in this exercise.

Use a barbell to make this exercise more strenuous. Make sure you’re powerfully driving your hips directly upward, and then lowering them down slowly. Contract your glutes at the top, which will ensure that you move the load with your butt, not your lower back.


The best cardio exercises for booty building ask you to act against resistance:

Cardio 1//

Uphill walking, or using the elliptical trainer at an incline, is a better option than running on a flat surface. Flat running tends to decrease the booty musculature, and that’s definitely not going to make it in a rap video.

Cardio 2//

If your fitness level allows, perform interval training instead of steady-state training. Interval training increases fat oxidation, and will thus help uncover a curvy bum.

Booty Builder Workout

Two sample workouts will get you started. Perform each workout once per week, along with your own upper-body workouts for a complete program.

Note: You should lift enough weight to hit the point of fatigue/failure on the last rep.

Workout A
Workout B


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Brazilian Bombshell: Alice Matos By SimplyShredded.com


Quick stats:

Age: 28 Height: 5’2” – 157 cm Weight: 123 lbs – 56 kg


How did you get started with bodybuilding?

I started to take training serious about three years ago, but before that I had always been athletic. When I was a kid I used to play several sports including volleyball, basketball and soccer. A couple of years later I decided to train with a personal trainer as my goal was to get in shape for summer. However after 1 year of intense training and strict dieting my trainer and I realized I had already achieved a competition body, so I decided to take the risk and enter a competition.

I went to three different bodybuilding competitions; in Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, and Ohio. It was truly an amazing experience and when I look back on things I feel happy to see how far I have come.


Where does your motivation come from?

My motivation comes from the desire to overcome all the limits of my body.


What workout routine has worked best for you?

Full Routine:

Day 1: Lower body

  • Superset: Leg Extension with Leg Curls 3×12-18
  • Leg Press: 3×12-18
  • Superset: Squats with Switch Lunges 3×12-18
  • Superset: Lunges on the Smith Machine with Pop Squats 3×12-18
  • Superset: Walking Dumbbell Lunges with Free Weight Walking Lunges 3×12-18
  • Adduction Machine 3×12-18

Day 2: Upper Body

  • Pullovers: 3×12-18
  • Superset: Back Row Machine 3×12-18
  • Machine Shoulder Press: 3×12-18
  • Superset: Front Raises with Shoulder Side Raises 3×12-18
  • Superset: Cable Pushdowns with Body Dips 3×12-18

Day 3: Lower Body

  • Lunges: 3×12-18
  • Squats: 3×12-18
  • Leg Press Unilateral: 3×12-18
  • Superset: Glute Extension with Stiff Legged Deadlifts: 3×12-18
  • Abduction Machine: 3×12-18

Day 4: Upper Body

  • Chest Press Machine: 3×12-18
  • Superset: Front Raises with Seated Rows: 3×12-18
  • Shoulder Press: 3×12-18
  • Inclined Lateral Raises: 3×12-18

Day 5: Lower Body

  • Lying Hamstring Curls: 3×12-18
  • Seated Leg Curls: 3×12-18
  • Stiff Legged Deadlifts: 3×12-18
  • Lunges on Smith Machine: 3×12-18
  • Adduction Machine: 3×12-18


  • 40 to 50 minutes of cardio on the Bike or Elliptical Machine 5x a week


If you had to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  • Barbell Squats
  • Bench Press
  • Back Row

All of these exercises are compound movements, which involve the use of more than one major muscle group at a time. In my experience they are the best for building mass.


What is your diet like?

  • Meal 1: 6 Egg Whites, 40g of Oat Bran
  • Meal 2: 150g Chicken Breast, 100g Brown Rice/Whole-Wheat Pasta & Salad
  • Meal 3: 30g of Whey Protein
  • Meal 4: 150g Salmon or Filet Mignon & Vegetables
  • Meal 5: 6 Egg Whites
  • Meal 6: 30g Casein Protein, Probolic or Pro Complex


What is your supplementation like?

My supplementation is:

  • Glutamine: 4 x 5g per day (Pre, during, post-workout and before bed)
  • BCAA Powder: 10g during training and before cardio
  • L Carnitine: Before cardio
  • Mega Woman, Vitamin E, C, Omega 3: At lunchtime


Favorite Quote?

Try to be the best version of yourself in all areas of your life. Only the ones who fight for a goal are the ones who can achieve success!


Website: www.labellamafia.com.br – www.labellamafiaclothing.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alice-Matos/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/alicematoss


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Most things in life aren’t equal. But we all have the same 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. You will make time for what you truly want!S


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PRO OF THE WEEK: IFBB Pro Bikini Athlete Jessica Arevalo

IFBB Pro Bikini Athlete Jessica Arevalo

Quick Stats:

Age: 28
Height: 5’1” – 155 cm
Weight: 108 lbs – 49 kg


How did you get started with bodybuilding?

I got started with bodybuilding with my dad when I was 17 years old. He taught me the Arnold style of training which was basically going to the gym 5 days per week and hitting every single body part. He taught me how to train my mind and never listen to the negative thoughts that would keep me from the gym due to laziness or excuses.

Straight away I fell in love with training and never missed a single workout!


Where does your motivation come from?

My motivation comes from a lot of things. Growing up I had nothing and experienced a lot of hardships and learned at a young age to work hard in whatever I did. I couldn’t give up because I didn’t have anything to fall back on. My motivation comes from how far I have come; I have overcome depression, alcohol addiction, anxiety, panic attacks and every kind of abuse you can think of. The fact that I fought my way out of the impossible lets me know that anything is possible. Now that I can inspire women all over the world is very motivating for me. My motivation also comes from my Mom; most people think when they see me that because I have a pretty physique and face that my life must be perfect. Well that is far from the truth. Never judge a book by its cover. My mom is currently in a woman’s prison and I can only speak to her via letters and phone. My mother is the most amazing and beautiful person and has so much potential but she was just dealt the wrong cards in her life. What truly motivates me is letting women know that there is hope.

Women such as my mom and I, want other women to know that there is hope for them to live out their fullest potential and dreams and I won’t stop until my mission is completed. I have survived it all and came out stronger than ever and if I can do it so can you! Never give up!


What workout routine has worked best for you?

The Arnold Way. The way my dad taught me, it’s the basics but I’ve done it consistently for 2 years and I’m always progressing. I feel all these fancy ways are too complicated. I like to go in there, lift heavy and isolate each muscle group!

Full Routine:

Monday: Chest/Triceps

  • Warm Up Push Ups 3 x 20
  • Flat Bench Press 3 x 12, 10, 8
  • Incline Bench Press 3 x 12, 10, 8
  • Dips 3×12
  • Cable Pull Downs 3 x 12, 10, 8
  • Overhead Cable Pulls 3 x 12, 10, 8

Tuesday: Back/Biceps

  • Pull Ups 3 sets to failure
  • Lat Pulldowns 3 x 12, 10, 8
  • Bent Over Rows 3 x 12, 10, 8
  • Dumbbell Curls 3 x 12, 10, 8
  • Barbell Curls 3 x 12, 10, 8

Wednesday: Legs/Glutes

  • Squats Smith Machine or Free Weights 6 x 15-20
  • Sumo Deadlifts 3 x 12, 10, 8
  • Weighted Lunges 4 x 20 each leg
  • Leg Extensions 3 x 12, 10, 8
  • Lying Leg Curls 3 x 12, 10, 8

Thursday: Rest

  • Recovery

Friday: Shoulders

  • Lateral Raises 4 x 15, 15, 12, 10
  • Dumbbell Single Arm Raises 3 x 15, 12, 10
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 x 12, 10, 8
  • Arnold Press 3 x 15, 15, 12
  • Bent Over Lateral Raises 3 x 15

Saturday: Rest

  • Recovery

Sunday: Legs/Glutes

  • Straight Leg Deadlifts 4 x 15, 12, 10, 8
  • Weighted Lunges 4 x 20 each leg
  • Sumo Deadlifts 4 x 15, 12, 10, 8
  • Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls 4 x 25
  • Bulgarian Split Squat 3 x 25
  • Lying Leg Curls 3 x 15

Cardio Notes:

Cardio varies if I’m in comp prep or not. In prep I do 5 days of 20 minute cardio sessions and off-season I do no cardio at all to make maximum size gains.


If you had to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  1. Lunges – I love lunges because they are the best for keeping those glutes in shape!
  2. Pull Ups – Because I love to measure my strength that way and it makes me feel very strong when I can pull my own weight multiple times.
  3. Plyometrics – I love plyos because it’s a great full body workout.


What is your diet like?

Daily Diet:

  • Meal 1: ½ cup Oats, Fruit & 6 Egg Whites
  • Meal 2: 6 oz. Red Meat, 4 oz. Yams, ½ cup of Vegetables
  • Meal 3: NLA Her Whey Protein, 1 Banana & 1 scoop of Cashew Butter
  • Meal 4: 6 oz. Chicken or Fish, ½ cup of Brown Rice, ½ cup of Vegetables (Asparagus/Broccoli)
  • Meal 5: 5 oz. Chicken & 4 oz. Yams
  • Meal 6: 6 Egg Whites or NLA Her Whey Protein


When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?

I personally do normal cardio but for my bikini athletes and weight loss clients I do switch it up to both kinds of cardio as they both do work.


What is your supplementation like?

  • NLA Shred Her
  • NLA Her Whey Protein
  • NLA Aminos
  • NLA Uplift (Pre Workout)
  • Omegas
  • Pro-biotic
  • Multivitamin
  • CLA
  • ALA


Favorite Quote?

“For God did not give me a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7


Instagram: Jessicaarevalo_
Website: Jessicaarevalo.com



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