ISSA Blog


Have you wondered whether people should eat before or after a workout? Maybe you have heard of nutrient timing and the anabolic window, but the theories about when and how to use it are confusing. Let's take a closer look at the science of nutrient timing.

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It seems there is an ongoing pressure for trainers to be excellent 'sales' professionals with less focus on their education and training expertise. Trainers are encouraged instead to spend more time connecting with gym members to 'pitch' their services, a skill that few trainers are prepared to employ.  While personal trainers are well versed in fitness and health expertise, they are rarely trained in sales, nor are they interested. This trend is happening nationwide. 

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As a personal trainer, you've become the go-to expert that people in your circle turn to for reliable advice on anything related to fitness and nutrition.  One question that can be overheard across the training floors of just about every gym these days has do with the topic of fasted training.  So how do you answer the question “is it better for me to exercise on an empty stomach?”

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We all wish they showed up, on time every time. In fact, life would be so much easier for us. But the truth is, clients cancel. Sometimes, much more than we want them to. And while we hear a host of reasons why they don’t show up for a session, most are unspoken.

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If you’ve been around fitness circles for any length of time, then you’re probably no stranger to the infamous “summer cut.”

It’s a rite of passage taken every year when fitness enthusiasts commit to trimming off the extra layer of “insulation” that kept their midsections warm over those frosty winter months.

Sound familiar?

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As a personal trainer, you already carry a TON of responsibility on your shoulders.

You're accountable for safely guiding your clients through the fitness and lifestyle protocols that will help them achieve the results they’re paying you good money for....

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Go, go, go. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Grab a bite here, grab a bite there. We all live such busy lives these day and so busy at times, that too often, do not fuel our bodies with the essential nutrients they need to function optimally. So slow down and take a breather and refresh yourself with our complimentary infographics on vitamins and minerals, why you need them, and in what foods you can get them from.

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In the world of sports, speed is king. Athletes, parents, coaches and trainers always ask me if different forms of balance training actually create noticeable improvements in running speed? And rightfully so, with all the information out there, that’s a great question.

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In the world of bodybuilding, “Bro science” is an anecdotal creed emanating from years of training in hard core circles. It has driven training methodologies for generations of iron disciples. Some of these methods have proven to be incredible and validated by scientific studies, while others need to be eradicated from the bodybuilder’s regimen. Let’s take a look at a number of popular methodologies commonly used by bodybuilders.

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High intensity interval training, while around for nearly 100 years, has had a major resurgence in gyms everywhere over the past 10 years, owing in large part, to a veritable blizzard of research papers extolling its benefits. Let's take a look at the history and what you need to know about High Intensity Interval Training.

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As a fitness professional, one question you will likely get asked more than any other is which “nutrition camp” you fall into. Are you into Paleo? What about vegan? Intermittent fasting? Those are probably the wrong questions to ask in the first place.

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Follow Your Passion

February 16, 2015

Our population is getting older, and we’re living longer, so why shouldn’t we be able to really enjoy life when we retire? After all, it’s the quality of life in our later years that’s most important, not how long we can be kept alive. If you are a personal trainer, or thinking of becoming one, your future is very bright indeed!

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Whether it’s the 4th quarter, bottom of the ninth inning, last boxing or MMA round or final weight lifting attempt, speed, strength, and top conditioning separate the winners. If you’re a certified strength coach, the sky can be the limit for your ticket to success.

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We all know the obesity epidemic is everywhere we look, but few people realize just how powerful their words, actions, and examples can be on the lives of others. Dr Sal Arria discuss here on the power of your words and actions and how you can make an impact on the lives of those around you…

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Over 40 million people (just in the USA) are suffering with a condition that, for many of them, can be easily prevented if they would follow a few simple rules. Can the power of exercise and nutrition really make all the difference?

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You know that annoying pain in your lower legs that never seems to get better? This leg pain always seems to slow your training just when you are starting to make some real gains. This group of lower leg injuries commonly referred to as “shin splints” is one of the most commonly occuring injuries in active people.

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Practical Periodization

July 16, 2011

Periodization is one of the most important parts of a fitness programs ultimate success, yet few trainers and gym-goers truly understand how to employ the concepts and principles behind it. The lack of a bridge between these theories and their practical, everyday application is partly to blame. As you can probably tell from the title, this article attempts to bring periodization down to a practical and usable level.

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An often overlooked component of the personal training business is the status of independent contractor vs. employee. Many trainers and club owners do not fully understand the differentiation between the two, nor how detrimental it can be to make a mistake when determining the status of a personal trainer. Personal trainers can be literally abused if they do not know what their classification truly is.

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Think about your last leg workout – how many quad dominant exercises did you do? How many hip extensor dominant exercises did you do? Was there a balance between the two? Do you even know the difference?

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Two of the most frequently asked questions about children and strength training are; “Is it safe for kids to lift weights?” And “At what age can kids start lifting weights?” The sad truth is, many doubts surround the safety and validity of weight training for children. Many would even have you believe that kids have no place at all in the weight room.

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There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of nutritional products and schemes on the market promising the uninformed consumer faster and easier fat loss. The truth is, the vast majority of these products burn nothing but your money. The few products that actually aid in fat burning or weight reduction can be quite dangerous, even deadly! Nonetheless, most people do not take the time to research the efficacy and safety of a product before they jump on the quick-fix bandwagon.

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One category of dietary supplements that continues to experience controversy is the so-called prohormones or testosterone precursors. For purported muscle building enhancement these products typically contain DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and Andro (androstenedione). Controversy aside, both Andro and DHEA are actually hormones made by the body. They are also the precursors of testosterone and estrogens.

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Welcome back for this third installment of the article series. If you have read up on the previous topics and applied what you have learned, you should notice a few results already starting. Your clients should be much more aware of their posture, their weaknesses should be improving, and if your new found expertise has caught on, you have a few new clients who are impressed with your knowledge.

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Welcome back for the second installment of my three-part series on muscular imbalance and its effects on performance. I hope you took the opportunity to read the first part of this article and perform the assignment. Did you take a look at the postural alignment of your clients? Did you notice the faults that I had mentioned? See anything common amongst them?

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Shoulder Injuries

February 11, 2011

At some point in their careers, most powerlifters will experience some form of shoulder pain or injury. Most lifters think of shoulder pain and injury as a normal part of the lifting experience. Still more self-diagnose pain as being a rotator cuff strain and try to work through the discomfort and pain. However, there are several possible reasons for shoulder pain, and very often the rotator cuffs aren’t the only key.

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What is Muscle Balance? This concept, unfortunately, is the most underemphasized aspect of many fitness programs everywhere. What is muscle balance really? How do you test it? What the heck does it have to do with stability and performance? Well, let’s take a moment to explain why this concept is important.

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Obesity. Who's to Blame?

February 3, 2011

We’ve all heard the message. Lean bodies produced by sound nutrition, cardiovascular exercise and resistance training will reduce the risks of cancer, stroke, heart disease and type II diabetes. Now, new research shows that caloric restriction can stop the cell death process associated with age. As a result of a continuing multi-media message, countless numbers of people are dieting. 

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The Deadlift is an integral, yet often missing component of a strength building program. That’s not to say that everyone should be performing this movement or one of its variations, but the benefits of the Deadlift for a power or strength building program are innumerable.

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Many aspiring bodybuilders are hoping that this is the year that their bodies will transform into the bodies of their dreams. Unfortunately, bodybuilders love for protein puts them at the mercy of protein manufacturers and vulnerable to protein manufacturers marketing ploys. Fledgling bodybuilders may not know as much as veteran bodybuilders but they inevitably know that protein plays a role in their future bodybuilding success.

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The pectoralis major is without question one of the most frequently trained muscles in fitness and sport. Despite it’s popularity, few people know much about the anatomy and kinesiology of this important muscle. Knowing this information will make your training more effective for you and your clients while minimizing the risk of developing muscle imbalances in the shoulder area. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know to train this muscle safely and effectively.

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Rest periods between sets is an integral and often overlooked contributor to the success of any strength training program. Chances are, you are not optimizing this crucial variable. So what is the trick to get the most out of your rest? Well, it depends on your training goals and level of conditioning. Optimal rest periods between sets can vary from 30 seconds or less up to 5 minutes!

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