Saturday, September 03, 2011

FISAF Personal Trainer & Fitness Leader Course

June 2011 was a busy training month for me with various fitness trainings from Zumba to Skipping (Oh yeah! Btw, I'm also a National Heart Foundation skipping instructor!) to taking up the FISAF Fitness Leader &  Personal Trainer certification which I've put off for some years now.. I'm proud to say that I have every single internationally recognised FISAF certifications there are available under my belt from the Core program to Group Aerobics to Fitball & Core Stabilisation to Aqua Aerobics to Personal Training to Working with Seniors. 

This June saw me taking time off from my classes and PT sessions for further education to complete this round of training where I had taken the time to lecture again at the Group Aerobic course and to assist during the Group Aerobic practicals.

Not alot of pictures during the time that I was out of action during this time as training saw me at our usual training venue at Ngee Ann Alumni building from 730am till 6pm for PT training and continuing to stay back for more during the Group Aerobic course till 1030am each night. It was a gruelling 2 weeks with ended with a final "Working with Seniors" instructor certification. I zombied my way home each night, worked till 3am planning my personal training prescription for my "mock client" which we did each morning with a new "client" course mate, slept for 3 hours and woke up early again for a whole host of information bombardment complete with physical boot camping.

Yeah, the things we instructors and personal trainers go through to ensure we are always up to date and of quality standard before we lead the way for our students and clients. This course was one of the tougher ones for me as it was not only physically challenging, it was mentally & emotionally challenging for me too.. plus I had to contend with some injuries along the way too. 

Day 1 saw us doing circuit work in the muddy fields and running then to adjourn to lecture to learn about ATP and nutrition. Then I went off to lecture, train and drill the Aerobic instructors for the night.

Day 2 saw us practicing assessing blood pressure, caliper fat testing, functional movement, core work, VipR, battling ropes, balance discs, bosu, swiss balls, sandbags and my favourite "torture" of any of the courses which never fails to be done was the uphill slope run with a partner with the elastic band wrapped around your waist while you pull your partner up run... *kill me now but I survived*

Day 3 started off with our first PT prescription with our first mock client, assessments, lecture about proteins then a kettlebell segment which I ended up with a shockingly sprained wrist that we had to ice for the rest of the day.

Day 4 started again with yet another PT prescription (which we had to plan, rehearse, print and present at 730am before we began our "training"), learning about minerals, doing Yoga which I found seriously challenging as I was already so physically tired with my muscles bunching up, it was hard to stretch out fully then we went on to various stretching techniques, PNF and then took some time to do some group study (yes, we had a long 4 hour written exam at the end of it all - Imagine after all that we still needed to study the super thick textbook amidst all this)

Day 5 was a final PT prescription, learning about nutritional programming, functional movement testing, dynamic stretching, track work with sprints and Fitness business 101.

Day 6 saw us doing the Bukit Timah Hill explosion plus our 4 hour written exam in the evening. Yes, I call it an explosion simply because it was an insane blitz through what I would consider a very challenging area to be physically tearing & sprinting through in such a short period of time. Picture above was pre-BT hill where everyone was still relatively fresh before boarding the bus.. the 2nd picture was us just beyond the first major incline (which is one of the more challenging areas of the hill because if the steep incline).

At the top of the hill after we took our group photograph to commemorate the first part of the run, we did even more ground work on the mini hill. Crawling up on all 4s like spiderman up the muddy hill side, sprinting up and down, waddling about, squatting and so many other physical combinations that I really cannot remember but it was completely exhausting!!!

Some of my coursemates, Adeline, Hester and Evelyn managed to take a group picture during this time and we were so poofed already!! However, I understand the need for the physical push. If we, the instructors don't know the limits to how hard we can push ourselves, how can we expect our students and clients to do like-wise? So push on we must...

And of course since we're supposed to be the fit fitness trainers that we are, after all that mud work, we must still run through the remaining of the whole course and run like mad we did, through the scary vines & trees of the forest, squishy mud paths with fallen leaves and concrete slab stairways. For awhile there, we were all going so fast (like we were running away from some rabid animal that I was totally in The ears could only hear my own heartbeat as we flew through the trail - I couldn't believe how fast we were going!!).... until a point where I hit a mental wall 3/4 way through the trail. BAM!!!!

The days of minimal sleep, physical taxing routines, brain draining lectures, late night crash studying and the lack of really good food all took its toll on me....

At one point, course mate running right behind me yelled "you can do it Pam! keep on running!!" and I suddenly felt an overwhelming huge burst of emotion - I burst out crying while running with the group and continued to sob as we moved along. My tears flowed un-abandoned as the experience seemed so un-real at that point. Everyone chanting encouraging words to one another because we could see that we were all so drained but we were all determined to finish the trail.

One by one, we slowed abit to catch each others hands and pulled each other up the concrete steps, shouting out "we can do it! we can do it!!" and at the end of it all, we finally all met again at the end of base of the hill once more. Accomplished. We had conquered the hill.. in breakneck *plus crying* speed.

I am thankful that I had such an amazing group of course mates for this training. Everyone was very encouraging. There were awesome people and I am looking forward to crossing paths again with every one of them one day... Keep the spirit and power to all of you... Thank you for an experience of a lifetime.. FISAF rocks!! If you ever had thoughts of becoming a fitness trainer, this is the place to go to be trained amongst the best.. :)

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