More than just a personal trainer

Peak Condition – helping you train harder and smarter – written by Paul Collins

In the realm of health and fitness there are many different professionals – personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, nutritionist and instructor to name a few. At Peak Condition we most resonate with Strength and Conditioning coaches. Most of this comes from the personal training philosophy and the atmosphere within the facility.

Personal training and much more at Peak Condition

A personal trainer and much more at Peak Condition.

The focus is always on individualized goals and needs. All our athletes/clients are provided with unique workouts created to maximize their continued progress.  In addition to a tailored workout program each client is given nutritional tips and guidelines. With the right mixture of science, attitude and motivation Peak Condition offers an experience that fuels results. To us this embodies what a strength and conditioning coach should provide; however, there is a lot more to it. For us there are 4 important components that we expect out of all of our coaches – roll models, professionals, therapist and educators. All of them are essential for providing athletes with the best results and experience. Today I wanted to talk about education and easy ways to keep up to date.

I expect to stay on top of my CEU’s, it’s simply part of my job. It also happens to be something that I fully enjoy doing, perhaps to a fault. In the book Outliers, Malcom Gladwell talks about 1000 hours being a factor that contributes to high levels of success. I don’t know if this is true but I do know education plays an extremely important role at Peak Condition. Our athletes need to know what nutritional plan is best for them, which lift are most appropriate during specific times of the year or optimal sleep routines to maximize their training effect. Take into consideration they also have full time jobs, kids and a regular life to live. I know they don’t have 1000 hours to become experts but there are efficient ways stay up to date on health and fitness topics.

Here are a few ways to help you stay educated:

Use technology to your advantage:

I personally have found Feedly to be extremely valuable. It’s a webpage aggregator that you can use as an app or on a web browser. Instead of jumping from site to site you can see all articles on one page. It also lets you categorize sites for easier browsing.

If you didn’t know it Peak Condition is on InstagramFacebook, Twitter and Google Plus. If you don’t follow us already you’re missing out on daily tips, articles, motivational Monday, and quotes of the day.

Read / Listen:

I have a personal goal of reading 3 books per month this year and so far I am on track.  If you interested in a specific topic ask professionals in that area to recommend a book. Here is mine for strength training, Mark Rippetoe put together an easy read: Starting Strength – Basic Barbell Training. If you’re a new personal trainer pick it up.

Listening to audiobooks is another personal favorite of mine. Audible and Smart Audio Book are both great apps, which allow you to listen at increased speeds for time efficiency. In fact I just finished Contagious: Why things Catch On by Jonah Berger. I found it extremely insightful and enjoyed listening to it. If you like the Heath brothers you’ll get a kick out of this book. It is designed more for business owners/managers but I think anyone could learn something from it.


Searching for professional help is an obvious solution. You wouldn’t be reading this article if you didn’t have a desire to educate yourself. At Peak Condition we have the luxury of having great coaches and we all constantly learning from each other. If you need a personal trainer or strength and conditioning coach in Portland or would like to refer a friend into the facility contact us: Get Started

Teach Someone Else:

One of the best ways to further your own education is to teach others. I believe that if you can’t simply and fully articulate something you don’t know it well enough. Teaching provides a great opportunity to see how others persevere something. We see it frequently when teaching an athlete a new movement pattern. Because everyone learns slightly different (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic), in order to train a client we must be able to teach the movement in all 3 learning styles. This takes a much better understanding of the exercise (material) than just being able to do the movement. This is one way teaching can enhance your own knowledge.

To improve in life or sport you don’t need to use all of these strategies. Simply implementing one of them will help immensely over the long term. Aim for a 1% improvement every day, you’ll have better retention and won’t burn yourself out.

What would you like to improve in your life and which strategy will you use to get there?