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Fitness Education

BEING A K11 TEACHER… What Does it Take?

By – LATA RAJAN
This post is not about Health and Nutrition but about achieving Inner Excellence and building Mental Muscle. The pathway – training to be a teacher at the K11 Academy of Fitness Sciences. What does it take to become a PT Course Lecturer at K11? As a first step, one needs to enrol for the Lecturer Training Course – the content extremely interesting and painstakingly detailed – ranking very high in quality.

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 To illustrate – a 3 ½ hour topic of the PT course may take well over 2 full lectures where all facets and aspects are explained in great depth. The glee quotient is high because most part of the course is handled by Kaizzad Capadia – Director, K11 Academy Of Fitness Sciences.

While the minimum marks to pass an exam in India is 35, K11 stands out as an exception – The courses at K11 have triple assessment criteria of Theory, Practical’s & Viva. Each of the three needs to be passed with a minimum of a 60% score for a student to receive the K11 Certification.

But for us aspiring to be faculty, the theory exam, post the Lecturer Training Course, must be passed with a minimum of an 80% score!!!
Once this hurdle is crossed, there are Mock Lectures to be passed… 16 topics to be prepared and delivered in front of an audience, current faculty and the Director!

Going through the written exam is a somewhat “safe” proposition – but the Mock Lectures is like being “online” – a live Exam. The thought itself was enough to scare the living daylights out of me. I was sure I would be tongue-tied…My CNS had to form new neural pathways to verbalize!

And yet I found this expedition to be most enriching and rewarding…

Once I cleared the written exam, Workload on my mind increased multi fold – for now I had to exert a High Intensity defence against my formidable enemy – My Critical Voice. This voice taunted me – “You have not played a single sport in your life and neither do you sport a great body composition… A Lecturer in physical fitness!! No way!”

I thought “It’s high time I trim this flab – charbi toh ghatani hai.” I used “Selection Criteria” (A subject I now teach in Exercise Science at the K11 Academy) to zero in on the best possible exercise mediated pathways to an improved Body Composition – I had a repertoire of 5 Structural and Compound Unsupported movements with me – my faithful qualities of Resilience, Perseverance, Single minded focus, Profound desire to stay healthy, and a deep thirst for Knowledge – and I used them to the fullest on my Exercise routine & my Nutrition.

With the backing of my colleagues, I successfully cleared the first mock, but I knew I have to stand on my own two Legs. So with my chin up and chest out, I ploughed on. At times I wondered if I could “Shoulder” the responsibility of a teacher – a woman in a man’s world of Strength Training, but “Arm”ed with scientific knowledge, the task was not so difficult. Moreover, my “Core” value of commitment held me in good stead and I could “stomach” the pressure.

In the Director’s cabin, I built my confidence – step by step, block by block; I gained inner strength with every successful mock – much like building Strength in my Muscles; I got the better of my apprehensions and performance anxiety – much like pushing my Cardiovascular system to pump harder and to endure; my rigid Inner Critic held me back many a time – learning to shut its voice meant stretching my belief in self – much like lengthening my muscles.

I benefited greatly from the Director’s support and the positive learning environment he provided- I learnt much more about the prepared topic – Additionally, I had the opportunity to develop oral communication skills.

Today as I successfully delivered my last mock lecture, I look back at the distance I have traversed – the journey has been truly elevating!

I am much inspired by Robert Heinlein’s quote “When one teaches, two learn.”

Lata Rajan,
Sr. Faculty Exercise Science at the

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Fitness Trainer Certification – An Overview

If you have a passion for fitness and love to help people lose body fat and become fit, you should consider a career as a Certified Fitness Personal Trainer doing a Personal Trainers Course from a reputed Fitness Academy. This course will help you understand the human body better.

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People have become very busy with work and have absolutely no time to dedicate to travel to a gym for their health & fitness. So many people who can afford the luxury of personal trainers have invested in “Home Gym” set ups to help them achieve their weight loss goals (Actually Fat Loss goals), and maintain good fitness levels. If you ask most people, they will tell you that money spent on a personal trainer is money well spent.

The personal training course is a relatively short course and you will be taught the basics of Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology, Nutrition and Supplementation, Flexibility Training, Weight Training, Exercise Programming, Cardiovascular Exercise, Health Screening & Evaluation, First Aid and Approach to Fat Loss.

Once you have done the Personal Trainers course, it is imperative that you increase your scope & money earning potential by doing The Advanced Personal Trainer Course on Special Populations

In the advanced personal trainer course you will be taught how to handle various clients with medical problems, ailments or injuries. This course teaches you Orthopedic Pathologies- joint wise, Cardiovascular & Respiratory Pathologies, Metabolic Disorders, Neurological Disorders, Kinesiology, Soft Tissue injuries, Arthritis, Hernias and Fractures.

To further increase your result orientedness with your clients, you can also do an additional course in Sport Nutrition. (Being able to guide your clients in both exercise & Nutrition will help you almost guarantee results to your clients.

This is a great course to help nutritionists, personal trainers, gym instructors and group fitness instructors on how to recommend a good diet to gym members & Personal training clients the tenets of Sports nutrition will help you improve the performance of your clients (Whether they are corporate Executives, Models, House Wives or competitive athletes)

This is a very upcoming career choice in India. The demand for Fitness solutions is increasing at an exponential rate & this will only get better. Every big brand of International Franchise chains of health Clubs is investing in India in a big way with all of them having plans of 100-200 gyms per brand in India. All of these need qualified personnel & will not hire without a valid certification from a reputed Fitness Academy.

Whatever is your motivation to become a trainer, remember, you must be passionate about fitness and have a desire to really change people’s lives. A fitness trainer certification course will help you understand the human anatomy better and you will be better equipped to train individuals.

It is one of the most rewarding fields & one of the few in which you get to see an incredible smile on your customers faces, when they tell you, “Thank you for changing my life”. Along with Monthly incomes of Rs.50-60, 000/-, easily attainable through personal training… It also comes with a guarantee of incredible JOB SATISFACTION.

Exercise for Mothers during pregnancy

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In the not-so-distant past, women were urged to cut down on or even avoid exercise during pregnancy. Doctors feared that the jarring motion of running or lifting weights could damage the fetus, and prescribed abstinence from these activities even for the professional athletes.
Fortunately, the tide has turned and it has been proven that exercising actually makes for an easier pregnancy and delivery. In fact, Dr. James F Clapp III (M.D) found through a study of 500 pregnant women that those who exercised delivered a healthier baby with a stronger fetal heart rate. Even more compelling is the fact that of the women who exercised, time spent in labor was shortened by about a third, with 65% of the women delivering in four hours or less. I’m a perfect example of this, my labor lasted just 2 hours 15 mins.
This is definitely a win win for the mother and the baby as when you are in labor every extra hour seems like an eternity.

There are so many rumours out there, some started or perpetuated by popular pregnancy books, others the result of old wives’ tales or outdated advice, building confusion in the minds of many women about what they can and can’t do,”

Can you guess which one of these is the true statement?

1. Lifting weights while pregnant is dangerous for the fetus.
2. If you didn’t exercise before you were pregnant, it’s not safe to start now.
3. Exercising while pregnant pulls nutrients from your baby.
4. You have to keep your heart rate at or below 140 beats per minute.
5. Basketball is an unsafe activity while pregnant.
6. Doing sit ups while pregnant will squish the baby.
7. Running while pregnant is unsafe for the baby.
8. Any sign of trouble like spotting or pain means I should stop exercising and not do it any
more during my pregnancy.

If you’re not sure, or you’re making a wild guess, then you definitely need to read on!

1. Lifting weights while pregnant is dangerous for the fetus.
MYTH: It’s totally safe to lift weights while pregnant. Make sure you’re not holding your breath, don’t exert yourself to fatigue. Whether you are new to weight training or weight training is already part of your exercise routine, as long as the form & technique is perfect there’s no reason to stop, although you will need to avoid training at higher intensity. Strengthening helps coping with common discomforts of pregnancy like back pain and sacroiliac dysfunction. I had NONE!, thanks to my training routine.

2. If you didn’t exercise before you were pregnant, it’s not safe to start now.
MYTH: If you never excised before, pregnancy is not the time to become the exercise bunny but that doesn’t mean you have to spend nine months sitting on the couch. Something as simple as taking a daily walk, going for a swim, taking up very low intensity strength training can do wonders for your pregnancy, and make you feel better as well. It can also help you combat the fatigue of pregnancy and help you sleep better at night. Ten to fifteen minutes a day is a great beginning, then gradually progress.

3. Exercising while pregnant pulls nutrients from your baby.
MYTH: The reality is that your baby takes what it needs from your body. So if anything, you’ll have a dip in your own nutrient stores, but your baby’s stores will be fine. The way to avoid any problems for youis to keep blood sugar levels balanced by eating smaller, more frequent meals. Babies of mommies who exercise during pregnancy are born leaner, but organ size and head circumference are normal. So don’t be afraid to exercise during pregnancy.

4. You have to keep your heart rate at or below 140 beats per minute.
MYTH: There is no one “target” heart rate that’s right for every pregnant woman. People are still stuck on this heart rate issue, and it was never based on anything concrete. What’s moderate for you might seem easy, or impossibly hard for someone else, so listen to your own body! What most pregnancy exercise experts now rely on as a guide is RPE, or rate of perceived exertion.
This is a scale that determines how hard you are working based on how you feel when you are working, you should be able to carry on a conversation, but not be able to sing.

5. Basketball is an unsafe activity while pregnant.
TRUE: It’s a contact sport, so there’s a risk of a blow to your belly. Other risky activites include those with risk of falling and hurting the belly, like skiing, waterskiing, and horseback riding, or going scuba diving, because of the water pressure effects on your body.

6. Doing abdominal exercises while pregnant will squish the baby.
MYTH: Your baby is pretty secure in there, you don’t have to worry about bending at the waist. Not only is it OK, it’s actually recommended! Abdominal workouts can provide many benefits. Some modifications may be necessary with your growing size but it definitely doesn’t warrant stopping them. Your abdominals and your entire core, including your pelvic floor should be strengthened throughout pregnancy, and doing so will help not only during pregnancy, but also aid in labor and delivery and recovery. I didn’t suffer from Diastasis recti (splitting of abdominal muscle – rectus abdominis from linea alba) and my baby was out in just two pushes.
Moreover, it’s going to help with posture problems which will also benefit you after baby is born.

7. Running while pregnant is unsafe for the baby.
MYTH: As long as you and your pregnancy are healthy, and you feel OK, it’s safe to run right up until you go into labor. “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has said that if you were running prior to pregnancy, you can continue during pregnancy, as long as you feel OK”.
If it does start to feel “odd”,  listen to your body and don’t do it. Pregnancy is not the time to break any performance records. Also realize that as your pregnancy progresses, you’re going to be able to do a little less with each trimester. So don’t compete with your pre-pregnancy running achievements, or even with what you could accomplish in a previous trimester.

8. Any sign of trouble like spotting or pain means I should stop exercising and not do it any more during my pregnancy.
MYTH. While signs of pain, spotting, lightheadedness, nausea or dizziness are all reasons to stop exercising immediately, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will have to give it up forever.
What it means is talk to you doctor. Tell her exactly what you felt and what you were doing when you felt it, how long it lasted, and the severity. And then ask for her advice as to whether or not you should continue with an exercise program.
ACOG lists these warning signs to stop exercising and contact a doctor: vaginal bleeding, fluid leaking from the vagina, decreased fetal movement, uterine contractions, muscle weakness, calf swelling or pain, headache, chest pain, increased shortness of breath, dizziness, or feeling faint.

There are so many awesome benefits of pre-natal exercise – treat yourself and your baby right by staying active and exercising during pregnancy. You’ll be happy you did!
Always train under supervision of a Prenatal Exercise Instructor.

Dr Mansi R Ashta

Physiotherapist & Fitness Consultant
Child Birth Educator (CBE)
Prenatal & Postpartum Exercise Instructor
Head Faculty ‘PT for Special Population’ course
K11 Fitness Academy & Gym

References:
1. faq119.pdf. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (ACOG).
2. Fetal Attraction. Dr Duru Shah
3. Exercising Through your Pregnancy. James F Clapp III
4. www.runningskirts.com. Susan B Anthony

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