Personal Training Essays


I have sent Siia/Amanda what needs to be done and I will upload the exact questions that need to be answered in essay form. There are six essay questions, each has to be a minimum of 250, which should basically equals the six pages.
Learning experiences are designed to increase your knowledge in areas that
interest you.
Learning experiences allow you to integrate the material and serve as a means for
ISSA graders to assess your grasp of course concepts.
Each essay response is required to be a minimum of 250 words and, most
importantly, include your personal insights as to how the topic will help you as a
future professional trainer.
Because these essays are open-book, take the time to provide ample information,
detail, and personal analysis in each essay response.
While there is a minimum word requirement for each essay, there is not a
maximum word limit.
Feel free to elaborate as needed with relevant information to meet your own
personal level of satisfaction.
Students utilize ISSA education in various ways: some target specific types of
clients, some focus in a particular area of fitness, some simply want to improve
their own well being.
Be sure to tailor each learning experience response to best fit your personal and
professional interests.
Learning Experiences, Section 1: (Units 1 – 3)
Choose ONE of the learning experiences below and write a 250-word essay
1. Define the three energy pathways. For each pathway, identify two exercises that
utilize the pathway. If you were training to run a marathon, which pathway would
be the focal point of your training? What types of activities would you incorporate
into your marathon training and why? How will an understanding of energy
pathways help you in your future training endeavors?
2. Compare and contrast the body’s physiological responses to aerobic training
and anaerobic training. What adaptations must the body undergo if either of the
training protocols are performed exclusively for over a year? How will an
understanding of aerobic and anaerobic training help you in your future training
3. Identify six common joints in the body and list the following:
• Joint name
• Joint classification
• Anatomical description in relation to the sternum (e.g. anterior, distal, etc.)
• Example exercise / movement that utilizes the joint
In addition, identify a movement / exercise that utilizes three or more joints. List
the movement / exercise as well as the joints that are involved in the movement.
How will an understanding of joints help you in your future training endeavors?
4. Identify an activity that primarily utilizes type I muscle fibers. What is the typical
body type of individuals who regularly perform this type of activity? How would you
train the body to better perform this activity? Do the same for type IIa and type IIx
muscle fibers. How will an understanding of muscle fiber types help you in your
future training endeavors?
Learning Experiences, Section 2: (Units 4 – 7)
Choose ONE of the learning experiences below and write a 250-word essay
1. Perform a chin-up (palms supinated) and determine which muscles are the
prime movers, stabilizers, and synergists. Is there a difference with a pull-up
(palms pronated)? If so, what are the differences? Do as many chin-ups as
possible. Which muscles inhibit your ability to perform more repetitions? What
does this say about the chin-up as an effective exercise for the latissimus dorsi?
List as many variations of pull-ups and chin-ups as possible. Describe how what
you have learned during this experience will help you in your future training.
2. Identify and perform ten resistance training exercises. Describe which phase of
the exercise is the eccentric, concentric, and isometric phase of the movement. At
which phase is the muscle the strongest? Why? Describe how what you have
learned during this experience will help you in your future training endeavors.
3. List the six fundamental movements of major body segments (Unit 4). Give an
example exercise for each. In addition, identify an exercise that combines three or
more of the primary movements. List the exercise as well as the movements
involved. How will an understanding of fundamental movements help you in your
future training endeavors?
4. Perform a posture test on yourself and a friend. What deviations do you
observe? What exercises and stretches can correct these deviations? Discuss the
procedure(s) you used, your findings, how you came to your conclusions, and
what your recommendations are. How does an understanding of posture, posture
assessment, and posture correction help you in your future training endeavors?
Note: If you find that everyone you test passes the posture test (perceiving that
they have perfect posture) you need to go one step farther. Observe the person in
everyday activity. How does the person stand while waiting for something? Does
the person slouch? Is the person tilting the pelvis or rounding the shoulders?
Perfect posture is quite rare; be sure your assessment is thorough.
Learning Experiences, Section 3: (Units 8 – 11)
Choose ONE of the learning experiences below and write a 250-word essay
1. Perform at least one exercise for each major muscle group on a stability ball.
On another day, perform the same exercises in a stationary position (i.e., not on a
stability ball.) Report the following. List the exercises you performed. Were you
able to use the same weight on the stability ball? If not, why do you think you
could not use as much resistance? What populations would benefit from stability
ball training? Are there certain individuals who should not use a stability ball? How
will this learning experience and the knowledge you have gained from it help you
in your future training endeavors?
2. Identify the major surface muscles located in the body and list the following for
• origin
• insertion
• intended action
• an exercise or movement that utilizes the muscle
A minimum of 15 muscles is required.
After you create this list, define and describe how this information applies to your
future training endeavors. (Note: the 250-word minimum applies.)
3. Much has been written in popular magazines about aerobic training and how it
is the only way one can burn fat. Explain this belief, evaluate it, and describe why
it may or may not be appropriate. Are there other ways to burn fat? If so, what are
some of them? How does your knowledge in this area apply to your future training
4. Sit in on or participate in a cardio-based aerobics class. Was the class as you
expected it to be? What did you learn? How would you rate the instructor? Why?
Do the same for a group resistance training class such as strength training,
BodyPump™, an abs/core class, or any other class specifically designed to
improve strength. Describe how what you have learned and observed applies to
your future training endeavors.
5. Critically analyze the concept of stretching. Is stretching for improved flexibility?
If so, to what extent is flexibility necessary in a general fitness program? In a
sports-specific setting? Are there other reasons for stretching besides improving
flexibility? Try each of the stretching methods discussed in the text for at least two
body parts and briefly explain the differences between them. Describe how what
you have learned and observed about stretching applies to your future training
6. Find at least five Internet or magazine articles / advertisements that depict an
exercise or health “myth” (an example of a health “myth” would be an ad that lists
a pill or supplement that induces significant fat loss without exercising or
consuming a healthy diet). List the source and describe the myth. Why do you
think that the media and advertisers are pushing these myths? What would you
change about the article / advertisement to correct the misinformation (i.e., what
should it say?) How will you approach your analysis of fitness and health claims in
the future? How will this help you in your future training endeavors?
7. Have your body fat level checked by a trained individual using at least three of
the methods discussed in the text. List the method and the results. Are all the
results the same? If not, what do you think is responsible for the variation? Which
result or results do you feel are most accurate? How you will incorporate body fat
measurements into your future training endeavors?
8. Perform body composition assessments on at least three individuals. Record all
measurements and use them to calculate body fat in pounds, total lean body
mass, and the percentage of each to total body weight. Discuss the method that
you used and what possible deviations could have occurred during testing. Show
all measurements or readings for each individual. What are the most important
factors in ensuring that you are assessing body composition accurately and
consistently? How will you use body composition assessment in your future
training endeavors?
9. Visit a physician who specializes in the treatment of obesity. Discuss the steps
the physician follows to determine the best treatment. What kind of nutritional
advice does the physician give? When does the physician recommend surgical
intervention? When does the physician think a personal trainer would be
beneficial? How could you, as a trainer, fit into their program? If you cannot gain
access to a physician, feel free to do your own extensive research on the topic of
obesity and provide detailed analysis of the potential common causes
(physiological, psychological, etc.), treatments, prevention strategies, etc.
Learning Experiences, Section 4: (Units 12 – 16)
Choose ONE of the learning experiences below and write a 250-word essay
1. Take your blood pressure and the blood pressure of someone else. List both the
systole and diastole. Define systole, diastole, and list the ranges of excellent,
good, fair, and poor. Do you see any correlations between blood pressure and
lifestyle, stress level, or activity level? How will you incorporate knowledge of
blood pressure into your future training endeavors?
2. Have a graded exercise test (GXT) performed on you by a qualified physician.
Describe the experience. What were the results? Are you surprised by the results,
or are they as expected? How does this learning experience influence your future
training endeavors?
3. Use the Karvonen method and the general method (220-age) to determine the
target heart rate for yourself and four individuals. What are the differences
between the two. What method do you think is more appropriate and why? Once
you determine target heart rate for yourself, perform any exercise until you reach
your target heart rate. (Only attempt this experience if you are in good health and
have a solid grasp on how to achieve your target heart rate. Be sure to warm up
and cool down.) What exercise did you do? How did you monitor your heart rate?
How long did it take to get into your target heart rate? How long did you remain in
the target range? How will you use target heart rate in your future training
4. Meet with three individuals who have been regularly working out for over a year.
Test different fitness components such as maximal strength, strength endurance,
aerobic endurance, flexibility, etc. List the component and the results. How do your
results compare to theirs? Is one of you more fit than the other or are you just
different from one another? How does this learning experience influence your
future training endeavors?
5. Following a good warm up, start in a seated position on an exercise ball and
jump as high as you can. Do this for a total of three repetitions. Record the height
you reach each time you complete the exercise. Next, repeat the process, but start
from a standing position. Jump as high as you can. Record the height you reach
each time you complete the exercise from standing. Now, compare your results of
the seated start and the standing start. In which scenario did you jump higher?
Why? Relate this example to weight training technology and explain how it is used
in exercise performance.***May require outside research of the stretch-shortening
cycle. How will you incorporate this knowledge into your future training
6. Critically analyze the following three popular training systems: bigger, faster,
stronger (BFS); crossfit; and high intensity training (HIT). How do they compare to
the seven laws of training? Which of these systems of training would be most
appropriate for you? Why?
7. Critically evaluate the workout programs of five individuals. How do they
compare to the seven laws of training? Under what conditions would you change
these programs? How will you utilize your knowledge of the seven laws of training
in your future training endeavors?
8. Define periodization and its components (cycles). Provide a detailed
explanation for how periodization could specifically benefit each of the following
clients and how it would assist them in obtaining their ultimate goal(s)/objective(s):
college soccer player, 35-year-old sedentary adult wanting to tone, long distance
runner. Is periodization beneficial for everyone? Why or why not?
Learning Experiences, Section 5: (Units 17 – 20)
Choose ONE of the learning experiences below and write a 250-word essay
1. Identify an individual currently on an intermittent fasting diet, another who is on
a gluten-free diet, and someone else on the Paleo diet. Critically analyze their
dieting experience(s) and compare/contrast them with your own. Evaluate each in
light of the most recently known science and practical experience. Would you
recommend any of these diets or any other structured diet to a future client? If so,
list the diet and describe how would you determine its appropriateness for a client.
If you would not recommend any of these or other structured diets, detail why.
2. Critically evaluate any three popular fat loss programs or diet programs (e.g.
Jenny Craig, etc) that are currently in the marketplace today. How do they stack up
against each other relative to their nutritional profile, ability to support intense
training, and ability to provide lasting results? How does evaluation of diet
programs help you in your future training endeavors? What will you be looking for
and why?
3. Identify two popular multivitamin formulas and list the ingredients of each.
Compare the ingredients with one another. If they are different, why do you think
there is a variance between the two? Are they marketed towards different
audiences? And if so, how? Why do you think the manufacturer combined certain
vitamins, minerals, and herbs?
4. Meet with an athlete that has experienced dehydration amidst an athletic
competition (e.g. marathon running, all-day soccer tournament, etc.) Describe the
experience. Was it a sudden onset? Was it over a period of time? What symptoms
occurred? What could have been done in advance to avoid dehydration? Why is
consistent hydration important for both function and performance? How will you
incorporate proper hydration into future training endeavors?
5. Pick five supplements currently on the market. Find research based on the
supplements and the ingredients. What were the results? Were the studies funded
by the supplement company? Is this a supplement backed by credible science? If
not, why do you think that so many people are currently using it?
6. Identify two serious bodybuilders and two serious anaerobic athletes. (You can
find the athletes through an online search, in your gym, from a magazine, etc.)
Describe each athlete’s training program. Based on what you have learned in the
course, identify reasons for the program’s success or failure at maximizing muscle
mass and minimizing fat stores.
7. Meet with at least three individuals that are new to training and nutrition. For
each client, identify and describe three limiting factors (refer to Unit 20). Identify
and describe a specific action plan to eliminate these factors from each client’s
current nutrition plan.
8. Describe the following for each major macronutrient category (protein,
carbohydrates, fats):
• role in energy production
• role in performance
• recommended types (for the generally healthy public)
• types that are not recommended
• foods that you would recommend within the macronutrient category and why
How does knowledge of macronutrients help you in your future training
Learning Experiences, Section 6: (Units 21 – 31)
Choose ONE of the learning experiences below and write a 250-word essay
1. Search online for “free medline.” You will probably find several websites that
offer this feature. Search for research abstracts on “cancer and exercise.” Review
at least six abstracts (articles no more than five years old). Based on the
conclusions of these studies, how beneficial is regular exercise for cancer
patients? How would you market your services to clients that have cancer? Be
sure to cite your work.
2. Research the benefits and risks of exercise and youth. List at least five
resources (resources no more than five years old) and summarize the research
findings in your own words. Is resistance training safe, effective, and beneficial for
young people? Why or why not?
3. Watch a diabetes educator and/or nurse perform a blood glucose test on a
diabetes patient. If you have the resources, knowledge, and are comfortable, take
your own blood glucose after intense exercise. What is the number? What does it
mean for you? What would it mean for a diabetic? How could you incorporate
blood glucose results into your exercise practice?
4. Write down three or more special population groups for whom you would use a
water exercise therapy program. What types of movement routines would you
perform? What types of strength training would you incorporate? What precautions
would you take?
5. Identify at least two women who have regularly exercised before and after
pregnancy with very little “down time.” What precautions did they follow? What
alterations did they make to their normal training routine? If they were to do it
again, what changes might they make? Do these follow the guidelines presented
in your course text? How will the information you have gained from this learning
experience guide your training recommendations for clients who are pregnant?
6. Seek out a competent sports medicine expert–medical doctor, chiropractic
physician, nurse, or physical therapist–and review some of the sports-medicine
conditions outlined in the course text. Are these outlines specific enough? Are any
sports-medical conditions left out that should be included? What else can you do
to better prepare yourself in assisting your clients to seek competent sportsmedical
7. Visit a chiropractor and discuss as many of the therapeutic modalities as s/he
uses. Where do you, the personal trainer, fit into the chiropractor’s rehabilitation
practice? Where do you fit in the process of ensuring the continuation of care as
well as the prevention of future injury/ailments?
8. Attend a basic first-aid course and explain how the information gathered in the
course will be specifically helpful to you as a certified personal trainer. (NOTE:
First aid and basic adult CPR/AED are separate topics. Some courses combine
both. First aid is the topic of this learning experience. CPR/AED is a co-requisite to
earning your certification.)
9. Research the steps involved in launching a new personal training business and
develop a business plan. Find out where to obtain your DBA, business checking
account, and liability insurance. Create all of the necessary forms for your
business including your resume, rate sheets, policies, consent forms, health
history questionnaires, and anything else that you deem professionally
appropriate. You might design a logo or flyer for the business as well. Lastly,
include a description of any difficulties you encountered as you navigated the
business set-up process. Copy and paste this information into the text box
provided as part your response.

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