What is the History of Personal Training?

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Personal/Fitness Training Blog

The history of personal training illustrates some fascinating themes. For example, one of these is the close relationship between personal training and soldiers getting themselves ready for battles and war. These threads are still valid for us living in the 21st century. Take a look.

The History of Personal Training

Fitness training – and not personal training – dates back to the ancient Greeks. Says Michael Gautheier:

“Serious fitness training dates back to the ancient Greeks who trained and held athletic events such as the Olympic Games, which started in 776 B.C. Martial arts is also a form of training which dates back thousands of years. Personal training as a job did not come until much later …

“Fitness and personal training made monumental advancements in the 1900s. Jack LaLanne, the Father of Modern Fitness motivated hundreds of thousands of Americans to get up and exercise. Through his television show as a fitness instructor and at his Bally gyms he inspired people to use exercise and lifestyle choices as preventative medicine.”

Kettlebells and Personal Training

The oldest form of personal training can be found in the military as mentioned above. This is because soldiers need to be fit and ready to go into battle at a moment’s notice. The value of the kettlebell has long been seen in military training. TSgt Philip Davis, RKC attests to this:

“No other single tool can provide the necessary training stimulus required for military personnel than the Russian kettlebell.”

There are many ways that you can use kettlebells to stay fit.  The most well-known of these is the kettlebell one-arm swing. Here’s how to perform this exercise.

How to set up the kettlebell one-arm swing

  • When you start this exercise, make sure that your feet are placed in a way which allows you to generate the most power. (This is usually shoulder width or just outside shoulder width.)
  • Ensure that the kettlebell is at a 45-degree angle.
  • Grab the inside of the kettlebell with your left hand.
  • Keep your head up. Fix your eyes on the horizon.
  • Make sure your back is always extended. Do this by pulling in your core and retracting your shoulder blades.
  • Push your hips back to get ready to swing.

How to perform the kettlebell one-arm swing

  • Drag the kettlebell back through your legs. Always bear in mind that it needs to be kept as close as possible to your groin. The kettlebell should never be lower than your knees.
  • As you pull the kettlebell back, turn your wrist so that your left thumb points behind you.
  • When you cannot pull the kettlebell back any further, squeeze your glutes to generate enough power through your hips to swing the kettlebell.
  • As you swing the kettlebell up, turn your wrist so that your thumb points up by the time the kettlebell is at your chest.  Make sure you finish with your body in a straight line.
  • Let the momentum bring the kettlebell back down between your legs. As it comes down, turn your wrist so that your thumb points behind you.
  • Repeat the swing. and alternate sides.
    Safety tips

Four tips to remain safe during the kettlebell one-arm swing

  • Keep your shins almost vertical throughout the exercise. Ensure that your bum moves backwards and not downwards as it does in a squat.
  • Keep your back straight but not upright.
  • Drive your feet into the ground.
  • Ensure that the kettlebell does not dip lower than your knees.

Watch the video below for a demonstration of the kettlebell one-arm swing.

Civilian personal trainers have also recognised the value of the fat-buring properties of kettlebells. As such they’ve incorporated them into their clients’ workouts.

Trifocus Fitness Academy offers an intensive two-day workshop where you will be schooled in the art of kettlebells. Modules include:

  • Correct use and teaching of kettlebell exercises,
  • Health and safety considerations when using kettlebells,
  • History and benefits of kettlebell training,
  • Kettlebell exercises and programme design, and
  • Kettlebell warm-up drills


Personal Training and Music

Yet another interesting theme is the concept of exercise for the body and music for the soul. This notion has evolved harmoniously in present-day fitness programmes, with music being a distinctive component of the exercise experience. Music motivates us to push ourselves, to really connect with the exercise and get the most out of it.

Personal Training and Historical Fitness Trends

It is also useful to remember that history has shown that, as societies become too enamoured with wealth, prosperity and self-entertainment, fitness levels tend to decline. Historically, physical fitness levels have also decreased as technology has advanced.

What is heartening to see is that the fitness industry – in recent years – has been steadily increasing in popularity as people are focusing, more and more, on their health.

This means that the time is ripe for you to embard on a fitness career as a Personal Trainer! Trifocus Fitness Academy offers you the chance to become an accredited personal trainer with our Personal Training Certificate or our Personal Training Diploma! These two are the premier fitness courses on the market and will take your fitness career to the stars! Click here for more information.