ADDITIONAL TOOLS & RESOURCES
Health & Fitness is an all-encompassing term. Whether you are looking to improve your own health, fitness and well-being or you are looking to build a career in the industry helping others, it’s hard to do it in a vacuum.
With more tools, resources & information available than ever before, it’s hard to know where to start to serve your needs.
Although we hope this site will give you all you require to optimize your potential on your chosen path, we don’t claim to ever know everything and with others developing and providing fantastic tools and resources, there is no need for us to re-invent or regurgitate already solid information or resources.
There is nothing on these lists that we have not considered on some level personally and everything here has been added as we highly recommend it. The goal being, to save you time, money and confusion in finding the tools that best fit your needs.
Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning we may receive a commission if you purchase. However, none of the fees of the resources have been increased to compensate. In fact, in some cases, we have been given special discounts to extend them to our audience and we will continually look to improve on these as time goes on. Many of the links, though, are simply there with no association, but simply because we recommend the product or service.
As most of the physical products we recommend are available on Amazon, we have also created a series of idea lists. You can access these lists (which are frequently updated) at www.amazon.co.uk/shop/dcsfit
Making The Journey Easier
It’s always good to have other opinions & information to ensure you are confident in what you are doing.
Depending on the type of person you are, you may also find apps, tools and gadgets both keep you focused and up your enthusiasm.
The tools below have been highlighted to ensure you don’t stagnate due to lack of information, organisation or self-discipline.
Regardless of your situation, resistance bands are an incredibly useful tool. Besides being part of almost all rehab style routines, they are useful for breaking through plateaus, working on explosive acceleration and increasing mind-muscle connection. But most of all, they are extremely portable and easy to take on holiday or use at home without much space. Not all bands are equal though and cheap versions are liable to snap, have too much give or, in some cases, not enough. There are a wide variety to choose from though in the 'good quality' realm. In looking through what is available, this set fits that mould whilst, at the time of writing, are also cost effective versus their quality. So, be sure to give them consideration.
The Chimp Paradox
Most people know there are things they could improve with their approach to nutrition, fitness or healthy living. It’s not an issue of knowing where to start, but rather following through. In other words, most of the issue is in your head. So, if you are not sure why you can’t stick to things or follow through on your plans, having an understanding of what is going on under the hood is a good way of ensuring you can break that habit and make better choices.
The Chimp Paradox is probably the best book I’ve read on this subject and it’s not only something I’ve recommended to many clients, but it is mandatory reading for our interns and fitness staff. I strongly recommend picking up a copy. It may help, not only in your health and fitness approach, but in many other aspects of your life.
Accumeasure Self Testing Calipers
You’ll notice there are no scales on this list. That’s because they are borderline useless and should be used LESS or not at all by most people. If improved body composition is your main goal, getting a good feedback loop in place should be something you implement ASAP. Ideally you would have your body fat measured via a professional through skin-fold calipers (assuming you can’t afford a DAXA test or have access to an underwater weighing service). However, you can get good enough results to keep an eye on things with these. They take a little practice to get used to them, but it will give you a route to constant feedback to ensure what you are doing is actually working for you.
I’m not big on gadgets in general (for fitness purposes) and many studies have shown that people, on average, make no better progress using them than using traditional methods of tracking, such as pen and paper. However, the novelty factor of having something digital that is tracking everything can certainly give a boost of enthusiasm to your approach to get those numbers up (burn more calories, add more steps etc) and I’ve spoken to a number of clients and members of our gym who have had very positive experiences with this little device. And the fact you don’t need a chest strap (which I always felt was a huge limiting factor of heart rate monitors) and the ability to link to your phone (which most people are VERY attached to) can make this a beneficial tool to have.
Building Knowledge, Your Brand & Profile
Whether you are looking to get into the fitness industry, are in the study phase or are already well established, there is always more you can do to improve your prospects.
Our local resources are well established throughout the site CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS
But the tools below are useful if you are trying to add to their knowledge, build exposure or promote their latest product or service.
Email Autoresponder – Get Response
If you don’t already have one, you NEED an email service provider. This is a must have resource for staying in touch with your tribe and developing a relationship with them. The platform we use is Get-Response. The reason being, they integrate well with Instapage (and pretty much every other landing page provider) they have most of the useful features that the ultra expensive platforms have and their help service is extremely fast and useful. And by using this link, you will not only receive a one month free trial, but if you do decide to sign up, you will receive a $30 credit to ensure your can spend the first few months building your list before it really costs you anything.
Web Hosting with Vidahost
Regardless of your role in the fitness industry, if you are offering a service, you’ll want to let people know you exist. Without a website, it just looks unprofessional. And whilst there are options where you can have branded sites (such as a wordpress.com site) or other free options, it simply looks like amateur hour. You believe your potential clients should invest in you, but you are not willing to invest in your brand? Stop using gmail addresses, get yourself a domain name and web hosting. It’s not particularly expensive. And we’ve arranged a 10% discount with our hosting provider, Vidahost, if you happen to choose them. We have used them since 2009 and their customer service is both quick and useful. Just use the code DCS10 to receive your 10% discount on any hosting package.
At some point you will have something to market. Be it your PT services, a class, a bootcamp, a book or a seminar. If you want to create something quickly, that looks great and converts for you, then you should consider Instapage.
You can try it out for free for 30 days, meaning you could build a page, promote it and get conversions before you've ever paid a penny for the service. Their templates are extremely useful and their support is extremely good.
Basic Skinfold Calipers
If you intend to work as a Personal Trainer, one thing that will come up often, if you are doing it right, is the need to check your client’s body fat percentage. If you use digital scales or hand held devices, you need to do some research as these are highly inaccurate. And whilst having your own DAXA scan is likely out of the question, utilising skin-fold calipers is the industry standard for checking progress.
These entry level calipers have still been calibrated to the correct tension and are perfectly serviceable in doing the job and they are far from expensive. So get yourself a set, practice using them and get some useful information that will very much help ensure progress with your clients.
Gym Boss – Interval Timer
Whether for use in your own training or working with a client, if intervals are part of the programme, you’ll want one of these.
Sure you can use an app on your phone, but a trainer looking at their phone during a PT session does not look professional. Also, these things are lightweight, can be clipped on anywhere, leaving you free to spot your client or give directions, and they are sturdy, so unlikely to break if dropped (unlike your very expensive phone).
Simplifying Things In Every Area Of Your Life
Life is not all about health & fitness and sometimes other elements of your life need focus or enhancing.
To ensure you can deal with these elements with as little stress and time as possible, below are several links to products and services you may find useful from time to time (some local some global) that could save you time researching or simply add something to your day to day life that could add to your comfort, quality of life and general well-being.
Body-clock Alarm Clock
If you suffer from SAD (Seasonal Adjustment Disorder) you can find that your mood is highly dependant on the weather and the amount of sunlight. In the winter I suffer from this a lot as it’s dark when I wake and dark when I’m heading home at night, with little sunshine to be seen. However, even in the summer, long days can cause havoc with sleep patterns due to trying to get to sleep when it is still light outside. Meaning black out curtains end up being the norm, but now you are back to waking in the dark.
This device is cheap and can make an amazing difference when used to naturally wake you up in the morning. Similarly, as a light, it is less harsh and abrasive so as a reading light or a light for a child’s bedroom in the lead up to their bed-time, it can be incredibly useful.
Sweat Proof Bluetooth Headphones
Sometimes, when you are working out in the gym or out on a run, you want to stick on an audio book or just get lost in some good music.
There's nothing more annoying than getting tangled in the cord though.
These headphones are pretty sweet (good colours) and they are sweat proof, so continued use isn't going to destroy them. Plus they are pretty cheap.
We are aiming to make this the most comprehensive list of resources available for our readers, so if you are aware of any fantastic products, resources or services that you feel belong on this list, or, indeed, if you have a product or service of your own you feel we may want to include, please get in touch and let us know and we will consider adding it here.