Knowing that I'm always keen to learn as much as possible about all things health related, Premier Training International recently offered me the opportunity to take one of their online courses. Of course, I jumped at the chance. I opted for the course on Fuelling Physical Activity, which combines my two passions of fitness and nutrition, where other available courses, such as 'Obesity Myths' or 'Padwork Training', focused on specific areas of one or the other.
Getting started with the course was really easy. I simply logged in to the website using the credentials that were emailed to me upon registration, and accessed 'My Dashboard' which showed the course that I had access to. The online course content is delivered as a video tutorial split into twelve sections. These sections are all are outlined in the main menu, which you can jump to at any time. This was really helpful, but would have been even better if the duration of each section was stated or if there was a time marker displayed on the play head along the bottom of the screen.
Thoughts on the course content
Because of the nature of the course, ‘fuelling physical activity’, there was a lot of content discussing energy and sugars, something that I’ve been really interested in researching lately, especially given the media attention that sugar has been getting. The course started by discussing sports drinks, a topic that was revisited throughout. While this provided a good foundation on which to discuss sugars, I would have liked to have seen other methods of fuelling workouts discussed, such as pre-workout formulas which are increasing in popularity, and actual food.
Also on the topic of sports drinks, the validity of research was discussed, particularly regarding Lucozade and the fact some of their research, funded by their manufacturer Glaxo Smith Kline, has previously been found to have been manipulated for marketing purposes. However, the validity of other studies cited in the course were not discussed in the same way. In fact some findings of a study on which a whole section of this course was based, have more recently been disproved. For this reason, I didn’t like that some entire sections of the course were based around delivering findings of a single research study. Instead, I would have found it much more useful to have had the foundations of different concepts explained and then backed up by studies. I could have accessed findings and interpreted basic tables myself, so what I would have liked to receive more of was explanations of the basic theories and science in the relevant areas. Understanding the physiology, rather than just being presented with research findings, would have also made it easier to practically apply what was learnt.
It's also worth mentioning the physical activities that were discussed in this course. There was a whole chapter on 'Fuelling Cycling', which again was a presentation of the findings of a study, and there was some discussion about running also. In all, the course focuses on endurance activities within the aerobic, rather than anaerobic, spectrum. The reason for this is touched upon in the conclusion.
Overall, I really enjoyed taking this course. Considering these online short courses are only £10.00, they are really informative. I found that the course was a good starting point for me to do further research into some of the topics discussed. That’s not to say that the course didn’t cover certain things thoroughly, but just that I’m super curious; sometimes I wonder whether I should be doing a dietetics or sports degree. I'd say that this course requires you to have a basic understanding of nutrition and fitness, and so would be a good supplement to a more comprehensive course, such as Premier's Nutritional Advice for Physical Activity, which I'm quite interested to try.
Have you ever taken one of Premier's courses? Would you consider taking an online course to top up your fitness or nutrition knowledge?