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Apr
21

GETTING BACK IN THE PILOT’S SEAT WITH GRAVITY

Mission Valley ymca images- GRAVITY- SMALLNancy Vaughan used to be a regular at the gym until she began experiencing constant hip pain and had to stop working out. A private pilot for 30 years, she could no longer get in and out of a plane; she couldn’t event go to Padres or Chargers games because she couldn’t walk the stadium stairs without pain.

Then Nancy had total hip replacement surgery, but her road to recovery only started there…

“After hip replacement surgery, your body mechanics are off – you have a foreign object in your leg – suddenly your bad leg is your good leg but you’re not sure how to move. You’re terrified of doing something wrong, so you don’t do anything.

I experienced severe muscle pain in my lower back after walking only a few steps.  I’d stopped working out prior to my surgery and had become deconditioned and I realized that I needed to get back into shape – I needed to take control of my pain”

So Nancy joined the Mission Valley YMCA

“I started aqua exercise classes with an instructor that specialized in pre and post-operative patients. Once I felt I could complete a workout in the gym, I joined the ‘Team Challenge’ where I got a free pass to try GRAVITY using the Total Gym GTS  – I pretty much stopped everything else after that first class. Now I attend GRAVITY classes as often as I can. I go four to five days a week; sometimes I even go every day. The instructors are all great and I love the variety of classes offered – some emphasize stretching, some posture and balance, others focus on building core strength and overall muscle – but they’re all fun – and it works!

Working out on the Total Gym GTS has helped me regain strength in my legs, strengthen my core and has greatly improved my posture. I feel like I’m standing taller and straighter than before.

Even though my physician had sent me to physical therapy, it was GRAVITY and working out with Total Gym equipment that saved my life.

Now I have the freedom to get up and go do whatever I want. I knew after my surgery, that once I was able to climb back into my airplane, I could fly it and GRAVITY helped me feel more confident about trying it.  And of course it helped me to have the energy to be able to do the physical things that go along with recreational flying, like pulling the plane out of the hangar, loading it up, putting fuel into it, and then putting it away and unloading it at the end of the day.

Part of the recovery process from any total joint replacement is getting people back to good conditioning – I believe if there had been a Total Gym machine available to me during my post-op physical therapy, I would have been six months ahead of the game. I personally don’t feel there is any reason physical therapy clinics can’t run their own GRAVITY classes – it’s the missing link!  Total Gym should be a part of any physical rehab program.”

Total Gym and GRAVITY allowed me to get back to my active lifestyle pain free with confidence!

Mar
27

AN INTERVIEW WITH IHRSA

We recently exhibited at the IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association) 2015 Tradeshow in Los Angeles where we had the opportunity to discuss two exciting NEW developments:

- The newest addition to the Elevate Line™ – the Total Gym® Jump Trainer™

GRAVITY Studio® – a franchise/licensee opportunity for those looking for an approachable and effective studio fitness solution.

IHRSA is the trade association serving the global health club and fitness industry. The mission of IHRSA is to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness industry, and to provide its members with benefits that will help them be more successful.

IHRSA and its members of health clubs and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and industry suppliers (like us!) are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion.

Mar
20

EVERYONE’S JUMPING LIKE JORDAN

basketballTonight San Diego State University takes on St. Johns University in the NCAA Tournament. While I’m torn on who to cheer for – the Aztec’s who have become my local team over the past 10 years or the Red Storm who I grew up with (literally just a few blocks away from the University) – I’m excited to watch some of the finest college basketball players in the country go head-to-head as they try to advance to the next round.

And while, personally, I’m more interested in who can make the 3-point jump shot, I can’t deny the drama and awe that comes with the infamous “slam dunk.”

Propelling themselves to heights of 44”, 45” and even 46”, players like Sam “Slam” Thompson (Sr. Forward, Ohio State), Michael Qualls (Jr. Guard, Arkansas) and  Keifer Sykes (Sr. Guard, Green Bay) all seemingly defy gravity as they explode into the air, ball in hand, to make the glorious dunk shot.

But how are they able to do it?

Generally, people who can jump so high are born with a high percentage of fast-twitch muscles, which gives them explosive speed.  However, those that aren’t as genetically blessed can still increase their vertical leap with plyometric training.

Traditionally, basketball players perform various squats and box jumps to work their “vert” and develop their leg muscles for increased strength and power.  Popular exercises like the depth jump and barbell squat jumps have proven to add inches but also tend to leave athletes at risk for possible injury if not performed properly.

And for those who are not quite at the level of the pros or likely soon-to-be pros… jumping, while highly beneficial, is not as easy as it looks.

Luckily, here at Total Gym, we’ve just launched the NEW Jump Trainer09_Jump Squat_B small

Since full weight-bearing plyometric exercises, even at low intensities, can expose joints to considerable forces and substantial speeds of movement, the Jump Trainer acts as a transitional piece of equipment, allowing users to gradually progress by incrementally unloading their bodyweight.

Providing a safe and fun environment to perform squats and squat jumps, the Jump Trainer features a large, ergonomic glideboard that fully supports the spine during movements so that users can comfortably control the descending and ascending phases while exercising.

Not to say that the likes of Lebron James and Zach LaVine wouldn’t benefit from jumping aboard the Jump Trainer.

Its unique design allows EVERYONE –  from the mom or dad that just had their hip replaced to professional athletes who want to work on their “hang time” –  to develop all the major muscles of the lower body, from the intrinsic muscles of the foot to the glutes (and everything in between needed fto jump like Jordan).

How can one machine accommodate so many different users of so many different abilities? It’s all in the engineering.

Like all Total Gym products, the Jump Trainer uses incline body weight resistance, allowing users to train using anywhere between 20-80 percent of their own bodyweight. There’s plenty of room to progress from basic squats to complex plyometric movements that challenge a user’s proprioception while using maximal force and resistance.

And for the first time, Total Gym has incorporated optional variable band resistance (VBR) into the Jump Trainer. Four resistance bands offer an additional 10 -70 pounds of resistance in 10 pound increments, allowing for a maximum resistance of up to 150 percent of a user’s bodyweight when all four bands are engaged.

Leveraging band resistance allows users the unique opportunity to train the eccentric contraction of a squat or squat jump. Not only do the bands intensify the force needed to accelerate upwards, they also provide accelerated eccentric force that requires users to control the down phase – therefore training muscle deceleration which helps strengthen and protect ligaments and joints while developing fast-twitch muscles fibers and explosive power for improved athleticism and of course… an increased vertical.

So whilJacquie Jumping in Heelse I’m watching tonight’s game with my fingers crossed (Go Red Storm!!!), tomorrow, I’ll be back testing my jumping tenacity on the Jump Trainer (in heels no less ). I’ll keep you posted on any impressive leaps…

Dec
2

A WHISKER-RAISING CAUSE

This past month Total Gym took part in the Movember movemnet, raising awareness and funds for the health issues men face. This movement is saving and improving the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.

The Movember Foundation is the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. Having raised $559 million to date, they’ve funded over 800 programs in 21 countries, saving and improving the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.

The Movember Foundation challenges men to grow moustaches during the month of November, now commonly referred to as Movember, to spark conversation and raise vital funds for its men’s health programs. To date, 4 million moustaches have been grown worldwide, and here at Total Gym we’ve done our own whisker-raising for the cause.
However you don’t need to sport a ‘stache to support this cause. You can make a donation directly to the Movember Movement here or on behalf of Team Total Gym here.

Remember, just like a mustache never goes out of style, it’s never too late to donate.

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Nov
21

We’re ‘Thinking PINK’ In Support Of Breast Cancer Research

Woke up early this morning to show our support for one of our own participating in the San Diego Susan G Komen 3-Day Walk to fight Breast Cancer!

If you’d like to join in our support, you can contribute to the Ta Ta Troopers or make a direct donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

All proceeds help support research, scientific programs and community-based breast health and education programs for women and men facing breast cancer.

Sep
16

Total Gym Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Our mission is simple – helping millions of people get healthier – and sometimes it’s not through fitness.

These past few months there have been a slew of videos uploaded to social media. Video’s in which a person voluntarily pours a bucket of ice water over themselves in the name of ALS Awareness.

For those of you who don’t know, ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the lethal neurodegenerative disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

About 30,000 Americans have this devastating disease, which attacks nerve cells and ultimately leads to total paralysis, losing the ability to eat, speak, walk, and eventually breathe – all while the mind remains sharp.

Life expectancy is typically two to five years from the time of diagnosis and currently, there is only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat ALS, which only modestly extends survival by two to three months. Consequently, ALS is 100 percent fatal.

In our small world of fitness, we have been greatly affected by ALS. Augie Nieto, a vivacious and energetic innovator in the industry who co-founded Lifecycles, Inc., now called Life Fitness, Inc., was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2005. But always the pioneer, Augie and his family have been leading the way in finding a cure for ALS.

They founded Augie’s Quest, the largest individual fundraising program for ALS. All funds raised by Augie’s Quest benefit ALS Therapy Development Institute – the world’s leader in ALS research whose focus is to discover and develop effective treatments to end ALS.

But without public awareness, there is only a limited pipeline for fundraising.  According to The ALS Association, only about half of the general public is knowledgeable about ALS. That means 50 percent of the American public doesn’t know what the disease is or that it even exists.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has made profound difference, welcoming more than 70,000 new donors who have raised over $110 million since July 29. At last count, more than 1.2 million people have posted videos on Facebook and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter.

Here at Total Gym, we were happy to join in, taking the challenge to the next level and contributing to the cause. Now we nominate all of you to Get On Board as well – take the challenge yourself and/or donate to any one of these foundations fighting for a cure:

ALS Association   Project ALS     ALS TDI   Augie’s  Quest

 

Jul
14

A REMINDER TO NEVER STOP DREAMING

Hi, it’s Bonnie, back from another AYP Adventure!

This trip took me to for the North Central Regional AYP Conference, in The Dells, WI, a beautiful part of the country, where I had a pretty interesting and humbling experience which reminded me that we always need to keep our minds open and our dreams big.

Our goal at these shows is to expose Y professionals to the type of programming Total Gym offers with GRAVITY Inside and the Elevate Line, but I always end up learning something valuable as well. This time was no different.Rudy 1

While everyone, including me, was setting up our booths, a very nondescript, chatty man in workout clothes was walking through the show. He came up to the Total Gym booth, where we had a Total Gym GTS and a Total Gym® Core Trainer, and asked in a loud, booming voice, “You got any freebies?? I’m looking for freebies!” I thought, “I’m going to make him WORK for it.” So I tell him, “Sure, I got freebies! But only if you do a few exercises with me.” He took me up on the challenge.

We started with the Core Trainer, doing some basic SCRUNCH exercises. I then upgraded him to knee tucks, then to pikes and eventually had him doing dynamic planks and side rotations. At this point, he’s sweating ” but we’re not done. I move him onto the GTS, and start him off with bicep curls, rows and tricep kickbacks ” now he’s really sweating. However, he’s got more in him ” I just know it. So we keep going! On to torso rotations, shoulder presses and extensions! Finally, after about 20 minutes, I feel like he’s earned his freebie ” a simple drawstring backpack! I give it to him, and he goes on his merry way.

Later, that evening I go to see the keynote speaker and who should get up on stage? It’s the same guy I made sweat for his shwag! That’s when I realize, it’s not just any random person, it’s Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who inspired the famous “Rudy” movie (by mitul at dresshead.com). I felt so embarrassed! I couldn’t believe I made this inspirational, successful, legendary person sweat through a grueling demo for a measly (albeit useful) drawstring bag! Then again- this is a man who has always worked for what he wants ” even if it is just a drawstring bag ” which is a lesson in-and-of-itself.

As herudy 2 spoke to us about visualizing your dream, making the commitment to your dream, and stopping at nothing until you realize it, I couldn’t help thinking of my own dreams — some personal, some professional and some that didn’t necessarily start out as my dream, but I have become passionate about — like Total Gym’s dream: Helping millions of people get healthier! This has become an enormous part of my job, and I get to see it in action almost every day through clients like the YMCA. At the Saratoga Regional YMCA, the Total Gym GTS is part of the Livestrong cancer program. At the Coal Creek YMCA, the GRAVITY-TRX classes are part of a youth fitness effort to curb childhood obesity. Our dream is to help people get healthier through activity; our equipment is simply the vehicle. It’s our customers and everyone who uses our equipment that makes that dream a reality. And the best part about our dream ” it’s never too late to get healthy. As Rudy said, “Begin at the beginning again. Dream like you did when you were a kid.” That’s why I am so proud of what we do as a company ” our equipment lets people of all ages, sizes and abilities reach their fitness goals and beyond!

Later in the day, I walked back up to Rudy and introduced myself again. I apologized for making him endure the workout, but instead, he complimented me on the thorough demo and said the workout was much harder than he anticipated ” this coming from the man who defied expectations to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team.