Total Gym InsideLatest Information about Total Gym


7 Tips On How To Manage A Successful Class

ELEVATE Circuit Class

How to manage a successful class for you and your participants – Part II

To read Part I of this blog on how manage a successful class – click here:

We as group fitness instructors have an amazing job! We get to inspire, coach, teach, motivate, listen, and help people achieve their goals.  We are movers, creators and instructors who love to share our knowledge to help others.  That’s quite special!

Fitness has developed into a class driven market.  It’s motivating, more economical and time efficient for the student and the instructor.   I feel it’s important to share experiences and learn from each other on ways we can always make it better.  Here are a few teaching tips that may help you prosper.

Be open to knowledge: Knowledge is everywhere if you are open to receiving it.  We learn from our students, our peers, and our own experiences.

Never stop learning: Learning is part of life.  It’s what teaches us to find and share our passion.  Seek knowledge so you can share your interests to help others.

Know your abilities: If you stick to what you know best, you will feel more secure in your abilities to perform at your best and have a stronger confidence that shows.

Teach your passion: Simply put, teach what you are passionate about!  There are so many group fitness instructors that teach classes that they really do not like teaching or it’s just not their favorite class style.  For example, I used to teach spinning years ago.  I would teach 5 classes a day, sometimes along with other classes and train clients.  That’s just too much – period.  I would sub classes or teach back-to-back because it made sense at the time, but looking back, not so much.  I taught so many spin classes I literally got ‘spun out’.  Today, I love subbing a class, but I do not want to ever teach it on a regular bases.  Therefore, share what moves you and you enjoy teaching.  It will be a much more pleasant experience for all involved.

Make no judgments: “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself”- Wayne Dyer.   Judging others can foster feelings of negativity or create an incorrect perception towards someone else.  If we compare ourselves to others, we lose site of what’s truly important in our own lives.  Therefore, take time to reflect on what brings peace within your soul and be grateful for what you possess, so you can help others.

Appreciate your skills: Honor and appreciate the skills you possess and it will show in what you teach.  Your student’s will show their admiration for you by their efforts and energy.

Make the most of your capabilities:  Teach your students something special each class.  Educate them while they experience mastering their own skills.

You Are Amazing

It’s a never-ending journey to provide the best exercises, creativity of classes, motivation, music and energy from within you, to make the best experience for all to want more of you!

Incorporating your unique ‘fitness flair’ is created by the special playlists you use, your workout style and the knowledge you share.  The total instructing package occurs as you mold into an experienced instructor.   There are always aspects to improve and situations to learn from to make us better than we were yesterday.

Do what you do best – be yourself and teach your heart out!

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Masters Degree in Performance Enhancement/ Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a free lance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, news letters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)


4 Top Tips To Be A Successful Personal Trainer

Successful Personal Trainer with Total Gym

Become A More Successful Personal Trainer or Group Instructor And Make More Money

When I was first asked to write about this subject, one near and dear to my own bank account, my head started to split in multiple directions.  How to be a successful personal trainer?  Do I write to the fitness fanatic wanting to make that career change leap?  Or the trainer that did that a year ago and is now finding it hard to make ends meet?  Or the seasoned professional trying to grow their net cash flow while already maxed out time wise?

Hmm… I’m going to try and address all of you.  Sometimes, even simple ideas can get overlooked by the already-too-busy trainers.  And the new and slightly less newbies, some things for you to think about.

Get Certified

Lots of fitness professionals tend to skip this one for a few reasons.  Of course, it’s confusing as there are SO many places offering ‘certification’ now, from online to courses at local colleges.  They are not cheap and you will need to keep paying … for CEC’s, renewals etc.

Go with a nationally accredited organization.  American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), (American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) are strong choices.  Even, if you’ve been training uncertified for years, to quote NIKE ‘just do it.’

And newbies? Spend some time, like a year or so working at local gyms, spas and YMCAs.  You will learn a lot.  Be helpful to your managers, take advantage of the benefits (classes especially) and learn.  Lots of times you will find your career path here.  Promotions usually come from within the organization.

Be an Expert Networker

If you did the step above and got certified, then you will get a lot of benefits to expanding your circle. To be a successful personal trainer, you need to take full advantage of everything your certification has to offer. Get to know all the club owners and trainers in your area that you can.  Don’t be an island, be the bench mark of your community.

Bone Up on your Social Media

Okay, I hate social media truth be told, but I must ‘pretend’ to like it.  Especially Facebook.  Make sure you keep your personal page clean (save the politicking for private pages only), limit the selfies to ideally those of you with clients having fun (ask for their permission) and don’t just post about you … or you trying to sell something.

Post things your clients actually want to read about 2/3rds of the time.  Also, post community classes you are offering.  That’s code for free.  Be sure to engage your clients in your page and get them to engage with other Facebook friends.  Yeah Deb, easier said than done.  Which leads me to my next tip.

Have a Business Plan

The biggest mistake is to think you don’t need one!

Know your market, know your competition. And no, trying to just knock off your competitor’s ideas (apart from bad karma) will usually not work.  Find your niche market.  I re-visit my business plan quarterly to see where I’m at and to tweak it.  Have a budget, have attainable goals, monthly, quarterly and yearly.

Be patient if you’re off, it’s a learning process and we are in an ever-changing industry.  But if you put these 4 top tips into practice and adhere to them, your success as a personal trainer will come.  Best of luck!

About the Author

Debbie Beck - Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer.Deborah Beck is a six-time Ironman athlete, coach and personal trainer. For over 25 years she has combined her love of sports and fitness with her passion for travel and adventure. Her early work as a Fitness Director moved her throughout Asia, the Middle East and the UK. She holds multiple certifications and is currently working towards her 500 hour Yoga Medicine. Her training philosophy incorporates Pilates, yoga, Gyrotonic and strength to produce a balanced, unique approach to high endurance training. She is currently launching a global training and lifestyle company and online community. When not traveling, she splits her time between Quogue NY and Telluride Colorado.


5 Key Components of a Group Class


5 Top Tips That Make Your Classes Enjoyable, Your Members Coming Back

When designing a new group fitness model for your clients, there are a few key components that create the right type of atmosphere for a successful training environment. With so many studios and gyms popping up every single day, it is absolutely critical that your group fitness program is top notch and can stand out in your local community.

You can be as creative as you want, when it comes to the exercise programming, but here are 5 key components that you can implement to make your program really successful:


This is a biggie. Clients have to enjoy you, your class and your facility.   And when they keep coming back, they will also refer people to you and grow your business. How do you create that buzz and excitement? You do so by creating unmatched energy. I don’t care if your entire exercise program is built around brooms and mops, make it the most energetic broom and mop program EVER.

Creating energy in your program is not nearly as difficult as some would suggest. In fact, you can do so in a number of ways, that include:

(1) Hire (or be) an energetic instructor.

(2) Have energetic people work for you at the front desk. They will create excitement the moment your clients walk through the door.

(3) Have energetic people participate in the workouts.

(4) Switch up the workouts, so clients don’t get used to the same routine.

(5) Select GOOD top 100 songs, so clients get lost in the rhythm and forget their heart rate is up.

Build Camaraderie

Like most things in life, it is better to do things with people that you know and care about. When that bond is formed, people tend to do those things more often. In the fitness industry, we do have a rare opportunity to build relationships that create camaraderie. Shockingly, most people actually don’t like to work out on a regular basis, if at all.  So, it is extremely important for us to provide as many ways as possible, to encourage our clients to consistently attend the gym and spend time working out with their friends.


Motivation is hugely important and very critical because it is usually the driving force as to why someone will or will not join your program.

Even though, as we said earlier, most people don’t like to work out,  many do work out on a regular basis. They do it for an internal reason or goal.  They do it because it could be life or death for them.  Maybe they do it to have more energy for their kids or maybe they are doing it to relieve some back pain. What is important, is that these people provide the most insight to the mindset of those who don’t want to work out.

Whatever the reason may be, they are motivated by some THING and that is our job as fitness professionals to figure out what that THING is.   Everyone is driven differently and everyone needs to be treated accordingly.

Don’t be afraid to ask your clients lots of questions to figure out where their motivation levels lie. Whether that be physical appearance, health related, or something completely different, the more data you collect, the better.    The more you can use that data to build successful programs the more you will create motivation.


This is another biggie.  If you look at gym statistics in the fitness industry, you will notice that the new client acquisition period is January and February and again in April and May. You will also notice that the majority of these newbies will quickly either cancel their membership in a month or two or just keep paying and not show up.

One way to get around these no-shows, is to create a contract.   I’m not talking about a financial contract but an accountability contract that identifies their goals. State what you expect of them while they are under your tutelage.  You will have to do some work now, because you will have to actually hold them to it. You will have to assess them regularly, do pop-up visits to their workplace or home, meet with them quarterly to discuss their goals, and you will need to stay in constant contact via text, email, social media and phone.

Some clients will need more accountability checks, than others which means it is up to you to create the right type of accountability system for each individual client. Some will need daily monitoring and others quarterly, but the bottom line is that everyone will need some level of accountability.


Of course, clients must have fun while they are in your facility. It doesn’t matter if your program is 110% guaranteed to hit every single client goal, if you or your instructors are boring, it’s a given that a new client just won’t last very long. People always look reasons not to work out and being bored just makes it easy for them.  So take it upon yourself to make sure that your facility eliminates those potential excuses.

Aim to be buzz-time energetic, camaraderie built, highly motivating, accountability driven, and the most fun facility in the world!

About the Author

Mike Z. RobinsonMike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.


Trainer Harley Pasternak Uses ELEVATE Pull-Up



The ELEVATE Pull-Up, designed on an adjustable incline, helps users perform the exercise.

With seven incline levels to select from, the ELEVATE Pull-Up rivals most lat machines. It allows users to lift anywhere from 35 percent to 65 percent of their own bodyweight.  Lifting only a portion of one’s own bodyweight helps a user perform an exercise they could not have previously performed. The adjustability of the unit strengthens the muscles gradually, allowing the user to progress and eventually perform the exercise without assistance.

The incline design of the ELEVATE Pull-Up also allows for plyometric or one-arm pull-ups and engages all the muscles of the upper body to efficiently and effectively enhance muscle definition and improve overall strength.

Harley Pasternak

Harley Pasternak

Toronto born, celebrity trainer and nutritionist Harley Pasternak, has been training his Hollywood clients with the ELEVATE Pull-Up, for some time now.  In an online article by, Harley breaks down the assisted pull-up, while working with actress Jordana Brewster.  Click here to read the article.

Pasternak is a bestselling author whose books have attained worldwide recognition and have been translated into 14 languages in over 25 countries around the globe.  His clients have included Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Halle Berry, Katy Perry, Megan Fox and Robert Downey Jr., to name but a few.   Harley has appeared on numerous TV shows such as,  The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Oz, Access Hollywood and Extra.  He’s also been featured in The Washington Post, Shape, Men’s Health,  Elle,  Seventeen and Marie Claire.

Harley Pasternak holds a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto.   He has an Honors Degree in Kinesiology from University of Western Ontario. He is also certified by The American College of Sports Medicine and The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology, and served as an exercise and nutrition scientist for Canada’s Department of National Defense.

With all that in mind, we’re thrilled, here at Total Gym, that Harley is training his celebrity clients with the ELEVATE Circuit and that they love his training.

For more information on the ELEVATE Pull-Up or ELEVATE Circuit, call 858 764 0034 or visit


CHEK Institute Brings ELEVATE Row ADJ Into The Mix

Paul Chek has Ben Greenfield demo the new ELEVATE Row ADJ

Paul Chek

Paul Chek

For over three decades, the C.H.E.K Institute in San Diego has been offering fitness and healthcare professionals an integrated approach to holistic well-being.  The C.H.E.K Institute’s founder, Paul Chek, is a Holistic Health Practitioner, Neuromuscular and Sports Message Therapist.  He views the body as a whole, to consider physical, hormonal, mental, emotional and spiritual components all together, within a system of systems.

Chek, a huge fan of Total Gym products has collaborated with Total Gym over the years.  DVD, How to Look and Feel the Way You Want is a total-body transformation from inside to out that features Total Gym workouts.   High Performance Training with Paul Chek helps a trainer determine their client’s level of readiness to exercise, relative to their goals, as well as balance work/rest ration for optimal recovery and performance gains.

In a recent blog written by Paul Chek, he talks about his interview with Ben Greenfield, coach, biohacker, best-selling author, blogger, Iron Man competitor, you-name-it-he’s-done it-kind-of-guy – voted in 2015 as one of the world’s top most influential people in health and fitness.

In the blog, Paul takes Ben on a tour of some key C.H.E.K Institute training programs which includes a demo on the new Total Gym ELEVATE Row ADJ, now with seven levels of resistance for a more challenging workout.

The ELEVATE Row ADJ (Adjustable) is the only rowing machine that works on an incline and has recently been professionally evaluated to improve muscular fitness as well as satisfying both cardiovascular aerobic and strength training requirements simultaneously.

To learn more about the ELEVATE Row ADJ and how it works watch the video below.


Total Gym CEO, Jesse Campanaro shows how tough an ELEVATE Row ADJ workout is.

To read Paul Chek’s blog with Ben and learn about Ben’s reaction to the ELEVATE Row ADJ, click here.

For more information on the ELEVATE Row ADJ, call 858 764 0034.




Make Your Gym A Media Magnet

3 Ways To Become The Go-To-Person In Your Local Media Market

In any business, marketing is a huge deal. It is not just when you start your business, but the entire time that you ARE IN business.  Think about it for a moment, how are you going to get business if you don’t consistently market yourself or your studio?

As far as which marketing technique works best for you or your company, that will depend on a number of things.   The type of business you are in, your budget, your target market and what your marketing objectives are, will all play a part in the marketing avenues that you choose.

Marketing, in general, enables you to show off your knowledge and build credibility.  But it can be expensive.  Free marketing, however is good for everyone, but especially for us, in the fitness space.  Because we are in a service industry, paid marketing can make customers skeptical, since they know that the advertisement was paid for.  When marketing is free, you will build your client base.

However, your marketing efforts will be far better when you’re able to get testimonials from clients.   When you also get the platform to really show how unique and awesome of a fitness professional you are and how incredible your fitness studio is, then that is when you will really shine.

One of the best ways to do this in your own community, is to create a relationship with your local media, such as TV news and radio stations, magazines and newspapers.

Each one of these media outlets have opportunities for you to pay for advertising too. But did you know that, if you provide great content for them, then each one of these companies will feature you for free? Then you will become a reputable resource for them and they will continue to turn to you for more.  All for free as well.

Below I’m going to describe 3 ways to help you to become the go to person in your local media market that will help you to inspire your community while also marketing your studio and getting more clients to train with you, all for free!

Create Newsworthy Content – Unless you live in a really big market such as Los Angeles or New York City, then your local media will always be on the search for new stories to place in their media circulation. The media is always looking for a great interview about a trending topic or an unique perspective about a potentially controversial topic. Sometimes they are just looking for something that is simply really, really cool.

One of the most successful media pictures that we have ever made at my gym, MZR Fitness, to our local market was a few years ago when we offered an essay contest during National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month for parents to write essays with their kids about the importance of health and fitness.

It was for families with kids that were between 8 – 13 years old and the family with the best essay won 3 months of private training for their family at my gym. It was hugely successful, as we inspired our entire community, and we received over 300 essays for the contest. The family who won still works out with us and we also got well over 70 new clients from that contest and it was all because of the media coverage from our local news station. Talk about impact! To date, that segment is still one of highest rated non-political segments of all time for our local news station.

Be Available and Ready – Once you establish a relationship with your local media, it is imperative that you continue to nurture that relationship by being very consistent and never being too busy for them. No matter what, make yourself available because the local media can easily replace you and get another fitness source to come on camera and speak to them about any number of fitness topics.

The upside of being consistently available is HUGE because once they feel that you are a credible and reliable source, they will begin to seek you out for your expertise when they need a source for a fitness topic. But if they feel that it takes a long time for you to respond to them or you consistently don’t meet their deadlines, then this relationship can quickly deteriorate. So again, make it a point to quickly respond to every request and if they end up giving you a deadline, ALWAYS deliver the content as early as possible and never wait until the deadline date to submit it.

Be Presentable and Prepared – This point piggy backs the other point listed above about being available and ready.

You also have to make sure that you are always presentable in every interview situation. Make sure that you shirt is tucked in and that your hair is combed. Make sure that you are not flashy with dark shades and jewelry on. You also want to make sure that you can speak and convey your fitness message confidently and with a relatable voice and tone. Make it your business to know the target audience of every media outlet before you write anything for them and/or are interviewed by them, so that you can customize your message to their readers, viewers, and followers.

By being committed to the above points, your local media will love you for taking your role seriously and will continue to seek you out for the foreseeable future for your expertise on all topics related to health and fitness!

About the Author

Mike Z. RobinsonMike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.


10 Minute Total Gym GRIT Workout

Total Gym GTS

Watch the Video

Although the standard GRIT routine is 30 minutes, here is a 10-minute Total Gym GRIT workout to keep your clients’ routines refreshed.

When you want to stay cutting edge in the fitness industry, you have to keep your ears and eyes open all the time, because new programs pop up every day and we, as fitness professionals need to stay informed for our clients.

One of the new trends that seems to be making waves is GRIT training, not to be confused with HIIT training. GRIT is a Les Mills 30-minute program that features a variety of classes, primarily focusing on plyometrics, cardio and strength training. Ask around in the industry and you’ll find that GRIT is the real deal and many fitness professionals are falling in love with this program because it works.   You can use it with little, some or even no equipment at all.  Here’s a great way to combine your Total Gym workout with GRIT training to keep your workouts refreshed and your clients engaged.

Total Gym Workout Routine (maximum effort on each exercise for 1 minute)

One Legged Squat Jump – Sit upright with your butt as close as possible to the bottom of the glideboard.   Keep one leg on the squat stand and leave the other leg to the side of the glideboard. Slowly squat with one leg until you feel engagement in the quadriceps region of your leg, then explode up to lift your body back up to complete the rep. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then you repeat the movement to complete the set. Don’t forget to switch sides. Repeat 15 times.

High Knees (Active Recovery) – Stand up straight and place your feet about hip-width apart. Place your hands palms down, facing the floor, hovering just above your belly button. Quickly drive your right knee up to meet your right hand and back to the ground.  Immediately bring the left knee up to meet your left hand and back down again. As you alternate knees, you want to do it with a hopping motion, staying on the balls of your feet the entire time. Make sure you are engaging your abdominal muscles as each knee comes up to meet the hands.  Repeat 15 times.

Alternating One Legged Squat Jump  – Sit upright with your butt as close as possible to the bottom of the glideboard. Keep one leg on the squat stand and leave the other leg to the side of the glideboard. Slowly squat with the one leg until you feel engagement in the quadriceps region of your leg, then explode up to lift your body back up to complete the rep but instead of landing on the same foot, switch your legs in mid-air so that the other foot lands on the squat stand. Repeat this sequence by alternating legs to complete the first rep and then you repeat the movement to complete the set. Repeat 15 times.

Squat Jumps (Active Recovery) – Start in a deep squat position with your hands by your side. From this position, explosively jump up as high as you can and reach up with your hands as you jump. Repeat 15-30 times.

Incline Spiderman Push-Ups – Stand facing the tower. Place hands on the edge the squat stand, slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Position forefoot back from the squat stand with arms and body straight. Lower yourself down slowly and as you do, be sure to raise your knee up to your elbow on the same side of your body. Push your body up until arms are extended to complete the first rep, then you repeat this sequence on the other side of the body.  Repeat 15 times.

Incline Mountain Climbers (Active Recovery) In the same position as the Spiderman Push-Ups, begin in a push-up position so your hands are directly under your chest at shoulder width apart.  Place your hands on the top of the squat stand. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Lift your right foot off the floor and slowly raise your knee as close to your chest as you can. Return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. Repeat 30 times.

Dips – Facing away from the tower, position your hands shoulder-width apart on the squat stand. Slightly move with your legs extended out in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the squat stand. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep. Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body. Please note that you can slightly bend your legs to modify this exercise. Repeat 15 times.

Butt Kickers (Active Recovery) – Stand up straight and bring one heel off the floor towards your butt – then as that foot is dropping back to the ground, bring the other foot up while moving arms in a running motion.  Repeat 30 times.

Reverse Lunge and 1 Legged Power Jump – Standing away from the tower and with the squat stand removed, place one foot back on the glideboard. Squat down on the leg that is on the ground, while the other foot is reverse lunging slowly on the glideboard up the incline. As you return to the starting position, hop up on the foot that is on the ground. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then you repeat the movement to complete the set. Switch sides.  Repeat 15 times.

Jump Lunges (Active Recovery) – Stand up straight with your feet staggered, with your left foot in front of your right. With your core engaged, push off the bottom of both feet into a jump, switching the position of your feet in midair, landing in a basic lunge with your right leg in front. Without rest, repeat this movement alternating which leg is in front. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then you repeat the movement to complete the set.  Repeat 30 times.

About the Author

Mike Z. RobinsonMike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.

Copyright © 2018 Total Gym. All Rights reserved.