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Perform Better: Performance Equipment Provider

Perform Better Really Does Perform Better!

If you are in the fitness industry –  whether you’re a gym owner, a personal trainer, a coach, a physical therapist, an athletic trainer or anything else that speaks functional training, fitness or rehab, and you need to find equipment, then Perform Better is the place to get it!

Experts in functional training, rehabilitation and sports performance, Perform Better will not only sell you any type of quality commercial grade exercise equipment, from a Total Gym Jump Trainer to a Lebert Equalizer Bar but they will advise you on which is the best equipment for your facility and they will also advise you on how to set up your facility and even design it for you!  Oh and they offer top notch delivery and installation services as well.

Jacob A. Guajardo

Jacob A. Guajardo

We recently caught up with Jacob A. Guajardo in the sales department of facility design to get the scoop on Perform Better and find out what they were up to these days.  He told us some interesting stuff.

“MFAC started as a heel cup manufacturer which most podiatrists around the world still use. From this origin, the company, led by Bill Falk, grew as a leader in the track and field community. Perform Better was established in 1992 and now is a leading provider for quality equipment for the fitness professional.  Currently, there are Perform Better divisions in Germany, China, Japan, and the Middle East. And they are still growing! Their main audiences are fitness professionals, college and professional sports teams, along with mainstream fitness enthusiasts. In addition, Perform Better offers a very unique educational platform which helps strength coaches, personal trainers and/or physical therapists become experts in functional training.”

Original Plan

Original Plan

Jacob got into the fitness industry 26 years ago while in college in Nashville, Tennessee. His first job was setting up various types of fitness equipment. When he moved to Massachusetts, he found a job setting up and delivering the same types of products for a similar company. After working for that previous company for 13 years, he moved to Perform Better sales and facility design and has been with them for over 11 years.

We asked Jacob about the facility design segment of the business and how the process worked.   Here’s what he told us:

“The staff at Perform Better brings a wide range of skill sets with some being former athletes and some of the staff still compete competitively. Every person in the company has been involved in athletics in some capacity which makes us a very well-rounded, trusted, and knowledgeable operation.

Regarding facility design, we started this service about ten years ago. Initially it was in a 2D format and was primarily used to figure out how we would layout turf or rubber or maybe give an idea of how a room could be laid out. Today the facility design team can create virtual products, provide 3D walk through movies of a proposed facility, and provide high resolution images for customers marketing grand openings or “coming soon” images.

3D Plan

3D Plan

The facility design process is very simple, yet effective:

We always like to start with a layout of the facility like this one from a recent install we completed.

This picture illustrates the initial idea or vision that the clinic had for the renovation of a local church.

Of course they met with the town building inspectors, builders and then presented it to Perform Better. We aided the customer by providing them with a conceptual drawing of their initial ideas (see the color 3D plan above).

Before and After

Before and After

Luckily the customer was local, so I was also able to attend meetings with anyone from the clinicians to the building personal, architects and the contractors. I was able to view the facility prior to design and was able to modify the design on the fly when a problem came up.”

Jacob continued with photos, “this one shows a before and after.  Well, more a “during” installation and after, for this very cool physical therapy/sports performance clinic.  You can see there’s quite a transformation.

The facility design department has grown to have 4 full time designers, meaning 4 people that know how to use the program, but every sales person on staff has the ability to help layout and give advice or lead buildout for all interested customers. The bottom line is facility design is just another way we can continue a conversation with a potential customer and then they be able to use our design when communicating to their investors, clients or staff.”

Jacob continued, “We’ve recently started to put together an online interactive map.  It shows locations of facilities we have designed over the years which we think is pretty impressive if you are looking to see how experienced we are.”

Perform Better Interactive Map

Perform Better Interactive Map


Perform Better also offers is a series of specialized Functional Trainer Summits across the US that are designed to provide trainers, coaches and therapists hands-on expertise through a combination of speakers, lectures and learning experiences by many top professionals in the industry.

Here’s a video showing a recent Perform Better 3-Day Functional Training Summit in Long Beach, CA.


New Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

Watch the Video!


Perform Better have established themselves as the “go to place” for fitness, rehab and education.  Staying at the forefront of customer service, a Facebook Review couldn’t have put it better, “When you deal with Perform Better, they try to make sure it’s a good experience each and every time.  It’s great to see companies that do well by doing good!


How to Maintain Your Gym Exercise Equipment


Maintaining Your Exercise Equipment at your Fitness Facility is Crucial for your Business

Maintaining your equipment is so important because it shows your clients and members that you respect them.  It also shows them that you are happy that they are there to visit your facility, and that you want them to return again and again.

Just imagine that you reserved a hotel in your favorite city and you were extremely excited to get there.  You check in, walk into your room, look around, and experience the following:

> Your bed was not made up

> The TV was broken

> The mirror had a big crack down the center of it

> The toilet was not flushing correctly

>The floors needed to be swept

> And the shower head was missing

Sounds pretty awful, right?

But just maybe, you are one of those people who like to give other people & other businesses the benefit of the doubt and you choose not to complain about each of those things listed above. You even go as far as to view this situation as an isolated incident and you choose to stay at this hotel again the next time that you are in this particular city the following month.

But very much to your surprise, you experience the exact same situation that is described above and maybe even a little worse.  Except this time, you feel disrespected and not valued by the experience. You therefore file a complaint AND you make a decision on the spot to never patron this hotel again!

This above scenario is equivalent to how your clients feel when they walk into a fitness club or gym that is dirty, the treadmills are broken (with an out of order sign on it for several weeks), the mirrors are not cleaned, and the water fountain is not working.  We can discuss the cleanliness of a fitness facility in depth another time but right now, we’ll focus a little more on maintenance of the exercise equipment.

Some of the common questions revolved around maintaining exercise equipment are:

> Why should I maintenance my equipment?

> Will clients know if I don’t maintenance my equipment regularly?

> How often should I maintenance my equipment?

> Where should I take my equipment to get maintenance?

Now that you have heard some of the common questions about maintaining exercise equipment, let’s answer those questions in depth for you in order:

Why should I maintenance my equipment?

This is a 2 part answer because you maintain your equipment for: (1) your membership base; and (2) because it will help you to save money and cut cost at your fitness club. As previously stated at the beginning of this article, you want to keep your clients and members happy. You want to show them that you value and respect them.  You also want them to keep coming back and they will not do that if things are not in working order at your facility. They will eventually take their business elsewhere. Value them and you will have lifelong happy customers.

You also maintain your equipment for your cost saving reasons at your fitness club. It is much more cost effective to pay for regular maintenance or repair work for your equipment than it is to pay for a brand new piece of equipment especially when you are referring to cardio machines and larger pieces of equipment.

Will clients know if I don’t maintenance my equipment?

Simply put: yes they will know.

They have eyes and ears and will notice things just like anyone else … and even more importantly, clients talk to one another and the last thing that you want them discussing is anything at your fitness club in a negative way. When your clients speak about the equipment at your facility, you want them to use adjectives such as “immaculate”, “always clean”, “quality”, “well taken care of” – not “always broken”, “sloppy”, “treadmills squeak” etc.

How often should I maintenance my equipment?

How frequently you should maintain your equipment will depend on the type of equipment that you have. However, the general rule of thumb is every 3 – 6 months (or as needed) with cardio pieces being on the short end of that 3 month window.

Where should I take my equipment to get maintenance?

 This question has a variety of answers because there are several options for equipment maintenance solutions. With larger pieces of equipment, a warranty is usually offered for an additional price through the company that you bought the item(s) from. Therefore in those cases and depending on the type of the warranty that you get, you can just take the equipment to the business that you purchased it from or that company will send someone directly out to you to assist you with your repair or maintenance needs.

Another possible solution is to find a local person in your community that fixes exercise equipment. Sometimes these individuals offer their services as a side job which partly means that the price could be negotiable. Or you may just find an actual brick and mortar business that many local facilities use for their own maintenance needs. Ask around to your local fitness club owners & managers and get their recommendations.
Again, it is much more convenient as well as affordable to take care of your equipment by giving it regular and proper care than it is to be constantly having to replace it by purchasing new equipment.

Mike Z. RobinsonAbout the Author

Mike 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.



Best Smoothies to Recommend to your Clients

Personal Training: Post-Workout Smoothie Tips for Your Clients

As personal trainers, one of our biggest challenges is to make sure our clients replenish with good wholesome nutrients after a workout. It is important that we take the time to explain to them how important it is for growth and repair at the cellular level in order that they are better prepared for their next training session.

Green.I think smoothies are the easiest meal to promote as they take very little time to prepare, are very portable, and can be packed full of nutrients, given the right recipe. If the blender is a good quality, we can even benefit from retaining the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes over a 24-48 hour period. If I know I have a busy schedule right after I train, I make my smoothie the night before, freeze it, and then I am all set. Recommend this to your clients if they say they are pressed for time after a workout.

Make Your Clients Aware

Making our clients aware that they need to replenish their glycogen stores, proteins and electrolytes that were used up during training is paramount and a smoothie is an easy way to give back to their body. With the right ingredients smoothies help to load up on the right carbs, protein, essential fatty acids, electrolytes and anti-oxidants. It is not always necessary to include a protein in a smoothie. If a workout is mainly cardiovascular exercise and does not include weights or any other resistance, it is more important to replenish the energy and electrolytes with fruits, leafy greens, and coconut water as opposed to one with protein powder.

Explain to your clients that smoothies are also easier to digest than a cooked meal. Digestion is one of the hardest things our body has to do. It takes time and consumes us. When we are giving our body only liquid, our vitality is at its maximum. When the body does not have to spend this time digesting, it has more energy to regenerate. This energy can often last throughout the day.

What is best for a smoothie?

Do some of your clients get fooled by the powers of marketing, gravitating to those large jugs of whey protein promoting huge muscles? Some of these isolated whey proteins can lead to digestive issues including stomach cramps and acid reflux. This is because fruit should never be combined with a protein (unless plant based). You can explain to your clients that fruit, being a simple sugar, will ferment if it has to wait around for a whey protein to be broken down. Simple sugars are instant energy. There is nothing to break down. They digest well with the energy coming from dark green left vegetables but NOT protein.

1649754The best greens are kale, spinach, chard, and arugula. They have a high fiber content, are rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals. As for frozen fruits, I ask my clients to choose berries as they are high in anti-oxidants and could be a substitute for ice cubes. I always recommend, however, that they must include fresh fruits as well for added nutrients. I like bananas and pears for added texture, or anything in season in their area. Coconut water is a great way to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat and does add a nice flavor to the smoothie.

Add Super Foods

Some super foods that make super additions to smoothies as they are tough to get in your diet are:

  • Maca powder – is a root providing a powerful source of nutrition including over 20 amino acids. It is a testosterone booster for both men and women, has many anti-inflammatory properties, and has a pleasant nutty flavor.
  • Wheat grass – is a powerful cleansing food that helps the body get rid of toxins and heavy metals. It is rich in chlorophyll which is similar to the chemical structure of the hemoglobin of the human blood. You can buy it frozen at health food stores or grow it yourself.
  • Ginger – is a wonderful root that aids in the digestion of protein.


A word about blenders.

Not all are created equal. I think it is important to advise our clients that spending a little more money on a more powerful machine will go a long way. Now only will they benefit by retaining more nutrients with a faster motor, but they will also be able to crush seeds of some fruits that are full of enzymes. Being both catabolic and anabolic, enzymes help with digestion and cellular regeneration and a powerful machine like Vitamix will keep the smoothie longer so that they can be stored anywhere from 24 to 48 hours in the fridge. I have had mine for over 12 years and it has never given me a problem!

Other useful tips to pass on

Here are some other tips that you might want to make your clients aware of:

  • Almond butter is a better choice than peanut butter. It is easier to digest and contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Seeds, especially chia seeds can also cause a problem when combined with fruit. They are a good source of fiber, but actually slow down digestion. This is the opposite of the power of the simple sugar of fruit. Therefore, the combination can add friction and result in bloating. Explain this and suggest that they keep these wonderful seeds to sprinkle on their salad.
  • Mason jars are prefect for storage. You can fill them up to the rim, letting in as little air as possible. To avoid oxidation, have your clients add a little lemon -a great way to get some extra Vitamin C.
  • Tell your clients that drinking slowly is key: we need to treat our smoothies as a though they were a meal. This will ensure better digestion.


  • One scoop of frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup of fresh blackberries or raspberries or strawberries
  • 1 scoop IRON VEGAN plant based sprouted protein, or the Vega brand is also very good
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut water


  • One scoop frozen berries
  • 1/4 pineapple
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder
  • 1 shot wheat grass -( they are usually sold frozen in small shot containers in health food stores)
  • 1/4 cup water

Your clients will really thank you for these extra healthy, time saving tips, so share my findings with them, try them yourself.

Cheers to healthy and happy!

About the Author

Frances MichaelsonFrances Michaelson is president of exercise equipment company Muscle Up Inc., a licensed naturopath and a personal trainer. She is passionate about helping people attain optimal health through proper diet and exercise. A self-described health-o-holic, she motivates others to move well and eat well to keep their bodies’ cells dancing and singing. Based in the West Island of Montreal, Frances is a frequent conference presenter, is author of BYOB: Bring Your Own Band and Replenish, Regenerate and Rebuild Your Cells, blogs for Total Gym exercise equipment, and is a regular contributor to IHRSA’s “Ask an Industry Leader.” With her broad knowledge base and over three decades of experience, she is widely recognized as a leader in the health and fitness field. Frances is committed to helping others make positive lifestyle choices that create stronger bodies, healthier minds and more fulfilling lives.


Get Your Clients Ready for the Beach

Get Your Clients Ready For Beach Body Shape With These Creative & Fun Exercises

It’s that time of the year where as Fitness Professionals, we know that our clients are looking for a little extra motivation to push harder to tone up their bodies as they get ready to hit the Summer season and show off a little more skin. Whether your clients are headed out to the beach on a daily basis, enjoying some time at a nice Jazz Festival, or just taking a family vacation somewhere, you know that the weather will most likely be warmer and that your clients will be sporting shorts, t-shirts, dresses, tank tops, swimsuits, and flip flops every opportunity that they get. So with clients knowing that this “unveiling” is coming up, they tend to want any extra edge that they can to maximize their results these last few weeks right before summer hits.

So what do YOU, as the Fitness Professional, do to help your clients get ahead this time of the year?

Are you looking to maximize fitness equipment that you may or may not already have and creating an “Easy to Follow Step by Step” Training program to pique the interest of your clients?

If so, check out these exercises below that you can include in your training program to help your clients get Beach Body Ready.
Feel free to tweak it around to customize it to you and your clients but either way, enjoy the following exercises and as usual, be creative but be safe!

Training Program

Pull-up On Total Gym GTS

Pull-ups on Total Gym GTS

Total Gym GTS – Pull Ups (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps)

Targets: Shoulders, Back, Triceps

How to: Adjust the height of the incline rack and then lay flat on the stomach. Bring both feet off of the ground and lay your legs on the rack. Decide which grip you would like to use for your pull-ups, then proceed to pulling yourself up quickly and then lowering your body slowly to the starting position.

TRX Push-Ups (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps)

Targets: Arms, chest

How to: Facing away from the anchor with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the handles with an overhand grip and extend arms in front of you at shoulder height. Lean forward so that your body is at a slight diagonal. Bend elbows and lower chest between your hands. You’ll engage your chest and arms as you push yourself back up to the start position.

Lebert Bars – Single Legged Hurdler’s Drill (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps on Each Leg)

Targets: Glute, Calves, Hips, Quads

How to: Stand behind one end of a Lebert Equalizer, balancing and hopping on the left leg. Raise the right leg in the air and “clear” the top of the bar, moving the right foot from the left side to the right side of the bench, going back and forth and still hopping on the left leg. Switch legs on the second round of the circuit.

Core Hammer – Chopping Wood (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps)

Targets: Shoulders, Triceps, Core

How to: Stand straight up with the Core Hammer (with both hands) and proceed to swinging the Core Hammer over the heads towards the ground in a chopping wood motion. However instead of hitting the ground with Core Hammer, to make it more challenging you stop it shoulder height and pull it back over your head and repeat motion.

Medicine Ball Twists

Medicine Ball Twists

Medicine Ball Twists (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps in Each Direction)

Targets: Core, Arms, Shoulders

How to: Stand with the feet hip-width apart, holding a medicine ball in both hands. Extend the arms in front of you at chest height, while keeping the shoulders relaxed. Hold the arms extended as you perform torso rotations, alternating the position of the ball from side to side.

Plyo Box (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps on Each Leg)

Targets: Glute, Calves, Hips, Quads

How to: Stand beside a sturdy weight-room bench with the right foot on the bench and the left foot on the floor. Keeping the right foot stationary, pull yourself up, raising the left knee in the air. Return to the starting position. Switch sides halfway through the allotted time. Switch legs on the second round of the circuit.

Sandbags with a Push-Up (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps on Each Side)

Targets: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders, Core

How to: Get into a push-up position with a sandbag on the floor, just behind the base of your left hand. Perform a push-up. At the top of the push-up, grab the sandbag with the right hand and drag it so it’s sitting just behind your right hand on the floor. Alternate sides.

Dumbbells with Monkey Row

Dumbbells with Monkey Row

Dumbbells with a Monkey Row (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps)

Targets: Legs, Forearms, Arms, Shoulders, Core

How to: Stand with your arms at your sides while holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Perform a squat, keeping the arms low. As you stand up from the squat, lift the arms as high as you can so the hands are beneath the underarms. Raise the elbows, bringing the dumbbells to the sides of the rib cage, with palms facing up.


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.


Understanding Total Gym Progressions

Combining Pikes, Squats, & Tricep Extensions for the perfect routine

Understanding progression of an exercise is an art form. 

It’s a strategy that is developed to allow your client to advance in his or her own movement skills.  This is especially important to understand because each client has different goals and training needs.  The most exciting part about progression for the trainer is that you always have a way to slightly advance the exercise.  This could have the opposite feeling from your client’s perspective because just when you think you have mastered an exercise, another piece is added to the movement to keep your client’s attention and muscles challenged.

Developing a progression strategy for each client is important.  It allows the client to:

  1. Learn and perfect a movement skill with proper form
  2. Develop a sense of accomplishment and confidence
  3. Keep the workouts interesting and the client motivated

A client may want to progress faster than you see their bodies are ready to.  Understanding why one specific exercise is taught before another is a skillful trait.  Certain exercises teach basic skills that develop strength needed to perform more difficult ones.  The more skills that are mastered and the more challenges added to an exercise, means your client will soon have a wide range of exercises they can perform! 

The more strength development from the fundamental level, the stronger your client will become and the more they will progress with advanced exercises.  This is why developing a strong base of strength and learning proper form is so important for your clients initially.

More Strength


More Progressions


More Exercise Choices


More Variety

= More Challenges!

Ways to progress an exercise

Listed below are the primary ways to progress an exercise.  These methods each have their own progressions within themselves, but if you understand how each one affects the other and that slight changes can alter a movement to obtain a skill, then you will be able to effectively execute the appropriate progressions for your clients when they are ready to advance.

  1. Incline adjustment – either increasing or decreasing the incline appropriately
  2. Speed – changing the speed of how the exercise is performed (faster vs slower)
  3. Body Position – altering the body’s position challenges different muscle angles
  4. Sets & Reps/ Exercise Sequences/ Workout Style – How you put these modalities together enhances the challenge of the workout session

Total Gym progression tips

Using the Total Gym is unique when adjusting the incline for increased resistance. Sometimes lowering the resistance/taking away the incline level is a way to progress the exercises.  Typically, a higher incline is more challenging for extremity work, and a lower incline is more challenging for core work.  For example, performing push-ups on the glideboard with a high incline is less challenging than when the incline is lower.  The higher the incline, the more assistance the Total Gym is giving the client to successfully perform the exercise. 

When strength is developed and the form begins to look perfect for each rep, then you can progress by adjusting the incline or changing the body position in someway to work a different angle.  Analysis of each exercise needs to be done in order to progress your client appropriately during their workouts.

The beauty of these exercises

Let’s discuss 3 excellent exercises you can progress during a workout by adding a variation of the same exercise for an increased challenge.  Pikes, Squats, and Triceps are a great combination of exercises to work the entire body while focusing on a specific area.

Try the following exercise progressions with your client according to their strength level. 


  • Kneeling
  • Legs Extended
  • Single Leg


  • Regular
  • Different angles
  • Plyometric Jump Squats

Tricep Extensions – straight arms

  • Seated
  • Kneeling
  • Static equilibrium

Watch the video for a few examples of how to simply progress a basic exercise.  You can always add in more challenges if these are not enough.

As a personal trainer, it is important to be knowledgeable on how to safely and effectively progress your client through a series of exercises when they are ready to advance.  Understanding the modifications, variation and specifics to each exercise will help you intelligently layer an exercise for proper progression.  The most basic exercises can be some of the most challenging! 

About the Author

Maria Sollon ScallyMaria 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.



Around the World – Total Gym in Singapore

Total Gym in Asia – 30 Years in the Making

Aaron Goh

Aaron Goh

“Understanding the needs of our end-user is our most important key principle,” said Aaron Goh, Business Development Manager of Active Lifestyle in Singapore, with a smile.  And this belief has brought him great success.

“Another is that we endeavor to provide excellent service that goes beyond point of sales”, he continued.  “These are some of the values that my father believed in and started the business with over 30 years ago, and we are proud to maintain these core values here at Active Lifestyle today”.

If you want to open a gym or health club in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam, Active Lifestyle will not only find the right equipment for you, they will design the gym blueprint and fit your facility with everything you need from top to bottom including the gym floor!

Just Like "Iron Man" v1.0

Just Like “Iron Man” v1.0

Goh’s father Arthur, started Reflex-O back in 1985 in Singapore, as a small outfit manufacturing fitness equipment.  Looking back, Goh says their first piece of equipment [pictured right] looks just like something Iron Man might have fashioned a helmet out of.  He may be right.

An early breakthrough at Reflex-O was the opportunity to construct over a hundred customized strength-training units for the military. It was this breakthrough that prepared the way for their business today and it is from that order that they learned the importance of understanding the needs of their clients.

Reflex O - the early days

Reflex-O : the early days

Total Gym and Active Lifestyle aligned at the end of 2015.  A key philosophy that both companies hold is, “it’s all about form”.  Good form and proper alignment is a way of life for Total Gym and a basic principle in adjustable bodyweight training.   And so the perfect partnership ensued. “We got to know Total Gym through our regular visits to the IHRSA shows – it was only later when we were looking for something simple and user-friendly that small countries/cities like Singapore and Hong Kong, can take advantage of, as small floor space is premium, that the Elevate Circuit caught our attention”, Goh told us.  “All of Total Gym’s solutions fit in very well for clubs and studios in such land-scarce areas.”

Reflex-O today

Reflex-O / Active Lifestyle today

In order to be able to support their customers with a full array of equipment, Active Lifestyle carries a number of different brands that are best in their field.  “Total Gym has been the only brand that finds itself in a category of its own.  It suits our ideology of a best-in-class product for facilities that are looking for an innovative pitch to differentiate themselves in functional training.” Goh explained.

“I believe lots of R&D and bio-mechanics were involved in designing each of the Total Gym machines and each has been responsibly considered – even though users may not realize the details and the rigorous considerations behind each design. And that to me is a great design! You do not have to bore people with the technical details; the results speak for themselves”, he continued.

Total Gym Elevate Circuit - Singapore

Total Gym Elevate Circuit – Singapore

We asked Aaron how he found his passion for fitness.  He told us that in his younger days he conducted isometric training for pilots in the air force to help tackle G-force.   His service in the Army helped broaden his understanding and perspective for fitness. Appreciating the science behind a workout made training others a greater responsibility. “You have to know what you are teaching, training and achieving for others and it was indeed an episode of my life that led me to the path I now follow”.

Active Lifestyle is just what its name says – they inspire active lifestyles and are setting trends in the Asian fitness market.  With additional products such as Startrac and Freemotion they are one of the top fitness equipment distributors in Singapore and surrounding countries.


Aaron and his team

The Vision 2030 committee of the Singapore government began to encourage its people towards a national movement for sports by launching ActiveSG, where each member would be given SG$100 to sign up for free in any sports program regardless of fitness age or ability.   30,000 people activated their membership on the first day.  With this in mind, Active Lifestyle continues to be at the forefront of the fitness market and Goh’s life experiences have led him to achieve more than he had ever dreamed of.


5 Tips To Be The Best Personal Trainer

How Do I Know If I Am A Good Personal Trainer?

I owned a personal training studio from 2001 to 2013. My biggest challenge was finding personal trainers who had the combination of knowledge, personality, passion, and great people skills. I either interviewed several trainers who had extensive certifications but absolutely no personality or the opposite. This hiring process of finding the right trainers for my clients was the most challenging part of running my business.

6957390386eddc7e68faa12c9a824466Year after year it seemed to get tougher and tougher. I found that unlike the old days (before You Tube or other educational sites) eager trainers were always ready to spend a few bucks to keep up their certifications and stay current with the latest trends and research. With more and more FREE web material available, getting personal trainers to part with a buck seemed to become more and more challenging. Even worse was the fact that cheap online certifications were popping up everywhere, which did not really translate into high quality education leading to smart, professional trainers.

I had a situation once which is worth noting here. I hired an athletic therapist, who had an extensive background in anatomy and corrective conditioning, but not really any experience  in actually personally training clients. I decided to take a chance and hire him, thinking he would be just fine.

One day I happened to be training a client in the room beside him, only to notice his client walking around. When I asked her where the trainer was she replied “on his cell phone”.  That terminated his employment. When I asked the client if this happened all the time, she said that it did and was not planning to renew her plan with us. Here was a situation that was going on behind my back of course and the client did not bother to speak to me.

A good personal trapersonal-trainersiner is obviously one that is attentive, is fun to be with, takes interest in his or her clients, and is highly educated.  Calling oneself a personal trainer is serious. You are taking an individual’s body into your hands. If a client has some issues that you do not have the expertise for, be smart and own up to that. You cannot be everything to everyone. We all have our individual strengths and weaknesses and this is what makes us all unique. There is nothing worse than seeing a trainer take on the role of a nutritionist or osteopath. Do not overstep boundaries. Refer out when there is an area that is foreign to you.

Here are my Top Five Tips to as to what makes a “terrific and in-demand Personal Trainer”.

  1. Be fair … Do not charge your clients over the top prices. Try to stay competitive and fair with cancellation policy. Although I feel it is important to have a cancellation policy, I would give your consistent clients at least one chance in a last minute cancellation.
  1. Be fit …Take the time to get your own workout in. Look the part. If you are not going to stay fit and healthy, why would anyone be attracted to train with YOU?
  1. Be on time … there is nothing worse for your clients if they show up to train, and you are not ready. This is discouraging and can cause the client to lose motivation. You should be ready, waiting and  happy to see them. Always ask how they are doing and feeling before starting the program.
  1. Be current and continue to evolve … there is no such thing as a one size fits all program. It is endless how much we can do with a client. I had someone contact me a few weeks ago who said that she had a trainer coming to her home for a year and was not seeing any weight loss results. When I asked to see the program, I could not believe my eyes. She did the same workout every visit and even worse, he had her on an elliptical for half the session while he just stood there talking to her! I did not think this situation even happened any more. We are there to push and motivate and offer an experience that people cannot do their own.
  1. Be available … it is important to build and keep a rapport going. This holds true even when you are NOT with your client. Imagine how great they will feel getting a text message that checks in with them. What about an email sending off a quick motivational quote? When a client sees that you are thinking about them other times, it is extremely rewarding.

Providing a 1consistent, challenging, fun experience is very important to keep a relationship strong and continue to grow. A client must be able to see results and feel better.  The impression and promises you deliver on day one should be carried through.

Education is a given, but the experience is everything!


About the Author

Frances MichaelsonFrances Michaelson is president of exercise equipment company Muscle Up Inc., a licensed naturopath and a personal trainer. She is passionate about helping people attain optimal health through proper diet and exercise. A self-described health-o-holic, she motivates others to move well and eat well to keep their bodies’ cells dancing and singing. Based in the West Island of Montreal, Frances is a frequent conference presenter, is author of BYOB: Bring Your Own Band and Replenish, Regenerate and Rebuild Your Cells, blogs for Total Gym exercise equipment, and is a regular contributor to IHRSA’s “Ask an Industry Leader.” With her broad knowledge base and over three decades of experience, she is widely recognized as a leader in the health and fitness field. Frances is committed to helping others make positive lifestyle choices that create stronger bodies, healthier minds and more fulfilling lives.

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