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Aug
8

7 Ways Members Benefit From Circuit Training

ELEVATE Circuit

ELEVATE Circuit Training – Get Results That Retain Members

Weight loss is one of the primary reasons why most consumers look to join a health club and start an exercise program. Yes, traditional aerobic conditioning like running on a treadmill, sweating buckets in an indoor cycling class, or the popular high intensity strength training workouts, can help burn calories for weight loss, but the simple fact is, that many people don’t enjoy them.  They can be intimidated by the loud music and fast-pace of indoor cycling or could get injured by doing exercises too challenging for their skill level.

If you’re looking for ways to boost member engagement and retention, here’s a little secret.  It doesn’t matter how good the exercise is for helping an individual reach his or her fitness goals, if a member or client doesn’t enjoy it, then they’re not going to do it.  So now what do you do?

Make Exercising Enjoyable

One of the best ways to improve retention is by creating happy customers, which means featuring exercise options they WANT to do because they’re both fun and relevant to their goals.

Fortunately, there is a mode of exercise that can be both fun AND effective for weight loss: bodyweight circuit training; specifically circuit training featuring bodyweight exercises.

In general, circuit training involves a series of resistance-training exercises for different movements or body parts with little-to-no rest between each exercise. The traditional selectorized resistance-training machines, normally used for circuit training are effective but also expensive, not easy to move around or reconfigure and can be intimidating for some members.

A good strength training circuit should not only be time-efficient and easy to follow, but should be easy to adjust and re-organize to create different workouts from week-to-week or month-to-month.

Make It Easy To Follow

Lack of time and not knowing what type of exercise they should be doing are two of the most frequently cited reasons for why club members or personal training clients have a hard time following a workout program. As health and fitness professionals, it’s our job to help our clients overcome these roadblocks.

Strength training circuits should transition between exercises for upper and lower-body muscles or alternating movement patterns like from push-ups to pull-ups to help members do workouts that are both time efficient and effective.

Circuit training on the ELEVATE Circuit can provide the following 7 benefits:

Burn More Calories

The body burns 5 calories of energy to use 1 liter of oxygen. Circuit training can use most of the muscles in the body, which significantly increases oxygen consumption when compared to a mode of cardio exercise relying primarily on the lower body. Any mode of exercise that increases oxygen demand also increases energy expenditure, making it an effective strategy for weight loss.

Alternating between upper body, lower body and core muscles, while circuit training on ELEVATE can help increase oxygen consumption in the body, resulting in the ability to burn a lot of calories in a relatively short amount of time.

Total Gym Elevate CircuitWork Smarter Not Harder

Bodyweight circuit training can be considered both moderate intensity cardio-respiratory AND strength training exercise both of which are important for fat loss. Too much high intensity exercise (where breathing is much faster than normal, and saying more than a couple of words at a time can be difficult) for more than 50 to 60 minutes at a time could actually lead to burning muscle instead of fat.

At a higher intensity of exercise, the body will use primarily carbohydrate for fuel. Once this carbohydrate is depleted, the body uses the hormone cortisol to convert protein to fuel in a process called gluconeogenesis. When this happens, less protein is available to repair muscle tissue damaged during the exercise.

Fast Track Strength Training

Bodyweight strength-training circuits can actually increase lean muscle mass throughout the entire body while most modes of cardio training involve primarily leg muscles. Doing bodyweight exercises to a point of momentary fatigue can stimulate the type II, fast twitch muscle fibers responsible for improving strength and size. Increasing activation of the type II fibers can result in larger, more defined muscles throughout the entire body.

Increase Metabolism

Higher levels of lean muscle mass equate to a higher resting metabolism, which means the body will burn more calories while at rest. At rest, 1 pound of muscle can burn up to 7 calories of energy during a 24-hour period. Adding 5 to 7 pounds of lean muscle mass can increase resting metabolism up to 50 calories a day or 350 calories over the course of a week. Given that the body uses approximately 100 calories to walk a mile, this can be considered the equivalent of taking a 3.5-mile walk.

Using ELEVATE can help add lean muscle mass to your body. As you increase the amount of muscle tissue your metabolism will become much more efficient at burning calories meaning that you can increase caloric expenditure even when you are NOT exercising.

Combine Strength Training With Cardio

Row Trainer small group class

Row small group class

To increase energy expenditure for weight loss, combining circuit training with cardio exercise can be extremely effective. For example, after completing a circuit of resistance-training exercises, hop on an ELEVATE Row for 3 to 7 minutes of steady-state, moderate-intensity exercise. The cardio exercise should focus on the aerobic energy system, so your breathing should be quicker than normal, but you shouldn’t be out of breath.

Non-Intimidating

Weight rooms can be intimidating, which can keep members from doing beneficial strength training exercises. A bodyweight circuit that is set up away from the free-weight area can provide a non-intimidating environment for club members to obtain the many benefits of strength training, while also establishing the base level of strength required to progress to more challenging forms of resistance training.

Trainer-Led Sessions Create Rapport and Encourage Members

Scheduling a trainer to assist members during busy times can provide a higher level of service to members who are attempting to use the circuit. A trainer can push members to work a little harder on the circuit, which can be an important component for achieving results. In addition, coaching club members through an established machine circuit provides a way for trainers to meet a number of members during each shift. As the trainers help the members, they can learn names and establish rapport, both of which are essential for long-term success.

In this era of demanding, high-intensity group fitness classes and technically complex free-weight training programs, the idea of returning to circuit training, which was popular in the early ‘80s, may seem like a return to the dark ages. The accompanying video can help you understand how the Elevate Line can be organized to create an effective strength training circuit that can help your members reach their goals from weight-loss to enhanced muscle definition. One of the best features of the Elevate Line is that all pieces are easy to move around meaning you can create different circuits to meet the needs of different populations of members or clients you serve.

For more information on the ELEVATE Circuit – call 858 764 0078 or visit totalgym.com

About the Author

Pete McCallPete McCall is an educator, performance coach, personal trainer, author, consultant and host of the All About Fitness podcast. Based in San Diego, CA, Pete holds a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion, completed a Fellowship in Applied Functional Science with the Gray Institute, is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Currently Pete is an adjunct faculty in exercise science at Mesa College, a master trainer for Core Health and Fitness, a blogger and content contributor for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and online instructor for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

Consulting with organizations like the World Bank, Reebok, 24-Hour Fitness, Core Health & Fitness, the Institute of Motion and Fit Pro, Pete has experience identifying needs and delivering solutions. Frequently quoted as a fitness expert in publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, U-T San Diego, SELF, Glamour, and Shape Magazine and featured as a fitness expert for TV news outlets including WRC-NBC (DC), Fox News, Fox 5 San Diego, and NBC7 San Diego, Pete is a sought-after media resource for accurate, in-depth insight on how to get results from exercise. www.petemccallfitness.com

Jul
31

Online CECs – Keeping Education Updated

Personal Trainers: Stay Up-to-Date With Online CECs

When it’s time to renew your personal training and/or group fitness certification, I think we can all admit that it could be somewhat simpler.  But that just isn’t the case, and unless you have a lot of time to spend on sifting through all the ins and outs, the re-certification process can be time consuming and confusing. So let’s break it down and try to simplify.

Online “continuing education units” (CEU) can be obtained through several bodies, such as the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA).

One CEU is ten hours of participation in an education program.

Several years ago, we had to attend conferences and classes to as well to accomplish the same goal.  I still believe that is a great way to keep up with industry innovations and news, however online CEUs are becoming the norm now, for maintaining certifications.  Pretty much all the major certifying agencies have online CEU courses, so you really don’t have to leave the comfort of your laptop to stay current.

How Much Does it Cost?

Based on a summary review of available course sites shown below, the price for one CEU ranges from $150 to $250. NASM and ACE require 2.0 CEUs every two years, which will set you back between $300 and $500.

NASM claims to have a re-certification for life option, but you still have to pay for the 2.0 CEUs every two years, as well as your CPR certificate which is around $12-17.

NASM does waive the application fee for life and provides some discounts for courses.

                            All CEU Requirements Are Not Equal

CEU requirements and values are not the same.

NASM’s 2.0 CEUs or 20 hour requirement is more than AFAA’s 15 hours of education or 1.5 CEUs.

Consequently, a course that offers .10 CEU’s for NASM will offer 1 CEU for AFAA.

It’s confusing in that 15 of these courses will satisfy the AFAA requirement, while 20 will satisfy the NASM requirement. So, you have to calculate how many CEUs you’re really getting for the intended re-certification and that can often be tricky.

Check That Your CEU is Accepted

Be sure that the online CEU you purchase is accepted by your agency. According to their website, NASM does not accept CEUs from Continuing Education although they can be petitioned, which involves a fee.

Even if your agency accepts a course from any of the below sites, they may not accept all the course offerings.  So be very careful when reviewing which courses will count for your agency’s re-certification and how many credits it offers.

Some agencies also place more value on specific courses than others.

Sites Offering Online CEU Courses

Continuing Education ACE, ACSM, NSCA

ACE Fitness ACE, ACSM, NASM, NSCA, NFPT

Health & Fitness Continuing Education  ACSM, NSCA, NASM, ISSA, AFAA

IDEA Health and Fitness Association All

NESTA NESTA, NASM, NSCA

NASM  NASM

Fitness Mentors  NASM, NESTA, ISSA, AFAA, NCCPT, ACE. NSCA, ACSM

In addition to online courses, Exercise ETC., Inc. offers webinars for CEU credit and is accepted by almost all agencies.

So there you have it, a brief synopsis to help you continue with your education.  It’s time to open the pocketbook to stay current, but your clients will thank you in the end!

About the Author

Benita PerkinsBenita Perkins is a widely acclaimed health and wellness branding expert focusing on the fitness needs of women and the special demands they must overcome to step into a lifetime of healthy living through fun, interactive lifestyle events. Her company, Bennie Girl Health & Wellness Branding & Events, works with businesses and organizations to associate their brands and products with a healthy lifestyle, by identifying opportune events to participate in and activities that will best define and communicate the organization’s mission.

Jul
24

Why Your Clients May Not Be Shifting Weight

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What To Do When Some Clients Just Don’t Lose the Weight.

Are you clients stuck?  Has a client ever told you that no matter what he or she does, they are just not losing weight? They are on the same dietary suggestions that your other client is on. You train them the same way, yet they just don’t seem to be shifting enough.  Besides struggling with fat loss, some even lack energy and complain of not feeling up to par.  You are puzzled and frustrated as a trainer, because you see how hard they work. You do feel that they are eating well and are being honest, yet you see for yourself that the weight is just not budging, nor is there any shift in body composition.

I get it because I have been there too. Before studying naturopathy, I used to shake my head in amazement, thinking for sure that my struggling clients were not being true to themselves and were just simply closet eaters.  I now know better and would like to share this knowledge with you.

First a personal story. Years ago, when I was competing in natural (drug tested) body building competitions, I seemed to struggle more than a few of my colleagues with losing those last few pounds (especially around the belly). I was following the typical body building diet–high amounts of lean protein, no fruit or refined sugars, some low glycemic vegetables, some carbs and good fats.  The point that I want to emphasize with this type of “diet”, is that I was eating small meals throughout the day. I must say that I looked pretty good, but I did not feel great most of the time. I was constipated for the first time in my life. This period of up and down stomach issues, combined with losing my mother quite suddenly, led me to search out a naturopath for personal growth and awareness. I was so enlightened with what I learned about our miraculous bodies, that I decided to go back to school and become a naturopathy practitioner.

2022180Contrary to the popular belief that we are what we eat … we are NOT. We are what we DIGEST and actually, we can even take it another step and say that we are what we eat … eats.

Digestion is the process used to convert protein into amino acids, carbohydrates into glucose, and fats into fatty acids. Cells are microscopic, so they can’t absorb big structures – they can only absorb the elements found within these converted structures. It is not until protein, carbohydrates and fats are broken down that vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are released into the blood stream.

Understanding Digestion

For the sake of this blog, I am going to only focus on protein digestion … why? Because everyone is overly concerned about protein and too many trainers emphasize protein with their clients when in reality, most people have a hard time digesting protein and here is why.

The breakdown of protein into amino acids takes place in the stomach. The stomach has two functions to perform once the food arrives. First, it acts like a blender. The powerful muscles of the stomach squeeze and release the food into what we call “chyme”.  Think of it as an internal smoothie. This action takes place only in the stomach, so if you see undigested food in your stool, it indicates the stomach walls are weak. Although some foods, such as corn, do not break down, beware if you see broccoli, mushroom, or potato pieces in the toilet.

2022193The second function of the stomach is to produce hydrochloric acid (HCL), peptides and intrinsic factors. For a protein to break down, the stomach cells need to produce HCL and this is where many people suffer. Many people do not produce a good quality HCL making protein digestion difficult.

When the food enters the stomach, the body has already started to produce gastrin (a hormone that stimulates production of HCL). As the gastrin begins to move into the bloodstream, it signals the release of HCL and the other gastric juices needed, to convert protein into amino acids.

The chyme then leaves the stomach and enters into the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum. This is another important stage of digestion as these acids coming from the stomach need to be alkalized before further digestion can take place.

The liver, gallbladder and pancreas, all have digestive secretions needed to make the chyme alkaline. The liver makes bile (an alkaline mineral needed to alkalize the chyme) and stores it in the gallbladder. The longer the bile remains in the gallbladder, the more concentrated it becomes. Most livers never have a chance to concentrate their bile because people eat far too much acidic (cooked) food. And when we eat every three to four hours, the liver does not have time to process what it has already received. This is toxic for the liver. Added to this, I want to say that for the liver to make a “good quality bile”, it requires minerals such as sulphur, sodium and chloride, yet most diets are deficient in these minerals.

If a diet is deficient in minerals, we experience digestive problems.

Digestion should take place with ease. As a naturopath, we do not see this happening in most people today. Instead, we see gas, bloating, constipation, bowel issues, intolerances, etc. There is much more I can add to the path of digestion. It is a huge process, but for the sake of this blog, I want to focus on a few points that could be hampering your clients from progressing and seeing results in their programs.

When digestion, the first pillar of health, is weak, absorption is compromised and cells become hypo active. This means they do not have enough nutrients to do their work.  If the thyroid gland doesn’t have enough nutrients, then it cannot do it’s job properly.  The job of the thyroid gland is to create a hormone called thyroxin which regulates body temperature which is the rate of which the body burns calories.  Some people call this metabolism and say that their slow metabolism is to blame when in reality, it’s the poor digestion and lack of nutrients.   All of these compounding issues will lead to none-weight loss.

Now You Know, What Do You Do?

As a trainer, the first thing you can do if you see a client stuck in their progress is ask a few questions about how they feel after eating.  They might not be thinking about it. Often, I see clients who are so used to the way they feel, they don’t realize it is not right.

Here are some sample questions you may ask:

  • Do you feel like your food is just sitting in your belly?
  • Do you ever feel bloated?1957620
  • Do you ever feel tired?
  • Are you burping?
  • How is your elimination?
  • Do you see undigested food?
  • Are your stools too loose, too hard?

These are all signs that digestion is weak.

Referring your clients out to a licensed naturopath can be the best way for you to get your clients out of their rut if they are stuck!

To find out more, check out France Michaelson’s soon-to-be-released book.  Let’s Practice Health. Learn Why Your Gut is the CEO of Your Health.

About the Author

Frances Michaelson, N.D.Based in the West Island of Montreal, Frances Michaelson, N.D. is author of several publications including her upcoming book, Let’s Practice Health: Learn Why Your Gut Is the CEO of Your Health.

With over three decades of experience and a broad knowledge base, Frances is widely recognized as a leader in the health and fitness field. She is the former owner of Muscleup Inc., an exercise product distribution company, which she founded and operated for over 20 years. Frances is a licensed naturopath in Quebec and has been a personal trainer for the past 17 years. She is also an avid health and fitness blogger and a frequent conference presenter.  She can be found on her website www.livethewow.ca

Live the Wow

Jul
17

Total Gym Strength Training for the Over 40s

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Understanding Your Demographic – Teaching Total Gym Strength Training to Your 40+ Clients

We all know that as we age our body changes, and the need for strength training and overall fitness becomes ever more important for a higher quality of life and long term durability.  But as a fitness professional, we do not always understand this concept to most effectively service our over 40 clients.

5 components of wellness for the 40+ age group

A comprehensive program for overall wellness in our 40+ clients should include:

  • Strength training
  • Cardiovascular training
  • Mobility (increasing range of motion)
  • Nutrition
  • Supplementation

As a 40+ person myself, I can speak from personal experience that ALL those areas are important, not just one or two.  Here’s why:

The body drops muscle mass at a rate of 1% per year after the age of 40, so the need to create and implement an overall strength training program is vital to support the kinetic chain and maintain muscle on a person’s frame.

Why Strength Training Works

To feel strong physically transfers over into all parts of life.  Endorphins released after training can boost self esteem, self confidence and an overall feeling of well being. Performing daily tasks becomes easier and doesn’t require as much energy compared to someone who does not strength train.

Best Total Gym Strength Training Exercises

I will focus on 7 primary movements as a foundation for the strength program on a Total Gym machine. They include plank, hinge,  pull, push, rotate, squat and lunge.  Plank and hinge are not specific exercises, but rather are the foundation for the major strength movements for the program. Plank – this is the foundation for all movements.   Hinge – the ability to flex and extend at the spine is vital to safe and efficient movement and also to avoid injury.

Reps and sets – all exercises- 3 sets with a reverse pyramid design of 5/6/8 reps.  Drop 10% of the weight for consecutive sets.

See video for demonstration.

squat

Squat

Squat – The position offers partial weight bearing closed chain exercises as well as dynamic cable exercises for both upper and lower body muscle groups.  The incline plane provides optimal intensity levels to develop power in the lower extremities with closed kinetic chain plyo-metric exercises.

Upright Prone - Pull Up A

Pull-Up

Pull Up – The LAT bars are used to provide partial weight bearing exercises for the back, shoulders and arms.  This allows any client to perform a pull up exercises.  The lower intensity is also ideal for developing power in the upper body by incorporating plyo-metric exercise variations.

Chest Press

Chest Press

Chest Press – This position provides training and conditioning of the anterior shoulders, chest and arms.  Trunk stabilization is integrated into the exercises, as the upper body is upright and unsupported.

Inverted Shoulder Press

Inverted Shoulder Press

Inverted Shoulder Press – This position provides training and conditioning for the shoulders, arms and trunk.  With the inverted body position, the degree of incline will inversely affect the strength and stability components of the plank and push up exercises.  A lower incline emphasizes proximal stability whereas a higher incline emphasizes upper body strength.

Seated Lateral - Toroso Rotation A

Shoulder Rotation

Seated Lateral Shoulder (Cable) Rotation – This position provides training and conditioning of the truck, shoulders, chest and arms.  The line of pull provides a transverse plane resistance with a constant challenge to lateral trunk stability.

Lunge

Lunge

Lunges with external weight (med ball, dumbbells, kettle bells). – This position provides functional stability and balance challenges to the entire body while strengthening and conditioning the lower body.

Knowing your clients’ needs and wants is vital to helping people achieve their fitness goals.  Staying true to the initial intent and purpose of a workout program will sustain a client/trainer relationship and provide results for the client.

With the 40+ age group, keeping that perspective in mind is the best way to being an effective and trustworthy fitness professional.

About the Author

Neil MallisonNeil Mallinson is a Master GRAVITY Instructor, Master TRX Instructor and holds numerous certifications through NSCA and NASM, and has presented domestically and internationally for decades.

He studied Kinesiology and Sports Medicine at the University of Maryland College Park and specializes in sports performance training with a focus on mobility and recovery.  The ability to change a person’s life through fitness education and living a healthy lifestyle are what keeps Neil passionate.

Jul
11

How to Project Your Voice in Group X Class

Woman gesturing and shouting

Protect Your Vocal Chords, Project Your Voice

Music with rockin’ beats draws energy to fitness classes.  It’s a form of instant motivation when you hear the tunes as the instructor belts out commands that move to the beat.  It’s like performing a ‘movement concert’ in a room filled with an audience that follows your every lead.

As an instructor, there’s an energy you get from your students that inspires you to vocally command the room while dishing out a great workout.  This is a wonderful attribute we possess, but sharing our skills with good cuing over the loud beats is a recipe for vocal chord damage that could occur over time.

Voice Health

Instructors, you should understand the importance of projecting your voice during your classes. A projected voice, especially for high-energy classes such as boot camps, spinning and kickboxing, will bring out your passion and confidence, and will get your class fully engaged.

The vocal cords should function like a synchronized beat, just like the music.  When they become strained, the cords strike at uneven times creating a vocal health hazard.  This can be quite painful.  The voice can become raspy or it could develop into no voice at all.   Seriously, this is not a fun experience.  Especially if you like to talk.

It’s absolutely critical for you to know that projecting your voice the right way is not to shout louder.  Incorrectly shouting while you teach can eventually strain and can ultimately damage your vocal cords.  To protect your voice health, you must learn the correct use of your diaphragm to project your voice effectively.

The diaphragm is an umbrella shaped muscle, which lurks at the bottom of your stomach above your belly button. The strength of the speaking voice is marked by the amount of air that can be steered by the diaphragm through the lungs to the vocal cords.

Tips for Vocal and Class Communication

Learning about vocal cord damage from someone who has experienced it creates the awareness of its hazards.   Speaking is something we just do, right?  Unless you are a trained singer or speaker, no one really teaches you how to properly use or project your sweet vocals.  We just carry on doing what we do best; teach skillful movements, cue the class, and give our students a great workout.

Here are a few tips and suggestions I believe have helped me along the way, especially since I have experienced this dreadful and serious condition.

CaptureCREATE LABELED SIGNS

If you teach a high intensity boot camp or interval circuit style class, I suggest taking the time to make labeled signs of the exercises performed in the workout.  This is not only helpful for you to quickly explain the exercises once for the workout, but it’s also helpful for your students to remember what you instructed them to do when they cycle through the stations.

Chances are, when you initially explained the workout, they probably didn’t hear you or weren’t paying attention to what you said.  So, stations with labeled signs will help you instruct the workout and keep it flowing while providing personal attention without having to scream to the whole class.

PROJECT YOUR VOICE

Learn to speak efficiently and effectively by projecting your voice across the room.  Sounds travel and can be lost as your position in the class changes.  Therefore, be sure to speak to the students, not to the walls.

VOICE TONE

Have you ever taken a class where the instructor uses their voice as if they are telling a story?  The deflection of how the words are spoken can be inspiring to the student.  This is an important skill that comes with practice.  Calmer classes such as yoga, Pilates, Barre or stretching workouts work best with this type of voice tones.

MicMIC IT UP

Teaching with a reliable microphone is a game changer for you and your classes.  It’s the perfect solution to be easily heard without having to scream over loud music.  It allows you to float around the room cuing and correcting without disrupting the classes flow.  Not only is it better for your students to hear you, but it’s also better for your vocal health.

Personal Story:

I used to teach outdoor water aerobics to a group of women.  They would chitchat, bounce around, and be more into their social discussions than into the exercises. It was tough for me to project my soft voice over 24 chatty women out in the open.

Over time, I developed vocal chord nodules that became quite painful.  I had the option to get surgery and heal for 4 months or to completely rest my voice and not speak for 4 months.  I chose to not speak and go to vocal therapy after.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do and yes, I had to take a break from teaching.

I am sharing this story with you because this is very common with instructors.  They tend to ignore the issue or fight through it without stepping back to realize their body is breaking down and needs rest.

There are many different types of microphones on the market now that are wireless and portable.  I highly suggest investing in your own so that you are always prepared and your health is prioritized.   I also suggest carrying your own batteries in case the microphone quits mid class.

VOICE CHANGER

Woman shouting into a megaphoneHave you ever taken a class where the instructor’s tone of voice went through different vocal points throughout the workout?  For example, the class starts with a strong burst of happy energy, then as the class picked up, the vocals got louder and that sweet happy voice turned into a screaming drill sergeant dictating your every move?  Then, as the class concluded, the voice turned into an extra sweet, soft whisper that was calmer to the personality of the instructor?

This does occur and if you are one of these instructors who tries to give different energy throughout the class, be aware of how you sound to your students.  There is a way to fluctuate your voice in different tones without changing it drastically to reflect a certain enthusiasm of the class without sounding like a multi-personality nut.  (I mean this kindly).

Personal Story:  I love to take other peoples classes. It allows me to move with purpose without having to think of what to do. But it can be frustrating to take a class that wastes my time and I end up feeling like I need to do more.

One class in particular I enjoy taking is Barre.  The class, music, and instruction is always good, but I have to say there are some instructors that do this ‘multi-personality’ voice tone thing and I know they don’t even realize they do it.  If you can relate, just be mindful that it is a real ‘thing’ that occurs.  Perhaps only instructors pick up on this, but I bet our students do too!

To enlighten myself, and possibly you too, I have categorized these personalities that occur during some classes.  Take note, be aware, and have a little laugh…

The Whisperer: calms his/her voice to an unrecognizable tone so that you almost cannot hear them. It’s a completely different voice and tone than the actual workout.

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The Screamer: yells out commands at a super high pitch and demands certain movements. If a microphone is used as well, this can be very disruptive to the workout rather than motivating.

The Drill-sergeant: bossy, direct and on a mission to make you work and work hard. The participant is almost scared – if they don’t do their best they will be sentenced to 20 push-ups.

The Singer: the instructor seems to be having their own dance party on the microphone by singing the song and trying to instruct. Let the music be sung by the artist and use the beat to create your movement art.

The Rapper: this instructor cues to the beat of the music as if they are rapping the instructions. If you have experienced this, you know what I’m sayin’…1700684

The Counter: counting down is a great form of motivation and can help transition into the next exercise. But when the majority of the class is spent counting, it can be daunting and boring, plus the tone of voice can get drawn out.  Finding the right balance of instructing and counting comes with practice and teaching experience.

I find that the most effective instructors are those who communicate by using deliberate words that the class can hear, understand and be motivated to follow.  The more you talk the less the class will listen, so choose your words wisely, deliver important points and stick with those points throughout the class. It is amazing to see how well a class responds when it synchronizes with your clear message.  The way you speak during your classes will allow your students to be engaged with your every word.

Cranking up the music to get the energy going definitely motivates and provides a great class experience. But if no one can hear what you’re saying and your own health becomes jeopardized, how effective is it?   Hopefully these tips will help you safely and effectively execute a great class in different settings but by protecting your health first so you can teach for years to come.

Cheers to strong vocal health!

Maria

About the Author

MARIA HEADSHOTMaria 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.

http://www.groovysweat.com

http://www.groovysweatstore.com (purchasable workout videos)

http://www.youtube.com/groovysweat (workout clips)

Jul
5

Fitness Pros: Learn Summer Retention Strategies

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Keep Your Clients Coming Back Through Summer

If you are like most fitness professionals, you got into this industry because you love fitness, you love people and you love helping people get fit.

However, one of things that often gets overlooked when you’re actively training clients is the amount of business acumen that is required to, not only prolong your career, but keep you on the go through all the seasons.   In order to do that, you consistently need new clients while retaining the others.

Where did all the crowds go?

Where did all the crowds go?

When you look at the cycle of client acquisition, you might have noticed that you will have surges when clients seek your expertise.   For example, January through May is usually busy and then again in September through November. When you really think about it, this makes sense.

There is the New Years’ resolutions crowd in the first quarter who need help with all of their health and fitness goals for that year.

Once that crowd slows down, there’s another surge mid-April: the beach-body crowd.

And then there’s the crowd that need to be physically ready for their summer vacations, that may include healthy activities such as hiking, surfing and walking.

When summer is over, people begin to settle back into a regular routine with back-to-school. They re-prioritize the fitness goals they had at the beginning of the year and in comes another crowd hoping to go make it through to the Holidays.

If you have been in the fitness industry for a while, then you know that clients become less engaged in the summer. They are in and out of town,  or they are busy because they are out and about and they would rather be participating in outdoor activities then stuck inside with you.

So, what do you, as a fitness professional do, to keep the interest of your member, while also maintaining a steady income flow? I’ll tell what you should do.

Be proactive and creative.  Don’t wait to see what happens. Make your own changes and build your own systems to keep your regular clients committed, the phone ringing with potential new clients AND your bank account happy!

3 Easy Ways to Create a Summer Buzz

Create a Fitness Contest:

Most people really love some sort of competition, whether that be with themselves or with others. Oftentimes, competition can bring out the best in people so this is a good place to start when trying to select a contest for your club.

Evaluate your clientele to see what demographic mainly exists in your club.  Then begin to customize a program that you think will benefit them the most. Evaluation is extremely important.  For example, you wouldn’t want to create a bodybuilding contest for your club when 83% or your clientele are stay-at-home moms.

Once, you have decided the best program, run it from anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks.   Primarily market it within your current membership base and encourage (and/or perhaps even incentivize) them to refer their family and friends to get involved with your facility.

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Weekly Hiking!

Organize a Free Weekly Hiking Group:

This is always a great, non-intimidating way to create buzz and engagement with your members through summer. You can charge your members for participating in this group, if you like, but since most of them will probably already be summer-hiking anyway, it might be best to make this group complimentary.

It’s a good idea to run a free hiking group because you can also use it as a marketing tool that serves both you and your members.

1. From the members’ perspective, they already pay you a good amount to be a member of your club, so every once in a while, you can use a program like this to show your appreciation.  In return you will gain their trust and loyalty, resulting in a steady income for you.  And, if they feel appreciated, they will often reward you with a steady flow of referrals.

2. Market yourself. Provide free swag – such as t-shirts, water bottles, and towels.   This is a great way to advertise your business.  When you’re hiking with your group, you will all look like walking billboards to other hikers.

3. To take it one step further, be sure to bring your camera and take lots of photos so that you can later upload them to your social media pages.   Tag your members so that they are able to build loyalty-forming memories and you get to display your business online to potential clients via social media.   And, you are also advertising the relationships and camaraderie that your gym provides.

Outdoor Bootcamp

Enjoy the Beach!

Take Boot Camp Outside:

Did I mention that members enjoy the outdoors during the summer months more than any other time of the year? Why not start a summer boot camp program that can be conducted X amount of days per week in the parking lot of your business?  Or you can do it at the park, at the beach, or some other beautiful place in your community.

As it’s summer, you will often find that most members don’t want to work out in the afternoons or evenings.   They really prefer to exercise in the mornings before the day gets too busy and hot.  So, if you have a current indoor boot camp program that you are already running at your facility, take it outside for the next few months. And if you don’t already have one, NOW is a good time to build one, especially if you can make it happen in the morning.

There you have it, 3 easy ways to create more retention within your membership base TODAY. Members will embrace these changes over the next few months. They will love that you are being proactive and accommodating.   They’ll appreciate you keeping them on their exercise program through the summer.

Remember, it’s always ALL about your clients, as without them you’d be out of business. Too many fitness professionals focus  too much on finding new clients and not enough on retaining them. If you want to create a long lasting career in the fitness industry, master the art of acquiring new members AND retaining your “regulars”, so you can give them the tools they need to be successful year around.

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.

Jun
27

Total Gym Workouts – Perfect For Kids & Teens

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How to Motivate Underachieving Kids and Teens in Sports, with Total Gym Exercises

GRAVITY Sessions at Fitness Republic

GRAVITY Sessions at Fitness Republic

An interesting thing happened to me a few months back…

I am the type of person who is always planning new workouts, combinations, music,  and so much more, at my studio, Fitness Republic in Vero Beach, FL.  At the beginning of February, my 13 year old daughter told she had to run a mile for gym class.  In Florida, the state standard for a 13-year old girl to run a mile, is 8:13, which is a pretty good pace for many people.  My daughter came home with a “C” on her report card for gym.  Being that fitness consumes my world just about every day, I was shocked.  I asked what had happened, and she told me about the mile requirement. I asked her what her time was.  She said “18 minutes.”

“Excuse me?”  I said,  “Not on my watch.  Lace up your sneakers RIGHT NOW!”

We hit the pavement.  I told her that no matter what, we were not going to stop running that mile until we were done.  We came in at 13 minutes … not bad for a first attempt at progress.  I told her this was just the beginning and after we finished that first mile together, I asked her what her teacher does to help condition her class.

“Nothing,” she exclaimed disappointingly. He just tells us that he can run a mile in 6 minutes, and we have to try harder.   Have teachers lost their passion?

My daughter has two really good friends. Like many teenagers, they all have an element of laziness tucked in there, so I thought she’d need some buddies to help her on her new journey.  I told her to get them ready as well.

“For what?” she asked.

“Because we are going to flip this.”  I said.

For the next six weeks, the three of them met me twice a week for strength training.  I had them doing two workouts a week on the Total Gym GTS.  And they loved it.  My goal was to get their fast twitch muscles activated and enhanced.

This is what we did:

  • Plyo Alternating Leg Squats
  • Plyo Pull-ups
  • Plyo Shoulder Presses to get their big muscles firing.
  • Then, Cardio Pull to get their tickers up.
  • Static Equilibrium Chest Press,
  • Static Equilibrium Rows
  • Upright Supine Pull-downs.
  • Leg Cables finished the workout.
Total Gym workouts with family

Work out with your kids. Good for you and good for them!

We started off gently with lesser reps and time and slowly built up to about a 45-minute workout.  Over the 6 weeks, their incline levels increased slowly but surely.  Their stamina and muscle growth really improved, and their flexibility and range of motion was so much better. And, the best part of it all was that were having FUN in the process and really enjoying themselves.  Now, isn’t that what it is all about? Making gains and having a ball while doing it.  Maybe that’s not what it’s about for their gym teacher, but it certainly is for a Dad.

In addition to the workouts on the GTS, we ran four days a week.  And when it was time to run the race, she crossed the finish line in … wait for it … 8:02!  Fantastic! She laid it all out there on the track.  The gym teacher offered up a brief smile and said a meek “good job,” realizing that young woman had just cut her time in half and he didn’t have anything to do with it!

She came in 4th place out of 22 kids and was the first girl to cross the line in her class.  She couldn’t thank me enough for helping her, but any parent knows that we will stop at nothing to help our children.

So much can be achieved with the right motivation.  If we can just put the right people in the right places, we can ensure success.  For her, it is Dad, for me it is the knowledge that I have access to a great piece of fitness equipment.  The GTS.

And now, even thought the race is over, my daughter and her friends are still training on the GTS with me, because they enjoy it so much!   You can’t been quality time with your children while getting them fit!

To talk more about training on a Total Gym GTS contact 858 764 0055 or CLICK HERE.

About the Author

Jon D'AllesioJon D’Alessio has been a Certified Personal Trainer since 1995 and a GRAVITY Master Trainer since 2005. With his wife Brandie, together they own their own a private training studio, Fitness Republic, in Vero Beach, FL. Through a tailored approach of regular fitness activities, guided fitness programs and education, Jon helps his clients accomplish anything, no matter how big or how small. 

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