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May
6

5 Tips to Invest in Your Staff Over Summer

Summer Is Slow – How To Get Your Trainers’ Education Up-To-Date

If your training business is like most clubs, studios, gyms, and facilities, then during the summer months you will most likely experience a slight decrease in new clients. You will also see the attendance of even your most loyal clients go up and down as they are traveling the world to vacation and recharge their own mental batteries…which is great by the way but where does that leave you and your business?

I’ll tell you where it usually leaves you – that’s in one of three places:

1) You have to cut back the hours of some of your training staff to offset the loss of income because you have nothing for them to do and don’t want them just sitting around and collecting a paycheck without any clients to train.

2) You decide not to cut back the hours of your staff but face the likelihood of losing money if you can’t find something to keep them busy.

3) You’re savvy enough to use this “extra” time to invest in your staff, empower your team, and create continued success for your club year around.

Hopefully as you read the 3 options above, you quickly identified yourself with the 3rd option but in case you didn’t, the good news is that I’m going to share with you 5 ways to get you into the 3rd group option:

student_xing1. Invest in Your Team – Just as in any SMART investment – the more you put into it, monitor it closely, and don’t panic at the first sign of danger, the more likely you are to get a huge return on it, and with your staff, it’s no different. View investing in your team the same way that you would view a financial investment. When I say to invest in them, I mean to do so in whatever way you believe to be the most impactful to the growth of their careers. One of the most popular ways to do that is by sending your team to learn and grow at a fitness conference such as at IHRSA, IDEA World, Can Fit Pro World Fitness, ACSM Summit, SCW Mania, NSCA National Conference, and various other learning conference and seminar opportunities. The experience will be well worth it, for not only you but also your training staff. Speaking as someone who has been to conferences all over the world and knows the value of that face to face learning experience, I can tell you that the investment in sending your team to these events is well worth it. Yes it does cost a lot of money but as I just said, you should view it as an investment and an opportunity to strengthen your team so that they can become better fitness professionals, increase their knowledge, help more clients, represent your brand better, and essentially increase profits for the business.

happy-computer2. In House Library – Maybe your budget is smaller and it’s completely understandable if you are financially unable to send all or even some of your training staff to one of the conferences that was just mentioned above or maybe it just doesn’t work for some of your staff to leave town for a few days. However, with the power of the internet, the good news is that you can now bring education directly to your facility for your team via books, podcasts, teleseminars, webinars, articles, CDs, DVDs, and more. Having an in-house library with extensive resources that your team can tap into at any given time will prove to be tremendous to their growth and keep them ahead of the curve. Your trainers will be better equipped as they are constantly in the know and surrounded with cutting edge information that will help them not only keep their individual knowledge up, but it will also help to keep their CECs & CEUs current so that they can maintain their training certification. Your training staff will thank you and so will their clients.

3. Live Workshops at your Facility – Nowadays, you can bring in top experts from the fitness industry from all over the world to come speak to you and your team at your place of business. This is a great way to really motivate your team and get the opportunity to bring in someone that they most likely have heard of before and maybe even have looked up to. For your entire team but more specifically your younger staff, they will really respond well to having a well known influencer, in person to deliver some amazing content for professional growth. By doing this, you are basically challenging and encouraging your team to get better and you are letting them know that you want them to be the best that they can be!

Education-clip-art-free4. Incentivize Education – There are a lot of businesses that reward their staff for acquiring more degrees or certifications or by taking a particular class. This is an amazing way to really motivate your team to keep learning because most people are motivated by money, recognition, and competition. Yes, I said “competition” – you can create some kind of in-house challenge that encourages obtaining more continuing education units such as, “Whomever gets the most CECs or CEUs between June 15 – August 30 will receive an additional $500 in their paycheck.” That’s just one idea but you can certainly play around with this concept and talk to your team to create some buzz and of course, some friendly competition among them.

5. Let Your Staff Be Creative – Everyone likes to be empowered, including your team. Use these slower months to create a plan to execute for the rest of the current year as well as even the next year for everything for the business; including the educational process, the marketing, the growth plan, customer service, etc. Don’t allow your facility, your services, your culture, or your marketing to get stale and what better way to do that than to collaborate with your team. Get them involved in other areas of the business so that they feel like a larger piece of the puzzle. You want them to have a strong interest in seeing profits soar, enrollment increase, improved brand recognition, and better client results and the best way for them to feel that connection is to involve them.

By doing all of above, you are showing your team that you care and that you appreciate them being apart of your work environment. Loyalty plays a huge part in business and statistics show that investing in your team will drastically improve your chances to create the massive results that you want for not only the profits of your business but also for the longevity of your business.

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.

Feb
24

5 Best Equipment Purchases for Your Gym or Studio

Top Exercise Platforms Your Club Should Have

by Mike Z. Robinson

As the owner, director, or manager of a fitness club, you constantly find it part of your daily duties to keep  costs down on purchases made for your facility and it’s no different when it comes to purchasing equipment. When you are looking at making an equipment purchase for your club, there are several things that you have to factor in before you make your investment such as the cost, how much space will it take up, how much use do you think your clientele will get out of it, will it create a buzz of intrigue with your clients, what is the return on investment, and how exactly can you create an additional stream of income by buying this equipment.  Wow, who knew that so many things would go into making a simple equipment purchase?

With so many things to factor in, it’s no wonder that so many owners, directors, and managers have such a difficult time trying to find the right pieces of equipment to purchase for their facility. But you’re in luck because you will not only find the top 5 pieces of equipment to purchase for your facility below, but you will also find the best ones to get the greatest amount of return on your investment.  These are not in any particular order.

Total Gym GTS – TTotal Gym GTS Bodyweight Inclinehis is a great piece of equipment because not only is the Total Gym GTS very convenient, affordable, and functional but it also can be an amazing additional stream of income as many facilities have created their own Total Gym workshops, 6-8-12 week training programs, or customized workout circuits to bring in more revenue. There are literally hundreds of exercises that you can perform on the Total Gym and your clients are guaranteed to like the variety that it provides to spice the workouts up and keep their muscles & minds engaged. Total Gym lives up to its name and provides full body workouts all within one location. Nothing on the market even compares.

TRX – A great piece of equipment that offers versatility and a huge return on your investment. You caTRXn purchase 20 of these for less than $5,000 and create in house monthly/quarterly TRX training programs that nets you a huge return on your investment and a healthy stream of income. TRX’s have become synonymous with gyms, clubs, and training facilities all over the world and members have come to expect to see them at their workout destination, so to say that you need one at your club would be an understatement.

RopesTraining Ropes – Simply put, training ropes are awesome! They came to the mainstream out of nowhere a few years back and took the industry by storm. Although they look very simple and innocent, they come with a lot of functionality and excitement that members love and hate at the same time. Training ropes allow your members to explore and be creative in their workouts. Some people embrace the challenge of seeing what they can come up with during their workout and some people will shy away from it. However, the people who shy away from being creative (and risking injury) will provide your club the opportunity to offer private training and increase its Personal Training revenue as other members will definitely be intrigued by the Training Ropes especially when they see them in action. Some members will want to play with the Training Ropes but won’t want to risk getting injured which opens the door wide open for your Personal Trainers.

Lebert Bars – Lebert Bars are another piece of equipment that has become synonymous with workout facLebertilities mainly because of the affordability, the fact that it does not take up a lot of space, and you can do countless exercises on them. Lebert Bars are extremely light weight but are solid enough to be able to work with members of all sizes. Just like all of the pieces of equipment above, this too can be another stream of income that can be built by creating customized groups classes that focus solely on using and highlighting the Lebert Bars. They have become increasingly popular over the years and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.  

rowerWater Rower – Fun, fun, fun! The Water Rower is an old concept with a new twist. Regular rowers have been around for a while but the Water Rower is still fairly new and has been wildly appealing to members who have had the opportunity to use them especially those from the older population. They are very easy to use, no impact, and there seems to be something motivating about the aesthetics of watching yourself and seeing how much force you are generating in the water with every pull. Water rowers are extremely functional and you can do an incredible variety of exercises on them. To create income out of the Water Rowers, you can create competitions, tournaments, training programs, and contests.

If you look at the common denominator among all of the equipment choices listed above, you will see the trend that they are all pieces that focus on not only providing a lot of variety from its usage but also providing a great opportunity to create another stream of income and boost revenue. When you make your purchases for your club, always remember that you are making an investment and treat it like an investment. Confirm that you will not only be able to make your money back but that you will also be able to boost revenue simultaneously and immediately. There are obviously a lot of great pieces of equipment on the market and the list above simply should just help you on your quest to purchase new equipment. However, just remember that if you do want to get something that is not listed above, just make sure that you do factor in the cost, how much space will it take up, how much use do you think your clientele will get out of it, will it create a buzz of intrigue with your clients, what is the return on investment, and how exactly can you create an additional stream of income by buying this equipment.

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.

Apr
21

GETTING BACK IN THE PILOT’S SEAT WITH GRAVITY

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

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

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

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

So Nancy joined the Mission Valley YMCA

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec
2

A WHISKER-RAISING CAUSE

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

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

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

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

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Nov
21

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

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

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

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

Sep
16

Total Gym Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALS Association   Project ALS     ALS TDI   Augie’s  Quest

 

Jul
14

A REMINDER TO NEVER STOP DREAMING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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