Total Gym InsideLatest Information about Total Gym

Jul
26

Understanding Total Gym Progressions Part II

Combining Pullover Crunch, Reverse Lunges, & Chest Flies for the perfect routine

 

Understanding Total Gym Progressions

 

Some clients like to be tortured … in a good way of course! Others look to their trainer to provide the best workouts, with the best exercises to achieve their desired goals. Then there are those clients that struggle to make their session and want to talk the whole time avoiding another boring squat! 

Regardless of the type of client you work with, the same struggles hold true for all, and that is to provide the best exercise challenges suitable for each client at their fitness levels.  The workouts developed need to evolve so that the client’s interest, motivation and achievements, continually progress with success.

Progression is a strategy that is developed to allow your client to advance in his or her own movement skills.  This is an important concept to understand since every client has different goals and training needs as well as his or her own set of strengths and weaknesses.  What is challenging for one may be easy for another. 

Once a skill or task is mastered, something needs to be changed to continue to advance.  This is where proper progression becomes an art form.

Progressing 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.

> Incline adjustmentincreasing or decreasing the incline

> Speed – performing an exercise faster vs. slower.

> Body Position – altering the body’s position challenges different muscle angles.

> Sets & Reps/ Sequences/ Style – These factors enhance the workout challenge.

> Add Uni or Bilateral Movements- Changing an exercise from both limbs to working one at a time not only adds an increased strength challenge but it also allows focus to be placed on the weaker side while using core stabilizers.

> Incorporate Compound Movements – Performing two exercises at once challenges multiple muscle groups simultaneously and saves time.

Adding these dimensions to your clients’ workouts may be a successful game changer.

Total Gym Progression Tips:

The Total Gym offers so many variations when it comes to progressing an exercise.  Here are some ways to progress a basic exercise to a more challenging option:

Adjusting the incline for increased resistance

Increasing or lowering the incline changes the feel of an exercise.  Typically, a higher incline is more challenging for extremity work, and a lower incline is more challenging for core work. 

For example, performing pull-ups with a high incline is more challenging due to the gravitational load and direction of pull.  The higher the incline for this exercise, the harder the exercise.  The Total Gym can provide assistance for those clients needing strength development by allowing the client to successfully perform the exercise at a lower level.

Changing the anchor position

Adjusting the hand/ leg stance position during specific exercises can challenge an exercise.   Changing the anchor placement of weight distributed on the glide board by a seated, kneeling, high kneeling, or standing position can also challenge an exercise.

For example, performing a seated row in the middle of the glide board at a low level is less challenging than performing the same exercise from a kneeling stance at the top of the glide board at a moderate incline.  It requires more core stability and balance to adjust from a seated to a kneeling position. 

Added Resistance

Adding external resistance along with the Total Gym provides an extra challenge for your core, balance, coordination, and strength.  Always perfect a client’s form from the simplest level before adding an extra “fitness toy” or external resist.  Creativity is great, but if it hinders a client’s form, then the purpose is defeated.

For example, performing a reverse lunge on the Total Gym challenges core balance, stability, and strength.  When adding extra resistance or a movement skill that follows the basic reverse lunge, more muscles are recruited, coordination plays a role, and effective execution of the exercise is still the primary goal.  Intensity can always be added, as long as a client is ready for the challenge.

Analysis of each exercise needs to be done in order to progress your client appropriately during their workouts.  This is what will make all the difference for a successful session each time.

Basics to Progress

Let’s discus 3 excellent exercises you can progress during a workout by adding a variation for an increased challenge.  Pullover Crunch, Reverse Lunge, and Chest Flies are a great combination of exercises to work the entire body while focusing on a specific area.

Each of these exercises shows a series of ways to progress ranging from beginner to advanced.  Try incorporating these exercise progressions with your client according to their strength level. 

Pullover Crunch

  • Supine
  • Legs at 90 degrees
  • Straight Legs

Reverse Lunges

  • Closed Glide Board, Stationary Lunge
  • Open Glide Board
  • Pulses

Chest Flies

  • Seated
  • Kneeling
  • High Kneeling
  • Static equilibrium

These are a few examples of how to simply progress a basic exercise.  From understanding the basics, you can always add in your own progressions to create more challenges.

A personal trainer has many responsibilities to execute safe, effective and efficient training sessions to clients.  Being knowledgeable of the basic exercise principals allows progressions to occur when a client is strong and ready.  It is important to understand these modifications, variations and specifics to each exercise to accommodate clients properly by layering an exercise with proper advancements.  It’s always amazing to see the simplest exercises to be some of the hardest to perform.

Inspire and challenge your clients each session by going back to the basics and layering the exercises from there.

Best Always,

Maria

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.

http://www.groovysweat.com

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

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

Jul
12

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.

Spice.

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.

Smoothie.Banana-Berry-Blend

  • 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

Green-Berry-Blend

  • 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.

Jun
28

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.

Jun
22

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. 

Pike

  • Kneeling
  • Legs Extended
  • Single Leg

Squats

  • 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.

http://www.groovysweat.com

 

Jun
15

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.

IMG_2162

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.

May
25

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.

May
19

5 Solutions For Gyms to Help Kids Stay Fit

Childhood Obesity, Exergaming and 5 Fitness Solutions For Gyms

When some of us were children, we may recall our parents telling us to eat everything on our plate since there were “starving children in Africa” and other places around the world. On the contrary, while childhood hunger is still a serious problem, both here and abroad, the number of overweight and obese kids are growing globally.

According to the most recent figures from WHO (World Health Organization), gleaned from a report by the Commission For Ending Childhood Obesity, an estimated 41 million kids around the world, under the age of five, are considered overweight or obese. Their study also found within this same group of children:

  • Overweight and obese Asian children make up 48% of that population
  • 25% of African children are either overweight or obese
  • The total number of obese children in Africa has doubled over the last 24 years

The United States seems to be fairing better in comparison since we’ve able to reduce our younger obesity rates from 13.9% in 2004 to 8.4% in 2012, down by more than 5%.

Sugary CerealStarted With Sugar

For many years, childhood cavities and expanding waistlines were blamed on too many sweets, especially those found in sugary breakfast cereals. Although processed, ready-to-eat cereal has been around since the Civil War, the taste and trend didn’t pick up until sugar was added along with colorful cartoon characters, enticing youngsters to gobble up their new favorite flavors.

Due to declining sales and negative publicity, in 2006, food and beverage companies established the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. It was promoting it as “part of the solution to the complex problem of childhood obesity by using advertising to help promote healthier dietary choices and lifestyles for children.”

But apparently they aren’t listening to their own advice or following the guidelines they put into place since little progress has been made with added sugar and salt. Many of us may be noticing less advertising directly geared towards children, so instead manufacturers are offering statements about how healthy their cereals are instead. But not much has changed over the years, for example, from 2009 to 2012, salt and sugar in children’s cereal was reduced by only 3% on average.

Let's MoveLet’s Move Dietary Stats

Proponents aimed at ending childhood obesity have offered another solution, get our kids moving! First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative may come to mind. On their website, they also point to additional dietary problems:

  • An increase in the number of snacks children eat per day, up from one per day to an average of three or more from a few decades previously
  • An overall rise in caloric intake, around 31% on average compared to decades ago
  • Larger sweetened beverage serving sizes, up from around 13 ounces in the seventies, to 20 ounces at a time today
  • Most Americans eat 15 pounds more sugar per year than they did in 1970 and 56% more fat and oils
  • Portion sizes overall have risen two-and-a-half times in this period

Little Movement

While First Lady Michelle Obama’s dietary stats shows many unpleasant increases in our food intake, other numbers show a disappointing amount of exercise and activity with today’s young people. Older children and adolescents spend on average 7.5 hours each day on some type of media, whether it’s television, computers, video games or smartphones. It’s reported that only one-third of teens get the recommended amount of daily exercise.

The let’s move site also refers to a time when kids ran around at school during recess, came home and played outside until dark. When dinnertime came, we sat down around the table and ate healthier, smaller portions of food that included a serving of vegetables and a glass of milk. Fast food, pizza and eating out were rare treats, sweets and snacks were also seldom, rather than the norm.

So clearly we’ve gone from a generation of movers-and-shakers, to a majority of millennials who are lamers and gamers. We’re all clearly eating more red meat, fats and carbs while consuming less healthy greens, vegetables and fruits.

Less Lame and More Game

Given all of today’s technology, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to steer kids away from their omnipresent handheld devices, especially smartphones and game consoles. Thankfully there’s a solution that combines exercise with gaming, also known as exergaming.

Reminiscent of Nintendo’s Wii system, launched almost a decade ago, this controversial game system came with a new type of controller, complete with a wrist strap, meant to be used in a more physical manner. The compilation of games included with the initial purchase included interactive sports like baseball, bowling, boxing, golf and tennis.

ExergamingGrowing Results

Since its release, sales of Wii products have skyrocketed and according to statistics, it’s not backing down anytime soon. Figures have shown since Wii was released onto the fitness platform, annual sales have gone on a steady uphill climb of almost 6 billion in 2007 to a whopping 70 billion in 2010 and topping off at over 100 billion at the end of 2015.

Since not all games played on Wii are physically interactive, it’s difficult to gauge the overall success of the programs that require participation that’s happening off the couch. Information from the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) helps to shed some light on this topic – the popularity of exergaming with children and adolescents.

Exergaming Stats and Info

Exergaming (sometimes called active gaming) is being dubbed “the future of fitness,” and is being touted as a practical solution to children spending the equivalent of a work day being sedentary with technology. Definitively speaking, exergaming is a technologically driven, game or routine that requires the participants to be physically active or exercise in some way in order to play the game or complete a task.

Just to be clear, the game based physical activities are more than simple hand and finger movements as the primary interface with the device. They require the user to apply full body motions in order to participate in virtual sports, play group fitness games, perform exercises or other interactive physical activities.

Studies have shown that different types of exergaming venues can provide moderate to vigorous physical activity levels and also give users positive physiological results. As with any exercise regimen, the results from the activities are dependent upon on how much the individual participates in the actual program or routine.

How Children React

In a survey, ACSM reported that over eighty-four percent of adolescents stated that having fun was the single most important element in life. Kids and teens are embracing these newer games and activities on a mostly positive level because they’re both fun and interactive.

When it comes to fitness routines, take into account these games are ever changing, with more titles containing different types of sports, other activities, and even varying plotlines, are emerging regularly. Apparently one of the biggest reasons the majority of people quit their exercise program or fitness regime is because of boredom so these choices should help to sustain their longevity.

Technology and Interaction67cc4a583497c449d9a3cdd5110ddb2b

Given the overwhelming growth and popularity of social media, today’s youngsters are interacting with each other on a different level. Compared to a few decades ago, when connections were made mostly on a face-to-face level rather than screen-to-screen interactions. Exergames are keeping up with this trend by allowing multiple players to participate and peers are able to play alongside of each other on a virtual level.

They’re also communicating about the activity, discussing results, posting scores, competing with one another and are even assisting their peers on continued improvement, better methods and strategies. This allows young people to play their favorite games with their friends and become healthier and more active at the same time.

Choices and Options

Exergames gives participants the ability to make individual choices during game play since they’re self-paced. Users can choose their own difficulty level, mode of play and whom to play against. They may choose to play against the computer, compete with friends, family, a group of their peers or other online competitors.

Using an avatar allows for at least some anonymity so there’s less chance of being bullied at school or in other social and public situations. It also h59346f43ebdb3da375faeae8f4d4f490elps participants from becoming discouraged if they’re not doing well and motives them to become more active and stick with the program in order to advance.

Gym Solutions

To reach this important younger audience, gyms, fitness clubs and other workout venues are looking more closely at today’s technology and also following current trends. As with the majority of other public places nowadays, access to free Wi Fi is omnipresent. Here’s five other ways that gyms are helping get kids fit, stay active and current with today’s technological times:

#1 – Online Competition and Participation

Most people, children and teens alike, are competitive by nature and in many gyms, members are mostly competing with themselves in order to reach a specific goal or surpass a “personal best.” Using social media or other online venues such as the company’s website, gyms and their members are reaching out to participants to share their progress, invite others to join them, compare results with each other and discuss the entire process.

#2 – One, Two, Three – Dodgeball!

Whether it was the cult movie classic,Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” or even recent nods on current family programs like “The Real O’Neils,” this playground favorite from days gone by  has been given a recent rebirth. When space allows or those fortunate enough to have a basketball court or other large arena, these are providing the perfect venue for this popular platform as a teen-friendly team sport.

#3 – Soul and Spinning Inspired Cycling

Similar to venues that offer Spin classes and reminiscent of Soul Cycle, gyms are attracting  youngsters, especially teens, by offering cycling sessions geared towards their interests. With a time set aside for spinning, participants are listening to their favorite pop radio channel, checking out a new album hitting the shelves or highlighting singles from Billboard’s Hot 100 list.

#4 – YMCA’s Gamification Program

The YMCA of Greater New York has been engaging their tweens with a gamification program that applies game theory to engage young people in fitness activities through the use of points, badges, a leaderboard and timeline to inspire them to increase their daily workout levels. At a kiosk, kids browse through activities and can create “fitness playlists” to share with friends online. Their program encourages kids to create an online community of more active peers and they’re  discussing their healthier lifestyle choices.

#5 – Institute Exergaming

Some gyms and health clubs are making a moderate investment in exergaming equipment to get young and old alike into using this newer technology. With an average cost of around $250 for a Wii system, $25 for a non-slip dance (dance revolution) pad and around $15 for each game, this is an affordable alternative to traditional gym equipment that can easily run into thousands of dollars.

These trends seem to be working since reports from the NY Daily News are indicating that obesity rates are leveling off among teens. More importantly, activity and exercise are on the rise with today’s youth, along with eating more healthier, fruits and vegetables. While there’s still room for improvement, things are looking up for today’s young people when it comes to health and physical fitness.

About the Author

Mark KirkpatrickMark Kirkpatrick is a journalist for health and fitness enthusiasts.  He lives in the Los Angeles are with his wife and two energetic daughters. As a former enlisted Marine with over 8 years of service, he has found that productivity starts with healthy habits and hopes to help others achieve their goals through positive reinforcement.  His goals as a graduate journalist is to send a message to those that need just a little more guidance in following their ambition and enjoying the path it takes them to.

Copyright © 2016 Total Gym. All Rights reserved.