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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

 

Jun
12

IT’S TIME TO ELEVATE YOUR WORKOUTS

Nov
1

A CONVERSATION WITH TOTAL GYM FOUNDER – TOM CAMPANARO

Tom Campanaro (Web)Tom Campanaro, the founder of Total Gym, joined the ranks of  “Gym Class: Heroes of Fitness,” when he sat down with Motionsoft’s Hossein Noshirvani & Leigh Kessler for their weekly podcast to discuss his journey in making Total Gym a recognized name in fitness.

The driving force behind the brand that’s now in over 14,000 physical therapy clinics, health clubs, hospitals and fitness centers as well as in more than 4 million homes world-wide, Tom tells how he came up with the concept of Total Gym and shares some funny stories of how he developed Total Gym into the well-known brand it is today.

Discover how dentistry and sex therapy actually played a part in building the brand. And find out what advice Tom has for entrepreneurs embarking on their own path.

 

 

Oct
4

A CONVERSATION WITH TOTAL GYM PRESIDENT – JESSE CAMPANARO

JesseTotal Gym was founded by Tom Campanaro almost 40 years ago, making the company that first revolutionized functional body weight training older than its current President. But there’s no better person suited to take Total Gym into the next generation than Jesse Campanaro.

Making fitness a family affair has been the norm in the Campanaro household. As a kid, Jesse began helping to assemble units in their own garage, then graduated to selling units and now he’s taken the reigns and is leading the company he grew up with into the future.

Recently, Jesse spoke with Motionsoft’s Hossein Noshirvani & Leigh Kessler for their weekly podcast, “Gym Class: Heroes of Fitness,” which features unscripted interviews with the pioneers and innovators behind the best-known names in the fitness world.

Hear what Jesse had to say about growing up with the iconic fitness brand, where he see’s the fitness industry heading and how he plans to take Total Gym along for the ride.

Oct
1

READY, SET, SQUAT!

The Total Gym team is taking the 30 Day Squat Challenge!
Challenge

The benefits of squats are numerous. This one simple move doesn’t just develop the muscles of the lower body (legs, glutes, abs and lower back),  but provides a complete cardio workout.

According to Dr. Mercola’s Peak Fitness, squats are an essential total-body exercise. They’re one of the best functional exercises that anyone can do, whether standing on the floor or laying on a Total Gym.

squatAnd aside from getting stronger, sexier “stems”, squats  help build endurance and improve flexibility while promoting balance, mobility, fat burning, and body-wide muscle development.

So how does the 30 Day Squat Challenge work?

It’s easy!

On day one, do 50 squats consecutively. After that, each day you do squats, increase the number of repetitions by 5 and then rest (do NO leg exercises) every fourth day. The day after each rest-day, you should add 10 more reps than the last day you did your squats. The final 8 days of exercise, increase reps by 20 instead of 10.

So join us for the next month and by November you’ll be boasting about the benefits of squatting too!

 

Sep
16

THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS CHALLENGES THEIR STUDENT BODY WITH GRAVITY

The University of Arkansas was looking for something unique to offer their campus community when it came to health and fitness — so they turned to GRAVITY — the premier small group fitness program by Total Gym.

“We enjoy how you can do a variety of exercises on Total Gym and still be able to customize each GRAVITY workout to the participants’ skill level,” says Kristin Durant DeAngelo, Associate Director of Fitness Facilities. “With so many different modifications, it provides an excellent workout for every participant.”

Since bringing Total Gym into the state-of-the-art UREC Fitness Center, University of Arkansas students and faculty have gravitated towards small group training on Total Gym with their Zero GRAVITY program, a fee-based fitness program.

Limited to just 6 participants, the University of Arkansas’ Zero GRAVITY small group training offers a unique opportunity to explore a new dimension of fitness by blending Group Fitness with Personal Training. Small Group Training classes provide a specialized format, focusing on  individualized progression and skill development.  These programs are designed for those who are looking to be challenged with the combination of camaraderie, creative workouts and education on fitness techniques and wellness concepts. 

Learn more about the University of Arkansa’ Zero GRAVITY programming below. But first, a little Q&A with the U of A:

Q: How have your students responded to GRAVITY?
A: Overwhelmingly positive! They like the challenging workout it provides them.

Q: What do your students like about GRAVITY?
A: Our students enjoy the diversity GRAVITY gives. There are so many different exercises that constantly challenge you.

Q: What has been the biggest benefit of GRAVITY programming to your facility and your students?
A: The biggest benefit is the visibility it has given our University Recreation Fitness/Wellness Program. GRAVITY draws attention and also offers unique programming for our participants.

Sep
4

HELPING TO FIGHT CHILDHOOD OBESITY

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

Over the past four decades obesity rates in the United States have soared. And it’s not just adults.

kids fitnessWe have witnessed childhood obesity grow to epidemic proportions. More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2 to 19 are obese or overweight—that’s roughly one child in every three.

These youngsters are at early risk  for developing serious health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, cancer, asthma and even stroke – conditions usually associated with adulthood. In addition, overweight children often suffer from depression, low self-esteem and are frequently the victims of bullying. These psychosocial consequences can hinder kids academically and socially.

But childhood obesity is something we can fight.

The effort begins at home. Parents have enormous influence over their children’s lifestyles by the example they set and the decisions they make. By modeling healthy eating and physically active lifestyles, we can help children develop a lifetime of good habits.

Here’s what you can do:

Get Moving!

The American Heart Association and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommend that teens (middle and high school students) get 225 minutes (almost four hours) of physical education every week.

Although physical education is offered in schools, it may not be enough. So parents should consider supplementing physical activities at home.youth_SeatedCurl_web

Aim for 60 minutes of sweat-generating exercise a day.  Encourage your children to work out with you at the gym or on your Total Gym, go for family walks or jogs, sign-them up for after school activities like swimming, baseball, dance, nartial arts, etc…

You can even incorporate fitness into your child’s weekly chores – raking leaves burns almost 175 calories, sweeping floors – 156, vacuuming – 170,  washing dishes-88, carrying groceries or laundry upstairs can burn up to 442, even making the bed burns up to 68 calories.

The key is to get them moving.

Turn the TV off!

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that kids and teens spend about six hours a day in front of a screen, whether it’s watching TV, playing video games or using the computer for non-homework activities.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting the amount of time kids and teens spend in front of a screen to two hours or less a day (not counting the time they spend doing homework).

Encourage kids to play.  Traditional children’s games and activities like hide-and-go-seek, riding bikes, rollerblading, running through a sprinkler and playing tag with friends are not only FUN but burn calories.

Careful Consumption

Every serving of soda increases a kid’s risk of becoming obese by about 60 percent.  Sweetened drinks and fruit-flavored drinks offer nothing except sugar.  And even 100% fruit juice, despite the valuable vitamins and nutrients provided, is loaded with calories.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids ages 7 and older drink no more than 12 ounces of 100 percent fruit juice a day (one serving of fruit is equal to four ounces of 100 percent fruit juice).

Instead, keep water and milk on hand to quench kid’s thirst.

Bedtime Burn

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found a correlation between childhood obesity and the number of hours a child sleeps each night– the fewer hours of sleep each night increases the risk of being overweight or obese.

It’s suggested that kids 10 years old or older and teens need nine or more hours of sleep every day, but more than 90 percent of teens don’t get that much. In fact, 10 percent of teens sleep less than six hours a day. For every additional hour of sleep a child gets, the risk of obesity decreases by 9 percent.

And in addition to the extra hours of quiet you’ll reap from putting the kids down to sleep, your body actually burns calories while sleeping. On average, you could loose about 350 calories during eight solid hours of sleep.

Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day

bowl of oatmealSkipping breakfast may actually make you gain weight. Kids who don’t eat in the  morning are not only more tired, irritable and hungry during the day, and they tend to reach for high-calorie foods to compensate.

So make sure to make time for breakfast – whether it’s a sit-down or a grab-and-go meal, a cup of yogurt and trail mix or peanut butter on whole grain toast goes a long way.

Family Dinners

Eating dinner together increases the chances of eating healthy. Sitting down for a home-cooked meal each night typically means less fried foods (obviously no fast foods) and more veggies.

A study found that when families ate dinner together more than five times a week, there was a 23 to 25 percent reduction in the number of kids with weight problems.

Snack Healthy

Snacking is actually a good thing – it just comes down to what kids are snacking on.

Snacks should be no more than 100 calories and preferably low in fat, sugar and sodium.healthy-food

Although a bag of potato chips, pretzels or candy aren’t out of the question, it takes a larger quantity to satisfy the craving in between meals.  So kids can eat these sugary or salty treats, but just not as much.

For example, kids can snack on two Oreo cookies or a whole cup of blueberries; twenty potato chips, or a cup of carrots and hummus.

Combining food groups also contributes to making a healthier snack. Protein and carbohydrates pair well (think cheese and crackers or fruit and yogurt). Combining food groups will fill kids up just enough and provide an extra burst of energy until the next meal.

Knowledge is Power

It’s simple – teach your kids how to take care of their bodies.

Bring your kids food shopping with you (Bonus: an hour of shopping can burn anywhere from 100 to 240 calories) or let them help out in the kitchen when you’re preparing dinner – this gives you a chance to explain what nutrients the body needs. Teach them about the food pyramid – it may not be what you learned as a kid, so educate yourself as well by visiting www.MyPyramid.gov.

Show your kids how to read a food label.  For example, the food label on a 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola reads100 calories. What kids might miss, though, is that it’s actually 100 calories per serving, and there are 2.5 servings in that bottle. Drink the whole thing, and you’ve consumed 250 calories—that’s almost the same amount of calories in one 7-layer burrito from Taco Bell.

Get Involved

Raising a healthier generation of kids means becoming aware of and involved in what’s going on in our community at large. There are a number of child obesity healthcare initiative’s already in place that you can take part of including First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! program, Food Corps, The Foundation for Improving Patient Outcomes “Childhood Obesity Initiative” and even local programs created by caring teachers who want to help their students.

And during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, look for local businesses who are supporting the cause. Jamba Juice is running a pledge promotion now through September 27th to help fight childhood obesity.  Go to www.myhealthpledge.com and make a weekly pledge to do something healthy.  Your pledge will donate $1 toward athletic and fitness equipment for a local school in need.

 

 

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