Total Gym InsideLatest Information about Total Gym

Feb
8

Training for Snowboarding on a Total Gym GTS

Standing Squat and Side Stretch on a Total Gym GTS

(Watch the video)

Strengthen Your Snowboarding and Skiing Clients with these 7 Total Gym GTS Exercises.

It’s that time of the year again when our clients are looking at their calendars to find weekends where they can escape to remote locations to enjoy hours and hours of uninterrupted skiing and snowboarding on snow-laden mountain sides.

Although skiing and snowboarding are a blast, they are also very tough activities that can push you to the limit physically and mentally and we need to make sure that our clients know that and are prepared for what is coming. Oftentimes when clients think of preparing for activities such as snowboarding, it is natural for them to think that they just need to focus on their lower bodies as they start to train for their trip. However, as qualified fitness professionals, we know that the entire body needs to be trained throughout training program to help avoid injuries and deficiencies in other areas of the body. Remind your client (especially if they are new to snowboarding) that they will be pushed hard in various ways on their trip and that preparation is key to a fun and safe experience in the snow.

So let’s make sure that your clients have a wonderful and safe time on their trip by helping them master the following exercises on the GTS, so that their bodies and minds are ready for action.  Watch the video to see a demonstration of all these exercises.

Jump Squats

Disconnect the pulley from the glideboard and stow handles.  Have them push the glideboard half-way up the rails, straddle the rails and sit at the bottom edge facing away from the tower.  Place the feet toward the top of the squat stand positioned shoulder-width-apart.  Normally you would have them lie back on the glideboard to do a plyometric squat but we’re going to engage the core more with them sitting upright.  Hands can be by their side, stretched out in front, or beneath the butt.  Have them start in a deep squat and from this position, explosively jump up as high as they can with both feet and be sure that they land with both feet simultaneously on the squat stand. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then repeat the exercise to complete the set. (2 Sets of 15 Reps).

Seated Two-Point Leg Swings

In the same starting position as above and with core engaged and sitting up nice and straight on the GTS, have them place the left foot on the squat stand. Perform a one legged squat on the left leg and as they come back up from the squat, they gently kick the right leg up as high as they can. Then repeat, but this time on their way back up from the squat, they kick the right leg out to the right side as wide as they can. After performing both kicks on one leg, that is considered one rep. Repeat this sequence as fluidly as possible by alternating the two directions on the leg for the desired number of total reps. Be sure to perform all reps on one side before switching and repeating with the opposite leg. (2 Sets of 10 Reps in Each Direction Per Leg).

Dips (Using Squat Stand)

From a standing position in front of the squat stand, facing away from the tower have them position hands behind them shoulder-width apart on the squat stand. Have them slightly walk away from the squat stand to incline legs out in front at a 45-degree angle. Straighten arms, keeping a little bend in the elbows to keep tension on the triceps and off elbow joints. Slowly bend elbows to lower the body toward the floor until elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep the back close to the foot platform. Once they reach the bottom of the movement, have them press down to straighten elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep. Keep the shoulders down as they lower and raise the body. Please note that legs can be slightly bent to modify this exercise. (2 Sets of 10 Reps).

Incline Push-Up (Using Squat Stand)

From a standing position in front of the squat stand, face towards the tower.  Place hands on the edge the foot platform, slightly wider than shoulder width and walk feet back so that the body is at a 45-degree angle. Have them stand on their tip-toes with arms and body straight. Then they will slowly lower their torso down in a controlled manner and push torso up until arms are extended to complete the first rep. (2 Sets of 15 reps).

Standing Squat & Side Stretch

Raise the rails to the highest level.  Have them begin in a standing position turned sideways from the tower and place right foot on the glideboard and left foot on the ground. Then they will need to slowly squat on the left foot so that the right foot is raising the board up towards the top of the GTS. As they come back up from the squat position the glideboard will lower into the start position. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then repeat the exercise to complete the set. (2 Sets of 15 Reps with Each Leg).

Inverted Walking Plank

Remove the squat stand and with the glideboard closed have them come to a kneeling position on the glideboard, facing away from the tower. From there they place both hands on the floor below the lower rail base and get into a plank position.  Then they walk hands back towards the tower and as they do so, the glideboard should be sliding towards the tower. Once they walk in so far that they cannot go up anymore, then they slowly walk back down until they cannot go down any further. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then repeat the exercise to complete the set. (2 Sets of 10 Reps).

Inverted Pike

Replace the squat stand and with the glideboard closed have them come to a kneeling position on the glideboard, facing away from the tower. Then have them place both hands on the squat stand with their head facing towards the ground. Place feet onto the bottom of glideboard, on tippy toes, with heels in the air. Their body should resemble an upside down letter “V” while in the starting position. While in this starting position, extend the full body outward so that they are completely straight, then bring the glideboard back in with feet to go back to the upside down letter “V”. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then you repeat the exercise to complete the set. (2 Sets of 15 Reps).

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.

Dec
13

5 Ways to Strengthen Legs with a Bad Back

How to Strengthen Legs on a Total Gym with a Bad Back

Modern technology can be a total paradox. On one hand technology makes life easier, on the other hand it has caused us to become more sedentary by allowing us to push buttons for work instead of performing manual labor. The human body was made to move, not remain seated all day. In another paradox, too much time spent NOT moving could be a possible cause of low back pain.

Low back pain is no fun and can have a negative impact on the quality of life. If one experiences pain for more than a couple of days in a row it could be a sign of a serious injury and it is important to see a medical professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment. However, like many people, instead of ongoing low back pain one may experience occasional periods of discomfort. When these flare-ups do occur don’t let them interrupt a normal exercise program.

It can be difficult to identify the specific cause of lower back pain; it could be related to a lack of mobility in the hips, or overall strength in the legs. The structure of the lower back, the lumbar and sacral segments of the spine, where they meet the bones of the pelvis, is designed to provide stability. The hips, on the other hand, are designed to be mobile. One possible cause of low back pain is that sitting for too long can cause muscle imbalances in the hips which can significantly restrict the range-of-motion of the joints, changing how they move.

When the hips lose mobility, the muscles and joints of the lower back which sit above the hips, will try to create the necessary motion for many movements. Since the lower back is not designed to have an excessive amount of motion this can be a potential mechanism of injury. If leg muscles aren’t that strong when lifting an object off of the floor, one is more likely to use the back muscles. Improving mobility of the hips and strengthening the legs can help improve overall function and possibly reduce the risk of damaging the lower back.

If your Client’s back is bothersome it may be a little uncomfortable to strengthen the legs (NOTE: discomfort is okay–it means the muscles are working. STOP immediately if a feel sharp pain is felt) but strengthening the lower body could reduce the amount of discomfort. In an effort to help reduce the risk of developing lower back pain and improve the ability to enjoy one’s favorite activities here are 6 ways to use a Total Gym to strengthen legs and improve hip mobility.

When standing upright gravity pulls the upper body into the hips which can help reduce motion in the joints. To strengthen legs without harming the back or making any existing discomfort worse, it is important to remove the effects of gravity. We can’t just turn gravity off, although that might be fun if we could, but we can place our body in different positions to significantly reduce and minimize the impact of gravity. A primary benefit of the Total Gym is that moving on an inclined plane reduces the effects of gravity which can immediately help improve hip mobility.

Total Gym Squat

Squat

NOTE:  Total Gym helps keep the lumbar spine stable when lying on the back.  This allows your client to focus on the muscles responsible for moving the hips, knees and feet. The closer the Total Gym is to the ground, the less gravity will effect the body. If the back is currently bothering them, have them start with the glideboard as low as possible and increase the height of the glideboard as they feel stronger and more comfortable.

Stationary Squats: Have them lie on their back with their feet hip-to-shoulder width apart, so that their toes are close to the top edge of the squat stand. Have them lower their bottom down until their knees are about 90 degrees. They hold that for 30 seconds or until they fatigue. They then rest for 30 seconds and repeat 2-to-3 times.TIP: As they hold the squat, have them press their feet into the board and squeeze those thighs to engage the muscles.

Outer Thigh Lifts. Have them lie on their right side with their right leg straight and their right foot pressed into the squat stand.  Have them lift their left leg up in the air so that both legs are about 6-to-8 inches apart and hold for 3-to-5 seconds before slowly lowering  back down. Repeat for 10-to-12 reps and switch sides, rest 45 sec. after both sides, complete

Total Gym Sprinter Start

Sprinter Start

2-to-3 sets.

Sprinter Start. Have them kneel on the glideboard on their hands and knees so that they are facing the top of the Total Gym and their feet are close to the squat stand.  Have them place their right foot on the squat stand and keep their left knee under their hip.  Have them tighten their abs as they push their right foot into the board to move you closer to the top and return to the bottom slowly.  10-to-12 reps and switch legs, rest 45 seconds and repeat 2-to-3 times.

Step-ups. Set the rails on the lowest level.  Have them stand facing the bottom of the Total Gym so that their one foot can step up on to the glideboard pressing their foot down to move the glildeboard closer to the bottom, which will help it remain stable during the exercise.  They can pause for 2-to-3 seconds before slowly lowering themselves down.  Repeat for 8-to-10 reps, switch sides to alternate legs, rest for 45 seconds after both legs and repeat for 2-to-3 sets.

Step Up

Step Up

Squats. Have them lie on the glideboard with their feet on the squat stand so that their toes are close to the top.  Have them squat down for a 3-count, pause for 1 sec. then push back to the top. Repeat for 12-to-15 reps, rest for 1 min. and complete 2-to-3 sets

If these exercises are done at least 2-to-3 times a week there is a good chance that you will see improvement in the strength of the legs and reduce risk of low back pain.

Here’s a final paradox; yes, exercising when the back is bothersome can be uncomfortable but not exercising can actually make the discomfort worse which can turn a minor problem into a major one. Even after almost twenty years of being a personal trainer and group fitness instructor I may not know what causes low-back pain, but I do know that improving strength and flexibility in the lower body can help reduce the risk of letting it impact quality of life.

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

 

Nov
1

Trainers – How to Cue for Breathing

Cuing for breathing

Top Tips on Teaching When and How to Breathe.

Teaching class participants how and when to breathe during exercise can be one of the most challenging areas of our training sessions. I find that as a trainer myself, most people are very shallow breathers and sometimes if they focus too much on their technique they forget to breathe completely!

Effective ways to keep breathing

The one exception where the breathing pattern may change in weight lifting would be in the overhead press. Here it makes more sense to inhale: expand the diaphragm as you press the bar up.  Otherwise, try these breathing tips.

1. Breathing along WITH your clients/members helps tremendously.  They can hear your breath and follow along easily.

2. I do hear some trainers telling their clients to “blow out the candle” as they are forcing a movement which also works well.

3. It is standard with resistance training or weight lifting to exhale during the exertion phase. I always remind my clients to think of the letter “E” for Exertion and Exhalation.

4. In a functional setting (higher than 15 reps), it is best to just breathe naturally but I find that when a client has too much to focus on ie., breathing, technique and form etc., it can be overwhelming. I watch their lips and when I see them clamped shut, I literally say, “please open your mouth and B-R-E-A-T-H-E.”

Importance of the diaphragm

If we want to truly help our class participants achieve overall health and function, we must take a look at the importance of the diaphragm. Most people, being shallow breathers, have never learned how to breathe effectively. Breathing with efficient oxygen saturation with full diaphragmatic involvement is the cornerstone of health and well-being. Whatever muscles we are strengthening, the ideal breathing motor patterns is crucial. The diaphragm must be the prime mover in the breathing process. Because of the lumbar spinal attachments of the diaphragm, stability and mobility in and around the thoracic and lumbar spine is vital.

Through naturopathy, I am able to help my clients understand the importance of breathing even more. I explain that the more oxygen you get into the body, the more carbon dioxide poison you will eliminate from the body. When oxygen replaces carbon dioxide, there will be greater purification of the blood, cells and organs of the body, for better health and stronger results from training efforts.

Have you ever experienced suffering from “a stitch” when warming up in a jog or a run? What a stitch really is, is a sign of unused lung air sacs trying to open and receive fresh air that you are pumping in. The sharp pain is due to the air forcing these cells apart. Continuing to breathe deeply will help and the distress will pass. At this point, the unused lung cells become reactivated. Teaching our older and beginner exercisers how to use their diaphragm to breathe deeply will help them avoid these discomforts and faulty movement patterns while training.

Diaphragmatic breathing has a tranquilizing rhythm, stimulates your circulation and helps rejuvenate the body. This type of breathing is a natural method designed for the body, yet if not taught how to use the diaphragm properly, many people have trouble. We commonly see too much chest breathing as opposed to breathing deep into the diaphragm.  I use the following exercise to help my clients use their diaphragm more efficiently.

Try this warm up breathing exercise

> Have your clients stand and locate their diaphragm by placing one hand at their waistline and the other hand up with their palm facing their mouth.

> Ask them to blow imaginary dust off their palm, feeling a strong muscular contraction at their waist when they blow. This helps locate the diaphragm.

> Then to warm up and direct the focus to the breath, I often start a workout with them walking around the room on their toes while reaching high over their head.

> I ask them to raise their diaphragm as high as their strength will allow while still breathing deeply. I ask them to feel the chest and stomach muscles as they breathe deeply.

> After this, we bend over, drop the head below the heart, arms reaching towards the floor, compressing out every bit of old toxic, carbon dioxide-laden air.

This is a great way to set the tone for breathing during the workout and is a super lung cleanser. I find it also helps to rid their mind of stress they may be bringing to the workout.

On the other hand, Yoga breathing is very different. It is nose breathing and there are different types.  On of them, the Ujjayi breathing technique is best explained here.

Focusing on the breath is the best way to connect with your body before a workout. As trainers, we all have our own unique way of getting our clients to connect with the breath. Whatever your preference is, my best advice is to include some breathing exercises in a warm up.

“Just by paying attention to breathing, you can access a level of relaxation and health that will benefit every area of your life.” Deepak Chopra 

About the Author

Frances Michaelson

Frances 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, author of BYOB: Bring Your Own Band and Replenish, Regenerate and Rebuild Your Cells. She blogs for Total Gym 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.

Oct
25

How Total Gym & Pediatric Care Go Hand in Hand

Watch the video

The Total Gym GTS Helps Children with General Body Strengthening

Here at Cindy Miles and Associates, we are a private out-patient therapy practice specializing in pediatrics. We are dedicated to providing individual, high quality, hands on physical, occupational and speech therapy. One of our primary goals is to build on each individual’s strengths, allowing them to achieve their maximum potential.

Total Gym treats patients with spina bifida

Improving Muscle Strength

No matter what their ability, age, or genetic make-up, individuals make important progress with the Total Gym and have fun doing it. Our primary focus is on the pediatric population, from birth through to young adult, including young athletes with sports injuries. We strive to build on strength to allow them to achieve their maximum ability and provide accessible equipment where individuals can work on their physical performance; including muscle strength, cardiovascular endurance, functional ability and mobility. This allows each individual to be the best they can be! For us and the children, Total Gym is a huge part of that process.

We upgraded to the Total Gym GTS about 8 years ago and we made sure to purchase the extra wide Squat Stand.  The GTS is great for loading lower extremities to get the glutes to work.  We even use the GTS for babies as young as 6 months old for strengthening as they love to jump.  For the orthopedic kids that we treat with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida and Autism we put anti-skid pieces across the glideboard so their feet don’t fall and that gives them a different sensory input.

Total Gym helps children with Cerebal Palsy

Lower Body Strengthening

We treat several different needs:

> Brachial plexus injuries

> Cerebral Palsy: Hemiplegia, Diplegia

> Spina Bifida

> Hypotonia

> Hypertonia

> Developmental Delay

> Down Syndrome

> Children with autism who need deep pressure

> Young athletes with sports injuries

We can treat patients for a year or an ongoing basis, dependent on their type of disorder.  For children with Cerebral Palsy we might see them one or two times per week or more. If they have had surgery they are going to visit more.   We have individuals who are patients from birth through to their 30s – these cases keep making progress so we continue to see them especially in their formative years.

Here are some examples of exercises/activities we use on the Total Gym.

Prone

> Hands on “uprights” with squat stand removed with nose close to hands to complete push-ups moving into elbow extension.

> Prone to pull down on triangle bars into shoulder and elbow extension.

> Prone pull ups at horizontal bar with hands pronated or supinated.

Total Gym helping children with Spina Bifida

Hands on “Uprights”

Seated/Seated lateral

> Level glideboard working on static sitting so clients can touch the floor.

> Pull across trunk, holding both triangle bars.

> Holding triangle bar pull down using shoulder adduction/abduction.

> Seated rowing, using triangle bars.

> Sitting with both legs over same edge and triangle handles held together, keeping elbows extended and rotating trunk and bringing hands together to one side to work on core activation.

Supine

> Pull down over head, holding triangle bars return.

> Total knee extensions, progress to jumps.

> Work on squat to stand with support.

> Post op – prop one leg while the unaffected leg works on strengthening.

> Introduce jumping to clients who lack the strength to tolerate full body weight jumping.

> Bilateral LE jumps, unilateral jumps, jumps while playing catch.

Kneeling

> Kneeling to perform bicep curls and seated rows.

> Tall kneel: and work on scapular retraction or shoulder extension while keeping abdominals contracted to maintain balance.

Standing Upright

> Standing next to unit, with foot on platform and lunging forward to push glideboard up incline.

> Small toddlers use the glideboard to learn to walk up the incline.

The GTS is a great adjunct to any child’s program.  I teach a two-day course around the country and I tell everybody that Total Gym is one of the most important pieces of equipment that you can buy because of its versatility.

Pediatric clients love Total Gym and Pediatric Physical & Occupational Therapists love the versatility for all ages and abilities use it in their daily treatments. Pediatric therapists can do what they do best:  invent games, diversions and make therapy fun!

About the Author

Cindy MilesHaving served the pediatric population since 1977, Cindy Miles, PT, PhD. PCS, CNDT established her pediatric private practice in 1981. Dr. Miles is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Health Related Professionals and East Stroudsburg University with a Master of Education in exercise physiology. She also holds a PhD in Pediatric Science from the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Her doctoral research was on potential risk factors related to the diagnosis of Torticollis. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as a Pediatric Clinical Specialist, specializing in treating children from birth through to young adults. Dr. Miles held the title of  SOP Treasurer and Treasurer Elect and is presently the Co-Chair and Meeting Planner for the Academy of Pediatrics Physical Therapy Annual Conference (APPTAC). She presents nationally on the pediatric private practice and reimbursement as well as nationally and internationally on Torticollis, Plagiocephaly, and Fitness for All Abilities. She has published in peer review journals and written books on topics related to pediatric physical therapy.

www.cindymiles.com or www.traintotriumph.com

Aug
9

Perform Better: Performance Equipment Provider

PerformBetter.com

Perform Better Really Does Perform Better!

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

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

Jacob A. Guajardo

Jacob A. Guajardo

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

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

Original Plan

Original Plan

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

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

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

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

3D Plan

3D Plan

The facility design process is very simple, yet effective:

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

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

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

Before and After

Before and After

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

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

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

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

Perform Better Interactive Map

Perform Better Interactive Map

 

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

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

 

New Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

Watch the Video!

 

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

Aug
2

How to Maintain Your Gym Exercise Equipment

1671751

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

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

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

> Your bed was not made up

> The TV was broken

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

> The toilet was not flushing correctly

>The floors needed to be swept

> And the shower head was missing

Sounds pretty awful, right?

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

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

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

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

> Why should I maintenance my equipment?

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

> How often should I maintenance my equipment?

> Where should I take my equipment to get maintenance?

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

Why should I maintenance my equipment?

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

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

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

Simply put: yes they will know.

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

How often should I maintenance my equipment?

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

Where should I take my equipment to get maintenance?

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

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

Mike Z. RobinsonAbout the Author

Mike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.

 

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.

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