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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.

Jan
31

Keeping Clients Motivated Through The Winter

Exhausted woman sitting on tire in crossfit gym

4 Tips to Encourage Clients/Members to Exercise at the Gym, Through Winter Months

Keeping clients active through winter is always a great point of concern for fitness professionals, personal trainers, and coaches throughout the industry. I can’t speak for all gym owners and personal trainers but the largest acquisition time for new clients in my facility is April, May and June (although many people think that it is January through March, with the New Years Resolutions crowd; and that may be the case for some gyms).  But what I have personally heard from clients in the past is that they have a hard time getting motivated through winter because it is usually cold, wet and it still gets dark fairly early. Which makes sense that they come in waves during the months of April to June, when the weather is starting to warm up, the sun is out longer and swimsuit season is right around the corner.

So knowing this and with the information above in our back pockets, we have been very proactive at MZR Fitness with planning various programs and methods in the winter to help our clientele stay motivated, engaged and active during this cold season.

Here are 4 ideas I’d like to share with you.

Offer a 90-Day Intensive Transformation and Accountability Based Program

Not many people can resist the offer to completely change their lives in 90 days. It almost sounds too good to be true for a lot of people. And at the same time, it’s very enticing and manageable for the average mindset as it doesn’t sound like too big of a commitment to make. During this 90-day period, offer live workouts, home workouts, fitness homework, nutrition counseling, health coaching, before/after photos, accountability, structure, goal setting, support, and motivation – all in a group format. And if you want to, you can even provide some sort of prize or recognition for the person who lost the most weight or shed the most body fat. You have not only created a profit center for your business but it has become a sure way to light a fire beneath the tails of your clients and get them so pumped that they don’t care what the weather is outside. All they know is that they have some goals to crush!

1283205Create a Contest to Incentivize

Start an attendance contest by giving all of your clients a goal to attend the gym a minimum of 8 times per month (twice a week). Now, us fitness professionals know that our clients need more than 2 days a week to maximize fitness results but the plan is that they are going to attend the gym for those two days each week and then their bodies will begin to crave more days and other clients will be able to motivate them as well.

For extra encouragement in the contest you can create a tracking system for your clients and place it visibly in the gym. The transparency of everyone being able to see each others’ attendance really gets the competition going.  Further incentivize with branded gear from your facility, extra sessions, money, gift certificates, or anything else that you think may motivate your clients. Get creative!

1562989Go all Tony Robbins on them!

We all need a good talking to every once in a while to help put things in perspective, get the juices flowing and help us to see the big picture with our goals and who doesn’t like a good “pump ‘em up” speech? No matter what your exact title is at your facility, we’re all ultimately coaches. So guess what? We have to coach, motivate and inspire our clients to do what they don’t want to do, so that they can look and feel the way that they deserve to look and feel. Don’t be afraid to captivate your audience with a good speech or some great quotes once in a while.

As Tony Robbins once said “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”  Remember that can apply to you as a fitness professional and to those whom you train!

1527822Reach Out in Unique Ways

As fitness professionals, we can reach out and motivate our clients in several unique ways such as:

> create a workshop and invite clients to attend

> create a podcast and upload it to itunes so that your clients can listen to it whenever they want

> communicate often through email/text/phone call.  You can even send a text while they are in the session with you so they read it afterwards.

However and whenever you want, communicate, communicate, communicate and this will motivate them! However you want to inspire and get your message across to your client is your prerogative but the biggest and most important tip is to get their attention before you deliver the message so they are focused on what you are saying. This is definitely easier said than done, but if you do it the right way, your voice will move mountains and your client will be inspired to create fitness success like never before.

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.

Jan
25

Teaching Exercise to Mothers-to-Be

1674483Top Tips to Help You Better Cue Your Pregnant Clients for Exercise

I am in the field of women’s health, yet even I experienced information overload when I was pregnant, so I can only imagine how puzzling it is for everyone else.  There is so much information about what to do and what not to do regarding exercising when pregnant, that it can leave a woman AND a personal trainer completely bewildered and confused.

Before you start a class with a mom-to-be, make sure she has cleared any exercising with her OBGYN.

Look for Signs

STOP all exercises if pain, dizziness, excessive fatigue or any symptoms out of the ordinary occur. The cause of symptoms may have to be determined, i.e bio-mechanical changes associated with pregnancy like round ligament pain or pain associated with poor posture. If needed, follow up with an MD.

Exercise will lay the foundation for a healthy pregnancy, delivery and post-postpartum period. Even if the woman has not exercised, she can still begin in pregnancy. The key is to start slowly. Education on intensity and rate of perceived exertion is important so she can monitor herself during exercise and activities of daily living. Intensity in the beginning may be light with the possibility of building up to a moderate intensity.

1973267For the avid exerciser, she will benefit from being reminded that this is not the time for competition, rather it is for honoring the changes occurring and exercising at a moderate intensity so 60-80% may be more ideal. Educate that an intensity of 90% or greater has been correlated with compromising fetal well-being.

Hydration: Blood volume levels have doubled and fluid needs have been increased, yet the pregnant client may not feel thirsty. Encourage hydration during and after exercise. A decrease in weight post exercise may indicate she needs to hydrate more. Remember hydration is important for ideal physiology, such as blood pressure regulation, kidney filtration, and muscle activation.

Posture is key with exercise. There are lots of bio-mechanical changes occurring each week and each trimester so ideal postural alignment may be hard to attain. Starting from the bottom up: feet may widen, arches may drop, knees to hip alignment may change effecting pressure to the knees.  The pelvis is widening, creating changes to the sacrum, low back and hips and the abdominals are lengthening, the rib cage is expanding and the chest increasing.

1973271What to Watch For and Cues to Improve Alignment

Feet: Maintain an arch in the foot by sliding the toes toward the heels. Janda short foot is an exercise to help strengthen the foot intrinsics and alignment.

Knees: Keep the knees straight but not locked. Tighten the front of the thighs. If the knees roll inward, cue to turn the inner thighs out or activate the gluteals to improve hip alignment.

Hips: Decreased hip muscular strength can effect knee and ankle alignment. Decreased strength can be portrayed as hip dropping or hiking when standing on one leg and or increased low back pain. Hip strengthening can help offset the bio-mechanical strains of pregnancy.

1973272Lumo-pelvic positioning: Avoid excessive arching or tucking of the hips, both of which can place greater strain to the sacroiliac and lumbar region. If the low back is flattened, cue to visualize arching the back to help promote improved alignment. If there is excessive arching, then cue to gently tuck the hips under or sway the hips slightly forward to help restore a small arch in the low back.

Thoracic: Ribs are widening to accommodate the baby. With the widening of the ribs, breathing may be more challenging and muscular length shifting. Cuing to continue to breathe into the sides and the back of the rib cage can help oxygenation. Be mindful of diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominals. Stretching the obliques and training the transverse abdominis by gently pulling navel to spine can assist with counteracting these thoracic changes.

Increasing breast size can influence upper thoracic and chest muscular alignment as noted by shoulders rolling forward and shoulder blades moving apart from one another. Cue to lift the sternum gently up, like showing off a beautiful necklace. Widen through the collarbones while gentle gliding the shoulder blades down and together. Watch for excessive scapular retraction as that may result in hinging of the lower thoracic spine.

Whether you are teaching one-on-one or in a group setting, the above postural cues can benefit all. In a class setting, make a personal connection with your pregnant clients to convey education regarding hydration, intensity and modifications. If teaching a class geared only pregnant women, then chose different educational topics to highlight each week.  Provide education at a rate that is not overwhelming.

1973268Dispelling Myths

There are lots of pregnancy myths that can create fear or anxiety. For instance, avoid raising the arms over the head. When I first heard this, I thought “that’s crazy, of course you can raise your arms over your head!” But I also had to honor that the person who told me, truly believed that this may be true and was scared to do any exercise involving lifting her arms. I had to honor her concern then coach her to dispel the myth using education. This myth may have arisen from some old recommendations to avoid heart rates going over 140bpm, and upper body movement may increase heart rate. Or it may have stemmed from the arms moving over the head resulting in poor postural changes. In any case, I reassured her that it is safe to bring the arms overhead but if she feels uncomfortable, then stop and we can try and find a modification. Honor, educate and empower is what I adhere to with pregnant ladies.

How Far Into Pregnancy Can a Woman Exercise?

Lastly, women can exercise until the day they deliver. Often women are discouraged around 32 weeks and told to rest and slow down. And, yes it may be important to slow down, decrease intensity and modify exercise but it is also important to keep moving. Become your pregnant client’s cheerleader. Labor requires strength, flexibility and mindfulness, all of which exercise can help enhance!

About the Author

Elizabeth Leeds, DPTElizabeth Leeds, DPT, owner of Seaside Fitness and Wellness, combines her background in physical therapy, personal training and Pilates in her practice and teaching. As a pelvic floor physical therapist working at Comprehensive Therapy Services in San Diego, her passion for pregnancy and postpartum is seen in her mission to empower women with knowledge and understanding of their physical changes, and how to address them to prevent future issues. Additionally, Elizabeth is a Master Trainer and developer for Total Gym’s GRAVITY education.

Jan
19

Understanding Total Gym Progressions – Part 4

Combining Planks, Bridges, Back Flies for the Perfect Routine

 Maria Sollon

(Watch the Video)

Why not rock out the New Year with some new challenges.  Master your workouts with simple progressions that not only add a variety to your old routine, but also add the extra challenge your body may need.

Workouts would get boring pretty quickly if you did the same one every day.  Your clients would feel the same way if you never varied their routine.  As a trainer, you have a responsibility to your clients to know and understand at least two progressions for every exercise you teach.  You must know when and where to implement the different training variables.  This is an important concept that separates a good trainer from a mediocre one.

Let’s dive into the topic of exercise progression…

WHAT IS EXERCISE PROGRESSION

Exercise 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 altered for further advances.   This is where proper progression becomes an art form.

PROGRESSING AN EXERCISE

There are numerous ways to progress an exercise.  Depending on a client’s needs is how you (the trainer) can plan the progression.  For example, your client may have increased strength and balance in their posterior chain.  Rather than performing a seated back row from a lower incline, they can progress to a moderate incline and a kneeling position.

It is important to understand how each progression affects the other and that slight changes can alter a movement skill.  In time, you can effectively implement the appropriate progressions for your clients when they are ready to advance.

Listed are some primary ways to progress an exercise.

> Resistance – External resistance adds a strength challenge as long as form does not suffer

> Speed – performing an exercise faster vs. slower

> Body Position – altering body position challenges different muscle angles

> Sets/ Reps/ Sequences/ Style – Manipulating these factors enhance the workout challenge

> Balance – Balance displacement increase the intensity of the exercise.

> Uni VS Bilateral Movements – Unilateral movements allow strength development be focused on the weaker side while incorporating core stabilizers.

> Lever Length – basic biomechanical principles make an exercise harder or easier by moving the weight farther or closer to the fulcrum.

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

> Eyes Closed – Closing the eyes increase the balance and core stability challenge, especially standing on one leg.

> Range of Motion – Incorporating varied ranges of motion in all angles creates challenges for a given exercise.

Progressions keep exercises challenging and allow the flexibility for your clients to keep striving to achieve their best.  Adding these dimensions to your client’s workouts can be a successful game changer.

TOTAL GYM PROGRESSION TIPS

The Total Gym machine is an excellent piece of equipment that offers countless variations to progress an exercise by accommodating to the user.  It’s a multipurpose machine that can adapt to each client’s body structure, strength level, and training goals desired to accomplish.   Simple adjustments can make tough challenges!

Listed below are examples of how prepare your Total Gym unit for the appropriate progressions your clients may need.

Adjust the Incline Appropriately

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.

Adjusting the Cables

Moving the cable pin placement allows a different range of motion to occur.  It is very effective for accommodating different body frames.

Changing the Stance Position

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

Extra Resistance

Adding external resistance along with the Total Gym provides an extra challenge for your core, balance, coordination, and strength.  A client’s form should be perfected before advancing or adding external resist.  Adding external weight is great, but if it hinders a client’s form, then the purpose is defeated.

Tempo, Sets, & Reps

Incorporating different tempo speeds along with varied sets and rep ranges can add a challenge to any exercise.

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!

EXERCISE PROGRESSION EXAMPLES

Let’s discuss 3 excellent exercises you can progress during a workout by adding a variation for an increased challenge.  Planks, Bridges, and Back Flies 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.  Be creative in the way you deliver the exercises as well.  For example, perform them one after the other in circuit format, add cardio elements in between each set, OR perform the exercise for a set period of time.  You as their trainer can create the best method of execution for your client’s goals.

Core – Planks

Kneeling

Open GB

Lower incline

Single leg

Legs – Bridge Press

Roll hips up/down

Open GB & press

Single leg

Dynamic motion

Arms – Back Flies

Seated

Kneeling

High kneeling

Static equilibrium

Check out the video link to view how these exercises progress.

These are just a few examples of how to progress basic exercises.  The possibilities to increase the challenge are endless.  Therefore, when an exercise become too easy or your workout needs an uplift, try increasing the intensity of the movement by making small adjustments to an exercise you perform well.

As a personal trainer, it is important to be knowledgeable on how to safely and effectively progress your clients when they are ready to advance.  Understanding the modifications, variations and specifics to each movement 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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan
11

6 New Year Tips – Motivate Your Members

1624033

How to Encourage Your Members and Clients When They Lose Motivation

Let’s face it … motivation is everything! We can have ALL the education in the world … be great role models as teachers or trainers, but if we do not EXUDE positive energy and BUILD that connection with our clients or members, we are bound to lose them.

There is nothing worse when we think all is going well with our classes and training sessions and suddenly numbers start to dwindle in class and clients or members begin cancelling sessions. Sometimes it is difficult to take responsibility for these circumstances, but it is necessary. For sure we cannot always expect 100 percent from our participants: we are all human and have our ups and downs, and motivation can certainly fluctuate from day to day. Our role, as teachers, however is to keep them coming back, ensure that they are happy and staying consistent with their exercise and training sessions.

Here are 6 tips to encourage your members; catch them before they lose motivation and get them back when they do.

Set a Clear Goal and Track Their Progress

If a precise program and goal setting is in place, there is little chance that you will lose them. It is important to discuss, from the get-go, factors that might interfere with their progress, or set them back a bit, such as family commitments, work, travel etc. This way, we have background information in place to refer to when times are tough. There should be timelines set, where client and trainer take a time-out and look at where they have progressed or not. This sit down and reflection of changes could be decided upon at the first session, once a month or every 6 weeks if preferred.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

Choose your words well and always offer positive reinforcement and feedback for their performance: encouragement always helps to motivate.  I like to send brief text messages or emails with either a positive quote for the day or a quick positive feedback about their workout. I find that clients enjoy this and look forward to it.

Change it Up!

It is always important to keep training sessions or class choreography and exercises challenging, fun and full of variety. When a client or member gets the same old routine, that is a turn off and it’s boring. Even just changing the order of exercises in a workout can make a difference. Everyone loves a change and a challenge and when clients begin to feel that they are not challenged anymore, they for sure will lose motivation and probably stop showing up. We must always show an interest in their lives and be sympathetic to how they are feeling.

It’s Not About You – It’s About Them

How we feel on any given day is not important. To show any signs of frustration or stress that we may be experiencing is not what a client needs when they are coming to clear their own heads with their own problems. To be greeted with a great smile, a caring attitude and a strong focus for their workouts will result in a positive effort from them.

Put in the Extra Effort

When I notice a client just going through the motions, I try to ask what is on their mind, especially if it is not normal behavior for them. In a one-on-one training session, it is easier to strike a conversation and ask what may be going on in their life than in a class. Perhaps when you notice that a class participant looks out of sort, some eye contact or making a generic statement about trying to stay in the zone may help. If there is an opportunity to take them aside after class and show concern, that would be welcome, I am sure.

There is a difference between just having a bad day as opposed to some serious personal matter or injury.  I would never ignore a sign of unrest or sadness with a client.  Pretending that everything is alright and just going through the motions yourself is not an indication that you truly care about your client’s well-being. It would make more sense to comment about the fact that you notice they do not seem to be “in the room” and ask if they prefer more of a stretch session or talking. If, on the other hand, they are just not focused, I would always create a fun challenge like trying to beat time under tension with each set. Having a client compete with him or herself is always a hit and a way to keep the training session fun.  Example: how many seconds would it take to row 300 meters or see how long they can hold a plank. In a class situation, it is fun to divide the class in half or small groups and create circuit style challenges.

Remembering birthdays is a big one. It is easy to save these dates on your calendar so they come up and especially with Facebook, how can we forget? A small gesture like a healthy muffin with a candle goes a long way.

How to Get the Motivation Back?

When clients and class participants just plain stop coming, the best way to get them back is to create an outing.  Organizing events out of the gym builds a different kind of support system and bond.  Everyone loves to feel that they belong and are accepted by their peers. There is often not enough time in a training session or class to really get to know your members so getting together and doing something different usually works well.

Perhaps suggest they bring a buddy to the next class could help too.

If you have a juice bar at your facility, that is a great area to hang out together after a session or class. We often offer free samples when a new product comes in which works well to get the camaraderie going.

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, 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.

Dec
28

GRAVITY Classes Cater to All Fitness Levels

CaptureClick to watch the video

GRAVITY on the Road: Tampa Florida

I recently had the chance to check out the latest GRAVITY Classes at Studio F.I.T. in Tampa, FL. This boutique studio, owned and run by Christine Simmons, is a hidden gem.

Studio F.I.T. is the love child of Simmons, who has been teaching group fitness for 28 years. Initially she taught part time group fitness while juggling a corporate job which also included a ton of travel time.   Impressive!  Then her love of fitness won out in 2006 when she left the corporate world to go for it and voilà, Studio F.I.T. was born.

Christine’s strong business background (she has an MBAsecretly she may be Wonder Woman as well) has come in handy in successfully confronting the many challenges club owners face as well as growing her business in a competitive market.  Her business partner introduced her to a Total Gym GTS back in 2006 and as soon as she adopted GRAVITY, the classes took off.  Since then, she became a big fan of GRAVITY programming which has helped her ignite her studio with image(3)specialty programing and keeps members coming back for more.

At Studio F.I.T. Christine runs a personal training studio and small group classes: clients pay for the services they want with no membership fees.  GRAVITY classes are a big part of her income stream and offer constant variety and growth for her core clients as well as being an easy-to-use system for those new to exercise.  The machines offer support for those in need while challenging the fittest with simple adjustable levels of resistance.  In addition to GRAVITY classes, Studio F.I.T offers bootcamp, Zumba, Personal Training and Fit Senior classes.  This program is not your typical “Silver Sneakers”, these are some super active, “my kids can’t catch me” seniors!  Yes, I know ‘these people’ very well, they consistently pass me on the Ironman course and are my inspiration.

My timing couldn’t have been better as the studio has recently upgraded to the latest GTS models.  These are pretty gorgeous and easy to adjust, while offering an endless variety of exercise options.  The enthusiasm of the instructor Stefanie Summer is equal to the women in the class.  When asked about how they feel about GRAVITY classes the unanimous answer was, “we love them!”  The reasons?  “The classes are so much fun” and “time flies by – the results are amazing”.  That’s about as good as it gets, especially if you are a gym owner or personal trainer.  And the classes book up.  I did sign up for a class ahead of time, but gave my space to another participant; my good deed for the day.  But it was interesting to observe the teacher and the class, as the participants were all at different levels and some had injuries.  For a class to run smoothly, successfully and address all levels is always a challenge.  For GRAVITY?  Not so much.  A good, knowledgeable instructor can really bring the class to ALL levels safely and efficiently.  And the fun quotient was a 10 for everyone – even the bystander (me).GRAVITY Classes at Studio FIT, Tampa FL

I opted for a private session later. The beauty of GRAVITY is that even with my broken toe, Stefanie was able to give me a very challenging full body workout.  My quads were screaming the next day along with my lats.  And all in only 30 minutes.  Impressive indeed!  I liked the level of intimacy you can have with your student even when it’s in a group.  As a studio owner, I left my session with a spring in my step (before the soreness crept in) and my creative juices flowing with ideas on how MUCH one can do with GRAVITY.  I’ll post about that in my next blog.

For more information about how GRAVITY can improve your ROI contact Ralph at ralph@totalgym.com or call 858-764-0078.

About the Author

Debbie Beck - Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer.Deborah Beck is a six time Ironman athlete, coach and personal trainer. For over 25 years she has combined her love of sports and fitness with her passion for travel and adventure.  Her early work as a Fitness Director moved her throughout Asia, the Middle East and the UK.  She holds multiple certifications and is currently working towards her 500 hour Yoga Medicine.  Her training philosophy incorporates Pilates, yoga, Gyrotonic and strength to produce a balanced, unique approach to high endurance training.   This fall she is launching a global training and lifestyle company and online community.  When not traveling, she splits her time between Quogue NY and Telluride Colorado.

Dec
21

How to Prevent Injuries in Group Training

6 Tips to Help You Better Plan Your Class

GRAVITY

As you know, with group training there is an opportunity to make more money while clients spend less. The motivation coming from a group is fun and can be more challenging than working alone with a trainer. It is a plus for both the trainer and the client when it comes to diversity in programming, as different styles of class can be implemented and the atmosphere lends itself to more conversation and expression of mood etc. Sometimes the group situation can even result in more consistent adherence to exercise, as people do not like to disappoint their group by not showing up. With these benefits, however, we must work harder by planning better so that we can be successful and ready to handle all limitations, individual strengths, weaknesses and imbalances.  The better we plan, the less injuries we can expect.

As trainers and coaches, we know that group training is a dynamic, fun and affordable way for clients to stay engaged and committed to their workouts. I remember back in 2009 when small group training was all the rage … fast forward to 2016 and it is still very much the “in way to train” and it’s going in all kinds of directions like CrossFit and boot camps which is exciting. That being said, it can be a lot more work for us if we want to make sure that we provide a safe environment for all concerned. There is definitely more planning needed for a group class than a one-on-one session, so it is important to have as much information as possible so that you can plan properly and everyone can benefit regardless of fitness level.

Measures to take to be preventive and stay away from injuries

Know their history

I have taken small group classes before elsewhere and was surprised to not be given a client questionnaire to fill in at the beginning of the class. As a trainer you should have as much information as possible about the people that you are coaching.  A history gives you solid information so that you can be ready to provide a good mobility warm up and accommodate limitations. Failing to plan is planning for failure. The more information available to you, the more thorough you can be. And with that knowledge you can take any exercise and demonstrate the necessary modifications, as all exercises are adaptable.

With the client’s age and past history you can cue better and plan your choice of words and tone of voice.  Safe and effective cuing along with eye contact is very important too. Injuries tend to happen when clients have to strain their ears and eyes to figure out what is going on. Cuing should be smooth and flow well with the progression of exercises. Participants should be told that they can modify their exercises at any time, and feel comfortable about alerting the trainer if they have a concern or a question.

Prepare the equipment

Having your circuit ready with all products neatly and safely placed is a must. I know that sometimes this may not be possible due to class scheduling but I think that at least for the first class, rather than have participants go and fetch their own props, there must be some preparation in place. Anything can happen, like picking up the wrong resistance band or weight, that can easily result in an injury.

Warm up and cool down

I cannot stress the importance of taking time for warm up and a cool down stretch afterwards, as we all know that these days everyone is always in a rush and people do not take enough time to warm up and stretch on their own.

Demonstrate

The introduction and warm up can demonstrate modifications for those with injuries and provide good mobility exercises. This is also the best time to mimic the exercises that will be done in the circuit / workout part of the class. I always like when circuits and exercises are shown before the class starts. Even if there is a chalk board with a list as not everyone has the same interpretation of names of exercises or were taught the same way. It just takes a few minutes to demonstrate the exercises and it lets everyone know that they are not there to compete with their neighbor but to challenge themselves.

Remind them that forcing repetitions when they are tired or trying to keep up when they do not feel right, will not accomplish anything. Although these tips may sound childish or unnecessary, providing the instruction with gentle reminders throughout the class helps everyone when the music is going and hearts are pumping.

Set the necessary limitations

If someone has decided to take your small group class with a new or persistent injury, you must help them fit in.  At the same time tell them to be mindful of their limitations. Let them know that you are there to help and accommodate. Knowing ahead of time can help you guide them in the right direction.

Plan your schedule

Plan your schedule well so that you do not have to disappear right after the class.   You should be there to answer questions – it’s professional and a great way to show your clients that you care. The more you are there for them, the stronger and healthier your classes will be!

 

Frances Michaelson

About the Author

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, 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.

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