Total Gym InsideLatest Information about Total Gym

Jun
28

Get Your Clients Ready for the Beach

Get Your Clients Ready For Beach Body Shape With These Creative & Fun Exercises

It’s that time of the year where as Fitness Professionals, we know that our clients are looking for a little extra motivation to push harder to tone up their bodies as they get ready to hit the Summer season and show off a little more skin. Whether your clients are headed out to the beach on a daily basis, enjoying some time at a nice Jazz Festival, or just taking a family vacation somewhere, you know that the weather will most likely be warmer and that your clients will be sporting shorts, t-shirts, dresses, tank tops, swimsuits, and flip flops every opportunity that they get. So with clients knowing that this “unveiling” is coming up, they tend to want any extra edge that they can to maximize their results these last few weeks right before summer hits.

So what do YOU, as the Fitness Professional, do to help your clients get ahead this time of the year?

Are you looking to maximize fitness equipment that you may or may not already have and creating an “Easy to Follow Step by Step” Training program to pique the interest of your clients?

If so, check out these exercises below that you can include in your training program to help your clients get Beach Body Ready.
Feel free to tweak it around to customize it to you and your clients but either way, enjoy the following exercises and as usual, be creative but be safe!

Training Program

Pull-up On Total Gym GTS

Pull-ups on Total Gym GTS

Total Gym GTS – Pull Ups (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps)

Targets: Shoulders, Back, Triceps

How to: Adjust the height of the incline rack and then lay flat on the stomach. Bring both feet off of the ground and lay your legs on the rack. Decide which grip you would like to use for your pull-ups, then proceed to pulling yourself up quickly and then lowering your body slowly to the starting position.

TRX Push-Ups (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps)

Targets: Arms, chest

How to: Facing away from the anchor with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the handles with an overhand grip and extend arms in front of you at shoulder height. Lean forward so that your body is at a slight diagonal. Bend elbows and lower chest between your hands. You’ll engage your chest and arms as you push yourself back up to the start position.

Lebert Bars – Single Legged Hurdler’s Drill (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps on Each Leg)

Targets: Glute, Calves, Hips, Quads

How to: Stand behind one end of a Lebert Equalizer, balancing and hopping on the left leg. Raise the right leg in the air and “clear” the top of the bar, moving the right foot from the left side to the right side of the bench, going back and forth and still hopping on the left leg. Switch legs on the second round of the circuit.

Core Hammer – Chopping Wood (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps)

Targets: Shoulders, Triceps, Core

How to: Stand straight up with the Core Hammer (with both hands) and proceed to swinging the Core Hammer over the heads towards the ground in a chopping wood motion. However instead of hitting the ground with Core Hammer, to make it more challenging you stop it shoulder height and pull it back over your head and repeat motion.

Medicine Ball Twists

Medicine Ball Twists

Medicine Ball Twists (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps in Each Direction)

Targets: Core, Arms, Shoulders

How to: Stand with the feet hip-width apart, holding a medicine ball in both hands. Extend the arms in front of you at chest height, while keeping the shoulders relaxed. Hold the arms extended as you perform torso rotations, alternating the position of the ball from side to side.

Plyo Box (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps on Each Leg)

Targets: Glute, Calves, Hips, Quads

How to: Stand beside a sturdy weight-room bench with the right foot on the bench and the left foot on the floor. Keeping the right foot stationary, pull yourself up, raising the left knee in the air. Return to the starting position. Switch sides halfway through the allotted time. Switch legs on the second round of the circuit.

Sandbags with a Push-Up (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps on Each Side)

Targets: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders, Core

How to: Get into a push-up position with a sandbag on the floor, just behind the base of your left hand. Perform a push-up. At the top of the push-up, grab the sandbag with the right hand and drag it so it’s sitting just behind your right hand on the floor. Alternate sides.

Dumbbells with Monkey Row

Dumbbells with Monkey Row

Dumbbells with a Monkey Row (2 -3 Sets of 10-20 Reps)

Targets: Legs, Forearms, Arms, Shoulders, Core

How to: Stand with your arms at your sides while holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Perform a squat, keeping the arms low. As you stand up from the squat, lift the arms as high as you can so the hands are beneath the underarms. Raise the elbows, bringing the dumbbells to the sides of the rib cage, with palms facing up.

 

About the Author

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

Jun
22

Understanding Total Gym Progressions

Combining Pikes, Squats, & Tricep Extensions for the perfect routine

Understanding progression of an exercise is an art form. 

It’s a strategy that is developed to allow your client to advance in his or her own movement skills.  This is especially important to understand because each client has different goals and training needs.  The most exciting part about progression for the trainer is that you always have a way to slightly advance the exercise.  This could have the opposite feeling from your client’s perspective because just when you think you have mastered an exercise, another piece is added to the movement to keep your client’s attention and muscles challenged.

Developing a progression strategy for each client is important.  It allows the client to:

  1. Learn and perfect a movement skill with proper form
  2. Develop a sense of accomplishment and confidence
  3. Keep the workouts interesting and the client motivated

A client may want to progress faster than you see their bodies are ready to.  Understanding why one specific exercise is taught before another is a skillful trait.  Certain exercises teach basic skills that develop strength needed to perform more difficult ones.  The more skills that are mastered and the more challenges added to an exercise, means your client will soon have a wide range of exercises they can perform! 

The more strength development from the fundamental level, the stronger your client will become and the more they will progress with advanced exercises.  This is why developing a strong base of strength and learning proper form is so important for your clients initially.

More Strength

+

More Progressions

+

More Exercise Choices

+

More Variety

= More Challenges!

Ways to progress an exercise

Listed below are the primary ways to progress an exercise.  These methods each have their own progressions within themselves, but if you understand how each one affects the other and that slight changes can alter a movement to obtain a skill, then you will be able to effectively execute the appropriate progressions for your clients when they are ready to advance.

  1. Incline adjustment – either increasing or decreasing the incline appropriately
  2. Speed – changing the speed of how the exercise is performed (faster vs slower)
  3. Body Position – altering the body’s position challenges different muscle angles
  4. Sets & Reps/ Exercise Sequences/ Workout Style – How you put these modalities together enhances the challenge of the workout session

Total Gym progression tips

Using the Total Gym is unique when adjusting the incline for increased resistance. Sometimes lowering the resistance/taking away the incline level is a way to progress the exercises.  Typically, a higher incline is more challenging for extremity work, and a lower incline is more challenging for core work.  For example, performing push-ups on the glideboard with a high incline is less challenging than when the incline is lower.  The higher the incline, the more assistance the Total Gym is giving the client to successfully perform the exercise. 

When strength is developed and the form begins to look perfect for each rep, then you can progress by adjusting the incline or changing the body position in someway to work a different angle.  Analysis of each exercise needs to be done in order to progress your client appropriately during their workouts.

The beauty of these exercises

Let’s discuss 3 excellent exercises you can progress during a workout by adding a variation of the same exercise for an increased challenge.  Pikes, Squats, and Triceps are a great combination of exercises to work the entire body while focusing on a specific area.

Try the following exercise progressions with your client according to their strength level. 

Pike

  • Kneeling
  • Legs Extended
  • Single Leg

Squats

  • Regular
  • Different angles
  • Plyometric Jump Squats

Tricep Extensions – straight arms

  • Seated
  • Kneeling
  • Static equilibrium

Watch the video for a few examples of how to simply progress a basic exercise.  You can always add in more challenges if these are not enough.

As a personal trainer, it is important to be knowledgeable on how to safely and effectively progress your client through a series of exercises when they are ready to advance.  Understanding the modifications, variation and specifics to each exercise will help you intelligently layer an exercise for proper progression.  The most basic exercises can be some of the most challenging! 

About the Author

Maria Sollon ScallyMaria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Masters Degree in Performance Enhancement/ Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a free lance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, news letters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work.

http://www.groovysweat.com

 

Jun
15

Around the World – Total Gym in Singapore

Total Gym in Asia – 30 Years in the Making

Aaron Goh

Aaron Goh

“Understanding the needs of our end-user is our most important key principle,” said Aaron Goh, Business Development Manager of Active Lifestyle in Singapore, with a smile.  And this belief has brought him great success.

“Another is that we endeavor to provide excellent service that goes beyond point of sales”, he continued.  “These are some of the values that my father believed in and started the business with over 30 years ago, and we are proud to maintain these core values here at Active Lifestyle today”.

If you want to open a gym or health club in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam, Active Lifestyle will not only find the right equipment for you, they will design the gym blueprint and fit your facility with everything you need from top to bottom including the gym floor!

Just Like "Iron Man" v1.0

Just Like “Iron Man” v1.0

Goh’s father Arthur, started Reflex-O back in 1985 in Singapore, as a small outfit manufacturing fitness equipment.  Looking back, Goh says their first piece of equipment [pictured right] looks just like something Iron Man might have fashioned a helmet out of.  He may be right.

An early breakthrough at Reflex-O was the opportunity to construct over a hundred customized strength-training units for the military. It was this breakthrough that prepared the way for their business today and it is from that order that they learned the importance of understanding the needs of their clients.

Reflex O - the early days

Reflex-O : the early days

Total Gym and Active Lifestyle aligned at the end of 2015.  A key philosophy that both companies hold is, “it’s all about form”.  Good form and proper alignment is a way of life for Total Gym and a basic principle in adjustable bodyweight training.   And so the perfect partnership ensued. “We got to know Total Gym through our regular visits to the IHRSA shows – it was only later when we were looking for something simple and user-friendly that small countries/cities like Singapore and Hong Kong, can take advantage of, as small floor space is premium, that the Elevate Circuit caught our attention”, Goh told us.  “All of Total Gym’s solutions fit in very well for clubs and studios in such land-scarce areas.”

Reflex-O today

Reflex-O / Active Lifestyle today

In order to be able to support their customers with a full array of equipment, Active Lifestyle carries a number of different brands that are best in their field.  “Total Gym has been the only brand that finds itself in a category of its own.  It suits our ideology of a best-in-class product for facilities that are looking for an innovative pitch to differentiate themselves in functional training.” Goh explained.

“I believe lots of R&D and bio-mechanics were involved in designing each of the Total Gym machines and each has been responsibly considered – even though users may not realize the details and the rigorous considerations behind each design. And that to me is a great design! You do not have to bore people with the technical details; the results speak for themselves”, he continued.

Total Gym Elevate Circuit - Singapore

Total Gym Elevate Circuit – Singapore

We asked Aaron how he found his passion for fitness.  He told us that in his younger days he conducted isometric training for pilots in the air force to help tackle G-force.   His service in the Army helped broaden his understanding and perspective for fitness. Appreciating the science behind a workout made training others a greater responsibility. “You have to know what you are teaching, training and achieving for others and it was indeed an episode of my life that led me to the path I now follow”.

Active Lifestyle is just what its name says – they inspire active lifestyles and are setting trends in the Asian fitness market.  With additional products such as Startrac and Freemotion they are one of the top fitness equipment distributors in Singapore and surrounding countries.

IMG_2162

Aaron and his team

The Vision 2030 committee of the Singapore government began to encourage its people towards a national movement for sports by launching ActiveSG, where each member would be given SG$100 to sign up for free in any sports program regardless of fitness age or ability.   30,000 people activated their membership on the first day.  With this in mind, Active Lifestyle continues to be at the forefront of the fitness market and Goh’s life experiences have led him to achieve more than he had ever dreamed of.

Jun
8

How to Train a Client for Body Building

Training Someone for Body Building

What is the difference between athletic training and body building?

There is a huge difference between training a client for athletic performance or function training as it is called today, as opposed to body building. I trained as a body builder in the 90s which led to competition. As a body builder, each segment of your training is planned according to how you progress and so called theories of progression. Although there is no set standard as to how each person should train for optimal gains, there is a defined and specific plan that one must follow which includes a change in reps, sets, volume and intensity, time under tension, rest periods and diet. Different coaches and trainers all have their varied opinions however there still lies a specific program for each individual. 

CaptureFunctional Training

With functional training, exercises that carry over to every-day-life performance are preferred and that can vary with each training session. These exercises will mimic what the athlete does in his or her sport that will focus on optimal gains and include five physical factors that the athlete must possess. These factors may vary from sport to sport but they all include:

  • strength
  • power 
  • balance and agility 
  • flexibility
  • endurance

This type of training prepares an athlete for his or her sport. Functional Training uses many concepts developed to improve speed, strength, and power to improve sport performance and reduce incidence of injury.  It teaches athletes how to handle their own body weight. The coach will incorporate balance and proprioception (body awareness) into training. Athletic training needs to introduce controlled amounts of instability so that the athlete must react in order to regain their own stability. As opposed to body building programs, there is very little exposure to seated machines and isolated exercises as these do not carry over to every day sport. Artificial turf, grass and ice are examples where the ability to display strength in conditions of instability is actually the highest expression of strength.  

fffHow should I start training someone to be a body builder?

There are many conflicting opinions on body building principles regarding the use of free weights vs machines, body part splits, and repetition ranges. For every rule, there are exceptions according to the individual’s strength, level of fitness, body weight etc. It is important, however, to understand the theories and limitations to body building so that you can design an effective muscle building workout. 

The most basic of body building principles is exercise selection. Most experts agree that a combination of free weights (compound exercises) should be performed along with isolated exercises (machines) to focus on specific muscles and full development. Competitive body builders acknowledge that machines allow them to target specific muscles to really make them grow. For example since the leg press (seated) does not involve the lower back as much as the overhead squat, they can push more weight.

Training frequency, reps ranges, and sets are other body building principles that must be set in the program and change according to gains met. Once again there is a lot of controversy, as some exercises are better suited for higher repetitions and some muscles respond better to a mix of rep ranges. Evidence suggests that a moderate number of sets (about 12-15 per body part per week) and a moderate number of reps (5-8 per set) is optimal for muscle growth. 

The last body building principle I would like to mention is training overload. Again the controversy lies in whether it is best to constantly push to failure or just training to performance failure. Progressive overload is key. If you do not increase the weight you use or increase the workload, you are not building muscle. 

dddTraining Men or Women?

Although men and women are aesthetically different, their training programs and goals are usually the same. Men strive to be jacked and huge, while women want to be toned and shapely. There is not a big difference between choice of exercises, reps, sets, etc. It is my personal opinion that if given the choice, women stick with female trainers as they know and understand the hormonal changes that can occur during the training period. This understanding can help with communication and support with the ups and downs that may occur during these times. 

Training for Competition

Training for competition is a much more complicated and detailed project. You must understand what is required to be stage ready. Every phase of training is a detailed from the exact amount of cardiovascular work each weak to the fluctuations in the diet. Bodybuilding competitions require a certain level of physical and mental discipline. It is a hard journey that involves different categories…from light weight to heavy. A difference in only 1/2 pound on stage day can force you into a category that you did not plan for. This is why it is of utmost importance to be prepared. As a personal trainer, if you are going to take on a client that wants to compete, make sure that you do your homework. Get out there and visit other shows, understand what the judges are looking for, and know that like in any field of competition there are politics. My best advice is to talk to other trainers that have had success in the sport with their clients as opposed to taking advice from a magazine or internet.

Additional Reading

There are a couple of coaches/trainers who stand out in this field of functional/athletic training that I recommend you take a look at. They are Michael Boyle and Gray Cook. Boyle’s book titled Functional Training for Sports and Gray Cook’s Athletic Body in Balance are very popular and ideal for any trainer to refer to.  They are both complete with solid information, exercise progressions and program design. 

About the Author

Frances MichaelsonFrances Michaelson is president of exercise equipment company Muscle Up Inc., a licensed naturopath and a personal trainer. She is passionate about helping people attain optimal health through proper diet and exercise. A self-described health-o-holic, she motivates others to move well and eat well to keep their bodies’ cells dancing and singing. Based in the West Island of Montreal, Frances is a frequent conference presenter, is author of BYOB: Bring Your Own Band and Replenish, Regenerate and Rebuild Your Cells, blogs for Total Gym exercise equipment, and is a regular contributor to IHRSA’s “Ask an Industry Leader.” With her broad knowledge base and over three decades of experience, she is widely recognized as a leader in the health and fitness field. Frances is committed to helping others make positive lifestyle choices that create stronger bodies, healthier minds and more fulfilling lives.

Jun
1

Launching the new Row Trainer at FIBO 2016

My Trip to FIBO, Cologne, Germany

It wasn’t long before Ildiko Nagy, our new Customer Support Specialist here at Total Gym, was sent off to meet our international distributors.  She returned full of excitement and was bursting at the seams to tell us all of her travels.

Here’s her story:

“Ildi, I want you to go to FIBO in Germany!” said Jesse Campanaro after only two months of my working at Total Gym.

Buzz Truitt

Buzz – the tallest man at the airport!

I was shocked as he said that, but happy and excited to go to my first international trade show for the launch of the new Total Gym Row Trainer and to meet all our international distributors.

FIBO has celebrated it’s 30th year just recently and pulls in around 150,000 people each year and attendees come from 100 countries world wide.  It’s a huge show (well actually 3 shows in one) that is the size of two football fields.

I was bursting with anticipation to meet, in person, everyone that I had been working with via email. I prepared a personal and visual “Hello & Intro Video” from our San Diego Corporate Office so all our international distributors were able to put names to faces, understand their roles in the company and learn how our company is set up.

4

Cross Corpo Team

And then the day came.  I was finally airborne and after a long journey I landed in Frankfurt and met up with a familiar Skype face … Buzz Truitt. How could you not recognize this face, not to mention he was the tallest man in the entire airport?

As I tried to keep up with Buzz’s “speed-of-light-walk”, my hands full of luggage, we headed towards the station to catch the train to Cologne.

At the hotel in Cologne, all the distributors from Germany, UK, Holland and Italy had already congregated and they all greeted us with wonderful welcomes and warm smiles.  Our 2-hour meeting was fun and interactive and we were able to exchange stories on all our  plans, goals and more.

Traditional German Sausage!

Traditional German Sausage!

The day closed with a “Getting-To-Know-Each-Other” dinner next door and it was so much fun.  The food was fantastic and I couldn’t get enough of it! Just look at those wonderful meals.

Schweinshaxe – Pork knuckle

Schweinshaxe – Pork knuckle

 

Distributor Meeting – Day 2

So great to see and meet everybody individually.  More distributors came in from Romania, Spain, Poland, Denmark and Israel.  It was all very impressive and I was all ears, learning how we work hand in hand together. We strategized, talked about innovation, solutions/ improvements, marketing and ultimately how can we make each other successful leaders in the market.  I also learned about each of the distributor markets and their country’s expectations.  It was fantastic to see how they shared all the success stories and suggestions between each other.

Total Gym International Distributor Meeting

Total Gym International Distributor Meeting

Jesse Campanaro, our Total Gym CEO closed the meeting with a BIG BANG – an introduction to the new Total Gym Row Trainer.   The excitement in the room was overwhelming and I was so pleased and elated to be part of this huge global team!

Finishing our very successful day, we celebrated with a surprise Award Winning Dinner.   We had a blast!

2

That’s ME in the red!

FIBO – Day 1 

FIBO 2016

Impressive!

After registering in the morning, we arrived at the German distributor’s booth – Cross Corpo, GmbH and I was immediately eager to experience the day with their highly trained, very friendly, very hardworking and professional team members. The booth was huge and beautiful and I felt very proud.

The day, as you can imagine, was full of non-stop demonstrations, introductions to the Total Gym Row Trainer, distributor meetings with big brand name fitness clubs as well as clients.  The Total Gym Row Trainer was a huge success!

Total Gym Row Trainer FIBO 2016

Total Gym Row Trainer

Everyone worked so hard.  Again I was very impressed by the team work at this massive event and couldn’t have felt more fulfilled. And of course what is a very busy day without a little fun?

12

Jesse with the Spanish team.

FIBO – Day 2 

Now I knew what to expect for day two but it was busier day than the day before.  I was able to take a little break time to look around our hall and explore through all the international vendors’ booths. Products were great; techno music was blasting and traffic was tremendous.

18

Me and the German Trainers.

Cross Corpo’s team in the booth were busy little bees and no question went unanswered.  Throughout the day quotes and orders were just rolling in. We couldn’t help it but feel the glory and success of FIBO.

19

We did it with Cross Corpo.

This opportunity has secured the foundation for the Total Gym family to grow and evolve and we can better understand each other on a level where we are more motivated, more productive, and more inspired to deliver the Total Gym success story by helping millions of people get healthier!

Thank you to all the distributors for making my experience at FIBO more amazing then I could have imagined and to Total Gym for giving me the opportunity.

May
25

5 Tips To Be The Best Personal Trainer

How Do I Know If I Am A Good Personal Trainer?

I owned a personal training studio from 2001 to 2013. My biggest challenge was finding personal trainers who had the combination of knowledge, personality, passion, and great people skills. I either interviewed several trainers who had extensive certifications but absolutely no personality or the opposite. This hiring process of finding the right trainers for my clients was the most challenging part of running my business.

6957390386eddc7e68faa12c9a824466Year after year it seemed to get tougher and tougher. I found that unlike the old days (before You Tube or other educational sites) eager trainers were always ready to spend a few bucks to keep up their certifications and stay current with the latest trends and research. With more and more FREE web material available, getting personal trainers to part with a buck seemed to become more and more challenging. Even worse was the fact that cheap online certifications were popping up everywhere, which did not really translate into high quality education leading to smart, professional trainers.

I had a situation once which is worth noting here. I hired an athletic therapist, who had an extensive background in anatomy and corrective conditioning, but not really any experience  in actually personally training clients. I decided to take a chance and hire him, thinking he would be just fine.

One day I happened to be training a client in the room beside him, only to notice his client walking around. When I asked her where the trainer was she replied “on his cell phone”.  That terminated his employment. When I asked the client if this happened all the time, she said that it did and was not planning to renew her plan with us. Here was a situation that was going on behind my back of course and the client did not bother to speak to me.

A good personal trapersonal-trainersiner is obviously one that is attentive, is fun to be with, takes interest in his or her clients, and is highly educated.  Calling oneself a personal trainer is serious. You are taking an individual’s body into your hands. If a client has some issues that you do not have the expertise for, be smart and own up to that. You cannot be everything to everyone. We all have our individual strengths and weaknesses and this is what makes us all unique. There is nothing worse than seeing a trainer take on the role of a nutritionist or osteopath. Do not overstep boundaries. Refer out when there is an area that is foreign to you.

Here are my Top Five Tips to as to what makes a “terrific and in-demand Personal Trainer”.

  1. Be fair … Do not charge your clients over the top prices. Try to stay competitive and fair with cancellation policy. Although I feel it is important to have a cancellation policy, I would give your consistent clients at least one chance in a last minute cancellation.
  1. Be fit …Take the time to get your own workout in. Look the part. If you are not going to stay fit and healthy, why would anyone be attracted to train with YOU?
  1. Be on time … there is nothing worse for your clients if they show up to train, and you are not ready. This is discouraging and can cause the client to lose motivation. You should be ready, waiting and  happy to see them. Always ask how they are doing and feeling before starting the program.
  1. Be current and continue to evolve … there is no such thing as a one size fits all program. It is endless how much we can do with a client. I had someone contact me a few weeks ago who said that she had a trainer coming to her home for a year and was not seeing any weight loss results. When I asked to see the program, I could not believe my eyes. She did the same workout every visit and even worse, he had her on an elliptical for half the session while he just stood there talking to her! I did not think this situation even happened any more. We are there to push and motivate and offer an experience that people cannot do their own.
  1. Be available … it is important to build and keep a rapport going. This holds true even when you are NOT with your client. Imagine how great they will feel getting a text message that checks in with them. What about an email sending off a quick motivational quote? When a client sees that you are thinking about them other times, it is extremely rewarding.

Providing a 1consistent, challenging, fun experience is very important to keep a relationship strong and continue to grow. A client must be able to see results and feel better.  The impression and promises you deliver on day one should be carried through.

Education is a given, but the experience is everything!

 

About the Author

Frances MichaelsonFrances Michaelson is president of exercise equipment company Muscle Up Inc., a licensed naturopath and a personal trainer. She is passionate about helping people attain optimal health through proper diet and exercise. A self-described health-o-holic, she motivates others to move well and eat well to keep their bodies’ cells dancing and singing. Based in the West Island of Montreal, Frances is a frequent conference presenter, is author of BYOB: Bring Your Own Band and Replenish, Regenerate and Rebuild Your Cells, blogs for Total Gym exercise equipment, and is a regular contributor to IHRSA’s “Ask an Industry Leader.” With her broad knowledge base and over three decades of experience, she is widely recognized as a leader in the health and fitness field. Frances is committed to helping others make positive lifestyle choices that create stronger bodies, healthier minds and more fulfilling lives.

May
19

5 Solutions For Gyms to Help Kids Stay Fit

Childhood Obesity, Exergaming and 5 Fitness Solutions For Gyms

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

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

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

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

Sugary CerealStarted With Sugar

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

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

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

Let's MoveLet’s Move Dietary Stats

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

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

Little Movement

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

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

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

Less Lame and More Game

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

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

ExergamingGrowing Results

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

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

Exergaming Stats and Info

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

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

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

How Children React

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

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

Technology and Interaction67cc4a583497c449d9a3cdd5110ddb2b

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

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

Choices and Options

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

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

Gym Solutions

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

#1 – Online Competition and Participation

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

#2 – One, Two, Three – Dodgeball!

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

#3 – Soul and Spinning Inspired Cycling

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

#4 – YMCA’s Gamification Program

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

#5 – Institute Exergaming

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

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

About the Author

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