Total Gym InsideLatest Information about Total Gym

Nov
16

CHEK Institute Brings ELEVATE Row ADJ Into The Mix

Paul Chek has Ben Greenfield demo the new ELEVATE Row ADJ

Paul Chek

Paul Chek

For over three decades, the C.H.E.K Institute in San Diego has been offering fitness and healthcare professionals an integrated approach to holistic well-being.  The C.H.E.K Institute’s founder, Paul Chek, is a Holistic Health Practitioner, Neuromuscular and Sports Message Therapist.  He views the body as a whole, to consider physical, hormonal, mental, emotional and spiritual components all together, within a system of systems.

Chek, a huge fan of Total Gym products has collaborated with Total Gym over the years.  DVD, How to Look and Feel the Way You Want is a total-body transformation from inside to out that features Total Gym workouts.   High Performance Training with Paul Chek helps a trainer determine their client’s level of readiness to exercise, relative to their goals, as well as balance work/rest ration for optimal recovery and performance gains.

In a recent blog written by Paul Chek, he talks about his interview with Ben Greenfield, coach, biohacker, best-selling author, blogger, Iron Man competitor, you-name-it-he’s-done it-kind-of-guy – voted in 2015 as one of the world’s top most influential people in health and fitness.

In the blog, Paul takes Ben on a tour of some key C.H.E.K Institute training programs which includes a demo on the new Total Gym ELEVATE Row ADJ, now with seven levels of resistance for a more challenging workout.

The ELEVATE Row ADJ (Adjustable) is the only rowing machine that works on an incline and has recently been professionally evaluated to improve muscular fitness as well as satisfying both cardiovascular aerobic and strength training requirements simultaneously.

To learn more about the ELEVATE Row ADJ and how it works watch the video below.

ELEVATE Row ADJ

Total Gym CEO, Jesse Campanaro shows how tough an ELEVATE Row ADJ workout is.

To read Paul Chek’s blog with Ben and learn about Ben’s reaction to the ELEVATE Row ADJ, click here.

For more information on the ELEVATE Row ADJ, call 858 764 0034.

 

 

Nov
7

Make Your Gym A Media Magnet

3 Ways To Become The Go-To-Person In Your Local Media Market

In any business, marketing is a huge deal. It is not just when you start your business, but the entire time that you ARE IN business.  Think about it for a moment, how are you going to get business if you don’t consistently market yourself or your studio?

As far as which marketing technique works best for you or your company, that will depend on a number of things.   The type of business you are in, your budget, your target market and what your marketing objectives are, will all play a part in the marketing avenues that you choose.

Marketing, in general, enables you to show off your knowledge and build credibility.  But it can be expensive.  Free marketing, however is good for everyone, but especially for us, in the fitness space.  Because we are in a service industry, paid marketing can make customers skeptical, since they know that the advertisement was paid for.  When marketing is free, you will build your client base.

However, your marketing efforts will be far better when you’re able to get testimonials from clients.   When you also get the platform to really show how unique and awesome of a fitness professional you are and how incredible your fitness studio is, then that is when you will really shine.

One of the best ways to do this in your own community, is to create a relationship with your local media, such as TV news and radio stations, magazines and newspapers.

Each one of these media outlets have opportunities for you to pay for advertising too. But did you know that, if you provide great content for them, then each one of these companies will feature you for free? Then you will become a reputable resource for them and they will continue to turn to you for more.  All for free as well.

Below I’m going to describe 3 ways to help you to become the go to person in your local media market that will help you to inspire your community while also marketing your studio and getting more clients to train with you, all for free!

Create Newsworthy Content – Unless you live in a really big market such as Los Angeles or New York City, then your local media will always be on the search for new stories to place in their media circulation. The media is always looking for a great interview about a trending topic or an unique perspective about a potentially controversial topic. Sometimes they are just looking for something that is simply really, really cool.

One of the most successful media pictures that we have ever made at my gym, MZR Fitness, to our local market was a few years ago when we offered an essay contest during National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month for parents to write essays with their kids about the importance of health and fitness.

It was for families with kids that were between 8 – 13 years old and the family with the best essay won 3 months of private training for their family at my gym. It was hugely successful, as we inspired our entire community, and we received over 300 essays for the contest. The family who won still works out with us and we also got well over 70 new clients from that contest and it was all because of the media coverage from our local news station. Talk about impact! To date, that segment is still one of highest rated non-political segments of all time for our local news station.

Be Available and Ready – Once you establish a relationship with your local media, it is imperative that you continue to nurture that relationship by being very consistent and never being too busy for them. No matter what, make yourself available because the local media can easily replace you and get another fitness source to come on camera and speak to them about any number of fitness topics.

The upside of being consistently available is HUGE because once they feel that you are a credible and reliable source, they will begin to seek you out for your expertise when they need a source for a fitness topic. But if they feel that it takes a long time for you to respond to them or you consistently don’t meet their deadlines, then this relationship can quickly deteriorate. So again, make it a point to quickly respond to every request and if they end up giving you a deadline, ALWAYS deliver the content as early as possible and never wait until the deadline date to submit it.

Be Presentable and Prepared – This point piggy backs the other point listed above about being available and ready.

You also have to make sure that you are always presentable in every interview situation. Make sure that you shirt is tucked in and that your hair is combed. Make sure that you are not flashy with dark shades and jewelry on. You also want to make sure that you can speak and convey your fitness message confidently and with a relatable voice and tone. Make it your business to know the target audience of every media outlet before you write anything for them and/or are interviewed by them, so that you can customize your message to their readers, viewers, and followers.

By being committed to the above points, your local media will love you for taking your role seriously and will continue to seek you out for the foreseeable future for your expertise on all topics related to health and fitness!

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.

Oct
4

Which Heart Rate Monitor is Best For Your Clients?

Are You Missing The Opportunity to Improve Your Clients’ Results?

As trainers, how apt are you to use heart rate monitors with your clients?  It’s a tool that takes a lot of guess work out of how well they are responding to your training program.  At two gyms I work out of, I don’t see many trainers using them and they may be missing an opportunity to improve their clients’ results and consequently return as repeat customers.

Heart rate monitors provide objective information regarding cardiac physiology.  They allow trainers to monitor intensity and work to rest ratios. And provide feedback to ensure training targeting specific adaptations are properly administered.

Trainers have the advantage of understanding the importance of determining three types of heart rates for clients to safely get the max results from their workouts. Understanding a client’s maximal, target and recovery heart rates and how to measure and track them using heart rate monitors, allows us to provide superior results.  When we’re working with someone whose physical condition is compromised and should be tracked, i.e. hypertension and heart conditions, this is especially important.

Industry Background

The use of heart rate monitoring devices for exercise and other aspects of life has increased sharply over the past 10 years and will continue to grow.  TechNavio, a tech market research company indicates that the market will grow another 13% over the next three years to almost $3 billion. The growing sophistication of these devices to monitor life activities like floors climbed, steps taken, calories burned and active minutes, and an increased desire by individuals to take control of their health and reduce illness, are prime reasons for growth. Also many of these devices now connect with third party apps like local gyms and MyFitnessPal, making them valuable tools for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Chest straps and optical heart rate wrist bands are the two most common types of heart rate monitors available, and they both use similar methods to measure a pulse.  During 2015, the global heart rate monitoring device market was led by the chest strap segment which accounted for more than 51% of the market because they provide more accurate results compared with wristbands.

Along with or because of market growth spurred by individuals wanting to take more control over their exercise performance, the fitness industry is experiencing growth in exercise outlets like Orange Theory, that focus on monitoring heart rates using these devices. Per Fitness Professional Online, these heart rate monitoring outlets allow the trainer and clients to access individual and group heart rate data in real time during a workout and afterwards via access to the data which is recorded and stored on the web.

MyZone MZ3Cost Effective?

Is it cost effective for gyms to invest in a system that can track every client’s heart rate when they step into your facility?  I spoke with Melanie Wilson at FitMetrix, a company that services the gym market. FitMetrix helps gyms utilize data for member retention bringing technology based best practices from outside of the fitness industry.  The startup cost to employ a heart rate monitoring system entails a onetime purchase of a receiver and then a monthly $149.00 maintenance fee.  A receiver that can service a 2000 square feet area costs around $600.00. What’s nice about these systems is that they can be paired with a client’s own heart rate monitor from industry leaders including Fitbit, Polar and Garmin. If you’re looking to outfit your gym to service multiple clients, investigate Myzone, MyPerformance, Polar Club and Heart Zones.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Heart Rate Monitors On Your Clients?

> The trainer can monitor intensity and work to rest ratios, and provide feedback to ensure training targeting specific adaptations are properly administered.

> Monitors provide data or information that could indicate a problem such as atrial fibrillation or heart rates exceeding max heart rate.

> If connected to an app like MyFitnessPal.com, the trainer can track client’s workout data outside of gym times which can provide more customized training programs.

> They give personal trainers the ability to teach and educate the client about the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and understand how hard or easy they are working guide the intensity of sessions.

Trainers should heed the call to incorporate heart rate monitors and other technology into their training tool box.  The fitness industry is growing, but so is its sophistication. The trainer who embraces how technology can improve results is the trainer who will survive.

Top Heart Rate Monitors

Below are current, top, chest strap monitors per Gadgets and Wearables.com. Note that they all track heart rate and calorie burn and have built in memory for use without a smart phone.  They all are compatible with proprietary and third party fitness apps through Bluetooth and ANT+ dual ban technology.  Polar H10 boasts that it can monitor heart rates in water.

 

Wahoo Tickr

Polar H10

MyZone MZ3

Garmin HRM Tri

To receive a discounted price on MyZone MZ3 Click here

About the Author

Benita PerkinsBenita Perkins is a widely acclaimed health and wellness branding expert focusing on the fitness needs of women and the special demands they must overcome to step into a lifetime of healthy living through fun, interactive lifestyle events. Her company, Bennie Girl Health & Wellness Branding & Events, works with businesses and organizations to associate their brands and products with a healthy lifestyle, by identifying opportune events to participate in and activities that will best define and communicate the organization’s mission.

Sep
5

6 Exercises For Stand-up Paddle Boarders

Core Exercises on Total Gym GTS

How To Train Your Stand-up Paddle Boarding Enthusiasts With Total Gym Exercises

From oceans to rivers, lakes and ponds, Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is a fast-growing recreational pastime. SUP requires a unique combination of core strength, dynamic balance and cardio-respiratory efficiency, making it a fun and challenging way to get a great workout. As this activity has exploded in popularity, I’ve noticed more and more health club members and clients expressing an interest in improving their strength and fitness levels, so they can enjoy their time ‘walking on the water.’

Whether it be running, rock climbing or SUP, whenever I work with a client who is into a particular recreational activity, I always ask this question: “Do you do your favorite activity to get in shape, or do you want to get in shape to maximize enjoyment from that favorite activity?”  It’s always interesting to see how people respond. Most will say they do a particular activity because they feel it’s a great form of exercise. My response is to point out that adding some activity-specific conditioning to their workout routine, can help improve their overall fitness. They will have more strength and stamina to enjoy their favorite pastime. Nowhere is this more important than for Stand-up Paddle Boarding.

The body of water where an individual will be doing most of his or her SUP should also play a factor in the conditioning program.  An ocean will require more focus on dynamic balance to accommodate the constantly changing surface. A lake or pond may require more core and rotational strength to provide the propulsive force to keep moving. To help one of my clients improve his fitness for SUP in Mission Bay (located in San Diego) I created the following workout for him.

Squats and Unilateral Squats

Place feet toward the top of the squat stand positioned shoulder-width apart.  Lie back slowly making sure the head is on the glideboard.  Begin to squat slowly.  Repeat 20 times.  Then lift one leg and with the other, slowly squat.  Going slowly keeps the muscles under resistance for longer and so builds strength and muscle definition faster.  Repeat 12 single leg squats on each leg or 30-45 secs.

Unilateral Chest Press

This position provides training and conditioning of the anterior shoulders, chest and arms.  Trunk stabilization is integrated into the exercise, as the upper body is upright and unsupported.  One arm presses help improve core strength by integrating all of the muscles that control thoracic rotation; helpful for the rotational forces generated while paddling. Do the same number of reps or amount of time on each side. 12-15 reps each arm or 30-45 secs.

Kneeling 2-Hand Press

Combine hip and core strength; squeeze thighs and gluts, press hips forward and keep spine tall while doing this exercise. Do the same number of reps or amount of time on each side. 12-15 reps on each side or 30-45 secs.

Kneeling Shoulder Extension

With an upright posture, press the handles back and down past the hips, in an arc motion.  Maintain a stable trunk as the hands return with control, back to the starting position.  This exercise will enhance strength of the upper back and arm muscles (triceps) used for paddling. Keep your spine long and hinge from the hips while pressing arms straight back. 12-15 reps or 30-45 secs.

Kneeling Bicep Curl

Strong arms and grip are a requirement for successfully moving the paddle through the water; doing curls on your Total Gym not only blasts your biceps but also involves many of the muscles responsible for core stability. 12-15 reps or 30-45 secs.

For a good pump – keep one elbow in a flexed (bent) position while doing a rep with the other arm, alternate arms.

Kneeling Torso Rotation

SUP is done in a standing position, therefore strength exercises for the core should be done in a similar position. Keep your hips pressed forward, gluts squeezed and focus on rotating from the shoulders. Do the same number of reps or amount of time on each side. 12-15 reps on each side or 30-45 secs.

Doing timed sets and trying to complete as many reps as possible during the time can be an effective way to increase the cardio-respiratory benefit of the workout.  Make sure to do the same amount of time on each arm or in each direction.

This workout can either be organized horizontally: completing all sets of an exercise before moving to the next.   Or it can be performed vertically: moving from one exercise to the next with little-to-no rest (circuit training). Start with 2 sets of each exercise and progress to 5 sets. If doing horizontal sets, rest 30-45 seconds after each exercise; rest for 90-120 sec. after a complete circuit.

What I love about the way you exercise with Total Gym, is it allows several different options for both foundational exercises and creative movements and more advanced exercises, if needed.    I follow the KISS method (Keep It Simply Silly) and use exercises that focus on the foundational patterns of movement. This way, clients have the highest probability of actually doing the workout I design for them. That’s how this program is designed, to make it more challenging when using timed sets. I challenge clients to complete as many reps as possible in the time frame and then encourage them to meet or beat that number on the next set.

About the Author

Pete 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

Aug
28

Total Gym Core Strengthening Program

5 Total Gym Exercises That Will Build A Strong Core

Being in the fitness industry, we all understand the importance of having a strong core.  Fitness professionals also know how to get the core strong and keep it strong.  However, the average person doesn’t think about having a strong core, or if they are, it’s mostly for vanity purposes and say, looking good at the beach.  But in reality, the real goal should be to strengthen the core for FUNCTIONAL  purposes.  Strong core muscles make it easier to do many physical activities and help minimize injury.

Like most personal trainers and fitness professionals, we have all heard our fair share of clients complaining about their bad backs. We see them grimacing and we see the discomfort on their faces.  We don’t like to see our clients in pain.  However, the good news is, that with all these bodily aches and pains, an opportunity is created for us to teach, educate and motivate our clients.  We can get them to start stretching and strengthening their midsection every day, so that they move better and feel better.   Of course, if they come out looking amazing too, with a firmer tummy and/or 6 pack abs, that is a extra bonus!

Use your Total Gym GTS to let your clients know all the benefits of having a strong core and get them to buy into what you are teaching and trying to get them to do.  Have fun with it and keep inspiring them to do more.

Chest Press

Grasp handles to bring the glideboard halfway up the rails.  Facing away from the tower, straddle the rails and sit toward the top of the glideboard.  Position handles next to the rib cage and with cables on the inside of the forearm.   With tension in the cables position the legs on the glideboard with knees slightly bent.  Bring the handles and elbows up to chest height with palms facing down.      Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep, then repeat the movement.    (3 Sets, 15 Reps)

Upright Row

Grasp handles and pull the glideboard halfway up the rails.  Straddle the rails and sit toward the top edge of the glideboard, facing the tower.  With tension in the cables, extend arms directly toward the pulleys and lift feet off the floor. Palms face in.    Now repeat that motion to complete the 1st set. Remember to pull in towards your body fast but to go out slowly to control the movements and maximize the muscle contractions. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep. (3 Sets, 15 Reps)

Kneeling Lateral Torso Rotation

Grasp both handles to bring the glideboard up the rails.  Stand facing the rails and anchor handles down near the top edge of the glidgeboard (hand closest to the tower is holding handle).  Kneel on the top portion of the glideboard facing sideways.  Separate the knees to create a wide base of support between them.   With tension in the cable slowly lift both handles from the glideboard and extend the arms diagonally across the body and upwards.  Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep, then repeat the movement.  (3 Sets, 10 Reps in Each Direction)

SCRUNCH

Attach the SCRUNCH Accessory to the top of the rails.  Facing the tower, keel toward the top of the glideboard.  Grasp the SCRUNCH Accessory cross bar on the outside with palm facing in and rest the elbows on the padded surface.  Maintaining a neutral spine, position the shoulders directly over the elbows.  Press elbows into the scrunch padding to maintain a neutral shoulder position.. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep, then repeat the movement.
(3 Sets, 15 Reps)

Plank

Disconnect the pulley from the glideboard and stow the handles.  Remove the standing platform.  With the glideboard at the bottom of the rails, face the tower and kneel on the lower part of the glideboard.  Place forearms towards the top of the glideboard, palms facing in.  Raise the knees off the glideboard and align the neck, shoulders, hips and legs into a level plank position.  Press into the forearms to keeps the shoulders in a neutral position. Shift the glideboard up and down into the closed and open positions. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then you repeat the exercise to complete the set. (3 Sets, 15 Reps)

So there you have it, a simple but VERY effective core strengthening program that your clients can perform on your Total Gym machine to help them to get stronger and become more flexible so that they can protect their back for the long haul and minimize the risk for lower back pain.

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.

Aug
15

10 Minute Total Gym HIIT Workout

Total Gym HIIT Workout

Watch the video

Quick Total Gym HIIT Workout That Will Get Your Clients Huffin’ and Puffin’

As a fitness professional, even if you have not done HIIT yourself or implemented this type of exercise programming for your clients, then I’m sure that you have at least heard of it and know that it has become one of the most popular workout programs in the world.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is an effective training technique in which you give maximum effort through fast, quick, and intense bursts of different exercises followed by a short and/or active recovery period. The reason that this type of training has become so trendy is, because it works and gets you great results by keeping your heart rate up and efficiently burning more fat. With its fast paced movements and very little breaks, the HIIT phenomenon simply delivers. It is a great program to implement into your own client program.   And it’s easily customized to fit any client fitness level.

Did you know that HIIT is so versatile that it can be used with a combination of exercises and equipment like your Total Gym GTS?  In fact, here is a sample workout program for you to prescribe to your clients immediately. I bet that after this HIIT workout on the GTS, their heart rates will read higher than a credit card bill during the Christmas holiday. Trust me!

Have your clients try the following 10 minute HIIT workout program for a total of:

  • 2 rounds and 40 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest

and don’t forget to challenge them in each workout to increase their reps each time.

Total Gym Incline Push UpsIncline Push-Ups: (using Squat Stand)

Stand facing the squat stand and place hands on the top edge, slightly wider than shoulder width. Position feet about 3 or 4 foot away from the squat stand with arms and body straight. Standing on the balls of your feet, lower yourself down in a slow and controlled manner. Push your body up until arms are extended to complete the first rep.

Dips: (using Squat Stand)

Position the rails at the highest position and then facing away from the squat stand, place your hands on the top edge, shoulder-width apart. Edge your feet out in front of you and straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the foot platform. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep. Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body. Please note that you can slightly bend your legs to modify this exercise.

Total Gym Leg RaisesLeg Raises:

Lay down on the glideboard making sure that your head supported – you may have to scoot your butt down a little.  With your arms fully extended above your head to grab onto the LAT Bars with your hands facing one another. With your arms fully extended and your body stretched out, begin to lift your legs up simultaneously as high as you can to form the letter “L” out of your body, then slowly lower them back down. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep, then repeat the movement.

One Legged Sitting SquatOne-Legged Sitting Squat Jump:

Sit upright with your butt as close as possible to the bottom of the glideboard. With one foot on the squat stand and the other leg resting at the side,  squat on the one leg by going down slowly until you feel engagement in the quadriceps region of your leg, then press to lift your body back up to complete the rep. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep, then swiftly switch legs and perform the same movement on this side. Alternate the movement back and forth between both legs.

Total Gym PikePike: (on glideboard)

Please note that you must supervise this carefully as the glideboard is very unstable.

Place both hands on the squat stand and straddle the glideboard.  While still holding the squat stand get on to your knees and then up onto your feet. On your toes with your heels in the air push away from the squat stand to make an upside down “V”  and come back to the starting position. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then you repeat the exercise to complete the set.

So there you have it, a calorie crushing 10 minute HIIT workout to help your clients elevate their fitness level. Have your client perform this workout routine 3 days per week for the next 4 weeks and be sure to remind them to combine this workout program with a balanced nutrition regimen, adequate sleep, and lots of water to create optimal levels of health and fitness for themselves.

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.

Aug
8

7 Ways Members Benefit From Circuit Training

ELEVATE Circuit

ELEVATE Circuit Training – Get Results That Retain Members

Weight loss is one of the primary reasons why most consumers look to join a health club and start an exercise program. Yes, traditional aerobic conditioning like running on a treadmill, sweating buckets in an indoor cycling class, or the popular high intensity strength training workouts, can help burn calories for weight loss, but the simple fact is, that many people don’t enjoy them.  They can be intimidated by the loud music and fast-pace of indoor cycling or could get injured by doing exercises too challenging for their skill level.

If you’re looking for ways to boost member engagement and retention, here’s a little secret.  It doesn’t matter how good the exercise is for helping an individual reach his or her fitness goals, if a member or client doesn’t enjoy it, then they’re not going to do it.  So now what do you do?

Make Exercising Enjoyable

One of the best ways to improve retention is by creating happy customers, which means featuring exercise options they WANT to do because they’re both fun and relevant to their goals.

Fortunately, there is a mode of exercise that can be both fun AND effective for weight loss: bodyweight circuit training; specifically circuit training featuring bodyweight exercises.

In general, circuit training involves a series of resistance-training exercises for different movements or body parts with little-to-no rest between each exercise. The traditional selectorized resistance-training machines, normally used for circuit training are effective but also expensive, not easy to move around or reconfigure and can be intimidating for some members.

A good strength training circuit should not only be time-efficient and easy to follow, but should be easy to adjust and re-organize to create different workouts from week-to-week or month-to-month.

Make It Easy To Follow

Lack of time and not knowing what type of exercise they should be doing are two of the most frequently cited reasons for why club members or personal training clients have a hard time following a workout program. As health and fitness professionals, it’s our job to help our clients overcome these roadblocks.

Strength training circuits should transition between exercises for upper and lower-body muscles or alternating movement patterns like from push-ups to pull-ups to help members do workouts that are both time efficient and effective.

Circuit training on the ELEVATE Circuit can provide the following 7 benefits:

Burn More Calories

The body burns 5 calories of energy to use 1 liter of oxygen. Circuit training can use most of the muscles in the body, which significantly increases oxygen consumption when compared to a mode of cardio exercise relying primarily on the lower body. Any mode of exercise that increases oxygen demand also increases energy expenditure, making it an effective strategy for weight loss.

Alternating between upper body, lower body and core muscles, while circuit training on ELEVATE can help increase oxygen consumption in the body, resulting in the ability to burn a lot of calories in a relatively short amount of time.

Total Gym Elevate CircuitWork Smarter Not Harder

Bodyweight circuit training can be considered both moderate intensity cardio-respiratory AND strength training exercise both of which are important for fat loss. Too much high intensity exercise (where breathing is much faster than normal, and saying more than a couple of words at a time can be difficult) for more than 50 to 60 minutes at a time could actually lead to burning muscle instead of fat.

At a higher intensity of exercise, the body will use primarily carbohydrate for fuel. Once this carbohydrate is depleted, the body uses the hormone cortisol to convert protein to fuel in a process called gluconeogenesis. When this happens, less protein is available to repair muscle tissue damaged during the exercise.

Fast Track Strength Training

Bodyweight strength-training circuits can actually increase lean muscle mass throughout the entire body while most modes of cardio training involve primarily leg muscles. Doing bodyweight exercises to a point of momentary fatigue can stimulate the type II, fast twitch muscle fibers responsible for improving strength and size. Increasing activation of the type II fibers can result in larger, more defined muscles throughout the entire body.

Increase Metabolism

Higher levels of lean muscle mass equate to a higher resting metabolism, which means the body will burn more calories while at rest. At rest, 1 pound of muscle can burn up to 7 calories of energy during a 24-hour period. Adding 5 to 7 pounds of lean muscle mass can increase resting metabolism up to 50 calories a day or 350 calories over the course of a week. Given that the body uses approximately 100 calories to walk a mile, this can be considered the equivalent of taking a 3.5-mile walk.

Using ELEVATE can help add lean muscle mass to your body. As you increase the amount of muscle tissue your metabolism will become much more efficient at burning calories meaning that you can increase caloric expenditure even when you are NOT exercising.

Combine Strength Training With Cardio

Row Trainer small group class

Row small group class

To increase energy expenditure for weight loss, combining circuit training with cardio exercise can be extremely effective. For example, after completing a circuit of resistance-training exercises, hop on an ELEVATE Row for 3 to 7 minutes of steady-state, moderate-intensity exercise. The cardio exercise should focus on the aerobic energy system, so your breathing should be quicker than normal, but you shouldn’t be out of breath.

Non-Intimidating

Weight rooms can be intimidating, which can keep members from doing beneficial strength training exercises. A bodyweight circuit that is set up away from the free-weight area can provide a non-intimidating environment for club members to obtain the many benefits of strength training, while also establishing the base level of strength required to progress to more challenging forms of resistance training.

Trainer-Led Sessions Create Rapport and Encourage Members

Scheduling a trainer to assist members during busy times can provide a higher level of service to members who are attempting to use the circuit. A trainer can push members to work a little harder on the circuit, which can be an important component for achieving results. In addition, coaching club members through an established machine circuit provides a way for trainers to meet a number of members during each shift. As the trainers help the members, they can learn names and establish rapport, both of which are essential for long-term success.

In this era of demanding, high-intensity group fitness classes and technically complex free-weight training programs, the idea of returning to circuit training, which was popular in the early ‘80s, may seem like a return to the dark ages. The accompanying video can help you understand how the Elevate Line can be organized to create an effective strength training circuit that can help your members reach their goals from weight-loss to enhanced muscle definition. One of the best features of the Elevate Line is that all pieces are easy to move around meaning you can create different circuits to meet the needs of different populations of members or clients you serve.

For more information on the ELEVATE Circuit – call 858 764 0078 or visit totalgym.com

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

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