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5 Reasons to Encourage Your Members to Row

Indoor RowingTotal Gym Row Trainer - On the Cardio Deck is a Great Cardio Workout 

A major benefit of joining a health club is having access to a wide variety of cardio machines that can help improve health and exercise variety. How many times do members show up at their health club for a workout, only to see that all their favorite cardio machines are busy? And let’s be perfectly honest, while they can burn a lot of calories in a relatively short period of time, many cardio machines, like the treadmill, elliptical runner or stationary bike, are simply boring to use for more than a few minutes at a time.

Encouraging your members on how to use different cardio machines can give them more options for their workout. For people who don’t necessarily enjoy running in place for extended periods of time, my advice is to pick 3 or 4 machines and have them do 10 minutes on each one. This can keep their workout more interesting and reduce the risk of burnout.

Row Trainer - part of the Total Gym Elevate CircuitThe rowing machine is sometimes one piece of cardio equipment that is often sitting all alone just waiting for some attention, which is unfortunate because it can really be one of the most beneficial and effective pieces of equipment in a health club.

Teaching members how to use the rowing machine can provide some important benefits. Unless they grew up on a body of water they probably don’t have much experience rowing, but rowing is a great form of exercise that can give them a really good cardio workout in a relatively short period of time.

Here are 5 reasons why your members should row:

Rowing burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time. The body burns 5 calories of energy to consume one liter of oxygen. Any exercise that uses a large amount of muscle mass will increase the amount of oxygen consumed in the body. Because the muscles of the upper and lower body are working together, rowing is one of the most efficient ways to burn the most calories.

Rowing improves coordination between the upper and lower body.  The rowing motion begins with the legs and finishes with the arms and back which means that most of the muscles in the body are being used with one relatively simply movement. Pushing with the legs and pulling with the upper body helps coordinate the actions of the muscles which can improve overall movement efficiency.

Rowing can help lower blood pressure and improve cardio respiratory efficiency – the ability to move oxygen around the body. While it is often associated with weight loss, it is easy to forget that the purpose of cardio exercise is to improve the efficiency of the cardiovascular system responsible for moving oxygenated blood to the working muscles of the body. Because so many muscles are involved, rowing is an excellent way to increase the strength of the cardiac muscle responsible for keeping the blood circulating efficiently.

Rowing is more joint friendly than most other pieces of equipment and this can be particularly beneficial for some if not all members.   Rowing is done in a seated position which reduces stress on the knees, hips and back. Gravity accelerates you into the ground so when you jog, you can feel a lot of pressure radiate through your body. But sitting in a rowing machine means that you’re not placing downward pressure on the body, allowing the muscles to work without the effects gravity-caused impact.

Total Gym Row Trainer Group ClassesRowing allows you to measure each individual workout and overall progress with specific metrics. Rowing machines have an ergometer which measures distance, time, calories and power. Any one of these can be used to monitor your member’s training intensity and measure their progress. Encourage members to change it up: see how far they can row in five or ten minutes or time how long it takes them to burn a certain amount of calories. Challenge them to sustain a certain work-rate (wattage) for a specific amount of time. Setting quantifiable goals (and achieving them) is a sure-fire method to help establish long-term adherence to an exercise program.

If you want to add rowing to your members’ workout routine, or if you want to consider starting rowing group classes, check out the budget-friendly Total Gym Row Trainer – a new spin on rowing because you are rowing on an incline.   Adding rowing to your members’ workout program can help them reach their fitness goals without placing too much stress on the body. Call 858-764-0078 for more information on the Row Trainer.

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. 


Maximize Your Clients’ Workout Results

Mindful Training:  Maximize Your Clients’ Results and Improve Your Value as a Personal Trainer

JayDee Cutting and mindful exercise

Your clients pay you the big bucks to get results, right?  Exercise and training the body is like anything else that is done in life: the more you focus, the more successful the results.  Improve your clients’ cognition, body awareness, proprioception and overall results.  And here’s the bonus:  providing these benefits for your clients will improve YOUR value as a fitness professional.

Mindfulness and meditation seem to be popular buzz words and all the rage lately.  Your clients have surely heard that ultra-successful people like Oprah, the late Steve Jobs, hip-hop mogul Russel Simmons, and Ellen DeGeneres, as well as tons of top athletes and CEOs are daily meditators.  So let’s be a part of the buzz and incorporate mindful techniques into our training.

I have to thank retired psychologist Dr. Michael Mantell for this blog idea.  Dr. Mantell is now a Transformation Behavioral Coach and highly involved in the fitness industry.  He is a former consultant for ACE, a frequent guest on national TV shows and also a contributor for Total Gym, as well as dozens of fitness publications.  Dr. Mantell was presenting at Rancho La Puerta Fitness Spa in Mexico where I am fortunate enough to work.  He was in the gym while I was training a guest and he later approached me saying something like, “I was so impressed with how much you incorporated mental cues into everything you had your client do physically.”  His comments were flattering and it got me thinking about how my training style has evolved over the past 22 years.

Meditation has taught me to live more mindfully (and more peacefully) and thus more focused. This new style of living has increased the quality of my client interaction immensely.  Pilates has taught me the invaluable principle of always focusing on the muscle, not the movement.  Instead of cuing my client to move equipment from A to B, I instruct them to contract the muscle we’re working and the body moves as a byproduct.  It may sounds simple, but this small change in perception takes an exercise from mindless movement to mindful training of a client’s body.

Here is how I would teach my client Suzy, a simple standing biceps curl.  Let’s start with getting Suzy present by having her focus on what I call an “athletic” posture.

“OK Suzy, soft knees, hips back, equal weight through all four corners of your feet and show me a strong, neutral spine.”

“Next, before you contract the working muscle, simultaneously start your exhale and “set” your core by gently drawing your navel to spine and engaging the pelvic floor muscles.”

“Now Suzy, focus on the muscle that is creating the movement and start your biceps contraction. Feel the biceps begin to shorten as you contract.”

“Throughout the biceps contraction, continue your exhale with a relaxed face while you accentuate the navel drawing to the spine and lifting of the pelvic floor.”

“At the peak contraction, give the biceps an internal “squeeze and hold” for a good second and the navel and pelvic floor one last tug.” (see video for this one!)

“Visualize the biceps lengthening as you lower the weight down with a long, deep inhale through your nose.”

I will often have Suzy close her eyes on a few reps to truly feel the work from the inside as well as minimizing external distractions.  In addition, I will use touch for tactile feedback especially during the “squeeze and hold” phase.

I am constantly giving my clients things to focus on to keep them present.  If they’re focused on their body, breathing, the muscle contraction etc., guess what they’re not focused on?  Something they did at work, the kids, what they’re making for dinner, grocery lists or anything in the past or future.

One last thing.  The practice of meditation will enhance mindful living.  I specialize in teaching meditation to people who think they could never meditate, because that was me once.  Now I give credit and thanks to my daily meditation practice (of also 22 years) and my extensive Pilates training.

My CD, Mindfulness Meditation – A simple, practical guide to a profound, powerful practice has helped thousands.  Please contact me if you’d like more focus and peace in your life.

About JayDee

JayDee Cutting III, MBAJayDee Cutting III, MBA is an Educator for the American Council On Exercise and holds 12 fitness certifications including Pilates, yoga, personal training, lifestyle and weight management.  JayDee is a Total Gym master trainer and spokesmodel since 2004.  He lectures and teaches wellness at Rancho La Puerta Fitness Spa and is featured in over 10 fitness DVDs and over 40 fitness television programs.  He developed his own Coregolf Fitness Program and founded the NiceDogYoga Company. His mission statement is: “My passion is inspiring people to enhance their lives through wellness, creating healthier, happier, higher qualities of life.”


How to Finance Your Own Gym

How to get Financing on a New Fitness Studio

Just like the old adage says; “it takes money to make money.”  And it’s true.  No matter whether you are in the startup phase or if you are looking to expand your business, you’re going to need MONEY!

1411097Questions to Ask Yourself

How much money do you really need to get started? Do you want to lease your equipment or do you want to purchase it? How many employees do you need? Do you even need employees at the start? How much will it cost to lease a building? What is a gross lease? What are triple net (NNN) fees? Do you want your business located in a retail center or in a warehouse? What kind of permits do you need to start your business?

This is just a sample list but there are a lot of questions that you have to ask yourself before starting your business…and this list above isn’t even all of the questions that you need to ask prior to starting your business. So assuming that you have done all your homework in regards to planning for your new studio, it’s now time to focus on the numbers and get the money you need so you can reach your goal: signing up your first member at your own fitness studio!

Here’s a Look at Some of your Startup Costs: Stressed out

  • Deposit on the Building Lease
  • Fitness Equipment
  • Business License
  • City/Building Permits
  • Liability Insurance
  • Payroll & Workers Compensation Setup
  • Office and Studio Furniture
  • Membership Software Setup
  • Accounting & Legal Fees
  • Telephone/Fax
  • Office Supplies (i.e. computer, desk)
  • Website Setup

Here’s a Look at Some of your Ongoing Monthly Costs:1825100

  • Monthly Rent
  • Liability Insurance
  • Payroll & Workers Compensation
  • Membership Software Maintenance
  • Accounting & Legal Fees
  • Telephone Services
  • Website Hosting
  • Marketing
  • Quarterly Taxes
  • Utilities

Obviously everyone is different and the cost will vary depending on location, needs and wants, along with the overall preferences of the owner, but to give you a starting reference point, you are most likely looking at a minimum of startup of $10,000 for a quality fitness studio with basic equipment.

If you have the minimum of $10,000 in savings to get your business started, then that’s great and you are already ahead of the curve. However, the average person usually needs some type of assistance with financing their new venture. So let’s look at the 3 most popular options for acquiring capital to help you accomplish your goal of opening your very own fitness studio.

1410525Family or Friends 

Many people first tap the shoulders of those around them for help with financing their new business. It can be your parents, siblings, grandparents, friends or even kids that you may ask for financial help…and why not, you know that they love you and have your best interest at heart, right? This option works out really well assuming that you hit all of your financial goals once your business is operating and you’re able to pay them back in a reasonably and/or agreed amount of time.

However, it should be mentioned that you should PROCEED WITH CAUTION with this route because things can go bad really quickly. If you aren’t able to repay your debt, then how do your loved ones recoup their money? In a worst case scenario, they can sue you or have your wages garnished.  They can stop talking to you and could even hurt you. obviously putting a huge damper on your relationship. As these things can happen more often than you think, make sure you seriously think about this option before you choose it.

1269785Bank Loan

This is probably the most common way to start a business from a financing standpoint because unlike borrowing from friends and family, this financing option is very legal and will hold you more accountable. When you borrow money from a financial institution, you will have to submit some form of collateral (i.e. your house, life insurance, equipment, etc.), have a minimum acceptable credit score, have at least 10% of the requested amount available in your checking or savings account, and go through a very thorough credit application process to determine if you are credit worthy or not.

Although it is a more rigorous process, it allows both sides to be protected moving forward. It also allows you an opportunity to grow your business from infancy with “seed money”, benefiting you in the long run with a growing relationship that will help you should you need to borrow more in the future.


Another popular option nowadays is crowdfunding. Websites such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe allow you campaign online to raise money for your business venture. The most intriguing things about crowdfunding is that you can potentially go right to the core audience to help fund your project. The process is not as rigid as getting a bank loan and it’s not as emotionally risky as borrowing from family and friends but just like receiving money from anywhere, there is a risk and a huge expectation for you to perform on your end too.

So with all of that said, there are pros and cons to every option, so just do your homework and find which option works best for YOU. Good luck with getting your new business financed, getting the doors opened and preparing for massive success!

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.


What’s Trending in Personal Training?

9 Trending Tips for Personal Trainers 2016-2017

As personal trainers, we are always looking for the next best thing to help our clients achieve their goals while keeping ourselves from getting stuck in a fitness rut. I’ll be the first to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but let’s face it, there are some pretty cool things trending in the fitness world today that we should take advantage of: some old, some new, all tested, tried and true! Check out my top favorites.


Foam Rolling

Exercise & Muscle Recovery

More people are becoming keenly aware of the importance of muscle recovery. I personally have a deeper appreciation now that I’m getting older and my body doesn’t recover as quickly. There are lots of techniques available to aid in the process of recovery like SMR (Self-Myofascial Release) by way of Foam Rolling, The Stick and Trigger Point Therapy, compression clothing to improve circulation and provide support, and Cryotherapy or ice pack therapy which uses extremely low temperatures to decrease inflammation and help athletes recover faster. Check out the Total Gym Pulse blog on foam rolling.


Podify is an App that allows professionals to connect and collaborate by creating a referral network to grow each others businesses and create more revenue.  The App, which is free, provides real-time and interactive scheduling, automated billing, and referrals to wellness professionals. It is a trusted community marketplace that empowers trainers and their clients to do business with one another through their common trusted relationships.

Dejinira Lee - Virtual Personal Trainer

Virtual Training

Virtual Personal Training

Thanks to virtual training technology, trainers have another avenue to reach potential clients and change lives for the better, and clients have more access to a wider range of personal trainers. All you need is a computer, laptop, iPad or smartphone and you’re ready to roll. Virtual training omits commute times while providing the option to train in various locations. Check out my previous blog on Virtual Personal Training and get creative and give it a try. The sky’s the limit.

Wearable Technology


Slake Deluxe Activity Crystal Bracelet Carrier

We’ve all got fitness tracking technology in some form. And now there are plenty of fitness apps and studios utilizing this technology. Aside from smart phones being equipped with step counters, heart rate monitors and more, you can now buy sports bras with sensors, clip on fitness trackers, and you can even dress up for a black tie event without missing a step, with activity tracking jewelry from Swarovski.

Obstacle Course Races

For some, it’s on their bucket list while others just want a good, physically challenging experience. Parkour, Ninja Warrior and Spartan Training Gyms are opening up everywhere and encouraging folks to put their passion for fitness to the test. Male, female, young, old, fit or not, obstacle courses are the new rage. Grab your clients, put a team together and get moving.

Bodybuilding Competitions

With thousands of men and women competing every year, this cult classic is one of the fasting growing athletic events in the country. There’s more to it than just looking good. The goals of a successful competitor are a great body, great stage presence, personality, showmanship and strength. Need some inspiration? Check out Ernestine Shepherd.

Total Gym Row Trainer Class

Total Gym Row Trainer Class

Small Group Training

This is one of my personal favorites. There’s fun, camaraderie and just a slight hint of competitiveness when you get together with a small group of people to train. Whether it’s bootcamp in the park, a Total Gym Elevate Circuit class or a Total Gym Row Trainer class, or a dance class like U-Jam or Zumba, there’s excitement knowing that people are expecting you to show up. We all have those days when it’s difficult to find the mojo to get moving. With SGT all you have to do is get there.

Back to Basics: Workout 101

Joseph Goldstein, John Grimek, Eugen Sandow. Do you recognize these names? They were pioneers in the fitness industry; experts who built a solid foundation for a long, healthy life. Their fitness journeys began in the late 1800s and early 1900s with principles based on isometrics, high repetition training, deep breathing and sticking to a very clean diet. Other disciplines included self-resistance workouts and creating variety when working out to stimulate muscle growth and keep the training program interesting. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed with all the intensity of HIIT, GRIT and CrossFit, just bring it back to the basics.Close up of asparagus on white background

Diet & Nutrition

Fitness enthusiasts are now spending as much time focusing on clean eating as they are planning their workout routines and trainers are spending as much time learning about nutrition as they are training. Clients are looking for the whole package; nutrition, fitness and motivation all rolled up into one fabulous trainer.

The fitness industry continues to create new, exciting ways to keep people interested and gives trainers as many options as possible to create opportunities for clients to be successful. As more options become available, more people are joining the fitness movement. Whatever kind of workout you clients are looking for, keep your knowledge broadened and make sure you’re it.

About the Author

Dejinira LeeDejinira Lee has been an ACE certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and nutrition specialist since 1997. She received her education from UCLA’s specialized Fitness & Nutrition program and Tuft’s University for Total Nutrition. Dejinira is also a Total Gym GRAVITY Trainer, BOSU Master Trainer Levels I and II, and an ACE trained Clinical Exercise Specialist. She currently works with golfers, instructors and regular clients of all fitness levels, in both a Virtual and Studio setting, focusing on improving strength, range of motion, balance and agility. “I love meeting the different needs of my clients! It keeps my mind active and inspires me to keep learning. There’s no better feeling than hearing my clients say “I can’t believe I did that!”


Cuing to Music for your Workout Class

How to Cue at the Right Times for the Next Move


5, 6, 7, 8 is burned in my brain, in part of my subconscious. I probably say it in my sleep, because I know I dream about it. I am not going to get all wordy and technical to explain how you should cue to music while you are teaching, but chances are if you are a new instructor and already nervous about keeping a class going with a good flow, you don’t want to read something complicated and end up with more anxiety.

Even though I am a dancer and counting and cuing is like drinking water, I really came about all of this by a FEELING. And by that I mean, some of us learn to cue and count and others just naturally feel it. Only until I taught my first dance class at 16 did I have to really put cuing in to practice. This is when I learned not everyone felt the music like I did. A student would ask me “what count was that on?” And I would go…”Umm, it was BOOM BAP DA DA BOOM BOOM”. Then they would look at me with a blank stare and I would have to say, “well I don’t really know, let’s go back and do it with counts out loud.”  For me I just knew when the music would change or when there was going to be a new instrument added or a beat was about to
disappear or appear.

What I suggest is this…

Listen to as much music as you can and test yourself. Play your music and don’t count, then in the middle of the song try to find the count to drop into. The more comfortable you get with beats, melodies and different types of music the easier it will be.

Learn your instruments. Learn what they sound like so you can recognize them when they appear at the beginning of a new set or in the middle. Sometimes you will pick a song and the sets are happening on the intro of a new instrument not just a distinctive drum beat. Plus it will open up your world to a whole new style of music. Remember you want to keep your class interesting and fresh.

Know your routine. If you are not someone who can just improvise, then make sure you know your routine inside and out. In the beginning you can try to end your 8 counts on a distinctive move.

Use visual cuing. Some people are visual learners and no matter how many times you yell out “7, 8” or “on the 1, 2”, they will miss it every time. Try placing your hand in the air and using your fingers to do a count down while you are verbally counting as well.

1250525What Type of Music Should I Play?

The type of class you are teaching, the mood or vibe you need will all boil down to the style of music you choose and want. And this is where the real learning about cuing happens.

Hard to count music will fall into the category of Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Ambient and Jazz Music. This type of music is definitely a feeling. You will find that the tempo switches around a lot: sometimes fast, sometimes slow.

Easy to count music will be your Hip Hop, House, Techno and most Pop Music. These all have distinctive beats and are pretty much to the point. You will also find that when counting to it you will have:

4 sets of a 4 count or 4 sets of an 8 count.

With this style of music, you will also have your basic BPM (beats per min) or Steps per min. This can be from 130-180 BPM, and will be your cardio dance class, step, kickboxing, Zumba, and others. But to be honest I never pay that much attention to it. As long as the music goes with my routine and the students aren’t tripping over their feet, you are probably not going to judge your music based on how many BPM’s there are or aren’t. One more thing about counting to music that most people forget to tell, is no matter if there is a 4 count or an 8 count, there is also a little count called the “And” count. This is the space between each count. You can leave it open, or the more advanced teachers will have a move on the “And” count. Now they might only keep it for 4 counts and then go back to 5, 6, 7, 8, but it would go a little something like this…

1 and 2 and 3 and 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.1903213


1 and 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, 7, 8.

This little “And” count can make your routine a little thicker and complex, kind of like a hearty vegetable soup!

Follow the Leader…

Remember, when you are in the position of being an instructor, for that hour or whatever length of time your class is, “YOU ARE THE LEADER”!! If you are feeling a little out of control or lost just say, “OK after this next move let’s take a break, keep moving and get some water”. This gives you a chance to get your bearings back and start fresh. You can also switch up your music completely. So have a bunch of options for yourself in music. When you are calm and confident that energy will flow through the room and if you are not, well they will feel that also. Try keeping your instruction simple, not talking the whole time so that it doesn’t ruin the experience for your students. They say if you want to really learn something then teach it. For you first time Instructors nothing could be more true. It’s OK to mess up from time to time, it keeps you real and it’s how you learn, plus I have seen some of the top instructors flub up plenty of times. It’s not whether you mess up but how you recover.

Always remember…

People are coming to get away, to have and experience and have fun while getting into shape. Being and instructor that teaches to feel the music while helping them tap into that deeper part of themselves goes way beyond just cuing.

Until next time…

About the Author

Melissa MunizMelissa L. Muniz is a certified Pilates Instructor, Dance teacher, Choreographer, Actor, Model and full time Mom! She has spent over a decade traveling the world studying traditional dance such as Flamenco in Spain and cultural dance in Indonesia to name but a few. She has toured with Nickelodeon as a dance performer and actor and starred in several music videos and movies. Melissa had the opportunity to train teachers for the opening of the first Pilates Studio in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has been working with Total Gym as a Gravity Master Trainer since 2002. She has loved the inspiration and support that Total Gym gives and lives by. Melissa now resides with her family in Atlanta GA, teaching at a Wellness Center where she infuses life, happiness and understanding of the body, to those with an open heart and mind.


Make More Money as a Personal Trainer

How to Maximize Revenue as a Personal Trainer

RIGHT NOW is a great time to be in the fitness industry. There are so many opportunities out there to impact millions of lives, have job satisfaction and create an unbelievable stream of income for yourself.

1884040 - CopyBack when personal training first began, Personal Trainers solely trained individuals in a one-on-one setting to create their incomes. This meant that their income was strictly limited to however many hours they physically worked. So if they charged $40 per session and worked 10 hours in one week, they would make $400 -> Multiply that by 4 weeks in a month and they made $1600 per month.  Depending on your needs, that amount of money per month could or could not be sufficient for you. That’s your call to make.

Then there were the Personal Trainers in the 1980’s & 1990’s who resided and worked in mostly larger cities such as Los Angeles or New York who created workout videos on VHS and wrote books to create additional streams of income and possible TV opportunities with acting and infomercials.

The next wave of Personal Trainers did all of the above, but then they started to focus on training pro athletes and celebrities to become mini celebrities themselves and that opened up the door for corporate partnerships, brand ambassador opportunities, and endorsement deals.

So nowadays, the big buzz in the fitness industry is in the technology world via smart phone apps, websites, and social media…and even reality television!

With all of the above said, there are countless opportunities to maximize your income but let’s discuss the 3 most popular options:

1888615Create your own fitness facility – This gives you ultimate control of your destiny. You can hire a team of personal trainers and even other employees such as massage therapists and group fitness instructors to maximize your income. This option is considered leveraging your time. Of course, you can still do some training and/or teach some fitness classes yourself but at the same time, you will be moving into an owner/managerial position to teach your brand and your style to your team, so that they can deliver this consistent experience to your client base.

At your fitness facility, you can offer a huge variety of services to maximize your income such as Personal Training, Small Group Training, After-School Programs, Kid Fitness Programs, Mommy & Me Classes, Boot Camp Training and more.

Don’t be afraid to be creative when creating services for your fitness facility. Have fun with it. You can even create “feeder” programs such as a 6 week “Get Your Spring Break Body Bootcamp Program” if you live near a college or university OR you can create a 12 week “Fit Mommies Program” if you have access to or know a lot of moms in your area.

Corporate Fitness – This is a great option because more and more employers are starting to realize that an investment to a credible corporate fitness program helps save them money in the long term. A great corporate fitness program provides high 1839792emphasis on motivation, accountability, behavior change, movement and education to the company and employees. It will also provide cutting edge and effective information to help create a healthier workplace.

Corporate fitness programs are designed to improve individual & team performance, team morale, reduced absenteeism, fewer sick days, and reduced turnover. These are the key points that you will want to drive home in your pitch to the employer because most employers want to show their team that they care and they also want to have the ability to save money. In every company, there is no greater responsibility and better investment, then to invest in your staff and employees…and every great company knows that.

Take advantage of offering the following corporate fitness services to various businesses and companies:

> Keynote Motivational Speaking
> Consulting
> Onsite Fitness Seminars
> Corporate Fitness Challenges
> Team Building Workshops
> Lunch and Learn Lectures
> Health Fairs
> Fitness Retreats

Online Training – Online training allows you to use the power of the World Wide Web to potentially reach millions of people all over the world. The best thing about online training is that how it works is completely up to you. There is no protocol on this one option. You can do online training where you offer meal plans, customized training, workshops, webinars, lectures, subscription based programs, information summits, lectures, e-book, and conferences all from your computer and/or your phone. Talk about leveraging time. This is where building and having a large audience really comes into play. If you can build up a nice niche following on social media, where for example: you have 5,000 people and they each pay $10 per year for an online subscription (you send them a newsletter, an e-book, and you do a monthly webinar) that equals $50,000 per year, then you take that same group of people and you up-sell them on various products and services that you have to offer.

As previously stated, this is a GREAT time to be in the fitness industry. All it takes to create an amazing career, income, and job satisfaction is a little creativity and the desire to help people. The more that you focus on helping people, the more money that you will make!

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.


Understanding Total Gym Progressions – Part 3

Combining Chops, Lateral Lunge & Bicep Curls for the Perfect Routine

Total Gym Progressions Part 3

Performing the same workout with the same exercises week after week would become monotonous, rather boring, and extremely stale for anyone!  It would feel like ground hog day and change how people spend their time.   This never has to be the case if you know the exercise basics, how to integrate variety and challenge what you already know with a few simple techniques.

Basic Principals of Exercise

As a professional trainer, understanding the principals of exercise and progression is key to challenging all client types to achieve their goals.  Listed below are the primary principals that must be understood and mastered to deliver safe and efficient workouts.

Overload – To become stronger, the body must be exposed to workloads greater than those it is accustomed to. Work levels must gradually “overload” the body above its resting level to bring about improvement.

Progression – Progressively and gradually increasing the workload of an exercise for improvement – once a basic movement or skill is mastered and is performed at ease, one will advance to a higher level of training by progressive variables.

Regression – Training improvements are rapidly lost when training ceases. Significant reductions in fitness levels can be seen after only 2 weeks without training.

Specificity – Specific focus to become better at a movement or skill by consistent practice for the body to adapt.

Plateau – The gains usually seen in the early stages of an exercise program level off after a few weeks, and no further gains are apparent. This is normal, and progression will again occur as the program is continued.

Learn to Vary Any Exercise

Altering the weight used along with the reps and sets performed are not the only way to vary an exercise.  Actually, it’s just simple ways to address changing an exercise.

Often times, trainers have an exercise in their mind they want their client to perform, but it might not be the ‘right’ exercise for the client.  Rather than force a movement that’s not working, be prepared and knowledgeable with variations to perform the same exercise in a different way that accommodates the client’s needs.

Methods of Progression & Regression

Progression and regression happens in a variety of ways.  Some of these include:

  • Changing the resistance
  • Increasing/ decreasing reps
  • Intensity of exercises performed (difficulty of workout)
  • Speed (tempo of exercise/drill)
  • Duration (length of workout)
  • Balance challenges
  • Super sets OR compound movements (performing 2 exercises at once)
  • Timed sets vs. number of reps
  • Stance of feet/ hands (uni-bi lateral movements)
  • Angle of movement
  • Range of motion
  • Equipment used
  • Workout style (circuits, intervals, HIIT, low impact, post-rehab, etc.)

By changing just one of these variables, your clients will be challenged with the same exercises they’re familiar performing.


You can achieve anything you want with consistent, hard efforts.  Patience and consistency will bring results.  This is such an important principle to implement because this is where many tend to fail.  They give up before they succeed in the end result.

Bottom line: never give up on the end result.  If it were easy, everyone would be doing amazing, difficult things.  So be prepared to work hard mentally and physically and stay focused on the end goal to achieve any learned skill.

Basics to Progress

Let’s discuss 3 excellent exercises you can progress during a workout by adding a variation for an increased challenge. Cable Chops, Lateral Lunge, and Chest Flies are a great combination of exercises to work the entire body while focusing on a specific area.

Each of these Total Gym exercises show a series of ways to progress ranging from beginner to advanced.  Try incorporating these exercise progressions with your client according to their strength level.


  • Seated
  • Kneeling
  • High kneeling
  • Different angles


  • Stationary
  • Open glideboard lunge
  • Pulses
  • Dynamic movement


  • Seated
  • Kneeling
  • High kneeling
  • Angle of arms
  • Static equilibrium

NOTE:  These exercises are specific to the Total Gym, but can also be applied to a more traditional setting in the gym using weights, bands, stability balls, or cables. 

Inspire and challenge your clients each session by going back to the basics and progressing the exercises from there!

Best Always,


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. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)


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