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Dec
28

GRAVITY Classes Cater to All Fitness Levels

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GRAVITY on the Road: Tampa Florida

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

Dec
21

How to Prevent Injuries in Group Training

6 Tips to Help You Better Plan Your Class

GRAVITY

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

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

Measures to take to be preventive and stay away from injuries

Know their history

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

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

Prepare the equipment

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

Warm up and cool down

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

Demonstrate

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

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

Set the necessary limitations

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

Plan your schedule

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

 

Frances Michaelson

About the Author

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

Dec
13

5 Ways to Strengthen Legs with a Bad Back

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total Gym Squat

Squat

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

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

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

Total Gym Sprinter Start

Sprinter Start

2-to-3 sets.

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

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

Step Up

Step Up

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

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

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

About the Author

Pete McCallPete McCall is an educator, performance coach, personal trainer, author, consultant and host of the All About Fitness podcast. Based in San Diego, CA, Pete holds a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion, completed a Fellowship in Applied Functional Science with the Gray Institute, is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Currently Pete is an adjunct faculty in exercise science at Mesa College, a master trainer for Core Health and Fitness, a blogger and content contributor for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and online instructor for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

Consulting with organizations like the World Bank, Reebok, 24-Hour Fitness, Core Health & Fitness, the Institute of Motion and Fit Pro, Pete has experience identifying needs and delivering solutions. Frequently quoted as a fitness expert in publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, U-T San Diego, SELF, Glamour, and Shape Magazine and featured as a fitness expert for TV news outlets including WRC-NBC (DC), Fox News, Fox 5 San Diego, and NBC7 San Diego, Pete is a sought-after media resource for accurate, in-depth insight on how to get results from exercise. www.petemccallfitness.com

 

Dec
8

The Best Location & Lease for Your Studio

Top Tips to Help You Find the Best Location and Negotiate the Best Lease1875261

Looking for the best location for your fitness studio can be one of the most amazing times of your life. Just think, this is going to be your home away from home, a place where you will be changing lives and creating jobs in your community AND doing all this good while making your own money.

Just hearing that should prove to you how important the research is, so the best advice to give you is to be patient, don’t over-think it and don’t rush into a bad location just to get your business started!

To ensure that you get the best location for your business, ask yourself a lot of questions:

> > What do you want out of your dream location?

> > What are the most important things that you both NEED & WANT out of this location?

> > How much can you afford to pay per month for your lease?

> > Do you have clientele already? If so, where do the majority of them live?

> > Do you want to be in a standalone building or do you want to be in a complex with multiple businesses?

> > Would you prefer to be in a small strip mall? A big retail center? A Warehouse? An office space?

> > How much parking do you need?

> > What’s your target market and how close do you want your studio to be to their homes and/or places of employment?

> > Do you need window advertising?

> > Do you need open space?

> > Do you want your studio near a local park or school so that maybe you can utilize their outdoor space?

> > When your business grows, will you have ample space to accommodate the growth or will you have to move?

> > Do you prefer to move into a building that has everything that you need or are you willing to sacrifice a few things by taking a location that works for you but needs a lot of work to be done to the inside?

> > What side of town do you prefer to be on?

> > Demographically where is the most competition in your town? Where is the least amount of competition in your town?

This list can truly go on and on so don’t over-think it to the point that you can’t make a clear decision. But definitely make sure that you put the necessary amount of thought and consideration into making the “right” decision for yourself. Just keep reminding yourself how exciting a time this is for YOU. Because then when you do that, guess what?  You find your dream location that maybe took you weeks, months or possibly even years to find. Your patience and thoroughness has paid off and you immediately begin to imagine packed classes, a strong and qualified staff working for you, and a gym fully decorated to your exact specifications.

But wait!

The building is not yours to occupy—yet.

1875257There is probably a big sign on the outside of your dream location listing the contact information of a commercial real estate agent. This is the listing agent who will help you lease the space. If this is the first time you’ve gone through this process, it can be quite daunting, but it doesn’t have to be—preparation is key. The more prepared you are, the more confident and relaxed you can be throughout this entire process. With that in mind, here are three essential tips for successfully negotiating a lease for your future fitness facility:

1. Find Your Own Agent OR Legal Representation  – A common mistake many people make when leasing a building is to allow the listing agent to handle the entire leasing transaction. The listing agent was hired by the landlord, which means that his or her number one priority is to protect the landlord’s interests—not yours. You need to hire someone who will protect your interests, rather than trying to represent both sides. If you don’t know any local commercial real estate agents, ask friends and colleagues if they can recommend a reputable commercial real estate agent who can represent you. Another option is to hire legal council to help you negotiate your lease. If this is not your first lease and you feel confident in the leasing process, hiring legal counsel instead of a commercial real estate agent could prove to be a great negotiating tool between you and the landlord. Because you’ll be saving the landlord commission fees by hiring legal counsel instead of a commercial real estate agent, he or she may be willing to accommodate more of your requests.

2. Have a Solid Letter of Intent – The purpose of a letter of intent is to make all of your requests known to the landlord. While you’re unlikely to get every single thing you ask for, this is the time to ask for everything that you want for your potential new fitness facility. Don’t be timid because you never know how desperate the landlord might be to lease this vacant building, which means that they may be more willing to accommodate your requests. You can ask for things such as free rent for a year, reduced rent for a certain number of months, freshly painted walls, assigned parking spots, new carpet, an elevator, new windows, etc. Ask for anything that you think would improve the building for your fitness location. In the letter of intent, you also need to specify the proposed terms of the lease such as:

  • 4 Year Term ($2.00 per square foot – NNN OR Gross Lease) with (2) 4-year options
  • Annual CPI Capped at 2 to 4%

17073813. Think Win-Win – When negotiating a lease, always think win-win and never be greedy. Your potential landlord will expect you to ask for a lot during the negotiation process, but you shouldn’t expect or insist on getting everything that you ask for. Make one list of things that you WANT and another list of things that you absolutely NEED for your fitness facility. Your landlord may agree to all eight of your needs, but to only two of your 10 wants. If this is the case, do you agree to those terms or do you walk away because you didn’t get everything that you requested? Only you can decide, but at the end of the day, only sign a lease that you fully understand from front to back and if you feel 100 percent confident in the decision.

Remember, everything in a lease is negotiable. By following these tips, you will be much more prepared to ask the right questions when hiring your representation and successfully negotiating a lease for your new fitness facility.

Good luck!

About the Author

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

Dec
1

Power Breakfasts for your Members & Clients

Recommend These 3 Recipes for a Healthier Breakfast

As trainers we must make sure that our members and clients understand the importance of good nutrition:  what constitutes a balanced diet and how to encourage them to make each day count.

If they do not fuel their bodies properly, you can bet they will not benefit from their training as well we would like. As the saying goes, we are what we eat!

It is important however that if we are not skilled in the area of nutrition that we refer our clients to a qualified holistic nutritionist or naturopath. There is nothing worse than handing out information that is based on just the latest social media trend!1858553

We often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and one that we should never go without.  I do not feel it is necessary to eat first thing in the morning, if time is of the essence. Most of my clients struggle with getting kids off to school and there is never enough time for a sit down quality breakfast. I recommend either waiting until they get to the office, or when time allows. This can either be later in the morning, after a workout, or simply when things are calm.

A bowl of fresh fruit should be the first thing that you eat to start your day.  Fresh fruit gives adequate fiber, vitamins and enzymes so badly needed for proper digestion and absorption. It is ironic that most clients are concerned about getting adequate protein in their diets, yet to break down protein into amino acids (cells can only absorb amino acids) requires a strong digestive system and sadly most people struggle with their digestion. Following the fruit, a good source of protein could be a nut butter on some sprouted bread. I like the Ezekiel brand or Manna, which is found in the freezer section of most health food stores. Any bread made with sprouted ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet) are good options.   Raw, organic almond butter is a good source of protein and potassium.  For clients that do not like to eat very much after a workout or before lunch, this combination of the fruit and butters are perfect. Sun butter is a good choice as well.

For those clients that prefer a little more food , especially more protein, lightly cooked, organic poached eggs, or eggs cooked in olive or coconut oil, eaten with raw veggies or mixed greens are perfect. Having the eggs with some vegetables will offer some digestive help coming from the fiber, minerals and enzymes in the greens and other vegetables.

Sweet lovers and those that stick to a plant based diet, might prefer the following two recipes:

1914342Chia Seed Pudding

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 4 large almond milk ice cubes
  • 2-3 pitted Medjool dates
  • 2-3.5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

  • Fill an ice cube tray with almond milk. Freeze until solid. You can use leftovers in smoothies in the future.
  • To make the pudding: add 3/4 cup almond milk into a high speed blender. Now add the rest of the ingredients, including the almond milk ice cubes.
  • Blend on the highest speed until super smooth. Enjoy! You can chill it in the fridge, but will thicken even more.

AvocadoAvocado Pudding

  • 2 large avocados-peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3-4 pitted dates
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch cinnamon

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients in a blender, blend and enjoy!

For those clients that really love their hearty and filling breakfasts, I would offer this Buckwheat Pancake recipe taken from Brenden Brazier’s, The Thrive Cookbook

Buckwheat, despite its name is not even in the wheat family. It contains eight essential amino acids and is very high in Manganese, Vitamins B and E and some Calcium. It has a nice mild flavor, but be sure to buy the unroasted form.

Buckwheat Pancake

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup hemp flour
  • 2 tsp. baking flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup barley flakes

Directions:

  • In a bowl mix buckwheat flour, flax seed, hemp flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • In a food processor, process the banana and water while slowly adding the dry ingredients until mixture is smooth.
  • Lightly oil a pan with coconut oil and heat over medium heat. Pour in pancake batter to desired pancake size and cook for about 5 minutes or until bubbles begin to appear. Flip and allow to cook for another 5 minutes.

Frances Michaelson

About the Author

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

Nov
16

Giving More Attention in a Small Group Setting

11 Ways to Make Your Small Group Training Program More Personalized

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“What is one of the first things that you would purchase if you woke up rich tomorrow?

That was one of the questions on the hit TV show “Family Feud”, where they survey 100 people and look for the top answers. There were 8 top answers and one of them was to hire a Personal Trainer.  Can you believe that?

That answer shows multiple key points about the fitness industry such as:

> The power of health and fitness.

> There will always be demand from reputable fitness professionals and facilities.

> That people desire a personalized experience.

One of the things that is NOT listed above is that people still think that Personal Training is REALLY expensive … and to their defense, it can be expensive depending on one’s income, who the target market is for the Personal Trainer, or what geographical area the Personal Trainer works in.  It’s all relative, right?

The fact of the matter is that not everyone will be able to afford your one-on-one service, even though they would love to have all of the benefits that come with a personal training session:

  • Motivation
  • Accountability
  • Structure
  • Customized Fitness Program
  • Nutrition Counseling and/or Diet Plans
  • Support
  • Expert knowledge

Even though there may be only be a small population who can afford personal training, offering a group fitness training program with personalized attention can become more affordable.  Maybe that potential client cannot afford $75 per session but can afford between $15 – $25 per session.

PiggyDepending on the gym and the format, you can squeeze anywhere from 4 – 10 clients into a small group training program. Now the small group training program becomes more attractive for not only the client but for you as well since you will be able to make more money per hour.  Would you rather have one personal training client paying you $75 per session or would you rather have 8 people paying you $15 each per session for a total of $120 per session?  From a business standpoint, it’s win, win situation.

However, before you start counting all of your extra money,  you will need to build up your special group of clients and figure out how you are going to add that personalized attention.  Here are some ideas to get you going:

>  Remember everyone’s name (this is a no-brainer, right?)

>  Get to know each client a little bit better. Find out their fitness goals, exercise history, injury history, medical history, favorite color, favorite music, neighborhood that they live, their strengths, their weaknesses, their favorite exercises, their least favorite exercises, organizations that they belong to, where they work, what are their favorite hobbies? Knowing all these things will go a long way with your clients because it shows you care, builds rapport, and helps keep the client/ trainer relationship strong.

Don’t just learn all of the above … remember the information you discovered about your clients and create motivational tactics from that information.

>  Communicate with your clients and really listen to them.

>  Make adjustments and modifications to accommodate them if they have an injury and/or limitation.Balloon on white background

>  Have inside jokes with each of your clients.

>  Remember and celebrate their birthdays & anniversaries.

>  Track their sessions.

>  Track their results.

>  Take group fitness related field trips such as hiking or participating in a local 5k or 10k.

Provide regular motivation and accountability to your clients on a regular basis. Use every opportunity, whether it be in person, on the phone, through email or social media.

Make every single session a “celebration” and extremely positive.

>  Have workout themes.

Take lots of photos in your workouts and hang them in frames on the walls of your fitness facility. You can also post them on social media and tag your clients … with your clients permission, of course!

>  Make sure they have lots of fun in every workout.

The unfortunate truth is that most people don’t like to exercise, so when people try your facility, they are going to need a variety of things to keep them intrigued and engaged and coming back. Just like when kids don’t like to go to school but they know that they have to, they look forward to recess, seeing friends, or even a favorite teacher.

As fitness professionals, we have to provide that same kind of X-factor for our clients to keep them coming to the gym, getting results, referring their friends, and just having a blast every time they step foot inside of your fitness facility and what better way to do that than to provide an unmatched customized fitness experience for them!

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.

Nov
8

Top 5 Reasons Why Bodyweight Training is Important

GRAVITY Class Workout

Car buffs know that performing the required maintenance and taking proper care of a car can keep it running for many, many years. You don’t need to be a car nut to know what happens if you leave a car sitting for too long without running the engine or performing the necessary maintenance; it starts rusting and falls apart. The human body functions in much the same way: regular use can keep the body operating with minimal problems for decades, while avoiding physical activity or spending too much time in a sedentary, non-moving position can cause a number of negative health consequences, accelerating the normal biological aging process.

The human body was designed to move and is the best exercise machine ever created IF you know how to use it properly. Simply using your own body can be an effective and efficient strategy for helping you achieve the following benefits of exercise:

Strengthen Muscles

Muscles are designed to control physical forces in the human body. Muscles lengthen in response to an applied force and shorten to produce the force necessary for successful movement. Bodyweight exercises can help improve how muscles function to control the effects of gravity on the body. Gravity is constantly accelerating you into the ground; strength training with your own bodyweight improves muscle force production which can mitigate the effects of the ever-present downward pressure.

Improve Joint Range of Motion

Bodyweight movements help improve joint range of motion while lengthening the involved muscle tissue, both of which are necessary for increasing flexibility and reducing the risk of overuse injuries. Bodyweight exercises like squats for the legs, pulls for the back and pushes for the chest require a number of muscles to work together in order to control the entire range-of-motion of the involved joints which are essential for enhancing flexibility.

Help Joint Stability and Mobility

Joints in the body are designed to favor mobility or create stability; the ankles, hips and upper spine all allow significant motion while the knees, lumbar spine and shoulder blades are structurally designed to provide stability by allowing only limited movements. Bodyweight training can be effective for helping the stable joints to become more stable while simultaneously allowing the mobile joints to increase mobility.

Improve Coordination

Intermuscular coordination – all of the muscles and joints in your body are designed to work with one another and bodyweight training can help improve coordination between all of the different segments. Isolation training with weights can place too much force in one particular joint or muscle group which could be a possible cause of injury. However, bodyweight strength training allows many muscles to work together to produce and distribute muscle forces making intermuscular coordination a key component of improving overall coordination and movement skill.

Get a Cardio Workout

The more muscles involved in an exercise the greater the demand for oxygen; when more oxygen is required, the heart has to work harder to pump blood to the working muscles. Bodyweight exercises that use a lot of muscles and are performed for a high number of repetitions can be considered a great form of cardiovascular exercise. Regular cardiovascular exercise can help increase the size of the left ventricle, the structure of the heart responsible for moving oxygenated blood out to the body, while improving the efficiency of how many times the heart beats per minute. Both of these are components for improving cardiac efficiency, an important marker of overall fitness.

Bodyweight exercises that involve the knees, back or shoulders could cause pain if performed incorrectly. A cursory understanding of biomechanics is required in order to move with minimal risk of injury. Because of its design, which allows the body to move with minimal impact from gravity, a Total Gym can help you to experience the benefits of bodyweight exercises with a reduced risk of injury.

If you are looking for the best Total Gym exercises for your studio or gym needs, Total Gym videos are available to help you identify the most effective exercises and workout programs for your clients’ and members’ fitness goals.

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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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