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Around the World – Total Gym in the Ukraine

One Man’s Journey – Finding Functional Bodyweight Training with Total Gym

“Helping Millions of People Get Healthier.” That’s our mission at Total Gym and we know that healthier isn’t necessarily easier. It takes discipline and determination to make it a lifestyle. If you are willing, there are thousands of people around the world who want to help YOU succeed on your journey to fitness. Vlad Khlopkov, Owner of Fitnessolution Ltd., is one of those jewels helping a nation discover a new way to exercise on the Total Gym® Elevate Circuit™.

We interviewed Vlad on how he came to discover functional bodyweight training and what his thoughts were on the Total Gym Elevate Circuit. Here’s what he told us.

Vlad Khlopkov

Vlad working out on Total Gym GTS.

“My story starts in 1968. I was born in Baku (City of Winds), the capital and largest city in Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea. There, I began my journey and spent the next twenty-four years of my life.

Soon after graduating from high school, I studied engineering for five years at the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy. In the summer of 1991, the year that Ukraine declared its independence from Russia, I went to Kiev to visit my younger brother and something unexpected happened.

I remember it like it was yesterday; I was walking on the Bogdana Khmelnitskogo Street and suddenly I heard somebody calling my name. It was an old acquaintance of mine from school in Baku. While we were talking, he offered me a job to work with him in Kiev to which I agreed right away.   And would you believe it, it took me nearly twenty years until I visited Azerbaijan again? I’m glad my life turned out to be this way. Even if I could go back and change it, I wouldn’t change a thing.

So, that’s how I ended up staying in Kiev and starting my career in the fitness industry. It was at a time when the first sports clubs just started opening in Ukraine and I was selling sports equipment to a totally new market.

It was a completely new industry back then and to acquire all the necessary information I needed, I had been actively attending exhibitions and trainings abroad.  I found out about Total Gym from a commercial I saw with Chuck Norris in 2000. Later, at FIBO (International Fitness Wellness Expo), I saw a Total Gym booth and for the first time, I worked out on the machines.  I really liked them and immediately realized the potential for Total Gym in the Ukraine sport club arena.

In 2008, I established my own company for sports equipment and three years later I became the Total Gym distributor in Ukraine. I was introduced to the Elevate Circuit during one of the Total Gym distributor meetings in San Diego in 2014. I could really understand and physically feel the capability of these machines and realize their potential.

Box Jumps on the Leg Trainer

Box Jumps on the Leg Trainer

But back to my story—in 2015, in the wake of the popularity of functional training in the Ukraine, I got this idea to open a separate functional training studio, where the Elevate Circuit would be the basis of training, since it’s easy to understand, easy to use, very effective and popular. The studio opened, simply due to the Total Gym Elevate Circuit!

Our studio and everybody who comes to our studio loves working out on the Elevate Circuit. It delivers huge results while taking minimum time and minimum effort. With our busy lives and crazy schedules, it’s what people need nowadays. It’s good for any body type, age or fitness level etc. Most importantly, and this is a good thing, people don’t tire of it or get bored.

Our members are impressed with how the Elevate Circuit uses bodyweight as resistance and how exceedingly effective training sessions are.  Without even asking our members, I can assure that the most popular machine in the Elevate Circuit is the Total Gym Leg Trainer. Girls simply love it! They love working out on it and love what it does with their butts. Their most favorite exercises are the lunges.

Igor Obukhovskyy

Igor Obukhovskyy in the red hat.

A famous trainer, Igor Obukhovskyy, from Zvajeni and Schastlivy, the Ukraine counterpart to The Biggest Loser TV show, visited our studio to personally check out the Total Gym Elevate Circuit and consider them for purchase, for his trainings on the show. Mr. Obukhovskyy was extremely impressed with how effective the workouts were, even though they looked easy, and he was definitely recommending them for the show.

Our studio is not the only Total Gym Elevate Circuit representative in the Ukraine. The Fitness Manager of “Sky Fitness, one of the biggest Ukrainian sport clubs, Sergey Putsov, loves the machines for their comfort, effectiveness and thinks they are an ideal as a tool for personal training, as the foundation for a group training program. He is amazed how the Elevate Circuit has opened up a variety of totally new and interesting exercises for their members.

Now looking back at my childhood, I can say that I’ve had a “thing” for sports as long as I can remember. When I was about 10 years old when my mom took me to the track and field.  Those classes, and taking part in competitions, have implanted a love of sports and fitness in me forever.

Planking on the Core Trainer

Planking on the Core Trainer

I love what I do and it is definitely not just a business for me, it’s much, much more. When I was young I always thought about living in a world of physically and emotionally healthy people; happy people—strong, confident, young looking and beautiful people.

I think in particular, physical activities must be in our daily everyday life and we should teach our kids to be the same way. Here they say, “With training your body, you train your mind,” and roughly translates to “A sound mind, in a sound body”. I strongly believe that people should be developing themselves in all different ways, including physical and spiritual development because it is necessary for a happy and full-fledged life.

Health is not only an integral part of every human but the essence of life! Unfortunately there are still a lot of people who don’t think about the way they eat or live in general and I really want that to change.  Just like the saying goes ‘Wealth is nothing without health’, right?”


How to Open a Personal Training Studio | Total Gym

8 Tips for Opening a Successful Personal Training Studio   

by Frances Michaelson

Over the years we see personal training studios and gyms come and go. Some personal trainers jump in and open their own facility but starting any business is never as easy as it looks and involves careful planning.

When I decided to open my own place, I trusted my gut, but I was very careful with my finances, took my time with purchases, and sought the advice from others who were already successful. Here is my story.

In the late 90’s I was enjoying training very seriously for body building competitions and my body was changing drastically. I co-owned a small fitness center at the time, and members were in awe as they watched my body go through serious transformations.keys Even though I was lifting massive amounts of weight, I was getting smaller, leaner and of course, stronger.

I was not certified at the time, but enjoyed helping clients learn more and train in the gym instead of just attending aerobic classes. Gradually, I realized that personal training (which had started to become very popular in the States at that time), was the way to go. I started traveling to all the IDEA events and eventually got certified.

I knew that a personal training studio would be the right move for me. I did have a small clientele and knew some interested trainers who had clients ready to move out of the big gym and on to something more specific. I approached them and they loved my concept and agreed to bring their clients to my studio once it opened. I was lucky because several years ago, there were no other personal training studios. I was not planning to charge a membership. The conceplocationt was that clients would buy a block of sessions in 12, 24 or 36 blocks. There was an incentive to buy more, as the bigger packages were slightly cheaper. As long as they trained with their trainer once a week consecutively each week, they could use the facility on their own with no extra fee incurred. This worked perfectly.

Location, Location, Location
From past experience, it was very apparent that location was everything. You could be the best at what you do, but if your clients have to drive further than 10 minutes, you may as well not open. It is also essential that the location you choose is visible, easily accessible, has ample parking and good signage. There is nothing worse than clients having to look for parking spaces when rushing to get to their session.

You cannot ever rely solely on the clients you have at the time–people move on. You always have to think about the future. The clients that you may have been training for a while with and that you have formed strong relationships with are one thing, but new people who do not know you, will not go the extra mile to get to your facility. It has to be easy for new comers. You must also choose a location that is accessible by public transport and is handicap friendly. Today there are many people that may be wheel chair bound that are encouraged to come to work out and we need to support this population.

Create an OppMarketortunity
I was fortunate with timing as the shopping center I was looking at was about to undergo renovation so when I approached the landlord with what I had in mind, he was quite interested in helping out with leasehold improvements. The location was on a busy highway and right beside a large grocery chain so I knew would have success in a highly trafficked area. Parking was easy and abundant. It was to be the very first personal training studio in the area so he was keen to move forward. I had the idea to have his employees work out at their lunch hour, promising a better working environment and healthy staff, and he loved it. The classes that I was offering to teach would be part of the lease and so it was a win/win situation.

Invest in a Market Study
It is also extremely important to do a market study, looking at the income bracket of the residents in the area and what would they be ready and able to invest in their health and fitness. You need to know what other clubs are in the area, what the population is, their demographic and their income. If the rent is cheap, but the residents are scarce, this will not help you.

When to Buy EquipmentPersonal Training with Total Gym
I know this may be easy to say and hard to do, but try not to buy everything right away. Equipment needs may vary according to the clientele and trends and you won’t know what you need right away. Stay safe at the beginning with less rather than more. It will be easier on your budget.

Staff Your Facility Well
Staff is very important. We are in a business of people. Just because a trainer may be fit looking and have several certifications under their belt, may not make them friendly and passionate about their work. I made a few mistakes, hiring too quickly and not taking the time to ask for references from previous clients. I would also emphasize that their first month would be a trial basis. Unless they are contracted out employees (meaning that they invoice you for their services), I suggest you are very careful before putting them on a payroll. How they speak to their clients, and care about them is more important than their certifications.

Once you see that a trainer is not working out, do not procrastinate, make changes immediately. The longer you wait, and the more clients they might acquire, the tougher it becomes.

Managing Income
All payments for sessions should go through the reception or office and a proper tracking system of appointments is key. When I opened, we did not have the option of all the amazing software opportunities. Now, there is no excuse for not keeping all sessions, classes, etc., on track. The one that seems to be really popular in the fitness business is MINDBODY. I would still rather recommend that if you are thinking of opening your own studio to attend the annual IHRSA Group Workout on Total Gymtradeshow. There you have the opportunity to meet with all the successful software companies in the business and have the chance to try them.

Encourage Members to be Social
Having a juice bar and or boutique for some added income is an excellent way to encourage socializing at your facility. I offered free Espresso after a workout and sold water, juices, some nutrition bars etc. Purchase a good blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec to make smoothies. They are both powerful and worth the investment. The juice bar space works so well as a hang-out area both before and after classes. Initially, you can have your trainers help out with making shakes and serving clients. This gives them more of an opportunity to chat and get to know them.

Obviously, there will be quiet times, so hiring someone special to work this area might be a financial strain. The other option may be to rent it out completely to a company that can manage it and just pay you some rent. You may want to think about that once you are established.

Personal Training with Total GymTell People About Yourself.
Going to trade shows is a great way to see what is out there. You can meet with the different companies and have the opportunity to try different products as well as advertise yourself.

Social media is a must because it is free! A group page where everyone can chat, post comments about their trainer and workouts is fun and encourages more of a community feel. I would strongly encourage client participation – contests work really well such asking clients to log their cardio minutes. I did this to motivate them to come in on their own for extra workouts just before Christmas for example. It ran for 6 weeks leading up to the holidays. The top 5 clients that did the most mileage would be rewarded with things like a free training session, free smoothies etc. A white board hanging on the wall is a great investment and probably the cheapest to draw attention to the challenges but you can print up posters as well. A white board is fun for shout-out words of encouragement and motivational quotes etc. Everyone loves to see their name up there.

I hope that my tips help you to open your own studio. Remember – most of all make it a fun environment!

About the Author

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


5 Best Equipment Purchases for Your Gym or Studio

Top Exercise Platforms Your Club Should Have

by Mike Z. Robinson

As the owner, director, or manager of a fitness club, you constantly find it part of your daily duties to keep  costs down on purchases made for your facility and it’s no different when it comes to purchasing equipment. When you are looking at making an equipment purchase for your club, there are several things that you have to factor in before you make your investment such as the cost, how much space will it take up, how much use do you think your clientele will get out of it, will it create a buzz of intrigue with your clients, what is the return on investment, and how exactly can you create an additional stream of income by buying this equipment.  Wow, who knew that so many things would go into making a simple equipment purchase?

With so many things to factor in, it’s no wonder that so many owners, directors, and managers have such a difficult time trying to find the right pieces of equipment to purchase for their facility. But you’re in luck because you will not only find the top 5 pieces of equipment to purchase for your facility below, but you will also find the best ones to get the greatest amount of return on your investment.  These are not in any particular order.

Total Gym GTS – TTotal Gym GTS Bodyweight Inclinehis is a great piece of equipment because not only is the Total Gym GTS very convenient, affordable, and functional but it also can be an amazing additional stream of income as many facilities have created their own Total Gym workshops, 6-8-12 week training programs, or customized workout circuits to bring in more revenue. There are literally hundreds of exercises that you can perform on the Total Gym and your clients are guaranteed to like the variety that it provides to spice the workouts up and keep their muscles & minds engaged. Total Gym lives up to its name and provides full body workouts all within one location. Nothing on the market even compares.

TRX – A great piece of equipment that offers versatility and a huge return on your investment. You caTRXn purchase 20 of these for less than $5,000 and create in house monthly/quarterly TRX training programs that nets you a huge return on your investment and a healthy stream of income. TRX’s have become synonymous with gyms, clubs, and training facilities all over the world and members have come to expect to see them at their workout destination, so to say that you need one at your club would be an understatement.

RopesTraining Ropes – Simply put, training ropes are awesome! They came to the mainstream out of nowhere a few years back and took the industry by storm. Although they look very simple and innocent, they come with a lot of functionality and excitement that members love and hate at the same time. Training ropes allow your members to explore and be creative in their workouts. Some people embrace the challenge of seeing what they can come up with during their workout and some people will shy away from it. However, the people who shy away from being creative (and risking injury) will provide your club the opportunity to offer private training and increase its Personal Training revenue as other members will definitely be intrigued by the Training Ropes especially when they see them in action. Some members will want to play with the Training Ropes but won’t want to risk getting injured which opens the door wide open for your Personal Trainers.

Lebert Bars – Lebert Bars are another piece of equipment that has become synonymous with workout facLebertilities mainly because of the affordability, the fact that it does not take up a lot of space, and you can do countless exercises on them. Lebert Bars are extremely light weight but are solid enough to be able to work with members of all sizes. Just like all of the pieces of equipment above, this too can be another stream of income that can be built by creating customized groups classes that focus solely on using and highlighting the Lebert Bars. They have become increasingly popular over the years and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.  

rowerWater Rower – Fun, fun, fun! The Water Rower is an old concept with a new twist. Regular rowers have been around for a while but the Water Rower is still fairly new and has been wildly appealing to members who have had the opportunity to use them especially those from the older population. They are very easy to use, no impact, and there seems to be something motivating about the aesthetics of watching yourself and seeing how much force you are generating in the water with every pull. Water rowers are extremely functional and you can do an incredible variety of exercises on them. To create income out of the Water Rowers, you can create competitions, tournaments, training programs, and contests.

If you look at the common denominator among all of the equipment choices listed above, you will see the trend that they are all pieces that focus on not only providing a lot of variety from its usage but also providing a great opportunity to create another stream of income and boost revenue. When you make your purchases for your club, always remember that you are making an investment and treat it like an investment. Confirm that you will not only be able to make your money back but that you will also be able to boost revenue simultaneously and immediately. There are obviously a lot of great pieces of equipment on the market and the list above simply should just help you on your quest to purchase new equipment. However, just remember that if you do want to get something that is not listed above, just make sure that you do factor in the cost, how much space will it take up, how much use do you think your clientele will get out of it, will it create a buzz of intrigue with your clients, what is the return on investment, and how exactly can you create an additional stream of income by buying this equipment.

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 is Virtual Personal Training?

Skype Your Way into the World of Virtual Fitness

by Dejinira Lee

Dejinira Lee - Virtual Personal Trainer tells how she discovered the world of Personal Training and Virtual Personal Training

Dejinira in a Personal Training Session

I didn’t grow up dreaming of being a personal trainer. I didn’t play sports in school. In fact, when I look back on my young adult years, I was on the fast track to a very unhealthy lifestyle. I was a pack-a-day smoker and ate junk food every single day. I knew I had to get my act together so I quit partying, joined a gym and hired a personal trainer. I have never felt better.

I remember when I was young someone told me I should look for a job that offered stability and a paycheck, but not to waste my time looking for something I enjoyed because I would grow to resent it. Fast forward several years and many cubicles later —sure I had a steady paycheck, but I was miserable. I decided to go back to school, but had no idea what I wanted to do. One day a friend asked me what I really enjoyed doing. My answer was “Exercise, but who makes a living doing that?” She challenged me to go to different gyms and ask questions—gain knowledge. So, I quit my job, walked into a gym and asked if they were hiring. Now I’m not suggesting that this is the way one should go about changing careers, but the stars were aligned for me that day and three weeks later I was somehow teaching a class.

One month later I was teaching three classes per week and a few months and many classes later my fitness manager asked if I would be interested in becoming a personal trainer.

From that point forward my education was geared toward health and fitness. I have learned so much not only from books, but through each and every client that I’ve trained. One of the most important lessons has been that training is so much more than physical. It is mental, emotional and spiritual. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to train clients, teach classes, mentor instructors and travel the world educating people on healthy living. It has been my goal from the beginning to impact as many people as I can and get people healthy one step at a time.

One day I saw a TV show where a doctor was performing an examination on a patient, virtually. She lived abroad but was able to consult with patients through a robotic computer screen. I thought, “how cool would it be to train clients that way?”

I wasn’t sure how it was going to work, but my curiosity was peaked. I just needed to find a willing and able body that I could practice on. It didn’t take long before we were up and running—literally. My biggest concern was making sure that I could help my clients achieve the proper form so they could accomplish great results without injury. Today I teach up to 10 virtual classes a week in addition to my IRL (in real life) sessions.

How Virtual Training Works

All you need is a computer, laptop or iPad: even a smartphone and you’re ready to roll. There are so many ways to connect on the net via Skype, Google Hangouts, Oovoo and Facebook just to name few. I usually check in with a text, a few minutes before the session begins, so we each have time to login and we’re ready to work when the camera comes on. Sometimes we may even change up the scenery and head to a local park or even their backyard. The sky’s the limit.

Just like training sessions in real time, session time and frequency are at the client’s request. I must admit scheduling took some getting used to, especially when training clients abroad. Be prepared for some unusual working hours.

Assessing New Clients

When I begin training a new client, I always perform an assessment, which may include postural analysis, health history, and a strength and flexibility test. I also take an inventory of what equipment they have including things around the house because we all know you don’t have to belong to a gym to get a great workout. That way I can design a program that will best suit the client and help them to achieve their goals in the best way possible. Form is so important, so I always have eyes on my client, ready to make adjustments if and when necessary.

What Equipment Works Best

There are so many great workout tools out there. My clients range from having a set of weights and a mat, while others have gyms that are fully equipped. We always make it work with whatever is available. You aren’t limited to what’s in front of you.

Once my new clients get more comfortable with virtual training, we really start to have a good time. We may have a little challenge to see who can plank the longest or take 60 seconds to find an item in the house and turn it into a piece of exercise equipment.

Why It Works

The beautiful thing about virtual training is the simplicity of how it works. You don’t have to leave your house. I’ve worked with several people who don’t feel comfortable exercising in a gym or around large crowds. You also don’t need to pack a gym bag, get in the car or drive anywhere. It’s nice to save the commute time. You can just roll out of bed and login. Heck, it doesn’t even matter if you don’t brush your teeth! Can’t say that when you’re training IRL. You’ve got hotel rooms for travelers, park benches, the beach, hills in your neighborhood: get out in the open, even the tightest space in the home can provide enough for a great workout. As long as I can see the moving parts, it’s all good. You can work wherever you are.

I have also found that the cancellation rate is almost nil with virtual training. In this day and age we spend so much time on the computer; we might as well be getting some good physical fitness out of it.

Success Stories

It seems to me that the ease of getting in a great workout without having to leave home has given clients an extra boost of energy to use elsewhere. I love it when my clients check in with reports of additional workouts done on their own and more mindful eating habits. One of my clients who lives in the Caribbean has been working diligently, checking in constantly and logging her food in a 3rd party app. She’s lost 17 pounds in 12 weeks. Another has developed a passion for fitness and food, which led her to complete a Spartan Race and with no previous experience has developed Briskbars healthy energy bar, which just ranked a #1 new seller on Amazon.

The bottom line is that the world is full of people who just need a little guidance and support so they can live healthier lives. Thanks to virtual training technology, trainers have a whole other avenue to reach potential clients and change lives for the better, and clients have more access to a wider range of personal trainers. It’s a win / win. You just have to be open and willing to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. I’m glad I did so I can continue my goal of getting everyone healthy and fit. If you or your clients are interested in Virtual Personal Training they can find me at

About the Author

Dejinira LeeDejinira is 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.

As well as an ACE certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and nutrition specialist since 1997, Dejinira received her education from UCLA’s specialized Fitness & Nutrition program and Tufts University for Total Nutrition.

“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!”


PROJECT WALK: Customer Spotlight To Join This Worthy Cause

by Mark Kirkpatrick


While we’re all busy keeping up with our own healthy lifestyle, eating healthy, exercising and working out, many of us also participate in charity events that are associated with our fitness programs. We’re participating in triathlons, biking, swimming running in that 5 or 10K event, raising money for local walk-a-thons and other worthwhile programs. When it comes to those of us living in the San Diego area, the Project Walk foundation is definitely worthy of our attention.


The fine folks over at Project Walk began their endeavors to help those mostly afflicted with spinal cord injuries, but their treatments and methodology also address those dealing with the devastation of:

The results following a stroke

  • ALS (or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (or TMI)
  • Cerebral Palsy (CM)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Both children and adults afflicted with SCI (Spinal Cord Injuries)


It all began back in 1999, with a small training center in conjunction with SCI Business Solutions based in San Diego. Addressing those with the inability to perform one of life’s most basic and fundamental functions, the ability to walk and have normal mobility, SCI, together with Project Walk, both have one of the most experienced management teams in the paralysis industry. Not being tied down to just the Southern California area, they eventually branched out to locations throughout the United States, including Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Texas.


Project Walk’s Mission Statement, “We Aim to Change the World’s View of Disability to That of Ability,” follows a path similar to those supporting many other types of charities: We run, walk and offer our support to those who often cannot do so for themselves due to a disability, injury or disease. Still other times, we are there to lend a helping hand to those suffering from these types of debilitating conditions, raising money for research to offer better treatments or are present in order to honor those we have lost.

In any event, Project Walk is committed to the treatment, support and rehabilitation of those suffering from spinal cord injuries, the accompanying paralysis and other types of these life-altering conditions. In the past, it was often believed that those with these kinds of injuries and disorders were doomed to be immobile for the rest of their lives and little was offered to assist them, but this is not the case with Project Walk.


In the past, spinal cord injuries and other life-changing events related to the loss of mobility were often treated with monetary compensation, rather than human compassion. It was believed that the nervous system was unable to completely recover (or offer those afflicted with paralysis) with any kind of hope for improved function.

This type of falsehood and negative attitude is something that Project Walk is changing. They are continuing to succeed with documented examples of their success. Although 100% complete recovery isn’t always a possibility, Project Walk doesn’t give up on with an attitude of continued hope for their patients, including their friends and family … they’re not just a number or a statistic.

Rather than concentrating on what is the unthinkable result of being paralyzed, instead Project Walk looks to offer hope through their programs of rehabilitation, instead of a remembrance of what once was and taking on a defeatist attitude. Again, this type of positive recovery through activity, physical fitness and attentive care is exactly what these shattered lives need to progress towards a better future with continued activity and awareness.


We all know how important mobility, physical fitness and exercise are to our overall health and well-being, and the same is true for those who are ability and mobility challenged. Utilizing world-renowned, activity based programs, they focus on specific exercises and fitness experiences that focus on using movement patterns that occurred during basic human development in our formidable years.

These basic movements are beginning to establish a neurological pattern through brain function that connects with the physical movements that have been somehow lost in the translation associated with the injury. What was once lost, is now being found through activity, exercise and attentiveness with the staff, ongoing research and hard work with both the patients, their families and people at Project Walk.


Obviously Project Walk could use monetary contributions, but similar to their somewhat unorthodox approaches to these types of debilitating conditions, they’re looking towards more of a community support approach. Obviously these unfortunate people are often strapped with overwhelming medical expenses are faced with a number of financial hurdles, especially since medical and life insurance can be out of reach for some of them. But similar to Project walk, there are often other options available through different “rate classes” and other financial resources … but that’s the subject for a whole different topic.

While Project Walk thinks “outside of the box,” when it comes to “run-of-the-mill” care, recovery and rehabilitation, however they do support other, more traditional fundraising options.


While warmer spring and summer months might still be a ways off, Project Walk is associated with a couple of events in May of 2016 near San Diego and close to Claremont, California to help further this important cause:

  1. The Wings For Life Run – Watch the sunrise take place with this popular run located in the third largest city in Los Angeles near Santa Clarita.
  1. The 7th Inning Stretch – Paralysis support continues with “Helping Hal Heal Others” that thwarts the insurance company’s denial of claims that are rightfully due to these patients.

Save the date(s), visit their website for more details, help save lives, keep fit and help others to move, walk and run, something we often take for granted!

About the Author

Mark Kirkpatrick is a blogger and tech enthusiast in Santa Clara, California. He has found that productivity starts with healthy habits and hopes to help others achieve their goals through positive reinforcement.


Why the Total Gym Jump Trainer Provides Great ROI.

American Council on Exercise Reviews the Total Gym Jump Trainer

Club owners are always looking for the next trend to emerge on the gym floor. Whatever that trend is, it needs to be cost effective, with a good return on investment. It needs to have fast, effective results, take up a small  floor footprint and the members must love it. Sounds like a tall order doesn’t it?

For those who haven’t jumped in years, or who have difficulty in jumping due to injury, the Total Gym® Jump Trainer™ is an intuitive and effective way to start again. Using one’s own bodyweight users can begin with gentle squats, progress to squat jumps and explode into Plyometric jumps providing a challenging cardio workout. Part of the 6-piece Total Gym® Elevate Circuit™,  the Jump Trainer is perfect as a self-serve unit on the gym floor or ideal for personal trainers in a small group training setting.

Here’s what the American Council on Exercise had to say about the Jump Trainer in their online product review:

“It’s easy to use, accommodates all fitness levels and you can work at your own pace. Add Plyometric squats to the mix and the explosive power is amplified increasing speed of recovery and improving muscular strength while adding a calorie-burning, cardio-component” said Total Gym President, Jesse Campanaro.

For those who are at a more advanced fitness level the Jump Trainer trains all the lower body muscles and tendons, increasing range of motion through eccentric and concentric loading and with the optional addition of variable band resistance, the exercises can really be challenging.

“The Jump Trainer is extremely popular here. All different ages and fitness levels are utilizing it and we have had very positive feedback. The trainers here especially like using it with their clients.  It is a great piece. I would say it is equally, if not more popular than the Core Trainer,” Michael Marquez, Health and Fitness Director, Toby Wells YMCA, San Diego, CA, explained.

For Physical Therapists, the Jump Trainer has a different installation setting where the closed chain load is 30-65 percent of the user’s own bodyweight, compared to 50-80 per cent on the fitness setting. Clinicians can modify the load and introduce Plyometric training earlier on in the treatment phase as well as taking the patient to the next level easily through the seven incline level adjustments and the 10-70lbs of resistance in 10lb increments.

The specially designed ergonomic foot platform allows for proper biomechanics through the anatomic curve of the hip to foot ratio and the built in slide distance regulator regulates range of motion. The Jump Trainer has a wide glideboard and the angled backrest ensures comfort, support and safety, letting the Clinician focus on core stabilization response, as spinal alignment is improved.

Patients love that they can do squats on the equipment when they can’t perform them on their own,” said a spokesperson from the Three Rivers Health Outpatient Therapy, MI.

The Jump Trainer is a versatile piece that will benefit your facility and your ROI, whether you are a Club Owner, a Physical Therapist, an Athletic Trainer or Strength & Conditioning Coach.  It will deliver a faster return to sports, a quicker recovery for patients and it’s an impressive strength training piece for gym-goers.  And one more thing… did we mention it is FUN?

Click here to see more Physical Therapy benefits


How to Retain Gym Members with Circuit Training on Total Gym

Refresh your class in 2016 and retain members with circuit training

Every year, January starts with a great rush in the fitness industry as gym-goers burst with enthusiasm and New Year resolutions, but by mid March have they lost their interest?

A Total Gym/GRAVITY class is a  fresh way to keep your members engaged and interested.  The fun factor, rapid results and the health benefits of a half hour – 45 minute functional total body workout,  can maintain long-term loyalty and provide enjoyment that will keep members coming back through to next January.

Keeping a choreographed Total Gym/GRAVITY class exciting may sometimes be challenging.  Fun new exercises and workout tips keep your exercise repertoire stimulating and your members happier.  Here’s an easy circuit-style workout that new class participants or regular members will enjoy.  And it’s simple to implement!GTSinuse_300DPI

Set Up – What you Will Need:

Ideally, you will need eight GTS units (you can add more rounds if you don’t have enough units). Take a little bit of time to write or print out the exercises for each station and stick them to the tower on the unit. Even though you will likely demo the exercises before each round, by the time the participant gets to any given station they may have forgotten, so a visual cue will be very helpful.   To familiarize yourself with the exercises please refer to your Foundation Manual (that you received when you took the course).

How Long the Workout Should Last:

  • 45 seconds per station,
  • 15 seconds transition time = 8 minutes per round.
  • 4 Rounds = 32 minute workout.
  • (Add warm-up and/or cool-down of 10 minutes = 42 minutes total)

How to Configure Your GTS Machine Stations:

  • Station 1: Set up for Squat – no pulley
  • Station 2: Set up for Biceps
  • Station 3: Set up for Torso Rotation – use Adjustable Glideboard
  • Station 4: Set up for Hamstring Curl
  • Station 5: Set up for Row
  • Station 6: Set up for Chest
  • Station 7: Set up for Triceps
  • Station 8: Set up for Overhead Press – with Press Bar

Round 1

Station 1: Regular Squats

Station 2: Bilateral Bicep Curls – Palms Facing Up

Station 3: Torso Rotation – Kneeling – Left side

Station 4: Bilateral Hamstring Curl

Station 5: Low Row – Palms Facing Each Other

Station 6: Chest Press – Palms Facing Down

Station 7: Tricep Press Down (Lying Supine)

Station 8: Overhead Press

Round 2

Station 1: Squat Jumps

Station 2: Bilateral Bicep Curls – Palms Facing Each Other (Hammer Curls)

Station 3: Torso Rotation – Kneeling – Right side

Station 4: Bilateral Hamstring Curl with Sit-up or Crunch

Station 5: High Row – Palms Facing Down

Station 6: Front Raise – Palms Facing Up

Station 7: Overhead Triceps Press (Lying Supine)

Station 8: Plyometric Overhead Press

Round 3

Station 1: Unilateral Squat Jumps (One Leg, Alternating)

Station 2: Biceps Static Equilibrium

Station 3: Torso Rotation Oblique Small Twists – Kneeling – Right Side

Station 4: Unilateral Hamstring Curl – Right Leg

Station 5: Surfer (Kneeling Optional)

Station 6: Chest Fly

Station 7: Overhead Pull Down – (Lying Supine)

Station 8: Unilateral Press – Right arm

Round 4

Station 1: Plié Squat Jumps

Station 2: Unilateral Switching Bicep Curls

Station 3: Torso Rotation Oblique Small Twists – Kneeling – Left side

Station 4: Unilateral Hamstring Curl – Left leg

Station 5: Row (cable unhooked from glideboard)

Station 6: Unilateral Chest Press – Static Equilibrium

Station 7: Lying Supine – Iron Cross

Station 8: Unilateral Press – Left arm

Hot Tips:

For a newer group, you may need to add more time to each station and reduce number of rounds as there is more necessary explanation and setup/help. So instead of 45 seconds with a 15-second rest, you can increase to one minute of exercise and 30 seconds of rest/transition.

Stay tuned for more exciting ideas for your classes.


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