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2008 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey

According to industry definitions, “multipurpose” health clubs have fitness facilities and racquet courts. “Fitness-only” health clubs have fitness (group exercise and/or a fitness center with equipment), but no racquet courts. Either type of club may have a swimming pool or a gymnasium.

Respondents wer…

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Using Body-Weight Exercises

While free weights and machines can
certainly make you stronger, don’t dismiss the effectiveness of exercises that
use only your own body weight. As you master your own weight, you will not only
look better; you will also learn how to train three-dimensional movement,
acquire a greater kinesthetic awareness and become empowered as you perform
tasks with your body. M…

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Preventing Childhood Obesity

Three years ago the Institute of Medicine
(IOM) issued a call to action in response to the rapidly escalating problem of
childhood obesity in the United States. It challenged all stakeholders—the
federal government, industry and media, state and local governments, healthcare
professionals, community and nonprofit organizations, schools and families—to
take significa…

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The New View

About 30 years ago, the first wave of
group fitness instructors (known then as aerobics teachers) got their start in
an industry yet to be defined. Many of those people are still teaching and
training, yet as the industry grows and changes, continuing to shape itself,
the need for a steady influx of teachers is evident. Since the world of fitness
is radically differ…

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Tips for Independent Contractors

Are you thinking of becoming an independent contractor, but you’re not sure what to expect? Navigating the ins and outs of this path can be tricky. Here are tips from Nolo, an organization dedicated to disseminating legal information to consumers and small businesses.

  1. Choose a Name. It is a go…
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StepTube: The Next Wave?

Whoever says step is on its way out
apparently is not
watching YouTube. Although step has never truly
gone away, over the decades we’ve seen its momentum peak and fade and peak
again, the choreography advancing with each generation of steppers. Because
step has had such a rich history, classes continue to attract audiences fro…

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Taking the Emotion Out of Sales Pitches

It used to be that only those with disposable income availed themselves of personal training services. Now that more middle-class consumers are turning to personal trainers, the field has become even more competitive. That means trainers need to find a way to separate themselves from the pack. One way to do that is to generate more sales.

Unfortunately, most trainers are ill-equi…

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Staying Strong in a Weak Economy

In recent months, we have all heard these unnerving terms in the media: economic downturn, recession, weak market. The fact is, we are hearing these phrases so often because it’s true: we are in a feeble economy, characterized by sluggish consumer spending and rising unemployment. In fact, according to the Kiplinger Business Resource Center, “The United States economy i…

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Through Their Eyes

Call it a destination, a haven, a
community or even a resort—but the one thing you won’t be calling Life Time
Fitness is just a gym. With attractions ranging from indoor/outdoor water parks
to hair and nail salons, basketball courts to rock climbing caverns, a kids’
computer center to a full-service spa and caf├®, Life Time Fitness creates a
complete family wellness …

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2008 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey Overview

Personal trainers, group exercise
instructors—indeed, all fitness professionals—have to stay on their toes in
this dynamic industry. It’s not just fit people coming to the gym anymore. The
faces we see have evolved into a mix of kids, older adults, pregnant women,
people with postrehab needs and elite athletes, to name a few of the myriad
special populations. Meetin…

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NLP: The “Soft” Science of Communication

Have you ever taken a step back, stumped at someone else’s success in the shadow of your failure, and wondered, “What does she have that I don’t?” Many fitness professionals have thought about the best way to pack a room or retain a client, and everyone has a unique perspective. More often than not, the theories focus on our methods: exercises, equipment, music and cuing…

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Beating Burnout

According to the 2008 IDEA Personal
Training Programs & Equipment Survey, personal training continues to rank
highest among health and fitness programs offered (Schroeder, forthcoming). In
addition, the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (2007)
forecasts a promising future for trainers, estimating a 27% increase in
employment of fitness workers …

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Does Sex or Race Affect Strength Training?

Have you ever wondered if the effects of strength training differ between men and women, and among people of various races? Researchers in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland sought to determine whether specific groups benefited more from strength training. The findings, printed in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2008; 40 [4], 669-76)…

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Fitness Forum

“Always Better”

I have had over a dozen e-mails and
telephone calls about the excellent article, “Siempre Mejor,” that appeared in
the March issue of IDEA Fitness
Journal (Icons & Innovators column, p. 92). It proves that
your magazine is very successful. I wanted not only to thank you but also to
let you know how …

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Handling Career Changes With Aplomb

Maybe you find that after carefully
mapping out your career path, you actually want to travel in a different
direction. Maybe you discover that a career milestone you thought would take
years to achieve is now within your grasp. Or maybe you are still blissfully
happy in your job but find that outside forces dictate a change.

As the old saying…

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A Banquet of Topics

Each July, our editors take IDEA Fitness Journal off its
usual format to bring you a fresh menu of career and industry feature articles
to feed your minds with ideas promoting professional growth. This year, we’ve
covered exciting new ground and learned a lot in the process.

A great place to start is with an overview of indu…

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2008 IDEA Health & Fitness Inspiration Awards™ Finalists

IDEA is proud of the contributions of
all our members, who work hard every day to share the joys of active and
healthy living with their clients. The IDEA Health & Fitness Inspiration
Awards honor fitness colleagues who make exceptional efforts to support clients,
communities and the fitness industry. Join us as we recognize the achievements
of the 2008 fi…

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Basic Accounting Principles for Fitness Professionals

Accounting is an important part of any
business. It provides the financial snapshot we need in order to make informed
decisions regarding the current and future health and performance of our
business. If you expect your own fitness business to grow and flourish, you
will need to possess more than just a passing knowledge of accounting

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How to Be a Great Instructor

Teaching adults is a complex task, and when you add the particulars of the health and fitness industry, with its multitude of activities and professional responsibilities, the task becomes even more complex. Overall we are doing a good job as teachers, and as the profession continues to evolve we see more and more education-specific training. However, maybe it’s time to take it up a notch. …

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Creating Tranquil Moments

Want to help relax students or clients at the end of a group class or personal training session? Use the following script to treat them to a reclining meditation designed to elicit deep relaxation.
Settling Down—Progressive Relaxation
“Please make yourself comfortable lying down. If you are feeling any strain in your lower back, please feel free to bend your knee…

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