fbpx Skip to content

The Biggest Loser Debate Continues

I would like to commend author Amanda Vogel, MA, on her article “Weighing in on The Biggest Loser” [September IDEA Fitness Journal]. The article was informative, and she did a good job of presenting both sides of the story. I, on the other hand, don’t need to be so diplomatic. I think there should be a disclaimer at the beginning of the show that states: “This show is for entertainment purposes only. Both the participants and the personal trainers depicted are not real.”

Read More

10 Super Nutrients You’ve Never Heard Of

It is probably safe to say that the terms rutin, hydroxytyrosol and limonene are not currently household words in America. However, news outlets will likely soon be reporting on emerging research that touts the health benefits of these and other plant-based “super nutrients.”

Read More

Sample Class: Zoomer Boot Camp

Active Baby Boomers, or “Zoomers,” are a largely untapped market for boot camp–
style classes. Zoomers were at the heart of the running and aerobics crazes of the 1980s and still want to maintain a high level of fitness. At the same time they may be cognizant of previous injuries and current limitations.

Read More

Stretching—A Research Retrospective

A primary function of muscles is to create tension and produce force for movement of the body’s skeletal system. The intrinsic property of muscles and joints to go through a full or optimal range of motion (ROM) is referred to as flexibility. It is developed through the use of various stretching procedures. Presently, uncertainty exists about some proposed benefits of flexibility, including its effect on injury avoidance, muscle soreness prevention, muscular strength training and performance improvement.

Read More

How much do you charge for your personal training services? How did you arrive at this price point?

I’ve been a personal trainer for 24 years and was formerly a physical
director of a YMCA. I have owned a private studio in my home for the past 11 years, and I work strictly with women one-on-one. My fees are $45 per hour for a package of five sessions or $50 for a single session. (I love my studio in my home; I don’t have far to go to work!) If I travel to a client’s home, I charge $75 per session.

Suanne Arvay Rieker


Center Valley, Pennsylvania

Read More

Tips for Teaching a Special-Needs Participant

Has this ever happened to you? You’re all set to teach. Your music is ready, and you’ve done your sound check. The lighting is perfect, and the regulars take their places, be it for indoor cycling, yoga or boot camp. Then, in walks a new person. “Great,” you think. “I’ll greet her and hope she falls into place with relative ease.” But what you don’t expect is that she is not only new but uniquely challenged in a way you’ve never encountered.

Read More

Online Diets: Logging On

Online dieting is increasing in popularity because we live in a fast-paced, convenience-oriented society—and logging onto the Internet has never been easier. Most diet-related websites these days offer more than a list of recommended foods. Some sites provide elaborate features that “pop up” with recipes, meal plans, online chat rooms, discussion boards and calorie and exercise tracking devices.

Read More

How to Burn Fat Faster & More Efficiently

All the time, I hear fitness professionals tell their clients not to exercise above a certain heart rate, as if it were bad for people to run or bike fast. Target heart rate has become a buzz phrase. Even many cardio machines display a “fat-burning zone” on their panels, encouraging people to exercise in a specific heart rate range. Have you ever wondered if your clients really have to exercise in a specific heart rate zone to lose fat? And what happens if they venture out of that zone?

Read More

Revving Things Up in Russia

When people think of Russia, some picture the frozen steppes of Siberia, while others see the onion domes of Red Square. But what about this country’s long tradition of placing a high value on sport and physical fitness? That aspect of Russian culture is just as ingrained.

Read More

The Wellness Culture: Self-Responsibility at Last

“We need to invest in prevention and wellness programs to help Americans live longer and healthier lives.” These words, spoken by President Obama in a town hall speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on June 11 of this year (White House Press Office 2009), hit a chord with fitness professionals, who probably nodded their heads in agreement. The statement is obvious, yet carrying it out can prove elusive. “That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do my entire career,” you may be thinking.

Read More

Pilates for All Abilities

Client: Heidi

Personal Trainer: Laura Gideon, MS, owner of Bamboo Balance

Location: Los Angeles

First Impressions. Heidi was physically active as a dancer during high school. But by age 24 the loss of her left foot in a motorcycle accident and the rigors of graduate school had propelled her into a sedentary lifestyle. Eventually Heidi became determined to embrace a more active lifestyle and began to attend various aerobics classes. The classes proved unsuccessful because her prosthesis would slip as she began to sweat.

Read More

Balance for Baby Boomers and Seniors

The Baby Boomer (45–63 years of age) and senior (64 and older) populations represent the fastest-growing sectors in America and are the economic groups with the most disposable income. What’s more, Boomers recognize the importance of achieving and maintaining their health and are willing to spend money on experts in the fields of prehabilitation (designed to improve strength, stability and/or overall general conditioning prior to surgery) and corrective exercise in order to maintain their level of activity as they age.

Read More

Music Affects Heart Rate

Mind-body movement professionals should consider the impact that music can have on their programs. According to a new study published in Circulation (2009; 119 [25], 3171–80), loud music increases heart rate and blood pressure, while soft music lowers both, independent of subjective musical preferences. This study adds to the growing body
of research documenting the effects of music on mood and physiology.

Read More

Feldenkrais Method® Improves Balance

Feldenkrais Method balance classes can help older adults improve balance and mobility, according to
a small study published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2009; June 24, epub ahead of print). Research suggests that balance training may be more effective in preventing falls than either strength or endurance training.

Read More

Sustainable Farming and Fitness: A Perfect Fit

Recent public concerns about food quality, safety and the environment have sparked a major trend toward eating healthier foods and have introduced
the term sustainable farming into the American lexicon. Consumers are buying more organic foods grown locally by farmers using sustainable and socially
responsible practices in an effort to preserve the earth’s precious resources.

Read More

Leaders That Make a Difference

The fitness industry is rich with inspiration. Attend any IDEA convention or read through an IDEA publication, and you’re likely to discover countless stories of the many ways in which fitness professionals help others surmount obstacles. Four of those people are the 2009 recipients of the IDEA Health & Fitness Inspiration Awards™. Debi Pillarella, MEd…

Read More