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Archive for May 2010

Social Circles: Market Your Department

Many fitness facilities have built a social media marketing presence, and some are doing a good job of keeping their “real estate” current and dynamic. But not many facilities can claim a multilevel, departmental approach. Why not establish a separate page on your website for the personal training department?

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Know Your Lines!

Welcome to part four of our five-part “Crash Course in Excellence” series with takeaway strategies. This article explores two different kinds of customer service scripts: one designed to boost fitness instructors’ talent, productivity and creativity; the other aimed at enhancing overall customer service skills throughout your facility.

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2010 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends

The first time we surveyed members for the annual IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends report, in 1995, personal training was just beginning to emerge as an affordable exercise option for most consumers and as a viable career choice for fitness professionals. Pilates had been around for decades; however, relatively few exercise professionals knew much…

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Trusting the Work

First-generation Pilates master teacher, Jay Grimes has well-defined opinions about the way the Pilates method should be taught and is certainly not shy about expressing them. “Teaching is the communication of knowledge and ideas and one presumes that you have that knowledge and those ideas before you begin to communicate,” he affirms. “Talking is one way to communicate about Pilates but you can also do it with a touch, a look, an expression, by using body language or with silence.

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Case Study: Older Adult with Multiple Challenges

When a client who has multiple physical challenges comes to your practice it can cause a certain amount of anxiety. Before you even schedule the first session, do a thorough phone interview so you can get a strong sense of what issues the client presents. You must also get a physician’s release for exercise. If the client has been seeing a physical therapist, speak with him or her to help you understand the client’s contraindications.

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Phase-One Exercises for Breast Cancer, Part Two

In the second part of phase-one programming for breast cancer survivors, the goal is to continue to introduce some very basic biomechanical principles commonly used in Pilates. These principles focus on restoring joint mobility with gentle range-of-motion exercises intended to break down residual scar tissue from surgery and various treatments. The work of increasing overall body awareness with slow, controlled, concentrated movements also persists.

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Pure Principles, Plus Innovation

So far, Pilates has had quite a ride in the fitness industry, but it hasn’t been without bumps. As programming gets ever more creative, Pilates advocates have raised questions of safety, adequacy of training and method authenticity—and some experts ask whether Pilates and fitness really belong together, after all.

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CDC Allots Funds for Prevention Efforts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has green-lighted a program to enhance health and wellness throughout the United States. Called “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” the initiative will provide approximately $642 million for programs designed to increase physical activity levels; improve nutrition; lower obesity rates; and
decrease smoking prevalence, teen smoking and second-hand smoke exposure. According to the initiative’s website, the program will target programs at the community, state and

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IDEA Member Combines Education, Fitness

When many schools nationwide are reducing or eliminating physical education, one Alpine, California, school is making fitness a priority. IDEA member Marc McKellar and his wife, Cara, have developed a partnership to improve activity levels among students at the Day-McKellar Preparatory School. He runs the Peak Athletic Center, and she runs the school; both are located within the same building. “We provide 60 minutes of physical education per day [to students] in an indoor soccer arena and gym,” says Marc. The school serves students from kindergarten to high-school seniors.

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Sample Class: Mat Pilates With Props

If you don’t always have access to the same pieces of small equipment, improvise. This sample class outlines ways to use what you have and be creative. The workout lasts about 35 minutes. Each participant will need a magic circle or one 3- to 5-pound handheld weight; two 2- to 3-pound weights or weighted balls; a foam roller; and an inflatable miniball. Ask participants to place their props within arm’s reach.

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4 Corrective Exercises for Bad Posture

Static posture refers to how we hold our bodies or assume certain positions, like sitting, standing or sleeping. The cumulative effect of the time we spend in these positions can lead to prolonged static-posture damage to the musculoskeletal and myofascial systems of the body. By addressing this effect in conjunction with an exercise program, you can ensure that clients remain pain free and fully functional.

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The Business of Online Training

Online personal training (oPT) is not a new concept in the fitness business, but it has certainly caught the attention of many fitness professionals over the last year. The 2009 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends Survey reported that 17% of personal trainers offer online training programs to clients.

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Learn to Delegate

This column provides trainers with practical ways to approach common business obstacles using a coaching strategy called gap analysis. A gap analysis helps people identify where they are currently with regard to a situation, where they ultimately would like to see themselves, and what steps they must take in order to bridge the gap.

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Making Partnerships Happen

Few things in the world are more valuable for the fitness entrepreneur than a network of high-quality business partners. The saying “It’s not what you know, it’s whom you know” is especially true in today’s business world. Furthermore, the depth of your network’s network may be the most valuable asset of all.

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Beating Procrastination

Part of our job as fitness professionals is to continually find ways to motivate our clients to do their best. We encourage them to aim for their highest potential and not give up–to push through the obstacles that keep them from committing to their best performance. We also apply that same motivational focus to ourselves–to ensure that we keep our bodies in top physical condition.
But how often do we apply that laser focus to building the other parts of our business? Our bodies may be in great shape, but what about our dreams and goals and our vision of career success?

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Personal Training for Brides

When Jessica Thomas became engaged 7 years ago, she frequented local bridal shows to find vendors who could make her wedding day perfect. She saw plenty of florists, photographers and bakers, but one professional was nowhere in sight—a personal trainer. “No one from the fitness industry was at these shows,” says Thomas, who now runs Fit 2 Wed in San Diego. “I wanted to give brides a healthy way to feel fit and gorgeous at their wedding.”

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Exercising in the Heat

Anyone who grew up as a runner in New Jersey, as I did, would tell you that running during the summer in the Northeastern United States is no ordinary challenge. Some days are downright sticky; stepping outside your air-conditioned house can feel like walking into a steam room. Similarly, many places in the country experience harsh summer conditions that carry thermal and cardiovascular challenges. Knowing how to handle these will protect your clients.

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