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Archive for May 2011

Hot-Weather Exercise

You love to exercise outside in the fresh air, but certain times during the year are downright hot and sticky. Harsh summer conditions may mean it’s challenging to exercise outdoors.

Knowing how to handle these outdoor conditions will protect you from
fatigue and heat-related diseases. Jason R. Karp, PhD, exercise physiologist and owner of RunCoachJason.com, discusses what you can do to prepare yourself for the summer heat.

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Turning Pools Into Profits

Fitness centers invest a significant amount of their budgets in maintaining the pool, but they do not necessarily receive an adequate return on this investment. In some cases, the pool is viewed as merely a value-added amenity to reinforce a positive member experience. Other than for occasional lap swimming and water classes for older adults, most gym pools are not being used to their full potential. It’s time to focus on the profit-generating power of the pool and increase pool usage.

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Don’t Be That Manager: High-Turnover

Many personal trainers are promoted to manager or director solely on the basis of their success as a trainer and not necessarily because of their management skills. Now it’s your turn: you are the new personal training manager. You’re finding out how different being the manager is from working with clients on the floor.

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The Benefits of Streamlined Communication

The previous three installments of this column have given you a bit to think about regarding your current communication situation. As the group fitness manager (GFM), you must balance multiple streams of input and output. You face daily communication challenges with instructors, club members and upper management. There’s no doubt you could be more productive if you spent time revamping protocols. However, it’s hard to find the time to set up those spiffy protocols when you have the weighty administrative tasks associated with being a manager.

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A System to Manage Clients and Leads

A list of current and prospective clients can be invaluable to fitness professionals promoting upcoming events, distributing newsletters and cultivating member relationships. IDEA FitnessConnect’s client management system makes it convenient for fitness professionals to manage and grow their clientele directly from their profile pages.

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Daily-Deal Sites: Benefit or Burden?

Regarding the news item “Leverage Daily-Deal Sites for Business Success [Making News, March 2011], my business partner and I have featured our company on a number of the daily-deal sites in Los Angeles and have had mixed experiences. While I agree it was a great way to expose our business to a huge market that might not know about our outdoor circuit training classes, it was a lot of work for very little return on investment.

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Sample Class: Water Walking Routes

Inspiring sedentary and obese people to adopt healthy lifestyle changes can be a challenge. Even if you don’t teach water classes, here’s an opportunity for you to inspire others in a water environment. Lazy rivers—“streams” with slow-moving currents—are becoming popular at many recreation facilities across the country. Fitness instructors can take advantage of these unique water settings to teach morbidly obese, deconditioned, physically challenged or sedentary adults movements that they can perform successfully.

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The Body Leverage Advantage

Group exercise participants love core training, so it’s no wonder that TRX® Suspension Training® has become a favorite in fitness and wellness facilities. What is this type of body leverage training, and how does it work? By suspending either your hands or feet, while the opposite end of the body is in contact with the ground, you displace your center of gravity, activating your core muscles during every exercise. So even a biceps curl becomes a core move!

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Step Solutions

Think back to when you first learned how to teach step. It was exciting and there were so many different moves. Then the novelty wore off, and you started searching for the latest choreography. Unless you were diligent about keeping up with your continuing education and spent a lot of time learning new moves on websites like Turnstep.com and YouTube, you may have added plyometrics or propulsion moves to ramp up the intensity of your step class. This is, of course, far from ideal since the recommended step cadence is 118–128 beats per minute (bpm) (Olson & Miller 1997).

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What Do You Think a Trainer’s Role Should Be in Helping Kids Get Fit?

I think the biggest role a trainer has in helping kids is leadership. Lead by example, lead by educating and lead by making exercise fun and enjoyable. The statistics are scary, [indicating that life expectancy for today’s children could be shorter than it is for their parents, because of obesity]. It is our duty as fitness professionals to recognize that children need our help in a lot more ways than we can imagine.

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The Four “PRE’s” of Sales Success

Whether you sell facility memberships or your own training services, at some point you’ll be asking a potential customer for money. Yet you may find yourself racked with stress about conducting such consultations, the thought of closing the deal bringing more sweat to your brow than your last blast on the cardio machines.

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Boot Camp for the Special-Needs Client

Client: Chris Personal Trainer: Laurel Blackburn, owner, Boot Camp Fitness and Training Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Inspiring the Inspirer. Laurel Blackburn, owner of Boot Camp Fitness and Training, first observed her future client, Chris, while coaching Special Olympics Track & Field. “He wasn’t much of a runner, but I was amazed and inspired by his efforts,” Blackburn recalls. “He always pushed himself to run faster.”

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2011 IDEA World Fitness Awards Finalists

IDEA members around the world make a difference every day by helping people get fit in body, mind and spirit. The IDEA World Fitness Awards highlight professionals who consistently give their all to motivate their clients, their communities and the fitness industry. Join us in celebrating the achievements of the finalists for the 2011 IDEA Program Director of the Year, IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year. Award recipients will be announced in the July–August issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.

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Introducing the IDEA Career Guide

When you started in the fitness industry, what would you have given to have access to a well-organized treasure trove of career advice prepared by experts? What about resources and tools developed with the feedback of experienced professionals? Would having access to the most comprehensive, clickable guide to certification and training organizations ever assembled in one place have made your decision-making process clearer? No doubt it would have significantly focused your career trajectory. You likely could have saved a lot of time and perhaps even prevented a few missteps along the way.

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Quick Results! Chest, Back, Shoulders, Legs

If you want to offer quick, exciting, results-driven experiences for participants, Triple Threat! is your class formula. This workout uses three forms of resistance, three different exercises and three sets of 8-24 reps that target each of the major muscle groups. The cookie-cutter template can be adapted to fit participants’ goals and the equipment available. You can easily insert different moves into the chest, back, shoulders and legs categories to keep the class fresh. Triple Threat! is effective, time-efficient, integrated and multidimensional.

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Tips for Motivating Discouraged Clients

For some clients who join a gym or hire a personal trainer, everything goes as planned, and their stories have happy endings. But other clients start discouraged or become discouraged. They may cancel their workouts or go through them half-heartedly, offering up more excuses than repetitions. They may fail to exercise on their own, and may let their gym memberships lapse. Discouragement is a vicious downward spiral, resulting in depression and plummeting self-esteem, not to mention ever-decreasing conditioning. So what can you do?

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Take the IDEA World Fitness Challenge!

How daring are you? What will it take for you to risk the status quo and stretch beyond your comfort zone to create a new success story for yourself? You’ll have hundreds of opportunities to challenge yourself with brand-new programs, equipment and research, inspiring personalities, groundbreaking experts and in-depth education opportunities at the 2011 IDEA World Fitness Convention™, August 11-14, in Los Angeles.

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Strength and Cardio Supersets

Alternating strength sets with time on cardiovascular equipment is a popular way to train clients. When designed and executed correctly, this strategy can very effectively overload muscles, producing maximum results in minimum time.

p class=”subhead”>Designing Strength and Cardio Supersets

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Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain

IIn our high-stress, hurried world—filled with financial pressures, information overload, “terror alerts” and sleeplessness—many people feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Add to this emotional tension the physical stress of sedentary lifestyles with long hours spent hunched over computers and, all too often, the result is a serious pain in the neck.

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Exercise and Sexual Health

What is sexual health? One definition includes the phrase “a capacity to enjoy and control sexual behavior without fear, shame or guilt” (Mosby’s Medical Dictionary 2009). The World Health Organization (WHO) defines the term in part as “a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality” (WHO 2011). Sexual dysfunction is broadly defined as “disorders that interfere with a full sexual response cycle. These disorders make it difficult for a person to enjoy or to have sexual intercourse” (Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine 2008).

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