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Archive for June 2011

Lessons From the School of Sales

You’re sold on the importance of an exercise education. But do you equally value the study of sales? Whether you own an exercise enterprise or work as an independent instructor, having the technical skills to increase your customer base and cash flow is key to strengthening your bottom line. Yet while you can earn a…

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Everything Is Negotiable

Do you deserve a raise, but your manager says, “No way, it’s not happening; our policy limits us”? Have you heard no to higher pay once too often? Fantastic! You now have one no out of the way and are closer to yes. Come out on top by looking past pay-per-hour to other types of compensation. Remember, everything is negotiable. Get past pseudo obstacles such as the idea that no to more money means no to more rewards.

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Pilates Transformations

?In the world at large, real transformation doesn’t happen every day. In the world of Pilates, transformation is all in a day’s work—or play. Ask instructors about clients who have made dramatic changes through Pilates, and the stories pour in.

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The Pursuit of Higher Education

I“I want to take [my education] to the next level and do some type of study in fitness,” said the Facebook message from IDEA member Melissa Spraul, a group fitness instructor in Los Angeles. Her passion for fitness is clear from all the workshops and conventions she attends, but she wonders how to go about starting her academic career. “We have a lot of community colleges and universities out here, but I’m a little overwhelmed,” she wrote. “Can you provide any insight?”

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Generation X: From Slackers to Stars, the Future of Fitness

Did you ever have to cue audiocassette tapes before teaching aerobics? (You might’ve heard about playing albums in class, but that was before your time.) Were you among the first wave of personal trainers to get certified through an official course? If you answered yes to either or both of these questions—and you joined the fitness industry before or around the time step aerobics became popular—you might be a member of Generation X (also referred to as Gen X). This group, now in their 30s and 40s, has influenced the fitness industry through many permutations.

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Spotlight on the 2011 IDEA Award Recipients

Sometimes referred to as the Academy Awards® of the fitness industry, the IDEA World Fitness Awards are given to fitness professionals who represent the very best of the best in the industry. This year, awards were given in three categories: IDEA Program Director of the Year (a tie produced co-recipients), IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year. The recipients will be recognized at the IDEA World Fitness Convention™, August 11–14, in Los Angeles. Don’t miss the chance to greet them and attend sessions by some of them!

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Serving Your Base & Looking for Opportunity in Special Populations

The 16th annual IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends survey was distributed to member club owners, fitness directors, managers and program directors in order to gather information on current programming and equipment offerings and to gauge industry trends. As club owners and directors have continued to hurdle the challenge of a down economy, they have been forced to get creative with staffing, space, equipment and programming so as to meet the needs of a diverse clientele demanding more economical fitness solutions.

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Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain

In 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.

What’s more, the problem doesn’t stop there. Chronic neck pain is linked to a host of related disorders, including headache, jaw soreness, and pain radiating into the shoulders, upper back and arms.

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7 Posture Questions Answered

As a fitness professional, you are committed to maintaining and improving the functional independence and physical performance of your clients. Most exercise professionals agree that good posture is essential for attaining these goals. It is often observed in the literature that a skeletal framework and/or spine that is misaligned may result in a cascade of bodily problems, most notably an impediment of the electrochemical messages of the nervous system (since the spine is the pathway for the nervous system to and from the brain) (Edmond et al. 2005).

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Kournikova on Biggest Loser: Is She Certified?

Have you heard? Tennis star Anna Kournikova will be replacing Jillian Michaels as a personal trainer in Season 12 of The Biggest Loser, a hit reality TV show on NBC. Kournikova is expected to be a powerful motivator to Biggest Loser contestants, inspiring them to embrace the kind of drive that elevated her to elite-athlete…

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Treadmill Walking Helps Parkinson’s Patients

People with Parkinson’s disease who are experiencing difficulty walking should engage in regular low-intensity practice on a treadmill, suggests a recent study. Sixty-seven participants were split into three groups: high-intensity treadmill (faster pace, shorter duration); low-
intensity treadmill (slower pace, longer duration); and stretching and resistance exercises that included leg presses, leg extensions and leg curls. Various gait and fitness assessments were taken pre- and post-intervention.

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Sprints Improve CVD Risk Factors in Youth

Experts believe that physical activity participation in youth can promote good health into adulthood. According to a recent study, one way youngsters can reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors is to participate in brief periods of high-intensity exercise (HIT). The study subjects included 47 boys and 10 girls who were approximately 16.4 years of age. They were separated into three groups: high intensity, moderate intensity and control.

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2011 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends

How to Read the Numbers

The percentage (%) re?ects the
number of survey respondents who
answered yes to a given survey ques –
tion. All percentages have been rounded
up at 0.5 and down at 0.4. Percentages
do not necessarily total 100, because of
multiple or missing responses

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Gym-Pact Charges When You Don’t Show Up

Facility owners and managers recognize that many individuals let gym membership cards collect dust. Many managers offer promotions or incentives to increase membership use. One organization uses a sort of reverse incentive to help motivate the unmotivated. Developed by Harvard students struggling to meet weekly fitness goals, the Internet-based organization Gym-Pact charges users for missed workouts. Participants set up a schedule, and they must check into a partnered gym via text message to avoid a $10 fee.

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U.S.Coast Guard Sets New Passenger Limits

It seems the U.S. Coast Guard is feeling the weight of the American population’s widened waistlines. The service has recently changed its regulations regarding the amount of weight—and number of passengers—allowed aboard seafaring vessels.

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Active Network Supports President’s Challenge

As part of the President’s Challenge, the Active Network Inc., has pledged to encourage 100,000 individuals to participate in the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) by September. The PALA is a nationwide program designed to inspire as many families as possible to improve their physical activity levels and to fight obesity. The Active Network has…

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To Improve Adherence, Focus on “How,” Not “Why”

When working with a personal training client, do you often espouse the many benefits of adopting healthy habits? According to a recent study, this may not be the best way of inspiring behavior change. The research, published in the American Journal of Public Health (2011; 101[4], 751–58), included information from 358 reports and 99,011 individuals. The goal of the report was to summarize best-practice interventions for increasing physical activity among apparently healthy adults.

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Is There an Exercise Gene?

Fitness professionals know that some people excel in exercise programs more easily than others. Skeptical personal trainers raise an eyebrow at clients who claim adherence but improve at a snail’s pace. However, rate of progress could be outside your client’s control. According to a recent study, some individuals may not possess the “exercise gene.” The…

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Frequent Cycling May Be Bad for Sperm Health

Males concerned with fertility might want to step off the bike and supplement with other forms of physical activity. A report published in Fertility and Sterility (2011; 95 [3], 1025–30) linked frequent cycling and diminished sperm production. The study included 2,261 men who were attending Boston-area fertility clinics. The men completed a questionnaire on general…

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