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Tricks of the Trade

As a stay-at-home mother of two, I offer only online training at this time. I find it fits well with my schedule and still allows me to work in the fitness industry, which I love. I offer both personalized training plans and a virtual boot camp open to a larger group of participants. In my…

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Fitness Resort Travel

Need a vacation? Worried about the expense? Do you know that several resorts will give you accommodations and food almost for free in return for teaching a couple of classes like yoga, Pilates, water fitness, Zumba® or boot camp each day of your trip? You can have a world-class vacation without paying the pricey rates of a high-class resort.

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Overheard in the Locker Room

You just finished teaching what felt like a seamless kickboxing class. The stereo system cooperated, the music was right on, your cuing flowed, and so did your sequences. Everyone seemed to enjoy your combos and creative transitions. You’re feeling that postteaching buzz that comes from your own endorphins and the added high of inspiring others…

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Fun, Team-Oriented Cool-Down Games

At the end of every thrilling fireworks show is a great finale. Wouldn’t it be anticlimactic to close with quiet music and a few sparse booms? Similarly, a heart-pumping, challenging class deserves its own finale. If you’ve ever spent an entire class energizing participants only to leave them slowly peeling themselves off the floor in a dark room half-asleep, read on for some fun ideas to help them walk out feeling invigorated and excited to come back.

Creative Cool-Downs

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Top Fitness Instructors: What’s Their Secret?

In many sports the Most Valuable Player, or MVP, award is one of the most coveted. MVPs create big plays or big numbers—so picking candidates for the award isn’t too difficult. It may not be as simple to choose the MVPs among your group exercise instructors. First, there are no winners or losers in group exercise; ideally, we’re all trying to do the same thing. So figuring out who’s contributing the most is tough.

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Pilates for Runners

Running has long been a favorite fitness activity for millions of people. However, as more people catch the running bug, more also succumb to overuse injuries. Running tends to be high impact, it’s repetitive, and it occurs mostly in the sagittal plane. No wonder, then, that many runners fall prey to injury or imbalance.

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Nature’s “Green” Boosts Mood and Energy

Do you train clients outdoors? You may want to head for verdant forests and lush, grassy settings to boost participants’ mood and energy levels. Being exposed to the color green may be one reason why exercising in nature, also referred to as green exercise, produces physical and mental rewards beyond those that come from exercise alone. Studies have shown that green exercise improves mood, self-esteem, enjoyment and motivation.

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Culinary Trend Mapping Report

It’s time to redefine healthful foods, starting with the positive-sounding word “healthful,” says The New Healthful: Culinary Trend Mapping Report, a recent report released by Packaged Facts, a publisher of market research in the food, beverage, consumer packaged-goods and demographic sectors.

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Q&A: Ask the RD

Answer: While prebiotics and probiotics sound very much alike, that one vowel makes a difference. The more recognized probiotics have yogurt makers to thank for their popularity. Probiotics’ role in promoting digestive health has been advertised in numerous celebrity-endorsed advertisements. Consequently, many consumers are aware that probiotics are “healthy” living bacteria that occur naturally in fermented foods.

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Selling Services in a Faltering Economy, Part 2

In Part I of “Selling Services in a Faltering Economy” (in the October 2012 issue of IDEA Trainer Success), I discussed five steps you can take to energize your business: target your expertise; differentiate your products, price and relationships; protect your current client base; develop multiple revenue streams; and give gifts that reward you, too. Here are five more steps you can take to boost sales in a weak economy.

Offer Multiple Purchase Options [subhead]

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Increasing Professionalism: Building Relationships

As a fitness professional, you are in the relationship business. Just as the food you eat fuels your body for exercise, relationships are the fuel that feeds your business. But growing your business requires more than having strong interpersonal skills with your clients. Your business success is also influenced by your relationships with your colleagues and competitors. For example, cooperative marketing efforts and co-promotion can help your business grow. Also, solid business relationships can help you work through personal and professional challenges.

[subhead] Prioritize

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Men Also Struggle With Binge Eating

Because of the wealth of research on eating disorders in women, people often mistakenly think of these illnesses as exclusively female problems. However, binge eating—defined as eating excessive amounts of calories over short periods of time and often in private (but without purging, as in bulimia)—is
a disorder that affects both men and women.

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Small-Group Secrets: Pricing and Profits

Small-group training—workouts for groups of three to 10 clients (www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/small group-secrets-the-start-up-plan)—is a trend that’s changing the face of our industry.

Why? Profit margins are much better with small group, says Mike Bates, MBA, owner of Refine Fitness Studio in Windsor, Ontario. “If your goal is to make money, you should do as much [small-group training] as you can, as long as it fits with your training philosophy.”

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New Book Releases From Ellie Krieger and Andrew Zimmern

Small Changes, Big Results: A Wellness Plan with 65 Recipes for a Healthy, Balanced Life Full of Flavor, revised and updated (Clarkson Potter 2013).

Krieger, the popular Food Network and Cooking Channel host of Healthy Appetite, just re-released her 2005 career-launching book. In this revised and updated edition, Krieger teaches readers how to change their bodies and their lives by making three small changes a week for 12 weeks.

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Bananas: Giving You a Hand in Your Health

First noted by Alexander the Great on his conquest of India in 327 BC, the banana is America’s top-selling fruit.

Contrary to common perception, the banana actually comes from the world’s largest herbaceous flowering plant—not from a tree. Bananas grow in bunches called “hands”; a group of hands make up a “stem,” which can weigh over 100 pounds.

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Kettlebell Research Update

Kettlebells have seen growing popularity as a total-body training tool to improve cardiovascular health and musculoskeletal fitness. Yet for all the enthusiasm among personal trainers, experimental research on the effects of KB training was scant until last year, when studies began showing up in peer-reviewed journals. This column updates IFJ readers with recent research on KB training.

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