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Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

I’ll admit it. I’ve been in a bit of a funk the past 3 years. Oh, I used to be on a roll. Years ago I became a certified personal trainer, then I learned how to teach indoor cycling, followed by 9 months in a yoga teacher training program. I filled my brain with theory, science, practicum, anatomy, inspiration and movement. I had good days and bad days with clients and participants, and I found my zone. The zone felt nice for a while, until I remembered how much I have left to learn.

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Carving a Career Path

If you could go back in time and counsel your younger self on the nuances of personal training, what would you say? What have you learned, and how do you apply it? These were some of many thought-provoking questions answered by four highly successful and influential fitness professionals in the opening panel discussion, “Set Your Career on Fire,” at 2016 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute East, in Alexandria, Virginia, February 25-28.

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How to Market Exercise Classes for Older Adults

The image of the cookie-baking, rocking chair–bound, bespectacled grandma is about as outdated as, well, leg warmers. It’s no secret that today’s older adult is “not your grandpa’s retiree.” Among people retiring now, many are socially, mentally and physically active. And that’s why fitness facilities that want to attract this cohort need to be particularly careful about marketing language and schedules.

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Launching Small-Group Training in a Large Facility

Small-group training—a service in which a personal trainer works with anywhere from three to 10 people at a time—has quickly become a fitness steamroller. Independent studios as well as “big box” facilities have added SGT to their list of offerings, because it provides a financial win-win for all. Clients gain access to the guidance of a personal trainer at a minimal cost, and personal trainers and fitness facilities make more money per hour.

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How to Build a Competitive Mind-Body Program

The health club industry is facing strong competition from boutique studios, particularly those that specialize in mind-body practices like yoga, Pilates and barre. “Boutique studios represent the fastest growing business segment of the fitness industry,” declares Stephen Tharrett, co-founder with Mark Williamson of ClubIntel.

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Cross-Training for the Career Win

A seasoned high school soccer player who has excellent shooting, passing, dribbling and heading skills walks into your office looking for a personal trainer to help her boost her game. To reach the next level—say, collegiate-quality—making her ball skills even better may not be what’s most important. To further excel, she will need to hold her own at control, speed, agility and strength. If she improves these abilities and combines them with her already exceptional ball skills, she’ll have the tools to become a strong, well-rounded college recruit.

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Why Do Members Love Dance Fitness?

You spend countless hours creating the perfect mix for your group fitness schedules so that members will stay motivated to attend classes. What if you knew for sure what keeps people happy and wanting more? Motives are highly related to individual goals: the desired outcomes of participating in particular behaviors (Ingledew & Markland 2008; Strömmer, Ingledew & Markland 2015). In the realm of exercise adherence, not only must motivation precede the decision to adopt exercise, but also the perceived and/or actual outcomes must keep exercisers motivated.

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Nutrition Leaders Achieve Overwhelming Consensus

Over 75 of the world’s top nutrition scientists, medical experts and media members convened last November at Finding Common Ground—a summit organized by food and nutrition nonprofit Oldways—to reach consensus on what Americans should be eating. Their recommendations included strong support for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report and for sustainability of our food systems and greater food literacy.

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Yoga Teaching Tips: Cues to Cultivate Awareness

Quite often, people are initially drawn to yoga for its physical benefits. As practice continues, however, many begin to experience more than physical benefits and seek the deeper layers of self-exploration and awareness. As a yoga teacher, you can encourage an internal practice in your students.

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Circuit Supersets for Total-Body Strength

A superset format is a great way to deliver a high-intensity, straightforward workout. In this circuit-training class, each superset includes three exercises that target different areas of the body. For example, you work the legs while the arms recover, then you target the core while the legs have some reprieve, and so on.

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Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions

In 2015, the National Academy of Med-icine hosted a 2-day public workshop in Washington, DC, entitled “Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions.” Experts from around the world summarized the science demonstrating physical activity’s (PA) impact in the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity, and highlighted innovative strategies for promoting PA across all segments of the population.

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Creative Ideas That Inspire

At several City Surf Fitness locations in Texas and Louisiana,

City Surf

offers participants the benefits of surfing—even though there aren’t any waves nearby. According to the website, the class is taught on SURFSET® RipSurfer X boards and features “fun surf-inspired movements, utilizing surfer-specific muscle groups.” Classes are open to every fitness level, and instructors provide modifications for more or less intensity.

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Sample Class: Primal Yoga

Sun salutation, or surya namaskara (SOOR-yuh nah-muh-SKAR-uh), is a critical component of many yoga styles. Designed to build heat in the body, it is often used as a warm-up. “Surya” is the sun, symbolizing health. “Namaskara” shares the same root in Sanskrit as “Namasté”—


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Strategic Standing

How many of your class attendees sit most of the day? Between work, commuting and Facebook scrolling, a lot of people are chronically “sedentary in the sagittal plane.” Empower participants to strengthen their cores outside of class in novel ways with an often-overlooked piece of fitness “equipment”: a stable, stationary desk (or table). These standing core moves will activate, innervate and stretch clients’ muscles beyond the sagittal plane of sitting.

Note: Teach these exercises using a mat, a wall, or steps and risers to simulate a desk.

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Recipe for Health: Roasted Potato Salad With Asparagus and a Boiled Egg

Kimberley Hasselbrink, photographer and creator of the blog The Year in Food (www.theyearinfood.com), invites you to look at ingredients differently and let their colors inspire you. Her book, Vibrant Food (Ten Speed Press 2014), will stir you to think about produce in terms of color to reinvigorate your relationship with food. Her collection of recipes is based on seasonal produce and employs aesthetics, flavor and texture to build gorgeous but unfussy dishes throughout the year.

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