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ACE Insight

Could Elevation Training Masks Elevate Your Training?

ACE-sponsored research explores what effect elevation training masks have on athletic performance.

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ACE Letter from Scott Goudeseune

Dear ACE Family,
I love the month of September, but it always seems to catch me off guard. Just as I’m getting used to the long summer days and heat, it’s suddenly fall—football season is starting up and children head back to school.

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“How do you handle a client who comes in sick or with an obvious medical condition?”

I ask the client to obtain a medical clearance from a doctor before we can train. I explain that this is precautionary for his or her own health. Why do I ask for medical clearance? When clients are ill, exercise is most likely not going to benefit them. When a client seeks medical clearance, the doctor usually reinforces my original concerns.

Bill Ross

Owner, Bill Ross Fit and Holistic Life Forever


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Dos and Don’ts of Raising Rates

The most important thing to do before increasing your fees is to research your market. Debrae Barensfeld, co-founder of Nitroforce Performance training Studio in Medina, Ohio, notes that certain demographic regions have price ceilings. “Before you choose your new rate, research your area and find out what others are charging.” Demographic region, cost of living, inflation, type of client, and your education and experience all affect pricing.

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Workstation Alternatives

The growing body of evidence on the health risks of sitting for hours on
end has a lot of exercise pros wondering: Should we encourage clients to
use standup desks or workstations that allow moderate physical activity?

Emerging research suggests it’s worth a try.

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Success With Succession Planning

While programming is typically cited as the number-one difference between a good group fitness department and a great one, the people who deliver the programs are truly the “secret sauce.” Without a talented team, even the best programs will fail to resonate with members. Even if you’re currently living the group fitness manager’s dream—a full deck of superstar instructors who teach amazing classes—it’s still important to develop a proactive plan to keep your team performing at this high level.

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The Best Mind-Body Programs You’re Not Scheduling

Mind-body programs are a core group exercise feature at membership-based fitness facilities, boutiques and specialized studios. Yoga leads the way with 36.7 million U.S. practitioners, up from 20.4 million in 2012 (Yoga Journal 2016). In 2014, barre and Pilates were the most popular programs for women, while men were enthusiastic about tai chi and cardio kickboxing (IHRSA 2014). Clearly, mind-body activities are attracting participants.

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Are Leaders Born or Made?

What is a leader in the fitness industry? CEOs and managers are often tagged as leaders, so it’s not just someone who shines on stage and enthusiastically teaches group fitness classes. Where do leaders come from? Are they genetically predisposed to have charisma and influence? Or did they work hard to cultivate those skills?

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Changing Our Behavior So Clients Can Change Theirs

Sherry Pagoto, PhD, is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, co–founder of the UMass Center for mHealth and Social Media, a licensed clinical psychologist, and an expert in behavioral counseling for obesity. She has had a federally funded research program on obesity and cancer prevention for 14 years and has published 146 papers on these topics.

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Do You Need a Better Technology Policy?

If you’ve spent any time at all inside a gym, you’ve likely experienced this scenario: You’re humming along on your treadmill when Joe Talksalot hops onto the machine next to you and proceeds to speak loudly into his smartphone. To distract yourself from Talksalot’s not-so-private conversation, you scan the gym floor—and over the corner you see a woman doing backbends while contorting her neck to maintain a visual on her tablet.

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Get Them Walking!

It was so exciting to see the emphasis on walking in the May issue [“Get Them Walking!,” by Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP]. For almost 15 years I have successfully led a fitness business with outdoor walking workouts as the core programming. Ninety percent of my revenue is from these outdoor walking classes. Their foundation is high-intensity intervals—all participants maintain a walking gait.

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Unraveling Food Package Claims

There is a lot of confusion among consumers about what food product labels mean. Terms like “gluten-free, fat-free, all-natural” and “GMO–free” imply health benefits, yet they sometimes promote processed foods full of undesirable ingredients such as refined sugars, trans fats and chemical additives. You want to eat healthfully, but how do you make sense of product claims?

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The Cost of Fitness

According to the Physical Activity Council’s 2016 Participation Report, engagement in sports, fitness and related activities increased in 2015, with 56% of the U.S. population aged 6 and older “participating in at least one high caloric burning activity.” While you don’t have to spend a lot of money to start and maintain a fitness program, many people earmark dollars in their personal budgets for products and services that support their fitness goals.

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Creative Ideas That Inspire

Autumn has arrived, and with it comes an invitation to slow down after the fun and flurry of the summer months. Let these creative ideas inspire you to help participants reset and rejuvenate their minds in preparation for this slower season.

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Sample Class: It Takes Two

Plyometric cardio class

Sample Class: It Takes Two
Pair up participants for a great cardio workout.
By Jennifer Renfroe

If you’re looking for a new way to add interest to your cardio classes, double the fun with partner drills. In this intense interval workout, drills consist of a 1-minute work effort, a 30-second recovery, and then a second 1-minute work effort. However, there’s a twist: The recovery isn’t a true recovery. Instead, you use the 30 seconds to do a quick series of “sculpting” moves designed to bring down the intensity while strengthening the body.

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4 Ways to Warm Up With a Medicine Ball

Medicine Ball Measures
Properly prepare participants for the rigors of intense workouts.
by Christy Stevenson

Before you bring on the burn in popular classes like high–intensity interval training, make sure attendees are ready. Amp it up with these medicine ball exercises, designed to limber the body in multiple planes of movement, prepare muscles for load and initiate core engagement. These moves ensure that participants are prepared for vigorous variations of push-ups, burpees, tuck jumps, mountain climbers and advanced medicine ball exercises. The more purposeful the warm-up, the more successful the workout.

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Sports Conditioning Classes and the Recreational Athlete

Recreational athletes dig in their heels and enthusiastically participate in group fitness classes. Many also play seasonal sports and sign up for specialized, branded endurance events. Fitness facilities are taking notice and offering fee–based, progressive offerings to satisfy the needs of sporty members who want to see how far they can take their hard-earned skills without getting injured.

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Fitness Marketing on Mobile

More than ever before, consumers are using mobile to interact on social media, visit websites, access apps and even shop online. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to routinely use their smartphones as a primary tool for accessing the Internet, according to data from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA 2016).

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A Total Transformation

client: Erin | personal trainer: Sarah Nakamoto, Bootique Fitness | location: San Diego

The new recruit. When Erin first arrived at Bootique Fitness, an all–female outdoor boot camp on San Diego’s picturesque Mission Bay, she was quiet and reserved. She’d discovered the group while out on a run—her activity of choice—and decided it was time to pursue a new fitness challenge.

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