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Amanda Vogel

Amanda Vogel, MA, is a fitness professional and the owner of Active Voice, a writing, editing and consulting service for fitness professionals. She writes for IDEA, Health, Prevention, and Self, and has co-authored books on postnatal fitness and yoga. With a master's degree in human kinetics, Amanda has worked in the fitness industry for more than 15 years, including time spent as a program director and vice president for a chain of all-women clubs in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Article Archive

Body Image and Fitspo: The Male Perspective

February 3, 2015

Body image concerns have long been associated with women, but men also feel societal pressures to look lean, fit and, especially, muscular. “While it’s not talked about much, body image issues are becoming more prominent among men,” says Ryan Halvorson, director of
team training at Bird Rock Fit in La Jolla, California. “And fitspo
isn’t helping.”

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Four Web-Based Tools for Your Fitness Business

January 22, 2015

You can keep your fitness business afloat with low-tech basics—email, a clipboard, a pen—but in 2015, you probably don’t want to if you hope to grow and remain relevant in most corners of the fitness industry. Taking advantage of Web-based tools designed specifically for fitness professionals can help you stay ahead of the competition, save precious time and rev up revenue, all while helping your clients or members get more out of their health and fitness programs.

Here are four Web-based tools for making that happen:

GroupEx PRO

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Body Image: The Impact of Social Media

January 21, 2015

If you regularly use social media such as Facebook and Instagram, you will have noticed posts plugging fitness by way of body-conscious photos and memes meant to get people moving. For example: a picture of a gorgeous bikini-clad woman with the caption, Today I will love myself enough to exercise. However, evidence that this type…

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Social Media and Body Image: A Complicated Relationship

December 5, 2014

If you regularly use social media such as Facebook and Instagram, you will have noticed posts plugging fitness by way of body-conscious photos and memes meant to get people mov- ing. For example: a picture of a gorgeous bikini-clad woman with the caption, “Today I will love myself enough to exercise.”

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Avoid Distractions and Maximize Productivity

October 3, 2014

For many professionals in the fitness industry, being self-employed is a dream come true. You get to “run the show” the way you want to run it and “clock in and out” of work as you choose. That’s not to say that being your own boss is a breeze; most fitness pros work really hard to attain self-employment success. And while the benefits are plenty, there are also downsides.

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Has High-Intensity Exercise Gotten Out of Hand?

June 25, 2014

Many of today’s popular fitness offerings are based on a “go-hard-or-go-home” attitude. And new programs on the market suggest this extreme fitness trend may even be escalating. Some experts in the industry suggest that our current obsession with intensity hearkens all the way back to the early days of fitness. Early fans of the fitness industry relished high-impact aerobics, sometimes barefoot, or pushed to the max in the weight room.

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Cert by Selfie

June 23, 2014

Surf around on any of the major social media networks these days—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and especially Instagram—and you’ll likely get an eyeful of fitness selfies: photos of chiseled physiques or people staging “caught in the moment” snapshots of themselves at the gym or just after they’ve finished exercising. Social media’s eye-candy culture has become a perfect platform for fitness pros and enthusiasts to inspire others to get in shape and show off the physical outcomes of exercise with “selfies.”

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Mad for the Mud

March 17, 2014

We’ve seen many activity trends come and go in the fitness industry, but perhaps none quite as “dirty” as the current obsession with mud runs and obstacle races. While some events are milder than others, many could be described as an “ordeal” that also happens to be a workout. For example, you might find yourself slopping through mud, scaling impossibly high verticals and pushing yourself to the limit—physically and mentally.

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Mad for the Mud

February 11, 2014

We’ve seen many activity trends come and go in the fitness industry, but per- haps none quite as “dirty” as the current obsession with mud runs and obstacle races. While some events are milder than others, many could be described as an “ordeal” that also happens to be a workout. For example, you might find yourself slopping through mud, scaling impossibly high verticals and pushing yourself to the limit—physically and mentally.

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Tabata Versus HIIT: What’s The Difference?

February 10, 2014

Despite the buzz over “Tabata” training, many fitness clients—and some fitness pros—aren’t aware that they’re not doing true Tabata, meaning the protocol that was first analyzed and reported on in a 1996 edition of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (Tabata et al. 1996).

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Extreme Fitness: How Intense Is Too Intense?

January 21, 2014

Imagine a client has just finished a workout or fitness class with you. In evaluating the workout—which you designed to be quite challenging—the client admits, somewhat disappointedly, that although she worked up a good sweat, your session wasn’t a “killer.” She has experienced harder workouts from other trainers, classes or programs.

What’s your reaction? Do you still feel satisfied that you gave the client an appropriate workout? You weren’t going for “killer” anyway. Or do you feel a twinge of regret or competitiveness? Next time, you’ll up the ante.

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Gauging The Limits Of Your Older Adult Clients

September 26, 2013

What do you think of when you hear “senior fitness”? For some personal trainers, the term might conjure images of gentle exercises performed in a noncompetitive environment.

However, older adult fitness levels and abilities vary just like their younger counterparts.

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Work Smarter, Not Harder: Applying the Principles of Interval Training to Your Career

July 1, 2013

In much of the working world, people are expected to be on the job for 40 hours or more every week. People seem to respect you when you say you’re really busy. However, when putting in a hard day’s work goes awry, it translates to “crazy busy” or “I’m swamped.” And “crazy busy” is not conducive to the good health and well-being we aspire to for ourselves, our families and our clients in the fitness industry.

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Resist Distractions and Maximize Productivity

May 21, 2013

?For many professionals in the fitness industry, being self-employed is a dream come true. You get to “run the show” the way you want to run it and “clock in and out” of work as you choose. That’s not to say that being your own boss is a breeze; most fitness pros work really hard to attain self-employment success. And while the benefits are plenty, there are also downsides.

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Older-Adult Fitness: Gauging the Limits of Your Fit Clients

January 24, 2013

What do you think of when you hear “senior fitness”? For some personal trainers, the term might conjure images of gentle exercises performed in a noncompetitive environment. Yet many older athletic adults are not interested in mild “senior” movement, and plenty of them can—and want to—work out pretty intensely or for long durations.

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Marketing Your Training Services With Group Exercise

September 26, 2012

Personal trainers who teach group exercise classes find that this is a common experience: participants routinely ask them about their personal training services and, from there, often sign up to become clients. There’s something to be said for the marketing power of teaching to groups.

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Helping New Clients Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

September 5, 2012

Cold Feet and Cancellations
The experts interviewed for this article had mixed feelings about whether it’s okay for a client to cancel a contract if buyer’s remorse strikes. Here’s how they see it. (Note: Local laws might require you to give clients the chance to cancel a contract within a certain time period.)

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Most Memorable Moments

July 1, 2012

Whether you’ve just joined IDEA, have been with us for a few years or are proud to say you were an inaugural member (that’s 30 years together!), you’re bound to have memories attached to your IDEA experiences. Perhaps your favorite is a special friendship formed at a conference; an article that inspired you to take action after reading one of IDEA’s many publications; or a training concept or networking encounter that changed the course of your career.

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Creating a Jump-Start Fitness Program

October 24, 2011

The new year is always a popular time to recommit to regular exercise or get into it for the first time. However, as a personal trainer, you know that many people allow their new fitness routines to fizzle out before too long. One way to help clients stay on top of exercise-related New Year’s resolutions—and extend their efforts to a routine that lasts well past February—is to offer introductory “quick-start” or “jump-start” training with beginning and end dates.

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

June 30, 2011

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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