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Shannon Fable

Shannon Fable is a sought-after speaker, author and thought leader in the area of fitness business development and strategic innovation. She has spent more than two decades helping impressive brands such as Anytime Fitness, ACE, FIT4MOM® and BOSU® with business and program development. Fable served as chair of the ACE Board of Directors and is the co-founder of GroupEx PRO®, a cloud-based group fitness management tool that she successfully sold to Daxko in 2019. As a certified Book Yourself Solid® business coach, she helps fitness professionals navigate the industry to build scalable and sustainable careers.

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Article Archive

Kettlebells: 5 Full-Body Exercises

February 18, 2010

Kettlebells, while not new, are quickly becoming the go-to training method for elevating functional workouts for a wide variety of clients. As long as both trainer and participant receive proper instruction, kettlebells can provide a safe, effective, time-efficient workout that engages multiple muscle groups, including the core. No muscle can escape a “swing” workout, so pick up a kettlebell when you have a chance!

Kettlebell Safety

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Kettlebell Comeback

January 26, 2010

Despite the kettlebell’s rich history, dating back at least to the 1700s, there are many people who have not yet heard of this tool. Only recently has the product caught the attention of mainstream fitness folks. Fitness pros and enthusiasts, both men and women, ranging from young to not so young, nonathletes to superstars, are starting to find use for the cast-iron tool that has its roots in Russia. The kettlebell may not be a new product, but creative programming using the age-old device is certainly “swinging” into action.

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Success Tips for Teaching Beginners

January 21, 2010

Group fitness has an amazing capacity to provide enthusiasm, instruction, camaraderie and fun all in one place. But if our mission is to Inspire the World to Fitness®, our teaching must reach beyond the front row and speak to the impressionable newbies in the back corner. With a few subtle adjustments, a group exercise class can become a safe haven for even the most novice participant.

Let’s break down the BEGIN Strategy, consisting of five simple ways to prepare for any participants, whatever their level.

B: Beginner’s Frame of Mind

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How to Really Teach to Beginners

January 1, 2010

The new year usually brings with it people eager—yet again—to start their yearly quest for health and fitness, after waistlines have expanded and fitness levels have dropped between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. Whether these participants are coming back from weeks (or, in some cases, months or even years) of inactivity, have a tremendous amount of weight to lose or are true beginners, many of them go to the gym to seek the advice of qualified fitness professionals.

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How to Track Group Fitness Stats

April 13, 2009

Our past three columns provided base knowledge of budgeting and showed you how to create a C.A.S.E. in order to move closer to getting what you want and need. One thing you must understand and track diligently to support any request for budget changes is cost per head (CPH). In this column we’ll dive into this formula and show how you can use it as objective support when interacting with upper management.

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Make the Most Out of a Limited Group Exercise Budget

February 9, 2009

In the January 2009 issue, this column uncovered ways for you to research new programs and products and use the information to make your C.A.S.E. (Consider, Analyze, Strategize and Evaluate) for adding a session or piece of equipment to your group exercise offerings. Now that you’ve built a case that will convince the “big boss” to say yes to your idea, it’s time to check that you understand the basics of budgeting, so that you can be sure the money is available.

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Budgeting Basics

December 17, 2008

Group fitness instructors and personal trainers: are you looking for the next step in your career? If so, you might be interested in moving into management. This move could very well increase your earnings and provide the chance for professional growth in the fitness industry.

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Win Your Boss’s Approval for New Programs & Equipment

December 16, 2008

Group fitness managers: before you beg your general manager (GM) for new products or programs, gather the financial facts to back up your request. Quite often we lack the tools to present our argument in the way that the person controlling the budget needs to hear it. Gain your GM’s respect by speaking his language: money. You need to view the group exercise department as a crucial vehicle for increasing club membership, retaining current members and building a community within the facility.

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NLP: The “Soft” Science of Communication

June 30, 2008

Have you ever taken a step back, stumped at someone else’s success in the shadow of your failure, and wondered, “What does she have that I don’t?” Many fitness professionals have thought about the best way to pack a room or retain a client, and everyone has a unique perspective. More often than not, the theories focus on our methods: exercises, equipment, music and cuing…

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Sample Class: No Equipment Needed

March 31, 2008

Every time we turn around, there’s a new
piece of equipment to master and throw into our already overflowing fitness toy
boxes. Whether you are looking for new programming ideas sans equipment because
the well (money or mind) has run dry or whether you want to provide alternative
workouts for equipment-phobic participants, a “no …

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A Formula for Fitness & Fun

December 31, 2007

Millions of people around the world participate in prechoreographed group fitness programs. The popularity of these classes can’t be ignored, and the instructors must be doing something right. A debate is currently waging as to which instructors are better—those leading the prechoreographed programs or the die-hard “freestylers.” While prechoreographed content may garner differences of opinion,…

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The First Step

March 31, 2007

By mid-March, most of the “New Year’s resolution members” have vanished. The beach-bound bodies, once focused on shaping up before spring break, have come and gone. This is the fitness industry’s slow season, when group fitness class numbers dwindle and new personal training clients are a little tough to come by.
But spring is also a perfect time to think …

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Injury Prevention: Indoor Cycling (Sample Class)

August 31, 2006

Indoor cycling’s popularity is due to a combination of many factors. Almost anyone can do it—regardless of fitness level, age or body type. Recreational cycling’s popularity fuels interest in the indoor option. And indoor cycling allows you to work extremely hard (at a high intensity) with very little impact, which provides a great alternative to other, higher-impact workouts such as running.

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Integrate to Elevate

June 30, 2005

One solution is to view your group fitness department as a business. Review your definition of teamwork and develop your team’s belief in the greater good. Learn how to harness talented egos so you can move in a common direction and encourage commitment to a fundamental purpose. The “Integrate to Elevate” success formula is based on The Winner Within: A Life Plan for Tea…

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Indoor Cycling Sample Class: Explore Your Zones

January 31, 2005

A properly designed indoor cycling program can enhance cardiovascular health, regardless of age or ability level. But you must integrate various intensity levels to get the most from participants. Ideally, cardiovascular training should provide a mix of the following intensity zones (as used in the Schwinn® Indoor Cycling Program):
Zone 1 (easy/comfortable)

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