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Best Practices

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5 Reasons You Still Need to Attend Live Trainings

By Angela Yochum, MEd | February 16, 2018 |

Energized! That’s how I feel every time I leave a fitness conference. I’m eager to implement fresh ideas and coaching tips into my fitness classes—a feeling I rarely have after completing an online course. Although I’ll be the first to admit that I need digital learning opportunities for their sheer convenience, I still crave live fitness education experiences.
Here are 5 reasons why you, as a fitness instructor, will reap the greatest benefits from live courses and ­conferences.

1 A Face-to-Face Community

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How to Find Your Epic

By Ryan Halvorson | February 15, 2018 |

The fitness industry is a rewarding and inspiring place to be. However, it’s not without its challenges, and getting ahead with passion alone can be difficult. The most successful fit pros know that to build an epic life and career, they must invest in education and learn from those who’ve been there and done it.

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Question of the Month

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | January 16, 2018 |

With the American Heart Association’s recent recognition of meditation and mindfulness practices and with meditation studios appearing in Los Angeles and New York City, it’s clear that these activities are going mainstream. Are you or is your facility integrating this trend into programs? For example, are you offering yoga and meditation classes or meditation-only sessions?

Share your responses with executive editor Joy Keller at [email protected]

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Fitness Facility Membership by the Numbers

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | January 16, 2018 |

In 2016 America, traditional commercial health clubs—multipurpose, fitness-only and corporate facilities—served 32.2 million members, a 3% decline from 2015, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. Studios served another 18.2 million, a 15% improvement.
Nonprofit facility membership rose 6.9% from 2015 to more than 24 million. Collectively,
studio facilities claimed 40.7% of total membership.

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Most Popular Club Activities

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | January 12, 2018 |

The three types of workout equipment used most often in health clubs in 2016 were treadmills, resistance machines and free weights, according to the IHRSA 2017 Health Club Consumer Report. Among group exercise and training programs, yoga topped the list, with 36% of members reporting participation. Stretching (24%) and calisthenics (23%) ranked second and third.

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Do Rewards Encourage Gym Visits?

By Ryan Halvorson | October 13, 2017 |

Researchers from Case Western University in Cleveland wanted to determine if providing gifts to new gym members would incite them to visit the gym on a regular basis. The scientists specifically chose new members, theorizing that this group’s motivation to go to the gym was high.

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Beach exercise

Sample Class: Kids’ Beach Boot Camp

By Pamela Light, MA | April 17, 2017 |

Kids don't usually line up to do squats and lunges, but they'll happily walk like a crab or run faster than a wave! Trick your littlest clients (aged 3—12) into getting a great workout with this quick–moving format packed with cleverly themed exercises.
Kids' Beach Boot Camp Details Goal: to engage kids and keep them moving while they have fun and feel successful Total time: 55—60 minutes Equipment needed:

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Creative Ideas That Inspire

By Lisa Quigley | March 21, 2017 |

H.I.I.P. Hype (High-Intensity Interval Painting) in New York challenges body, mind and creativity. Ninety–minute sessions begin with a warm-up followed by short intervals of high-intensity body-weight exercises interspersed with periods of painting. The energy participants generate while exercising helps them express themselves more freely when they paint, according to organizers. The last 15 minutes of class are reserved for a cool-down, as well as painting presentations. Mats and art materials are provided.

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Fewer Repetitions Means Better Results?

By Ryan Halvorson | March 16, 2017 |

Short-duration workouts have become popular over the past several years as the time-crunched seek out effective ways to exercise. Recent research adds more support for the benefits of fast workouts and indicates that less may even be more, provided you have appropriate equipment.

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Gym Memberships Pay Off

By Ryan Halvorson | March 16, 2017 |

Many people who want to join gyms are skeptical that it will actually help them reach their fitness goals. A new study from Iowa State University may assuage those doubts—and help gyms to convert more browsers into buyers. According to the research, published in PLOS ONE (2017; http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/jour
nal.pone.0170471), gym members tend to have significantly higher levels of strength and cardiorespiratory fitness and are generally more active than nonmembers.

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Community-Based Classes Boost Activity Levels

By Ryan Halvorson | February 16, 2017 |

One of the biggest challenges facing the fitness industry is how to encourage more people to get moving. A government-sponsored activity program from Brazil may offer helpful insights.
Dubbed Academia das Cidades—or City Academies—the program offers residents free access to fitness facilities, exercise classes and fitness professionals. The participants also receive dietary guidance. Since its inception in 2002, City Academies has expanded to thousands of cities nationwide.

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Do You Need a Better Technology Policy?

By Ryan Halvorson | February 16, 2017 |

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 in the corner you see a woman doing backbends while contorting her neck to maintain a visual on her tablet.

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Creative Ideas that Inspire

By Lisa Quigley | December 13, 2016 |

Barrelesque at Rock in Opposition, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a mash–up of various dance styles, Pilates and yoga. It includes barre techniques, but it also spices things up with burlesque–style dance movements. Open to all levels, this class provides a dynamic workout in a playful environment.
Games at My House Fitness® in Winter Springs, Florida, is a school recess–inspired experience for adults.

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New Versus Tried-and-True

By Ingrid Knight-Cohee, MS | September 1, 2015 |

Group fitness programmers face the same dilemma every new season: how to balance tried-and-true popular class formats with burgeoning trends to keep things fresh and dynamic. One goal is to retain current members as satisfied, repeat customers; the other goal is to attract new participants and build excitement. Both objectives are relevant to generating and sustaining business, and both demand equal attention. But other factors also come into play, such as available instructor talent; training/certification requirements; and potential investment in new equipment and license fees.

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To Motivate or Terminate?

By Stephanie Vlach, MS | July 15, 2015 |

Your employees directly affect the success of your business. They work with your clients, sell your products and engage in frontline, day-to-day operations. Some employees are a pleasure to manage, and others—well, not so much. Working with an exemplary employee who is productive, independent, motivated and delightful is every manager’s dream. On the flip side, some employees are just bad hires and the decision to let them go is straightforward. Unfortunately, staff management isn’t that black and white.

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Thinking of Opening a Studio?

By Alyse Mason Brill | June 19, 2015 |

Many fitness professionals dream of designing a studio that reflects their unique perspective and approach to health and fitness—a place where they can grow their business, their brand and their client base (and, of course, their paycheck!) on their own terms.

There’s a huge appeal to running your own space, especially if you’ve been working long enough to imagine how you might design a space specifically suited to your clients’ needs and your vision.

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IDEA Fitness Journal

IDEA Fitness Journal

Current Issue:
December 2019

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