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Program Design/Sample Classes

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Sample Class: Sand Bell HIIT

By Pamela Light, MA | December 12, 2018 |

More flexible and variable than dumbbells or kettlebells, sand bells are sand-filled disks that can be lifted, slammed, tossed, curled, or flipped like a heavy pancake. The following playful workout mixes high-intensity cardio and strength training with two levels of progression, creating a user-friendly class for any participant.

Sand Bell HIIT Details
FORMAT: strength and cardio conditioning
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes

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Sample Class: The Playground

By Debra Orringer, MS | September 27, 2018 |

Do you remember recess? That break in the monotonous school day when you could run wild and free, lost in playful movement? The glory of the playground lingers in many of your participants’ memories too, and you can help to recreate that experience by taking your next class a little less seriously.

Turning the group fitness studio into a playground is a great idea for stressed-out, time-crunched, social media–weary adults who need a break from responsibility. So grab a whistle, cue the bell and get ready to inject some fun into everyone’s day!

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New Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

As green exercise and the health benefits of spending time in nature gain more prominence in popular and scientific news, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is introducing a Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program in October.
The curriculum includes elements of forest bathing, Ayurveda, yoga, outdoor skills, and research related to nature’s health benefits.

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Comprehensive Research Project on How to Create an Exercise Habit

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

24 Hour Fitness® is partnering with the University of Pennsylvania Behavior Change for Good Initiative [BCFG] to support research into what works best for creating lasting exercise habits. With an interdisciplinary team of world-renowned researchers, the BCFG addresses the broader question of how to make positive behavior change stick in aspects of life related to health, education and savings.

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Equal Calories Burned ≠ Same Results

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 22, 2018 |

Many people fixate on the number of exercise calories they burn. New research, sponsored by Les Mills International, shows that even when two group fitness activities (indoor cycling and a resistance workout) were matched for duration and caloric expenditure, they did not have equivalent metabolic effects—which could influence long-term training results. Lead study author Nigel Harris, PhD, said, “The type of exercise used to burn those calories . . . impacts the long-term positive effects that exercise has on the body.”

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Strong Starts

By Melissa Weigelt | August 22, 2018 |

The warmup. Is it simply a time for small talk while people trickle in, or is it an opportunity to ignite attendees’ best efforts? This may be the class section that fitness instructors plan the least, yet devoting some time to designing the warmup is really worthwhile. Why? Because starting on a strong note significantly affects the outcome of the entire workout. We want our participants to get the most from our classes, so let’s set them up for success.

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Strength Ladder

By Pamela Light, MA | August 22, 2018 |

Strength training classes don’t have to adhere to a classic “sets and reps” template. Why not climb your way up and down this fun fitness ladder for a fast and furious total-body workout? Repetitions are high, but so is the frequency of change, keeping interest piqued during intense work sets.

Strength Ladder Details
GOAL/EMPHASIS: total-body strength training
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour

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How to Help Participants Find Flow

By Olivia Ellis, MS | August 22, 2018 |

For a moment, think about your own workouts. Tap into that feeling of being completely absorbed in your favorite fitness routine. Everything else fades away, and your entire focus is on the present moment. You feel confident in your body’s abilities, you’re challenging yourself, and you find great meaning in what’s happening now. You’re in the zone. Before you know it, your workout is over, and you can’t wait to do it again.

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Pilates for Recreational Athletes

By IDEA Authors | August 22, 2018 |

Professional athletes of all kinds have discovered that adding Pilates to their training can improve performance, reduce injury, speed recovery, and help their hardworking bodies stay balanced and healthy (Caple 2016; Knowlton 2016; Saxon 2016). Pilates—a whole-body exercise system that can help you develop strength, functional flexibility, coordination and balance—can offer those same benefits to recreational athletes. A well-rounded program, particularly one offered in a fully equipped Pilates studio, can do wonders for athletes of almost any age, ability or sport.

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2018 IDEA® World Convention: An Epic Explosion

By Joy Keller | August 21, 2018 |

While life may not always be a highlight reel, thousands of the best personal trainers, group exercise instructors, fitness entrepreneurs and nutrition/wellness professionals added significant footage to their lives at this year’s IDEA World Convention, where everyday actions became epic adventures in education. At the 2018 event, held in San Diego, June 27–July 1, more than 14,000 like-minded pros converged to learn from more than 350 workshops and workouts taught by the industry’s keenest minds.

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Wearable Heart Rate Trackers: Which Works Best?

By Len Kravitz, PhD | August 21, 2018 |

How accurate are the latest wearable heart rate trackers?
That’s an important question amid the flourishing demand for wearable fitness devices and wrist-worn heart rate monitors. Approximately 1 in 6 consumers in the U.S. uses some type of wearable technology, such as a fitness band or a smartwatch (Piwek et al. 2016). Industry research from 5 years ago predicted sales of 110 million wearable devices by 2018, but shipments of 115.4 million in 2017 have already outpaced that projection (Piwek et al. 2016; IDC 2018).

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Tennis: Reduce Pain, Improve Performance

By Justin Price, MA | August 15, 2018 |

Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. In the U.S. alone, there are almost 18 million players, with another 14 million expressing interest (TIA 2018). Unfortunately, the dynamic, forceful twists and turns of the game pose ever-present injury risks to players (Roetert & Kovacs 2011).
If your fitness clientele includes people interested in playing this sport, you need to understand the causes of tennis-related injuries. This will help you develop strategies to improve movement function, reduce pain and keep clients on the court.

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Researchers Find a Link Between Activity Level, ALS

By Ryan Halvorson | June 19, 2018 |

Made famous by legendary baseball player Lou Gehrig, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS—a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord—has affected many athletes. As such, researchers have wondered if high levels of physical activity might have something to do with the disease. Data from a new study out of Europe furthers the conversation.

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The Long-Term Benefits of Pedometer Use

By Ryan Halvorson | June 19, 2018 |

Studies show that tracking daily steps with a pedometer leads to higher activity levels. A new report out of the U.K. suggests the practice can inspire people to take more steps for many years.
The report included data from two separate 12-month studies; one involved inactive adults aged 45–75, while the other featured older adults aged 60–75. In the first, participants were assigned to one of three 12-week pedometer-based interventions—consultation with a nurse, support by mail or no consultation. In the second, there was no mail support group.

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Research Review: Pros and Cons of Standing

By Ryan Halvorson | June 19, 2018 |

Sitting for extended periods of time is now considered as dangerous as smoking cigarettes, and as a result, many people have taken to standing during the workday. New research is shedding light on both positive and negative effects of the current trend.
Stand Up for Weight Loss

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Top Money Tips for Fit Pros

By Ryan Halvorson | June 19, 2018 |

Money is often a dirty word among fitness professionals. Most get into the business to help others, but you can’t pay bills with good intentions, says Frank Pucher, owner of Fitness 121 Personal Training in Roseland, New Jersey, and author of Smart Money Moves: A Practical Approach for Earning, Growing & Protecting Your Money. He adds that the financial side of fitness should receive as much detailed attention as the programs you design.

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