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Programs & Equipment

Question of the Month

When you offer training advice to clients, are you discussing the significance of sleep? If yes, are you using sleep trackers and monitoring results? Please describe how you are educating clients regarding the role of sleep in effective training and weight management and share any success stories you have had.

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

Pilates for Recreational Athletes

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.

The Long-Term Benefits of Pedometer Use

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.

Activity Tracker Usage Improves

The initial finding—that people stop using their fitness trackers after the first 6 months—seems to be evolving. In a new study by insurance company Humana, 80% of participants in a structured program were still using activity trackers after 6 months. Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia found that game design elements—such as points, levels, badges and financial incentives—helped to keep users active.

Learn, Connect and Thrive at the IDEA® World Convention

Education is the foundation of the IDEA World Convention, but this fitness event offers plenty more than stellar instruction. For Jonathan Bernath, publicist-turned-personal-trainer, it’s where he discovered the “fitness family” that would guide him in his new career.

How to Find Your Epic

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.

Vibration Boosts Effects of Foam Roller

Traditional foam rollers have become widespread in the fitness setting. Recently, some manufacturers have added vibration technology to their products. Does the added element provide any extra benefit? Researchers from California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California, the National Academy of Sports Medicine in Chandler, Arizona, and Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wanted to find out.

Creative Ideas That Inspire

Cardio Sweat Party, at Power Studios in New York City, was designed by Michele Gordon. It combines kickboxing with dance, athletic drills and upbeat music for a 55-minute, high-energy experience. Classes are open to all fitness levels, and each class begins with a dynamic, kickboxing- based warmup before moving into three to four segments of choreography. In between the choreographed moves, rounds of squats, lunges, jacks, burpees, mountain climbers and other athletic drills round out the experience.

Conditioning for Kayaking

Did you know that 13 million people participated in some form of kayaking in 2014, making it one of the most popular flatwater sports (Outdoor Foundation 2015)? If you’re a kayaker, you know that the main challenges are building upper-body strength for paddling and maintaining a strong lower back to avoid back pain.

Product Showcase

Nutrition By The Book
The Endurance Training Diet & Cookbook (Harmony 2017) by Jesse Kropelnicki is both a cookbook and a training nutrition manual. Kropelnicki shares his personal program of optimized nutrition, including 70 recipes that put his concepts into practice. The book provides nutrition information for distance runners, cyclists and triathletes and explores guidelines for what to eat pre-workout, post-workout and during recovery. There’s also a game plan for race-day nutrition.

Does Foam Rolling Really Increase Blood Flow?

One claim about the benefits of foam rolling is that it initiates an increase in blood flow to the treated area. But do those claims hold water? A study published in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2017; 31 [4], 893–900) aimed to find out.

What’s Hot in Equipment: Fitness Pro Favorites

Fitness professionals like their equipment—from "tried-and-true" to "oh, so new." And equipment companies like to fill convention halls with fresh gear to help trainers and clients hit their goals. Of course, fitness pros also enjoy new gadgets for the pure thrill of them—and will sometimes go for equipment that targets a fun goal over a hypertrophy goal, for example.

Comparing Periodization Strategies for Women

Study reviewed: Bartolomei, S., et al. 2015. Block vs. weekly undulating periodized resistance training programs in women. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29 (10), 2679—87.

If your clientele includes women looking to boost their muscular strength within a specific time frame, creating periodized weight–training programs for them is a great idea. The question is: How should you structure the program? Bartolomei and colleagues' study published in 2015 offers guidance on two possibilities.

Fitness Technology That Shakes Things Up

For me, the annual Consumer Electronics Show combines the joy of Christmas morning with the wonder of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. The massive Las Vegas trade show surrounds me with the bells and whistles of the latest and greatest technologies from around the world, with booth after booth full of people showing me why their products will be the next game changer in the health-and-fitness industry.

Sustainability Important For Gym-Goers, Says Survey

When it comes to exercise, people might give greater effort if there’s more at stake than calories or improved performance. A recent survey suggests that gym-goers might be motivated to work harder if their energy is converted to power for the gym.

Fit-Tech Trends to Watch in 2017

Fitness technology is part of the fitness industry's "new normal," but it's changing rapidly. Many of the fitness technologies we saw at the beginning of last year have already morphed into new and improved devices and features. We should expect more exciting updates this year as fit-tech companies, app developers and tech-savvy fitness brands continue to iterate.

Researchers Question Effectiveness of Wearable Activity Trackers

The wearable activity market has seen significant growth in recent years, and the trend seems poised to continue. However, new information from Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore suggests many buyers may not get their money’s worth—at least as far as health improvements are concerned.

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