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Best Practices


Lessons From the Trenches, Part Two: The Challenge of Leadership

By Krista Popowych | May 15, 2015 |

Great leaders don’t just point the way; they also give clear directions. However, it’s not always a simple task to inspire and motivate even the most willing of followers. Once you’ve thrown your hat into the leadership ring, you’ll be faced with new challenges. In part two of this series, we’ll expand on finding the leader within, and we’ll explore the best ways to handle challenging situations.

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Friendly Competition: We Can All Get Along

By Cathie Ericson | May 15, 2015 |

When Jack and Jenna Oliver opened Above the Bar, a CrossFit® facility in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, 2 years ago, they knew it wouldn’t be an overnight success. However, they didn’t expect the competition to be so fierce. First, they had to deal with a Planet Fitness grand opening (with $10 monthly memberships); then, another CrossFit facility set up shop just a few miles away. Despite the competition, their box was so successful that they moved to a larger location—only to find out that a 24 Hour Fitness® was opening up less than a mile away!

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GROOMing Habits, Part One

By Shannon Fable | February 23, 2015 |

Unless you’re extremely fortunate, quality instructors are not knocking down your door begging for work. Instead, you likely find yourself cycling through recently certified fitness pros who have little or no experience. They come, they go and you start over. The amount of time and attention you invest in staffing can take your eyes off the bigger picture, which is to help people get fit and healthy.

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Inspired Business, Part Five: Staff Buy-In

By Patricia Kirk, MS | February 23, 2015 |

At an inspired fitness facility, people are encouraged and motivated to generate a “positive vibration.” This business model makes members feel special, and it motivates people not only to join your facility but also to thrive in your fitness community. What happens when your employees are treated as well as your members?

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How to Cope With Change

By Stephanie Vlach, MS | February 23, 2015 |

Change is inevitable. Organizations restructure, fitness facility ownership turns over and managers come and go. Although change can be positive, for many people the mere thought of it breeds anxiety and fear. During times of job stress, productivity declines; in addition, the rumor mill ramps up, morale may deteriorate and valued employees may look for other opportunities. As a manager, you are responsible for guiding employees through these potentially difficult times.

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Encouraging Instructors to Stay and Play

By Ashlee Davis | May 20, 2014 |

Many group fitness instructors are independent contractors and teach a variety of classes at various facilities. The majority of them would prefer to offer their teaching talents at a single facility in exchange for regular pay and full benefits, but such opportunities are hard to find.

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The Professional Development Conundrum

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | February 10, 2014 |

Experts agree that employers need to invest more in staff training and development to create stability, boost retention and improve the consumer experience. This is a particular challenge for many large-chain, membership-based fitness facilities. Rather than nurturing and training a newly hired personal trainer for exercise life- style programming and customer service skills, some fitness facilities orient trainers to be salespeople whose wages depend on commissions.

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Recruit Staff Like the NCAA

By Peggy Gregor, AFAA, ACE | November 13, 2013 |

When college football recruiters started taking an interest in my son’s skills on the gridiron, I came to a useful realization: When it comes to attracting talent and developing winning teams, head coaches and group fitness directors have a lot of parallel priorities.

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Phone Etiquette for a New Age

By Terah Shelton | November 13, 2013 |

Proper phone etiquette is essential in a health club environment. Many people prefer to call ahead to ask simple questions, rather than physically coming in. It’s their way of getting a “feel” for your facility. As a manager/owner, you want that introductory phone call to translate into a new membership. However, phone communication has degraded among young adults working the front desk, and it’s easy to see why.

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First-Session Success

By Casey Stutzman | March 1, 2013 |

“I’m terrified of change, even if it will improve my life.”
“I hate asking for help or admitting that I do not know something.”
“I avoid environments that are unfamiliar or that make me feel out of place.”
“I don’t believe that my own personal shortcomings are a source of my problems.”
“I will defend what I believe, even though it may not be right.”

For many people, those statements are true.

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Prevent Overtraining

By Valerie Applebaum, MPH, CHES | January 21, 2013 |

While the majority of exercisers are healthy individuals with a positive view of themselves, a few people use fitness as a means of perpetuating compulsive, obsessive exercise patterns. In fact, according to the American Council on Exercise, about 1%–3% of the population experience some degree of exercise addiction (Matthews 2009). Overtraining–or overexercising–is common at nearly all health clubs.

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The Anatomy of an Effective Outsourcing Plan

By Megan Senger | July 18, 2012 |

When you decided to become an independent exercise entrepreneur, you had a core focus and a vision of how you would help your clients. But overnight you also became the accountant, janitor, customer service department, blog writer, fitness manager and CEO—all rolled into one.

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IDEA Fitness Journal

IDEA Fitness Journal

Current Issue:
December 2019