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Now Precision Cuing for Indoor Cycling

Walk by any indoor cycling studio when a class is in session and you’re likely to hear cues like this:

“I want everyone at a 2!”

“Push yourself to a 7 and hold it there for 30 seconds!”

“Let’s start at a 3, turn up to 6, and then come back to a steady 4. Go!”

The key to unlocking a fantastic cycling class is somewhere in those numbers, but how well do your participants know what the numbers mean?

Excellent instructors use a system to describe what they expect for performance, and it’s usually a combination of what they’ve learned in certification courses and what they’ve learned through real-world experience. Many indoor cycling teachers rely on numbers to convey effort. While this is a good idea at face value, there are many variations on a theme. Even within the same facility, a 3 at the 9 a.m. class may represent an entirely different work level than the 3 in the 10 a.m. class. This disparity can leave participants’ heads swirling.

Number systems are great

Doi It Now Strengthen Your Brand and Generate More Revenue by Training in Groups

Are you ready for this year’s fastest-rising fitness trend? Group training made its debut on ACSM’s Top 20 Worldwide Fitness Trends for 2017 at #6. Group personal training was also listed in the top 20, but what’s the difference? According to the survey, group training is defined as 5+ people, while group personal training refers to groups of 3–5 people. Whatever you call it, one thing is clear: Training in groups is the key to taking your personal training business to the next level in 2017.

While single-client sessions are the most personalized approach to a training program, one-on-one training sessions are not the most efficient way to maximize your time or your income. Group training is a win-win. It’s cheaper per session for the client, while the trainer (you!) makes more. Making the shift sounds like a no-brainer, but it can be harder than it seems.

Some trainers begin to form small groups by simply grouping their one-on-one clients of similar fitness levels and goals into a single weekly session. This can work for those clients who are

Here Seven Keys to Outstanding Boomer Workouts

Do you teach or train generally healthy, moderate- to high-functioning baby boomers? Or are you thinking of directing more of your efforts to exercisers over 50? If so, be among the first to learn targeted principles you can weave into clients’ or class participants’ workouts.

Whether you’re a small-class leader, a one-on-one trainer or a group fitness instructor, applying seven specific principles will allow you to offer the most effective sessions for midlifers and older boomers. Keep these goals in mind:

  • Create life-enhancing fitness programs for baby boomers that have low risk and high reward.
  • Entice a unique, yet often-overlooked cohort into your classes, training sessions and facilities.
  • Design exercises that maintain function and that expand, and do not shrink, people’s capabilities.

Boomers—who range from 53 to 71 years old—want to enjoy the second half of life actively, comfortably and energetically. Yet they have accumulated five to seven decades of aches and pains. Joint issues may limit their ability to do high-impact activities. Years of sitting and driving—of living life in front of their bodies—may have produced forward-head misalignment,

You Need To Know Eight Tips for Marketing Your Exercise Event

Many personal trainers and fitness professionals are well-educated, caring, and darn good at helping people get results. However, despite all good intentions, they struggle to fill their programs and schedules. Why?

It seems like, deep down, most fitness pros don’t want to be “that guy”; you know, the high-pressure, in-your-face, arrogant salesperson who is only after the big commission check. I don’t blame them. Savvy clients can smell a rotten egg a mile away.

Luckily, you do not have to play the sleazy salesperson role to fill your schedule. On the other hand, you can’t sit back and hope clients stumble on your business. Competition in the fitness world is stiff. In addition to other local trainers and facilities, there are social media “fitness celebrities,” streaming online workouts and various fitness solutions that weren’t even imaginable 10 years ago.

Sadly, this means that no longer do the best-qualified fitness professionals automatically get the most clients. You must actively promote and share what you do with the world (i.e., market yourself) or risk being one of hundreds of fitness options a potential client casts to the side.

Good news: You don’t need to be an

Taking Your Control With Mental Toughness Techniques

Sport psychology is dubbed the “science of success” because it studies the four mental toughness skills–motivation, confidence, concentration, and emotional and physiological control–that athletes use consistently, in conjunction with training and nutrition, to give them the ultimate performance edge. Whether you are a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, coach or mind-body wellness professional, the information, tools and techniques discussed here will help your clients to enhance their performance and give them the best shot at realizing their true potential. Be sure to use them yourself–and enjoy the benefits–before you teach them!

Mental toughness techniques will help your clients to perform consistently. How? Because these techniques all take advantage of the one thing clients have 100% control over: their effort. In a sport and physical activity environment, where there are many uncontrollable factors, it’s essential for clients to focus on aspects of performance they can control. Help them understand and put into practice these principles:

  • They can control how they think about their fears.
  • They can control when they pay attention to their vision.
  • They can take the time to highlight things they did well and things they could do better next time.
  • They can practice positive self-talk.
  • They can choose

You Need To Know Your Coaching Style

You look across the hall at Popular Instructor’s class and marvel at how she packs the house day after day, week after week. You’ve studied her style and tried your best to emulate her music, cuing, choreography—even the way she dresses—but your numbers are shrinking instead of growing. What are you doing wrong?

There are many reasons people come to your class, but number one on the list is you.Think about it: You are a leader, a motivator, an educator and a role model. If you try to be someone other than yourself, it’s like teaching a high-impact class in a pair of shoes that are five sizes too big. You fall flat on your face.

The best way to clinch your coaching style and shine like the star you are is to capitalize on your personal strengths and neutralize your weaknesses.

Find Your Coaching Style

To get started on the path to professional authenticity, first see which of these coaching personas rings most true to you:

The Drill Sergeant: You expect a lot from your classes and you’re not afraid to let people know when they’re coming up short. Your cues

Sample Class With Circuit Progressions

To achieve results, your participants need to be challenged in new ways. If your strength training classes are circuit-style and you want to up the ante, try adding strategic progressions. This workout, a traditional circuit format, cycles through several exercises with minimal rest. The key is to challenge participants by adjusting a variable during each cycle. With this approach, they enjoy the familiarity of the sequences, as well as fun surprises.

Circuit Progressions Details

Goal/Emphasis: muscular strength and endurance, emphasizing compound movements for a more functional approach

Time: 60 minutes

Equipment: steps, dumbbells

Music: 125–130 beats per minute

Additional notes:

  • In each circuit, perform the four exercises for 1 minute each, allowing 15 seconds to transition between moves.
  • Rest for 1 minute after each circuit.
  • After the first circuit, adjust the following variables:
    – Circuit Two: Add a balance challenge.
    – Circuit Three: Increase range of motion or add power.
    – Circuit Four: Add movement in an additional plane of motion.
  • Preview exercises before class. There is little rest between moves and, therefore, limited time for demonstration during class.

Warm-Up (7 minutes)

Do 8 reps of the following exercises, 3x:

Interval Kickboxing Class Including Cardio, Strength, Core

Are you ready to mix up your martial arts moves? 3-2-1 Kick! is an interval kickboxing class that integrates cardio, strength and core work. In each round of the work phase, innovative cardio kickboxing combinations, martial arts–inspired strength work, and core moves are performed in quick intervals to keep participants engaged, motivated and challenged.

3-2-1 Kick! Details

Goal/Emphasis: total-body kickboxing interval training workout

Time: approximately 45 minutes

Equipment: dumbbells, stability balls and mats

Music: 136–150 beats per minute

Additional notes: Emphasize safety and technique, as punching and kicking involve quick extension and flexion of the elbow, hip and knee joints . Address the following:

  • When throwing punches and kicks, avoid fully extending the joint. Keep elbows and knees slightly bent to prevent hyperextension.
  • Rechamber punches and kicks.
  • Lift the heel to allow hips to rotate while punching. Power is generated from the hips.
  • Emphasize technique and control instead of height for all kicks.

Warm-Up (5–8 minutes)

Begin with standard warm-up movements to elevate heart rate. Gradually progress to basic punches and kicks. Warm-up may include side steps, hamstring curls, knee lifts, light kicks and bob-and-weaves. Review the following:

  • Jab:

This Exercise Selection

Resistance training can be a big help to people who either have type 2 diabetes or are at risk of developing it. Ideally, trainers should combine cardiovascular and resistance training to help clients prevent or manage type 2 diabetes, but cardiovascular exercise isn’t always a good fit. In those cases, resistance training may be the only option available.

There’s no denying that diabetes is a serious health challenge. The World Health Organization (2015) estimates that 9% of adults worldwide have diabetes. Furthermore, 86 million Americans (more than 1 in 3) have prediabetes—an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes—and nearly 90% of them don’t know they have it (ADA 2016). Left untreated, 15%–30% of people with prediabetes will develop diabetes within 5 years (ADA 2016).

Fortunately, prediabetes can be reversed with exercise, weight loss and dietary changes (ADA 2016). This makes it imperative for fitness professionals to stay abreast of the most recent evidence-based exercise research to best prevent or manage type 2 diabetes.

Ishiguro et al. (2016) note that cardiovascular training is the traditional exercise for improving the metabolic profiles of patients with type 2 diabetes. These researchers say resistance training has gained a

News The Real Reasons Why People Join a Gym

People join a fitness facility to get fit, lose weight and stay in shape. Right? Yes, but there are other reasons driving the purchase of a gym membership or personal training package. Know what your customers need and want, and make it your mission to serve them.

Education, Expertise and Trust

Why do people give up after contemplating a healthy lifestyle change? Confusion–it’s that simple. There’s so much information, advice and opinion available to the consumer—it’s easy to see why it can be so overwhelming. When potential exercisers meet with information overload, oftentimes the result is that they don’t take action at all. It’s just easier.

It’s clear that many people are still not exercising, so there’s a high probability that your next member will be a nonexerciser. Why does this person step through your front door? Primarily for the expertise your facility offers. It seems simplistic, but trust is essential when people perceive that they’re taking risks. Customers no longer want to be sold to; rather, they want to know that your service is a good fit and that you have their best interests at heart.

This may

Creative Ideas That Inspire For Fitness

Shaka Fitness® in Cleveland puts a new twist on an old favorite with SUP Pool Yoga.While yoga on a standup paddleboard is not a new idea—especially in locations where people have access to ocean or lakes—this offering utilizes an indoor pool. This allows participants to experience the core-strengthening and balance-training benefits of yoga on the water year-round. Even better, the predictability of indoor weather conditions allows the facility to maintain a consistent schedule.

DDMIX (Diverse Dance Mix) was created by Darcy Bussell, former principal ballerina with The Royal Ballet, and Nathan Clarke, and is offered at multiple locations in England. The concept provides an accessible experience without the intimidation that can often accompany the word “dance.” DDMIX blends dance styles from around the world, and fun is the top priority. The instructors incorporate a noncorrectional style of instruction, so participants can meet their fitness goals without feeling excluded.

At New York Jedi in New York City, participants work up a sweat while also honing their Jedi skills in the Lightsaber Class . According to the website, this choreographed combat fitness session is taught by “experienced dancers, martial artists and cosplayers.” Participants learn the three types of

Workout With Cardio & Plyo

If you’re looking for a new way to add interest to your cardio classes, double the fun with partner drills. In this intense interval workout, drills consist of a 1-minute work effort, a 30-second recovery, and then a second 1-minute work effort. However, there’s a twist: The recovery isn’t a true recovery. Instead, you use the 30 seconds to do a quick series of “sculpting” moves designed to bring down the intensity while strengthening the body.

During the challenge rounds, one partner tries to meet or beat the other’s reps to win the round. This unique class encourages interaction, competition and cooperation.

Class Details: It Takes Two

Total time: 1 hour

Format: partner-based, high-intensity cardio andplyometrics

Goal/emphasis: to challenge anaerobic capacity and train for sports conditioning

Equipment needed: interval timer or stopwatch; agility dots or cones

Music: high-energy music with a driving beat—tunes that will make participants work and compete with their partners; 140–145 beats per minute

Injury prevention tips:

  • Make sure the partner competition is friendly and takes place in a spirit of fun.
  • Check that you have adequate space for each set of partners to work. Place

The Knowledge of Squats Out of Date

“Deep squats are bad for the knees!”

Chances are you’ve heard this advice and maybe even given it to your clients. I know that for many years in my career I’ve been guilty of making similar recommendations to clients in all walks of life. The problem is, where did this advice come from? Is it valid and who is it valid for? What principles should we follow when doing or teaching one of the most popular exercises on the planet?

This article will share much of the latest research about the science and application of squats and help separate fact from myth.

Are Deep Squats Bad for the Knees?

It is understandable to assume that the deeper the knee flexes, the more pressure this puts on the soft-tissue structures surrounding the knee. However, is this true? And is more “pressure” or force a bad thing?

Interestingly enough, force applied to the anterior cruciate ligament and the posterior cruciate ligament during a squat actually diminishes during the deeper portions of the squat. In a study analyzing load on the knee at various squat heights, Hartmann, Wirth & Klusemann (2013) say that concerns over

Info Cancer and Exercise

Cancer can be deadly. However, research is showing promising data on how physical activity helps the body and mind heal—and prevent—this disease. A paper published in theJournal of the American Medical Association (Moore et al. 2016) indicates that physical activity lowers the risk of 13 types of cancer.

There’s more positive news about exercise and cancer. A report from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center states, “Multiple studies show that regular physical activity is linked to increased life expectancy after a diagnosis of cancer, in many cases by decreasing the risk of cancer recurrence” (Grisham 2014). The American Cancer Society, World Cancer Research Fund, American Institute for Cancer Research, American College of Sports Medicine, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are just some of the organizations that advocate physical activity for cancer patients and survivors (Grisham 2014). Thus, it is not a question of whether exercise helps, but rather of how much works—based on dosage, quality, conditioning and cancer type.

There are three ways to look at battling cancer. For those who don’t have it, lowering risk is the primary goal. For those who’ve had it, successfully recovering and of course reducing the chances

For Total-Body Strength

To see results from exercise, it’s important to switch things up from time to time and push your students to a safe edge. This workout does that with circuit training principles that focus on compound strength exercises and unique HIIT drills. Dazzle your participants with fresh, intense moves that will challenge them in new ways. Have fun with a variety of equipment in this fast-paced, nonstop exercise experience. Students will love this social approach to fitness.

Here are some tips to make this class a success:

  • Select compound moves that use multiple muscle groups requiring core activation.
  • Maximize equipment usage by designing strategic stations.
  • Increase challenge by providing less rest between exercises.
  • Offer endless options for variety.
  • For each cycle, use different exercises and adjust the timing.
  • Provide options for increasing or decreasing intensity, depending on participant needs.

Fit Frenzy Details

Time: 60 minutes

Format: circuits mixed with high-intensity interval training

Goal/Emphasis: total-body strength and cardio

Equipment needed: steps with platforms, Gliding™ discs or paper plates, small weighted balls, dumbbells, stability balls and BOSU® Balance Trainers

Music: 130 beats per minute


  • Set up six stations around the periphery of the room.
  • Have

The Three Systems for Improving Client Adherence

It can be a challenge to make sure all of your clients arrive for sessions consistently—and on time. Inevitably in your career, you will deal with clients who frequently reschedule, show up late or don’t show at all.

Many trainers I know are quick to point the finger at disobedient clients and blame transgressions on clients’ lack of motivation.

At some point, however, you need to take a step back and accept that you might be partly to blame in these scenarios—especially if several of your clients display similar behaviors. If this is something you experience in your business, it’s time to assess what you can do to prevent it from happening in the future.

The first step to improving client adherence is to evaluate why it happens. In most cases—barring true emergencies, of course—the simple answer is that your clients don’t perceive their sessions with you to be as important as their other commitments. This means it’s up to you to create enough value in your services that your clients make their time with you a priority.

In this article I share three systems that will supercharge your value and ensure that your

Suggested Repetition Ranges for The Strength With Hypertrophy

Improving strength and increasing muscle mass are two prominent goals for exercisers. According to recent research, both goals require significantly different training protocols.

Published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine (2016; 15, 715–22), the small study involved 19 men (~23 years old) with experience in resistance training. They were assigned to one of two protocols—one aimed at building strength (heavy resistance), the other designed to build muscle (hypertrophy).

Prior to the intervention, each subject underwent tests to establish baseline 1-repetition maximum (1-RM) in the bench press and squat; upper-body muscle endurance; and muscle thickness of the upper arm and lateral thigh. Participants were asked to avoid nutrition supplementation and make no changes to their current diet. However, they were given a protein supplement to consume within 1 hour after their exercise bouts.

Both groups completed 3 sets of seven exercises for major muscle groups 3 days per week for 8 weeks. Target repetition range for the heavy-resistance group was 2–4 reps, with load set by a baseline 3-RM test. The hypertrophy group performed 8–12 reps, with load determined by a 10-RM baseline test.

Both groups experienced improvements in 1-RM for both test

Cardio-Core Combo Can Be Sample Workout

Help participants work their core with a miniroutine that approaches muscles from different angles while elevating heart rates. Mix 30-second cardio intervals with athletic, integrated core exercises that load the upper body and lower body simultaneously. Here’s how you do it: Teach continuous movement as you alternate between 30 seconds of “cardio-core” and 2 minutes of recovery-pace core work (which includes the transition time from one move to the next). Use dumbbells for added load in every plane of motion as you bend, stand, reach, rotate, catch and brace.

A Sample Menu

Following are some teaching suggestions with examples of both elements:

Cardio: Demonstrate the exercise, and cue students to do as many reps as they can safely do in 30 seconds. Encourage them to go breathless. All moves include dumbbells but can be done without them if necessary.

  • forward jump with snatch
  • lateral hop lunge with overhead arch
  • standing broad jump with chest press
  • lateral jump to vertical jump
  • sumo jump-squat with snatch
  • split-lunge hold while holding dumbbells overhead
  • power skater with reach
  • tuck jump with 180-degree hop

Recovery-pace core work: Self-select reps, and cycle through for 2 minutes:

  • lateral walking plank with

News Be a Better Fitness Pro With Mindset Training

Michael Mantell, PhD, has spent the past 40 years urging people to change their minds to improve their bodies. Mantell, director of behavior science coaching at Premier Fitness Camp in San Diego, shares this story:

“I worked with an obese, gay male client, who finally came to realize that he’d been [too] humiliated to go to a gym because his mindset was, ‘People will laugh at me. I look horrible naked. I can’t ever have a lover because I can’t stand how I look, so how will anyone else? I can’t ever lose weight, because deep down I know I’m a failure.’”

Mindset training helped turn things around, Mantell said.

“By confronting each of these negative guiding thoughts, this client was able to see how unfactual they were, and he could replace them with more accurate and logical thoughts. He’s now well on his way to achieving a healthier weight, sees a trainer three times a week and is currently engaged to a gentleman he met at the gym!

“It all began by recognizing, rejecting and replacing his negative mindset with the help of a simple question: ‘Is what you are believing true?’”