Monthly Archives: November 2016

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 lot of attention recently because it can improve glycemic control, maintain bone mineral density, increase muscular strength and prevent osteoporosis. Unfortunately, Ishiguro et al. add, not all patients can get enough regular cardiovascular exercise to optimize health benefits. Thus, resistance training may be a first choice of exercise for some people with type 2 diabetes.

Exercise Selection: Maximizing Activated Muscle Mass

Given that the glucose response is specific to the contracting muscles, Ishiguro et al. (2016) suggest focusing on exercises that will increase the muscle mass to be activated. To optimize glucose uptake, symptomatic people should do resistance exercises that engage large muscles and/or multiple muscle groups. The larger the muscle mass activated, the 
greater the potential for exercise-
induced glucose uptake, because more GLUT4 transporters and insulin receptors will be stimulated.

Large, multijoint exercises such as chest press, shoulder press, latissimus dorsi pull-down, squat and dead lift are preferable to smaller, single-joint exercises such as chest fly, lateral shoulder raise and biceps curl. Total-body resistance training programs for both the upper and lower body have been shown to elicit significant effects on glucose clearance and insulin response in young and elderly people (Craig, Everhart & Brown 1989). To capitalize on this gain, personal trainers may wish to combine multijoint upper- and lower-body exercises into one movement to maximize engaged musculature.

Complex movements—including squat with shoulder press, lunge with biceps curl, and dead lift into upright row—may optimize the benefits of exercise-induced glucose control and make for time-efficient workouts, potentially increasing program adherence. Theoretically, these types of exercise could prove most effective for glycemic control.

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 seem obvious, but it may not be your customers’ perception when they’re making a buying decision. If frontline staff are mainly motivated and/or directed to sell instead ofeducating potential members, your approach could appear inauthentic and hollow. Here’s an alternative plan, and it may not be easy to organize: Make your personal trainersavailable to answer the questions and concerns of new members and prospects. The more you educate and empower your customers, the more you get back.

Strengthen Community Ties

The next issue that’s becoming increasingly important, especially as our population ages, iscommunity. Social isolation is a serious issue, and can lead to many health-related problems that have a wide-reaching effect. One reason people join a fitness facility is to feel they are part of a social network. In addition to having a fun place to meet people, members are engaging in healthy activities. Make sure your facility creates an inclusive environment where all people feel welcome. Take a look around and analyze what’s working to create a sense of community and what’s not. For example, do you have a nice office space with a comfortable couch where staff and members can sit and chat? Are there opportunities for members and staff to interact outside of the gym? I used to take my staff to art gallery openings and book readings. This helped create interesting conversations, and we saw each other as a community, not just staff and customers.

The relationship between personal trainers and clients becomes even more important as clients enter their golden years. Mix young, energetic trainers with older clients; it is good for both parties. It’s equally important to have older people on staff to reflect how everyone at every age contributes to a sense of belonging. An older workforce brings wisdom and fosters mentorship, which strengthens community.

The Happiness Quotient

Ultimately, people want to be happy. In most cases, a buying decision is rooted in the desire for happiness, whether the purchase is a vacation, a new car, a better house or new shoes; the underlying motivation for spending money is happiness. When someone is considering buying a membership or personal training package, she is imagining a healthier body. Why have a healthier body? To be happier and more satisfied with life. A healthy body is important to overall happiness and peace of mind. It’s hard to be happy when the thought of clothes shopping causes despair or when you’re in constant pain and discomfort. Some people even fear pursuing happiness because they believe the pursuit is selfish, impossible or both.

When you understand this fear and the desire for happiness, it’s easier to have empathy for customers and support them on their journeys to health and happiness. This desire for happiness is not only a possibility; it’s a necessity for a fulfilling life! Happy people create more happiness. Examine the need for happiness closely, and bring it up at staff meetings. Ask employees for ideas about how to make members happier, and also ask them what would make them happier. Recognize and acknowledge the many ways your staff is creating a healthier, happier world.

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 hits—rebound, follow-through and lock—that will serve as a foundation for Lightsaber Stage Combat classes.

NuFit® , at Pura Vida Fitness & Spa in Denver, “merges music and movement in an unconventional way,” according to the instructor’s website. Created by Natalie Uhling, the high-energy class is an opportunity for people to connect to their “true, athletic selves” through a fusion of cardio and strengthening movements. Participants of all fitness levels are encouraged to discover the depths of their strength.

Holy Roller, at Wanderlust Hollywood, in Hollywood, California, combines the yang of vinyasa yoga with the yin of self myofascial release. It begins with an hour of vigorous yoga flow so participants can sweat and get warmed up. Everyone is then given a bag of self-bodywork tools, which are used to aid in deep-tissue release. As explained on the studio’s website, the technique “assists in releasing pain, opening locked muscles and facilitating proper posture and quality sleep.”

Bellyfit® , provided at locations nationwide, is a holistic fitness system that inspires women to love and nurture their bodies. To encourage stress release and calorie burn, the first half of class is dedicated to cardio moves inspired by belly dance, Bollywood and African dance. The second half blends key elements of Pilates core work and yoga stretches to sculpt, tone and open the body, and ends with a mindful meditation practice.

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 agility cones or dots carefully.
  • This is a high-intensity class, so encourage participants to utilize the recovery phase and to pace themselves.
  • Provide cues for all levels, to ensure that everyone feels successful.
  • Offer low-impact options for all plyometric drills.

Warm-Up (5–8 minutes)

Keep warm-up exercises simple and athletic. Goal is to prepare participants to run, jump and shuffle. Partners do the following:

  • Run large circles around diameter of studio, side by side.
  • Face each other and perform set of squats and reverse lunges.
  • Face each other and do lateral lunges.
  • Face each other and perform plank pushups.
  • Repeat above, as needed.

Work Phase (40 minutes)

Partners in each pair perform drills simultaneously and work as a team. Each cardio drill is performed twice. Cardio drills last 1 minute, with 30-second strength move between them. Each round is 3 minutes, total.

  • Cardio drill: 1 minute
  • Recovery “break”/Strength drill: 30 seconds
  • Repeat cardio drill: 1 minute
  • Rest: 30 seconds (Set up and preview next drill.)


Instructions apply to each set of partners.

Shuffle Slide

Place cones 6 feet apart. Begin in low athletic stance at opposite cones and perform lateral shuffle to touch partner’s cone. Goal is to never be at same cone at same time. Each partner must push the pace.

Strength drill: squats

Cone Connection

Place cones approximately 6 feet apart. First cone is starting point; second cone is finish line. Partners run forward to second cone, touch floor beside it and then backpedal to start. Goal is to meet at second cone at same time.

Strength drill: lunges

The Square

Create 4-foot square on floor with four cones or agility dots. One partner starts at bottom left-hand corner, and other partner starts at top right-hand corner. Both do lateral shuffle to next cone or dot and then run forward or backpedal to next cone or dot. Maintain space during lateral shuffle so one partner never overtakes the other.

Strength drill: pushups

Figure-Eight Chase

Place two cones or dots 5 feet apart. One partner stands directly behind the other. First person begins to run figure-eight pattern through cones. Back partner chases front partner around cones to push the pace and accelerate intensity.

Strength drill: lateral lunges


Place two cones on floor approximately 3 feet apart. Each partner stands behind a cone and performs plyo squat jumps, touching tip of cone between reps.

Strength drill: triceps dips on floor

Cross the Line

Place two cones on floor approximately 10 feet apart. Stand on either side of first cone and sprint as fast as possible to second cone; touch it and sprint back.

Strength drill: side plank; switch sides at halfway mark

Breaking It Down

Place stack of cones (10-12) or stack of step risers on floor. Back up approximately 10 feet from stack; this is starting line. When signaled, one partner runs to stack, grabs one cone or riser and returns to starting point. When first person returns, second person goes. Goal is to clear stack as quickly as possible while working as a team.