Personal Fitness Professional Jan/Feb 2014

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How to determine the most valuable opportunities

OPENING A FITNESS STUDIO? Introducing the PFP 2014 7-part special series

MEET JACKIE LARSEN A fitness legend in Titletown, USA

The Power of





josh vogt | EDITOR

lindsay vastola | MANAGING EDITOR


rachel spahr | PRESIDENT

chad griepentrog | CREATIVE DIRECTOR


john heringer, nick tumminello, lindsay vastola FEATURED COLUMNISTS

January exclusive web feature: Invest wisely

Is certification a scam? Angie Pattengale dissects her frustration with finding legitimate certifications By Angie Pattengale

POLL RESULTS Approximately what percentage of your costs are marketing related? 16.4% 2.1% 53.8%



Jump Start by Valorie Ness


30-60% Greater than 60%

VIDEO Standing Abs Workout We’re always looking for new ab exercises for our clients. Join fitness expert Jessica Smith for this full-length, 10-minute standing abs workout.


Less than 10% 10-30%

Nick Tumminello shares the top 5 questions to ask before investing in continuing education By Nick Tumminello

Training Wheels Career Builder by Josh Bowen

Avoid the trainer trap of attracting the wrong clients

Not sure

NEXT POLL Visit: to participate

How much impact do you believe continuing education has on your overall career? a. Significant impact b. Some impact c. Very little impact d. Not sure


SOCIAL MEDIA Entrepreneur by Cabel McElderry

pfpmedia @PFP_FitPro

michelle blakely, greg justice, phil kaplan, jason karp, bedros keuilian and robert linkul COVER IMAGES

Courtesy of American Council on Exercise (ACE), California University of Pennsylvania, National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) RB Publishing Inc. 2901 International Lane Madison WI 53704-3128 Tel: 608.241.8777 Fax: 608.241.8666 Email: Print Subscription Information Subscriptions are free to qualified recipients: $36 per year to all others in the United States. Subscriptions rate for Canada or Mexico is $60 per year, and for elsewhere outside the United States is $80. Back-issue rate is $5. Send subscriptions to: By mail: PFP, P.O. Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098 Tel: 608.241.8777 E-mail: Fax: 608.241.8666 Website: Digital Print Subscription Information Digital Subscriptions to PFP are free to qualified recipients and may be ordered at Reprints For high-quality reprints, please contact our exclusive reprint provider. ReprintPros, 949-702-5390, All material in this magazine is copyrighted © 2013 by RB Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Any correspondence sent to PFP, RB Publishing Inc. or its staff becomes property of RB Publishing Inc. The articles in this magazine represent the views of the authors and not those of RB Publishing Inc. or PFP. RB Publishing Inc. and/or PFP expressly disclaim any liability for the products or services sold or otherwise endorsed by advertisers or authors included in this magazine. PFP is published six times per year (Jan/Feb, March/ April, Spring 2013 Buyers Guide, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec). PFP (ISSN 1523-780X) [Volume 16, Issue 1]

Functionally Fit by Brian Schiff


Published by RB Publishing Inc. 2901 International Lane, Suite 100 Madison WI 53704-3128, Tel: 608.241.8777 Periodicals postage paid at Madison WI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to: PFP | P.O. Box 259098 | Madison WI 53725-9098.



Lindsay Vastola |

Dan Ritchie |

Is there really light at the end of the tunnel? I didn’t watch every episode of the “Breaking Bad” TV series (for fear of addiction to the riveting storyline!), but there was an episode I happened to catch where Walter White, the conflicted lead character who is a cancer patient-turned-drug lord, said, “There is light at the end of the tunnel. My tunnel just happens to be really, really long.” At the time, the quote didn’t resonate with me beyond the context of the show, but for some reason it stuck with me and got me thinking. The “light at the end of the tunnel” to me is an analogy of an end-goal; the tunnel, the journey toward that goal. But I often think that when we set a goal, we become so focused on the end-goal that we fail to be present in the lessons of the journey. If our clients were so focused on getting to their goal weight but didn’t pay attention to the lifestyle required to get them there, getting to that goal is pretty meaningless. If we are solely focused on getting a specific number of clients or hitting a specific revenue goal without knowing how we get there, we are failing to establish patterns and habits that help us replicate greater successes over and over again. This issue is dedicated to the power of continuing education. Think of education as the tracks that provide your solid foundation and work to guide you down the tunnel. With the momentum you’ll gain by combining strongly laid tracks with the experience you earn over time, your capacity to travel faster and more smoothly toward each goal you set is limitless. Here are a few highlights of this issue that I hope will inspire you to travel down many tunnels in 2014: }

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In our industry, there’s no shortage of educational resources, but how do you sift through what is accurate and inaccurate information? Nick Tumminello gives us some powerful insight. Are you thinking of opening a fitness studio? I’ll give you an overview of our special 7-part series, “Opening and operating a successful fitness studio.” Meet Jacqueline Larsen, a top 3 finalist for the 2014 PFP Trainer of the Year, and our Journey to Success featured professional. Read how she’s created her legacy as the longest-standing fitness studio in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Enjoy this issue of PFP and best wishes as you embark on your 2014 goals! See you at the end of the tunnel,

Strategy for continuing education Check out what 2014 Trainer of the Year Dan Ritchie is focusing on for 2014 and his thoughts on continuing education.


What are your plans for continuing education in 2014? I will be attending Fitness Business Summit in March and I am also speaking at several events this year, including Fitness Fest and DCAC. I often learn quite a bit at events I speak at from meeting with other business owners and attending sessions. I am also planning on attending Club Industry in Chicago again next October.


How do you determine what continuing education programs have the most value to you and your business? At this point in my career I focus more on the business building and growth conferences. So I look at who the main presenters are going to be and if they offer content that will move my business forward. I have learned that I can leave a 2-3 day event and if I come away with one idea (even if it is simple) that I can implement, it may help grow my business $2,000 a month.


What advice would you give fitness professionals on determining their continuing education strategy? Focus in on what your business needs to improve on, or attend an event that might give you tools to really change your business. I think we often spend too much time learning essentially the same content over and over. I would advise focusing in on something new that will stretch your business to grow and improve its service.


Do you see any new trends in continuing education? I am seeing more specialty certification workshops at conferences. These days you can get either certified or get a certificate in a very specific subset of skills. In addition, I am seeing more companies offering online education, from courses to complete weekend events either streaming or complete video package. We can only travel to so many Trainer of the conferences a year, but onYear line education will offer us 2014 more opportunities.




The Power of Continuing Education


OTHER Columns


08 Treadmill Talk Never too young to teach, never too old to learn By Greg Justice

09 Top-Notch Training How to break away from the trainer pack By Michelle Blakely

10 Boost Your Business Maximize your dramatic demonstration of proof


By Bedros Keuilian

Etching her name next to the legends of Titletown, USA By Lindsay Vastola

10 Education Connection Is your education getting in the way of your learning?


Leverage your leadership Hone your leadership skills, increase your revenue By John Heringer

By Jason R. Karp

15 Education Connection The older adult specialist By Robert Linkul

30 Be Better Do you know it all? By Phil Kaplan


Seven keys to open and operate a successful fitness studio A glimpse into PFP’s exclusive 7-part series By Lindsay Vastola

Departments 05 Letter from the Editor Is there really light at the end of the tunnel?

23 The Message Craig Ballantyne


The fitness education conundrum How to detect bad evidence and avoid conflicting information By Nick Tumminello

26 Exercise Spotlight: Go Your Hard, Harder, and Hardest with Tabata Bootcamp Exercises

28 New on the Market 29 Events Calendar




Never too young to teach, never too old to learn One thing that I’ve learned during my 30plus years in this industry, and 25 years owning my own business, is that we’re a better community when we work together toward a common purpose. One of my purposes is being open to continual learning and growth. My business is constantly evolving because I’m willing to learn from others, whether they are much younger, or possess experience equal to, or greater than my own. It’s a core value to maintain an insatiable thirst for learning new things, even encountering alternative beliefs. You don’t have to agree with them; in fact, disagreement can illuminate your own values. It just requires being open and willing to listen. Being open-minded means owning up to the fact that you don’t have all the answers, and that you’re interested in learning. A big part of that is genuinely listening to others and being open to the possibility that you might change your mind about something you used to believe in. Otherwise, your personal growth will suffer or even stop, and likewise, your business. Don’t let your ego get in the way of learning, evolving or growing. When clients look up to you, it’s tempting to feel flattered. However, we are not just teachers, but lifelong students. Listening is key. Lyndon Johnson said it precisely: “You aren’t learning anything when you’re talking.” Often, we get worried about being right, especially when holding onto a belief or idea. You can close up to other ideas or alternative answers, or feel that it is difficult to admit not knowing. Often while someone is speaking, instead of being attentive, we’re involved with our own answers, even interrupting, and we lose the opportunity to listen and learn something from that person. As Yogi Berra said, “Life is a learning experience, only if you learn.” Too many trainers isolate themselves from other trainers in their city because they’re afraid they’ll lose their clients. That’s an insecure trainer. When you learn something, you have something else to share; it’s a never-ending process of becoming wise. Colleagues, clients and service providers all have wonderful information that is continuously pouring in, if you are simply open to it. We can always be both teachers and students, learning and sharing. As Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Greg Justice, MA, CPT, is the founder of AYC Health & Fitness ( and the Corporate Boot Camp System ( He has been actively involved in the fitness industry for more than a quarter of a century as a club manager, owner, personal trainer and corporate wellness supervisor.

TOP-NOTCH TRAINING Michelle Blakely |

How to break away from the trainer pack In what ways can you rise above the average trainer in your gym in the coming year? You need to focus on both the macro and the micro. First, the macro. Learn your employer’s big-picture mission and 12-month focus. Knowing where the company is headed can help you exceed expectations. Is the organization about to purchase a new line of equipment? Partner with a different hospital? Launch a social media campaign? Pay attention to the company’s plans and priorities. And if they are not readily available, ask management directly. Once you have that understanding, take action. Are you already knowledgeable about the organization’s new direction? Share your experience with your managers in a brief one-on-one interaction, and offer to help. Listen to their suggestions and follow through. Make yourself part of the change. If you are unfamiliar with the new strategy, can you to grow into it? (You can.) To become an asset in the big-picture plan, seek out learning experiences. They don’t have to be fancy or expensive. Webinars, books, podcasts, weekend workshops and simply listening to the right people (those in charge of implementing the change) can all help you grow. Exposure to new ideas can make you a better trainer and a more vital employee. Then there’s the micro. Stand in your clients’ shoes and take a look at what their personal training experience lacks. Look beyond what is outside of your authority (i.e. pricing and packages) and hone-in on the details of the service. What one element could you focus on to enhance the effectiveness of the sessions? Any trainer can walk clients through some resistance training—how could you improve their experiences? Are you haphazard with scheduling? Are you tardy? Do you let conversations wander away from their fitness and goals? Are resistance-training programs designed to their specific needs? Pick one and improve it. The change you make will send the message that you are committed to your clients’ success and serious about your career. In short, it takes a two-pronged approach. While the macro will increase your value as an employee, the micro will improve your retention of existing clients and attract new ones looking for more than the average trainer.

Michelle Blakely is the owner of Blakely FIT, Inc., Strength Training Exclusively for Women and author of the Friday Quickie blog. She is a mother of two, wife to one and three-time Chicago Reader Best of Chicago winner. She’d love to hear from you: and





Bedros Keuilian |

Jason Karp, PhD l

Maximize your dramatic demonstration of proof

Is your education getting in the way of your learning?

Just 10 years ago the aging adult market was not so desirable for fitness business owners. This is now where new money and new clients will come from. As 2014 PFP Trainer of the Year Dan Ritchie explains, there are more than 12,500 people turning 50 every day. This market is one of the wealthiest segments of our population and they also happen to have the discretionary income available to invest in personal training services, and to pay for it in full. More fitness professionals are going to start serving the rapidly growing boomer and aging market. But those trainers who truly become successful in the boomer niche are the ones who will amass the knowledge and skill sets to work with this specialized market. It’s for this reason that continuing education courses and specialized certification programs are so valuable to our industry where the demographics and the needs of our clients continually change. Marketing your fitness business starts with your core competencies. You market what you’re good at. Whether your niche market is going to be boomers, athletes or stay-at-home moms, you’ve got to become a specialist in your field of practice. Specialists tend to be better in business than generalists. To market your skill set and education effectively, you’ll want to make two lists. The first will include your core competencies, skills sets and the value you deliver. List number two will be those skill sets and competencies that differentiate you from other fitness businesses in your area. This is where your continued education and credentials come in. Of course, having the education, know-how and certifications will do nothing if you don’t demonstrate the proof, and this is what will separate you from all other fitness business in your area. Once you’ve chosen your niche market, earned your certifications and continuing education you must demonstrate proof to your community. No other demonstration of proof tops actual transformation pictures of real clients. In direct response marketing (which is the only type of marketing you should use) they call this dramatic demonstration of proof. All of your marketing, including your website, blog, Facebook fan page, postcards, TV ads and flyers should be peppered with before and after pictures of clients who have transformed as a result of your skill set and knowledge. The next time you create a marketing piece for your fitness business be sure to include multiple transformation pictures along with your education, certification and specialized skill sets and you’ll see that your response rate will increase exponentially.

In Why We Run, Bernd Heinrich writes, “In the same way that a painter must know the technical effects of color combinations, techniques of paint application, shading, and highlights, a runner must acknowledge physiology, the medium through which excellence is exerted.” As a fitness professional with a PhD, I often find myself at the center of the debate of whether personal trainers need a university education. My 13 years in college didn’t truly prepare me for my career. Universities do a good job of giving you knowledge, but they do a poor job of giving you career skills. As my personal trainer friend says, “Skills pay the bills.” Whether you want to be a personal trainer, fitness director or club owner, most of what you learn in school won’t help you. You won’t even remember most of it. You think I remember the intricacies of RNA transcription, or exactly how the enzyme ATP synthase synthesizes ATP? Hardly. Wait a minute! Did Dr. Karp just say I don’t need a degree to be a fitness professional? No, I didn’t say that. Most professions require degrees in their respective fields to get jobs. So why should the fitness industry be different? However, a disconnect exists between what you do in school and what you do in your career. So what do you do? For starters, stay in school, or go to school if you haven’t. Because your biochemistry class is really not about learning how ATP synthase works. Your biochemistry class and all your other classes are about understanding the medium through which excellence is exerted and developing skills to turn that knowledge into expertise. Knowledge is knowing that water is composed of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen - H2O. Expertise is understanding the nature of water so well that you can make it rain. In graduate school, I once asked my advisor, one of the world’s top biomechanics scholars, where his ability came from to develop his ideas of muscle contraction. He responded, “Years of research.” It wasn’t until years later, after I had experienced years of research myself, that I reached the empowering point where I could develop my own ideas. Perhaps universities could be better at providing students with skills to pay the bills, but some of it is your responsibility. Think outside the textbook. Pick the brains of your professors. Volunteer for laboratory research. Find a mentor who’s doing what you want to do after graduation. And remember what Mark Twain said: “Never let your schooling interfere with your education.”

Bedros Keuilian is the founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp. Get more free fitness business boosting tips and tactics on his blog

Jason Karp is a nationally recognized running coach, 2011 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and owner of Run-Fit. As a PhD in exercise physiology, he writes for numerous running, coaching and fitness magazines, is the author of five books, an industry speaker and 2013 World Maccabiah Games competitor.



Journey to Success

By Lindsay Vastola




This past October, Jacqueline Larsen added “2014 PFP Trainer of the Year, Top 3 Finalist” to her already-impressive resume. Hailing from “Titletown, USA,” Green Bay, Wis., Jackie takes success seriously; and she has a knack for doing it with grace, humility and an infectious Midwest smile. In the brief few minutes of getting to know Jackie in person at Club Industry Show prior to the Trainer of the Year award ceremony, she told us how anxious she was. Not because she was nervous about whether or not she was going to win the award, but I got the impression that her excitement stemmed from her deep-rooted sense of pride and privilege to be recognized for her contributions to the fitness industry over the last 30 years. These moments of anxious excitement and pride are not unfamiliar to Jackie. She is a decorated 26-time competitor as a nationally ranked NPC bodybuilding competitor, she is a mother and grandmother, a fearless entrepreneur, a respected leader, an influential educator and genuine altruist.



But don’t let that infectious Midwest smile fool you; Jackie’s success is undoubtedly a product of relentless hard work, passionate perseverance and constant reinvention. She describes her journey as “amazing, rewarding, challenging and even heartbreaking at times.” What is most extraordinary about her is her ability to reshape adversity, self-motivate and stay the course; all because she is rooted in her passion and purpose.

JACKIE’S RELENTLESS HARD WORK Jackie left her successful interior design business of 10 years where she learned to self-motivate, and more importantly, learned to listen and understand people even better than they knew themselves. She knew that listening and paying attention to the smallest details meant the difference between a great product or a lost opportunity. This invaluable skill created a foundation for her to motivate and lead her future fitness clients as well as her team and colleagues.

RELENTLESS HARD WORK… ACCORDING TO JACKIE: “As I was working [before the fitness industry], I was raising a family of four children. I juggled all the balls really well however I forgot to take care of me. I got out of shape and carried an extra 50 pounds. These 50 pounds were very important; I learned what it felt like to be fat. I bounced around on the scale. I would barely eat anything or I would just plain eat all the time. One day I decided enough was enough and I quit smoking and began to take better care of myself. I found exercise videos and found a way to a better me. I had learned enough about changing my lifestyle to have a desire to share with others. What a way to reshape an adversity. I spent hours to self-educate myself. There were not many educational opportunities at the time. I started to bring exercise to my small world of Denmark, Wis. back in 1983. I taught classes in the gyms of the area schools through NWTC and the YMCA. I taught children, senior classes and several adult classes. I started with




a very small class and expanded the classes to as many as 50 individuals in total. The shape of Denmark was changing to a fitter town! The greatest adversity that really accelerated my career was bulging my L5 disc while training. In an instant my life was to never be the same. I became passionate to change the world of personal training. I had a dream and it became Fitnessology. I opened my doors for business on May 1, 1996. The business was not a gym with memberships. The space was small, very nice and offered the service of personal training. We have a dress code to provide an environment of comfort to our clients. This was a space unlike others. To be the first is not always easy. I had no idea what a ride I

was going on. I only knew with confidence why I wanted this business.” Fitnessology is now the longest-standing personal training studio in Green Bay, beginning as a 120 square foot facility to a team of 20 impacting her community beyond the four walls of her now 10,000 square foot space. She and her team have contributed to more than 20 non-profit organizations, founded give-back events and non-profit organizations as her appreciation to the community to which she is so grateful.

JACKIE’S PASSIONATE PERSEVERANCE What defines a person is not solely the successes they achieve, but the character they demonstrate during times of adversity. Jackie is no stranger to adversity; it is how she has reshaped her adversity that has not only been the catalyst of her success but has empowered and motivated others around her. Jackie describes one of the most pivotal moments in her career just after her mother’s

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WORKOUT EQUIPMENT? Any equipment that works my legs!! WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HEALTHY SNACK? Almonds and grapes! WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING? “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do!” -Leonardo de Vinci CONTACT INFO:

death. She received two emails from her longtime managers, they were leaving to take a different professional route. Ultimately, they left, opened their own business and took a large book of clients with them, immediately having a significant impact on Jackie’s business. As she recounts, her “body went cold,” but she did have a choice. She chose to move forward and used her strength and perseverance to lead her team and her clients.

verance is seeing change in clients and in the fitness professionals she leads.

JACKIE’S CONSTANT REINVENTION Jackie is an example of what it means to evolve and reinvent as a professional. She is perceptive in that she can see what the industry needs and how to meet those needs by aligning a solution using her skills, strengths and passion.

”My goal for 2014 is to further our system of training. I have developed an educational platform [called Welltrãnd] designed for the intern at the college level. Jackie was humbled by this pivotal experience, and learned to listen and pay attention more. She learned that while it may be a risk to hold her team accountable to what needs to be done, the reward is loyalty. She was reminded that she must find a balance between business and relationships and that as a leader and entrepreneur, she is constantly vulnerable. She is ok with being vulnerable because she finds strength in knowing her purpose and staying the course. The reward of her passionate perse-

Since 1996, Fitnessology has produced over 100 well-trained fitness professionals. Trainers who know how to apply form, function and perform assessments to develop safe and individualized programs for clients that result in a meaningful personal change.

JACKIE’S NEXT VENTURE: ”My goal for 2014 is to further our system of training. I have developed an educational platform [called Welltrãnd] designed for

the intern at the college level. The toolbox the intern carries from their education is jampacked with exercise knowledge. Our system teaches the implementation of the exercise as a protocol specific to each individual. On a greater level, we provide the advancement in communication skills, behaviors resulting in world-class customer service, business recruiting and client retention. Our system functions as a team-training model. This new model of personal training is essential to the business life of the facility in which our graduates will be employed. To owners of fitness businesses, our team model provides stability and sustainability. They will be less vulnerable when a personal trainer leaves. We will job place our graduates with confidence that they will be fully skilled to perform at the highest level. I also have a publisher who wants to publish my book, “The Other Side and Back.” Jackie’s journey to success is far from over. She may not realize it, but Jackie is certainly living up to the expectations of “Titletown, USA.” Jackie has, and continues to build her legacy through her natural gift of leadership. Green Bay is certainly lucky to have her legacy in their proud city and the fitness industry is equally as fortunate to have Jackie Larsen as a model of relentless hard work and leadership guided by passion and purpose.


The older adult specialist A trend continues to emerge in the fitness industry sparking a specialty for fitness professionals all around the world. Fitness industry professionals are showing a gradual and trending growth in training older populations. In fact, the increase in popularity and demand of this fitness niche has been promising enough to inspire the industry’s top certifying agencies to create a special certification dedicated to serving its consumers. The baby boomer generation is the primary force behind the consumers’ demand as these individuals are now reaching a point in their lives when they are ready to retire. Research has shown that retired individuals, now more than ever, are interested in investing their time and money toward improving and maintaining their health. With the evidence stacking up to support the benefits of strength training for older adults, the industry has now found a growing demographic hungry for their service. As with any specialty service, the consumer would like to work with the professional that has dedicated extra time and education to their specific needs. To assist the fitness professional with gaining a higher level of education to serve this demographic accordingly, the elite certifying agencies have created certifications and continuing education programs specifically dedicated to training the older adult. These certifications generally consist of textbooks, manuals and online courses that cover a wide variety of information specific to training the older adult, including nutrition, physical limitations, program design, assessment protocol, proper exercise technique and more. With both a higher level of education and a certification earned, the fitness professional has the opportunity to elevate their professional status to expert level and as with any specific field, the expert is highly sought after by the consumer. A certification in older adult fitness holds particular value for the fitness professional looking to leverage their qualifications to serve this growing market. With the average years of life increasing every decade, the aging demographic is a consistent and large consumer base in which a certified older adult fitness expert could potentially build his or her entire career. The older adult fitness expert has now earned itself a permanent position within the fitness industry. Improving the quality of life for the aging populations is a financially stable way to lead a successful career and an extremely rewarding one as well.

Certification and continuing education organizations American Aerobic Association International/International Sports Medicine Association (AAAI/ISMA)

National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

California University of Pennsylvania

Savvier Fitness

Functional Aging Fitness Specialist

SCW Fitness Education

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

The Cooper Institute (CI)

See their spotlights on pages 24-25

Robert Linkul is the NSCA 2012 Personal Trainer of the Year and is the NSCA’s Southwest Regional Coordinator. Robert has his master’s degree in personal training and is an NSCA-CPT and CSCS with distinction. Linkul is an international speaker to fitness directors and certified personal trainers on career development. Read more about CPT career development at



LEADERSHIP Hone your leadership skills, increase your revenue

hat are the qualities that make a good leader? How does a true leader create a great team? You may think you know the answers but I can tell you that after more than 10 years in the fitness industry managing and leading various teams I am still learning and evolving to become a better leader. Knowing your craft as a trainer is important, no doubt. However, as you move away from the front line and start building your team you must balance your training studies with more about management, leadership and personal development. This means learning from Maxwell, Covey, Robbins, and in our industry perhaps Todd Durkin and Randy Hetrick. All of these gentleman have great insight into how to mold yourself into a better leader. If you want to build a world class business with an amazing team, developing yourself to be a better leader is not voluntary, it’s mandatory. Without it your business will not grow. You will always be the bottle neck. Trying to




wear all the hats to get everything done yourself, you’ll eventually run yourself and your business into the ground. Here are some of the best attributes I believe make a good leader. Follow these six principles to become a better leader, build your team and build your business. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Live your core values Engage hearts and minds Attach a higher purpose Delegate and let go Evaluate quarterly Reinforce daily

Do you live your core values? More importantly do you have them written out and posted for all to see? What is your fitness business all about? What’s your mission? These are tough questions to answer and very important. Once you have identified them it’s time to make sure you live them and lead by example. All of your actions and those of your staff must reflect these values. This builds strength and credibility in your brand and keeps clients coming back for more.

To build a great team you need to engage the hearts and minds of all of your employees. This means sitting down and meeting with them and finding out all about them. What are their dreams and aspirations? What kind of impact do they want to make in the world and how does it align with the mission of your business? Your team needs to know you care about them as people, not just as a number on your expense sheet. Invest in your team and develop them to the best of your ability in areas like continuing education, time management, conversations with clients, etc. Your return on investment will be incredible. Attach a higher purpose to what your fitness business stands for. Don’t just give people a job to do. Give them insight into your vision as a fitness business owner. Tell them about the impact you want to have in the world. As a leader, it’s your job to show them that by being a part of your team they will change lives on a daily basis and will start to change the world, one person at a time. That’s part of our motto in my business; we live it, we love it and our higher purpose keeps us motivated and running and gunning

to make a serious impact in the world. One of the toughest and yet most important things to do as a leader is delegate and let go. I know what you’re thinking… “But John, I do everything the best and if I do it I know it will get done the right way.” I hear you. However, you will not grow if you do not delegate. Start by writing down everything you do on a daily and weekly basis (one of my mentors calls this a “brain dump”). Once you have this list identify what you can truly delegate to others. Then wait a day and come back to the list and see what else you can delegate. Your team is ready and willing to help, and trust me when I say they will be excited to contribute and take on more responsibility. Train them accordingly, give them some room and then evaluate results for further improvement. A lot of businesses may do annual reviews but I like to meet with my team and evaluate quarterly.This doesn’t mean they get a raise every time we meet. It’s really just a time to slow down and check in; I would recommend meeting over coffee or lunch and keeping it casual. We have some various employee surveys that our team fills out and can give

us some good talking points during these meet-ups. This is important because a great leader is not defined by how well they develop themselves but by how well they develop others to be great. These quarterly meetings give you the opportunity to do just that. A word to the wise: create reminders and schedule meetings accordingly. Life and business get crazy and you must remember to make time for your team. Positive reinforcement has been shown to be one of the highest motivators for employees and in turn results in amazingly higher productivity and happiness in the workplace. This is why you must reinforce daily.Don’t make something up and don’t be vague. Be specific, be timely and be genuine with your praise and always try to relate it back to your core values. For example, “Hey Jennifer! You were really on point with using members’ names during the workout, gave some great specific modifications for James and Brenda and you were smiling and very inviting the whole time. This really reflects our core values of ‘creating relationships and having fun’ and you nailed it! Great job!” Reinforcing these

positive behaviors ensures that they happen again and pumps up your team to deliver outstanding service. Print out the acronym above, laminate it and put it somewhere you can see it daily. If you can implement and execute on these six principles you will undoubtedly become a better leader, build an amazing team and create a world class company that is built to last. Best of luck.

John Heringer is the Founder and Chief Motivator of Fast Action Training, an indoor boot camp and personal training studio in San Jose, Calif. John has been managing and leading in the fitness industry for over 10 years and loves everything about leadership. Since early 2010 John has built Fast Action Training from zero revenue and a one man show to projecting seven figures in 2014 and an amazing team of eight individuals dedicated to fulfilling the mission and vision of F.A.T and changing the world. He can be reached at


By Lindsay Vastola

SEVEN KEYS TO OPEN AND OPERATE A SUCCESSFUL FITNESS STUDIO A GLIMPSE INTO PFP’S EXCLUSIVE 7-PART SERIES At some point every fitness professional thinks about it; they fantasize about the possibilities of no longer having to report to a manager, bounce between clients’ homes or schlep equipment between parks and community centers. Chances are, you, too, have thought about being the “founder and owner” of your own fitness studio; and if you are already an owner, there are probably aspects of your business you wish you knew as a start-up that you know now. In each 2014 issue of PFP, we will devote a special section with the sole purpose of arming you with the tools, strategies and resources to open and operate a successful fitness studio. We’ll give you a peek into some of the more successful studio businesses and the minds of those who have already made the costly mistakes, learned the

tough lessons and have taken positive actions to achieve highly profitable businesses. Think of this special series as a quick reference guide to studio ownership – whether you’re contemplating opening a studio or are already in the thick of studio ownership, each topic in the series has been purposely selected to offer you tangible strategies and resources to set you up for success. Following the introduction of part one of the series below, “Make the decision,” you’ll find a brief outline of what to expect in each upcoming issue. And we’d love to continue the conversation with you online! Share your best advice as a studio owner or post your questions on studio ownership to our Facebook page:

OPEN AND OPERATE A SUCCESSFUL STUDIO PART 1: MAKE THE DECISION My father is a quintessential seasoned entrepreneur. When I sought his advice on my idea of opening a studio (the first time), he didn’t hesitate a moment in his response: “Lindsay, for every reason why you think you should make this decision, argue a reason why you shouldn’t. Don’t take the passion out of your decision, but you must take the emotion out of it. And…think long and hard before you shackle yourself to a brick-andmortar; it’s a whole different ball game” (at the time I was operating a successful and systematized boot camp business at three locations partnered with local community outdoor/indoor facilities).

Here’s a glimpse into what to expect in our exclusive 7-part series: Part 2 (March-April)


Know your numbers: The real costs of opening a fitness studio and how to get financing Financials are often the Achilles heel of most business owners. Get clear on the real and hidden costs of a new studio, understand cash flow management and explore creative ways of financing| your new business. | WWW.FIT-PRO.COM JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2014

Part 3 (Spring Buyers’ Guide)

Part 4 (June)

Equipment ideal for your studio Finding the right equipment for your studio is the fun part, but make sure your equipment suits your space and that you get the most value for your investment.

Before you sign: Negotiating contracts, leases and agreements A strong lease that works in your favor is worth its weight in gold; learn the art of negotiation and how to make your lease agreements work for you now and in the future.

Making a sound and firm decision to open a studio is undoubtedly the most important part of the process. You can’t dip your toe in and see how it goes; when you sign that lease, you must be ready to go all in. You have to be prepared to add several new job titles to your resume: CFO, marketing director, human resource manager, client complaint manager, janitor, sales genius…oh, and you still need to be a top-notch fitness professional. The ultimate goal is to build a team that can fill-in their strengths where you are weak, but as the leader, you need to have a good understanding of all the moving parts of your business. Ask yourself honestly: Am I cut out to lead a team (more importantly, do I want to lead and manage a team)? Do I possess the skills to be an effective leader or do I need to further develop my leadership skills? Am I willing to step away from training clients in order to devote adequate time to working on growing my business? Do I have the stomach to make diffi-

Part 5 (July-August)

Part 6 (September-October)

Your business backbone: Understanding legal and insurance regulations Understanding the implications of legal and insurance regulations is a common blindspot for businesses; know the resources and experts to consult and ensure your business is protected.

Put your plan in motion: What an entrepreneur must know Having a plan and a vision is just the beginning, now you must take action. Embrace your inner-entrepreneur and take your studio business to new levels.

cult decisions like hiring and firing employees and make tough financial choices? What is my threshold for risk? Am I open to listening to the business and evolving as necessary based on what my clients need and want; not just what I assume they want? What is my end goal and more importantly, what is my exit strategy? (all business owners should have an exit strategy; not indicative of failure, but quite the opposite – you need to clarify if the goal of your business is to earn a comfortable lifestyle for you and your family or is the end goal to set-up your business to sell to a buyer or investor). Successful entrepreneurs are resilient, make tough decisions in order to serve a greater benefit; they have a vision and are tirelessly committed to that vision, particularly when faced with adversity. Reflect deeply before making your decision; embrace opinions from people you trust (not necessarily those who will agree with you) and when you do make your decision, get excited about the possibilities of your success!

Part 7 (November-December) Your grand opening: Marketing, driving sales and leading a team to keep the doors open You’re ready to open your studio, now we’ll dive into the marketing and sales strategies as well as the leadership skills necessary to set up your studio to be a well-oiled and profitable operation. JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2014 | WWW.FIT-PRO.COM | 19

The fitness


By Nick Tumminello

How to detect bad evidence and avoid conflicting information


s an experienced fitness educator who teaches nationally at conferences and clubs throughout the world, the most common complaint I hear from fitness professionals is not that they have trouble finding information on this or that training topic; the complaint is that “there is so much conflicting information out there, I don’t know what to believe.” Put simply, all information isn’t equally valid. I’m going to show you how to avoid confusion from conflicting information by being able to identify the good information and separate it from the bad.

Conflicting information: It all can’t be correct! It is important to note that when we say there is conflicting information about a given training topic, what we’re really saying is that there are two or more parties making mutually conflicting claims about how to achieve a given result. It’s crucial to realize this because when we do, we realize the undeniable reality that all these claims cannot be correct – if one is correct, the other conflicting claims by default must be false.

Anecdotes make bad evidence! Another undeniable reality is that each party claims to be achieving the same results, but uses mutually incompatible methods to get there. It’s this fact that reveals a psychological reality that makes a mockery of anecdotal evidence- based claims (e.g. “it works for me”). That reality is called confirmation bias, which is a filter through which you see a reality that matches your expectations. Research in social psychology has clearly shown that our



“What do you think science is? There’s nothing artificial about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. Which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?”

observations and opinions are not the result of years of rational, objective analysis, but are the result of years of paying attention to information which confirmed what we believed while ignoring information which challenged our preconceived notions. It’s because of our innate fallibility in judging the evidence of our own experiences that we have terms like self-deception and self-delusion, and why we have sayings like, “the plural of anecdote is not data.”

Science: The best form of evidence Put simply, the scientific method is the best tool we have for objectively determining which claims are true and which are false (or at least offering probabilities of the likelihood of a claim being true or false). Sure, like you and I, individual researchers are subjectively biased, but the scientific method is not biased; it is an objective process that has built-in machinery that teases out bias and bad science. Now, sometimes people say that they disagree with science, and to that I submit these words from Dr. Steven Novella: People say that training is an “art and a science.” But training is really the “art of expressing the science.” So in order to makes sure that

the training practices you’re learning make scientific sense, here are some basic guidelines to separate good science (i.e. good evidence) from pseudoscience (i.e. bad evidence).

Marks of good science: } } } } }

It makes claims that can be tested and verified. It has been published in a peer-reviewed journal. It is backed-up by experiments that have generated enough data to convince other experts of its legitimacy. Its proponents are secure enough to accept areas of doubt and need for further investigation. It does not fly in the face of the broad existing body of scientific knowledge.

Marks of bad science: } } } } }


Has failed to convince many mainstream scientists of its truth. Is not based on experiments that can be reproduced by others. Comes from overconfident fringe experts. Speaks dismissively of mainstream science. Claims to have knowledge no one else has or they have knowledge the “establishment” doesn’t want you to hear. Provides data that takes the form of anecdotes, testimonials and/or studies of only one person.


It’s great to use scientifically proven techniques that have been evaluated in studies, but it’s unrealistic to ask that of every exercise, especially when we’re changing workouts every few weeks to keep things fresh and interesting. Specific workout strategies don’t have to be scientifically proven as long as they are scientifically founded, meaning they are founded on the general training principles (Progressive Overload, SAID, GAS, etc.) that have been repeatedly shown to elicit the results you’re after. That said, without some type of objective scientific evidence, what we’re basing our beliefs on is purely subjective and arbitrary. Our clients deserve much better for their time and money than that. In conclusion, I’ll leave you with these words from famous astronomer Carl Sagan, which he gave in his “The Burden of Skepticism,” Pasadena lecture, 1987: “It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. Obviously those two modes of thought are in some tension. But if you are able to exercise only one



of these modes, which ever one it is, you’re in deep trouble. If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. You never learn anything new. On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones. If all ideas have equal validity then you are lost, because then, it seems to me, no ideas have any validity at all… Some ideas are better than others. The machinery for distinguishing them is an essential tool in dealing with the world and especially in dealing with the future. And it is precisely the mix of these two modes of thought that is central to the success of science.”

Nick Tumminello is known as “the trainer of trainers.” He is the owner of Performance University, providing hybrid strength training and conditioning for athletes and educational programs for fitness professionals globally. Check out his DVDs, seminar schedule and popular hybrid fitness training blog at

YOUR CERTIFICATION & CONTINUING EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT Find the information you need to get or stay certified. See pages 24-25.

References: 1. “A letter to the TEDx community on TEDx and bad science.” By TED and TEDx Teams, October 3, 2013.

THE MESSAGE Website: | Facebook:

Craig Ballantyne is the founder of the renowned Turbulence Training program, contributor to Men’s Health and several nationally recognized publications and a respected industry innovator. We asked Craig to share with us how he most effectively shares his vision and message.


My ideal client is committed to a complete personal transformation – because you cannot have a physical transformation without a mental transformation as well.


My message is that we are going to help 10 million men and women transform their lives physically, mentally, and financially by 2020, and we will do this via the 5 Pillars of Transformation: Planning, Social Support, Accountability, Personal Incentives & The Deadline. With these 5 factors in place, success is guaranteed in any area of your life that you choose.


If I had only one way to share my message it would be direct response marketing – any media where you can test, track and measure your results to know your return-on-investment. Only this method allows you to scale your message to reach the masses. Currently, our most successful direct response method is Facebook advertising.


Successful messaging awakens something within the client, challenges them to change and gets them to commit completely to the 5 Pillars of Transformations. This is done through emotional storytelling. Deliver social proof that people just like them have succeeded, and they can too.


People follow me because the unique, motivational and practical information adds value to their lives. We show you there is hope no matter what your circumstances. You CAN do it, and we give you the support and encouragement to never, ever, ever give up on what is important to you; being healthy and strong fun and very reachable.



Certification & Continuing Education Organizations RESOURCE SPOTLIGHT California University of Pennsylvania California University of Pennsylvania is a nationally ranked leader in providing quality bachelor’s and master’s degrees to athletics and sports professionals. Cal U’s 100% online programs in Exercise Science, Wellness and Fitness, Sport Management and Sports Counseling offer flexible, convenient options for working professionals in coaching, athletic training, athletic administration and other areas to achieve their master’s degree in as little as 12 months! Additionally, Cal U’s programs offer NASM certifications in personal training, sport performance, corrective exercise, and wellness coaching from the Well Coaches Association.

AAAI/ISMA-American Aerobic Assoc. International/International Sports Medicine Assoc. AAAI/ISMA has been certifying & educating fitness professionals for 34 years. AAAI/ISMA is one of the original, largest and most recognized International Fitness Certification Associations, with over 180,000 members worldwide. To ensure quality education our faculty trainers have a Ph. D., M. D. or Master’s Degree. Modeled after a University system, students pre-study and attend a hands-on workshop. The certification exams are written & practical. With 26 certification options, we help you build a CAREER! The certification workshop & exam is $99.00.

AAAI/ISMA 609.397.2139

Become an ACE Health Coach Ever feel like you’ve tried everything to get people invested in their health and fitness? You—and thousands of professionals like you—are why ACE created the Health Coach Certification. Lead people to long-term, healthy change by developing your expertise in behavior change and coaching psychology, weight management psychology and the physiology of obesity. Earn the only health coaching certification accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

ACE 800.825.3636

Cal U Global Online 866.595.6348

Functional Aging Fitness Specialist

National Academy of Sports Medicine

This certification has been over ten years in the making. It is not just another certificate or certification, it will be the credential that will set you apart in the marketplace to the 55-and-over client. The mature market is not just another niche, it is the largest and fastest growing fitness market in the world and will continue to be for 30 years. Find out how to get certified and upcoming workshops at

Since 1987, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been a global leader in providing evidence-based certifications and advanced credentials to health and fitness professionals. In addition to its NCCA-accredited fitness Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification, NASM offers advanced specializations including the Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES), Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and Continuing Education programs. The NASM educational continuum is designed to help today’s health and fitness professional enhance their career while empowering their clients to live healthier lives.

Functional Aging Fitness Specialist

NASM 800.460.6276

Personal trainer certification NFPT has been certifying fitness professionals since 1988, offering an NCCA-accredited Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) program and specialty courses in nutrition, resistance, and endurance training. NFPT education curriculum provides a comprehensive approach to fundamental exercise science concepts with prep tools that facilitate your full understanding of the material. Let NFPT guide you down the path to success by providing the start to finish support, convenience and credibility you need in a certification credential.

NFPT 800.729.NFPT

National Strength and Conditioning Association The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is the worldwide authority on strength and conditioning, supporting and disseminating research-based knowledge and practical application to improve performance and fitness. Founded in 1978, they set the standard for strength training, conditioning and injury prevention. The NSCA offers four respected credentials of distinction: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified Special Populations Specialist (CSPS), NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and the Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F).

NSCA 800.815.6826

Become a Tabata Bootcamp Trainer!

The Cooper Institute

Tabata Bootcamp is a revolution in small group training designed to generate revenues for you and achieve client retention. Tabata Bootcamp is based on HIIT research, metabolic profiling, perfect exercise programming, body assessment, nutritional guidance and motivational coaching skills for creating positive healthy habit forming behaviors. We’ll teach you how small steps can yield big results and will transform your clients’ bodies and their lives. Certification includes instructor manual, resistance tubing, access to our complete online library that contains over 70 workouts and nutritional support videos, web membership and ongoing support at no additional fee. This is a complete turn-key program that generates revenues for you.

The Cooper Institute (CI) offers over 30 classes for health and fitness professionals, including Personal Training Education that will help you prepare for the nationally accredited CI Certified Personal Trainer Exam. Advanced degreed instructors use handson techniques to educate you on foundational to complex topics such as: anatomy/kinesiology, exercise physiology, nutrition, strength, flexibility, cardiovascular and functional training. Courses available in Dallas at your location or online. Choose CI to expand your fitness knowledge and launch your career in personal training today.

Savvier Fitness

SCW Fitness Education Certifications SCW Fitness Education Certifications provide comprehensive theoretical and practical approaches to diverse topics including Personal Training, Small Group Leadership, Nutrition, Yoga, Pilates, Group Ex, Aqua and more. Experience hands-on techniques for programming options suitable for varying clientele. Research, training methodologies, program design and cuing systems are addressed, ensuring professionals leave qualified to lead successful classes and sessions. SCW is committed to offering only the finest education featuring a faculty with fitness-related graduate and under-graduate degrees, highlighting cutting-edge research, field-tested programming and trending training techniques.

SCW Fitness Education 877.SCW.FITT 847.562.4020

The Cooper Institute 800.635.7050

See Yourself Here? Put the spotlight on your solution in the next issue.

Contact Josh:

EXERCISE SPOTLIGHT Exercises designed by Mindy Mylrea – Creator of Tabata Bootcamp

Go Your Hard, Harder, and Hardest with Tabata Bootcamp Exercises

Alternating Jump Lunge

Timing: 30 seconds HARD, 20 seconds HARDER, 10 seconds HARDEST

Start in a lunge with right foot forward and left foot back. Alternate jumps-twice slow then quick lunge switches 3 times to end with left foot in front and right foot back. Lunge with this timing for 30 seconds at a degree of difficulty of hard (Perceived Exertion 5-6). Next, repeat for 20 seconds at a harder intensity (lactate threshold), doing the same move - just bigger and faster. For the last 10 seconds (anaerobic zone), performing alternate jump lunges without the 3 quick switch. Focus on the lowering phase to generate the most compound movement action.

Side-to-Side Squat, Plus Lunges and Power Jumps

Timing: 30 seconds HARD, 20 seconds HARDER, 10 seconds HARDEST

30-second exercise (PE 5-6) - Squat side-to-side, then perform an alternate lunge starting with the right leg back then left leg back. Next, for 20 seconds (PE 7-8), perform a power jumping jack to replace the side-to-side squat, then jump lunges front to back alternate sides 4 times. For the last 10 seconds (PE 8-9), alternate two power jumping jacks and two power alternate back lunge jumps.



For more information, visit or call 831-458-0985.

Plank Cross Under

Timing: 30 seconds EASY, 30 seconds HARDEST

Start in a plank position. Plank for 30 seconds, and alternate your legs, pulling them into the chest. For the next 30 seconds, alternate your legs, pulling them into your chest and crossing your knee to the opposite elbow as fast as you can.

Plank to Supine Curl Twist Timing: 30 seconds EASY, 30 seconds HARDEST

Start in plank position. Pull one knee into your chest and then turn yourself to supine position, and lift that same leg straight to a vertical position and touch your opposite hand to that foot. Repeat on other side. First 30 seconds exercise is slow and smooth. Second 30 seconds perform exercise fast and to failure.

Squat Walks and Frog Squat Jumps Timing: 12 seconds EASY, 8 seconds HARDEST

For 12 seconds, complete a low squat walk, or easy jump front to back. Then, for 8 seconds big frog squat jump front to back trying to stay as low as possible entire time. Repeat 3 times. Each exercise repeated 3 times should add up to 1 minute.

Table to L

Timing: 30 seconds EASY, 30 seconds HARDEST

Start in a supine table position. Swing body through arms to end up with body in an L shape with glutes between arms and legs straight. To increase intensity, punch one arm across in the table position. Slow and easy for the first 30 seconds and then add power and speed for the next 30 seconds.


NEW ON THE MARKET The latest trends in fitness equipment

Lindsay's Review:

StrongBoard Balance

StrongBoard Balance is a new balance platform that upsthe-ante on balance and core training. The sturdy top platform rests on four compression springs, enabling the user to strengthen core stability muscles. The StrongBoard is a versatile addition to your training tools; use it for balance, agility, posture, strength and flexibility exercises for all fitness levels. Personalize your StrongBoard with six different colors and offer your clients a whole new way to take on their bodyweight or resistance training program.

REEBOK STEPS The new Reebok Steps are back and stronger than before. These steps are tough enough to withstand your hardest workouts and easily adjust to 6”, 8” or 10” in height. It has a large, non-skid, shock-absorbing mat surface and can hold up to 350 lbs. The Reebok Steps are only available through Perform Better. 800.556.7464


ROCK 360



The ROCK 360 is a revolutionary interactive abdominal trainer that allows the user to simply attach their smartphone to use the free ROCK 360 app to create a fun workout experience. The user has the ability to more effectively target those hard to reach areas around their midsection. The ROCK 360 takes traditional exercises like planks, sit-up and push-ups and adds a level of complexity for a total body workout. The ROCK 360 comes complete with 10 DVD workouts and a phone clip to house your smart phone.

This no-bounce, no-roll slamball is specifically designed for high-impact throwing and slamming to the ground and is a great addition to any crosstraining regimen. Use in place of a standard medicine ball to perform traditional core exercises or pass back and forth between partners. Its rugged, textured surface provides superior grip, handling and long life. Mega Slam Ball comes in the following sizes: 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 lbs.

OMNIA is Technogym’s turnkey solution for functional training with pre-choreographed programs that map to clients’ goals, abilities and aspirations. OMNIA is innovative and non-intimidating with a full range of accessories, accessory storage, unique flooring patterns and educational group programs. OMNIA programs are divided into three categories: OMNIA MOVE, OMNIA TRAIN and OMNIA PLAY. OMNIA programs use a periodized approach to exercise and encompass a 12-week timeframe. 800.804.0952


EVENTS CALENDAR February 2014 - April 2014

FEBRUARY 2014 YogaFit Mind Body Fitness Conference February 6-9 | Alexandria, VA

ACE Small Group Training Workshop February 15 | Baltimore, MD February 15 | Cleveland, OH February 15 | Tucson, AZ

Philadelphia MANIA February 21-23 | Philadelphia, PA

IDEA Personal Trainer Institute – East February 27 – March 2 | Alexandria, VA

AAAI/ISMA’s “One World” International Certification & Education Conference February 28 - March 2 | Colorado Springs, CO

MARCH 2014 YogaFit Mind Body Fitness Conference March 6-9 | Denver, CO

Fitness Business Summit 2014 March 7-9 | Orange County, CA

IHRSA 2014 – 33rd International Convention & Trade Show March 12-14 | San Diego, CA

National Posture Institute CEC Workshop March 15-16 | Miami, FL March 29-30 | Atlanta, GA

California MANIA March 28-30 | Burlingame, CA

APRIL 2014 Scottsdale Fitness Conference April 24-27 | Scottsdale, AZ

For a complete listing, see our online Events Calendar at

Connect with your peers JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2014 | WWW.FIT-PRO.COM | 29

BE BETTER Phil Kaplan |

Do you know it all? In school I learned the Latin names of the muscles. I learned about ligaments and tendons and proprioception. I studied for tests memorizing names for cavities and joint sockets, vertebrae and vessels and had some room left over on my brain’s hard drive to fit in metabolic formulas. I’m thankful for that education. It provided a wonderful foundation . . . for learning. With foundational education behind me, I came into the real world and began to professionally practice what I’d learned. It’s interesting that we use the word “practice,” even when speaking of physicians’ day-to-day activities. If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s work, you understand the concept of “10,000 hours of practice.” The question often asked is, “when do you achieve mastery?” The answer is, I’m not sure, but I know this: It isn’t when you get out of school. You finish mandatory schooling as an evolved student ripe for new implanting of information, and guided practice linked with a willingness to question offers fertile ground for continued acquisition of knowledge. In our field, the black and white of exercise science is empowering – but limiting. I regularly interact with trainers who have rules and dictums ingrained so deeply into their psyches they are blind to other possibilities . . . that is until they’re willing to question and seek answers. “If aerobic exercise burns fat, how come I meet overweight aerobic instructors complaining of their soft thighs?” “If aerobic exercise burns fat, why can’t fat people run great distances?” “If we aren’t supposed to train the same muscles two days in a row, why did the sugar cane field workers I met in Costa Rica display bodybuilder arms from repetitive daily swinging of machetes?” Our foundational education gives us rules, but in the non-academic world in which our practices grow and thrive, we no longer have to learn answers to pass exams. We are free to seek answers that prepare us to better serve people, and that’s exciting. I embrace all credibly structured continuing education programs and the requirements to maintain certification that drive us to take courses and stack up credits, but if you consider every day as an opportunity for continuing education you find the greatest gifts of all: mentors. I’m not talking about people you pay to teach you, although they count as well. I’m talking about those people you admire because they’re bringing about outcomes you only wish for. If you’re appreciative, genuine and respectful, you attract life and career lessons from those who’ve walked before you. As I found some preliminary answers, some openings in the hard walls of the rules I learned in school, I continued to ponder. “Why, if body weight is based on a simple formula of calories in-calories out, wouldn’t someone who ate 2,000 calories per day of chocolate chips weigh the same thing as someone of equal metabolic stature who consumed 2,000 calories of lean proteins and natural carbohydrates?” With each question we become more powerful. We don’t always find the answers we seek, but we learn.



I was lucky. I found wonderful mentors who I befriended and learned from. I came to discover answers in new unconventional lessons in the Thermic Effect of Food, Nutrient Specific Endocrine Responses and thousands of variations in facilitating shifts in strength, endurance, agility, power and body composition. With an acquired knowledge, my focus went far beyond the teachings of “eat right and exercise.” It went far beyond “lifting weights builds muscle; cardio burns fat.” The education walked hand-in-hand with the practice, and the mentors allowed me guidance that foundational schooling could not. I’ve been gifted with the friendship and mentorship of people including Joe Weider, Dr. Michael Colgan, John Parrillo, Anthony Almada, Keith Klein, Lee Labrada, Bill Pearl and the list goes on. It was only my willingness to view the growth of my career as a mission to practice and learn that allowed me to land in a place where this “personal training thing” became a viable, legitimate career. Today, as I continue to practice and learn, I’ve stepped onto a new platform, one that sits right between fitness and medicine. Recent mentors have helped me understand the gaps between “medicine” and “healing.” Guidance through recent research has impacted me with the awareness of the power we have to affect nervous systems and hormonal balance. I’m privileged today, with some acquired wisdom from generous mentors, to serve as a teacher, as a mentor in my own right and as a guide for personal trainers seeking growth. As those I’ve worked with personally know, I’m magnetized by the desire to be more, to know more and to serve at higher levels. It’s that hunger that allows me to find reward in nourishing other careers, in driving initiatives, and in running courses and programs that take trainers out to the boundaries but never outside of our scope of practice. I meet a great many personal trainers who know everything there is to know, and I feel a pang of sorrow each time I meet yet another one. Why would I feel sorrow for someone so certain in his or her conviction and so confident in his or her knowledge? Two reasons. One, the knowit-all trainer will fail to recognize his or her true potential. Two, there are a great many people in need that the trainer would be able to help, people who might struggle with plaguing challenges and unnecessary conditions if practice were mixed with the hunger for learning. Practice your craft. Practice your science. Practice with the ideal blend of safety, professionalism and push, but I urge you to learn. For as long as you can. Learn. It allows you the joy and treasures you stumble upon in the process of remaining a student. It allows you to realize how much there is on the road ahead, and to live with those questions that keep you hungry for betterment – not only your own, but the betterment of everyone you touch. Seek not mastery. Simply seek better and hope someday, with an open mind and knowledge, you are considered a master and gifted further with the opportunity to be a mentor, to pay it forward and to inspire the continued growth of our field. Phil Kaplan is now sharing the science behind his protocol in ASPIRE, a 16week program for fitness professionals. Visit iwanttolearn or email with the subject line ASPIRE.