Personal Fitness Professional Sep/Oct 2014

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JOURNEY TO SUCCESS Molly Galbraith: Lifting the industry of women’s fitness: A story of one girl gone strong





josh vogt | editor

lindsay vastola | managing editor

mike beacom | audience development manager

rachel spahr | president

chad griepentrog | creative director

5 mistakes I made as a rookie personal trainer Mindset success: The new horizon of fitness Brian J Grasso, founder of the Art of Inspired Living, addresses the importance of understanding the science of mindset in order to help our clients achieve true success. By Brian J Grasso

POLL RESULTS What application of mindbody connection training do you incorporate with your clients?





Functionally Fit





by Brian Schiff

Meditation/prayer Mental strength/positive mindset training

NEXT POLL Do you focus your business primarily on a specific niche?

Exercise of the Week

EXTRA Training Wheels

Tai Chi

Visit: to participate


Visit our website or YouTube channel to view weekly instructional videos from some of the most respected names in the fitness industry.

19% 31%

Five timeless mistakes many fitness professionals make that hinder personal success as well as the success of their clients.” By Tony Bonvechio

Career Builder by Josh Bowen

Taking the leap: hiring your first employee Lindsay shares a 3-part series on hiring your first employee; determine your budget, find qualified candidates and train and retain strong team members.


a. Specific equipment niche

(i.e. kettlebells, TRX, etc.)

b. Specific fitness training niche (i.e. sports performance, yoga, Pilates, etc.)

c. Specific population group


Entrepreneur by Cabel McElderry


contributing writers

helena cawley, derek mikulski, dr. tj allen

featured columnists

michelle blakely, holli clepper, greg justice, phil kaplan, jason karp and bedros keuilian

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PFP (ISSN 1523-780X) [Volume 16, Issue 6]


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(i.e. 50+, children, women, athletes, etc.)

d. I work with different populations e. I don’t train a specialize in a specific niche

kelli cooke |


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Lindsay Vastola |

Dan Ritchie |

You have the microphone… what are you going to say?

Let the niche find you

Molly Galbraith, this issue’s Journey to Success featured professional, recounts what her coach told her after one of her blog posts unexpectedly went viral: “You have the microphone, Molly, and everyone is listening. What are you going to say?” Take a moment to reflect on this as it resonates in your life. We spend a significant amount of our professional time “on stage.” Our clients are watching and listening as are our communities; for many of you, even listening to you on a national and international stage. It is when we are most authentic to our passion that people listen; and when you find people eager to listen to you, you know you’ve found your microphone. And those people become the niche upon which you build your purpose-driven career. Many of us begin our careers with a certain idea of the type of clientele we think we want to train or a type of training in which we want to specialize. As our careers naturally evolve, whether we realize it or not, our niche, as Greg Justice eloquently notes in his column, often finds us. Take our 2014 PFP Trainer of the Year, Dan Ritchie. He began his career pursuing his dream of working with collegiate athletes. He soon discovered that it didn’t appeal to him as he thought it would. As his career evolved, he found the clients with whom he connected best were men and women over 55. He now is an authority on training the 55+ population. It’s no coincidence that his professional success is a direct result of his passion and commitment to this clientele.

2014 PFP Trainer of the Year Dan Ritchie has mastered the art of training, marketing and making a career by focusing on a specific market. As owner of Miracles Fitness and co-founder of the Functional Aging Institute (FAI), a certification program for training 50+ clientele, Dan shares with us how he has found success through niche training.

In this issue we’re focusing on the opportunities in niche training and helping you find your microphone: }



In our second-to-last feature of our special 7-Part Studio Series, Helena Cawley shares five points of advice to avoid common pitfalls of the fitness entrepreneur opening a studio. Do you have a product you want to take to market? Derek Mikulski, founder of the ActivMotion Bar, shares a step-by-step guide to take your product from concept to reality. If you work with the general population, chances are good that you have at least one client with Type 2 Diabetes. Dr. TJ Allen details the significant opportunities that exist in marketing to and working with the growing diabetic population.

So, have you found your microphone yet? Who is listening? And what are you going to say? Remain authentic to your core and you’ll inevitably attract those who will listen. See you on your stage!

When did you realize that training the 50+ market was a niche on which you wanted to focus? I kept getting more and more clients over 50 with unique fitness goals. Specifically, when I trained Don, a 72-year-old client, he started with me not being able to tie his own shoes, and after a month came in beaming that he had tied his own shoes for the first time in years!

What marketing strategies have you found are most effective when marketing to this specific niche? We have found email marketing to be our most effective by far. This year Facebook ads and growing our Facebook community is also working. The fastest growing population on Facebook is 55+!

How has the success of building a niche business parlayed into your Functional Aging Institute certification program? The baby boom age group is the largest population group with the most money in our country, and that doesn’t include the 68+ group which is large and has financial power, as well. So, while it might be considered a niche, it is the most dominant economic niche our country has ever known! More and more trainers are waking up to this concept, and more and more are realizing they can’t just train them like 30 year olds, they need better skills and training.

What advice would you give to a fitness professional who isn’t focused on a specific niche in their business? If you aren’t focused on a specific niche you really are a jack of all trades, catering to anyone and everyone and it is hard to be an expert or a category of one in your marketplace.




The evolution of the niche-focused fitness business


OTHER Columns 08 Treadmill Talk Sometimes your niche chooses you By Greg Justice

09 Top-Notch Training Training’s Ugly Duckling By Michelle Blakely



Lifting the industry of women’s fitness: A story of one girl gone strong By Lindsay Vastola

10 Boost Your Business The costs of failing to niche your fitness business By Bedros Keuilian

11 Education Connection Who needs a certification anyway? By Jason R. Karp

30 Be Better The six thoughts clients embrace By Phil Kaplan

Departments 05 Letter from the Editor


Training the diabetic client


Don’t ignore the elephant in the room By Dr. TJ Allan

Put your plan in motion: What an entrepreneur must know before opening a studio, Part 6 [Case study: Uplift Studios, New York City] By Helena Cawley


Equip your concept and turn it into reality

How to turn your equipment idea into a viable business opportunity By Derek Mikulski

You have the microphone… what are you going to say?

15 Product Profile StrongBoard Balance

23 The Message Gregg Miele

24 Education Trends Niche training trends and opportunities By Holli Clepper

26 Exercise Spotlight 28 New on the Market 29 Events Calendar




Sometimes your niche chooses you The table was set and everything was falling into place. I had completed my master’s degree, developed the conditioning program for a collegiate sports team, worked with several of the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Comets and developed a five-year business plan. Now it was time to set my plan in motion. I was going to open Kansas City’s original personal training center with an emphasis in sports conditioning. Then a funny thing happened. Four months after I opened AYC Health & Fitness, I was offered a job as a corporate wellness supervisor. I had studied corporate wellness in college but never really considered doing anything with it until this opportunity came along. It wouldn’t be easy running my own business while working another full-time job, but I was young, hungry and ready to accept the challenge. During the course of the next two years, AYC grew with the help of my first employee, a full-time manager. Along the way, I also developed relationships with more than 64 area corporations as a service provider of corporate wellness programs, including fitness and wellness classes, lunch-n-learn activities and the Kansas City Corporate Challenge. After two years of working two full-time jobs, averaging 80+ hours per week and having the manager at AYC telling me that he was leaving to complete his doctorate, I had to make a decision. There was no way I could continue working both jobs. It was a tough choice, but my entrepreneurial spirit made me choose my business over the corporate wellness job. Now I could spend all of my time focusing on the development of AYC’s sports conditioning program. But, another funny thing happened… I started getting calls from human resource directors and CEOs with whom I had worked in my previous position. They wanted me to work directly with them and their family, or develop their company’s wellness programs. Almost immediately my appointment book was full with CEOs, their families and corporate programming. I didn’t plan it that way, it just happened. AYC still works with athletes, but the majority of our clients are those corporate executives, their families and corporate wellness programming. The lesson I learned is that sometimes you choose your niche and sometimes it chooses you. It’s important to have a game plan, but equally important to explore opportunities that may serve a greater purpose. Corporate wellness has impacted my business greatly over the past 28 years. My business wouldn’t be what it is today if I had not been open to exploring another niche, a niche that I wasn’t seeking, but found me.

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 |

Training’s Ugly Duckling I decided to walk away from half of my potential customer base in 2010. It was one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. Others questioned this drastic change in clientele, and I had to explain, ‘Yes, that’s correct, I only train women.’ ‘You mean mostly women?’ ‘No, only women.’ I started my career, and spent most of it, with the usual grocery list of personal trainer offerings: open to taking anyone as a client, willing to adjust training for anyone. You might do this now, and I understand why. Being open to a wider pool of clients must translate into more clients acquired, right? Not necessarily. There are a lot of people who need personal trainers, and there are a lot of personal trainers (Pilates instructors, etc.) vying for their business. Being general and all-encompassing in your offerings will leave you unnoticed in a giant sea of competition. Being unique or memorable makes an impression and sets you apart. Niche training makes you different, and as with the ugly duckling, ultimately, different is good. Interestingly, niche training exposes you to more of the same kinds of scenarios. For instance, I primarily train highly successful professional women. Through years of listening, assessing, training and problem solving, I have honed solutions for these women because they are a very specific group with very specific needs. Let me be clear: Choosing to go down the specialty-training route will require more education and being a better practitioner (this is the “Top Notch” column, after all). Clients will come to you to fulfill specific needs, and if you’re smart, you will acquire training and knowledge that speaks to those needs, solves them and anticipates them. This is a gift to your personal training career and your skill set. Niche training can foster a culture and brand for your business – an outstanding side effect considering the current marketplace. When we really define who we want to reach and how we want to help them, we find ourselves making better, more informed decisions for clients and for the health of our business beyond training alone. I encourage you to consider refining your training with a specialty. A great decision could be waiting. How can you identify your niche? My inspiration stemmed from client observation and small business advice. Take notice of underserved populations. There’s often a win-win scenario for those willing to address and solve these populations’ fitness problems. Additionally, start paying attention to small business and marketing advice that addresses niche markets in other industries. Different fields can be a great source of inspiration.

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



The costs of failing to niche your fitness business There’s an assumption among personal trainers that offering something for everyone is the best way to build more business. This is a natural assumption, but there are two things wrong: 1. A generic fitness business can only command generic prices and by nature opens itself up to competition. You need more clients, more sessions sold and you’re going to compete on price and not on the outcome you deliver, all of which cut into your profits. 2. People tend to respect specialization. Focusing on a niche business will affect you in several different areas: marketing, pricing, retention and branding. Here is a closer look at each: Marketing: When you’re only marketing one thing or only targeting one or two groups of clients, your marketing is much more focused. Instead of having to advertise Zumba and strength training and fat loss and Pilates, you’re advertising that one thing you do well. Instead of doing different marketing campaigns to reach several different demographics, you can hone-in on one or two groups. Just the athletes, just the women, just the seniors; less time and money spent on marketing and a much easier time tracking the results each type of marketing nets. Pricing: There’s no gray area to this; specialists charge more and they get it because people are willing to pay more for expertise. A general practitioner makes a lot less money than an orthopedic surgeon. When you can charge more, you need fewer clients. That, too, means less marketing. It also means you can run your business in a smaller space, with fewer assistants and trainers and in fewer hours per week. Retention: When you’re a generalist, you have to compete with all of the other generalists in your area and with most of the specialists. You lose clients every time someone new opens their doors for business because you can be replaced by anybody. Victoria’s Secret really only has to compete with the few other lingerie places in town. Target has to compete with every other store. When you’re the only one who’s doing what you’re doing, you have no competition. Branding: When you want lingerie, you think Victoria’s Secret. The same principle works for fitness. When you think power lifting, you think West Side Barbell. Think cross training, you think CrossFit. When you think fat-loss fitness boot camps, you think Fit Body Boot Camp. In order to stand out, to compete and to become known as a fitness authority in your area, you have to focus on doing one thing and doing it better than anyone else in the area. You’ll charge more but work less, market less but sell more, you’ll get more referrals and you’ll hang onto your clients for years to come.

Bedros Keuilian is the founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp, the fastest growing fitness franchise for personal trainers on the planet.




Who needs a certification anyway? It’s an understatement to say that there are many certifications in the fitness industry. From ACE to Zumba and every letter in between, fitness professionals can choose from dozens of certifications. But do these certifications really advance one’s career? Early in my career working as a personal trainer at a gym, I was talking to one of the members as she rode a stationary bike alongside her workout buddies. As I explained how she and her friends could get more out of their workouts, I sensed that she wasn’t listening. Maybe she didn’t care for the advice of a young, scrawny-looking runner in sweats. Maybe she was just focused on her workout. A few days later, I saw her again as I was about to go for a run. Seeing me for the first time in my running shorts, she enthusiastically asked, “How can I get legs like yours?” Smiling, I joked, “So, you want me for my body rather than for my mind?” This started me thinking down a path that will likely continue the rest of my career: success in the fitness industry is often dominated by what you look like or who your publicist is rather than by what you know. Have you ever been asked to train someone because he or she noticed your sexy legs or muscular biceps? Have you ever gotten a client because you trained her friend? I won’t go as far to say that it’s a waste of time and money to get a certification, however most of your clients don’t care whether you have a certification and don’t understand what all those letters mean anyway. Most of my clients have come to me via referrals or my reputation. This doesn’t mean that education is unimportant. It’s very important. But when there are so many certifications, it dilutes the value. Does one really need a certification to give people exercises on a BOSU or lead a group through a Tabata interval workout? Those are skills that should be part of the skill set of any personal trainer or group fitness instructor. Where is your time and money and education well spent? Get a degree in the field and, if you’re going to get a certification, get just one and make sure it is the best one in your specialty area. And find an excellent publicist.

Jason Karp is a leading running expert, 2011 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and recipient of the 2014 President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award. With a PhD in exercise physiology, he has more than 200 publications in running, coaching and fitness magazines, has authored five books and speaks internationally.


Journey to Success

By Lindsay Vastola


It started just over 10 years ago, when she told a trainer that she didn’t want to lift heavy because she “didn’t want to get bulky.” Haven’t we all heard that before! Little did Molly Galbraith know at the time that she shortly would be a fierce contender in powerlifting and figure competitions and eventually evolve into one of the most respected authorities in women’s strength, fitness and lifestyle. Molly Galbraith is the current owner and co-founder of Girls Gone Strong (GGS), one of the most respected resources for all things fitness, nutrition, mindset and healthy lifestyle for women. She also runs her personal website and coaching business,, and is a co-founder and previous owner of J&M Strength and Conditioning in Lexington, Kentucky. While Molly’s journey to success has taken her along several different paths, there is no doubt she is destined to achieve her ultimate vision: offer an unmatched resource for women to learn, collaborate and connect alongside a like-minded community. Here is a glimpse into how Molly’s journey began…

A GIRL GONE STRONG It was February 2004, and Molly Galbraith didn’t like the way she looked or felt. She was in school full-time getting her MBA and working two jobs. Everything in terms of her career and life seemed ideal, except for the one thing she knew, in theory, she had control over - her body and mind. So she hired a personal trainer to give her a jump start on her limited

college student budget (this happens to be the same trainer she warned about not wanting to “bulk up”). And so sparked her passion for all things fitness. Just a few months later, Molly was introduced to the world of figure and powerlifting, almost by accident; and she became a voracious reader, following the likes of, John Berardi, Louis Simmons and Dave Tate. By mid-2005 she entered her first powerlifting meet followed by three years of competing in figure competitions. In 2009, after pushing her body too hard for too long, she became very sick and transitioned back to powerlifting because her weight rebounded regardless of what she ate or how she trained. At one point she found herself sitting on her couch actually having to give herself a pep talk just to get up and get a glass of water. She was physically depressed. Shortly after, she discovered that she had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Hashimoto’s disease and adrenal dysfunction. Being diagnosed with this trifecta of health conditions became a significant turning point for Molly - she realized that her goals had been primarily focused on how she looked rather than focusing on what her body could do. She may not have realized it at the time, but it was this significant mindset shift that became the core of her purpose and passion.

HER FIRST (NOT-SO-STRONG) FITNESS VENTURE In 2006, Molly and her previous boyfriend started her first fitness business and developed a software that designed custom nutrition


programs for individuals. At the time it was launched in 2008, the software was relatively cutting edge for the industry. However, with most of the business money tied-up in development, there was little budget for marketing and promotion. They were of the thought that because it was a quality product people would flock to buy it; but no one came. Molly learned a valuable lesson that regardless of whether you have a great product or service, if you don’t know how to promote and sell it, it will be an uphill battle and likely a losing feat. As she embarked on her next business ventures, she was committed to understanding how to market and sell and how to establish credibility in the industry. In fact, she believes so much in her current businesses, she describes understanding and executing sales and marketing as her “moral obligation;” because without effective marketing she will never be able to reach the women she knows she can help and give them the best information possible. While she ultimately sold her share of the software company, the experience gave her the business acumen she would apply to her future ventures as to not underestimate the power of effective marketing.

STRENGTH THROUGH SYNERGY: THE BEGINNING OF GIRLS GONE STRONG In support of a mutual friend in a fitness competition, Molly and five other women serendipitously met, most for the first time. They trained together for a short weekend and discovered over the course of a few short days that they all shared the same passion for women’s strength training. They collaborated their resources, expertise and brainpower (and bodies) and developed the foundation of what is now one of the leading online and community-focused authorities in women’s fitness: Girls Gone Strong (GGS).



CURRENT TITLE: Owner, Girls Gone Strong and Owner, DEGREES & CERTIFICATIONS: NSCA, CSCS EDUCATION: B.A., Finance and Marketing; MBA FAVORITE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT: Barbell! I’m a sucker for heavy squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts and bench presses. Plus I love doing Turkish Getups with a barbell! FAVORITE SNACK: I love jerky, almond butter, apples and Quest bars. FAVORITE QUOTE: “You are perfect just as you are, and you could use a little improvement.” - Shunryu Suzuki CONTACT INFO: mollygalbraith twitter @mollygalbraith



The GGS Facebook page was launched shortly thereafter and the women spent a year gathering content before launching the website a year later. When asked what made GGS an almost instant success, Molly claims, “It almost felt like we were born on second base and hit a home run; we seemed to grow in spite of ourselves.” Initially, they didn’t know much about online marketing and grew organically in large part because their content was appealing. Learning things like click-through rates or what titles women are more likely to read all came with time, but was not initially the main focus. As the GGS community grew (now over 125,000 avid Facebook followers), the mission evolved from primarily fitness-focused content to changing women’s perspectives about living a healthy life. Molly wanted to communicate that success is not just about lifting heavy weights. As Molly attests, “We [GGS] think we know the formula for achieving that. The mission is for GGS to be the resource where women can trust the information we share. Whether women want information about returning to fitness after a C-section, how hormones affect fat loss or how to master a deadlift, we want GGS to be the first place they turn to.”





Girls Gone Strong launched their first ebook this past April, The Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training, and it remains one of the biggest ebook launches in the female fitness category — a testament that there is a captive audience craving the information and the like-minded community to which GGS is tirelessly committed. Molly credits a great deal of their success to the fact that GGS was founded on the fact that they knew there was a desperate need for an authoritative resource on women’s fitness…that happened to have the potential for profit; not the other way around. Molly’s clarity of her mission is rock solid: to truly be the authority for women’s fitness. While she may say (humbly) that she’s still “figuring it out,” Molly possesses a valuable trait that entrepreneurs often lack; she recognizes the areas where she is strongest and acknowledges the areas in which she is lacking. “I can be the talent all day long, but a successful business also needs to have the entrepreneur, manager and technician. I know I am the technician and the talent and somewhat of an entrepreneur, but lacking the management skills. That’s where I focus on delegating and partnering with the right people.”

Molly talks about a time when she felt like she really never had a niche; she didn’t have a “thing” that she was known for as so many of her colleagues seemed to have built their career upon. She would write and speak on front squats, elimination diets and corrective exercise, but nothing that really set her apart. It wasn’t until she wrote a blog post entitled, “It’s hard out here for a fit chick;” the article was vulnerable and raw, speaking of what it’s like to be a fitness professional whose body is always under scrutiny, especially because, as she describes, she doesn’t have the “typical” fitness model body. After the article instantly went viral, one of her coaches told her, “You have the microphone, and everyone is listening. What are you going to say?” Molly Galbraith finally found her “thing.” She has the gift of connecting with women in a genuine and transparent way that empowers women beyond squats and deadlifts. Molly, no doubt, has picked up her microphone and she’s telling us loud and clear: “There’s a girl gone strong in all of us.” With her determination and unwavering commitment to helping women find their strong girl, Molly surely won’t be putting down her microphone any time soon.

PROFILE: STRONGBOARD BALANCE Website: | Email: | Phone: 310.439.2074

An Evolution in Balance Training “BALANCE is the key to achieving and maintaining a Mind, Body, & Spirit connection. Accept the challenge with StrongBoard Balance.” StrongBoard Balance is a creation of ACE-certified celebrity trainer Mike Curry. While working at a private gym and physical-therapy center, Mike encountered the need for a more effective, yet fun, balance product that would challenge his wide range of clients. Dedicated product development and market research led to StrongBoard, which users of all levels and limitations love for its spectacular fitness results and renewed sense of play added to their workouts. What makes StrongBoard Balance unique and effective are the four compression springs situated between a moving platform and a stable base. When a user balances on the board, the springs compress, instantly activating all of the muscles in his or her body, while the muscles seek stabilization. When performing basic exercises, such as squats or push-ups on StrongBoard Balance, users enjoy a more intense experience than traditional workouts targeting the same muscle groups. As a result, StrongBoard delivers profound results to all levels of fitness enthusiasts, creating desired changes in how they look and feel, as well as improvement in balance, core strength, agility, and posture. More complex functional movement patterns can increase a client’s speed, agility, power, and body composition. In addition to performing basic exercises on StrongBoard Balance, this device can be used in conjunction with many other fitness tools and adapted to fit the necessary modalities for real-life functional movement and sports-specific training. StrongBoard Balance has been proven to be effective as a necessary tool for athletes looking to improve their conditioning for baseball, skateboarding, golf, tennis, triathlons, surfing and more. Assisting in the versatility of StrongBoard Balance is the fact it is easily portable, lightweight, and requires no electricity. StrongBoard Balance can hold up to 500 pounds, so it can be used with heavier equipment which increases compression on the springs and creates more instability, ultimately offering greater gains in strength. There is no need to inflate, deflate or install this product, and it can be easily transported by a trainer and neatly arranged in a fitness facility. The ability to easily transport StrongBoard Balance lends to the popularity of StrongBoard Group Fitness routines, which are easily modified to appeal to different demographics. Customized routines incorporate popular class styles such as boot camp, Tabata, yoga, barre, sculpting and cardio circuit training. StrongBoard Balance Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Certifications are currently being developed and will fulfill instructor CECs.

Trainers are encouraged to visit the learning center on and The simple and short educational exercise and physical therapy videos are constantly updated with new and exciting moves for all fitness levels. Also available to trainers, gyms, and StrongBoard users are 15” x 20” laminated posters featuring a variety of exercises. Workout increments of 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 minutes are included to help maximize efficiency and target all muscle groups on StrongBoard Balance. In addition to the laminated poster, high-resolution downloads of the poster are available online at StrongBoard Balance is currently in production on a mobile app and DVD. These tools will be available in 2015 to further bolster the StrongBoard Balance experience. STRONGBOARD BALANCE COLOR OPTIONS: The springs of the StrongBoard are available in six basic color options and also can be customized for clients and facilities. Learn more at


DIABETIC CLIENT Don’t ignore the elephant in the room

By Dr. TJ Allan iabetes. The word almost every trainer fears when he’s scrolling through his client’s medical history. With it comes insulin, low blood sugar, diabetic comas, neuropathy and even death. Not your ideal client, right? A little scary? Unfortunately, this fear is deliriously overblown. In fact, it’s keeping a lot of trainers from taking advantage of a significant opportunity. This market is huge, easy to break into and is a referral-generating machine. Here are five reasons to explore working with the growing market of diabetes:

1. The market is huge The diabetic market is no longer simply a niche; it’s an epidemic. In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, 9.3% of the population, had diabetes; that’s almost 1 in 10 Americans. Another 86 million Americans had prediabetes. Considering only 45 million Americans had gym memberships in 2012, diabetics are effectively twice the size



of our current market; a savvy trainer should spend more time visiting local physicians and hospitals than even their own gym. Each year this market is getting bigger and bigger.1 It’s not just an epidemic in the U.S., either. According to the World Health Organization, there are 347 million people worldwide with diabetes. Not imp re s s e d ?

That number was only 153 million in 1980; the number of diabetics has doubled in just three decades.2 Over the six years I’ve spent working with diabetics, I’ve seen exercise go from a quick two-minute recommendation during the initial physician workup to a five-minute lecture during every visit. I work with several diabetic educators and they recommend exercise to all of their diabetic patients. Thus, not only is the market huge, but it’s well aware of the benefits of your services. It’s just waiting for you to introduce yourself!

2. The clients are motivated They say fear can motivate even the least motivated; diabetics have plenty to fear. Just the thought of insulin and administering subcutaneous shots daily sends a shiver down the spine of almost every newly diagnosed type II diabetic. A patient will literally try to do whatever he possibly can if it means avoiding insulin. The good news is that exercise can help. With the right diet and mix of oral prescription medications, exercise can help prevent the need to add insulin to the patient’s regimen. I’ve even had patients get off of insulin after a significant weight loss from diet and exercise. Once you have one testimonial like that you’ll be a hero in the diabetic world. And the fear doesn’t just stop with newly diagnosed diabetics. Long-time diabetics are at serious risk for toe and leg amputations. In fact, over the last two months, two of

my patients had one of their legs removed. Could an exercise regimen have prevented those amputations? Absolutely, if started early enough. Whether the patient fears insulin or just wants to be able to play with his grandkids, motivating them won’t be hard. A few simple reminders are all he’ll need to make sure he shows up four days per week.

fully, physicians, nurses and pharmacists are finally starting to realize it.

Exercise has been shown to: }

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3. Half the battle is already won thanks to your team Diet… it’s the trainer’s worst enemy. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing your client bust his butt in the gym all week only to completely obliterate it at the kitchen table. When you only see the client four to five hours out of the 168 in a given week, it’s hard to create healthy eating and exercising habits. Making matters worse, at times, it feels like you are the only one reinforcing these good habits. Not so with diabetics. Diabetics tend to have a much larger, more influential support group. It’s not just you anymore. It’s the client’s physician, nurses, optometrist, podiatrist, support group, family and friends. Because of the severity of the situation, the client has an entire team behind him, and that makes habits much easier to change. Your job simply is to figure out how you fit into the equation, and to reinforce everything else his team is telling him. Moving from the minority to the majority makes your job much easier and a lot less stressful.

4. Getting clients is easy. It’s like fishing with dynamite. Once you have success with one diabetic client, word will travel faster than the speed of light. You will get so many referrals you won’t be able to keep up. Why? Because they travel in herds. There are usually just three or four key players that handle 30, 40 or even 50 potential clients. Thus, marketing is easy and cheap. Once you help one diabetic client, he will mention you at his monthly support meeting. The client’s physician will tell all of his patients about the work you’ve done. The hospital will mention you to all of its diabetic patients on discharge. You will quickly create a referral generating machine from just one client and it won’t cost you a dime.

5. It’s not snake oil. When your product works, it’s so much easier to sell. And the bottom line is that exercise is an extremely effective treatment/prevention modality for diabetes. It even offers benefits if your client doesn’t lose a single pound. There is not a medication on the planet that has as many beneficial effects as exercise, and thank-

} } } }

Increase glucose uptake in skeletal muscle via an insulin-dependent mechanism and an insulin-independent mechanism Lower fasting blood sugar acutely and chronically Improve fat oxidation and storage in muscle Slightly reduce systolic blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels Improve depression and quality of life Lower hemoglobin A1C levels Reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality3

Impressive isn’t it? The only question is who is the go-to trainer in your area for diabetics?

Create a referral network in just a few steps Because there are just a few gate keepers in your local diabetic climate, an elaborate, expensive marketing plan is not needed. All you need is a phone, a flyer and a car. An investment of $30-50 will be more than enough to jumpstart your diabetic program.

Start with your local pharmacies. Although I may be biased, pharmacies tend to be at the center of the healthcare provider network. They know the physicians, diabetic educators, optometrists and nurses. Best of all, you can walk right in without an appointment and talk to them. I’d suggest stopping by your local independent pharmacies first. Never visit during the busy times — Monday and Friday. Saturday afternoons are usually painfully slow, so they’ll be more than happy to help you. Once you get the list of names of healthcare providers, mail them a letter with your flyer first. Address it specifically to the person the pharmacy mentioned. Wait a few days, and then call them. Simply ask for the specific person, and if you get them on the phone, ask if they have any questions about your program. If they seem interested, ask if they’d like to meet to discuss it in further detail. If they’re not interested, don’t pursue that option just yet. If there is one thing a nurse/physician hates, it’s a pushy salesperson; they get that enough from drug reps. A much better method is to initially work with the physicians that are excited about the program, get results with their clients, and then send a follow-up letter/phone call to the physicians that were on the fence about it with the results from your current diabetic clients.

Once you have created a name for the program, create a flyer for it, add a page on your website about it, and post an article on Facebook about it. First, create a flyer and a name. Remember, you’re not training diabetic clients. That doesn’t scream expert; that’s just a trainer that also happens to train a few diabetic patients. You are creating a diabetic exercise program. Thus, you are the trainer for diabetics because you have a specific program created just for diabetics. Trust me, the marketing will be much easier and resonate more clearly if you have a program. We called our program The DiaBeat-It Exercise Program. Once you have created a name for the program, create a flyer for it, add a page on your website about it, and post an article on Facebook about it. If you live in a smaller community, the local newspaper will often run an article about it for free. As cheap as business cards are now, I’d even create a specific business card for it. Don’t just focus on the internet; it will never entirely replace face-to-face marketing. Now it’s time to create your referral network.

Perform the exact same sequence with diabetic educators, optometrists and podiatrists in your area. Within a few months that trickle of diabetic clients walking through your door will turn into a steady stream of new income.

Dr. TJ Allan, Pharm.D, CSCS, CISSN, FMS is the owner of two gyms, Ageless and Ageless Squared, and serves as the pharmacist-in-charge at an independent pharmacy in Illinois.


Part 6 of 7

Opening and operating a successful studio: A 2014 PFP Special Series

PUT YOUR PLAN IN MOTIO What an entrepreneur must know before opening a studio [Case study: Uplift Studios, New York City] By Helena Cawley Opening your own fitness studio can be a scary endeavor. There are many questions to consider before you venture down this road: Where will the money come from? Will we have any clients? How will we find instructors and train them? What is our “mission?” It’s enough to make you crawl back under your covers and hide from the world. But if fitness is your passion and you feel ready to create something for yourself, then absolutely go for it. Having gone through this process just three years ago with the launch of my boutique fitness concept, Uplift Studios, in Manhattan, here are the top five points of advice to avoid common pitfalls of the fitness entrepreneur opening a studio.


Murphy’s Law is real: Anything that can go wrong, will. Just keep looking for the solution.

Massive flooding, instructors not showing up for class, treadmills malfunctioning, clients getting

sick during a workout, money running way too low for comfort, bad press, trying new things that really don’t work out, and even a painter falling off a ladder and trying to sue the business; mistakes, mistakes, mistakes, problems, problems, problems. You name it, it’s happened. And Uplift Studios has only been open two years. At times it feels like it has been one long lesson in patience and creative problem solving. However, the good news is that every single one of these issues can and does get resolved. The takeaway from it is not to panic the next time something happens, because that too, will have a resolution. So, accept that things will go (horribly, terribly) wrong, and just keep looking for that solution. It’s there somewhere.


Bootstrapping your way to success is not the end of the world — and actually might be a good thing.

It can be intimidating to enter an industry

where many of the most successful boutique fitness studios are backed by large institutional investors like private equity, or are self-funded from massive bank accounts or trust funds. Not everyone has that luxury. You might have to hustle to raise money to get the vision off the ground, and even then you’ll likely windup bootstrapping for the first year because everything will be more expensive and take longer than you expected. As frustrating and scary as it can be, having financial struggles at the beginning of your venture can allow you to rethink what is really important, eliminate a lot of the unnecessary expenses and, eventually, appreciate your successes so much more when things finally turn around and start working.


Don’t be afraid to be the boss. Your first instinct might be to become friends with all the trainers and instruc-

Topics covered in our exclusive 7-part studio series: (If you missed parts 1-5, access our digital issues online:


Part 1 (Jan-Feb)

Part 2 (March-April)

Part 3 (Spring Buyers’ Guide)

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

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.

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.



important to get that element just right. It’s easy to start immediately imagining a great new instructor as this rock star that will get a massive following and take your studio from one to five, then 20, then worldwide! The problem is, great instructors do not necessarily predict great success (and vice versa) and attrition rates are high in this industry. When a successful and popular instructor decides it’s time to move, while painful in the short-term, it’s important to keep in mind that the business is not built on the back of one person alone and it will not succeed or fail on one person alone, either.


tors you hire. You want to like everyone and want them all to like you, too. You’ll think that you’re all in this together. But you’re not. This is your business, your company and your reputation and future on the line. For most of them, no matter how passionate they are about fitness, about your clients or about your studio and philosophy, in particular, they are not owners of the business and therefore their first priority is (and should be) to themselves and their own careers. In the end, it’ll be your responsibility to ensure that everyone who works at your studio is adhering to your vision and meeting the standards you set for your studio. If they aren’t, then you cannot allow them to represent your brand, no matter how much you like each other.

Be prepared to part with both instructors and programs that just aren’t serving the business’ bottom line. It’s not easy, but it is necessary. Same goes for a new idea or new program. You’ll have at least a few moments where a flash of seeming genius comes to mind for a new class format or personal training program and you’ll think, “YES, this is going to be the next big thing in fitness!” However, not all ideas are feasible and sometimes you might have to admit that your stroke of genius was a flop. You want to give your programs enough time to catch on and gain popularity, but if it’s not working, it’s better not to dwell on it for too long and risk the business suffering as a result.

roll logistics. It’s easy to get caught up in being a part of your business (actually training clients), rather than running your business (knowing your crucial metrics like how many unique clients come through your doors each month), but that is going to get you in financial hot water very quickly. If you do not have any business background yourself, it is definitely important to hire someone who does so that you can make sure your business is financially healthy and is growing. If you’re committed to running a profitable business, you can learn a lot of these things as you go along and create processes for yourself that made sense to you and that you can easily update every day. Learn to love Google Docs and Excel spreadsheets – the more data, the better! This way you know your business is in good shape and you have the funds to cover all of your upcoming expenses, and then some. If you’re not on top of this information, you’re as good as bankrupt. Boutique fitness studios are gaining market share over big box gyms and will continue to do so over the next several years. It is a great time to introduce your hot new workout concept or machine to the masses and to take your own career to the next level. However, it will not be easy and it will not be without risk. There are lots of things to keep in mind when building a boutique fitness studio, but the most important thing of all to remember is that you are helping people work out, get healthy and reach their fitness goals. With that as your motivation, you will be unstoppable.

Helena Cawley is the CEO and co-founder of Uplift Studios, a women-only boutique fitness studio located in Manhattan. Uplift was founded in 2012 and has

Be prepared to part with both instructors and programs that just aren’t serving the business’ bottom line. It’s not easy, but it is necessary.

grown by 200% over the past two years. Prior to starting Uplift, Helena was an Associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer &


Don’t get too attached to any one idea or any one person.

People are so crucial to a fitness studio. Your instructors, trainers and staff are probably 99% of the reason why people come to work out there and therefore it is obviously


Fitness is a business, just like anything else.

A lot of fitness professionals and studio owners know about anatomy and strength training program design, but not a whole lot about income statements, cash flow and pay-

Part 4 (June)

Part 5 (July-August)

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.

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.

Feld LLP. Helena has a B.A. with honors from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from New York University School of Law.

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. SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2014 | WWW.FIT-PRO.COM | 19

EQUIP YOUR CONCEPT AND TURN IT INTO REALITY HOW TO TURN YOUR EQUIPMENT IDEA INTO A VIABLE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY BY DEREK MIKULSKI Creating a new exercise product can provide incredible opportunities for fitness professionals to generate ancillary income, create notoriety, generate speaking opportunities and most important, positively impact the lives of more people than ever possible with training at a single fitness facility. Do you have the next big fitness idea, but no clue how to begin turning your concept into reality? As fitness professionals, we specialize in exercise science, human anatomy and physiology, biomechanics and psychology — great knowledge to help people achieve their fitness goals safely and effectively. But we often need help with business know-how and strategic product development. Creating a fitness product and bringing it to market takes lots of time, money and business sense and should not be attempted without extensive planning and thought. Here is a roadmap for navigating through the complex world of product development in the $4.5 billion U.S. fitness product industry.



STEP 1: BUILD A PROTOTYPE After you have developed a clear, concise product concept, the first step is to build a prototype. This experience can quickly tell you whether your product can be made simply and inexpensively or requires special tooling and manufacturing fixtures, which demands a higher investment up front. Fitness products like bands, stability balls and kettlebells are simple tools that can be mass-produced efficiently due to minimal parts and readily available materials, while more complex fitness equipment like treadmills and machines have lots of custom parts and complexities that will require much more time and money to produce. After building your prototype, document what you created. Note areas during development where you stumbled. Also, log the date of creation and develop a sketch of your item, complete with a bill of materials needed for its construction. After recording the above information, sign and date your document. This will help you convey your idea to others and offer you some protection against others who might later try to steal or replicate your creation. And never share your idea with anyone without requiring them to first sign a confidentiality and non-compete agreement.

STEP 2: GET FEEDBACK WITH MARKET TESTING AND FOCUS GROUPS Before investing lots of time and money developing your product, show others your creation to validate whether people will actually want to buy it. Solicit unbiased feedback from people in various segments of the fitness industry and make adjustments based on the feedback.

STEP 3: SOUL SEARCH After validating your product in the fitness world, do a reality check by answering these five key questions: }

Does my product solve a need in the fitness industry? Hopefully your product fills a gap in the industry and clearly offers valuable benefits to potential customers. ‘


Who is my product for? Is your product for everyone, or for a special sub-population like athletes, seniors, kids or rehabilitation patients?


How does my product create value for people? Think about functionality, cost, unique selling advantages and what determines your product’s real value.


Can I afford to grow slowly? Fitness products don’t usually “go viral” overnight. Most fitness products take a few years to catch on in the industry.


Why am I doing this? Is your motivation money? Fame? Philanthropic reasons? Did a life-changing experience drive you to create your product? Answering the “why” question will provide a helpful framework or filter for every business decision.

STEP 4: PROTECT YOUR IDEA AND YOURSELF Protecting the intellectual property rights to your creation is imperative if you can afford it. Securing a patent with the help of an intellectual property (IP) lawyer provides the best protection should someone else try to replicate your product. The patent process cost varies, but may range from $2,000 to upwards of $12,000. Before hiring an IP lawyer, it’s a good idea to do your own preliminary patent search. Go to search/ and search for various words related to your invention to see if anyone else has already patented your idea. If your search doesn’t find anything similar, have your IP lawyer validate your investigation before preparing the lengthy drawings and documents that must be filed with the USPTO. If you can’t afford the patent process, you might want to consult an IP lawyer to learn about any “common law” rights you might have to protect your invention. You also should consider trademarking and copyrighting your brand name and associated marketing materials to gain additional protection from potential “copycats.” You also should consider forming a corporation or limited liability company to hold the IP and protect yourself from personal liability.


STEP 5: WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN AND DETERMINE FUNDING NEEDS At this point you’ve created a prototype; tested it and proved that it has good potential for success; determined who your product is for and why you are creating it; and have a patent pending. Now you need to figure out how to make your product affordably and your business profitable. Creating a business plan is a complex and critical step. For some great advice on how to create an effective business plan, visit the Step-by-Step Business Plan Builder at http:// Money is the greatest hurdle for new businesses and products. Without it, you won’t be able to create the tools necessary for marketing and sales, let alone manufacture your product. Your business plan, your knowledge, passion and communication skills are the elements you’ll need to master in order to attract angel investments from friends and family, and perhaps other second round equity investors like venture capital firms. Be sure to research your segment of the fitness industry inside and out and be able to convey your product and plan quickly and effectively. If you need help securing capital, consider resources such as KickStarter, Indiegogo, or submit an application for the highly-regarded ABC show Shark Tank.

STEP 6: BUILD IT Once you have a plan and initial seed capital, you’ll need to finalize where you’re going to build your product. Hopefully you’ve already researched this as you were developing your business plan. Consider hiring a consultant who can identify process improvements, materials savings and suppliers and manufacturers who can meet your needs and budgets. If you can’t afford a consultant, seek the advice of “friendly” manufacturers and business contacts to help identify manufacturing and fulfillment options. When all else fails, conduct a local Google search for prototyping and/or assembly shops within your area.

STEP 7: SELL IT You can have the greatest product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, you won’t make sales and your company will fail. Your product needs to be visible in the fitness industry, and you’ll need to take advantage of every opportunity to get people to see and use it. Hosting exhibition booths and workout sessions at trade shows like IHRSA and IDEA creates great awareness and sales opportunities, and partnering with catalog vendors like Perform Better offers your product valuable mass exposure. Feeling overwhelmed? Take a breath and add a large dose of patience. Creating a fitness product and bringing it to market is not an overnight process. On average, new products take three years to go from idea to sales-ready. Take your time, learn and enjoy the experience!

Derek Mikulski is the inventor of the ActivMotion Bar. He holds a Bachelors Degree of Science in Health Education and Exercise, and also holds various training certifications through NASM, NPTI and NSCA. You can learn more about the innovative ActivMotion Bar and Disruptive Training at



THE MESSAGE Website:, | Twitter: Facebook: | Instagram:

Gregg Miele, 2015 Trainer of the Year Finalist and industry veteran of 17 years, is the creator of the Self-discipline band and owner of Heart & Hustle Gym in Los Angeles. We asked him how he shares his message of self-discipline, hard work and passion with his clients, followers and fellow fitness professionals. My ideal client … is a client with intent. A client who is coachable, compliant and eager to learn. A client who leaves their ego, baggage and cell phone at the door. A client with an insatiable desire to succeed not only in the gym but in all aspects of their life. My message is that… it never gets easier. You must get stronger. So, prioritizing an hour for yourself is not a recommendation but rather a prescription. You must become strong physically, mentally and emotionally for yourself, for your family and so you can perform better in the profession/path you have chosen. In the words of Stephen Covey, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” If I had only one way to share my message it would be… I love photography so I would have to say Instagram. I love capturing and composing the little moments out of time. Also, I feel when a client sees that you are the same person outside of the gym as you are inside through Instagram, you become more relatable. When you are more relatable I feel they believe in and are more open to listen to your “message.”

People follow me because … I think they are interested in seeing some of the clients (artists, actors and athletes) that I work with. I think they are curious as to why those people choose to work with me. In turn, they see my heart and my hustle. My work ethic, my character and principles and my love for all. Someone who is well traveled, well dressed and well versed in this training field.


Photo Credit : Troy Jensen

The key to successful messaging is… to keep people engaged. I always use the four elements of poetry: memorable language, remarkable imagery, engaging storyline and residue of pain and/or experience. I also add quotes for stimulation and motivation. With social media you get instant feedback through “likes,” retweets and comments to know if your “message/s” are getting through and you can then tweak and modify accordingly.

EDUCATION TRENDS Holli Clepper | | 619.840.7892

Niche training trends and opportunities We asked Holli Clepper, author and 25-year industry veteran, to share her insight on current trends in niche training certification and education. She shares her thoughts on increasing opportunities for fitness professionals to take advantage of more specialized opportunities and how it can enhance their careers. What are some of the trends in niche certifications and education? Today you can get a niche or more focused certification in anything from suspension training, kettlebells, Crossfit and boot camp, Piloxing and all varieties of yoga. The industry has moved away from traditional exercise to creating certifications that are functional yet motivating with an entertainment twist, as well as specific certifications for different population niches like 50+, pre- and post-natal, diabetics and the physically-challenged. This trend has opened the door to specialties that did not exist 10 or 15 years ago, allowing for more opportunities to find your niche. How can fitness professionals take advantage of this trend and help it grow their business or career? By obtaining a specialty certification you can market yourself on the coattails of what the media promotes as new and “sexy” ways to get fit. Having a kettlebell training program is now often easier to sell than group personal training or circuit classes. Many studios hire Pilates certified instructors in large part because Pilates is popular and helps boosts their gym membership. Crossfit has grown so much they have their own games. Mud runs are more popular than ever; you might consider creating your own mud run workouts to cater to this new trend. Much of our typical clientele are ready to try something new and different just to say they did it. Now is the time to take advantage of clients willing to try these new workout programs.

What questions might you suggest a fitness professional ask themselves to see if pursuing this trend/opportunity is right for them? Before committing to any niche certification you have to ask yourself if you have a fundamental understanding of how the human body works and are you able to recognize when a “trendy” fitness program is not the right program for a client. It is important to hold a basic certification in personal training or group fitness instruction before taking a niche certification. Most niche certifications do not explain anatomy, postural dysfunction or how their exercises can possibly hurt someone for whom the training is not appropriate. Before you start teaching a trendy new exercise program make sure the program is right for a client, know how to modify the program for a deconditioned client and what might you need to do to get the client ready for a more advanced training program. Are there any resources you might recommend that will help give more insight on this trend? IDEA, ACE, NASM, ACSM and NSCA offer great reviews on new trends that are out there and the pros and cons of each. If you are looking for home study based niche certifications, has a comprehensive catalog of the latest fitness certifications in the industry. also offers continuing education courses on the latest trends in the industry.

Holli Clepper has a B.S. in P.E., is an ACE-certified Health Coach, personal trainer and group fitness instructor as well as an NSCA CSCS and C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 3. She has worked in the fitness industry for more than 25 years.

What type of fitness professional do you think would most be interested in pursuing this certification/continuing education? Fitness professionals that are new to the industry or are struggling with getting new clients would benefit from adding a niche certification to their resume. The trend in most neighborhoods is small studios offering Pilates, Crossfit, Zumba and other more “trendy” workouts to attract clients. These studios need trainers and group fitness instructors to teach their classes. Or perhaps you are ready to start your own studio? Research the fitness trends that are popular in your area and what fitness opportunities there may be to offer your area; or see what populations aren’t being served like the 50+ population or pre- and post-natal women.

Certification and continuing education organizations American Council on Exercise (ACE)

Functional Aging Fitness Specialist

National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)

Savvier Fitness

SCW Fitness Education


EXERCISE SPOTLIGHT Exercises designed by Mindy Mylrea, creator of Gliding and Tabata Bootcamp featuring the Gliding discs and Bender Ball.

No Time? No Problem!

Maximize your time and effort with these quick and effective exercises! Quickie workouts are all the rage. To make every minute count, the exercises you select should provide the best bang for the fitness buck. Here are five tips to create an effective workout with minimal time, along with a 6 exercise workout to get you started. Tip 1 - Choose tri - planer exercises Each exercise chosen should complement the others with a variety of angles and body positions.

Tip 2 - Include BOTH cardio and strength When time is an issue, short bursts of HIIT are effective and efficient.

Tip 3 - Use multi-joint, compound movements Allow the entire body to train in an integrated pattern for a functional approach.

Tip 4 - Incorporate the core in every exercise The core is the powerhouse of the body and should be the center of the action.

Tip 5Â - Mix it up Change-up the exercises for multi-muscle activation.

Curtsy Lunge

Using one Gliding disc and holding a Bender Ball, lunge out to the side with an unloaded lunge. Lunge diagonally back to opposite side while twisting core with ball in opposition and look at ball and Gliding foot. Return to side lunge and back to standing.



Snow Boarder

Begin in a squat, place a Bender Ball near the right foot and twist the core to reach for the ball. Jump with the ball in hand and land to face the other direction, transferring the ball to the left hand while jumping. Repeat on both sides.

For more information, visit or call 831.457.2512

Frogger Burpee

Gliding Prone Swim

Side-Lying Hip Lift Pike

Squat Hop or Side Lunge Twist

Start standing with arms above head. Squat to floor, jump to plank, jump to frogger position straddling shoulders, jump to plank, jump to narrow squat, stand.

From a side-lying position with Gliding discs under feet and top leg in front of lower leg (keeping hips stacked). Lift and lower hips into a pike. For a more advance exercise, lift top arm off floor.

In prone lying position, extend arms with hands on Gliding discs. Extend back while pulling discs in to body. Perform either freestyle, breast, or butterfly.

In a low squat position, jump to right while twisting to right. Jump to left while twisting to the left. Jump forward and jump back. If also choosing Snow Boarder in the mix of your exercise selection, choose side lunge with twist instead to add frontal plane movement to the mix.


NEW ON THE MARKET The latest trends in fitness equipment

KETTLEBELL AMPD Kettlebell AMPD is a new group fitness format that takes heart-pumping music and kettlebell moves, and combines them into 60 minutes of calorie torching fun! The program uses lightweight kettlebells, in both traditional and non-traditional ways, to create a fun, effective full-body workout. Combining the benefits of strength training, functional movements and cardiovascular exercise, this program is a safe and effective workout for all ages and fitness levels. 412.477.7393


Lindsay's Review: Qube Soft Plyobox

SPRI has released another innovative fitness product – the Qube soft plyobox. No more scraped shins or storing multiple plyoboxes; the SPRI Qube is a versatile plyobox that is made from firm, reinforced foam that is stable and durable over time. Not using it for plyometrics? I’ve also used the Qube with my clients for push-up and plank incline and decline variations and progressions. The Qube can be turned for three different heights, 20” x 24” x 30”. Perfect for any personal trainer, studio or large fitness facility, the Qube is a fantastic evolution of the traditional plyobox.




FIT ACC is a free mobile fitness app that trainers can use as a tool to keep their clients accountable to their agreed upon exercise training schedule. With FIT ACC, personal trainers are now able to hold all of their clients accountable for every single workout in their program design while making more money. FIT ACC also acts as a monitoring tool. This app was created to give trainers a way to keep track of their clients on days they don’t have an in-person training session.

The Revolver Rope comes in both aluminum and plastic with an adjustable rope. The ball-bearings in the handles and unique hinge system make this the fastest spinning jump rope on the market. The handles are tapered, allowing for a comfortable, easy grip. This rope will offer a burn you’ve never felt before when you perform your double-unders and other rope skills.

EvoFit’s signature, patent-pending product, the Ensõ Roller, eclipses the ubiquitous foam rollers of the past and is the only roller on the market that is completely customizable. Through the incorporation of adjustable discs, users have the ability to massage an entire area or pinpoint problem spots with their own complex conditions, all while avoiding putting pressure on areas that don’t require it.


EVENTS CALENDAR October 2014 - November 2014

OCTOBER 2014 National Posture Institute CEC Workshop October 17 | Sarasota, FL October 25-26 | Chicago, IL

Club Industry Show October 22-24 | Chicago, IL

2015 PFP Trainer of the Year Award Presentation Oct. 23 – 4:00pm | Chicago, IL

AFPA Fitness, Trainer, Sports and Mind Body Conference October 23-25 | Ocean City, MD

Midwest MANIA October 24-26 | Rosemont, IL

NOVEMBER 2014 LTS: Education Weekend & Master Trainer Qualifying Event November 1 | Dallas, Texas

BODYSHRED Instructor Certification November 6 | Danvers, MA

Boston MANIA November 7-9 | Danvers, MA

TRX Trainer Summit November 8-9 | Orlando, FL

Functional Movement Screen Workshop November 14-15 | Chicago, IL

For a complete listing, see our online Events Calendar at

Connect with your peers SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2014 | WWW.FIT-PRO.COM | 29

BE BETTER Phil Kaplan |

The six thoughts clients embrace “It’s harder today.” Those three words make up an aligning thought among veteran fitness professionals when comparing the task of helping people reshape bodies today versus even a decade ago. Attitudes changed, technology changed, food changed, environmental conditions changed and when you remove the already fit from the mix, those seeking betterment often have an uphill battle. The task of cleaning up a SAD nutrition program, of creating a routine that works around inflammatory structural issues and instilling some new habits in a 21st century average Joe or Joanne might be daunting, but, as with all journeys, it’s vital to start at the beginning. Any sort of creation, be it a song, a building or a newly restored body must begin with a mindset of achievement. The journey from unwell to fit begins with a foundation of belief supported by a true technology of change free of false beliefs and promises of overnight magic. I’ve found the key to beginning a fitness process backed by a compliant mindset lies in six perspective-shaping thoughts. Instill these beliefs in even the most challenged clients and open the doors for stick-to-it-iveness, excitement, and ultimately, the massive payoff… the desired result! When we examine the inner thoughts that destroy hope of follow-through, we come across, “you don’t have willpower,” “you’re doomed by your genes,” or “you are diabetic (or hypothyroid, or depressed, or obese) and you have to take your medicine forever.” We can’t effectively rid clients of these beliefs by challenging them in rational discussion. Much as challenging a muscle may make it stronger, telling someone their beliefs are wrong may strengthen the stronghold. Instead, I’ve learned to implant better beliefs, beliefs that beneath the conscious level starve the old limitations and allow for adherence, enthusiasm and a thrilling outcome.

Here are the six foundational beliefs we want to instill: 1. You are not a victim of your metabolism, you are the creator. This is far and away one of the most freeing thoughts we can share. When people come to recognize metabolism, not as a curse, but as a variable affected by what we eat and what we do, and more importantly, when they learn they can gain control of the metabolism they’d come to hate and trade it for a new one, many of the longheld limiting beliefs are crushed, buried and dissolved forever. 2. The dis-ease is fixable. While we aren’t going to claim any magical curative powers, we do want to help our clients understand that a chronic disease label is simply the assessment of a condition at a given moment in time. The association with the label creates a sense of powerlessness. If we can identify how lifestyle shifts can improve maladaptive conditions, we can instill a new sense of responsibility and a true desire to restore wellness.



3. Your appetite is a wonderful thing. For so long we’ve been told that the obesity fix must include a restriction in caloric intake. When natural hunger arrives, the dieter sees it as the enemy. When we can teach people to retrain their appetites, when we can help them understand the body’s want for food is an innate desire for sustenance, and when they learn they can obey their appetites with fully supportive meals, guilt feelings subside and powerlessness is replaced by a new appreciation of “good food.” 4. You have to relax. We all know that our muscles repair and rebuild during rest. In that we inherently understand the perils of overtraining. What we fail to communicate to our clients is that the entire wellness paradigm is built upon a vital balance between stress and recovery. Every system in the body relies upon metabolic energy, and if we live our lives in stress overload, in busy frenzied, hurried, anxious states of existence, we cannot help but break down. Laughter, downtime and relaxation are vital pieces of the wellness puzzle, so the new lifestyle is not about “squeezing exercise in,” but rather finding an enjoyable balance. 5. It need not be an hour. We’ve all battled the “I don’t have time” excuse, attempting to rationalize it away with a hierarchy of importance. We all know, despite our best efforts the time excuse has turned many away. While we’re discussing the balance between load and recovery, we can instill a new belief related to exercise volume. The idea is simply to challenge the body in a way that is novel (uncharacteristic) and allow the body to recuperate. Starting “no timers” with 15 minutes per day is enough to kill the “no time” excuse and open the door for massive change. 6. You have the power. The idea of willpower being a commodity that some people lack is a sure ticket to entry in the “Failure to Try Club.” For years I’ve studied and reveled in the wisdom of rebel psychologist William James, who challenged many of the conventional wisdoms initiated by Freud and the like. James coined the term willpower simply identifying it as the power of will. We ALL have that power, and one of the greatest igniters of that inner drive is a true connection with a thrilling outcome. When the want is strong, the will is a hungry lion waiting to be uncaged. Regardless of what might have been experienced in the past, with your guidance, every single client can tap into their own power of will and begin that joyous journey toward human betterment and true power.

Phil Kaplan has established a new paradigm for personal trainers seeking career growth and massive positive impact upon the human condition. Register for insights, articles, and lessons at or email phil@ with the Subject “What’s New Phil?”

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