Personal Fitness Professional Spring 2017

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Leading a movement. Leaving a legacy.


How to fill the gap


for cognitive function, arthritis & cancer




Terri Fox


MARCH - Laura Bender


Terri Fox Fitness Olathe, KS @terrifoxfitness

FEBRUARY - Greg Johnson


Joe Drake

Gravity + Oxygen Fitness Boca Raton, FL @joe_drakefit


JANUARY - Brad Tillery






APPLY TO BE A 2017 TRAINER OF THE MONTH! The 2018 PFP Trainer of the Year will be selected from the 2017 Trainer of the Month winners. Visit to apply and for contest details.





chad griepentrog | PUBLISHER



Josh Vogt | EDITOR

lindsay vastola |

Creating the perfect membership contract

Training clients with Multiple Sclerosis

Protect yourself and your members. By Marlo Spieth

Experience is the best teacher. By Mark Mueller

INDUSTRY STATS “According to industry data compiled by IBIS World and showcased by the Association of Fitness Studios, there are over 100,000 fitness studios in the Continental U.S. When you break down those numbers it represents over $23 billion in revenue, is the fastest growing segment of the fitness industry and is larger than all the health clubs, YMCAs, JCCs, and physical therapy locations combined!” 4



VIDEO Exercise of the Week

Career Builder

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

by Brandi Binkley

EXTRA Editor’s Top 10 Entrepreneur by Jim White

10 group training tips from the trenches By Lindsay Vastola

SOCIAL MEDIA pfpmedia pfpmedia Social Media Strategy by Scott Rawcliffe

pfpmedia pfpmedia

Business of Group X by Alyette Keldie




jr burgess, andrea leonard, dr. irv rubenstein, dr. cody sipe FEATURED COLUMNISTS

shannon fable, brian grasso, melissa knowles, robert linkul, pat rigsby RB Publishing Inc. P.O. Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098 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 © 2017 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 five times per year Winter (February), Spring (April), Summer (July), Fall (October) and Solutions Guide (November) PFP (ISSN 1523-780X) [Volume 19, Issue 1] 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 |

Jim White |

Program: what does it really mean? I generally shy away from starting any presentation or written piece with a dictionary definition of a relevant term. It seems a bit cliché and always feels like I’m back in middle school presenting nervously in front of the class. But as I was putting together this issue dedicated to programming, I found myself repeatedly asking myself, “What does ‘programming’ really mean?” My initial intention with this issue was to showcase the importance of programming as it relates to workout design, periodization, individualization, specificity and the like. However, as the issue evolved, I realized that limiting the definition of programming to these topics, albeit important, didn’t address the other definitions of programming that are relevant to our work. In my own business, I use the word ‘program’ multiple times daily in different contexts. I use it to describe our training programs, our marketing (i.e. new client attraction programs), our technology (i.e. client management programs), and often in the context of how to effectively program clients’ habits, beliefs and mindsets about fitness. So, yes, I then Googled the definition of program, and as expected, the definition includes six very different uses of the term. You’ll find each of our features and columns in this issue define programming in different, yet relevant, ways: } Dr. Cody Sipe provides valuable insight into effective programming for improving cognitive function, especially that of older adults. } If you’re looking to expand your programs and services, consider the growing need for filling the gap that exists between fitness and medicine. JR Burgess offers 12 ways to expand your program. } Lisa Dougherty, our Journey to Success featured professional, has created a platform whereby fitness professionals can offer their specialized programs to improve the quality of life of those living with medical conditions or chronic disease. Limiting the definition of programming to putting together effective training regimens, makes our scope of work seem very mechanical; like a computer programmer that inputs a specific code in order to create a very specific and predictable outcome. While understanding effective program design is imperative, we can’t stop at implementing the mechanics of fitness. We must give credit to the human elements of connection, compassion and communication that, when combined with effective fitness programming, have great potential to create more successful and longer-lasting outcomes for our clients. A program we can all agree on! Committed to your success,

Differentiate. Evolve. Succeed. Our 2017 PFP Trainer of the Year, Jim White, gives us a glimpse into his business’s success in an ever-changing industry.

What would you consider the differentiating factors of Jim White Fitness from your competition? We all know nutrition is 80% of the game. We offer nutrition by registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN) and accept insurance. Every member that walks through our doors cannot see a trainer until they meet with an RDN and receive a tailored meal plan. How do you continue to keep your services and programming unique and relevant to your clients? We are trendy, but not a fad. We will be flexible with the ever-changing industry as it evolves. In the last few years we have utilized more technology in our business, offered more unique group fitness classes, added corporate wellness to our portfolio and focused on more gamification. These combined have gave us an edge in the industry. Are there any trends in the industry that you find particularly exciting? Technology is changing the face of how we eat, train and live. Now apps and devices not only count our steps, but they tell us our level of elevation, heart rate, sleeping patterns and lap pace. This is just the beginning. I predict that in the near future we will be more like fitness machines! Are there any fun projects you’re currently working on? My non-profit JW Fitness Foundation has been a labor of love for me. We have developed a 90-day fitness and nutrition program called LIFT where we help the homeless get fit and help get them jobs. It has been hugely successful and we are expanding at a rapid pace.

Trainer of the

Year 2017 SPRING 2017 | WWW.FIT-PRO.COM | 5



The power of the program


OTHER Columns 08 Mindset & Motivation The evolution of programming By Brian Grasso

09 Leadership

The 3 R’s of new programming By Shannon Fable

10 Best Practices

5 keys to build and maintain your reputation By Melissa Knowles

10 Career Accelerator


Lisa Dougherty: Leading a movement. Leaving a legacy. By Lindsay Vastola

Plan your personal training career‌in reverse By Robert Linkul

30 Ideal Business

Get clear about your ideal business By Pat Rigsby

Departments 05 Letter from the Editor


Understanding and working with arthritis


The role of a fitness professional

Exercise for the aging brain

Effective programming for improving cognitive function

Dr. Irv Rubenstein

Dr. Cody Sipe

Program: what does it really mean?

23 The Message Lou Schuler

24 Education Trends

The need and opportunity for cancer specialists By Andrea Leonard


Fill the gap between fitness and medicine 12 ways to pursue this untapped opportunity JR Burgess



26 Education

Resource Center

28 New on the Market 29 Events Calendar


l e n n a h C r u Join o

pfpmedia 8


The evolution of programming When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And that is what has happened in the fitness industry. Read any article, attend any conference, listen to any social media grandstanding argument or purchase any continuing education credential — it’s almost always about training, nutrition or business. Necessary, to be sure. Essential, no doubt. But underneath the science of training and nutrition lies the foundation on which all success is built. The success we co-create with our clients. The success we build in our businesses. And the success of our industry at large. Namely, the art of communication and motivation. Not every client or prospect is a nail. Our ‘hammer’ of epic training programs and surefire nutritional plans don’t always do the job. Because the limitation has always been - and forever will be - how the organism in front of us both intakes and interprets the information. And that is a matter of mindset. We would like to think that the “Rah, Rah!” “You can do it!” and “Willpower!” credos are foolproof. But they are not. And it has nothing to do with laziness or a lack of personal responsibility, either. It has to do with an unconscious mindset that restricts someone’s capacity to truly see themselves in any other way than how they see themselves right now. We champion the notion of creating better behaviors. Motivate on the wings of taking action with improved habits. But very little of that superficial stimulus will ever be effective long-term. Sustainably; no matter how golden our blueprints, programs or templates are. Because within the mindset, our hidden belief systems, perceptions and expectations will always pull our actions, habits and behaviors back in line to where the “mind” is “set.” The evolution of programming involves understanding the complexities of this mindset and being able to practically apply it systematically and simply with clients from all walks of life. Consider this – the very best advice in the world is effective directly in proportion to the advice-takers capacity to receive it. Which is based primarily on perception and expectation. Your client’s perception of their capacity to succeed with the advice you’re giving them. And their unconscious expectations which will determine self-actualization or self-sabotage. Where the mind goes, the life (and fitness) follows. For 20 years, Brian J. Grasso has been considered a revolutionary force within the fitness industry. In 2002, he founded the International Youth Conditioning Association and Athletic Revolution. In 2011, he created the Mindset Performance Institute. Brian has traveled the world as a guest lecturer and Performance Coach for elite level athletes of various sports.

LEADERSHIP Shannon Fable |

The 3 Rs of new programming Keeping workouts fresh is important for your clients and for you! These days, programming options are limitless. We are bombarded with new research, updated approaches, unique equipment, creative concepts and top-notch tools. You may be tempted from time-to-time to make changes to your programming based on a client’s request or for fear of falling behind other fitness professionals. But, it’s important you follow the three tips below before adding something new to your toolbox: 1. Research – Always begin by thoroughly researching new ideas. It’s important to use reputable fitness resources to vet the information first. Consider using industry-specific websites, periodicals and blogs (e.g. IDEA Fitness Journal, ACSM Journals, PFP, etc.). While considering consumer fitness outlets is helpful to understand what your clients are seeing, be sure to validate the resources used and confirm all information with trade publications that are up to date. Finally, while we all follow our own ‘gurus’ and tend to trust what s/he says, it’s important to question the information shared. Bottom line, the more resources you can use and the more thorough you cross-reference and authenticate the information you find, the better. 2. Review – Now that you know the new idea is legitimate and worth using, your next step is to review your clients’ needs. Regardless how well-researched a concept, updating your approach to programming will only be worthwhile if your client will benefit from it. Benefits can include accelerating results, increasing adherence, preventing injury, and having fun! One mistake trainers make is resourcing the best approach from a scientific perspective without considering the other ways a new approach might enhance a client’s experience. 3. Resolve – Finally, decide. Do you feel comfortable using this new approach and, if so, with whom? Before springing it on your client Monday morning after a feverish weekend of researching and reviewing, take time to practice and perfect the new approach using yourself or friends and family members. Take a rolling approach to layering-in your new idea. Perhaps start by adding to one client’s workout this week. Then, try with another two clients the following week, and so on. Ensure the new programming will be as good as your tried-and-true workouts. While new programming may be enticing and you may be tempted to explore every new idea you see, remember your clients crave familiarity to some degree. Change is natural and necessary, but updating your programming should be done with careful consideration for optimal impact. Shannon Fable is a fitness business and programming consultant who has helped impressive brands such as Anytime Fitness, Schwinn, Power Systems, ACE and BOSU over the last 20 years. As an experienced educator and certified Book Yourself Solid business coach, she helps fitness entrepreneurs navigate the industry and make more money.





Melissa Knowles |

Robert Linkul l

5 keys to build and maintain your reputation

Plan your personal training career… in reverse

Businesses work hard to build a strong reputation. The same effort should be put into maintaining it! Below are five areas to consider on the path to customer service excellence. Have a plan Think through how to deal with the business’s most common issues. While it’s not smart to make a habit of merely quoting policy to a member, a framework of policy is needed to serve as a guide for decision-making. It creates an environment of consistency, and consistency is easier to scale and replicate, thus enabling a business to grow. Carefully consider each policy to ensure it makes sense for the model and isn’t simply the fitness industry norm. Clearly-worded membership agreements While most states mandate specific language and guidelines for fitness contracts, it’s not a requirement to word agreements in foggy legalese. Simplify the terms. Strip down the superfluous text. Make it easier for members to understand. Have a system A sure-fire way to botch the handling of a member’s account is poor communication. What was discussed? When? With whom? The system being used should be simple (or it won’t be used) and ideally, should allow for follow-up and interaction directly within the system. When it comes to account changes, clearly notating a member’s profile is a key first step to ensuring that what was promised, is delivered. Member history should be accessible to all necessary staff members. What is measured, is improved One of the biggest mistakes owners make is simply not knowing the volume or causes of member issues in their clubs. A good analysis starts with identifying what should be measured. What is important for the business? What is the retention goal? How many cancellations are there each month? What is causing them? Are members able to easily make contact and get a resolution to their issues in an acceptable timeframe? Targets should be established, an information collection protocol developed, and reporting templates produced. From there, institute a consistent schedule to review, analyze and improve. Look in the mirror first Finally, always hold the business’s facilities, team and services up to the light first, before addressing a member’s concern. Sometimes members’ reasons for leaving are very valid. Listen to complaints focused on resolution and improvement. The value that exists in a lost member is learning how to prevent it from becoming lost members.

When you create a training program for a client, you start with the culminating event and then build the program backwards to where the client is starting. Next, you fill-in the progressive steps to make the program a success. Building a plan for your career can be done the same way. Start by selecting a long-term goal for various aspects of your career. Then, chart a timeline backwards to where you are now. Some of the best mentors and fitness professionals in our industry are writing out their career goals, creating retirement strategies and setting client retention goals years and even decades in advance. With the endgame in mind, a plan can be created to map out the step-by-step process that will lead to achieving each goal. These steps should be specific, realistic, progressive and time-sensitive. Consider all obstacles or needs that could arise for you to achieve your goals, including financial savings, scheduling study time, booking travel plans and creating budgets.

Melissa Knowles is Vice President of Gym HQ, providing corporate services including accounting, payroll, HR and customer service for the fitness industry. In more than 14 years of industry experience her expertise includes strategic operations, staff training, cost savings analysis, reporting development and implementation, fitness department overhaul, client retention systems and corporate management.



Suggested career goals for personal trainers:  Career progressions: become an employee, independent contractor, studio owner, etc.  Continued education opportunities: attend annual conferences, earn certifications, hire a mentor, etc.  Client retention, referral programs and business strategies: marketing campaigns, community events, hire employees, etc.  Retirement options, vacations and healthcare: open a Roth IRA, earn health insurance, purchase life insurance, etc. Once you establish where you want your career to go, you can plan the route on how to get there. The way you map out a client’s training program is a great example and guideline for forecasting your career path. Be sure to include time to reassess and update your goals just as you would with a client. Reassessments allow you to track progress, make changes and confirm that you are on the path to success. For sample plans and timelines for the four career goals listed above, visit You’ll find specific action items and progressions for each goal to keep you accountable to success! Robert Linkul is the NSCA’s 2012 Personal Trainer of the Year, committee chairman of the Personal Trainers Special Interest Group and Career Development columnist for Personal Training Quarterly. He speaks internationally and mentors new personal trainers on business strategies, client retention and professional longevity. Robert owns and operates Be STRONGER Fitness in Sacramento.

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LISA DOUGHERTY COMPANIES & TITLES: CEO, Medical Fitness Network; Owner, Whole Body Fitness

CERTIFICATIONS: NSCA-CPT *D, CSCS*D, AlphaStrong Master Sandbag Instructor

EDUCATION: University of California, Irvine – Two-year Fitness Instructor Program, ACE Personal Trainer & Health Coach

FAVORITE EQUIPMENT: For her clients – cables; for herself – jump rope

FAVORITE QUOTE: “Whatever you are, be a good one”

CONTACT INFO: Facebook: @MedicalFitnessNetwork



Journey to Success

By Lindsay Vastola

Leading a movement. Leaving a legacy.


he was the kid with a lemonade stand; a self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit. The only characteristic perhaps stronger was her conviction that she was meant to do something great for the world. Lisa Dougherty, founder of the Medical Fitness Network (MFN) and owner of Whole Body Fitness, is committed to a mission to improve lives, especially those with health challenges or suffering from chronic disease. I’ve had several opportunities over the last two years to work with Lisa and there is one undeniable thought I come away with after each encounter: Lisa Dougherty may be the most fiercely committed individual I’ve ever met. Her dedication to MFN, to her clients and to the industry is as solid and unwavering as they come. Lisa was inspired to become a fitness professional by her father, who battled cancer three times. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine’s Fitness Instructor program in 1999 and has continued to seek education and specialty certifications to properly assist people with health challenges and chronic disease. Since she started her business, Whole Body Fitness, clients began to seek her out following a surgery or injury, a medical diagnosis or exacerbation of a pre-existing condition. Many of them were cancer survivors or clients with MS, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, stoke, CVD, morbid obesity, mental health disorders or developmental disabilities (schizophrenia and autism) and many prenatal and postpartum new moms. Lisa knew it was important to understand the pathology and progression of various diseases in order to design safe and effective fitness programs for those wanting to make the transition from medical management and/or physical therapy to a regular physical activity program. As she built her medical fitness business, people began contacting her from around the country looking for fitness professionals with her background and knowledge.


Lisa realized there was a dire need to connect clients, fitness professionals and patient organizations to meet this demand. So was born the Medical Fitness Network; a membership organization like no other that offers valuable networking benefits plus in-depth educational opportunities for professionals to engage and better serve the nation’s aging population. The MFN is a free educational and online resource directory for people to locate fitness and allied healthcare professionals who have education in and provide services for those with chronic disease/medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart disease, mental health challenges, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, stroke and women’s health issues including pre- and postpartum care. Her journey to success over the last near 20 years certainly hasn’t come without challenges, both personally and professionally, but her resiliency and endless dedication to her mission is indisputable. Among her many accolades, Lisa was a PFP 2017 Trainer of the Year finalist, and we had the opportunity to learn about what drives Lisa, what inspires her, and what the future holds for her, MFN and for the industry. Here is a glimpse…




What was your motivation behind creating the Medical Fitness Network? First, “medical fitness” offers a huge opportunity for fitness professionals and the industry to be part of the healthcare team. There are 100 million baby boomers, totaling almost 30% of our population controlling three-fourths of America’s wealth. They are also expected to live longer than previous generations as a result of improved medical management of chronic diseases. This is the largest population segment in our economy and they are seeking professional help for their aging bodies. However, what this means is that people are living longer with potentially costly and debilitating diseases. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 80% of older adults have one chronic medical condition, and 50% have two or more. Regular physical activity is one globally accepted strategy to promote and preserve health. These members/clients, once thought of as the exception, are now becoming the norm. They have heard that not all exercise is created equal and they will be looking for gyms, programs and professionals who understand who they are and how they can be helped to restore function and preserve their quality of life. Second, the fitness industry needs to have access to more and current education in these areas in order to better serve our aging population; and third, nonprofit medical and health organizations are trying to educate people on prevention, diet, wellness, stress management and encouraging people to ex-



ercise, yet they provide little or no resources for people to find help to carry this out. After discovering these concerns, I cut back my own paid training hours to donate thousands of hours to create and grow a national registry of fitness and allied healthcare professionals to serve the community, the Medical Fitness Network.


Are there any challenges you would say have been significant in your journey to success? Developing the Medical Fitness Network has been a tremendous undertaking. Creating a huge platform like this from the ground up to serve our nation and to educate and enlist the fitness industry to be part of the healthcare team has been challenging. One of the other challenges I’ve had to overcome as the CEO of the MFN is being comfortable talking about myself. I’ve learned that to help this project grow and become the nation’s fitness and allied healthcare provider resource, I would have to step outside my comfort zone into the limelight. So that’s what I’m doing. I am proud of my personal accomplishments as a fitness professional but even more so of the accolades that come to the MFN.


What exciting projects is the MFN currently working on? MFN donates its services as a national database management company currently to 20 nonprofit medical, health

organizations that do not offer resources for locating fitness and allied healthcare professionals interested in working with their populations. My goal is to donate our services to 100 organizations, medical centers and corporate wellness programs by 2018. I’m also excited to share that I have also recently been the catalyst in the development of new “medical fitness courses” by introducing the American Breast Cancer Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation to Fitness Learning Systems (FLS). They are one of MFN’s education partners. I chose FLS to be the educational platform of these new courses because they are IACET accredited. In addition to providing CEC’s to the fitness industry these courses will be able to be offered at colleges across the nation. I will be working with the National Osteoporosis Foundation in creating a course for the fitness industry in 2017. One on “Parkinson’s and Exercise” is planned as well. I believe education is important. The MFN has partnered with 50 education companies that provide members with savings on certifications and CEC’s. I have also created an industry-acclaimed free educational webinar series where members gain access to latest in research and trends in the industry. When Lisa started in the fitness industry, she probably didn’t know she would be celebrated for her accomplishments by the likes of the Huffington Post or be selected as a finalist for the White House Champions of Change. She probably didn’t know she would be the founder of a nonprofit like the Medical Fitness Foundation that will make an even greater impact alongside her businesses. And while she probably has always been confident that she would make a difference in the world, I doubt she ever thought she would be leading a cause that has, and continues to, directly impact the lives of thousands. On the surface, it may look as if Lisa has created an extensive network; offered a valuable website of resources and education; and opened the door for fitness professionals to expand their career. The reality is that Lisa Dougherty has created a movement. A movement that connects the millions of people seeking a greater quality of life with the caring, qualified professionals eagerly waiting to help them. Lisa’s vision and commitment energizes and elevates the industry and as a result, will undoubtedly leave a legacy of changing countless lives. Quite the journey to success that all started from a lemonade stand…

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Understanding and working with arthritis The role of a fitness professional


itness professionals in non-clinical environments will encounter a broad spectrum of prospective clients, each with his or her own needs, issues and abilities. While it is possible to specialize in young, healthy adolescents and adults, it would be foolhardy to discount the middle-aged and older market out of fear or ignorance. There are many issues and concerns the latter bring to the gym, but don’t think you won’t run into at least one of those in the young and healthy: arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation (www., there are more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children with this joint disease. Arthritis can be categorized by four basic criteria: infectious (e.g. STD, Lyme’s disease), metabolic (e.g. gout), inflammatory (e.g. rheumatoid, psoriatic) and the most common, degenerative [e.g. osteoarthritis (OA). The first two are treatable and oftentimes curable; the latter two are manageable but not yet curable. A common feature of any type of arthritis is



that the movable joints, which are enclosed in a synovial pouch and cushioned by articular cartilage, get inflamed, they ache, hurt to move, and reduce their pain-free ranges of motion. The cartilage deteriorates in the presence of chronically-inflamed synovia, eventually exposing the underlying subchondral bone to greater and more asynchronous forces. These cause both softening of the bone as well as bony growths i.e. osteophytes and spurs and sometimes cysts. One consequence of inflammation, pertinent to fitness professionals, is that it impairs neural input to the muscles around the joint(s) which has short- and long-term consequences. The short-term consequence is the muscles are not as capable of providing support and attenuating impact forces to the articulating surfaces. With continued force production and shock absorption, from daily living or recreational pursuits, this leads to further deterioration of the joint. The long-term consequences are further weakening of the muscles as well as compensatory or decompensatory firing of the muscles

that can impact function at the joint or create dysfunctions elsewhere along the kinetic chain. Thus, not only will the stability of the affected joint be compromised, but now neighboring joints or even the entire musculoskeletal system may be compromised. Compensatory muscle actions may alter primary functions at the affected joint, imposing greater demands on other structures. An arthritic neck, for example, may flex forward more than usual, creating greater loads along the posterior thoracic and lumbar spines. A ready example of decompensation is the limp produced by weakness of the muscles around an arthritic lower extremity joint - ankle, knee or hip. We can observe how turning the foot out, or keeping the knee locked, or externally rotating the hip can torque the lumbo-pelvic region, eventually creating low back issues.

Risk factors for arthritis With more than 100 types of arthritis, there are innumerable risk factors for fitness professionals

flammation. This may reduce pain and restore some function. If the former cannot be controlled by reducing inflammation, pain management techniques (usually pharmaceutical) can also include acupuncture, mind-body techniques, ice, heat and other modalities. For the latter - restoring function - therapeutic exercises are implemented. Depending on the extent of joint damage, the success of the medically-managed inflammation and pain, and the nature and degree of joint dysfunction, a fitness professional may have a role to play here.

The fitness professional’s guide to helping clients with arthritis

Dr. Irv Rubenstein

to consider. For simplicity sake, we will address the two most common types of arthritis – inflammatory/auto-immune and OA. Metabolic arthritis is caused by disruptions in physiological processes sometimes related to diet or genetic predisposition. Infectious arthritis obviously depends on the source of infection and one’s ability to avoid it. But autoimmune arthritis, most prevalent of which are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile arthritis (JA), is mostly a function of a genetic and environmental factors. OA is a wear-and-tear condition, with increasing prevalence with aging, prior use or disuse or abuse, injury, family history and more commonly, even in younger people, being overweight or obese. In this light, OA may be both the least and the most preventable form of arthritis.

Treating and managing arthritis First, treatment for any form of arthritis depends on its proximate causes. While it may not be possible to cure many types, a medical provider will initially attempt to reduce the in-

Since we are not directly a part of the medical paradigm, we must recognize our limitations. First, we cannot properly diagnose an arthritic condition even if we can visually, palpably and otherwise observe through movement analysis that a joint is not working properly. Staying within our professional bounds requires that we refer to a medical provider before undertaking any exercises that will engage the affected joint(s). Second, we cannot prescribe specific treatments. That is, even though it is intuitive to suggest the client take an over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID), without a comprehensive and thorough medical education and license, the fitness professional would be putting him/herself at risk for liability issues, not to mention putting the client at risk for adverse effects. Third, we cannot undertake therapeutic exercises unless we are operating within the medical paradigm, such as under the auspices of licensed practitioner, e.g. chiropractor, physical therapist, doctor, etc. The therapist will, after efforts are made to reduce inflammation and pain, attempt to restore range of motion, generate nerve signals to keep muscles “alive” for that time when either remission occurs or inflammation is well-managed, and eventually work to restore function. Function may take many forms, and will be individualized to what the patient requires, e.g. activities of daily living, work, recreation, etc. But the knowledgeable fitness professional can resort to implementing an exercise program specifically designed for a client, or specific class, that has arthritis by resorting to the fundamentals of any exercise program: cardiovascular, strength, flexibility and balance training. Modifying each according to the abilities of the client(s). First, the fitness professional should modify either the frequency, intensity, duration or most importantly the type of cardio exercise the client

performs. Instead of walking on an arthritic lower extremity, try cycling or the elliptical. Second, the fitness professional should modify the strength training routine to use lesser resistances (elastic tubes vs free weights) or even the type of contraction: isometric versus isotonic. Isometric exercises can be performed at a client-self-regulated tension within a range of motion that does not cause pain. Furthermore, the fitness professional could strengthen unaffected joints or peripherally-affected muscles to support continued functionality overall. Thus, core work is still valuable for those with OA of the knee or hip. Third, educating and reinforcing proper stretching for all the joints, especially the affected ones, is within the purview of the fitness professional. In some states, manual stretching is legitimate within reason so long as it is not under the pretense of therapeutic. Thus, assisted stretches such as proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching or long-duration manually-assisted hamstring stretches are worthy of a fitness professional’s talents. Finally, balance and stability work, where “safety first” is the motto, is within the fitness professional paradigm. Avoiding positions or movements that aggravate or exacerbate pain is foremost; performing simple, static balance movements can only help facilitate function once the pain and swelling abate. And, should a joint replacement be in the client’s future, this kind of work will pay off dearly. Arthritis comes in many forms, with many causes and a large variety of treatment and management protocols available to the medical professional. But fitness professionals are not relegated to the sideline if the client with arthritis seeks to create a more active lifestyle or prepare for the eventual surgical intervention. Knowing our limits and our obligations to the client should not be a source of fear so long as we educate ourselves on the nature and consequences of the disease. In that case, we enhance our career potential as we enhance the lives of our clients.

Irv Rubenstein, Ph.D. in exercise science (Vanderbilt-Peabody



TN), is the founder and president of STEPS Fitness, Nashville’s first personal fitness training center (1989). He is certified through ACSM-EP, NSCA-CSCS, NSCACPT, NSCA-CSPS, and ACE-CPT. Learn more about him and read his fitness and exercise blogs and newsletters at


EXERCISE FOR THE AGING BRAIN Effective programming for improving cognitive function


ementia is one of, if not the greatest concern among older adults, and with the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease on the rise, it is a valid one. It is anticipated that the worldwide cases of Alzheimer’s disease will increase from 46.8 million in 2015 to 131.5 million in 2050 (World Alzheimer’s Report 2015). Most, if not all, older adults would rather die earlier than live an extra 5-10 years unable to recognize their loved ones and having to be taken care of. This fear has helped create a global business sector centered on “brain training” apps, software, games… even Sudoku and crossword puzzles. But do they work? And can exercise be used as an effective intervention to improve cognitive function? The research overwhelmingly suggests that cognitive function in old age is primarily due to lifestyle factors rather than the aging process. Nutrition, stress, environment, physical activity, relationships and other factors have an impact on cognition as we get older. Risk factors for cognitive decline include age, genetics, insulin resistance/diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity, smoking and amyloid plaques (Baumgart et al 2016). Although some individ-



Dr. Cody Sipe uals will suffer from memory loss or even develop dementia, these are not normal parts of the aging process as many older adults remain mentally sharp throughout their whole life. Most studies assessing the effects of cognitive task training have used computerized brain training software (games). The data indicates that computerized cognitive training improves certain cognitive domains a small to moderate degree with no significant effects in executive functions. It is also clear that only the trained cognitive process improves with no transfer effects, meaning that other related cognitive processes do not improve (Ballesteros et al 2015). The largest cognitive study to date, the ACTIVE study, assigned people to one of three cognitive training groups: memory; speed of process; or reasoning. In all three groups the skill that was trained significantly improved with no transfer to untrained functions or to everyday activities. Exercise has been identified as one of the best ways to improve cognitive function and is probably better than playing any of the brain games that have become so popular. Several recent systematic reviews (Bamidis et al 2014; Ballesteros et al 2015; Hotting et al 2013; Szu-

hany et al 2015) have investigated the relationship of exercise to cognition and have made the following conclusions: } Cardiovascular and resistance exercise improve executive function the most (strategic planning, mental flexibility, inhibitory control, problem solving and working memory). } Cardiovascular exercise of sufficient intensity (60-75% max heart rate) and frequency can significantly elevate brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). } Low BDNF levels are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, accelerated aging, obesity and depression. } Resistance exercise stimulates the production of Immuno-Globulin Factor 1 (IGF1). } Cardiovascular and resistance exercise have a synergistic effect on brain function likely due to stimulating the brain via different pathways (BDNF and IGF1) and maximizing neurogenesis, synaptogenesis and angiogenesis. } Brain games can improve the functions of the brain used during training, but there is no carryover effect to other cognitive functions. } The “sweet spot” where the best outcomes occur seems to be activities that

combine physical exertion with mental challenge, such as learning a new sport. The research confirms that physical activity and exercise are keys to maintaining high levels of cognition and reduce risk of dementia with advancing age. Ageless Grace ( is an exercise program that incorporates physical movements with mental stimulation and their principles can be incorporated into any trainer’s programming. The 21 tools (exercises), developed by creator Denise Medved, are performed to music and are designed to stimulate what she refers to as the five primary functions of the brain – strategic planning; memory and recall; analytical thinking; creativity and imagination; and kinesthetic learning. An example of some of these tools are listed below: } Body geometry – Make shapes with different body parts simultaneously. For example, make a circle with your right hand, a vertical line with your right hand and a horizontal line with your left hand. } Body math – Count to 8 aloud while bouncing your right leg and right hand up and down quickly on the count. Switch to


the left leg and hand. Alternate back forth. Mix things up by clapping on the “3” or snapping on the “7.” Front row orchestra – Pretend to vigorously play any musical instrument such as a piano, clarinet, guitar, castanets, drums, violin or didgeridoo.

Each tool is performed for the length of a 3-4 minute song. These tools stimulate both the body and mind simultaneously and can be used as a complete program or integrated into existing training methods. There are other suggested ways to stimulate neuroplasticity during training. One key is to continually introduce new skills and movement patterns into the routine. Increase movement complexity regularly and often. For example, instead of practicing the same stepping (agility) pattern every session, use a different stepping pattern every time. Another key is to play. Have fun, laugh, use your imagination and basically act like a kid again. Introduce games that require physical movement such as hop scotch or Red Light, Green Light and incorporate an element of fun. Finally, encourage your

clients to continually learn new physical skills – play a sport or instrument; paint or sculpt; take dancing lessons. Exercise for older adults is about much more than just losing weight and building muscle. According to the Functional Aging Training Model developed by the Functional Aging Institute, it is important to address all primary domains of overall functional ability including: cognitive/emotional; neuromuscular; musculoskeletal; cardiorespiratory; balance and mobility. It is possible to create exercise programs that will keep your older clients functional and mentally sharp for years to come.

Dr. Cody Sipe is a recognized authority on exercise for older adults. He is an award-winning fitness professional with over 20 years of experience. He is a professor, researcher, educator and co-founder of the Functional Aging Institute. For more information on how to train older adults to maximize functional ability visit


FILL THE GAP BETWEEN FITNESS AND MEDICINE 12 ways to pursue this untapped opportunity JR Burgess


he worldwide obesity epidemic along with the incidence of chronic disease and injury have forced the need for a preventable, medically-integrated, outcome-based healthcare model – one that utilizes medical fitness and nutritional services. However, most medical systems today lack the structure, resources and support staff to help implement financially successful and sustainable fitness programs. The main reason many medical systems are reluctant to offer fitness programing is because insurance companies do not accept it as evidence-based methodology with appropriate governance to treat chronic disease with the utilization of personal trainers. A common concern of physicians is, “I don’t know who is qualified to serve patients with chronic injury or disease.” The medical groups are just too busy to find qualified personal trainers in their area. This creates a great opportunity for the ambitious personal trainer who is good at identifying and introducing themselves as a leader in this niche. Some progressive groups that recognize the need and see the business opportunity have begun employing personal trainers who are responsible for implementing programs to be part of a cash-based/insurance hybrid model. Many groups that lack the resources and knowhow are looking to qualified professionals that



are willing, able and ready to fill the gap between fitness and medicine. Many practices will still be hesitant to add expenses and liability; therefore, this is an opportunity for a trainer to share space with a revenue share or pay rent inside the practice as an independent contractor. The action-ready and persistent personal trainer with the proper credentials and certifications can implement the following ideas to grow in the fast-expanding field of medical fitness: Create your “Medical Fitness Curriculum Vitae Kit” (medical resume) with introduction letter, complete bio, certifications, education, referral pad, restrictions document and who you are able to best benefit. This should be sent to every physician in your area and/or hand-delivered and asked to be placed in each mail box. Physicians are accustomed to receiving letters and direct mail pieces requesting meetings, including providing basic information when new providers are introduced to an area.


Learn to best leverage your biggest training fans and make friends with local medical professionals. According to the Physical Therapy Research Report (PT Journal. January 2011: 91.1 p.25), the interpersonal relational skills of the therapist are the key factors for patient satisfaction. The research


showed the greatest indicator of a positive satisfaction score was derived from the view of the provider-patient relationships. Continued utilization and referrals are a greater product of how the patient personally views the service provider. Positive relationships with patients and local physicians will provide a solid foundation for referrals. Find commonalities and make a point to add value and recruit their support in helping you fulfill your mission of serving this niche. Make a point to stay in front of physicians to be reminded of your service. Medical professionals will refer to people they like and trust. Ask for individual lunch meetings, approach medical groups and provide a free lunch-and-learn education session for all staff. To increase your odds of obtaining referrals, offer physicians a free month training program and a discount for staff. Give away something of value in terms of a meal plan or e-book for all in attendance. Create a well-structured PowerPoint that has pertinent information about the need for medical fitness; who you are, who you best serve,


services you provide, patient case studies of those you have helped, the benefits the practice or provider will see while collaborating to optimize patient health and improve practice outcome-based measures. Give all your perspective clients that have any health concerns on their PARQ a medical clearance form to review with their physician prior to participating in any program. When they go to their appointment or call in be sure to give a CV and supportive literature on the process of working with you. This way the physician


will know who you are both before they begin and after the patient comes back with positive outcomes. Ask the clients you have helped to bring your CV kit to their yearly physical or medical appointments if you have helped with any transformation.


Run Facebook ads to local physicians regarding your ability and program offers. Produce Facebook Live videos to your local area and target clients in the niche you are serving.


Get involved with The Medical Fitness Network and post your bio for clients who are seeking qualified personal trainers in your area.


Participate in the Medical Fitness Associations medical fitness week and use all promotional tools. During this week, send your offer and program to all local news and radio outlets to garner free publicity. While promoting the event, offer free weekly content as a local expert.



Participate in your community’s local health events as a tradeshow vendor or as part of a health fair and offer a free medical fitness test-drive. } Free health assessment (consultation) } Functional Movement Screening } Customized fitness session based on findings from first appointment


Ask your clients to do video testimonials that you can share on social media and ask specific questions regarding their comfort in working with you because of your credentials and highlight safe and progressive programming.


If you own a studio, consider reviewing your state laws to determine what you can do with medically-integrated diagnostic tools and tests that will differentiate you. } Metabolic testing } Finger prick instant-read biometrics } Bio-impedance analysis } Heart rate variability




} Vo2 max testing } Digital pulse analysis } Food sensitivity testing Provide referral partners with a letter of medical necessity form to work with a personal trainer that allows clients to use health savings or flex dollars towards training services.


Consumers are seeking preventative models of healthcare and investing in themselves. With deductibles on the rise, people are contributing towards health saving accounts and are willing to invest in medically-integrated training programs. Prospective clients will seek an environment that provides safety, security, compassion and comfort that eases the fears of those who suffer from chronic disease or pain. This creates a unique selling position for any trainer staking their claim and those able to prove successful outcomes and collaboration with the medical community. The healthcare crisis is here to stay until the medical industry finds a way to fully integrate

preventative and lifestyle medicine into healthcare. Now is the perfect time for those looking to define their authority in this niche. The need and opportunity is immense as this is a relatively new and untapped market. Our current healthcare crisis has created a perfect storm for the fitness professional who is dedicated to making this strategy work. A few physician referral partners can create a steady influx of patients that can support a successful training business.

J.R. Burgess is the CEO of Rejuv Medical & MedFit. Seven years ago he partnered with Dr. Joel Baumgartner, MD, in the fight against chronic disease and pain. Together they developed a very successful non-surgical orthopedics practice that utilizes medical fitness as medicine. With their success they formed MedFit and to date have helped 33 various clinics add medical fitness in efforts of fulfilling their mission to redefine healthcare.

THE MESSAGE Website: | Facebook: /LouSchuler | Twitter: @LouSchuler

If you haven’t heard Lou Schuler speak at an industry event, then you may have read one of his best-selling books from his influential series, The New Rules of Lifting. Not yet? Maybe you’re familiar with The Lean Muscle Diet, The Home Workout Bible, How to get Published: Writing Domination in the Fitness Industry, The Book of Muscle, The Testosterone Advantage Plan or his latest book with Alwyn Cosgrove, Strong? If not any of his books, you’ve surely read an article in the numerous national magazines in which he’s been featured including Men’s Journal, Fit Pregnancy and Muscle & Fitness. Most definitely you are familiar with Men’s Health magazine; where he was an award-winning writer and served as fitness editor for three of his six years with the publication, helping it become a mainstream magazine. We asked Lou more about his message and how he’s become so successfully prolific… If I only had one way to share my message, it would be books remain the most enduring way to introduce, popularize and perpetuate a message. You just have to make sure it’s a message you’ll still agree with 5 or 10 or 20 years down the road, because once it’s published, it’s permanent. Successful messaging is all communication. In any medium, I think it only works if it feels like the author or expert is speaking directly to the person he’s trying to reach. People follow me because they appreciate my writing skill and sense of humor. But they may just have a lot of time on their hands.



The need and opportunity for cancer specialists Since the first cancer exercise programs surfaced in the mid-nineties, several organizations have realized the importance, as well as profitability, of adding cancer specialty training and certifications to their course offerings. The number of cancer survivors is projected to increase by 31%, to 20.3 million, by 2026, which represents an increase of more than 4 million survivors in 10 years. The number of cancer survivors is projected to grow to 26.1 million by 2040, an increase of almost 11 million from 2016. This can be looked at in one of two ways; 1) as a tragedy and 2) as an opportunity for fitness professionals to get educated with the proper training, make a huge difference in the quality of a cancer patients/survivors’ lives, and increase your client base. Take advantage of this trend and help it grow your business There are dozens of major types of cancer; not to mention the treatment combinations, frequency, duration and variable side-effects both acute and chronic. There is no shortcut with this one. Not getting the proper training not only puts you in a position to actually do harm to a patient, it opens you up for a negligence lawsuit, as well. How can you avoid this? Get proper training. There are several certifications available, each offering slightly different programming. Some are more scientific in nature, with very little practical application, while others have the science and citations behind them, but offer more of a hands-on, practical application perspective. Different certifications also have different prerequisites; some of which may be prohibitive to many fitness professionals. Lastly, some offer live workshops, live webinars and/or home study options – you can choose which works the best as far as time, travel, cost, etc. The most important thing is to be able to turn your knowledge into practice, and your understanding of the subject matter. This is complex, in-depth, and cannot be rushed. Who should consider becoming a cancer specialist? Different organizations that offer these certifications will have their own set of prerequisites and may exclude certain professionals. A solid program should be able to be interpreted by any practitioner – yoga instructor, Pilates instructor, aquatics instructor, group exercise instructor, personal trainer, exercise physiologist, etc. – and modified to include whatever their specialty modality is. For example, a yoga instructor, once he or she understands that their client needs to increase shoulder flexion, can choose a yoga pose that will increase shoulder flexion and strengthen the muscles involved in the movement. If someone is limited in flexibility due to scar tissue, the movement should remain fluid, trying to increase the range of motion to desired range. If it’s more of a function of strength, holding the pose will be appropriate. You can take this scenario and apply it to any of the previous practitioners. Questions to ask if considering a cancer specialty Am I open to learning some very heavy and sometimes overwhelming information? Am I empathetic and compassionate? Am



I patient? Am I willing to forgo my cancellation policy while a client is undergoing treatment? On the other hand, if you are willing to put in the work and share your love of fitness with your desire to positively change someone’s life, this is the most rewarding work you may ever do. Cancer strips people of everything: their financial security, sometimes their jobs, sometimes their relationships, their self-esteem, self-confidence, strength, hair, body parts, etc. Cancer patients are often overwhelmed with the choices that they must make and feel that they have no control of their life or their body. You can help them and show them how to take control again, even if it is only helping them to be able to reach into a cupboard, or brush their own hair. This gift is immeasurable. It is rewarding for the both of you! Recommended resources American College of Sports Medicine, Rocky Mountain Cancer Institute, Pink Ribbon Pilates, and Cancer Exercise Training Institute. They all offer different training, some focusing on only one cancer and others being more comprehensive and all-inclusive. Prerequisites, format, content and testing all vary tremendously. It is safe to say that those who have been offering this type of training for 20-plus years have the best and most comprehensive coursework as well as the experience of having training thousands of fitness professionals globally.

Andrea Leonard is the President and Founder of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute and a pioneer in the field of exercise oncology. She received her BA from the University of Maryland and has been certified as a personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, special populations expert, and performance enhancement specialist. Since 1996, Andrea has written 14 books on exercise for cancer survivors, produced countless videos, and has trained thousands of fitness professionals worldwide to become cancer exercise specialists.

Certification and continuing education organizations American Aerobic Assoc. International (AAAI)

Exercise Etc

National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)



Functional Aging Institute (FAI)

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

SCW Fitness Education







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EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTER Education and certification opportunities for fitness and mind-body professionals

National Strength and Conditioning Association

Become a Functional Aging Specialist

The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is an international professional organization. The NSCA advances the profession by supporting strength and conditioning professionals devoted to helping others discover and maximize their strengths. We disseminate research-based knowledge and its practical application by offering industry-leading certifications, research journals, career development services, and continuing education opportunities.

Learn how to train aging Boomers and Seniors to improve the ONE thing they are MOST concerned about - maintaining their ability to do the things they need, like and want to do. FAI teaches an innovative, evidence-based approach to exercise that draws from the most current research and a combined 35+ years of experience training many types of older adults. The FAS credential will give you the approach, tools and confidence you need to train older clients safely and effectively. Plus, it will help you become the “go-to” local functional aging expert so you can get more clients and make more money.

NSCA 800.815.6826

Download FREE: “Functional Aging Starter Kit” at

Quality, Affordable Certifications and CECs from FiTOUR® FiTOUR® pairs scientifically grounded, research based education with affordable prices. We understand the value of current education and strive to provide the latest certifications and CEUs. We offer individual certifications, a Master Practitioner Education track, a low-cost Membership plan, and ACE/AFAA CEUs. Certifications include online study materials, same day in-home testing, a printable Certificate, IDEA e-membership, PFP subscription, and MORE! Renewal of FiTOUR® Certifications is only $25. Get your certification today for a special price at


AAAI/ISMA-American Aerobic Assoc. International/International Sports Medicine Assoc. AAAI/ISMA has been certifying & educating fitness professionals for 36 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 live 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

CEUs on YOUR Schedule at Great Prices FitFixNow is the first 100% online, on-demand Continuing Education provider in the nation, serving fitness professionals holding certifications with NASM, AFAA, NSCA and ISSA. Never again depend on books, DVDs or the mail — and never pay huge prices for glamorous conferences to keep your certification up-to-date. On-demand courses, instant results — quality CEUs. Take a course for FREE to try it out!


Rely on Experts for the Best Continuing Education Courses When it comes to renewing your professional certification and investing in your knowledge base and business, go directly to the experts. Visit the DSW Fitness/Human Kinetics Continuing Education website at to search over 200 course offerings by price range, certifying organization, subject area, and product format. Or, call 800-747-4457 to speak with our knowledgeable and friendly staff. Stay connected to us each month via our Continuing Education e-newsletter ( to learn of new courses, monthly sales, free webinars, and more!

Personal Trainer Certification NFPT has been certifying personal fitness trainers since 1988 and provides an NCCA accredited Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) program. NFPT takes a foundational approach to its program, with an emphasis on knowing how the body functions and how to apply that knowledge to goal-oriented fitness training. The focus is on-the-job trainer skills that produce an understanding and confidence to safely and effectively implement exercise. Whether in clubs or private studios, CPTs are preventative healthcare providers with the ability to effect positive change.

National Federation of Professional Trainers, NFPT 800.729.6378

Why Pay More for Continuing Ed? Exercise ETC is your one-stop shop for high quality, deeply discounted continuing education programs for fitness professionals. Whether you like home study courses, webinars or live training programs we’ve got you covered, and since our programs are approved by ACE, ACSM, AFAA, ISSA, NASM, NSCA and many other organizations you’re sure to find a course to meet your needs and your budget. Why not visit our website:

Exercise ETC 800.244.1344

DSWFitness/Human Kinetics Continuing Education 800.747.4457

For information on how to get listed in the Education Resource Center, please contact

NEW ON THE MARKET The latest trends in fitness equipment

HEXFIT Hexfit is an interdisciplinary customer tracking software for healthcare professionals. Hexfit centralizes your business on one platform by providing the tools to track, manage and analyze your client files and progress and also to create custom exercise programs. Other features include a personalized exercise bank of over 5,500 exercises, goal planning, physical tests, reports, group management, document sharing, wearable devices synchronization and mobile app for clients.

ECONOMY ULTIMATE SANDBAG Perform Better’s new Economy Ultimate Sandbags are versatile sandbags at an affordable price. These nylon bags have a zipper closure with a Velcro seal to help keep your sandbag closed during workouts. Each one has four handles, allowing you to change the grip for each exercise and includes two filler bags that can hold up to 20 pounds each. The Economy Ultimate Sandbags are only available through Perform Better.



Lindsay's Review: Naboso Barefoot Training Mat

Behind the surge in evidence-based barefoot training education is Dr. Emily Splichal, podiatrist, human movement specialist, founder of Evidence Based Fitness Academy and the Barefoot Training Specialist certifications, and most recently, innovator of the Naboso Barefoot Training Mat and technology (Naboso is Czech for “barefoot”). The moment your bare feet or palms meet the unique textured surface, you immediately sense an improvement in your movements; particularly those requiring balance or quick stabilization. The patent-pending textured surface is designed to stimulate the small nerve proprioceptors in the feet and hands proven to increase postural control, stability and strength. Whether you train for fitness, rehab or performance, the Naboso Barefoot Training Mat will give you the edge in safer and more effective barefoot training. To purchase the mat and to learn more about the science of Naboso technology and how to train better barefoot, visit

SKILLROW Technogym’s latest offering upgrades the standard rowing experience by providing the real feel of rowing alongside Technogym’s industry leading MYWELLNESS technology for progress tracking. Designed in collaboration with Olympic rowers Scott Durant, Marcello Miani and Rossano Galtarossa, the SKILLROW is the first gym rowing machine to combine technology and design to improve anaerobic power, aerobic capacity and neuromuscular abilities.

TRIGGERPOINT MB2 ROLLER The MB2 Roller features an adjustable length that can extend to target the large muscles of the back or lock-in to use on smaller muscles located near the spine. The MB2 Roller is great for improving flexibility and soothing pain in tight muscles, while also helping to support proper upright posture and upper back mobility.


MAY 2017 2017 Personal Trainer Business Summit May 19-20, Colorado Springs, CO

Cancer Exercise Specialist Live Workshop May 20-21, Wilton, CT

JUNE 2017 Functional Aging Group Exercise Specialist Workshop June 15, Orlando, FL

Functional Aging Summit June 15-18, Orlando, FL

Cancer Exercise Specialist Live Workshop June 20-21, Rochester, MI

JULY 2017 NSCA National Conference July 12-15, Las Vegas, NV

IDEA World Convention July 19-23, Las Vegas, NV

SCW Atlanta Mania July 28-20, Atlanta, GA

For a complete listing, or to submit your event, see our online Events Calendar at



Get clear about your ideal business All too often we spend our time on day-today tasks or working on the tactical level of our business yet fail to spend time taking a step back and getting clear about what we really want from our business. I used to think that ‘getting clear’ meant determining how many clients you wanted, how much revenue you planned to generate, or even how much income you would personally make. These can be part of it, but it is not the complete answer. What does success look like to you? Do you know? Are you clear on what your ideal business looks like? What do you want your life to look like? What is your professional mission? What you must get clear on is what success looks like to you and what is your ideal business? A subtle, but important distinction. You might think on the surface it is to make some money or own a fancy training facility. Often, we trick ourselves into thinking that we’re in this industry simply to make an okay-living by training clients. But the reality is you want something more specific, whether you have sat down and deliberately figured it out or not. Here is a strategy to help you determine what success and your ideal business looks like for you. There are two phases to getting clear on your vision: Phase I: Determine your mission and ideal business Here are some questions that might help you do this: What will you sacrifice to make it your reality? What is truly important to you personally and professionally? What is the outcome you are dedicated to? For example, I’m willing to travel away from my family more than I’d ideally like to, in order to reach more fitness entrepreneurs or to learn better ways to serve them. Being able to help the clients you want to help and having income, security and enough freedom to go on vacation or coach your kid’s Little League team shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. People are going to doubt you. They’re going to try to kill your dreams. You’re going to try things and they won’t succeed like you plan. What will keep you going? The answer must be your mission and all that it yields. When you’re clear on where you’re going, other aspects of your life and work often fall into place automatically. Phase II: Clarify why your mission is important to you To clarify your mission and what your ideal business looks like, it’s im-



portant to understand your ”why.” The clarity that you have when you discover where you want to go and the “why” behind it will give you the conviction and the drive to do all that is necessary to achieve it and set yourself up for lasting success. Fitness professionals often settle for less than they are capable… less than they deserve. They get up early every day; hustle into the gym; help dozens, even hundreds of other people reach their goals and enjoy a better, healthier, more fulfilling life. Most do this while barely making ends meet; sacrificing time with their family; failing to save money for the future; accepting that a large percentage of the people they train will be people they don’t enjoy but do so simply

What you must get clear on is what success looks like to you and what is your ideal business? A subtle, but important distinction. because they must pay the bills. Rarely – if ever – do they take a vacation or have time for their family or their own personal interests, creating a path to burnout and exhaustion. Their only solace is that they get to have their own training business, even if it doesn’t resemble what they originally set out to build. It’s something that I’ve experienced from both sides – as the burnedout coach, putting in ridiculous hours for low pay and no retirement, and as the fitness entrepreneur who has a significant impact on the people I want to help while still enjoying a family-friendly lifestyle and an income that matches my impact on others. Be assured that lasting business success takes a tremendous amount of work, but if you’re clear on where you’re going, more often than not it won’t feel like work at all. Focus on clarity of purpose, clarity of mission, and clarity of what success looks like to you and you’ll be excited about what you are doing. When you know what’s moving you toward your mission, you’ll clearly see the impact you’re having each and every day.

Pat Rigsby has built over 25 different businesses in the fitness industry from award-winning franchises to certification organizations. He’s helped thousands of fitness entrepreneurs build their ideal business. Visit his website at

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