PFP july august

Page 1



The power and possibility of

niche training NO PAIN, NO GAIN?

Parameters for training clients with arthritis


A new paradigm for kids fitness


Dan Ritchie pairs passion with purpose and is taking the senior fitness niche by storm




josh vogt | EDITOR

lindsay vastola | MANAGING EDITOR


rachel spahr | PRESIDENT

chad griepentrog | CREATIVE DIRECTOR


jr burgess, melissa cassera, mike koskiniemi and craig ballantyne FEATURED COLUMNISTS

Newly certified? Now what? July exclusive web feature:

We know metabolic syndrome is a growing national threat. Here is how fitness professionals can make a difference.

POLL RESULTS Which best describes your target niche demographic?

25.7% 50.1%

Jump Start

5.7% 14.2%



by Valorie Ness

Career Builder

Aging adults

by Josh Bowen



44 best bodyweight exercises

Send subscriptions to: By mail: PFP, P.O. Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098

Need a few new bodyweight exercises to add to your repertoire? Leigh Lowery shows us 44 of the best bodyweight exercises in this motivating video.

Take Lindsay's 5-minute Mad Lib challenge to see if you're focusing on a niche that inspires and motivates you.


Visit : to participate

a. Gym/Facility Personal Trainer b. Independent, small business owner c. Business owner with 1-10 employees d. Business owner with 11+ employees e. Fitness manager


Training Wheels

Men & women Kids Athletes


Entrepreneur by Cabel McElderry

RB Publishing Inc. 2901 International Lane Madison WI 53704-3128 Tel: 608.241.8777 Fax: 608.241.8666 Email: Print Subscription Information Subscriptions are free to qualified recipients: $36 per year to all others in the United States. Subscriptions rate for Canada or Mexico is $60 per year, and for elsewhere outside the United States is $80. Back-issue rate is $5.


Women 30-50

What would best describe your current status?

Here are some of the first steps you can take to build a solid career in fitness.

nick clayton, greg justice, phil kaplan, bedros keuilian and tammy polenz


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 Š 2013 by RB Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Any correspondence sent to PFP, RB Publishing Inc. or its staff becomes property of RB Publishing Inc. The articles in this magazine represent the views of the authors and not those of RB Publishing Inc. or PFP. RB Publishing Inc. and/or PFP expressly disclaim any liability for the products or services sold or otherwise endorsed by advertisers or authors included in this magazine. PFP is published six times per year (Jan/Feb, March/ April, Spring 2013 Buyers Guide, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec). PFP (ISSN 1523-780X) [Volume 15, Issue 5]

Functionally Fit by Brian Schiff


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



Lindsay Vastola |

Valorie Ness |

Your business is screaming at you … are you listening? Not so long ago, Kodak was a household name and the leader in the photography and photocopying industry. Unfortunately, not only have they lost their stake in the market, they no longer are a viable player in the industry, and worse, are battling Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Successful companies thrive because they do one thing really well: they listen. They keep their finger on the pulse of social media, conduct regular surveys and come up with creative ways to get inside the minds of their customers. Kodak failed, in part, because they failed to listen. Rather than listening to their customers who were asking for advances in digital photography, they tried to dictate to their customers what they believed they wanted. Ultimately they failed to deliver. Whether it’s photography or fitness, success and growth hinge on the ability to connect and listen to the lifeblood of our business: our clients. This issue of PFP is dedicated to helping you be successful with niche training, and it starts with the simple act of listening. Whether you train children, athletes, moms or seniors, or have yet to find your “ideal client,” I challenge you to take a step back and listen. We often are so focused on what we believe our clients need that we fail to give them what they really want. When clients get what they want they’ll remain loyal, and because you are a top-quality professional there is no doubt you’ll also give them what they need. Ask, listen, act and repeat. Our contributors this issue will give you some new perspectives on how to be a leader in your niche.  Mike Koskiniemi, an innovator in children’s fitness, shares an approach that will get kids excited about exercise while training them appropriately and safely.  If you’ve been looking to get more exposure for your business, Melissa Cassera, a leading marketing and branding coach, gives you 10 simple tactics to get more publicity.  Dan Ritchie is our Journey to Success feature. He is arguably one of the current pioneers in senior fitness and he proves that listening intently to your clients can propel your career. Be sure to check out my July Training Wheels column on – I’ve given you a fun exercise, reminiscent of “Mad Libs,” to help you discover your niche or delve into more opportunity to continue on your own journey of success. So, are you listening to your clients? I mean, really listening? Listen intently, act with purpose and enjoy evolving as the leader your clients are seeking. In the spirit of listening, we want to hear your feedback as loyal readers so we can continue to give you want you want and need to succeed. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or on

A TOTY's view of niche training Valorie shares with us how she finds success in niche training, not by working with a particular target population, but rather by focusing on a niche set of knowledge and skills she can use with a variety of client populations. How would you describe your specialty niche? When I started in the fitness industry I made a choice to differentiate myself from other personal trainers by focusing my knowledge and skills that included movement assessments and corrective exercise previously known as Medical Exercise Programming. Is there a special population that you train specifically? No, I welcome all clients of all levels and movement abilities from the young (my youngest currently is age 7) to the older (oldest currently is age 75) to the semi-pro and pro athlete. This is the wonderful part of having a solid education and knowledge-base to pull from. I have yet to meet a potential client that I cannot help to assist a positive change in their lives. What do you think the future of niche training will look like? My personal philosophy is to never quit learning and adding to your knowledge-base regardless of your particular niche. The popularity of new exercise modalities and programs come and go and it is good to be “in the loop” with current trends, but I do caution trainers to avoid “drinking too much of the Kool-Aid.” It’s those trainers who become too specialized and too limited that will find themselves without clients at some point in the future. Niche training can have the issue with only serving a specific population for a specific amount of time, but setting yourself apart cannot be undervalued.

Committed to your success,



july-august 2013

The power and possibility of niche training


OTHER Columns

Dan Ritchie

08 Treadmill Talk Talk the talk, walk the walk By Greg Justice

09 Top-Notch Training Don’t water down your services; strive to be unique By Tammy Polenz

10 Boost Your Business A three-step system for building a successful training business


Journey to Success: A passionate pioneer Leading a movement in exercise and aging

By Bedros Keuilian

10 Education Connection The key to career growth By Nick Clayton

30 Be Better Happily obsessed By Phil Kaplan

Departments 05 Letter from the Editor Your business is screaming at you … are you listening?


How to obtain high-octane publicity for your business


Train the brain, not the muscle

A three-step approach to children’s fitness

10 simple moves to conquer your market and dominate your niche

By Mike Koskiniemi


Treating, training and managing clients with arthritis By JR Burgess


| | july-august 2013


15 Product Profile: Lebert Fitness

23 The Message

By Melissa Cassera

The limits of training clients in pain

11 Product Profile:


Jill Coleman

For fun and profit

How to make money with a free fitness blog By Craig Ballantyne

26 Exercise Spotlight: SPRI XTS Training System

28 New on the Market 29 Events Calendar

What To Expect Next? Trainer Trainer of the of the

Year Year 2014 2014

July 26th – August 15th: Applications are reviewed by the expert panel of judges July 26th – thAugust 15th: Applications are reviewed by the expert panel of judges August 19th: Top 15 finalists are announced 15 finalists are announced August 19 : Top September 9th : Top 3 finalists are announced September 9th:thTopth3 finalists are announced September 10th-17th: Top 3 finalists are contacted to make travel and hotel September 10 -17 : Top 3 finalists are contacted to make travel and hotel arrangements for Club Industry 2013 in Chicago arrangements for Club Industry 2013 in Chicago

October 23rd : Finalists arrive in Chicago to attend Club Industry 2013 October 23rd : Finalists arrive in Chicago to attend Club Industry 2013 October 24th , 4pm: 2014 PFP Trainer of the Year is announced on stage th October 24 , 4pm: 2014 PFP Trainer of the Year is announced on stage at Club Industry 2013

at Club Industry 2013 October 24th : Winner will receive his/her $17,500 in prizes October 24th : Winner will receive his/her $17,500 in prizes October 25th : The winner will kickoff his/her year as the PFP Trainer of the Year th October 25 : The winner will kickoff his/her year as the PFP Trainer of the Year with a one-on-one interview with editor, Lindsay Vastola, as the featured fitness with a one-on-one interview with editor, Lindsay Vastola, as the featured fitness professional for PFP's signature article, "Journey to Success." professional for PFP's signature article, "Journey to Success."



• Free Technogym ARTIS Bike • $700 SPRI gift certificate • $700 SPRI gift certificate • Free round-trip flight to Club Industry 2013 in October in Chicago courtesy of SPRI* • Free round-trip flight to Club Industry 2013 in October in Chicago courtesy of SPRI* • Free BodyMetrix Professional System – Ultrasound Body Composition ($1,895 Value) • Free BodyMetrix Professional System – Ultrasound Body Composition ($1,895 Value) • Free Ab Coaster ($1,500 Value) • Free Ab Coaster ($1,500 Value) • Free ACE Health Coach Premium Study Bundle ($599 value) • Free ACE Health Coach Premium Study Bundle ($599 value) • Free VIP Package to Fitness Business Summit 2014 courtesy of PT Power ($1,200 value) • Free VIP Package to Fitness Business Summit 2014 courtesy of PT Power ($1,200 value) • Free two-night stay at the Club Industry 2013 show hotel courtesy of PT Power • Free two-night stay at the Club Industry 2013 show hotel courtesy of PT Power • Free Catalyst Fitness Mentorship including 2.5 hours of post• Free Catalyst Fitness Mentorship including 2.5 hours of postmentorship phone/online consulting ($2,049 value) mentorship phone/online consulting ($2,049 value) • Free Catalyst Fitness Online Exam Prep Course ($299 value) • Free Catalyst Fitness Online Exam Prep Course ($299 value) • Free Catalyst Fitness Online Practical Skills Course and • Free Catalyst Fitness Online Practical Skills Course and Fundamentals DVD Package ($549 value) Fundamentals DVD Package ($549 value) • Free Vicore Core Bench ($795 value) • Free Vicore Core Bench ($795 value) • 2014 PFP Trainer of the Year trophy • 2014 PFP Trainer of the Year trophy th • Winner announced on stage at Club Industry 2013 • Winner announced on stage at Club Industry 2013 • Cover and Journey to Success spotlight in • Cover and Journey to Success spotlight in November-December issue of PFP November-December issue of PFP

9 Annual


• $150 SPRI gift certificate • Free Vicore Core Bench ($795 value) • Free Vicore Core Bench ($795 value) • Free Catalyst Fitness Online Exam Prep Course ($299 value) • Free Catalyst Fitness Online Exam Prep Course ($299 value) • Free Catalyst Fitness Online Practical Skills Course ($299 value) • Free Catalyst Fitness Online Practical Skills Course ($299 value) • Free Catalyst Fitness Fundamentals DVD Package - 5 Videos • Free Catalyst Fitness Fundamentals DVD Package - 5 Videos ($250 value) ($250 value) • Free round-trip flight to Club Industry 2013 in October • Free round-trip flight to Club Industry 2013 in October courtesy of Catalyst Fitness* courtesy of Catalyst Fitness* • Free two-night stay at the Club Industry 2013 show hotel • Free two-night stay at the Club Industry 2013 show hotel *One domestic round-trip ticket from your location to Chicago. *One domestic round-trip ticket from your location to Chicago.

Look for updates on this year’s TOTY Look for updates on this(#TOTY2014) year’s TOTY & Facebook. competition on Twitter competition on Twitter (#TOTY2014) & Facebook.



Talk the talk, walk the walk There is nothing more powerful for our clients than observing their trainer live the actions or behaviors they are requesting from others. Whether you realize it or not, your clients are watching you. When you tell them it takes discipline and hard work to achieve goals, they want to see you practice what you preach. Throughout my career, I've been blessed to work with several collegiate and professional athletes. Occasionally, I throw down the gauntlet and challenge them to keep up with me in a training session. Even though I’m in my 50s, I feel like I’m in my 20s. Recently, after a grueling workout, one of the professional athletes I train said to me; "Can I ask you a personal question? I know you've been doing this a long time, and you're ‘ripped.’ Have you ever taken any drugs to make you look like that?" Without hesitation I said; "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever. I’ve never even considered taking anything that would compromise my body or my reputation as a natural athlete. Just like in my business, I prefer to do things the right way, through discipline, hard work and consistency. I will not cheat." He shook his head in affirmation and said: "Thanks for sharing that, I’m very impressed and I appreciate knowing you’ve done it that way.” Believe me when I tell you that our clients are paying attention to us as their coaches and trainers, and how we live our lives. It’s a big responsibility and an important one. Athletes are always looking for the edge that will separate them from their competition. Unfortunately, there are lots of trainers who are happy to accommodate their client’s immediate gratification goals and help them cheat their way to success. Please don’t be one of those trainers. Your treadside manner extends well beyond the four walls of your gym. Your clients look up to you and want to believe in your message so, if you’re going to talk the talk, you need to be willing to walk the walk. Remember George Orwell’s book 1984 where the government is watching your every move? It may not be quite that extreme, but your clients are watching what you do. If we tell them to do something and we do just the opposite, they will notice. How can we expect our clients to stick to the routine if we aren’t willing to stick to it ourselves?

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.


| | july-august 2013


Don’t water down your services; strive to be unique As trainers, whether in traditional gyms or niche training facilities, we try to stay on top of the latest and greatest training techniques to better serve our clients and remain marketable. While it is always a good idea to be well-educated on new concepts, it is equally critical that you do not water down your expertise. Offering niche services is a great way to set your training apart. High-intensity training is growing by leaps and bounds. Urbanathalon training centers, cross-training and powerlifting facilities continue to grow. This trend in athleticism is not only for adults, but youth programs are becoming more popular as well. Identifying this industry trend might sway you to jump on board the high-intensity exercise train, but think again. Instead of following the herd, try entertaining these thoughts from a different angle. For example, often accompanying intense training techniques is a paralleled rise in exercise-related injury. When trends arise, take a look at several angles before jumping on the bandwagon. When we look at the other side of the high-intensity trend coin, for example, we see that an increase in high-intensity training and sport program participation has a darker side. You are only as strong as your weakest link and movement alone opens us up to the potential of injury. For this reason, injuries are here to stay. As a trainer looking to differentiate, try providing services that solve this dilemma. There are several kinds of services you can provide, along with many market segments in which to provide them. Injury prevention and post-rehabilitation are two training solutions available. A few market segments to consider include seniors, middle-aged athletes and youth populations. Injury solutions should include several components of injury prevention, including exercise preparation for the beginner to the advanced athlete, sport-specific prevention training techniques, proper mechanics education for static and dynamic movements, appropriately progressive cardiovascular conditioning and periodized programming for pre-season, mid-season and post-season training. To get started, choose continuing education courses in related areas. Start looking at trends as an opportunity to explore complementary services that the trend may not necessarily offer clients. You don’t have to water down your training just to jump on the trend bandwagon, but thinking outside-of-the box and offering these niche solutions will give you the edge to better serve your clients, while setting yourself apart from other professionals.

Tammy Polenz, CPT, has been in the fitness industry since 1991 as a personal trainer, club manager, corporate wellness consultant and gym owner and designer. She is the author of Think Fit 2 Be Fit, founder of Vedas Fitness in Cleveland, and has been featured in numerous fitness magazines and media.


BOOST YOur Business

EduCATION ConneCtion

Bedros Keuilian |

Nick Clayton l

A three-step system to success

The key to career growth

If I were to compare building a successful fitness business with baking a cake, you might think that I’m out of my mind. But if you think about the process, they are very much alike. What I mean by that is that in both cases, if you follow the recipe you’ll achieve a predictable outcome, and in this case, a successful training business - one that has a constant flow of new leads, a full client roster and strong profits. Building a successful training business is formulaic. Let me break it down for you… Having created multiple successful fitness centers myself, and again for hundreds of my clients, I can say with 100 percent certainty that building a successful business from the ground up is simply a matter of doing three things, and doing them well. The first thing in any business is to figure out who your ideal client is. You may think that your services are for anyone between the ages of eight and 80, but that’s where you’d be wrong. The most successful personal training studio owners and boot camp operators target their services to a niche market. Now, that niche may be a certain type of training style such as Crossfit, for example, which attracts a younger, more hardcore client base. Or Fit Body Boot camp, attracting predominately women between the ages of 33 and 55 who are interested in burning fat and toning in a non-intimidating environment, or high-end, one-on-one training which attracts the “elite,” or super affluent client who demands more exclusivity. A niche market can also be a certain type of client; for example, stay-at-home moms, youth athletes and even the boomer market. All three of those client types have very specific needs and wants, and as a service provider the more specialized you are, the more wordof-mouth referrals you’ll generate. Figuring out your niche makes the next two parts of your business building even easier. In fact, once you’ve defined your ideal client or specialized training style you can create much more predictable marketing funnels to attract your “perfect” client. If your niche is going to be boomers then odds are they hang out at different places than stay-at-home-moms do. And odds are they’re reading different publications than young athletes; and they’re frequenting different businesses. Just knowing who your ideal client is makes marketing easy because you can get your message right in front of them without wasting additional time, money or effort. This leads to the last and final component to building a wildly successful fitness business: delivering the results and experience that your clients want and expect, and that your competitors can’t deliver. This is what differentiates you from all other fitness programs in your area – putting yourself in a category of one and making your competition totally irrelevant.

In the changing world of strength and conditioning, staying on top of new research and developments within the industry is critical. At the heart of the effort of keeping personal trainers at the top of their careers is continuing education. One of the keys to staying relevant to your clients is having up-to-date knowledge on the latest research and trends in fitness. Be the first to tell your clients about new techniques, changing safety issues and ways they can maximize results. While a certification exam measures knowledge at a point in time, continuing education in the form of webinars, learning modules, clinics and events keep that knowledge up-to-date and provide fresh insights you can apply immediately. Another reason to pursue continuing education in strength and conditioning is to specialize in areas of knowledge. As our population ages and faces growing health issues like diabetes and other conditions related to obesity, new opportunities emerge for those educated in training special populations. In addition, as cities and municipalities look for ways to control runaway healthcare costs, wellness and fitness become higher priorities for fire fighters, police and other first responders. The military is already actively looking for assistance in retooling its fitness programs to better match the needs of today’s soldiers. For example, organizations like the NSCA have developed specialized certifications and ongoing education around these tactical populations to create additional opportunities for members. Further, the old adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” applies to our industry. This is not to disparage the need for ongoing education, but that next training manager position or that next performance coach opportunity may be at your next conference. Who knows who might be sitting next to you at a lecture, or exercising across from you at a hands-on clinic? It could be your next employer or a key industry contact. Conferences offer a unique opportunity to not only learn but to engage others in your industry. Show your commitment to your profession, gain new insight from the latest research, and deliver relevant solutions to your clients with a commitment to ongoing education. Your future in this industry depends on it.

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

Nick Clayton most recently served as Director of Performance at TMI Sports Medicine where he developed a sports performance program for youth through professional athletes. Prior to working at TMI, Nick was the Assistant Director for Recreational Sports at the University of Florida. He earned his undergraduate degree from Rowan University and his MS in Exercise Science and MBA from the University of Florida.

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PROFILE: BODYMETRIX By: Daniel Watts | Website: | Email: | Phone: 480.234.5555

Mirror mirror, on the wall, am I healthy after all? Ultrasound offers trainers visual proof of client progress and true results


n today’s society, aesthetic beauty often motivates weight loss rather than health and wellness. As personal trainers, the importance of conveying accurate information to your clients is critical in helping them realize their individual goals. The internet, and media at large, has saturated the general public with conflicting and oftentimes confusing material regarding body composition, healthy weight loss and fat distribution. The challenge lies in motivating and educating clients to shift their focus away from the scale and mirror. For many, the elation from initial weight loss with a fitness or nutrition protocol is brought to a screeching halt when the scale stops moving, replaced with feelings of frustration, disappointment and hopelessness. In working with your clients, changing their perception of what is truly a healthy approach will most certainly empower them to achieve their objectives. After all, real progress and results are not only measured in pounds or one’s reflection in the mirror.

to chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke due to a body composition consisting primarily of fat tissue instead of lean muscle tissue. The good news is that advanced assessment tools exist, which give trainers valuable insight as to how healthy their clients really are. This provides tangible metrics to evaluate muscle and fat distribution while validating the effectiveness of the diet and exercise protocol you provide them. X-ray computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are considered the gold standard for measuring subcutaneous and visceral layers of adipose tissue thickness and volume. Dual energy x-ray absorption (DEXA) can be used to calculate muscle, bone, and adipose tissue weight and volume with accuracies approaching CT and MRI imaging. However, DEXA cannot directly identify superficial or deep adipose tissue layers. Unfortunately, these methods are expensive, require trained technicians, emit high doses of radiation, and are impractical for most personal trainers. Ultrasound imaging technology has long been validated in the medical community. Today, there are portable, low-cost ultrasound imaging devices available that can measure both muscle and fat thickness accurately, showing progress or regression in targeted areas. Ultrasound also provides unique scan images that clearly show superficial and deep adipose tissue layers (see figure 1). Providing your clients with state-of-the-art, accurate assessment tools while educating them on the importance of healthy weight loss, nutrition and exercise will foster new motivation and clarity in their quest to achieve their health and fitness goals, and free them from the paralysis of the scale and mirror.

Figure 1 Waist scan of a 22-year-old female who visually appeared to be very fit. The scan indicates clear Deep Adipose Tissue (DAT), the metabolically active fat which correlates highly with insulin resistance and elevated risk levels for chronic diseases. Her measured %BF= 25% which was higher than expected.

For example, consider the “skinny-fat” syndrome. While your clients cannot completely alter their body’s genetic limits, they can certainly maximize what they have been given. Let’s make one thing perfectly clear as trainers: skinny is not necessarily a measure of health. Though some of your clients may look great in their skinny jeans or a V-neck, the reality is that they may lack lean muscle tissue and are more prone

Daniel Watts is an Account Executive with IntelaMetrix, Inc. He can be contacted at 480.234.5555 or by email at For more information, please visit

A passionate


Leading a movement in exercise and aging


few years ago at a fitness business conference, I happened to sit next to Dan Ritchie during an event dinner and was immediately impressed with his story. Dan’s resume is as impressive as it is extensive: owner/operator of Miracles Fitness in West Lafayette, Indiana; founder of Functional Aging Institute; PhD; speaker; business partner and pioneer

in the now booming niche of senior fitness. And perhaps what he would likely argue is his greatest achievement yet: Dan is also a devoted father of five. In theory, most fitness professionals would probably agree that niche training is as viable as it is enjoyable when you’re following your passion. However, in practice, excelling within a niche can be a challenge. Dan Ritchie makes it look easy. He is proof that success

in niche fitness begins with discovering what gives you a sense of purpose. Dan’s journey started back in high school, and it took him down an unexpected path…

Dan transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to finish his master’s degree and while in Wisconsin he worked at a large health complex where he seemed to attract clients who were in their 50s, 60s and 70s. Dan quickly fell in love with training older adults and realized he appealed to them in large part because he could help them with their specific needs. He felt many of the other trainers didn’t really know how to address or improve their balance or mobility. He also discovered that there was limited information available on fitness and aging. Up until just a few years ago, chair fitness seemed to be the only option for seniors. Dan knew there was great opportunity

SometimeS the paSSion findS you Dan was an avid athlete and while in high school he sought out college programs that would lead him to a career in coaching or strength and conditioning. After finishing his undergraduate degree, he spent a year as a graduate assistant strength coach at Southeast Missouri State and quickly realized that though he was convinced this was his calling, it really did not serve his passion.


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to serve this population and so he pursued his PhD at Purdue in Health and Kinesiology with a minor in Gerontology.

SucceSS beyond the bookS While Dan’s passion for learning and academics is obvious, his entrepreneurial spirit combined with his commitment to his clients is equally impressive. While at Purdue, Dan opened his first fitness center. He wanted to offer programming that ultimately translated to real life for aging adults. However, Dan found that the fitness industry seemed to lag significantly behind the science and the advances in the realm of fitness and aging. Dan’s response: learn the science,

Journey to Success

By Lindsay Vastola

Dan Ritchie What is your current title? owner/operator of Miracles Fitness West lafayette, indiana President and Founder of Functional aging institute coMPany naMe: Miracles Fitness Functional aging institute certiFications: cscs-nsca, hFs-acsM, enhance Fitness Master trainer education: southeast Missouri state, Bs 1997 Fitness sports Med uW-Whitewater, Ms 2002 Ms education-hPer thesis of the yearaward Purdue university, Phd 2009 health and Kinesiology, minor Gerontology What is your Favorite Piece oF WorKout equiPMent? that is a hard question for me to answer. not a big equipment fan, but since you can’t replicate this, probably a vibration platform like the vibe or Wave, Power Plate What is your Favorite healthy snacK? Banana keep up on the latest research and apply it in his business so he could offer programs focused on functional fitness beyond just weight loss or strength training.

SucceSS through partnerShip, truSt and reSilience Dan and his business partner met at Purdue. They began speaking at conferences on exercise and aging and were active on various industry committees and boards. They realized their similar passions and entrepreneurial drive would serve as a strong foundation for a business partnership. Dan credits their successful partnership of over seven years because they

share similar values of family, faith and work ethic and also because they set clearly defined roles from the get-go and communicate business challenges in an open and honest way. Dan and his partner faced perhaps their greatest challenge as entrepreneurs at a time when they took on their biggest business risk. They planned to open their fitness facility in 2006, and after what seemed to be successful negotiations, the landlord unexpectedly backed out and didn’t sign the lease. They were delayed over a year costing them thousands of dollars with ramifications that they are still feeling today. Dan admits he learned the hard way that there are times when you

What is your Favorite quote or sayinG? if you help enough people get what they want, eventually they will help you get what you want. - Zig Ziglar contact inFo: Dan Ritchie Facebook: dan M ritchie

are at the mercy of others and that trust in others should be earned, not expected. But Dan knew he could not let an untrustworthy landlord or a faltering economy dictate his fate, and as what separates most exceptional entrepreneurs, Dan’s resilience kept him focused and committed to his vision. As a result, Dan and his partner are now positioned to own the building where they have built their business, ultimately lowering their overhead costs by nearly 20% and providing the opportunity to build future wealth.

A PASSIONATE PIONEER Over the last several years, baby boomer and senior fitness is a corner of the fitness industry with its own identity. An estimated 10,000 people turn 65 every day, most of whom wouldn’t refer to themselves as seniors. This niche holds nearly 70% of the wealth of the United States and is a significant driver in the economy. They generally aren’t concerned with fat loss or fitness vanity, rather they are focused on independence and staying active for as long as possible (which makes them inherently longer-term clients). Dan is a pioneer in this niche, not only because he saw opportunity and as a result created a successful business around it, but be-



cause he is working passionately and tirelessly to up-level the quality of training aging adults receive beyond the four walls of his fitness center in West Lafayette, Indiana. To accomplish this goal, Dan and his business partner are also working to launch the Functional Aging Institute with the goal of educating fitness professionals on a global scale how to offer impactful fitness programs for the senior and baby boomer population. Baby boomers (with the oldest turning 72 and the youngest turning 54) currently define “old” as beginning at 80. He envisions this movement in senior fitness will play a significant role in redefining what “old” means.

UNDERSTAND YOUR CLIENTS BEYOND THE SCALE Dan advises that fitness professionals interested in working with aging adults, aside from having a genuine passion for working with them, must be diligent about seeking out current and reputable resources in exercise and aging. He stresses that fitness professionals need to have a keen understanding of what differentiates clients in this population physically and physiologically. Trainers must realize that a 55-year-old client, for example, will experience changes in their reaction time, coordination and proprioception.

Their joint surfaces change as does their muscle memory and while in many ways they can train similarly to a 25-year-old, approaching a fitness program for a 60-year-old in the same manner without adequate recovery time could lead to injury or worse. When asked what he believes has led to his success, Dan quotes Zig Ziglar: “If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” Dan wholeheartedly believes that people should live their life to the fullest until their last day; and this happens when people are healthy and fit. His business is ultimately about taking care of people. Dan inspires all ages and he is leading a movement that will cross generations. As he describes, you don’t know what life has in store for you in your 60s, 70s and 80s. He is helping new generations redefine what “old” means and giving new meaning to their lives. He is empowering our industry with the relevant knowledge and resources so we can raise the bar of how we serve this niche. Whether you train children, athletes, moms or 90-year-olds, Dan Ritchie shows us the power of listening to our calling, pursuing it with vehement passion and with hard work, resilience and dedication, will have the privilege of changing many, many lives.


A company on the move


ebert Fitness is recognized as a global leader in the development of innovative high performance workout tools.

fessional athletes in hockey, boxing and martial arts as well as thousands of employees at corporate facilities.

They are currently operating in over 30 countries around the globe and are growing. All of the products are created by owner Marc Lebert who has spent his life as a fitness professional and trainer for elite athletes. The Lebert Equalizer, Lebert Buddy System and Lebert Stretch Straps are utilized by professional sports teams, personal trainers, athletic departments, military physical training facilities, adventure races, boot camps and fitness clubs.

He is also very committed to giving back having raised a substantial amount of money for worthy causes.

Lebert Fitness is excited about launching the LTS (Lebert Training Systems) programming Internationally with LeBarre, LeHIP and LeBoot. Lebert Fitness is proud to be an educator at world class conferences like canfitpro, IDEA World, IDEA PT East & West, IRHSA and DCAC. They also host LTS Master Trainer Summits in Europe and North America attended by trainers around the world.

LeBARRE is a dance inspired workout designed by international fitness/ dance presenter, Jenn Hall, using the Lebert EQUALIZER, combining balance, agility, resistance, recovery and eloquence for a challenging full body workout.

The company is committed to the continued development of quality innovative and cost effective new products that deliver results and superior value. A bit about Marc Lebert Marc Lebert is the owner of Lebert Fitness Inc and is also a Fitness Club Owner, a Taekwondo Black Belt who has competed at the national level, a certified NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) practitioner and international presenter. Marc was the Silver Lining Entrepreneur of the Year 2010, named Top 100 Fitness Entrepreneurs in the Industry and a finalist for Canfitpro Fitness Professional of the Year 2012. Marc Lebert developed the Lebert EQUALIZER, BUDDY SYSTEM and STRETCH STRAP and has used the Lebert tools in his training of pro-

New Group X LTS programming Lebert Fitness announced the launch of the NEW LTS (Lebert Training Systems) group X programs LeBARRE, LeHIP and LeBOOT at IHRSA 2013.

LeHIP (High Intensity Power) designed by internationally renowned fitness expert /presenter, Sharon Mann, is fun and fast, showcasing the versatility of the Lebert EQUALIZER for strength and cardio. LeBOOT is a “real world” workout designed by international presenter Marc Lebert, using the Lebert EQUALIZER and Lebert BUDDY SYSTEM with old school strength moves for better conditioning.

For more information please contact or visit our website

10 Become an expert Becoming an expert thoughtleader is an effective way to stand out from well-known brands with loyal followings and/or fitness professionals with celebrity endorsements. Experts are regarded as trusted resources who get media interview opportunities, get invited to speak at conferences and other important events, and build a strong fan base that converts into clients and customers. To become an expert, seek a combination of education and practical application. For education, stay abreast of current news and trends in your industry. Then, impart this wisdom to your clients and to the public through valuable content. As a recognized industry expert, clients and the media will seek you out for information and services, rather than you having to constantly chase after clients and press opportunities.

How to obtain high-octane publicity for your business By Melissa Cassera 10 simple moves to conquer your market and dominate your niche Stay on top of trends Research national trends to remain interesting and relevant in your niche. You can use these trends – such as holidays, special occasions or national events – to reinforce your image and craft new techniques, methods, products or services. Make it a daily habit to read, watch and listen to top news outlets and popular blogs, check out what’s trending on Twitter and other social networks and utilize statistic and analysis websites such as Pew Research Center to find interesting studies to support your work.

Get a business headshot A headshot is an important component of your branding and is something you’ll use for your website, media interviews, social network profiles and marketing materials for events and speaking engagements. Headshots should be polished, professional and capture your individual brand. Seek the services of a professional photographer with experience capturing a variety of looks and putting their subjects at ease. Meet with the photographer beforehand to establish a comfortable rapport and discuss wardrobe, location, overall style and brand.

Publicity starts from the ground up; engage your core clientele by using these 10 strategies 16


Join a reporter lead service HARO (Help a Reporter Out) provides a way to build authentic media connections without having a prior relationship with the journalist. HARO is a free lead service where journalists turn to find sources for upcoming stories. You can sign-up for the free service at and respond to appropriate queries. A quick hint for responding to queries: resist the urge to respond with “I’ll help you out.” Journalists are looking for intelligent expert sources for their stories, so take the time to provide relevant information right in your response letter.

Market with speaking Speaking to existing audiences is an excellent way to gain visibility and credibility. Seek out small groups comprised of your target market and offer to share your wisdom and expertise for free. This strategy is an excellent way to build the “know, like and trust” factor with an engaged audience, drive business and elevate your expert platform. To get started, come up with an interesting topic (or multiple topics) that you’re passionate to share with an audience. Find groups that regularly host speakers and pitch your topic for a future meeting. Keep the speech content-rich and deliver extraordinary value to your audience. Then, host a contest to collect audience information at the end of your speech and add these folks to your mailing list to stay in touch (always include a disclaimer on your contest form letting them know they will be added to your list with a box they can check if they don’t want to receive information from you).

Smart social media Today, it’s crucial to be part of the social conversation. Unfortunately, most business professionals spread time and effort across too many social networks without a smart, engaging strategy. Narrow your social media focus to the networks where the majority of your target market is spending time. Then, appoint one person as a spokesperson for each of your social networks (this could be you as the business owner, your marketing manager or you could outsource social media management to a consultant or agency). Instead of spending time trying to amass a large number of friends and followers, encourage conversation with the people who are already engaged with you. Ask questions, share motivational quotes, welcome feedback and provide valuable articles and resources to create positive interactions and an enthusiastic community.

Build your list List-building is one of the most effective strategies you can employ to grow your business. Collecting email contact information from people who visit your website or people you meet offline creates a database of interested prospects who gave their permission to get your content and are interested in learning more about your special promotions and offerings. The people on your list are highly likely to become future customers. To ethically entice people to opt-in to your email list, offer a content-rich and valuable incentive like a free video series, eBook or special report. Create a schedule for staying in touch with your list by delivering consistent, valuable content. You can use an email list management service such as MailChimp or AWeber to streamline your strategy.

Spotlight clients The press loves a good success story, and your customers love basking in the spotlight. Collect stories and testimonials from your customers to showcase in offline and online marketing materials. You can pitch the most interesting stories of triumph and overcoming odds (with customer approval, of course) to an appropriate media outlet, which may result in excellent press coverage for your business.

Host a newsworthy event Hosting events is an excellent way to attract new customers, secure media coverage and re-engage existing clientele. Look at national events and occasions to conjure up creative challenges. For example, a personal training company may host a 30-day shopping challenge around the December holidays to encourage clients to stay fit and healthy while waiting in long lines and wrapping presents. You can also link up with a charitable organization to raise funds or awareness for a healthy cause.

Craft a consistent, compelling content strategy Delivering consistent and compelling content to your target market is a surefire strategy to grow your audience, create loyal advocates and drive new customers. Focus your time and energy on creating a content plan for the next six months. First, survey your customers and ask them which topics they are most interested in learning about. Next, create a plan to deliver advice on those topics via blog posts, newsletters, social media, etc. Choose the frequency you plan to deliver this content (once per week, once per month, etc.) and the channel you’ll deliver it through (video, article, audio). Finally, schedule your content into your calendar so you’ll never miss a deadline and you’ll never wonder “what to write” again. Publicity starts from the ground up; engage your core clientele by using these 10 strategies and meaningful large-scale publicity may likely follow.

Melissa Cassera is a PR expert and CEO of Cassera Communications, a PR and personal branding training company. To read more about her superstar credentials (such as national press features, working with amazing clients and being a professional actress) and to get more behind-the-scenes scoop, visit her website at


The limits of training clients in pain

By JR Burgess

Treating, training and managing clients with arthritis Being in-tune with what is normal post-workout pain for a client and what is a pathologic sign that needs further investigation is critical to making you stand out as the trainer who can handle higher-risk clients. Chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease are on the rise and paralleling this increase is the breakdown of our body systems, increasing rates of arthritis and joint and ligament pain. We need to make ourselves marketable in this competitive market and ensure that we are working in the long-term interests of our clients and offering responsible guidance and recommendations. One of the more common chronic conditions we witness as fitness professionals, regardless of what niche we serve, is degenerative arthritis. Knowing our boundaries of how to treat, train and manage clients with arthritis based on our expertise and knowledge is paramount. Degenerative arthritis is the breakdown of the cartilage in a joint from an injury or from years of wear and tear. The onset of pain is usually gradual without an obvious recent injury. They may have a history of injury that created vulnerability and instability in that particular joint. The instability of the joint is like a car tire that is loose or maligned. This leads to a wearing out of the threads of the tire and within the joint, decreased protective articular cartilage. Training a patient with joint degeneration requires some parameters to work within in order to not accelerate the degeneration and to incorporate training aspects in your sessions that can decrease further degeneration. First, it is important to know what to avoid with arthritic joints. Most arthritis that will affect our clients is located in the lower extremities, with the knee being the most common joint affected. Every step a client takes requires force to be generated and transferred through the joint. Studies show that once a joint has arthritis, changes in movement such as excessive running and ballistic exercise can accelerate the degeneration. With these clients we need to avoid causing further damage. Studies also confirm that the stronger the joint, the more protection it has. Focusing on strength training that increases quadriceps and hamstring strength can create greater strength that will then act as a shock



absorber to decrease the direct force acting on that joint; this lends itself to slower degeneration and leads to increased function. Pain from arthritis actually inhibits muscle function around the joint leading to further weakness and increased vulnerability. Focusing on exercises that strengthen the joint, but do not add increased degeneration is critical in training patients with arthritis. It is also important not to push extremes of flexion in that joint. For example, squats with knees below 90 degrees of flexion or deep lunges put increased pressure on the articular surfaces and accelerate wear. Exercises should be done in a protected arc of motion avoiding deep flexion or hyperextension. Partial wall squats leaning against a stability ball to 45 degrees of flexion is a great quad strengthener that does not increase the wear of the joint and increases protective strength. Having a client lie on their back and perform a straight-leg raise also engages the quads and prevents atrophy. It is important to avoid seated closed-chain leg extension exercises as that puts increased pressure behind the knee cap and increases cartilage wear in that area. Next, it is important to work the hamstrings as they too can contribute to the shock absorp-

tive benefits of weight training. They also act as a secondary ACL stabilizer that can decrease micro-instability that contributes to joint wear. Hamstring curls are a standard and do not cause problems like the quad extension machine. You can also get creative on the floor without weights with reverse bridges where the client lies on their back and lifts the buttocks off the floor and holds that position with a strong neutral spine. Stability ball hamstring curls are more advanced and can be done with the legs on the ball and shoulders on the floor. From there, pull the ball towards the buttocks with multiple repetitions to increase strength and core stability. Finally, it is important to focus on higher repetitions and a lower weight to minimize joint wear associated with overuse. Fifteen to twenty repetitions create endurance, but also engage the muscle for strength gains without the risk of degeneration. If the goal is to engage the type2 muscle fibers and stimulate metabolism and power gains, using the stationary bike and doing higher intensity anaerobic cycles can engage the deep type-2 fibers for maximal anabolic gains. Eight cycles with 30 seconds all out spinning followed by 30 to 60 seconds of recovery spinning will lead to great power and strength gains with both cardio and strength progress.

If a joint is not improving with taking some time-off or with cross-training it may need a referral to a trained sports medicine physician to see what can be done to increase the joint function and longevity. With advances in regenerative medicine we can now use procedures like platelet rich plasma (PRP) or stem cell injections to regenerate cartilage and increase joint function without having to use damaging cortisone or surgery. These solutions get our clients back in the gym faster and back working with you sooner. We are a crucial part of the healthcare team and we play an influential role in optimizing the quality of our clients’ lives; understanding the difference between normal post-workout pain and chronic pain resulting from join degeneration will help us offer responsible programs for our clients to keep them training longer and more effectively rather than perpetuating injury and discomfort.

J.R. Burgess is the CFO/VP of Rejuv Medical and President of The Medical Fitness Platform. Rejuv Medical offers full-service weight loss programs partnering entire teams of medical doctors, fitness professionals and healthcare practitioners.


Train the brain, not the muscle A three-step approach to children’s fitness ids do not need another fad or quick fix, nor are they looking for a professional peer critique or negativity. We need to help kids, parents, teachers and coaches with the misconceptions and confusion about becoming fit or recovering from an injury or debilitating experience. Kids and parents want and need basic logic and sound advice with exercise, fitness and sport and they need us to listen and understand their assumptions so we can give them solutions. Kids need to be shown practical


| | july-August 2013

examples from confident competent professionals. They need us to communicate what they cannot do and to lead them into exercise and sport specificity successfully. There is a new paradigm shift that with which we should approach children’s fitness: “stick-stretch-strength.” Children are sitting an average of nine hours per day between school, television watching and other sedentary activities. Their shoulders are rounded forward, their femurs rotate medially and their bodies are basically locked in an upright fetal position. Parents, teachers and

coaches then expect kids to automatically get up and perform whatever activity it is they want or are expected to perform. This type of programming and thought process has increased orthopedic issues in children dramatically. We need to eliminate the dysfunctional movement issues and replace this with an appropriate sequence to create injury-free, three-dimensional functional movements through the various activities in which children most often participate. The three part stick-stretch-stretch approach focuses on the muscular skeletal system in a sys-

By Mike Koskiniemi

Children are sitting an average of nine hours per day between school, television watching and other sedentary activities

tematic way. First, it removes any exacerbators that may underlie within the muscle itself and affect movement negatively. Next, it commences with exercise therapy through the different approaches to corrective exercise and allows the body to move positively again. Last, it lies down and creates the new cerebral strength needed to progress the body to become bigger, faster, stronger by adding one new challenge at a time and helps to keep the new found freedoms of movement. Take away any of these three components and the results will be dramatically different. Follow each stage outlined here you’ll be amazed by the outcomes. The first step in the process is STICK. Stick refers to any myofascial or trigger point release technique either self-applied or administered

by a professional that will get rid of trigger points or hyperactive muscle to contract and relax appropriately. Self-administering techniques for children can include foam rollers, sticks, foot wheels and hand wheels. Professional-applied techniques can be applied by hands, feet, elbows and knees to get the hyperactive muscle to settle down and relax. Different names for these techniques include trigger point therapy, ART and manual muscle manipulation. The second step is STRETCH. Stretch refers to any flexibility, stretching, mobility, stability, dynamic motor learning or corrective exercise technique needed to gain the optimal movement of the muscles. Reestablishing the ability of the body to move freely and to respond accordingly to the specifics of the tasks ahead

is essential to eliminate any potential for injury through movement. Too many kids jump right into an activity when their bodies are not ready. The repetitive nature of sports leads to overuse issues that can easily be decreased and potentially eliminated. The third and final step in the process is STRENGTH. Strength refers to any activity that will dynamically challenge the body to become bigger, better, faster, stronger and build endurance. These strength/endurance activities can be bodyweight, free weight, kettlebell or any other mode of external resistance utilizing three dimensional dynamic movements. Fitness professionals need to think “lift-push-pullcarry-jump� when programming strength and endurance portions of any program. This is the

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shiny stuff. These are the drills and tasks that everyone thinks about when they think fitness and exercise. Kids love to be challenged and to see just how far they can take their bodies. The problem with the “stick and stretch” portion of the sequence is that it is boring and not as exciting as the dynamic activities like running and jumping drills. Getting a child to perform self-myofascial release in order to prepare their

eliminate a significant amount of time and problems later from knee, shoulder and lower back issues, just to name a few. Teaching and educating children, parents, teachers and coaches the importance and necessity of “stick and stretch” and making these components as fun as possible is critical for adherence. A creative approach when training children is to focus on “training the brain, not the muscle.” Children are more intelligent than ever and understand the importance of fitness. They have endless information at their fingertips. As you lead and teach these young people into the specifics of the stick-stretchstrength techniques, they will often go home and research to expand their knowledge of what you showed them during your sessions. It doesn’t matter what you call exercises and techniques as long as they are applied appropriately to the child and their specific situation. Regardless of the population with which you work, it is important that your training never becomes stagnant; this is particularly

Boredom should never be an issue with exercise and fitness; children will feed off of this energy. hips and thoracic for the demands of an exercise like a wall sit is boring. Parents, teachers and coaches also state they would much rather take the time with the sport-specific drills instead of wasting time on movement prep activities. However, there is a disconnect when the child gets hurt or cannot play as a result of a largely preventable injury. For the cost of about 15 minutes of any program – whether a one-on-one training session, a gym class or soccer practice – this can



important when working with children to keep them excited about fitness. Keep inquiring for more information and better techniques. If you have never used myofascial techniques, then attend a workshop or seminar, or hire a professional to show you how to appropriately use the different modalities like sticks, foam rollers or manual techniques. If you have never been trained on how to use kettlebells, find an opportunity to learn about them. Never stop learning the great and different elements in fitness to share with your clients. Boredom should never be an issue with exercise and fitness; children will feed off of this energy. Take the time, invest wisely in your education and become the very best practitioner and role model of health and fitness you can be!

Mike Koskiniemi MS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT is nationally & internationally recognized as a business planner, a leading educator, speaker and personal trainer. He was one of America’s Top 10 Trainers to Watch for both 2011 and 2012 and was the 2006 NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year runnerup.

THE MESSAGE Website: | Twitter: @JillFit

Facebook: /JillFit | Instagram: @JillFit

JILL COLEMAN Alongside Jill Coleman’s extensive resume of experience in the fitness industry as a director, coordinator and certified personal trainer, she is also a fitness model, blogger and author. But perhaps most impressive is her gift of connection that continues to attract thousands of followers. Jill shares with us how she shares her message…

lived that mindset of never being lean-, fit-, cut-, small-enough for a long time. I was miserable. Now I want more women to realize how awesome they are regardless of their size. Mindset first, physique follows.


My ideal client …is anyone who is struggling and wants my help. I want to help anyone who wants to feel better, look better and needs to feel understood in order to realize those goals.

If I had only one way to share my message it would be (word-of-mouth because the quality of that kind of sharing is unparalleled.) People often share bad experiences (just look at Yelp or UrbanSpoon) but they rarely share good experiences. For someone to go out of their way to share a positive experience with their inner circle is humbling.




My message … is that you can have a cookie and still like yourself after. I

Successful messaging …is about being transparent and getting inside the

mind of the person you are trying to help to find solutions and make an impact. I think it is a disservice when we try to pretend we have it all figured out. Getting more personal and more transparent builds trust and camaraderie.


People follow me because …I admit to being human. The more “real” I am, the more trust I seem to build with fans, followers and clients. Empathy is one of my personal core values as is dropping the need to be perfect. I believe my messaging comes across as real, positive and encouraging. Perfect is boring, and it alienates our clients.

sell products), your training studio or other products that you recommend as an affiliate. That’s all there is to it. It’s an easy, no-cost way to get your message out on the internet and start making money online.

How do you blog? First, I recommend



How to make money with a free fitness blog By: Craig Ballantyne

In celebration of our 15th Anniversary, here is a throwback article originally featured in our August, 2008 issue.


logs are the perfect tool for fitness professionals who want to get started making money on the internet. First, you can start a blog for free, and second, they are easy to use and require no special computer knowledge. What is a blog? A blog is a specific type of website. Technically, blog is short for “Web log,” which refers to a site a person updates on a consistent basis, and the posts are arranged in chronological sequence. I’m sure you’ve come across several different blogs during your website surfing. For our purposes, your blog can also act as your main website, allowing you to post whatever you want and even make money by selling your products or someone else’s products. The best content for a blog includes short articles (500 words or less) related to your specific fitness niche because blog readers tend to want to get the information fast and then move on to the next blog on their list. Literally, your blog will function like any other website. Each post is a “new page” and that looks good in Google’s eyes because you


| | july-august 2013

are adding new content on a regular basis. As a result, the software at Google will frequently check out your blog and see what’s new and then add your latest post to their search engine listings. This is just one way people will find your blog on the web. When it comes to creating content for your blog, you should always be original and entertaining. You’ll notice that the best blogs in any niche contain a hint of the personal touch. Each author gives a little bit, but not too much, personal info (talking about family, pets, weather in their area, what they did on the weekend, etc.). This allows the reader to connect with the author and evolve a trusting relationship. Why is that important? Remember this rule: we buy from people we like and trust. More on building trust and relationship later, when I talk about writing posts.

wHy start a blog? Simple. You can start one for zero dollars. There is no overhead. If you have a computer and internet access, you are in business. All you do is create the content, share your story, develop relationships and tell people about your website (where you

getting a free blog from Remember, this blog will not cost you a penny. You don’t pay for website hosting or website design. Blogger does all of that for you. Second, give your blog a title. Note: You want to pick a title that has some type of niche-related keyword in the title. For example, if you want to write about fat loss, then “FatLossWorkouts.” is a good name. Those are good keywords to have in your title and will also help you be found easier in the search engines. Try to keep your titles short, although as blogs get more popular and more names are taken, that becomes more difficult every day. So be creative. You might even use your name, such as “BobsFatLossWorkouts.”

wHat do I blog? The key is original content. You can talk about your best client stories, your own personal workouts, the science behind your training philosophy, reader mail or anything related to your fitness niche. But make sure the content is an easy read, and save the science stuff for research journals. Basically, just be yourself. By writing a blog, you’ll quickly become a credible expert in your fitness niche, and if you add a little personality, people will quickly come to know and like you - and that will keep them coming back everyday, all while building a relationship with you. So telling your story and being yourself is really just the easiest thing to do. Trying to be someone else will come across as fake faster than someone can click the button on their mouse. And that’s what they’ll do: they’ll click the “back” button and leave.

How do I get people to my blog? The first and easiest way to get people to your blog is to tell them about it. I’m not recommending “spamming” or sending a massive amount of emails to anyone, but you can email a link to your blog to your close friends and family. That’s a start. You can also mention it on your Facebook, MySpace or any other social networking site you belong to. Second, you should exchange links with other related blogs. Almost every blog has an area called a “blog roll” where your post links to your other favorite blogs, and those blogs often post a link back to yours. Third, if you participate in any internet forums, you can post a link to your blog in your signature. Again, don’t “spam” the forums,

but whenever you have something valuable to post in a forum, make sure you have a link to your blog in your signature. Your forum signature might look something like this: Craig B. Fourth, you simply need to post good quality content about your topic. If you are creative, interesting and sometimes controversial, people will stop by your blog everyday to see your latest opinions. You can always choose to allow people to comment on your blog posts, and this will increase traffic as well as encourage people to return and see how the discussion unfolds. In addition, your posts should contain words and phrases from the keyword list you developed earlier. For example, using the correct keywords in your posts will help your posts on “fat loss for women” be found when people search “fat loss for women.” So if you haven’t already, sit down and spend some time generating a big keyword list of at least 300 keywords and phrases. It sounds like a lot, but you’ll come up with them really quickly. Then start writing about the top five to 10 keywords on your list that you think will

be the most popular topics. When in doubt, just write about the most common topics that come up between you and your clients. Here are some questions to ask when forming your keyword list:  What terms would people use to search for the product you are promoting?  What does the product do? What are the benefits and uses of it?  What keywords are being used by other sites for this niche? When writing a post, focus on two to three keywords. Use a main keyword in the title of your post as well as the first line of the post. Make sure to use the main keyword a couple more times in the post. Here are some interesting topics for you to consider writing about:  Nutrition tips, recipes or your grocery list  Lessons from your client’s workouts  Tips on how to overcome bad habits or lack of motivation  Crazy things you see at your gym  Your top 10 exercises, fat loss foods, protein shake recipes, etc.  Rants about cardio, machines, people at your gym, diets, etc.

 Motivational stories you’ve experienced or have been motivated by  Your comments on current events related to fitness and fat loss  Pictures of your meals (also known as “food porn” in the blog world)  Fitness equipment reviews

BLOG WRAP-UP Blogging is about the easiest thing a computer beginner could do on the internet to start making money. You can blog to get your training facility noticed, to sell an e-book or DVD you created or to refer to readers to other websites so that you’ll get paid an affiliate commission, if they purchase a product there. All of this can be done without investing a penny in expensive software or web designers. So follow these steps to get started blogging today. Be consistent, and become a trusted authority in the eyes of your readers. Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, is a regular contributor to Men’s Health, the author of the best-selling fat loss e-book, Turbulence Training, and he is an internet marketing coach for fitness experts. For more information, visit or www.


EXERCISE SPOTLIGHT Exercises designed by 2013 PFP Trainer of the Year Valorie Ness and SPRI using the XTS Training System

Bodyweight Training

Single arm row with contralateral reach

Begin in a supine position with hips extended and body parallel to ground with knees bent at 90 degrees and feet hip distance apart. The free hand begins fully extended above the head and reaches for the strap as the right hand performs an “inside� row. Perform the desired number of repetitions and repeat on the other side.

Deep squat to hip extension with back or front functional line activation

Begin by grasping a single handle with both hands, placing right hand on the bottom and the left hand on top. Initiate the movement by performing hip extension and simultaneously rotating to the side and above the head to the side of the bottom hand (this activates the back functional line.) To activate the front functional line keep the same hand position and rotate to the opposite side of the body. Perform the desired number of repetitions and repeat on the other side.

Cross body lunge with overhead reach and rotation

Begin in a split stance position with left leg forward. Grasping a single handle with both hands, placing the right hand on the bottom and the left hand on top. Initiate the movement by performing hip extension and simultaneously rotating to the right side and above the head to the side of the bottom hand (this activates the back functional line.) To activate the front functional line switch the hand position but not the feet. Perform the desired number of repetitions and repeat on the other side.



For more information, visit or call 800.222.7774

Alternating forward lunge with chest fly

Begin in a standing forward lean position with arms extended at chest height. Lunge forward with the right leg into a lunge while allowing arms to horizontally abduct and perform a chest fly. Return arms and legs to starting position and repeat on other side. Perform for the desired number of repetitions.

Suspended front squat to prone plank

Begin by placing arms through the straps just below the elbows. Lower body into a crouching front squat position. While leaning forward extend legs, hips and arms into a suspended plank position. To increase the difficulty of the exercise increase the length of the lever arm by moving the straps in the direction of the hands. Perform for the desired number of repetitions.

Suspended pike to supine hip extension

Begin with straps around ankles and legs extended with hands on the outside of the hips. Extend the hips while retracting the shoulder blades. Pause at the top of the movement holding supine plank. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Suspended reverse lunge with contralateral reach

Begin by placing foot through the strap so that the top of the foot is in contact with the inside of the strap. Extend the suspended leg behind the body while extending the same side arm at chest/shoulder height. Perform for the desired number of repetitions and repeat on the other side.

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NEW ON THE MARKET The latest trends in fitness equipment

FITBAGS Sand-filled FitBags conform comfortably and securely across the back of the neck, around shoulders or in the hands while performing functional lifting, carrying and towing activities. Tough nylon construction and thick-thread double-reinforced stitching help prevent breakage and leakage, and durable elastic handles and tapered ends offer secure hand positioning and stable bag placement. Available in five banded, color-coded resistance levels.

LIFESTYLE WELLNESS COACHING, SECOND EDITION Lifestyle Wellness Coaching, Second Edition, offers a revised, evidence-based and systematic coaching methodology that professionals can apply in helping their clients move efficiently toward longterm health and wellness. It provides readers with multiple approaches to learning, including sidebars, reflection opportunities, realistic coaching dialogues and a thorough examination of the International Coach Federation’s 11 core coaching competencies.



Lindsay's Review: BOSU Powerstax

BOSU is a staple in the equipment toolbox for most trainers and now it' s more versatile than ever with the new Powerstax set. Powerstax are stackable platforms that can raise the height of the BOSU in 4-inch levels to add a new dimension of training and skills. And the versatility doesn't stop there; you can also fill each platform with up to 35 pounds of water for a completely new piece of equipment. Adding Powerstax to my clients' programs has enhanced the benefits of the BOSU training experience for all levels of fitness.

CT8 FITNESS TRAINING SYSTEM TuffStuff’s CT8 offers a creative modular design allows club operators, studio owners and personal trainers to build custom exercise stations that satisfy people of all ages, interests and fitness levels. Using CT8, fitness professionals can develop a variety of training protocols for individuals, small and large groups, boot camps and for cross-conditioning classes that emphasize every aspect of functional strength, flexibility and endurance. 888.884.8275 x 210 or

TT BOOT CAMP GAMES TT Boot Camp Games are an exciting hybrid of Turbulence Training exercises and recess-style game formats that keep your boot camp and group training clients full of energy and reaching their goals without feeling like they are exercising.This plug-and-play system allows you to use any of these “fitness games” in the last 2-5 minutes of a training session and watch your clients run around giggling like children discovering their youth as if they were on a playground.

EVENTS CALENDAR August-November 2013

ACE Small Group Training Workshop August 17 | West Hartford, CT August 17 | New York, NY By ACE

YogaFit Mind Body Fitness Conference September 12-15 | Palm Springs, CA October 31-November 3 | Atlanta, GA By YogaFit

National Posture Institute CEC Workshop September 21-22 | Boston, MA By National Posture Institute

SIBEC Sports & Health Industry September 25-28 | Tucson, AZ By Questex Mclean Events

FitnessFest Tucson Conference September 27-29 | Tucson, AZ By FitnessFest

MEGA TRAINING 2013 October 10-12 | Orlando, FL By NPE

ACE Symposium East October 17-19 | Orlando, FL By ACE

Club Industry Show 2013 October 23-25 | Chicago, IL By Penton Media

2014 PFP Trainer of the Year Award Presentation October 24 at 4:00 p.m. | Chicago, IL By PFP media

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Connect with your peers JULY-AUGUST 2013 | WWW.FIT-PRO.COM | 29

BE BETTER Phil Kaplan |

Happily obsessed Obsession. It’s a psychological pathology inherent in stalkers, gamblers and the overly evangelistic, yet anyone who has competed in bodybuilding, marathons, Crossfit or any arena requiring hours upon weeks upon months of discipline accepts obsession as a must. How does obsession happen? Studies have uncovered activation of the nucleus accumbens, a region inside the brain that drives dopamine in spurts as a key player. So … here’s the question: is that little nucleus accumbens and its associated obsession good or bad? That’s a bit like asking if hunger is good or bad. The obvious answer is it depends. It can serve you, or it can drive you beyond reason. I believe that if we can inspire others to trade harmful habits for a mild case of exercise obsession, we’re doing something good. If obsession serves us within our own true desires and leads to a greater good, we might even embrace it showing up in our own lives. I know obsession. I’ve been obsessed for eight years, and while the obsession had its costs, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. My obsession grew out of a personal training career that touched lives for the better. I had the dramatic weight loss transformations I could show off, I had the regular guys who got incredibly ripped, and I had all the photos and documentation to prove it, but I was missing something. As clients came to me for change, I saw their bodies, I assessed performance ability and vital markers of health, and I listened to what they told me they wanted. Then we set out to get them there. Good? Yes, but there had to be more. Things changed when I was unknowingly exposed to toxic mold. In going from doctor to doctor, I was misdiagnosed with everything from MS to Parkinson’s. Thankfully, my relentless search led me to a doctor who accurately identified the mold toxicity and after a brief protocol with a handful of medications, brought me back to the life I knew. I was told my survival and recovery were in great part due to the health and fitness I’d maintained for the better part of my life. I came out of that journey with a new empathy for anyone seeking solutions to chronic health challenges exclusively within the confines of conventional medicine. I began to wonder how many people diagnosed with debilitating chronic conditions might have been diagnosed incorrectly. How many might be cured but for misdirection? While I wasn’t about to change medicine, perhaps I had some solutions that might help people in need at a higher level. I devoured articles from medical journals, tapped into new resources through friendships with practitioners of functional medicine, and stepped into a new universe I began to refer to as “the platform between fitness and medicine.” It was the sense that there’s a hidden bounty of unrecognized solutions related to curing disease through exercise that drove me to obsession. I bought and studied texts from icons in medical history, and dove deep into compelling exercise studies ignored by medical science.

As my obsession grew, I began testing my developing intervention on people committed to medications for high blood sugar, hypothyroidism and hypertension, assessing whether an exercise intervention or pharmaceutical reliance had greater power. I hungered to share my findings with trainers, but first I wanted to meet the greater critics, to present in front of medical groups. I welcomed every opportunity to try to win over doctors immersed in “what is” rather than “what could be.” The obsession cost me a relationship or two. It disconnected me from seminars and programs I had offered consistently for personal trainers. It even kept me away from the gym for weeks at a time. Yes, I was obsessed, but it’s only through that obsession that I’ve learned to deliver a protocol that has now proven superior to medications in reversing chronic disease. It’s also through that obsession that I became equipped to serve the largest segment of our adult population, as 60% of Americans over 45 have been diagnosed with at least one chronic disease. My obsession allowed me to lead a new level of personal trainer with recognition that the trends promise opportunity. Obesity, the most prevalent chronic metabolic disease, escalates still. Type 2 diabetes is an epidemic and spreading into younger populations. The need is there, the need is real, and the need is growing. And growing. And growing. So here, I return to the personal trainers I love and respect, to deliver the outcome of my obsession. The obsession laid the groundwork for the discovery and the accumulation of data and evidence. I invite you to ascend from being a personal trainer and well-educated practitioner to pursue a new level of expertise. I invite you to understand how we can work to reverse or eradicate disease with a specific integration of progressive resistance, functional challenge, CNS stimulation, shifts in O2 uptake, nutritional adjustments and psychology.

My obsession grew out of a personal training career that touched lives for the better.


| | july-august 2013

In mentioning psychology I take this full circle. Learning about the nucleus accumbens wasn’t an accident. My obsessive study brought a greater understanding of brain science, vital in driving motivation and compliance. I’m willing to share how we can ethically, morally and effectively tap into mindset to get clients to stick to their programs, responsibly accessing that bit of matter that can drive repetitive behavior. I’m just warning you, with a new sense of your potential, your own passion may return to its pinnacle. You might find your own nucleus accumbens being tickled and teased. Are you up for it? If so, an entirely new future awaits you.

Phil Kaplan is now sharing the science behind his protocol in ASPIRE, a 16week program for fitness professionals. Visit iwanttolearn or email with the subject line ASPIRE.

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