Saturday, November 20, 2010

NFBA Workshop - We Can All Learn Something New

We recently attended a two day workshop in Newport Beach, CA sponsored by the National Fitness Business Alliance where we were given the ability to hear from well-known, successful fitness professionals from throughout the country. Led by key note speaker Thomas Plummer, who has years of experience in opening fitness facilities, helping traditional box gyms adapt to the ever changing fitness industry, and in helping fitness business owners make the most of their product, the workshop was aimed at giving individuals who own or manage fitness facilities a look into where the fitness industry is going and how to adapt with the changes. In addition to Thom Plummer, we heard Bill Parisi, founder of Parisi Speed School, talk about the obstacles he had to overcome to open his facility back in the 90s and we heard Alwyn Cosgrove speak informally on his opinion on running a fitness facility. On the second day, we were lead by Bill Parisi and representatives of Fitness Anywhere, Perform Better, and Star Trac in a pretty aggressive workout that included a TRX, kettlebells, super bands, undulation ropes, medicine balls and resistance bands.

Here's what we learned and what we plan to take with us in our goal of opening up a fitness studio that seeks to transform fitness in a way that most people are not used to:

1. RESULTS are the product (not classes or private training)

2. Train everyone (from professional athletes to stay at home moms) like an athlete to improve performance in their every day lives

3. Train the client in a way that they could do the workout on their own if you aren't there - it's not about how many reps they are doing, but rather educating the client about why they are doing an exercise

Once the workshop was over, we had a bit of time for some fun. Fitness Anywhere held a 40/40 Challenge on the TRX , where you had to do 40 Atomic Push Ups, only 1 minute rest, then 40 Body Weight Rows. Instead of participating myself, I graciously volunteered Adam for the challenge (you'll see why when you watch the video) because I knew if anyone could complete the challenge, he could. He put up a strong fight by knocking out the first 40 Atomic Push Ups in an amazing pace. I was convinced he was going to win. Watch the video to see how the challenge ended...

Adam did an awesome job representing us in the challenge! He also wants me to make it known that the only person who won the challenge was a former Navy Seal :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Expanding Your Arsenal

We posted a video today on youtube ( that showed me working with a new tool that I was very excited about.  This of course was the sandbag.  After listening to fellow strength and conditioning professional Josh Henkin discuss all of the great benefits of his ultimate sandbag, I was compelled to give this thing a shot.  He explained so eloquently how the dynamic loading patterns really encompassed true functional training and how variable load conditioning can really enhance proprioceptive awareness, stability, core strength, and increase intensity substantially.  I have to say he delivered on all of these promises.  Not only was this tool constructed with superior quality but it offered all of the elements Josh had spoken about.  After one workout all I thought to myself was how amazing this tool was and how I couldn't wait to get these into our studio to use them in our classes.  Of course I knew that I would need at least 30 days of intimate exposure and self sacrifice with this tool to really become more familiar with it.

It dawned on me how if you do not keep your hunger up for new knowledge you could be not only sacrificing your own benefits but what you are able to offer others as well.  Additionally, it is these new challenges that reignite the passion in what you do... full force.  The mastery process of a new tool, how it can benefit other areas you have already grooved, and ultimately how well you understand your craft - that is what it's all about.  At times I see trainers fall into the habit of finding certain techniques, certain modalities, and certain equipment choices, deeming them the best and never trying anything else.  This can be a fatal flaw simply because as Josh says "this tool is not meant to replace any other tools, it is merely meant to compliment them."  This really is important because if you think about your approach to training from a strategic viewpoint, who has the advantage in becoming capable of greater performance: the person who uses one or two tools for everything or the person who utilizes a variety of tools in a way that improve many different aspects of performance?  I think that one of the best practices one can have is throwing themselves into new and unfamiliar territory and learning how to adapt to the philosophies and techniques within that discipline. This is where not only improvement, but true self discovery is fostered.  All I know is I am excited to be in this profession that I am in and cannot wait to keep learning and improving....every day!