• Blog: Beach Sports Beckon Spring-Breakers

    by Mary Helen Sprecher March 2012

    The great pre-bathing suit rush is on in college rec centers. It's a sure sign of spring: The New Year's Resolution crowd might have waned, but the kids preparing for spring break are there, helping fill up any empty spots on the fitness floor.

  • Blog: Balance Training Yes, Checkbook Balancing No

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein February 2012

    You've heard of the nanny state? We're feeling a lot like the nanny health club lately.

    It seems that many of our members expect us to balance their checkbooks for them, track their monthly expenses and keep them out of credit card debt. They also expect us to use divine intervention to know when they want to cancel their memberships. These requests aren't by any means new to us, but there sure have been a lot of them over the past few weeks. Some examples:

  • Why Health Club Members Are Not Always Right

    by Rob Bishop February 2012

    The customer is always right." How many times have you said this to your staff - or when you were the customer, felt this yourself?

  • Blog: Get Hearts Pumping on Valentine's Day

    by Mary Helen Sprecher February 2012

    Red and green? That's so six weeks ago. These days, the in colors are pink and white and red. Generally in the shape of a heart and wrapped around something chocolate.

  • Blog: Specialty Stores Have to Think Outside the Big Box

    by Mary Helen Sprecher January 2012

    I have a lot of respect for small specialty sports stores. Whether they're selling bicycles, skis, running shoes, tennis racquets or something else, they have a tough row to hoe. They have small staffs and tight budgets. They can't buy in the quantities necessary to compete with the really low prices on the Internet, and they often aren't able to offer the selection of colors and sizes found there either. Worse, they usually share their town with at least one sporting goods chain store or a big-box department store.

  • Blog: It's Past Time to Get PHIT

    by Mary Helen Sprecher December 2011

    Recently, I spent some time at the Technical Meeting of the American Sports Builders Association. It's the annual convention for those who design, build and supply materials for sports and fitness facilities. Of course, one of the points we kept returning to was this: How do we move the needle? How do we stimulate the fitness industry's economy so that Americans increase their pursuit of healthy activities and keep up the demand for good facilities?

  • Blog: Bridal Boot Camps Should Spur a Fitness Honeymoon

    by Mary Helen Sprecher November 2011

    Boot camp programs need no introduction. They're one of the most popular fitness regimens out there. And as a result, there are a lot of variations that are marketed to specific populations - college students, people trying to get a jump on the New Year - you name it.

  • Blog: Active Alternatives to Thanksgiving Day Gluttony

    by Mary Helen Sprecher November 2011

    My health club just put up its annual sign reminding patrons of shortened hours on Thanksgiving Day. I asked an employee one year if anyone actually works out on Thanksgiving. She laughed.

  • Blog: A Calf Injury Points to New Exercise Possibilities

    by Mary Helen Sprecher October 2011

    When I felt something snap deep inside my calf during a squash game, I had no way of knowing it was my invitation to a whole new way of working out.

  • ACE Reinvents Personal Training Using Behavioral Science

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor August 2011

    The American Council on Exercise recently introduced the ACE Integrated Fitness Training™ Model (ACE IFT™), the first comprehensive personal training program designed by a national organization customized to suit the fitness goals, communication style, behavioral tendencies and personality of each client. It incorporates behavioral sciences by integrating psychological and emotional concepts - thereby potentially changing the future of personal training, according to ACE officials. "We recognize that many personal trainers have been using popular yet outdated training models to develop programs for clients," says Cedric X. Bryant, ACE's chief science officer. "To keep ACE-certified personal trainers on the forefront of fitness and ensure clients reach their fitness, health and performance goals, we have turned not only to exercise science, but also behavioral science - something that has never been done before in our industry. By considering the physiological, psychological and emotional needs of clients, we can truly create personalized programs that yield real and lasting results. In addition, our platform is the first to veer from relying on target heart rates and the first to target individuals' metabolic targets, which ultimately equates to better results for weight loss and weight management." The ACE IFT Model represents the key component of ACE's larger "Personal Training. Reinvented." initiative, aimed at raising awareness of the most effective, research-proven ways to train clients. To educate fitness professionals on this new approach, ACE has developed science-based curriculum, expert blogs, textbooks, online courses (including a free introductory webinar) and live workshops. The organization also is tapping into its network of 50,000 certified fitness professionals to help educate consumers about the benefits of this model. For more information, click here.