RECENT ARTICLES
  • Blog: Make Some Noise with Deaf Sports

    by Mary Helen Sprecher March 2013

    A few weeks ago, while playing in a self-refereed racquetball match, my friend and I had a moment where neither one of us could tell whether a shot was good.

  • Military Fitness Programs: Not Just for Soldiers

    by Christopher Prawdzik is former editor of National Guard magazine and The Officer journal. March 2013

    As prime breeding grounds for military fitness initiatives, installations worldwide also focus on thousands of civilian employees. Behind White House and other administrative encouragement, installations offer a variety of innovative programs to address civilian fitness. Even with budget concerns creating questions about the future of many programs, fitness facilities across the services continue promoting adaptable approaches that other facilities might emulate.

  • 'Baby Steps' in Diet and Exercise Help Get People Moving

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein March 2013

    You eat too much. You don't exercise enough. You're going to die ugly. How's that for uplifting lunchtime entertainment? Yet we keep getting asked back to speak with community groups and local employers to deliver that message.

  • MMA Boosts Kids' Confidence, Combats Bullying

    by Emily Attwood February 2013

    The nation is seeing an increase in fighting among kids, and their parents are encouraging it. Already boasting a strong following among high school participants, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) classes have drawn more than 3 million children under the age of 13 across the country. While pro MMA organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship have given the sport a reputation for no-holds-barred blood baths, it's also gaining acceptance as an athletic discipline, spurred in great part by its preteen participants.
    Classes do teach kids to hit, kick and grapple, at a level appropriate for their age, but they also offer many of the same benefits kids get from participating in any other sport. "It's not about fighting," says Jonathan Burke, owner of The VI Levels MMA gym in Ocoee, Fla. "It's about getting in great physical shape, improving your mental focus and discipline."
    Moreover, MMA, built in part on the principles of various martial arts disciplines, teaches kids how to defend themselves. "There's such a problem with kids being bullied these days," says Jake Brennan, an instructor at GymX in Waco, Texas. "MMA gives them that boost of confidence to know they're alright walking around school."

    The boost of confidence may do more to prevent bullying than the actual defensive skills taught. "Bullies tend to pick on people who are victims," explains Chris Conolley, owner of Spartan Fitness in Hoover, Ala. "These kids carry themselves different, they have the confidence to deal with someone messing with them."

  • Blog: 'Low-Price' Doesn't Necessarily Equal 'High-Value'

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein February 2013

    So, who started putting the words "high value" after "low cost" when describing health clubs that we all know and love (and we hate) as the "low-cost providers"?

  • Blog: Bring In Teens with Pre-Prom Fitness Programs

    by Mary Helen Sprecher February 2013

    A friend with teenage daughters told me her girls want to start coming to the gym. Since in the past, they have been infrequent visitors at best, I was surprised.

  • Blog: Calling All Catch-Phrase Professionals!

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein February 2013

    If there is one area of our business that we know is deficient, it is this - our catch phrases.

    They're getting better. Can you guess what we used to call our new member introductory program that provided three workouts with a trainer, a fitness evaluation and a free consultation with a nutritionist? We called it "our new member introductory program that provides three workouts with a trainer, a fitness evaluation and a free consultation with a nutritionist." We were nothing if not descriptive.

  • Despite Discomfort, We're Intrigued By Enhancement Fees

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein January 2013

    To charge a fee, or not to charge a fee, that is the question. Enhancement fees - one-time annual charges collected from every member of a health club ...

  • Active Design Spurs People Toward Movement and Exercise

    by Andrew Cohen January 2013

    Before there was LEED, there was "sustainable design." Some architects preached it, some paid it lip service, but most everybody maintained that they practiced it to some degree ...

  • Member's Back Injury Will Go Before Another Court

    by Carla Varriale January 2013

    Dianne Layden, a registered nurse, had been a member of No Limits Fitness for nine months when she hired Angela Plante to provide personal training services. Plante, a certified personal trainer at the club, designed an exercise program in March 2007, and Layden performed the exercise program on her own for three months. At that point, having grown "tired of doing the same exercises," Layden asked Plante to teach her a new program, advising the trainer that she had a history of back problems and a herniated disc. Plante instructed Layden during a single training session, during which Layden did not experience any discomfort, but she experienced mild back pain shortly afterwards and for the next day. In spite of that, Layden returned to the club two days later and repeated the program without supervision. She later acknowledged that her discomfort was apparent from the first squat, performed on a Smith machine, but she continued to do 14 more.