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Bridal Bootcamp; Get Fit in '06!; Personal Trainers at Your 'Mouse'tip

These innovative programming ideas motivate members to exercise using all offered programs and products.

BRIDAL BOOTCAMP

University of North Dakota Wellness Center, Grand Forks, N.D. KNOWING THAT MANY students often get married after college, Kari Mellone, graduate services assistance at the University of North Dakota Wellness Center, decided to help the women on campus in their quest for body beauty before the big day with Bridal Bootcamp. Started in the spring of 2006, the bootcamp was a three-month, progressive, twice-a-week workout for brides-to-be. The classes "started with a hard-core workout," and the participants were encouraged to share ideas and timeline suggestions with each other. Additional sessions were held to provide information on invitation and reception design, the do's and don'ts of color, organization and decorating, as well as nutrition and relaxation through yoga. At the end of the program, participants received a pampering gift set. The Wellness Center staff began advertising for the bootcamp in January. Eighteen women signed up, which required them to hire another instructor because the center's policy is only 12 people to an instructor for classes. "A survey was conducted at the end of the program, and results showed success all around," says Mellone. "The [women] were happy with the transformation of their bodies, the knowledge the instructors gave them about fitness and the environment that was provided where they got to network with other to-be brides." The success of the program has inspired mumblings from other Wellness Center members about another Bridal Bootcamp in the spring of 2007. Plans are in the works.

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GET FIT IN '06!

Kinetics, Fitness For Life, Millersburg, Ohio IF YOU'RE GOING to Mexico, chances are you'll want to be in shape to don that swimsuit. That's probably what inspired some participants to partake in Kinetic's Get Fit '06 contest. But even more likely was just the opportunity to take part in a motivational contest that could help participants look and feel better - and win an all-inclusive trip for two to Cancun! Get Fit '06 was a three-month contest in which 68 participants vied for the prize trip to Cancun. The idea behind the contest was to "promote a healthy lifestyle change, encourage the community to address fitness and wellness needs, and increase exposure for Kinetics," explains Director Mike Hamsher. Since the contest was open to the entire community of Millersburg, Kinetics partnered with Graphic Publications, a local newspaper. Participants were required to pay a nominal fee to partake, and that included pre-, mid- and post-contest measurements for percent changes in weight, girth, body mass index, cholesterol and percent body fat. As part of the fee, participants could work out at Kinetics. Kinetics also ran a membership drive in conjunction with the competition. Making the contest even more exciting, and helping participants get even closer to winning, Kinetics ran a separate competition, a triathlon. Using Cybex treadmills, Arc Trainers and stationary cycles, and Infinity rowers, participants ran 26.2 miles, biked 112 miles and rowed 25 miles over the span of five weeks. Forty nine of the 68 contest participants completed the triathlon, and each received a T-shirt stating, "I completed the Kinetics Triathlon." The contest was a win/win for both participants and Kinetics. "Not only did the winner lose 91 pounds and 22 percent body fat," says Hamsher, "the fourth place winner was his wife. Together, they lost 128 pounds, 38 percent body fat and 15.5 inches off their waists." Ten places were awarded prizes, totaling in value approximately $3,000. "All told," says Hamsher, "contestants lost 163 inches and 682 pounds." What's even better: Kinetics gained 35 new members!

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PERSONAL TRAINERS AT YOUR 'MOUSE'TIP

Realistic Fitness Consulting & Private Studio Health and Fitness Consulting, Bethel, Conn. WHEN HIRING PERSONAL trainers, many facility operators often run into the same problems: 1) it's hard to find qualified personal trainers, and 2) with all of the certifications out there, it's difficult to discern which certifications are credible, much less the best. Daniel Gaita, who works for several facilities and is currently a consultant to fitness facility operators and previously held positions from personal trainer to general manager at fitness centers across the U.S., decided to do something about this. He developed the Personal Trainer Listing Service. The online service is free for both trainers who want to list their qualifications, and facility operators who are looking for qualified trainers. It was created "for our industry as we seek out certified, educated and experienced personal fitness trainers for our clubs, members, clients and athletes," explains Gaita. "Anyone can go to www.personaltrainer. cc and locate trainers in their area, review their credentials and contact them directly." In the near future, the site will also add a trainer rating system that will rate trainers based on certification, education and experience. "This five-star rating system will separate those trainers who took a mail-in exam from those trainers who have higher education degrees or hold more stringent certifications requiring proctored written and practical examinations," says Gaita. The site currently has approximately 1,000 trainers listed, and Gaita's goal is to reach 5,000 listings by the end of 2006. Gaita says the site has helped the facilities he has worked for to locate qualified trainers, and he hopes that the site will help thousands of other fitness facility operators across the U.S. It is, indeed, an innovative and needed service, providing a solution to not just one facility, but for many in the future.

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