Exercise Series 8: The CrossFit “Thruster”

The CrossFit program uses some unusual movements that you might not be used to seeing in your gym. One such movement is known as a “thruster”. You might still hear non-CrossFitters calling this movement a thruster, but the name was made official by CrossFit in 2001 and has stuck ever since.  Unless you’re familiar with the CrossFit library of exercises, this particular movement might catch you by surprise. If you see someone on your gym floor doing a fluid combination of a front squat and a push press, you’ve just come across a thruster in the wild. In fact, outside of the realm of [...]

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What is the “Slow Season,” anyway?

If you are new to the fitness industry, you probably have some amount of trepidation toward the time of year known as the “slow season” for gyms. Typically, when people talk about the slow season, they are referring to the summer months where most gyms struggle through a dip of low memberships and class participation.  Assuming you have just opened your gym, or you are still preparing for a grand opening, you have not yet been through a slow summer in order to judge how it will affect your business personally. However, in this post we’ll run through the basics [...]

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Exercise Series 7: The Kettlebell Swing

Previously in the Exercise Series, we have covered major weightlifting movements such as the deadlift and bench press. Today, we’ll be looking in detail at a lesser-known exercise known as the kettlebell swing.  This is another highly effective and beneficial exercise that requires excellent form to avoid injuries. As a gym owner, you can learn the essentials of this exercise to make sure you’re providing your clientele a safe and encouraging environment in which to do their kettlebell swings.  Benefits Major proponents of kettlebells are often amazed at how little the average exerciser knows about kettlebell workouts in general. Kettlebells appear so odd [...]

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Benefits and Drawbacks of Popular Cardio Equipment

Choosing which equipment to stock in your gym is one of the many huge decisions you must make as a business owner. Especially when your budget and floor space are limited, the pressure is on to make your selections carefully. This week, we’ll be looking at some of the pros and cons of popular cardio equipment, so you can evaluate them based on your own priorities.  Treadmills Regarded as of the most ubiquitous cardio machines out there, treadmills are popular for a reason. Running (or even walking) in and of itself is a fantastic, effective cardio workout that the majority of [...]

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CrossFit – Should You Encourage or Discourage it in Your Gym?

You would be hard-pressed to find a more polarizing and controversial modern exercise trend than CrossFit. Known for extremely intense workouts that combine core concepts from weightlifting, cardio, gymnastics, and even yoga, CrossFit is a “love it” or “hate it” experience.  Regardless of your personal feelings on the topic, we’re here to examine whether CrossFit as a business model could benefit your gym in the long run, or whether you should steer clear and stick to more traditional methodologies. Since every gym owner has different needs, financial situations, and business overhead to consider, this decision is often a personal one. [...]

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Is it better to hire salaried trainers or accept freelance trainers who work out of your gym?

If you have just opened a brand new gym, you are probably in the process of making some crucial hiring decisions. As a business owner, you know how your staffing choices affect your day to day work life, your responsibilities, and your bottom line.  If you find yourself confronting the dilemma of hiring in-house personal trainers versus allowing freelancers to work out of your gym space, keep the following factors in mind. Benefits of keeping trainers on staff and paying a salary or hourly rate Often means more consistency and reliability When you hire your trainers as regular staff, you [...]

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Setting Up Your Gym: What “Extras” Should You Provide?

If you are getting your gym ready for opening day, chances are you have already assembled a checklist of equipment you would like to stock. Barbells, dumbbells, benches, racks, cardio machines, and weight machines are all standard fare and will likely be the bread and butter equipment that most of your soon-to-be patrons use.  But, why stop there? It’s almost always a good idea to have additional workout options, peripheral supplies, and “extras.” The more “complete” the user experience when working out at your gym, the more your patrons will feel like their membership is well worth the cost.  If [...]

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Are Your Fitness Trainers Qualified to Teach Nutrition Guidelines?

The vast majority of people who join a gym and start a workout plan have some sort of goal in mind. It could be to lose weight, to put on muscle, to get in better cardio shape, to lower blood pressure and improve health markers, or any number of other worthy pursuits. Exercise is obviously an important component of each of those goal plans, but it’s only part of the full picture. If you want your gym members to be able to reap the full benefits of a healthy lifestyle, it’s always a great idea to keep a trainer on [...]

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Exercise Series 6: The Pull-Up or Pull-Down

Experienced trainers and observant readers may have noticed by this point in the exercise series that each movement we’ve covered so far is one of the “big 6” exercises that target major muscle groups over the entire body.  Each of these exercises in turn can be classified as a “push” or “pull” in their simplest forms. In the bench press, for example, you “push” the bar upward and away from your chest. With the barbell row, you bend over and “pull” the bar toward your chest. So, you can imagine by the names “pull-up” and “pull-down,” we will be dealing with a [...]

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What kind of atmosphere are your gym members looking for?

No two individuals want the exact same experience from joining a gym. Likewise, no two gyms offer the same atmosphere and experience to their customers.  Trying to please everyone is needlessly complicated and may actually undermine your authority as a “specialist” in a certain fitness niche.  For example, no one goes to a box gym chain expecting world-class martial arts training, and no one would go to an old school boxing or lifting gym wanting to join a spinningclass.  Your atmosphere tells your customers what your gym is all about. The fitness niches your trainers excel in, the services yourcustomers are likely to find in your facility, and even the likely [...]

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Exercise Series 5: The Bench Press

Perhaps the most iconic and famous weightlifting move known to beginners and advanced lifters alike, the bench press is another compound movement you will assuredly see members performing in your gym. As with each other movement in the exercise series, knowing the proper form and equipment your gym patrons will need in order to stay safe and healthy puts you ahead of the game in terms of being able to provide a quality experience for your members.  Benefits The bench press is known for sculpting fit and strong upper bodies. Chiseled pectoral muscles and bigger arms are the main draws for [...]

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How to Avoid Potential Liability Pitfalls of Owning and Operating a Gym

One unfortunate reality all business owners must face is that the risk of being held legally responsible for accidents on your business premises is greater than ever. This is especially true for gym owners. In the fitness industry, where clients will be engaging in intense and possibly dangerous physical activity using equipment provided by your facility, you must take every precaution against potential liability pitfalls. What are some gym liability risks you should be aware of? Though an exhaustive list of legal risks would be nearly impossible to put together, the following are the biggest or most common problems gym [...]

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Exercise Series 4: The Barbell Row

Like the lifts we’ve covered in the exercise series so far, the barbell row is another weightlifting movement that often causes gym owners some anxiety. It’s a compound movement done with heavy barbells that carries a risk of serious injury when done improperly. It can be tempting to outlaw or restrict exercises like this in your gym out of the fear of injuries and liability issues.  However, barbell rows, just like squats, deadlifts, and other major compound movements, are so incredibly beneficial to most exercisers that you would be doing your gym members a disservice by banning them altogether.  In this post, we’ll be [...]

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Exercise Series 3: The Overhead Press

Overhead presses are one of the six most popular weightlifting exercises that your gym members will likely want to perform during workouts. As such, it’s important that you, as a gym owner, understand what proper form looks like and what equipment your patrons will need to stay safe. Benefits The overhead press movement works the arms, shoulders, upper back, and core muscles. Though you may feel like you’re doing a solely upper body exercise, you are using the muscles in your back and abdomen to stabilize the heavy weight overhead, which makes the overhead press an excellent choice of exercise [...]

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Exercise Series 2: The Deadlift

In the first exercise series post covering the squat, we discussed a number of reasons you, as a gym owner, should know the major exercises your gym members will be doing. Enforcing higher safety standards, knowing red flags to look out for when you’re on the gym floor, and understanding what equipment your gym members will need are all essential things you can handle when you know the basics of each exercise.  Today’s post will cover another major movement: the deadlift.  Benefits of the deadlift A compound movement that uses several major joints and large muscle groups, the deadlift is one of the best exercises [...]

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