gails blog

Blog SMH on Fitness


Blog SMH on Fitness

So I felt the need to Blog based on the things I see in the fitness classes. I know I will offend quite a few people, however, that is not my intention. My intention is to bring awareness, ring bells, and give reminders of why we are in this wonderful profession. Many of these are not one of a Fitness Professionals. These are some of SMH Fitness shockers however, most of them came off of my FB wall with your feedback. I did my best to bring a reality check to many instructors. So please re-share on your FB walls so we can reach the masses.

SMH every day, in no particular order. We have 32 comments.

Group Exercise Instructors

1-Not responding to emails, texts to colleagues, or your directors within a 24-hour window.

-What is that all about…? I find it to be rude, and unprofessional. If someone is texting you for help, or with a question, respond back in a timely manor. You do take Lunch or breaks RIGHT??  Most of you do not respond back to texts, or emails seemingly in hopes the question, or situation just goes away…so you don’t have to feel bad saying NO to the person. You will get more respect by being up front, and honest. Remember you will need help one day. Karma is not fun.

2.  Not teaching the class description that was asked of you to teach. You got bored and “YOU” just felt like YOU wanted a change.

-Really???? Honestly, REALLY!!… You are bored, and you felt like just changing things up…. Simple answer:  you are paid to teach a class description that “YOU” agreed to teach. DO NOT CHANGE THE CLASS. Members attend classes based on what is posted daily for the set schedule. They are not coming for what you feel like teaching for the day.  They are attending the class that is posted on the schedule.

3. Instructors who say, “I am only doing this for fun”

-Please don’t say that, it pisses us off. It sends us a message that you are not educating yourself and in turn do not respect our profession. THIS IS OUR JOB!!!! Part Time, or Fulltime…It’s our job, and we love it every day…do not demean it! By saying you just do it for “fun”.

4.   Instructors who say “I don’t need the money”.

-Please don’t say that, it also pisses us off. Do not demean it!  The money we make pays bills for our families.  It pays rent, mortgages, car payments, food, extra for our kids, or whatever we may need the money for…do not make yourself sound better than those of us who do “need” the money.

5-.  Instructors who do not renew their certifications, do not attend workshops or go to fitness shows because they think that they do not need to learn.  Not staying on top of the current industry standards.

-Why don’t you??? If you are going to preach you are the best…then be the best with education. This field requires you to spend money, to stay educated, to be on the cutting edge of your skill. You do renew your driver’s license, correct?

6-. Googling, or “You-tubing” fitness ideas, and applying it to your clients, or classes even though you were not certified for that specialty.

-I know it’s easy to access the web these days…. however, you cannot sufficiently learn from viewing videos on line.  If you are NOT certified in that class type, you cannot teach the application simply because you watched a video.   GET CERTIFIED, so you are more prepared to teach to the classes.

7-Teaching a class format just because it is a NEW trend.

-So many new creative classes are being rolled out these days. It does not mean you can teach the class. Not every class is for everyone’s body. Do not teach a class that feels awkward to your teaching style. You do not want to end up looking absolutely unqualified to teach the program because it’s not within your scope.

8- Instructors showing up late for classes.

-WHY do you show up late for classes? IT IS THE MOST UNPROFESSIONAL THING YOU CAN DO. YOU ARE SENDING YOUR MEMBERS/CLIENTS A MESSAGES HOW YOU RUN YOUR LIEFSTYLE. Class starts at 9:30am, you should be in the building no later than 9:10 am. To check in, one last call to the bathrooms, and to check to make sure your studio is ready for your class set up.

9- Instructors who have their members pre-set up their classes waiting for them to arrive.

-If members are pre-setting up the same equipment for your class EVERYTIME. You are predictable, and you don’t change up your work out. Most importantly, you probably have them pre-set up the class without your cue, because you are always late to class. See #8. Not good!!

10- Instructors who are in the industry for less than 5 years that think they know it all just because their classes are packed.

-PUT IT IN PARK CHILDREN !!!!! (1 to 6 Years teaeching)…Do not piss me off.      I don’t care how many certs you have or DON’T HAVE. PUT IT IN PARK. Start respecting the 7+ years Instructors who have paved the way for YOU TO LOOK GOOD. We are all still learning EVERYDAY, and if you do not learn something everyday…you are missing out..

11- People who sub classes and change class formats, and tell the members it’s a dated class format, or old school class.

-(See above #2)

12-Instructors that do not clean up after their classes.

-Clean up your mess after class NEATLY! Don’t assume your members will return the equipment back to the designated locations neatly, and cleanly. You still need to walk around the room, and clean up, and re-set the room for the next class. DO not have the attitude, “well no-one cleaned for me”.  It is your class that presently left the mess. Again, set the tone for who you are as a professional. It is your BRAND!

13- Instructors who do not clean the studio prior to class start time to time to set the tone for your classes for the day.

-See #8. Be on time for your class, so your class can be ready to go. If there is a class before your class, and the instructor runs late, have a conversation with her/him. If that does not work, inform your director.

14- Instructors who take Selfie’s…REALLYYYYYY!!!!!

-Stop with the posting of Selfies on your FB wall. What are you fishing for…members to like you more? They are only liking your pics because they feel bad for you. TRUST ME!!! So just stop with the selfie nonsense.

15- Instructors who entertain member’s feedback about their fellow colleagues classes.

-Why do you feel the need to stand there and listen to negative feedback about your colleagues? Does it really make you feel good to hear that you are better than someone else? Stop entertaining members who need to say negative feedback. Direct them to the Directors. That is their jobs to deal with these type of complaints/issues…so let them handle those challenges.

16-Instructors who get certified in a class format, and then change it to accommodate their own needs.

-WHY??? Lets Take Zumba for example… How about looking at what the Zumba certification requires?  Zumba is NOT HIP HOP. See #2. They are many other class formats that have been altered to accommodate your members.  Case in point: the description for a Zumba class (right from their website) is: : Zumba combines Latin and International music with a fun and effective workout system. With classes and instructors worldwide, anyone can join the Party!

17- Spin instructors allowing there Spin members to leave sweaty towels on the handlebars.

-Instructors we are accountable to remind members to take their towels off their bikes after classes, as well as taking all their personal belongings with them after classes. If the members do not clean up after themselves, we are also responsible to clean the room, and pick up the towels and place them into the towel hamper. See #12

18-Instrutors who agree to cover classes but do not teach the format and thus change the class format simply for the $$$$$$.

-Do not cover the class if you cannot teach the class format. The director is the only person who can change class format. And directors: If you change the class format due to an emergency, then class signs should be posted to inform the members of the class change. See #2

19-So called ‘group exercise certification’ administered by a gym/health club, rather than a nationally recognized fitness company.  Especially when that certification only explains how to use the equipment and nothing about how to teach a class correctly.

-In house certifications are for the companies that have their own BRANDED classes. Everyone should, and needs to get a National Certification. Don’t assume those certifications can help you to get jobs in other fitness facilities.

20-Someone is being a distraction in class, trying to show off and be a diva, bringing them to the front and letting them have their 3 minutes of stardom.

-Zumba tends to promote fun in the classes. However, we need to be mindful of NOT doing it with the same members all the time. No favorites folks. NOT GOOD. THE SAME MEMBERS OVER AND OVER BECOMES WAYYYYY TOO MUCH!!

21-IT IS NOT YOUR WORKOUT.  Let me say that again: IT IS NOT YOUR WORKOUT.   PERIOD!!!!!

-Stop taking your classes. Start coaching, and walking around your class, and helping the members. If you are nervous to coach your members, then you should not be teaching classes. We are fitness professionals we need to be ready to coach, to help, to show modifications and/or progressions. (I had a member become upset at me because she said I picked on her too much for class correction. Why she felt that way? She said no one corrected her in the classes before, and she thought she was doing everything correctly. She complained to management about meJ)

22-From many members: “My pet peeve is people holding spots when I am waiting in line”.

-Instructors if you are aware that members are holding class spots on lines…you need to address the issues within your classes. IT IS YOUR CLASS! If the issues continue, then inform management to help you enforce the policy.

23-How about when a sub comes in and everyone leaves,and doesn’t give them a chance.

-This has happened to me on several occasions…. I will teach the class with the remaining members. However, on that particular day, I will give the members a very creative workout with such a smile, with honey, with love and sugar. Trust me they will remember me for the next 10 days.  You can’t worry if members walk out of the class if you are subbing, you only need to work on making a lasting impression on the members who choose to stay to get a great workout. Those members will report back, to the members who left, what a great class it was and they how missed out. Next time they see you…. they will stay.  What you as an instructor can do is always encourage members to try new people, do not announce you will not be there (next week) and refer back to #15 if upon your return you get negative feedback.

24-Another big pet peeve is when people view what we do as not a real job. “Is this all you do?” This is really aggravating when you look at the amount of effort, education and money it takes to be qualified.

-You are absolutely right! It is frustrating when it is perceived that being a fitness professional is not a “REAL JOB”. The amount of the time, and energy we put into the choreography, the playlist, the continuing education, it can be very frustrating when it is demeaned by people. Simply because it’s not a 9-5 job, it doesn’t mean it’s not a job. We are just lucky that we are able to get paid for something we love to do, and it happens to be a “JOB” involving education, communication, leadership, life coaching, and customer service.

25-People who post videos from their class to show how full it is; all the while 95% of the class has horrific form. Put the camera away, and help your people!

-I have to Laugh…You are right…but, that’s my point…see #3,5,6,7, NO EDUCATION!! They don’t even know that their class is a mess, because they too are a mess and cannot evaluate good from bad.

26-How about Instructors who pick up classes, and then sub it out 80% of the time because they cannot fill the class. Then, eventually they give up the class, and ask for another spot.

-If your expectations for filling classes are that it should be filled within 2 weeks: think again. It takes about 6-12 weeks (90 days) to create, and build a reputation with members.  If after 3 months, you are being consistent, (NOT SUBBING the class out 6-8 times within 3 months), and the class still does not fill, and other classes in the same time slots are doing well on other days of the week then it is time to step back, and evaluate. When you do so, you may find 1-It is the class type, 2- Club attendance is the issue, 3-It is not your forte (meaning: the type of class that you can successfully build/teach), 4- It may be something that you are not translating to the members to build  the class. Try taking other instructors classes on other days to see how they are doing. Don’t be so quick to give up classes.

27-Zumba classes that consists of all top 40, hip hop songs, and no Latin-based rhythms. If you get licensed or certified in any fitness program and do not want to follow the format of program call your class something else.

-See #16

28-Zumba instructors getting licensed with no prior fitness background and not having a primary certification.

-I know that Zumba does promote getting an AFAA Primary certification, HOWEVER, it is not mandatory.  New Zumba instructors are not required to have a national certification.    Zumba has been a motivational tool for many non-fitness professionals (members, and stay at home moms/dads) to get certified…. however, like I said before…if you are going to step in to our world, GET EDUCATED, DO NOT JUST SAY you are dancer, and educated.

29-.When an instructor walks into the studio, and tells the members at the start of class, they are having a bad day, and not to expect too much from them today.

-If you are having a bad day, and cannot leave your issues at the Fitness facility front door…. you need to check yourself, and remember you are about to go teach a class for the members. It’s your Job and customer service is a priority. The members are expecting you to be present for them. If your bad day is so horrible that you cannot focus…then get your classes covered.

30- I once took Zumba class where the instructor looked at herself in the mirror the entire time she taught.

-Note: Straight from a members mouth. Stop focusing on yourself in the mirror. As you can see members do notice that you are checking yourself out in the mirrors. Stop being so vain, and teach.

31-How about instructors who think that harder is better? They think that pushing a class to their limits is the way to go while you have clients on the floor with all kinds of movement dysfunctions.

-The exercise selections I see in group fitness classes are ridiculous far too often. The risk/benefit ratio is backwards. Classes full of students who can’t squat properly, yet they are throwing jump squats into the program. Burpees done by people who can’t do push-ups or squats. Just because it makes you sweat doesn’t mean it is good for you. Far too much “follow me if you can” and not enough instruction on what proper movement should look like. By Tristan Phillips  (See #21)

- Take note folks…Tristan is absolutely right…back to education, education, education…

32- Instructors who do not dress the part of a fitness professional.

- Being a fitness professional requires you to dress, and look the part for your clients or members in your presentation of yourself. Wearing dirty clothes, faded clothes, your boyfriends/husband shorts, dirty sneakers you ran through mud in the past weekend, hair is a mess, your BO has issues, working out then running to teach your class without changing into fresh clothing, showing the crack of your butt (no-one wants to see that), Thong lines, ETC ETC..I can go on about this…you need to separate workout daily clothing from your  teaching/training your classes/clients. Represent your BRAND in how you would want your business, and employees to look like running your business.

Well that’s it for now on Group Exercise SMH. I think I covered all your feedback and a few extra’s

Thanks for reading.

Branded Classes vs. Freestyle classes


These days as we move forward into the fitness stream of group classes, have you wondered why  branded pre choreographed classes are becoming more of the mainstream of fitness classes versus freestyle creative classes? Hopefully in this blog I will be able to address my thoughts and opinions on this topic. You may find that you agree with me, but are always free to disagree,

1-The newer  instructors entering the field  of teaching group exercise classes, need a foundation to start teaching classes. Branded classes are the solution. You don’t have to think, be creative for your classes, learn the musicality, design a break down, think of progressions, think of safe, and effective applications. It is done for you.  Branded classes bring simplicity.

2-In the evolution of freestyle teaching by group exercise instructors, we all have designed our class outlines to teach to each individual class we teach every day. We have picked our own music, designed detailed break downs to help cater to all class levels, we know our musicality/32 counts, and also are able to make decisions in class should we need to adjust to accommodate to our clients./members.  The beauty of freestyle teaching is in the way we do the  breakdowns, teaching the class such that at the very end it is a seamless beautiful performance by the members.

However, these days, the instructors who can accomplish this freestyle production are few, and far between.   We  - – - as an industry – - are now surrendering to the branded classes because, our clients cannot handle the challenge that is placed in front of them,  that being – - – - to listen, and to learn.  These days in our technology-driven world, we have forgotten how to listen, to understand, to connect,  and to pay attention. Everything in our new world is visual. Texting is one of the largest adversaries we have in our industry.  We have turned off our ears to listen, and to feel,. Texting, although convenient,  is cold, and it does not require you to interact, to listen, or to feel.  Think about it???  Branded classes allows members to get comfortable in classes.  After a few weeks, they can probably text, and take your class at the same time. This is not the case in a freestyle class.  Free style classes requires members to listen, to pay attention, to feel, and to understand the muscle awareness of where they need to be in that particular movement/workout.

3-The biggest benefit of branded classes to the fitness facilities, is that the  fitness companies can now have trainers teach these pre-choreographed classes, and pay them less than a skilled certified group exercise instructor,>>>HENCE saving on group exercise payroll.  Remember group exercise is a cost center.  We do not bring revenue into the facilities, we ONLY retain loyal members that continue to pay ONLY monthly memberships (and our members sometimes bring in guests or family based upon our reputations in the field). Unlike group exercise, Personal Trainers, and small group training classes (SGTC), brings revenue into the fitness facilities over, and above members’ monthly dues.  So, by plugging Personal Trainers into classes, two things happen> a)-We can now save on group ex payroll.  We can now pay trainers on a low average $18 to $25 a class vs group ex instructors pay scale which can be on average from $30 to $100 an hour (Note: $75+ are Higher end instructors with 5+ certifications, and 8+ years teaching experience)  and,  b) Personal Trainers now have an open forum to connect, and promote themselves to members to drive, build PT, and SGTC revenue to build the personal training business to hit the companies monthly revenue goals.  It’s a Win WIN for the companies!   Companies are looking for PT with the ability to do both modules, or, they are looking at trainers with the potential to be coached to do both modules. YES! We can be replaced very easily because, at the end of the day, it is revenue that builds a business NOT the monthly dues.

They are so many  challenges we face as a fitness professionals   Among these are…….

-Super-low priced competitors.

-High-Pressure from clients wanting to “Feel the Burn” before they are even healthy enough to really train.

-Unqualified, and unskilled fitness professionals that give our profession a bad name.

-Near to almost worthless workouts in the fitness magazines.

-TV shows, magazines ads, internet gurus making  impossible claims.

-Uncertified Fitness professionals

Amongst all of this, how do we find a way to differentiate ourselves, and to build, and elite fitness program that gets results, gives great classes, keep members retention at a HIGH,  to show our fitness companies that we are valuable- – -  how can we be impactful, ….

My answer to that is:

4-It is my opinion that -Freestyle classes set you apart from everyone else. By teaching them, you can make your style irreplaceable.  You can be the sprinkles for the cupcake, the whip cream on the apple pie for the group ex schedule, becoming “The Highlight” in a mundane schedule of branded classes.   You can be the elitist, the special instructor, even if you are only teaching  2 to 4 classes a week. You can impact the schedule fully.  Don’t get me wrong, freestyle is work – - – . finding music, coming up  with new ideas, figuring out how to break it down so that members can be successful . You can become untouchable meaning – - – you will be sought after, and the management team will try to make you happy, versus being  just an instructor that teaches only branded classes – - – someone who is easily replaced. The reward is PRICELESS, YOU CAN BE PRICELESS!

*Be open to teaching SGTC, be flexible, keep your classes fresh. Do not box yourself into teaching just one type of class.

* Be flexible to teaching branded classes, however, pick the branded classes “YOU” will be able to deliver in your true form of teaching style that you can shine through vs. just teaching a branded classes because its the next best thing. Don’t be the majority, be the minority.

*Keep your certifications current, add  other certifications into your  repertoire of teaching skills. Take workshops, attend Fitness Conference vs doing online course.

*Stay within your company’s class format, and description. Do not deviate from the companies brand/class formats. They are in place to build their business NOT yours. If you feel the need to deviate, then let me strongly suggest you get your own studio.  Remember you are working for a large establishment. Rules are in place to build their brand weather you agree ,or not. Be mindful of that,…..So keep all these things in the back of your mind.

*But, in any event, every time you walk into your classes, try to make a difference within that class, and with at least ONE member.  In doing this, you will see how your classes will  start to grow.

*Be humble, and be grateful, but always remember that “You are the best there is.”  And when  it comes to being you, nobody does it better.

Thanks for reading, hope it was helful.
Gail Bannister-Munn
Flexibility Specialist
E-RYT 200 Yoga,
Wellness Health & Fitness Coach

LIFNGroup 2014 EVENT


Hello Everyone,

This Blog for the New Year, 2014 is about Giving Thanks.

The LIFNG was designed so we can all benefit in network, promote, and helping each other. This group is hopefully for us to help promote, and help each other with our networking, and future goals. I think, and believe we can all make this work. We have had many members utilize the LIFNGroup to advertise their classes, training’s, educational seminars, or workshops. It has become a huge success.

I decided to host my 1st Annual LIFNGroup Networking Dance Event on Saturday, January 11th, 2014. I knew it would be a challenge financially however, I surrendered myself to understand it was about bringing people together to grow, and to UNITE as one. THE EVENT WAS A HUGE SUCESS!. On Friday, January 10th we had 124 paid, and confirmed. Saturday night we had 57 members, and guests paid at the door.  Total of 181 in attendance. We did amazing, keeping in mind, we only promoted this event starting in the middle October, so we only had about 75 days to promote. It was all done by social media, and word of mouth. I feel gratitude, and appreciation today for what are sometimes such simple pleasures and for what we have accomplished.  I have learned that happiness is not determined by circumstances.  Happiness is not what happens when everything goes the way you think it should go; happiness is what happens when you decide to be happy. Seeing everyone happy was PRICELESS to me. So no dollar amount can compare to everyone’s happiness for me. So THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Safe The Date for 2015! Next years event will be on Saturday January 24th, 2015.

I wanted to THANK EVERYONE for their support, Fitness Professionals, Clients, Friends, Family, and to give special appreciations to all our sponsors, and to some very important people behind the scenes.

Stating with: -

Angel Morales, of A10Events:-

I need to extend a HUGE, and Special THANK YOU. He was, and is  is my party planner, and he made this event AMAZING for everyone, and made my life so painlessly pain free. Feel free to contact him for any of your future events at >>

Email:- .

Will Ortiz, WMO Entertainment :- Our DJ, and Drummer without him the party would not have been a HUGE Success. We danced all night. >>  Email:

Tommy Bonano:- DJ#2: Who was also a huge part of keeping us on the dance floor all night. (Contact Angel for his information, see above)

Jarrett Slavens:- Our Photographer who was so, so patient with us on the Red Carpet.

Denise Bory:- My Website, and invitation designer  Email:-

Gerard Sims:- Special thanks for keeping track of our LIFNG Pay Pal Accounts, and keeping accurate track of our bookkeeping.

Michele Ruppert Cardone, Our Cake Specialist, Michelle did an amazing job with our LIFNG Cake, >>

Saiid Zamani:-Printer for all our printed invitations/material. Total Marketing Solutions USA  Website:

Mary Sue Szivos:- AMAZING SCRAFS, Hand made with love… Email:

Woodbury Country Club. Special thanks go to our Event Host “Anthony Calogero” and team. Without them the event, would not have been a success. Please check out there website for more information. Website:-  Phone Number:-516-692-6200

Tyrone Munn:-Last but not least, my husband, my friend, MY LARGEST SUPPORTER, who missed his football games on saturday to come out to be the ticket taker, and bouncer for me at the door. I love you, and Thank You.

To our Sponsors in alphabetical order: -

Please see a brief outline of their companies Brand and what they can coffer you


  • Power. Strength. Endurance. Balance. Rhythm. BRICKHOUSE Fitness© challenges you in an eclectically styled fusion workout taking you beyond the next level. The ultimate combo encompassing sets of Cardio Kickboxing, Speed & Agility Work, Endurance Training, Resistance Training with bands, Core & Balance Work and Dance…you’ll be blasting calories, boosting stamina, building muscle and busting a move!
  • E-Mail: (for info on classes, events, trainings and certs)
  • Website: -
  • Cherry Hill Health & Racquetball Club (Rt 70)
  • $15 drop in
  • Weds & Fri at 9:30am
  • Thurs 6:30pm (Met BLAST by BRICKHOUSE©)


  • Hot Ryde, our boutique fitness studio, located in the heart of Roslyn, is a perfect alternative to the big gym environment. Specializing in studio classes and personalized attention, our           schedule is structured to offer you a variety of workouts to keep you fit and motivated. Whether you need a day of cardio, strength training, or stretch, there?s a class for you. Hot Ryde?s three modern studios, all under one roof, enable you to come to one space, pay per class or purchase a series or package and get exactly the type of workout you want for that day. Ultimately, the goal is for you to feel great about the body you are in.  We offer RealRyder® Indoor Cycling, At The Barre, TRX®, Functional Sculpt Classes, Workshops and more!
  • Contact Email: Website:
  • Clients can reserve classes or schedule a studio visit by visiting us on-line,downloading our Hot Ryde app, calling the studio (516) 801-6666, and following us on Facebook for all of the latest specials.
  • Facebook:

Koga Fitness™

The Best Of Two Fitness Worlds Come Together In One Amazing Workout”

Kickboxing & Yoga Combined…….KOGA!?Experience it!

  • Koga Fitness™ is a total health and fitness network for everyone. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle, get healthy and even create some serious residual income then Koga Fitness™ Network is for you. Everyone knows that lifting heavy weights takes strength. However, balancing in the form of powerful Asana’s and Kickboxing takes strength too. Koga strength training is a blend of Isometric and Plyometric movements. Muscles are trained in opposition to each other or to an immovable object. This is just the opposite of what we have been taught in the aerobic training of the past.  Its time for you to experience what pro athletes, celebrities and everyday fitness enthusiat’s have deemed ” the best workout ever”. KOGA!
  • Website:
  • Email:

Melt :-

  • The MELT Method® (MELT) is a self-treatment technique that helps people get out and stay out of chronic pain in just ten minutes a day. When pain becomes chronic, the body’s natural state of stability and balance declines. When a body isn’t stable, it can’t be efficiently mobile. By learning how to MELT, you can learn to actively partake in decreasing stuck stress daily so it doesn’t accumulate and cause symptoms that sap your vitality and energy. With MELT, you can learn to assess your body’s stability system before your body produces pain signals to alert you something is wrong.
  • MELT brings your body back to a more ideal state by directly enhancing body awareness, rehydrating connective tissue, and decreasing stuck stress that accumulates from daily living. The first time you MELT, you can see and feel a difference – and over time, you can transform how your body looks and feels.
  • Contact email:
  • For more information on class locations and times go to
  • MELT web site

Move-ya Music

  • The Number Music company for fitness professional.  Workout music, exercise music, group fitness music CD and DVD online shopping with Move Ya! for fitness professionals. Easy prelistening for aerobics music Music you can use anywhere and for any class.
  • Website address is
  • Discount Code is GB23

Net Gen/Parisi Schools

  • Who are we? NXT GEN Fitness in Port Washington, NY brings you a 13,000 square foot state of the art training facility. We have revolutionized training by combining the three industry leading training programs from across the nation under one roof. We chose programs that are constantly evolving and we are always researching the latest in scientific innovations in training and fitness technology. From 5 to 105, we aim to provide the NEXT GENERATION with result driven programming delivered in a safe, fun and friendly environment in an effort to create the “athlete” within. The personalized programs are designed to improve skills, such as speed and agility, enhance weight loss and fitness, and perhaps most importantly self-esteem for children aged five to seventeen, and adults of all ages.
  • For adults: MBSC THRIVE Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning offers the most comprehensive performance enhancement training, reconditioning and personal training in the nation. MBSC’s results- driven approach covers every aspect necessary to achieve your goals, whether they involve sports performance, weight loss, or a healthier lifestyle.
  • T.F.W.-Training For Warriors-The Training For Warriors system is a physical and mental training program originally created for fighters by Martin Rooney more than 10 years ago. This training program utilizes ongoing evaluation and feedback to adapt specific strength and conditioning protocols to best fit a warrior’s needs.
  • Contact:  Kahmal Roy (516)883-7678
  • Program Director, NXT GEN Fitness and Performance
  • Parisi Speed School, MBSC Thrive, Training for Warriors

Pick Your Own Trainer:

  • Pick your own trainer is a social network designed to bridge the gap between fitness and health professionals with those seeking their services.  If you are a Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Nutritionist, Massage Therapist, Physical Therapist, or if you are involved with one of the other various health and fitness professions, you can create a free-multifunctional TRAINER PROFILE! Use your profile as your own personal website to showcase yourself and your talents, take advantage of networking opportunities, create Fitness Groups or just stay informed on all things going on in the health and fitness world. Get in on the ground floor of this great new site! The official launch is coming soon!
  • Website:

Primal strength:-

  • Primal Strength-New York is specialized fitness facility offering a wide variety of classes. We offer kickboxing-boot camp, mobility training, and are proud to be Long Islands premier kettlebell training facility. We can design a program for your needs regardless of your fitness level and we welcome all to join us. Our instructors are all certified, highly accomplished in their disciplines ans put your safety and success first.

PST: -Positions Specific Training

  • PST is the New York’s premiere on field training program servicing athletes in multiple sports. Our purpose is to provide in depth, age appropriate training to athletes so they return to their teams a more knowledgeable, more skilled, and more confident position player.
  • Wbsite:-
  • Email:-

Regine Fitology.

  • Regine Fitology – It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle
  • Personal Trainer and Nutrition Consultant
  • Regine and her team of experts offer customized nutrition plans based on clients daily activity levels and current workout routines to maximize weight loss, body fat reduction and healthy lifestyle changes.  Regine gets you off the hamster wheel and seeing physical and health benefits in no time. Regine is also a certified personal trainer who works one on one with clients to incorporate strength training into their lifestyles.
  • Contact Info: Regine Kachtiane


  • ReXist360 is a one of a kind patented resistance training system: Made for the athlete, proven for everyone!  This unique fitness system can increase strength, speed and endurance; as well as agility without the aid of additional weights. ReXist360 power bands come in multiple resistance grades with the ability to scale up or down while walking, running, training and even using in conjunction with your current fitness program. ReXist360 gives the same results as high-impact exercises without beating up your joints and ligaments. Use the bands at home, at your desk or in the gym, lightweight and packable.  Improve your game, get the body you’ve always dreamed of and the cardio you need at the same time, because aren’t we all athletes at heart!
  • We run training sessions and will post to our website and facebook page, like us on facebook/rexist360 and follow us on twitter/rexist360
  • Website Link:
  • Contact:  Barbara Graffeo  212-730-4709

Sea Cliff Acupuncture:-

  • Sea Cliff Acupuncture, Marjorie Ruth O’Connor L.Ac.
  • I am a licensed acupuncturist, social worker and certified watsu practitioner. I utilize Japanese, Esoteric, Chinese, dry trigger point needling and shiatsu therapy approaches to tailor each treatment to my client’s needs. I treat the physical body as well as the emotional and spiritual. I welcome children, adults and seniors into my practice. My office is in Sea Cliff, NY and I do watsu sessions in a heated natural pool in Brooklyn.
  • Website:
  • Email:

Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center:-

  • The Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center is a full service community center with programs and services for all ages, infants to senior adults to nurture mind, body and soul.
  • Our Fitness, Sports & Aquatic Center includes 2 full size gyms, elevated indoor track, fitness center, 25 meter indoor pool, 4 outdoor tennis courts, 2 outdoor basketball courts, a mirrored group exercise studio, and full service locker rooms inclusive of saunas and steam rooms.
  • For job inquiries, training opportunities, or facility space rentals, please email Seth Sherman, Fitness & Sports Director, Seth Sherman at
  • Find us on the web at: and on facebook.

The Bannister Method:-

  • Flexibility and Strength are critical in life for all of us, at all ages and not just for the professional athlete but also for the amateur athletes. “The Bannister Method” is designed to increase muscular balance, strength, flexibility, core strength, and bringing energy into the body. You can maintain your body’s capacity to function the way you need to for your particular lifestyle. You will learn how to find your Balance, Strength, Flexibility, and Flow and develop inner strength and an understanding of your limitations to either move beyond them or stay within your boundaries however, still feeling like you have accomplished your goals.
  • About the Treatments: Treatments are routinely modified to include sensitivities addressing acute, and chronic conditions, including: herniated disks, subluxations, muscle strain, joint replacements, and surgeries.
  • Applications for the Treatments:The Thai-Yoga Therapist doesn’t just use the power of their hands and fingers. They use their hands, their fingers, their palms, arms, knees, and feet, along with the receiver’s body weight and their resistance to provide a deeply moving experience. The Thai-Yoga Therapist enters into a meditative awareness adapting every stretch and technique to the client’s exact need, whether soft or strong. Flowing rhythmic compressions using the feet, knees, palms, elbows, forearms and fingers are blended with the stretching positions allowing to body to relax and embrace the healing.

The ROK:-

  1. ROK Health & Fitness, Revolution of Kinetics; State of the Art Facility with over 50 classes offered; visit for more information
  2. Jill Sumner-Markowski, Group Exercise Director, email:
  3. Facebook Jill Sumner Markowski, club tel. no.: 516-881-7800; Director of Operations, Craig D’Urso; 3 day passes available, please contact Jill.
  • Pilates…
  • Bella Forma Pilates @ ROK is the current 2nd place winner of Long Island’s Best Pilates Studio 2014. Bella Forma Pilates provides a safe, encouraging, and welcoming environment to empower members to enjoy a happier and healthier lifestyle. Our belief is that Pilates is intelligent exercise for the mind, body, and spirit improving lives both intrinsically and extrinsically. We offer a variety of classes including Group Reformer Pilates, JumpBoard, Pilates Chair, Pilates BootCamp, Pilates BootCamp, Pilates Circuit as well as Barre Forma Classes. Barre Forma is a cutting edge NYC-style Ballet Barre fitness class. This dynamic class is both a sculpting and cardiovascular workout all in one.
  • Contact information – Renee Danseglio, Studio Manager/Coordinator – phone: 516-526-8508, email:
  • Bella Forma Pilates offers all new clients a complimentary Pilates Reformer Demo as well as a complimentary Barre Forma Class.  Visit us at
  • Goodness Yoga at ROK:  where “its all good”
  • We believe yoga should be practiced in a non-competitive, laid back, friendly environment. Our teachers are well trained professionals, friendly, and helpful. You will feel welcome, safe, comfortable and at “home”.  The studio is bright, modern, clean and classes are affordable.   Also available Private and small group yoga instruction.  Classes for children ages 3-12 available. We offer Reiki, Aromatherapy, Meditation Privately or with your group. Contact info. Jodi Kallas – email: visit for more information.

Two worlds:

  • Two worlds provides 4 studios that are able to support Fitness classes, Dance classes, Children’s programs, of all types. They also are able to rent out studio space for classes or workshops/events. We have a fully equipped fitness workout floor to train your private clients and or our members to utilize. Two worlds also offer fitness classes of all types, Zumba, Insanity, Yoga, Pilates, Barre classes, See link for more classes types and information. We are Open seven days a week, Dany Holdstein’s Two Worlds is conveniently located in Wheatley Plaza, on the corner of Northern Boulevard & Glen Cove Road.
  • There is plenty of parking, and for your safety, visible on site security. Our studios and gym are located up stairs between Lazar’s Chocolate and Red Mango.
  • All four of our bright mirrored modern dance / workout studios have technically advanced ‘floating’ floors, and state of the art sound systems. Studios have either wood flooring or Marley coverings.
  • The Gym is fully equipped with free weights, cardio vascular and weight resistant machines, as well as flat screen television screens. There are changing rooms for men and women with lockers and showers.
  • Contact: 516-484-6604
  • Website:

Again, Sincere Thanks to EVERYONE,

Gail Bannister-Munn

Fitness Educator/Presenter


Flexibility Specialist For the NY JETS, and Pro Hoops, NBA

RYT 200 Yoga,

Wellness Health & Fitness Coach

“Change the way you look at things, and things will Change”

Members misbehaving in-group exercise classes. Are you that person?


Top four misbehaving issues…

Joining a gym, participating in class or just attending a master class can be intimidating to anyone.  Remember that you are entering a room setting containing many different personalities.  There are people who are unknown to you and there are people attending their 1st group exercise class.

Why members misbehave…

Members do not misbehave purposefully.  They misbehave because people are inherently territorial in nature.  You  – - – as members  – - – have to learn to play nice, and to share.

Biggest Members issues.

1-Class Space

Members think they own real estate space, or bikes. You don’t!

When joining a gym, your contract does not include a specific workout spot or a particular bike. We  – - – as instructors – - – do understand that many of you are comfortable, or feel more comfortable in a particular space in the studio.  WE are happy when you get that space you like best  However, you must understand that it is not a guarantee that every time you take a class that particular place will be available to you.  It may be someone else’s favorite space as well.


Try to understand that the collective energy of all the members sets the tone of the class for the instructor. We the instructors hate starting classes with negativity in the air. It changes the tone of the class, and the workout we had prepared for your enjoyment. So take a deep breath, and realize that we are here to help you get a great workout.  But please – - – if you don’t get your favorite spot  – - – for what ever reason – - -, again, take that deep breath and just be grateful that you are healthy, and you were able to attend the class to accomplish your goals.

2-Personal space.

Yes, we have members who may stand a bit too close to you, and maybe that makes you feel uncomfortable. Yep, they are invading your personal space. It can annoy you especially if they are wearing strong body perfumes, or have strong body odors.

We are all aware that some members will purposely stand too close to you in order to move you out of your spot.  Again, see above about real estate on the floor.   Yes, it is VERY rude! But don’t get into a fight either physically, or by yelling at each other. It is not worth it. Let your instructors handle the situation.


Bring it to the instructor’s attention right away that the class may be too over crowded and

- Ask the instructor to ask the members to take a step back, or a step forward

- Ask the instructor to arrange the members/space safely so you can have a more efficient workout

- Or express your concerns after class to your instructor, so for the next week class, she/he can address the situation.

3- Your Favorite Instructors

When you find a GREAT instructor, it is fine to love, love, love, them, and to follow them to the ends of the earth. But, when your favorite instructor subs out their classes, be kind to the sub.  It is not cool to get very upset with the replacement, and leave the studio/class. Not giving the sub instructor an opportunity to show what they can bring to the table with their skills, and talent. It is not nice, and is a mistake on your part.   Like “Forest Gump” said: you will never know what you get …………. Unless you try it. As members please understand the hard work that we instructors put into designing our classes – - – from the choreography, to the music, to the coaching, to the researching new workouts, the thousands of dollars spent on certifications, or coming up with new, safe and effective ideas. It takes long hours and a lot of hard work to come in prepared to give you 150% and, to make sure you walk out of the class happy and satisfied. With that said…So – - – no it is not okay to ask the instructors to let you know in advance when they will be away; it creates bad blood among instructors. We as instructors don’t own the classes. The company is paying us to do a service for their members. The company can replace us anytime if they see friction among the team or management. The instructors making announcements in classes about there personal schedule, and their getting subs for classes creates friction and therefore creates a company issue. After all, we do know how large the classes normally are.  So – - – when we sub for someone, and it is normally a very large class, and we show up to cover and see five members, – - – we take it personally.  IT’S NOT COOL!


Always appreciate your favorite instructors, especially when they are out sick, on vacation, or emergencies come up unexpectedly. But also give the sub a chance. After all they may surprise you and in the end you may have another favorite instructor, or another class you can attend, to mix things up to meet your personal goals quickly. Remember, you joined the gym to workout and to meet those goals.  Bad class, or Great class, you can always get a workout in.  It is the experience you are looking for to encourage you that keeps you coming back. As Instructors, TRUST ME we get it! Consider your sub for that ONE-HOUR. That’s all it is, one hour. Get your workout in.  You have your own personal goals to accomplish. Funny, it may be your best workout ever! Give that sub a shot, and DON’T GET CAUGHT UP with the HYPE. If you should have any feedback about the sub, keep it to yourself; do not gossip with fellow members. Direct the feedback to the Group Ex manager, NOT the permanent instructors when they get back. It will make your permanent instructor feel very uncomfortable.

Note: If you absolutely hated the sub instructor, do not tell them “Great Class” when exiting studio. Just say “Thank You” and leave. By telling the sub “Great Class”, when you eventually give the group director your honest opinion of the class, it will be very hard for the director to now give the sub instructor constructive feedback. You left them thinking “They did a great Class”

4- Class Sign-up Policies.

No class policies works efficiently that “YOU” the members will agree its perfect. Everyone HATES sign up policies including us the instructors. However, we implement these policies to control order to classes. We do our best to make sure we are catering to the VAST majority of the members. Every company will make that final decision that will work best for their facility.  Policies are implemented to create the least amount of stress for everyone involved. Policies are implemented because members are “Misbehaving”


There is none. Take deep breaths, and adjust. Everyone is feeling the same way you are feeling….you are not alone. Remember the policies are in place to remove 75% of the crazy lines. NOT 100%.  We can never please everyone.

Hope this helps you have a better workout class experience.

Good Luck, and with these things in mind, I am sure you will all meet your workout goals.

Become the Leader Your Clients Need and Want BY “Dr. Evan Osar”


I have had so many ideas to write for my next blog, but i did not blog them in fear it may be perceived as angry. Most of my personal frustrations have been me observing how our fitness industry is becoming more generic these past years. I fell in love with this article. I hope you all find it just an interesting as I did.

Dr. Evan Osar has a 20-year background in fitness and experience as a chiropractic physician that works with the pre and post-rehabilitation, pre and post-natal, baby boomer, and senior populations. He is the creator of over a dozen resources including the highly acclaimed The Corrective Exercise Approach to Common Hip and Shoulder Dysfunction. He is a regular presenter at fitness conventions and is the developer of the Integrative Movement Specialist™ certification. See his webiste for more information.

‘The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think – rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves…’
John Dewey on Education

Unlike my previous articles, this article will not discuss ways to improve scapular stabilization to diminish neck and shoulder discomfort, stimulate better gluteal muscle activation to improve lower extremity force production, or cue more efficient posture to reduce chronic trigger points. However, the content of this article is every bit as important and perhaps even more important than any of these previous topics. For as far as we have come as a profession, there seems to be an alarming trend towards moving in the opposite direction of our vitally important role as coaches, mentors, and teachers. In this article, I am going to encourage, perhaps implore you to reverse this trend and become the leaders that your industry and most importantly, your clients need, want, and will pay for.

We have a major health problem in the United States. While politicians spend their time debating about health care, no one seems to be discussing the much larger problem we have in this country. Consider, the following statistics:

• $849 billion or 7.7% of this country’s gross domestic product is spent on direct and indirect costs related to musculoskeletal pain with the majority of this money spent on spine and joint related problems.
• $300 billion are spent every year on prescription medication and another $532 million are spent on over-the-counter medication. The majority of this medication is used to treat symptoms related to results of poor movement patterns (pain medications and anti-inflammatories) and dietary choices (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, antacids and related medications).
• Nearly two-thirds of our population is overweight, with one-third of our population being obese. Shockingly, there is a similar rate of obesity in our children. Similarly, these statistics are largely related to movement disorders (pain limiting movement or the general lack of movement) and poor dietary choices.

While some may argue that expanding health care coverage would help change these figures, they do not take into consideration the health of the individuals that are currently insured. For example, the majority of the clients and patients I see in my downtown Chicago practice are insured and on the higher end of the economic income spectrum. The majority of these individuals are on three or more medications and the rate of obesity in my population is virtually equivalent to our national averages. As I speak with my fitness professional colleagues in different regions of the country, they report similar findings in their clients. These are universal problems that cross socio-economic levels and affect every aspect of our culture.

As more individuals experience the deleterious effects of poor health – low energy, chronic muscular and joint pain, and depression – they will increasingly seek the help of professionals to help them on their journey back to health. Which profession is in the best position to be the leaders and advocates for these individuals? I would like to present the argument that there is no better profession to help these individuals on their road to improved health than the fitness profession. Why do I think that we are on the forefront of this health care revolution?

1. Entrance: Unlike many health professionals, we have direct access to individuals. We don’t need a prescription or referral from a medical professional to work with individuals. Many of us actually travel to clients place of work or home so we can help individuals by making our services more accessible and avoiding many of the common barriers of time and location as to reasons clients use for not taking control of their health.
2. Education: Because we spend time with our clients and often remain in direct communication with them via social media and the web, we are much more effective educators on movement, nutrition, and exercise. We generally see individuals on a regular basis so we can closely monitor any changes in the client’s health history and refer them off to their health or medical professional before things progress too far.
3. Empowerment: There is no better profession for motivating and empowering individuals to start and remain on a health and fitness program than the fitness industry. Most of us got into this industry because we love to help others as much as we love being physically active. By combining this passion to help and serve others with a passion for health, we are set up to be the leaders our clients need and want.

While we have been presented with this incredible opportunity to be leaders of the health care revolution, unfortunately our industry is largely moving further away from responsible training and being a solution for this pandemic with the emphasis of training methods that perpetuate training the general population like professional athletes, training general population like they are professional mixed martial arts fighters, and training the general population like they are going to apply to be a Navy Seal. Don’t get me wrong, if you are training collegiate or professional athletes or Navy Seals, than train them appropriately. However, with less than 1% of the population being a professional athlete or Navy Seal, I doubt many of us work with these individuals. As I travel and teach around the country and speak with the trainers in all types of settings, it is not surprising to find that the large majority of us are working with the general population. Unfortunately, we are taking our training paradigm and exercise programming from the industry leaders that mostly work with college or professional athletes and even celebrity trainers. This does not detract from these individual’s knowledge, expertise or experience or suggest that they don’t have any information that can benefit those of us that don’t work with the high-level individuals.

However I have a question for you to consider – would you go to a heart surgeon for advice on your ankle injury? Why not? Because you know that while a heart surgeon knows surgery and likely studied the foot briefly as a medical student, he does not spend the focused time or attention on the ankle. Then why as a profession do we clamour to the individuals training high-level individuals to get information on training the general population? Why do embrace training strategies that are actually breaking our clients down and contributing to their movement dysfunction rather than focusing on the strategies that can help us become the movement-based solution to chronic pain, joint degeneration, and obesity? There are three primary reasons I believe are at the root of this mind-set.

1. Practical application: Regardless of the level of pain or dysfunction the client is in, the large majority of individual’s presenting to the fitness professional have the goal of losing weight. And unless they get their butt kicked and are profusely sweating by the end of workout, they often fail to recognize how improving things like breathing, joint centration, and integrating these components into the fundamental movement patterns will help them accomplish their weight-loss goals.
2. Pressure: In an attempt to help clients achieve their goal – usually changing body aesthetics – many fitness professionals feel pressured to give their clients exercises or methods of training geared towards accomplishing these goals and often at the expense of exercises that would be more appropriate to the individual’s level of experience and medical history. Also many fitness professionals feel pressured to offer rapid weight loss or muscle gaining programs in the fear they will lose clients to their competition who are promising rapid results.
3. Perception: Our society tends to be swayed by bright lights and the glamour of Hollywood and professional sports. If they see their favourite celebrity saying she lost 30 pounds doing ‘Jenny’ the celebrity trainer’s workout or saw their favourite athlete just win the Superbowl and were trained ‘Jim’ the sports trainer, than they will likely want to experience similar results. They naturally conclude that they should be doing a similar type of workout not taking into consideration all the other variables that helped this celebrity or athlete accomplish their goals. And unfortunately, too many fitness professionals follow suite with their clients training these individuals at inappropriate levels without first applying the fundamental principles and having the client ‘earn the right’ to train at higher levels.

So I am challenging you as part of this profession, to develop yourself into a leader of the movement-based solution to the health care crisis and not give in to the ‘quick fixes’, fads, and endless stream of ‘over-the-top’ training strategies that seems to be bombarding our industry literature and conferences. There are three key steps that I believe are instrumental to developing yourself into a powerful leader of this health care evolution.

1. Education: I believe the greatest purpose of education is to gain perspective. Perspective gives you the opportunity to stay objective despite what you hear or read. Educate yourself so you gain perspective and remain relevant in the health and fitness industry. The fitness professionals that are voracious readers, regularly attend conferences, and network with other health and fitness professionals are the ones with the most perspective. Once you gain the necessary perspective, educate your clients. This enables you to be a powerful ally for your clients and instrumental to helping them make more informed decisions regarding their health.
2. Embrace the Principles: Develop your training system around the principles of human movement rather than industry fads or methods. While training fads and methods will inevitably come and go, the principles will always remain. There are only three principles of human movement: you must help your client’s normalize their respiratory patterns, you must help your clients centrate their joints, and you must help your clients in integration of breathing and centering their joints as they perform the fundamental movement patterns of pushing, pulling, rotating, squatting, lunging, bending, and gait. If you improve the principles in your clients, they will achieve their functional health and fitness goals whether they are to lose twenty pounds, lift their child with less pain and discomfort, or begin training for a marathon.
3. Empower: Find ways to empower your clients every single day. A kind word, pat on the back, ‘high five’, or positive email that says ‘you’re doing great’ will go far in motivating your clients on the path to positive changes. Surround yourself with individuals and clients that in turn empower and fill your bucket. Every day you will be giving so much of yourself to your clients that you must surround yourself with individuals that give back to you emotionally and spiritually. Additionally, read or listen to positive messages to keep you in the right frame of mind and focused on your mission of serving others. Find your favourites, listen or read at the start and end of your day and you will notice your mood and how you relate to people elevate as the result of this one small idea.

We are most alive and fulfilling our mission on this earth when we are in the service of others. As fitness professionals we have that privilege every single day. As Albert Schwietzer said, ‘I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.’ Dedicate yourself to developing yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. Dedicate yourself to educating yourself so you gain the perspective that all great leaders possess. Dedicate yourself to serving your clients and being the leader they need and want. If we accomplish these things, as fitness professionals we will become the leaders of the movement-based solution to the health care crisis.

See his webiste for more information.

Strength Training Class Warm-Ups by Fred Hoffman, MEd


Once upon a time, group fitness instructors started their strength training classes with a relatively static warm-up that consisted of single-joint movements, such as head circles, shoulder rolls backwards and forwards, and hip swings side to side. As the industry progressed, warm-ups became more varied and we branched out—maybe too far out! Today’s warm-up options range from no warm-up at all to 10-minute, low-impact cardio warm-ups, with many variations in between.

What’s a strength training teacher to do with so many conflicting choices? Is one type of warm-up more effective or more practical than another? Does it depend on the relative weight lifted or the class level? As is the case with most resistance training information, there may be no clear-cut answers to these questions. In the absence of hard data, we interviewed several high-profile group strength training teachers to get their ideas and suggestions for creating effective, up-to-date strength training warm-ups.

Why Warm Up When Working With Weights?

We know that to prepare the muscles and connective tissues for the physical challenges of any workout, we need to include in the warm-up component movement patterns that will actually be performed in the body of the class (American Council on Exercise [ACE] 1993). This neuromuscular approach, often referred to as the “rehearsal effect,” is used by many instructors teaching group strength training classes today.

“I still believe muscles and the body need to be warmed up for the workout,” says Sherri McMillan, MSc, owner of NorthWest Personal Training and Fitness Education in Vancouver, Washington. “The body will perform much better if sufficiently prepared.”

Dody Benko Livingston, a group fitness instructor and personal trainer based in Santa Barbara, California, considers neuromuscular learning, or coordination, the highest priority of the warm-up. “My goal in the warm-up is to teach technique and form,” she says. “By the time I’ve got my group to focus on safe range of motion (ROM), the path of motion, shoulder retraction, spinal alignment and which muscles are moving versus which are stabilizing, we have increased the core body temperature. I find the warm-up to be a critical time to assess the participants’ levels and abilities. As they warm up without load, I am mentally revising or affirming my class design based on the form I am seeing.”

The Physiological Benefits to Warming Up

Regardless of the intensity of the workout to be performed, the warm-up provides a smooth transition from inactivity to activity. An effective warm-up stimulates the cardiorespiratory and neuromuscular systems, as well as the metabolic energy pathways. This stimulation results in a gradual increase in heart rate, stroke volume, blood flow, cardiac output and breathing rate (ACE 1993). At the same time, body temperature gradually increases and blood flow to the working muscles is slowly redistributed.

Oxygen exchange between blood and muscles increases, and carbon dioxide elimination is enhanced. The metabolic rate increases, which in turn leads to more efficient calorie burning. This improvement in energy production, which limits lactic acid buildup, allows participants to work out longer, since their energy systems adjust more readily to exercise (ACE 1993).

The physiological manifestations of a warm-up also include the following:

  • increased secretion of synovial fluid in the joints, which prepares the body for more strenuous activity
  • improved joint ROM
  • improved elasticity of muscles and connective tissue, which decreases the risk of acute injuries to soft tissues
  • increased force and speed of muscular contractions
  • improved speed and sensitivity of neural message pathways to the muscles, resulting in better muscle control and reactivity
  • increased arousal and greater focus on exercise, resulting in psychological preparation for higher intensities (ACE 1993)

What’s the Best Warm-Up Format?

There is a general consensus among those interviewed for this article that before formatting any warm-up, you first need to determine the goal of the class and evaluate the targeted population. After completing those steps, many instructors start their resistance training classes with some full-body, rhythmic, continuous movement.

“We begin with basic marches, step-touches and grapevines with [a resistance ball] in hand to elevate the core temperature,” says Mike Morris, president of Resist-A-Ball Inc. and a personal trainer certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Leigh Crews, a Reebok University program developer and master trainer, begins her client sessions with gross motor movements designed to elevate the heart rate and warm up joints and muscles. She feels it is not necessary to incorporate traveling patterns, since a strength training workout is stationary in nature. Instead, she emphasizes large ROM movements and “long lever arm patterns and simple footwork, such as side lunges and squats.”

Beate Missalek, a fitness professional based in Germany, organizes her resistance training warm-up sessions in a logical order “from small to bigger movements, from stationary to moving, from single-plane to multiplane movements.”

Benko Livingston also designs her warm-ups to include multijoint, “noncombo” movements. She rarely—if ever—adds resistance during this part of her strength training classes. “We can’t teach technique with a load,” she stresses. “Forget choreography and adding weight. Teach the move before moving on.”

According to Jessica Smith, ME, in her article “Strength Training for Women,” (IDEA Health & Fitness Source, May 2001), “The warm-up should consist of low-intensity aerobics, walking, stationary cycling or jogging in place, followed by stretching and some specific, low-intensity resistance training exercises targeting the major muscle groups.”

Most experts agree that if low-impact, dynamic movements are incorporated into the warm-up, they should be kept simple and not too choreographed, since choreography is not essential in strength training sessions. Instructors may also find that participants in a strength training class may be uncomfortable with choreographed movement patterns and could become discouraged.

Working in Function

What better place is there than the warm-up for creating a more functional body that performs well? Why not include movements for stabilization, strength and flexibility?

When teaching a functional strength class, Crews includes in the warm-up a multijoint activity that mimics some important aspects of the class. “I use multiplanar moves, such as diagonal patterns and slow rotations, as well as some simple balance challenges to engage core musculature.”

Missalek likes to add some balance and stabilization work performed in the standing position to increase body awareness and prepare the core muscles for the workload to come.

A useful approach when teaching a strength training class that includes “integrated” exercises (combining two or more moves) is to warm up with a more nontraditional movement sequence. A good example is the Ashtanga yoga Sun Salutation, which emphasizes neutral posture and active, internal stabilization of the torso. Through repetition, this sequence of yoga poses enhances coordination and produces efficiency in movement. Another important aspect of this type of warm-up is that it promotes total-body integration through closed-chain (weight-bearing) exercises. It also prepares the body to be functional, strong and ready. Some instructors precede this nontraditional warm-up sequence with some traditional dynamic movement, thus combining Eastern and Western philosophies.

We Like Equipment!

More and more strength training classes incorporate some type of equipment, from weighted bars to small hand weights, barbells, stability and medicine balls, tubing and bands. The question is, Should we incorporate this equipment during the warm-up?

According to Crew, “If I am teaching a more traditional strength training class, with the emphasis on heavier weight and multiple sets of eight to 12 repetitions, my warm-up is usually a general cardio, gross-muscle movement type of warm-up, emphasizing ROM, so that I can use that portion of the warm-up as a sort of ‘assessment tool’ to evaluate the mobility of my clientele. After the general warm-up, I like to do one set of a specific exercise using relatively light weight, again to assess the ability of the group. This also helps participants develop correct motor patterns before loading the joints with heavier weight.”

Missalek suggests that the “first two to four repetitions in the warm-up set be performed in a slower manner to focus on technique and body posture.”

Morris continues his warm-up with specific dumbbell training, starting with multiple-joint movements. To “neurologically connect,” he performs a particular exercise using little or no weight. He then recommends upping the intensity by increasing load, number of repetitions or speed or by decreasing rest between sets. Moving to the next exercise of choice, he repeats the whole process. His progression moves from larger muscle groups and multiple-joint movements (e.g., squat, lunge, chest press, shoulder press and “lat” row) to smaller muscles and single-joint movements (e.g., knee extension, hamstring curl, triceps press and biceps curl).

In his book Your Personal Trainer (Human Kinetics, 1999), Douglas Brooks, MS, suggests, “If you’re going to lift weights, use exercise that warms the whole body. . . . It’s a good idea to start with lighter weights or resistance when strength training and progress to heavier weights. Lighter resistance can serve as a warm-up by itself, but to most effectively prepare your muscles for safe, effective and injury-free strength training, use both” [i.e., warm the whole body and use lighter weights to start].

Should We Stretch, Too?

Although the jury is still out on this, most research has found that stretching before exercise, especially static stretching, does not necessarily prevent injuries (Pope et al. 2000; Shrier 1999). However, some experts have concluded that clients who perform an active warm-up prior to stretching obtain the greatest ROM (Shrier & Gossal 2000).

Morris always includes a combination of active, passive and dynamic stretches in the warm-up segment of his resistance training classes. Both Crews and Missalek believe that adding multijoint dynamic stretches to the warm-up not only increases ROM around the joints but also keeps the heart rate elevated and contributes to the warming process.

Does Music Matter?

According to Bob Sewak, PhD, a Delray Beach, Florida, researcher who studies the effect of music on the human organism, “Music can create more psychophysiological shifts than any other stimuli that we know.” The music choice can be a vital and motivating factor in any type of group exercise and may set the tone for the class. It may also be one of the reasons your participants perform at a high level during the class.

Music speed, or beats per minute (bpm), in strength training classes should allow for full ROM. Crews likes to be “directed” by the beat. “I try to pick music that is high energy and that the vast majority of the group will like and be energized by,” she says.

McMillan uses 125 bpm and also likes to work on the beat. According to Missalek, who prefers 124 to 128 bpm, “You can be on the beat, but you don’t necessarily have to stay on it.” Her music choices vary from current, pop, top-40 music to a more New Age sound.

Teachers’ Tips

The experts interviewed for this article share the following suggestions for enhancing your own strength training warm-up sessions:

  • Start by welcoming your participants and confirming that they are in the desired class.
  • Use the warm-up to introduce verbal and visual cues, class-specific terminology, combination-building techniques and safety recommendations.
  • Design a warm-up component that is anywhere from six to 10 minutes long.
  • Use the warm-up time to gauge and discuss form and technique.
  • “Use lots of verbal imagery and have more than one way to cue an exercise or alignment tip,” advises Crews. “What seems perfectly clear to one person may be confusing to another.”
  • Take Missalek’s lead by starting your classes with some simple deep-breathing techniques to encourage participants to relax their shoulders and get focused.
  • During your own strength training workouts, practice what you teach, suggests McMillan. “There’s nothing worse than a group instructor teaching a weight training class with poor technique and no muscle tone,” she says. “You have to know what you’re doing in order to cue it effectively verbally and visually.”

One Last Repetition

While many strength training instructors are still including warm-ups in their classes, the trend now is to make the warm-up component more functional and specific to the class and participants. In general, fitness experts recommend designing warm-ups that combine rhythmic limbering with multijoint movement patterns.

Light weights may be used in an initial or first strength training set, with a gradual increase in load. Dynamic stretching is often used, and there is a migration toward exercises that promote total-body integration and core stability. More and more often, instructors are borrowing warm-up movements from yoga and Pilates. Many warm-ups are done to music to encourage participation. According to most experts, the warm-up session for a one-hour class should take anywhere from six to 10 minutes.

Since most participants respond better to a strength training workout after performing a dynamic warm-up, you are most likely to have positive reactions and results if you include this component. So get started . . . with the warm-up!

Sidebar: Three Different Warm-Up Approaches

Industry experts offer these warm-up suggestions designed to enhance your strength training classes:

From Sherri McMillan, MSc:

  • Perform hip extensions, hip flexions, hip abductions, knee extensions and knee flexions while simultaneously performing overhead shoulder presses, lat pull-downs, chest presses, biceps curls and triceps kickbacks. Add in some mini-squats and mini-lunges. Perform eight to 15 repetitions of each of these movements.
  • Perform the above movements to take the major joints through the full ROM, and include other exercises that mimic any of the movements that will be used in class, without adding resistance.
  • Keep warm-up movements simple, athletic and very deliberate.

From Leigh Crews:

  • Start warm-up sessions with four-part yoga breathing (begin in mountain pose, raise arms overhead, then bring them down as if in prayer; slowly rotate the body to the right, then to the left, while holding hands in prayer position; rotate back to center, extend arms overhead again, then circle the arms down to the side).
  • Combine mini-lunges with side squats.
  • Include traveling side squats.

From Beate Missalek:

  • Double step-touch to the right, with right arm moving diagonally up and out; end in single-leg stand.
  • Next, lift the left leg in abduction, flex the right elbow and left knee together in front of the body, then extend; or perform a single-leg stand with knee extension and flexion, arms moving in a biceps curl. Repeat on opposite side of body.

The Perils of Overstretching


Hello All,

My Apologies in not blogging to all of you sooner.  I have been extremely busy these past few months.

As you all know by now, I try to blog on topics that I deem important to our fitness professions.  Please read the below Article by:  by Jill Miller, Creator of Yoga Tune Up®.   She is one of my favorite presenters, and is very respected in the Fitness Industry.

The Perils of Overstretching

Article by:  by Jill Miller, Creator of Yoga Tune Up®

I began practicing yoga at age 11. My mom brought home the Jane Fonda workout and Raquel Welch Yoga videos and I became obsessed … especially with the yoga. At first I wasn’t very flexible, couldn’t touch my toes, and was extremely weak in my shoulders and core.

When I first started practicing, the Splits (Hanumanasana), were wishful thinking, but I was diligent and disciplined and, by age 14, I was religiously reading Yoga Journal and stretching my way into the splits. In college, I would wake up early and practice my poses in meditative silence while my roommate was still sleeping. I stretched all the time and it instantly made me feel better but, while my hamstrings were super-flexible, I would wake up in with searing sciatic pain down my left leg.

In my early 20s, I began practicing Ashtanga and Power Yoga and watched my flexibility continue to improve. I was “that contortionist  girl” in classes, the one who could do ALL of the really difficult bendy poses and loved my exceptional flexibility and its “specialness.” I thought that yoga and stretching were healthy, but I didn’t realize that I was actually overdoing it and creating serious problems in some of my tissues.

How can overstretching harm the body?

When a muscle is being lengthened, it’s not just the actual muscle cells being elongated, but also the fascia or connective tissues that surround, encase and penetrate throughout the muscle. These connective tissues comprise 30 percent of the bulk of a muscle. When we stretch a muscle, upwards of 40 percent of the actual stretch is coming from the elongation of its fascia!  With too much stretching, the fascial tissues lose their ability to recoil and the inherent elasticity of these connective tissues disintegrates and becomes less functional.

These Connective tissues are full of nerves and blood vessels that help supply the muscles with nourishment. Fascia is also loaded with collagen and elastin molecules that help provide anchors for motion and cushions of protection for the muscle cells. If tissues are chronically overstretched, the muscles also become more vulnerable and under siege from the constant stretching. Muscles (and the soft tissues surrounding them, including tendons and ligaments) then begin to develop painful “micro-tears.”

Stretch intervention: strength training

I probably would have just kept stretching myself into oblivion had my yoga mentor and biomechanics expert Glenn Black not stepped in. His diagnosis: muscle weakness due to overstretching. He said that I needed to restore the power in my muscles to stabilize my joints. This explained why I could never quite find a comfortable position or “sit still” unless I was practicing. Stretching would give me a temporary feeling of release and relief, as it is truly beneficial for relaxing the nervous system, improving circulation, etc., but my overall muscle tone had been stretched to the point that I had become terribly unstable at many of my joints.

I had worked with him for four consecutive summers at the Omega Institute before moving to Los Angeles and becoming “Bendy Girl.” After seven years without him, I needed his critical insight to help restore balance in my body. He told me that I needed to complement my yoga with resistance training like lifting weights and/or using more PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitated stretching) within my practice. Galvanizing both the strength that muscles generate along with the lengthening and yielding of the connective tissues that surround them is what the body needs for true physiological balance.

Adding resistance training to my movement practice has not only been a revelation but it’s a foundational principle behind Yoga Tune Up®. My body feels good. I can now sit still on a six-hour flight and walk away without needing to crack my hips or spine! So yogis, if you find yourself with odd aches and pains, I ask you to take a closer look at where you might have actually created weakness from overstretching.

Article by:  by Jill Miller, Creator of Yoga Tune Up®

For More information on Jill Miller:-

With Kind Regards

Gail Bannister-Munn

Fitness Educator/Presenter
“Change the way you look at things,
and things will change”

“The New Years Resolution”


“The New Years Resolution”

Happy New Year Everyone,

Happy 2011.  I am looking forward to a great year, and I hope, we as Fitness Professionals are all prepared to continue our contribution to our member/client experience at all your fitness locations. With the onset of a New Year, and what many of us think of as a ‘clean slate,’ it is a good opportunity to remember why we are a part of this industry, and to review our responsibilities as fitness professionals. I wanted this New Year blog to help us all start FRESH, and maybe I can help you remember the basic foundation that may help us all grow our business, get new clients, make our members feel comfortable, or just remind us to “BREATHE” a little.

As instructors/trainers we impact more people in a given hour than almost any other employee of the company.   That said, your relationship with your members has a lasting effect — words and actions that you may deem insignificant, for example…. Like asking new people to go to the back of your class might cause someone to never return to class!  On the flip side, little things like a smile to someone new in class might be just what that person needs to motivate himself to come back again.  Some facilities may see daily about 100 to 3000 members daily, depending on the size of the club, and location. What a great opportunity to impact someone’s life!  Take time to get to know new people, welcome them to the classes, and inspire them in their pursuit of health, and fitness every time they come in to work out. With this opportunity comes extra responsibility — each of those new members have individual goals, and may very well be intimidated by the gym, and/or group exercise environment.   Your class may very well be their first experience. So…here are a few ‘resolutions’ for you to remember as the New Year begins:

1.Welcome “NEW” participants.

This is the best time of year to create new ‘groupies’.  Are you sick of your front row, and ‘regulars’ who know your routine by heart?  Create a positive experience for these new members, and your class size will continue to grow.  Take some time at the start of class to explain what you are going to do, and offer modifications for those who may not be up to speed just yet. Remember to acknowledge your existing members, make them also feel special.  They are still your “key” to spreading the word about your classes.

2. Be on time for class

It is the members expectation that we arrive between 10, to 15 minutes prior to your class start time. Part of the member experience is good service, and for us, that includes starting, AND ending classes on time.  Our members, like us, are busy people, and budget time in their day to work out.  It is important for us to be respectful of their schedules, and to deliver what we have promised. Lateness’, and no show to classes are inexcusable.

3. Dress Code:

Each, and every day we make an impression on our members. The appearance is to create the mood, and create 1st , 2nd, 3rd, …. Impressions. Be sensitive to your appearance. Clean, Neat, groomed, and cover up where needed. Remember you are dressing to teach to a diverse group of members. This will help you look, non-intimidating. All members will feel comfortable, talking, and having comfortable conversations with you.

4-Studio Cleanliness:

Take a few moments after your classes to clean up after your members. Let them see that you want to always create a safe, and clean environment for them to workout.  This will set you apart from all the other instructors. Make your expectations always higher than the next person. I don’t believe this is anything different from what would be required of a Great Fitness Professional.

Quote: A Smile is the light on your face that lets someone know you are home.

Hope these quick reminders jump start you back into the New Year. Thank you all very much for your continued support, and dedication.  Wishing you all a wonderful 2011.

With Kind Regards

Gail Bannister-Mann

Regional Group Exercise Manager for  XSport Fitness (NY Region)

Fitness Educator/Presenter


The Technology Impact within the Fitness Field


The Technology Impact within the Fitness Field

Have you noticed these days, that our members seem to pay little, or no attention?

Look at your classes next time you cue something. Take a step back, and cue a movement, and you will see that 85% of your members will look around to see what the other members are doing 1st, before they move, even though you have clearly cued the movement. Why is that?  I believe it is because most workouts these days are repetitive.  We the instructors do not change up our class flows as frequently as we should in order to keep our members interest.

Ninety percent of classes these days do not require listening… just viewing. This is why Step, Pure Dance classes, and choreography type classes are not as successful as, Strength, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, and Zumba etc. You do not have to remember, just follow along, and if you make a mistake, it is not obvious in the class. Check out your back row members during these classes.  You will see no energy, and no enthusiasm to work effectively, or efficiently.  In the past years, choreography-type classes were packed. The members could not wait for the next week to see what you designed, created, or what new ideas you presented to challenge them in increasing their fitness workouts, or fitness goals.

This century has changed, and made things so much easier not requiring thought process.  Examples:

·      When was the last time you used a pay phone (if they still exist) versus your cell phone?

·      When was the last time you made homemade pancakes vs. pouring it out of a box?

·      How many times have you texted vs. calling someone and having a full conversation?

These days we are visually oriented and we are easily distracted to the point that we do not see things, or hear things right in front of us. We need to improve our listening skills, not just our visual cues, and at times, BOTH in our classes.

This is where miscommunication begins. By not communicating clearly, can be misread, misunderstood, and the wrong information will be translated out to the masses.

We need to go back to the basics of communication, and teaching.  Remind members that our classes are not off cell phones, I-Pads, You Tube, Fitness Videos, Computers, etc;  It is a fitness workout that requires interaction, and responsive communication between instructors, and members.  We need to keep our members stimulated, interested, and wanting to work hard to get the benefits of the workouts. Remember our members are paying a membership to see results.

Tips for us to be aware of as an instructor in order to help us bring more awareness into our classes or in our communications:

·      Be clear, concise, and precise.

·      Hold our members accountable to reading signs that are important.

·      Make them listen to cues.

·      Change up your workouts (at least monthly). Keep your members interested in “YOU”

·      If you text someone more than 3 times to communicate – stop texting, and call.

Remember that fitness is our passion. Right it down, and read it often. Never take short cuts to reach your goals. Take the long view, one day at a time. It will all benefit you in the end.

Wishing you all the best for the Holiday Season.

Gail Bannister-Munn

Regional Group Exercise Manager for  XSport Fitness (NY Region)

Fitness Educator/Presenter


“Change the way you look at things,

and things will change”

The Last Of The Dinosaurs!


The Last Of The Dinosaurs!

When you look up the word Dinosaurs, you get over 1,000+ examples explaining how it dates back to the 1800’s, the biblical days. Man oh man….am I that old?

When I started teaching group exercise classes it was 1987. I was thrown into it like most of us back in the day.  However, by 1989 certifications started to pop up (NEDITA, AAAI), and many companies starting requiring them as part of group exercise/personal training. Back then, they were never designated group exercise instructors/trainers, everyone did everything: Answered phones, trained members, sold memberships, cleaned equipment, emptied the garbage etc. As we progressed through the years we separated into silos now creating specialties. Group Exercise packed out classes, and PT was on an up swing. Why do I feel the need to write about the old ways?  I guess because the old ways, there were a cohesive group of dedicated, passionate, hard working fitness professionals.  This needs to be addressed for the new fitness professionals to understand how hard we worked to make Group Exercise, and Personal Training recognized as a serious career.

These days we notice everyone jumping on the train to Fitness. This is motivated by new programming, new classes, new fitness toys, and probably the biggest one…The Economy. Everyone is hitching a ride on the train…. However, not realizing that it is a professional job, not part time, but a full time love, and passion that should be treated like any other profession.

The new programming makes it easy for anyone these days to get certified. A certification today requires maybe 2 days tops, and your are certified, good to go for Monday morning.  However, where is the mentorship, the accountability that you are able to teach/train correctly, the application, the practice time, the process to make you comfortable to teach, or to train?

So here we go…

The Dinosaur instructors when we teach, we make it feel seamless, easy, and we inspire the new breeds to want to become fitness professionals. However, making it seem seamless takes a lot of preparation, class design, musicality, timing, listening, understanding, and education.

To be a great instructor, here are the top 12 values you need to follow:

1-Class Design

2-Building Choreography

3-Musical Awareness


5-Voice projection with inflection in your voice when needed (no baby, meek voice)

6-Cueing techniques combined with instruction.



9-Eye Contact

10-Stage Presence

11-Ability to adjust to class’s ability

The other 10 values that makes you Greater

1-Team Work.


3-Change in routine/class format frequently.

4-Inspire your members – supply the energy.

5-Take feedback, embrace feedback, look for feedback, and improve.

6-Research your outlines/routines/KNOW YOUR MUSIC.

7-Hands on methods of corrections, and have several levels of progressions. (Instruction instruction, instruction!!!!)

8-Dress Professional/Be Professional.

9-It is not your workout.

10-Do not cater to the front row members.

So as you can see, with all these ideas in place you will be awesome. However, can you put them in place?  It takes time, and a lot of work, and this is where it separates the old school from the new school. This where the members start comparing, and knowing there is a difference with the new comers, and a more seasoned instructor.

Not because you have a packed class means you are great? Or, not because the class has low attendance means the instructor is horrible. Actually, it can be the reverse.  Packed classes can just mean the instructors are teaching an easy to follow choreography/routine or, that they have been teaching the same routines for months, and the members have memorized the choreography?  A low attendance class can mean that the instructor is providing a really hard workout, and the members may not want to be challenged.

So we the Dinosaurs find it hard these days when we have put hard work, effort and passion into our class routines, and it goes unnoticed. So for the new fitness professionals, we Welcome You!  However, remember to respect us, and represent us well, because we have set the bar, the trend, and high expectations for you to meet.

Suggestions to be the best you can be: “The key to success in life is using the good thoughts of wise people.

Find a Mentor

  • Nothing Boosts your self-confidence or nurtures your positives attitude than a mentor.
  • You are never to old, or to young to have a mentor.
  • Great mentors will not only lead you on your future professional path but also help you to realize your full potential-spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
  • Ask yourself who could make a positive difference in your life towards your goals?  The answer may not come to you immediately.
  • Go through your rolodex of colleagues, and make a list of potential mentors.
  • List the strengths, and weaknesses of each potential person.
  • Have conversations with your top 3 candidates, you will be surprised on how flattered some will respond.
  • Trust your instincts and you will be soon be on the path to a brighter learning experience.

Good Luck!

“Change the way you look at things,and things will change”

The Bannister Works/The Bannister Method

« Older Entries