Obese Adults Get No Exercise


Obese Adults in the US exercise less than 4 hours per year!

At minimum, for basic health, human beings should get about 20-30 minutes per DAY of vigorous, sweat producing exercise.

According to a recent study, obese Americans get about 1-4 hours per YEAR.

Basically, they move from chair to chair, rarely exerting enough to sweat or elevate their heart rates.

This finding shocked researchers!

"They're living their lives from one chair to another," said Edward Archer, a research fellow with the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "We didn't realize we were that sedentary. There are some people who are vigorously active, but it's offset by the huge number of individuals who are inactive."

Basically, people drive or ride the bus or train to work, and then sit at a desk all day. Then they drive or ride home, read or play some video games, and go to sleep.

All I can say is, Wow! This is some serious sh*t we have gotten ourselves into.

Fitness pros, what can we do to change this?

We tend to preach to the choir and work those who already exercise.

How do we reach the mass of people who don't leave home or office?


Is Pilates Stunted?


Is Pilates Stunted?

I recently read a press release regarding London personal trainer James D'Silva and his new Garuda machine, which is slowly making its way to the US.

In the article, which discusses the reasoning behind the Garuda, D'Silva is quoted as saying,

Over the years I have found Pilates quite stunted, so I have come up with a contraption which amalgamates Pilates machines into one and adds some features. I found the whole repertoire quite boring after so many years and I thought I could take it somewhere else. It has worked really well.

I always wonder how anyone could find Pilates stunted. With the mat work and all of the apparatus (including some that almost no studios have anymore - like the baby arm chair, guillotine, and head harness) and props, there are literally thousands of possibilities.

In fact, the longer I do and teach Pilates, the more complex and varied it gets. There is just so much that you can do within the system of Contrology (that's what Joseph Pilates called it).

Here is the Garuda in action:


Pilates Is A Service Business


Pilates is a Service Business, not a personality cult!

In the Pilates world there are many "names" that are well known, and what all of the long-lasting names have in common is a combination of a solid Pilates reputation with a strong service record.

They cannot exist separately, the solid Pilates background and the customer service record, but must always be together.

If you want to make your name rise in the Pilates (or fitness, or any) field, you must offer a quality product backed by great service. Once your name is attached to a sub-par Pilates experience or to bad customer service, you will have problems.

Remember that in this age of the internet, anybody can be a reviewer or a secret shopper.

That client you yelled at when you were stressed out and had a bad day? She can turn around and blog about that.

That poorly cued and timed class you sailed through when you were hungover? That can easily turn up on Yelp, Rate Your Burn, someone's blog, or any social media site.

The consequences of a "bad day" for any service business are much more dire today than ever.

Tread lightly and remember that Pilates is a SERVICE business!

How to Stop Arguing


Wonder How to Stop Arguing?

I feel like I grew up arguing.

Seriously, I watched orthodox jewish relatives argue about Torah interpretations in synagogue when I was very, very young. And I watched my mother argue with my father and with her friends and relatives.

As an academic, I went into Philosophy. Yes, I picked the major where we got to argue, and many times argue over things that we would never, ever resolve.

So arguing and debating are my default responses to just about anything. And I like to win, which makes me truly obnoxious at times.

The other day on Facebook, my friend Lissa Rankin posted a wonderful quote:

You do not need to attend every argument you are invited to.

And I thought, "What?" But don't I have to attend every argument? And most importantly, don't I have to win (or at least give it my best shot)?

I have been thinking about this over the past few days, and I realize that in the same way that I don't need to attend every party, or go to every meeting, I don't need to attend every argument.

This is a strangely liberating thought.

I realize now how compulsive and automatic arguing has become for me.

I also realize now how annoying that must be for everyone around me. Especially hubby.

How to stop arguing?

The first step is realizing that you just don't have to.

Life After Catastrophic Injury


Life After Catastrophic Injury requires a multi-pronged approach to healing.

In the course of my Pilates career I have worked with many clients who were recovering from catastrophic injury and illness.

  • One woman was paralyzed below the waist after a toboggan accident (she crashed into a trail marker head first) and wanted to dance at her wedding (it happened!).
  • Another was hit by a car while she walking on the sidewalk, leading to a serious brain injury along with physical issues.
  • A third client fell and crushed a vertebrae in the lower thoracic/lumbar spine region, leading to many surgeries and years of pain and dysfunction.

What they all have in common is a catastrophic injury. What they don't share is the multi-pronged approach to healing.

Catastrophic events where we are not injured affect us after. We can have psychological, behavioral, and social issues that arise. Anxiety, shortness of breath, inability to sleep, tension, anger, and depression can all arise after trauma.

We can feel helpless, hopeless, and completely stressed out.

Add to that a bad physical injury that causes chronic and acute pain, especially debilitating pain or nerve damage and/or paralysis, and there are multiple levels of injury that need healing.

What to do?

  • First, make sure you have great primary physicians and surgeons.
  • Second, make sure you have great physical therapists and other physical support people - massage therapists, personal trainers, etc.
  • Third, find a trauma psychotherapist or psychiatrist whom you like and are comfortable with. This is the key person that many trauma patients are missing!
  • Finally, keep a close social network of friends and family to keep you happy, bring you presents, slap you when you need it, and remind you that there is still a world outside of your injury.

You must trust all of your practitioners, because there will be times that therapy will make things feel worse as they are getting better. The extra pain can be extra disturbing if you don't trust the people who are helping you.

You may have your physical stuff in order, but without the social and psychological counseling you will not have all the support you need to enter life fully again.

Remember, address healing on all levels or you will never fully heal.

Review - The Firm Zip Trainer


My Review of The Firm Zip Trainer

The Firm Zip Trainer is a good exercise tool. I wish the videos were better.

3/5 Stars

I am not quite sure how the Firm videos have been so popular for so long. This is the second firm equipment/video set I have received, and both had really badly done videos.

The workouts are quick and the instructors are way too perky. The instructors are good, and I suppose motivating for some people, but I don't do well with people who are way too happy and perky.

The Firm Zip Trainer is a ball made of high density foam that unzips to act as a "Step" and balance trainer, and holds a weighted ball in the center. The Zip Trainer alone weighs around 5 pounds, and it comes with a 3 pound ball that can be used separately, or placed in the center of the Zip trainer to add more weight (a 7 pound ball is sold separately).

The Zip trainer can be used like a large medicine ball, held, pressed, stretched on, stepped on, and balanced on.

the firm zip trainer

I love the Zip trainer itself, and have actually incorporated it into my Pilates mat workouts, like a weighted magic circle. I use it to add challenge to my bridging, planking, and ab exercises.

Regarding the videos, you do get a decent number of workouts, but I find the Firm workouts to be too fast and friendly for me.

If you exercise at home and are looking for an inexpensive tool to give you a bit more variety and resistance, this a great tool. If you already love the Firm workouts, you will also love these.

Five Coaching Mistakes Every New Trainer Makes


There are Five Coaching Mistakes That Every New Trainer Makes

In yesterday's post on Marketing 101, I mentioned my friend Dax Moy, the highest paid trainer in the UK for very good reason.

In dealing with his own PTSD after surviving the tsunami in Thailand, Dax realized that many of the ways he (and everyone else) was coaching clients, including how he talks to them and how he frames questions, were actually making things harder for them.

So instead of fighting with non-compliant clients, instead of stressing then out and making them feel threatened by yelling at them, giving them ultimatums, pushing too hard, and expecting way too much, Dax started really listening to his clients and approaching them from a different place.

A place of support, understanding, and healing.

Do you make these five coaching mistakes?

Does your trainer or coach make them?

There is a better way!