Promoting your gym

The gym business hasn’t changed dramatically over the past 20 years, though we’ve certainly seen an evolution. Gyms are better at catering to different groups of potential customers, as many have added classes that appeal to women and men, and mixed things up with yoga, pilates and other options. Nutrition is also an area that gets more attention in gyms as well.

It’s on the marketing side where we’re seeing some big changes and opportunities for gym owners that are in tune with social media and see the potential to create a real online community. Facebook and Twitter should be a part of every gym owner’s strategy to market the gym. With these tools, your best and loyal customers can become evangelists for your gym, and then you can push out cool photos, workout ideas, class schedules etc that these people can then share with their friends. You’ll reach more people and build more customer loyalty.

This works best when you couple this with traditional methods like advertising and brochures. Gym owners can use online printing to reduce their costs by printing brochures online at UPrinting or other venders on the web. You can also use modern computer programs to effectively track all your customer memberships, and you should definitely use email blasts as well.

The bottom line is that you can run and promote a gym these days that makes your operation much more efficient.

Check out the new ElliptiGO

This looks pretty cool. It’s basically the world’s first elliptical bicycle.

FiveFingers running shoes

One of the most interesting developments over recent years regarding fitness gear has to be the FiveFingers line of running shoes from the Italian company Vibram. They are basically gloves for your feet and are a part of a movement turning running dogma on its head.

Here’s a summary from Forbes:

Here’s something you need to know about: Could we be seeing the beginning of the end of the modern running shoe? A growing legion of runners and recreational joggers—I am one—backed by a rising number of physiologists, believe that running shoes do more harm than good for millions of people. With their inflexibility, cushioning, and raised heels, they almost force you to crash down on your heel and send the impact of all your weight in every step straight into your knees and hips. That’s not how our bodies were designed to work, and it does terrible harm.

These shoes are not for everyone. You really need to consult your doctor and see whether this new style of running and new gear makes sense for you.

Ab exercises won’t give you abs

Go to any gym, and you’ll see a big percentage of members at any given time tirelessly working their abs in the hopes of getting the elusive six pack. Go to any home in the U.S., and you’ll find many of them have some kind of ab machine, gadget, and/or tape that was bought with the promise of a flat stomach, wash-board abs, etc. The question is, does working your abs give you abs? In other words, does performing ab exercises burn the fat covering your abs? In a word, NO.

A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that the effect of abdominal exercises on abdominal fat was zero. 14 men and 10 women were randomly chosen to be in one of 2 groups: control group (CG) or abdominal exercise group (AG). The AG performed exercises for 6 weeks.

In conclusion, abdominal exercise training was effective to increase abdominal strength, but was not effective to decrease various measures of abdominal fat. The information from this study can help people to understand that abdominal exercise alone is not sufficient to reduce waistline or subcutaneuos fat.

J Strength Cond Res 25(9):2559-2564,2011

A runners journal part 1

Jamey Codding is scheduled to run his first marathon in Chicago on October 9th. Jamey was a competitive runner in the past, but mainly ran 5K’s or under. He began running again after a long break and has had to educate himself on in-race hydration and nutrition. If you’re interested in running at all, and want to start off on the right foot, you’ll definitely want to read the first part of his series, Training for Marathon #1: Hydration and Nutrition.

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