HOW TO FIGHT WORKOUT LAZINESS

We’ve all been there and done that. Right around this time, new year’s resolutions start to die out, and laziness is typically the culprit. Whether you have a goal in mind and you’re trying to adapt to a new routine or you hit the gym regularly, everyone experiences workout laziness. For some it’s more challenging to fight off than others, and it’s not something that truly ever goes away. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to fight it off every time. Here’s how.

BOOST YOUR ENERGY WITH PRE-WORKOUT FIXES

Whether or not that’s an actual pre-workout shake, fuel your body with energy-boosters like natural simple carbs or a cup of coffee for a quick pick-me-up. Try eating a Greek yogurt or some fresh fruit 30 minutes prior to your workout for the most energy. Avoid unnatural simple carbs like candy and soda, as those tend to make you crash and bloat.

JUST PUT ON THE WORKOUT CLOTHES

It’s that feeling when you’re laying down telling yourself you need to work out, but you just spend an hour staring at your closet. As difficult as it may seem, you can do it. If you have enough energy to get up and walk to your refrigerator or go to the bathroom, you have enough energy to put on your workout clothes. Even if you put them on and you still sit right back down and stare blankly into space, you’re one step closer, but you’ll most likely be able to convince yourself that it’s time to hit the gym once you’ve actually put on the clothes.

TELL PEOPLE YOU’RE GOING

Announce it to the world if you have to. Telling others prevents you from making excuses and ultimately holds you accountable because let’s face it–once you’ve told someone you’re going, you’ll look even lazier if you change your mind.

GO WITH A FRIEND

This is another effective way to not only keep yourself in check, but you’ll have a higher chance of challenging yourself more and actually enjoying your workout if you’re doing it with someone.

MIX UP YOUR ROUTINE

Your body not only needs variation, but your brain does too because doing the same workout all the time is boring, and workout laziness is caused by a tired mentality. If something is not even remotely interesting, you won’t want to do it, or worse–you might even dread doing it, especially when it comes to physical activity. Try doing a completely different workout. Whether that’s yoga, a Zumba class, or simply doing 10 jumping jacks in between weight lifting, just get moving in a way that works best for you.

START SLOW AND TAKE BABY STEPS

Getting to the gym was half the battle, and for some people, jumping right into things is how they get energized, but if you’re still feeling unmotivated, start small by working in sets of five. Walk for five minutes on a treadmill, then do a small dose of cardio for five minutes on a stationary bike, then do five crunches. If that’s all you have in you, that’s better than not doing anything at all. Just avoid intense activities like sprinting and over-doing it on weight lifting because those will drain you faster when you’re feeling sluggish. It probably won’t be your best workout, but you challenged yourself, got through it and that’s what counts.

HAVE AN INCENTIVE IN MIND

Laziness and comfort foods usually go hand in hand, and when we feel lazy, we tend to over-indulge, which is almost always followed by guilt. It’s especially frustrating when you are on a fitness journey and have certain goals to achieve, but instead of beating yourself up for splurging and not exercising, allow yourself to enjoy a small treat after your workout–that way it feels like you deserve it and no unnecessary guilt is involved. After pushing yourself through a tough workout, it’s nice to have a little something to look forward to. Just remember not to reward yourself with guilty pleasures every time you work out because you’ll set yourself back, feel frustrated and wonder why you’re not seeing results. Sometimes during moments of laziness, remind yourself that the ultimate incentive is the body you’re working for. Think of the rock-hard abs you’ve always wanted and accept that you will have to challenge yourself and enjoy your favorite foods in moderation in order to get them.

FOLLOW MOTIVATING INSTAGRAM FEEDS

You’re most likely already on your phone, laying down thinking that you should get up and workout, so while you’re scrolling through funny cat videos, search different fitness Instagram pages or inspirational quotes that alter your mentality and motivate you to move. Make sure to follow these social media pages so that you can refer to them the next time you’re feeling lazy, because yes, there will be a next time and that’s normal.

KEEP A WORKOUT DIARY

Do you remember the last time you felt amazing after a workout? You may not remember a specific instance, but endorphins are definitely your friends. After successful workouts, write down how you feel. Take notes about what type of exercise you did, how long it took you, what you were wearing, how you felt about yourself in that moment and any other details that might benefit you. Not only will this help motivate you when you’re not feeling up to par, but it will also remind you of why you started your fitness journey in the first place.

PUMP YOURSELF UP WITH PLAYLIST

Whatever music speaks to you, put it on repeat because it will distract you from your laziness and help you focus on your workout. Listening to songs with beats and melodies that match the activity you’re doing usually make for more successful workouts because you’re likely to do more for longer amounts of time without even thinking about it. So, turn up the volume and get moving.

WHAT IS THAT FITNESS TREND?

Popular fitness trends

If you are even remotely into fitness and nutrition, are looking to mix up your routine, or if your typical desk salad is starting to bore you, then you’ve probably at least heard of the recent fitness trends out there. Fortunately, there are many ways you can mix things up, but it’s a little difficult to try something new when you have no idea what it is.

Even if all of these have been around for ages, trends fade and reappear, especially in the fitness industry. Here’s a rundown of some of the latest fitness trends so that you’re up to speed on what’s out there. If you have a gym membership, you can see if these diets and workouts are the right choice for you. If you’re a gym or fitness club owner, it’s important to have the lowdown so that your gym is keeping up with all types of people.

Popular Fitness Trends You Should Know About

HIIT

Before you go thinking that this is some fancy exercise program that you have to buy, it’s actually just an acronym for a type of workout. Arguably one of the most popular fitness trends out there right now, HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. According to Daily Burn, it’s a training technique that involves giving maximum effort during intense bursts of exercise and is followed by quick and slightly active recovery periods.

People are all about HIIT because they don’t have to spend hours working out. It typically clocks in just shy of 30 minutes and because it keeps your heart rate up with intense “bursts,” fat is also burned quicker. Effective and fast is exactly what majority of people look for when it comes to exercise, and HIIT usually doesn’t require equipment, so if you’re at the gym, short on time but don’t want your workout to feel like a waste, and most machines or free weights are already taken, a HIIT bodyweight workout is probably your best bet. HIIT exercises can be anything, but usually combine cardio and bodyweight.

EXERCISES YOU COULD COMBINE TO MAKE A “HIIT” WORKOUT: 

  • Burpees
  • Jump squats
  • Jump lunges
  • Jumping jacks
  • Knee-highs
  • Mountain climbers

TABATA

You’ve probably heard about Tabata and thought, “what in the world is that?” Initially, most people think that HIIT and Tabata are two different types of workouts, when actually Tabata is a branch off of the HIIT family tree, and it has sparked interest in those who are looking for a quick workout that supplies fast results. So… everyone? The name “Tabata” comes from a physician named Dr. Izumi Tabata who was researching the benefits of interval training.

Just like your typical HIIT workout with intense bursts of movement followed by brief rest periods, Tabata follows a specific 20/10 rule, meaning you do an exercise using maximum effort for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, repeat this process eight times, equaling a total of four minutes for each small workout, rest in between each “set” for one minute, which adds up to about an overall 20-minute workout. Although HIIT workouts usually only require bodyweight, you can increase the difficulty level by adding free weights or kettlebells.

EXAMPLE OF A TABATA WORKOUT:

  • Jumping rope (4 minutes total)
    • Jump rope for as fast as you can for 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10
    • Repeat eight more times
  • Kettlebell swings (4 minutes total)
    • Swing for 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10
    • Repeat eight more times
  • Push-ups (4 minutes total)
    • Do as many push-ups as possible in 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10
    • Repeat eight more times
  • Burpees (4 minutes total)
    • Do as many burpees as possible for 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10
    • Repeat eight more times

According to Breaking Muscle, HIIT workouts like Tabata were initially created to help improve cardiovascular functions. Because of the intense and fast nature, HIIT workouts like Tabata boost your metabolism because your body has to work much harder to keep up with the movements. So even after your sweat session is over, your body is still burning fat, which is why HIIT workouts are encouraged for people who want to lose fat or are on weight-loss journeys.

HOW HIIT AND TABATA CAN BENEFIT YOUR GYM IF YOU’RE AN OWNER:

Offering HIIT group classes is a great way to keep your members engaged and not take up too much of their time. It’s also a great opportunity for you to market to members who are trying to lose weight–whether that’s in the form of group classes or personal training. Overall, it’s important to share this information with your members who most likely don’t know what these workouts are.

If your members don’t know what something is, or worse, have gym intimidation, they’re not going to try different things, and working out will eventually become stale, which could lead to membership cancellations. It’s little things like being up to date with fitness trends and informing your members of them via social media or personal training so that you’re offering variety.

KETO DIET

The keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet has sparked a lot of interest lately because carbs tend to have a bad rap. According to the Rule.Me, this diet is a low-carb and high-fat diet where the body enters a state known as ketosis and produces ketones in the liver that are used as energy.

From the pro-keto standpoint, a diet with standard carb intake means that the body produces glucose and insulin and uses these as main energy sources, which means that fat is not needed for energy and is usually stored. Rule.Me also says that ketosis is basically the body entering carb-survival mode, which results in using ketones as its main energy source, which is said to promote weight loss and other health benefits.

Although some find this diet effective, it really depends on body type and fitness goals. On the opposing side, former Biggest Loser Trainer, Jillian Michaels does not recommend the keto diet if you’re trying to lose weight. In an article from Women’s Health Magazine, she says that keto is a popular fad because it significantly reduces insulin levels. While keto can be helpful for people with high insulin levels, she says it’s probably not going to do much for someone with normal eating habits. In other words, if you’re someone who practices balance with nutritious foods and small amounts of processed foods, you don’t need to do “keto.”

INTERMITTENT FASTING

This is when you cycle between eating and fasting periods, according to HealthLine, and lately, many folks have picked up on the trend because it can aid in weight loss. Although you still need to eat healthy foods, this type of diet focuses solely on when to eat rather than what to eat. One of the most popular ways people intermittently fast is skipping breakfast, eating their first meal at noon and their last meal at 8 p.m.

Aside from the weight-loss perk, people are drawn to this type of diet for the simplicity. Planning meals is generally part of the game plan when going through a weight-loss journey and maintaining a healthy diet. For many, this can be time consuming and overall not effective because of the planned structure, which is why some people prefer to fast.

Some of the other fasting methods include the 5/2 rule, which means eating normally for five days then restricting your diet to 500-600 calories for two days. Sometimes people choose to fast every other day or fast during the day and feast at night, according to HealthLine.

While intermittent fasting helps some people feel healthier, POP Sugar strongly advises to stay away from it if you have an eating disorder history, are constantly preoccupied with food during the fast, and anyone under severe stress or who have hormonal issues.

HOW KETO AND INTERMITTENT FASTING CAN BENEFIT YOUR GYM IF YOU’RE AN OWNER:

Diets are tricky because it depends on the person, and you’re a gym owner, not a nutrition expert, right? Well regardless, fitness encompasses both exercise and a balanced diet, and your members can’t out-exercise poor diets. Most of the time, most gym-goers fall short or don’t see the results they want because they have no idea what they’re doing.

Simply posting the facts about these diets on your social media platforms will help your members, and even though some personal trainers aren’t registered dieticians and can’t legally give full-on dietary advice, they can provide structure and make small recommendations, which is usually expected in the job description. This is where knowing your members is crucial, especially those who seek personal training. Ensure that your trainers get to know your members, so they can better determine if either of these diets are compatible with their fitness goals and body types.

FUNCTIONAL TRAINING

You’re probably wondering what the difference is between functional training and regular exercise. Doesn’t working out in general make you more functional? Yes, any exercise is better than none, but functional training has gained attention because rather than focusing on toning, building muscle or losing weight, functional training focuses on an individual performing daily activities like lifting heavy objects. If you’re someone with a bad back or bad knees, functional training might be the best type of workout for you so that you’re balancing all areas and preventing injuries by teaching your body to use the correct muscles for specific movements.

According to Beach Body On Demand, people refer to it as “real world” fitness, and it focuses on movements instead of muscles, particularly with core and mobility. It started out as physical therapy for soldiers returning from World War I who were unable to perform daily functions like sitting, standing and bending over. Typical functional training programs use free weights rather than machines and focus on full ranges of motion. In simple terms, functional training is exercise with an everyday purpose.

HOW FUNCTIONAL TRAINING CAN BENEFIT YOUR GYM IF YOU’RE AN OWNER:

Although functional training can and should be recommended to everyone, it can be especially valuable to Generation X and veterans, particularly prospects in these categories. For example, you could offer a free functional training group class or personal training session to veterans for a Veteran’s Day promotion, where all veterans, members or not, are welcome to participate. People will appreciate your gym giving back to those who served, which helps enhance your brand.

PLOGGING

This trend gives a whole new meaning to making a trash run. If you’re an active runner who’s always trying to do your part to help make the earth a better place, then plogging is probably the workout for you. According to the Washington Post, plogging is a European trend that began in Sweden by runners who were fed up with trash along their trails, and it eventually made its way to the U.S. The term itself combines the word “jogging” with the Swedish term, “plocka upp,” which translates to “pick up.”

HOW PLOGGING CAN BENEFIT YOUR GYM IF YOU’RE AN OWNER:

Although plogging is a fitness craze that you might think will retract members from your gym, it can actually be a creative marketing opportunity for you to show your contribution to the environment. In this case, retention may not always be about ensuring members are coming in to your gym, but rather mixing up their fitness routines and enhancing your brand at the same time.

If this is something you think can enhance your gym’s marketing strategies, make it an annual Earth Day event for members and guests to plog together. It will help build more community in your health club and will especially attract those people who love the outdoors and are environmentally-conscious.

WHAT A SWEATY WORKOUT ACTUALLY MEANS

Whyy do some people sweat more than others

You’re at the gym running on a treadmill and can’t help but notice that you’re dripping in sweat, constantly wiping your face off, but the person next to you isn’t even glistening a drop of moisture. Because you’ve probably been in a scenario like this more than once, you might beg the questions: Does sweating more mean a better workout? If I sweat a lot when I work out, does that mean I’m out of shape? If I don’t sweat enough, does that mean I’m not trying hard enough? What does this all mean?

According to Daily Burn, we automatically think that more sweat equals how many calories we’ve burned. Not to burst your bubble, but if you are that person on the treadmill dripping in sweat, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better workout compared to the person running next to you. In other words, calories burned does not directly correlate with the amount you sweat because there are too many factors that play into why our bodies do what they do when we work out. Here are some of the factors that can explain that.

Why Do Some People Sweat More Than Others?

BODY TYPE

Whether you’re at a healthy weight or you’re overweight, both body types will sweat on some level during exercise because when the body gets too hot, it naturally produces sweat to cool itself off. According to POP Sugar, someone who is overweight will most likely sweat more because more body fat generates more heat. So, on some level, yes, if someone is out of shape, they are more likely to produce more sweat when they are physically active, but that doesn’t necessarily mean their workouts are “better” or “worse.” POP Sugar also says that fit people actually sweat more at the beginning of workouts because their bodies are quicker at adjusting to the amount of heat generated, which allows for a faster cool-down.

ENVIRONMENT

Have you ever noticed when it’s really humid somewhere that you’re sweating a lot more? Or you might be working out in your gym and after a while, you feel really hot and notice how much you’re sweating, and then realize the fans or air conditioning aren’t turned on? That’s not a coincidence. That’s because your body is cooling itself down because the environment is too hot.

This is the same reason as to why you might see more runners outside early in the morning and in the evening because it’s cooler out. They’ll still break a sweat because running will raise their body temperatures, but it’s much more comfortable to work out where it’s cooler, and most likely, those people aren’t sweating as much compared to if they were running during a time when the sun is blasting. So next time you’re at the gym, don’t be fooled by how much you’re sweating–simply focus on doing a solid workout, no matter how much your body perspires.

THE TWO G’s– GENDER AND GENETICS 

Some people just sweat more–plain and simple, and that can be because of family history, or because someone has more sweat glands. For instance, CNN says that younger people typically sweat more than older people. According to POP Sugar, we are born with between two and four million sweat glands. Women have more sweat glands than men, but men’s sweat glands are more active than women’s. Even if you’re a woman and you sweat a lot when you work out, don’t be alarmed. It could be because of family history or because you just have more active sweat glands. Unless you sweat a lot while at rest, there’s nothing to worry about.

WHAT YOU’RE WEARING

This is why you don’t wear a winter coat while you’re lifting weights. POP Sugar says to refrain from wearing synthetic fabrics because they trap in more heat and will generate more sweat. According to CNN, if you wear heavy cotton shirts, you’ll likely notice that sweat stains will linger as opposed to if you are wearing more breathable fabric, because your sweat gets trapped and doesn’t evaporate as quickly. Again, if you notice your t-shirt is drenched, don’t just assume your workout is “better,” because it could also just be what you’re wearing.

HOW YOU’RE FEELING

Have you ever gone to the gym to “work off some steam,” and you actually noticed more steam coming out of you? Ironically enough, whether you’re angry, stressed or nervous, all of those emotions can generate sweat because they raise your heart rate and trigger a rush of hormones, causing your body to heat up. If you’re also new to your gym and are feeling a little intimidated by it, you might sweat more because of the fact that you’re nervous.

HYDRATION

Hydration is surprisingly something that we often misinterpret when it comes to our sweat rates. Most people know to bring a water bottle to the gym with them because they need to stay hydrated, but if you drank a whole bottle of water before hitting the gym, you’re probably going to sweat more due to the higher amount of fluids in your system. Going back to our main point, you could be doing moderate exercise and sweating more, merely because of the fact that you’re more hydrated than usual.

People also mix up water weight when it comes to weight loss. In this case especially, sweat is not your “fat crying.” Most of it is actually all of the water you drank being released. After an intense workout, you’re most likely extra sweaty because you pushed yourself really hard, but you probably also drank a lot of water during that time to balance the two out. You may have also stepped on a scale after that and saw that the number decreased, thinking you lost weight, when in fact, you just lost water and that’s exactly why the number on the scale is always fluctuating by a couple of pounds, because we are always losing and gaining water.

IN CONCLUSION 

The ultimate misconception with a little or a lot of sweat is weight loss. It seems like common sense to assume that the more you sweat, the more weight you’re losing, but that is actually false. Because we associate sweat with exercise, we also assume that sweat is how “weight” leaves the body during the weight-loss process. To get down to it, weight loss is different than fat loss.

According to POP Sugar, weight loss is the actual number on the scale that went down, which could be a result of many things, like water loss for instance. Fat loss is how much body fat we lose. Even though someone who is overweight may sweat more, it doesn’t mean they are dropping fat. Some of that fat loss is released in the form of sweat, but the majority of it is actually breathed out, according to the Huffington Post.

Because of the idea, “energy in, energy out,” we have the misconception that fat and weight is expelled through sweat when the majority of it actually goes into thin air. When you think of burning calories, you’re not burning calories through your sweat. That fat and those calories are being converted into carbon dioxide as they exit your body. That’s also another huge reason why we refer to the experience of weight loss as a “journey,” because it doesn’t happen overnight due to how much carbon dioxide we have to exert in order to lose those extra pounds.

Resources

https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Does-Sweating-Mean-Youre-Burning-More-Calories-1655873

https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Why-Some-People-Sweat-More-Than-Others-145870

https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/07/25/what-happens-to-fat-when-you-lose-weight_a_23046347/

https://www.cnn.com/2017/06/13/health/sweating-workout-fitness-exercise-davis/index.html

HOW TO MAINTAIN A CLEAN FACILITY

gym cleaning

This seems like a no brainer and you’re probably thinking that the answer is you simply clean your facility to maintain it. However, the cleanliness of your gym or fitness club goes a little deeper than that–a deep clean if you will. Not only does it affect the overall look, feel and brand of your gym, but according to Fitness Magazine, research says that members could be getting much more than flat abs at the gym, like fungi and Staph infections, the flu and even Hepatitis A and MRSA.

Even if you think your gym is spotless, it’s probably not. If you truly think about it, it’s no surprise that gyms are a haven for bacteria. Vast amounts of people with different health conditions carrying different germs, work out in your facility every day and sweat on your equipment.

Although you can’t control what people do, especially outside of your club, there are things you can do as a gym owner to make sure your facility sparkles because let’s face it: your members come to the gym to get healthy, not sick and a dirty gym is gross. Besides, people still try to stay active even when they have the common cold, which spreads germs but also the sicker a member is, the less time they are spending in your gym, and you don’t want that either. Here are some preventative measures you and your staff can take to minimize germs.

Read More: How to Prep Your Gym for the New Year

OFFER CLEANING STATIONS 

Most gyms and fitness studios offer stations with paper towels and spray bottles filled with disinfectant solutions, but in case you don’t already, offering cleaning stations is a small preventative action you can take to immediately kill germs. You’re probably still wondering how many people actually use them, and unfortunately, that’s why gyms collect so much bacteria, because many people don’t, but that’s also because gyms don’t encourage it enough or in a way that they should.

Members are more likely to wipe down a treadmill after using it rather than a weight machine. According to Natural News, free weights are often used, but hardly ever cleaned. Exercise balls and mats are rarely cleaned either because people don’t always think about it, yet they carry bacteria like Staphylococcus.

If you have cleaning stations with signs that encourage and remind your members to wipe down equipment, you have a better chance of avoiding harmful bacteria, helping them in the long-run. Although you can’t force your members to actually use your cleaning stations, it’s better to have them than not at all. Besides, your members pay to work out in your facility, not clean it. So even though it’s common courtesy for them to wipe stuff down, it’s not their job to–it’s yours.

HIRE A CLEANING STAFF

Whether or not this is your general staff, make sure your employees are vacuuming, wiping down equipment that isn’t currently being used, maintaining bathrooms and locker rooms as well as picking up trash. We recommend you have a separate cleaning staff from your general employees because if you have your front desk person vacuuming when they should be welcoming people in, there’s a chance of missed opportunities for new members, and besides, you want different types of people running your facility, so that all member needs are met. It looks more professional for your overall brand to have employees walking around cleaning because it shows that you care about your club and that you care about your members feeling comfortable where they work out.

Simply relying on your members to get rid of germs by wiping down equipment is not enough. According to an experiment conducted by the TODAY Show, the buttons on cardio equipment at a New York gym carried a bacteria level of 2,134. Any bacteria level over 100 was considered a fail. Natural News says that even after people wipe down those machines, bacteria can still live on them for up to three days.

In other words, deep cleaning your facility is your best bet, plus members and guests definitely notice and appreciate those small details, which is vital to the success of your business. If you’re an owner of a boutique fitness studio that runs solely on group classes, like barre or yoga, it’s not a bad idea to have a cleaning staff, but you probably don’t need to worry about it as much since group classes are controlled and moderated by instructors, rather than the individual actions of members.

CHECK OUR DAILY SERVICE NOTES REPORT

Our Daily Service Notes Report is a good tool for ASF to inform your gym and staff of things you might not be aware of, like the cleanliness of it for instance. This could be anything like the bathrooms were dirty one day, or there was gum stuck to an elliptical. Specific complaints like that happen all of the time. Think about it this way. You don’t want your members exercising in a dirty environment. That’s unsanitary and embarrassing for you as a fitness club owner. Your members chose your gym for a reason. Whatever their deciding factor was, one of the worst things that could happen is a member cancelling their membership because they were grossed out.

The Daily Service Notes Report is perfect for very specific issues. Obviously, your club is a public place and public places will always carry germs no matter what, but the issues reach a whole level when it’s disrupting a member’s workout. Chances are when things like that happen, members will complain directly to your staff for an immediate solution, but either way, this report is imperative to check so that you, your staff and ASF are all on the same page and can resolve the issues when they arise.

USE OUR HOURLY ATTENDANCE REPORT

This report helps you determine the peak times and slow times of your facility each day, on the hour. You’re probably wondering how this report would help you clean your gym. If you have effectively determined your peak times, then you know that more people using your equipment also means more germs.

At the same time, you can determine your slower times to track when it’s okay to send your staff around to clean, especially if you don’t have a specific cleaning staff. Regardless, you should be cleaning your club or at least inspecting it every hour. This report helps you determine appropriate times to maintain it so that your members are always exercising in a clean environment.

CREATE A CLEANING CLOCK 

Whatever this looks like or sounds like–whether it’s a reminder over the intercom or specific times all of your employees are aware of, everyone needs to be on the same page. With members and prospects coming in and out of your gym, asking questions and signing up for memberships, it’s easy to forget to clean, so simply setting cleaning reminders for your employees can resolve issues before they’re even a problem.

BOTTOM LINE

If people touch it, clean it. It’s better to be overly-detailed about the look and feel of your gym, than not enough.

Read More: 10 Ways to Keep Your Gym Safe

Resources

https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/germs/germs-at-the-gym/

https://www.naturalnews.com/filthiest-objects-gym-germs.html

https://www.today.com/health/germs-gyms-where-they-re-worst-what-do-about-them-t121318

HOW TO EAT HEALTHY AT RESTAURANTS

How to Eat Healthy at Restaurants

Whether you’re eating out on a Friday night or you don’t feel like cooking on a Tuesday evening, dining out is a part of life. Unfortunately, it can also lead to weight gain and conflict with fitness goals, especially when we aren’t in control of what goes into the foods that are prepared for us. There’s no shame in treating yourself once in a while and cooking your own meals majority of the time. In fact, practicing realistic habits is a healthier way of life because you’re still enjoying the foods you love in moderation, but not letting them counteract your fitness goals.

Moderation becomes difficult to achieve when cheat meals turn into cheat days because so many of us think, “well I already ate a bite of that so might as well eat the whole thing.” Although sometimes it’s perfectly fine to order the huge plate of pasta, there’s a healthier way to enjoy life and avoid the guilt that comes along with eating out. Here are some guidelines to follow for your next trip to a restaurant.

Read More: 13 Common Weight Loss Mistakes

Here’s How to Eat Healthy at Restaurants

DRINK WATER OR UNSWEETENED ICED TEA

This sounds like a no-brainer, but water actually helps keep you fuller longer and can prevent overeating. What you want to drink is the first question your server will ask you, so ditch the soda (yes diet soda too) and order a water with lemon or an unsweetened iced tea with lemon. Both are guilt-free and zero-calorie options.

IF YOU’RE ORDERING ALCOHOL

Now it’s no secret that alcohol is probably your worst enemy if you’re trying to lose weight or are focused on fitness, but we’re human and living a healthy lifestyle is about moderation, not restriction. An effective rule of thumb to follow is to avoid any caramel-colored liquors like whiskey, blended mixed drinks and heavy beers. These are packed with tons of sugar, and one drink alone can contain up to 300 calories. So, if it’s a Friday night and you order a few of these, you can imagine that’s not a very pretty math equation. Try to order just one drink and stick to a glass of red wine that has about 150 calories or a vodka soda with about 70 calories.

LOOK FOR THE “LIGHTER” SECTION

You initially might think that this section on a menu sucks the fun and flavor out of your meal, but these dishes are typically just as delicious and are half the calories of what you normally would order. They also help with practicing portion control. How many times have you gone to an Italian restaurant and can’t finish the whole plate of pasta? That’s because restaurants over-compensate portion sizes and your body actually does not need those extra calories. Order off the lighter menu if the restaurant offers it, get a friendlier portion and you’ll most likely be just as satisfied, if not more.

START WITH A SALAD OR SOUP

Get in the habit of “spoiling your appetite” by ordering broth-based soup or a salad with non-creamy dressing on the side before diving into the actual entrée. One of the biggest culprits for weight gain is portion control. It’s not necessarily that you ordered the fettucine alfredo, it’s that you ate too much of it in one sitting and your body can’t digest it properly, so it just gets stored as fat. Plus, we tend to eat whatever is put in front of us and are taught to eat until our plates are clean.

These are dangerous things when dining out considering an average plate of food at a restaurant adds up to about 1500 calories. By starting with soup or a salad before the entrée comes, you’re more likely to eat less of the entrée, but feel just as satisfied.

Avoid making the common mistake of ordering salads with dressings like ranch and blue cheese and avoid cream-based soups. Just because you’re eating a salad or a small bowl of soup does not make it healthier. Most of the cream-based options are packed with fat and equate to a full meal’s worth of calories. By making easy swaps, food still tastes good and your waistline will thank you for it.

LOOK FOR KEYWORDS AND CALORIE COUNTS ON MENUS

This applies to those pesky hidden ingredients in fine print that usually double the calories and fat of an entrée. For example, if you’re looking at the salad section of a menu, most people make the mistake of ordering something because it seems healthy, when a lot of the time, many big salads are loaded with cheese, fried chicken and bacon bits and are topped with creamy dressings that make it even worse for you–so when you think you’re ordering something innocent, it’s actually the same number of calories as a cheeseburger, if not more.

The way to avoid this is to scan the menu descriptions for words like “fried” or “cream.” Also look for good words like “grilled” and “steamed.” If you’re eyeing something that is fried or contains a lot of cheese, simply request your chicken to be grilled instead of fried and ask for no cheese. Restaurants are meant to make these accommodations for people, and no­, you aren’t bothering your server or being high maintenance because you requested your food a certain way. You’re paying for it, so you might as well enjoy yourself without the guilt.

Most restaurants nowadays are required to include calorie counts in their menus. Although the goal is not to become obsessed with numbers, the calorie counts are usually a good reference to use when deciding what you’re going to order, but avoid relying on these numbers, as some of them are not as accurate as you might think. Rely on yourself to make the executive decision by being smart about the actual ingredients in the food.

ORDER A HALF PORTION OR SHARE WITH SOMEONE

When you’re starving at a restaurant, your eyes tend to be bigger than your stomach and you think you’re hungrier than you actually are. Plus, good-smelling food that is bursting with flavor doesn’t always help with accurate hunger cues. No matter what dish you’re ordering, try sharing with someone or ordering a half portion.

This way if it’s something that is higher in calories and fat, you’re literally cutting those numbers in half, but you’re still allowing yourself to enjoy the dish, and you’ll most likely still feel full and but not over-stuff yourself. The bill will also look a lot nicer to you because you’ll only be paying for one entrée instead of two. It’s a win-win.

EAT SLOWLY AND FOLLOW THE 5-SECOND RULE

We know that when your dish arrives to your table you’re probably ready to scarf it down. Sit back, take a bite and really be in the moment. By eating slower and actually focusing on the eating aspect, you’re allowing your body to respond to what’s being put in it, giving your brain time to decide when you’re full.

Five seconds is about the amount of time you want to take between each bite. This definitely will feel weird, controlling and unnatural at first, but if you practice it a few times when you go out, eventually, you will naturally adapt to something similar, and will see results from all of your time at the gym because you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in.

MINIMIZE ON DESSERT

Dessert at restaurants is usually best to avoid all together if you’re trying to watch what you eat, but if you’re that person who has a major sweet tooth, take a couple bites of chocolate cake and then be done. When it comes to anything that we crave, especially sweets, our brains don’t need the whole brownie to be satisfied–just a bite or two. Or instead of indulging in the ice cream and cake, order a coffee with a little cream.

FOR TYPES OF CUISINES

Some restaurants don’t have a “lighter section” on their menus. If this is the case, here are some healthier examples of what you could order:

– AMERICAN FOOD

Order a burger with no bun, load up the burger with vegetables, instead of French fries, order a side salad or fruit, and instead of mayonnaise, use mustard.

– ITALIAN FOOD 

Order pastas with tomato-based sauces. For example, spaghetti with meatballs isn’t necessarily “healthy,” but it’s a better choice than fettucine alfredo. For pizza, order a side salad to start and then order thin crust pizza with veggies. You’ll still satisfy your pizza craving, but the calories will be a lot kinder to you.

– MEXICAN FOOD 

Mexican food tends to be a little more difficult considering everything is mostly deep fried. Luckily, there are still ways around the system. If you’re absolutely craving enchiladas, cut the calories in half by sharing with someone. For an even healthier option that is also filling, order a “taco” salad with chicken, lots of lettuce and guacamole. Ditch the cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips, but load it up with salsa.

– ASIAN FOOD

Since Chinese food is mostly all deep fried and packed with salt and sugar, order a small soup to curb your appetite and try ordering your entrée steamed. If you’re at a sushi restaurant, cut back on the rice by ordering low-carb cucumber sushi. The cucumber replaces the rice, but you still get the sushi taste. Although plain steamed rice isn’t necessarily bad for you, try ordering brown rice instead with more nutrients.

Read More: How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

HOW OUR SCHEDULER HELPS GYMS & MEMBERS

personal trainer scheduling software

When it comes to running a gym or fitness club, happy members are obviously top priority and key to healthy retention. You may think that the technical side of running a business is only helpful to you as a gym owner, but members appreciate intuitive and up to date software that benefits their fitness journeys and gym experiences–especially when it comes to personal training and group classes. Here is how our scheduler helps both gyms and members.

ORGANIZES YOUR CLUB

Organization is crucial to any successful business, especially a gym because fitness success stories derive from people having plans and structures. Our scheduler displays day, month and year views on a clean and modern interface that makes navigation quick and easy, using our robust drag and drop. With this feature, an owner is able to sign a member up for an event in a calendar view by quickly dragging a class or personal training session right under their profile. Our scheduler also offers features like room design and conflict resolution, which go hand in hand when it comes to knowing what is where and when events are happening.

The room design feature allows owners to label where all classes and trainers will be on a given day, while our conflict resolution solves any scheduling issues before they arise. Both features will verify whether an event has been double-booked or is in the wrong area of room. Plus, personal trainers feel taken care of with these features because they don’t have to worry about making sure their trainees are in the correct area at the right time. Lastly, our scheduler will send out email notifications to all sides of the party–class instructors, trainers and members to notify everyone where they’re supposed to be at what specific times, ensuring there is no miscommunication, and everyone is on the same page.

Read More: How Our Mobile App Generates Club Revenue

EFFICIENT FOR MEMBERS

Members need efficiency with their fitness goals and appreciate being able to quickly sign up for personal training or group classes right from their phones. This ultimately adds value to their fitness experiences and an owner’s retention because members don’t have to jump through hoops to use all that a gym has to offer. Besides, if a gym or fitness club does not offer these tools that members need to be successful, retention will go down and members will seek them elsewhere.

It’s all about understanding people, then implementing that intuition into the software. Sometimes members, especially individuals who are new to working out, don’t even fully know what they need and want. Their deciding factor of signing up for a gym membership in the first place may not have necessarily been the software. They also most likely didn’t even know from the get-go that technology would help their success, but it will sure keep someone around in the long run because they feel like they are being taken care of.

Members sign up for group classes and personal training for a reason, ­and it’s usually because they need the extra motivation and a typical gym session just won’t cut it. On a deeper level, members need other people to relate to and connect with, and fitness, whether it’s a spin class or one-on-one training, is as personal as it gets from a business standpoint. When technology covers the extra work, screen time is reduced, and face to face time is increased.

ULTIMATELY BUILDS COMMUNITY

In this day and age when technology dictates every waking moment, establishing strong bonds with all gym members is imperative to healthy and successful gyms. The point is for the technology to take care of the owners, so they can take care of their members. Even though many would argue that technology retracts us from authentic human interaction, it’s actually the opposite with our scheduler.

The more intuitive and efficient technology is, the less time a client spends looking at a computer screen and worrying about running their business, which means they have more quality time to connect with their members, enjoy club activities with them and help them reach their fitness goals. As this happens, the retention of a fitness club will naturally increase because the technology takes care of the rest.

Read More: Technology is Bringing Owners and Members Closer

Our scheduler is available to all current ASF clients. For more information, contact our Sales Department directly at 800-227-3859 and sales@asfpaymentsolutions.com.

GYM OWNER STRUGGLES & HOW TO TACKLE THEM

opening a gym

Opening up a gym or fitness club typically starts with two things: a passion for fitness and a passion to help people with fitness. Taking risks is one of the primary aspects that comes along with being a business owner, and even with the most successful businesses, all owners experience trial and error, setbacks and triumphs. Here are some of the most common gym owner struggles and how you can successfully handle them.

Opening Up a Gym: The Struggles You’ll Face

WEARING MANY HATS

This is pretty much inevitable when an owner first opens up a gym. There’s a lot of pressure associated with being an every-man. You feel that you have to be the trainer, business owner, salesman, janitor–everything in the book, and it’s so easy to spiral into all of these job descriptions and forget to simply be the gym owner. Of course, it’s natural to take on multiple jobs, especially at first, but trusting and working with other people is something that you have to do if you want your gym to grow and succeed. A common occurrence when first opening up a gym that many owners struggle with is member attachment. Members tend to get very comfortable with certain trainers and don’t want to change. The issue arises because unfortunately, a growing fitness club sometimes needs to alternate between multiple trainers.

HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM

 Be proactive with your business–not in a way that you pressure yourself to wear all of the hats, but in a way that you set strategies and create a cohesive brand for your gym. When you’re first opening up a business, it’s very common to hire people that you’re familiar with like friends and family. Before going through the hiring process, be organized and have regulations and guidelines already set in place. Have a game plan from the get-go that has systems set in place, so you can teach all of the operations to new hires and people that you already had on board.

Read More: 10 Ways to Keep Your Gym Safe

INTENSE COMPETITION 

 It’s so easy to fall into the trap of what everyone else is doing, and to a point, you have to understand what others are doing and know what attracts people. First and foremost, avoid thinking of competition as an “issue.” It’s part of life and always will be, and understanding your competitors is also part of understanding the industry you’re working in. Just avoid becoming obsessed with it.

HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM

 Start with understanding your own club and your own business goals because even though you’re in the same industry among thousands of other gyms, there’s always one thing that sets you apart from them, and vice versa.

This especially applies if for example your fitness club is a yoga studio and a kick-boxing gym just opened up down the street from you. Initially this seems like competition, but if you compare the two, your yoga studio has a completely different demographic than the kick-boxing gym. If the issue you face is that it’s another yoga studio down the street, do something like giving free t-shirts to new members at sign-up or hand out water bottles to prospects who try a yoga class for the first time. Include your company logo, slogan or mission statement on free products. This way, you’re taming the competition, not losing sight of your business goals and most importantly, creating value for your club that sets you apart from everyone else.

ATTRACTING NEW MEMBERS

Arguably one of the most common issues all businesses face is how to get new people in your door. Although exceeding the expectations of your current members is a must for positive word of mouth, in today’s age, businesses need to go beyond their front doors.

HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM 

Even though you might feel like a tiny fish in a giant ocean we call the internet, social media advertisements on platforms like Facebook and Instagram in addition to your other marketing efforts should be at the heart of your focus. Everyone is on social media, you can reach thousands of people and you can effectively target to your specific demographic. Within your social media ads, make sure to have incentives like free classes for a week and click throughs to your website so a prospect can easily learn more about your club.

Also, take advantage of our Pass-a-friend referral program, which offers passes that are custom to your club and automatically emails new members. Along with measuring the profitability of your marketing program, it tracks sales follow-up and closing percentages. As an owner, all you have to do is brainstorm incentives for members that refer their friends to your club.

MEMBER RETENTION 

When members are happy, that usually means fitness clubs are successful and gym owners are smiling, but member retention is a bit more complex than that. A lot of the time, there’s pressure attached to member retention and gym owners focus so much on funneling new people in that they forget to keep the current members satisfied.

HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM 

People sign up with specific gyms for many reasons: membership price, convenient location, or something as simple as a friendly conversation you had with them–the list goes on, but unfortunately, people also cancel memberships for very specific reasons too. Sometimes the reasons are out of your control like the member moved or they lost their job and had to cut their expenses, but gym owners usually have a lot of power when it comes to retention. If you don’t already, your club needs to pull reports using gym management software. To breakdown your member retention, you need to analyze your gym’s data using reports like our Hourly Attendance Report, Age Breakdown Report, 30/60/90 Retention Detail Report and Birthday Lists.

You need to understand essential details like the peak and slow times of your facility, what the main age range and gender of your members are, when specific people signed up for their memberships and how often they come in to work out. Acknowledging specific details like member birthdays is crucial to making them feel valued. Another important retention detail is that members are never locked in for life, so it’s vital to bring the same value to the table as you would for prospects.

This means hosting unique events or giving out free merchandise with your club’s logo and mission statement to current members. You also need to know details like members cancelling because of broken machines or the cleanliness of your club. You can break this down using our Daily Service Notes report. The whole purpose of using reports is understanding where your strengths and weaknesses are as a business, so you can maintain healthy retention.

MANAGING PAYMENTS

This is one of the most common obstacles when running a fitness club because once your gym is operating, it’s difficult to keep track of everyone’s payments and membership types. This is why all gyms need someone to process their members’ payments for them.

HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM 

When you have someone else like ASF to process membership payments for you, then you suddenly have more time for other things­ like getting to know your members, understanding their fitness goals and needs along with bringing prospects on board. Money obviously matters to your business and is usually a fragile topic when it comes to members. That’s why ASF not only processes all of the payments for you, but when financial problems arise, members and owners are able to resolve the issues by talking with ASF customer support. When ASF manages payments, owners and members can be confident in their cash flow along with the service and communication that is provided to members.

Read More: How to Prep Your Gym for a New Year

 

 

 

KIDCHECK GIVES OWNERS & PARENTS PEACE OF MIND

kidcheck

Getting to know your members and tending to their needs is important. Do you know which of your members are parents? Chances are, you have quite a few walking into your facility every day. Or you have prospects lined up who are looking for a gym or fitness club that has a kids’ area and a way to safely and quickly check them in, so parents can go about their workouts stress-free.

Being a parent is a whole separate job in itself. They’re always on the go, constantly running around, picking up toys and cleaning up some kind of mess. For many parents, the last thing they want to do is neglect their workouts because they don’t have time to take their children to daycare or because daycare is too expensive.

This applies especially to mothers who are trying to get back in shape post-pregnancy. To ensure you’re keeping these members satisfied and attracting all types of prospects, it’s best to have great check-in software in your kids’ area. That’s where KidCheck, a secure and mobile-friendly children’s check-in system comes in to make your facility more efficient and make your members’ lives a little easier.

REDUCES LIABILITY 

The biggest peace of mind for a parent is the safety of their children. KidCheck increases child security by ensuring only authorized care takers can check kids out. Once a child is checked in, KidCheck software displays any allergy or medical information that your staff needs to know regarding your member’s child. In the event of an emergency, the software also gives employees the ability to quickly know where parents are located.

EFFICIENT AND SECURE

Since parents are busy and on-the-go, it’s important to have a system that is fast and easy to use, whether a parent is checking in at the kids’ club in your facility or using a mobile app. With KidCheck Express Check-In, right on their own phone, parents can start check in at home while finishing a cup of coffee and getting ready to run out the door, or in the parking lot right outside the gym, wherever it’s most convenient for them.

That means that as a fitness club or gym owner, you won’t have long lines or stressed parents because members can easily and conveniently check their kids in which ultimately results in more efficiency for your facility. Parents also receive automatic, one-way text messages to confirm that they have checked their child in and reminder texts for when it’s time to pick their child up–this way they can enjoy their workouts but also be in the loop at the same time, keeping everyone on the same page.

REDUCES COST

Understanding your club and your members is crucial, and it’s essential to track when parents and children come into your facility, both for the sake of members and reducing costs. Just like how our reports offer your club real data, KidCheck manages trends so you can understand information like how many parents are coming to work out and at what times.

By understanding your peak and slow times, you can decide how many employees you need working your kids’ club, so you don’t spend money over-staffing. There are also benefits with reduced liability as a secure children’s check-in system improves child safety. You can also market things like mommy-and-me classes on certain days and at specific times, depending on what your data shows. Not only will these types of activities attract current and possible new members, but you’ll make more money in the long-run just for knowing when people are coming to work out.

For more information about KidCheck, visit kidcheck.com/fitness