Category Archives: HEALTH

Fun iPhone Apps for Fitness Instructors and Trainers

There are loads of health and fitness apps for your mobile device. Calorie counters, workout trackers and routine builders galore. Here are a few more that might make your job a little easier!

For Class or Training Sessions

iNterval Tunes by James A. Brannan – $1.99

If you teach interval classes, you know how hard it is to watch the clock and switch up your music tempos. This handy app allows you to customize an entire interval workout to your own itunes music. You can add intervals (warm up, work, rest, cool down) in any order in intervals of up to one hour. You can choose individual songs for each interval or you can apply an entire itunes playlist. iNterval tunes announces each interval’s duration and intensity, and it gives you countdown warnings to change. How easy is that!

Ambiance by Matt Coneybeare – $.99

A yoga teacher’s dream, this app generates ambient noise to your specifications. There are more than 500 sounds that you can mix to create a playlist of soothing sounds.

To Motivate

Help Me Do by Mobidea – $1.99

Help your clients set a goal each week. After creating a target behavior and due date, you add motivators: treats, forfeits, emails and bets. Most interesting are the email motivators (to create positive peer pressure) and the bets. You could make a friendly wager with your client that if they work out 3x that week that you’ll drop and give them 20 at your next appointment!

BeGOOD! by Cloudlark, LLC – $1.99 & iReward Chart by Gotclues, Inc – $4.99

These apps are actually designed for parents to use with their children, but they are very attractive and fun. Clients can set a goal and mark their daily behaviors with a star chart. Simple, yet effective!

Other interesting apps:

MusicID with Lyrics by Gravity Mobile – $2.99

Have you ever heard a song on the radio or at a club and wondered what the title is? With this app, your mobile device will identify audible music and display the song name, lyrics, artist biographies and related YouTube videos.

Be Happy Now by Mental Workout LLC – $2.99

These guided meditations are great for trainer and client alike. There are meditations for cultivating compassion, gratitude and inner peace. The mindfulness meditations help release negative emotions. In addition to the longer meditations, there are brief ones for what the author calls a “hit” of happiness when you feel down.

Whole Foods Market Recipes by Whole Foods Market, Inc – FREE

If you are a Whole Foods fan, you’ll love this app. There are recipes for all kinds of special diets: dairy free, fat free, gluten free, high fiber and more. Search for recipes or input the ingredients you have on hand. Of course, it may recommend that you run right out to Whole Foods for an ingredient that you don’t have…but there’s an app that can take care of that—Smart Chef Substitutions by Rantek, Inc for $1.99 will help you find an alternative in seconds!

Happy apping!

One Simple Tip to Recession-Proof Your Club


Times are tough. Will your clients let go of their gym memberships or stop personal training to save money? Some might be tempted, especially if they are not seeing returns on their investment. Acting on this simple tip can help safeguard your business:

Add value to your members’ club experience.

1) Interact with your members. It’s YOU that the customers want! What clients appreciate most is your hospitality and expertise. The best part is that adding value by enhancing service is simple, and it doesn’t cost anything extra.

A colleague of mine just returned from the IHRSA convention in San Francisco and shared some incredible retention statistics that she heard in a session by Paul Bedford of the Leisure Database Company. Bedford helps companies with member retention and attrition management.

Bedford cites that if members are spoken to (in a meaningful way!) every time they come to the club, they are much more likely to continue their membership and/or refer a new member. If they are only interacted with occasionally, the likelihood of them continuing their membership drops by 60%. If members are rarely or never spoken to, the probability of them continuing their membership drops by 70%.

Bedford goes on to correlate member retention to the number of times a team member interacts with a member in any given month:

  • 1 interaction: the member is 20% more likely to come back again.
  • 2 – 3 interactions: the member is 50% more likely to return.
  • 4 or more interactions: the member is 80% more likely to continue at the club.

    It just goes to show the value of a personal connection. Sometimes we forget that the simple things, like smiling and introducing ourselves to members we don’t know, looking for guests who need help and calling members by name helps build relationships that our clients will be less likely to abandon.

    2) Facilitate strong member-to-member connections. We know that club members who participate in group activities, like group exercise, basketball leagues or tennis, have higher retention rates than individuals who experience the club in a solitary fashion. John McCarthy, IHRSA’s executive director emeritus, makes a distinction between “group fitness” and “machine” members. He explains that “machine” members often interact only with the machines they use and are therefore “deficient in both member-to-member connections and member-to-staff connections.” They are not as loyal to a club because they see it merely as a fitness warehouse.

    Creating social space in your club can also promote member-to-member interaction. Clubs with cafes, lounges or other places where members can chat or have a cup of coffee together tend to have higher retention rates than clubs without social space. At ACAC, where I work, there is a sectional sofa arranged in our HealthQuest circuit training area. It is a popular place for members to catch up or to talk informally with a team member.

    One last suggestion. . . leverage your most valuable resources (your team members!) within the community to capitalize on relationships that already exist. Most group exercise instructors, for example, spend the majority of their time outside the club. The group instructor staff at my club includes full-time teachers, nurses, moms, bankers, realtors and small business owners. What a great opportunity to reach out to multiple markets! Finding ways for instructors to carry your club’s message into their other spheres of influence can extend your marketing reach significantly. And the best part about these leads is that a strong member-to-staff connection is already in place.

    Increasing staff-to-member interactions will not only build personal connections, it will reinforce to the members how much the company values their business. Member-to-member interactions build a network of social support and create a sense of belonging. Strengthening these relationships makes your club a community instead of just a gym. It’s easy to quit the gym, but who wants to leave their community behind?