Virtuagym vs. Exercise.com’s All-in-One Fitness Business Software


Manage and Grow Your Fitness Business Better with Exercise.com. Learn more below.

Virtuagym vs Exercise.com. Choose Exercise.com’s All-in-One Fitness Business Management Software. Review our head-to-head Virtuagym software comparison and see for yourself. Get a custom web and smartphone app designed for your brand with additional customization available throughout your custom-built software. Grow your business, turn leads into clients, and increase revenue. 

With so many software management options available for fitness professionals and personal trainers to choose from, it’s important to have an objective overview of these software packages.

Many packages also offer a mobile app for personal trainers and clients to use. Virtuagym is one that promises to be an all-in-one option, but how does it stack up with the all-in-one business management software offered by Exercise.com?

If you’re ready to grow your business, schedule a demo with the Team at Exercise.com.

Virtuagym Company Overview

Virtuagym logo

Virtuagym touts itself as a one-stop-shop for health clubs and fitness professionals. Its cloud-based software has grown into an all-in-one solution in the fitness industry with options for client coaching, membership management and billing, scheduling and more.

Virtuagym launched in 2008, has over seven million users worldwide, serves over 4,000 health clubs and fitness professionals.

There are over 200 employees at Virtuagym and the company is based in the Netherlands. Virtuagym is a growing company and expanded its team in early 2018. Seedtable listed Virtuagym as one of the top 100 Startups in Amsterdam.

While Virtuagym’s cloud-based software is impressive, it does leave small business owners feeling forgotten with costly services and hard-to-break contract terms:

“As a personal trainer of a small business it has proved more than I need and far too expensive given our exchange rates.” – Tracy Y., Capterra

Virtuagym Features vs Exercise.com

Virtuagym includes features such as basic customizations, appointment scheduling, automated billing, workout plans, and metrics to track progress.

While it does offer an impressive array of features, Virtuagym does not provide a list of benefits that are outside of Exercise.com’s feature offerings, including:

  • Fully customizable mobile app
  • Easy-to-use software for workout development and delivery
  • E-commerce software for selling memberships, packages, or individual training
  • Numerous built-in performance assessment options
  • Robust workout management features
  • Business and staffing scheduling and reporting

– Fitness Business Management (FBM)http://www.exercise.com/

Virtuagym allows health clubs to post their class schedule on their website or mobile app so clients can book and manage their classes, but full customization is lacking. I bet you’d rather be spending your time working on growing your business. That’s why we’ve developed our All-in-One Fitness Business Management (FBM) software.

– Calendars and Booking

How many more clients could you onboard, engage, and retain if you had an easy to use software to schedule and book clients? Plus what if that software was built into the same platform you use to build workouts, sell plans, and deliver assessments?

  • No more learning a dozen different software to run your business.
  • No more teaching a bunch of different systems to your staff.
  • No more confusion and fractured experiences for your clients.

It’s the same unified experience for your staff and clients from web to apps.

FBM will empower you to track visits, book classes and sessions, engage your clients with recurring appointment reminders via email and text, and provide calendar integration with google and apple for easy management. With FBM’s calendar, you can also sort by:

  • Trainer
  • Location
  • Service
  • Recurring
  • Time
  • Availability

– Accepting Payments Securely and Easily

with a Fitness Business Management (FBM) software where you can access all of your payment tools in the same custom-branded web and mobile apps, so that professionals like you could spend less time tracking down failed charges, taking payments, and managing payment details and have more time for growing your business.

FBM makes it easy to set up packages for your training where clients can pay a one-time or recurring price with cash, check, or credit card. Plus accept direct deposits and allow online purchasing of packages — all in one easy to use software.

And you’ll have sales and business reports for all your clients, classes, and workout packages to make managing your business easy.

– Increase Business Efficiency & Revenue

Never worry about sales, staff, clients, or data logged falling between the cracks with reporting at your fingertips in your custom web and mobile apps. Managing a staff of any size is time-consuming but FBM saves you time with assignable staff roles, so you can put staff management on autopilot.

Plus all your reports can be run in a single software. No more safaris for which software has which reports. Exercise.com’s Fitness Business Management (FBM) software makes reports easy — sales, business, appointments, class, and payroll reports all in one place. Plus you can also sort reports by:

These reports empower you to have your finger on the pulse of your business and if you’re bringing on new trainers you’ll know how much to pay staff based on commissions. For your business’ marketing, automate your efforts by connecting to MailChimp, ConstantContact, ConvertKit, Zapier, Google Analytics, & Facebook Pixel 

Are you catching the pattern?

  • Implement systems that save you time
  • Have all your management tools in one software
  • Manage your business from anywhere

Now you might be able to do these things on your own, but that’s the hard way. Building software is expensive and can take years.

– Custom-Branded Web & Smartphone Apps

The Virtuagym app is available for free through iOS and Android devices. The app features hundreds of exercises with an animated trainer demonstrating those exercises and all of this is built into the app. You can also save the workout for future use.

The free app includes access to group challenges, a few workout plans, and integration with certain health devices, fitness wearables, or the Apple Health app. The pro version has additional features, such as additional workout plans. The pro version costs $6.99 for a four-week subscription or $33.99 for a one-year subscription.

Health club members can also view available classes through their club’s schedule, book classes through the mobile app, track attendance, and receive reminders and push notifications.

Here’s where Exercise.com has the advantage, because it truly is an all-in-one, fully-customizable software.

Imagine you are a personal trainer: you have the ability to design custom workouts, deliver those workouts through the mobile app, and help your clients with their nutrition to meet their fitness or weight loss goals. Plus, the mobile app is fully customizable to match your branding, logos, and colors:

Custom AMPD Apps

Members, clients, and trainers have 24/7 on-the-go access to the mobile app with Exercise.com. Scheduling workouts, viewing the exercise library, communication, and more are readily available anytime, anywhere.

– Workout Creation and Delivery

Personal trainers can use Virtuagym software or app with their clients. There is an animated trainer built into the mobile app with the exercise library. Trainers can design workout plans, share those plans, and use the Food app to review their client’s food intake. Virtuagym also includes workout plans and an exercise library. 

Despite an array of features, users express frustration in how long it takes to build a workout for their clients:

“Uploading custom workouts and video is very inconvenient and requires way too many steps. Overall dissatisfied and I wish I chose a different company.” – Michael R., Capterra

“Faulty Workout Editor and the other glitches I experienced. I wish I could add video to these reviews to show what the workout editor was doing since it’s hard to explain, but basically, it was not working as it should at all. Even customer service and my account manager, who conveniently disappeared when I asked for my money back, admitted that the redirects that were happening within the editor made no sense.” – Taylor B., Capterra

Exercise.com also has a robust exercise library available, along with options to create new exercises to add to the library. The exercise library includes numerous video demos, lists the muscles worked, the difficulty level, and helpful instructions.

Unlike Virtuagym, with Exercise.com, building a workout is straightforward, simple, and does not require a large array of steps.

Workout plan

Personal trainers can create workout plans, save those plans, and assign those to one or more clients. Trainers can also add notes, upload files, or add other resources to workout plans. There are also automation options to send workouts automatically to clients.

One great feature of Exercise.com is that your clients can be face-to-face clients or virtual clients. With this software, you can sell online training packages or membership and then engage with those clients from anywhere. Those clients can have the flexibility of doing their workout at a gym, home, or an office using the mobile app.

Exercise enthusiasts can view their customized workouts, log workouts, watch the video demos in the exercise library, and give feedback to their personal trainer via the mobile app.

Exercise.com makes my life easier by providing an all-in-one solution and the opportunity to help those who otherwise would never have access to my programming! – Tony Gentilcore, Founder, Core Online

– E-Commerce/Point of Sale

The Virtuagym website lists the availability of point of sale features, which they call a webshop. The webshop allows integration with health club websites, automates invoices, saves client information, and has an easy signup process. Health club managers can personalize the webshop with their logo and club information.

Exercise.com has a number of e-commerce options included with our software. The options include:

  • Sell memberships or training packages
  • Sell individual or custom workout plans (sport-specific or goal-specific) for use online, at home, or in the gym
  • Sell individual training options to online customers or gym members
  • Run workout challenges to motivate and encourage clients while increasing revenue
  • Sell recurring workout plans, such as weekly workouts or assessments

For trainers or professionals who engage with their clients via social media, the e-commerce options included with Exercise.com are a huge benefit. The revenue generation and brand loyalty opportunities are endless.

– Performance Health Assessments

Virtuagym offers metrics for the client or for individual tracking purposes. The metrics available in the free version include weight, waist circumference, estimated percent body fat, and Body Mass Index (BMI). You have the ability to add a starting value, update with your progress, and see a visual graph of your progress.

When comparing performance health assessment features, Exercise.com does have more robust performance health assessment options such as tracking measurement data, injuries, and custom assessment notes. Some of the measurements and assessments include weight, height, activity level, distance runs, power output, range of motion measurements, and others.

You are also able to track assessments using graphs and charts. Let’s say your personal trainer has set you up with a plan to help improve your 5K and 10K paces. You are able to complete a baseline assessment, like a 12-minute run for distance or a one-mile run, and keep that in your file. The next time you complete that assessment, maybe after three months, you are able to compare to your baseline.

http://www.exercise.com/

Grow and manage your fitness business better with Exercise.com

– Automation

Virtuagym has options for automatic billing/debits for health clubs. Virtuagym also offers software integration with many devices. 

Exercise.com has a number of automation options within its software. Trainers are able to automate workouts for their clients so if the client wants to receive their workouts twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, that can be set up. This frees up time for the trainer and keeps their clients motivated and engaged.

The software also allows for automated payments, which keeps members updated on payments and saves time for staff who would normally handle this task.

Staff or trainers can communicate easily with clients and members by using automated emails to members or clients, automated texting for marketing or reminders, and app push notifications and reminders.

Exercise.com has endless integrations and continues to add more regularly. Power your business by connecting to Zapier, Stripe, YouTube, Vimeo, MailChimp, ConvertKit, ConstantContact, Refersion, Intercom, and more.

Kellie Davis, owner of FitThrive talks about the endless integrations available with her custom-built software from Exercise.com:

Exercise.com has allowed a lot of flexibility with integration, so I can better connect with my customers. They developed a way to integrate with my CMR so I can send email sequences after purchasing, and they also created an upsell option on the sales page that offers exclusive products to customers.”

Virtuagym Pricing

You must provide an email address and basic information about your company to receive a free demo and pricing details. Pricing details are not readily available on the Virtuagym website, although some online information lists a $29.00 and up monthly cost.

One user commented that the pricing is expensive for smaller studios. Online reviews from GetApp rate the value for money a 3.6/5. 

Top Direct Competitors

The biggest competitors to Virtuagym are ZenPlanner, Vagaro, Exercise.com, and Mindbody.  Other direct competitors include WellnessLiving, GloFox, RhinoFit, ClubExpress, Pike13, and PushPress.

The Bottom Line: Pros and Cons

Virtuagym offers users a wide range of features and is a solid overall product. However, Exercise.com wins out with a larger feature list and more robust workout creation options, nutrition tracker, and performance health assessment software.

– Virtuagym Cons

There are some negative reviews of Virtuagym, mostly around value for money, customer service, difficult cancellation process, and ease of use. Many users dislike that Virtuagym does not offer a free trial and the contract length appears to be 12 months.

“If they provided a good service that people wanted to continue to use, they would not need a 12-month contract. They have great, slick, fast talking, smooth sales people, and the website is great and it all sounds so good. They do not offer a free trial and the only way was to sign up.”

There were some negative comments about how most of the fitness animations use a male and that an improvement could be made to include more female models in the exercise library. There were also comments about not being able to delete members that are no longer active, only an option to disable them.

In terms of customer support, Exercise.com includes phone support, email support, a knowledge base, and chat support to its users; options that Virtuagym lacks to fully deliver on.

– Exercise.com Pros

Exercise.com’s all-in-one fitness business management software is fully customizable, easy to use, and comes with a world-class development team that creates applications for you based on your company’s wants and needs. With fewer glitches, fewer steps, and fewer hurdles to jump, we’ve ensured that Exercise.com provides a positive user experience and that customizations are tailored to a company’s unique revenue goals.

Another Exercise.com pro is that we offer trainers the ability to see what their clients’ caloric intake is on a day-to-day basis. This helps improve accountability and connects a member’s personal nutrition to their level of physical activity. Trainers can make suggestions, upload meal plans, or give clients ideas for improvement or options to fuel for workouts.

The nutrition tracker also allows clients and trainers to distinguish between training day calories and macronutrient goals and rest day macronutrient and calorie goals, which is a unique feature of Exercise.com:

Screenshot nutrition appHopefully, you see the benefit of not waiting to have a system and software in place that allows you to manage and grow your business for years to come.

What features are most important for your business?

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business with a software that can be customized to your business, book a demo with Exercise.com.



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40 Fitness Continuing Education (CE) Courses (Complete List)


Get the Basics…

  • Certified Personal Trainers (CPTs) must obtain continuing education credits to maintain their certification.
  • Many professional organizations offer a variety of different CEU or CEC courses in various formats.
  • It’s important for personal trainers to know how many CEUs or CECs are required from your certifying organization and the length of time to obtain them
  • Learn about 40 popular CEU and CEC courses offered by seven reputable organizations.

Continuing Education Credits (CECs) or Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are required for recertification for all certified personal trainers (CPTs). This is important because professionals must stay up to speed in their field and continue to learn new and updated information in the areas of health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness.

Just as important as continuing education, it’s just as important to evaluate your systems and processes. Schedule a demo with the Exercise.com team to learn how you could save time and grow your business.

Continuing Education Courses Overview

There are various ways to earn continuing education units or continuing education credits. One way is by attending local, national, or international conferences. It is important to make sure to attend conferences that offer CEUs or CECs for the certifying organization and to attend the sessions that offer CEUs or CECs as some conferences may have sessions that do not offer CEUs or CECs for attendance.

Other ways to earn CEUs or CECs are by taking college or university courses in health, fitness, nutrition, or wellness, getting an additional or another certification, obtaining a fitness specialization or certificate, reading and taking quizzes from articles or newsletters, or participating in organizational committees.

One of the easiest ways to earn CEUs or CECs is by taking continuing education courses online. The great thing about these courses is that they can be taken from the comfort of your home at any time. There are no travel expenses and no need to take time off away from training your clients.

The required number of CECs or CEUs varies by each professional organization. Here are five of the most popular CPT certifications and how many CEUs or CECs each requires.

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Personal Trainers must obtain 45 CECs (45 hours) every three years.
  • American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certified Personal Trainers must obtain 2.0 CECs (20 hours) every two years for recertification.
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainers must obtain 2.0 CEUs (20 hours) every two years for recertification.
  • The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) does their CEUs a little different than other organizations for Certified Personal Trainers. They categorize each three-year period into a reporting period, so the current reporting period is for 2018, 2019, and 2020. The amount of CEUs needed varies depending on when you received your certification. For example, if you were certified before 2018, you need to obtain 6.0 (60 hours) of CEUs between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2020. Those who were certified during 2018 would need 4.0 CEUs (40 hours) and those certified during 2019 need 2.0 (20 hours) CEUs by December 31, 2020.
  • International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) Certified Personal Trainers must obtain 20 hours of CEUs every two years for recertification.

ACSM developed this chart to compare the difference in these five common certification requirements.

ACSM personal trainer comparison

There are a variety of different formats for CEU and CEC courses. There are online videos with quizzes, journal articles with quizzes, recorded presentations, specializations, certificate programs, textbooks or e-texts with quizzes, and live courses.

Some organizations offer discounts on CEU or CEC courses to their members and some organizations offer sales or specials. There are also opportunities for complimentary CEUs or CECs or free offerings on occasion, so keep a lookout for those.

Here are 40 of the most popular online continuing education courses for certified personal trainers. Some courses may count only for that organization’s CEUs or CECs, but some courses may count for outside organizations too.

Before you purchase a course, make sure it is approved for CEUs or CECs for your certifying organization and comes from a reputable organization.

Grow and manage your fitness business better with Exercise.com

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) CEC courses

 

ACSM logo

– Industry Presented Webinar: Protein Myths vs. Facts: What Active Individuals Need to Know About Protein Intake, Timing and More

This webinar costs $20 and counts for 2.0 CECs (2 hours). The webinar is all about protein myths, protein needs, distribution of protein throughout the day, the timing of protein intake, and types of protein for active individuals.

– Coaching HIIT – A Practical Approach to Programming

This course is $200, counts for 10.0 CECs (10 hours), and covers the basics of HIIT programming, how trainers can help prepare their clients for HIIT programming, correct exercise technique for HIIT, and coaching cues for HIIT. There is also a demonstration of common exercises, such as squats and push-ups along with common mistakes and how to correct them.

– ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal: July – August 2019 CEC Course Quiz Bundle

This quiz bundle costs $60 but is discounted to $28.20 for ACSM members. It counts for 8.0 CECs (8 hours) and includes four topics:

  • EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) facts
  • Aquatic exercise for health
  • Hydration for ultra-endurance distance athletes
  • Partnering with health care settings to increase physical activity promotion

– ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal: May/June 2019 CEC Course #4: Revisiting Heart Rate Target Zones Through the Lens of Wearable Technology

This journal course is $32 but is discounted to $15.04 for ACSM members. It counts for 2.0 CECs (2 hours) and discusses monitoring heart rate during exercise using wearable devices and a discussion about heart rate reserve vs. percent of maximal heart rate to monitor intensity during aerobic exercises.

– ACSM’s 2019 International Health & Fitness Summit Video CEC: Farm to Fork to Fitness Professional

This video CEC is $60 and counts for 3.0 CECs (3 hours). This is a video recording from the 2019 Summit on farming, agriculture, sustainability, and marketing label claims. This includes information on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides used in agriculture.

– ACSM 2018 Industry Presented Webinar Bundle

This webinar bundle costs $100 and counts for 10.0 CECs (10 hours). The five webinars are:

  • Myth-busting and scientific information about dairy products
  • Protein myths vs. facts and all about protein intake and timing
  • Carbohydrates: Are they essential or obsolete?
  • Nutrition for performance: Theory and effective practice guidelines
  • Wearable technology to understand acceleration and heart rate data

– EXOS Presents: Medicine Ball

Currently, this course is being offered for free and counts for 0.5 CECs (0.5 hours). This course discusses how to integrate medicine balls into training to improve performance and decrease the risk of injury. Specific emphasis will be on instruction, error identification and correction, and cueing.

You can find all of ACSM’s continuing education courses on their website.

American Council on Exercise (ACE) CEC courses

 

ACE logo

– ACE IFT Model: Personal Training Program Design

This course is free, counts for 0.1 CEC (1 hour), and is a good general blueprint on how to design exercise programs that improve posture, flexibility, muscular fitness, cardiorespiratory endurance, and balance for all ages.

– Improving Wellness Through Behavior Change

This course costs $24.95, counts for 0.3 CECs (3 hours), and discusses techniques and strategies to help clients establish healthy habits. Specific topics include strength in numbers, coaching clients with chronic pain, and weight management behaviors.

– Applying Nutrition Principles

This course is priced at $24.95, counts for 0.3 CECs (3 hours), and discusses nutrition coaching, nutritional balance, and helping clients make better eating choices when participating in fitness activities.

– The Key to a Successful and Effective Client Consultation

This course costs $19.95, counts for 0.1 CEC (1 hour), and emphasizes planning and preparation strategies for effective consultations with clients. Strategies for active listening, identifying the needs of the client, and the development of a script for consultations will be covered.

– Active Aging: Your Guide to Training a Booming Population

This course costs $19.95, counts for 0.1 CEC (1 hour), and is all about aging – the five types of aging, special considerations, and how to design workout programs and protocols for Baby Boomers.

– Athletic Performance for Sport and Life

This course costs $19.95, counts for 0.1 CEC (1 hour), and focuses on the science of athletic movement and how to improve athletic performance. It includes information on the science of athletic movement, drills, and the four pillars of athletic performance.

– Busy Days Call for HIIT

This course costs $19.95, counts for 0.1 CEC (1 hour), and discusses HIIT workouts, the difference between HIIT and Tabata methods, designing an effective warm-up, and how to create interval-based workouts for all clients.

– Small-Group Training Workshop

This course costs $129, counts for 0.5 CECs (5 hours) and discusses building a successful small group training program. Topics such as the benefits of small group training, how to create a challenging program, and progressions/regressions for small group training.

You can find all of ACE’s continuing education courses on their website.

Human Kinetics Continuing Education

 

Human Kinetics logo

– Strength Band Training

For this course, you will need to purchase a package containing both an e-text and continuing education exam for $59, or the physical text and exam for $69. This course counts for 0.5 CEUs or CECs (5 hours) for most organizations, but counts for 0.4 CEUs for NSCA CPTs. The topic of this course focuses on using strength bands, or resistance bands, for strength and flexibility. The text contains assessments, exercises (with pictures), working with older adults, and 27 different workout programs.

– Complete Guide to Foam Rolling

For this course, you will need to purchase a package containing both an e-text and continuing education exam for $69, or the physical text and exam for $79. This course counts for 0.8 CEUs or CECs (8 hours) and covers everything you need to know about foam rolling. There is information on the benefits, equipment, performance enhancement, recovery and rehabilitation, and 27 foam-rolling techniques.

– Sports Supplements

For this course, you will need to purchase a package containing both an e-text and continuing education exam for $119, or the physical text and exam for $129. This course counts for 0.8 CEUs or CECs (8 hours) and covers 120 supplements used in sports and exercise. The book discusses how the supplement works, as well as benefits, research, dosages, and health concerns of supplements. The text would be a good reference book for personal trainers.

– Practical Yoga for Personal Trainers

This course counts for 2.20 CECs for ACE, 22.0 CECs for ACSM, 22.0 CEUs for ISSA, 0.9 CEUs for NSCA, and 1.90 CEUs for NASM. It costs $239 which includes the workbook and continuing education exam. This course covers yoga for active individuals, including sport-specific recommendations, 50 yoga poses, breathing and meditation techniques, and how to customize yoga programs for clients.

– Kettlebell Training

This course counts for 1.70 CECs for ACE, 17.0 CECs for ACSM, 17.0 CEUs for ISSA, 1.20 CEUs for NSCA, and 1.70 CEUs for NASM and costs $179 which includes the text, online video, study guide, and continuing education exam. This course introduces 95 kettlebell exercises to improve strength, endurance, balance, and coordination. Instructions, common errors, corrections, tips, and safety information is included with the exercises. A study guide is included that has clips of 43 common exercises with proper technique and form.

You can find all of Human Kinetics continuing education offerings via their website.

Grow and manage your fitness business better with Exercise.com

IDEA Health & Fitness Association Continuing Education

 

IDEA logo

– It Takes Guts! Connecting the Brain, Diet, and Microbiome

This course costs $64 ($59 for IDEA members) and counts for 0.1 CECs (1 hour). This course focuses on the connection between the gut, the brain, the microbiome, and our diet. New research-based information about how diet connects to both physical and mental health.

– TriggerPoint™: Total-Body Self-Myofascial Release Certificate

This online certificate is priced at $179 and counts for 0.8 CECs (8 hours). This course discusses myofascial compression technique methods, common mobility dysfunctions, anatomy and mobility of select body regions, and how to move safely and reduce the risk for injuries.

– Nutrition & Behavior Change Certificate Volume 1 and Volume 2

These are actually separate courses, but each one costs $199 and counts for 0.7 CECs (7 hours). Volume 1 covers tools, techniques, and strategies to use with clients to help transform their nutrition behaviors to meet their weight management and fitness goals. Volume 2 contains nine mini-lessons on meal prepping, mindfulness, protein, macronutrients, motivational interviewing, body clock science, current nutrition science, gut health, and a panel on sustainable weight loss.

– The Death of Crunches: 20 True Core Exercises

This online video course costs $64 ($59 for IDEA members) and counts for 0.2 CECs (2 hours). This course provides a toolbox of 20 core exercises for better stability, posture, and strength.

– Functional Anatomy Certificate

The cost of this course is $169 and counts for 0.7 CECs (7 hours). This course focuses on human anatomy and how muscles work together to produce movements. Assessments and corrective exercises will be shared to help connect the use of anatomy while working with clients.

IDEA Health and Fitness Association has all of their continuing education courses available on their website.

International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

 

ISSA logo

– Marathon Training 101: What Every Personal Trainer Needs to Know

This online course costs $119 and counts for 0.5 CEUs (5 hours). This course covers details about marathon training, including the mental and physical aspects of training for and running a marathon. A 20-week training program to use with clients is also provided with this course.

– About BCAAs

This course costs $19.95 and counts for 0.1 CEU (1 hour). This online course covers the four branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and their role in exercise, including immunity, fatigue, protein synthesis, and other physiological effects of BCAAs.

– The Personal Trainer’s Guide to Owning a Fitness Franchise

This online course costs $69 and counts for 0.5 CEUs (5 hours). This course covers many details about owning a fitness franchise, including financing, how to operate a facility, obligations of franchise owners, and how to be a successful business owner. Participants will also receive a confidential report of 46 different fitness franchise comparison details.

– Hormones and Exercise Part 1: What Every Professional Trainer Should Know and Hormones and Exercise Part 2: Exercise and Training Effects

Each one of these courses costs $120 and offers 0.3 CEUs (3 hours). Part 1 discusses how hormones affect exercise, including information about testosterone and insulin and how these hormones relate to chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Part 2 covers the exercise effects on the endocrine system, how testosterone and growth hormone are effected by strength training, immune function, and the “exercise high” and how that relates to hormones.

All of the continuing education credits offered by ISSA are available on their website.

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) CEU courses

NASM logo

– Ultimate Cardio Trainer

This course costs $97 and counts for 0.6 CEUs (6 hours). This topic is focused on cardiorespiratory training to improve both weight management and sports performance. Also included is cardiorespiratory fitness assessments, determining improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness, and program design for fitness and sports performance.

– Balance Training

This course costs $49, counts for 0.3 CEUs (3 hours) and covers 100 exercises for enhancing balance and stability. Also covered are balance assessments and balance training progressions in exercise programs.

– Women’s Fitness Specialization

This specialization course costs $299, counts for 1.3 CEUs (13 hours) and covers in-depth training considerations for women of all ages, including exercise and fitness, nutrition, and weight management.

– Core Training

This course costs $49, counts for 0.3 CEUs (3 hours) and discusses core stabilization exercises using a variety of different equipment such as stability balls, foam rollers, cables, and medicine balls.

– Flexibility Training

This course costs $49, counts for 0.3 CEUs (3 hours) and emphasizes designing effective and safe stretching programs and an explanation of four different stretching techniques to improve performance and decrease the risk for injury.

– Senior Fitness Specialization

This course is priced at $199, counts for 1.0 CEUs (10 hours) and discusses detailed exercise program design for older adults, including limitations, fall risks, medical conditions in older adults, and other aging considerations. The aging process and fitness obstacles in seniors.

NASM also offers twelve specializations, which count for CEUs. These specializations include sports performance, nutrition, weight loss, behavior change, youth, women, seniors, and more. All of NASM’s continuing education courses are available on their website.

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) CEU online journal quizzes

 

NSCA logo

– Foundations of Fitness Programming

This class is priced at $40 for non-members and $30 for NSCA members. It counts for 0.3 CEUs (3 hours) and provides recommendations and tools from science on the components of fitness programming, including progression, specificity, and meeting the client’s goals.

– Special Population Considerations

This class is priced at $40 for non-members and $30 for NSCA members. It counts for 0.3 CEUs (3 hours) and covers unique considerations for exercisers with Type 2 diabetes, neurological disorders, hypertension, and osteoporosis.

– Coaching Your Athletes and Clients Through the Maze of Fad Diets

This course is priced at $30 for non-members and $20 for NSCA members. It counts for 0.2 CEUs (2 hours) and discusses the pros and cons of fad diets, how fad diets can affect training, successful dieting strategies, and resources for assisting clients in meeting their weight management goals.

– Nutrition for Athletes Bundle

This course is priced at $60 for non-members and $50 for NSCA members. It counts for 0.5 CEUs (5 hours) and covers five different nutrition topics. Those topics are nutrition supplementation for body composition, aerobic training, and strength; alcohol and exercise; nighttime feeding; and recovery nutrition for high school athletes.

– Personal Trainer Business Clinic

This course is priced at $60 for non-members and $50 for NSCA members. It counts for 0.5 CEUs (5 hours) and discusses marketing options, creating your personal brand/niche, and professionalism for personal trainers.

NSCA has all of their continuing education courses available via their website.

Now that you’ve got your course set for more continuing education, if you’re ready to take managing your business to the next level, schedule a demo with the Exercise.com team.



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America’s 20 Most Innovative Gyms


Get the Basics…

  • Innovation in gyms and fitness chains helps build clientele and enhances client loyalty
  • Gyms and fitness facilities can be innovative in various ways
  • There are a number of innovative gyms and fitness chains across America for all fitness enthusiasts
  • Some are local with one or two locations, while others are chains and located across the US

Using innovation to attract exercisers is important for gyms, health clubs, and fitness chains. In order to attract and retain clients, fitness professionals need to offer something unique or innovative to not only get clients in the door but to sign them on as members as well.

What makes a fitness facility or gym “innovative?”

When compiling the results for this guide, the following features were considered: technology, fitness wearables, equipment, member/user experience, fitness classes, workout design, environmental-friendliness, and programs and services offered by the facility.

If you’re interested in learning how Exercise.com can help you grow and manage your business better, schedule a demo today.

The Most Innovative Gyms in America

Here is a list of the 20 most innovative health clubs, fitness facilities, gyms, and fitness chains in the US (in no particular order):

— 9Round

9Round is focused on a full-body workout in just 30 minutes. Their class schedule is extremely flexible, so you can show up anytime and a new circuit starts every three minutes. The nine-station circuit is based on kickboxing, and workouts change daily. Trainers are there to guide the workout and motivate members.

Some 9Round locations also use heart rate monitoring during the workout that shows members their workout stats (calories burned, heart rate zone, and percent maximal heart rate). Their member portal includes nutrition information, videos, and meal planning to help fitness enthusiasts track their nutrition progress. 9Round has hundreds of locations across the US.

— Barry’s Bootcamp

Barry’s Bootcamp focuses on high-intensity interval training and utilizes treadmills and strength training exercises in a red-toned workout room. Classes are 50-60 minutes and focus on various muscle groups. Instructors are there to motivate and encourage members during the workout.

There is a big focus on upbeat and motivating music and elevating heart rate during the workout. Barry’s has studios across the US in certain states, with a bigger presence in California and New York.

— Competitive Athlete’s Training Zone

Competitive Athlete’s Training Zone (CATZ) is the right fit for those striving for sports performance enhancement. CATZ coaches and professionals have worked with numerous professional and Olympic athletes. Fitness and athletic professionals can become CATZ certified coaches to use the program to teach safe and effective sports performance techniques and exercises.

CATZ has locations in eight states and is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, and Boston, MA. In partnership with USC, CATZ has developed a Human Performance Laboratory at their Pasadena, CA location.

— CycleBar

CycleBar focuses on indoor cycling and has locations across the US. Instructors at CycleBar are dubbed “CycleStars” and are the main leaders and motivators during classes. CycleBar also offers CycleBeats, their proprietary playlists, and CycleStats, which is a running list of six key performance metrics. CycleBeats results are emailed to cyclists after class.

CycleBar offers different variations of indoor cycling, plus private and themed classes. It provides members with complimentary indoor cycling shoes, filtered water, and snacks.

— Equinox

Equinox takes fitness to the luxe level with their extravagant in-club amenities and spa. They offer a variety of fitness classes, like Pilates, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), dance-inspired cardio, cycling, and interval running, as well as personal training. Members do not need to worry about bringing their own towels or personal hygiene products, as both are provided.

Additionally, members have access to Equinox’s sauna, unlimited classes, and receive occasional discounts to the spa (new member and birthday month discounts). Their mobile app is a smart app, meaning it makes suggestions based on your preferences and learns your habits; it can also track your progress. Equinox has locations across the US.

— F45

F45 is another chain that focuses on high-intensity interval training in a 45-minute class. A functional full-body workout circuit focuses on cardio three days a week, strength three days a week, and a hybrid of both once a week. Exercisers can expect plyometrics, free weights, bikes, barbells, kettlebells, sleds, rowers, TRX training, BOSU balls, and med balls.

Trainers are there to motivate and demonstrate exercises, while TVs also provide demonstrations during the workout. Exercisers can use a chest-strap heart rate monitor during the workout. There are F45 locations across the US.

— Fitness Quest 10

Fitness Quest 10 (FQ10) is located in San Diego, CA, and has a wide variety of classes and services that appeals to all ages. They offer personal training, group training, Pilates, yoga, sports performance, sport-specific training, summer camps, massage therapy, chiropractic care, physical therapy, fitness assessments, metabolic profiling, and nutritional services.

The mission of FQ10 is to transform the body, mind, and spirit to help members reach optimal performance and balance in life. FQ10 has state-of-the-art equipment, technology, and specialized equipment to help members and athletes meet their health and fitness goals. They have various membership levels for members to choose from.

— Green Microgym

green microgym ecofriendly ellipticals

Green Microgym is located in Portland, OR, and generates electricity with its cardiovascular equipment. They use 85% less electricity and have a carbon footprint of 85% less than traditional gyms per square foot. The treadmills range in electricity usage: 30% use less electricity than their traditional counterparts, some use no electricity, and some make electricity. Additionally, the gym’s ellipticals and bikes convert human work into energy for the building.

They focus on body-weight exercises and flexibility exercises in order to use expensive equipment less. There are no TVs or refrigerated vending machines. Members have options to control the climate in certain areas, which all cuts back on electricity and overall gym costs.

— Green Fitness Studio

Green Fitness Studio in Brooklyn, NY, is an eco-friendly gym with a holistic approach to fitness and wellness. The flooring is made from sustainable or recycled materials, they have self-powered cardio equipment, and they use many water conservation and energy-saving techniques.

Members can grab a drink at the juice bar (the ingredients are from local producers) and relax on the rooftop green space. They have fitness classes, personal training, martial arts, boxing, and massage therapy to help their members meet a variety of fitness goals.

— High Point Climbing and Fitness

High Point Climbing and Fitness is the perfect location for those who enjoy rock climbing. With 30,000 square feet of climbing inside and outside, even novice climbers and kids will find plenty of areas to climb. There are five High Point locations: two in Chattanooga, TN, and the others in Birmingham, AL, Huntsville, AL, and Memphis, TN.

High Point also offers climbing classes, spin classes, yoga classes, and a weight room. They offer day passes, packages, and full memberships. High Point also offers rentals on climbing gear.

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— Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training

Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training (IFAST) offers customized and challenging fitness programs for all ages. They have personal training, physical therapy, and sport-specific training. IFAST focuses heavily on using fitness to elevate daily activities of living, like playing with grandchildren, working in your garden, or reaching your fullest potential in sports.

Sport-specific training is available for baseball, basketball, and soccer. Physical therapy is available for back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, sciatica, and/or neck pain. Personal training is available in small groups of 2-4, which helps with affordability, but still has an individualized approach, because it is geared toward the member’s goals.

— Institute of Human Performance

Institute of Human Performance (IHP) is located in Boca Raton, FL, and features some of the most experienced and educated staff in the field of exercise science. IHP is known as the “Mecca of Functional Training” and features a variety of athletic camps, personal training, fitness classes, and online coaching.

IHP has numerous professional athletes, professional sports teams, and collegiate teams on its client roster. The Institute’s main focus is creating a personalized and specialized workout for its clients with supportive trainers. Education, certifications, books, and mentorships are also offered by this facility.

— Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning

Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning (MBSC) has been nationally recognized as one of the best gyms in the US. The co-founder, Mike Boyle, has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the strength and conditioning field. He has worked with a number of professional athletes, celebrities, Olympic athletes, and collegiate athletes.

MBSC has two locations in MA and numerous workout programs to meet anyone’s fitness goals. Both locations offer athletic performance programs, adult performance programs, personal training, functional training, massage therapy, and physical therapy. Mike Boyle also offers BodyByBoyle online, an extensive online educational resource with videos, exercises, and programs that are used with his athletes.

— Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness, a favorite among celebrities and professional athletes, utilizes technology to keep its members motivated.

Imagine walking in for your workout wearing your heart rate monitor. Your name comes up on the TV screen and the iPad attached to your treadmill so you can watch your stats (calories burned, heart rate zone, percent maximal heart rate, and current heart rate) during the entire workout. After the workout, you are emailed a workout summary, which also syncs to the mobile app where you can view your progress at any time.

This is the experience that Orangetheory offers its members.

OTF also uses a variety of equipment, including rowers, treadmills, TRX training, BOSU balls, ab dollies, and resistance bands in its orange-hued rooms. The workout is always different and there is at least one OTF coach trained to motivate and encourage, correct form, call out instructions, and provide demonstrations. There are locations across the US and members can take classes at any studio.

— Parisi Speed School

Parisi Speed School focuses on youth sports training for athletes and youth total conditioning for non-athletes. It has won numerous franchisee awards and has a number of professional athletes that are proud alumni. Parisi Speed School offers something for all athletes, from novice to elite, including sports fundamentals, advanced performance training, strength training, and even combine training.

The corporate headquarters is located in Franklin Lakes, NJ. There are over 90 locations across the US that use trained and certified Parisi Performance Coaches to conduct the programs in their facilities.

— Peak Performance

Peak Performance is located in Lynbrook, NY, and has a team of master’s degree level exercise physiologists with nationally-recognized certifications. It offers personal training, sport-specific training, speed and agility training, a guaranteed weight loss program, and specialized fitness assessments, like VO2 max and resting metabolic rate analysis.

Peak Performance also has TRX training, indoor turf for sports training, cardio and weight equipment, a medicine ball wall, and a batting cage.

— RallySport

RallySport is located in Boulder, CO, and has a number of unique offerings including, an extensive aquatics program (featuring private lessons for children and adults), a USA Swimming program called RACE, adult swim classes, and camps for children. They offer group fitness, personal training, functional movement, women’s workout group, performance golfs, Pilates, youth sports, training, Nordic walking, group cycling, and yoga classes.

RallySport has a unique program called Biosignature, which is a health assessment and fat-loss program. Its FitWall class blends cardio, strength, and flexibility using a wall-based apparatus and floor work. For members who need a bite to eat, they can head to RallySport Cafe which boasts a variety of healthy eating options.

— SEAL Team Physical Training

SEAL Team Physical Training, created by a Navy SEAL, offers mentally and physically challenging boot camps as part of its unconventional and rigorous fitness training. It has three locations in Virginia and one in Washington, DC, and focuses on personalized group training. SEAL Team Physical Training also offers athletic team building and corporate team building activities.

The two-week boot camp and fitness memberships are modeled after founder John McGuire’s time as a Navy SEAL. Workouts might include push-ups in a foot of snow, paddling across a river, rope climbing, or running through a park. Classes are held outdoors at various locations.

— Swerve Fitness

Swerve Fitness would be a great fit if team workouts motivate you. Swerve has two locations in New York City and offers competitive team-inspired indoor cycling. Each 45-minute class is split up into three separate groups (red, green, or blue) who are each competing for the highest calorie burn during the full-body workout.

Each cyclist can view their workout statistics on their bike and a workout summary is emailed after class. Swerve Fitness has various membership options, including monthly memberships and packages. It also hosts private, group, and charity events.

— The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers

The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers is a 28-acre sports village in Manhattan with views of the Hudson River. Chelsea Piers has something for everyone – all ages, all athletic abilities, and all fitness levels. It has over 20 sport offerings, fitness programs, youth/adult camps, more than five event spaces, and numerous athletic facilities.

Chelsea Piers also has a driving range, two ice rinks, a bowling alley, a field house for indoor sports, dance studios, and a fitness facility with a six-lane indoor pool. There is also a Chelsea Piers fitness location in Brooklyn, and a Chelsea Piers location in Stamford, CT, with recreation sports and fitness offerings.

If you’re interested in learning how Exercise.com can help you grow and manage your business better, schedule a demo today.



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17 Best Fitness and Heath Conferences That You Can’t Miss


Get the Basics…

  • A great way for fitness professionals to stay updated and engage in networking is by attending a national or international conference
  • Fitness expos showcase exciting new technology, products, and services
  • Many fitness and health organizations offer annual conferences
  • There are a variety of conference options for any fitness professional
  • Many fitness organizations offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for conference attendance

It can be challenging to keep up with the latest trends, products, resources, education, and technologies if you work in the fitness industry. Whether you are a personal trainer, gym manager, or fitness staff, it is important to stay current so that you can pass that knowledge along to your clients and members.

One of the best ways for fitness professionals to stay updated is by attending a national or international fitness business conference. Along with a variety of educational sessions and keynote presentations, you can expect to see new products, technology, trends, and services.

The expos usually have innovative technologies and equipment on display, sneak peeks on new products, valuable services, discounts or special deals, and free samples. Conferences are also a great opportunity for networking with other like-minded professionals. Many fitness organizations offer approved Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for certified fitness professionals that attend conferences.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, schedule a demo with the Exercise.com team today.

Here are 17 of the best fitness business conferences to attend and more information about each of them.

#17 – ACSM International Health and Fitness Summit

 

ACSM logo

The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) International Health and Fitness Summit is held annually in the spring. The 2020 Health and Fitness Summit will be March 12-15, 2020, in Atlanta, GA. The 2020 conference theme is “Technology Moving the World.”

The ACSM Health and Fitness Summit focuses on translating exercise science and sports medicine research into practice. There are eight different lecture tracks, including nutrition, master class workouts, exercise for special populations, communication/social media, and more. The conference offers numerous pre-conferences, exciting keynotes, morning workout sessions, and an expo with the latest technology, products, and services.

Registration fees are $455 to $545 for non-members, $315 to $400 for ACSM members, $395 to $480 for ACSM certified professionals, and $145 to $200 for students. Non-members can also include a one-year membership to the ACSM alliance membership at a deep discount if combined with the conference registration. One-day registration fees range from $90 – $170.

CECs are offered for ACSM and ACE (American Council on Exercise)-certified professionals. Some of the pre-conferences also offer additional CECs for attendance.

#16 – Arnold Sports Festival

Arnold logo

Fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger can attend the Arnold Sports Festival on March 5-8, 2020 in Columbus, OH. The fitness expo features over 1,000 booths promoting sports equipment, nutrition, and apparel, plus competitions and entertainment. There are a ton of sports competitions, including dance and fitness, physique contests, martial arts, boxing, MMA, Olympic sports, and more.

Arnold Education will offer educational sessions on a variety of topics. CEUs are offered for these sessions, but the website does not specify which fitness organizations provide the CEUs.

The man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, will make an appearance on Sunday, March 8, for a $25 general admission price.

A daily expo ticket costs $20 in advance, $25 at the door, or three for $50 in advance. Daily event admission is between $25 to $100 for various events and competitions. Registration for the Arnold Education sessions is $149 and includes three-day tickets to the expo.

#15 – Athletic Business Show

 

AB Show

The Athletic Business Show (AB Show) will be held on November 13-16, 2019, in Orlando, FL. The AB Show includes over 125 educational sessions, 250+ exhibitors, and networking opportunities and is offered annually in the fall. They also offer an early morning workout session, a golf classic, Zumba training, a military reception, and IHRSA is offering a Women’s Leadership Summit.

The two keynote speakers for the conference are Lou Holtz, who is a legendary football coach, author, and broadcaster, and Bonnie St. John, who is a Paralympics ski medalist, consultant, Rhodes scholar, former White House official, and author.

There are a variety of registration options. An expo pass is available for free, an expo-plus pass for $25, student registration for $150, a one-day pass for $250, or the full conference from $399 to $449. They offer discounts for registrants from the same organization who register and pay together.

CEUs are offered from a large list of fitness organizations, including ACE, ACSM, AFAA, NASM, NIRSA, NSCA, USSA (United States Sports Academy), and more. You must purchase a CEUs card for $30 in advance or $40 at the conference to earn CEUs.

#14 – Boutique Fitness Summit

There are two upcoming Boutique Fitness Summits in the US. The first one is located in the midwest on November 1, 2019, in Chicago, IL and the second is in the northeastern US on April 24, 2020, in New York City. The one-day summits are focused on business management education for boutique fitness studio owners and operators.

Regular registration is $169 and additional training is available at $50 per training session. The additional training sessions focus on marketing, social media, technology, automation, member acquisition, and member retention. They have several speakers and exciting keynote presentations who have a variety of experience in fitness and studio management.

#13 – Club Industry Show

 

Club Industry logo

 

The Club Industry Show will be held on October 9-11, 2019, in Chicago, IL. This conference is also offering a healthcare and fitness integration summit and healthcare and fitness integration session track, which will focus on the partnership between health care and health clubs/fitness. The other two tracks focus on business/leadership and technology/trends.

There are over 90 educational sessions, an expo, lunch and learns, networking opportunities and events, and a 5K run/walk. The expo features innovative technology, products, and equipment.

The registration options are the unlimited package for $375 to $545, choose any six sessions for $275 to $395, choose any four sessions for $225 to $350, or individual sessions for $65 to $85. All registration packages include entrance to networking opportunities, keynote sessions, and entrance to the exhibit hall.

The Club Industry show offers CEUs for a large number of fitness organizations, including AFAA, ACE, ACSM, NASM, NSCA, ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association), and more.

#12 – FIBO USA

FIBO USA is the American conference for FIBO Global and will be held October 16-20, 2019 in Miami Beach, FL. This conference is geared toward fitness instructors, health club managers, athletes, fitness advocates, or fitness fanatics. They offer educational sessions such as fitness forums, instructor training, continuing education units (CEUs), as well as an exhibit hall.

What sets FIBO USA apart are the experiences offered at the conference, including Beachbody Live, Zumba, a Master Tae Bo class by Billy Blanks, YogaFit for golf and tennis, powerlifting championships, Americas Strongest Man and Woman, and more. An all-access pass is available for $295, day-passes are priced between $40 and $60, and an expo only pass costs $15.

FIBO USA does offer CEUs for certified professionals, but that information will be updated on the website in the future.

#11 – FITBOSS

FITBOSS logo

The next FITBOSS conference will be held in Syracuse, NY and the date is TBA. FITBOSS markets this conference to gym owners, managers, personal trainers, group fitness instructors, nutritionists, program directors, and fitness enthusiasts.

Todd Durkin, who owns Fitness Quest 10 and is also a motivational speaker, is giving the keynote address. This one-day conference features educational sessions, a fitness expo, networking opportunities, and an evening workout.

#10 – IDEA World Convention

 

IDEA logo

The IDEA Health and Fitness Association has an annual conference every summer. The next World Convention will be held July 8-12, 2020, in Anaheim, CA. More information about the 2020 conference is forthcoming on the website.

Over 14,000 passionate personal trainers, group fitness instructors, owners and managers, mind-body and nutrition pros, and world-renowned experts from every corner of the globe come together for this event. They promise to provide some of the best information in the fitness industry, including the newest trends, educational opportunities, and inspiration to transform your life and the lives around you.

This conference offers over 350 educational sessions, pre-conferences, post-conferences, an expo with over 600 booths, and a multitude of networking opportunities. The registration costs are from $489 to $559 for non-members and $399 to $469 for IDEA members. One day registration costs between $259 to $299 for non-members and $219 to $249 for IDEA members.

Conference attendees can earn CECs for attendance at the IDEA World Convention from AFAA, ACE, ACSM, ISSA, NSCA, and many more. There are also pre-conferences and post-conferences for additional CECs.

#9 – IHRSA International Convention and Trade Show

 

IHRSA logo

The IHRSA (International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association) International Convention and Trade Show is offered annually in March. The next convention and trade show will be March 18-21, 2020 in San Diego and is a must-attend for anyone who works in the fitness industry. There were over 10,000 professionals that attended in 2018.

The 39th Annual Convention will feature over 100 educational sessions, over 400 exhibitors from around the world at the trade show, a number of high-energy exercise classes, and numerous opportunities for networking. More information about the conference is forthcoming on their website.

There are a variety of registration options available, including one, two, or three day passes, keynote only passes, expo only passes, or full four-day packages. The 2020 registration fees have not been published online, but the 2019 fees ranged from $50-$75 for expo only pass (free for IHRSA members) up to $950 to $1,150 for the full four-day package ($750 to $950 for IHRSA members).

There is no information yet about CECs, but they were offered for ACE, AFAA, NASM, NESTA (National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association), NSCA, and others in 2019. More information will be provided about CECs at a later date on the website.

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#8 – International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Annual Conference

 

ISSN logo

The 17th annual ISSN conference will be held on June 18 – 20, 2020 in Daytona Beach, FL. The ISSN is the only non-profit academic society dedicated to promoting the science and application of evidence-based sports nutrition and supplementation.

This sports nutrition conference includes a practical application and research track for the educational sessions, poster sessions, an exciting “data blitz” where researchers have one minute to present their research, and a two-day expo event with exhibitors with information and products related to supplements, sports medicine, health, and technology.

Registration for ISSN members varies between $229 and $299. Non-member registration prices are between $379 and $399. Student registration costs are between $99 to $199.

The ISSN conference offers CEUs for attendance for ACSM, AFAA, NASM, NSCA, and ISSN.

#7 – NASM and AFAA Optima Conference

 

NASM AFAA 2019 conference logo

 

The NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and AFAA (Athletics and Fitness Association of America) Optima 2019 conference will be held on September 26-29, 2019 in Phoenix, AZ. This is the fifth annual Optima conference.

Chris Powell, the host of Extreme Weight Loss, is the keynote speaker for the conference. This conference will feature interactive workshops, morning workouts, and networking/social events. The three-day registration cost is $429. They also have a CPR/AED certification available at the conference for $49.

CEUs are offered for NASM and AFAA certified professionals, but the website does not list any other organizations. These CEUs may be considered by other fitness organizations, but agreements are currently not in place between AFAA/NASM and other organizations.

#6 – NIRSA Annual Conference and Campus Rec and Wellness Expo

 

NIRSA logo

For college and university recreation facility staff and professionals, the National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association (NIRSA) Annual Conference and Campus Rec and Wellness Expo will be held April 18-21, 2020 in Phoenix, AZ. More information about the 2020 conference is forthcoming.

The 2019 conference featured 160 exhibitors, 133 educational sessions, over 250 presenters, networking opportunities, pre-conferences, morning workouts, and a career services center. The 2020 registration fees have not been published, but the 2019 registration rates were between $705 to $890 ($555 to $705 for members). Student rates varied from $445 to $680. One day registration varied from $395 to $465.

There is currently no information about CEUs at the 2020 NIRSA conference and expo. However, some sessions at the 2019 NIRSA conference and expo qualified for CEUs for ACSM, ACE, AFAA, and NASM. Those were noted in the conference program guide and the conference mobile app.

#5 – NSCA Personal Trainers Virtual Conference

NSCA PT logo

The National Strength and Conditioning Association is offering a virtual conference for personal trainers on October 7 – 11, 2019. A full recording of the conference will also be made available after the conference to registrants for one year. The conference will feature educational sessions by experts in the field plus live Q&A sessions.

Registration for NSCA professional members is between $265 to $315 and non-members are priced from $410 to $470. Students can register for $220 to $270. The NSCA also offers an annual conference, usually in the summer, but the dates/location for 2020 have not been posted online.

CEUs are offered for this virtual event, but the NSCA does not specify which organizations will accept these CEUs.

#4 – One World Conference (AAAI/ISMA)

AAAI and ISMA logo

The American Aerobic Association International (AAAI) and International Sports Medicine Association (ISMA) sponsor the One World Conference. There are a few upcoming dates for this live fitness certification and education conference in 2019 and 2020. The next one is August 16-18, 2019 in Cape Cod, MA. There is also one in Baltimore, MD, on September 27-29, 2019.

Conferences in 2020 will be held in Colorado Springs, CO, and Atlantic City, NJ. These conferences are focused on certifications, education, and renewal for fitness instructors and personal trainers.

CEUs are available for AAAI/ISMA, AFAA, ACE, and more for One World conference attendees.

#3 – SUCCEED!

AFS Succeed

SUCCEED! is the annual Association of Fitness Studios (AFS) Annual Business Convention/Expo. This event is dedicated to current and aspiring studio and gym operators of all discipline and will be held on May 1 – 3, 2020 in Irvine, CA.

During the expo, attendees can meet with new or well-known fitness suppliers, see unveilings or product launches, enjoy a free meal, or participate in seminars. AFS members pay a discounted rate of $249 and non-members pay $299 for the full convention and expo.

Some sessions of the SUCCEED! conference will provide CEUs for certified fitness professionals from ACSM, ACE, AFAA, NSCA, and NASM.

#2 – The FitExpo

 

FitExpo

The FitExpo is a family-friendly event with three scheduled locations coming up. The San Diego expo will be held on October 12 and 13, 2019; the Los Angeles expo will be held on January 25 and 26, 2020; and the Anaheim expo is still TBD.

This event brings thousands of fitness enthusiasts including bodybuilders, powerlifters, jiu-jitsu enthusiasts, karate participants, personal trainers, group exercise instructors, competitive athletes, and even the weekend warrior.

Attendees have the chance to meet fitness celebrities, discover new health and wellness products and services, participate in free fitness classes, cooking demos, watch live fitness competitions, and much more. Daily tickets are $25 or $40 for both days. Children ages seven to twelve are $10 daily, and children six and under are free.

Fitness Fest is separate from the expo but offered at the same time and location. This event offers educational workshops/sessions and offers CEUs for NASM, AFAA, and ACE. The two-day registration for Fitness Fest is $170, a one-day registration is $99, and a single workout is $39.

#1 – World Spinning and Sports Conditioning Conference

WSSC logo

The World Spinning and Sports Conditioning (WSSC) conference does not have a date posted yet for their 2020 conference, but the 2019 conference was held at the end of May. This annual conference focuses on spinning and in the past offered pre-conferences for fitness certifications (like Spinning, Zumba, CrossCore, SpinPower, TriggerPoint).

There were a variety of educational sessions offered in 2019 on various fitness classes and specialties (Spinning, Barre, Pilates, CrossCore, etc), meditation and mindfulness, general fitness, mind/body, and lectures. They also offered a special event called the Ritual Ride, with Josh Taylor, and over 300 participants.

The full conference cost in 2019 was $399. Two-day passes were offered between $249 and $269. A one-day pass cost between $129 and $139. The Ritual Ride and pre-conferences were additional costs.

CEUs were offered in 2019 by ACE, NASM, AFAA, and ACSM.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, schedule a demo with the Exercise.com team today.



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PT Hub vs. Exercise.com’s All-in-One Fitness Business Software


Manage and Grow Your Fitness Business Better with Exercise.com. Learn more below.

My PT Hub vs Exercise.com. Choose Exercise.com’s All-in-One Fitness Business Management Software. Review our head-to-head My PT Hub software comparison and see for yourself. Get a custom web and smartphone app designed for your brand with additional customization available throughout your custom-built software. Grow your business, turn leads into clients, and increase revenue. 

The online training segment of the fitness industry is growing at an incredible rate. So too is the marketplace of software for personal training and gym management with each provider seeking to stand out based on a unique feature, a long list of capabilities, or simply the cheapest monthly price.

With all of the choices out there, it’s crucial for trainers and gym owners to thoroughly examine their options. After all, your brand’s success could depend on how well the software matches your service and the quality of your clients’ experiences when interacting with the platform.

In this review, we’ll go in-depth on My PT Hub and cover everything you need to know beyond the company’s marketing. See how well it fits your business needs and learn how it stacks up against the Business Management Software from Exercise.com.

My PT Hub Company Overview

My PT Hub is a web-based platform for personal training and member management owned by FITII LTD in Brighton, UK.

The company was founded in January 2015 and, according to their LinkedIn page, is operated by twelve executives and employees. Further information on the company is a bit hard to come by and no accurate figure of annual revenue seems to be available publicly.

According to their website, My PT Hub is used by upward of 70,000 trainers for managing face-to-face and online clientele.

My PT Hub Features vs Exercise.com

My PT Hub has an attractive, well-designed sales webpage which boasts the software’s many features, but it’s the execution that counts! Professional trainers are looking for more than just a long list of features; you need a software solution that fulfills your unique needs and adds value to your services.

Exercise.com understands that the lives of fitness professionals are unique and that you deserve software that works with you. Our vision is simple:

To build an all-in-one fitness business management software that inspires fitness professionals to think big when it comes to growing their businesses, and motivates exercise enthusiasts to pursue their fitness goals by logging one workout at a time.

A recent review of Exercise.com had this to say:

“For a while now, we have been looking for a great way to provide an all-encompassing experience for basketball players. The customization features of the web platform and custom-branded apps have allowed us to do that, creating the perfect marriage between our expert content and all of the really cool features that help separate us from the rest of the competition.” – Kyle Ohman, Basketball HQ

By working with a seasoned advisory board of fitness experts, our world-class development team has built design features that businesses want and need the most.

It’s time to see if My PT Hub is up to the task.

– Fitness Business Management

I bet you’d rather be spending your time working on growing your business. That’s why we’ve developed our All-in-One Fitness Business Management (FBM) software. How many more clients could you onboard, engage, and retain if you had an easy to use software to schedule and book clients? Plus what if that software was built into the same platform you use to build workouts, sell plans, and deliver assessments?

  • No more learning a dozen different software to run your business.
  • No more teaching a bunch of different systems to your staff.
  • No more confusion and fractured experiences for your clients.

It’s the same unified experience for your staff and clients from web to apps.

FBM will empower you to track visits, book classes and sessions, engage your clients with recurring appointment reminders via email and text, and provide calendar integration with google and apple for easy management. With FBM’s calendar, you can also sort by:

  • Trainer
  • Location
  • Service
  • Recurring
  • Time
  • Availability

Appointment setting and reservation platform

 

I know accepting payments securely and easily takes a lot of time, especially using one software for booking, another for workouts, and another for payments.

That’s why we came up with a Fitness Business Management (FBM) software where you can access all of your payment tools in the same custom-branded web and mobile apps, so that professionals like you could spend less time tracking down failed charges, taking payments, and managing payment details and have more time for growing your business.

FBM makes it easy to set up packages for your training where clients can pay a one-time or recurring price with cash, check, or credit card. Plus accept direct deposits and allow online purchasing of packages — all in one easy to use software.

And you’ll have sales and business reports for all your clients, classes, and workout packages to make managing your business easy. Never worry about sales, staff, clients, or data logged falling between the cracks with reporting at your fingertips in your custom web and mobile apps.

Managing a staff of any size is time-consuming but FBM saves you time with assignable staff roles, so you can put staff management on autopilot.

Plus all your reports can be run in a single software. No more safaris for which software has which reports. Exercise.com’s Fitness Business Management (FBM) software makes reports easy — sales, business, appointments, class, and payroll reports all in one place. Plus you can also sort reports by:

These reports empower you to have your finger on the pulse of your business and if you’re bringing on new trainers you’ll know how much to pay staff based on commissions.

For your business’ marketing, automate your efforts by connecting to MailChimp, ConstantContact, ConvertKit, Zapier, Google Analytics, & Facebook Pixel. Are you catching the pattern?

  • Implement systems that save you time
  • Have all your management tools in one software
  • Manage your business from anywhere

Now you might be able to do these things on your own, but that’s the hard way. Building software is expensive and can take years.

– Custom-Branded Web & Smartphone Apps

Custom app for MBSC

With a My PT Hub account, users are offered some very basic customization from the beginning with the option of receiving a higher level of personalization for an additional fee.

Basic customization allows you to upload a company logo, change the mobile and web apps’ header color, and add an accent color. For the additional customization set-up fee ($59-$79 depending on subscription tier) the company provides a couple of upgraded features:

First, your mobile app will be given a custom app icon which appears on your client’s home screen to replace the default My PT Hub logo. The second benefit is exclusive to Android users – for those clients, the app appears under your brand name in the Google Play store. From their perspective, they’ll be downloading your app, but that will not be the case with iPhone owners.

According to the company, they are not able to extend this benefit to users downloading from the App Store on an Apple device because of some technical limitation.

By comparison, custom-branding available from Exercise.com goes much more in-depth. No matter where your clients download the app, they will find it and download it under your company’s name adding greatly to the perception of quality they’re getting with your service. Additionally, we truly personalize the function of your app beyond just colors and logo.

Whether customized or not, the functionality of My PT Hub’s app and its resultant user rating are cause for concern to any prospective customer. In the App Store, My PT Hub is rated 3.1 out of 5, which on the surface seems fairly average, but here’s the issue:

Opinions about the app and company are extremely polarized, users tend to rate the app either 5 stars or 1 star with a nearly 50/50 split. Very few ratings fall in the middle ground indicating that users either had a great experience or a horrible one.

While complaints about technical issues are most common, there is an alarming number of users who feel they were downright scammed by the service or received abysmal customer service.

App Store reviews for My PT Hub

Custom-branded apps developed by Exercise.com, on the other hand, have achieved an excellent reputation amongst our customers like renowned strength and conditioning coach Tony Gentilcore who said, “My custom-branded apps have made my life easier and helped streamline my online training, which in turn has transformed into a pretty awesome additional revenue stream for me and my family.”

Custom Exercise.com App SS

– Workout Creation and Delivery

When it comes to building workouts within My PT Hub, the poor interface and efficiency may leave many trainers longing for their trusty spiral-bound notebook.

While a patient trainer can get the job done, the experience will feel clunky and unintuitive, far from the expectation of a time-saving, streamlined tool. The first thing one might notice is the sheer amount of on-screen space that is wasted with spread out text and number entry points.

Here’s the My PT Hub interface (top) compared to the workout creator from Exercise.com (bottom):

My PT Hub
Workout creation interface in My PT Hub software

Exercise.com
Workout creator interface in Exercise.com

When viewed on a desktop computer, the interface used to input a single exercise in My PT Hub takes up nearly the entire screen. By contrast, the Exercise.com interface is compact and efficient but allows users to expand each exercise as necessary to edit the finer details of tempo, variation between sets, and additional notes.

Another key factor in any software’s workout creation system is the exercise library. Most platforms these days come with a substantial collection of built-in exercise options complete with demo videos, categories, and descriptions.

In an effort to stand out, My PT Hub advertises a humongous library of over 7,500 exercises, a number which would blow away all competitors… if it were true.

The reality is that My PT Hub’s library is full of duplicate exercises which artificially inflate the number beyond reason. Take a look at some of the results under the search term Goblet Squat:

an example of My PT Hub duplicating the same exercise in their library

By taking advantage of slight changes to the wording, some as small as adding the letter to pluralize a term, My PT Hub multiplies a single exercise into several. This is a pattern that is repeated throughout many searches for essentially any subject. In other examples, the exercises are exact duplicates letter-for-letter:

Example of duplicate exercises in My PT Hub library

This not only debunks their claim to feature 7500+ exercises, it calls into question the company’s transparency and ethics when they advertise what they know to be false.

Exercise.com’s video library, however, is full of in-depth videos. No filler. No fluff. Plus you can add your videos into a custom library.

– E-Commerce / Point of Sale

Billing and payments in My PT Hub take place through a system they call Packages. After selecting this tab on the taskbar, users will be prompted to connect a Stripe account to begin the set-up process.

Our software at Exercise.com offers simple and secure payment processing for one-time transactions, recurring memberships, and your digital products like Ebooks. You can set your service to push out new workouts and plans automatically when clients make a purchase so you can make money without lifting a finger.

Paul Fabritz, coach to some of the top talent in the NBA, saw incredible revenue growth after implementing Exercise.com’s Business Management Software at PJF Performance:

“I sold a workout program and matched my yearly salary of in-person training within two weeks of selling to my community!” – Paul Fabritz

PJF Performance screenshot collage

Here are a few more examples of fitness professionals and how they sell workouts.

  • Gym to celebrities like Ryan Reynolds – Don Saladino – sell single workout plans.
  • Gym to athletes like Jordan Spieth – AMPD Performance – sells single workout plans and delivers custom programming.
  • Gym to NBA pros like James Harden – PJF Performance – sells single workout plans and delivers automated monthly programming.
  • Barbell Physio offers a database of workout plans for a membership.

Barbell Physio Annual Subscription

  • Madeline Moves offers a workout of the day membership and runs workout challenges.
  • Personal Trainer – Dean Somerset – offers individual programming.

http://www.exercise.com/

Grow and manage your fitness business better with Exercise.com

– Performance Assessments

Assessments are one thing that My PT Hub gets right with some great features; but be prepared to fork over an additional cost to fully utilize them. This will require a subscription to the third-party platform, Archon Combine.

Exercise.com takes assessments a step further with the capability of automatically delivering workouts based on your client’s answers about their health or performance. A new client can purchase your service, complete their assessment, and immediately be onboarded into the appropriate training plan, all automatically. The best part? You don’t need to pay a third party for these benefits.

Many gyms and coaches utilize Exercise.com’s Performance Health Software to improve client engagement and retention. With the ability to schedule automatic delivery of assessments throughout the client’s training, they’ll stay more motivated to improve and see real data on the benefits of your program.

http://www.exercise.com/

– Client Engagement

When it comes to communicating with your clients in My PT Hub, the software provides all the expected features. You and your client can send direct messages within the app.

On top of basic messaging, an awesome engagement feature of Exercise.com software is the ability to host Workout Challenges which connect your in-person or online clients to build adherence and consistency. It can even generate Leaderboards to show top performers from all your participants and fuel their motivation.

http://www.exercise.com/

Exercise.com custom brands your platform and allows you to build and create your community of clients both in the gym and virtually. You can sell single workout plans, automated workout memberships, workout challenges, and deliver individual training.

Exercise.com’s software also makes online appointment and class booking easy. You are also able to efficiently schedule, view, and manage all appointments and classes.

Great client engagement leads to great client retention. By utilizing the client engagement features offered by Exercise.com, you’ll be able to reach more clients, convert more leads, and keep your current clients happy and motivated.

– Automation

Automating parts of your service is a must if you are going to make online training viable and profitable. For all clients, My PT Hub sends automatic emails and push notifications to clients anytime their training is updated.

Want to get even more out of automation? With Exercise.com you automatically send clients new workout plans, videos, and assessments as well as communications like workout and appointment reminders.

The ability in our software to automatically send assessments and have those assessments generate your client’s workout plan means you can provide clients with training that evolves as they do. For example, Exercise.com sends your client their initial fitness assessment based on your specifications and sets them up with the best program for where they are now.

You can have another assessment sent automatically every 2 months which will test their progress and adapt their training program accordingly. Your client keeps making gains while you’re free to keep advancing your business.

Automation Screenshot

My PT Hub Pricing

My PT Hub utilizes price tiers where cost is dependent on number of clients and what features you need.

The free version is the most limited and serves as an extended trial of sorts for those who are undecided about whether the software is right for them. My PT Hub may also be making use of this as a strategy to boost their user count:

When trainers sign up for the free 30-day trial, their account automatically downgrades to the bare-bones free version when the trial has ended. Because it is free, these users who have decided not to become paying customers do not go through the cancellation process which requires contacting customer service.

My PT Hub, therefore, can continue to count these among their active account holders. Thus, My PT Hub claims to be one of the most popular PT platforms with over 70,000 users. A similar strategy and outcome are used by the competing company, Trainerize.

Top Direct Competitors

My PT Hub’s biggest competitors in web-based training and nutrition software are:

  • Exercise.com, offering the most complete customization of your smartphone and web-based apps. Our software is an all-in-one solution for online and in-person training and business management.
  • Trainerize, a similar low-cost platform but with a wide array of integrations with outside services to provide additional convenience.
  • TrueCoach, which features a great workout builder system but lacks payment processing and app customization.

The Bottom Line: Pros and Cons

Choosing the right software to run your business can mean the difference between success and failure, but it doesn’t have to be a hard choice because Exercise.com just makes everything easier.

– My PT Hub Cons

Performance Assessments may be the best feature within My PT Hub but are provided by an outside company, Archon Combine, which users must pay an additional fee to integrate with. Trainers wishing to use Archon Combine can just subscribe to it on their own.

What’s more, there are multiple causes for concern about the company’s ethics stemming from their exaggerated claims about their exercise library and number of users and the many complaints users have made about unapproved charges.

The price-point is the most attractive part of My PT Hub but it seems to be a classic case of “you get what you pay for”. While the company has a nice-looking website boasting the software’s many features, the façade falls apart when it comes to the actual execution and how the company operates from a customer service standpoint.

In terms of full customization, workout creation and delivery, a wide range of automations and integrations, My PT Hub simply does not stack up to the features offered by Exercise.com’s all-in-one business management software.

– Exercise.com Pros

Exercise.com is an all-in-one fitness business management software that actually delivers. We build your web and smartphone apps with your brand in mind. It’s your app, your software, and your brand front and center.

The benefits of signing on with Exercise.com include:

  • Fully customizable management software
  • Always integrating and updating components from our advisory board of fitness professionals
  • Custom workout library, workouts, challenges
  • Plentiful automation features
  • E-commerce system built to increase your revenue
  • Fully adaptable to your needs as a fitness professional

Exercise.com’s all-in-one club management software handles everything you need to thrive as an industry professional with ease.  Fully customized to you and your brand, it’s only fitting that your custom business software would be developed by the team at Exercise.com.

If you need custom features, easy integration, and engaging performance health software, contact us today for a demo. Our world-class dev team will work with you to create software for your business that not only works but that works well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the questions fitness professionals are asking about Exercise.com

– Who are you guys, anyway?

The team at Exercise.com solves a major problem — how to grow your business without wasting time and losing money. We work with the real, confident decision-makers — the best of the best — like James Harrison (Steelers great), Don Saladino, D1 Training, Fairchild Sports Performance, and Freestyle Connection — and offer our all-in-one fitness business software to simplify managing your business.

– What sets you apart from your competitors?

We turbocharge your business with our all-in-one fitness business software that’s custom branded for your business.

  • Efficiently schedule, view, and manage all appointments and classes — including by trainer, location, and service — with easy options for scheduling recurring events and availability.
  • Save time creating workouts with our simple workout plan creator and exercise manager and built-in integrations, tools, and more.
  • Sell your training three ways – group subscriptions, individualized training, and single workout plans – to increase revenue inside and outside your training walls.
  • Take clients through your custom assessments to automatically deliver personalized workouts based on the data important to their success.

– Why not pay for custom development?

So many things could go wrong when building custom-branded apps. It’s also expensive, takes years to develop, and requires trust with your developers. We have a proven track record delivering apps for top trainers around the world and remove the risks present when doing it on your own.

– What if I’m not technical?

You don’t need to be. Our dev team will build your custom-branded apps and take care of all the technical stuff so you can focus on what you do best.

– What if I don’t have a following?

Engaging the followers you have is paramount because you can instantly convert engaged followers into paying clients with your all-in-one fitness business software.

– Is it hard to set up?

No, it’s very easy. All you need to do is follow our success team’s proven process. We will deliver your custom-branded, all-in-one fitness business software, and you can do what you do best!

– What if I wait to implement this solution?

If you wait, you will leave a lot of opportunity on the table to save time as you scale and manage your business with all-in-one software to engage and retain your clients. Whether you’re looking to bill customers on a recurring basis, single session, or package basis, do it all with a fully integrated, secure platform that can support in-person and online payments. This is a high-quality problem to solve. You shouldn’t wait to solve it.

– What exactly do I get?

You get all-in-one fitness business software that does everything you need. No more having one software solution for doing personal training, another for booking and scheduling, something else for client assessments, and yet another pricey subscription for marketing and client communication.

And then there are custom-branded iOS & Android apps. If you’re tired of paying too much for too many moving parts, stop the hacks and demo the Exercise.com all-in-one fitness business software today.

This all-in-one fitness business software will save you time running your business, handle everything in one place, provide endless opportunities to engage and retain your clients, and allow you to sell workout plans.

– Will this really work for me?

Yes. We have a proven track record with fitness professionals like Ashley Borden, Just-Train, PJF Performance, Madeline Moves, and Fit Thrive. Our all-in-one fitness business software will allow you to grow your business as much as you want.

– What are the next steps?

The next step is simple. Click “Book Demo” on the header of this page and schedule a call with one of our team members.

– Will this integrate with my other software?

Our software integrates with a variety of other software including Zapier, Stripe, YouTube, Vimeo, MailChimp, MyFitnessPal, ConvertKit, and more. But we also can custom build integration to power your business.

– What if I don’t have the budget?

This is an all-in-one fitness business software that allows you to grow your business as much as you’d like. You should strike while the iron is hot by investing in a workout platform that will help you scale your business, earn more revenue, retain and engage your clients, and save you time running your business.

Hopefully, you see the benefit of not waiting to have a system and software in place that allows you to manage and grow your business for years to come.

What features are most important for your business?

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business with a software that can be customized to your business, book a demo with Exercise.com.



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Interview: Andy Luukkonen, BodyFit Health Club [Tips + Experience]


Get the Basics…

  • Playing multiple sports over specializing in one too early
  • Movement and awareness as foundations in fitness
  • Setting realistic goals and developing plans to reach them
  • Running a successful family-owned business

Achieving longevity in any endeavor, business or otherwise, is a difficult task, isn’t it? Attaining that longevity in an increasingly saturated industry is an even more challenging proposition.

Today, we’re talking to Andy Luukkonen who is his third decade as a fitness entrepreneur. We discuss some of the wisdom he’s gained over the years and the mentality and methodology that have helped him operate his successful fitness practice.

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business better, schedule a demo today.

Meet Andy Luukkonen

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, this is Schimri Yoyo, and today we are continuing our interview series with fitness experts. And Today we have Andy Luukkonen, owner of BodyFit Health Club in Uxbridge, Canada. Andy, thank you again for joining us.

Andy Luukkonen: Oh, you’re very welcome. Pleasure to be here.

Schimri Yoyo: Alright, we’re just going to jump right into it and get some background information from you. I want to know when and how did you first develop a love for health and fitness.

Andy Luukkonen: I don’t know if I can actually answer when, but I know that it probably developed through sports as a kid. I basically played everything I could and I never really thought about it all that much.

But the health and fitness part probably came, probably, when I was in about grade seven and that was when my coach mandated that a fitness regime for our wrestling team where we had to practice five days a week. And I think that’s probably where it started.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay. Now, you said you participated in a lot of sports growing up. Do you have one that you particularly excelled at or was your favorite?

Andy Luukkonen: I think I tried everything. I don’t think there was anything I didn’t want to try. In public school here we have a lot of sports that are available to us, so I played absolutely [everything that] I possibly could. So, soccer and hockey were extracurricular and then track and field was another extracurricular thing that I did.

But I don’t think there was anything I would say was my favorite sport. But the one that I probably excelled at most was track and field. I threw the javelin and excelled quite well in high school and competed internationally. And it’s probably the one I would say is my highlight.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, track and field star, that’s awesome. Now, when you were training, did you personally use a strength and conditioning coach as an athlete growing up?

Andy Luukkonen: You know what? When I was doing javelin in that period of time, that was probably one of the hardest things to come by. So, when I joined the club, it was primarily a hurdler or a short distance club. And there was one coach there, she came in periodically, she was the shot put—she was a shot putter so as far as using a coach, she was she helped me with some strength training and stuff.

But ironically, it’s now been like 35 years later and the one coach I wish I ever had back in high school, that I met him at one of my kid’s javelin competition. And so even though I wasn’t able to use him when I was a kid, my kids actually got to use him as a coach. And his name is Bill Heikkila, he is an Olympic competitor in Canada for javelin, so he’s out there right now and been out there quite a lot.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, that’s pretty good. When you’re not training or running your business, what are some things that you do in your spare time for fun?

Andy Luukkonen: Well, I got three boys, and they all play baseball. So, I coach baseball now for 11 years. I’ve coached from all levels of house league, all the way up to elite ball. And I’m also a beekeeper.

Schimri Yoyo: Oh wow, that’s awesome. I’m a big fan of honey, so I’m going to have to talk to you offline about some honey.

Movement and Awareness

Alright, well, let’s jump into some of your methodology and your practice. If you could describe your training philosophy and methodology in one word what would it be?

Andy Luukkonen: One word for me would be hard. I mean, two words kind of come to mind, and I sort of use them together. The first one is movement. It’s part of my philosophy but awareness is more in line with my methodology, I think.

Movement because it’s where it all starts. We need to move more and movement because it’s the foundation that we do. Everything that I do with my clients. And awareness is because it’s how we cope. We try to bring enough awareness to people in how they move.

So, when clients mention how much more they become aware of their posture, movements, and state, that’s when we know it’s starting to work with us.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, that’s pretty good and that leads to my next question. Can you describe your approach to functional training and movement?

Andy Luukkonen: Sure, as far as functional training for me. It’s more about identifying dysfunction first. Everyone compensates and it’s our job to find it, figure out why, and try to correct it, if possible.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, and in your opinion, what’s the relationship between strength and conditioning, injury prevention and rehabilitation?

Andy Luukkonen: I think that the three of those things are somewhat symbiotic. Proper strength and conditioning help with injury prevention, and in the event of an injury, rehab has generally taken the form of some sort of modified strength and conditioning program. So, that’s kind of what I would consider the relationship, so it all kind of works part and parcel, and it’s all sort of intertwined with the other no matter what.

Schimri Yoyo: How do you help athletes or clients to be proactive in their training and in their recovery in the event of an injury?

Andy Luukkonen: Planning and self-awareness. Keeping logs and tracking. So basically, what we’ll do, we like to do, is we plan the year around their sport or whatever activity and keep that in mind. And then have them keep track of how they feel and modify accordingly, and once you get to know an athlete as a trainer, you can kind of get to know when you can push them and when you kind of have to hold back.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay and then how are speed strength and flexibility related? And which of those should be a priority for the athlete?

Andy Luukkonen: Well, most people come to us looking for speed. Generally speaking, they’re saying that they want to get faster, and that’s usually the goal. So, for me, for a person to get faster basically building strength and wellness is going to help them get faster. But, when we’re addressing flexibility is the word you’d use, I also like to use the world mobility.

So, mobility and flexibility are likely going to be inhibited if all you do is work on strength. So, what you want to make sure is that the mobility and flexibility training has great mechanics. [Or else it] could be potentially limiting the joint range of motion and your mobility, which will eventually result in injury when speed training at competitions.

So, basically for me, it’s more about addressing what that client’s goal is initially before I decide what the relationship is going to be between them.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, that makes a lot of sense and I like how you describe that. You can’t get the cart before the horse, right?

Andy Luukkonen: Right, right.

Schimri Yoyo: Now, how do you incorporate nutrition, if at all, in your personal training?

Andy Luukkonen: Well, for us, it really depends on the clients. We’ve run a lot of challenges in the past where we’ve provided them with complete meal plans, and with others, it comes with just talking with them and reaching their goals and how much effort they want to put into it.

One of the things we always do discuss is water consumption. So it really depends on the clients. As far as our practice goes, or our scope of practice, we’re not nutritionists, we’re not dietitians, so we have to be careful about how we go about that.

But, when it comes to specifics on how it’s going to affect the strength training, what they’re missing, and then we can offer them advice that way.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, makes sense. And in what ways do you motivate your clients and in what ways do you motivate yourself?

Andy Luukkonen: The easiest thing that helps in motivating clients is setting realistic goals that are achievable. Victories on a regular basis are great, and we work with lots of folks over 50, and it’s the strength conditioning that brings to everyday life the little things that motivate them the most. Simple things, for example, we have a client who she worked with us through the wintertime, she likes to golf.

And then the one day she came to us and she said, “You know what? The other day when I was golfing I was able to bend down and I was able to pick the ball up right out of the hole, and I haven’t been able to do that for years.”

So it’s the little things that motivate them the most. And that’s the kind of thing that we try to achieve is the stuff that you wouldn’t notice necessarily, in the gym all the time, but the stuff that comes to them day-to-day.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, and for yourself, how do you find motivation as you’re running your practice?

Let the team at Exercise.com show you how to grow and manage your fitness business better!

Andy Luukkonen: I think the things that motivate me are when my clients actually get success. The results are the biggest thing for me and so long as they’re getting the results, then I’m always motivated to come back. And if I’m not finding results right away, then I’m motivated to try and figure out why and continuously try to keep getting something from a client.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, and then, what are some ways that you measure progress or success for yourself and for your clients?

Andy Luukkonen: It’s always results based on goals. And I’m pretty black and white on that one. I don’t like to sugarcoat or rationalize, so, if you don’t get a result, the idea is to find out why and get it fixed. So, I’m not going to tell a person, “Okay, well you didn’t get your result but you know, too bad. We’ll keep working hard and blah blah blah.”

That’s not the way I do it. If there’s probably a reason for it, and I’ve got to find the reason for it and go from there.

Schimri Yoyo: And in keeping with that, as you’re tweaking and making adjustments, how do you balance helping your clients reach those goals and reach their physical limits without burning them out or without adding increased exposure to injury?

Andy Luukkonen: Well, that goes back to the previous question about strength training, injury prevention, and rehab, I believe. For me, it’s about planning and evaluating and, in my opinion, nobody should ever get injuries in the weight room or suffer from overtraining.

If that happens under the guidance of a trainer, then you should probably find a different trainer. Clients put a lot of trust in us and causing an injury, in my opinion, is unacceptable. And as a trainer, you should know your clients’ limitations and change your scope of practice.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, and that makes sense. Now, judging by the clients who have had the most progress or success under your tutelage, what are some common traits or shared values that they’ve had?

Andy Luukkonen: Well, the one thing that comes to me the most here is consistency. They show up, it’s that simple. And I think Woody Allen says it best, “80% of success in life is to show up.”

[Editor’s note: Woody Allen’s actual quote was: “Showing up is 80 percent of life. Sometimes it’s easier to hide home in bed. I’ve done both.”]

Two Decades Plus of Business Experience

Schimri Yoyo: That makes sense. Alright now, onto your business specifically. How do you juggle your time between being a trainer and an entrepreneur?

Andy Luukkonen: Well, over time, I’ve learned to incorporate systems, policies and procedures, and I kind of take it like a franchise mentality. And that’s what helps run the business day-to-day. And we spend a lot of time on training our staff, and we don’t micromanage. And that allows us to take time off or work with clients and to keep our flexible schedule.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, now brag about yourself a little bit. What makes Body Fit Health Club unique?

Andy Luukkonen: Well, gyms have come and gone in our small town. We’re actually a very small town. Under 20,000 people and ours is the only one that seems to remain. And I believe it’s because we care about each other, we care about our members.

And sure we’ve made mistakes and will likely make more. But one thing that separates us from other gyms is the people. We’ve been called “Cheers of gyms”. If you recall, that’s a TV show called Cheers where everybody knows your name?

Schimri Yoyo: Yeah, I grew up in Boston, so I know Cheers very well.

Andy Luukkonen: Well, there you go, and yeah we are just as friendly, and we are good at what we do because we only hire the best. That’s kind of how I look at it, we work very, very hard for what we’ve earned. And I believe we’ve earned every little bit of success.

Schimri Yoyo: And now you’ve owned your gym in Uxbridge for over two decades. What do you know now as a business owner that you wish you would’ve known when you first started your practice?

Andy Luukkonen: Well, they say that hindsight’s always 20/20 right? One thing I wish I had done is learned more about marketing early on. You can spend thousands and thousands on education but it’s literally useless if you can’t get people through your door.

Schimri Yoyo: Yes, that’s a great point and a great tip. Now, how do you determine whom you’ll take on as a personal client and whom you’re going to outsource to another trainer?

Andy Luukkonen: For me, it really comes down to the client. A lot of the times it’s going to be a rehab based person, it’s going to be somebody that I’m going to have myself or my lead trainer is going to work with. If it’s a general population client, I’ll try to refer out to my other trainers because it’s also my responsibility to make sure they can earn a living.

And then finally, I also leave it up to the clients themselves. Sometimes they prefer working out with a male, sometimes they prefer working a female. So, it’s really kind of a consultation between me, the other trainers, and the actual clients themselves.

Schimri Yoyo: Yeah, it’s a collaborative decision.

Andy Luukkonen: Yeah.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, now BodyFit Health Club is a family business. Can you describe what it’s like to work with your wife and your sons on a day-to-day basis?

Andy Luukkonen: Sure, well my wife is my partner, both in my life and in the business. Having her there makes everything a lot easier. She can be very blunt with me when she needs to be, and she basically holds me accountable. We work really well together, and I’m very grateful to have her there.

Now we actually have the three sons, I’ve mentioned before, my eldest is Charlie, he has regular shifts at the gym and when we first hired him, it wasn’t really that well-known that he was my son. And then when people complimented us on him, what a nice boy he was and everything else, it really sort of made us proud. So it’s always been a pleasure to have him.

Now, my middle son, his name is Raymond, he’s a couple of years younger than Charlie, and he’s just starting training as an employee. He is our redheaded, blue-eyed, lefthanded ball of fire. Surprisingly, though, he’s starting to take things seriously. But we’ll see how it goes; however, he’s been fired twice already.

And our youngest guy is Reggie, and he still has a little way to go before he’s going to start working regular shifts, but he’s always trying to keep up with his older brothers so I’m sure he’ll be fine.

Schimri Yoyo: That’s awesome to involve the entire family. How, if at all, do you use technology and social media to promote your business and to do that marketing that you talked about earlier?

Andy Luukkonen: Well, technology and social media a lot of it is used in our marketing communications. Our web presence is composed of our website, Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter. And we nurture all of our leads in the background with FusionSoft, which is our CRM, our Customer Relationship Management. Yeah, so most of it in marketing and communication.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, and what’s the biggest challenge in running your business and what’s the biggest reward in running your own business?

Andy Luukkonen: Part of that question is the same thing. The biggest challenge for us is always staffing. We’re very picky, we don’t hire just anyone. And so when a staff member has to leave to go to another job or career, or to university, it takes time to find a good replacement.

And then, on the contrary, the greatest reward is exactly that: finding a great staff. Great staff generally creates fewer worries for us which allows us to take time off, knowing that the business is in good hands.

Schimri Yoyo: That’s awesome, and thank you again, for your time Andy, you’ve been a great, and just a couple more questions here. And just do you have any resources that you would recommend to our audience. Any books, magazines, or podcasts that you think would be helpful?

Andy Luukkonen: Sure, for trainers and other coaches. I really like the book called Movement by Gray Cook. And depending on how deep a person wants to get into it, I also like Diagnosis and Treatments of Movement Impairment Syndrome by Shirley Sahrmann.

I follow other trainers and coaches such as Eric Cressey, Mike Reinold, Dean Somerset, Mike Robertson, Mike Boyle—those are some of the bigger names.

[Editor: Hurray for Exercise.com partners — Dean Somerset and Mike Boyle]

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And then for more business-related resources, anything marketing material-wise, I look to Dan Kennedy for a lot that stuff, he’s very insightful and has a different approach of looking at things. And then another really good book for a very unique way of delivering customer service Is called Secret Service by John DiJulius.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, those are great resources. Thank you again, I’m sure our audience will appreciate diving into some of those resources. Lastly, Andy, what’s next for you and your business?

Andy Luukkonen: Well, although our club appeals to a very broad demographic, we’re building on our services for the 50-plus population. And in addition to that, we want to be able to offer more professional services, both by me and referral out. And so, I’m seriously looking into furthering my education in the field in Osteopathy.

Schimri Yoyo: Ah yes, that’s a great goal and good luck with that. So thank you again for your time, it’s been great, and I look forward to hearing back from you down the road. And would love to catch up and see how your continuing education goes.

Andy Luukkonen: Yeah, that’d be fantastic, anytime.

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