So, to celebrate the launch of our new Dynamax website – www.dynamaxball.com – we thought we’d take the time to catch up with Dynamax CEO Laura Cisneros and give her the stage to shout about this amazing product. In the first of a two part interview she gives us the background and advantages of using Dynamax when compared to more traditional medicine balls…
Hi Laura, how long have Dynamax balls been around? And in the UK? Dynamax balls have been around for over 25 years having been developed in 1985 by two Texas coaches, Jim Cawley and Bruce Evans, to help improve performance in professional and collegiate athletes. Today, Dynamax can be found in the gyms and performance centers and professional sports franchises from the NFL to the NBA, from the New England Patriots to Oakland Raiders.
As a lifelong athlete and personal trainer I recognised the value of the ball for athletes of all levels. So, after purchasing the company in 2010 with the help of private investment, we launched a massive global education initiative designed to expand the reach of this powerful, versatile tool. Dynamax exploded onto the UK scene in 2011 when we conducted a gorilla style assault at LIW!
Explain the difference between Dynamax balls and your traditional medicine ball… There are two major distinctions between Dynamax balls and your traditional medicine ball:
1) The traditional medicine ball is generally made of rubber and is extremely hard. The Dynamax ball is designed with a soft shell outer layer and an impact-absorbing core. This design allows for high-velocity training and robust triphasic muscle action.
2) Size matters! Conventional medicine balls come up short at 10 inches or less where as the Dynamax ball was intentionally designed at 14 inches in diameter to reflect the average size of a human adult shoulder girdle. This matters as the smaller diameter ball encourages pronation of the shoulder girdle and thereby pulling the spine out of neutral compromising functional movement and limiting total power potential. Dynamax encourages strong neutral spine, where the entire posterior chain; glutes, hamstrings, post deltoids – everything from the shoulders to the hips anterior and posterior – are engaged.
See Laura in action at LIW on the video below…
Summer is (nearly) here, can Dynamax be used outdoors, in say a boot camp environment? Absolutely! Before taking over Dynamax, I introduced the balls to my outdoor boot camp programs in Austin, Texas. They were an immediate hit with everyone! The Dynamax medicine ball has been said to be the best piece of weight room equipment that can be used outside. Our balls are easy to transport and are water resistant, so a little bit of dew on the ground won’t hurt them.
If this has whetted your appetite for more then make sure you get signed up for the upcoming Dynamax Coach Course, powered by our training partners Ushomi. For more information visit the Dynamax page on their website.
Don’t forget to catch the second part of Laura’s interview next week when she’ll be explaining all the about the benefits that a trainer and client can enjoy from using Dynamax. In the meantime, visit www.dynamaxball.com for all your Dynamax needs!
At the start of the year we published a blog that focused on self development and looking ahead with a fresh set of eyes into the New Year.
Taking that a step further and, in recent weeks, we’ve been reading some interesting articles that can be grouped under the banner; Things Successful People Do.
There’s obviously no single answer to the question; what makes someone successful? Indeed, there’s no easy way of defining “success” as it’ll be a very individual response. However, one of the common things that occurred in all the articles we’ve read is the need to make the most of “downtime” and one of the best ways to do that is by exercising.
These aren’t our words, but the words of Forbes magazine, citing exercise as the “perfect opportunity to clear your mind and create fresh ideas”. The importance of being active shouldn’t be undersold, not just from a health angle but it’s about creating energy which can have a hugely positive impact on other areas of your life.
The key to getting on professionally is getting it right when you’re not working. Recharging your batteries is vital and being on top form at work means managing your spare time effectively too. And exercising is one of the best ways to recharge.
Combined with other factors such as the importance of disconnecting from work over the weekend, taking regular holidays, following a personal passion, avoiding daily chores and socialising with friends and family are all key ingredients for giving you the best chance to succeed in your professional life. All these are great ways to rejuvenate yourself ready to go again come Monday morning. Even in our industry, where weekend work is the norm, the principles remain true and it’s important to make time for what’s important, and fun.
These are important factors that can be highlighted to clients and members, informing them of the need to remain active to get the very most out of all aspects of life – not just because of the obvious health benefits.
Time is precious and so by making the most of your time away from work will help to make the time you spend in work more productive, and thus more enjoyable. A good way of looking at it is that you need to achieve a certain level of happiness in both your work and personal life. That “level” will be a personal judgement but in order to achieve success in both fields it’s important to understand the relationship between the two, and how they are linked.
That’s one of the main reasons why successful people are what they are.
In Manchester on May 11th comes the latest Dynamax training course brought to you by Ushomi.
Escape training partners Ushomi are specialists when it comes to delivering product based education within the fitness industry so get yourself along to Sugden Sports Centre in Manchester and get involved in some serious Dynamax training!
So what’s the deal with Dynamax? What’s the fuss? Well, Dynamax has taken the US by storm, hitting the NFL, NBA and MLB and now it’s our turn! These impact absorbing balls allow for high velocity training to give you, and your clients, the ultimate total body workout!
The Ushomi Dynamax Coaching Course will teach you all about the history and benefits of medicine ball training and how to incorporate the awesome Dynamax ball into your programming. You’ll also get to experience Dynamax, getting hands on with the products as you’re put through your paces in intense workouts. You’ll then have the opportunity to purchase and take away your very own Dynamax ball so you can start using it immediately!
Dynamax is the official ball of the Cross Fit games so you know they are built to last and they are the perfect addition for any small group training session. With Dynamax workouts perfectly suited for pair work they can help reduce equipment costs while providing a new, exciting and engaging workout!
As a fitness professional you’ll earn 10 CPD points from the Dynamax Coaching Course and, with Dynamax balls ideally suited for being used in outdoor exercise, with summer on the horizon this is the perfect time to get signed up and get qualified as a Dynamax Coach!
Don’t just take our word for it either…
“A great training session. Dynamax is a fantastic training tool which has huge potential for use within our fitness facilities. A piece of equipment that can be tailored to suit varying clients goals. A fun and interactive tool which until you get your hands on you won’t appreciate its benefits and adaptability. Brilliant trainers with fantastic knowledge and training skills ” Matthew Saunders – Contract Fitness Manager SLL
“I recently went on the UshomiDynamax Medicine Ball Coaching Course, which I passed – Yay! It was a fun and informative day with great training techniques to help you help your clients to work their core and cardio system. The methods we used included single workouts/exercises and Locomotive techniques which were AMAZING. I use my Dynamax Ball where ever possible now, even when training with colleagues. I have recommended this course to everyone I know and will continue to do so.” Natasha Overfield – DC Leisure
Visit the Ushomi Dynamax web page to get full booking details, alternatively call 0800 023 6611 and book your place today! For further enquiries contact the Ushomi team at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to find out even more about this amazing product then we have a dedicated website that will tell you all you need to know, simply visit www.dynamaxball.com!
We innovate and we energise. We excite and we inspire. FIBO 2013 brought all of this to life and showcased exactly what we at Escape are all about.
Our creative partners, ESC Creative, were on hand to capture the magic and so feast your eyes on the trailer video below and then get ready for the full length version which will be hitting your screens soon!
We’re all about having fun, helping your members to ‘play out’, rather than workout. We want to make them want to move, not force them to do so. It’s about maximising your space in the most efficient way possible, creating an environment that attracts and engages and keeps your members motivated and coming back for more.
By Escape Fitness Client Solutions Director, Matthew Januszek.
First we had Gangnam Style, now the Harlem Shake. What next? The combination of social media and video to reach millions, and billions, of people isn’t something that we can ignore.
In the case of the Harlem Shake, it’s been viewed, in various guises, over a billion times. More than 100 versions of the video have recorded at least one million views. What this says to me is, despite the content, the speed by which internet memes spread is truly incredible. Now, I’m not saying for one moment that by recording a video in your club could hit these heights but it’s more about the principle behind it.
The use of video for business has grown tremendously over the last few years and, as a result, producing video is now far more affordable then when compared to a few years back. Creating a video is a great way to quickly, and effectively, promote your brand, making it easy to understand and avoiding any danger of misinterpretation that could happen through people skim-reading a webpage.
The most important benefit though is arguably this; it allows you to differentiate yourself from your competition. By videoing your business you’ll be creating an intimate connection with potential customers, putting across a corporate message that is quick and to the point but, most importantly, a message that you’ll have complete control over.
Today’s technology savvy world demands interaction and visual stimulation and video can be a great way for you to showcase your talents. Bringing a product or service to life allows you to better explain exactly what it’s all about. If you’ve got an exciting development in your club then why not show people? Why not display an online demo using new equipment from your club? Introduce your PTs to your audience by way of a short video, show them teaching a class to highlight how serious your club is about education and training, for example.
Better still, how about capturing testimonials from class members? Building credibility about your facility and classes, directly from positives comments from existing members, is some of the strongest advertising you can get. The endorsement of your brand from similar users will act as a strong indicator of the merits of your club – touching on the psychological phenomenon of “social proof”, where people will follow, and be influenced by, the thoughts and actions of the majority. If you capture two or three of your members extolling the virtues of your club then you have an extremely powerful marketing tool.
By posting a video online you’ll also benefit from increased brand exposure, getting your message out to people that previously may not have even been aware of you. Increasing traffic to your website is another plus and, you never know, if you produce something awesome your video could quickly go viral and we’ll all be sat here saluting the next Harlem Shake!
At Escape Fitness we’ve long believed in the power of multimedia, producing videos to best describe what it is we do. At the end of last summer, for example, we took a camera behind the scenes at the photo shoot for our upcoming brochure. What were tried to do is show the viewers, our potential customers, why we do what we do, our thinking behind it and the work that goes into producing a brochure that we are immensely proud of. The end result? A video has been viewed over 8,000 times, and counting, reaching a vast audience and allowing us to get our message out to many people who may have previously passed us by. In the last month alone the video has had close to 1,000 hits. Check out the video below…
As the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words and so by bringing your product, your business, to life you’ll be instantly making yourself interactive, engaging and exciting. Think about how much information you could capture in just a one or two minute recording, then compare how much printed material you’d need to put across that same message, video can prove to be a very cost effective marketing tool.
It doesn’t require big budgets either. Get creative and pick up a Smartphone and do it yourself. Take a wander around your club, show off your best bits! Sports are a popular media on YouTube, and tend to average the highest number of views, so we’re in the right ball park for giving a video the best possible chance of racking up a load of hits.
FIBO 2013 promised to the biggest of all time and it did not disappoint.
Over 96,000 visitors flocked through the doors with the Saturday of the show recording 45,000 of them! It was officially the best attended FIBO show ever.
The show was a milestone for us at Escape Fitness. Our stand was a living model of what it is we do and believe in – bringing our unique approach to the fitness industry to life, offering our complete industry solution – showcasing equipment, flooring, design and education. It was the first time we had led an exhibition show with this philosophy.
Supported by our partners, Ushomi and ESC Creative, our stand was constantly moving, it never stopped and was a constant hub of activity, acting like a magnet for everyone in Hall 6, where we were located. You see, it was more than just an exhibition for us, everyone involved put on a “show” with all our team generating massive amounts of energy and enthusiasm to create a really uplifting experience.
We led by example as we believe in the beauty of playing, of having fun, of giving your members the freedom to express themselves when exercising. It’s not about working out for us, more a case of “playing out” and banishing those negative vibes so often associated with exercise and fitness. Instead of forcing your members to move, we want to help you create an environment that makes them want to move, to make them feel good and look good.
The Escape Octagon and our full flooring fulfilment service were the centrepieces of the stand and both were hugely popular with all the visitors. The flooring was a knockout success, forming part of the best Escape show stand ever.
Duncan Black, Escape Fitness International Customer Solutions Manager;
“The event was a fantastic opportunity to promote the Escape, Ushomi and ESC Creative brands, concepts and solutions for the first time to a broad European market. Both business and consumer were blown away by the stand and the show was a resounding success”.
Our unique industry solution is what underpinned FIBO this year for Escape. All four elements – equipment, flooring, design and education – working in harmony to proudly promote our message.
These four simple steps will help to bring your gym experience to life, helping your club to differentiate themselves from the competition, attract and retain members and retain quality members of staff.
It’s about helping you to offer something different from your competition. This is the Escape Fitness way.
Escape Fitness training partners Ushomi have been rolling out their range of training programmes with DC Leisure.
DC Leisure’s Regional Fitness Manager, Tim Burrow, took time out of his busy schedule to chat to Ushomi to give his take on why education is so vital.
What was it that made you decide to organise a Bulgarian Bag Instructor Course for your fitness team? I am always on the lookout for the next ‘big thing’ so after attending the Ushomi Roadsho and seeing so much of the great Escape Fitness functional kit I was blown away, specifically with the Bulgarian Bag. There were so many things I liked about it ranging from the feel of the bag, its versatility, its ability to incorporate so many body parts in one movement and even the way it made me feel over the following days!
How has taking part in this course had an impact on PT income/PT interest in your region?
Since qualifying 30 instructors from 23 gyms across London and East Anglia we have seen a 15% increase in our Personal Training and Small Group Training.
My Personal Trainers are more driven, better educated and more’ tooled’ up with a piece of kit that is still not classed as what I would call ‘main stream’.
What effect has the training had on your fitness team in terms of enthusiasm and motivation levels?
My mission this year is to provide as much training as possible to educate and develop my staff.
I have always firmly believed that education is indeed power but, more importantly, enthusiasm pulls the switch. I believe education and enthusiasm come hand in hand – when you educate people you not only enthuse and empower them but also motivate and drive them to want to go and achieve great things. If not then we’ve got our recruitment process wrong from the start.
We have excellent staff retention, our investment in staff and passion for development undoubtedly contribute to this. We are well known for success stories within the company, not only for promotion and training (leading rather than following), but also in terms of income.
As we are soon to also deliver a Performance Boxing Instructor Course for your region, it’s clear to see you have a passion for continued education. Why do you feel investing in training is so important?
If you fail to invest in your staff they will fail to see value in their role. We have a duty of care not only to our staff but also to the industry to keep on improving the quality and education of our staff. It is easy to become a ‘qualified’ fitness instructor these days but this does not make you a good trainer, coach, educator, role model or example of what the fitness industry has to offer.
With the likes of Ushomi I see huge potential in education, but also ongoing support through their aftercare which include CPD, access to Ushomi Online, downloadable programmes, training manuals, phone and email support and, top of the list, the quality of delivery at all levels from administration to the coaches themselves. Dealing with Ushomi has been an absolute pleasure and I truly believe that you will not find at better training provider out there.
I forget who said this quote but have never forgotten it; “I think that the best training a top manager can be engaged in is management by example”. I have done every course my staff have done and also believe that the best way to predict the future is to create it….if you want to be great, make it happen!
If you want to know more about the range of training options available to you and your business then get in touch with Ushomi today. Visit their website www.ushomi.co.uk or call 0800 023 6611.
After four awesome days in Cologne the curtain came down on Sunday for FIBO 2013.
There was never a dull moment during the show and excitement and energy was everywhere you turned and the Escape Fitness stand led by example, wowing the 96,000 visitors!
With hourly product demonstrations, Escape Fitness generated a real buzz when the action got underway by creating a living model of what it is we do and believe in – “A complete industry solution”, bringing our unique approach to the fitness industry to life by showcasing equipment, flooring, design and education.
Supported by our partners Ushomi and ESC Creative our demonstrations reinforced our proven strengths in delivering the ultimate package and pushing the boundaries of your business by creating an environment for fun, fast functional exercise. Helping you to attract and retain your members by offering something different from your competition.
We’ll have a complete round-up of FIBO 2013 on next week’s blog when we’ll show you why we believe it’s about putting the FUN back into your members’ workout. It’s time to stop working out, and time to “Play Out”!
We met with loads of great people and had an awesome time in Cologne, so here’s to FIBO 2014, bring it on…!
The Les Mills SMARTBAR is still relatively new to the UK and so we thought it was time we checked in with HQ and give them the chance to explain all about the awesome qualities of this versatile product.
We spoke to Dave Kyle, Les Mills UK & Ireland Head Trainer, who gave us the full run down on why the SMARTBAR™ rocks.
How long has the SMARTBAR™ been around? The SMARTBAR™ had been around for the last 2 years, hitting the UK market in the last year!
The SMARTBAR™ is much more than a conventional barbell, right? The SMARTBAR™ outdoes its conventional barbell cousin in a number of ways.
Firstly, with its new innovative “gator” release system, it makes the selection and use of weights both slick and smooth by doing away with the need for a conventional collar to hold the weight stack in place, thus saving time in setup and transitions.
Secondly, the new innovative weight plates are designed to be used when off the bar and have a grip that can be held comfortably, similar to a dumbbell, by any size of hands to increase the use of the plates and variance of the workout.
Finally, the end of the bars rotate freely from the bar itself, similar to the larger Olympic bar range, thus giving a smoother more comfortable flow and feel to the bar whilst working out.
Group training is very much a buzz term at present so tell us why the SMARTBAR™ fits perfectly into this way of training… The SMARTBAR™ sits perfectly within the role of group training as it lends itself to smooth, efficient and timely transition of weights. With its simple gator release system the plates simply slide on to the bar and lock into place and with the quick release lever you can slide them back off again! Time saved in changing weights is time gained in the all important workout!
Why should people be getting excited about BODYPUMP™? People should be getting excited about BODYPUMP™, not only for the science, innovation and research that ensures this is still the number one fitness class to attend but for the true results that are gained from participating regularly in this fresh, challenging and continually evolving workout!
BODYPUMP™ appeals to all individuals of all levels and age groups and is designed to get maximum results from the short time available. This is made possible by keeping the program fresh and exciting to the participants with the inclusion of new and innovative moves and exercises as the program continues to evolve. This weight training inspired workout is still the best way to guarantee real results, real fast!
Tell us more about CXWORK™ and GRIT™ programmes Both our new programmes are designed for those who have a little less time to spend at the gym working out and also for the limited space that may be available to gym owners. These are two very different half hour programmes.
CXWORK™ is a moderate to high intensity core strength training program designed around a 30 minute format. This workout tightens and tones core muscles, improves functional strength for both balance and mobility and thus helps to prevent injury.
GRIT™, our new High Intensity Interval Training Program, comes in three 30 minute formats; Cardio, Strength and Ploy. They all contain the latest innovation and research to create the ultimate 30 minute high intensity training workout that is guaranteed to leave participants feeling smashed! Rewarding them with a sense of achievement and results that they will see fast!
Both these workouts are currently being rolled out around the country by our team of trainers.
How does someone go about training to become a Les Mills BODYPUMP™ instructor? To train to become a certified Les Mills™ BODYPUMP™ instructor in the UK, you will need two things; firstly you must have a fitness qualification (equivalent to NVQ Level 2 or above) and, secondly, you need a letter of affiliation. This is a written letter, fax or email from a club which holds the licence in the programme you wish to train in.
If you have this then send in a copy of your Level 2 Fitness Qualification and Affiliation letter to email@example.com to start the ball rolling! If you have any questions please call the Instructor Experience Team on 020 7264 0200.