Posts Tagged ‘Personal trainer’

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Dr. Bonny Flaster responded to my training query about getting ready for the Warrier Dash this fall. Her advice is spot on: combine strength training with balance training using a Bosu Balance Trainer. Her advice is here.

Bosu Balance Trainer

According to the Amazon product description: The Bosu Balance trainer helps you strengthen and coordinate several major muscle groups, including the muscles you don’t see. The Bosu targets your core muscles–the muscles around your abdominal and back area–while you perform a host of different workouts, from squats and bicep curls to lateral shoulder raises and hip extensions. As a result, you not only gain strength, trim, and tone, but also improve your balance and coordination along the way. In addition, Bosu training helps strengthen the mind, with thoughtful movement that requires the participant to not only be physically involved, but also “here and present” with the mind fully engaged. By combining physical and mental focus, Bosu training will boost your performance across a wide continuum of activities, including sports, recreation, and daily tasks.

The Bosu balance trainer–which measures 55 cm and comes in blue–comes with a foot pump and an exercise manual.

The Bosu System is available from Amazon for about $70. Click here for link.

Wii Fit Balance Training

For those that are not quite ready for the Bosu system, you can also start working on balance and flexibility with the Wii Fit. Wii Fit does not provide the instability of a Bosu “ball” but it does give you some great practice on maintaining your balance and coordination. And it has a fantastic yoga module for flexibility.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Dr. Bonny Flaster

Want free tips on training for an upcoming event? Marathon, tournament, Warrior Dash, doesn’t matter what your sport is, Dr. Bonny Flaster is willing to give you free advice on your workout routine for the next 6 months. Dr. Flaster is a Chicago chiropractor AND a serious fitness enthusiast–and she’s been both for any years. She can be seen rollerblading along the lakefront or kayaking in the lake all  summer. Check out her blog, Dr. Flaster’s Health Line and ask her for tips yourself! What have you got to lose? (Maybe a few inches off your waistline!)

Check out Dr. Flaster’s post “I’ve Got a Goal” here, and let her help you reach your fitness goals!

Other helpful blog posts from Dr. Flaster:
Run, Walk, Recover

What’s Stress to You

Getting Back in Shape

In-Line Skating–Flying on the Ground

Heat Stroke Does & Don’ts

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Personal trainer monitoring a client's movemen...
Image via Wikipedia

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

There are so many workout myths out there I can’t even count them all. Today I ran across an article I really enjoyed that breaks some of the most popular and entrenched workout myths. Number #1 is the myth that sit ups will give you a “six-pack” belly. I have low back problems and doing sit ups is the worst way for me to strengthen my core. Traditional sit ups really work your hip flexors (Iliopsoas muscles for the anatomically aware) more than the abdominal muscles. Instead I prefer Pilates Plank poses or other abdominal exercises that target the core of your torso. (Meaning those muscles deep to your spine  that support your spine. A good thing, supporting the spine, don’t you think?!). Click here for an explanation of how to do Prone Plank with Stability Ball. (Note: Click on More photos under the pic in this short article to show you visually how to do the exercise.)

Also explained: Why running makes you a better runner but doe snot make you necessarily more fit for other activities. How reading effects your body while you workout (Hint: It isn’t helping your posture.) Why weights are not just for bodybuilders. Why exercising longer may not make you burn more calories! Why stretching IS important despite some confusing reports to the contrary. How your workout will make you look like your favorite celebrity. Not. And why you can’t eat like a glutton if you work out a  lot.

Read the list of exercise myth busting tips here by By Gillian Reeves, Personal Trainer from Mail Online. And then workout with a better idea of what you are doing.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

The American College of Sports Medicine tracks trends for the fitness industry and published their findings to show you what to expect in fitness in the coming year at the gym, in your doctor’s office and at work. Experienced fitness professionals topped the list while strength training, core work, special fitness programs for older adults, pilates and balance training also made the top ten. Dr. Walter Thompson, of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) which conducted the poll, said that 1,540 ACSM-certified fitness professionals from all around the world took part in the online survey.

“We really wanted to look at trends,” Thompson, a professor of Exercise Science at Georgia State University, explained. “We instructed the respondents to ignore fads, like the devices you see on late-night TV infomercials.”

Fitness professionals and personal trainers captured the first and third spots in the survey, but according to Thompson, this increase is at expense of clients. Why? Because the increase in demand for personal trainers and fitness instructors has led to an influx of people entering the profession lacking the necessary training to avoid injuring clients. Thompson said, “There has to be some policing. People are getting hurt by trainers who just don’t have the qualifications.” Personal training was introduced about 10 years ago and was once a luxury for movie stars. Now most gyms provide personal trainers and some gyms are personal trainer-only gyms.

Children and obesity came in second in the poll. “For the first time in history the next generation of young people may not live as long as their parents or grandparents,” said ACSM representatives. Strength training  and core training were in the top five as well.

The stability ball  came in at number eight. (Note: The use of the stability ball did not even make the top 20 in an ACSM survey in 2007.)  Fitness professionals once thought this was a fad, according to the ACSM, but the ball has become into a versatile teaching tool for stability, balance and strength.

Balance training, which includes yoga, Pilates, tai chi and exercise balls, came in at number 10. (Two years ago it was not even in the top 20.)

The emphasis on comprehensive health promotion at the workplace was number 12. “The notion of wellness coaching (number 13) was also a surprise. Last year it was at the bottom.” said Thompson, adding that nutrition as well as exercise and wellness training points to a more holistic approach to fitness in general.

Thompson and his team don’t predict the future, but they believe that the trends they track to inform the fitness industry are also useful in educating the public. For example,  physician referrals to exercise professionals is a growing trend. “Exercise is medicine,” Thompson concludes. “We’re bridging the gap between fitness professionals and physicians.”

Read the full article  here.
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Personal trainer showing a client how to exerc...
A Non-French gym. Image via Wikipedia

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

This morning I was reading an article from Reuters about how the French culture is not adopting the “gym culture” as readily as people in the U.S., Spain and the United Kingdom. One of the reasons given for the French reluctance to leave the outdoors and go workout in a gym? The tendency of the French to play football, tennis and go cycling.

Now the gym industry is trying to determine the best ways to get people in France off their football fields, tennis courts and off their bikes so they can go work out in a gym. I find this really interesting because here in the U.S., people are more likely to go work out in a gym, compartmentalizing exercise into a 30-minute or 1 hour segment of their week. While in France, people tend to walk daily, eat smaller portions and incorporate exercise into their daily routine.  In the U.S., where obesity is a huge concern, we have created a sedentary lifestyle (suburbs, car based cities, supersized portions and a fast food mentality). Meals in France are more leisurely, people often shop each day for the evening meal. Meals are more often lingered over, a time for socializing and conversation, not wolfing down food while sitting in front of the television (which, I admit I’ve been guilty of at times.).

So, what’s wrong with this picture? For one thing, going to the gym when you have no other alternative for exercise is better than not doing anything. I am not anti-gym. In the U.S. our gyms and personal trainers have come a long way to helping more people get fit and adopt a healthier lifestyle. But to expect a culture to adopt a less healthy lifestyle (by giving up a natural incorporation of exercise and healthy portion size) to help build more gyms in France seems counterproductive.

If the gym industry could embrace France’s culture instead of the other way around, we might have a healthy U.S. gym culture too. For example, creating more outdoor running areas and cycling areas, making areas of the city car free so that only bicycles could ride in that area. Creating more opportunities for exercise in suburbs with more walkable downtown areas. And for those that want to eat more like the French, we already have a great cookbook: The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook! Only $16.50 at Amazon.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellnenss Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

ETC in First Floor of Kendall Collage Building

In the past few years I’ve noticed  a trend in personal training: Gyms or centers that ONLY provide personal training. I recently spent some time in a really interesting such facility in Chicago– ETC (Energy Training Center). It’s a private, exclusive personal training facility geared towards personal trainers who are passionate about wellness. It’s not a gym or a fitness club. ETC is a personal trainers only center: You can only workout there with a personal trainer, not on your own. The advantage to this is: higher quality trainers and a clean, less crowded workout space!

One of my massage therapist/personal trainers led me through a few sessions at ETC to show me his trainer methods. I really enjoyed not only his training style but the center itself. It’s a but pricey (You pay for each session versus a monthly membership), but for those that can afford it, ETC is a nice alternative to packed gyms.

The concept here is simple: ETC wants its customers to achieve the best they can in health and wellness and wants the customers to work personally with experts to achieve these goals. ETC owners describes the center as “a facility for personal trainers and their clients, who desire a positive environment, first class amenities and service, high standards of fitness, education, and most of all results.”


Located on the first floor of the same building that houses Kendall College (On Halsted just North of Chicago), ETC offers a number of services and amenities:

  • A state-of-the-art 7,000 sq. ft. training facility equipped with bio-mechanically correct equipment featuring LifeFitness, Hammer Strength, IronGrip and Stairmaster.
  • Inside Energy Training Center

    ETC has ample cardio equipment for your warmup!

  • Complimentary unlimited secure parking
  • Complimentary towel and filtered water system
  • Full shower amenities in locker room including cable television and courtesy phones
  • Woman's locker room at ETC

  • Locker rooms and training floor sanitized daily
  • Open floor area for functional training and other sport specific movements
  • Great view of the river at ETC while you workout!

  • Fitness evaluation room
  • Complimentary coffee/tea service
  • Outdoor riverside training area available
  • Also available: massage therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapists, and MAT specialists
  • Massage Room at ETC-Before or after your workout

Interested in learning more? Visit their Facebook page, visit them or contact them directly:

900 N. Branch St.
Chicago, IL 60622

(312) 377-4170

Front door of Energy Training Center

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Now it can.  With the FitDeck Mobile downloadable personal training program, you can take your “personal trainer” with you everywhere you take your phone!. Created by former Navy SEAL and certified trainer Phil Black, FitDeck Mobile gives you a workouts on the go!

What is FitDeck Mobile?

FitDeck Mobile is an application that runs on your mobile device and guides you through a unique physical fitness routine. It is comprised of various slides which contain instructions for exercises that you can do without any weights or special equipment (so you can do it anywhere!). FitDeck Mobile gives you a comprehensive set of exercises for the entire body, with each slide categorized into one of four body regions – Upper Body, Lower Body, Middle Body, or Full Body. You can arrange the slides in order or shuffle them to get a unique, random workout. Get the free FitDeck Mobile demo for your mobile: See the demo.

Will FitDeck Mobile work on my phone or mobile device?
FitDeck Mobile currently runs on the Java (j2me) platform and works on most phones and mobile devices. To find out if it will work on your mobile, simply use the mobile device selection wizard and follow the instructions to get the free trial version.

Is there a Money-Back Guarantee?
Yes.  If, upon paying to unlock your product, you are dissatisfied for any reason,  let FitDeck know within 90 days and they will correct the problem to your satisfaction and/or refund your payment. Please note there is a demo version of the FitDeck Mobile software available free of charge, so make sure the product works on your device before buying the keycode.

Sample FitDeck Mobile Workout

How else can FitDeck Mobile help me stay in shape?

Here are creative ways to stay motivated and incorporate FitDeck Mobile into your daily routine:

  1. Interval Training: Perform a series of FitDeck Mobile exercises alternately with a cross-training exercise (e.g., lap around the track, FitDeck Mobile exercise, lap around the track, FitDeck Mobile exercise, and so on).
  2. Coffee Break: Take a quick break from the desk and rattle off 2 or 3 FitDeck Mobile exercises. You’ll feel reinvigorated and there’s no need to change into workout clothes. Best of all, over the course of a week you’ll have done a complete bonus workout.
  3. 8 Before Bed: Were you so busy you had to forgo your workout today? Motivate and do 8 FitDeck Mobile exercises before you hit the sack. In less than 10 minutes you’ll shake off the day’s stress and put those feelings of guilt to rest as well.
  4. Group Training: Are you a teacher, manager, coach, or anyone else who oversees a group activity? Mix things up by leading them through a short FitDeck Mobile workout of 10 slides or so and get your folks motivated.
  5. Workout Reminder: FitDeck Mobile lives on your mobile and you live by your mobile. Use your calendar feature to schedule workouts during the week – when the alarm sounds you already have your workout right at hand.
  6. Ideas of your own: Do you have other creative ways that you incorporate FitDeck Mobile into your life? Please share them with FitDeck and they’ll make you famous.

FitDeck Mobile is Easy to use.

FitDeck Mobile uses one screen per exercise with no need to push a button to see an image or description.

Do I Need An Internet Connection for FitDeck?

No. FitDeck Mobile, lives on the device and requires no Internet connection – so you really can take it anywhere! Many competitors offer Web versions of their software which poses two significant problems: (1) If you are out of range of service, you simply cannot use the app; and (2) you will have to wait for each page to load.

Does FitDeck Require Special Equipment?

The FitDeck BODYWEIGHT workout program requires no special weights or equipment – so you can do it anywhere!

What Does FitDeck Cost?

FitDeckMobile is pretty inexpensive too. From what I could tell from their website, it’s about $7.95 per download.

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