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February 2017 Links I Love for Fitness Instructors

Shay Mitchell's Workout for Fitness Instructors

February was a fun month for me. I got to share resistance band workouts and how I became a spinning instructor with my favorite fitness instructors and enthusiasts (yes, that’s you :)). On a personal note, I got to go bridesmaids’ dress shopping with my gals and celebrate National Margarita Day/Presidents’ Day with friends. My wedding is this October, so buckle your seat belts because it’s going to be a wild ride until then, but I will continue to post most Mondays and Wednesdays in between planning.

I may have been busy this month, but that didn’t stop me from keeping up on the latest fitness tips and trends. I pulled together a list of my favorite articles for fitness instructors, so you can easily keep up on what’s happening in the health, wellness and exercise industry.

Here’s a roundup of 10 February articles that fitness instructors and enthusiasts should read:

  1. Shay Mitchell (or should I say SLAY Mitchell?) recently posted her workout on Instagram and it is straight fire. SELF broke down all the moves in the video here. Also, those braids?! #GOALS.
  2. How to pack on muscle with eccentric exercises — I love seeing articles that teach the body mechanics behind exercise.
  3. Refinery29’s hip dip plank exercise. I anticipate group fitness participants bringing their booty too high in the air for this one, so something you’ll want to monitor when you introduce in your next Group X class.
  4. I have yet to try an Orangetheory Fitness class, but this article points out all the reasons I want to go: “Orangetheory Fitness Wants to Shame Your Half-Assed Workouts Out of Existence”
  5. Why Shape Magazine’s fitness director Jaclyn Emerick wakes up at 5 a.m. everyday. Advice for anyone looking to become a morning person.
  6. Fun Lower-body exercises to add to your fitness routine for dynamic balance.
  7. On days where you need some serious #fitspo, check out these 28 black fitness pros you should be following on Instagram.
  8. 5 creative body-weight exercises to mix things up.
  9. My kind of Valentine’s Day love: why exercise is good for the heart.
  10. And, in case you missed it, my most popular blog post from last month was this Valentine’s Day spin playlist. I’ll tell you, it was a big hit with my spinning classes!

If you liked this list, you’ll also like my link roundups from January and December. You can also check out other group exercise ideas and tips here.

(Image Source: Byrdie)

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Stop Using Food as a Fitness Instructor Motivational Cue

Don't use food as a group fitness instructor motivational cue

When participants leave a group exercise class, they should be absolutely glowing. As a fitness instructor with a unique personal style, this may not be your goal exactly, but the effect is still the same: participants should leave feeling like your class was a positive and valuable part of their day. Unfortunately, fitness and body image are such sensitive topics that participants may encounter a group fitness instructor motivational cue that ends up damaging their experience. Have you ever been to a class where the instructor said something that rubbed you the wrong way? I know I have.

This puts a lot of pressure on us as instructors to say the right things at the right time. While we can’t be perfect, we can make sure we’re practicing our motivational cues, talking to fellow instructors and continuing our education in order to provide the best experience for our class.

To start, I’d like to point out one particularly harmful fitness instructor motivational cue that I hear on the regular: food as a reward or punishment.

For example, I’ve witnessed an instructor shuffle on up to the stereo and say, “hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend, now time to work off that extra BBQ!” Or, I’ve heard, “if you do one more plank, you can have an extra glass of wine this weekend.”

Here’s the problem: talking like this in your group fitness classes creates a reward and punishment relationship between food and exercise. If you eat too much, you need to punish yourself with exercise. If you work out, you can reward yourself with food. It makes it seem like we must always be suffering for either food or exercise.

I understand this is complicated. Food and exercise are intertwined, and we’re all familiar with the “calories in, calories out” equation. But, unless you’re a registered dietician, I’d argue that food has no place in your group exercise studio. Instead, I challenge you to up-level your motivational cues. Find ways to inspire your participants that don’t leave them feeling chained to their kitchen table and guilty for what they ate yesterday.

Am I saying you should never eat that extra burger at the BBQ? Absolutely not. If you want to have two burgers, have two burgers! What I am saying is we need to stop feeling guilty for what we are eating. Even more so, we as instructors need to stop making our participants feel guilty for what they are or are not eating.

So what fitness instructor motivational cue can you use instead?

  1. Explain how these exercises are benefitting their bodies.

Exercise is so good for us. It helps us think better, move better and live better. Talk through the healthy advantages of working out.

  1. Make a goal for the class, and work towards it.

It can be as simple as how you feel afterward. You want to feel like you gave it your all, and have nothing left to give by the end. Or, you want to feel refreshed and ready to start your day.

  1. Express gratitude.

Studies show that there are positive benefits to thankfulness. Thank you participants for coming, and also encourage them to be thankful for everything their body can do today. Did ya’ll just do 10 push-ups on your toes, something you couldn’t do five weeks ago? That’s something to take pride in, and be thankful for.

  1. Do the same ‘ol thing you always do, without the food talk.

Some of these motivational cues may not be a fit for your teaching style. All good with me. Just stick with the style participants have come to love, and hold back on the food comments.

I know finding the perfect group fitness instructor motivational cue is incredibly challenging, and it’s okay if we mess up now and again. There are plenty of times where I’ve said something and immediately regretted it, sometimes even before I finished saying it! Oops. But, that’s where self-compassion comes in and we remind ourselves that we’re doing our very best.

For more tips and tricks, you might also like my Top 5 tips for cueing group fitness classes. You can also check out all of my fitness motivation and cueing advice here.

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How to Best Use Indoor Cycling Bike Consoles

Indoor cycling bike consoles

Late last year, my gym finally got new (to us) indoor cycling bikes with consoles. Even though they’re used bikes, it’s so exciting to have consoles that we can use to measure different aspects of the ride. One participant even commented that indoor cycling rides are more challenging when you have a console to hold you accountable and motivate you. The only bummer I find with most indoor cycling bike consoles, including ours, is that the numbers can vary so drastically from bike to bike, and sometimes even day to day on the same bike. Especially as the indoor cycling bike consoles start to get some wear and tear, they’re easily off calibration, and usually read much different numbers than you would see if you were riding outside.

So, here’s the problem: how do you suggest a range to work within for any of the items displayed on the console (speed, RPM, watts, etc.) when the bikes’ calibration varies so drastically? For example, you might say, “your WATTS should be between 100 and 500,” but what if their WATTS are calculated on a bike console with an inaccurate calibration? Even if the calibration is correct, 100 to 500 is such a huge range to work with as a participant.

My solution? Do the same interval more than once, and use the first interval as a guide to match or surpass in the remaining intervals. That way, it doesn’t really matter if the numbers are inaccurate, because riders will be able to reach their max using measurements they establish instead.

Indoor Cycling with Bike Consoles Ride #1: WATTS

For example, if you want to track WATTS, you can suggest:

“We’re going to do a breathless, sprint interval for 30 seconds. Resistance is just a touch above flat road. During your interval, observe your WATTS to see how high you can get that number. In the next interval, I want you to try to match those WATTS. In the final interval, I want you to try to pass those WATTS.”

That way, participants are pushing to find their very best WATTS they’re able to ride that day, despite any inaccurate indoor cycling bike consoles’ calibrations, and can use that to guide the rest of their ride.

Indoor Cycling with Bike Consoles Ride #2: Distance

Another measure I like to use is distance and time. These two are nice companion measurements, and you can do quite a few exercises with them.

For example, you can track distance over a specified amount of time:

“We’re going to do a breathless, sprint interval for 60 seconds, seeing how far we can go using that distance measurement. Then, on our next interval, we’re going to cut both numbers in half, so half the distance in half the time.”

Creating a guide measurement to follow for the rest of the class helps to avoid the issues we typically find when offering broad ranges for participants to follow. Make sure that you start over each week, asking participants to observe and measure their numbers on the first interval, since they may switch bikes from week to week or their indoor cycling bike consoles may have been altered since. Then, use that metric as a guide to match or beat during other intervals in the class.

For more tips and tricks, check out the group exercise ideas page. You can also find spinning playlists and workouts here.

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Group Fitness Instructor Tips for Small Class Sizes

Group fitness instructor teaching a small class

Sometimes beyond all of our control, we show up to teach our group fitness class only to find just a couple participants ready to join in. I know firsthand that this can feel embarrassing and stressful. But, when there are holidays like Presidents’ Day, or it’s the first beautiful sunshine-y Saturday after months of gloomy weather, it’s hard to fault your regulars that decide to skip class. Here are a few group fitness instructor tips for making the most of smaller class sizes.

  1. Do not focus on what (or who) is missing.

A natural reaction to walking into a seemingly empty room is to ask, “Where is everyone?” However, you do not want to call attention to the fact that your class is small today. If you focus on what’s missing, you make it seem like the participants that did show up are not important. Why give any extra energy or attention to the folks that aren’t there when you could be instead focusing on giving the ones that did show up the best workout of their lives?

  1. Frame the small group fitness class size as a positive.

What can you do with this group of people that you couldn’t do with a larger group? Can you play that song that you love that one of your no-show regulars always complains about? Can you do those leg exercises that you normally can’t do because they take up too much room? Is there any equipment you can dust off because there’s now enough to go around?

Take advantage of the smaller class size to do some of the things you normally can’t do.

  1. Throw in some of those all-time favorite exercises.

If folks usually love the arm exercise routine you do, then use it as an opportunity to please the participants that showed up. Crowd favorites are my go-to on days where the class size is smaller or I’m feeling off for some reason.

  1. Above all else, give the class a challenging workout.

Participants are willing to overlook a lot as long as they get a good workout. Maybe they are the only ones who showed up, or maybe you led the same routine you did last week with the same playlist, but as long as they leave feeling like they got the workout they wanted, it’s all good.

It can be unnerving to walk into an almost empty group fitness class. As long as you try to spin it as a positive, and focus on giving the folks that did show up the workout they want, everyone will be happy. It also makes me feel better to think that most people probably won’t remember this class in a couple months, maybe even weeks, and we still get paid no matter how many people show up.

For more tips and tricks, check out the group exercise ideas page.

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Schwinn Certification Review: How I Became a Spinning Instructor

Realizing that I got my indoor cycling Schwinn certification back in 2015 to officially become a spinning instructor, this review is long, long overdue! I want to share my experience with you today to help those interested in the Schwinn certification know what to expect.

For background, I passed my ACE Fitness group exercise certification test in 2010, and started teaching strength and step, plus subbing spin classes every once in a blue moon. In 2015, one of my gyms needed a new permanent instructor for an evening spin class, and I jumped at the opportunity. The only caveat: I needed to get a spinning certification. Every gym has a different policy — some need just a general group exercise certification and others have more specific requirements. So, it’s a good idea to check with the gym(s) you want to teach at before getting new certifications.

I had taken a couple Schwinn classes at the SCW Mania convention that same year, and had already fallen in love with the brand. With that in mind, I knew I wanted to take a Schwinn certification course. Up until then, I had been dragging my feet because of the extra costs, but I learned that there’s only a one-time fee to get your Schwinn certification — no extra costs associated with continuing education! Woo!

So, I signed up for a course with Shannon Fable at Crunch Fitness in San Francisco.

Shannon Fable

Shannon is an IDEA and ACE Instructor of the Year and a fitness business and programming consultant. She’s helped brands such as Anytime Fitness, Schwinn®, POWER SYSTEMS®, ACE and BOSU® over the past 20 years. Shannon is a member of the ACE Board of Directors, is the owner of GroupEx PRO®, a cloud based group fitness management tool, and Balletone®.

I loved Shannon’s presentation style. She was truly authentic and genuine, which is rare in this industry. I give major props to Schwinn for how they select their master instructors. They are some of the best in the biz and will get you pumped to be teaching spin classes.

The Schwinn Certification Training Details

  • Time: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Breaks: The day is jam-packed. We had a lunch break, and a few quick bathroom breaks.
  • What to Bring:
    • Snacks
    • Lunch (unless there’s a place nearby to grab something)
    • Water (most gyms will have faucets to fill your bottles)
    • Towels (you can usually grab some from the front desk at the gym)
    • Pens/pencils
    • They’ll give you a workbook to take notes, but you might also want to bring your own notebook
    • Clipboard (optional; makes it easier to write without a desk)
    • Sweatshirt (when not riding, a lot of the rooms can get cold)
    • Spin shoes (if you have them)
    • Come dressed in workout clothes, ready to ride
    • Change of clothes (optional; if you tend to sweat a lot, might be nice to have a change of clothes for after the first ride)
  • Cost: $229
  • CECs (continuing education credits): 1.20 ACE CECs, .08 NASM CECs and 8.00 AFAA CEUs

The Schwinn Certification Review

Schwinn Certification Workbook

Overall, the training was great. I was nervous about taking the class with a bunch of really experienced riders, but the class was much more diverse than I expected. There are people that have never taught a single class before, and there are others that have been teaching for decades. Most of the participants there were really nice and made the group/partner work fun.

The morning kicked off with an overview of the technical stuff — bike functions, how to use the monitors/consoles, and body mechanics on the bikes. We went through how to fit users for the bikes in both a “quick fit” and “high performance fit”. This was one of my favorite parts, because it’s one of the most important elements of teaching spinning classes. The bike fit will make or break someone’s experience in your class, so this formal training was critical.

Then, we talked through class planning, cueing, music and motivation. Shannon did recommend avoiding asking participants for song suggestions, because then you’ll be stuck playing whatever song they suggest, whether it’s good or bad — funny, ’cause it’s true!

And, if your class moans and groans when you play a certain song, you can say, “Alright, we’ve played a bunch of different songs here today. This next one is for me, because I love it!”

Of course, we also did two rides throughout the day to practice and experience what we were learning.

Would I recommend Schwinn Cycling?

As you can probably tell, I loved getting my Schwinn certification to officially become a spinning instructor, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in teaching. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much experience with the other spinning certification programs, so I can’t really compare them for you today. I can say that my experience with Schwinn and as a spinning instructor has been excellent.

Since I already had a class lined up, I was able to dive right in to teaching, and have made the money back that it cost to take the course. I love teaching spin classes, there’s something unique about being stationed on a bike that allows instructors to get creative with how we motivate the class. Participants are able to get more introspective, so we can tap into personalized, goal-oriented motivational cues.

If you’re interested in taking a Schwinn certification workshop, check out their event calendar here.

You may also like my recent Valentine’s Day spin workout and playlist, or check out other group exercise tips.

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This Group Fitness Instructor’s True Love? Resistance Band Workouts

Fitness instructor loves resistance band workouts

This Valentine’s Day, I can’t help but celebrate all of my loves. And let me tell you, I love a lot of things. Sweet potatoes. Margaritas. Hi-rise leggings. Ponytails that don’t pinch. Words that stick. But, at the top of my list of loves this year? Resistance band workouts.

I know I talk about resistance bands all the time, but they are seriously the perfect exercise tool to use in your next fitness class. Resistance bands are great, because everyone in a class full of varying fitness levels can pretty much all use the same resistance band and get a good workout. The bands have so much versatility — they help us get a full body workout, especially when mixed with bodyweight exercises.

When leading your class through resistance band workouts, instruct participants to first inspect their band for rips or tears to prevent the band from breaking during the exercise. Then, grab the band and get started.

Here are my five favorite exercises that you should include as part of your upcoming resistance band workouts.

  1. Lunge with Reverse Fly

Resistance band workouts: lunge with reverse fly
Grab the band in both hands and extend your arms out in front of you so the band is already taunt. Step out with one foot, and bend both knees to lower into your lunge, while also bringing your arms away from each other. Remember to keep your elbow slightly bent, but you don’t move at the elbow joint in this exercise. Instead, you’re moving at the shoulder joint to bring your arms further apart.

  1. Push-ups

Resistance band workouts: push-up
Wrap the band around your back and put your hands over the band securely. If it bothers participants to rub the band against their body, they can either put a towel between their clothes and the band or they can do push-ups without the band. From there, do push-ups as you normally would. The most important part is to make sure that the band is taunt when you’re in the plank position at the top of the push-up.

  1. Squat with Overhead Press

Resistance band workouts: squat with overhead press
Place the band underneath the arch of your shoes for one or both feet. Then grab the handles and bring your arms up so that your palms face away from your body. If this makes the resistance too heavy, then you can leave the band by your sides as you squat. You can also do one arm at a time. If this makes the resistance to weak, you can “choke up” on the band and grab the band itself until it feels more challenging.

Squat with your hands by your shoulders, and as you stand bring your arms overhead in an overhead press.

  1. Side lunge with Bicep Curl

Resistance band workouts: side lunge with bicep curl
Place the band underneath the arches of both shoes with your hands in the handles by your sides. Step out to one side, keeping the band under the arch, and bend into a side lung with one leg bent and the other straight. Then, come back to standing with your feet together and bring your arm into a bicep curl.

  1. Tricep Extensions

Resistance band workouts: tricep extensions
Place the handle in one hand, then swing the band behind your back and grab the band with the other hand. The more you “choke up” on the band, the more challenging it will be and vice versa. Bend your elbow so that it faces the front of the room with your hand behind your head. Then, keep your elbow where it’s at and bring your hand up to the ceiling.

Make sure to switch and do the other side for this exercise and the others that are unbalanced left side to right.

These five exercises will give your class a full body resistance band workout. For more exercise ideas, check out the workout routines page.

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My Top 5 Tips for Cueing Group Fitness Exercises Effectively

Group X Instructor cueing group fitness exercises

One of the hardest parts of being a fitness instructor is cueing group fitness exercises effectively. Self-doubt always used to creep into my head as I explained technique. Am I talking too much or not enough? Are folks understanding what I’m saying? Are they even listening? It’s a delicate balance to find, and unfortunately, you won’t always get a lot of feedback from participants mid-activity. At first, it’s normal if cueing group fitness exercises sometimes feels like a shot in the dark whether it resonates with participants. But, I promise fitness instructor cues will come more naturally over time, and it’s definitely something you can learn to master.

Here are my tips to help you sound like a pro when cueing group fitness classes.

  1. Practice cueing group fitness exercises. ALL. THE. TIME.

The first time you ever use a cue, it usually comes out awkward and long-winded. Practice saying your cues often, so you can say them quickly and efficiently. You can practice this while you’re doing other stuff — taking a shower or driving in the car. Think about an exercise you want to do in your next class, and go through the cues you’ll use.

I strongly encourage you to practice saying your cues out loud. It makes such a difference to say it instead of think it. If you can, also practice your cues to the music you’re going to use. That way, you’ll get used to how much time you have to get through all the instruction you want.

It may feel silly, but it’ll save you from feeling uncomfortable in front of a class full of participants. Trust me, my boyfriend would walk in on me sitting on the couch with my headphones on saying, “Alright, ladies! Time for another hill!” He teased me about it for weeks, but my class went off without a hitch.

  1. Start from head to toe (or vice versa).

If you’re ever in doubt about what cues to share, think of the body like a checklist. Tick through the cue for each body part starting at the top and working your way down (or vice versa). For example, where should you be looking, at your feet or straight ahead? Is the neck in line with the spine? You can think of a cue to share for just about every body part. Even if some feel obvious, it’s nice to use as a reminder or clarification for the class.

  1. Scan the room, but don’t stare as you cue.

If you’ve ever taken a Group X class, you know that every cue the fitness instructor shares feels like it’s directed specifically at you. It’s mission critical that the instructor is scanning the room and sharing cues based on what participants are doing. Those cues are going to prevent injury and make sure everyone is getting a good workout. But, you don’t want to make anyone feel bad by staring at someone or pointing anyone out for doing the exercise wrong.

  1. Share both positive and negative feedback.

Sometimes we’re so busy sharing cues to correct form that we forget to acknowledge all of the good stuff our participants are doing. Have their push-ups gotten so much better in the past few weeks? Is their plank form on point? Tell them! It feels amazing to hear your Group X instructor tell you that you’re doing something well.

  1. Don’t be afraid of silence.

You don’t need to talk all the time, nor do you need to feel guilty about talking a lot. You’ll find your sweet spot between periods of silence and cueing. Especially in the warm-up and class intros, you can (and should!) talk a lot. The rest is up to you.

As you build your confidence in cueing group fitness exercises, you’ll be able to start having fun with it. Participants will come to your class each week because they like your personality. Start to personalize the cues you use and your style to really make your Group X classes your own.

For more cueing tips, check out the fitness motivation and cueing page.

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Valentine’s Day Spinning Music Playlist & Routine (45 minutes)

Instructor listening to Valentine's Day spinning music playlist

Oh, Valentine’s Day! While many people love to love this holiday, I know others that love to hate it. I personally fall somewhere in the middle. But personal preferences aside, Valentine’s Day is a great holiday to use for themed spinning classes, since there are so many songs out there about love. With everyone having different opinions about the holiday, I think it’s important to make a spinning music playlist that’s not all mushy gushy love songs — add some spunky single swag, and songs about self-love, friend love, etc.

Have fun with it, and don’t take the spinning music playlist theme too seriously. I would look for love songs with a solid beat or high emotion to bring the energy in the Group X class, and throw in a few spin songs that will have everyone singing along.

Here’s my Valentine’s Day spinning music playlist and routine.

I like to teach my spin class in a series that we do twice or three times through, depending on the series. So, I pick a couple exercises to make up my series, and we stick to it throughout the class. That way, participants know what to expect, so they can go big when they’re supposed to and not hold back for fear of another sprint around the corner.

For this Valentine’s Day-themed spinning music playlist, I took us through the arc of a relationship — the crushin’ phase, the romance and finally the break-up.

Here’s the series — do it twice through.

  • Song 1: Moderate pace with hard (uncomfortable) surges on the chorus. If your bikes have monitors, choose a fast RPM (between 80 – 100), then ask participants to add 10+ to their RPM during the chorus.
  • Song 2: Sprint intervals. 30 seconds breathless effort, 30 seconds recovery. Do this three times through.
  • Song 3: Climb (Part 1). Starting at moderate intensity seated, resistance slightly above flat road. Add resistance throughout the song, ending at hard intensity.
  • Song 4: Climb (Part 2). Keep resistance from prior song, and stand up. When you’re out of the saddle, resistance should feel moderate. Add resistance throughout the song, until you’re at hard intensity at the end.
  • Song 5: 45 seconds each — moderate, hard, harder and breathless intensity. You can add resistance, leg speed, sit or stand to increase intensity with each. If you’re using a monitor, you can ask participants to add RPM with each increase (approx. 80, 90, 100 and 110).

The Valentine’s Day Spinning Music Playlist:

  1. Call Me Maybe, by Carly Rae Jepsen [Warm-up]
  2. Got My Mind Set On You, by George Harrison [Song 1]
  3. Emotions, by Mariah Carey [Song 2]
  4. Buttons, by Pussy Cat Dolls [Song 3]
  5. The Other Side, by Jason Derulo [Song 4]
  6. Hey Leonardo, by Blessed Union of Souls [Song 5]
  7. Crazy in Love, by Beyonce feat. Jay-Z [Song 1]
  8. Best Days of Your Life, by Kellie Pickler [Song 2]
  9. Can’t Feel My Face, by The Weeknd [Song 3]
  10. Forget You, by Cee Lo Green [Song 4]
  11. Since U Been Gone, by Kelly Clarkson [Song 5]
  12. Fresh Eyes, by Andy Grammer [Cool Down]

Hope you enjoy! If you’re looking for more spinning songs and playlists, check out the workout routines and playlists page.

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January 2017 Links I Love for Fitness Instructors

January links I love for fitness instructors

January marks a busy time for fitness instructors, with the New Year’s resolution gym-goers packing classes at all hours. It’s also a good time for group exercise instructors to add in new workout playlists and freshen up their routines, to add some new material for the new year. With so much going on, it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends and articles in the fitness industry.

From new exercise ideas to tips for maximizing workout efficiency, this month’s links list is jam-packed with new ideas to bring to your next Group X class. Here’s a look at my favorite fitness and wellness-themed articles from January to help my fellow fitness instructors stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the industry.

January links I love for fitness instructors:

  1. Even just a little bit of exercise will improve your mood.
  2. How to choose the right weights when strength training.
  3. For the first time since 2014, ACE Fitness as developed a new key policy position statement — the inactivity epidemic.
  4. How to maximize efficiency of workout time using creative exercise techniques.
  5. The only running playlist you need by Refinery29.
  6. The six-pack ab moves your trainer didn’t tell you about.
  7. 14 back and shoulder exercises for a strong upper body.
  8. “I’ve Helped Thousands Of People Get In Shape—This Is The Fastest Way To See Results”
  9. Ways to make your workout more effective.
  10. Men’s Journal’s “Getting Fit from Scratch” series has so many great workout ideas!
  11. How to turn exercise into a lifelong habit or “practice” like they do in yoga.
  12. How to be mindful at your desk.

If you liked this post, you’ll also like my fitness and wellness link roundups from this past December and November. You can also check out the group exercise ideas page for similar posts for fitness instructors.

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Outdoor Fitness Brand Does Good: Patagonia Requests to Buy Your Old Clothes Back

Outdoor Fitness Brand Patagonia Does Good

I always love to hear about a fitness brand making good, conscious decisions on behalf of the customer, and sometimes even the world, without prioritizing profits. According to Fast Company, last week Patagonia announced they will soon offer store credit to customers returning their old Patagonia gear. Then, they’ll clean the item up and repair it so it can be resold on the website.

The fitness brand is looking to start this new program soon:

“In a new take-back program that will launch in April, the company will begin offering store credit for used (but still usable) clothing. At its repair facility in Reno, California—the largest garment repair center in North America—it will wash used clothes with a new waterless technology that helps restore the fabric, and then make any needed repairs. The refurbished garment will be sold on Patagonia’s website.”

When asked if the new program will hurt sales, Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia’s VP of environmental affairs, wasn’t concerned. “We have a model that is attracting enough people, an increasing amount of people, that want to align with our value proposition,” says Ridgeway. “That is a business for us. It really works well.”

Sure, maybe they won’t sell as many new clothes, but I’m confident that many people will continue to purchase from the fitness brand in the future, given their consumer-conscious decision making. In order for this program to work, Patagonia needs to make durable outdoor fitness gear, which it does. The goal is to reduce the amount of jackets someone will need in their lifetime, by keeping the same high-quality jacket for longer. That way, the company ends up making less jackets, which results in a smaller impact on the environment.

Way to go, Patagonia! Check back in on the group exercise ideas and tips page for more fitness brand news.

(Image source: The American Genius