By Mary A. Schultz, Special AFS Contributor

Clients come into a fitness studio for diverse reasons. They may want to lose weight, increase strength, train for a specific activity, or simply feel and look better. Clients across age and conditioning levels tend to share certain motivating factors. They are often strong on desire for physical transformation, and short on confidence, patience and time.

Resistance incline bodyweight training—both equipment and training methods—can be the perfect studio solution for at least five important reasons. It...

  • Strengthens muscles
  • Improves joint range of motion
  • Helps increase joint stability and mobility
  • Improves coordination
  • Provides a cardio workout

This form of functional exercise recruits multiple muscle groups in synergy as the client dynamically pulls his or her own weight. Workouts are fun, fresh, and challenging for all fitness levels. Injury risk is minimized. Experience of success from session one is maximized, since clients successfully perform exercises they may never have achieved before, such as a press, a pull-up or a jump.

Additionally, equipment and training can be affordable and adaptable to the size and budget considerations of studios large and small.

Group Classes on an Incline

Resistance bodyweight training can be effective in the development of greater muscle strength, muscular endurance and muscular mass, improved range of motion and enhanced flexibility and balance.

GRAVITY from Total Gym introduces bodyweight training on an incline through the award winning Total Gym GTS. As a small group training class that is an optional revenue profit center, GRAVITY introduces total body transformation. Challenges to stability strengthen the core. Additionally, the incline affords an absence of joint compression, so consequently there is less risk of injury.

Regular cardiovascular exercise helps improve cardiac efficiency, and it turns out that regular cardiovascular exercise on an incline is a very efficient form of such exercise. On an incline, as many muscles work together at the same time, there is an increased demand for oxygen. To meet the demand, the heart pumps harder and moves oxygenated blood out to those working muscles. Add a high number of repetitions to the mix, which is more easily doable with the absence of joint compression, and the demand for oxygenated blood in turn improves the efficiency of how many times the heart beats per minute. These components contribute to improved cardiac efficiency, an important benchmark of overall fitness.

Single Station Units on an Incline

Total Gym takes simultaneous muscle recruiting to a new level with their new Total Gym® Elevate Circuit™ which provides both a self-serve and a small group training opportunity in the resistance incline bodyweight training arena that has never been available before. The entire six-piece Circuit fits in a floor space area of only 225 sq. ft. and comes in at a budget-friendly price.

Depending on which unit you are using at any particular time, a group of muscles is always being worked on at the same time as the core. The Elevate Circuit consists of the Jump Trainer, Core Trainer, Pull up Trainer, Press Trainer, Row Trainer and the Leg Trainer.

With bungees and plyometrics incorporated, the Jump Trainer attracts everyone, of any age and performance level, to jump again or jump higher than they have ever jumped before.

The Core Trainer recruits abdomen, back, hips and shoulders for total core strengthening, improved balance and greater stability. It facilitates a dynamic plank via arm or leg movement.

The Pull-up Trainer unloads to only a percentage of body weight so a first workout studio client can successfully achieve a proper pull-up, and advanced performance athletes are challenged. The Press Trainer is the only closed chain shoulder press machine designed to let anyone—even a first-time studio client—do a hand stand push-up for the first time.

Rowing at an Incline

Trainer-led rowing classes on the Elevate Circuit Row Trainer are another way to incorporate resistance incline bodyweight training into the studio. These are effective calorie expending workouts suitable for clients of any initial fitness level.

According to Stella Lucia Volpe, exercise physiologist and professor of nutrition sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia who is also an avid rower, “Rowing just might be the most efficient exercise ever. With each stroke, pretty much every part of the body is used." She adds, "A big part of rowing is core strength. People think it's all arms, but rowing is much more legs and core."*

Let resistance build retention

As the AFS 2014 Industry Research Study** reports, "The fitness studio industry – by its very nature – is comprised of small footprint businesses." A main attraction of studio fitness is that one size does not fit all. Just as clients are individuals, studios range from boutique to mega-facilities with studios imbedded within.

GRAVITY, with its equipment, education, and always fresh programming is the spot-on solution for many fitness studios. For others, the distinct stations of the Elevate Circuit are the budget and space-considerate answer. And popular classes on Row Trainer provide a calorie burning full-body workout that also crosses all fitness-level lines.

Any one or all three provide resistance incline bodyweight training geared toward individual and small group training success. And when clients achieve and exceed their fitness and wellness goals, studios experience increased membership, loyal retention, and positive revenue growth.

About Total Gym
Now with operations in over 30 countries, Total Gym continues to lead the industry with innovative functional training products including multi and single purpose resistance incline bodyweight trainers. The Total Gym mission is ‘helping millions get healthier.’ GRAVITY and Elevate Circuit are tools to help studio clients get healthier.

About the Author
For more than two decades, Arizona-based award-winning writer Mary A. Schultz has contributed articles to magazines, newspapers and online media publishers with a special focus on health and fitness.

*Harper's Bazaar: ROWING IS THE NEW SPINNING: Nicole Catanese: Sep 16, 2014

**Association of Fitness Studios 2014 Industry Research Study

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