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Entries in Kathie Davis (4)


Personal Trainers Aspire to Business Expertise

Personal Trainers (PTAs) are seeking MBA smarts to win in competitive times.

Personal training has become increasingly competitive. Today, as a result, trainers need more than just strong technical hands-on skills. They also need to be effective businesspeople.

To succeed in their chosen career, they clearly have to be able to deliver effective workouts, but, to thrive, they must also be able to communicate well, possess sales and marketing expertise, and keep abreast of emerging fitness technologies.

The competition is coming at the individual instructor from so many directions, and in so many forms, that it can seem overwhelming. The number of trainers in the U.S. has increased by 60% over the past 10 years. There’s been an explosion of specialty certifications, boot camps, boutique studios, and online offerings. The types of modalities have increased: We now have, among others, one-on-one, partner sessions, and small- group training.

“Fitness apps, wearables, and watches have introduced an entirely new form of competition,” notes Angie Pattengale, the director of certification for the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT), based in Lafayette, Indiana. “So it’s more important than ever that trainers be able to demonstrate the value of their personal service.”

At the same time, health clubs are demanding that training services be more profitable; better-educated clients with infinite options exact higher expectations; and the medical and healthcare sectors offer new employment opportunities that require greater sophistication.

Business acumen is quickly becoming a basic job requirement for trainers.

Click to read more ...


National Fitness Hall of Fame inducts four

The National Fitness Hall of Fame , based near Chicago in Minooka, Ill., inducted four new honorees into its pantheon at a special ceremony conducted in early May. The NFHOF pays tribute to individuals and organizations that have promoted health and fitness, among Americans, in extraordinary ways.

This year’s inductees:

  • Kathie and Peter Davis co-founded the IDEA Health and Fitness Association, based in San Diego, in 1985, an organization that creates products, tools, and solutions to educate and grow the fitness industry. Today, IDEA has more than 65,000 members and subscribers. IDEA Fitness-Connect, launched in 2010, is an industry-wide directory that links over 250,000 U.S. fitness professionals with more than 16 million consumers.
  • Bobby Hinds, the founder of LifelineUSA, a Chicago-based fitness equipment company, helped start Jump Rope for Life with the American Heart Association, and was once dubbed the “Jump Rope King” by Time magazine. He also pioneered and promoted the use of resistance bands, produced exercise spectacles on The Johnny Carson Show, and jump-roped among alligators in Louisiana. His premium bands continue to be used by professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts worldwide.
  • Beth Kuntzleman is the president of Fitness Finders, Inc., based in Jackson, Mich., a fitness consulting >and program development company that’s trained more than 1,000 YMCA professionals in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. The firm has created 10 different motivational programs and established more than 300 awards, all designed to help develop the body, mind, and character of America’s youth. It’s also created wellness programs for numerous large corporations.
  • Leslie Sansone created the Walk at Home program, which now generates more than $250 million in annual revenues. For 25 years, she’s taught people of all ages how to get and stay fit, and feel better about life, and now has 70 million “walk fans.” She also contributes her time, expertise, and financial support to a wide variety of charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and American Diabetic Association.

For more on the event, visit the Hall of Fame's website.


IDEA work mentality reflects its owners

A business often reflects its owners. That is certainly the case for IDEA Health and Fitness Association, a company that reflects its healthy and outgoing owners who like to have fun at work.

More than 30 years ago, Peter and Kathie Davis started the San Diego-based company that offers conferences, courses and publications to its more than 65,000 health and fitness professionals. 

“It’s about creating an ideal wellness community: How are you living your entire life in a happy, healthy way?” Peter said in a recent Forbes story.

The IDEA team is afforded luxuries like time to meditate. There are now stand-up desks, so employees can escape the unhealthy effects of prolonged sitting. There is a wellness committee made up of employees. Every six months, the committee conducts an anonymous survey to get a read on the mood of the staff.

“Peter and I really care a lot how happy employees are,” said Kathie.

For the entire Forbes magazine story, click here.


The Role Of Foam Rollers In Fitness

This week, experts Kathie Davis, Annette Lang, and Mark Slavin discuss the use of foam rollers in fitness:

Q: “How significant of a role do foam rollers play in proper fitness? With all the different types of rollers in the market today (polyethylene foam, molded bead polyethylene, eva, etc) which is the best and why?”

A: In simple terms, a foam roller is like your own personal massage therapist. Massage is used to release muscular tension, and as a result, improve muscle tissue quality for improved force production and flexibility. Prior to an exercise session, use of the foam roller is thought to help improve blood flow, muscle warmth, tissue elasticity, joint range of motion and neuromuscular efficiency.

Other benefits include improved exercise recovery and decreased post-workout soreness. All of these components are highly beneficial for improved fitness. Much of this information is anecdotal, however, as minimal research has been performed to support such claims.

The appropriate type and density of the foam roller is up to the individual. The appropriate type and density of the foam roller is up to the individual; the denser the foam, the greater the intensity of the rolling session. Those familiar with massage might liken it to the difference between a soft tissue and deep tissue massage. For example, polyethylene foam is less dense and may be suited for someone who is new to rolling and/or does not have significant muscle mass. Molded bead polyethylene is much denser and might be appropriate for more muscular individuals.

Kathie Davis, Executive Director
IDEA Health & Fitness Association

A: Some form of foam rollers are seen in many health clubs today, and can be an important component of fitness programs. They are used for self massage (self myofascial release), relieving tension in the muscle fibers. This tension is caused by adhesions, or knots that form along the muscle fibers. They can be uncomfortable at one end of the continuum, and evolve into true trigger points which can be ultimately debilitating at the other.

The degree to which you need self myofascial release depends on several factors:

  • Muscle imbalances caused by repetitive habits such as training for a marathon where the same muscles get over-used and opposing muscles under-used.
  • Acute or chronic trauma from accidents or sustained postures like sitting at a desk all day.

The original styrofoam rollers are made of foam cells, that get compressed from the user’s weight over time. Molded bead rollers do not have cells. Beads of polyethylene are injected into a mold and then heat and high pressure is used to compress them. This gives the roller much more structure, and can withstand more weight over a long time.

EVA is a combination of ethylene, vinyl and acetate materials. They are very strong but still smooth. The type of roller depends on how much pressure you can withstand, and how often the roller is being used. If you are using it yourself, then the original styrofoam type is probably fine. If you are buying them for a commercial health club where many people will use them, consider the other types.

Annette Lang, Owner
Annette Lang Education Systems

A: The use of foam rollers has become quite prominent in the fitness industry today and trainers are finding them to be a quite versatile for their clients.

Foam rollers can be a versatile and inexpensive tool for balance and stabilization training as well as an inexpensive way to provide “self massage” to sore or overly tense muscles. In addition they are used for myofascial release and are especially popular for the Iliotibial Band and IT band syndrome. They are also used by Therapists and Athletic Trainers for treatment, injury prevention.

Foam rollers can be a versatile and inexpensive tool for balance and stabilization training as well as... “self massage”. However there are some in the industry who feel that the use of the foam roller may be out of the scope of a trainers function, unless that trainer has received training on the proper use as well as what medical conditions would warrant a caution or in some cases may be contraindicated.

As far as material the difference lies in both durability and density. For high use (commercial) and/or when a more intense pressure is needed the firmer Eva or molded bead polyethylene rollers are more likely to hold their shape. For light use (home) or when a more gentle pressure is desired, the softer foam rollers would be a better choice.

Dr. Mark Slavin, International Director of RTS
Genesis Health Club