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  • 14 April 2011 Instructor Newsletter

    News and Updates by Rachel Holmes

    Fitpro Spring Convention 2011

    I have just retuned from 3 days at Loughborough for the Fitpro Spring Convention and I’m so overwhelmed with all the new ideas, concepts, business info and networking! It was brilliant.

    The Fitpro Spring Convention was completely different to the IFS Blackpool convention a few weeks earlier on so many levels and for so many different reasons. This is the 20th year I have presented at this event (before Fitpro it was ASSET) but the event has always been held at Loughborough University and seeing the University expand has been quite an eye opener in itself. Fitpro have always promoted the event as being an educational conference and fly in the best presenters and educators from around the world and this year they pulled out all of the stops. Charles Poliquin, Bobby Cappuccio, Ian O Dwyer, Annette Lang, Adam Wolf, Geoff Bagshawe, Helen Vanderburgh, Mo Hagen, Paul Chek, Pete Cohen, Marcel Deann, Michol Dalcourt, Nic Jarvis… the list goes on… In fact there was so many amazing lectures and presentations you were spoilt for choice.

    As the fitness industry continues to grow so rapidly, research and knowledge is in abundance like never before.  I came away feeling empowered and enriched with so much educational content that my own classes and presentations are already changing and being updated, there really is so much new “stuff” coming through. The standard and content of the lectures was extremely high and you could have easily sat in lectures for 3 days and learned so much. Many presentations touched on Neuroscience and how MUCH the brain and how we are wired makes such a difference if an individual will stick to a fitness programme or stay on an eating plan. This topic I find fascinating and the more we know and understand the brain the better workouts we can create and prescribe for our classes and clients. One message that really hit home to Jayne and I  was exactly how valid and crucial group exercise is on so many levels. The genius Bobby Cappuccio spelled it out for us how the social aspect, moving together within a group, doing choreography and routines helps feed the brain. Dopamine and serotonin levels are all affected when doing group x – all things that we all know and see everyday, but  there is  research to back it all up and explains exactly what happens in the brain during a group x class – Fascinating!.

    What was so different in 2011 was how  freestyle sessions and the numbers attending were in the minority. This year the conference was geared and aimed more at Personal Trainers, Bootcamp Business Owners etc. Clearly this is  such a rapidly growing section of the market and for once us females were incredibly out numbered by guys. I have NEVER been to a fitness convention ever before where there are more men than women (not a problem in the slightest!) and it was a much younger crowd, highlighting how many new Personal Trainers are entering into Fitness as a viable lifelong career path. For example Charles Poliquin lectures had 150+ in the lecture rooms where as me, Jayne and Greg Seller doing a team teach maybe had 30 – 40 Even the Les Mills sessions were not quite as packed as in previous years. I really don’t think this is an indication of the “state” of freestyle and group x in the UK I feel this conference is marketed at and more attractive to PTs, although in my opinion, if you missed it, you missed such a fabulous opportunity to gain some amazing knowledge from the world’s best educators and teachers. All of the knowledge and new skills can be adapted and fine tuned for Group X which is super exciting

    This year I loved Bobby Cappuccio’s sessions. His depth of knowledge and expertise is exceptional and I really enjoyed the humour and intellect he brings to his presentations. Charles Poliquin’s lectures are equally as interesting, laced with so many nutritional and fat loss facts you can’t write it down fast enough and all delivered in Poliquin’s unique style is definitely not to be missed. Michol Dalcourt, the brains behind ViPR, lectured on Footwear and Function (FANTASTIC presentation) and tons of great ViPR sessions, including increasing Speed with ViRP and Group Training ViPR.

    As a former student of the Faster Functional Diploma I  popped into my good friend John Hardy’s sessions and picked up loads of new ideas for functional dumbbell training and more cutting edge info for thoracic spine exercises which will all fit neatly into Fitness Pilates. Check out for course information.

    This year we were blessed with a beautifully sunny weekend, so the outdoor sessions rocked! Paul Mort and Jayne Nichols taught a brilliant Bootcamp session – you can see my little clips on my Facebook page add me as a friend or LIKE the Choreography to go Fan Page My Chair Dance was great fun and The Presenter all-stars joined forces with Deanne Berry, who was the Instructor from the Call on Me Eric Prydz video to teach a fun Bootcamp class. As our sessions were smaller they were really intimate and you could talk to everyone in your classes and tailor the presentation making it perfect for the delegates who attended.

    The UK Freestyle massively all supported each other, watching each other’s sessions and generally hanging out.  Helen Carpenter Waters Swing session and Dirty Dancing was so unique and inspirational as was John Sheehan Step sessions. Jayne rocked the Freestyle Fitness Yoga and Jo, Marvin, Delvin, Jane Chinery, Zoe McNulty, Carl McCartney, Clare Darlington, Greg Seller all presented fab sessions.

    The Fitpro Spring Conference is another event not to be missed. It’s a quality event with oceans of educational information, business ideas,  weight management and new training methodology. Fitpro are now already planning for 2012. How exciting.

    For Fitpro updates follow on


    Now has to be about quality rather than quantity by Jayne Nicholls
    The only thing that disappointed me about the Fit Pro convention this year was the amount of people who felt the need to comment on low numbers before anything else. It was buzzing with a very mixed attendance but Group X was not the key focus as this was given to PT this year with a record number of trainers attending. Did this detract from the Group X experience? Absolutely not – the sessions were intimate with an extremely personal touch, which was in turn quite touching. Melissa Williams who many of you know from the original Fit Pro team commented that she was amazed by the team spirit of all the freestyle presenters, and this was something that we all lacked 10 years ago.
    So where has our obsession with numbers come from? We have all experienced a culling of classes in the club chains if they do not meet an optimum number but we also know that our typical client much prefers a smaller group. I totally appreciate the need to make money so maybe we need to look at what we offer, the price and the content.
    If we offer a fresh level of instruction and for a long time now I have favoured a PT approach within a group session – dropping generic cues, command cues and the 1 size fits all approach, perhaps we can start to charge more for our time, our knowledge and our skills. Paul Mort commented that what we offer is so valuable we simply have to start charging more for what we do and this made me sit up and think about changing my approach to my class timetabling. After all I am not just an instructor I am a business woman and as such my approach to teaching GX needs a total update.
    Personally I am planning to introduce a hierarchy of fees for my classes as the gap between my PT fee and class fee is huge. I am going to introduce a small group concept that is specific to the needs of the class members and based upon them fully achieving their goals (in much the same way as the boot campers run their business).
    What do you think? Is this the future for us as professional instructors? Let us know your thoughts
    I  think we should all consider the great work that Fit Pro has done for our industry. They were the catalyst for a more Professional approach and we have all benefited from their hard work. So from all at CTOGO & GXT
    Well done – we thank you and it has been amazing being part of it.




    Social Media Updates

    Twitter –

    If you use Twitter to market your business and brand you may be interested in

    TweetWhen , I had to check it out. If you ever wondered when your tweets had the biggest impact, this site attempts to show you just that.

    You simply enter your Twitter username (if you are a protected Twitter stream you will not be able to use the service) and an optional email address. I checked to see why they ask for the email address optionally and no clue is given. I presume for a mailing list.

    It will then grab your last 1000 tweets to analyse. Smartly it also says to register for an upcoming webinar while you wait. Great marketing move. As for myself I was told that Tuesdays at 4pm is my best time. There is a link to tweet that out, of course. Its brilliant! Have a go and then make sure you tweet relevant content at your best time!


    New Choreography Downloads this week

    April HiLo Intermediate Rachel Holmes

    Code:AHLDL Aerobic Intermediate HiLo with Rachel Holmes
    3 combinations that are more low impact with loads of chasses and pivots with some funky rhythm changes. The choreography is based on my Blackpool IFS 2011 choreography with a few tweaks. The choreography works brilliantly with Dance Anthems 2 Click here to view this download
    2 Tokens
    Length: 10 mins
    Size: 35 MB


    WORK IN EGYPT THIS SUMMER… by Joseph Spendlove.

    Long time no speak guys, I have been busy working here in the Red Sea sunshine. It’s been a rocky few months with the shark attacks and political situation, but now it’s all getting back to normal and we packed out this Easter.

    Personally I have been learning a lot at the local church and the plans are coming together to nicely to marry the girl I met, Mary, at the end of next year. I have started building my villa and it will be ready for next summer.

    This short update is mainly I’m afraid to ask about business, but I have been really inspired the last few months and will write some pieces for c2g over the next few weeks about loving your job and if the fitness industry is really for you (I am still loving teaching stretching on the beach and water aerobics in the pool everyday!).

    I am looking for fit pro’s who can dance, to come and work in my entertainment team this summer. If fancy coming out please see more details on my website…

    With the fruit of the Spirit.

    Joseph Spendlove
    +2 018 615 0441
    Marvin Burton Fitpro Spring Con Round up

    This year’s Fit Pro convention was nothing short of hard work for me. I had a lecture or class every block. Fit pro also had me interviewing people as well which was really good.

    The weekend started off on Thursday for me. I had meetings with international lecturers Michol Dalcourt (ViPR) creator, Ian o’Dwyer, Rodney Corn and Bobby Cappuccio, Scott Hopson (PTA Global) who I had spent the previous weekend with in Belgium. Our briefing was the topic of our sessions that merged power plate vibration training with performance, pre and post natal and “fit for daily life” conditioning. The sessions were fascinating and as always there was a ton of content and information that the guys bring. Bobby attacked us with brain neurology, Ian had a wealth of cool mobilisation techniques, Michol took fasical integration to a whole new level and Scott and Rodney made the drinks (joking)

    The weather made the weekend. TRX was a big attraction as the boys moved the frame outside into the sun and it gave a feeling of holiday as people were sunbathing around the edge.

    I made a decision to move my circuit outside onto the large football pitch. It worked out well as almost 100 ViPR enthusiasts came looking for a workout with a twist.

    The big winner for the weekend was education. The number 1 fitness trend for the past 10 years. It came in force. One thing I always love about the convention is meeting and hearing the international presenters.

    I was talking to some trainers who were visiting the convention for their first time. I asked them what they had been to  (in terms of sessions) without naming any certain sessions, they were very…… standard. Not in terms of the content I’m sure. Their thought process was, go to convention, get some new ideas! Sounds normal. My thought process is. Go to a convention, visit sessions I know nothing about, listen to people who I won’t get chance to in the future, and try something different and new. Workshops are the place for ideas and new choreography. Convention is motivation time. The time to learn, expand and enjoy some new content and views.

    Charles Poliquin gave $5,000 to a guy who asked a good question in his session!! See what I mean.

    In my session I unfortunately didn’t give away anything but an old fashion whoop ass. When I was 16 I taught my first indoor cycling session. I made it up! It was based on what I thought was a hard session. It was nothing to do with science. Even now I am not entirely sure why I plan indoor cycling sessions to suit cyclists and make it specific. I can count on 1 hand the people who have attended my class who are professional cyclists. After all. If you were a cyclist you wouldn’t be indoors. I wouldn’t train a marathon runner on a treadmill so why would I do the same on a bike? So back to basics. We sweated…. hard…….. The session was hot, fast and simple. Perfecto. If you want the notes I will forward them to you. Email me on

    Scotland… I am always trying to get you all involved. I have set some more TRX dates. They are on the website. There is a course in Edinburgh coming up. Don’t tell me I don’t ever come to Scotland!! I want Ireland next. So if you are from there. Let’s get the ball rolling. Contact me now.

    Enjoy our summer. I think this may be it.


    Have a fab week!

    Love RAchel xxx


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