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  • 17 March 2011 Newsletter


    Hello and welcome to the choreographytogo Instructor Newsletter. This is a free weekly resource that I designed 9 years ago years ago to provide support, ideas and back up for all Instructors and Personal Trainers. I love to receive your feedback, so if you do have any comments or would like to contribute in any way please email or please use the very lively forum.

    For website/membership/course bookings and general admin email or call the C2Go office 07854 739285. Please add to your address book as mail sometimes can go to your junk/spam mail box. You can also find the answers to many of your questions in the FAQ section and Help section of the site click here for FAQs


    Rachel Holmes Snippets and updates

    As I write this week’s newsletter I am enjoying a week teaching on International Fitness Week at the beautiful Playitas resort in Fuerteventura. We have a fabulous group of Swedish people here who are all enjoying the classes and the climate. I’ve been teaching lots of Fitness Pilates, Bootcamps, Power Step and 80’s Aerobics, and have even had the time to film some new downloads and continue to work on the new Choreographytogo website. There must be a thousand triathletes here this week all sea swimming, running and cycling everywhere, the sea is freezing and I’ve witnessed them running into it every morning, wetsuit clad looking cold!

    This week’s newsletter has some great articles and new contributor Charlotte Ord, who is Personal Trainer of the year. Charlotte has a super successful studio in Surrey called Phoenix Fitness and is this week writing about adding the WOW factor. Katie Bulmer, who is busy organising her wedding, moving house and has a new baby and business has a really useful piece on concentrating on yourself and not worrying about what other people are doing.


    A few week’s ago I wrote about networking.  Although a very basic and classic form of marketing it’s still a crucial piece of attracting new customers to your class. I’ve been on my own quite a bit this week in Fuerteventura as there are no other UK Instructors here and only a handful of guests from the UK, so I really have had to make an effort to meet people and introduce myself, otherwise I would be sitting on my own every night at dinner and having a drink in the bar, chatting only with the bar staff. It is tempting to work away in my room on my lap top alone, but putting myself out there this week I have met a circus performer from Bristol, A top Swedish female body builder who has invited me over to her gym, loads of new aerobics friends from all over Europe and a millionaire Swedish lady who owns the top gambling website in Europe..fascinating!. So, if you are thinking of going along to a networking meeting to raise your business profile but feel a little bit apprehensive then GO ALONG, forcing your self to network and make new contacts can be a real breath of fresh air.  Not only are there potential business contacts but it’s a great boost for your own personal confidence and self esteem.

    The Freestyle HiLo and Step debate

    I posed a question on Facebook last week about the future of HiLo and Step as more and more Instructors are teaching Zumba. Due to its amazing popularity and demand many freestyle classes are being squeezed off timetables. Of course, it makes perfect commercial sense, especially for the Instructor who at last is able to teach less classes and earn more money teaching Zumba. Hopefully this massive interest in group exercise classes will lead to many new people into attending other group exercise classes, but are we heading into a fitness future without HilLo and Step as we know it today.

    There are some great points being raised and I would love to hear your comments, so please head over to I

    Personally, I stopped teaching HiLo and Step in the community many years ago as the classes dropped off in favor of Fitness Pilates, Dance, Conditioning and Bootcamps but there is still a big demand for Choreographed Hilo and Step in the clubs I teach in.  So there are definitely different markets in clubs and community. New Instructors coming up appear to go straight into teaching Les Mills and  Zumba because they are popular and offer a great way to get your foot in the door with employers, so you can’t blame them, but I wonder where step and hilo will be in 2 or 5 years down the road..

    For the seasoned freestyler who loves teaching choreography, getting cover becomes harder and harder and  there are less newbies coming into class. BUT the clients that do attend, never miss, come every week and are super supportive. It’s an interesting debate with lots of issues and differing points of view and I guarantee it will continue to rage.


    Jayne Nicholls Bootcamp

    I just wanted to share with you how my Bootcamp sessions have evolved over the past few years to help anyone struggling with the Bootcamp philosophy and how to place it into their schedules. It looks like Bootcamp has become anything from a class title to a full time business model in community based fitness. It is probably the first ever fitness trend to locate almost solely in the community and is not dominated by health clubs and fitness centres.
    Many people write to us almost embarrassed that they are not attracted by the six figure, full on fat loss image of Bootcamp and are so missing out on the fun and popularity of these classes.
    My aerobics class was the least popular on my community timetable and in need of a revamp. This was the Evolution (highs and lows) into what is now one of my most popular slots:
    1. Aerobic Bootcamp – A mix of aerobics and bootcamp – it took me a while to change peoples perspectives on what they were coming to and what to expect.
    2. Bootcamp Circuits – A mix of circuit training & Bootcamp – the circuit part of the class did not suit my demographic and was dull over time where as the Bootcamp drills were exciting and fun.
    3. Bootcamp – this title puts off my target market in the short term, they associate it with out door sessions and I run an indoor service
    4. 4 Minute Fat Loss – this title really suits the desires of the group, the class intention and the Tabata formula that I love.
    This class attracts everyone of all ages and they are all seeing results.
    Give it a go and enjoy what Bootcamp has to offer everyone.
    j a y n e


    Building YOUR Business by Katie Bulmer

    Hey everyone,

    First please let me start with an apology…I’m sorry I haven’t written anything for a few weeks! Having a baby, buying another house, starting another business and planning a wedding all in a year has been VERY stressful to say the least! J

    Over the past few weeks I’ve had quite a lot of emails from fellow fit pros across the country saying they are worried about competition, e.g. there is another boot camp down the road starting up, everyone is doing Zumba, and someone else is hiring the same venue I use!

    My best advice…STOP worrying about what others are doing, and instead focus on YOU and YOUR business- almost blocking this ‘competition’ out!

    So, in this article, I thought I’d bust some common mistakes that people make when faced with such situations mentioned above.

    1. ‘I need to drop my prices if I’m going to compete with the boot camp down the road’

    Dropping your price is the last thing you should be doing. Instead, keep or even raise your price, making you the premium option as opposed to the budget. After all, when you’re doing your weekly big shop, you buy the premium as opposed to economy brand option because it tastes nicer, right? Instead of dropping your price, just add more value e.g. nutrition packs, home workout videos and recipe hand outs etc. I think something that adds massive value to any fitness based service is a personal touch, e.g. personalised texts, emails etc. This will set you apart from the ‘3-T-trainer’ who simply Turns up, Teaches and Takes the money!

    2. ‘I need to keep an eye on my ‘competition’ to allow me to stay ahead of the game’

    How many hours a day/week do you spend checking out the so called competitions Face Book page, website or Twitter? Wouldn’t this time be better spent working in YOUR Face Book/Twitter/Web presence?

    3. ‘I need to reach out to everyone’

    Ever heard the saying ‘jack of all trades-master of none’? Instead of being everything to everybody, pick a client group, and become their guru or expert (this can come simply from only working with this section of the population). This makes you instantly more attractive than your ‘average’ trainer and people are far more likely to chose and stay with you. For example, I only work with pre and post natal women, and I get emails regularly that start something like, ‘I heard you are an expert in this area…’

    4. ‘People will choose me if I slate the competition’

    I have seen this so many times, and it makes me really sad, as I HATE bitching with a passion. You see it on Face Book, Twitter and even face to face; trainers slating fellow fit pros to try and make themselves look better. This simply makes you look unprofessional! If anyone asks me what I think of other local trainers, class instructors etc, I answer like this… ‘I’ve never been to their class but I’m sure they are great, the only way to find out is to give it a go’.  Oh and if you’re the one getting bitched about then chances are you’re doing something right 😉

    I know it can be tough to block out what others around you are doing, especially if they appear to be offering something similar to you!

    Be GREAT at what YOU do and you’ll reap the rewards!

    Katie xx

    Please follow me on…

    Face Book: katiebulmer1

    Twitter: katiebulmer1


    Delivering the WOW factor by Charlotte Ord

    When it comes to customer service it’s important to remember that whilst customer satisfaction is valuable, customer loyalty is priceless.  Deliver enough of the ‘Wow’ factor and your clients will not only stay with you, they’ll also persuade all their friends and colleagues that they should train with you too.
    The same rules apply regardless of which industry you’re in, so studying successful businesses in other fields is a great way of discovering new ways to stand out and surpass your clients’ expectations.  A good example of this is the Ritz Carlton Hotel.  Their motto of ‘We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen’ is apparent in every aspect of every staff member’s professional conduct.  Anticipating clients’ needs, making the buying experience the best it can be, viewing all employees as customer service agents and holding customer value as a primary motivation are all hallmarks of a successful business. 

    In the fitness industry, it can sometimes be difficult to deliver the ‘wow’ factor without burning yourself out, particularly if you work on your own.  Offering flexibility is an important aspect of personal training, but not at the expense of your own well-being.  It is no use working super long days to satisfy a few clients if you are exhausted and not bringing your best for your trainees the following morning.  Always bring your best.  Whilst it’s imperative you deliver outstanding service, you are entitled to set hours, so create your working schedule and be as flexible as you can within it.  Whilst personal training is about the individual touch, you are still running a business, so make it clear that appointments cancelled within 24 hours will be chargeable.  That way, your clients will be more inclined to make their sessions, train more consistently and consequently achieve better results. 

    Another way to deliver outstanding customer service is to make training away from home as easy as possible for your clients.  Many a good training programme has fallen by the wayside thanks to foreign travel, so think ahead.  Check the menus of restaurants local to where your client is staying and give them a list of meal suggestions to help them stay on track nutritionally.  Find out where their nearest gym will be and call to see if someone there will welcome your client and help them if necessary.  Email your client at least every other day with motivational and educational advice.  Do not underestimate how big a difference small gestures will make.  This applies to your class participants as well; make it easy for them to get big results.

    Above all, deliver the results your clients are paying you for.  Personal training isn’t cheap, so if you’ve made a claim that you can help someone get back in shape, you need to make sure that’s exactly what you do for them.  Read, study, shadow other coaches, experiment…do whatever you need to do to constantly get better at what you do and improve the results you deliver.  It’s the number one key to success in this industry, and there’s a huge market for people who can genuinely and consistently make people look better and feel better.

    Don’t be afraid to utilise other professionals in your area if you feel they will help your clients achieve better results.  Often a holistic approach can work wonders, plus it will help you establish a strong referral network for years to come.  It’s important to recognise when a client presents with issues beyond your scope or experience, and remember that rather than losing them, your client will respect your professionalism in finding the right therapist for them at that point in time.  Rest assured they will be back when they are ready to train again.

    As your business grows, ensure you retain the personal touch.  A thank you card for signing up for classes or training, a free session for their birthday or simple ‘well done’ email after accomplishing a goal will all reiterate the fact you care about your clients and appreciate their custom.

    Charlotte is the UK Personal Trainer of the Year and owner of Phoenix Pro Fitness. She runs mentorship programs and courses for fitness professionals aiming for the top.  For more information contact


    Functional Spine with Marvin Burton

    Last year’s newsetters I spoke about the spine. I would like to revisit this so that we can understand what is happening to the spine during human motion.

    The motion that I will choose is walking. If you can understand what happens when we walk then you can adjust the motions to more complex tasks.

    The spine motion is driven. This means other factors will cause the motion to be increased/decreased.

    Below the spine the pelvis drives the motion up the body. The faster the bottom half of the body is working the more chain reactional influence will occur.

    Connected to the spine are the arms. They influence the rotational force. This is moving opposite to the lower body.

    As one leg steps in front of the other (right leg) the pelvis is rotating to the left, anteriorly rotating and laterally flexing to the side. This motion allows the lateral and posterior leg muscles to load in all 3 planes and decelerate the motion of the hips swinging to the side.

    The effect on the Lumbar spine is that it needs to extend. If it flexed then we would be leaning forward.  It is also rotating right and laterally flexing right – because on the left the pelvis is dropping down.

    This relative motion happens because the sacrum is moving faster then L5 so the angle increases. That’s why it is described as extending or going through extension.

    The thoracic spine has to follow the reaction from below, but is also rotating right because from above the arms are swinging in front of our bodies (left arm coming forward).

    The opposite reaction occurs because if they were to rotate and flex in the same direction as the pelvis we would lose balance. The transverse plane generates power for us to propel forward. This is called the transformational zone. The muscles load (coil) in 3 planes and unload causing a change over between the left and right leg.

    The spine changes at the cervical section. This is because as we walk and our body moves in this twisting motion, our eyes stay on the horizon in front of us. The cervical spine moves through flexion because if it extended as the throcic does, we would walk and be looking up in the air.

    I hope this has cleared up any previous misconceptions.

    Something else we need to address is the motion at the lower back. Although the degree of motion isn’t as great as the thoracic spine – there is motion. The Lumbar spine is described as non – moving but without the motion and the assistance of fascia and spine erectors (as well as others) we wouldn’t be able to bent at all.

    Don’t forget your back exercises during your classes. Especially if you are teaching Ab’s and Core classes. Try standing adaptations and multi-directional exercises.

    Marvin Burton – We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing.


    Wishing you all a fantastic Thursday

    Love Rachel

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