Fitpro 2012 really changed. I mean it was soo different to any of the previous 20 years that it was hardly recognisable. There were very little Freestyle sessions or even Group X, the whole weekend was geared to Personal Trainers, Small Group Training and Bootcampers, and Group X made up a few limited sessions. You could feel the change in the air and Fitpro appeared to be moving in a new direction.
2013 and the industry has changed a lot over the last 12 months. HIIT workouts are huge, the demand for Nutrition and Business information and the whole scene is less “product” orientated. The global recession seems to have halted the creation of new equipment and classes to go with it and we seem to be back to basics, which I think is a great thing. Body weight training, X Fit, HIIT workouts, are popping up everywhere and the convention reflected this.
Kelly, Jayne and I opened the convention with The HIIT Workout Challenge. The aim was to create a class for all delegates to enjoy and be challenged by. Therefore, when we stepped onto the stage we were faced with 70% guys!!!.. This was a first for me. I’ve NEVER taught a masterclass where the girls were in the minority. The session was full of camaraderie and good spirited competition, the group really wanted to workout and get as much out of the session as possible – my quads have been on fire every since!
Chatting to Instructors after the session, most were PT’s, and it was fab to see lots of C2Go’ers enjoying our HIIT thrashing as well. It was the highlight of my weekend as we taught so many new PT’s who have since joined C2GO and followed us on FB & Twitter. A whole new audience of Instructors we would of never reached otherwise.
Loughborough UNI has also had a serious upgrade in 2013. The facilities have improved year on year and the parking and venues were so easy to get to, which makes everyone so much happier when you can park close by and it’s easy to find the rooms etc. But the sessions this year totally did it for me. I went to some amazing, groundbreaking, interesting and thought provoking lectures and, of course, you just can’t beat the networking.
My goal was to hit the business lectures and I just loved Lesley Aitkin’s session on Pushing The Digital Marketing Boundaries. I got so much out of this. Lesley gave a real futuristic view of the potential of digital marketing and I’ve been trying to put as much of it into practice this week.
On the practical sessions I loved Jay Blahnick Shock Waves, Geoff Bagshaw’s Metcon3, Hayley Hollander’s PT sessions for the menopausal client, Zosha Piotkowski’s Pilates for Mums that Move, all brilliant.
I taught Plyometric Fitness Pilates, Jayne and I taught UNITE and we were both on the Push Your Boundaries – Instructor Panel with Jay, Geoff, John Sheehan and Gillian Reeves from Virgin Active. Delegates were invited to ask us questions and feedback to us ideas for the fitness industry, reviews and comments on the convention, education and tools Instructors need to move ahead and anything else that effects us all in the industry.
The big topic discussed was, if the obesity rates are going up and we are becoming the fattest country in Europe YET health clubs are springing up everywhere, where are we going wrong and what do we need to tackle this issue. It was all agreed the obesity epidemic is not just a fitness industry problem, it’s a huge society, lifestyle and government problem that is huge and we as the fitness industry cannot fight it alone. BUT, having said that, we need more educational sessions at convention on marketing to the obese demographic and help and guidance providing the right classes, services and initiatives. Everyone had so many valid and relevant points so maybe next Fitpro we will see a look at providing more education, ideas and help on this subject.
Another hot potato was licensing and globally branded programmes. 2013 was the first year there was no Les Mills, as Fitpro and LMI have now parted company. The main point that came across was that it doesn’t matter if you teach Freestyle, License, Global Brand or your own programme, the wide array of choice is perfect for the customer and for us the Instructor, we can all teach the programmes we love and enjoy.
We have proved we can all sit on the same timetable and attract different customers and client bases. That has to be a positive. My personal concern is that new instructors coming in aren’t exposed to that much Freestyle and so tend to teach licensed. I’d love more teachers to get into Freestyle and create new, exciting and unique classes.
So I would highly recommend FITRO. It’s in complete contrast to IFS and which again is wonderful. Two very unique conventions that serve our awesome fitness industry in totally different ways.
Both equally as relevant, both exciting and interesting and will boost your learning, education and business but in a multitude of ways.
I think That’s exactly what the UK Industry needs.
Our very own Katie Bulmer-Cook also walked away with Fitness Professional of 2013 which is a fantastic achievement so congratulations to KBC.
Did you attend Fitpro? What did you enjoy? What highlights do you have? Tweet me @RachelHolmes
Are you in Instagram @RachelLHolmes
Follow me and I’ll follow you back
New Fitness Pilates Focus DVD
Click here to order
The trouble with riding on roller-coasters for a living is that it’s hard to get off and walk in a straight line. We know that our levels of cortisol are erratic due to the ups and downs of adrenalin, it has its pros and it has its cons but sometimes it is hard to determine ”normal” when we exercise all day every day for a living.
Everything from the wearing of kit, coordination and the strange positions we get into are alien concepts to the ”everyday punter” who is potentially our client.
I presented a session at Fit Pro with Kevin Mclernon based upon his experience and my Cross Training Challenges. When he discussed his motivation for losing weight and keeping it off, it had nothing to do with any of us and what we do, it was inspired by a John Lennon track. His desire to change was triggered by music, the most powerful tool that we have in our business.
Here are the Challenges – enjoy:
3 X rounds for time
10 x burpees
20 x squat jumps
30 x press ups
40 x squats
CHALLENGE 2: 88 (2 FAT LADIES)
22 x mountain climbers
22 x power jacks
22 x burpees
22 x dip/shoulder press
CHALLENGE 3: (AMRAP)
20 – wall balls
20 – sprints
20 – press ups
20 – burpees
How to create flyers that convert, even if you think flyers do not work by Sally Ghafoor.
I am always surprised when people tell me flyering doesn’t work for them. The reason I am surprised is because I have always had huge success from flyering. If I am launching a new class and do not get 40 plus people to a new class from my flyers then I am disappointed.
So I decided to dissect how I do my flyers, as I have been flyering for about 12 years. I can also reveal some surprising results from the type of flyers I have used.
Before I even sit down to design my flyer, I get a piece of paper and I begin to write down the following.
* All the class details, date, time, where, when, cost etc
* Who am I aiming it at.
This is where most of the work goes in, who is the target market – and I am never ever vague with it. I don’t just put women aged 30 -45. I delve in much deeper than that.
These are the type of questions I ask myself:
What are my customers pain points in relation to what I am offering. – They want to lose weight, none of their favourite clothes fit, the clothes they are wearing at the moment are baggy and they wear the same type of clothes constantly. These clothes are getting snug, they do not want to buy the next size up. They are lacking the incentive and motivation to exercise or do something about it. Fed up of going clothes shopping, nothing fits, they stop trying on clothes in the shop, buy them try them on at home and put them to the back of the wardrobe thinking they will get into that at some point.
How are they feeling about themselves? Tired, lethargic, fed up of feeling overweight, but can’t seem to find the motivation to get up and do something about it. They are embarrassed and don’t want to be compared to fit people in classes. They resolve every day to be better with food and exercising but never do. Not feeling confident, every day feel like groundhog day.
What is stopping them from exercising? The thought of working out in front of fitter slimmer people. Worrying people will judge them for being overweight and unfit. What if they look silly. What if they cannot keep up with the class.
What keeps them up at night? Worrying about upcoming events where they have nothing to wear. Worry about their health and being overweight. Not being around for the kids. How they look in their clothes. Their partner finding them unattractive.
In an ideal world if they could make a wish what would it be. To be confident in their body and looks, to be able to try on clothes that fit and look good. To wear all their favourite clothes and rock them. To be fit enough to take part in activities they want to do. To just slide into their jeans.
Now that is just a snippet of how I go deep into how they are feeling, from all of the above I have a great insight into what makes my client profile tick and can create a flyer accordingly.
Tomorrow my own newsletter goes out and I will continue to tell you my next steps to creating flyers that convert. You can sign up here http://forms.aweber.com/form/35/1015975035.htm
Hope all is good in your fitness hood!
I had a great day at FitPro on Friday last week. It’s a super convention, with a big focus on PT and business (2 of the things I love most), and phenomenal speakers!
A fab day of networking, catching up with my fitness friends and attending sessions was rounded off with a huge high at the VIP dinner as I was awarded the title of UK Fitness Professional of the Year 2013. So I want to say a massive thank you to all the the C2Go readers who voted me from the semi final to the final, where I faced an interview with a judging panel of true industry royalty!
One of my favourite sessions of the weekend was with Rob Lander, a personal trainer turned technology expert who spoke about, how we, as fitness professionals can create more revenue streams and make it easier from our clients to buy from us and access our service by using technology.
His company, Fisikal, has worked with some big fitness businesses over the past few year and his innovations really got me thinking!
More and more people are buying products on via their smart/iPhone and accessing information via podcasts and webinars and we should all be tapping into this.
With this in mind, me and my friend, UK sponsored fitness model, Kelly Rennie are hosting a webinar entitled ‘How To Become A Fitness Model- The VIP Inside Scoop’ which will cover everything from nutrition and training to photo shoots, portfolios and contacts. We are giving away free gifts too.
We created a simple WordPress page with all of the information and embedded an Aweber data capture box for people to register their interest. We’ve been promoting it via our newsletters and social media and will be hosting the webinar using www.anymeeting.com, which is a free site that anyone can use and is compatible with Windows and MAC and also allows you the facility to record your webinar.
Webinars are a great way to connect with a larger audience who may, geographically, not be able to come to your classes of train with you in-person. So why not give it a go! Choose a topic you have a good knowledge of and share your experience with others.
Have a great day,
p.s if you’d like more info on our webinar visit http://www.kellyrennie.com/become-a-fitness-model-webinar/
Wot No Kids? by Caroline Newman
As an aging Fit Pro of 16yrs ! I am fully aware that my beloved industry is a fickle one with trends and crazes.
Childhood obesity however isn’t a trend . It isn’t going to go away and is becoming a growing concern. 30% of children aged between 2-15yrs old are overweight and at high risk of type 2 Diabetes
So imagine my shock and disappointment that there wasn’t ANY children fitness specific sessions at Fit Pro 2013. Thinking I had made a mistake I Face-booked Jane Chinery Children s Dance & Fitness Presenter at Fit Pro for the last 7 years she confirmed the absence and expressed her disppointment. I tweeted Fit Pro this was a cheery reply !
.@the_dance_lady It’s something we’ll bear in mind for next year. Hope you’re enjoying it regardless!
Well not to worry , I could attend the IDEA Fitness Convention in LA The Worlds Largest Fitness workshop and Masterclass event . Mr DanceLady would be more than happy to go to LA and ride around on a Harley whilst I attend the latest research , gain new ideas , network and professional develope. Here is the reply to my inquiry
Thank you for contacting IDEA. We have 1 session for Childers’s fitness http://www.ideafit.com/conference/sessions/play-the-childhood-obesity-solution . Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Do I contact them with my concerns ? 1 session , The USA has the highest Obesity problem in the world!
So is it me ?! I cant be the only person in the UK or the USA that works with kids and would like to attend workshops. & Masterclasses .
Your thought and and comments would be much appreciated and welcomed !
Is Children s Fitness & Health not trendy enough? , Does it not earn enough prestigious on the Gym/Heath Club Chain Timetable ? Are we really not that bothered about the health of the next generation ? Is there really a Childhood obesity problem ? Or is it a media driven hype. Is there a need for a “Children Fitness Health specif convention ” ?
My concerns apart from the obvious , are that surely its my job as a Fit Pro to encourage the next leading Fitness and Health professionals to come up through the ranks .
If this is of interest to you hook up with me via twitter & Facebook The Dance Lady caroline@thedancelady.
It might be “all down to me to look after the health of the next generation ”
War on Terror v War of Terror
By Andrew Crawford
It couldn’t escape everyone’s notice about the bombs that were detonated at the Boston Charity run. We were disgusted and outraged as to why some mofo would commit an act like that.
The first time I heard about it was on good old facebook when a picture of a girl who was reportedly killed whilst running on behalf of a charity bought water to eyes…men, women and child alike. Lots of people vented their anger.
Not even 30 minutes later the same picture emerged with…”…sorry, there was a mistake, the girl still lives…!!!…”
Now…who could have made such a mistake? Was it deliberate? How could someone make such an error?
My investigative hat was dusted down and put on…..once again..!!
There has been lots of military movement lately in the USA and as you know, once something happens there it is just a matter of time before it reaches these UK shores.
I found out that Afghanistan is the biggest producers of opium. Production has increased and heading for a record ‘high’ …excuse the pun…year on year for 3 years since it has been ‘liberated’….. Who controls Afghanistan at the moment?
Here’s what I also found…..You can find this out too…It is all over youtube now.
There were ‘bomb sniffing’ dogs at the start and finish lines
One runner said…”..They kept making announcements on the loud speaker that it as just a drill and there was nothing to worry about..”
Mobile networks were shut down within 2 minutes of the bombs
Other News which has NOT hit the headlines, so concealed from the public were as follows;
7 Palestinians killed
55 Deaths in Iraq by bombs
32 Other killings in Iraq
12 Deaths in Afghanistan from US airstrikes
40 Dead in Iran-Pakistan border by earthquake
So Andrew…..as we take a deep breath…
What has War on Terror or as you describe it, War of Terror got to do with Accountancy and Tax.?
Well folks, as all of you self-employed people set to start preparing your self assessment Tax Returns I want to remind you about the War on Tax Evasion and the penalties the HMRC are dishing out.
“………….The government is committed to closing in on tax evaders. Collectively the 32 criminals have been sentenced to more than 150 years. Most people play by the rules and pay what they owe, but HMRC is cracking down on those who don’t.’
‘We hope that publishing these pictures will help get across that it always makes sense to declare all your income, and tax dodgers are simply storing up trouble for the future.’
‘Most people play by the rules and pay what they owe, but HMRC is cracking down on those who don’t. Using the £917 million the government has made available to tackle avoidance, evasion and fraud, HMRC is closing in on tax cheats.’……….”
We all make mistakes be them small or big but now be careful as you prepare your Returns.
The penalty is a percentage of any extra tax due and I have summarised them here………..
Resonable Care Max: 0% Min: 0%
Careless Unprompted Max: 30% Min: 0%
Careless Prompted Max: 30% Min: 15%
Deliberate Unprompted Max: 70% Min: 20%
Deliberate Prompted Max: 70% Min: 35%
Deliberate Concealed Unprompted Max: 100% Min: 30%
Deliberate Concealed Prompted Max: 100% Min: 50%
Why are penalties necessary?
The HMRC want to collect the maximum amount of tax from the working public in order to sustain and uphold a system which is beneficial for the UK citizens and to punish those who think they can flaunt the tax laws and get away with paying less tax than is due.
When can we expect to see these penalties ?
If you make an error on your Tax Return, falsely or otherwise and you fail to tell them and consequently they find out about it.
Which taxes are affected?
The new penalties initially apply to Income Tax, Corporation Tax, Capital Gains Tax, VAT, Construction Industry Scheme, PAYE and National Insurance contributions, stamp duty, environmental Taxes, Excise Duties, Insurance Premium Tax., Petroleum Revenue Tax.
What is new about penalties?
HMRC will look at the ‘behaviour’ in the way the error has occurred and whether you used what they describe as ‘Reasonable Skill & Judgement’…to you and me, what is reasonable? Very subjective don’t you think? However, if you can argue your case, you are on the way to mitigating whatever penalty they come up with.
What does behaviour mean?
If you send HMRC a document that contains a mistake HMRC will charge a penalty if:
The error is because you failed to take reasonable care, or
The error is deliberate, that is you knowingly and intentionally send HMRC an incorrect document but do not take active steps to hide the error, or
The error is deliberate and concealed, that is you knowingly and intentionally send HMRC an incorrect document and have taken active steps to hide the error.
HMRC will not charge a penalty if you took reasonable care to get things right but still made an error. You must tell HMRC promptly about any error you discover after you have sent the return or document to HMRC.
What is reasonable care?
‘Reasonable care’ varies according to the person, their particular circumstances and their abilities. Every person is expected to make and keep sufficient records for them to provide a complete and accurate return.
If you have uncomplicated tax affairs you may only need to keep a simple system of records. A person with more complex tax affairs may need more sophisticated systems that need to be maintained.
HMRC believe it is reasonable to expect a person who encounters a transaction or other event with which they are not familiar, to take care to check the correct tax treatment, or to seek suitable advice. HMRC expect people to take their tax seriously.
What are the penalty suspensions?
If you are charged a penalty because you failed to take reasonable care with your tax affairs, you may be able to have the penalty suspended for up to 2 years provided:
You meet certain conditions, and
You do not become liable to any other error penalties during the suspension period.
If at the end of the suspension period you have met all the suspension conditions, HMRC will cancel the penalty. Penalties charged because of deliberate errors, whether or not they were concealed, cannot be suspended.
How to avoid a penalty?
You can avoid a penalty by:
Taking reasonable care to provide HMRC with correct returns and documents,
Keeping records that are good enough to enable you to provide HMRC with complete and accurate tax returns and documents,
Asking HMRC or your tax adviser for advice if you are not sure about any aspect of your tax affairs, and if you are still unsure, by
Flagging the entry and explaining the problem when you send the return or document to HMRC.
How to get your penalty reduced?
There can be a reduction in the level of penalty charged for disclosure of errors, and further reductions for the quality of any disclosure.?You can reduce the penalty from the maximum by:
Telling HMRC about any errors,
Helping HMRC work out what extra tax is due, and
Giving HMRC access to check your figures.
How will I know if I have to pay a penalty?
HMRC will send you a penalty notice, but only after HMRC have discussed your tax affairs with you and reached a decision on the correct position. You have the right to appeal against any part of our decision.
I watch one programme a week…..now that series finished on Monday night…..Spartacus….!!
Loved it to pieces….all the ‘goings on’….blood, gore….didst thou see it?
A fitting last picture if you saw it …What a classic example of War of Terror
See you in the after life…..Gratitude..!!
The debonair Mr. Blue is staring dolefully out the window, watching the snow heaving down in thick, fat flakes. ‘Only an idiot would ski in this snow’ he sighs. ‘Well you should be fine then’ I quip. He flashes me a devastating grin and I kiss him. Child 1: (mimes putting two fingers down throat). Child 2 and Mr. Blues offspring Petit Bleu are clamoring to go tobogganing as the weather is too bad for them to ski. Child 1 is also desperate to toboggan, but fakes a resigned air of humoring them by agreeing to go. Then her expression changes in an instant from down-trodden to gleeful. Child 1: Tobogganing…….. YAY!
That sounds great. Am I allowed to throw HER (Child 2) off a cliff? Child 2 pouts in a way that would almost make it possible for a slender person to sit down on her lovely lower lip and exclaims to child 1 ‘you are a pooh, and an IDIOT.’ Petit Bleu beams, but I’m not sure if he is agreeing about Child 1 being a pooh, or is relieved at the thought of dropping Child 2 off a cliff. Child 1: It is you (2) who is the idiot, and that is why I need to push you off a cliff. Me: no one is an idiot, and no one is being pushed off a cliff (rearranges expression to look as if I ACTUALLY mean that). Everyone dresses for the great outdoors and suddenly they are gone, and I am left alone to enjoy the peace and quiet. It snows and snows, and I sit with a book and read and read and the perfect flakes drift down.
On this skiing holiday I have opted not to ski. I know it sounds mad, but having once half-killed myself, been helicoptered to casualty and lost months’ worth of income, I decided not to take any risks. Not skiing is sad, not working is definitely not an option, and it is lovely watching the others having such a great time. As the week wears on, it becomes slightly more vexing. Child 1 has become proficient at snowboarding. I watch her zooming down the mountain, executing perfect turns and wish that I could feel that freedom and movement. I am desperate to give it a go. Child 2: Mummy if you earn squillions of pounds this year, can you ski next time? Me: Being a squillionnaire doesn’t guarantee happiness (said unconvincingly) and I’m happy just watching you guys (also unconvincing but with a plastic smile added). However, there is one thing which isn’t making me happy: I have PROMISED Child 2 (crossed my heart AND hoped to die), that I will go up in a cable car wi th her. (It occurs to me that hoping to die seems like an unsuitable cable-car-promise-combo).
I’m not what you call a ‘heights’ person. I’m also not what you would call an ‘enclosed spaces’ sort of person. I do not EVER go in lifts, spin out on the escalator in Harvey Nicks, and standing on the kitchen table to clean away the cob webs in the beams, is almost enough to give me heart failure.
I have made Mr. Blue promise that he will never surprise me with a romantic hot air balloon ride, or secretly book an abseiling holiday. Any how I had promised faithfully to do this and so I have a strong beer. Child 2: Come on mummy, let’s go up, you’ll love the bumpy bits on the bongalow (for some reason she cannot say gondola which is what the cable cars are called). I look up as the bongalows high above my head swing in the wind, and then sickeningly swoop up and over the whirring wheels and cogs which move them along. I’m fairly convinced that I’m not going to love the bumpy bits at all. It also seems to me that beer is not anything LIKE strong enough to get me up there, but if I have another (before lunch) I may risk depositing it down the front of my top when I get in the cable car. Child 2: Come on mummy! Child 1:
She’s not actually going to do it you know, she is like, WAY too pathetic. Child 2: Mummy, you promised me (scowls). Blue: you don’t have to sweetheart. Me: I think that I might do this tomorrow if that’s ok with everyone. …… It seems that it isn’t ok at all, and I receive three withering looks as they disappear up the steps with their boards and skis. Mr. Blue doesn’t seem to mind; mentally he is already up the mountain on the Black slopes. I am left standing alone in a pile of slush at the bottom of the bongalow steps, feeling stupid, and I make my way back towards the resort, travelling slowly down the long and steep escalator which I am finally used to. At the bottom I feel dreadful, an image of the disappointed Child 2, and the sneering Child 1 floats across my mind. I don’t want to be this pathetic, what on earth is wrong with me? Purposefully and with solid resolve, I go all the way back up, queue, and watch my cable car arrive amid a great deal of wobblin g, grinding of cogs, and straining of metal cables. The man ushers me inside: I smile wanly and decline. I spot my resolve running back down the steps: it buggers off in the direction of the bar. My heart is behaving as though I have just done 20 commando burpees and I think I will be sick. The next car arrives, and I meekly step in like a pale-green lamb to the slaughter. The cable car squeakily shunts along. ‘Ooh this isn’t SO bad’ I think, and then 2 seconds later it simply DROPS nauseatingly away from the edge. I find myself holding on for dear life. The cables go up and up for miles. SHIT! You can’t see that from the bottom, and it is all going very, very, s l o w l y. I know I am going to be stuck in there for ages and I longingly stare down at the bar where my courage and strength are sharing a bottle of Champagne with my resolve and having much more fun than I am. After several minutes I still am not dead, my heart is behaving itself and it is stunningl y beautiful, with views of snow-covered mountain tops as far as the eye can see. I start to take photos to prove to the children that I did it. I am ok in forty second intervals until the car moves over the mechanisms, and then experience 2 seconds stomach-churning panic. After this has happened about 20 times I realize that I’m probably not going to get used to it, but it won’t kill me and my stomach contents are safe. Fifteen minutes later the doors open, and I walk out into one of the most beautiful views that I have ever seen. Every colour is intensified by the utter, pure, whiteness of the mountain snow, and the clear, flawless blue of the sky. I am so happy to be out of the bongalow and amongst such heavenly beauty. I try not to think about the journey back, and spot the bar: oh yes it really is heaven up here. I find the kids who are all amazed to see me and congratulate me. They are lying in the snow, waiting for Mr Blue, who arrives, dashing down the moun tain at a terrifying speed, and stops right in front of me with a spray of snow, a dazzling smile and a kiss for me. To celebrate my success in getting there, everyone has a hot chocolate, and I have an enormous glass of wine: I did have to get down again you know………………….
Have a great week, and I wish you heavenly moments, as little panic as possible, and to overcome your fears to get somewhere seriously worth going.
Vikki Scovell @fitbite (photos of our hols on facebook) x
Have a wonderful week
Love Rachel xx