4 Reasons To Get In Touch With Your Animal Flow

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Practicing Animal Flow bodyweight training guarantees an improvement in key areas of a person’s fitness level, and at the same time, just might land you a spot on World of Dance. The key areas of fitness, as we know, are strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, and stability. Think about the different planes of motion people exercise in? Too often, workouts limit the person to a specific direction like running on a horizontal plane and lifting on a vertical plane. As for most things in life, it’s imperative that we shake things up every once in a while. People become automated in the forms of exercise they use, often lacking body awareness. Animal Flow challenges that using primal, locomotive and quite literally animal mimicking techniques to connect the mind with the body.

Who is the mind behind Animal Flow?

Mike Fitch is the mind behind the madness that is Animal Flow. He began to explore bodyweight exercises after 30 years of training and educating in many different forms of fitness. His goal was to find a form of exercise that effectively targets flexibility, endurance, strength, and cardio without causing excessive bodily pain. Therefore, this form of exercise challenges the person to complete a whole routine in a series of fluid and explosive movements. The movements fall somewhere on the spectrum between breakdancing, yoga, and hand balancing. Animal movements, also known as locomotion, have existed long before Fitch created Animal Flow. However, they had previously never been tied to a whole routine consisting of fluid movements drawn mostly from hand balancing and yoga.

The exercise is made up of six components:

  1. Wrist Mobilizations – stretching and warming up the hands and wrists for the exercise.
  2. Activations – using foundational forms called the Beast and the Crab to activate the body in preparation for its connection with the mind.
  3. Form Specific Stretches – base animal positions extending to different motions that encourage mobility and lengthening muscles around joints
  4. Traveling Forms – mimicking the movements of the ape, beast, and crab, thus tying in the primal aspect of the flow.
  5. Switches and transitions – dynamic movements that can form a number of different combinations
  6. Flows – all components come together to create a mind-body connection throughout the whole routine.

Now that we have a little bit of background on what Animal Flow is, here’s why it can benefit personal trainers and their clients.

Create dynamic warm-up exercises

The flexibility and flow of this workout style allow for it to be used in a number of different parts of the typical exercise routine. As everyone should know, warming up is important to minimize the risk of injury. Warm-ups steadily increase breathing, heart rate, and muscle temperatures. The first three components of Animal Flow, if not all of them, target stretching to increase blood flow and joint mobility for every part of the body. This can be helpful to prepare the body for the workload for the exercise that will follow. Also, creating a meditative flow through these movements better connects the mind with the body. Body awareness helps tremendously to prevent injury.

Compare this to using yoga as a warm up except it’s more of a synchronized dance that the user can create and flow through. From the perspective of personal training as life coaching, some clients need to tap into their inner animal flow. This helps them to become more in touch with their fitness routines as well as their day to day activities.

A substitute for common bodyweight exercises

What sets personal trainers apart from one another and how does someone segment themselves from this oversaturated market? Obviously, people want results, but they also want to escape the mundane. As people, we follow patterns pretty heavily and can easily become stuck in a routine. Animal flow provides a way for trainers to break themselves and their clients out of the norm and get a little… primal. Almost providing the user a medium for self expression. When clients have the freedom in their workouts for self expression the trainer can learn more about what helps them connect their mind to their body.

Body awareness during an exercise directly relates to the way the client feels after the exercise. It also contributes to the way the client will approach the next exercise. Often, people become burnt out or too sore to even want to exercise again which is a huge problem. Health coaching is important in this realm of exercise feedback.

“Good body awareness is difficult to measure scientifically, but can teach us how to recognize a strenuous workout that, instead of leading to pain and injury, improves performance, muscle balance, and everyday functionality”

Pirkko Markula Ph.D., professor of socio-cultural studies of physical activity at the University of Alberta and author of Fit Femininity

Animal Flow lets the person stay in touch with how their body is feeling and reacting to the movements throughout the whole process. Integrating Animal Flow movements with other bodyweight exercises can be a great method to help clients maintain a strong connection between their mind and body. Of course, whole workouts can and should consist of various styles of exercise from free weights to using machines to bodyweight.

Efficiently train muscles in the three planes of movement

Cross-training is very important in reducing stress in certain muscle groups, right? Yes, and something trainers should remember is how important it is to work out on different planes of motion. Sagittal, frontal, and transverse are the three planes that humans are constantly moving in. In each of these planes, there are several different muscle groups and joints. Personal training should reflect how people naturally move on these three planes to provide a full-body exercise. Animal Flow makes practicing this easy and effective. Also, using Animal Flow takes some thought out of planning good workouts for clients.

Breaking down the six different components of the flow helps to better understand how it effectively trains muscles in different groups. For example, look at breakdancing, one of the influences in this flow style. Breakdancers use mobility drills to lengthen the muscles so that it is less resistant to different movements around joints. This is the secret behind those crazy contortionist movements they are able to do. Mobility is a trait that everybody should strive to keep developing because of its importance in overall joint and muscle health.

Cooling down post-workout with Animal Flow

Muscle and joint health provide a nice segway into talking about the final component of every workout – the cool down. Every trainer knows the importance of giving the body a chance to steadily relax after an intense workout. The heart needs some time to wind down before coming to a complete rest. Cooling down is known to improve endurance giving the heart a chance to steady out while still staying active and in motion. The fluidity of Animal Flow movements allows for the user to stay in motion and gradually slow down. Ending a workout this way is meditative. As a personal trainer, this is very important to lead clients into a relaxed meditative state post-workout. Clients will leave feeling more accomplished with the extremely hard work they just put in and will hopefully keep coming back for more.

If you found any of this information helpful and want some more information on how to incorporate Animal Flow into your training, then leave a comment below!

Early September FitSW update: draggable modals and more!

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It’s September. Fall is dawning on us and so is a month full of improvements and new features. We have some exciting new stuff coming this month. However, we already have a couple new things we have already released! This early September FitSW update is setting the tone for us, for the rest of the month.

The FitSW iOS app is available in Portuguese & Italian.

Not only are we expanding features from fitsw.com to the iOS app but we are also expanding the languages the app is available in.

Here are the languages the iOS app is now available in:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Portuguese

Important note: for the app to be in one of these languages, your phone must also be set to that language.

You can now use one rep maxes to calculate exercise weights (%RM)

A lot of trainers have requested this feature, specifically for powerlifting or for clients who want to get into powerlifting. The jist of it is simple: head over to your metrics tab and create a metric for a one rep max.

Adding a One Rep Max

For example create a metric like “one rep barbell bench”. While you are creating the metric, you can check a checkbox at the bottom of the of the “add metric” modal that says “integrate this metric”.

Checking the box opens a drop down where you can choose the integration that you want. Right now the only option is “One Rep Max”, however, in the future, there will be others.

Once you select “One Rep Max” you are all good to go. Just finish creating the metric.

Note: in order to use it in %RM workouts, you must have progress data assigned to it. To add data, go to the progress page and add progress data to the metric that you just created.

Once you have added progress to your one rep max metric, it’s time to build a workout.

Calculating %RM

When building the workout, simply add an exercise you want use a one rep max with and then click on the calculator icon on the far right (Screenshot below, highlighted in red):

Once you click on it, the percent max calculator will open. Simply choose the metric that you need, type in the percentage and there you go!

Now, you may have noticed there are two options. Namely Replace Weight or Append Weight. This is so that you can either replace the weight you may have already typed in there with your %RM calculation or you can add the weight you just calculated into a comma separated list, thus, assigning different weights for different sets.

Draggable Modals

Do you ever open up a modal while doing something but then realize you need to see what’s behind the modal to finish what you’re doing in the modal but the modal is in the way? I know. I said modal a lot, just bare with me.

Well now, if you’re ever caught in the oddly specific situation I just outlined for you, fear not as you can just click and hold towards the edge of the inside of the modal and drag it out of the way!

Here’s an example of a modal:

Exercise search improvements

Ahh, in the old days of the exercise list (2 days ago) you couldn’t search for an exercise based on a search value AND other filter options such as muscle group, level, or equipment. Now, filtering on the additional options like muscle group will preserve your initial search value.

Kids these days don’t know how easy they have it.

More demo GIFs

I’ve got 99 problems and exercise demo GIF’s for my personal training clients is not a single one of them.

We added some more GIF demo’s for default exercises.

Android updates

Filter foods by macro

You can now filter your food list by macro range. For example, if you want a food that is particularly protein dense, you can set a higher protein amount and filter on foods that way.

Message all clients

Yes, you can now make mass announcements to all clients in the FitSW android app. Whoop Whoop!

Have questions or feedback on this update?

Please feel free to shoot us an email to support@fitsw.com or reach out to us on social media!

Training clients who are 56+: a guide for success.

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Training clients who are 56+: senior woman performing a stretch on a yoga mat and smiling.

In recent years, many studies have come out revealing that decline in health really starts to impact us in tangible ways starting in our 50’s. While this might not be true for everyone, it is true for a lot of people in different ways. There are many aspects of our body that play major roles in our health that start to decline at or by the age of 50. One example is gut health. Our gut, for the most part, maintains a healthy level of “bad” and “good” bacteria. However, in our 50’s we start to see that balance erode overtime, leaving us with a higher concentration of “bad” bacteria. So training clients who are 56+ may take some extra consideration. This guide will show you exactly what type of mindset to approach training your senior clients with.

Much like any client, it all starts with the assessment

Because personal training intersects with a lot of areas in people’s lives, the assessment is one of the most important aspects of starting a successful fitness journey with your clients.

Make sure you really spend time in assessing their past injuries, conditions, ailments, goals, and anything else that you feel is reasonable. Now this isn’t to say that everytime you are training clients who are 56+ years old that they will have a long, extensive medical history. You might get someone who’s 60 and can run a faster mile time then you.

I regularly go do the incline here on the weekends and get passed up by people who are old enough to be my grandparents…with a mountain bike on their back. The best part is, I’ll finish the incline and start making my way down the ~3.4 mile trail to the bottom and get passed by them…on their second pass.

So if there is anything that speaks to this, don’t over or underestimate anyone’s health or fitness levels. Just do some really solid assessments.

Make sure you place emphasis on monitoring progress

This really depends on what the goals are of your client and where they are in terms of physical fitness and health levels. Really you want to make sure you are setting expectations and goals along the way that are realistic.

If you have a client that has come to you and has not been physically active for a long time, then be prepared to set smaller, more realistic goals.

However, it’s always how to tell how people’s bodies adapt to stress like physical fitness. One person may adapt amazingly and see better results. While another person’s body might adapt at a slower rate.

Just make sure you monitor the progress heavily, always touch base with them to see how they are feeling, and make adjustments to programming based on that.

Consider functional training

Depending on the goals of your client and what they are looking at getting out of fitness training, functional training may be a great option for them.

What is exactly meant by functional training? Functional training trains your body to get better at performing movements that are normal. Depending on the person, this might be slightly subjective. For example, if someone is a football player who plays a specific position and performs certain movements everyday at practice and in games, they would practice certain exercises that help them get better at those movements.

However, for some people, this could be training that helps them say, get out of a chair easier. Getting out of a chair is commonly considered to be an ADL, or, Activity of Daily Living.

There are a lot of ADL’s that become difficult for people who have developed conditions due to old age or due to an injury. Regardless, functional training can really help in these areas.

Be there and provide motivation

Depending on your client, you may get someone who doesn’t have any real experience in the gym or with physical fitness. If this is the case, the image they have of their body only touches the surface of what is possible.

Try to really motivate your clients. Not just physically, but mentally as well. We don’t mean stereotypically cheer them on, although that might help, we mean be there for them. Be there when they might be feeling down and be there when you know they could be doing better.

Incorporate balance exercises

As we age, our bodies systems that help us maintain good balance become less effective. Your body becomes less accurate in taking into account the effects of gravity and spatial awareness. While balance exercises are good for pretty much anyone, they are especially beneficial when training clients who are 56+.

You can incorporate exercises in the warm up, in the actual workout, or in the cool down. It doesn’t really matter where, it just matters that you are incorporating balance work.

The reason why this is so important is because as we approach 65 years of age falls go from something that is momentarily inconvenient to something that can really pose a serious health risk.

Flexibility workouts are just as important

For a lot of people, poor range of motion and tight muscles are not only just “bad flexibility” but also a source of pain. Often times, unknowingly so. Take the sciatica for example. I personally had a run in with this after a hard collision in a football game that strained a muscle in more lower back.

I had no idea then, but that strained muscle would later go on to cause a muscle imbalance in my lower back that would also cause sciatica pain down my right leg. I suffered with it for years until I finally went to a physical therapist. They did work on loosening my tight lower back and fixing the muscle imbalances that I had. Which inevitably helped alleviate the sciatica pain I was dealing with for years.

While the flexibility issue wasn’t the entire cause, it played a role in the pain that I was dealing with. For some older clients, doing something as simple as a frequent stretching routine might actually make significant gains in improving their quality of life if they are dealing with pain on a day-to-day basis or pain in association with certain movements.

Have any feedback on Training clients who are 56+: a guide for success?

If so leave a comment on this blog, shoot an email to support@fitsw.com, or reach out to us on social media!

FitSW updates from late August.

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This month we’ve been just as busy. We have expanded more features from fitsw.com to our mobile apps, improved usability of other features, and additionally, improved some our technology to optimize for load times.

Multi-day programs on iOS

You can now use your favorite workouts, tasks, and meals to build multi-day programs from the FitSW iOS app.

The programs feature has been on the web version of FitSW for a long time, however, none of our mobile apps.

Want to build a multi-day program in 10 minutes flat? Here’s a quick help article we have written for the web. More are coming for mobile devices, however, the logic remains the same as it is the same exact feature.

Bulk delete

Yeah buddy! Need to delete a bunch of workouts or something similar? The column on the far right of your workouts, tasks, and nutritions lists are check boxes. You can check multiple boxes and delete in bulk as needed. Guaranteed to save a couple finger cramps.

Improved load times

While this isn’t necessarily a feature, it still helps especially when you haven’t cleaned up your workouts list in awhile(me) and you’re loading in like 500 workouts every time you load in the workout list.

You should notice improved load times not just in workouts but in tasks, meals, and basically anywhere there’s a list. So everywhere. Everywhere is faster now. This also extends to our mobile apps.

I Went to a Good School, So Why Am I Terrible at Math?

The image above is me when when the developers were telling me how they did it. Something about downloading more RAM? Kidding.

Timestamping in messaging

Besides loading faster, your messages will also stamp the time every 30 minutes. So it should be easier to keep track of things. Especially if you get into one of those “no no I sent that at this time!” arguments with one of your clients.

Participants are waiting live class notifications

Not too long ago, we implemented “participants” waiting notification emails for trainers. Essentially, all they do is send the trainer an email letting them know they have participants in a live class of theirs. This becomes especially helpful if you forgot you even had a live class.

However, if multiple participants joined before you, you’d get a bunch of emails. Now, you will only get one email.

Auto select in the scheduler modal

When you go to the scheduler and create a session or personal time, it will auto select the right fields based on where you are clicking and typing.

Specifically, it does this when you are defining repeating events.

Gyms can navigate to the trainer list from the client list

For gyms, there is an additional option in the client list now that brings them back to the trainer list for their gym account. Prior to this, they would have to use the back button a bunch of times.

Elite trainer page improvements

We made some responsive design changes to the elite trainer page. For those who have the elite trainer page, the scroll bar will display on all screen sizes appropriately now. Additionally, testimonials on the elite trainer page can take testimonials of any length now.

Live class technology improvement

Our developers were able to implement a more sophisticated technology for live stream classes that will put less stress on your internet and less on your computer as well. So now, your live classes should look a better.

Have any feedback or questions?

Please feel free to reach out to support@fitsw.com or shoot us a message on social media!

Guide: hosting a Podcast for your Fitness Business.

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It’s 2020. A lot of unexpected things have happened this year. One of them being the take off in popularity of podcasts. Yes, podcasts have been around for a little bit now, however, the industry is seeing unprecedented growth. In 2019, there were 700,000 podcasts listed in the itunes catalog, alone. Now, more than ever, hosting a podcast is an extremely attractive option for fitness businesses.

Especially when you consider that COVID-19 still might be here to stay for a little bit longer. As a result, more people are staying in and forgoing their typical activities. Forcing them to turn to other measures of consuming content and media. Eventually, people will get sick of the same types of media they are consuming everyday (netflix, social media, etc…). Starting a podcast is trending and it’s a different form of content for people to consume.

Why hosting a podcast can be good for your fitness business

When you look at podcasts, a lot of the successful podcasts are anywhere between 10 minutes and one hour long. Considering this, podcasts are what are considered to be long form content. Long form content is content that takes longer to consume then normal because it is more involved. Blog posts that go over 1,700 words are typically considered “long form”. And by “over” we don’t mean 1,730 words. We are really talking between 2,000 and 20,000 words.

Long form content performs better on average because it is more involved and gives users more information to consume, learn about, and research on. Now this isn’t to say go write 2,000+ word blog posts on anything and everything because that’s ridiculous. It’s just, if you can dive deep into a topic, then do it. Don’t force it by any means.

However, when you look user preferences, a large majority of people would rather watch a 10 min video then read a 2,000 word blog post. The problem with creating videos is they can be somewhat time intensive and expensive.

This is where podcasts come in. A podcast sort of satisfies that convenience of a video while being not as involved. Doing a podcast right does take work, don’t get me wrong, but it sort of hits a sweet spot.

You establish authority

Much like blogging consistently and posting useful information on social media, podcasting can establish you and your brand/business as thought leaders in the industry. Not only can it establish you as a thought leader, but you can potentially use it as a tool to expand your networking. You can invite other people and business owners onto your podcast to talk about a variety of topics. Those are invaluable relationships.

Your podcasts content can be repurposed into other forms of content

Because your podcast is a longer form of content creating, you are likely to either:

  • Cover a variety of topics over the course of a podcast episode.
  • Or you will hit on a lot of points over the same topic.

Once you realize that not everyone prefers podcasts, then you can divide your podcast up into blogs and/or short and quick videos if you have the resources to do so.

Not only that but you can collect really solid points made on the podcast and post them on other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. These platforms are “shorter form” content. So a single podcast episode can potentially fuel several posts.

Brand awareness

Going back to one of our last points, long form content creates an aspect of “loyalty” in that if you consistently put out content that is good and people like it, they will continue to listen to it. If you create something that people are willing to listen to consistently, then you also create something that is more likely to be talked about.

When people follow a netflix series, for example, they talk about it! It’s not something they just go around exclaiming to the world but it’s something that comes up in casual conversation.

Besides that, you can do what Mind Pump does. Their podcast episodes are everywhere. You can find their podcast episodes on pretty much every major podcast/digital media platform. Additionally, their episodes are on their website and are easily shareable.

Hosting a podcast: screenshot of a mind pump listing on their website.

Notice the bottom row of icons, underneath the play button? You can click to listen in Spotify, download the audio file, embed the audio file on another website, or share the link. There is no shortage of options to save this episode for later or to share it. Who knew hosting a podcast could be so great for brand awareness?

How to start your podcast.

Starting a podcast can sound a little foreign. However, as you’ll find out, it’s really no different then recording videos and posting them on youtube.

Define your core focus of the podcast

One of the first things you’ll want to do is pick a niche for your podcast. While it doesn’t have to be insanely constrained, it definitely helps to have some topic that you somewhat stick to in each episode. If you’re struggling with this then try asking your clients what they’d like to listen to in a fitness podcast. This helps, especially if you train within a specific specialty because then your client base will provide some pretty good advice on something you’re already an expert in.

However, let’s say you don’t have a specialty. Then this is a great opportunity for you to pick topics to talk on until you find something that really interests you.

What’s interesting is you can sort of get away with a “looser” niche depending on how you structure your podcast. There are some podcasts out there that are purely educational and talk about a wide range of topics. What they keep consistent is how in depth they go on each topic and how they deliver the information.

Here are the different types of podcast structures that you typically see:

  • Solo podcasts. The same person talking on each episode.
  • Interviews. The podcast host, hosts different people to interview each episode.
  • Conversational. You have a couple podcast hosts that talk about topics in a conversational manner.

And there are the different ways to convey the information:

  • Educational. Reporting on facts and information with a consistent, context based narrative.
  • Storytelling/narrative. Here are examples of people, perhaps talking about their experience in business or some other thing that requires a story is told.

While you don’t have to follow just one of the different types, it’s important that you pick something and make it consistent. Whether it’s the information that you cover, how you cover it, or something else, pick something and keep it consistent.

“Brand” your podcast.

If you are hosting a podcast specifically for your fitness business, then you want to make sure that it follows the branding of your business.

Here, there are really two things you want to focus on. The podcast episode covers and the description of the podcast. The one thing that you want across the board for pretty much everything is consistency. Define a template for what your podcast covers will look like, how it will convey the topic of the podcast visually, and use it for every single episode.

If you are running a podcast that you plan on running as a “hybrid” podcast, as in, you plan on delivering your content in different ways, then you can mix it up a little bit and create different types of cover art for the different types of episodes.

For example, if you plan on having a mix of episodes where it’s just you, it’s you interviewing someone, or it’s you just simply having a conversation with someone, then you can create different types of cover art for those different types of episodes.

When you look at the Mind Pump podcast listings, they change it up a little bit, but they still keep it consistent.

Hosting a podcast: examples of different cover arts for different podcast episode types.

Now your description. It shouldn’t be terribly long, but it should give readers a good understanding of what the podcast is about and information about the host. If you get stuck at this part, go research similar podcasts and see what they have done. While you want to be original with your description, this can be a great way to find some inspiration and to get the “creativity” gears churning.

Get your tools set up

When hosting a podcast, there are a couple tools that you’ll need to get you started. First and foremost, you’re going to need a decent mic. I wouldn’t advise using the mic on your phone or computer. It may sound okay over Zoom calls, but that’s only because they are processing the audio with their software to improve the sound of it. You’re going to need a good mic.

You don’t have to go crazy on a $500 mic. You can get the Blue Snowball for $50 and it will do you just fine. The only thing I might recommend as an addition to your mic is a pop filter. While I’ll show you later how to make your voice sound like Samuel L. Jackson’s using software, a pop filter adds another level of quality that will make your podcasts sounds amazing. Essentially, a pop filter eliminates “pop” sounds that are a result of how we pronounce certain sounds or letters. Without a pop filter, it might sound like you are smacking in the mic. Gross.

The other things you’ll need are:

  • Access to a modern computer.
  • And a recording software.

Pretty much any laptop will do. As long as it has the technical specs that can support modern software, then you’re good. As for the software, it’s really up to you. You need software that is able to:

  • Record audio.
  • Post process audio (make it sound good).

Based on my experience, Adobe Audition is a pretty great option. You can record your audio right there and edit it in the same place. Now where I say “edit” you might be thinking, “how does one edit audio?”. There are really only a couple things that you want to edit when it comes to narration:

  • Remove white noise. You mic is going to pick up on white noise and subtle background noises. Removing this, which is super simple in Adobe Audition will make an immediate difference in the quality of your recordings.
  • “Warm up” your voice. This process basically just adds more clarity to your voice. When you record your audio, you’d think it’d record in level audio frequencies. However, as a you move away from the mic and then closer to it and project your voice at different levels, the audio frequencies that get recorded will be different.
  • Bring out the high and low pitches in your voice equally. This is sort of optional. But this adds a nice “even” sounds to your voices pitch.

The great thing about some of these things that I’ve mentioned above is that Adobe Audition has presets that you can buy or get for free. Just like you can get presets for Adobe Lightroom that provide filters for you, Adobe Audition does the same thing, but for audio. Just Google “Adobe Audition Podcast Presets” and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

The one thing I’d caution against is over processing your audio. Do you ever see photos people apply like 10 filters to and it just doesn’t look right? The same is true for audio. You can over process it and risk sounding like some Star Wars droid.

Depending on the structure of your podcast episode, you’re going to need a script

Now scripts can be pretty different from one podcast episode to the next. For example, if you’re doing an interview, then all you really need is an introduction section and then the questions that you’ll be asking and then maybe a conclusions section.

However, let’s say you’re doing an educational podcast that’s covering a bunch facts or maybe telling a story of history. Then in that case, you may want a pretty involved script. As you are writing your script, try to write it to sound as natural as possible. Scripts are infamous for sounding like…well…a script.

Prep

We are almost there, we just have a couple more things to cross off our list. Before you really go into recording your first episode, here’s a quick checklist to make sure you are prepared, before formally hosting your podcast:

  • Sit down and get your equipment set up. You never know, there may be some weird nuances of getting your equipment and software going that you didn’t know about.
  • Do a test recording. Record some example audio and play around with your recording software. Try processing your audio to see how you like it.
  • Follow a couple tutorials to learn your way around the software.
  • Pick a room to record in that has good acoustics for a podcast. You don’t want rooms that have bad echos. This will cause reverb in your audio and removing it while preserving audio quality is a pain in the butt.
  • Think about how you’re going to handle recording a conversation? What will your equipment set up look like then?

Once you have gone through all these things and feel confident, figure out a content plan and schedule. How often will you record a podcast and post it? How far out will you plan the topics of the podcasts? What does planning your podcast look like?

Make sure you come up with a system that sets you up for consistency. Not just because it’s more efficient but also because consistency in how you run your podcast behind the scenes will yield consistency in how you deliver your podcast as well, which is important for gathering an audience.

Pick a podcast host

Now there are a lot of options here and it might seem kind of strange. Because it’s not like you just “upload” your podcast to Spotify for example. Spotify is simply the middle man.

While there are plenty of options for hosting a podcast, based on my research, Anchor seems like the best bet. They are completely free to use and you can “one click publish” to a bunch of major podcast directories such as:

  • Spotify
  • Apple
  • Google Podcasts
  • Overcasts
  • and more…

For a free service, that seems like a pretty good deal to me! However, there are others that you can choose as well that probably offer something similar.

Once you have your hosting service picked out, sign up and get everything set up for your first episode!

Let’s record an episode

Alright! We are finally here. By now, you should have:

  • The general topic of your podcast outlined.
  • Cover art created.
  • A description created.
  • Your equipment and software set up.
  • Audio processing presets.
  • A plan for your first couple of podcasts.
    • You should have a plan for the next couple of episodes that includes:
      • The content covered of each episode.
      • Episode structure (interview, narration, etc…)
      • The record date.
      • The publish date.

Now, all you gotta do is sit down and record your first episode. Don’t be nervous and don’t be scared to mess up. The great thing about podcasts is since you’re recording an audio track in a software that allows you to edit it, you can cut areas that you don’t like or areas that you might have messed up saying something and re-record it.

This is especially true if you are recording a podcast that is just you talking! You can easily stop recording, delete what it is that you messed up on and re-record it.

Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful in my experience:

  • Make sure you have plenty of water. When you go through recording a podcast, your mouth gets dry from all the talking and re-recording.
  • Take it slow. Don’t let nerves get to you. It’s easy to talk fast when your nervous.
  • Read the script out loud a couple times prior to recording.
  • When you finish recording the audio file, save a back up somewhere. And SAVE FREQUENTLY.

Once you have everything set up and you feel prepared. Then it’s time to record your first episode, edit it, and post it.

Promoting your podcast

So we have the whole hosting a podcast thing taken care of. But now, you want to figure out how you can go about posting it.

This really starts with why are you wanting to host a podcast for your business? Do you want to use it to add more value to your business? Do you want it to help your business get discovered?

The reason why you should consider this first is because this impact how your promote it. If it is there to add more value to your business then you can make it so that when someone becomes a client of yours, they get exclusive access to your podcast.

Or if you want to use it to help your business get discovered, then it should be like your blog. Anyone can access it and consume it.

Once you figure out the why, then it’s time to start promoting it. This is really not too difficult. You just want to make sure the podcast is as discoverable as possible. Post about it on social media. You can pick some of your favorite moments from each episode and post them on your social media accounts. Additionally, you can have a page on your site dedicated to listed your podcast episodes. If you want to take it a step further, do what Mind Pump did and make every episode shareable everywhere it is.

You can also announce what the topic of each episode is prior to it happening on social media and in your newsletter. Get people excited about it! Don’t give away all the details but just give a quick tidbit about it. Announcing it like this adds value to your overall content portfolio and personal training business.

Recap: Hosting a podcast for your fitness business.

This all seems like a lot of work. Just speaking from experience, the biggest piece of work is getting your content lined up and making sure you are making each episode unique in its own right. Picking out your software, equipement, and creating your cover art really doesn’t take too long.

If you can:

  • Come up with a really solid content schedule.
  • Make sure each episode is fun and engaging.
  • Record and post episodes consistently.

Then you’re podcast will gain a following, if you actively promote it. It won’t be over night, but given time, your podcast will gain a following.

Once it gains a following, then you will start to see results for your business.

Nutrition advice: What personal trainers can and can’t do.

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Nutrition advice: what personal trainers can and can't do.

When it comes nutrition in general, personal trainers get asked a lot of questions from people seeking nutrition advice. Even more so, pressure is put on them to prescribe meals to people since nutrition can be a tricky thing to grasp if you’re a normal person with no certification in nutrition.

I mean the desire to prescribe meal plans makes sense. The demand is growing and doesn’t look like it’s going to stop and personal trainers are among the first, people will go to, to ask for nutrition advice.

However, there are definitely some boundaries on personal trainers in terms of what they can and can’t prescribe.

Disclaimer: this article is not meant as legal advice or counsel. We are simply trying to provide information regarding what we have found to be true, as practiced by the law. It is up to you to do the necessary research and to gain the appropriate levels of accreditation.

Can personal trainers prescribe meal plans?

No, a personal trainer whose qualifications lie in common personal training fitness and nutrition certification cannot prescribe meal plans. This is especially true if you are a personal trainer in the United States. And yes, this remains true, even with a Precision Nutrition certification. Unless you are a registered dietician, you cannot prescribe meal plans.

Can personal trainers prescribe supplements and specific dosages?

This is also a no. Unless you are a registered physician or dietician, you cannot prescribe a supplement to someone as a treatment an ailment and/or performance enhancer.

You can recommend supplements to clients based on your knowledge, however, you can’t prescribe specific instruction on the supplement to take, why to take it, and how much of it to take.

A prescription example

Take 100 milligrams of vitamin e everyday to relieve neuropathy.

A recommendation example

Yeah, I’ve heard vitamin e can help with neuropathy but I’m not completely sure. Try taking it up with your physician, you never know.

What nutrition advice can personal trainers give?

Okay, you can’t prescribe meal plans or supplements, so what can you do? You can give structured guidance around nutrition and supplements for your clients.

Based on your clients goals, you can give advice on what their daily meals should look like and examples of foods they can use for those meals. For example, you can tell them their meals should be “protein rich” or “carb dense”. You can even give them examples of what foods they should be cooking.

Your nutrition advice: educate clients on the basics and provide direction.

Here is where you can really distinguish your business from others. While giving a meal plan is more convenient, providing clients with education on nutrition is a longer term solution.

The reason being is because the meal plan doesn’t necessarily teach them much. While it may give them results, they won’t know why it’s giving them results.

Here ares some things you can educate clients on in terms of nutrition:

  • Macros. What are they and what do they do for you.
  • Calories. What are calories and why are they important?
  • Nutrition myths. What are common myths about nutrition? Debunk them.
  • Diet types. What are different diet types? Think vegan, vegetarian, meat, pescatarian, etc…
  • How do our nutrition requirements change as our bodies change?
  • What really is metabolism? What about base metabolic rates?

These are just to get your started! There’s tons you can go over with nutrition. The cool thing about this is it provides value to your clients but it also provides value to your business in distinguishing you as a thought leaded that gets joy out of truly helping people.

Here’s how you can use the information to help your business:

  • Send it out in your newsletter.
  • Create a nutrition course.
  • Create free guides.
  • Write about nutrition regularly in a blog.
  • Post about it on social media.

So not only can you educate clients on nutrition, but you can also weave it into your business to help your business get good exposure and to demonstrate that you’re a subject matter expert.

How to talk to clients about nutrition.

Essentially, this all comes down to how you talk about nutrition with clients. Here’s a quick list of how you can and can’t approach things:

How you can talk about nutrition

Let’s say you have a client that suffers from diabetes and is seeking personal training so that they can better their quality of life through fitness and nutrition.

Then you can present research to them that has been done on the impact of nutrition and diabetes. You can talk with them openly based on what you’ve read about nutrition and diabetes. And you can encourage them to consult with either a physician or even a dietician.

How you can’t talk about nutrition

Using the previous example, you cannot give your client a list of meal recipes or supplements that you claim will relieve symptoms of their diabetes.

That is where something goes from being a suggestion to being a prescription. If you give them something like a meal plan or list of meals and claim it can “treat”, “heal”, “cure”, etc… a medical ailment of theirs, that is technically speaking against the low.

Where you can go for the legal fine text

There are many resources available to you to find out what you need to do to be able to practice nutrition consulting as a medical professional.

If you are in the US, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics(AND) breaks down state by state legislation in regards to what you need to do to operate under the “Dietician” or “Nutritionist” title.

The map is actually quite helpful. Each state is color coded to signify one of four possibilities:

  • No Licensure of Practice or Title
  • Practice Exclusivity
  • Licensure of Title Only or Certification of RDNs
  • Title Protection Without Formal State Regulation

Here are the definitions of each (credit for the definitions goes to the National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics):

  • “Practice Exclusivity” means a license is required to practice MNT (or dietetics), subject to any exemptions shown in popups, as explained below.
  • “Licensure of Title Only or Certification of RDNs” means the state only licenses the title “licensed dietitian” (or a similar title) or provides an optional certification which may facilitate reimbursement or employment in certain facilities. In these states, a Board exists to implement the law, but no license is required to practice MNT or dietetics.
  • “Title Protection Without Formal State Regulation” means the state restricts use of the title to certain credentialed professionals, but no Board exists, and no license is required to use the title.

Another place you can go to find information on this is the American Nutrition Association.

One thing you’ll notice is, this really focused hard on the state-by-state requirements. If your state doesn’t have any legal requirements in terms of registering as a dietician, that doesn’t mean you are in the clear to start handing out meal plans as a personal trainer.

There are still federal laws that apply to you. In order to start practicing as a dietician, you have to be registered as a dietician, federally.

Give the Commision on Dietetic registration a visit to learn more on this.

Consider partnering with a registered dietician.

A trend lately in the fitness and health industry has been dieticians and personal trainers partnering up in their businesses. Some people might not like this because depending on how you set up your business and handle clients, you may have to revenue share.

However, if you as the personal trainer can focus purely on the fitness and the dietician can focus purely on the nutrition, then you should be able to take on more clients. Additionally, since you’ll the service you will be providing will be more well rounded, then you should be able to charge more for your services.

Recap on nutrition advice personal trainers can give.

Nutrition is a touchy subject as a personal trainer. Primarily because you are very well versed in nutrition and a lot of people seem to assumed that trainers can just hand out any nutrition advice.

While personal trainers can give out nutrition advice, they have to be careful about the nature in which they provide their advice.

The Evolution of Live Fitness Classes in FitSW

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Since we added live fitness classes to the FitSW software, it has come a long ways. It started off as a “bare bones” software that could stream videos with a live chat. Now, live fitness classes in FitSW are full of features that help instructors spend less time managing the class and more time on leading the class.

Fitness interval timers and visual/audio cues

While technology is great and has come a long ways, sometimes it feels like it gets in our way. Especially when you consider a bunch of sweaty people amped up on pre-workout, blasting music, and shouting words of encouragement.

The biggest thing we have set out to do while developing live fitness classes in FitSW, is to ensure that despite any distractions, classes can stay on track.

This is exactly why we incorporated the fitness interval timer with audio and visual cues.

Here’s how the interval timer works

Live Fitness Classes in FitSW: Interval timer

There are three main pieces to the interval timer:

  • Active time: define the amount of time people should be doing the exercise.
  • Rest time: define how much time people should rest for inbetween sets.
  • Intervals: How many times the entire cycle happens.

Everytime there is a shift between active time and rest time, the there is a beep and a flash on the screen.

When it shifts into rest time, the navigation bar will turn red and there will be some flashes of red, along with the beep, to let people know it’s time to rest.

Once the rest time is over, it will beep again and the nav bar will turn green. Indicating it’s time to get after it!

Manage Class Participants

Live Fitness Classes in FitSW: Managing Participants

If there’s one thing we have all had to get accustomed to, its the nuances of digital life and digital communication. Especially with COVID forcing everyone to work remote.

Along with the interval timer, we gave trainers a slew of admin features that can help them better manage their class.

With every class participant, the trainer can mute their audio, video, and boot them from the class. All accessible from the settings widget on the left side of the interface.

Technology options

Most laptops don’t come with very good webcams and microphones as standard features. While they definitely suit most people’s needs, some still opt-in to getting their own webcam and mic for better sound and visual quality.

When live classes were initially launched, you were stuck with your computers technology options. Now, you can choose your mic and camera if you have any additional equipment that you’d like to use.

Client visibility settings

For a variety of reasons, some clients may want to only be visible to the trainer during the entire duration of the class or for parts of the class.

As such, every client now has their own “visibility” settings. They are pretty simple, there is only one option and that is to either make yourself visible to everyone or just the trainer. Creating a more inclusive experience for all preferences, comfort levels, and needs.

The feed cycler

A lot of live fitness class instructors like to make the live class experience as personal as possible. In live classes with 30 people in it, that may be a little difficult. Especially if all feeds are scrunched on to the same screen.

To combat this, we created the feed cycler. You define how many feeds you see at a time and how often they switch.

For example, let’s say you have 20 class participants total and 20 video feeds. And just for this example, let’s say you set the feed count to 3 and the cycle time to 10 seconds.

This means, the feed cycler will shuffle through all class participants, 3 feeds at a time, 5 seconds at a time. Once it gets through all 20 feeds, it will simply restart.

Personal audio/video settings

Pretty early on, we gave trainers participant management settings. Meaning, trainers could mute class participants and turn their video off but class participants couldn’t actually do it for themselves.

No everyone has the ability to manage their own audio/video settings.

Mobile friendly live fitness classes in FitSW apps

This one sort of hits on two major things we have implemented for live fitness classes.

Mobile optimized live fitness classes

When we initially launched live fitness classes in FitSW, it’s safe to say the interface definitely was not optimized for attending fitness classes on mobile devices.

However, not too long ago, we re-structured the interface a little bit and compacted all features of live classes into simple to use widgets on the left side of the screen.

This made it much easier to adjust the interface for smaller screens and made it easier to toggle and manage your settings.

Live fitness classes in FitSW mobile apps

Pretty much the minute we released the mobile improvements to the live fitness class interface, we added live fitness classes as a feature to our mobile apps.

Now, as the trainer you can create and share live fitness classes in our mobile apps (both iOS and Android). As a client, you can see all classes your trainer is currently offering and join them right from your phone.

Recap: live fitness classes in FitSW have come a long ways

Since launching live fitness classes, we have really made a lot of improvements and adjustments to not only fitness classes as a feature but the overall usability as well. If you have any feedback at all, feel free to email support@fitsw.com or reach out to us through our social media profiles.

How to Use Live Fitness Classes to Grow your Fitness Business.

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How to Use Live Fitness Classes to Grow your Fitness Business: image of a pilates fitness class.

A lot of personal trainers will offer a free consultation and even a free session as a sales strategy to sell prospective clients on the services they offer. This strategy has been one of the most dominant strategies in the personal training industry. Even when you look at other industries, the “try before you buy” tactic has proven itself as powerful. However, there tends to be little deviation from the norm when it comes to these “try before you buy” sales tactics. In this article we will go over how you can use live fitness classes to collect leads, put them through a sales funnel, and generate new clients.

First, why use live fitness classes in the sales process?

When you look at sales for personal trainers, a lot of trainers have more than likely developed their own way doing things. However, often times in the sales process, a lot of trainers will offer something for free. Maybe a free consultation or a free session.

It’s not super often that you see trainers offer a free live class, however. Offering a free live class can be a great way to showcase your skills and expertise while changing it up a little bit.

Additionally, when it comes to giving something away for free, from a business perspective, you want to limit what you giveaway.

Giving away a free session is an hour of your time that you won’t get back. However, giving away a live class spot is not the same as giving away a session. Especially if you have other participants in the class who have paid to be there.

Because giving a live fitness class spot away is lower overhead then giving away a session, it makes it a little bit of a more dynamic free offer. You’ll see why later on.

Where do free offers happen in the sales process?

Often times, free offers, such as a free live class, session, or consultation, happen after you have already met a prospective client. Typically you know a little bit about them and why they have reached out to you.

The free offer comes in when you believe they are on the fence about purchasing your services. So, you offer a free consultation or session in order to demonstrate your knowledge, expertise, and to lead up to a sales pitch or sell of some sorts.

To sum it up, free offers are typically used in the middle or later on in the sales process to inch a prospective client towards making a purchase.

Using live fitness classes to collect leads and gain exposure.

As we mentioned earlier, live classes are a little bit more dynamic as a free offer due to the lower overhead presented when giving a live class spot. Let’s explore some ways you can give away spots to live classes and achieve business objectives while doing so.

Give away a couple free live fitness class spots on a semi-regular basis.

Setting a schedule where you giveaway a couple live class spots every other couple of weeks/months can be a great way to get more leads. Especially If you do it consistently for awhile. People will learn to keep an eye out for whenever you do offer a couple free spots.

In FitSW, when you list fitness classes publicly, you can list them at a certain price for admission. However, as the class host, you can edit the class listing as you need to.

This opens the door to editing the price. What you can do is, every now and then, post on your social media account(s) and send emails to your email list, announcing that for a certain time period, one of your classes is free to join.

Here’s an example announcement:

“For the next two hours, my online yoga class will be FREE to join. Come claim your spot before they’re all taken!”

And just like that, you get a couple people that join your class. But what else do you get? Leads. FitSW collects class attendee information for you (Name and email address).

Once you have leads, send follow up emails to those who joined and regularly send them updates about your business, other offers you may have going on, and helpful information about health and fitness.

Using live fitness classes in this way can be a great way to build up your email list.

If you send out good content regularly then you’re new email list subscribers from your live classes are more than likely going to visit your site. This means they will learn more about your business, services, and the results you have gotten past clients. Additionally, if you have a marketing funnel set up, then they will get remarketing ads on social media, reminding them about your business.

Use live fitness classes later on in the sales funnel

As we talked about earlier, a lot of personal trainers have some form of a sales process they follow. Many trainers will offer a free session for prospective clients who are on the fence. Instead of doing this, you can offer a free live class spot instead.

If you are worried about it not being as personal as you’d like it to be, don’t. At least with the FitSW live class platform, we have built in features that allow for trainers to monitor live fitness class attendees as much as you’d like.

Besides that, they are still getting to see you in-action. They will see your leadership skills in leading the class, your knowledge, and how your provide instruction/corrections to other class attendees. Besides that, them joining a live class of yours is essentially the personification of social proof.

Social proof is the verification of you, your business, and your services through using the voice of your peers. For personal trainers, the most common form of social proof is client testimony. However, with live fitness classes, you have class attendees. Just by having a class that is at least semi-full is social proof.

Run a challenge where the giveaway is free access to your live classes

This is a great option for many reasons. Live classes aside, running a fitness challenge can be a fantastic method of generating engagement on your social media profiles and on your website.

The fitness challenge itself doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with live classes, it can just be a normal fitness challenge based on social media.

However, at the end, pick the winner and give one month of fitness classes completely for free. This works especially well if the person that won the challenge is not a past client. The reason is because once they win, then you can say:

“okay you have a choice of taking the live fitness classes. Or you train with me and I will subtract the value of the classes that you won from the personal training that you purchase.”

You’re offer was pretty enticing before. But now? It’s much more exciting the think about and you are really forcing them to think about it. Plus, since they went through your challenge, they should be prepped to hit the ground running with you for training if they choose to go that route.

Co-run a fitness class with another trainer

This is another good one to create great engagement on your social media profiles. Not only just yours but also someone you are collaborating with.

Reach out to someone who you want to work with or know and propose co-running a live fitness class with them. Think of ways to promote the class across each others channel such as posting something like:

“I will be picking three people to giveaway three spots to any of my live fitness classes coming up. To enter, like this post and follow *insert class co-runner username*

Each person chosen at random will get three free classes to attend.”

This is why collaboration is so powerful. You post this on your channel and your collaborator posts it on theirs and you both get exposure.

What not to do.

A lot of voices in the personal training industry have spoken out about giving away your services for free. And really, there is merit to their arguments. Giving away free services can do your business injustices if you do it wrong or with the wrong intentions.

Doing it too much devalues your services and can attract the wrong type of clients. Let’s explore this a little more.

Don’t give away live fitness class spots too much

Giving away spots too often can devalue your services. Instead of giving away classes every week or month, do it somewhat sporadically. We touched on this a little bit earlier, but let’s elaborate.

It is not uncommon for businesses to run semi-regular promotions. To give an example, let’s look at Udemy. While they are in an entirely different industry, they still have set a pretty good example on how to run regular promotions while preserving the perceived value of their services.

Udemy, every now and then, will run a special on a lot of their courses that seriously discount their prices. We are talking 90% discounts on hundreds of courses.

They do it on a semi-regular basis because it re-engages customers who might not have been engaged with Udemy for awhile and drives sales beyond just the promotion.

Extending this to your personal training business, running a special every so often will re-engage people and engage new people with your business.

You could be attracting the wrong type of clients through giving away too many classes

The right type of client knows and understands the value that personal training brings. As such, they aren’t going to be looking for the cheapest option out there because they understand value.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach these types of clients through promoting your classes and doing giveaways every now and then. Running some of the promotions we have discussed in this blog really do one thing. Increase your reach within the right audience.

If you are running challenges and collaborations on social media where your content is going to be shared across fitness channels, then you are going to get more attention from people who are actively looking for services like yours. Increasing the chances of them discovering you, reaching out, and becoming a client.

Recap

Live fitness classes can be used as a great tool to promote reach and engagement for your business. Giving away a free live class spot gets people excited, it cheaper then giving away free sessions/consultations, and you can use it collect leads.

Just be careful and try not to do it that much. You want to make sure you aren’t devaluing your services.

Supplements: What you need to know before taking them (or recommending them).

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Supplements: in the form of capsules, pills, and liquid gel tablets.

Supplements. Probably one of the most discussed topics in the fitness, health, and wellness industry. If you were to go person-by-person in a gym or health convention and ask people about supplements, you would probably get a litany of different responses.

If there is one thing that is true though, you should do your homework on anything before your consume it. In doing your “homework” you can maximize the use that you get out of supplement while also preventing any potential harm to your health and possibly wasting money on something you don’t need.

About Supplements.

Supplements can serve a variety of functions in our overall health and diet. From helping us gain weight, build muscle, and even aid in digestion, they can serve many different functions. They oftentimes provide:

  • Macronutrients (carbs, proteins, fats)
  • Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals)
  • “Bioactive” chemicals, either harnessed from natural sources or fabricated by humans.
  • A mixture of some or all of the above.

Examples include:

  • Protein shakes (provides extra protein)
  • Mass gainer shakes (helps increase calorie intake)
  • Multi-vitamins
  • Creatine
  • Lactase

Different Types of Supplements

You’ll find that the supplement market is full of various different types of supplements. Generally speaking though, there are four main types that you will see:

  • Enzymes: These are legit enzymes that you ingest. Do you know anyone who is lactose intolerant? They might take lactase or have taken lactase in their life to help them digest dairy.
  • Building blocks: these are a type of supplement that act as building blocks to proteins and other macro/micro-nutrients. Think of amino acids, fatty acids, protein, etc…
  • Herbs and Botanicals: herbs and botanicals are whole plants or parts of plants that provide different types of nutritional, medicinal, or therapeutic value. Think of tea as an example.
  • Vitamins and minerals (micronutrients): think of iron, calcium, potassium, or even multi-vitamins. These are single vitamins/minerals or combinations of the two.

Now that you’re familiar with the basics, let’s look at some things that you might need to research before actually taking a supplement that’s new to you.

Key Aspects for Consideration

Medication Interactions

Certain supplements can have negative interactions with medications that you might be taking. While the interactions might not be life threatening, they can have some serious side effects.

For example, creatine has been seen to have negative interactions with diabetes medication and diuretics. Here are some example side effects:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Upset stomach
  • and more.

Some of these are potential side effects of creatine in general, however, taking medication that interacts negatively with creatine can increase the likelihood of the side effects becoming a reality.

Creatine is just an example and has some rather mild side effects in terms of negative medical interactions. Other supplements that are little more “extreme”, such as, anabolic supplements may have more severe interactions.

Keep in mind, not all interactions will be purely physical. Some may even yield potential for psychological side effects.

While it is rare to see these types of things, making sure you are aware of it can help prevent any unnecessary harm. At the same time, if you really aren’t sure about it, the safest route when considering a supplement is to consult a physician. Always.

Take Note of the Quality and Source of the Supplement

I feel like this is true when purchasing anything, but especially when considering products that you will be consuming.

Anytime you find a supplement or supplement brand online, make sure you vet where the supplement is coming from. This has become an essential practice to get into, especially with rise of white labeling supplements and misleading marketing statements.

About White Labelling

If you aren’t familiar with white labeling, it’s essentially the process of purchasing unbranded goods from a wholesaler and then branding it as your own. This has become quite popular because the wholesaler doesn’t really have do much in the way of distribution, the seller takes care of that.

On the flip side, the seller doesn’t have to worry about manufacturing, they only have to worry about purchasing and selling.

It’s a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” type of deal. But since the rise of this, often times the supplement consumer gets left out in the whole back scratching escapade.

What I mean by that is the market has grown and demand for white label supplements has risen. Driving prices down to combat the increasing competition and unfortunately the quality has gone down as well.

You’d be surprised at how many companies actually white label the supplements they sell you at theirs.

White labelling isn’t bad per se. The key in doing your research is to look at the lab or pharmaceutical company that supplies the supplement. There are some very reputable companies out there that supply big brands

What Quality Supplements Looks Like

Really this boils down to couple factors. One is the form the supplement comes in. For example, vitamin D comes in two common forms: D2 and D3. You want vitamin D3 because this is the form of Vitamin D that your body makes. Vitamin D3 comes from animal sources while vitamin D2 comes from plants.

Vitamin D2 is cheaper to make and produce, however, it is not as effective in your body.

Another example is iron. When you are getting iron from supplements, you want it to be heme iron. Heme iron is the form of iron used 95% of time in the body and is more easily absorbed then non heme iron.

While you are researching your supplements:

  1. Make sure they come from reputable companies.
  2. Make sure they are coming in a form beneficial to you. There’s no sense in taking something that your body is not going to absorb.

Research and Evidence on the Supplement

I’m not sure about you, but ever since CBD and essential oils became a mainstream commodity, it seems like new supplements are coming out everywhere and all the time. A lot of them are new and do not have much research done on them.

One thing you want to look for is the research body that is done an any given supplement. A lot of research usually means there is merit to the benefit claims of the supplement and that it is safe to use.

Creatine, for example, is one of the safest supplements you can take. It is one of the most researched, tested, and proven supplements on the market. It has many positive benefits to taking it beyond muscle growth.

On the flip side, there’s SARMs. SARMs have grown in popularity due to the results they get athletes and bodybuilders. However, they are a prime example of there not really being enough research done to know if it is really a safe supplement. Nor can we tell who should and shouldn’t be taking it. It’s probably best you don’t take any SARMs.

Who are supplements for?

Due to the breadth of supplements on the market, supplements can be for pretty much anyone. While we touched on some things to stay cautious of, generally speaking, for a majority of the healthy public, supplements are not just safe, but can be immensely beneficial.

Here are some examples of people who can really benefit from supplements:

  • Vegetarians and Vegans. They are first one the list because cutting out meat definitely cuts out a couple key nutrients humans are used to getting and need. Think of heme iron and vitamin D3. They only come from animal sources and are extremely important to have. Another one is creatine. While it’s not as essential, humans get creatine from red meat.
  • Those who prefer alternative medicine. Alternative medicine is used as a “supplement” (pun intended) to standard medicine. Examples of alternative medicine include:
    • Treating heart disease with chelation therapy.
    • Herbalism.
    • Use of ginger.
    • Tea.
  • People who are deficient. There can be a variety of reasons as to why someone may be vitamin/mineral deficient. There are many conditions that cause a deficiency directly or indirectly through requiring someone takes meds that have a side effect of vitamin deficiency.

When are supplements not needed?

There are a variety of circumstances in which supplements are not needed. Really, there are too many to count in just this article. However, if you are ever considering taking a supplement, make sure you do research on when the supplement is needed, when it is effective, and when it is not effective.

A simple example is creatine. If you are someone that gets creatine naturally, then you will more then likely not need creatine at all. In fact, you shouldn’t even purchase it. Creatine is not stored in the body like some compounds are. Thus, taking too much of it will just be wasted through being excreted in urine.

Questions to ask yourself before getting supplement:

  • When is the supplement of interest effective?
  • When does the supplement become ineffective?
  • Does it have any interactions with medication?
  • What are the side effects, if any?

Recap

Supplements can be a fantastic resource for progressing your health and wellness forward. In fact, there are probably supplements you can benefit from right now. However, as you are looking at taking them, make sure you do your research so that you can ensure you are getting the best possible outcome.

Exclusive: FitSW in the News

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FitSW in the News: image of a newspaper clipping from a local newspaper running a story on FitSW

Some of you may have noticed that we have been adding features to FitSW a little quicker than in the past. We put in a lot of work and will continue to do so. However, it seems like others are starting to notice too! We are excited to talk about three recent stories we have been featured in, both in local newspapers and in blogs across the internet. We get excited about FitSW in the news!

Starter Story

If you aren’t sure what Starter Story is, it is a blog site that specializes in finding successful startups and features them in the their blog. The idea being that if you are a young business owner or want to be a business owner then Starter Story is a place you can go and read on stories of successful entrepreneurs.

What makes it interesting, however, is the blog articles are structured like an interview. Not only is it a story, but Starter Story asks in depth questions about some of the most important aspects of what it took to get the business off the ground, providing some pretty valuable information to its readers.

If you want to go check out the story, learn a little bit more about how FitSW was started, and more about our Founder, Jacob Montoya, click the link below:

FitSW Featured in Starter Story

FitSW in the Local News

The FitSW offices are located in the City of Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs is a modestly sized city. However , we are called “Olympic City USA” for a reason. According to coloradosprings.gov :

“We are home to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee Headquarters, 20+ National Olympic Governing Bodies, more than 50 National Sport Organizations, the Colorado Springs Olympic and Paralympic Training Center and the future U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum.”

Pretty cool, huh? Besides that, Denver is just down the road from us and is consistently named one of the most active, healthiest cities in the US. People here in Colorado Springs go do the inclinefor fun. If you don’t know what the incline is, it is a set of old railway tracks that go 2,000ft straight up a mountain. It is the leftovers of an old railway that was washed away essentially from a rock slide.

So when it comes to health and wellness, people don’t mess around here. It’s safe to say, people were excited when they found out about a local startup that would help them do their yoga from home during the shutdown.

Want to read more? Check out the virtual story here.

A Q&A Session with our Founder, Hosted by Exponential Impact.

This may not be considered “FitSW in the News” so to speak, but nonetheless, we are excited to be featured on Exponential Impacts site.

For those of you that don’t know who or what Exponential Impact is, they are a startup accelerator that helps young companies find their way as they look at growing. It sounds simpler then it actually is. They provide access to great mentors that provide invaluable advice from a seasoned background.

However, recently, they sat down with the Founder of FitSW and did a quick Q&A session about Jacob, his background, experience, how he came up with FitSW, and much more.

If you are interested in learning a little about where FitSW comes from and/or who Exponential Impact is, click the link below to learn more:

Q&A Session with Found of FitSW

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