A Network riposte to criticism of outdoor group training

In today’s Sydney Morning Herald, fitness guru Garry Egger is reported as criticising outdoor fitness training as being a middle class indulgence that embarrasses passers by who witness it. Hmm, interesting…

Australian Fitness Network’s relationship with Garry goes back a long way – in fact he was one of our founders. And, dear friend though he is, we must say that on this occasion we don’t agree with his stance!

Egger criticises outdoor training/boot camps on a number of scores. One thing he finds fault with is trainers who conduct their groups poorly and ‘take over’ public areas. We agree that poorly managed outdoor training does a disservice to our industry, but we also believe that, especially since councils have tightened regulations regarding permits and PT activity on council land, such training is in a minority.  Read More

Challenging the stereotype of ageing

The following Blog post was written by Kay MacKenzie, a fitness professional with over three decades experience. Kay is also Network's Ambassador for SA.

I was interested to read about a recent study by Victoria University into the efficacy of exercise for older adults which highlighted the fact that it’s never too late to start working out. Hooray to that!
If you think about a class for ‘older adults’ what do you visualise? Now that I am considered to be one (demographic over 50), I have been reflecting on the stereotype of the older adult and exercise – and it doesn’t sit well with me. I have been working with older adults for over 30 years, and my experience is that the hundreds of men and women I have had the privilege of teaching flourish in classes that are planned to challenge their ability, regardless of age. In fact, I believe that what you expect may well be what you get.  Read More

PPCA fee hike overturned!

In news that will have group exercise instructors nationwide beaming from ear to ear, the Federal Court has overturned the recent Copyright Tribunal decision to allow the increase copyright fees for the use of music in group exercise classes, citing ‘procedural fairness’ as the reason for the decision.  Read More

Zumba Fitness – Temporary Fad or Here to Stay?

For those of us that have been in the fitness industry for a while, we are sure to have seen fads and trends come and go. From personal experience it’s also been quite interesting to see those that have stuck around for the long run.

The Reebok Slide, stair climbers and Tae Bo are good examples of trends that seemed to take hold of the industry in a flash – but then just as quickly disappeared. Others like Les Mills pre-choreographed classes, balance training and indoor cycling are great examples of so called “trends” that ended up sticking around for good.  Read More

Will new PPCA music fees bring about a two-tier club system?

The Network Blog recently posted the topic ‘One word to describe the reality of teaching with PPCA free music – fine!’, which generated a considerable response. The comments made by numerous instructors, and the occasional participant, clearly illustrate the differing opinions about the issue.

The fitness industry has spent a huge amount of time, money and energy fighting the PPCA through the courts, in a bid to prevent the massive price hike from $1 per class to $15 per class. However, the music industry won, and the fitness industry has responded by moving, largely, to a PPCA-free model whereby many clubs are now using exclusively non-original-artist music.  Read More

Step back (and forwards) in time

In 2009 Step group exercise classes turned 20. In the early 1990s the Group Ex world (or ‘aerobics’ as it was then) couldn’t get enough of the new program and eagerly attended the training workshops held all over Australia by Gin Miller and the crew from Reebok University.

Step was hugely successful in pretty much all of the markets where it debuted and a big part of that was the sense of immediate success that every participant could achieve from even their first class. Petra Kolber, an international fitness presenter and one of the original Master Trainers for Step Reebok (also presenting at FILEX 2010) says, ‘Step choreography was easy to follow and as we were using higher Step heights there was an immediate feeling that this workout was awesome for everyone involved’.  Read More

Fitness Industry Trends to Watch Out for 2010 and beyond

Recently myself and a colleague, Amy Bird, were lucky enough to head over to America to a couple of international fitness conventions to get a feel for what is happening overseas in the wide world of fitness. Certainly an eye opening experience, Amy and I identified the following 4 BIG global trends to watch out for, some of which have already hit OZ and some that are sure to come soon:   Read More

The Best of Both Worlds: Instructing Freestyle and Pre-Chore Group Fitness

This post was written by international presenter and educator Rebecca Small.

Once upon a time, in a land called Oz there was a group of Freestyle fitness instructors at the top of their game. The land was a melting pot, producing some of the best freestyle presenters the world has ever seen, and some of whom the world never got to see.

Lexie Williams, Marcus Irwin, David Hatch, Michael Betts, Anton Scott, Lisa Osborne, Cathy Spencer, Michelle Dean, Mitch Gibson, Helen Harper, Lesley Gray, Susie Miller and many, many more were all leaders in their chosen field.  Read More

Vibration Training, the new fitness frontier?

The following post was written by international presenter and educator, Steve Schiemer.

Having lived in Europe for the last 12 years, I have watched this type of training explode onto the fitness and rehab scene. It first hit the fitness market about 6 or 7 years ago. Vibration training is the act of passing a vibration through the body to elicit a series of responses, in particular to activate the deep core muscles of the body, to stimulate the nervous system, increase strength and power, reduce pain perception, increase bone density, improve circulation and lymphatic drainage and improve proprioception. The two most popular ways to do this are to either stand on a vibrating plate, such the Power Plate, and allow the vibrations to enter the body via the legs, or to use a handheld oscillating device such as a FLEXI-BAR, which is a long flexible fibreglass bar with weights on the end and a handle in the middle that you push/pull to get the bar to swing back and forth, allowing the vibrations to pass into the body via the arms.  Read More

Record industry tries to impose $100m tax on fitness

Fitness facilities around Australia are facing an unprecedented hike in the fees they pay for music – a huge increase of more than 4,000 per cent in many cases – if the Copyright Tribunal upholds a record industry claim to change the rate of music licence fees. If the record industry gets away with it, a typical fitness club with 1,300 members will be forced to pay $140,000 in annual fees, a massive increase on the $2,654 they currently pay. Many of these fitness centres are small owner-operators and this increase will have a disastrous impact on their businesses and on jobs – all because record industry bosses are looking for easy targets to plug the gap left by declining CD sales.  Read More