Archive for October, 2009

Good Business means letting customers do what they want – NOT!

October 15th, 2009

It’s been an interesting morning here at the Vibra-Train studio where I work.   I started the day excited in anticipation of the many early morning customers I expected but alas, it’s raining and the “before work”, 7am rush didn’t quite happen.  Instead customers have come in steadily throughout the morning and the studio has been full and happily busy.

Regular customers become “addicted” to the sessions; the rain doesn’t stop them. One of the best points about our fast, effective, 10-15 minute workout; it can be easily fitted into a busy routine.  Newer people sometimes take extra days off but then come back saying they missed their workout and felt sluggish through the day and, of course, rain sees more cars on the road, slows the traffic and people find themselves short on time before work.

This morning has been a little difficult for me as an instructor.  I’ve been very strict on one customer ensuring he gets into and remains in perfect position on the machines.  A discussion with another customer to clarify aspects of her special-needs program left her annoyed and feeling that I was being unhelpful.  She will talk with my boss and I have his full backing.

Good pre-workout food

Good pre-workout food

A customer came in at 8am for her second session and I asked if she’d had breakfast.  She told me no but she’d had lots of water and taken tablets to enhance fat metabolism.  There’s a strict rule here -” no food = no workout” – and there’s good reason for this.  The short, sharp, 60-second positions on the machine uses up blood sugars very quickly with no time for the liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose and send it into the blood.  I explained to her again the reasons she must eat before her workout then with rain pouring down and knowing she’d made the effort to come in I let her do just the first few positions and the anti-cellulite massage but not the whole program.  We have a cafe a few shops away but this customer needed to get to work whereas some people are very happy at my suggestion they go off for a coffee and muffin and then return for their workout session.

Add in regular instruction of customers and supervising those who know the program well; many phone calls with questions from people who want to come in for their first, free, trial visit, explaining to them that they MUST eat before their session; ensuring customers of neighbouring businesses don’t use our carparks (on a wet day customers need them rather than having to walk up from roadway parking spaces) and all the regular tasks that make up my job.

This is the sort of work day I enjoy; not the small difficulties although I have learnt to be very strict as customers are paying for a quality program and it’s my place to ensure they get it, but the happy busy-ness of a full studio and seeing customers getting amazing results.

What about people with disabilities?

October 13th, 2009

What about the elderly? Do I really have to do a push-up?

Can obese person use a vibration machine? It’s hard exercise, right?

What about health problems like M.S, Diabetes, Asthma, and High Blood Pressure?

The phone rings at the Vibra-Train studio and these are among the questions asked.   It seems amazing that people with the conditions I’ve listed can do hard; strength building exercise on a Vibration Platform so how is it possible?

Firstly, people with disabilities: It depends on what brand or type of machine they have access to and they must be diligent to make sure the vibration training/vibration therapy they get is going to be safe and effective.   Lloyd Shaw, the owner and designer of Vibra-Train is always happy to be emailed or called for advice.  I am also happy to take emails and if I don’t know the answer to your question, I will find out and always get back to you.  I’ve trained people with varying disabilities, including missing limbs, and those with medical conditions and it’s exciting to see the good results we get.

Older people come into the Vibra-Train studio where I work and they use the machine that has side handlebars so that they are well supported in the squat positions.  This machine is a little lower to the ground than the other machines so it’s also easier to step onto and again to step off.  It’s important to move slowly and carefully around the machines including when kneeling and getting up again.

And the push-up? Yes older people can do the push-up position.  It’s not as scary as it sounds as there’s no up and down movements but simply holding a push-up position while the machine does the work.  If customers, of any age, are uncomfortable kneeling we have an alternative standing push-up position, again, using the platform that has side handlebars.

Pivotal Vibration Machines…
Many of these can be bought for home use; can be a useful aid for older people but it’s essential to check out machine reviews first though to ensure you are buying a suitable, premium quality product.  This type of vibration, which has a see-saw movement, helps with mobility and reduces lower back pain by gently (beware: only if it’s a high quality machine) relaxing the pelvic region including the hips and lower back.

Obese people can most definitely use a vibration machine.  The Vibra-Train brand was designed for you! This brand of machine has bio-mechanical markers (exact and obvious places to put feet, hands, knees etc) and while these markers are for everyone, they make it so much easier for bigger people to get into perfect position and to hold that position for the 60 seconds required.  Other machine brands can also be used, of course.  I recommend asking questions about the machine and to ensure you get an instructor who is competent to help you.

There are very few contra-indications to vibration training; the primary ones being pregnancy, having an active cancer condition, and having a heart pace-maker.  Other health concerns including diabetes and high blood pressure are not contra-indications but it’s important to be honest on your first visit, filling out the Introduction and Health questionnaire accurately so that the Instructor is aware of your medical condition and can give any special instructions needed.   Injuries are rarely a problem and when noted on the questionnaire allow the Instructor to pay special attention to that area ensuring you get excellent training that also aids in recovery of the injury.

A FINAL CAUTIONARY NOTE:  With any exercise facility be it a gym, fitness club, or vibration training studio you must be sure that the equipment provided, the program of exercise positions, and the instruction given is excellent in quality and designed for the purpose of giving you, the customer, an ongoing work-out experience that gives great results and does no harm.  The proficiency of the Instructor is essential to ensuring you get a great first experience and ongoing supervised training.  Ask lots of questions.