Posts Tagged ‘Exercise’

Should Crossfit Community Clubs and Trainers join REPS NZ?

August 26th, 2014

NOTE:  This is an opinion piece based on my own experience and should be read as such.

Richard Beddie, CEO of Exercise New Zealand has been in the news lately.

He says there’s been a 35% increase in people joining exercise programs in the last five years. This is good news but he’s also been making statements about unregistered Personal Trainers; basically rubbishing them and telling the public not to trust them.

Why?  Because they haven’t taken up membership with the organisation he’s head of, Exercise NZ and REPs (New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals).

He’s been very much getting onto CrossFit and is quoted as saying it’s been responsible for six deaths (he now says was misquoted but hasn’t provided evidence).  He calls all unregistered Trainers “cowboys”.

Again, but Why?  Because he has strongly invited CrossFit Communities (the businesses) and CrossFit Trainers to join up to REPs NZ and basically no-one has joined up.

That same invitation went out to Vibration Training Studios and Instructors, and Pilates Studios and Instructors around 10 years ago and again, no one joined up.  Yet another group not linked to Exercise New Zealand and REPs is Zoomba, although when held in a branded gym, the gym and the trainers might be registered.

What is the reason?

One of the sources of concern is New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation figures that show a big increase in injuries coming from sport and exercise.  NZ’ers love of rugby and football mean these sports feature high in injury figures, followed by the high intensity workout systems of Zumba and CrossFit.

So, for Richard Beddie, the answer is simple –  all personal trainers and fitness instructors must all join up to REPs – become known as “Registered Exercise Professionals”, problem solved!  My answer is the one on the TUI billboards, “Yeah, Right!”

Caught out:

When Beddie was caught out with this statement, “CrossFit has resulted in 6 deaths overseas and rendered an Australian man paraplegic…”

none of which is true, the response from NZ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) was this:

“With reference to HITT activity REPs position is clear, that ALL individuals delivering this form of exercise must be registered with REPs. This ensures that the individual instructor is appropriately qualified and are bound by a scope of practise which ensures that the exercise delivered is both safe and effective. (June 18, 2014)

Is this a reasonable assumption?

Well it might sound reasonable if it ensured public safety but does that regulation really work?  REPs membership starts with the trainer having passed a course and so is assumed to have a level of competency. In practise that’s no guarantee of anything.

REPs does no checking up on the trainer!

As long as they pay the yearly fees and meet minimum requirements of working in the industry and a few points for attending the conference or short course, they stay all good and registered.

Newly qualified trainers are told – join up, pay your yearly fees and we will provide you with resources, guidelines and the yearly FitEx conference (at a reduced rate, which means nothing in my opinion as conference costs have to be met so the fee is set to meet that).

Gyms and fitness businesses are told they need to be registered (club registration) and then they may ONLY employ REPs NZ registered personal trainers and fitness instructors. There’s a form of blackmail going on there in my opinion. Of course it’s said to be all about competency and public safety.

How do I know anything about this?

My experience was very different to what it looks like to the general public – I’m really disappointed with REPs; I got nothing out of my 5 years membership.

I work for Vibra-Train NZ, a non-registered fitness business, it’s one that will never join Exercise NZ or REPs.  My punishment for working in a non-registered business was that I paid a higher yearly fee (though no one could explain to me why).  As REPs (and what was then known as Fitness NZ) developed its membership scheme I needed to move from provisional membership to full membership.  Then they disallowed one of the academic institutes I’d studied at.

Good, I thought, someone will finally visit me at my workplace and “check” my competency. I’m very proud of what I do and welcomed a visit.

Previously I’d invited (by email) any Fitness NZ person to visit me but was told they don’t have the resource to visit.

This time I thought I’d have to prove my competency but no, again, I was refused. No one would visit.  No one from REPs seemed to care if I followed safe practises when training clients. What I was told was that instead, I just needed to pass a quick online multi-choice test.

Safe training?

So,you see,  that’s the proof of safe training REPs required – none at all!

just the certificates to say I’d passed my courses and then their online test –   but Richard Beddie is pushing the line that only REPs registered instructors are “appropriately qualified and bound by a scope of practise which ensures that the exercise delivered is both safe and effective”.

Something doesn’t add up!

And the only vibration training place that was REPs registered and employed only REPs registered trainers, was owned by an Exercise NZ staffer. The business advertised their registered status as a superiority over other studios but when I visited I was dismayed by, in my opinion, the lack of safe practise and lack of understanding the differences of vibration training to other training methods. Also I heard comments from people who changed over to train with me; there’s no way I would employ any of those REPs registered vibration training instructors.

What is Crossfit?

It’s the in-word in fitness and exercise and it seems that most everyone has an opinion on it – but what is it? 

An explanation in simple terms is it’s a strength and conditioning program, for all ages and abilities, that uses a wide range of extremely challenging and engaging workouts. The aim is to produce overall super fitness; muscular, cardiovascular, coordination and balance, stamina, speed, mental control and more . Each day a different workout (WOD) tests and develops strength in one particular area or function. The workout remains the same for all people with variance in load or workout intensity (and only if really necessary an alternative yet similar workout). Speed is a major component in WOD (this can lead to sloppy form in challenges where speed should not play a part, in my opinion).

With so much involved it’s obvious that Crossfit Instructors have to be very knowledgeable and highly trained.

My message to Crossfit

CROSSFIT people, don’t be bullied into joining REPs.  There’s no way that will make you better or safer trainers.  Richard Beddie thinks he can clean up Crossfit by making you all pay your fees and register.  You’ll even have to retrain if you don’t meet the registration requirements; no matter what your current experience, you’ll need that academic certificate!

But, Crossfit, you do have problems – I’ve watched videos showing terrible practices, certain to cause injury, and pushing people to achieve against all sense and safety.  I have clients who tell me they have done Crossfit and given up because of what they’ve seen or they have friends who have kept on despite getting injuries and then been forced to give up.

You MUST clean up your OWN methods and come down very hard on lazy or undisciplined instructors; get rid of them, they won’t change. Popularity or high advertising budget counts for nothing – get rid of any trainer or company that’s damaging Crossfit’s positive reputation.  The Vibration Training industry has done this, regulated their own; we’ve spoken out loudly against problem operators and those who promised great results but couldn’t possibly deliver as their equipment was too low quality. And we came out hard against unsafe practices.

Crossfit, it’s my opinion that REPs can’t help you do this. No one will come out and test your trainer’s competency or safe practise, or help you regulate within your own method. It seems to me that REPs is all about money, your money – you pay to call yourself registered and then you continue to pay to have your company registered and then each year you continue to pay. Only you can decide if what you get for that money is worth it to your company and your trainers. I decided, for myself, it wasn’t so I didn’t re-register a year ago – and no one from REPs even bothered to ask me why.


Vibration Training – Shake ya Booty?

April 11th, 2013

A friend commented on Facebook  that they wished there was a  Vibra-Train studio in their town so that they could join with us to “shake ya booty”.

I laughed, of course, but then thought that others might read that post and it might cause some confusion, so decided to write a brief blog on the different types of vibration machines and how they work. In doing so I’ll answer the question; do vibration machines “shake ya booty”?

Girl Dance Exercise OutdoorsWe girls love these quirky, laughable terms and we immediately identify with their meaning.  There are many types of dance-sport and dance exercise where “shake ya booty” is an entirely appropriate term. You get a real good shake all over and especially your butt.

But what about a vibration training session? Is it true that it “shakes ya booty” and if it doesn’t then how does it work? You need movement to really be exercising, right?

» Read more: Vibration Training – Shake ya Booty?

What Can Vibration Training Really Do for Me?

February 5th, 2013
Slim girl in big size jeansQuestion Mark
Every day I am asked this question or a variation of it.

The new year is definitely underway and it’s very busy at Vibra-Train Auckland City.  Each day has a mix of “old” and “new” customers – those who know the program really well training alongside newbies who need fully supervised training.  The studio operates on a “walk-in” basis, no appointments necessary so people just turn up when it suits them, before work, at lunchtime, after work, at night, and for some who work in large businesses nearby, they come in anytime during the day, even during their personal/bathroom break.

So, what’s vibra – training really doing for them?    » Read more: What Can Vibration Training Really Do for Me?

Getting Americans Moving

January 14th, 2013

In December I read a blog on with the topic “Getting Americans Moving”.

Every week there’s an editorial in the newspaper, a television documentary, or a magazine article on this same topic “How can we get people to exercise” so I wasn’t expecting outstanding or anything new in the blog I read and I was right, it was all the same information I’ve read time and time before.

So isn’t the message getting through? Maybe it is and prople are ignoring it?

Of course the message is getting through. Worldwide, we all know that exercise is part of health and wellbeing. We all know there’s no pill, no potion, no nutrition supplement that negates the need for regular exercise.

Yet even the word exercise conjours up mixed feelings; some immediately respond, Yes! they love exercise, or their chosen sport, or spending time at the gym four or five times a week, bootcamp mornings, or maybe it’s as simple as walking the dog every day, or running in the park or along the ocean broadwalk. These are all regular exercise. There are iPhone apps to help and guide exercise, maps and distance trackers,Count my Steps, FitBit Activity tracker and more; used by people who love exercise and love to keep a record of how they are doing. » Read more: Getting Americans Moving

Vibration Training Studio Or The Gym – which one should I choose?

March 8th, 2012

This is a question that comes up often – Which is best?  Which one is cheaper?  Which one will make me get stronger fastest?  Lose weight fastest?

It’s such a huge question with so many variables, it really is one I try to avoid, but it was put to me by a relative recently so here’s the answer I gave her.

It Depends!        Only you can choose!

strength on Vibra-Train Vibra Machine

So then, which one is best?         The gym must be best, right?   Best at what?, I replied.

The young lady who asked me said she had joined a small, inexpensive gym.  There wasn’t much equipment and you were left to “just get on with it” so she liked going there.  Besides at $10 a week (an extremely low price) it was cheaper than the local vibration training studio that was charging $30 a week for supervised sessions.

This immediately brought up further questions – Supervised sessions versus just doing what you choose to do? Vibration Training at specialised studios in New Zealand includes fully supervised instruction. This can range from one-on-one, through to group classes, or one instructor supervising a room full of people with each at different positions of a regulated safety program.  Each of these scenarios works very well.

So, what about the cost of supervised or personal training in the gym? This can be very expensive – $60-90 per hour for one-on-one training.  Group class prices at the gym range from “free” which means they are included in the weekly rate (expensive rates), train with a friend for a reduced price, or you can pay for a series of group classes often with a specific theme and often an exorbitant price.

What about best results?  Which one – Vibration Training Studio or the Gym – gives you the best results?

man at gymThat’s an impossible question so there’s no right answer.  Results? It depends specifically what results you want and the answer can even be – either.

Remember that high energy vibration training is a form of resistance training, it builds muscle strength and overall fitness (makes you look and feel great), it doesn’t really work the heart so it’s good to go for a swim, or go for walks, or use an exercycle to have a fully balanced fitness program.  A lot of people don’t do any specific cardio training though; their daily lives are busy enough and filled with short bursts of movement/cardio workout.  Some vibration studios have treadmills and bikes available for customers to use after their vibration training session.

The gym usually provides both types of workouts – cardio and strength/resistance training – well, that is, if you use the equipment correctly; many people just use the treadmill and the exercycles and maybe the pool, they never use any of the free weights or resistance/weight machines so their fitness program is very unbalanced and their results lack because of this.  When I worked in a gym many members came in, only to use the treadmill. They left buzzing and happy yet they never looked good and were very lacking in any muscle strength.

Back to my question – Vibration Training OR The Gym?

It’s an individual choice, there’s no “one size fits all”.  A few other points to consider before making your choice are

How much time do you have available for your fitness sessions? Vibration training takes from 15-40 minutes depending on the machine type, brand and what studio you go to.  You can usually wear street clothes. A gym session will take at least 30 minutes, usually 90 minutes plus time to shower and change back into your street clothes.

Do you have any disabilities or other factors that will affect your ability to train, either at the gym or vibration training studio? Things like obesity, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes?  You can choose either way of training with these conditions but make sure you talk to a trainer first. Vibration training can be modified into therapy sessions for people who need this, and also a competent  gym trainer can design a specific program.

If you have tried the gym though and it’s just “not for you”, for whatever reason, – give Vibration Training a go.  We all need to work-out to achieve and maintain strength and fitness;  it just doesn’t come automatically with our fast paced, modern way of life.

Safety Program for use with Lineal Vibration Machines

April 12th, 2011
vibrogym professional
Does your Gym or Fitness Centre have a Vibration Machine in the corner or in a side room but you don’t know how to use it?

Does it have a chart on the wall with stick figures in many strange poses? Are the trainers clueless when it comes to this piece of equipment?

Vibe Trainer Whole Body Vibration Machines DKNDo you want to know how to use your home machine safely and effectively?

(many come with long, confusing workout suggestions written in broken english or just pictures with instruction in chinese languages)

Did you buy a machine on Ebay or New Zealand’s TradeMe and you don’t really know how to use it?

Here is a poster and link to clear instructions on the use of Lineal Vibration Machines. It is designed for medium and higher energy platforms like VibroGym, BodyShaker, DKN Lineal platforms, and Power Plate clones BUT it’s also effective with low energy home machines of the sort you can buy in a sports or general supply shop or online.

If you are using a lower force machine, once you’ve mastered the program and are making sure you are getting into and maintaining Perfect Position you can double up on the squats and later on the full program. Doubling up on a pose can be performing it for 2 minutes instead of 1 or doing two sets of 1 minute poses dependant on the timing controls available on the machine.

Be sure your machine is lineal (upright vibration) before following these instructions although most positions can be adapted for pivotal (side to side) machines.

Note: Do not attempt the plank position in these instructions on a pivotal platform. Full instructions for the safe use of pivotal vibration machines will be available very soon.

IVTRB Safety Program Step-by-Step instructions: Click here for instructions and explanation of each position.

And here’s the poster. If you click on it, it links through to a larger copy.

It is essential to follow the instructions in conjunction with the poster. By carefully going through it step-by-step you can be sure of getting into position correctly and having an effective workout.
Do not ever simply try to copy the poster!

IVTRB safety program poster

Vibration Training – The Results of Five Years Training – Lloyd Shaw pics

April 8th, 2011

This photo essay show the results of 5 years of fitness workouts using only Vibra-Train brand vibration machines; a self test done by the owner and designer of the machines, Lloyd Shaw.

Lloyd Shaw at the beginning of Vibra-Train quite chubby

Lloyd Shaw at the start of the Vibra-Train test

Picture 1: shows Lloyd Shaw in 2004. Back then he loved his gym workouts – 1 and 1/2 hour sessions six days a week.  Add in cardio sessions three times a week also, sprints and swimming.

He looks good but decidedly chubby. His muscle definition was better than the average gym goer but there’s no way he would take off his shirt and pose back then. And look at his arms; there’s muscle there but they have a covering of fat.


Lloyd Shaw VibraTrain

Lloyd Shaw Vibra-Train

Picture 2: Two years into a self test, using only Vibra-Train brand machines and the Vibra-Train Safety Program for workouts; this picture shows a very cut look. It was taken on impulse and looked so good the background was added for use as a poster. Lloyd’s only gym visits were once every few months to check out his strength which was increasing.


Picture 3: Fast forward to 2011. The picture below of Lloyd Shaw taken April 7th, 2011 – a slimmer profile showing amazing abs and a completely balanced look.

Lloyd Shaw Vibration Training Muscles April 2011

Lloyd Shaw Vibration Training Muscles April 2011

The picture is completely unedited and was taken on a whim. I thought it was so good I had to publish it.

It’s now 5 years since Lloyd Shaw began his “Vibra-Train as only exercise” test using himself as the test subject. This look was achieved solely using Vibra-Train brand Vibration Machines. I know Lloyd well and can attest that his diet isn’t always great (too much fastfood) although he has cleaned it up somewhat this year.

Individual results vary of course; some people are badly hampered by hormonal or overweight/fat issues, stress or injury.  Some people respond very quickly to this form of exercise while for others their body goes through other changes first but for everyone results begin to show after just a few weeks and are ongoing.

Here’s Lloyd Shaw’s  personal Vibration Training Workout:

and the Vibra-Train Safety Program:

Vibration Training Safety Program for Lineal Machines

Vibration Training helps improve Balance in Older Adults

March 4th, 2011

This short blog’s title says it all – using a vibration machine improves balance.  Let’s look at where that’s helpful

Older Man on Vibration MachineFor the older adult exercise improves balance and stability and so lessens the risk of falling over. This is something that its hard to even visualise when we are younger and rushing here and there with no thought of our legs not holding us up but its a fact of aging that people lose some of that ability to balance.

There are several reasons for this; one is proprioception - the awareness of where one’s limbs are in relation to 3-D space. Our brain and our body responds to the surfaces and even the air around us and when we are standing or walking keeps us balanced and not leaning too far forward, back, sideways or toppling over. The brain responds and controls part of this and there’s also our kinesthetic sense which also involves reflexes, muscle memory and hand/eye coordination.

A second reason is that muscles can become rigid as a person ages and less able to respond rapidly to changes in environment.  Exercise helps  them stay flexible.  There is also movement of joints, range of motion, and agility; all of which deteriorate somewhat as we age.

This all sounds quite negative but there is a lot we can do to improve balance and coordination in older people or better still, to prevent some of the decline in the first place.


Of course this has to be easily available, not too demanding (although it has to push the person as that’s how we adapt), and suited to the abilities of the individual.  Older people are greatly encouraged to take walks and to engage in a resistance training program (weights) maybe at their local fitness centre.  How much physical exercise a person can do depends on how low or high their risk of falling is, on their general health and fitness level, and also on personal preferences.

This is where Vibration Training is like a “wonder drug”. It improves balance effectively and stabilises and strengthens the muscles supporting the joints. It has a positive effect on mind/body communication along with improving circulation and decreasing pain. The greatest thing, in my opinion and experience, is that almost everyone can participate. There’s supervised training and/or therapy available in Vibration Training studios in some countries and there’s home machines of varying types and intensit available worldwide.

Both pivotal (see-saw motion) and lineal (upright movement) machines are effective for improving balance. There may be reasons of availability, injury, general health or preference to choose one type over the other.

More information is available at where there is also a forum for asking specific questions after reading the articles.

Fitness Programs for Kids – Running, Vibration Training

November 3rd, 2010

Last Sunday was Auckland Marathon Race day in Auckland, New Zealand.  My husband ran the 1/2 marathon event and placed very well, 7th in his age group, and overall coming in just about 200th of 7000 entrants. Congratulations to him!

A new event this year was a Kids Marathon. It was set up as an 8, 10, or 12 week training program in schools for 7-13 year olds culminating in the 2.195km Kids Marathon race at the Auckland Marathon event. Each child finisher received a medal and a downloadable certificate. Every finisher was a winner.

running 5km raceThe kids event was set up to help kids develop life-long fitness skills and and it will help prevent obesity as they grow.  We’ve all seen the figures – childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in developed countries and figures show that 70% of obese adolescents become obese adults.  Anything that can be done to halt those frightening statistics gets my vote.

What about the kids who are already quite overweight or already obese?  To say they are unlikey to enjoy a running program is understating the reality!

Some will, of course, do okay. They’ll plod along, literally, and if their diet has some controls they might even lose some fat and gain some fitness and, over a period of time, come to enjoy the running program.  Okay, I can almost hear some people laughing because most overweight and certainly all obese kids are not going to take to running – many will hate it!  We’ve all found ways to skip school on days there’s a class or event we really dislike so I’m imagining this happening on “running class” days for some kids.

Maybe kids running training classes will be optional but being presented as a life changing program I’m doubting that and pretty sure it will be inflicted on all kids regardless of shape, size, and the ability to even run from one lamppost to the next.

It’s good for them, it will help them, they need to do it – Really?  isn’t there another way?

I”m really against instilling into young minds that any particular form of exercise is the only way to achieve results . Running isn’t suitable for everyone and can even induce injuries in unfit, overweight people. Diet and metabolism play a part in how much muscle and fat a person has and must be a part of any real fitness program.

There definitely is an alternative form of exercise for overweight kids – it’s called  Vibration Training.

Cardio exercise like running isn’t the only way to build fitness and help with fat-loss.  Vibration Platforms are being used under the guidance of Dr Robbie Parker at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, N.S.W., Australia for children and adolsecents who are overweight or obese and have insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.

I believe we will see an increase in the use of Vibration Training for overweight children. It’s fun and very effective.  There’s no denying that it’s hard work but the kids like that and I’d put the parents on the machines to show them how hard it is – and anyway, they should be training alongside their kids. I don’t know of any schools with Vibration Machines; they’d need to be high quality, commercial machines that cost lots of money so for now overweight kids get forced to run, like it or not. I hope they wont be needing knee surgery from all that pounding with their heavy weight.

Overweight and obese adolescents and children are welcome to come into Vibra-Train studios. They do have to be able to hold a perfect pose, like a squat, on the machine and have to follow instructions exactly.  And we’ll look after your knees.  Who knows; you might become so strong you will want to join the running program next year.

New Customers with Questions

August 17th, 2010

Spring in New Zealand? Well not yet but the past few mornings have been a little warmer.  Auckland is known for having “four seasons in one day” and almost every day during winter we experience rain; which can be torrential or simply annoying showers.  Now, in August we are looking forward to Spring, a time of warmer temperatures, days with sunny skies, rain with gale force winds (not so exciting to look forward to) and maybe weekends away at the mountains which will hold their snow for a few more months.

We’ve had many first-timers at the Vibra-Train studio where I work. I’m wondering if people are looking forward to summer and know that now is the time to improve their fitness and strength; and look great.

Last week’s customers all had questions about Vibration Training or they had specific desires, several wanting to only work out their upper body, telling me that they did a lot of running and that was all they thought they needed for their legs.

These customers are “the best” – they haven’t just come along because they’ve seen an TV advert for Vibration Training or an article in a magazine and come to try us out for a few visits, kind of like trying the latest flavour of icecream and then off to try some other fitness facility – they’ve come because they’ve already done some research or talked to a friend who’s getting great results – these are serious, long-term, new customers and they want their questions answered.

running woman on beachThose who are regularly walking or running need to understand how different Vibration Training is; how training on high-force, lineal machines builds muscle and is considered a form of resistance training whereas running is for cardio fitness. They soon realise that despite frequent running they must follow the full Safety Program to get the results.  If they vibration train regularly two or three times a week they soon be telling me how much easier their running is becoming because they’ll have increased their overall fitness; those who sprint get faster and those who walk or run longer distances find they have more stamina and don’t tire so soon.  An advantage runners and regular walkers have over other “newbies” is that their leg muscles are strong so they manage the squat positions very well.