Sunday, May 26, 2019

Back to the Future! A return to the "GYM" Business

PART 1 A True Story! 
In December 2015 I threw my hat back into the arena of the “gym” business. The reason I am writing about this 4 years later is because of the immense emotional toll this took on my family and I. 

 For those of you that know me I’ve been out of the “gym” business for some time. My focus has been on primary and continuing education and event planning.  

I was approached by relatives who were interested in purchasing a new business and found a medium size facility in a fairly exclusive upscale area on the north shore of Long Island. 

On goes my consultant hat along with the idea I may have a home and place to build as “I see fit” (pun intended).  My relatives had owned other businesses in the past but they had no experience in the “gym/fitness” industry. Without tooting my own “horn” my expertise was the reason they approached me in October about this endeavor or so I thought.

I was both flattered and excited to be a part of this whole process.
What happened over the next 5 months floored me. I have had many experiences in the gym, fitness, education, training and consulting side of our industry and what looked too good to be true became just that.

My personal training business has been steady since hurricane Sandy but to be honest I have not been focused on growing that aspect of my business. I was maintaining a steady clientele, many of which had survived the storm (quite literally). I had just finished the FEI Eclipse 2015 event and was already focusing on the upcoming year. 

The timing was perfect and the ideas of combining a facility with everything I had been working on appealed to me on many levels. One which of course was a steady income and of course the idea that I could helm and rebuild this brand along with my "others". Kettlebell Spec Ops, Reality Personal Training and those with whom I was working and consulting with at the time.

In the beginning of November the homework began. I took every detail of the potential sale and started the evaluation process.I threw myself into this thinking I had the full support of my "partners/family".

In part 2 of this blog I will take you through that step by step process and the vision I had.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Adding Bulk to Your Fitness Business IQ


Pros know what it takes to develop their own unique shape. But when it comes to the shape of a healthy career, there is often little
meat on the bone

Given recent news, it’s not due to a dying industry. Recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and IHRSA reflect 44% growth over the past ten years with anticipation for even higher number coming over the next few years.

Industry growth aside, it appears there may be a hole in how we train, maintain and promote our own.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mentors Matter TWO!

By Chris Cooper

What exactly is a mentor?  It’s a person, usually more experienced than yourself, who trains, educates, and/or guides you through the same field.  An advisor.  

Having a mentor has been an invaluable asset to my career as not only a personal trainer, but as a blooming presenter/educator in the fitness industry.  So right off the bat, I am going to recommend finding a mentor that can guide you through whatever career it is you want.  They will be able to elevate your capabilities as a professional to a level that you didn’t even think of.  

So why is a mentor so valuable?  First and foremost, they have a wealth of knowledge and experience that can guide you through your career.  In a way they are another teacher/professor for you to learn from.  Think of it as a course that has no end and is always evolving.  Topics that could be touched on could include:

  • Avoiding certain mistakes/pitfalls
  • Teaching what works/doesn’t work
  • Guide you to new endeavors
  • Push your limits
In much of the same way a trainer pushes their clients past certain limits, a mentor will do the very same thing.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Meet the Presenters FEI Eclipse 2014

Carolyn Appel MS CSCS  FEI ECLIPSE 2014 Introductions

I began an informal investigation into the power of mistakes as a teenage competitive tennis player. Instead of throwing my racket or cursing a mistake, like many of my opponents, I would search for clues in an errant shot to help me improve. So, if I hit a forehand into the net, I would conclude that my shot was too flat and I needed to use more topspin the next time. While I couldn't always execute the perfect forehand, I had pre-programmed my brain to establish more high-percentage shots based on previous mistakes.

It wasn't until I studied error-detection in graduate school that I learned the theory behind my on-court analysis. Now, as a trainer, I have figured out how to apply those same concepts to my clients, so that they can become good error-detectors and solve movement challenges without my feedback, creating more independent, resourceful people.

In my presentation, I will dig into the science of learning, the power of mistakes, and offer specific applications of intrinsic and extrinsic feedback systems to help you create clients who are better able to assess and correct their performances. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Man Behind FEI!


 Do you know me? 

David Bluman

For those of you who don’t know me. I’m the proverbial man behind the curtain. David Bluman. I am the founder and CEO of Fitness Education Institute. When I started FEI I was focused solely on connecting the parts of the fitness industry that I felt needed some attention. I have been fortunate that many of my friends and peers in this industry are brilliant educators. I myself still do personal training full time and will occasionally sub for a Group Exercise class. I too am a CEC/CEU provider for ACE and more recently AFAA. 

There is a disconnection between science and practice, between education and economy and it is and will continue to be my goal to be able to bring the best of the best to the marketplace. This means being able to bring presenters to facilities that may not otherwise have access or the means to go to see these great instructors at an event. Let’s face it. The cost of education, travel, eating out, shopping at trade shows has gotten out of control.
I KNOW that you the fitness professionals are selective at spending your hard earned $ on education. Thus I created FEI.

So what is it exactly that I/WE do?

I find host sites for presenters and find presenters host sites for their courses.

I can “manage” the “newbie” and help them navigate the waters becoming a presenter and CEC/CEU provider. I can provide mentorship, consulting services, including all business planning, branding, marketing and design services. On some occasions I've managed and provided programming and programs for facilities and individual professionals. If something is out of my specialty I will connect the proper parties. 

I have the means to ‘HELP’ connect and promote these “smaller venues/facilities” with the presenter via social media, email and FEI’s website. This helps to build course, presenter and brand awareness for all involved. It’s building a Relationship and Synergism.

In some cases a facility wants a certain type of training or a specific presenter so I act as middle man. 

In other cases I have the opportunity to teach the FEI branded workshops. Courses I've written or co-written with others.

This year is our 3rd FEI Eclipse Conference!

3 days of Education. September 19-21.

Our focus – top notch education, affordability, consideration of your schedule, your income and our economy. 

Kicking off this event are Dr. Cody Sipe and Dr. Dan Ritchie with the Advanced Functional Aging Specialist Certification. For $199

Then our workshops and lectures with a HANDS ON PRACTICAL FOCUS on Saturday and Sunday for only $199.

One Day (Sat or Sunday) for $119

OR you can choose from a menu of classes at just $35 per class starting in August. 

Too often we are limited by our own classes and training to do a full event or a one day event so I wanted you to have the flexibility to work around your schedule and still participate in the event and earn your education credits!

I’ve brought in programming and presenters that are truly the top of the tops, along with some who you may not know, but trust me after taking their courses you won’t forget them. Many of them have been a part of my education and training!

SO join me at the Eclipse - Registration deadline is June 30. Go to and REGISTER NOW! 

In keeping with the industry needs you can put down a deposit of $50 and reserve your early bird pricing and guarantee your attendance. Details are on our website. 

See you in September! Don’t forget to follow me and FEI on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and to add this blog to your RSS feed and/or follow me here!

I look forward to meeting each and every one of you!

David Bluman

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Guest Post By: Cody Sipe, PhD

Register Today! 
"I’m often asked what the best exercises are for older adults. I always reply “best for what?  

I’ve researched, studied and tested more exercises than I care to remember to try and figure out which ones are the best for improving physical function.  

It is difficult to make an absolute list because the best exercise for an older adult is determined by their current needs and abilities.  

However, after two decades of training older adults there are several that have risen to the top of my list because they offer a multitude of benefits for clients, can be easily modified or varied, and can be used with a wide range of functional levels.  Here are a few that you’ve just got to try.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

USMC Pullups and Women | The Daily PT

This was re-blogged with permission from my friend Stew Smith. I was having this discussion recently with my good friend Captain Jennifer Sheringham US Army. After learning from Stew and Jennifer during my career and adding in my Kettlebell Spec Ops Courses, my beach bootcamp classes here in Long Beach, NY I had much interest regarding this topic. One of which was this. Is the pull up a necessary tool in the arsenal of a combat soldier? Simply put. Yes. Jen went on to describe potential scenarios where it could be the difference between life and death. You're trapped in a flipped vehicle, need to engage those specific muscle groups to save another life and so on...She also stated after a tour in Iraq "Consider this fact learned in both Iraq and Afghanistan there are no "non-combat" roles any longer. Any base, convoy, patrol or transport can be attacked. You also need to consider that possibility exists in our own country with the growing threat of terrorism." Stew has truly shared the systemic issue in health and obesity in this article. Enjoy the read. Thank you Stew and Jen.

USMC Pullups and Women

Removing the Flexed Arm Hang and adding Pullups to the women’s fitness standards in the Marine Corps was an upgrade that was carefully considered, studied and implemented with support throughout the chain of command for the past couple of years.  However, recent events have forced the USMC to reconsider the start date of the new change.  When 55% of the female graduating class at boot camp failed the three pullup minimum, the January 1, 2014 implementation date has been postponed.
Why is this an issue?
The USMC made this an issue when they decided to make the change.  However, this is a society problem that is dropped in the laps of our military each year.  This is nothing new.  Unfit candidates have been arriving at boot camps, basic training, police and fire academies for decades.   From the late 80’s until now, the physical abilities of the average recruit have slowly declined or deteriorated may be a better word for it.  Now, the number one reason preventing an 18 year old person from joining the military is they fail to meet the height /​ weight standards.  What happened to the good old days when the biggest obstacle to joining the military was a criminal record or failure to graduate high school?
The fact is the United States is overweight and out of shape.   The heavier you are, the harder it is to do pullups for both men and women.
Whose problem is this?
The military did not create this problem, though the military is forced to deal with it.  And, even though  55% of the women recruits fail the new pullup standard, with some practice (usually 4–6 months) they will meet and surpass the minimum standard.  Again, this is nothing new.  The military had the same issue when they changed from knee pushups to regular pushups for women.  Now regular pushups are the standard in military and law enforcement.
Women and men can do pullups.  Women and men can FAIL pullups.  This is a societal problem.  Men and women have to keep their bodyweight down and practice pullups.   This takes time.  It is not uncommon for young men and women to take up to six months before they score their first pullup.  But the common denominator to passing a pullup test is to practice pullups. The USMC should keep pushing this standard – it will be met eventually.
The pullup and combat debate.
Many talking heads are now equating the women’s higher failure rate in pullups with a lack of ability to perform in combat. Combat roles should be tougher to enter and have higher fitness standards (for both men and women) because the demands of combat arms /​ special operations are higher than any fitness test will prove.  The minimum physical standard should not be someone’s fitness goal if seeking a combat arms specialty.  One day you will rely on your physical ability to save your own life or a fellow Marine in your unit.  The reality is that not everyone in the military (men and women) are in combat roles.  There are cooks, computer technicians, intelligence specialists, logistics, admin /​ supply clerks, photographers, and many more non-​​combat roles that men and women will fill in all branches of the military.  The 45% of the women who not only meet the minimum standard but are doing 10+ pullups should have the opportunity to qualify for advanced training .
How Do We Address the Combat /​ Fitness Role?
size0For years, advanced fitness tests have been used to prove your mettle in the Special Operations world.  For instance, the regular Navy uses the pushups, situps, 1.5 mile run, but the Navy SEALs /​ EOD /​ Diver community use the 500yd swim, pullups, pushups, situps, 1.5 mile run JUST to get into the 6–12 month training program — which is the true test.  The regular Army has the pushups, situps, 2 mile run, and the Rangers and Special Forces both add pullups, a 5 mile run, and a 12 mile ruck as part of their testing /​ evaluating of their potential combat troops.  The Marines are tough with the regular Marine having to do pullups, crunches, and a 3 mile run.  This is by far the hardest regular military fitness test in the United States.  Perhaps, it is time to adjust the fitness test to combatant and non-​​combatant troops.  If a Marine (man or women) wants to be in a combat unit, the elevated standards apply – everyone does pullups.  If someone is in a non-​​combatant unit, flexed arm hangs are sufficient for both men and women.  One must also remember, just because you can do a pullup does not make you a combat ready troop.  The Infantry Schools, SFAS, Q Course, BUD/​S, RECON /​ MARSOC and other combat training programs are the true test.  Being able to do pullups will help you with your upper body strength /​ grip to grab people and equipment, lift yourself and others from A to B, and up and over obstacles.  The pullup does not ensure your ability to graduate from these advanced courses of instruction.
How Do We Fix the Fitness Problem?
playgroundIf we want to address and fix the bigger problem, we have to get kids to maintain a healthy weight and practice pullups.  Whether you are a boy or girl, you should start playing on playgrounds and start building your grip and pullup muscles on the monkey bars.  Moms and Dads who watch their kids or coach on youth sports teams – make your team do pullups, pushups, and run regularly.  Coaches and gym teachers in physical education class, add the inexpensive exercises of pushups, situps, running, and pullups to your kid’s list of activities and start testing them now!

Like men who failed the pullup test, the 55% of the women this article is about failed, not because of an unfair fitness standard increase, but because of lack of preparation and not taking advantage of the resources available to them.  Girls should be raised with an expectation that pullups are well within their capabilities.   As a society, we have to make fitness and health standards better known so that meeting these standards becomes the norm for men and women.

Read more: 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

FEI Eclipse 2013 

Hello Everyone,

I am very excited to be part of FEI Eclipse 2013 and offer my Deep Release for Athletes yoga practice to all of you!

I have been in the yoga and fitness industry for almost twenty years now. I met the CEO of FEI, David Bluman, twelve years ago when I embarked on a fitness educator career.  We have been comrades ever since!  My yoga and fitness career has ranged from health and wellness centers and rehabilitation clinics to International and Domestic conferences to consulting with Olympic Athletes.  Currently I teach for Princeton Health Care Systems, Princeton University and my yoga studio YogaAbove.

The Deep Release for Athletes workshop I am offering is a perfect compliment for anyone and everyone.  There are parts of the anatomy not touched in a quick stretching routine and specific areas of the hips and shoulders never touched in a yoga practice.  There is always a deep tissue massage to get into these areas of your anatomy…but who knows your body's inner mechanics better than you!  I have yet to find a better way to get in sync with your finely tuned machine that creating the mind and body connection through yoga practice.  Not only does this practice enhance the physical aspects of performance…the mental aspects bring out the true strength and depth of the practice.  Our breathing represents where our minds are at…with an aware and more focused cardiovascular system in tune with your mind…the physical aspects are limitless!  I have shared this workshop in classes and workshops worldwide with athletes from the Princeton University football team and the US Olympic Rowing Team which has their training facility across from my yoga studio, YogaAbove in Princeton, NJ.

Date: 6/29/13
Time: 6:45am – 8:15am

I look forward to meeting all of you…even the ones I know!
 See you at the Eclipse 2013. Make sure you register before the early bird deadline!!!

Michael Cremone

Introduction to FEI Sponsor Redcord and CEO/Presenter Michael Leonardi

FEI Eclipse 2013 
Sponsor Redcord 
& CEO Michael Leonardi
I wanted to say thanks for connecting, give you a brief idea of what I do and offer any opportunities that I can to help in any way or further connect on our ideas & soundboard,

The Short of it is that I am an entrepreneur in the Health and Wellness Industry, I also have a background as a branding/promos producer, so I still do a lot of video content production. In fact, I will be launching a production company next month strictly for the health and wellness industry. If I can answer any questions regarding Redcord, the Neurac method (short for Neuromuscular Activation) or anything related to filming content, promos, dvds, I am more than happy to help out or give some advice. Here is an example of one of the videos I did for our PT clinic and Redcord brand. Thanks! 

Michael is teaching 
(and gain new clients too)
Date: 6/29/13
Time: 2:30pm – 3:30pm

Date: 6/30/12
Time: 2:45pm - 4:15pm

you can also check out Redcord a little more on facebook

 I look forward to meeting you and working with you at the Eclipse 2013. Make sure you register before the early bird deadline!!!

Mike Leonardi

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

[GUEST OP-ED] Reaction to NYT Article: A Jobs Boom Built on Sweat


[ The State of Personal Training: Personal Reaction to the New York Times Article, "A Jobs Boom Built on Sweat in an Age of Belt-Tightening" (June 30, 2012) ]

Last year, the New York Times published a story which argued that the career of personal training as being the job of the future. It highlighted the fact that there is recent boom in the amount of personal trainers in the industry citing statistical growth (link) of close to 44% occurring between 2001 to 2011 (to a total of 231,500).

On the whole these numbers make for a great statistic given the current unemployment rates (link) of today's economy. But while these numbers demonstrate raw growth, they say nothing about the quality of personal trainers that are coming into the industry.

What's more - the fact that this article emphasizes that anyone can jump into being a trainer by taking a simple test online (link) without an education background that shows that there is still this stigma that anyone can be a personal trainer. Retired, or just lose your job? No big deal, go be a personal trainer. It’s super easy and there are little to no educational requirements. I’m sorry but that will not fly with me.

Admirable as it may be, to say that “many Americans are trying to transform a passion for fitness into a new career;” statements like these are a slap in the face to fitness professionals who have invested time, money to earn a proper education in kinesiology, or exercise science, or related degrees.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

[Guest Post] Do your knees ever bother you?


Do your knees ever bother you? If you're like me you probably avoid certain exercises because they can cause annoying and nagging soreness during or after your workout.  

Or if your not like me you might just avoid exercising altogether (also not good). It turns out we're not alone though. Over 36% of all exercise related injuries affect the knee. (Scary)

Keep in mind that statistic comes from people who visited the doctor about their aches. Most people probably just suck it up. If that's you, be careful...I'd hate to see it get more serious and lead to a major blowout potentially putting you under the knife.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Does Exercise Prevent Colon Cancer?


Colorectal cancer has been one of the most extensively studied cancers in relation to physical activity, with more than 50 studies examining this association.

Many studies in the United States and around the world have consistently found that adults who increase their physical activity, either in intensity, duration, or frequency, can reduce their risk of developing colon cancer by 30 to 40 percent relative to those who are sedentary regardless of body mass index (BMI) with the greatest risk reduction seen among those who are most active.

Fitness Pros: Change the Culture of Cancer Care


Cancer touches all of us. We all know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer:  a friend, family member or perhaps even you.

The numbers are sobering: 1 in 26 Americans is a cancer survivor. In other words, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women who will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. In 2013, about 580,350 Americans are expected to die of cancer, almost 1,600 people per day.

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease. Advances in treatment, including laparoscopic surgery and image-guided radiation therapy, have led to a growing population of over 14 million survivors.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Moving Fitness Forward: 5 Fan-Favorite Posts

Post By: Robert Barcia Editor


Feeling suddenly stumped about how to curb your business cravings? 

Looking for a healthy snack to take your exercise entrepreneurship up a notch?   

To keep your saiety and your sanity, we've put together these five motivational posts containing a selection of training tips, spring-loaded exercise variations, power-packed career insights, rocking research, and inspiring videos designed to help you get your business back on track as the year marches on.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Post By: Robert Barcia Editor

"News for Fitness Pros.  Our weekly round-up of fitness stories that are fit to print."  


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

5 Exercises (For Older Adults)

Guest Post By: Cody Sipe, PhD

"I’m often asked what the best exercises are for older adults. I always reply “best for what?  

I’ve researched, studied and tested more exercises than I care to remember to try and figure out which ones are the best for improving physical function.  

It is difficult to make an absolute list because the best exercise for an older adult is determined by their current needs and abilities.  

However, after two decades of training older adults there are several that have risen to the top of my list because they offer a multitude of benefits for clients, can be easily modified or varied, and can be used with a wide range of functional levels.  Here are a few that you’ve just got to try.

Friday, October 26, 2012

[VIDEO] Fitness Film Friday (10/26)

Fit-films inspire fitness professionals in more ways than one.

It's easy to see why we love films of an athletic nature. Celebrating the same spirit, we've selected a few favorite mini-movie marvels. If you're a fit-pro or a fit fan, you'll fall in love with these fit-films, starting with AMBITION.  TWEET THIS

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