One of the best ways to keep clients engaged in a group x class is to keep them on their toes—sometimes literally (think Barre-fusion class) or figuratively. Even the most routine members will appreciate a new style of workout once in a while, especially if it gives them a chance to use new equipment. We spoke with personal trainer Pasquale Passi from Fit Body Boot Camp Boston about creating exciting class combinations and how the Wreck Bag functional training bag has become one of his favorite new items to include in programming.
What is the Wreck Bag? It’s a rubber-filled weight bag that makes a great sandbag alternative for your functional training classes. The bag offers two straps so clients can perform a variety of functional moves with added stability. What sets it apart from other weight bags is that the rubber fill moves in sync with your clients so weight is always distributed evenly.
Passi is a Wreck Bag certified trainer and has trained with the dynamic sandbag alternative in a variety of workouts that target both the upper and lower body, as well as core strength. Currently, Passi is part of a growing network of certified Wreck Bag trainers that have integrated the weight bag into classes and one-on-one sessions. He believes that the Wreck Bag’s greatest strength is that it is accommodating to all types of members, regardless of strength or balance capabilities.
“The Wreck Bag is more accepting than an ordinary sandbag,”Passi says. “Because it spreads out naturally, members don’t feel like the weight is ever lop-sided or awkward to deal with. Plus, it can be a great alternative to weighted bars for squats, weighted lunges, or chest presses,” Passi explains. The Wreck Bag is filled with a proprietary rubber mixture instead of traditional sand, so there’s no clumping issues if the bags get sweaty during workouts.
After receiving his certification, Passi first focused on his early morning spin class as the perfect group to test Wreck Bag training on. After learning that his group was interested in arriving earlier for a functional training circuit, Passi developed a total-body workout routine with just the Wreck Bag. For 45 minutes, Passi had spin class members perform functional moves in an empty gymnasium. Members tossed the bags back and forth to each other, ran up and down the gym floor with the weighted bags draped across their shoulders, and even performed burpees with the bags.
After their functional training circuit was completed, Passi had the group get on their bikes and let them into a typical spinning class set. After the 90 minutes were completed, Passi found that his members felt looser, more worked out, and excited about the combination of functional training and spin.
“The class was engaged and interested the entire time,”Passi says, “and I felt like we were able to dedicate most of our time to the training because we were only using one piece of equipment for all functional movements. “By using just the Wreck Bag, Passi notes that “we skipped any unnecessary breaks because no one was moving through multiple weight stations. There were no chances for the group to lose interest and they rolled from one exercise to another—there were no breaks or interruptions.”
Now, more of his spin class regulars are trying the early morning combination than before and Passi is still working on incorporating the Wreck Bag into both group and personal training sessions. He believes that creating combination classes is necessary for trainers today because of the way clients expect to be entertained and challenged with classes. By specializing with different types of equipment like the Wreck Bag, Passi believes that trainers are refining exercise knowledge and know-how to keep up with the demand for new routines.
Interested in becoming a certified Wreck Bag trainer? Sign up for your Level 1 Certification Classes in your area.
What kind of classes could you put together with your current skill set? Is there additional training or certifications you’d like to receive to enhance your knowledge base? Let us know in the comments!