By Brett Klika, C.S.C.S. & IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year (2013)
In the beginning, there was one.
One client, one personal trainer, one hour.
In this early era of the fitness industry, a piece of exercise equipment could serve one singular function.
As the fitness industry grew and evolved, the concept of small group training has become more popular. This created a demand for fitness equipment to become a more versatile tool. Stationary, single function equipment gave way to transportable fitness tools that could serve many purposes.
Now, most fitness professionals split their time working one-on-one with individuals and small to medium size groups and classes. The one-on-one clients allow for an intimate connection and the pursuit of laser-focused fitness goals. The groups offer an opportunity to better leverage time and income while enjoying the energy that comes from group interaction.
To optimize the client experience for both individuals and groups, it’s important fitness professionals arm themselves with the best, most versatile tools to engage their clients while offering a variety of opportunities to create results.
Four of these must have fitness tools whose versatility and effectiveness have made them favorites among fit pros working with individuals and groups are: The BOSU Ball, The Wreck Bag, Plyo Box Sets and TRX suspension training systems.
Aside from their versatility, these tools have also proven to be low cost, durable, and transportable (mostly – Plyo Boxes stack nicely when they’re not in use but they’re not the easiest piece of equipment to move around). Let’s take a look as to why fit pros around the world have adopted these 4 pieces of fitness equipment as the foundation of their individual and group programming.
The BOSU Ball
The BOSU Ball, or “both sides up” ball is literally a large exercise ball cut in half. One side is a solid, flat, platform; the other side is a soft dome. Hundreds, if not thousands of exercises can be performed on either the soft side dome, or the flat platform to create a balance and stability challenge with any nearly any activity.
The Wreck Bag
The wreck bag is a durable bag filled with a proprietary shock absorbing material that acts like sand, but doesn’t create the mess. Handles on the bag allow clients to lift, roll, carry, and perform a variety of other fitness movements either by themselves or with a partner. With bags that range from 10-70 pounds, the Wreck Bag offers a versatile challenge for individuals and groups of all levels.
Plyo Box Sets
Plyo boxes are simply sturdy boxes of varying heights. The height of the boxes provides varying fitness challenges for both the upper and lower body as clients step, jump, and use them as an exercise platform. A set of varying heights of boxes allows fitness professionals to create different challenges for individuals and different levels of the same challenge for groups.
Developed by a Navy SEAL as a fitness tool that can be taken and used anywhere, the TRX suspension training system has become a favorite amongst personal training groups and individuals. It consists of adjustable nylon straps with padded handles and can be anchored to doorstops, ceilings, and other stationary objects.
Placing the hands or feet in the padded handles or “cradles”, clients can suspend their body weight against gravity at varying angles in order to create different resistance challenges. The nylon straps also provide a unique balance and stability challenge as clients perform the thousands of different exercise options.
Whether you are a fitness professional working one-on-one, in small groups, or with both, these valuable fitness tools’ versatility, low cost, and overall effectiveness can help create extraordinary results for you and your clients.