Monday, July 11, 2011

First Year as a Business Owner- Equipment Hits & Misses - Pt. 3

Back by popular demand....

I had not planned for a Part 3 of my "First Year as a Business Owner: Equipment Hits and Misses", but so many readers responded with pleas for me to create another. That is pretty cool that so many trainees and trainers across the world like to read what other professionals think of certain training tools when they are in the hands of those using them. I take that recommendation over a salesperson's any day of the week.  If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, please take some time to read them. As always, I try to keep my blog posts around 1000 words and not bore you with stuff you already know or wait for tons of stuff to download. So here is Part 3--the final installment:

Possibly the most over-used and cost effective tools purchased was my artificial grass lane. It is used for the sled, tire, walking lunges, bear crawls, inchworms, mobility drills, sprints, and many, many more exercises for both my group classes and one-on-one clients. When I first installed it (in my original location), I was contacted as to how I put it down and where did I purchase it. Many readers expected me to reply with a Perform Better quote, but I honestly, went to my local Home Depot and purchased 36 feet for about $59.  It measures 36 feet in length and 5 feet wide. There are a few different types of grass available and I chose the least expensive one. However, I pay the price because after every sled drive, there are a number of little grass 'fuzzies' that need to be vacuumed in between client sessions. Here is a quick video I made last year regarding the installation:

The lane is by far the most productive tool I use. It even helps when I am coaching clients in certain positions and need to simplify direction. I say things like "stay on the green" (meaning the artificial grass) or "one foot on  the blue" (which is the color of my flooring). And clients easily compute my instructions. So that helps me a bunch. Verdict: HIT! (Thumbs Up)

Like all my other BodySolid pieces, this bench is solid and strong.  Shipped in a box, I had to put it together but it didn't take very long--half hour. Once assembled, it is very heavy. I like it, but I hardly ever use it! My training sessions consist of little sitting. Correction: no sitting. The barbell bench press is the only consistent exercise performed where a client is supported by an apparatus. I try to limit the amount of times clients perform exercises that involve their body supported by a machine or artificial stable surface. The reason for this is most my clientèle are business people or desk workers that sit most of their day and don't need to sit more during a training session with me. So the BodySolid weight bench doesn't get much use except for some step ups and the occasional dumbbell presses. Verdict: MISS! (Thumbs Down)

PIECE #11: BANANA STEPS (Cost: $36)
I like the Banana Steps for agility and hops more so than my 15 foot agility/speed ladder. Why? The ladder takes so much time to fold and organize to put away. Why is this even an issue? During group circuit classes, I like to keep the "flow" going. And the ladder takes some time to set up because it becomes entangled and twisted. I find that annoying and it eats up too much time. The Banana Steps are easy to set up and can be used for various drills. Also, the height of the steps is perfect for the general clients that I work with and forces them to really "lift those legs up". Unlike a speed ladder, many people going through ladder drills don't really care if they step on a rung. At the very least, the Banana Step will topple over if hit or stepped upon. Verdict: HIT! (Thumbs Up)

I purchased this off Craigslist used from a woman. It is heavy duty and large. The drawer is actually very useful for holding tennis balls, Massage Stick, and other devices. A couple things I don't like about it: It is large and bulky. It was purchased before I moved into my facility and I never found a good home for it on the gym floor. It simply takes up too much room, therefore, I had to put it in a separate room in my facility. Secondly, it is used and looks like its had some serious usage before I bought it. I've had to fix the legs a few times to reassure that it can hold people over 200 pounds. However, it only cost $40 and it was a steal--especially for the heavy duty aspect of it. I plan to sell it and purchase a newer table because the beauty of a treatment table allows me to stretch clients and perform certain corrective exercisers without having to lay someone down on the floor. Verdict: MISS! (Thumbs Down)

PIECE #13 & #14: VERSACLIMBER and AIRDYNE (Cost $300 and $450)
Here is a great photo of my cardio selection (missing from photo is my Concept 2 Rower).  The Versa-climber is by far, the best piece I have ever invested in. Once a dinosaur in most gyms,  the Versa-climber is always found in a corner of some gym collecting dust. But one day, I saw an ad on Craigslist that a fitness club was being liquidated and the owner was selling off most of his equipment. I was searching high and low for a Versa-climber for about 10 months prior. Once I contacted the owner of that closing gym, I made my way there and inspected the piece. The owner was very compassionate about his gym and the stuff he was selling. He wanted a "good home" for the Versa-climber and I was proud to tell him that it would be getting alot of usage--not sitting in a corner. The guy sold it to me for only $300. The piece alone can be found on eBay for upwards to $1000-$3000. I was pretty happy with this find. To expedite my pleasure, the guy drove it to my facility that day since it would not fit in my vehicle. How cool was that?
The Airdyne was purchased through eBay from a gentleman who collects AirDyne bikes and refurbishes them. I bought this one used and it was shipped to me in a huge, heavy Fed-Ex box. The eBay seller was very helpful in sending me instructions on the assembly the bicycle and even made himself available via phone. The bike was assembled in about an hour and is very heavy duty. Both pieces are used for initial warm up and used extensively during metabolic workouts. Verdict: HIT! (Thumbs Up)

Thats it for now. What do you think of the pieces I mentioned?


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