Spotlight Interview

//Spotlight Interview

Martial Arts and The Helix

We at Helix love that our Lateral Trainers are making an impact with athletes from all manner of team & individual sports, so we’ve been delighted to recently hear from Helix users in martial arts. And not only are the machines being used in martial arts for conditioning but, because of the ingenuity of one instructor in particular, custom Helix training techniques have been developed that are specifically targeted to the unique strength, agility, and quickness requirements of martial arts self-defense.

Meet Jerry Weible, resident Master at Weible Martial Arts (WMA) in Puyallup, WA. Jerry has been teaching martial arts since 1979 and is a recognized guru in the full spectrum of self-defense disciplines, ranging from Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Tae Kwan Do, Tang soo Do and Jui Jitsu, to European Sword Fighting (yikes).

Jerry is an exceptionally focused instructor whose hard-driving personal workouts had literally become a ‘war against the machines’ until he discovered the Helix. In his own words, here’s why Jerry has gravitated to the Helix:

The Helix is the most amazing cross-training machine I’ve ever encountered – 20 minutes on the Helix provides more core & lower body strength training than you’ll get from an hour on an elliptical…

The Helix adds to strength so quickly & efficiently that instead of doing seemingly endless basic training with repetitive drills, those same 20-25 minutes on the Helix are the equivalent of 3-4 hours of these basic workout drills. This directly frees up a lot of time that can then be devoted to more advanced techniques you want to impart to students…

As mentioned, Jerry has modified several of the basic Helix workout movements (surfing, grind, and squat) and introduced twisting variations on Helix push-ups to develop a curriculum focused specifically on Kung Fu stance, punching, coiling and blocking movements.

We are obviously thrilled that Jerry has not only incorporated the Helix into his instruction at WMA but also applied his expertise to develop applications that expand Helix utility for martial arts athletes in general. The name ‘Kung Fu’ means ‘Hark Work’ and Jerry’s efforts in this regard deservedly make him a Helix Fitness VIP. The following Snapshot video gives you a glimpse of his rigorous Helix workout.


The Helix Lateral Trainer blows away traditional concepts of lower body training by providing both huge benefits to your core and all of your lower body muscles – glutes, quads, inner thighs & outer thighs, PLUS gives you an intense cardio workout.

FOR ALL WOMEN – the Helix directly addresses those areas that worry you most – hips, butt & thighs – plus gives you the cardio workout that keeps you going.

FOR ALL MEN – cardio, cardio, cardio!  NOTHING will work your cardio like the Helix Lateral Trainer.  And by-the-way, watch out…your core & lower body will NEVER be in better shape.

FOR ALL ATHLETES – the only machine designed to focus on your specific requirements – LATERAL STRENGTH & AGILITY.  And the cardio benefits are huge.

FOR  NEOPHYTES – fitness training can be intimidating, but the Helix Lateral Trainer is designed to be inviting for everyone.  Jump on – it’s intuitive & within 2 minutes you’ll get it…THIS is how to get in shape!

CPA, Bikini Model, Helix Lover

Tina Mattis Bikini ModelHow many folks can say that their CPA competes as a Bikini Model?  Okay…how about that their CPA is over 50 years old and WINS Bikini Contests?  Meet Tina Mattis from San Pedro, CA, owner of a successful CPA practice for the past two decades and competitive bikini model for the past couple of years.

“I recommitted to working out in about 2012, went back to the gym & started working with trainers.  After about a year though I wasn’t seeing the results I’d hoped for, so I joined a boot camp at the gym run by a trainer who competed in Bikini Contests…I interviewed a coach online and began to think that maybe I could compete.”

Because of her work commitments plus her 6 days-a-week training schedule, Tina concluded that she needed to get some in-home equipment.  When she walked into California Fitness to shop for equipment, they showed her the Helix Lateral Trainer and her initial reaction was, “Oh Wow”.

“I already had a treadmill at home and the Helix seemed like a perfect compliment. What I really liked about the Helix was Tina Mattis Bikini Modelthat I could focus on my glutes and hamstrings.  What I had learned was that bikini competitions are won from the back…The judges look at the glutes and hamstrings so, the Helix was just perfect for this.”

In her first competition, Tina competed in the 35+ and 45+ categories and was thrilled with the outcome.  “I won Second Place in the 45+ category for my 1st competition!  The Helix helped me bring a really good package to the stage and, for me at least, it was like no other machine I had seen.”

Tina shortly went on to other competitions and was quickly rewarded with a First Place finish (40+ category) in a regional show that qualified her for the nationals competition (her team is called Team Edge).  And, of course, when not training or competing she’s back at her day-job running her family-owned CPA practice in San Pedro.

“I really love the working out and competing…it has helped my overall well-being and confidence level.  Like other areas in my life, I really thrive by conquering one goal and then the next and next.  So, for me at my age, especially, I am pretty proud of myself!”

And so are we – man, do we LOVE success stories like this!

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The Helix Lateral Trainer blows away traditional concepts of lower body training by providing both huge benefits to your core and all of your lower body muscles – glutes, quads, inner thighs & outer thighs, PLUS gives you an intense cardio workout.

FOR ALL WOMEN – the Helix directly addresses those areas that worry you most – hips, butt & thighs – plus gives you the cardio workout that keeps you going.

FOR ALL MEN – cardio, cardio, cardio!  NOTHING will work your cardio like the Helix Lateral Trainer.  And by-the-way, watch out…your core & lower body will NEVER be in better shape.

FOR ALL ATHLETES – the only machine designed to focus on your specific requirements – LATERAL STRENGTH & AGILITY.  And the cardio benefits are huge.

FOR  NEOPHYTES – fitness training can be intimidating, but the Helix Lateral Trainer is designed to be inviting for everyone.  Jump on – it’s intuitive & within 2 minutes you’ll get it…THIS is how to get in shape!

User Spotlight: Rehabbing Athletes

Rehabbing AthletesCorporate world to entrepreneur to rehabbing athletes.  After spending her career in clinical oncology with a major pharma company and as the Chief Science Officer for a major diagnostic firm, Alane Koki retired four years ago and began to concentrate on her independent interests: forming her own company, BioFitRx, and becoming a fitness trainer specializing in pre/rehabilitation and functional training.

During the process of focusing her considerable skills & expertise on fitness training in general and athletic rehab in particular, Alane has become quite an advocate for the role the Helix Lateral Trainer can play as an integral part of any well rounded fitness program. Here are some of her comments when we had a chance to catch up with her for a brief interview.

Helix: How did you discover the Helix?

Koko:
In the summer of 2013 I attended the IDEA World Convention. My mission was to identiy and evaluate exercise equipment to recommend to the gym I train out of, AmeriFit in Pittsburgh PA.. It’s a pretty special gym – its full repertoire of equipment enables trainers to do everything from pre/rehabilitation to sport specific conditioning for both athletes and mature adults.

Anyway, I was looking for the next generation of equipment, and immediately became interested in the Helix trainer because it was the first piece of equipment I’d seen that trains on the lateral plane.

I was absolutely sold on it – I wanted to get it into the gym right away, and when I came back from IDEA I told the owner that “we need these machines!” They already had 60 pieces of equipment, and actually had to remove some of them to make room for the Helix.

Helix: How…and why…are you using the Helix?

Koki:
I’m a trainer and I’ve integrated the Helix into workouts with my clients. I do sport specific training with athletes from multiple sports, and I’ve found that the Helix effectively develops the strength and endurance of their stabilizing muscles.

In addition, it reinforces the “athletic position”, and teaches them to push through their hips instead of their quads. For all athletes, regardless of their sport, hip power is key. The Helix is perfect for this!

Also, many of my clients have injuries of the spine, knees, and hips, and the Helix has enabled me to teach clients to be more hip-centric vs quad-centric. For example, knee issues often stem from the hip, and other equipment – ellipticals, arc trainers, etc. – simply can’t teach spinal/pelvic control or positioning the way the Helix does.

Helix: Any other experiences with the Helix?

Koki:
I personally had a bilateral hip replacement last year and the Helix has played an integral part in my own rehabilitation. As it would happen, the owner of my gym also had a hip replacement, and without the Helix neither of us would be as far along as we are.

I use the Helix extensively with my clients, and I’m continuing to find new ways to use it – it’s unique and effective, and will continue to be an integral part of my client training & rehab.

User Spotlight: Hockey Fitness Training

Hockey Fitness TrainingAs one of our first residential customers, Mike Betts is a veteran Helix user and a devoted Hockey Dad who has become a firm believer in the benefits of hockey fitness training for young players using the Helix.

We get a lot of positive feedback from athletes, trainers, and clubs involved with essentially all types of sports.  The unique requirement for athletes to constantly move laterally with speed and strength is a dead-on match with the benefits provided by the Helix Lateral Trainer.  Here’s what Mike had to say.

Helix:  What is your overall assessment of the Helix?

Betts:

The Helix Lateral Trainer is really PERFECT for hockey fitness training. 

First, it’s a solid, exercise machine that’s really well built – solid pedals, solid handles, heavy-duty machine.

Second, it gives you a great cardio workout.  And from a hockey fitness perspective, the motion on the Helix is similar to skating – which is what attracted me to it.  The push off the inner part of the foot is very similar to skating, and when you step-up the resistance the Helix becomes a great way to exercise all the lower body muscles used in hockey.

Helix:  What’s been your personal experience with the Helix?

Betts: 

My son is a youth hockey player, hence my interest in hockey fitness training. 

The Helix has really been good for him.  In particular, when he squats down to use the lower handles it really focuses in on strengthening his butt, thighs and lower hamstrings.  He uses it primarily in sprint mode for short bursts like you need in hockey, and whenever he uses it the benefits are pretty much immediate.

The Helix has definitely helped my son’s hockey fitness.  He started when he was pretty young, and as he moves into his upper teens the Helix will help him build strength for more advanced hockey.

Helix:  Anything you’d like to add?

Betts:

Just that my wife and I use it also, generally for about 15 minute sessions, which on the Helix gives you a good workout.

What I like best is that you really feel it right away.  The Helix is just more efficient than other equipment for getting a good workout.

User Spotlight: Renaissance Woman Meets the Helix

Think you’re busy? Try this: your’re a psychologist, you do stand-up comedy at clubs all around New York City, you write about sex, fitness, and health for news sites like Huffington Post, TIME Heartland, xo Jane and Psychology Standard, you write a personal blog on stuff that interests you, you write (and publish) books on stuff that REALLY interests you, you frequently appear on TV shows (because of the book thing), and YOU ARE A MANIAC ABOUT EXERCISING!

Sound familiar? Of course not. Welcome to the world of Katherine Schreiber, certainly one of the most fascinating Helix users we’ve ever encountered.

Perhaps the most interesting thing (from our perspective) is that Katherine is essentially the perfect fitness junkie. She is obsessive about getting in her workouts, but recognizes that she has a tendency to go overboard. Enter the Helix.

“Just to say…this new Helix is awesome…It’s so different from what I’ve been used to…I really enjoy the challenge it poses to my body, it’s so rare that I recruit those muscles… I specifically wanted the Helix for this purpose, and it’s great!…THANK YOU!!! Changed my life.”

Find out more on Kathrine at http://ktschreib.com/.

User Spotlight: IT’S CHALLENGING AND DIFFERENT – I LOVE IT!

Introducing the Epitome of a Satisfied Helix User

Dr. Serita Gardner is a 5’8”, about-to-be-50 bundle of energy who lives in the Houston area, works as an eye doctor, and exercises like an absolute fiend on her own Helix Lateral Trainer that she purchased two years ago.

It was obvious during our interview that Serita has an unquenchable thirst for meeting life’s key challenges – looking & feeling younger, keeping in great shape, staying healthy & avoiding injuries – and we’re delighted she’s using her Helix to help reach her objectives.

WHY HELIX?

Serita:

The two things I like best about my Helix are it’s challenging and different.

Previously, I had an elliptical trainer that I used 5 days a week, but I was just tired of it and didn’t feel challenged anymore.  Then I saw the Helix on a TV show about a trainer who prepared contestants for beauty pageants, and I had to give it a try.  And two years later I couldn’t be happier because the Helix offers me a challenge every time I get on it.

I also love the lateral motion because it’s so different and offers so many more exercise options.  I can stand, I can squat, I can bend over, I can go at different angles – and all of these different options use different muscles, so I can really get a thorough workout.

ZERO IMPACT

Serita:

I had to give up street running in college so that’s another reason why I love the Helix – there is zero impact. 

I used to work out at a gym and if I did the stair stepper, my knees would hurt.  If it did the treadmill, my hips would hurt afterwards.  The Helix is great because of zero impact – and I’m talking about long workouts!  My knees don’t hurt, my hips don’t hurt…I’d say it is good for anybody, even people with arthritis or joint problems.  It gets cardio going without any actual impact.

NO EXCUSES

Serita:

People look at me and think I’m 39 but actually I’m almost 50.  I even had a patient who asked me how I get my legs so toned.  When I told her about the Helix – and told her she couldn’t buy mine – she sat there in the examination chair Googling it! 

It’s never too late to exercise, but there are just too many people who make excuses about it!   I exercise on my Helix from 6:00 in the morning to 7:40, it’s right there in my house, and I have floor and ceiling fans on.  I do it Monday through Friday, watching Netflix…how can you beat that?

Spotlight Interview: Success Through Diverse Fitness Training

Dick SnyderDick Snyder, co-owner of LifeSport Fitness, operates the longest tenured fitness training facility in the center of Philadelphia and discusses some of the factors that have led to its success in this urban setting.

Located in the Art Museum area of the city, LifeSport has reconditioned an historic horse stable into 20,000 square feet of club space providing a broad and unique blend of services to a large & diverse membership.

LifeSport currently has over 1,000 members serviced by a staff of 5 and with an ‘inter-generational’ client base.

Helix:  According to analysis by groups like IHRSA, the fitness industry has weathered the economic storms of the last few years pretty well.  How has your club’s business & membership held up during this period?

Snyder:

Well, after 27 plus years I don’t keep my finger on the pulse like I used to so I can’t give you much in the way of up-to-the-minute specifics.  I will say, however, that we’ve had some of our best results in the business over recent years so I guess from our perspective the economic news has been pretty good.

Helix:  Can you please talk about some of the key factors that you think have been contributing to your success in attracting and retaining clients?  In other words, what do you think is bringing your clients back?

Snyder:

From a name recognition perspective, I think our longevity and reputation is really important.  We’ve been here a long time, lots and lots of people know us, and recommendations and word-of-mouth work wonders.

Once we attract new members, it’s important to minimize attrition and I think we’ve done a good job at that.  Convenient access to the club is a significant factor in a downtown area so we have 2-3 hour street-side parking plus bike parking & free bike locks.  Because our membership is such an intergenerational blend we don’t really design specific programs – ‘movement is health’ is kind of our approach and we have a lot of fun getting everyone into motion.

Probably the most important factor that makes us stand out is our broad range of diverse fitness training options, which is based on the really diverse compliment of equipment that we offer.

We haven’t limited ourselves to the standard set of machines you’ll find at most chains, which means that we might not have as many treadmills but we’ve got a much wider variety of machines – I mean, who has a Stand-Up Paddle, who has a Dragon Boat or 12 Concept 2 Rowers?  For example, we’ve got 14 different kinds of cardio – one of the more distinctive ones of which is the Helix.

Helix:  How long have you had a Helix at your club, and what has your experience been?

Snyder:

I think we got our first Helix a couple of years ago and it’s been received very well by the members.  It also really ‘tours’ well with prospective clients because it’s so divergently different – I mean it goes through an entirely different plane than what most cardio goes through.

It also conditions the body nicely, and it says a lot about the Helix that almost everyone has a smile on their face when they’re using it, so there’s a playfulness to it that’s pretty unique.

When presenting it to members, I tell them it’s an opportunity to emphasize a range of muscle groups that aren’t being worked by other machines, and it can directly address both strength and flexibility.

I also describe it as an opportunity to bounce out the strength & musculature of the core area so you can increase people’s flexibility and functionality.  I think it’s quite effective to use the Helix in conjunction with some of the other equipment like the rowing machines or the bicycles or the ellipticals – I really like it.

One of my objectives is to create – in a machine way, if you will – a ‘sports feel’, and because the Helix is working through a different plane you are sort of recreating sports-type movement.  Although it’s not quite like actually playing soccer or basketball, the Helix definitely moves in the direction of sports-type activity.

Helix:  We’ll end with a recurring business question facing club owners:   Why should a potential client opt to pay a club rather than do it on their own?

Snyder:

For people that are serious about achieving their fitness objectives, the overwhelming reason to join a club is the communal support you get there.  Like most things in life, it’s a choice – kind of like the choice between watching a movie by yourself at home or going to a theatre with IMAX and surround sound and lots of people enjoying the same movie.  In a club communal support is important for people’s compliance, staying connected to their objectives, and getting the most out of the facilities available there.

Helix:  Thanks so much for your time and insights.

 

Spotlight Interview: Personal Relationships Pay Dividends

Ace BaldwinAce Baldwin, Manager & Senior Trainer at Anytime Fitness in Santa Rosa, California discusses the factors that have enabled his club to hold its own during a tough economy.

A former California Grand Champion Natural Bodybuilder who continues to compete on a professional level, Ace employs an in-depth knowledge of nutrition & exercise to support both his personal fitness training clients and all other members at the club.

His club currently has around 700 members that trend towards a more mature, family oriented client base.

Helix: How has your club’s business & membership held up during the difficult economic times we’ve had over the past several years?

Baldwin:

Well, I’d guess that there have been some effects but overall we have managed to continue to grow.  I’d say that over the past couple of years our membership has been increasing by slightly more than 5% a year, which I think is pretty good compared to a lot of businesses.  So, all things being equal I’d say we’ve more than held our own.

Helix: Given the comparative success you’ve experienced, can you identify some of the factors you think have contributed to attracting & retaining members?  In other words, what do you think is bringing your clients back?

Baldwin:

I think that the single most important thing for our members is the environment that we have established at the club.  If I had to describe it I’d call it ‘comfortable’ – we’ve made sure that the touch-and-feel of the club is pretty low-key so that members feel relaxed and comfortable as they go through their work.

We also make sure that the training staff establishes comfortable personal relationships with each member.  Plus, of course, we make sure that we are providing as much personal attention as the member requires without hovering over them.  So overall, I’d say a key factor for our members is that it’s a comfortable, relaxed place to get their work in.

Helix: How long have you had a Helix at your club, and what has your experience been?

Baldwin:

We’ve had a Helix for 3 years and from the club’s perspective it’s a great piece of equipment.  It has a small footprint, you don’t need to plug it in, and it’s intuitive to use so members can just hop on and start using it – real advantages for the club.

Also, the members really like the Helix.  I think the main reason is that it’s unlike any other piece of equipment we have. When I say it’s different I mean it’s the only thing that provides lateral training for the lower body.  So instead of the front & back leg muscles, the Helix engages everything with its side-to-side motion – glutes, inner & outer thighs, and even the core.

One way I know the members like the Helix is because it really gets used all the time – popular enough to cause some congestion in waiting to use it.  I also think they like it because it really provides an intensive work-out in a short period of time – 15-20 minutes on the Helix is like 45-60 minutes on something else.

When we’re giving prospective members a tour of the facilities, we always show them the Helix because it’s novel and a cool piece of equipment.  When they ask what it is, we tell them to jump on and try it out.

Helix: In addition to your club’s environment & equipment like the Helix, are there any other things that you’ve found help maintain & grow your membership?

Baldwin:

We are available to members 24/7, so I think that the convenience of being able to base your training on your own schedule rather than the club’s schedule can be very important for certain members.

We also have specific training programs available to members and some of these are quite popular,  For example, we have something called the 12 Week Transformation Challenge which members have found attractive, particularly our women members.

I also think it’s important to have the equipment up-and-running and also to have a variety of equipment available to satisfy a broad range of member requirements.  That, of course, is where something like the Helix comes into play.

Helix: Why should a potential client opt to pay a club rather than do it on their own?

Baldwin:

From everything I’ve seen, when someone tries to train at home there’s almost no chance they’ll stick with it.  They might buy a treadmill or another piece of equipment, but it won’t be long before they’re hanging clothes on it or moving it to the garage.

A club offers advantages like professional trainers who can help you design a program that fits your need, and a wide variety of equipment that can help you implement that program.

But I think the major advantage is that a club ISN”T at home – for lots of members, the club serves as their own little place to get away from everything that’s distracting them and do their work.

Helix: Thanks so much for your time.

 

Spotlight Interview: Success From Personalized Fitness Training

Julie AbrahamJulie Abraham, co-founder of Aquus Lifestyle Studio in Grand Rapids, MI, discusses her personalized fitness training studio’s success in its first year of operation.

Julie and her partner, Barb Bergmans, established their studio with the core mission of providing clients with a highly individualized studio designed around balanced personalized fitness training and wellness concepts and practices.

Employing a marketing philosophy based largely on “word-of-mouth”, Aquus has implemented a successful niche strategy targeting clients that are often overlooked or underserved by more traditional fitness clubs and gyms.

Helix:  According to IHRSA, the fitness industry has been performing well of late.  How has your club’s business & membership held up during these generally difficult economic times?

Abraham:

We have only been open since February of 2012, and since then we have seen steady growth every month…and it’s been all word of mouth, we haven’t done any advertising for the facility itself, and it’s just worked out great.

Our clientele is made up of both men and women with a primary age breakdown between 45 and 75, so we’re hitting a client niche that doesn’t want to be in a gym-environment and wants a very personalized experience.  So I’d have to say that because of our target market of more mature and financially stable clients we’re not being influenced by the economy at all.

Helix:  Based on the success you’re having, what do you see as the biggest business challenge you have in the near-term?

I think an immediate challenge I face is to know at what point to bring on another trainer.  My maximum goal is to have 5 trainers, which I thought would take two years but I think is happening faster than expected.  I’m sitting in a 7000 square foot building and because of the niche I’m trying to fill, I don’t want to create a big huge membership.  I want to be able to take care of the clients I have here in the special environment that I’ve created for them.

Helix:  By focusing on the niche market you’ve selected, has this impacted the services and programs that you’re offering your clients?

We believe that we need our clients in our studio at least two times a week for them to see results.  The way we have approached this is to move away from a membership model towards having clients purchase personal training packages which include free-time access to the facilities.  The packages are designed to get them into the studio at least a couple days a week and with the free-time access we’re seeing some of them five days a week.

Our personal training packages not only move us away from the “contract” and “membership” models, which we believe run counter to our customized approach, but it also creates an incentive for clients to be more faithful about getting into the studio.  Which, of course, leads to faster results which in turn encourages them to purchase additional program packages, and so forth.

Helix:  What were the factors that you considered when selecting equipment like the Helix for your studio?

I’ve used just about all the standard equipment and one of my objectives for Aquus was to bring in equipment that that would set us apart from the normal gyms.  When I saw the Helix it fell right into what I was looking for, and this is also why my clients like it, because it’s not your everyday standard equipment.

When I go to gyms, what I see constantly are out-of-service treadmills and out-of-service elliptical machines and I’ve been very careful in that regard because I simply don’t have that many machines, but I’ve never had service problems with Helix – in the few instances where I had a small issue they’ve been Johnny-on-the-spot, so I’ve been very happy with that.

As far as how we’ve been using the Helix, it’s been phenomenal not just for what it does for the legs but also for what it does for the core as well, and that’s what everybody is excited about.  It’s a tremendous machine, I love it.

If you spend 15 minutes on that Helix, that’s all you need for about three days – I’m serious.  I’m pretty heavy duty when I’m working out and I’m used to doing 40 minutes to an hour on the elliptical, but if I do 15 minutes on the Helix, I’m spent!

Helix:  Finally, a straight-up marketing question: why should a prospective fitness client opt to pay for something rather than do it on their own?

When you pay for something there’s an accountability that gets created.  So when you make a monetary commitment to your own fitness you’re making an investment in yourself and you just don’t throw it away.  You are putting a value in yourself and that’s the kind of lifestyle change we’re trying to encourage at our studio.

Helix:  Thanks so much for your time.

More on Aquus Lifestyle Studio can be found at http://AquusLife.com/

 

Spotlight Interview: The Power of Private, Highly Customized Personal Training

Brenda KashubaBrenda Kashuba, owner of 4EverFit Personal Training Studio in Saratoga, CA, discusses her success in attracting & retaining clients.  Brenda established her studio in 2001 with a fitness philosophy dedicated to providing a private, personal training experience rather than a fitness club environment.  Her studio currently has around 100 clients and a training staff of 12 members.  Her client-base is predominantly from the Baby-Boomer generation with about two-thirds being female.

Helix:  According to IHRSA, the fitness industry has been performing well of late.  How has your club’s business & membership held up during the difficult economic times we’ve had over the past several years?

Kashuba:  

We actually have seen an increase in business every year throughout the economic down turn.  We’re located in a fairly affluent area and I think that’s helped – we really haven’t seen too much of an effect on us.

Helix:  Given the success you’ve experienced, what have you found distinguishes your club in the market?  In other words, what have you found to be particularly effective in attracting & retaining members? 

Kashuba:

The thing that really sets us apart and the reason why we’re doing well is that we provide a more private environment than the clubs offer.  We’ve found that people will drive out of their way to do training at our studio because it lacks the intimidation factor that they feel at the clubs.

Clients that are out-of-shape, overweight, and middle aged often have no idea where to even begin, and they can be very intimidated by club environments.  The thing that sets us apart from our competition is the privacy we provide along with an overall atmosphere that is very focused on the individual client and their specific goals.

Helix:  Do you offer specific programs – for example,  gender-focused or age-focused – that you’ve found appeal to your clients?

Kashuba:

We pretty much train any type of client, so we have programs that hit on them all and we’ve made sure to have all these listed on our website.  So when clients find something like Pre-Natal listed, I’m sure they feel like this is one of our specialties when in reality we specialize in everything – you tell me what you need and we’re going to provide that for you.

So while we may describe a range of programs on our website, what we actually provide to each client is personal training that is individually designed to meet their goals.

Helix:  How important is club infrastructure & facilities – things like physical amenities and the type & variety of equipment?

Kashuba:

That’s a funny thing.  In reality what we want to do with most clients is functional training – I’d say they’re only on the strengthening machines for a quarter of the time, and the rest of the time the trainers are having them move with their natural path of motion with gravity and their body weight providing the resistance.

Helix:  How about your cardio equipment?

Kashuba:

As far as the cardio equipment is concerned, which is a different issue than the strength machines, most of the time we don’t integrate the cardio equipment into a client’s personal training program.

We do, however, have the cardio equipment there for clients to use because we believe it’s important and we want them to get cardio.  So even though the client’s training generally doesn’t employ cardio, we teach them the machines and how to maximize their cardio through intervals and things like that.  With the Helix, however, we’re seeing some of this change since the trainers are starting to integrate the Helix as a part of the client’s program.

We’ve only had the Helix for a couple of months, so that’s an interesting development because we don’t normally put clients on a cardio machine during their session,.  But I’m seeing the trainers starting to use the Helix because of the muscle groups it incorporates, and because it can get the heart rate up quickly in intervals between their sets, so in that regard it has become a useful tool.

I’ve also seen the Helix being used in particular by our more athletic and sports oriented clients and interestingly enough, I’ve noticed the trainers themselves using the Helix in their own workouts.

Helix:  Why should a potential client opt to pay a club rather than do it on their own?

Kashuba:

There’s a different answer for clubs and personal training.  With a regular club, I’d say the answer is that you’ll have access to a much wider range of machines than you would at home.

With personal training, you’re hiring someone with an education in what you really need to be doing who designs a program for you and spots you through it.  If you were on your own you really wouldn’t be sure about what you should do or how to do it properly.  Also, you wouldn’t see the same results because you wouldn’t have the motivation & accountability provided by a personal trainer.

Helix:  Thanks so much for your time & insights.