The Top 5 Blogs from 2017

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As we approach the end of the year, we tend to look back on best moments, stand-out performances, favorites, and trends. 2017 is coming to a close, so we thought it would be fun to look back on some of our “Best of 2017” Moments.

To start off our “Best of 2017…” series, we wanted to share our Top 5 Blogs from 2017. From group training to product spotlights, training tips to equipment updates, we have grouped together the top topics of conversation that generated the most interest this year. Enjoy!


Create a New Revenue Room with Functional Training by Elisabeth Fouts

So how can you make sure your facility is prepared to maximize its SGT potential?

Start preparing for an influx of SGT programming and attendance by identifying a space in your facility that will not only add value to your location, but also generate revenue year around.


How much space? That is a great question. For small groups of 4-6 people plus a coach, 20’x20’ would be a good start. Use this as a scale if you intend on hosting larger groups. Consider your entire facility, not just existing open space. Rearranging your current floor plan to create this area will start the buzz that something new is coming. Don’t simply consider dusty, unused corner spaces – think about space that is out in the open and easily visible to the cardio deck and to those touring your facility. These SGT sessions will create a ton of energy that can be infectiously motivating.


Once you have identified your “revenue room”, build out the space by starting from the ground up. Pick out a different type of flooring so that your members will quickly be able to identify its significance. Try turf or reinforced rubber flooring that can stand up to the hard HIIT-ing (pun intended) sessions that will take place there. Also, think about installing a digital wall clock or timer that your trainers can use to time out each circuit or tabata set.


Your designated functional SGT space wouldn’t be complete without its own set of unique equipment and accessories. Battle ropesmedicine ballskettlebells, and slam balls are all great tools to start with. If you already have the staples, consider adding a few new pieces such as the PowerWave, the Core Hammer, or the BOSU Elite to take your SGT sessions to the next level of performance and excitement for your participants.

PJ Stahl’s Strategy for Cueing Your Athletes with Purpose by PJ Stahl

When it comes to the true art of coaching, cueing efficiently can be a challenge.

Over cueing can give a distracting amount of information for an athlete and no real focus is given to the movement at hand. Under cueing by a coach can also be overbearing and does not give the coach any specific deviations to look for in each exercise. I have created a Cueing with Purpose strategy that will allow coaches to instruct more effectively and athletes to improve their movements more efficiently.

In all of my years of experience as a head coach and gym owner, I have found that using one cue per exercise per round is the best approach for both coaches and athletes. My entire coaching staff goes through a Cueing with Purpose training system to learn to use a single cue per exercise approach and it has proven to be very successful.

When coaching an exercise, for example the barbell back squat, I will use one cue per round as the focus of the movement. This will let the athlete know exactly what the coach is looking for and will also give the coach a specific focus on what deviations to look for in the movement. I have discovered that my coaches are more engaged and my athletes have fewer deviations in their movement patterns with this training strategy.

Bennie Wylie’s Three Week Cycle for Large Group Training by Bennie Wylie

Throughout my professional career, I have had the opportunity to serve as a football strength and conditioning coach for competitive athletes of all levels. When I opened The Performance Lab in Abilene, it was my goal to continue to train athletes for every sport, every goal, and at all levels.

Everyone is working toward their next level.

From having more energy to spend active time with their families, to shedding body fat and building strength – each one is striving to become the very best versions of themselves with every session.

At The Lab, we apply the same athletic training principles and programming schedules to our large group training sessions. Though most of our “Lab Rats” aren’t prepping for the NFL combine – they are all working towards a goal that is just as important to them. Some play sports recreationally or competitively, some don’t play sports at all – but we train the groups to reach “in-season” shape in the summer months. We get them there by applying an annual training programs based on a 3-week training cycle:

Week 1: Learn It
Week 2: Know It
Week 3: Own It

Update Your Space for the Newest Fitness Trend by Yancy Culp

Approximately 7 years ago, people all over the world were introduced to what arguably has become the largest fitness movement this planet has even seen.

The sport of Obstacle Course Racing (aka OCR, Mud Runs, and Adventure Racing) has been the fastest growing participatory sport for numerous years.  In 2017, Spartan Race and Tough Mudder will have a minimum of 13 televised events on NBC & CBS; with NBC coming back for their fifth season of partnering with Spartan Race.

To give you some perspective, Spartan Race alone has at least one event – sometimes two or three – almost every weekend of the year in the United States. An average weekend event will draw 10,000-15,000 participants. These events are about so much more than the race alone – OCR has created a strong sense of community. The majority of the participants aren’t there to race.  They are there to lift each other up mentally and physically as they tackle obstacles out on course just as they do in everyday life.

Take a look around your gym. On any given day, how many people will you see wearing a Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, or other OCR organization’s FINISHER shirt? OCR athletes of all levels are gathering together to train in parks using methods that are geared toward improving their performance out on course.  Why not create this environment INSIDE your facility by providing equipment and training space to cater to this rapidly growing community?

Learn the Language of Large Group Training by Elisabeth Fouts

The language of fitness is changing. People don’t just “workout” anymore, they “train”. Personal trainers don’t just “train” anymore, they “coach”.

Speaking of, what is the difference between a “coach” and a “trainer” anyways? In the fitness industry, those terms are often used interchangeably; however, if you ask 10 different people to explain the difference, you would likely get 10 different answers. Perhaps the most obvious difference is in association: a coach is to sports as a trainer is to fitness. But among the rapidly growing trend of “the sport of fitness”, more trainers are coaching groups of everyday athletes to maximize their potential in pursuit of fitness goals.

Small and large group training is becoming more of the norm in health, fitness, and recreational facilities. These groups start to take on the look and feel of a team in training as they motivate each other. Group training can enhance participant experience by providing consistency and an additional level of accountability. Whether you are participating in, leading, or supporting a training group of any size, you will undoubtedly be enlightened and energized by some of the very large (up to almost 100 people at a time) group training that goes on in Power Systems Master Coach Bennie Wylie, Jr.’s performance training center in Abilene, TX.

 For more info and topics, check out the Power Systems blog.
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Elisabeth Fouts

About Elisabeth Fouts

Elisabeth serves as the Education Coordinator for Power Systems and is their primary content contributor for blogs and articles on a variety of subjects from personal training and group fitness programming to product spotlights and health club operations. She holds a B.S. in Exercise Science and has over 15 years of experience in the fitness industry from a personal trainer & group fitness instructor to regional level fitness management. Elisabeth is also a Master Trainer for PowerWave Master and holds industry group fitness certifications with ACE & Les Mills.