Flashback to the early 2000’s, I was a pre-teen at home on summer break carelessly flipping through TV channels trying to find something to watch. I stumbled upon TLC’s What Not To Wear with Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, and was immediately hooked! I related to the real-life fashion offenders on TV because I too, had loose baggy clothing, frumpy hair, and didn’t know how to color-coordinate with my shoes. Being an overweight child and spending a lot of time with my brother, you could say I was a tomboy. I remember wearing gym sneakers with EVERY outfit even in high school, I loved comfort over style.
I recently had an interview at a local gym for a coaching position and asked Steven, what do I wear?! That experience is the inspiration for today’s blog. If you’re a personal trainer or group fitness instructor, I’m sure the same thought has crossed your mind. The short answer is, well it depends…
Usually in the fitness industry, interviews have two parts:
This is the traditional sit down with the hiring manager and questions are asked. I say when in doubt go with business casual. For men, slacks or khakis with at least a polo or collared shirt. For women, a nice blouse with pants or a dress. If you are interviewing for management, dress business professional.
Being in the fitness industry our job to help people move so it’s only natural to make you demonstrate your skills in when hiring. With personal training, this might be a mock client situation or you may be given a scenario. With group fitness, it may be a short 5-15 minute demo class or small group training. As managers, we know within the first 10 minutes if we intend to hire you or not.
Regardless, wear clothing that looks the part. Make sure you’re not rocking that busted old free t-shirt you got in college that may or may not have an armpit hole. Try for workout shorts, capris, or leggings, and a top that isn’t too revealing (save that crop top for a rainy day). Bonus points if your outfit can match a little to show you gave some thought into your demo.
I would bring this change of clothes whether or not you know if they’d like you to be active during your interview process. Be prepared!
Thanks for tuning in to the What Not To Fear: Fitness Edition (Shirt and Shoes probably required)
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. All rights to What Not To Wear belong to TLC
For the past 13 years, a worldwide fitness trends survey is conducted by The American College of Sports Medicine. Every year, health and fitness professionals look forward to this list so we can stay on top of our game for the new year. Not only is keeping up-to-date with current trends important, it is imperative to our continuing education and occupational well-being. Without further ado, I present the top 10 fitness trends below with my own little tidbits on each.
For the rest of the trends, check out the link below. Good luck with all your goals in 2019!
Thompson, W. R. (2018). Worldwide survey of fitness trends for 2019. ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, 22(6), 10-17.
Keepin' It 100 with Willy T.
I know the last few weeks have been more of a travel blog, but the trip has safely come to an end! However, still lots worth updating because I saved my favorite conference for last.
The Collegiate Marketing Institute is designed to bring together marketers of collegiate recreation and student unions as a way to immerse a smaller group to focus on a niche subject matter. The ~175 attendees gathered in New Orleans to work through topics like social media management, analytics, marketing strategy, and so much more.
I had the fortunate opportunity to present with Lauren Adams on “Putting the ‘Team’ Back in Marketing,” where we shared the ways we’ve empowered our respective teams to strengthen the internal brand community as a way to positively affect performance and help meet departmental goals. If you are interested in this topic, please hit me up - I’d love to share our presentation with you!
Most importantly, this conference allowed me to reconnect with mentors and build relationships with students looking to become professionals in the marketing field. We did our fair share of New Orleans exploration, which by this point I felt like an expert in the area (haha).
As I come back to reality and settle back into normalcy, there are a few things I appreciate a little extra this week:
Keepin' it 100 with willy t
4 Cities. 3 Conferences. Too many memories to condense to 100 words. 1 fulfilled self.
The day this drops will be day 10 of my mega-conference road trip. Since my last blog, I’ve visited University of Alabama and LSU, as well as conquered (or attempted to conquer) the city of New Orleans throughout the Athletic Business Show. I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last week, and I’ll highlight my fun by showing a picture (or two) of each day:
Wednesday, November 7th
Traveled from Birmingham to New Orleans with Steven and stopped along the way at The University of Alabama (rec center pictured). Our rental car got struck by lightning, and it was surprisingly underwhelming. We took it as a sign of good luck, and it’s proved to serve that purpose thus far!
Thursday, November 8th
We kicked off the Athletic Business Show by representing Fitness Asset Manager at the Expo… and rocking it! We ended the night at AB’s Social, which included a front-row seat to a cultural experience I will never forget (cue the music)!
Friday, November 9th
Back at the Athletic Business Expo! This was a unique side of “conferencing” I had yet to experience and I appreciated the opportunity to represent Globetrotter Wellness Solutions and Fitness Asset Manager.
I rounded out the evening by enjoying Steven’s session on “Building Rockstar Teams.”
Would you believe that we “stayed in” in NOLA on a Friday Night? We were poised for a big Saturday in the Big Easy..
Saturday, November 10th
We capped off the final day of Athletic Business as Steven presented (again!) on facility management.
With half of our Saturday left for NOLA exploration, we found all of the beauty! The music, the markets, the Cafe Du Monde beignets, and the Bourbon Street Madness. It. Was. Epic.
Sunday, November 11th
Took a victory lap around the French Quarter before heading to Baton Rouge for a couple days.
Got dinner with two long time NIRSA friends and special humans, Kelly and Tori. Would you believe that I forgot to snag a picture?
Monday, November 12th
GEAUX TIGERS! Toured LSU’s Award-Winning UREC and completed an intense workout. This place is incredible - If you’re anywhere nearby you need to see it for yourself! I have so much love and appreciation for my good friend Kelsey (and Kelly) for the hospitality.
Got an athletic facility tour at LSU’s Tiger Stadium, Pete Maravich Assembly Center, and all of the athletic goodness between. Even met Mike the Tiger, the (actual) Tiger that lives on campus! Very special thanks to my new friend Paige for the exclusive tour.
Tuesday, November 13th
I have to write these a day or two in advance, so I’m planning to grab a morning UREC workout and meet with some of the staff to learn about the great things they do. From here, I’ll drive back to New Orleans to cap off my mega-conference trip at the Collegiate Marketing Institute with NIRSA and ACUI colleagues Wednesday through Friday.
Again, I have endless appreciation for everyone who’s been able to make this trip happen. Peace, Love, and Keepin’ it 100,
Keepin' It 100 with Willy T.
Coming to you LIVE from the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel in Sweet Home Alabama!
Over the next couple weeks, I have a really awesome opportunity to attend three conferences in multiple cities that I’ve yet to visit. I’ll do my best to keep you posted on my social media, and I’ll find a way to make my updates entertaining :)
This week: I attended the NIRSA Region II Conference in Birmingham. Here are some highlights (photos below for some more context) -
Steph Goetz (far right) and I completed grad school together at JMU. When we were students, we’d get taken to lunch at conferences by professionals, and we promised each other that we would return the favor when we “made it.” This has now become an annual tradition, and Dylan/JP are two incredible NIRSA students. Eugene’s Hot Chicken was the perfect setting with some great eats!
This much travel is a good bit out of my comfort zone, so say a prayer and send me any travel tips you may have!
Peace, Love, and Conferencing,
Keepin' it 100 with Willy T.
As we’re just a few days away from Halloween and as I conclude this month’s Snickers Series (if you’re joining us late, here’s the theme I’m referencing), I jumped on the opportunity to highlight the biggest chocolate-aficionado that I know: Emma Kirwan. She also happens to be my girlfriend, and today marks 2 years that we’ve been dating.
According to Emma, her “Snickers” is going for a walk because it clears her head and helps her reset her day. In honor of that, I asked her the following questions on a recent walk as we prepare for Hallowellness:
Q: What’s your favorite Fall/Halloween tradition? Why?
A: Watching Hocus Pocus! It’s a timeless film that gets anyone in the mood for Halloween.
Q. What’s your all-time favorite Halloween costume that you’ve worn?
A. My all-time favorite was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz when I was 6 years old. I don’t think I took off my red ruby slippers for a few days after.
Q. What’s the most embarrassing costume you’ve dressed as for Halloween?
A. I don’t think I have an embarrassing costume I’ve worn because I was always so picky when I was younger. It was a little embarrassing the amount of times I was a witch because I got to wear cool black lipstick that I would never wear on any other occasion!
Q. If you could dress as a superhero for Halloween and get to keep their superpowers, who would it be and why?
A. Wonder Woman because she is a literal goddess. She has the strength and agility that I want to acquire. Plus she’s amazing and can do anything.
Q: Here’s a scenario: While trick-or-treating, you come upon the home of a witch. She presents you with the following conundrum. The piece of candy you choose from her selection will become the only type of candy you can eat for the rest of your life. What type candy do you choose?
A. Without a doubt, it would be a Milky Way. They’re the perfect combo of chocolate and caramel, and I could probably eat a whole bag in one sitting.
Q. Settle this hot debate: Should Candy Corn be sold year-round? Why/Why not?
A. Absolutely not!! It is only good once a year, when you’re carving pumpkins or dressed in costume. Anytime else is not nearly as enjoyable.
(For the record, I completely disagree and think Candy Corn should be sold year-round. We decided to save this topic for a later discussion - ha!)
Emma is a yogi and wellness-promoting graduate student. She obtained her Bachelor’s of Social Work from James Madison University in May 2017 and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Sport and Recreation Leadership at JMU. She also serves as the Graduate Assistant for JMU’s Office of Admissions. Her two biggest loves (in no particular order) are running and donuts. She’s a Leslie Knope wannabe and aspires to work with students and spread positivity.
Thank you to everyone who has read and supported my blog throughout the Snickers Series! A special thanks to Rachel Nicely, Mark Iturriaga and Kyle Harmon for guest-writing this month.
And to Em - Happy Anniversary: You’re the real MVP!
Creating a sense of community is key when connecting to active agers in group fitness classes. These participants want to be challenged while having a great time in class. As an instructor, balancing those two can be a challenge. Whether you are a seasoned instructor skilled in teaching active agers or new to that demographic, here are six tips for helping your participants stay forever fit.
Our principal investigator, Steven, had the opportunity to write a blog for ACE Fitness. Click here to learn Six Ways to Stay Forever Fit.
“Music such a strong word with an even stronger sound it can rumble beneath your feet, cry in your ears, take away your fears, replace them with tears a never ending cycle of life’s greatest years the innovation and creation that freshens the mind and sterilizes the soul and only you will know how far it can go it can take us away to new places that we hope will last or take us back to then and dwell in the past covering every emotion with devotion of a single word creating a time in our life and a place in our hearts from yesterday to tomorrow the music keeps playing.” -Justin Thorne
This is my favorite quote on music because it amplifies the power that music can bring. Do you work out better with or without music? Chances are the answer is better. For my fellow group fitness instructors out there, you know that music is such a strong motivator when it comes to exercise. Choosing music for a group fitness class is crucial; therefore, we’ll be going behind the mic in today’s blog so you can be the next music mogul in class.
To start off some general tips on music: make sure it is reflective of your audience and your class. For example, teaching in a campus recreation facility and retirement home would require two completely different playlists. (For more insight on teaching active agers check out Steven’s latest ACE blog here). Additionally, a zumba class has a very different tone compared to a cardio kickboxing class.
Before you even sit down to plan your workout, I want you to think about your audience, the format, the time, and the mood or effect you want your music to have on your participants. One caveat to that, if you teach to the music, meaning you follow a 32-count, then you want your music to have the appropriate beats per minute. Disclaimer: I am still learning myself but here are my general tips:
Choose a song with positive lyrics and eases participants into the workout. Some of my current favorites are:
2002 by Anne Marie Jay Pryor Remix Version
Five More Hours by Deorro and Chris Brown
Main working block
Think about the lyrics and the beat here, try to match the music to your workout intensity. Remember some people are motivated by the words of the music, the beat, or even your cues.
Dinero by Jennifer Lopez
Level Up by Ciara
Youngblood by 5 Seconds of Summer
This section of the workout should indicate a shift which is slower.
Magic by BOB
New Rules by Dua Lupa
Everyone knows when it’s cool-down time when the song is relaxing and smooth.
Colors by Jason Derulo
Love Lies by Khalid and Normani
You might be asking where do I get good fitness music: we’ve got you covered! Here are some of our favorite finds:
Fitness Music Resources
Steady130- This website offers free downloadable mixes. With numerous categories you’re bound to find a mix that fits your needs!
Yes!Go- Subscription required; however, you can edit the music to your preferred BPMs. They have pre-made mixes or you can mix your own!
Power Music- A paid app where you can get access to unlimited fitness music.
Last but not least Spotify- For all my fellow broke fitness professionals out there this is a great option. Check out my profile if you ever need some inspiration.
To continue our Hallowellness journey through the month of October, themed classes are popular around the holidays. To change things up, check out Steady130’s Halloween Bash mix to bring some fun to your next class.
I hope you learned something new and maybe you’ll get a gig as a DJ one day. For now, know you have the power of influence every time you step behind mic.
An aspiring fitness music mogul,
Keepin’ it 100 with Willy T
When I moved into my full-time role at UNC, Kyle Harmon was a standout intern who showed me the ins and outs of what it truly means to be a Tar Heel. She absolutely walks the walk (maybe you’ll get the pun after reading the next paragraph) and never waivers from her positive attitude. She will definitely be back on this blog, so buckle your seat belts. Kyle keeps it REAL on this one:
“No more than three hours after Will texted me about writing for this series, I pulled my quad muscle. I was about to tell y’all how a Zumba or cycle session makes me feel like a new woman. But what happens when you can’t do the one thing that hits your reset button? It may not always be about the activity you do—maybe it’s more about being selfish, giving yourself the freedom and permission to clear your head, to breathe, to play. You can’t always go for that run, but maybe you can walk…”
Kyle is a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin studying Public Health and Social Work. She graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she worked as a fitness instructor during her time as a student. Two years following her graduation, Kyle worked to create fitness and wellness programming at Campus Recreation and the university community as a whole. She is devoted to spreading health and happiness, and wants to create spaces for all to access opportunities to put their best foot forward, play, and prosper.
You can follow Kyle’s journey on Instagram at @kyleinharmony.
Disclaimer: this blog is not about hurricane safety; however, in wake of recent events I hope you know to not ride out an actual hurricane. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are facing the effects of storms in North Carolina and Florida.
Today, we revisit Steven’s previous blog, and discuss how to be channel resilience when riding out (metaphorical) storms in your life. Whether it be a breakup, a move, a job-loss, an unexpected death in the family; we all go through storms- sometimes it sprinkles, sometimes it rains, and sometimes it just straight down pours. Resilience is the ability to not just survive difficult situations, but also thrive and be stronger because of them.
Resilience, like wellness, is not constant, it is shaped by the stage of life we’re in or what we’re going through. Like a river, it ebbs and flows.
Recently through self-reflection, I haven’t been feeling like myself. I started a 9-5 job about a month ago and am not feeling fulfilled whatsoever. However, I knew that this was getting my foot in the door and I actively sought out the opportunities I wanted. Because I “rode out my storm” of dissatisfaction, I’m thrilled to announce I will start teaching group fitness classes next week! I haven’t taught in about two months. You’re probably aware I love teaching. No matter the subject, we are always students, there is always more we can learn.
Back to the subject at hand, I also don’t feel like my true self because my wedding is less than a month away now! Let me tell you, I am not the traditional bride. I HATE wedding planning. Weddings are time consuming, expensive, stressful, and there are so many event details and moving parts. In combination, these external life factors have taken a great toll on my happiness. However, I have chosen to believe in resilience, and the power of knowing there will be an end.
In the words of our girl Kelly Clarkson, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
After you ride out your storm, the sun will shine.
Your friend in wellness,
Who we are
Just a team of round pegs in a square hole changing the world one interaction at a time.
Look back at it