Monthly Archives: June 2015

What to look for in Gym Management Systems

Ask many trainers or gym owners today “what do you look for in gym management SOFTWARE?” and you may find the typical or traditional response – “what’s it going to cost me?” Unfortunate because today the capabilities and benefits far outweigh the flat dollar value in fact, critically analyzed you are more likely to find that it is not an “if” rather a “which one” type question. Not having a management system is flat-out poor business sense.


So then, how does one approach the selection of a system that will take care of and manage your gym/spa/studio?

Well…. let’s start off by putting the client first, just as you do when engaging a new client. What are their fitness goals? How important is reaching these goals to them? The “client” being your business! How important is success? What are the business goals? How important are these goals ranked in priority? This type of discussion you’ll find places the cost element or question near the bottom of the page.

Our suggestion is view the process in order of your gym business process:


  1. Engage clients – present your business, it’s strengths and differentiators.
  2. Sale/Sell – make it easy and painless to deal with the actual sales transaction.
  3. Onboarding – get your new client feeling welcome and “part of the family” providing all the important info they need.
  4. Deliver/Train – This is the part your so good at but, your system should make this a premier experience with progress reporting, scheduling, communication and motivation.
  5. Retain – This is usually the tricky part, keep them coming back, provide ongoing value.

When we unpack this process you will begin to focus on system features and capabilities that enhance your gym’s profile in the eyes and experience of your valued client.

Our system partners are world-class and have software that delivers on all fronts so please check out:

MindBody Online


Eccentric Training

Eccentric training, also known as negative training, is a technique that allows you to push your muscles past their normal point of failure.  Eccentric movements are performed involving lengthening of the muscle fibers.  This type of negative training is more demanding on the muscles, therefore they are fatigued a lot further than is possible during concentric movement.  Stressing the muscle, while it is lengthened, actually damages the micro-fibers of the muscle to such an extent that there is an increased potential for greater stimulation and growth.  Contractions that permit the muscle to shorten are concentric contractions, for instance while lifting a weight.  Eccentric contractions stress the muscle while it is lengthened, e.g. while lowering a weight.

The key to understanding the negative workout lies in this view of how individual motor units or the muscles are recruited: Because some motor units are turned off while a weight is lowered, a decreased number of motor units are holding the weight.  The active motor units are then exposed to a greater level of tension, which now provides an opportunity for greater growth stimulus.  For example:  Suppose you are using a muscle composed of 10 motor units to lift a weight of 100 lbs.  When you lift the weight, all the motor units participate so each motor unit is exposed to 100 pounds of tension.  You lower the weight by turning off some motor units; lets say you turn off 3, this leaves 7 motor units to lower the weight under control.  Because there are now fewer motor units supporting the weight, each of the remaining active motor units is exposed to more tension resulting in muscle hypertrophy (i.e. increase in the size of the muscle cells).  Because each motor unit is exposed to greater tension during the eccentric portion of the lift greater growth stimulus results.  Clearly, performing negatives can lead to muscular growth more quickly than performing concentric or isometric repetitions.  However, you must not perform negatives all the time.

There are different methods for eccentric training.  The first method is: Negatives Only.  This is a situation where a full workout session is dedicated to performing only negative phases of a specific exercise.  This method can be useful for building up strength or for blasting through a plateau.

The second method of Eccentric Training is:  Extra Eccentric Reps or Forced Negatives.  For this, a standard set of repetitions is performed and when concentric failure is reached a partner lifts the weight for you.  You perform only the part of the weight training phase that involves lengthening while your partner performs the concentric (lifting) part of this exercise.  This action is repeated for the desired number of reps. This is usually repeated 2-4 times, or until the muscles are fatigued.

The way to perform an eccentric rep is to add 40% more weight onto what you would normally do for that exercise. For example:  On the bench press if you can perform 8 reps at 225 lbs, you would put 360 pounds on the bar.  To start, have your training partner hand off the weight to you, then you would slowly lower the weight.  As a general rule of thumb you would take 4-5seconds to lower it (sometimes up to 10 seconds depending on your program). Once the weight has been lowered your partner would then lift it back up for you.

WARNING!  Don’t go overboard with eccentric training. Because it does cause more damage to skeletal muscle than concentric or isometric training, it requires more rest and recovery time.  Performing negatives excessively can lead to “over-training”.  Keep in mind that if negatives are not performed properly you would be risking potential damage to connective tissues and muscles by placing them under an excessive load.  These potential problems can be avoided by not performing negatives at every training session, or at the very least, changing the kind of negative training from what you used during your previous workout.  By safely incorporating eccentric training into your current training program you create greater overload and create new muscle growth resulting in greater gains thus getting BIGGER!  Above all, work with a reputable, certified physical trainer.

Training for Linebackers

The  Linebacker position requires Strength to be able to take on and shed blocks from Offensive Linemen; Agility to tackle running backs in the open field and Speed to be able to drop back into coverage.  In today’s SST Blog we will look at three exercises that will help you improve in these areas.

Log – Hang Clean and Press

One of SST favourite exercisef for imrpvoved hand strength SST we like to use a Log with thick grips because it improves hand strength.  This is important for taking on blocks, as well as tackling.  The important part of this exercise is generating power through triple extension.  That is using your hips, knees & ankles to generate force through your body and accelerate the bar up to your shoulders.  Once there you re-bend your knees and again use triple extension to help lift the weight above your head.

This is a great exercise for not only taking on blocks, but also explosively driving through tackles.

Sled Shuffle

For this exercise you load weight on the sled and attach it to your waist with a belt.  In a strong athletic position with knees bent and chest up the athlete drives off the leg closest to the sled.  You can perform this exercise with higher weights and slower movement earlier in the off-season.  As you get closer you want to use lighter weights and move more quickly.  This is a great exercise to help shuffling and cutting.  It is difficult to find an exercise that helps functionally strengthen those muscles, but this is our favorite.

Prowler Sprint

The prowler is one of the most polarizing pieces of equipment at our gym.  Most people have a strong love-hate relationship with it.  We have a term called the “Prowler Flu”, as several athletes have been forced to sign the bucket when they are done with it.  You can use it in several ways – as an energy system workout when you push it for longer distances.  But in this case we are going to focus on 10 yard acceleration runs.  This is great for filling the hole during running plays, or having to change direction and accelerate after a quarterback throws the ball.

If you’re looking to take your game to the next level contact one of the SST Franchises.


Steve Bodanis

SST Hamilton