Staying Healthy During the Coronavirus

This week, I watched two older women nearly get into a fist fight over canned corn and I found myself on the brink of tears of joy and gratitude when a client gifted me a pack of toilet paper. If someone had told me that this was going to be my reality at the beginning of the month, I’d have told them to lay off the wacky-tobacky before gazing into their crystal ball.

Yet here we are, as individuals and as a collective consciousness, trekking into uncharted territory.

Isn’t that life though? We get stuck in our comfort zones and when something threatens our routine, our way of life or our habits, we panic. That is exactly what is happening now on a global scale. People are panicking because they don’t know what to expect.

The truth is our safety and security is always being threatened in some way. Every six seconds, someone dies from a smoking-related diseases. Every twelve minutes, someone takes their own life. Every 37 seconds, someone dies from heart disease. Every year, 12,000-30,000 people die from the regular flu. Disease, be it viral or otherwise, is rampant whether the news is reporting it or not.
We panic because we feel ourselves losing control over the lives we have meticulously planned out when something happens that we don’t understand. I get it, I used to get anxiety over the safety of a dog in a movie.

There are two things that we can control to some degree right now that are far more effective and reasonable responses than shanking each other over canned goods. Our anxiety and our immunity, both of which are positively affected by exercise. While fear and taking a step back are natural responses, panic and laziness are not.

This is an opportunity to work on changing your stress response and instilling new habits. Here are my five tips to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic instead of reacting to it.

Physical Health

  1. While many gyms are closing, this is the perfect time to consider purchasing some basic at home equipment for strength training. You can also make a playlist on YouTube of cardio and Yoga or other stretching routines.
  2. Instead of reading the news or scrolling on social media, check out some nutrition or workout articles. Limit media intake (including social media) to 10-15 minutes twice a day.
  3. Aim to intake more immunity boosting foods such as spinach, garlic, almonds, mushrooms and cinnamon.
  4. Go for a bike ride, walk your dog, run up and down your stairs or jog around the neighborhood.
  5. Make sure you are staying hydrated throughout the day to keep your immunity strong.

You have a choice. Are you buying up the entire county’s supply of toilet paper or are you planning some fun indoor activities for yourself or with your family? Are you rolling around in hand sanitizer or are you researching healthy recipes that are going to boost your body’s defenses in fighting anything it might be exposed to.

We are always so go-go-go and stuck in our ways and now the Universe has laughed in our faces and told us that we can either roll with the punches or we can get knocked out. Now is the perfect time to quit smoking. Now is the perfect time to slay that workout. Now is the perfect time to pull up a Yoga video on YouTube and lion’s face away the anxiety. Now is the perfect time to spend an extra minute with your pets or kids or close friends.

Yes, take precautions. But focus on the ones that matter. The ones you can control. Not the worst-case-scenario what-ifs.

Amanda Webster

Amanda is an Arizona-based writer and vegan fitness model who overcame clinical depression on her own terms with fitness, nutrition and lifestyle changes. She has been published as a writer and model internationally both in health and fitness magazines and professional blogs. She is also a certified DDP Yoga instructor and went to school at the award winning Southwest Institute of Healing Arts where she majored as a Mind-Body-Wellness practitioner with a specialty in holistic nutrition. When she isn’t shooting or writing, she is usually geocaching with her son, traveling or championing for one of her humanitarian causes.

IG: @amandawebsterhealth

In The Zone - It's All About the System!

Check out the latest article “In the Zone” by Sean Gagnon about designing a training system for achieving the desired results – for both the client and the gym.  It’s all about the SYSTEM!

How to Provide the Best Member Experience

I wanted to check in and see how your New Year is going so far.  Considering “Getting in shape” “Getting healthy” and “Losing weight” are the top resolutions for 2020, it’s normal to see a rise in gym memberships this time of year. But how do you keep those “New Year” members coming back? By providing the best member experience possible!  

That sounds great, but what does that mean? There are several ways to provide a stellar member experience, here are 3 that are proven to be critical for member retention:


1. Create a Comfortable Environment

Make their experience non intimidating and user-friendly! Many gym goers have little to no idea what to do once they get to the gym – especially the “New Year’s” member that may be new to fitness. They might not know what to do in that big empty space you provide. Nor do they want to feel “silly” laying on the floor or trying to balance on a ball! Giving them a series of machines, like an Ab Circuit or Ab Zone, that makes it easy for them to jump right in and intuitively know what to do.

When you do provide workout machines, make them easy to use! Machines with few adjustments, are just as effective as more complex workout equipment, yet accessible and appealing to more of your members. (Plus, they usually have the added benefit of less repairs!)


2. Give Them Something to Get Excited About

The best marketing of your gym is when one of your members tells one of their friends about the “cool stuff” their gym has. Even better, when they share it on social media!  We see it every day with our equipment. We see hundreds of posts on social media of people using our gym equipment – like the TireFlip 180®, the Ab Coaster and SledMill. And really, all you have to do is ask them to. They LOVE sharing their workouts. They’re using it at somebody’s gym – why not make it yours? Here’s a fun example of that on the TireFlip 180®. 

Innovative, Unique and Fun gym equipment gets people talking, and sharing. When it stands out from the competition – you win! That’s GOLD for member retention.


3. Provide a Clean, Safe, Updated gym floor

Of course it goes without saying that you need to have a clean and safe workout environment. Make sure all of your gym equipment is clean and in good working order.  Ensure your members are always safe – in your classes, on workout machines and on the gym floor. Lessons can be learned from this article about the gym that was sued because someone got “run over” by a big tire being flipped across the gym floor. This is why equipment like the TireFlip 180® and SledMill are so popular in gyms. All the benefits of Sled Pushing and Tire Flipping in a compact, safe space. Take a look at them here

The Abs Company has been working with gyms, studios and various workout facilities for 20 years, we have heard and seen it all! We’ve taken those learnings and applied them to everything we do here. We understand your pain points. We know what members want, and we also know the potential obstacles of providing that to them. That’s why we created SOLUTIONS. Let us use our years of experience and research to help you provide the absolute BEST MEMBER EXPERIENCE possible. 

Contact us and let’s talk about how we can help you!

My First 90 Days and The Company Culture

At The Abs Company our Company Culture is one of the most important aspects of our business. We have a set of Core Values that we live by everyday that are non-negotiable!  You can take a look at them here  This post is from our newest Team Member, Alexia – Operations Coordinator.  In this post Alexia recounts her first 90 days here at The Abs Company and how our Core Values impacted her start with us. Spoiler alert – we LOVE Alexia and we hope she continues to feel valued and important here, because she certainly is!


Week 1

On my first day I walked in to a “Welcome to the Team” box full of notebooks and pens (purple, of course), a ninja minifigure and a tee shirt. Already off to a great start. There’s a folder with my first week laid out for me and my 30-60-90 day path. I’m floored by how organized my onboarding process is!

I’m learning tons and just got my “dream project” homework. Employees are given the opportunity to set a personal goal, and during weekly one-on-one meetings, work towards that goal with Support.

I have never worked at a company that’s so invested in their team members’ growth both in their role and outside of work.


Week 2

“We Lead With Gratitude”

I got to the office and found a sticky note on my monitor from the CEO. I was surprised and grateful to have found a place at a company where the CEO would take time to do something like this. This is a kind of leadership I haven’t encountered before in any workplace. “You’re a great addition to our team – thanks for sharing your gifts with TAC.” Everyone here really does Lead with Gratitude.


Week 3

My main job is processing parts orders so they get out the door correctly and as quickly as possible. I’m also working on our internal SOPs, adding products to the web, and assisting with some accounting stuff. Lots to keep me occupied and that’s the way I like it. Small companies are a great place if you like variety. There’s always something new to learn and do. 

I also got to experience our first team building event where we worked out at a local gym that had our equipment and I got to use all of it. Loved being able to see the machines up close and work with them first hand.


Week 4

“We Believe in Constant Improvement, both Business and Personal”

There’s a Book Club!?! The Ops team gets together every other week for team training and we all read a book to discuss during part of the meeting. Not that I need an excuse to read, but this is great! Definitely not paying lip service to “we believe in constant improvement, both business and personal.”


30 Day Review 

I gotta tell you, this was my best review in my career so far. I credit the amazing environment created by everyone here that allows me to contribute my skills and do some really awesome work. My team leaders and co-workers are so supportive and encouraging, and their love for their work is contagious. 


Month 2

“We believe that hard work pays off and produces results that matter” 

November was a blur. So many orders, so much activity, but we made it to Thanksgiving meeting a HUGE goal. I felt like my contribution made a definite impact. It wasn’t just the sales team bringing in the sales, but everyone worked together to earn that Friday off after Thanksgiving. 

“We Lead with Gratitude.”

Thanksgiving apparently is the CEO, Sean’s favorite holiday. With the amount of genuine gratitude I encounter here on a daily basis, it’s no wonder. I came to the office and at my desk were two Thanksgiving cards (and a cookie) from 2 of my team leaders expressing their gratitude for having me on their team. Who gives cards at Thanksgiving? Well, these guys do. I also left with another card from Sean with a surprise bonus for the hard work we put in that month.  

“We value all humanity and believe that we should always give back.”

In addition to donating to a charity every month, this month we adopted a couple of families and purchased gifts from their wish lists. We had a wrapping party and got into the holiday spirit! There’s corporate giving, and there’s this – it’s personal and hands-on and makes you a part of the giving.


Month 3

“We believe that to be a great company we must have great relationships.”

“We never give up because we believe that nothing is impossible.” 

This month I had my first taste of how we do things when someone on our team is out – from both sides. I covered for our Director of Customer Experience, DJ, for a few days while he was at our warehouse. It was definitely a stretch since I had to answer calls from customers who needed replacement parts and help diagnosing issues. But with the training we’ve been doing together every Thursday, I felt more or less equipped to handle the calls in his absence. Even if I didn’t know how to handle all the issues, I knew I had help from my team in the office and we managed.

Now on the flip side, I got the flu on Christmas and was out of work for 2 days afterwards. I was assured that everything was OK and I just needed to focus on resting. When I got back, all I had to do was pick up from the weekend’s orders. My work was handled by both my team leaders, and there was no scrambling to get everything done before the New Year break!

“We believe team is Family.

The holiday party was held at a cozy little Italian place. The food was amazing, and the company was equal parts fun and embarrassing, just like family. We had a Secret Santa gift exchange and everyone’s gifts were thoughtful and personal. It’s so nice to be a part of a team where everyone genuinely enjoys being together!

Wrapping up my 90 Days

The last of these 3 reviews is coming up, and I’m confident it’s going to be as good as the other 2. I am pinching myself because I never imagined that working somewhere could be this engaging, challenging, and comfortable. I’m free to be myself, supported and able to bring all of my skills and  talents to the table. I feel valued and know without a doubt that my contributions matter. 

“We believe in taking risks to Innovate because we are not afraid to fail”

What’s next? My role is already shifting a bit. My skills in web site management and development are being drawn out to help with our site overhaul. I’m doing less billing & A/R work, and as a result, we’re re-working my “Big 3” responsibilities. Being such a small company, there’s lots of ways I can grow my position, and I am confident that leadership here sees me, my abilities, and is actively working with me to help me develop and take risks with my own work. In turn, my work will help the company grow. 

I think I’ll stick around a while…


We are proud to announce that we have entered into a global partnership with World Gym Taiwan. World Gym Taiwan will be the exclusive provider of The Abs Company’s new Booty Coaster™ glute training machine in the region. The companies have agreed to roll the product out in 100 locations over the next 12 months.

World Gym Taiwan is the largest fitness operator in Taiwan and the largest World Gym Franchisee in the world. Their state of the art clubs and innovative programming makes them the ideal partner for The Abs Company’s latest innovation.Booty Coaster (tm) Side View

The Abs Company has been known in the fitness industry for providing innovative Ab and Functional training products such as The Ab Coaster® and TireFlip 180®. The new Booty Coaster® is the latest in that line of products leveraging the rising trend of Glute Training. “We are very excited about this partnership with World Gym Taiwan” says Sean Gagnon, CEO of The Abs Company. “Our aligned values and priorities make this a perfect synergy. World Gym Taiwan are experts at taking a product and building a world class program and member experience around it. We look forward to working with them on our latest innovation.”

Michael Sanciprian, CEO of World Gym Taiwan understands categories and trends in fitness and believes in the Booty Coaster® product stating : “Glute training is the hottest category in fitness today. The Booty Coaster is an intuitive and effective innovation from The Abs Company and one that we build our new Booty Club and Booty Zone around!”

World Gym Taiwan is rolling the BootyCoaster out in 30 clubs this month with plans to expand that to the entire chain in 2020.

Working for the Cause - Not Applause

Great post by our Operation Coordinator, Cathy Peterson. Cathy is one of the pillars of our organization. Without her work, and that of her team, our equipment would not get in the hands of our customers!  Here’s some great insights from Cathy about being in an “admin” role and our TAC Continuum at work. 

Working for cause, not for applause. The other side of the Continuum – Operations and Logistics

For some, the thought of being on the Admin side of any organization can sometimes seem well, underwhelming.  We’re typically hunkered over our desks in the office working out the details of our daily tasks, researching more efficient ways of getting things done, or trouble shooting the most recent issue that’s been placed in our lap.  

To find success in a service role you have to truly enjoy being a supportive player.   Finding a solution, meeting a need, and sometimes diving into what can feel like muddy waters to get there.  In many ways, we are structural components of the company.  Our support is crucial to success just the same as those at the forefront.  Before the Sales have even been made we are part of the process. Moving inventory from the supplier to the warehouse, quoting transportation, forecasting, reporting, all of it is imperative behind the scenes work. 

The most important skills I believe you need to master in a supportive role are:

  • Patience
  • Attentiveness
  • Communication
  • Knowledge
  • Continued Training
  • Time Management

But above all you have to love it!  At The Abs Company, our continuum proves that each member, department, and position, all play an integral part. Without our Sales Team there would be no cash flow, without our Marketing Team no exposure.  Being a part of the Team is what it’s all about, and realizing you are part of both the defense and offense will keep you winning!



Sales Success

What is the purpose of a business? To make money? To get your ideas into the marketplace? No. Those are outcomes. The purpose of a business is to SOLVE PROBLEMS. In order to do that you need 2 basic things. The first is a solution that is better than what is currently available (if one is available at all). The second is a way to SELL the solution. 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re sharing a product, service, or idea because the main goal is always to sell the solution. Why? Simple – no sales = no money  = equals no business. Even a charity is ultimately selling a solution. 

Here at the Abs company, we specialize in commercial ab equipment and we know how sales tactics play a key role in a business’s success. In our weekly podcast, our CEO Sean had a great discussion with our sales VP Michael on the importance of sales. You might think that selling the best ab training equipment is easy but make no mistake – it takes skill.

So let’s see how you can have SALES SUCCESS  by following their advice.

Learning the Fundamentals

According to Mike, to be a successful sales person  you have to learn the sales fundamentals including being certain, having a multidisciplinary approach, being a good listener, training daily, and being professional. In addition to selling the best ab training equipment, The Abs Company also has a number of functional training solutions and to sell all of this successfully takes a discipline to learn and practice the fundamentals. 

Be Certain

A lot of the time, people don’t make sales calls because they believe the client or customer will not be interested. But that’s the biggest mistake you can make.If you’re not sold on what you’re selling, then you certainly won’t be able to convince anyone to buy from you. In Mike’s case he has to truly believe that he is providing a solution that includes the best ab training equipment and the best core training equipment. 

Mike believes that in order to sell, you must be absolutely certain. You must be 100% sure that what you’re selling is really worth selling and really worth the customer buying. You must be more certain than they are. The most certain person wins! So make all the phone calls, put in as much work as needed to ensure that providing the best solution to you customer’s problem.

Having a Multidisciplinary Approach

To successfully sell Ab Machines like the Ab Coaster® and Functional Training machines like the TireFlip 180® takes a variety of  sales skills.  It is typically said that the average customer needs to hear your message 8-10 times before making a purchasing decision. Being just good at one particular method of reaching them isn’t enough anymore. Years ago sales people would go door to door. Then came pounding the phones. Next was email and now it’s social media  as tools to get your message across.  You have to be good at all of these disciplines because you need to meet your customer where they are and in the most efficient manner possible. The world is changing fast, getting noisier by the day. If you want to get your message across and ultimately solve people’s problems through sales, then you need to hone your skills in all of the available methods!

Be a Good Listener

According to Michael,  one of the best tools at your disposal is LISTENING. This goes hand in hand with asking great questions and then follow-up questions. Listening is a skill and just like any other skill you must train to get better. Don’t concentrate on what you want to say next but really listen to your customer and respond thoughtfully. When Michael is on a call explaining the benefits of our commercial Ab equipment he has to first understand the customer’s pain points and what exactly they are trying to accomplish with the purchase. Are they looking to

  • Create excitement in the facility
  • Grow personal training
  • Retain members by providing new offerings

All of these are valid reasons for new Ab machine purchases but without knowing exactly the problems, it’s difficult to show how The Abs Company ab equipment is the solution. Asking good questions and really listening to the reply will give you the information you need to craft a solution with your products. 

Train Daily

If you have ever played a sport or prepared for any type of event you know that the practice time far exceeds the actual time in the event. For example, football teams practice all week for one game on Sunday. If you want to run a marathon you don’t just show up on race day. Many runners are training for 10-12 weeks at minimum. If you don’t put in the training time, you won’t be successful at the actual event. 

When Michael is preparing his team for calls, emails for meetings to sell The Abs Company commercial ab equipment and function training equipment, he mandates that they train every single day. The team can not just expect to pick up the phone or show up at an event and have the skills at their fingertips to have success. However, with daily training they sharpen their skills in the multi-disciplinary approach described above, they are ready for anything that a customer may throw their way. 

In sports game day is always the most exciting. Having sales call or trade show is no different. People often don’t want to put in the time to train because it’s hard work. However this is what being a professional is all about. Doing all of the foundational work will increase the chances of success when you actually ‘get in the game’. 

Like with most things winning is in the details and the fundamentals. The Abs Company commercial ab products and functional training equipment can be found in tens of thousands of fitness facilities and millions of homes in over 40+ countries. This is because they solve problems that the users want to solve. It’s also because the team puts in the work to master the fundamentals so that they can have SALES SUCCESS. 

'Tis The Season for Wellness

In this upcoming holiday season, we should be revering the past year in our lives.  Appreciative and joyful for all that we have accomplished. Celebrating the great year we’ve just had!

Yet most of us end up stressed, exhausted and feel we may have gone a little overboard with our  “Eat, Drink, & be Merry” activities. This is something we can all relate to. The self improvement we have been working on all year goes right out the window.  It’s no surprise as we are racing around shopping and attending events we are noshing on all the convenience and comforts that seems so right at the time. It’s not about the number on the scale mind you, it’s about ending the year on a high note and feeling good about being you.

How do we make good choices over the holidays when it seems like everything is in excess and it’s so easy to be impulsive?! Planning ahead, and self control. 

Treat yourself and indulge just do it with the good stuff.  Embrace it with the superfoods that will make you feel your best and look your best too.  With so much technology at our fingertips all you have to do is search for an alternative recipe, or ways to make your traditional favorites a little better.  The secret is arming ourselves with healthy alternatives. Skinny Eggnog exists and it’s actually pretty darn good. Flourless Chocolate Cake that won’t add up to a full day’s calorie count is attainable. There are even low calorie beer, wine, and cocktail options for those who partake.   If you are hitting a holiday party have a healthy dinner before you go so you are less apt to eat the fried h’orderves and cookies. Or before you go forth on the buffet, scan the options and choose wisely. Allow yourself some liberties but let’s face it, guilt and self consciousness are gifts nobody wants for Christmas. 

Take the time to allow yourself to be mentally and physically sound this season. Give yourself happy holidays with a boost of self confidence and try a new class at the gym, enjoy a break and meditation with a yoga session, grab a friend for Spin class. Try out some of the recipes I found below for a reward! Also, check out Michael Ritter’s blog on Thanksgiving Abs! 

Some great recipes gathered from around the web: 

Gingerbread Cookies

Chocolate Bars

Low Calorie Drinks

Stellar Customer Experience

3 Pillars of Stellar Customer Service

This week our very own DJ Hoffman, Director of Customer Experience, is going to share some great insights about Customer Experience. He’s been working directly with our customers for years, and now leads that experience. He definitely has some valuable tips to share. Enjoy!

3 Pillars of Stellar Customer Service

Murphy’s Law would tell you that if anything can go wrong it will.  Reality tells a different story, but that is not to say that we don’t experience the occasional problem, sometimes when we least expect it (and never when we want it).  Which is to say; things break.  Sometimes from age, sometimes from ill-use, and sometimes they might even arrive broken (the most disappointing of all in my opinion).

We know that things can go wrong at the point of the install, or with a machine that’s been in the field for ages, and anywhere in-between.  So the question becomes, “how quickly and easily can we get it fixed and back up and running?”  I want to share some ideas and concepts about how we can make it stupidly simple for service techs to be able to get their jobs done and keep the owners of our products happy.  In an effort to keep things real I want to point out that one of our Core Values is that We believe in constant improvement, both professionally and personally.  We are constantly challenging ourselves to provide the best customer service we can.  There are always ways we can improve and we’re committed to finding them and continuing to grow.

I can summarize the areas to address in three things; Accessibility, Ease of Use, and Clarity.

  1. Let’s start with Clarity first.  This one speaks to how we have organized our parts and services.  Are they clearly labeled?  Does the SKU or Part Numbering system have an intuitive flow?  Is it consistent from product to product?  Does the manual clearly identify parts with measurements?  It’s important to keep in mind your audience/end user when designing a parts system and knowing who will be making use of it, paying attention to how best to communicate with them.  This will give you a firm foundation. For example,  in the past we had built our part names around what the manual called them.  This last spring we re-SKUed the entire parts catalog to better identify which parts worked on multiple machines and which were unique, and even which parts came from which factories.  With this organization under our belts, it became very easy to see where we had created multiple SKUs over the years for the same part.  Being clear about our parts helps service providers in the field be clear about what needs to be fixed when we talk about what they need to get the job done.
  1. Which leads to Accessibility.  How accessible are you?  Here at The Abs Company we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the end users experience on our equipment.  We think about owners of our equipment and how it serves them, but can a tech in the field access your parts page on the web?  Is it phone friendly, or is it designed for a desktop computer?  Is it laid out by product in an intuitive way, or is it just an alphabetical list of SKUs or part names? Do you call out subtle but important details on the parts page to assist in decision making process of ‘what parts do I need?’  Take serial numbers for example; over the years the location for the sticker has migrated (and in some cases due to old age may have even fallen off).  A simple pop up window explaining where to look for the number, and failing that—key features to look for on the product to help identify it, saves time for everyone involved.  The technician can keep working, and the office isn’t answering the phone to help clarify what’s the right part for the situation.  Everybody wins when you think about how accessible your parts are!
  1. And finally – Ease of Use.  How easy is it to get what someone needs from you?  This is interwoven with Accessibility but has it’s own unique side.  As an example; we recently moved our warehousing from right near the port of Long Beach, CA to New Berlin, WI.  Cost wise, it’s more expensive to move all our parts and equipment further inland and it takes longer to get to the new warehouse as well.  Nevertheless, we are now able to ship things all over the country for less cost to our customers, and with greater speed.  It could take up to 5 days to get parts to Florida from California.  Now we can have them there in 3 days!  It’s important for any service department to get organized internally so that working with us is as easy as we can make it for someone on the outside.  Once you do, it becomes a powerful competitive advantage.  

All other things being equal and given the choice, most of us would rather do business with a company who is easy to work with and communicates clearly (more on that in a future blog).  ‘Easy’ wins; just look at Staples—they built an entire marketing campaign around it and even sell Easy Buzzers!

Thanksgiving Ab Workout

Thanksgiving Abs

Thanksgiving is the favorite holiday of many for several reasons – an opportunity to Lead with Gratitude (A Core Value here here at The Abs Company); to see family and friends; for football and FOOD! And lots of it! 

Here are my secrets to enjoying the delicious food and offerings while keeping those abs in check. This workout should be done on Thanksgiving morning or (Pre-meal). 

Ok, here is why the pre- holiday workout is super critical. By doing this workout, your abs will be a bit sore and you will have that mind-muscle connection of feeling your abs ever so slightly when moving about. I found you will eat less since you will be reminded of how hard you worked and you don’t want to just eat away those abs. 

We will select 4 exercises and do 3 rounds of each. 

At a relative’s home or hotel room – no equipment workout: 

  1. Spiderman push-ups – 10 reps while alternating bringing knee to elbow 
  2. Plank – 45 seconds 
  3. Mountain climbers – 10 to 12 each leg 
  4. Bicycle sit-ups – bring knee to elbow (45 seconds) 

Complete 3 rounds of this workout 

With equipment 

  1. Ab Coaster – 10 reps to the front, 10 each on the obliques and max out 5 reps on each oblique (alternating) until totally gassed out 
  2. Abs Bench X2 –  10 reps on upper abs crunch, 10 reps on lower abs only, and 10 reps (double crunch) 
  3. Reverse ab curl ups on Target Abs Bench or decline bench – 10 – 15 reps 
  4. Vertical Crunch Machine – 10 reps (front crunch) 10 each for left and right oblique 

Complete 3 rounds of this circuit 

For best results, do this workout on Friday morning as well before hitting the road back home or prior to hitting the stores for Black Friday. Enjoy the pumpkin pie – by doing this workout – you deserve it! 

On-Boarding A New Employee

On-Boarding A New Employee

The Abs Company was started in 2007 with only two employees and has grown to a staff of 15 in a little over ten years. We are very fortunate that most all of our employees that have been hired have never left! Employee #1 is still with us and is approaching 20 years! Longevity with your employees speaks volumes and it’s important to learn from each hire as you grow. With this being said, I believe how you on-board a new employee will be a reflection of their loyalty and commitment to your company.


At the Abs Company, we have a set of core values that we believe in and never stray from when talking to potential candidates and in our overall business. Our Core Values are…

– We Lead with Gratitude

– We Believe that Fitness Changes Lives

– We Believe that hard works pays off and produces results that matter.

– We Keep it real

– We believe that to be a great company we must have great relationships.

– We believe in constant improvement, both business and personal.

– We demand honesty and integrity from ourselves and others

– We never give up because we believe that nothing is impossible

– We believe in taking risks to innovate because we are not afraid to fail

– We believe that our team is family

– We value all humanity and believe we should always give back.

– We believe in our products and the benefits they provide for our customers.


We know starting anything new can be a little nerve wracking. So we do our best to welcome our new team member with a small welcome gift, a cleaned up workspace along with a folder that contains important information about their new position. We also like to ask a few basic questions to learn about our new employee, i.e favorite color, favorite activity, etc. With these questions, we can make them feel at home by providing them with accessories in that favorite color, or a picture frame that they can fill of a loved one. Providing these obvious details speak volumes to the employee and shows that you are prepared for their arrival and more importantly, that you care.


In addition to the warm welcome, we create a 5 day intensive training program that circles through each department. We find this training to be extremely valuable in the long run because it allows the new team member to get to know their colleagues as well as the job they do. We believe that not one position or department is more important than another as everyone plays a hand in completing a sale.


We know that a lot of information is being given during the first 5 days and it may be difficult to retain it all which is why we introduced a 30/60/90 Day Training Plan. This plan pertains to their role and general 101 about The Abs Company.  This plan can guide them through their first 90 days so they know they don’t have to learn it all at once. At each threshold, we conduct reviews to make sure they’re on par with their training and to learn more about their experience. Again, showing compassion for your new hires creates loyalty.


As we grow at The Abs Company, we learn more with each hire and I know creating this on-boarding process will be ever evolving. I feel it has created a positive experience for them and the team. I highly encourage all businesses to take the time to welcome their new employees as it sets the tone and expectation for everyone involved.

Team Member Spotlight

Meet Team Member Cathy Peterson, The Abs Company Operations Coordinator.  Believe me when I say, The Abs Company would not run nearly as smoothly without her!  Learn a little bit more about Cathy…


  • How would you explain your position/role at The Abs Company?

I am supporter to our Dealer Sales Reps, processing our customer orders and providing logistics services.  International Shipping is something I work on as well.  I love working with people from around the globe and helping them to import our products and change more lives from the core.  I am also the organizer of our Customer Appreciation Program here at TAC and have the pleasure of sending out gifts of our gratitude to our clients.

  • How did you get into fitness/ the fitness industry?

I was always involved in team sports growing up, swimming, soccer, tennis etc. I veered away from it in my teens, but 7 years ago after the loss of my residence and belongings in Hurricane Sandy I decided to start over in every way and challenge myself to be the best version of myself.  So I began a journey to be healthier and feel better.  Fitness brings me peace and strength both physically and mentally. I want to help others to feel good and strive to be the best version of themselves. 

  • What do you like best about your job?

I enjoy the journey of logistics and the sense of accomplishment when things arrive successfully to the end user.  I get to see the process through from beginning to end. Seeing a quote progress to an order, working with the warehouse or factory to get the product successfully received by the customer.  The bonus is that I get to do this with a fantastic group of people working together for a common goal.

We believe our team is family here at The Abs Company, and I have never worked with an organization that held this value so high.  We accomplish great things together as a TEAM!

  • Which Core Value means the most to you and why?

“We DEMAND HONESTY and INTEGRITY from ourselves and others.” 

To work for a company with core values such as these is a goal for me in and of itself.  Honesty and Integrity should be forefront in any business, however this is not always the reality.  I feel a great deal of pride in knowing we are about doing the right thing at all times and in all situations.

  • What is your favorite TAC product and why?

I have really enjoyed using the AbCoaster CTL.  I feel it’s easy to use, highly effective, and improved my posture during exercise.  Also, the AbSolo, because who doesn’t like making their workout more entertaining?

  • What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?

Anything outdoors. Hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and gardening are high on my list.  Spending time with my husband, family, and my beagle Louie.

  • Anything else you would like people to know? (fun facts, hobbies, awards, certifications, accomplishments, goals, favorite quote, etc.).

In my spare time I work with charities and have done projects with The Appalachian Service Project and A Future with Hope as well as some small local groups.  TAC Gives Back is a wonderful way to continue to help others. “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Holmes

“Holy Cow! What happened to my body!?” (And my sanity – but that’s for another time!) I underestimated how much my body would change after two kids, and how much work it would entail to feel confident again!

It also didn’t help following the “Fit Moms of Four” on instagram – but I can’t say they didn’t inspire me at times.Eleni and her Kids

I knew after my daughter was born that we wanted another child so I wasn’t very concerned about losing the weight. I enjoyed my Dairy Queen to the fullest! What I didn’t know was how fast I would lose my confidence.  After my second daughter arrived, I was determined to feel good again, which didn’t mean getting my old body back, but to be healthy and confident! In order for me to do this I personally needed to hold my self accountable – which translated into signing up for a Half Marathon. It was something that I had never done and knew it would force me to train, as failing was not an option. Especially when everyone knows I’ve committed to it.

After I signed up I began researching different training plans and found one that would fit my reality and get the job done. In case you missed it, my reality was a two year old and a six month old which equated to early mornings and late nights! I braced myself for 12 weeks of training which meant I was working out after the kids went to sleep about 3-4 days a week and then a long run on Sundays.

Over the course of my training, I naturally began losing weight. I would be starving after my runs but I made smart healthy choices. Instead of binge eating the moment I finished, I would eat a protein bar and wait for the hunger pain to be satisfied. Following this type of training routine my body began to transform and my mindset did too. I felt a sense of accomplishment after each run and looked forward to the next one.

At The Abs Company, one our core values is that “We believe that Fitness Changes Lives”, and I truly can attest to that because of my experience. I had endured a physical and mental change but because I chose a form of fitness, my whole presence changed for the better. I think some believe that in order to be fit you have to workout for hours, but you don’t and I am proof of that. Start small and find the types of workouts that bring you joy. As you gain your confidence, you will be more willing to try other forms of exercise and continue a path of a healthier lifestyle.

Pushin' 50 Series - Ab Training


What is the universal action when someone says I have to get in better shape….? Of course, they pat their stomach and say “got to work on this right here.” It’s just like when someone talks about gaining more muscle – they immediately go right to the biceps and make a muscle, right? 

As we pretty much know, getting a flatter stomach and even seeing those “six pack” abs again, is the combination of a few factors. The great news is this.. It’s really not that complicated! As I get ready to turn 50 this November I want to share my tips on flattening up the midsection and even getting those six-pack abs – no matter what age you are! 

Here are some tips that I found useful: 

1. Get Started!
Seems pretty straightforward, yet this is always the first step to reaching any goal, right? Just get to the gym or carve out that time in your day to exercise at least 30 mins.

Pushin 50 Bonus Tip – I recommend training in the AM before work. This way, nothing will get in your way, last-minute meeting, family obligations, etc. Also, I find that if I do not workout in the morning, my workout “hangs” in my head all day. Just wake-up and go after it! 

2. Make sure you train the abs as part of your “in-workout” training in every workout.
Meaning, you don’t have to wait till the end of your workout and isolate abs for like 20 mins before you call it a day. I have found that waiting until the end of your workout is like waiting to train until after work.  Things can get in your way – you run out of time, someone is on your favorite ab machine, etc. Incorporate you ab workout into your circuit and you will never leave the gym or finish a workout without trainng abs. This is GOLD! 

3. Train in circuits or supersets.
Combine 3 or 4 exercises for one circuit. I love to do 3 full rounds (completing one circuit is one round) with minimal rest in-between exercises. Pick 2 full circuits for your workout (6 rounds total).  

Sample Workout:
Circuit 1- Bench Press, Sled Push, Ab Coaster, bench dips. 

Circuit 2 – Pull up or LatPull-downs,  sprints (30 -45 seconds) Vertical Crunch abs machine (hit the front or obliques for 10 reps each – 30 total), standing dumbbell shoulder press. 

4. Use Ab machines for amazing results!
When you are training and you are a bit fatigued, Ab machines are not only the most effective, but the safest way to train your abs. These machines allow you to really focus on the abs and not have to worry about hurting your back or  having sloppy form due to fatigue. 

5. Keep it simple to Win!
Don’t be fooled or confused by some trainers or other non-experts on IG that you have to do some silly looking and dangerous ab exercise on the floor or hanging from a beam, bar, etc.  Our Purpose at The Abs Company is “We Change Lives from the Core.” We have invented or developed ab machines that give you everything you need to train your abs safely and effectively.. I think it’s terrible when I hear from people that are intimidated to train their abs because they don’t know what to do. Our Ab machines are designed to take the guesswork out for you. That’s exactly what we have done with our Core Zone. In each workout, include one or two Ab machines (as noted above) in your circuit. Change up the machines in each workout for variety so you don’t become bored and you keep getting fantastic results!

Fitness Changes Lives

In this week’s blog post, Kim Healey our Director of Operations here at The Abs Company, explains how Fitness has changed her life, and shares some insightful and inspiring tips with us. Kim is the very first employee of The Abs Company, and as you will learn, a lifelong fitness enthusiast.


We Believe *know that Fitness Changes Lives

I won’t tell you how old I am but you might be able to guess when I tell you that at my first job out of college, I started a club after work where we met in the conference room at the end of the day and popped a Jane Fonda VHS Tape into the VCR player and worked out together! Jane Fonda and Aerobics classes in local church basements and rec halls were really my first introduction to ‘working out’. Although I was an athlete in High School and College I never really ‘went to the gym’ but I stayed in shape just by being a member of a team and working towards improving in that sport.

Pretty much since the Jane Fonda Days, I’ve worked out regularly and consider fitness and staying fit as a staple in my life. I wasn’t doing it because I wanted to live longer or because I wanted to have the perfect body, or because of vanity, I was doing it just because it’s who I was and it’s a part of my routine…like eating and breathing, I worked out.

Fast forward to the year I began working for The Abs Company, I happened upon the job because of our affiliation with the same gym, and fast forward again to the day we brainstormed as a team to put into words our purpose. WE CHANGE LIVES FROM THE CORE….and one of our core values, WE BELIEVE FITNESS CHANGES LIVES. It was only then that I began to think about how fitness has changed my life.

Of course I’ll never know who I’d be if I hadn’t put myself on this path of having fitness be a part of who I am, however I can catch a glimpse perhaps when I look back at my Mother’s life. She used to tell me that in college she ‘got out of gym class’ and took a class on sleeping instead. (no joke). She was a smoker for most of her life, and my most vivid memories of her are seeing her sitting in a chair in our home with a cigarette in one hand and the phone in another chatting with a friend. I don’t ever recall her taking care of herself or working out. When she hit the age of 70, while she had quit smoking by then, the damage had been done and her doctor told her that if she wanted to prolong her life, he recommended walking every day. He told her just 20 minutes a day, could quite possibly prolong her life for quite a few years. Sadly she ignored this advice, continued her sedentary life and died a few years later.

We all have stories like this I’m sure, however every time I use this core value We BELIEVE fitness changes lives, I think to myself, not only do I believe it, I KNOW it. I also have a bad back and from time to time when it’s flaring up, I have a few days where I can’t workout. On those days, in addition being in a great deal of pain, I feel older and I feel horrible overall. I yearn for a day when I can once again go the gym and get in a good workout. This leads me to ALWAYS be grateful on the days when I can take working out for granted and head to the gym, I feel so lucky and blessed that I’m not in pain, and that nothing is preventing me from the great PRIVILEGE of working out.

Truly when you think about it, working out and staying in the best shape that YOU can possibly be in, is a great privilege.

One day after a class at my gym, during the cool down, the instructor gave us a motivational thought for the day and she said, “I
don’t have cancer, I’m not going to have chemotherapy today, For this I am truly grateful.” This was about 20 years ago, and I carry it with me to this day, it was a powerful perspective and perhaps helped lead me to this place of gratitude for the privilege to GET TO workout whenever I want to. So my workout tip for you is don’t look at getting in shape or staying in shape as a burden or a chore, but look at is as one of life’s great privileges.

Team Member Spotlight

Have you had the pleasure of meeting Bob Harms yet? Bob takes care of our Key Dealer Accounts and brings a ton of industry knowledge to the table. Learn more about Bob here.

  • How would you explain your position/role at The Abs Company?

   Key Accounts Dealer Sales

  • How did you get into fitness/ the fitness industry?

I was in the retail electronics business for many years and after selling our business looked at growing trends that steered me towards fitness.

Got into the Fitness business in 1985 by opening the largest Specialty Fitness Store on      Westheimer in Houston, TX.  Stayed in retail till 1996 with the largest Specialty Fitness Company in the country with 27 retail locations, BusyBody as VP of Purchasing and new store development.  In 96 moved into wholesale, my first of many trips to China, developing products and as VP of Sales of USA Sports/TROY Barbell.  In 2000 I joined TKO as VP of Sales and Product Developments.  In 2006 moved to Precor as a Commercial Manager of the SW Territory.  In 2007 was promoted to National Dealer Sales Manager.  In 2008 I went out on my own as an Independent rep which I am still doing today.  Been with the Abs Company since 08.

I currently rep 4 Fitness Company’s

  • What do you like best about your job?

Talking and building relationships with customers

  • Which Core Value means the most to you and why?

We believe that to be a great company we must have great Relationships.  You can’t build sales without great relationships.  People buy from people they know and trust.

  • What is your favorite TAC product and why?

Ab Coaster commercial units.  No matter what level of Fitness you are in, anyone can use it. 

  • What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?

 Relax, Play Golf and Fish when I am able. 

  • Anything else you would like people to know? 

I currently own and operate 2 successful Commercial Ice and Water Vending machines.  I love the Islands.  I have a shared time share in St Martin on the Dutch side in the Lesser Antilles that I traveled to since 2010.  I haven’t been back since the Hurricane and look forward when they have the re-built completed. 

Team Member Spotlight

Meet DJ! DJ is our Director of Customer Experience. He’s the one you want if you have ANY question about ANYTHING we sell! Learn a little more about him here:

  • How would you explain your position/role at The Abs Company?

I help our customers solve problems with our equipment, and work to ensure that they have an exemplary experience using our machines.

  • How did you get into fitness/ the fitness industry?

I feel like I came in through the side door.  I was working sales in the wellness industry and when the opportunity came about for me to move into sales in the fitness industry, I took it.  We quickly determined that my skill set was best suited to work with dealers and re-sellers rather than club owners and operators.  So I’ve spent the last decade working to provide our dealer network tools, training and encouragement to be able to represent us in the marketplace.

  • What do you like best about your job?

My new roll in Ops provides me with the chance to problem solve on a daily basis.   I get to work with both technically minded folks as well as folks who just need something fixed and have never turned a wrench before.  It’s challenging, rewarding, and enjoyable to help solve that problem for them.

  • Which Core Value means the most to you and why?

We believe that to be a great company we must have great relationships.  Relationship building has always been something I’m passionate about.  Finding connections, building a partnership, and working together are all things have bring me joy.  If there’s a solution where everybody wins; I want to dig and work till I can find that solution!

  • What is your favorite TAC product and why?

I think it has to be the AbSolo.  In 2013 when I was told we were buying the pattens and the IP for the AbSolo I was very nonplused; the machine felt ‘gimicky’ to me.  We brought our first prototype of our new design into the office and I was tasked with building it.  I did so and when I was done, I tested it out.  90 seconds (and 43 throws) later I tried to stand up and realized I had wrecked myself with a powerful core workout and I didn’t even know it!  It was a masterful distraction to focus on throwing and aiming while doing a hard core crunch workout! 

  • What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?

I like to write.  I’ve been working on a couple of novels that I hope to someday publish and get out into the world.

  • Anything else you would like people to know? 

I’m a big fan of coffee and beer; I like to make both and I’m also a kick-ass baker.  I also have a favorite quote that comes from JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit:

“Saruman believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I have found it is the small things. Everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love.” ~ Gandalf.

The Booty Trend

Here’s a great article from CEO, Sean Gagnon about the latest fitness trend – Glute training. Glute training isn’t really new, but the demand for a full, round posterior has made a strong comeback and that shines the light on all of the ways to get it! Read or download the article here.  THE BOOTY TREND

Team Member Spotlight

• How would you explain your position/role at The Abs Company?

I help distributors in the Northeast, Canada, Latin America and Europe grow their business by providing solutions in two key areas ABS and Functional. “I change lives from the Core worldwide”.

• How did you get into fitness/ the fitness industry?

I have always had a passion for fitness. I started working out when I was 8 years old. I have struggled with weight for years. I knew that I wanted to be stronger and working out was the only thing that kept me motivated. After having spent two years in the travel and hospitality industries, I wanted a change. It was then that, via a temp agency, I discovered The Abs Company. I absolutely fell in love with this beautiful industry and my desire to continue to learn and grow. I started in 2011 as an administrative assistant and now I am a Director of Sales since 2018.

• What do you like best about your job?

What I like most about my job is that I meet people from different parts of the world and the fitness industry. I work with about 40 different countries, so I’m always dealing with something new. I enjoy collaborating with distributors and international clubs to improve their business with our unique and innovative equipment. Working together to find creative solutions helps create strong relationships with customers.

• Which Core Value means the most to you and why?

I strongly believe in all The Abs Company Core Values and beliefs and live them on a daily basis. The one that means the most to me is , “We believe that hard work pays off and produces results that matter”. The reason that this core value means the most to me is that I believe that the only way to be successful is through hard work, passion and dedication.

• What is your favorite TAC product and why?

I love to use Abs Company products on my workout routines at the local gym I go to. My favorite product is The Ab Coaster CS3000. The Ab Coaster is the flagship product, a revolutionary product and unique equipment that works from the bottoms up. When I use it I feel it working right away!

• What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy working out and traveling with my family. I love to learn about different cultures and help others.

• Anything else you would like people to know?

My hobbies are playing volleyball and roller blading. I am trilingual – fluent in English, Spanish and French. I was born and raised in Lima
Peru and move to USA 14 years ago. It has been an amazing journey and feeling so grateful to do what I do.

Leading with Gratitude Can Change Everything

Some very relevant and heart-felt words of wisdom and inspiration from our Director of Operations Kim Healey.

Leading with gratitude can change everything. 

At the Abs Company we got together as a team in 2016 and brainstormed on our Purpose, our Mission and our Core Values.  It was a great step for our company, one that I can say changed everything for The Abs Company. Our purpose is to CHANGE LIVES from the Core and our Mission is to become the WORLD LEADER in core and functional training solutions.  Having a purpose gives us true meaning in our work. Having a mission provides us with a north star something to orient ourselves toward, to provide direction. Of course a company can be successful without a purpose and a mission but I do believe that putting these in writing can truly change the course of a business.  In addition to our purpose and mission, we developed our Core Values. These Core Values are non-negotiable, in order to work at The Abs Company you have to hold these values dear and live them day in and day out in the work place and hopefully in your personal life as well. They are a part of our everyday language and they drive our company culture.  Together as a team we brainstormed and came up with 11 of our 12 core values: 

  • We believe that FITNESS CHANGES LIVES.
  • We believe that hard work pays off and produces RESULTS that MATTER.
  • We believe that to be a great company we must have great RELATIONSHIPS.
  • We believe in constant IMPROVEMENT, both business and personal.
  • We demand HONESTY and Purpose: INTEGRITY from ourselves and others.
  • We never give up because we believe that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.
  • We believe in taking risks to INNOVATE because we are not afraid to fail.
  • We believe that our team is FAMILY.
  • We value all humanity and believe that we should always GIVE BACK.
  • We believe in our PRODUCTS and the BENEFITS they provide for our customers.

About a year later Sean Gagnon, our CEO came to the team with one additional core value, he suggested that it always be listed as our number 1 core value.  It was WE LEAD WITH GRATITUDE. These 12 core values have become very dear to me over the years, each one in its own way. I recall instances when I leaned on this or that core value and times when I would incorporate one of our core values into a conversation with a customer vendor or colleague.  There are times that a core value has helped me WIN or helped me out of a difficult position. I have found that in just about every situation if I stop and think for a moment, one of our core values relates and can be used to either compliment or resolve that circumstance. Recently I was asked which one of our core values was my favorite, my immediate response was that question is impossible to answer.  But after giving it some careful thought I landed on my answer, my favorite core value. I believe that this one sets us apart, it is the foundation upon which all of our other core values rest, and without it our company would not be what it is today. My favorite core value is: WE LEAD WITH GRATITUDE

I don’t have my own personal core values etched out and written down, however when trying to decide on my favorite core value at The Abs Company, I discovered that without even realizing it at the time, gratitude was a state of mind that could possibly have saved my life many years ago. 

Just over 21 years ago on a hot day in May, my 7 year son Timmy fell from an open window in our home and later died from the injuries he sustained in the fall. I was just 35 years old at the time, a mother of 3 energetic and adorable little boys. How does one survive this type of unthinkable tragedy? When I stop and think about it one of the things that pulled me through was gratitude.  It was certainly not a conscious decision to be grateful in such a time of tragic loss, but I think it was a gut instinct a survival strategy. It was faith that I could and would survive in the end despite the harsh reality that my son had died. I recently came across a journal I kept that first year after Timmy’s death, there was an entry on the first Thanksgiving, just 187 days after his death, where I listed everything I was thankful for.  It was written in list format each sentence starting with: “I am thankful for….”. I still remember writing that entry, tears in my eyes, my heart broken, but still filled with gratitude. 

I am certain that this instinct to be grateful in difficult situations, can also apply to business.  In August of 2017, The Abs Company sent our team to Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within program. It was a powerful 3 day program and had a lot of good insights on mindset and training yourself to be of a constructive, energetic mindset in order to improve your life.  One of the things Tony teaches is that it’s physically impossible to be angry and grateful at the same time.

If you can shift your focus and find something to be grateful for, you can push away the negative mindset. I have found over the years sometimes I just need the smallest reminder to activate my grateful heart and to turn things around and focus on gratitude.  Many people tend to give thanks after a bad situation is averted or when something wonderful happens, it’s a little bit more difficult to be grateful in difficult times. It’s kind of interesting once you have this mindset of being grateful, you can find something to be thankful for in just about every situation. You just have to look for it.  

In business there are always going to be ups and downs, highs and lows, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.  If you keep leading with gratitude in all situations and looking for the things to be thankful for, the lows won’t seem as low, you will withstand the storms and come out stronger, happier and more successful.   At The Abs Company we LEAD with GRATITUDE – we strive to always be thankful for our colleagues, our customers, our vendors and our families. It’s just who we are.  

Team Member Spotlight

We’re excited to bring you our next Team Member Spotlight. Meet Kristin Harrington, Commercial Sales Manager here at The Abs Company. We love featuring our Sales Team. They spend every day speaking directly to our customers, doing everything they can to help them change the lives of their members. Embodying our mission – We Change Lives from the Core. Here’s a little bit about Kristin…


How would you explain your position/role at The Abs Company?

I help health clubs provide a better member experience by focusing on 2 key areas of the club – ABS and Functional.

How did you get into fitness/ the fitness industry?

Years ago I started working out and was amazed at how great I felt and how much fun it was. I ended up getting certified in spinning and also worked as a trainer.

What do you like best about your job?

I love to meet and connect with new people and to learn about their stories. I love the fact that I can have an impact on someones life. Fitness truly does change lives!   

Which Core Value means the most to you and why?

We lead with gratitude.  I don’t take anything for granted.  My mom died at age 36. I am so grateful for my health and the fact that I get to do what I love everyday and to truly change lives from the core. 

What is your favorite TAC product and why?

I love the Abs Bench X2.  You can do 3 exercises on one bench. plus it gives it that nice “burn”. I also love the Target Abs. It is so easy to use plus no adjustments.

What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love decorating. I just bought a new townhouse and can’t wait to decorate it.  You can literally transform a room by adding different color pillows and some green plants.

Anything else you would like people to know?

My favorite saying is have what you want, but want what you have!  Appreciate the little things in life.  Enjoy what you have instead of always searching for something bigger and better. 


Pushin' 50 - Sled Training

Pushin' 50 is the first in a series of blog posts from our VP of Sales and fitness guru Michael Ritter. It's all about staying in shape in your 40's, 50's and beyond. This post focuses on Sled Pushing, but follow along with the series and get other great tips on being FIT after 40...and 50.  Enjoy!

Read more

Team Member Spotlight

How would you explain your position at The Abs Company?

I am the Director of Marketing at The Abs Company.  Currently I oversee both B2B and Consumer direct marketing efforts giving me the opportunity to wear many hats – which I really enjoy. There’s never a shortage of work to do and I NEVER EVER get bored!  

How did you get into fitness/ the fitness industry?

I’ve always been involved in sports and am definitely a bit of a TomBoy. But truth be told, I didn’t set out to work in the fitness industry. I was in Marketing & Sales in the Theme Park industry for over 15 years. I loved being able to make a difference in our guests’ lives by delivering a world class, once in a lifetime experience. When I met Sean and saw what he was doing for his “guests’” lives – it was a no brainer. It was something I was excited and honored to become a part of. 

What do you like best about your job?

I love so many things about my job. But I guess one of the biggest things is the opportunity to help people around the world get healthier and fit with such cool, innovative and FUN products. Most of our products didn’t exist before in the industry. It’s really hard to innovate these days. Seems like everything has already been done. But we have managed to do it over and over with equipment like the TireFlip 180®…the Ab Coaster…the Ab Solo and more! I love that about our company. 

Which Core Value means the most to you and why?

Based on my love for our innovation, my favorite Core Value should probably be: We believe in taking risks to INNOVATE because we are not afraid to fail. But on a Personal level my favorite is definitely We Lead with Gratitude. It’s something I try to do in my life everyday. I’m grateful for so very much – good and bad. That Core Value aligns perfectly with my life.

What is your favorite TAC product and why?

I would have to say the TireFlip 180®. Again, it’s innovative, fun, there’s a ton you can do on it besides “flipping” and it solved 2 huge problems for our customers. Space, Safety – and it just looks cool! 

What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?

I’m a mom of 2 boys. I’m happy doing pretty much anything with them. They’re grown now (18 & 24) and I’m fortunate that we still enjoy spending time together and I truly like them as PEOPLE, not just my kids. We love sports (especially football), camping, traveling, the beach and sometimes a good binge watching session of Game of Thrones or the Office. 🙂 

Anything else you would like people to know? 

I’m here to help. Truly. Not just in a Customer Service kind of way. I mean I really love to help people. I like to do what I can, whenever I can. At home, at work, personally, professionally. If there is something that I am able to do to make someone’s life a little better, a little easier, a little happier….I try to do it. I’m a huge believer in giving back and paying it forward. I just think it’s so important to be there for one another and lending a hand where you can. You never know what it means to someone. So if you need anything – I’m here. 🙂 

Overcoming Workplace Challenges

Here’s a great post from our Director of Operations, Eleni Gagnon. Hear how she handles workplace challenges here at The Abs Company.

I bet when you think of a large company you think they have it all figured out, but I can guarantee behind those big doors they’re facing the same internal challenges as us small businesses! It doesn’t matter the company size, however it does matter how we overcome them.

The top three challenges I see within my workplace is accountability, adapting to change, and lastly, hiring the right talent. It’s easy to think that you can solve for all of these challenges by recognizing those who are not meeting the standards agreed upon, learning the news ways of selling or operating, and having a good recruiter who knows what you need. There are so many blind spots that you can’t see coming or take longer to see – and at that point it’s sometimes too late!

1. Accountability

Accountability by definition is expected or required to account for one’s actions; answerable. When you first bring on a new team member you discuss and explain THE DEAL, as we call it at The Abs Company. This signed “deal” describes salary, policies and procedures, and most importantly what is expected of you within your role. So as your new hire begins their journey within your organization you are observing them. Are they making enough calls? Are they grasping the operations policies & procedures? Are they treating your customers the right way? And more importantly, are they a cultural fit? As their leaders, it’s important to hold them accountable and correct their action the moment we see it. The moment we allow the mistake or missed contact to not be recognized is the moment we are failing as leaders and as a company. We need to hold our team members accountable for their jobs the same way they hold us accountable to do ours.

2. Adapting to Change

We know adapting to change can be difficult, but change is constant. At The Abs Company, We Change Lives from the Core.  We want to continue to fulfill that mission, and keep innovating, but if we aren’t keeping up with new sales & marketing, finance or technology tools we will be at a standstill. In order to ease the change, it’s best to understand the problem and take the risk to change it!

Along the journey, change is inevitable – you may notice that your people, your systems, your policies & procedures may serve you for a period of time and it’s important to recognize when its time for a change. Taking the time to find the right person or learn new applications is better than staying stagnant when trying to grow your business.

3. Hiring the right Talent

Hiring new talent to join our team is always exciting but stressful at the same time. It truly begins with having the right job post. Are we conveying the needs of the company in the right way? Are we asking the right questions during interviews? You are essentially courting each other and trying to make your best first impression. Sometimes you think “you met the one” and three weeks letter you’re banging your head against the wall. In today’s world, more and more employees are working remotely, no different than at The Abs Company, but what are you giving up when you have remote employees? Company culture is affected, communication lags, and not being able to solve for problems instantly are the challenges that arise. However, back to my second obstacle of CHANGE, we have to adapt and acknowledge that the right talent may not be in our local town to get us to our common goal of growth. It’s making sure we have the right person doing the right job and giving them all of the resources and tools to allow them to be successful.

Regardless of the industry we are in – we’ve all faced some or all of the challenges mentioned. We have to recognize and be willing to accept that something isn’t working or can be better. When you can accept it, your mindset changes and you are able to see the common goal that you are trying to achieve. Remember, what got you here won’t get you there!

Team Member Spotlight

Meet Kim Healey, our Director of Logistics and one of the very first Team Members at The Abs Company!


  • How would you explain your position/role at The Abs Company? 

I am the Director of Logistics and oversee our orders from the time of purchase to the time of delivery, I also handle all equipment inventory.  I work closely with our warehouse to be sure our orders to get our customers efficiently.  


  • How did you get into fitness/ the fitness industry?

17 years ago I was working at a health club as the front desk girl and that’s how I met Sean.  I started working for him and have been with The Abs Company ever since.  


  • What do you like best about your job? 

One of the biggest things that I like about working here is that I can hold my head high knowing that we make quality equipment that truly helps to enhance and change peoples lives.  If there’s ever an issue with an order or with a piece of equipment we stand behind our product and we do the right thing. We are a fair and honest company and that makes me proud.  


  • Which Core Value means the most to you and why?

Each one of the core values are super important to me and I find that I refer to them and lean on them almost on a daily basis.  If I had to pick one as my favorite I’d say it was We Lead with Gratitude. It’s just such a good way to frame everything in your day to day work and in your personal life too. In every situation there’s something to be grateful for and if you focus on that first it just puts everything in perspective. 


  • What is your favorite TAC product and why? 

I’ve always loved the AbCoaster CTL. It’s just my favorite. I love the smooth ride and the way you can pause at the top of a rep.  I always am sore after working out on the CTL.  


  • What is something you enjoy doing outside of work? 

I love spending time with my family, I’m lucky to have my children living close by so we’re able to spend a lot of time together.  I have a 2 year old grand daughter who is the love of my life! I also love photography and taking pictures of beautiful things is a hobby of mine.


  • Anything else you would like people to know?  

 I love to workout and try to get to the gym a minimum of 5 days a week, I am very active at my church I am on the social committee and I also work with the high school kids which I love doing.  

Benefits of Tire Training

Here’s some great information about Tire Training from our VP of Sales, and workout guru Michael Ritter.  He’s even included a great TireFlip 180® workout for you to try.

The Benefits of Tire Training 

Over the last couple of years, you’ve probably seen truck or tractor tires popping up in a ton of health clubs, gyms, boot camps, races, etc..The reason is pretty simple, tire flipping is a fun and different total-body workout. Great for building muscle and getting your cardio work in at the same time – Win-Win! 

Tire Flipping is also a great way to work the posterior muscles, like your hamstrings, glutes, and back. Also, this a terrific exercise for your core muscles. This can be especially beneficial for those of us who sit at a desk or log a ton of miles in our cars. 

Unfortunately, tire flipping with a truck or tractor tire has some major down-sides as well. They are loud, damage floors, mark-up walls, and are dangerous especially in a fitness center. Additionally, traditional tire flipping requires a ton of space in the gym. Even if you have a large turfed area, do you really want to waste 50 yards or more on one exerciser and disrupt the other members? 

The answer is obviously no, however, The Abs Company has your solution!  Now, you can achieve all the benefits of tire training yet in a super compact design that will not damage your facility and is completely safe. The Solution is The TireFlip 180! 

I have included below an awesome workout that can be performed on The TireFlip180: Give it a try! You will love it!! 

Stay tuned for more workouts including partner workouts in future blogs. Also, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about designing your own workout with the TireFlip180 at [email protected]

The TireFlip180 Workout

– Warm up with a 10-minute run/walk followed by light stretching

All nine exercises equal one round. You may take a rest after every third exercise, if needed. If not, power through until you complete one full round. Then, take 1-2 minutes rest.

TireFlip 180 Circuit: 3 Rounds

  • Box Jump (On Tire) 20 reps
  • Decline Push-Up (On Tire) 10 reps
  • Toe Taps 15 reps each leg, optional rest
  • Flip and Broad Jump Over Tire 10 reps
  • Triceps Tire Dips 15 reps
  • Back-and-Forth Tire Flip 10 reps, optional rest
  • Bicycle Abs or double knee-ins (while seated on the TireFlip180
  • Step-Ups 15 reps each leg
  • Battle Rope waves/slams using battle rope anchors on TireFlip180 – 45 seconds duration

Team Member Spotlight

Learn a little more about our COO, Eleni Gagnon. Spoiler alert – she doesn’t like that title, so she’ll be changing it to Director of Operations. We get to do things like that here at The Abs Company. 🙂


  • How would you explain your position/role at The Abs Company?

My official title is COO, however that name sounds a bit too fancy for me so I will be changing to Director of Operations.

As the Director of Operations, my goal is to help grow and maintain the profitability of our organization. I am responsible for our Finance Department, Human Resources Department and work very closely with Logistics Department to ensure proper order processing, inventory management, and vendor & client relations. As a growing company, researching and implementing new directives is a core function in my role.

I am always looking for way to improve our daily operations in order to save time and money.

  • How did you get into fitness/ the fitness industry?

I married into the fitness industry 10 years ago when I met Sean at IHRSA.

  • What do you like best about your job?

What I like most about my job is that it is something bigger than me. I am able to see a product developed from an idea to a fully functioning piece of equipment. I think it’s incredible that we are able to provide a product to a facility that can help another person achieve their individual goal. 

As for my daily job – I have always had a passion for operations! I am a very organized person and enjoy creating systems. I love playing in our Quickbooks and finding new ways to review reports and piece things together that tell a story.

Another thing I love about my job is that it is truly a family business! Most of my colleagues have been working at TAC for 10+ years, so while I have only been part of the team since 2015 it feels like much longer. When asked to come on board I was EXTREMELY hesitant because of the longevity of my colleagues and because I would be working with my husband!Working with your spouse can be scary at times but it’s also the most fun! Making decisions together and challenging one another has strengthened our relationship within the business and most definitely outside of it!

I wouldn’t be being honest with you if I didn’t mention my semi flexible schedule. Having two little babies at home and a full workload can be stressful at times, but two days a week I have carved out Morning Mommy Activities! Carving this time out and then being able to come to work makes me feel fulfilled as a working-mom.

  • Which Core Value means the most to you and why?

The Core Value that means the most to me is that We Believe in our Products and the Benefits they provide for our customers. The reason this core value sticks out to me is because we wouldn’t be able to exist without believing in our products. If you don’t believe in your products than neither will your customers.

  • What is your favorite TAC product and why?

My favorite TAC product is the Tire Flip and not for the obvious reasons that it’s super cool! It’s my favorite and first TAC product that I saw come to life. I remember Sean coming home with this idea and working with our first manufacturer to bring it to life. Since then I have been able to watch the progression and improvement of the TF.

  • What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy being with my family. With summer is approaching, I am excited to relax by our pool, BBQ & create memories with my little girls.

  • Anything else you would like people to know? (fun facts, hobbies, awards, certifications, accomplishments, goals, favorite quote, etc.)

Fun fact – I used to be really good basketball player back in the day. I was even on varsity in the 8th grade! 

Fun fact – I’m a terrible swimmer!

What is Culture?

One of the hottest words in business today is CULTURE. Nearly every business article and post talks about culture and the effects it can have on a company. As with many things that become so popular, sometimes the meaning can be distorted. So what exactly is Culture? Who is responsible for maintaining Culture? What effect does Culture have on a business? Let’s dig in!

What is Culture?

At its core, culture is a common set of beliefs that guide behavior within an organization. Often time’s people mistake culture with perks or work environments. We hear about casual Fridays, flex schedules, open work spaces on and on. These are all great things and can certainly attract and retain talent. However, they are not culture. Culture defines behavior and behavior defines performance!

Put another way, culture is what we refer to as CORE VALUES. You can tell a lot about a company by looking at the values they hold dear and how well they uphold them. Sometimes written core values are evident when you discover a company. They may be written on the walls or presented clearly on the website. That’s great but you know a culture is strong when you observe the behaviors in the people that work there. Imagine observing everyone behaving a certain way within and organization and THEN discovering the core values. Seeing that alignment is powerful and if the company’s values align with yours most likely you will have a great experience working there or doing business with them!

Who’s responsibility is Culture?

The simple answer is EVERYONE!  Referring back to the definition that culture defines behavior, then upholding and monitoring this behavior is the responsibility of everyone within the organization. At The Abs Company our core values are non-negotiable. Whether you are a team member, customer, or vendor you must uphold the values or the system falls apart. You don’t get to pick and choose which values are important to you and you don’t get to decide which ones you will abide by. It’s all in or all out! 

We like to say that everyone here is a Chief Culture Officer! That means we are constantly aware of the values and how they are being upheld. When they aren’t being upheld it is everyone’s responsibility to point that out and get the behaviors back in line. The true power in the values and the culture only exist if we are living them!

What effect does culture have on business?

Looking back again at our definition, Culture defines behavior and behavior defines performance.  The effect is obvious. Performance Mirrors Culture! A company with a strong culture (one that upholds and lives by its values) attracts people who believe the same things and who behave the same way!  From a team perspective this is invaluable because a group of people who are consistently rowing the same direction will always go further than one that has members rowing against the current. This does not mean there will never be conflict within the culture. In fact companies with strong cultures invite conflict! Conflict is a very healthy thing in business as it challenges everyone to look at things with fresh eyes and new perspectives. What it means is the  conflicts are never mean spirited and are always contained within the 

framework of the values. In essence the values become the north star which guide behaviors and decisions. 

From a customer stand point, companies with strong cultures attract customers who believe the same things. All of us want to do business with companies  we like and trust. Having a shared sense of values enhances that trust. Companies without a strong culture often operate on a transactional basis. They move from sale to sale and are constantly trying to get that next customer. Conversely companies with a strong culture foster relationships. When you form relationships with your customers you insulate yourself from competition and create lifetime value which is a much stronger way to operate!

Thinking about culture in this way will cause you to evaluate how you run your business and who you want to do business with! At The Abs Company it is our sincere desire to work with people who share our values and to do so for a very long time! Check them out HERE and see what we’re all about!

Team Member Spotlight

We’re excited to share our next Team Member Spotlight featuring our VP of Sales, and Partner at The Abs Company, Michael Ritter. Learn a little more about “Big Mike” here:

• How would you explain your position/role at The Abs Company?

I am a partner and Vice President of Sales

• How did you get into fitness/ the fitness industry?

I always played team sports and we would work out with weights to improve our strength and
conditioning. I always loved training with weights and just about all aspect of training. When I
was done playing team sports, I continued training and competed in both bodybuilding and

• What do you like best about your job?

I love many aspects of my job yet if I had to just chose just one, it is working in such an
amazing industry filled with terrific people dedicated to improving the health of people from all
over the world.

• Which Core Value means the most to you and why?

We believe that to be a great company we must have great RELATIONSHIPS. This is my
favorite Core Value because I truly appreciate the relationships we have developed since 2007
working with our buyers, fellow vendors, etc. I cherish the friendships that I now have across all
sectors of our business.

• What is your favorite TAC product and why?

Again, this is a tough one since I have many “favorites.” If I have to choose, I would say the Ab
Coaster. This is the product that got me started in the business and still use this machine every
time I train my abs. This is the #1 machine in the world for Abs – bar none!

• What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love spending time with my wife and 2 daughters. Could be swimming, bike riding, board
games, movies, etc. Never really matters to me as long as we are together.

• Anything else you would like people to know? 

I have always loved helping and working with others to improve themselves or their situation.
For 15yrs, I led an Anti-Drug/Anti-Gang Program in NJ utilizing incarcerated men and women
as the speakers. With this program, we not only helped the young people in the audience yet
also helped the incarcerated folks find their purpose in life.

Team Member Spotlight

At The Abs Company we Believe that our Team is Family. We want you to meet the family! This week in our Team Member Spotlight, we are featuring The Abs Company CEO, Sean Gagnon.

  • How would you explain your position/role at The Abs Company?

I am one of the founders and now the CEO of The Abs Company. My main role as CEO is to set the vision for the company and to ensure that our collective actions map to this vision while upholding our culture. 

  • How did you get into fitness/ the fitness industry?

I was an athlete my entire life and when my competition days came to an end I knew I still wanted to be around sports, health, and fitness. I did not feel a strong calling to teach but wanted to combine my loves of fitness and business. I got my undergraduate degree in Exercise Science which is a general degree in the field. After graduation I became a personal trainer in a health club and learned as much as I could about the industry. I decided to go back to school and got my master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology and set out on a career in Cardiac Rehab. Very quickly I realized that I enjoyed the preventative side much better and went back to the health club. Eventually I became a partner in the clubs and got to work along side my first mentor – Don Brown. He’s was the owner of the clubs and is the inventor of the world famous Ab Roller. The success of that product later allowed us to co-found The Abs Company together. Together with David Augustine we ran the company for 11 years until I purchased it from them last year. The rest of the story is still being written!

  • What do you like best about your job?

At The Abs Company we believe that Fitness Changes Lives. It is a belief that I hold dear because I’ve seen all too well the effects of unhealthy lifestyle. I believe that fitness should be accessible to all and love that I get to play my small part in influencing this every day. Our purpose is We Change Lives from the Core. There is nothing better than that!

  • Which Core Value means the most to you and why?

We lead with gratitude. I believe that gratitude is the greatest force for good in the universe. When you truly fill your heart, mind and spirit with gratitude there is simply no room for anything negative!

  • What is your favorite TAC product and why?

That’s like asking which child someone likes better! I love all of our products because we never know which one will resonate with the user. As I’ve mentioned, we believe that fitness changes lives. Whichever TAC products get you interested in fitness and helps you along your journey is my favorite one!

  • What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?

I try to structure my time around the 3 F’s. Faith, Family and Fitness. I’ve learned that the key is simply to be present. As I like to say – Be where you are!

  • Anything else you would like people to know?

I’m a growth minded person and truly believe anything is possible if you are willing to put in the hard work and ensure that the effort leads to the results you are after. I love learning and growing, and I will for all of my days. My greatest ambition is to never become complacent!

Equipment Selection

In today’s fitness market there is no shortage of choices when it comes to selecting equipment
for your facility. Granted much of it lives in similar categories like treadmills, selectorized strength,
platforms, etc. but the options from manufacturers continues to grow. As a facility looking to
make decisions that are best for your business, how do you decide? At The Abs Company we’ve
been making equipment for over 20 years and in that time we’ve boiled it down to 3 steps
which will help you optimize your selections: Effectiveness, Safety and Space.

Check out this article by Abs Company CEO, Sean Gagnon that outlines each step.

Equipment selection

Gotta Have a Core Area! - Don Murphy

Here at The Abs Company, we believe that to be a great company we must have great RELATIONSHIPS. We are grateful to partner with so many dedicated and inspiring people that believe Fitness Change Lives. Together – We Change Lives from the Core.  Here’s a great interview our VP of Sales, Michael Ritter, had with Don Murphy from Gold’s Gym Middletown, NY last month.   Don shares the importance of having a Core Zone in every club and what he’s doing to not only raise the bar “but BECOME the bar”.

“Core Area! Gotta Have a Core Area with The Abs Company!” Says Don.

Mike: Don, tell us a little bit about your club and the experience you’re going to provide to your members here at Middletown NY

Don: We are literally creating something that has never been seen before – that we believe in the world of health clubs—with your stuff and what we are building out, this is going to be a huge Core Zone because core, obviously, is something that is important to a lot of people; and we think that this in it’s own stand alone space—is going to be a really attractive part of what we are offering for our members.

Mike: Our purpose at The Abs Company is We Change Lives From The Core.  After taking a tour around this amazing facility, that is what you are going to do here right? Change lives, no matter where they are at on the fitness spectrum. Like you said, they will have this specific Core Zone, for all ability levels.

Don: Yes. So, it is multifaceted, catering to all demographics, all ages, all levels of fitness and providing people with the environment and fitness experiences that they’re going to enjoy- rather than ‘oh, I HAVE to go to the gym today”. We are creating a place where people will say ‘I don’t want to leave here’. ’I just love the community based energy- I love the vibe that I get in this space’. That vibe is different from one area to the next- all being in a wide open space.

“We didn’t want to raise the bar, but BECOME the bar.”

Mike: Why is it important for you to have a dedicated a Core Zone or Abs specific area in your club?

Don: Obviously, there are a number ways to train your core. For a lot of people, theres a mindset of ‘I gotta take care of my stomach, I want the abs, I want to get rid of my gut’ – so if they know there is a Core Zone, that in itself, is a feature that people will say ‘SIGN ME UP!’

It’s that component of dedicated space, for the core, and equipment, for the core, that people go ‘sign me up, I’m in’—then we get them in there and can gravitate them to the other things that are going to really bring them to where they want to be—combined with core, classes and all of the training and programs that we offer. They feel like they are being successful.

Check our Core Zone packages available here, or customize your own Core Zone. To get more information about a Core Zone contact us.

Jeff Carlson of MUV Fitness

How MUV Fitness Increases Membership with The Abs Company Ab Equipment®

Another successful IHRSA is in the books! We received great feedback on our NEW products like the SledMill and Booty Coaster™, as well as our current equipment. Here's what Jeff Carlson of MUV Fitness has to say about The Abs Company Ab Equipment when speaking with Michael Ritter from The Abs Company.

TAC: Can you tell us a little about the response you're getting from your members to our ab equipment in your club?

JEFF: The ab equipment response has been extremely positive. The members just seem to gravitate towards your guys’ ab equipment. Even more than the other strength lines we’ve put in the clubs. The trainers love it, the members love it. If the employees and members are happy then what else matters right?

TACOh that’s beautiful, thank you so much. Is this something that you’re going to continue to put in your future clubs as well?

JEFF:  We have your equipment in every single one of our clubs. I think it’s pretty safe to say that we’ll put it in every club going forward.

TAC: So you find that our ab equipment is great for not only the beginning member, but even through the life cycle of the member?

JEFF:  Oh absolutely. From the housewives, to the body builders, to the senior citizens, we see every demographic using the equipment which is part of the appeal.

TACWe know everybody wants a flat stomach right? Do you use our ab equipment as a way to help sell memberships?

JEFF:  Absolutely, part of our tour process is that we coach our guys to demonstrate a few pieces of equipment. And so for men and women, the Abs Company equipment is a part of the tour process. It makes a big difference.

TAC: Awesome thank you so much for your business we really appreciate it. There you have it, one of the most successful operators here in the country is using, Jeff Carlson from MUV fitness.

We love how Jeff is using The Abs Company Ab Equipment to keep his members happy and coming back to his club!

Why a Strong Core is Critical for Athletes

Why a Strong Core is Critical for Athletes – written by Amelia Chandler


Developing core strength is often an afterthought for athletes. Many want to build a strong midsection but for the wrong reasons. Yes, having a six-pack is attractive but it’s much more beneficial for an athlete to focus on building functional core strength rather than visible abs. 

A strong core reduces likelihood of injury
The Abs Company has stated before that a weak core can cause aches and pains or even injuries. But before we get into that it’s important to know that the core is not just the ab muscles. The core is made up of muscles from the torso, the pelvic floor, deep muscles in the belly and the back, side muscles or obliques and even the muscles that support the shoulders are considered part of the core complex. 

Notice how these muscles surround and ultimately work to protect the spine. Having a weak core contributes to improper posture whether you’re just sitting down or performing an exercise. In the world of sports, poor form is a major cause of injury. Work on building core muscle strength in order to prevent further pain or injury.

A strong core improves stability and balance
When you watch golf, notice how athletes rotate their torso as they swing. Fitness advisor Ben Shear explains that golfers move in three planes: forward and backward, side to side, and rotationally. Developed core muscles increase balance as a golfer performs these movements, which in turn produces a more accurate and powerful swing. 

It’s the same concept when it comes to sports such as martial arts where rotational forces are essential. It’s also evident in sports where balance is key like cycling or gymnastics. When Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles springs up and lands in an inversion, it’s not her arms that are keeping her stable but mostly her impressive core strength.

A strong core produces more power.
Aside from the limbs, Livestrong notes how a strong core is key for swimmers. The torso connects the upper body and the lower body, which facilitates the transfer of energy from top to bottom that propels a swimmer forward. The stronger the midsection, the more power is generated and the faster an athlete can swim. 

The same idea applies to sports on dry land, where force is generated from the ground up. Think of basketball for instance. Men’s Journal shared one of LeBron James’ exercises which involves balancing on a physio ball while holding kettlebells. Trainer Chris Powell explained that what this is doing is ‘training his core to react to an unstable environment and fire rapidly’. This is because the core transfers the forces to the limbs to yield a more powerful movement, while adapting to quick changes in stances. The LA Lakers star is known for being meticulous about his training, especially with his core, since having experienced back problems in the past. His efforts are continuously being rewarded as James is arguably the wealthiest basketball player in the world, not to mention the most popular. His core strength is unbelievable, and it shows in his impressive performances, despite his recent groin injury.

A strong core is good defense
Lastly, a solid midsection provides good defense against physical contact. For example, boxers constantly have to guard themselves against punches from their opponents. Well-defined and trained muscles enhance that protective layer as well as improve their stamina. 

So, while having defined abs can be a major confidence-booster, if you want to take your athletic performance to the next level, focus on strengthening your entire core.


Success Planning

It is no secret that many people start out each new year with the age-old New Year’s Resolutions.  It is also no secret that by the end of January most of these resolutions have gone by the wayside. People have reverted back to their old ways and have lost the motivation for whatever new thing they were going to accomplish this year. Though we are all capable of change, the fact remains that change is hard and takes a tremendous amount of discipline.

Personally, I take a different approach at the start of each year. I don’t start by sitting down to make a list of business and personal goals that I want to accomplish. I start by creating what I call my annual success PLAN. This is simply a set of 3-5 principles that I will live by this year that will help me to accomplish my goals - whatever they may be. 2019 was no exception. At the start of the year, I implemented a simple 3 step process and am now slotting my business and personal goals into it. The steps are, THINK, PLAN, EXECUTE.

1. Think

It sounds simple. The fact is that it is, and it isn’t. Thinking is actually hard work which is why people don’t make the investment of time and energy that it requires. Too often we jump to what we want to accomplish but we haven’t really put the time in to figure out WHY. As with most things, a strong why will be the thing that pushes us through the tough times when it doesn’t seem like we are making progress towards our goals. It is also important to put thought into the specifics of what we want to accomplish and the time frame by which we want to accomplish it. For example, a common resolution at the start of every year is to lose weight or to get in shape.

Our minds can’t get behind goals like this because they are vague and not linked to a specific outcome. We’ve all heard that goals must be specific and measurable but we must also tie them to something bigger. If you are working with clients this year that have these goals encourage them to THINK deeply about them and get to the root of why they want to accomplish them. Is it to have more energy so they can be active in their children’s lives?

Perhaps they have a vacation coming up and they want to feel confident as they walk down the beach. Whatever it is, creating the link between the goal and the why is powerful and will keep them motivated when the inevitable road-blocks appear. To summarize, when setting goals in the new year, or at any time, put in the time to really THINK about the specific outcomes, potential obstacles and the true reason behind WHY the goal is important. The investment on the front end will pay off big down the road.

2. Plan

Once we have put the proper thinking in place around our goals it is time to make a PLAN. This is the next reason most people fail. They simply don’t have a solid plan. It sounds good to say you will accomplish this or that but specifically HOW are you going to do it? What are the 3 -5 things you must do every day in order to reach the goal? What is preventing you from accomplishing the goal right now? Time, money, effort, will power?

If you can identify the obstacles to success you can put a plan in place to overcome them. It is also important to plan the time frame that you will accomplish the goal by. For example one of the members on my team had a goal to write a book last year. Anyone that has set out to accomplish such a task,   or even just write a blog, will tell you that it’s daunting to open up your computer and see a blank screen staring back at you!

Once he got clear on the what and the why he laid out a plan for the how. Five days per week he was going to write 500 words. That is the equivalent of 1 page per day which turned into a book with over 250 pages by the end of the year. Had he not been so specific in his plan, his chances of success would have been greatly diminished. Significant accomplishments do not happen by accident. They require a real plan but the plan is what makes them manageable.

3. Execute

The final step in the process is to actually go out and do the work! Undoubtedly this is where the majority of people will fail. Accomplishing our goals is hard work. It’s supposed to be. That is largely where the satisfaction comes from. If you’ve ever set out to accomplish a goal and reached the finish line I’m sure you can remember the feeling of looking back and remembering all that it took to get there. The journey in many aspects is as rewarding as the destination.

Needless to say, you can put in the time to think through your goals. You can put together the best plan in the world but if you don’t go out and put in the work, it simply doesn’t matter. It simply won’t happen. Too many people will make the excuse that I don’t know how to do this or that. Or I tried before and it didn’t work out. Recognize that these are simply excuses to avoid the work. Get to work! Other people will start out doing the work and then start to cut corners, start looking for the quick fix. People who do this ultimately fail. Get to work! At the end of the day, one of two things will happen. You will accomplish your goal or you won’t. What  I can guarantee you is that if you really put in the hard work, you will be further down the road than if you just sit around talking about it. GET TO WORK!

There you have it. A simple 3 step approach to accomplishing your goals this year. One word of caution. Do the steps in the order they are written. Think. Plan. Execute. Often times people want to jump right to execute before they have a plan. Other times they just want to sit around thinking and never take action. Follow the system, it works. Cheers to your success in 2019  and beyond!



How Customer Experience Changes Lives

Kim Healey is our Director of  Logistics here at The Abs Company, which includes our Customer Experience Department. She's been at The Abs Company for over 17 years and could write a book on what she has learned in that time! We're sharing some of her thoughts on Customer Experience in today's blog post. Enjoy!

Whether you’re in the field or not, sales is just a part of life. We’ve all tried to sell something even if we’re not in sales at all. For instance if you went to a great restaurant and you want to tell your friends about it, your explanation of your experience to them is your ‘sales pitch’. Whether they ‘buy it’ or not depends on how good your sales pitch is. Usually if the sales pitch comes from your heart, and the restaurant was TRULY GREAT, they will buy in and go try the restaurant as well. Your deep seeded belief in the great restaurant and your desire to spread that experience to others showed in your sales pitch because it was authentic.

The same is true in business. If you’re selling something that you believe in, if you truly know in your heart that the thing you’re selling will help someone else, your sales pitch will be authentic and people will most likely buy in. At The Abs Company one of our core values is “We Believe in our Products and the Benefits they provide to our customers”. And our Purpose is to CHANGE LIVES from the core. So by selling equipment that we believe in, that we KNOW will provide benefits, we are able to change lives thru our innovative and accessible equipment. The thing that we celebrate here at The Abs Company, is not the day when we run the credit card and make the sale, the thing that we celebrate is the day our customer tells us about a success story due to our equipment; a potential member who climbed onto one of our machines and subsequently joined the gym because they felt comfortable using our equipment; the weight loss contest that a club offered to members incorporating our core zone or hiit zone workouts, pounds lost, muscles built, lives changed. That is what we celebrate.

I think that all of the above leads to a good customer experience for our customer list. It all starts with common beliefs. Those of us in the fitness industry probably all believe deep in our hearts that Fitness Changes Lives, you really can’t argue with that belief. Because of this common belief we all want to help others through fitness. Our sales team is small but mighty. Each member shares the belief that our equipment is unique, innovative and accessible to all fitness levels, from beginner to advanced. Therefore the start to our customers experience is that of education and sharing the knowledge we have about how our equipment solves problems and benefits others.

The next step in our customer experience falls under another of our core values, We LEAD with Gratitude. Our customers are our GOLD. We do not accept the fact that we might have a one time customer. We want them coming back for more and we want them telling their friends about us, just like the great restaurant. If our customers have a great experience with The Abs Company, and they tell their friends about us, with a deep seeded belief in our products, that’s about as powerful of a compliment we can get! We work hard every day to make raving fans out of our customers. Our Customer Experience department is constantly searching for ways to thank our customers for their business. Our Parts Department works tirelessly to keep our equipment in perfect working order, we will never be satisfied with our work unless our customers are happy with our products.

We are in over 10,000 facilities and over a million homes WORLDWIDE; just picture one of those clubs and one piece of our equipment, imagine how many people climb on that machine on a daily basis, imagine they are sore the next day from the workout they did, then you BELIEVE, you KNOW in your heart that our equipment has made a difference in someone’s life. That is pretty motivating to all of us here at The Abs Company, a reason to keep going, to do our best on a daily basis. We have a model here at The Abs Company called the TAC Continuum. It’s meant to remind us that no department is more important than another. For instance if we didn’t have a sales department no-one would know about our equipment, if we didn’t have a logistics department no one would receive our equipment, if we didn’t have a finance department we wouldn't get paid etc etc. By reminding ourselves on a daily basis that our equipment is improving and changing lives all over the world, our work, no matter our position here, is important and is life changing. This mindset leads to a great customer experience because every single person working here knows that we must do our best, we must treat our customers like gold, we must provide the greatest experience we can to all of our customers in order to continue to improve and change lives through our innovative and accessible equipment.

I have worn a lot of hats here at The Abs Company, after being here for 17 years. I’ve watched us grow, and as we’ve grown I’ve shed a good number of my hats and now concentrate on Logistics and Operations. This company is my pride and joy and it’s my family. Most of our team is very similar, people stick around here. This family like atmosphere, this love of our company and of our product line is palpable when you meet us. That makes us authentic and that means that we stand behind our products. We’ve all had bad experiences with companies that don’t do this. There’s no worse feeling than buying something and then realizing it’s a piece of junk and the company you bought it from was just looking to make a buck. Our Core Values, our incredibly committed team, and our common belief in our products and our work are just the opposite and that is what our customers experience once they start their journey with The Abs Company. We Change Lives From the Core, every single day and I personally feel so blessed and lucky for the opportunity to be a part of that!

Just Move

Here at The Abs Company, we believe that to be a great company we must have great RELATIONSHIPS. We have had the opportunity and honor to work with so many incredible people since we started this business in 2007. As we continue to grow, we can’t help but to be extremely grateful for the people we have met and who have helped us change lives from the core all over the world.

Last month, our VP of Sales, Michael Ritter, visited Just Move Athletic Club in Winter Haven, FL, and met with club owner, Dave Gurnsey.  Dave has been a fan of TAC for years and continues to believe that a Core Zone is a must-have in every club.

“We feel that the mark that everyone feels when they think about being fit, is that flat stomach, the ripped abs - a great way for us to introduce people into fitness is to get them into an area that targets the abs - that is mentally where they are. It is a designed area that is focused around that for ease of entry - they love it - and then from there we can build their fitness program out.”

Just Move Fitness is a place for everyone. They share the belief in our products and the benefits they provide to their members. We design products for the life cycle of the member, “whether you are just getting started in fitness or have been doing this for years, everybody loves to work that area, so by making it a separate area where they could  focus on taking care of that part of their body, we [Just Move Fitness, finds they] get a lot more usage of the gym itself - it really ramps [their] usage up.”

I remember just getting started in fitness. Going to the gym can be very intimidating, especially if you have no idea what to do or how to use the machines. Dave Gurnsey sees all different types of members come in and out of his club. He sees the value in having equipment that is easily approachable without crazy adjustments.

“The equipment is intimidating right? -- the beauty of this stuff is people can sit down on it, there’s not a bunch of adjustments they have to make and they can just go. They do feel more comfortable getting started here.”

When potential members arrive at Just Move Fitness for a club tour, they always stop at the Core Zone last. Why? Dave explained that they “have large cardio decks, functional training and machines all over the place - but, when [they] finish [at the Core Zone], there’s kind of a comfort, just being like ‘okay, that’s the last thing I remember seeing and that’s where I’m going to go back and get started’.”

We feel that the member-tour experience is key in forming a relationship with the member right off the bat. Clubs want their members to feel comfortable in their space and excited to come back and achieve their fitness goals. We are humbled to be a part of Just Move Fitness’s member experience, as well as many other clubs around the world.

Have a gym you’d like us to feature? Let us know! We love seeing how gyms around the world are changing lives from the core! Email me at [email protected]

Self Love and Leading with Gratitude

In the spirit of love and continuing to crush our fitness and nutrition New Year's resolutions, we have to remember a few things. Although we love having ripped abs and physically looking great, it is not only about  how you look on the outside. Are you internally healthy? Are you giving your body what it needs? Do you FEEL good? Are you happy? These are some questions you should be asking yourself while on your health and fitness journey.

It’s 2019. Suicide rates are up and more people generally feel depressed, anxious or down about themselves or their life than ever before. Although you should seek a professional if you are feeling depressed or have suicidal thoughts, there are ways to calm your anxiety in your daily life, check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s article ‘7 Tips for Dealing With Anxiety’!

If you are feeling frustrated about your journey or about your life in general, focusing on self love needs to be a priority. It is true what they say, when you accept yourself internally, it almost becomes instant that you accept yourself externally. This does not mean that there are not things you want to tweak about yourself. It may be ditching a habit, losing weight or changing careers. However, if you spend time feeling good about where you are going and the blessings you have everyday, you are bound for loving yourself even more!

I’ve been there. I have been in a place where I wasn’t happy with my body or events going on in my life. However, my best friend said to me “if you don’t like where you are then move, you are not a tree”. This sounds like one of those silly sayings that you read in a children’s book about life lessons, however, it worked. All it took was focusing on the positive things about myself and becoming so sure of who I am as a person, that I started to take action and everything started to fall into place.

Here at The Abs Company, we Lead With Gratitude. This has been the most beneficial thing for me in the past year. Waking up and making a conscious effort to think and truly be grateful for everyday and the opportunity to wake up and make your life a little bit better, can really change your attitude. I challenge all of you to wake up and before you step out of bed, think of 3 things you are grateful for that day and 3 things you want to get done that day to feel good - and make it happen! Join us!


Innovation. Uniqueness. Changing Lives From The Core.

That is what The Abs Company is all about. We believe in taking risks to innovate because we are not afraid to fail. We believe in our products and the benefits they provide to our customers. That’s why we are excited to bring a few surprises to IHRSA - the biggest show in the fitness industry - this March.

Not only have we come out with new, innovative products, but we are always coming up with new ways to improve our products that have been around since the beginning. Our equipment is for anyone, at any stage of their fitness journey. Whether you are a beginner or have been doing this for a while, it is easy to increase the intensity on any of our pieces by adding weight, creating resistance, or by following one of our programs from our TAC Master Trainer.

Here at TAC, we recently gave our products a hot new twist by making them in matte black. This color has caught the attention of many, with its sleek look and feel. Same fun, effective products, in a new color; but boy, does it make a difference! This matte black looks sharp and creates a completely different atmosphere that matches with our HIIT zone.

We have increased the intensity, now it’s your turn! We have given the abs and functional training space a new meaning - stay tuned for our new products, being revealed at IHRSA in March.

We hope you are just as excited as we are!

Training…the other kind

It’s no secret that this time of year new members of all types flood into fitness centers around the world. Every year improving health and fitness or losing weight remains the top resolution world wide. Unfortunately making the resolution and sticking to it are often two very different things. Fortunately every January we are given the opportunity to help people change their lives through fitness. With a little planning and forethought we can capitalize on this opportunity, help our members and grow our businesses. The answer - TRAINING!

In the fitness community when we hear the word training we immediately think about personal training, or small group training. These are excellent and valuable facets of our business but that is not what I’m referring to here. I’m referring to training your TEAM! You can have the best marketing department in the world to drive potential customers into the most beautiful facility in the world but if they are not met by highly trained professionals when they arrive, it’s often a lost opportunity.

As business owners and leaders it is imperative that we are consistently investing into the training and development of our teams. The key word there is investing. It takes time, effort and occasionally money. You may not see an immediate return but that is why it’s called an investment. If you stick to it, the results will be far greater than the investment. The great news is that you can develop a world class training program for your team in just a few simple steps.

Make it Realistic

One of the hallmarks of a great training program is to mimic the things that your team member will actually encounter on a daily basis. This includes being cross trained and educated on other departments and roles. Often times we train our trainers on fitness techniques. We train our sales people on sales and so on. However anyone that has worked in a club knows that team members are always asked something outside of their area. A front desk staff may be walking trough the facility and a member asks them how to adjust a seat on a machine. Often the response is let me get you a trainer. Wouldn’t a better reply be - let me show you? And then then introduce them to a trainer for further instruction and a connection? A trainer might be asked when the next Group X class is. Instead of saying, you can ask at the front desk, they could immediately know where to find that information and satisfy the member. This type of service increases the professionalism of your organization and makes the member feel welcome and safe. They know they can ask anyone in the facility for help and get it. That keeps members coming back! This type of training through role playing also makes your team members feel confident that they can handle any situation. When a team member feels like this, they too are more likely to stick around!

Focus on the Fundamentals

Too often in training we want to focus on ‘higher level’ tasks because they seem more exciting and we don’t want to bore anyone. There is a time for this but regular training must focus on the fundamentals not the outliers. You can never review enough how to properly answer an incoming call. You can never review enough the proper way to do a sales tour or to ask for a referral. You can never review enough proper program design for trainers and instructors. Every role in your facility should have at least 5-7 basic fundamentals that anyone in that position should be able to master. Only once they have should you move on to more advanced aspects of the job. Without mastery of the fundamentals, the things they will see most often, advanced tactics are worthless!


Often times when we think about training our teams we think about the on-boarding process or the training system for new hires. Yes this is critical but it is also critical that we are constantly training our existing team members. One of the biggest mistakes in leadership is thinking “I told them that”. You probably did but once is never enough. We need to plan repetitive training that reviews the fundamentals but also pushes people beyond the levels that they are currently at. The training must push them beyond their comfort levels because that is where the growth takes place. Best practice is to set up a cadence for your training. Some departments train daily, others weekly an so on. Whatever you decide, make a plan and stick to it. Consistent, repetitive training is where the magic lies!

As January comes to a close there are still many new and existing members that are coming to your facility every day. Ensure that your staff is highly trained to serve them. It’s a privilege to do so. Providing your members with a world class experience will keep them coming back and they will probably even bring their friends! At The Abs Company We Change Lives from the Core! Like you we believe that FITNESS CHANGES LIVES and we look for ways to do this every day. A well trained staff is just one more step in this direction and remains at the CORE of what we believe!

How do you handle Super Bowl Sunday?

Patriots or Rams? Buffalo Chicken Dip or Spinach Dip? Allowed to indulge or stay on track?

These are all valid questions. The Super Bowl is VERY bad timing. I mean, it’s at the beginning of the year when we are all hyped up on crushing our goals and it brings a ton of greasy, tempting food and beer; and that is NOT the recipe for a flat tummy or ripped abs! Do we want to fall down so early in the year on our goals? Are we going to take 10 steps back in 1 weekend? Well, I have a few things to say about this.

The Super Bowl doesn’t only bring “bad-for-you” finger food and alcohol. It also brings excitement, whether you are a football fan or not. It brings family and friends together for an event that people celebrate everywhere; and one weekend of indulging will not throw you off track. However, putting those types of food into your body may have some effects such as bloating and fatigue. Luckily, this is just temporary. It is okay to indulge and take a day or two off.

If you are stressing about temptations and want to take a healthy route, while also enjoying yourself, here are a few “guilt-free” snack tips and general tips to follow the day before, during and after the Super Bowl to help your body prevent bloating, stomach aches and fatigue:

(Click here to receive some HIIT circuits that you can do either at home or at the gym to get your sweat on!)


Nachos: It’s all about alternatives!

  • Make your own chips
  • Cut very thin potato or sweet potato slices
  • Drizzle olive oil and desired spices in the oven for 15 minutes (or until desired crispiness) at 400 degrees
  • Or find a chip alternative
  • Make your own guacamole
  • Top with veggies
  • Find a dairy free cheese if you are sensitive to dairy

Mini Tacos: Increase protein and veggies!

  • Cook up some shredded or ground beef, turkey or chicken
  • Use some of that fresh guacamole and squeeze in some lime
  • Sautee veggies to top
  • Fill small tortillas or iceberg lettuce leaves with filling
  • Replace sour cream with plain greek yogurt- may add dill or any herb/spice


Water Intake:

  • Prevents bloatin
  • Flushes out toxins
  • Prevents headaches
  • Increases energy
  • Helps with appetite control

Green Tea:

  • Decreases inflammation
  • Contains minerals and antioxidants
  • Natural energy
  • Kills bacteria

(Click here to receive some HIIT circuits that you can do either at home or at the gym to get your sweat on!)

  • It makes you feel good
  • Helps with managing blood sugar and insulin

There are many ways to help your body after indulging. There are also ways to indulge in a smart way. However, it is important to live a balance; meaning, you should not completely restrict yourself when with family and friends celebrating holidays or events.

Enjoy yourself!

Keeping Yourself Accountable

Do you ever feel extremely motivated on January 1st and lose your motivation in 2-4 weeks after not seeing those results you have in mind? Listen, we’ve all been there. However, it is up to YOU to keep yourself accountable for the goals you set.

Do you remember those tips for motivation I mentioned in  How To Pick A New Years Resolution ? Well, here is where you need to use those tools to keep you going. Another motivation tool is keeping yourself accountable.

Hitting smaller goals to reach your bigger ones is extremely important for not only motivation, but also self-confidence. Whether it be by logging your progress or the actions you take on a social platform, a private diary, or telling a friend or family member, documenting the steps you are taking can keep you on the right track.

Personally, I use social media. Something about putting it out in the public, saying I am going to do something and showing the steps I am taking to get there, keeps me accountable. However, at the end of the day, if I didn’t do what I said I was going to do, that is on me - my goals are effected, nobody else’s.

At the Abs Company, two of our Core Values are: “We Believe That Hard Work Pays Off and Produces Results That Matter” and “We Believe in Never Giving Up Because Nothing is Impossible”. These hold true in every aspect of goal setting. Your goals matter and it is not impossible to get there. However, it does take hard work.

I am here to ask you today - ARE YOU KEEPING YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE? Have you started on your goals for 2019 or have you been slacking? What can you do RIGHT NOW to move the needle? It doesn’t have to be something big, take a lot of time or money - it can be small. A lot of small things turn into big things. So let’s keep going and start keeping ourselves accountable!

Fitness in 2019 – How we will “Change More Lives from the Core”

I'm excited to bring you a post from our Vice President of Sales and lifelong fitness enthusiast, Michael Ritter. 

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting a gym in Central New Jersey. I was honored to be invited to help the owners and staff with their open house. I also served as the MC, which I love to do as well since I get so inspired from getting folks excited and motivated about fitness and just simply feeling a little better today than they did yesterday. I am very proud that as a company our purpose is “We Changes Lives from the Core.”

The #1 question from the owners yesterday, and I believe this is pretty universal in our industry, how can bring more community members through our doors so we can change more lives through fitness - which in turn leads to a more healthy revenue for my business.

Just this week, at a team sales training , our CEO Sean Gagnon, provided us with a clip from one of our favorite authors and speakers, Ed Mylett. During this seminar, Ed discussed the tie between “persuasion, influence and certainty.”

Bottom line – the more certain person ALWAYS persuades and influences the less certain person. This applies to our industry in that, to truly move the needle and Change More Lives, we MUST be more CERTAIN than the potential member that walks through our doors or that we speak to on the phone. I would venture to say that 99% of our community WANTS to be more healthy, have more energy, higher confidence levels, etc. Yet, they are afraid or intimidated to join our health clubs since they have failed previously or maybe in their eyes don’t “fit in.”

I saw this in action first hand yesterday. A potential member walked in the door of the club to simply "check out the gym".  I am quite sure they drove to the club and walked in because they wanted to get in better health. I could also easily tell they were feeling a bit un-easy about joining due to possible past experiences or all the action that was happening in the gym. However, this is where certainty comes in…

The new potential member is looking to feel secure, to make sure they have equipment and offerings that are intuitive and not too complicated so they will not stand out as the “new” person and look awkward in front of the other members. The most important take-away here is this…So often we try very hard to influence the member to join our clubs because of all that we have to offer, amenities, etc. Yet here it is – The potential member is only looking to see if YOU believe what you are saying. That’s it. When I was watching the owner, you could plainly see he “believed” in their equipment , service, and staff and was 100% confident that this potential member will be better by becoming a member. You can easily see he was CERTAIN!  This is why is it critical that owners, GM’s, and all team members train daily and become experts and confident and believe so deeply in your services, equipment and system. 

Result – the owner did sign up the prospect and now will have the opportunity to Change More Lives from the Core!

The Best Way to Get Started is to START!


“How to get ripped abs in 1 week”- is this you?

Is this something you would like to achieve in your first week of 2019? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but, you can not get ripped abs in 1 week. However, you CAN get a strong start on your 2019 fitness journey! If you don’t know where to start, start here; and if you haven’t already, review our last blog How To Pick A New Years Resolution. The best way to get started is to start!

1. Get Organized

A lot of people struggle when trying to figure out where to start on their fitness journey because we all want that ‘quick fix’ or more specifically, ‘lose 20-40 pounds in 2 weeks’. It is easy to fall off of your goals when you gear up for instant results and don’t see them. If having ripped abs was so easy, we would all have them!

Don’t worry! You can get there. Start with writing a list of your fitness goals and what you believe it will take to accomplish those goals (i.e. working out 4 times a week or not eating as much sugar). Next, determine the obstacles (i.e. time, motivation etc.) you may have to overcome and lay out specific steps you can take to overcome them (i.e. write out your schedule and find your “sweet spot” for time that you will have time for a quick workout, buy some new workout clothes or find someone on social media/podcast app who motivates you!). Now that you know what it will take and are prepared for some speed bumps, it’s time to move forward.

2. Seek Professional Advice

Asking for help can be hard sometimes. However, using professional resources such as a dietician or personal trainer can be helpful! Now I know what you might be thinking: “I don’t want to spend that kind of money on additional services”. The good thing is - you don’t have to! Most people/places offer free consultations. Don’t forget- you always have me, Emily Carrara, the Master Trainer at TAC, to help you! Lean on people who understand your goals and guide you in the right direction based on what you have laid out. It is easy to think BIG, and that is good! However, your smaller goals to reach your bigger goals need to be attainable and realistic. Seeking professional advice can be a huge help in making sure your organized plan will get you the results you want. Now, although you don’t NEED to seek professional help, I highly recommend it!

3. 1 Small Change

Once you have figured out what you need to do and have all your ducks in a row, it’s time to finalize your plan and take ACTION! List your priorities and start on your first task/goal. I recommend starting slow and building up as you go along. Maybe this means getting to the gym twice a week or having dessert only 3 nights a week instead of 7. Start as slow as you need. Every change makes a difference. Slow is ok, stopping is not!

Remember: there is no quick fix! The best thing you can do for yourself is to START. I have said it before and I will say it again, the best plan is the one that works for YOU! Happy New Year!


How To Pick Your Resolutions

2019 is only a few days away! WHAT? It’s hard to believe 2018 is coming to a close. Hopefully, everyone crushed their goals and is starting to think about the goals they would like to accomplish for 2019. Although I truly believe in having goals, I believe in having SMART goals: Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Timely. Whether it be getting a 6 pack of abs, increasing your mile time, eating healthier or even learning a new language, you must set yourself up for success with realistic stepping stones to get there. So, how do you go about coming up with a realistic goal that you can feel good about?

  1. First, pick something you would like to accomplish in the short term (within 6 months) and in the long term (12 months). Let’s say you would like to lose at least 15 pounds in 6 months and maybe see some abs by the time 12 months rolls around.
  2. Once you have decided on your goals, write down WHY you want to accomplish these. How will it make you feel if you accomplish these goals? Why are they important to you? What has stopped you in the past from accomplishing these goals?
  3. Next, you need to determine the TOOLS you need. What do you need in order to accomplish these goals? Do you need more time? Motivation? A workout routine? A diet change?

If you need time, layout your day to day routine. Figure out the best time to do whatever you need to do - whether it be to workout, meal prep or listen to that audio Spanish lesson - figure out your “magic window” of time.

If it is motivation, use your WHY! Your “why” is a great resource for motivation. There are also PLENTY of resources on the internet for motivation such as GaryVee, for business and personal motivation, but please explore and find one that fits your needs!

I’d encourage you to visit and use our blog  and our social media platforms for motivation and ideas like "Do You Have a Plan: or "Best Ab Workout"! If it is your diet you need help with, I recommend talking to your doctor. Everyone is different. You want to put yourself on the best path right off the bat, so you can get a positive start on your journey to crushing your goals.

4. Now that you have established the stepping stones that will lead you to reaching your goal, it is time to take ACTION.

There is no better time to start on your goals than NOW. Do not procrastinate. You will feel so much better if you start on your journey and see small improvements. As you start to see changes, your motivation will grow!  The time is NOW.

Gym Safety

Every gym facility wants to be different. They want the all the latest pieces that everyone wants to increase the fitness experience they provide. Every member is looking for that “wow” factor - the thing that motivates them and gets them excited to train. One piece of “equipment” that has been around for a while, but has recently made its footprint in mostly the functional training space, is the TIRE. All different sized tires for flipping, pounding with a mallet, jumping on etc.. Sounds like a perfect thing to incorporate in your gym to set you apart. This concept is valid and the training is legit! The tire can be used for all different types of training including individual, partner and group! Tire Training provides a total body workout and a unique experience that members are sure to speak about.

However, there is something to be said about SAFETY. Are your members going to be putting themselves at risk? What about your other members? Flipping an unpredictable object that weighs 100 lbs or more through the facility is not without issues. It could fall on someone who be be stretching in the path. The Tire could roll away and injure someone. The user could injure themselves if they lose control of it.

A recent incident, reported by the New York Post, describes a lady whose ankle was crushed by a 400 pound tire during a group fitness class. Two other members were using the tire and she was sitting on the ground to stretch after her workout. The Tire fell on top of her and caused a devastating injury. This is an awful situation. However, it highlights how important gym safety is, especially when training a group with people of all shapes and sizes. Group training instructors need to be paying attention to their class props to ensure that everyone is able to safely use them. It is not only the major injuries that they should be concerned about, but smaller injuries as well. We hope this incident, as incredibly unfortunate as it is, turns on the lights in fitness clubs to choose safer options.

Aside from the tire, it is important for ALL of your equipment to be safe for your users. Our CEO, Sean Gagnon, shares his thoughts and tips to making sure club members/ equipment users aren’t putting themselves in danger:

“This unfortunate incident is a reminder of the risk fitness facility owners face when it comes to equipment and their members. The Abs Company has over 20 years of experience in commercial fitness. That being said, I would like to share a few tips to help mitigate your equipment risk:

  1. Routine Maintenance- All equipment comes with a recommended maintenance schedule- Follow it!
  2. Routine Inspection- Operators should have a checklist of regular wear points on the equipment. They should then regularly review and document inspections. Replace the worn parts as needed.
  3. Training and Education- Make sure that the facility staff is highly trained in the use of all equipment and that they take the time to share this information with the members."

Running a fitness facility comes with risk. However, simple planning can help mitigate this. Thoughtful equipment selection is a part of this. We believe in KEEPING IT REAL; and the real truth is that safety can NOT be overlooked. We want everyone to feel confident and safe while pursuing their fitness goals and we know this will keep them coming back again and again.

Can You Spot Train?

“I want to tone just my arms” “I want to just lose weight in my mid section” “I want my waist to be smaller” “I want to lose fat and still put on muscle” IS THIS REALISTIC? We all want to know.

Everyone wants to spot train when it comes to fat loss. Everyone wants abs, sometimes while keeping or gaining size elsewhere - or just lose fat in their legs etc. I am going to go right ahead and tell you now that you CANNOT spot train - you must workout your entire body to get the best results. However, to get the best results and set realistic goals for yourself, you must understand the relationship between fat and muscle and how they work to grasp the sad and inevitable fact that spot training is impossible.

Fat is the material that forms the layer between your muscle and skin. When you workout, your body uses carbs, fat and sometimes protein as fuel and energy. However, when your body uses fat for fuel, it does not care which part of the body it takes fat from; and your muscles use more than just the fat around them. Aside from that, fat loss and muscle growth depends on your metabolism and your diet. Unfortunately, although there are ways to improve the way your body uses different foods and how fast they burn, that generally depends on your genetics.

Now, I am not saying you will not hit your fitness goals if your genetics are different from someone else’s. This just means you have to do things differently. Maybe you have to switch up your diet to reveal your six pack abs or switch up your workout routine  to favor your upper or lower body.

Let me KEEP IT REAL with you - muscle splits to work on growing different muscle groups WILL work when it comes to growth and burning fat. That’s why we LOVE the Core Zone for toning your core. Every piece works your abdominals in a different way and integrates muscle endurance with muscle strength. However, you will see fat loss in other parts of your body due to the fact that when one muscle is contracting, other muscles are also working (i.e. when you do a bicep curl, your bicep contracts while your tricep is relaxed. When the bicep lengthens, your tricep contracts; all while your rotator cuff is stabilizing the movement!) When you build muscle, your body will automatically increase your metabolism in order to not only fuel your body to complete the workout, but to also help you recover.

Although there are no reliable studies to back up the spot training myth, there was a study conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts in the 1980s. The study consisted of 13 males who did 5000 sit-ups over the course of 27 days. When comparing before and after fat biopsies, taken at the subjects’ abs, buttocks and upper backs, the results showed that the subjects lost fat from all 3 areas. This shows that although their ab muscles may have grown, their bodies burned fat from areas other than just their midsection.

There are a lot of ways you can achieve your fat loss and overall fitness goals. Make sure you talk to your doctor or dietician before trying a workout plan or diet. Your body can do incredible things, but only if you are treating it right inside and out. Check out our social platforms and keep up with our “25 Days of Abs”! We will help get you out of your ab workout slump. Enjoy!


25 Days of Abs

Want abs? You have came to the right place! Need more ab workouts? You have come to an even BETTER place!

So many people get bored with workouts and routines- especially ab workouts. Aren’t you just sick and tired of doing the same ole’ stuff? Doing a million crunches until you can’t laugh is probably effective- however, you need variety! You need to hit all parts of your abdominals. Your “core” is more than a few sets of crunches. It takes stability, cardio and effective ab workouts to really develop that hard core you’ve always dreamed of. Trust me, we have all been there. It’s always “I’ll just do a few crunches” or “that should be enough” or “I’ll just do some ab exercises later at home” *that you never actually do because you’re tired and bored of laying on the ground*.

If you feel this way, like I do sometimes, you are in luck! The Abs Company is presenting you all with  “25 Days of Abs” that will take place December 1st until December 25th on our social platforms Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Please visit and be on the lookout for some of our favorite ab workouts!

We are VERY excited to share this with you all. Enjoy!

Abs Around the Holidays

The holidays. A stressful time of year. Hosting family get togethers, your in-laws are in town, mass amounts of cooking and cleaning and making sure your diet is six pack abs friendly and your workouts are on point and perfect - wait...what? No. Let’s back up. I would like to tell you that obtaining or keeping a six pack (of abs, not beer) is “simple with these steps:”. However, that would be a lie.

It is normal for people to get a little bit stressed about their eating habits around the holidays. Why? The answer is simple. DESSERT. CARBS. ALCOHOL. Need I say more? How can you resist the temptation? DON’T. The holidays are supposed to be for family, crazy schedules and treating yourself. However, if you are someone who gets stressed about those extra calories around the holidays, do not worry. If you plan ahead (check out blog post: Do You Have a Plan?), it will take the stress off when you’ve been eyeing that cookie all night and just want to indulge on some holiday treats.

I have found that a few days after eating sugar and indulging on Thanksgiving, I am bloated and maybe a little more tired. That is normal. After deviating from your normal eating habits, your body needs some extra nutrients and extra attention the following days. Now, I know it is easy to say “maybe I will get back into it after New Years”, but why? You want to approach Christmas and New Years feeling GOOD about yourself, making sure your body is being fed what it needs to function at its optimal level. Of course, you’re still enjoying your time with family and friends, but using the time between events and holidays to give yourself some attention.

What should you do? Well, everyone is different, but here are a few tips and things to remember during and between the holidays so you can be stress free around food and crazy workout schedules.

1. Drink PLENTY Of Water

Listen, I know it is hard to drink a lot of water during the day. Trust me I have been there. However, ever since I started drinking about 2-3 liters per day, my body has felt great. I eat less, just from feeling full, my skin looks clearer, I don’t bloat as much and I even feel more energized. Although it is important to always make sure you are drinking your water, pay extra attention during the holidays. You will start to feel a LOT better about yourself overall and it will help flush out toxins and anything your body is trying to reject.

2. Eat Your Greens

Eat those green veggies! They help with digestion and give your body so many of the nutrients that it needs to function. Just as I don’t want you to try and completely resist the urge to enjoy those treats, you also should not neglect those vegetables. Pick a few that you like and figure out a few ways to incorporate them into your daily meals! As always, if you need some ideas, I am here to help.

3. The Gym Is Not Going Anywhere

If you don’t workout everyday and stick to your schedule, the gym will grow legs and disappear! WRONG. You’re busy- that is OKAY! Your gym and exercise regime is not going anywhere. It is okay to enjoy yourself or let your body relax- it will always be there. Now take a breath. If you want to incorporate some exercising during the holidays and need some quick, at home workouts, head over and read our blog ‘Workouts For Home Or Hotel’ and make sure to keep your eyes open for our ‘25 Days Of Abs’ starting December 1st.

4. Creating Memories

Always remember, you are creating memories. Do you want to remember a holiday feeling stressed about food and working out? I can probably assume the answer is no. You want to look back and remember eating, drinking, laughing and enjoying your time with friends and family. You don’t have to overindulge to enjoy yourself, but you don’t have to restrict yourself either.

I hope these tips will help you to feel a little less stressed and a little more excited about the holidays. Enjoy yourself and stay safe! Happy Holidays everyone!



The Abs Company


Exercise Your Mental Clarity

As you read in the last post "How Healthy do you Vacation?", you will notice how exercising doesn’t always mean training JUST your biceps or glutes with videos you found scrolling through Instagram. You also must exercise your brain. As any training does, training your mind to relax and work in a way that is best for your health takes practice and consistency. Meditation does not sound appealing to everyone. Many don’t know where to start or how to get their mind into a steady state. Don’t worry, I have a few tips, tricks and steps you can follow to become more comfortable with being in your own mind.

If you read our last blog, I mentioned the app Headspace. Again, this is a great tool for beginners, or even people who like to be walked through a meditation flow. People can benefit from meditation in a variety of ways. Whatever you want to accomplish from meditation, set that as your “why”, similar to having a “why” for your fitness goals. Having this in mind can trigger your body to recognize these as needs when in a steady and relaxed state. It is crazy how powerful the mind can be! Here are some steps to start you down your path to a sound mind:

  1. Put your phone on airplane mode (except for the timer) and get away from distractions.
  2. Sit Indian style on the floor or just on the edge or your bed, with your hands on your legs and feet flat on the floor, picking up how they feel on ground.
  3. Close your eyes and take a long deep inhale through your nose for a count of 5 seconds, and then exhale through your mouth for a count of 10 seconds.
  4. After you get the rhythm, stop counting and just let it naturally happen.
  5. FOCUS on the breath when you close your eyes. Imagine your belly expanding and deflating.
  6. Thoughts are likely going to float into your mind - about anything (i.e. I don’t know how I’m going to fit in my workout today or I still need to go grocery shopping) It’s completely normal. Let it happen. Think of these thoughts as a cloud in your mind and recognize that it's there, but don't react. Refocus your attention to the breath again - stay unwavering with it.
  7. Once the mediation time has expired, say out loud ONE thing you're immensely grateful for... it can be anything.

Try meditating at least once a day. You can test out which time of day is the most relaxing or easiest time to get into your own head. Throughout the day, be conscious of your emotional and mental state and how you react to situations. Over time, you will probably discover how less reactive you are in less than ideal situations in your personal and/or business life. If you would like, keep a journal and note the changes you see. You may surprise yourself more than you expect! 

Workouts for Home and Hotel

As you read in my previous blog ‘Taking A Vacation", you understand the importance of recognizing what your body needs to feel good. Whether it is taking a break physically AND emotionally, or one of the two, it is important to listen to your body and unwind from time to time.

If you are like me and like to get in a workout while on vacation, or at home, here are 3 circuit workouts you can do. If you have a gym available, add weights to increase intensity! Also, feel free to add anything you would like. Make it fun!

Circuit 1: Repeat all 4 Exercises 10 times!

Burpees 10-15
Jump squats 10-15
Pushups Until failure
Mountain climbers 20


Circuit 2: Repeat all 7 Exercises 4 times!

If your vacation spot isn’t lucky enough to have The Abs Company equipment to use to target your abs and get a quick functional training circuit in, no fear! Here is a great ab workout that you don’t need any equipment for. If you do have access to equipment (i.e roman chair) or weights, feel free to add in some extra sets and variations!

Flutter Kicks 20 seconds
Six Inches Hold for 20 seconds
Bicycles 20 reps
Butt Kicks 60 seconds
Russian Twists 20 seconds
Reverse Crunches 20 reps
Mountain Climbers 20 seconds


Circuit 3: 5 exercises, 5 rotations- Approximately 15-20 Minutes of work.

Take 60 seconds to rest after completing all 5 exercises, and then repeat 5 times!

Forward Alternating Lunges 10 Reps on Each leg
Burpees 10 reps
High Knees 30 Seconds
Air Squats 15 Reps
Mountain Climbers 30 Seconds

Depending on your goals, you might want to add weight or just stick to bodyweight exercises. Always make sure you are paying attention to form and knowing how the movement is supposed to work to avoid injury.

How "healthy" do you vacation?

Ahh, vacation. It is so nice to be able to kick back, relax and enjoy time either to yourself or with friends and family. Health is not about intense exercises and strict nutrition, it is about your thoughts and feelings as well. It is important to give yourself balance in all areas of physical and mental health by paying attention to how you are feeling and what your body and mind need. 

Some people take vacation as a time to not think about exercise or strict nutrition, and that is OKAY! However, others like to stay on a semi routine which could include: occasional ab exercises, circuit training, HIIT workouts or cardio, while also keeping healthy eating options in mind. That is also, OKAY! Everyone’s version of a vacation is different.

To me, working out is relaxing. It is where I clear my mind. On vacation, I use exercise to feel refreshed - NOT because I am stressing, thinking about my fitness goals or trying to stay on my exercise split. It is important to know the difference between wanting to work out to feel good and working out because you feel you “have to” or because you are afraid you will gain weight or lose muscle if you relax for a few days (which isn’t going to happen). Just as it takes time and effort to lose that weight or put on that muscle, it also takes time to put that weight back on and/or lose muscle- a few days will not hinder your progress.  If you are used to traveling, you might have your routine and habits down pat. However, for those who don’t - for those who want to switch up their vacation routine/habits. For those who travel, even for work, and find it difficult to keep their overall health in mind. Or for those who simply just need a little vacation/travel guidance. This one's for you!

1. Plan, Know The Scene

If you haven’t already read our previous blog post, ‘insert Planning blog title here’, you should head over and give that a read. You will see that I am a HUGE advocate for planning out your goals and how you are going to reach those goals. During your travels, your goal may be to workout every morning, keeping them quick to maximize your time on vacation or to fit it in between meetings. The first thing you want to do is check out where you will be staying prior to arrival. Is there an exercise facility available? If not, is there a beach, outside trail or sidewalk around to use for a light jog? (If so, make sure it is a safe area.) If both are a no, no need to worry - check out my blog next week for some great in-room workouts. 

2. Meditation - Exercising Your Mental Clarity 

Exercise is great, but if you are on vacation and want to focus on relaxing and gaining more mental clarity, then spending 5-10 minutes on mindful meditation is for you. Just as you exercise different muscle groups to improve your physical health, you also need to exercise your mind to increase and improve mental clarity. If you are new to meditation, there are many apps, such as Headspace, that walk you through the first few times. This is a practice that you can start on vacation and bring back into your daily routine. It is about consistency, as most things are. I would start with practicing AT LEAST once a day. Try doing it when you first wake up in the morning, before a meal and before bed. Find out when your body responds best. My friend and fellow blogger (‘What Does Your Gut Tell You?’), Karissa (@karisslee_), gave me some meditation tips when I first started meditation and they have helped me tremendously. Find our best meditation tips in a my article "Exercise your Mental Clarity".

3. Nutrition - Enjoyed Balance

This aspect of vacation seems to be the hardest for me. Personally, I like to keep nutrition in mind while on vacation. Not everyone does and that is fine, a few days of eating whatever you want and enjoying yourself is good ‘soul food’. For me however, some foods will disrupt my digestive system, so I know that my body feels its best when I, AT LEAST, have my dietary needs in mind when eating outside of my ‘normal’.  It’s all about balance and control (i.e having just 1 ice cream, not 3 or choosing the grilled chicken over the breaded chicken). If you stress about nutrition while on vacation, I suggest just having an idea of how your body reacts to different foods. You can then let loose, while still knowing your body and can feel good about enjoying your meals (and dessert, duh).

The most frequent nutrition-based questions I get asked when talking about vacation is ALCOHOL. All I have to say is, enjoy. You are on vacation. You are supposed to have fun and relax. Of course, dealing with alcohol can be risky. However, please remember this very important word: Moderation. You don’t need to go overboard. If you want to drink, but are afraid of racking up those calories or skyrocketing your sugar intake, go for drinks with less sugar (i.e gin and tonic, tequila soda, tequila water, vodka soda etc.) and keep the sugary drinks to a minimum (i.e pina colada, daiquiris, juice drinks etc.). Enjoy and be safe.

Vacation is supposed to be fun and relaxing. Don’t stress too much over working out and counting macros. As I said before, health isn’t only about going to the gym and keeping a strict diet- it is about mental and emotional health as well. There are small steps you can take to still feel like you are staying course without being restricted. Learn your body and what works for you. As always, consult a doctor before doing any exercises that may be a problem due to prior injury, condition etc. and feel free to reach out to me, Emily Carrara, for tips, tricks, workout hacks and your average dad joke. 

Do You Have a Plan?

“By Failing To Plan, You Are Planning To Fail” -B.F.

We all have fitness goals in mind that we set for ourselves. For example, some people want overall, stronger abs, while some just want a visible six pack and increased stability. It is a common misconception that the two are the same. However, that is not the truth. Maximal strength and muscle endurance, while under the same umbrella of “strength training” and Maximal Strength, being the progression from strength endurance - they require different types of training.

No matter what your goal is, whether you are weeks, months, years into your fitness/weight loss journey, or even just a few minutes, you need a plan. Without a plan, often times, people can get confused, easily distracted, and find it harder to stay on track and organized. Some people further along in their fitness journey, can also experience plateaus in their training, where they stop seeing consistent results. This is when some people lose motivation. Time to stop and plan.  

The first step to planning your action path is to decide on your GOAL. For example, If your goal is to increase strength endurance and stabilization, which is helpful for progressing core workouts (I usually do more strength endurance when I am focused on shaping and toning) here is what I suggest:

If your goal is to increase your maximal core strength, here’s what I suggest to keep in mind:

While both of these methods increase strength, both are not appropriate for everyone, depending on the goal and other factors, such as prior injuries and overall physical abilities. Two phenomenal pieces of ab equipment to make things less complicated and to allow yourself to use these layouts without the mental questions of what to do are the Ab Coaster or the Vertical Crunch. These two machines are perfect for any kind of abdominal progression and can be used in any type of training, especially, with their ability to add and take off weights. You can easily combine the two for a killer superset, and even add in some floor work in between sets, such as plank holds or mountain climbers. 

Laying out a plan and a roadmap to hit your fitness goals is one of the most important things to do to increase success and to ease your mind when you get stuck in a rut. Figure out what works for you. The best plan, the best workout and the best diet, is the one that works best for YOU!

You are more likely to succeed if you are planning ahead and doing what you know will keep you motivated and organized. 

Finding the Time

It is always nice to have the luxury of walking into a gym and having your pick of any workout machine you would like. However, whether it be cost of gyms near you or that you are running short on time, sometimes, the gym just isn’t going to happen. Now- you may be thinking, this is a great excuse….WRONG!  There is no excuse for not getting 20-30 minutes minimum of exercise in a day. Although you may not have access to fancy gym exercise equipment, or space for big, chunky exercise machines in your home,  there is ALWAYS a solution.

Here are a few solutions for your time sensitive schedule, your “I have no space for that” attitude and the best possible ways to maximize your workouts at home.


1.HIIT and Bodyweight Exercises

Now, I know you’ve heard it before - “HIIT training is the best” - but is it? For some, YES. It IS the best. Especially, for those time sensitive days, where all you have is 20 minutes in between work and errands and before you have to get the kids from school. HIIT can work for any body part. You can do an ab workout, such as 30 second crunches, 20 seconds rest, 30 second plank hold, 20 seconds rest, 30 second jack knife each side, 20 seconds rest and so on. If you have hand weights at home, you can also integrate weight training into your HIIT to increase intensity.


2. The Abs Company

What kind of company would we be if we didn’t provide a solution to your problem? However, this is not my time to try and sell you on every product we have ever invented. This is where I tell you that you can save space, use 1 piece of equipment for an affordable price and get in some intense workouts, even if you only have 10-20 minutes. The new X3SElite is the Sissy Squat 2.0. We have designed this piece of equipment to not only fit anywhere, but to also give you the luxury of having a multipurpose exercise machine in your home. The Abs Company also has me, Emily Carrara, the TAC in-house trainer. I am also a resource for you in anyway that you need. Whether it be to help with machines, workouts or helping you map out your fitness goals and how to reach these goals the right way, I am here for you.


3. Using Your Own Backyard

Walk outside! Go for a walk, jog, run or do some sprints! We often forget about using nature to our advantage. If it’s cold, bundle up or shovel if there is snow. There are always ways to use your backyard and surrounding areas as a tool to help you on your fitness journey. Exercise machines help, but they are not the only way. Of course, as you progress in your fitness journey, you will have to incorporate different forms of training. However, I have been seriously training for about 4-5 years now and still go on walks around my neighborhood. If my 88 year old grandmother, who has had multiple surgeries and a busier schedule than I do, can find time and motivation to go walk outside everyday, so can you. Working out is the best way to live a long and healthy life.


4. Utilizing Social Media

Ah, a las, my favorite part about today’s day in age - social media. Social media is  growing every single day. More and more resources are available EVERY DAY for people who want motivation, different exercises, meditation, what to eat, networks and connections to get information from professionals and the list goes on. It is all at our fingertips. USE IT! I have been in a rut myself, what do I do? Throw on a podcast or a workout video for things such as: at home exercises, ab workouts, HIIT training circuits, and so on. Set it up on your phone or computer and get to work. If you are going to waste time on your phone everyday (and now, you can see how much time you actually do spend on each app courtesy of the new IOS update), use that time to do something productive with your phone - use it to exercise.  

If 20 minutes is too long, at least get 10 minutes in. It is said that 75% of the population doesn’t even get 10 minutes of exercise in per day. I firmly believe that it's due to a lack of motivation more than it is a lack of time. If you need that motivation, figure out your “why”.  THAT alone should motivate you. If you need accountability, ask a friend or a family member to remind you and cheer you on. Utilize online coaches or set an alarm on your phone everyday. Do what works best for you, but just do it.

Best Ab Workout?

“What is the best ab workout?” “Do ab machines work?” “How do I target my lower abs?”

I know these types of questions all too well. Not only have I asked them myself, but as a fitness professional, I get them all the time in the fitness industry. Most people walk into a gym and don’t know exactly what to use or how to target specific areas of their core. Crunches? Effective, but, BORING! Planks? Effective, great for stabilizing the core, but, BORING! Let’s face it, ab workouts can be boring. After a tough workout, the last thing people want to do is core. However, there are a few ways to make sure you are getting your core workout in, without having to dread the post workout floor exercises.

1. Engage Your Core
During your workout, engage and brace your core during every movement. Being aware of your core during every movement will help with stabilization and help keep your back straight. It will also help with overall posture and help avoid injury.

During compound movements, such as a deadlift, it is often easy to forget about your core when the movement localizes in your legs and back. However, your legs and back are both a part of your core and foundation. By bracing your core, it helps keep that back straight. Once your back and shoulders round, your legs pick up a lot of slack. Throwing out your lower back by lifting a heavy load then becomes a serious potential issue.

2. Work Them Into Circuits
An easy way to ensure you are getting those ab workouts in, is by incorporating them into your workout. For my training program, I do a lot of circuits and supersets. I have found that by not only engaging my core, but also incorporating exercises such as planks, v-up and russian twists into my circuits, I don’t feel bad about being too tired after my workout to run myself through an ab workout sequence.

This method is also helpful because it can turn even a weight training sequence into a little HIIT workout, which is optimal for fat loss. It is important to push yourself, whether it means an extra set or sometimes just getting to the gym at all. HIIT is perfect for those days to maximize your workout, especially, if you don’t have a lot of time to spare.

3. Use Ab Exercise Equipment
As I touched on before, many people don’t know what to do when it comes to ab workouts. It doesn’t always have to be movements on the floor; in fact, most gyms have abdominal exercise equipment somewhere. The Ab Coaster and the Vertical Crunch are great machines for users of all fitness levels. Another good thing about ab machines, is that a lot of them allow you to add and remove weight depending on personal preference.

I know new ab machines can seem scary, especially if you’ve never used them before. However, you must start somewhere and ab machines are a great way to fill in the blanks when you don’t know what to do or if what you are doing is actually working! These are designed to guide you and to make sure you are targeting all of those tough spots that floor exercises may not touch.

Ab exercises are a great way to switch up your workouts and give your other muscles a break. Next time you hit the gym, give it a try! Try out a machine you’ve never used, give your workout a revamp with a new superset or transform your workout into a sweaty HIIT session! Break up some bicep curls with 10 leg raises and 10 butterfly crunches. You won’t regret it and you will leave the gym feeling more accomplished, knowing you hit your abs too!

Emily Carrara is our resident personal trainer and Social Media Manager. She’s a  graduate of James Madison University where she studied Marketing and Business. As a lifelong athlete, she has always had a love for fitness. She is now working towards her NASM certification and is a 1st Phorm Legionnaire.

What Does Your GUT Tell You?

Check out this great post on Gut Health by our guest blogger Karissa Leifken.  Karissa is a Certified Integrative Health Coach and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science. Follow Karissa on Instagram: @Karisslee_


What Does Your Gut Tell You?

What if I told you that the vast majority of people are neglecting one huge aspect of their health? What if I also told you that this thing being neglected, is likely the root cause to most people’s ailments?

I’m talking about your GUT.

Most aren’t aware of the massive importance of paying attention to gut health; and that’s okay because I’m about to give a brief synopsis of the gut’s role in our health.

The gut is essentially like a second brain. The health of your gut plays a tremendous role in the health of the rest of your body. Often overlooked, the gut microbiota is an ecosystem of bacteria, thriving within a host — A.K.A us. The health of the ecosystem depends on the health of the host AND vice versa.

An unhealthy ecosystem (unbalanced microbiota) can lead to a number of ailments within the host. And conversely, an unhealthy host can lead to an unbalanced and unhealthy ecosystem.

To elaborate further on this, the gut influences numerous mechanisms within the body, including:
Inflammation — inflammation in the gut can lead to systemic inflammation within the body.
Immune / Autoimmunity — the greatest number of our immune cells are housed, nice and cozy, in our small intestine. Inflammation and unbalanced microbiota can lead to immune / autoimmune issues.
Nutrient Absorption — poor nutrient absorption (due to inflammation) can lead to a number of issues, such as slowed metabolism, dry or thinning hair and nails, fatigue, etc.

Additionally, there are also multiple connections within the body, in which the gut is front and center:
The Gut-Brain Connection
The Gut-Thyroid Connection
The Gut-Skin Connection
The Gut-Sleep Connection
The Gut-Metabolism Connection
The Gut-Hormone Connection

Without going into too much detail about all of the above, it is clear that the gut is something that needs and deserves our attention.

SO — what can you start doing on a daily basis to ensure your gut is healthy and your ecosystem is thriving?

Let’s start with food. What foods are the best for gut health?

Considering everyone’s ecosystem can be a little different, it’s important to do some trial and error to determine which foods feel the best for you. But as a general recommendation, I like to start with incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods. The term “anti-inflammatory” in regards to food, means that these foods do not cause your gut to trigger an immune response and/or symptoms (gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc.). Below are a few examples of anti-inflammatory foods:
Green Leafy Vegetables (spinach, kale, bokchoy, collard greens, etc.)
Fruits (strawberries, blueberries, apples, etc.)
Omega-3’s (salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc.)
Nuts & seeds (almonds, walnuts, etc.)
Olive Oil

We want to facilitate an ecosystem in which inflammation is at a minimum. By controlling inflammation, you are making room for good bacteria to take over and thus create a healthier, and more diverse ecosystem.

The next thing I like to recommend is to take a high-quality probiotic and (if needed) digestive enzymes. Probiotics are supplements which provide the host with healthy bacterial species that work to rebalance the gut microbiota and increase diversity in the ecosystem. However, not all probiotics are created equal, which is why it’s imperative to find a high quality one that works best for you.

Digestive Enzymes are supplements that facilitate in the digestion process in the small intestine when food is consumed. The reason for taking this type of supplement is for those who do not secrete adequate amounts of bile and pancreatic enzymes to digest food. When there is a deficiency of these enzymes, symptoms like bloating, constipation, and diarrhea may occur. Supplementing with digestive enzymes can aid in the healing of your gut and improve your ecosystem.

Lastly, a topic that is vastly overlooked, is stress. Chronic stress, whether it’s occurring from a job you hate, lack of sleep, poor diet, too much caffeine, over-exercise, etc., is another culprit of poor gut health. As stated above, the health of the ecosystem is dependent on the health of the host. A constant state of stress can manifest in many ways, but specifically in inflammation, which as we’ve discussed is a no-no for gut health. When attempting to monitor and reduce stress, I like to have my clients incorporate more mindful activities into their daily routine, such as mediation, journaling, and active breathing exercises. I also will make recommendations to cut back on caffeine, incorporate more rest days from vigorous exercise, get adequate rest with 6-8 hours of quality sleep per night, engage in daily walking or some sort of low-impact movement, and to get outside in nature.

These recommendations that I’ve listed above are a great starting point for someone who feels they need to improve their gut health. It’s important to note, however, that every person is different and trial and error is a part of the process to figuring out what works best for you.

I hope by the end of this blog, you are more familiar with the role the gut plays in our overall health and can walk away with some tips to start healing your gut and being a healthier you!

Thank you to our guest blogger Karissa Leifken for this great post about Gut Health.  Karissa is a Certified Integrative Health Coach and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science. She is currently studying for her Masters in Nutrition Science with a focus in Dietetics. Her goal is for people to discover their potential and how good their bodies are designed to feel.  Follow Karissa on Instagram: @Karisslee_

Take a Rest Day

“No days off!” they said, “Please, PLEASE, take a rest” your body says.

As stated in our blog Common Fitness Myths Debunked!: “Intense workouts 7 days a week for weeks at a time SOUNDS like a really great way to keep fit and maintain muscle. However, your body needs rest in order to properly repair and restore the muscles. Just as proper nutrition, exercise and sleep are important, so are rest and days off from the gym. Taking the time to let your body recharge is crucial for not only your muscles, but also your overall health, mind and life balance.”

Personally, I have struggled with allowing myself to take proper rest days. I would get so set in my routine and focused on my goals, that I would push myself so hard and end up with some sort of pain, which I would then ignore. Ignoring the signs that my body would need a rest, resulted in not only injury, but would force me to have to stop and rest my body to repair the injury. Luckily, I learned how to properly rehab and take care of my body when needed, but couldn’t this have been avoided if I just listened to my body in the first place? The answer is yes. Your body will send signals, such as pain, when it is in danger of a larger injury and needs rest. I have gone through many trial and errors through my fitness journey so far and one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made is not listening to my body and confusing exhaustion with lack of motivation. I had to learn that it is OKAY to slow down every now and again. It is OKAY to rest and recharge. I even often found myself feeling stronger and more motivated once I took that time to myself.

Sometimes, when you have a fitness goal in mind and find your groove, it is hard to slow down for fear that your efforts and results will backtrack, just as I once felt. However, that could not be further from the truth. Your body is smart. When it is beat up over and over again, it has no time to recover. Not taking rest days can eventually slow down your progress and dim your motivation due to exhaustion. Just as it takes discipline to get to the gym and stay on your diet, it also takes discipline to rest.

Remember: train hard, recover harder. Take an active rest day! A rest day does not always mean lay on the couch and do nothing, although that is also nice and feels good some days. Get out and ride a bike, go on a walk, swim- anything! Enjoy your life and enjoy reaping the physical and mental benefits from resting your body.

Common Fitness Myths Debunked!

Many people get so caught up in the latest diet and workout “fads”, that the truths behind health and fitness are often forgotten or ignored. Everyone wants a “quick fix” or an easy answer to weight loss and getting ripped abs in the least amount of time. However, many of these “fads” or “trends” are not the answer.

Here are some common myths that people get hung up on in the fitness industry:

1. Cardio and Constant Caloric Deficit is the Only Way to Getting Muscle Tone And  Lose Weight
Naturally, based on science, a caloric deficit along with physical exercise, results in weight loss. However, a lot of people who are looking to lose weight while still getting toned, are sometimes under the impression that cardio and minimal eating is the secret key to muscle tone.  Although cardio is a great supplement to other forms of exercise and does aid in weight loss, it is not the answer for muscle tone. Muscles must be worked and repaired in order to gain and maintain muscle. Weightlifting, compound movements and circuit training with weights, all aid in burning fat while also building that muscle tone that is so often longed for.  You can probably imagine what I am going to mention next. You’re right, nutrition! When your body goes through intense weight workouts, your body needs to be refueled in order to rebuild and maintain the muscle you just worked so hard for. If you are eating excess calories of the wrong things, you will gain fat. However, if you are eating the right things, your body will use that food to burn fat - even after your workout! Your body is smart. If you put yourself into a crazy caloric deficit for a long period of time, your body will think it is starving. It will store the water, carbs and fat that you do give to it, which is not ideal for long term weight loss goals. It is important that you are nourishing your body with nutrient dense food in order to maintain proper functions- especially, for long term weight loss.

2. You Only Work Your Abs by Doing Ab Exercises
Crunches, v ups, few and small meals, more crunches, equals abs...right? Wrong! There are other, and more sustainable, ways to get abs and reach your weight loss goals. Abdominal exercises are key to integrate into your workout routine to make sure you are hitting all of the right spots. However, engaging your core during any exercise will lead to a stronger core. Your legs and back are a big part of your core. They all work together to keep your body stable. Performing any exercise, especially posterior and compound movements, require a braced and stable core. Taking the time to think about your abdomen during your workouts, will increase core strength and help you, not only get the abs that you want, but also reduce possible injury and pain while doing other exercises.

3. Abs Are Only Made in The Kitchen 
If you eat right, you’ll get abs. You don’t really need to workout. True or False? False! Other than those blessed with genetics that allow for a naturally chiseled abdomen, just eating healthy will not tone your abs. Like every other muscle, your abs need to be worked out in order to get toned. A healthy diet WILL however, help this process and make it easier to get toned abs and sustain them. Make sure you are incorporating ab exercises into your routine. If you often forget or get lazy after your workout, try doing some ab exercises while either watching TV or while dinner is in the oven. If you have difficulty thinking of some core workouts, check out our Core In 4 routines. They are easy and minimal to no equipment is needed.

4. No Days Off 
Intense workouts 7 days a week for weeks at a time SOUNDS like a really great way to keep fit and maintain muscle. However, your body needs rest in order to properly repair and restore the muscles. Just as proper nutrition, exercise and sleep are important, so are rest and days off from the gym. Taking the time to let your body recharge is crucial for not only your muscles, but also your overall health, mind and life balance. Many tend to obsess over getting ripped abs, wanting to hit unrealistic weight loss goals every week and working their body so hard and still not being satisfied. What if I told you that if you gave your body a day or two a week to rest, you may start to see the results you are looking for? Keep this in mind the next time someone says “no days off!” or next time your body feels like it needs rest. It is trying to tell you something! Slow down and take the rest if you need it.

As you can see, there is no “quick fix” and many social myths when it comes to staying fit. Losing weight and getting the muscle tone and tummy that you want takes time and consistency. Be patient with yourself and stay motivated; it is possible to achieve your fitness goals!

How Exercise Helps You SUCCEED

“We’re our own worst enemies. You doubt yourself more than anybody ever will. If you can get past that, you can be successful.” -Michael Strahan

It is rare to find a successful person that doesn’t include some kind of physical activity into their weekly schedule. Oprah Winfrey, Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook all incorporate exercise to maximize their mental sharpness throughout the day. In fact they all credit exercise as a component of their success! There are many ways exercise carries over into your career and below you will find the top 3.

1. Exercise Helps Break Bad Habits and Teaches Discipline

Waking up early and resisting the temptation to hit the snooze bar to workout before work can be extremely difficult. On the same side of the coin, so is getting yourself to workout after a long day of work. Trying to combat the urge to crash in front of some good ol’e Netflix with some feel good comfort food in your favorite sweats is easier said than done. It’s easy to think of an excuse such as, “I need to sleep because I have a long day ahead of me” or, “I deserve to relax because I’ve worked a long day”, but have you thought about what you need? Have your excuses turned into bad habits?

It is often hard to really know what your body needs and becoming comfortable or distracted by work can allow you to lack discipline. That is where exercise comes into play. Exercise is the connection between your mind and body, making them complete. People who exercise regularly develop brain skills, such as memory and the ability to cope with stress. Improving these mental health skills allows you to be more aware of your deeper needs, resulting in healthier choices.

2. You Will Benefit from Goal Setting and Time Management

It is common sense that having a plan will lead to a more productive day. However, most people do not include exercise as a part of this plan! Positive patterns and goal setting are major keys to setting yourself up for success.

Writing out a plan for yourself is the first step to maximizing productivity and hitting your goals inside and outside of the workplace. When you get things done, it creates motivation. Seeing results fuels confidence and the mental switch from “I Can’t” to “I Can” . This allows you to overcome obstacles and to think bigger so you can move beyond the limitations you previously set for yourself.

Everyone is busy. Everyone has work and things to do outside of the work. However, you need to get your priorities straight. Even on busier days, setting as little as 20 minutes aside for a quick HIIT workout or a walk, puts you one step closer to your goals. Staying disciplined to an exercise schedule will carry over into the workplace and make it easier for you to hit your career goals as well.

3. You Will Learn to Work Smarter and Improve Cognitive Function

As stated by the US National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health,
“Physical activity is associated with enhanced cognitive processing, helping you to stay more focused on tasks. Exercise also stimulates sections of the brain that aid memory function, to release a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which rewires memory circuits so they work better.”
Work can get frustrating. Negative co-workers, gossipy environments, yo-yoing stress levels and mental exhaustion can build up over time. It is easy to fall victim to this build up of emotions which is why having that one on one time with yourself can be a mental game changer. Exercise is very important for cognitive function because it causes immediate increases in levels of key neurotransmitters, including serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine and endorphins, that are often depleted by anxiety and depression.

Confidence derived from daily exercise can help you have a better attitude and a positive work-life balance. Your self-esteem increases, you are sharper and more positive and negotiating small conflicts becomes easier. Creativity and social skills will also improve as you start to feel more confident and positive day-to-day. It is no coincidence that the most innovative and most successful businesses in the world such as Google, Pfizer, Apple, Morgan Stanley etc. have exercise facilities in their office buildings making it easy for employees to work exercise into their daily routine.

When it comes to exercise there are many different routines and ways to get it done. Figure out what works best for you and make a plan. Commit to your plan and stick with it! Your physical and mental health are extremely interconnected and will lead you to feel better about yourself and the work you’re doing. Not only will you become healthier but this will ultimately lead to success. Get up and get moving!


The Abs Company Announces Owner Buyout

(Chester NJ) The Abs Company  announced that long time president Sean Gagnon has purchased the company from his partners and co founders. The Company was founded in 2007 by industry veterans Don Brown, David Augustine and Sean Gagnon. Brown is the inventor of the famous AB ROLLER - one of the best selling fitness items of all times with well over 10 million units sold. Augustine was also an integral part of that team serving on the legal and strategy side. The three had other business ventures together including health clubs and a company which helped inventors bring their products to the market. In 2005 the concept for the Ab Coaster was brought to the team and they immediately saw the potential to recreate the success they had with the Ab Roller.

They decided to follow the same path: make a version for health clubs while simultaneously launching a world wide TV Infomercial for consumers. They worked on the concept and got to the point where they were ready to show the world. What better place to do that than IHRSA? In 2007 the 3 showed up to San Francisco with 2 prototypes and a roll up banner!  Gagnon recalls “At that show IHRSA had 2 halls in the Moscone Center. One was for the ‘big guys’ and the other was for everyone else. We were in the other hall! We had a small 10 x 10 booth but the excitement and interest in our product was off the charts! We knew we were on to something.”

People loved the innovation and Ab Coaster was born. The team simultaneously launched in the commercial markets and put their infomercial on TV. 10 years later the product still sells well and has generated in excess of $100M in worldwide sales.

Over the years Ab Coaster realized they had carved out a niche in the core training space and started to expand their offerings to other innovative Ab Products. Under Gagnon’s leadership the product portfolio grew to over 10 skus and the company changed its name to The Abs Company in 2012. They were able to forge relationships with nearly every major brand worldwide providing customers with a comprehensive Ab and Core training portfolio of products that members want. Gagnon states “The Ab Space still remains extremely relevant in health clubs today. Even with the shift in focus towards functional training people still love to train ABS. A dedicated Abs area gives members a place where they can feel comfortable and win in the clubs. Not everyone is ready for the more advanced movements often found in group  and functional training classes. Making people feel comfortable keeps them coming back!”

The Abs Company was not blind to that changing market and continued to work hard to to expand its offerings to their loyal customer base. Gagnon and his long time friend and college roommate Mike Ritter created their next product  - TireFlip 180® and launched it to the market in 2014. They patented it around the world and have since sold this popular item in over 40 countries. This launched them in to the functional arena as well and allowed them to become leaders in the space they now call core based functional training.

In 2017 Gagnon and his partners decided that they were going to take their relationship in different directions and entered into an agreement for Gagnon to purchase the company. The trio had been working together for nearly 20 years and ultimately decided they had different interests long term. The deal was closed June 11, 2018 and Gagnon took full control of the Stock and Intellectual Property of the company. As a part of the deal Gagnon and Ritter agreed to fold Ritter’s ownership in the TireFlip 180® product into the company and Ritter became a minority shareholder in the entire business.

Gagnon states “I am extremely proud of what my team and I have been able to create here at The Abs Company. I am forever grateful to Don and Dave for giving me my start in the industry and for teaching me from their vast experience. We remain friends and I’m sure our paths will cross again. The Abs Company was founded on innovation and it is that innovation mindset that will carry us the next many years.  We’re just getting started!”


The Abs Company is excited to introduce Emily Carrara and welcome her to The Abs Company team! Emily will be joining us as our new Social Media Manager, but also brings with her a wealth of fitness experience. With her knowledge in both Social Media and Fitness, she will be able to provide effective workouts, nutrition tips and other valuable content to support you, or your members, on their fitness journey. She's excited to join us and ready to help Change Lives from the Core!

Questions for Emily?  Feel free to contact her at [email protected]



(Chester, NJ July 19th ) The world is continuing to go social and The Abs Company is keeping up. The company maintains a presence on the major platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter but has now hired a full-time social media professional to join the marketing team. Fitness Industry Social Influencer Emily Carrara (@emilycarrara_) is now responsible for growing and maintaining the company’s social properties.

Emily is a graduate of James Madison University where she studied Marketing and Business. As a lifelong athlete she has always had a love for fitness. In her sophomore year of college Emily was diagnosed with a thyroid condition which motivated her to go all in on her fitness journey so she could better understand the relationship between fitness, nutrition and health. After graduation she began working in the industry for companies including Equinox, Lifetime Fitness and Nutrition Zone. Her roles varied but her focus was marketing and social. She is now working towards her NASM certification and will combine her skills to continue to bring value to The Abs Company’s social community.

Cindy Ramos, Director of Marketing, said “We are excited to add Emily to the team. Her experience in both fitness and social will be a great asset to our social and educational programs. I’m looking forward to seeing the benefit she will bring to our community as we continue to Change Lives from the Core.”

The Abs Company specializes in core and functional training equipment and their products can be found in over 15,000 facilities in 40 countries worldwide.



The One More Approach - Change Your Mindset in Your Fitness Business

For 10 years I volunteered as a coach for my son’s youth sports teams. I coached his baseball and football teams from kindergarten until he went off to high school last year. It was a big commitment, but an invaluable use of my time!

Not only did I get to spend quality time with my son but I made many lifetime friends with the other dads in the program. A few of them were entrepreneurs like me and I think I was naturally more drawn to them. There is a group of us that gets together a couple times per week to play racquetball…at the one guy's HOUSE!

These are some big time business owners with businesses well into the 9 figure range. I am by far the smallest business in the room so when they talk business - I shut up and listen. They don’t know it but I’m in what I call a “racquetball mastermind group”!

The teams are always the same and the games are always competitive. I think the competitive nature of entrepreneurs at this level is off the charts. We had a game today and the lesson I learned was one that we can all apply to our businesses and yield immediate results!

We lost game one by 2 points. We won game 2 by 2 points! Game 3 was tied 13-13 (Game to 15). We won the serve back and I said to my friend “2 more”. He looked at me and said, “1 More”. I thought he had his math wrong. I said, “It’s 13-13…. 2 more.”

He stopped, picked up the ball and walked over to me and said, “I know the score. You can’t get 2 points at once. 1 MORE.”

I’m sure he was talking about the game and he didn’t know he was teaching a lesson but he was. When it comes to our businesses there is always so much to do. Sales, marketing, personnel, finance, it goes on and on. It can be downright overwhelming! The principle of ONE MORE can relive this pressure and put you on the path to success. It can certainly be applied to all areas of your business but let's look specifically at how to apply it to SALES and OPERATIONS.


The One-More Approach to Sales

It’s no secret that sales is the lifeblood of any business. That’s not to say that it’s the most important part as I believe in an integrated system that must all work together. However, without sales, without cash flow, businesses die. Most owners know the monthly revenue target they need to hit in order to sustain operations and move towards profitability. At any stage of business, this can be overwhelming on the first of the month when the ‘register’ is at $0!  Faced with this large gap we often fall prey to manipulation instead of purpose.

To get people to take action many times we offer discounts, specials, and devalue our services just so we can ‘make the sale’. Though this may work in the short term it does not create LOYAL customers.

To get people to take action many times we offer discounts, specials, and devalue our services just so we can ‘make the sale’. Though this may work in the short term it does not create LOYAL customers. When a better offer comes along your customer can be easily swayed to the shiny new thing. Loyal customers are ones that stick with you and continue to bring you business regardless of what your competition is offering. They give you great testimonials and refer you to their friends! The way to get LOYAL customers is to remember WHY you got into the business in the first place. When you can convey this purpose to your customers and you can connect on this level you will attract customers who are aligned with you and your purpose. Not customers that are just looking for a deal or the lowest price!

Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of sales you have to make. Get ONE MORE of the RIGHT customers and then get ONE MORE and ONE MORE after that. This is how you eliminate the transactional nature of your business and create a strong, profitable and sustainable following.


The One More Approach to Operations

The other side of business is operations. Finance, maintenance, marketing and on and on. Most fitness entrepreneurs got into the business to focus on FITNESS not these other areas.

However, these other areas are also critical to the long-term success of the business. The principle of ONE MORE applies equally here as well. If you are faced with monthly maintenance of your facility don’t try to tackle it all at once, break it down into pieces. Today cardio, next week strength, after that facility - ONE MORE. If you are faced with financial tasks break it up - today is receivables, next week payables, after that reporting… ONE MORE. If you are working on the marketing make ‘buckets’. This week the social plan, next week direct mail, after that email marketing and newsletters….ONE MORE.

Being overwhelmed is simply a state that we allow ourselves to fall into. In actuality, it’s not real at all! When we try to ‘do it all’ we end up really doing nothing well and instead spend our time ‘checking boxes’. Ultimately to grow you need to build a team and we will discuss this next month. However, for the next 30 days apply the principle of ONE MORE to all areas of your business and I suspect you’ll be much further down the road when we meet again.

Oh - what happened in the game? We got ONE MORE…. then ONE MORE. 15-13…. WE WIN….and so will you!


Take Your Fitness Business to the Next Level

If you want to grow your business it’s no secret that you have to keep growing your skill set and that of your team. The skills that got you here will not get you there! It is imperative that we keep learning and progressing as businesses really have only 2 fates - they grow or they die.

When you think about your fitness business there are ample opportunities to keep learning. There is a huge range of education levels within the industry and even more options for certification. Some trainers have advanced degrees, others have no degree at all. Some have multiple certifications and specialties, others have entry-level certification. Wherever you or your team are on this spectrum it’s clear that learning options are limitless.

If you are looking to grow, where should you focus? If you are looking to hire new trainers or instructors what skills should you be looking for? The answer might surprise you! In a recent interview with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said that the #1 Skill Gap is COMMUNICATION. According to Weiner people are lacking interpersonal skills!

LinkedIn conducted a survey of over 4000 professionals across many industries and the results pointed overwhelmingly to the importance of communication even over technical skills. In fitness, technical skills are clearly important. Fitness professionals must know about anatomy, biomechanics, nutrition, recovery, on and on. Each individual we train or serve in our facilities comes with a unique profile and serving up a one size fits all exercise prescription is a recipe for disaster. It’s alluring to look for trainers who have the biggest technical toolbox but if they can’t COMMUNICATE the information clearly to their clients is it really an advantage?

Additionally, it’s important to remember why your members come to your facility, why they stay, and why they leave! Most people coming into a fitness facility for the first time are nervous and uncomfortable. They are not sure what to expect and they are often self-conscious. One of the biggest things that will make them decide to join is whether or not they feel welcome, safe and comfortable on their very first visit. Much of this will come down to the communication they have with you or your staff. Do you take the time to really understand their needs? Do you start rattling off ‘trainer jargon’? Do you try to impress them with your technical knowledge? This may work for a select few but the majority of new members will be turned off as you’ve simply reinforced their greatest fear - they don’t belong!

As you look to grow your team or increase the skillsets of yourself and your existing team, start with communication, not technical skills! Here are some tips to do just that.


Say Hello

If I were looking to hire a trainer or instructor today for my facility the first thing I would do in the interview is ask them to go out and meet 3 new people at the facility. I’d take their resume and certifications and place them neatly on my desk. They are supposed to have that stuff! Then I’d tell them to go out and interact with my members and come back to me and tell me what they’ve learned.

Immediately upon making this request I’d learn a lot about the communication skills of my potential hire. Watch their face when you give them the task - do they look excited or scared? Do they look uncomfortable with this idea or do they embrace it? This reaction will tell you all you need to know about how they will interact with your members after you’ve hired them. If they don’t pass this simple test you have to ask if they are the right fit for your team. Looking to level up your existing team? Give them the same test!


Communication is a 2-way street. You must listen first, then respond. Often times though people confuse hearing with listening. They are not the same thing. Hearing is the reception of sound. Listening is an understanding of what is being said.

Far too often people are not really listening, they are considering what THEY will say next! Like anything else listening is a skill and to become a good listener you have to practice. Nothing makes people feel more comfortable than feeling their concerns and needs are understood. That can only happen through listening. Here are a couple tips to improve listening skills.


  • Be Present - put your phone away and eliminate distractions.
  • Be Empathetic - put yourself in the shoes of the person speaking. For example, remember your first time in the gym!
  • Pick up Key Points - listen for a few key things the speaker said and reiterate them in your reply. For example, I heard you say you’re a new grandparent - congratulations. One of your goals is to have more energy to keep up with your grandson. Is that correct?


One of the best ways to test listening skills with your team is simple role-playing exercises. Be the client and give them a scenario to work with. Not only will you get an idea of how well they listen but you’ll also get a peek at their technical knowledge as well!


Story Time

After you’ve worked on your listening, you have to work on your speaking skills as well. Effective speaking requires you to be clear and concise in getting your message across. Many trainers try to impress clients by using technical words and fancy terms. Know your audience. Often times this type of speak will have just the opposite effect. People won’t be impressed, they’ll be intimidated and will miss your well intended message! Know your audience and don’t over explain! Like most things - keep it simple. If you want to get an idea of the type of communicator someone is, have them tell you a story about their very first client. Give them only 60 seconds to do it and at the end see if you have the full story!


In the business of fitness, we will constantly have to grow our technical knowledge. After all, we are dealing with people’s health and well being. However, if you want to keep them as members for life, really learn to communicate with them which will make them feel comfortable and welcome. That’s why they will stay!

How Often Should I HIIT?

It’s no secret that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is one of the hottest trends in fitness today. According to the American College of Sports Medicine HIIT has been one of the top trends for the past 3 years! In short HIIT training involves shorter bursts of high intensity exercise followed by periods of rest. Participants aim to get their heart rate above 85% of their age predicted max (220-your age) and maintain this for 30-60 seconds. This is followed up by a similar period of rest and the cycle repeats. The theory is that you do more work in less time thereby making your exercise more efficient!

Though plenty of guidelines exist for traditional exercise few are available for HIIT. Recently  education and programming provider Les Mills set out to get some answers. Specifically they wanted to know how much HIIT training should a person do each week and was there a point of diminishing returns - where more exercise does not equal more results. The answer may surprise you.

The CDC,  Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has set the guidelines that healthy adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. For additional benefit adults should increase these amounts to 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 150 minutes of vigorous exercise. Moderate is defined as exercise where ‘your breathing increases but you are not out of breath’ or ‘ you can carry on a conversation but you can’t sing’. In general this correlates to 50-70% of Max HR.  Vigorous exercise is defined as ‘your breathing is deep and rapid’  and ‘you can’t say more than a few words without pausing for breath’. This correlates to 70-85% of Max HR.

Thankfully the Les Mills Study put some real numbers behind HIIT guidelines which are easy to obtain given the prevalence of heart rate monitoring in today’s fitness landscape. According to the Study  the amount of time one should spend performing High Intensity Exercise is just 30-40 minutes per week! For the purposes of the study High Intensity is defined as a heart rate over 90% of Max.  So if 30-40 minutes is optimal, more is better, right? Wrong!

The study went on to find that after 40 minutes of High Intensity Exercise your body may not respond positively. The body may become chronically fatigued and injury prone. This is commonly referred to as overtraining - a condition prevalent among high intensity exercise participants. Essentially the positive effects of exercise are diminished.

The natural question would be, if we are supposed to get 150-300 minutes of exercise per week yet only 30-40 of it should be High Intensity what should we be doing the rest of the time? This is the time we should spend performing, moderate intensity cardio, along with  strength and core training exercises. An additional 3-4 workouts of this variety per week will ensure that you hit the recommended guidelines.

At The Abs Company we believe that Fitness Changes Lives! The facts are undeniable. Understanding the types of exercise what will give us these benefits is the key. Additionally you have to find what works best for you and make sure that you enjoy it!  We’ve been CHANGING LIVES FROM THE CORE for over 20 years and we’d love to help you along your fitness journey as well.

Healthier at Home

I am the classic definition of a road warrior! Last year I traveled 170K air miles and this year I have already hit 75k! I travel all over the world promoting our brand, meeting with customers and exploring fitness trends. It’s a lot of travel but I love what I do! For the next 3 weeks I have no scheduled travel and I have to say it feels good. I get to sleep in my own bed, go to my own gym, not have to eat out! As I was leaving the gym today after a great workout it hit me - I’m healthier at home!

I’m not new to travel  as I’ve been doing it for years. I’ve worked hard to develop good road habits but the change in geography and routine often proves challenging. I’ve lumped my habits in to 3 buckets, Nutrition, Exercise and Sleep. Lets take a look.

Ask any traveler and they will tell you that eating healthy on the road can be difficult. You are often in a new time zone, eating out, and socializing. On top of that planes and airports offer many ways to make bad food choices. Here are a couple tips to keep your nutrition on track while on the road.

  1. Pack HEALTHY SNACKS  for the ride! As you walk through the airport it’s easy to be tempted by all of the quick food options like pizza, candy, burgers etc. On the plane, if you get a meal, its often balanced but it still tends to be high in sodium and fat. On top of this, depending on the time of day, it’s often temping to enjoy a cocktail to relax pre or mid flight. I’ve found that  by bringing healthy snacks like almonds, cheese sticks and buying a large bottle of water after security really helps to keep me on track.
  2. Start with a SALAD. When you are on the road you are often eating out. It’s exciting to try new restaurants and to enjoy the cuisine of where you are. However it’s also easy to indulge. When I am out for lunch or dinner I always start with a salad. The fibrous vegetables fill me up and help to prevent over eating for the rest of the meal. I also am sure to start each morning with a high protein breakfast. This will keep me full longer through the day and prevent snacking opportunities that may present!
  3. Drink WATER. Needless to say drinking water throughout the day is best practice regardless of if you are home or away. However on the road it can be extra important. In the air you tend to get dehydrated so I try to have at least 8 oz of water per one hour flight. Business travel generally also entails socializing where you may be enjoying your favorite wine or cocktail. If your normal routine is to not drink during the week, socializing can throw this off. Make a deal with yourself that after each drink you will have glass of water. You will significantly reduce your alcohol in take and feel much better in the morning. Worried that you will stand out? Ask the bar tender to pour you a club soda and put it in a cocktail glass. No one will know the difference!

For any number of reasons it can be often to keep your exercise routine on the road. However the reality is that it is getting easier and easier.

  1. Workout Facilities. Healthy travelers today are looking for ways so keep fit on the road and as a result more and more hotels are providing excellent workout facilities. If they don’t have one, they often have a reciprocal relationship with a local club. Just this month I was in Phoenix and across the street from my hotel there was a 20k SQ state of the art health club. When I checked in the young lady at the front desk told me I could use it for just $5! I couldn’t wait to go. So if you don't like the facility at your hotel ask if they have such a relationship with an outside club.
  2. Time. Change in time zones and hectic schedules often affect your workout time. This can result in you skipping your workout all together! Don’t stress if you can’t get your full workout in. Commit to at least 20 minutes of training to get the heart pumping and burn some calories. Looking for great ideas on efficient training? See our post on INTERVAL TRAINING.
  3. Explore the City. One of the most exciting parts about travel is seeing the sights! Why not do this while getting in your exercise. Last week I was in Cologne Germany and before work each morning I took a run through the beautiful city. Sure my intensity may have been a bit lower as I was taking in the view but I got my training in! In the mountains? Go for a hike. Many hotels now offer group or guided runs or hikes to show off their beautiful city. Ask, explore, enjoy!

You just check into your hotel after a long journey and the first thing you see is the beautiful, inviting bed. The thick fluffy comforter, the stacks of pillows. Who wouldn’t want to jump in and stay in that bed?! My tip here is simple. Keep your sleep schedule. Try to go to bed at the same time as home and most importantly wake up at the same time! Fight that urge to black out the room and sleep in! This will keep you on track, give you the time to work out and maximize your trip!

Travel is fun, exciting and rewarding. It’s easy to get off track on the road as the opportunities and excuses are plentiful.  Stay healthy by following my tips from the road and you’ll enjoy travel more, be more productive and ease back into your normal routine with ease.

Don't Roll Over

When I started out in the health club business I was a personal trainer. As any trainer will tell you, the hours are less than regular. I had clients at 5AM and 5 PM. You train when your clients are available, not when you want to! All those years of early morning training got me to be an early riser and it’s something I still do to this day. There are many people who will tell you that getting up early is a key to success. I’m not so sure about that because it’s less about the time and more about what you do with it!

When my training days ended I continued to wake up early to do my own exercise. I love to start my day with a workout because I figure that no matter what else happens that day - I’ve done something positive. It works for me! I can tell you however that I’m human too. When the alarm goes off at 5AM there are certainly days I don’t want to get out of bed! It’s warm under the covers and maybe I can just train later! It’s easy to fall into this trap - especially as you are still trying to rub the sleepy’s from your eyes.

However, years ago I made a commitment to myself to not ‘roll over’. I promised myself I would do 2 things when that alarm rings.

  1. Get up and brush my teeth.
  2. Go and do just 10 minutes of my workout.

If after these 2 things are done, I still don't feel like training I’m free to come home and jump right back under the covers. I can tell you that simply getting up and brushing my teeth usually does the trick. Not always - especially here in the northeast where it can still be freezing cold at 5am! However what never fails is that first 10 minutes. The body starts to heat up, the blood is pumping and you remember why you made the commitment in the first place! I can tell you that I’ve never done the first 10 minutes and turned around and went home. Not once!

You may be thinking - that’s great but I like to train at lunch time, or after work. The same rule applies to you. Commit to doing just 10 minutes of your routine. Don’t worry about the rest of it. Just get through that 10. I suspect you will find the same thing that I do. You won’t stop!

What I can promise you is this - regardless of the time you train you will never regret finishing a workout! Too often we lose our motivation because we are thinking about the 30 minutes or the hour of hard work in front of us. Take the pressure off - just do 10 minutes. I suspect the rest will follow!

At The Abs Company we believe in constant improvement! When you take small, consistent steps to improve your health amazing things start to happen. We’d love to take the journey with you. Let us know how we can help!


Post Pregnancy Fitness - Part 2

In the last post I shared some general tips about post pregnancy fitness and getting those pre-baby abs back. Now it’s time to get a bit more specific and take things up a notch to flatten that tummy and strengthen the core.

When it comes to exercise, routines can be as simple or as complex as you like to make them. Personally I believe that exercise should be simple, fun , and efficient to ensure that you will stick with it! Here is a simple core training program of 4 simple moves that you can follow and wont require you to do a single crunch! I call it the Core 4!

Exercise 1

Targets the Transverse Abdominus. The Transverse is a deep abdominal muscle that basically acts like an internal girdle to help pull all of the core muscles in tight. Either standing or lying only the ground simply take a deep breath and draw your navel in toward your spine. As you feel your abs begin to tighten, hold that position for about 10-15 seconds and release. Breathe normally the entire time – don’t hold your breath! Repeat 3-5 times working up toward 10 repetitions.

Exercise 2

Targets the Oblique muscles which are located on the sides of the stomach. Sit on the ground and bend your knees with your heels touching the ground. Lean your upper body back slowly until you feel tension on your abs. If you feel a strain on your low back, sit up straighter. Clasp your hands in front of your chest and slowly rotate side to side moving your hands toward the ground as you twist. Twist all the way to the right and all the way to the left and return to center. That is one repetition. Shoot for 10-12. As you get stronger, lean back further, lift your feet off the ground or hold a light medicine ball for resistance.

Exercise 3

Works the “lower abs”. There really is no such thing as the lower ab but I am referring to that “pooch” area all women want to eliminate. When you work your abs from the bottom up the resistance is closer to the lower portion of your abs and consequently more of the work is being done there. To work from the bottom up lay on your back and bend your knees to a 90 degree angle with your shins parallel to the floor. Slowly roll your hips up ward off the floor bringing your knees toward your chest and return to the starting position. Perform 10-15 slow repetitions.

Exercise 4

The Plank for core stabilization. The plank is a great exercise to strengthen the entire core. Simply lie face down on the floor. Then prop yourself up on your forearms and toes lifting your body off the floor. Gently pull your navel in toward your spine to create a straight back. Maintain normal breathing and try to hold this position for 10 –15 seconds. Add time with each workout until you can hold the plank for 60 seconds.

You will note that these 4 exercises work the entire core through both stabilization and movement. There is a great piece of exercise equipment on the market called the Ab Coaster which allows you to do all of this on one simple machine. The Ab Coaster mimics the hanging leg raise exercise which is considered to be the gold standard in core training because it requires you to stabilize the core while moving through a range of motion. The problem is that most people don’t have the strength to do it. Now they can with the Ab Coaster. Check it out at HERE

The human body is amazing and it will begin to recover from pregnancy within days. Noticeable change will begin to take place 4-6 weeks postpartum provided you are following a sensible eating and exercise plan. The key is to get started and begin to build momentum. Start with a couple days a week and go from there. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect, but takes positive steps daily. Your body and your baby will be glad you did!

Post Pregnancy Fitness - Part 1

It all started about 20 years ago. I was fresh out of school and had just landed my first job as a personal trainer at a local health club. My first client was a young lady in her early 30’s just looking to “get in shape”. There I was, my very first workout, with my very first client on my very first day! I was so excited. About halfway through the workout things were going great, she was working hard, feeling the exercises in all the right places and having a good time. I was so happy. Then it happened – we finished a set of lunges and she turned to me and said “I don’t feel so well” and she ran into the locker room. I felt terrible. Had I pushed her to hard, was the workout not appropriate, what happened? She came out of the locker room looking green and told me she had enough for the day and was going home! I couldn’t believe it – I thought I was so well prepared and I blew it on my very first day. I was so dejected.

That night I went over the workout again and again in my head trying to figure out where I went wrong. After a long night of thoughts racing through my head I finally fell asleep and woke up the next morning to try again with another client. Just as I got to the gym, I got a phone call from yesterdays client and she told me she found out she was PREGNANT! That’s why she had gotten ill the day before during our session. I thought to myself – phew – it wasn’t me after all! Thus began my career as a trainer in which I worked with many female clients both during and after pregnancy.

Working out while you are pregnant is generally very safe and in fact recommended in most cases. Of course it is always best to check with your physician for the proper guidelines. The same is true of post partum fitness routines which will be the focus of this article. Most of the women I have trained or spoken too want to get back in shape quickly after pregnancy and especially want to flatten those ABS! In this article I will share my top 5 tips and then in part 2 we will get more specific about those ABS! So Here we go.

1. Patience

Every client is different and every pregnancy is unique. However the most common concerns post pregnancy are losing that ‘baby weight’ and getting the stomach back in shape. The good news is that both of these concerns are attainable with some patience, dedication, and hard work! It is important to remember that your body went through 9 months of changes and you aren’t going to get it back overnight. It is a time to enjoy your baby first and foremost and then to begin a sensible routine of healthy eating and exercise.

2. Understand What Happened to your Abs

During pregnancy your abdominal muscles (rectucs abdominus) separate. The basic purpose of this to allow the growing fetus to come forward, not backwards which can cause strain on the low back. Though it sounds like a big deal, this is completely normal and in most cases the muscles return to their normal state post partum. This separation is known as diastasis and is generally detectable after about month 5. The problem occurs when the muscles separate too much (generally caused by weak abdominal

muscles) which can lead to low back, pain, sciatica, inflammation etc…. The great news is that this separation begins to close within days after delivery. A sound core training plan will have those abs back in shape before you know it – though you should allow at least 6 weeks for a full recovery.

3. Start Slowly

Generally speaking the best way to tone up post baby is with a routine consisting of cardio vascular exercise, total body strengthening, and proper nutrition. Depending on your pre-pregnancy fitness level and how well you maintained it during pregnancy you should begin with a low to moderate cardio-vascular exercise program (walking, elliptical, swimming) 3-4 days per week for 20-30 minutes. Total body strength training should also be performed using moderate weights and repetitions 2-3 days per week. There are also several “mommy and me” routines available which allow you to tone up while spending quality time with baby!

Speaking specifically about the core it is important to perform exercises that not only strengthen the superficial muscles that you see (rectus abdominus and obliques) but also the deep core muscles such as the transverse abdominus and the low back.

4. Regain Control of your Nutrition

Often during pregnancy women become a bit more lax about their diets. They may have cravings for something salt or sweet and within moderation its generally ok to indulge. It’s never a good idea to restrict calories during pregnancy buy now that you are trying to drop that baby weight its some to get a bit more disciplined. It is always best to check with your physician, a nutritionist, or a registered dietician for the eating plan that is best for you. Generally however, I would recommend a diet that is high in fiber, and rich with whole foods such as fruits and vegetables. The meal plan should also consist of moderate carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle building and be low in fat. There are so many theories out there on nutrition but ultimately we all have to find what works best for us as individuals.

5. Have a Well Rounded Routine

Once you have clearance from your physician to begin exercising its best to start slowly and focus on all components of fitness. Many women want to jump right back into the cardio routine but don’t neglect strength training and flexibility. Start with 3x per week and increase from there.
As mentioned above Cardiovascular exercise should be performed for 20-30 minutes at a moderate intensity. This could include walking, elliptical machines, swimming etc. Basically anything that will moderately increase your heart rate and keep it there for 20-30 minutes. If this is too much in the beginning you can break the 20-30 minutes up into 10 minute segments to reach a total time of 20-30 minutes. As you get in better shape strive for continuous exercise and gradually increase the intensity.

Next perform some basic strength training exercises to tighten and tone the muscles. You can start with basic body weight exercises such as push ups, squats and lunges. Try for 10-15 repetitions for 2-3 sets. A routine might look like this. Start with 10 reps of body weight squats. Rest 30 seconds. Move to the ground and perform 10 push-ups (on your knees is fine to start with). Rest 30 seconds. Perform 10 alternating lunges. This sequence is one set. Rest for about a minute and repeat 2-3 times. Once you can complete this routine 3 days per week you can increase the intensity and complexity of your strength training with the help of a certified personal trainer.

Round out your routine with the Core 4 program described in the next post and some gentle stretching.

Enjoying life with your new baby is one of the greatest experiences in life. However, its also important that you take care of you so you have the strength energy and vitality to keep up with your growing bundle of joy. The tips above will get you stared and in the next article we will get a bit more specific. Now go play with your baby!

Small Space. Big Impact.

Small Space Big Impact

One of the biggest challenges facing the fitness industry is SPACE. One of the single largest fixed costs for a fitness club or studio operator today is rent. Because space is so expensive we have seen a shift in the way many clubs are designed. Every square foot is carefully planned to maximize efficiency and eliminate waste. In fact, this was one of the key drivers to the rise of the Studio Market! Operators figured that if they could eliminate low usage areas and include only those that produce the most profit, it would be a win! They were right! In fact, according to IHRSA, since 2010 boutique studios have become the fastest growing segment of the industry.

Ask any fitness equipment manufacturer what one of the most common objections they hear is and they will tell you “I dont have the SPACE”. However it’s not about the space - it’s about the space for the RIGHT THINGS. If you knew that a piece of equipment or program was what your members wanted, you’d find the space - or they will go somewhere that did!

In the last 5 years or so the industry has also been overtaken by the FUNCTIONAL TRAINING movement. Functional training is supposed to mimic activities of daily living and provide exercisers with the strength and mobility to be more active and productive in their everyday tasks. It’s certainly great exercise, but because of the dynamic nature of functional training, it requires a lot more of that precious SPACE! Examples include Medicine Ball Throws, Tire Flipping, and Battle Ropes. When exercise is done on stationary machines the space requirement is fixed and predictable. Functional training throws all of that out the window and the space needed can be massive.

The payoff can be there, but you have to consider the amount of space you are giving up for one or two people to do one movement. For example, if you have members looking to flip tractor tires - a very popular exercise - you might have to devote 30-40 yards of space to ensure that they can get an effective workout and not endanger your other members who may be using the space for stretching or core work. Battle Ropes can pose the same challenge, requiring 20-30 feet of distance for just the rope! This type of training is certainly EFFECTIVE but from a space perspective it certainly is not EFFICIENT! What’s a club to do?

Fortunately for the industry certain manufacturers, like The Abs Company, recognize this dilemma and are focussed on equipment and programming that addresses these critical issues. In short they are focussed on equipment that requires a SMALL SPACE but makes a BIG IMPACT! Additionally such products solve the three biggest issues surrounding functional training: SPACE, SAFETY and FACILITY DAMAGE.

Exercisers have been flipping tires for decades. This type of training is extremely dynamic and provides users with strength, power and aerobic fitness in one exercise.
It’s one thing if you have the ability to use tires outdoors but when you bring them inside it’s another story. The TireFlip 180 and TireFlip 180XL require a space that is only 5 feet wide and 4 feet long! In less than 20 square feet you can perform all of your Tire Flipping movements! That is a huge space saver! Additionally the anchor points on either side of the unit allow you to perform battle rope or elastic resistance exercises allowing you to set up a 3-4 person circuit training workout in a fraction of the space you would normally need. Finally, the ability to add plate loaded resistance eliminates the need for multiple tires in a facility by giving you a training range of 100-240 lbs !

Another innovation from The Abs Company revolves around the ever popular Battle Rope exercise. Again this dynamic workout is extremely effective but you have to devote 20-30 feet of floor space just for one person to train! The all new Battle Rope ST® solves this issue with its revolutionary design (see inset)

One of the biggest challenges with functional training is safety. The moves are not typical for the average user and without proper instruction, injury can occur. Tire Flipping is no exception with most injuries occurring when the unstable tire starts to roll away from the user. They can get injured as their body ends up in an awkward position trying to regain control. Additionally there is always risk to the unsuspecting exerciser who can have the tire fall or roll on top of them while they are simply lying down to stretch! Again, the TireFlip 180 solves this issue by moving in a defined and fixed path of motion. Safer for both the user and the exercisers around them!

Facility Damage
Finally, many of the functional moves today put the actual facility at risk for damage! When tires are leaned up against a wall or continually flipped onto the floor it can’t help but damage the surfaces, leaving your beautiful facility looking worn! The TireFlip 180 solves this issue because the tire never hits the floor, instead landing on the raised bumpers which also help users get a comfortable grip on the tire for more effective flipping. When members are launching the medicine balls into your walls and onto your floor damage ensues. The Ab Solo allows users to fire the medicine balls into a padded return for a fun safe and effective functional core workout!

It’s no secret that today’s members are looking for something different. They want functional movement and they want an experience. Whether you own a big box club or a boutique studio it’s imperative to find a way to give them what they want while keeping the realities of the business and facility in place. Products that require a SMALL SPACE but make a BIG IMPACT are the answer!

Efficient Equals Effective

Efficient Equals Effective

We recently had an article published in the National Fitness Trade Journal that really highlights our core concepts when designing a successful fitness space.  Take a look at the full article here Efficient Equals Effective


Are You Listening?

Over the weekend I was at a party and was talking with a friend of mine who is in sales in another industry. He was telling about his frustrations from a recent meeting with a prospect. As my friend learned more about the company and their needs he shared with him some possible solutions. The prospect was looking at them and admitted that his customers would benefit from them but kept saying “But I don’t like that.” I could easily see why my friend was frustrated. After all, there is NO I in Customer!

As business owners and managers, the path to victory is actually quite simple. Listen to our customers and solve their problems! If you can solve their problems better than your competitors, you win. The issue is often that we let our own opinions or ego cloud our judgement. We simply aren’t listening. Let’s take a look.

What is listening? To truly listen we must understand the information we are receiving. This is very different from hearing - which is simply the reception of sound! It’s important to also understand that listening is not solely audible. We can listen through our eyes and our observations. It’s no secret that some of our customers are much more vocal than others. They have no problem telling you their opinion, or letting you know about this problem or that one. Often times, because they are vocal, their opinions become magnified and can blow a situation or need out of proportion.

A common example in the health clubs is hearing from a member or even a trainer things like, “EVERYONE is asking for more open space”. “NO-ONE is using the machines any more”. Most times such statements of extreme are a clear indication of bias. Sure there are trends that we need to be aware of but that’s why its important to rely on observation and data. I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years and for the last 10 I’ve been hearing how no-one is using selectorized machines anymore. However data shows that over 40% of members incorporate these machines in every workout! Simply looking around the fitness floor will confirm that they are used regularly by a large portion of the members at any given time.

The other common issue in today’s fitness industry is the bias towards catering to the personal and small group training segments of our membership. Understandably, this is an area clubs want to focus on because there is more revenue per member here. With the proliferation of low price memberships clubs have to make up that revenue from non-dues sources. This is where classes and training really come in. So once again, if we are hearing the business need for increased revenue as opposed to listening to the data, we could make short term decisions that can negatively affect the long term result. The data tells us that the average club has training penetration rate of 8-12%. That means that only 8-12% of the membership uses training services. Or that 88-92% DO NOT! So should your club offerings ignore these members? I hope not. If you keep this segment of the membership happy and successful, they keep coming back. If they keep coming back you have a greater opportunity to turn them in to training clients!

Finally lets take a look at what YOU like. We all have our biases toward things that we personally like, or things that work for us. Often times part of our job is to use our expertise to help guide the direction of the club. However, we are not everyone. We can can't pick only what we like, as we may be at a very different place in our fitness journey. If we are going to be in charge of equipment selection and programming for a club that has thousands of members then we have to try and think like thousands of members. It’s never wise to try and be everything to everyone, but if you are opening the doors to all, then they all need to be considered. You have to put yourself in the shoes of the new member, the scared member, the intimidated, not just the super fit and lifelong exerciser!

Remember, the beginner only becomes the intermediate and the advanced if they stick with the program and make fitness a permeant part of their lives.

At The Abs Company we believe that FITNESS CHANGES LIVES. I’m sure that you believe the same thing or you wouldn’t be so passionate about the industry. To truly change a life we have to meet people where they are and then guide them along the path. It’s not about US - It’s about THEM and if we take the time to really listen we can help them WIN. In turn we will also.

We have a complete selection of core based functional training equipment to server your members wherever they are in the fitness journey. We are LISTENING and here to help. Just ask!



You can’t read an article about fitness today without seeing something about HIIT training. What is it? Is it good for you? Do you have to do it? Lets take a look.

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. Basically it’s the concept that you do shorter periods of work but at a much higher intensity. Then you rest and repeat. There are several protocols to choose from but some common ones include 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest, 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest (Tabata Style Training) or 60 seconds of work with 60 seconds of rest. You get the idea. The typical HIIT workout lasts about 30 minutes. The key is that your work periods are at a higher intensity than if you were to just sustain exercise for 45-60 minutes.

HIIT Training – though surging in popularity is not new. It’s been around since the 70’s and has been used by elite athletes for decades. Like many things in fitness, the concept is being recycled with the growing popularity of Cross Fit, Bootcamps, and Small Group Training. The benefits of HIIT Training are real and when compared to longer steady state exercise include:

  1. Shorter, more efficient workouts.
  2. Improved Cardio Vascular Fitness.
  3. 2X Increased VO2 Max (Cardio Vascular Capacity)
  4. Decreased Insulin Resistance which significantly aids in weight loss.
  5. Increased Body Fat Oxidation
  6. Increased Cognitive Function.

Sounds pretty good right?! So the conclusion many fitness experts are coming to is that everyone should be doing HIIT Training. But should they? The benefits are undeniable but there are risks to be considered as well.

Beginners or people just returning to exercise have shown an increased risk of coronary events (heart attack or stroke) due to high intensity exercise. There is also increased risk of musculoskeletal injury due to the intensity of the exercise. All exercisers, new and experienced, should receive physicians approval prior to beginning a HIIT protocol – or any exercise routine for that matter.

One of the factors that is not spoken about often enough is the enjoyment of the exercise. Studies tell us that if we are to achieve long term adherence to any exercise program then we have to enjoy it. One of the risks of HIIT Training is that, due to the difficulty of the training and the discomfort experienced by many exercisers, they just don’t enjoy it. In general most people simply don’t want to work that hard and many beginners who start a HIIT Training routine too soon, simply quit.

So the best recommendations seem to be this: Develop a baseline fitness level and exercise routine. This would include 3-5 sessions per week of 30-60 minutes doing activities you enjoy. Yes it’s important that you elevate your heart rate and include all components of fitness (Strength, Cardio, and Flexibility) but the key in the beginning is to establish routine. It’s easier to do this with activities you enjoy!

Once you have done this and exercise is becoming a regular part of your life, start with one HIIT Session a week. Work up to 2-3. Keep in mind that due to the increased intensity of the work, your recovery time increases as well. Make sure you give your body adequate time to rest in between HIIT workouts (generally 48 hours). Employ some active rest – lower intensity workouts and some actual rest – no workouts!

In a later post we will discuss some of the common HIIT Protocols but for now keep it as a PART of your fitness routine. At The Abs Company we believe that Fitness Changes Lives. It will only change your life if you do it! So find what you enjoy, make it a habit and then experiment with different types of exercise and training routines. Remember – there is no BEST way to train. We are all different, physically and mentally, so you have to find what works for you. We are here to help….. just ask!

Fast Weight Loss?

Intermittent Fasting

This time of year people around the world make resolutions for improvements in their life. Not surprisingly the number one resolution year after year is to lose weight. Studies show that over 24% of New Year’s Resolutions revolve around weight loss. It’s well documented that what we really want is FAT loss which is where the true benefits lie. For the purposes of this article, let us agree on that simple point.

The greater debate revolves around the best way to achieve this fat loss. Some people will tell you it’s exercise as simple as walking. Others will tell you about interval or high intensity training. Many experts will tell you that nutrition is the key and there is no shortage of new diets and diet advice coming out all the time. The reality is that the best recipe for long term health is the combination of diet and exercise. Diet alone doesn’t strengthen your muscles and bones. Exercise doesn't provide your body with the nutrients necessary for health and energy. Therefore it’s obvious that the combination of the two is best.

In this article we will focus on the nutrition side of the equation and the popular topic of Intermittent Fasting. If you are not familiar with the term it simply refers to a pattern of eating that involves periods of feeding and periods of fasting. It is much more about WHEN you eat, not WHAT you eat. It’s not a new concept as humans have been fasting since the dawn of creation. At that time it was often out of necessity because there simply wasn’t food to eat as readily as it is today.

Intermittent Fasting has been studied for years and the benefits are numerable and undeniable. Here are a few key benefits:

  • Increase in Growth Hormone up to 5x. This is beneficial for both fat loss and muscle gain.
  • Decrease in Insulin levels. When insulin is lower the stores of body fat become more accessible for energy. The less times you eat, the less insulin in your system.
  • Fat Loss - because you are taking in less calories your body starts to burn fat. On average people have seen decreases of up to 8%.
  • Increased Metabolism - studies have shown increases of up to 15%
  • Reduced Inflammation - Inflammation is a key driver of many Chronic Diseases.
  • Reduced Risk of Heart Disease - Studies show as reduction in LDL (bad) Cholesterol and Triglycerides.
  • Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers
  • Improved Brain Health by increasing certain brain hormones. This may be beneficial in the prevention of Alzheimers Disease

That list of potential benefits is powerful but keep in mind that research is constantly evolving so there will be more evidence to come as the studies become longer and more detailed in Intermittent Fasting. The bottom line is that the benefits come from the reduction in calories. If you eat massive amounts of food during you feeding periods you may not see the benefits. At the end of the day there is still no getting around the simple equation of calories in vs calories out. If you are burning more than you are taking in you lose weight - period.

So if the benefits of Intermittent Fasting sound good, the next question is HOW do you do it? Keep in mind that before starting any new diet or exercise program you should consult with your physician to be sure its appropriate for you. That being said, here are a few of the common protocols.

16/8 Method:

This is the most common protocol for Intermittent Fasting and where it is recommended that most people start. Simply you are eating only 8 hours during the day and fasting for 16. For example If you have your first meal at noon then you would have your last meal by 8PM. If you can’t wait til noon and have your first meal at 10am then your last would be at 6PM. In general you would eat 2-3x during this 8 hour period. You can drink non caloric drinks at any point in the day and this will often satisfy feelings of hunger.

24 Hour Fast.

This approach is a bit more demanding but very effective. As it sounds you are taking complete 24 hours periods where you don’t eat anything at all. So if your last meal is at 8PM on Monday, you don’t eat again until 8PM on Tuesday. It’s challenging to go for this long at first with no food but you do get used to it. Again - non caloric liquids are recommended. The 24 hour fast is particularly beneficial if you know you are going out socially and don’t want to watch your diet at the event. For example if you know you have a party Saturday Night then make your last meal Friday Night so that you can indulge a bit more at the party.

Warrior Diet

This plan has been around since the late 90’s and basically allows for a 4 hour feeding period and 20 hours of fasting. Typically you are eating one large meal each day and perhaps a few small snacks if needed during the 4 hour period. Typically the meal is at the end of the day. The upside of this is that you are typically taking your 1500 -2000 calories in one meal so you have a bit more latitude on what you are eating. In general it should be healthy but but you can binge a bit more here on carbs and possibly even a sweet.


There are several more methods of Intermittent Fasting available but the key is that you maintain the periods of eating and fasting. The results are real, both from a fat loss and health perspective. If you think it sounds like something for you give it a shot. Research more and then start with 1-2 days per week on the protocol that fits you and see what you think. There is a little discomfort at first but that is true with any area of improvement. I suspect however that it could become a new way of life for you!

WHY this year will be different

WHY this year will be different...

This time of year there is no shortage of articles around goal setting, motivation, and resolutions. It’s no secret that people who have a plan of action on how to actually achieve the goal they set have a better chance of success than those who don’t. This is true in finance, personal development and of course fitness!

Most people set a blanket goal and leave it at that. “I’m going to get in shape this year.” “I’m going to eat healthy.” These general statements, though well intentioned, give no clear path to success. Those willing to go a bit further and THINK about how they will accomplish these goals not only make the goal more specific but put some daily action steps behind them. For instance they may say “I’m going to get in shape this year and lose 10 pounds by exercising for 30 minutes per day and by bringing a healthy lunch to work each day”. You can clearly see how person 2 will have a greater chance of success. They have some actionable, measurable steps and a definition of what success actually looks like.

When you look at the study of goal achievement however, one thing stands above the rest when it comes to success. That one thing is figuring out the WHY. WHY do you want to accomplish this goal? What is the true motivation? If you can really dig deep and find the WHY, the HOW becomes very clear and you will not lack the motivation to put in the work.

Let’s take our person above who started out just wanting to ‘get in shape’. Then they progressed and made the goal measurable and actionable. They are going to lose 10 pounds by exercising for 30 minutes per day and by bringing a healthy lunch to work each day. Now lets add the WHY. At first they may say they want to feel better. Perhaps they want to look better. Two good reasons but generally they will fade quickly. However, what if they said they wanted to accomplish this goal because they just became a grandparent and want to have the energy and vitality to keep up with their new grandson? That’s a powerful why!

The more powerful your WHY, the more likely you will be able to overcome the feelings of doubt that may set in while trying to achieve your goal. When laziness or procrastination rear their heads, you will remember your why and cast them aside. WHY is an extremely powerful force and one that can help you to crush your goals!

So think about the goals you set for yourself this year. Go back and attach a WHY, and then a HOW. This simple formula will start you down the path:

This year I want to XXXXXXXX.

WHY I want to accomplish this:

HOW I will accomplish this: (List 3 steps)

Once you achieve your goal, go back and do this again for your next goal. The momentum you will create will make you unstoppable! Best of luck and let’s make 2018 the year you truly change your life from the core!


Lifecycle of a Member - Part 3


This is the third and final blog post in our series about the “Life Cycle of a Member.” As we know, our clients and customers do not join the gym or the studio at the same fitness level as everyone else. It is important to appeal to members who are at the beginning of their “life cycle” in fitness - with equipment they can master and succeed with, such as selectorized machines, treadmills, and Ab equipment. After they achieve some level of success from the beginner level, you can take them through the “life cycle” to more advanced training.

Certainly the holy grail in fitness today is non-dues revenue. With the proliferation of low priced high volume clubs, owners need to find ways to generate additional and ongoing revenue to achieve profitability. But how do you induce the member who joined your club for $10-20 to now spend $50, $75, $100 or more per month? Take your offerings up a notch! Gone are the days where a person will shell out $50+ per hour to have a trainer stand next to them while walking on the treadmill or count to 10 as they exercise. Trainers and training programs need to provide a “wow” experience to justify the investment. Most importantly they need to deliver RESULTS. This is where cross training, high intensity and functional training become critical. At some point, even the beginner, who starts at the lowest level in the life cycle of training, will be interested in pursuing these more intense programs.

Along this same line of thought, there are other ways to keep members interested and engaged at your facility. It is important that facilities offer unique equipment and expertise that is special and unique, and not easily accessible to members on their own. Many such products exist today including the TireFlip 180, Battle Rope ST, Woodway Curve and Vicore TerraCore. These items deliver that WOW factor and truly stand out in the facility. Getting a good workout on products like these are things members talk about, things that keep them coming back for more. Just type one of them into your social media platform to see what I mean! How cool is it to see your member posting about the awesome workout they had on the latest piece of equipment YOU offered them? That is the best kind of “advertising” -- it’s real and you don’t need to pay for it!

If we are to reach our goal of operating profitable facilities while helping as many people as possible to achieve their fitness goals, then we need to think about ALL our members and prospects when designing our clubs and ordering equipment. Let’s not rush to eliminate this thing or that just because it’s hot and exciting right now - just because it’s what WE would use or the trainer said so. Think like your customer -- whether the beginner, the moderate exerciser, or the elite -- Let’s keep the entire “lifecycle” of the member in mind -- and make sure we accommodate them all.

Health truly is our greatest asset. As fitness professionals, facility owners, and equipment manufacturers we can work together and make a difference in people’s lives!

Life Cycle of a Member - Part 2


This is the second blog post in our series about the “Life Cycle of a Member.” As we know, our clients and customers do not join the gym or the studio at the same fitness level as everyone else. There are a myriad of levels, and our job is to help clients succeed at every level.

Most fitness professionals get into the business because of a desire to help others. We want to help others succeed, to feel better about themselves, and to help them improve their most valuable possession - their health. However, if we truly want to accomplish this goal, we must think not only about the fitness enthusiasts but also beginners. For example, beginners are typically intimidated by the latest and greatest high intensity program. Beginners will hopefully grow to appreciate these programs later in their “life cycle” as a member, but that appreciation typically occurs much later in the process.

Unfortunately for beginners, the growing trend in gyms today is LESS equipment and more open floor space for functional movement. There is no denying this type of space is important but it’s also fair to say it doesn’t serve everyone at every stage of their cycle as a member.

Think again about the beginner. Many are not confident when they join a gym or studio. They overcome fears and insecurities and muster up the courage just to step into your facility. Their feeling of intimidation is real. You try to make them feel at ease, ask them a bit about their goals and most likely you hear the common answers. They want more energy. They want to feel better. They want to look better. They want to do something about ‘this area’ (patting their belly!).

At this point the enthusiastic trainer or salesperson tells them about all of the great offerings in the club from nutrition, to functional and cardio and cross training programs. They take the prospect over to the ‘turf’ area and see the “expert” members jumping around, hoisting kettle bells and launching medicine balls. Whoa! How does a beginner feel when they see these sophisticated movements? Do they feel like they could do that too? Perhaps. But most likely this beginner sees something they don’t feel they could be successful doing, and their feelings of fear and insecurity come rushing in. Have we increased the likeliness that they will join our club or studio? Quite the opposite. The beginner can feel intimidated and overwhelmed by the prospect of doing all these types of activities that they feel are “beyond them.”

What if instead this same member was taken to an area where there were selectorized machines. Just select a comfortable weight, sit down and push. Or walk on a common treadmill and push START. Or visit the ABS area where they could try a user friendly machine that helps them work ‘this area’ (see above). How are they feeling now? Encouraged. Empowered. Like they could be successful and fit in here. Have we increased the chances of them joining? You tell me.

Now we have a member who can WIN in our facility. We have areas where they can come to the club and be successful. When we have a member who is successful and fits in, guess what else we have? A member who keeps coming back! A member who truly becomes part of our ‘club’. After a member truly feels he or she belongs, then we can introduce them to all the other incredible things inside the facility. Offer them other services, ranging from classes, to group and personal training. Some people may be ready for this from day one but clearly not the majority as evidenced by the fact that PT penetration rates in clubs struggle to top 12%.

We will finish up our discussion about the “Life Cycle of a member” in our next blog post, so stay tuned!

Life Cycle of a Member - Part 1


The Abs Company founders have a combined 40+ years of experience in the fitness business as personal trainers, health club owners and exercise product developers.  Our experience has helped us to see how a typical health club member or personal training client changes over time as they use our services and gain better health.  We call it the “life cycle of a member,” and we believe it is important to keep this concept in mind when building or designing a gym or personal fitness studio, and especially when purchasing exercise equipment.  We will explain this concept over a series of blog posts, and this is part 1 of the series.

As fitness professionals, we love to work out. We love going into a new club for the first time and seeing what they have to offer.  We love attending industry events to check out the latest offerings, and we’re guessing by the fact that you’re reading this blog that you feel the same way!  We are fitness geeks and we love it.

Unfortunately, most of your members and prospects do not feel the same way. Sure there are the hard-core fitness enthusiasts that share our passion -- the passion of a committed professional -- but many of your members are stepping into your club for the first time in a long time - or ever!  What are they feeling?  What are they looking for? How often do you stop and think about their experience and what it is like for them when they arrive at your club?  As an experienced fitness professional, sometimes it’s not easy to remember what it’s like to be a beginner.   But it is important to try to recapture this feeling so that we can better understand what our clients and customers are going through when they come to our facility.

Most likely these members are nervous, intimidated, or feeling uncomfortable.  They are probably unfamiliar with fitness and training.  It might be hard for us to understand this kind of cautious feeling, because we love fitness so much.  But surely everyone knows how it feels to be in an uncomfortable situation.  It’s something you tend to avoid, and you are not enthused about repeating it!

These are very real feelings and when it comes to our appearance or physical ability, these feelings tend to become magnified.  It’s personal, not business.  And when it’s personal, it becomes emotional.  It’s no wonder that the majority of people don’t exercise and certainly no surprise that over 50% of those who do start, tend to quit in under 6 months.

If we can get new members to overcome the problems that so many of them face when first joining a club or studio, we are sure these dismal statistics can be reversed. Our goal is to keep members coming back for more, and to find continuous success and good health by using our services.  More on how to do this in our next blog post - Stay tuned!

What About Me?

Imagine that you’ve decided that this is going to be your time to finally take charge of your health. You’re going to drop those pounds and get your energy back. You’re going to trade in your old habits for healthy ones. This is going to be your year!

You’re not sure where to begin so you decide to check out your local health club. Surely they will have what you need and you’ll be on your way. You muster up the courage and head down to the club to start your new life! When you walk in the door you’re nervous as you’re really not sure what to expect but you are hoping the club staff will show you the way!

After a short discussion about your goals the well intentioned staff member takes you over to the turfed are and you see things going on that you’ve only ever seen on TV! High energy, fit bodies are jumping, sprinting, hoisting weights and launching medicine balls. This, they tell you, is the path to fitness. Its called Small Group Training. As fun as it looks and as fit as the participants are, you cant help but ask yourself…. Can I do that? Am I ready for this? What about me??

This is the exact experience many of health club members face when they first decide to join a club. Sure the training methods of today will get you fit – perhaps more fit than you’ve ever been. However you have to stay in the game long enough to realize those results! The problem – as the industry data confirms – is the the High Intensity Training methods that are so popular today, often turn people off from exercise after they have tried it. The reason is obvious. Most people don’t want to work that hard and most people do not want to experience the discomfort that this type of training subjects them to.

In business its important to meet people where they are and then show them the path to where they want to be! If you jump right to the end, the majority of people just wont be ready. And even if you convince them to start, most wont finish. It’s no surprise that still today 50% of new members will quit within 6 months of starting a fitness program!

At The Abs Company we believe in the Lifecyle of a Member! This simple concept has guided our innovations for the past 10 years. We have equipment that will appeal to the beginner as well as the advanced exerciser. The facts are indisputable that the majority of people don’t exercise – period. The true path to success in the fitness industry is going after this group – not the hard core dedicated exercisers that will show up no matter what. If you can convert the non-exerciser to a lifelong fitness enthusiast not only do you help them change their life, but your business thrives as well! A win win. Lets get together and talk about how we can help you Change Lives from the Core!

The Abs Company Top Ten Nutrition Tips

Have you heard the saying that Abs are made in the kitchen not the gym? Here at The Abs Company we certainly believe there is truth in this statement. Of course we always stress the importance of training variety for maximum results. This is the reason we offer many types of Ab and Core training solutions – to keep those muscles guessing and improving.  You can check some of those out here!

We believe in getting as much out of our nutrition as possible from whole foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be the staple of any healthy diet and are key to staying lean so you can have that flat, strong and sexy waistline you desire.



Research shows they do not raise cholesterol and are the bodies most absorbable form of protein. Strive for 7 per week.


Foods like blueberries and eggplant contain anthocyanins. These are antioxidants that battle inflammation.


It contains oleocanthal which fights everything from Alzheimer’s to certain cancers. Olive oil has also been shown to fight the risk of heart disease.


People who eat 2/3 of a cup per day can lower their LDL (bad) cholesterol by 5 percent. Peas, beans, and lentils are great sources.


They are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids. Eat 2/3 of a cup per day.


Try for 30 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber at each meal.


A cup of green tea at breakfast will help you avoid an energy crash later.


If you’re looking to build muscle, lean cuts of beef, white meat chicken and eggs are great choices.


They are your best guard against heart disease and hypertension. Foods like whole grains, pistachios and beets make the grade.


Due to their high flavonoid content they burn more fat, reduce fat absorption and boost energy.

For more tips like this, or information on core and functional training solutions

Do Supplements Matter?

We’ve all heard the adage that Abs are made in the kitchen not the gym. Here at The Abs Company we certainly believe there is truth in this statement though we also strongly believe in training variety for maximum results. This is the reason we offer many types of Ab and Core training machines – to keep those muscles guessing and improving. More on this in future posts.

When it comes the the nutrition side of things one of the hottest topics is, by far, supplementation. People ask me all the time – should I be taking supplements and if so what should I be taking?

I am a firm believer in getting as much of our nutrition as possible from whole foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be the staple of any healthy diet and are key to staying lean so you can have that flat, strong and sexy waistline you desire. However, it’s also no secret that our foods today don’t contain the nutrients they once did so I also believe there is a place for supplements in the typical western diet.

When people ask me what they should be taking, I keep the list very short. I know there are tons of choices on the market but I think



A daily multi will fill many of the holes left by the typical diet. Especially important are adequate levels of Vitamin D. This is perhaps the area most people are most deficient and it can lead to many of the ailments we commonly see including osteoporosis, high blood pressure and certain cancers. New research is even showing promise in aiding in weight loss for those that are Vitamin D deficient. The common recommendation is 400IU per day though most research today shows that intake of up to 1000IU can be especially beneficial.


Throughout time there have been many recommendations as to how much protein we need. They have varied from .5 grams per pound of body weight all the way up to 1.5 grams per pound. For the average person I like to recommend 1 gram per pound of body weight. This level of protein intake will ensure adequate amounts to maintain and increase lean muscle which is the key to fat loss. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat so the more muscle you have, the higher your natural metabolism will be. However, taking in this amount of protein without supplementation can often be difficult especially for those leading very busy lifestyles. I find that adding one shake per day containing 25-35 Grams of Protein (I prefer Whey) will dramatically help most people reach the desired levels.


Creatine is an organic acid that occurs naturally in the body.It is our body’s main source for explosive energy – up to about 10 seconds of work. Moreover it has a vasodilatory affect on the blood vessels – helping them to dilate and increase blood flow to working muscles. Sure the body will naturally replenish the stores of creatine but this takes time and thats where supplementation can assist. By saturating the muscles with ‘extra’ creatine, the stores will stay high allowing you to work harder longer. For anyone that trains, and that should be everyone looking to achieve that lean waistline – this is a huge benefit. There are several types of creatine on the market but most of the positive research has been done using creatine monohydrate. Typically a dose of 5 grams per day is sufficient for most people and the loading phase is not necessary, especially for people looking to use the supplement long term. There has not been research showing that cycling your use of creatine (starting and stopping intake) is more beneficial than regular supplementation.

There you have it – 3 supplements to aid in your quest for a strong, flat and defined midsection, and more importantly your long term health!

The Abs Company Joins Association of Fitness Studios


The Abs Company – Latest Industry Leader to Join AFS

(OAKLAND, CA, CHESTER, NJ, February 17, 2017) – The Association of Fitness Studios (AFS) today proudly announced and welcomed the addition of The Abs Company to its membership and sponsorship ranks.

One of the fitness industry’s most identifiable brands, The Abs Company makes high quality, innovative commercial abdominal and functional training exercise equipment focused on the development of core strength. Abs Company products include brands such as Ab Coaster, TireFlip 180, Ab Solo, X3S Bench, and the Abs Bench and are used in over 10,000 commercial fitness centers and in millions of homes in 40+ countries worldwide.

“We at AFS couldn’t be happier to welcome The Abs Company into our Community,” said Josh Leve, AFS founder and CEO. “Any time an industry leader like The Abs Company sees value in what we’re doing, it’s both humbling and energizing. We look forward to working hard to earn and reward their support.”

The Abs Company is committed to making exciting, unique equipment for all levels of fitness training, from beginner to elite, to keep members and clients excited and coming back for more. The Abs Company also assists studios and health clubs in the design and layout of space dedicated exclusively to core training, one of the primary reasons why people join a fitness facility. This is especially important in the studio space where revenue per square foot is a high priority.

“We fully understand the studio space and we’re impressed with AFS and the benefits they provide to the industry,” said Sean Gagnon, President of The Abs Company. “We look forward to working with Josh and his team to enhance the profitability of studio owners throughout the world.”

Industry research has shown that innovative Ab and functional core training equipment is a powerful marketing tool for studios and health clubs, helping facilities attract and retain clients. Core training is important at every level of fitness, and The Abs Company makes a range of products to keep members engaged as they move from beginner to advanced, a concept they call The Lifecycle of a Member.

Gagnon went on to say, “Studios and clubs are focused on adding equipment that people want to use. It’s not about having space, but about having space for the right things. Ab machines are a key part of that attraction. Our Core Based Functional products complete the story.”

More information on The Abs Company can be found at

About AFS

The Association of Fitness Studios (AFS) is the only membership community dedicated solely to the business of fitness studios. AFS provides studio owners and developers a wide array of business-specific products, services, and benefits that enable them to more effectively manage and grow their businesses, building on the passion, compassion and courage they’ve already shown.

What Super Bowl 51 Can Teach You About Your Fitness Routine

This past Sunday we witnessed what will perhaps go down as the greatest Super Bowl of all time! Going into the game the stakes couldn’t have been higher. Not only was the world championship on the line but a win for the favored Patriots would make Coach Belichick and QB Tom Brady the winningest tandem of all time!

It wasn’t going to be easy though. The Atlanta Falcons were coming off a 11-5 season and their QB Matt Ryan was the NFL MVP! They were coming to play!! Right from the opening drive they showed that and by halftime they were leading 21-3. With 8 minutes remaining in the 3rd Quarter they extended their lead to 25 – 28-3! Most thought the game was over and New England had no chance for victory. In fact, no team had ever overcome more than a 10 point deficit in the SuperBowl.

So what does all of this have to do with fitness? After the game there were countless interviews of all of the players and coaches who all recounted the night’s events. When you boil all the comments down, 3 themes emerged and it is these themes that you can apply to your fitness goals to get the results you are after.

1. Evaluate and Adjust:

When the Patriots found themselves down by 25 they had to change their approach or they were going to lose! They changed their play selection, protections, coverages etc. When you are pursuing a fitness goal you must do the same. Look at what you are doing and objectively evaluate whether or not it’s working. If you aren’t getting the results you are after, make some adjustments. If you always do steady state cardio, try intervals. If you always lift free weights, try machines or body weight. If you always eat 5 meals a day, try intermittent fasting. Just like with the Patriots, small adjustments can make a BIG difference.

2. Focus on the Details:

Anyone successful will tell you that one of the biggest keys is to consistently do the little things well. It’s not about the big moves and there is no secret recipe. It’s the consistent execution of the small details that will lead to success. At the end of the game they asked Coach Belichick how they did it and he said “We just kept grinding it out!” The same is true of your fitness routine. There is no secret. Stay consistent. If you plan to work out 3x per week then do it. If you need to stretch daily to improve your flexibility – do it! If you commit to not eating past 7pm – do it. Whatever your commitments are to your fitness goals, consistently honor them and you will see results – period!

3. Never Give Up:

When you are starting out on your fitness journey the end result can seem so far away! You may be doing well for a while and then you hit a setback, you get injured, or you just plain fall off the wagon. It happens. You will also hit plateaus and feel like you will never get there. Good news – You will if you just keep going! One thing is for certain, if you give up, you’ll never reach your goals!

As the game got more and more out of hand many people stopped paying attention or flat turned it off. However, those that stuck it out were treated to one of the most improbable comebacks they will ever see. It was indeed the greatest comeback of all time. However, when you break it down, the recipe for success really wasn’t that difficult! Adjust, Focus on the Details, and Never Give Up! Apply these same principles to your fitness goals and you too will come away with the victory!

Click HERE to learn more

Get To Know MMA Champion Claudia Gadelha

1. What motivated you to get started in mixed martial arts?
I came from humble beginnings – I was very poor with few opportunities in Brazil, and no future. I discovered BJJ, and saw that if I dedicated myself to BJJ training and the philosophy of BJJ as well, that it could totally change my life for the better…and it did.

2. What are your interests outside of fighting and the martial arts?
Other than fighting, I enjoy planning and talking business for my career, and MMA Gym ventures. I like going to the beach and skateboarding. I like to always keep my body and my mind in motion.

3. What is your normal workout routine and your routine before a fight?
I train 6 days per week, with 2-3 sessions per day. The training intensity goes up a lot in Fight Camp, with 3 hard sessions per day.

4. What is it your favorite way to train?
My favorite thing to do to train is Jiu Jitsu. I love it.

5. How much cardio versus weight lifting?
I tend to do 75 percent cardio, and 25 percent strength training.

6. What is your eating regimen normally and before a fight?
I eat every 3 hours all year round. I try to eat clean, but definitely indulge in some chocolate…in moderation of course. However when fight camp starts I eat totally clean and healthy with no “junk” at all.

7. What’s your favorite exercise or routine?
My favorite non-fight training exercise is running – outside for sure!

8. What keeps you motivated to workout?
I love to workout! It makes me feel so good during and after. I really feel satisfied after a good workout..and have that great feeling of accomplishment when I’m done.

9. What are the best exercises to tone your abs? What type of equipment do you like to use?
I like to use the X3S to work my abs. I only do X3S type of movements for my ab training.

10. What is the best piece of advice you can give to a person trying to get in shape?
Start small but START. Do a little more today than you did yesterday. Be consistent and Stay Motivated. Believe in yourself and stay very committed! Follow your dreams..and you will make it there!

Detox to Lose Body Fat

The tummy area is always a tough spot when it comes to weight loss and it sometimes needs a little help to give it the kick it needs to become tight and toned. There are many methods out there that are natural boosters to losing the belly fat. Using detox methods flushes the body of what it doesn’t need and more times than not, helps to improve the body’s normal functions to make a job like digesting food “supersized”. Here are 5 detox ideas that can help to burn belly fat.

1. Detox Water – This water goes by many names, from detox water to weight loss water as well as fruit infused water. The ingredients can be changed to focus on other areas of health that you would desire, but for belly fat, the best formula to use is cucumber, lemon, and mint. Combining these ingredients in water pulls the antioxidant from the fruits and herbs into the water for faster absorption into the body. The fruits boost the metabolism and flush the body of toxins; and water is a gut buster, as well as the most important fluid you will ever need for detoxing the body. The detox water is not limited to just cucumber and lemon, but this is the one that is popular for belly fat.

There is also the orange, strawberry and mint mixture. To make the water just add a few mint leaves, a handful of fruit slices like strawberry or a medium cucumber and lemon or orange slices, making sure to use the whole fruit. Add all these ingredients to a pitcher of water and let it sit for about 12 hours or overnight before drinking. Keep this in the refrigerator for the best results.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar – This method has been hailed from the east to western hemisphere as the ultimate fat burner and it gets this attention because it actually does work. With the combination of lemon juice and cayenne pepper, it aids in better digestion and cuts fat – especially stubborn belly fat. The mixture of the lemon juice and cayenne is optional though, and if you prefer just the apple cider vinegar it works well by itself. The vinegar has an acid called acetic acid that can supress the appetite and also aids in digestion, cuts water retention and burns belly fat.

3. Green Tea – This tea can be used to incorporate into smoothies or just to drink by itself, whether hot or cold. Green tea is packed with many vitamins minerals and antioxidants as well as polyphenols that give the body nutrients, flush the digestive tract, and boost the metabolism and immune system to fight infection. There are many recipes that incorporate green tea, but it can be had by itself as just tea. For better results, it is best not to add any artificial sweeteners as this reduces the effects the tea will have.

4. Ginger – This is a root that many use to enhance food flavors, but it can be used as a detox to flush the body of toxins, cut sugar cravings, and burn body fat. Ginger can be enjoyed as tea or infused in water with other fruit and herbs, like cinnamon, to pull its properties into the water.

5. Plain Water – All the previously mentioned methods are great and do work, but many overlook the benefits of drinking just plain water. Having a glass of water half hour before eating, when waking up and before going to bed has shown a drastic improvement in weight loss particularly in the belly region.

It goes without saying that exercise is very important to help these methods work even better. Although they are great stand-alone methods, exercise is a great way to naturally burn the body fat and propel the fat-burning process. What detoxing will help to do is prepare the body for shedding of fats. Combine that with exercise to help the pounds roll off.

The Abs Company core and functional training equipment can help with that! We’d love to help you design the perfect core and functional training space for your home gym or fitness facility. It’s what we do!

TIREd of your training routine?

We all have, at some time or another, decided to make our way down the path of exercising but seem to hit a block when it comes to really targeting the tummy area. At times it seems like all the cardio and ab exercising just doesn’t seem to be working and you are at a loss as to why you are not getting the desired effect. One important thing to remember is that the body – especially the tummy – is built in the kitchen too, not solely in the gym. The right diet is imperative, in addition to exercise, to really getting the flat tummy you always wanted. Here are some simple diet tips that will be extremely helpful to help burn belly fat.

Eat all natural foods – the body does give out what you put in it and eating highly processed foods can slow the body down. Processed foods give the organs a more difficult job because the body has to work twice as hard to break down the compounds in these foods. In general stick to foods that are as close to their original source as possible.
Eating More Protein – Protein is one of the most important foods needed to help in losing weight. In addition to helping to replace damaged cells in the body, protein is also responsible for cutting down your appetite as well as boosting metabolism. The other great benefit of eating protein for weight loss and especially stomach fat is that proteins like fish are filled with omega three fatty acids which boost metabolism. Studies have shown that for the average person 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is sufficient. This equates to roughly 30% of your daily caloric intake.
Cutting out sugars – Sugars in the diet are very unhealthy for the body and hinder the burning of belly fat. Sugary drinks like sodas and artificially sweet drinks have glucose and fructose components to them and this actually slows down the body’s metabolism. In essence, adding sugar to the diet actually helps to increase belly fat! The liver is also susceptible to damage from the overworkit gets from breaking down sugars for the body’s use.
Cutting out Carbs – Similar to sugars, carbohydrates break down to a sugar and as mentioned earlier added sugar may cause belly fat. Reducing Carb intake will cause the body to more efficiently learn to rely on fat as a fuel source. In general keeping your carbs to around 35-40% of your daily intake is a good recommendation. This may vary depending on activity levels.
Eat fiber rich foods – Foods rich in fiber help you feel fuller longer. The “soluble” type of fiber, which absorbs water, forms a kind of gel inside your stomach, slowing the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream. Lower blood sugar levels mean lower insulin levels — and that means your body is less likely to store fat.
Belly fat is very stubborn, but it is not impossible to burn, making simple changes to your diet. What we eat is very important to how the body reacts. The Abs Company has you covered when it comes to Core training. We have all the products you need to tone and strengthen your core in a safe and effective way. But also try making a change to the way you eat and see if this doesn’t make a drastic difference in how you look and feel. Let us help you find the right combination to get the abs you deserve!

Healthy Tips to Burn Belly Fat

We all have, at some time or another, decided to make our way down the path of exercising but seem to hit a block when it comes to really targeting the tummy area. At times it seems like all the cardio and ab exercising just doesn’t seem to be working and you are at a loss as to why you are not getting the desired effect. One important thing to remember is that the body – especially the tummy – is built in the kitchen too, not solely in the gym. The right diet is imperative, in addition to exercise, to really getting the flat tummy you always wanted. Here are some simple diet tips that will be extremely helpful to help burn belly fat.

Eat all natural foods – the body does give out what you put in it and eating highly processed foods can slow the body down. Processed foods give the organs a more difficult job because the body has to work twice as hard to break down the compounds in these foods. In general stick to foods that are as close to their original source as possible.
Eating More Protein – Protein is one of the most important foods needed to help in losing weight. In addition to helping to replace damaged cells in the body, protein is also responsible for cutting down your appetite as well as boosting metabolism. The other great benefit of eating protein for weight loss and especially stomach fat is that proteins like fish are filled with omega three fatty acids which boost metabolism. Studies have shown that for the average person 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is sufficient. This equates to roughly 30% of your daily caloric intake.
Cutting out sugars – Sugars in the diet are very unhealthy for the body and hinder the burning of belly fat. Sugary drinks like sodas and artificially sweet drinks have glucose and fructose components to them and this actually slows down the body’s metabolism. In essence, adding sugar to the diet actually helps to increase belly fat! The liver is also susceptible to damage from the overworkit gets from breaking down sugars for the body’s use.
Cutting out Carbs – Similar to sugars, carbohydrates break down to a sugar and as mentioned earlier added sugar may cause belly fat. Reducing Carb intake will cause the body to more efficiently learn to rely on fat as a fuel source. In general keeping your carbs to around 35-40% of your daily intake is a good recommendation. This may vary depending on activity levels.
Eat fiber rich foods – Foods rich in fiber help you feel fuller longer. The “soluble” type of fiber, which absorbs water, forms a kind of gel inside your stomach, slowing the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream. Lower blood sugar levels mean lower insulin levels — and that means your body is less likely to store fat.
Belly fat is very stubborn, but it is not impossible to burn, making simple changes to your diet. What we eat is very important to how the body reacts. The Abs Company has you covered when it comes to Core training. We have all the products you need to tone and strengthen your core in a safe and effective way. But also try making a change to the way you eat and see if this doesn’t make a drastic difference in how you look and feel. Let us help you find the right combination to get the abs you deserve!

Functional Training with the X3S Bench

While there are many types of workout routines designed for different kinds of athletes, an overall workout regimen that targets functional fitness should be at the core. When functional training is the foundation, focused workouts become easier, and whole body strength is magnified.

What is functional training?
Functional fitness exercises are designed to both develop individual muscles and train them to work together. The movements mimic things your body does naturally on a daily basis, and expands on them to create a stronger, more stable core and body.

Doing functional exercises as a base of your workout routine teaches all of your various body parts to work together smoothly. This helps to make you more efficient in your activities of daily living. A simple example would be a shoulder press movement. Many machines would have you do this while sitting down. However, is that how you would generally lift something in real life? No. Typically if you had to lift something overhead you would typically perform this while standing – as if putting something away on a high shelf. This requires all of your muscles to work synergistically to accomplish the task.

Another great example would be the squat. When you sit down or get up from a chair, dip to pick up something from the floor, or crouch down to speak to a child, you are working the same muscles that squats train. Therefore regularly performing a squat as opposed to a leg press would make you more efficient at the movement!

A simple way to incorporate functional training into your routine.
The X3S is an ideal machine for this kind of workout, since it already operates on the principle of full body workouts. It doesn’t take much tweaking of your exercise routine to thoroughly exercise every part of your body, adding strength, flexibility, and muscle mass.

Using the X3S Bench can help you blend a variety of functional exercises into one smooth motion, exercising your legs, abs, and core. You can add weights or dumbbells to enhance focused exercises, and workout with a trainer or without.

By using upper and lower body muscles at the same time, you build core stability, promote strength and flexibility, and increase endurance. This can have a terrific effect not just on your hours at the gym, but in your day to day activities.
Clubs across the country are getting great results with the X3S Bench. We’d love to help you bring the X3S Bench into your facility, or talk about other Core and Functional Training options. If we can be of assistance please contact us anytime!

As Fitness Gets Smarter, People are Getting Fatter. Why?

The fitness industry has been exploding with innovation in recent years. Advances in the areas of Wearables, Artificial Intelligence Training programs, Smart Devices, Fitness Apps and  a range of new training methods such as Cross Fit, HIIT, and functional exercise have taken the industry by storm!Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 1.57.05 PM

With all these advances, you would think Americans must be losing weight and obesity rates are going down.

Sadly, the reverse is true.  Recent studies show that American obesity trends are holding steady for men, while obesity trends are actually growing for women.

The million or billion dollar question obviously is WHY? How can there be so many advances in fitness and fitness technology yet the collective results are worse?

As with most research you have to look at it with a critical eye. The major issue – as always – is that most people are simply still sedentary. They aren’t using the advances and therefore are not getting the results.

So much of the fitness industry is dedicated to chasing the minority percentage of people that actually enjoy exercise, enjoy sweating and really are motivated to obtain results. These people are the ones drawn to the HIIT Training, fitness wearables and the latest forms of group training.

What about the beginners, those that feel uncomfortable or self conscious in an exercise setting? What is being done to help these people. Far too often fitness facilities don’t treat them any differently than the seasoned exerciser. They show them the same equipment, or worse yet , the same classes and training routines.  Research from the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) clearly shows that when beginners are exposed to HIIT type training, the majority quit within 3 months. Why? Quite simply it wasn’t enjoyable and in most cases it was just too difficult.

Another solution that is popular today is the growing trend of Small Group Training. This is evident in the explosive growth of the fitness studio market. Whether it be strength training, group cycling, or yoga, you can find a new studio on virtually every street corner. Many health clubs are also starting to put separate studios within their facilities. There is strong evidence that the group dynamics can lead to increased adherence but there is no getting around the fact that if a person doesn’t feel comfortable within the group, they won’t stay.

At the end of the day fitness professionals need to decide what business they want to be in. Are they in it to help all people change lives through fitness? Or do they want to specialize in the ultra fit and highly motivated? There is nothing wrong with either approach but the evidence is clear that trying to live in both worlds with no distinction is failing!

At The Abs Company our purpose is to Change Lives From the Core and we firmly believe that Fitness Changes Lives. In order to accomplish this we offer solutions that are appealing to the beginner and advanced exerciser alike. It is important to give all exercisers the chance to ‘win’ and be successful regardless of fitness level and allow them to progress along the lifelong journey to fitness. By doing this we hope to play our small part in reversing the obesity trend. We’d love to show you how our solutions can help your facility or you personally. Reach out and we’d be happy to discuss your needs!

Snap Fitness Showcase - Snap Fitness Wyoming

Look What Snap Fitness Wyoming, MI is doing to help retain membersScreen Shot 2016-08-06 at 1.42.51 PM

Understanding the importance of what members really want, Snap Fitness Wyoming created this Core Strength Zone in their club. A dedicated area where members can go to do their entire core workout. Hear what trainers and members are saying about The Core Strength Zone in this interview with trainer Russell Fox:

Interview with Snap Fitness Trainer, Russell Fox


TAC: What do your personal trainers think of the Core Strength Zone?

Fox: My trainers love it, its been a huge hit with both my members and my trainers. I really like the Ab Solo because it takes the boredom out of doing crunches. I also really like the Ab Coaster CS3000 because it really targets the lower and middle abs and the obliques. It is a great piece of equipment in my opinion. My members like the fact that they can do all their core work in one designated ab area.

TAC: How did you implement the new Core strength Zone into you club?

Fox: Instead of putting the equipment all over the floor, I put them in one dedicated area of my club. My members love it! We use it as an ab circuit, and I also use the Core Strength Zone as part of my club tour for prospects.

TAC: Anything else you would like to share with other club owners about the benefit of a Core Strength Zone?

Fox: Now our new members know exactly where to go to work their abs. The Core Strength Zone is easy and fun to use, especially the Ab Solo. It’s like a game for your abs and it never gets old!!
Let us help you design a solution for your core training area and take take your gym to the next level!  

Core Essentials

Foundation Building for a Stronger, Happier You

Your core muscles form the flexible, sturdy connection between your upper and lower body. Weak or inflexible core muscles can impair how well your arms and legs function, and will result in a lack of strength when it comes to moving, lifting, pushing or pulling. A strong core enhances balance and stability, increases strength, and reduces the chance of injury or falls. Nearly every typical daily motion moves through the core, even if you don’t realize it.

In the Home

Getting out of bed, taking a shower, putting on your clothes, and bending down to tie your shoes all involve movements that travel through your core. So does loading the dishwasher, mopping the floor, or taking care of children.

At Work

Physical jobs that involve bending, reaching, lifting and pushing obviously use your core muscles. However even desk jobs involve your core; muscles in your entire body are engaged even while sitting, answering phones, typing, or filing.

At Play

A game of Frisbee can engage your core; so can a romp with the family dog. Playing with the Wii can use all kinds of muscles, and so can simply spending time in the garden, weeding or fertilizing.


Obviously those who are athletically inclined depend on a strong core to help them excel. Running, swimming, cycling, rowing, hiking, tennis, golf, baseball, basketball, football and bowling all require the use of muscle groups that are connected through your core. (insert following image)

Drawbacks of an Underdeveloped Core

Lack of core conditioning can lead to muscle soreness, strains, back pain, and more. It can also slow your response in times of emergency, keep you from doing the things you want to do, and cause you to become tired too easily when you are having fun.

How can core training equipment like the X3S Bench Help?

Dedicated core training equipment can be instrumental in developing a strong core, especially a multi-functional unit like the X3S Bench. The X3S is designed to give a complete, no-impact core workout that also involves your abs and legs. No matter what your current lifestyle is, you can enhance your strength and flexibility, reduce the chance of falls or injuries, and improve your health and fitness level simply by using the X3S Bench to work on your core.

Functional Training and Your Core

One of the hottest topics in fitness today is Functional Training. Proponents will tell you that isolated movement is out and functional is in. Let’s take a closer look!

Functional training provides the strength, stability, power, mobility, endurance and flexibility you need for everyday activities in your life. We all use basic functional movement patterns everyday, such as pushing, pulling, squatting, rotating, carrying and gait patterns (walking and running). At the center of all these movements is your CORE.

Lots of people use this term but what does it really mean? Some think the core is a sleek six pack, when in fact the abdominals are only a fraction of your core. There are 29 muscles that have attachments within the core area, which is essentially the entire center of your body. Basically, think of your core from your torso down to your hips. These muscles allow functional movement in any direction. Core muscles create a solid base for your body, allowing you to stay upright and stand strong on your two feet.
One of the primary goals in training should be to strengthen the core. Functional vs Isolated movements are simply the vehicle to get the the end result. The benefits of a strong core are many and include:

1. Reduced Pain and Prevention: A strong core stabilizes you and works like a natural brace for your joints.
2. Makes You Look Taller and Thinner. When you strengthen your upper back and shoulders, the muscles are pulled back and down, removing any trace of a hunch.
3. Delays the Aging Process A strong core keeps your body aligned, so that you can function properly.
5. Improved Performance. Stabilizing your core hones your fine motor skills, so you can react quickly and stay balanced on unstable surfaces.

Functional vs Isolated Core Training
The case can be made that you work more muscles with functional core training than isolated core training such as crunches, and that you work in a larger range of motion utilizing more muscles. Proponents will also tell you that functional training is more beneficial because you are mimicking the activities of daily living. There is certainly some truth to this and any exercise that allows you to work multiple muscles at once is certainly efficient! With people being as busy as they are efficiency in training is certainly attractive. The Abs Company recognizes these benefits and we are proud to have offerings in this space such as the all new X3S Bench and TIREFLIP 180.

It is important to note that before someone embarks on a program designed to incorporate Functional Core Training, it is important that they have a certain level of core strength to begin with. This is where Isolated movements come into play. Exercises like planks, The Vertical Crunch, and The Abs Bench certainly can assist here. These are extremely user friendly and can build some of the foundational strength necessary to succeed in more complex functional movements.

At the end of the day, we believe that there is now and will always be a place for both functional and isolated movement. Strengthening the core is essential to lifetime health and fitness so this end result is really the key that matters. Continuously challenging the body through a variety of exercise types is what keeps you moving forward and keeps you improving. There isn’t a need to chose one over the other. Instead incorporate lots of variety in your training you will build the core strength that will allow you to reach all of your health and fitness goals!

Enjoy the Burn or They May Not Return

When introducing a new client or member to your club it is critical to balance the future of their success with the joy of working out. The idea of NO PAIN NO GAIN is well known but it does have a dark side, especially with the older population. There is also the “feeling stupid factor”, when a new member attempts a new group class or tries to use a new machine that is too advanced for their fitness level. They fear looking stupid or, worse, may get hurt, and never come back again.

A recent study shows that, regardless of the effectiveness of a training program or regimen, if your customer is not finding enjoyment in exercise, they will likely not continue. So how do you balance the idea of effective training (no pain no gain) against the idea of making exercise enjoyable so that your members do return?

Studies show that the number one area most people want to improve is their waistline/belly/abdominal area. If you want to create more enjoyment and motivate your members to return, you should start right there. You can begin by having them perform an isolated ab crunch on a product such as the Abs Bench, or by having them perform a seated crunch on a machine such as the Vertical Crunch. These fixed movement isolated machines are easy for beginners to perform (and therefore overcome the “feeling stupid factor”) and deliver a burning sensation that will sent a positive message that exercise is truly effective and that these machines really are working their abs.

One thing you should NOT do…..never have a new client or member take a cross conditioning class prior to establishing a basic level of core stability first. Everyone new to exercise should focus first on core stability and total body isolated strength training to build a strong foundation. The key to balancing the burn with enjoyment is to build the core first to limit the risk of muscle strains, extreme pain and injury.

The Abs Company has helped over 10,000 clubs around the globe design and implement designated core training areas that lets club owners give members what they want! We’d love to do the same for you.

The Abs Company Acquires Impact Fitness

The Abs Company started the new year with a bang with the acquisition of Impact Fitness.  Since then we’ve been working hard preparing to roll out our all new line of functional training equipment.  The introduction of the X3S Bench and the innovative Tire Flip 180 have already been a huge hit!  We wanted to make sure we share the news with our loyal customers – so we’re including our Press Release below.  Stay tuned for more exciting new functional training products that will complement our already proven core training products that The Abs Company is known for!

FLANDERS, NJ., Jan. 20, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Abs Company announced today that it has acquired Impact Fitness LLC, a functional fitness equipment supplier. Impact will join The Abs Company portfolio of leading commercial brands such as Ab Coaster, Ab Solo and Abs Bench.

Founded in 2013, Impact Fitness offers a growing line of functional training equipment largely serving the commercial fitness market and the growing category of functional fitness and Cross Training. Its product portfolio includes Impact Cages, cage accessories, Functional hand held equipment, Boxing and The Tire Flip 180, a unique training device that puts a new lift on an old exercise.

“With the addition of Impact, we will expand our stable of brands serving the commercial fitness market, including health clubs, hospitality, education and military, as well as consumers, with a wide array of core and functional fitness training equipment, while continuing with The Abs Company’s outstanding customer service and support,” explained Abs Company President, Sean Gagnon. “We believe the combination of these brands will position our company for the explosive growth in the functional, Cross Training  and boxing categories. The Abs Company / Impact Fitness combination enables us to approach the market with a broader and deeper product portfolio, and improve our ability to address the faster growing segments of the fitness market,” Gagnon added. “With the addition of Impact’s functional training footprint, we can meet current and future demand to further improve our competitiveness and leadership position within the fitness industry.”

The Abs Company is the leading supplier of innovative consumer and commercial abdominal exercise equipment and assists Health Clubs in the design and layout of space dedicated to core training.  The Abs Company products include brands such as Ab Coaster, Ab Solo, and Abs Bench, which are used in over 10,000 commercial fitness facilities in over 40 countries around the world.

Core training remains one of the primary reasons why people join health clubs.  The desire to have a flat firm, well defined midsection is still top of mind for anyone wishing to improve their overall health and fitness.  Having a dedicated Core Training Area excites and catches the attention of members. To fill this need, The Abs Company has developed a diverse line of abdominal products.   Whether a Club needs to upgrade an existing ab/stretching area or create a new area from scratch, a Core Training Area can be customized to meet any Club’s specific needs, space and budget.  

With the acquisition of the Impact Fitness line of products, the Abs Company can now meet the ever growing trend toward functional training. The Impact Fitness brand adds innovative core and full body functional training products creating a unique combination of isolated core training products and total body functional training equipment providing our customers with a single source for the latest fitness trends.


Introducing the X3S

Ever wondered what would happen if you could combine functional core training and isolation training in one simple, space saving workout machine? Surprise – such a thing not only exists, but exceeds all expectations. It’s called the X3S, and it’s the missing link when it comes to ab, leg, and core conditioning.

The X3S is the carefully designed chair-bench combination machine you’ve been looking for. Based on rigorous cross conditioning, MMA fighter and Pro Boxer training requirements, the X3S design provides a simple, effective routine that includes a complete and challenging abs, legs, and core workout.

Basic crunches on the floor, full sit ups, and full standups will push users to new goals regardless of fitness level. Your clients can use it solo or with a trainer, and incorporate dumbbells or Medicine balls to increase intensity and expand training benefits to their entire body.

All steel construction ensures durability, and EZ Adjust leg pads make this machine fit any height. Foam covers keep every workout comfortable, and clean-up is fast and easy. Minimal assembly means users can be working out in minutes, and the compact, portable design lets the X3S store easily to save even more space.

Looking for maximum results in minimal space? You don’t have to expand square footage to accommodate this machine. The X3S weighs only 56 lbs. and has a compact space saving 40” by 29” footprint.
The X3S is the perfect addition to women’s, men’s, or mixed training gyms and workout facilities. It focuses on the all-important muscle groups, with the ability to switch seamlessly between ab, leg, and core workouts.

The combination of exercises tones and tightens bodies, improves strength, posture and flexibility, and is popular with those training to box or fight MMA style, as well as providing a solid workout routine for those who simply want to stay fit and look fantastic.

Bridge the gap between abs workouts and full body functional training with the X3S – it’s the link that’s been missing in your core training area. Add one or more machines to your facility and find out why it’s an instant favorite!

Abs Workouts

Core Stability

Abs Workouts

Core Stability:  core sta·bil·i·ty


  • the capacity of the muscles of the torso to assist in the maintenance of good posture, balance, etc., especially during movement.


In other words, Core Stability is the single most important factor when it comes to physical performance and good health. Without it, you are more prone to injury.  Lack of core stability leads to poor posture and lack of balance, which leads to even bigger problems such as back and joint pain.  Core Stability is key for every sport and athlete.  It’s what allows a kickboxer to move quickly from kick to punch, it’s what allows a gymnast to balance on a beam and every person who practices yoga is well aware of the importance of core stability.

So how do we increase our core stability?  Use a combination of abdominal exercises, both isolation-type core exercises using machines like the Ab Coaster or Abs Bench, and functional core exercises such as Russian twists with a medicine ball or using a machine like the X3S Bench.   

In addition to using isolated and functional core training exercises, you must also promote core stability with lower back strength training.  The lower back is a key part of developing core stability.  Target these muscles using a back extension machine such as LumbarX or by performing isolation back extensions during a yoga session.


The All New X3S Functional Core Trainer


When it comes to core training the debate rages on as to whether isolation orfunctional training is better. There are certainly merits to both sides of the discussion but what if you could have BOTH in one simple, effective and space saving machine? Now you can with the all new X3S Bench from The Abs Company.

Check out the X3S
The X3S Bench combines three movements, lower body, upper body and isolated core training into one motion while eliminating the rest period in between exercises. Not only can you train your complete core but the X3S also allows you to train your quads, glutes and hamstrings with one simple compound movement. It is total bodyfunctional training in a compact space in the gym. The X3S Bench can also challenge any fitness level with the use of dumbbells or weighted balls for a total body workout.

Core Resolutions

In a recent study, people from around the world were asked the following question:

If you could change one body part, what would it be?

The results were astonishing… but not really. Intuitively you know the answer but do you think it would be the same for both men and women?

Havas Worldwide, a global marketing and communications firm, conducted a worldwide study asking over 10,000 people from 28 countries this very basic question.
As you can see from the image above, both men and women listed their TUMMY as the number one body part they would change. It wasn’t even close.  Tummy won in a landslide.  For men, changing their tummy is 6 times more important than the next body part, and for women tummy is 3 times more important.

This study is groundbreaking for anyone in the fitness business because it shares valuable insights into the mind of your customers.  Knowing exactly what area of the body men and women want to change is like getting inside information on what programs they are looking for.  Rather than “selling” to your customers, you will be giving them what they already want. Remember this survey was done with a random group of people which explains why some said they would not want to change any body part.  But if you were to repeat this study with your members (people who are motivated to change their bodies) you could bet that the number one response would be TUMMY, and the percentage would likely be even higher.

The study confirms the importance of Ab Focused marketing.  Think about it, every NEW YEAR the number one Resolution is WEIGHT LOSS. This study confirms the area of the body they want to improve by losing weight, the tummy.  Both men and women want to improve the same part of their body..their bellies.

The Abs Company has helped over 10,000 clubs around the globe design and implement designated core training areas that lets club owners give members what they want! We’d love to do the same for you.

Happy New Year!

Introducing all new Accessories to the Abs Company line-up!

The Abs Company has been creating innovative core training equipment for 20 years. Being in over 10,000 clubs worldwide, we've learned a thing or two about what our clients want. They want more! More easy to use, effective ways to work their core.

We are excited to now offer a selection of core accessories to enhance the overall core training experience without the need for a huge budget or a ton of space. Providing everything from Medicine Balls to the new X3S Bench!

Click here to check out the new Accessory line up!

The Most Effective Way to Use an Abs Bench X2

Many people today continue to erroneously believe that proper ab training requires a high number of repetitions to be effective. But there’s a better way, a simpler way, and here it is:
Train the upper abs separately from the lower abs, and train the upper abs first. Work the upper abs like you would other upper body groups with similar number of reps for the upper body. And once the upper abs are exhausted, and cannot be used to synergistically assist the lower abs, turn your attention to training the lower abs separate from the upper abs. Phil’s routine has been modified below to make it more user friendly for the average member. The premise is the same however – Tire out the upper abs then burn out the lower. Give it a shot!

Here is the workout:

  1. Upper abs 4 sets 20 reps.
  2. Lower abs 2 sets 20 reps. That’s it.

This workout takes so little time that you could even work this muscle group 3 or 4 times a week. The best way to perform this workout is to find an abs machine where you can do only an upper-body quarter crunch, without engaging your lower abs at the same time. A machine that uses upper and lower abs in the same exercise will not work and defeats the purpose. The exercises must be separate.

That’s why the Abs Bench X2 is the perfect abdominal machine for this routine. It allows the user to perform forward crunches (upper abs), as well as reverse crunches (lower abs), separately (or together) on the same machine.

For the uppers abs we want you to perform ‘half reps’ for a total of 20. What we mean is come only half way up, return and repeat. This will keep your abs under constant tension while only engaging the upper abs! Recover for one minute and repeat for 4 x 20 reps. As you get stronger decrease the amount of rest between sets or increase the resistance by adding 5 pounds to the upper bar on the Abs Bench X2

Remember the body responds to progressive exercise. Now that upper abs are exhausted your upper abs cannot synergistically kick-in to assist lower abs with the reverse crunch exercise on the Abs Bench X2.  When you try to train your lower abs before the upper abs are exhausted, the upper abs and hip flexors will compensate and “help” perform the exercise, causing the lower abs not to work hard enough. Once the upper abs are exhausted, when you lift your legs during your reverse crunch exercise on the Abs Bench X2, you should feel little or no assistance from the upper abs. You will instantly feel your lower abs working.

Perform 2 sets of 20 FULL Repetitions on the lower crunch. Rest 1 minute between sets. We recommend having some resistance for the lower crunch right from the outset. Again, as you get stronger reduce the rest between sets or add more resistance. Remember – progression is the key!

Trying to work all of the ab muscles at the same time is less efficient and can take a long time. It also results in needless extra stress on the spine. Using the protocol described above allows you to train your abs more efficiently and more frequently. And the Abs Bench X2 makes it easy to perform this workout all on one machine. Variety Abounds You’ve heard it said that variety is the spice of life. They same is true of your training. By constantly challenging your body with new stimuli you force it to continue to adapt and improve.

What a Difference a Tour Makes

Why don’t they join?

It’s no secret that in order to run a successful health club business you need to continually gain new members. Attrition rates have stayed steady for many years and we know that over half of members are gone within 6 months of joining your club. Therefore it is critical to constantly have new members joining the club. The key to gaining new members is understanding why they do and do not join. Do you know the number one reason that a member will not join your club? If you guessed price or location you would be mistaken! The number one reason prospects leave your club without joining is that they don’t think they will feel comfortable there – that they won’t be successful. Research tells us that one of the top things prospects want is a flat stomach. You don’t even need the research because the prospects themselves will tell you this in their interview. If you overwhelm them with all of the things they need to do to achieve this, how do you think they will feel? Perhaps like they won’t fit in there? That they won’t be successful?

A New Perspective

If a prospect walked into your club, told you exactly what they wanted and you showed them you have it, would they join? Of course they would! Let’s go back to our prospect who told you they wanted to flatten their stomach – they wanted to strengthen their core. Instead of talking to them about the diet and cardio, what if you said “That’s great. We have a dedicated area in the club just for this – it’s called the Core Strength Zone. Let me show you!” And then you take them over to a few fun and effective ab machines such as the Ab Coaster or Ab Solo, and show them how it’s done. Don’t you think this will take the tour in a whole new direction? Now the prospect says to themselves – she listened to me, they have what I want here, I bet there are a lot of other great things this club has to offer! The prospect will now feel more comfortable and open to seeing what else your club has to offer. This approach doesn’t just go for people who talk about getting a flat belly. It’s what you could be doing for every prospect that comes through the door. Instead of a standard tour showing the things that you feel are important, customize the tour and gear it to what THEY want to see (based on their initial interview) and watch your closing ratios climb!