Ever wondered what happens to those extra pounds you’re trimming? The answer might surprise you.

It’s no secret that fat loss is a modern obsession. Most of us have some, most of us want to lose some. The health and fitness world has become saturated with bronzed-bodied role models and infomercial sales-people offering the latest dietary fads, pills and get-ripped-quick schemes for a fat-free physique. How enticing it all sounds. Surprisingly, then, one of the most obvious questions raised by all this fat-fixating is never really addressed: when it leaves our bodies, where does the fat actually go?

If you’re unsure, you’re not alone. A 2014 study showed that when it comes to fat-loss, even health professionals are confused. Out of the 150 doctors, dietitians and personal trainers asked, only three gave the correct answer.

Some believed fat turned into muscle, or that it left the body via the colon, both of which would earn a fail in an exam. Others surveyed believed fat was converted into energy and lost as heat (no doubt based on the “energy in equals energy out” assumption). Trouble is, this would disobey a fundamental law of chemical reactions, known as the conservation of matter (or mass), which states that the same amount of matter comes out of a reaction as goes into it. It doesn’t simply vanish.

Put simply, fat tissue is full of lipids – compounds that store energy. Even if those compounds are broken down and generate heat, you’re still left with the same number of atoms you started with.

So, where does the fat go?

The answer is probably happening to you right now. The truth is, fat is converted into carbon dioxide and water. You literally breathe most of it out. When you begin to run low on fuel you produce a hormone that, when mixed with oxygen, breaks down fat in order to use its energy. When fat is metabolized, it needs to go somewhere. Once converted to carbon dioxide and water, over 80 percent of each measurement of fat leaves the body as CO2. The rest is released as sweat and urine.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean you can get rid of any unwanted jiggle by simply huffing and puffing on the couch. When you engage in any form of physical activity, however, your body’s metabolic rate is raised significantly. So a higher intensity workout will produce more huffing and puffing – more energy burned, more converted fat expelled.

Knowing that fat is actually leaving your body via your lungs might even make those extra reps a little easier to get through.

Get to a MANIA® and enjoy the Les Mills Experience in person! www.scwfit.com/mania.

ATLANTA: www.scwfit.com/atlanta
DALLAS: www.scwfit.com/dallas
PHILLY: www.scwfit.com/philly

At Gramps Camp, with husband Mike, and grandkids Camden, Aiden, Leah, Caleb, Lily, Payton, & Danica

Ann Gilbert

As a mom of three, my husband (of now 42 years) and I agreed that it was time to join the local girls’ gym: Shape Up! Weekends were the time that I found it convenient to visit, and soon it was obvious that the weekend tribe was just that: a group of ladies sharing goals in a comfortable environment, where “escaping from the kids” was a common conversation. Interestingly enough, the year was not 2018 at Shapes Fitness for Women, but rather, 1980 when Jane Fonda’s album topped the charts; we lifted our legs for hours to the tunes of the day. Without a cert and without a plan, our first GX class was taught by this overweight mom, who decided to jump up on a table, turn on the record player and follow along with Jane Fonda each and every Friday night. I’d say this was the start of my small group training drive, a focus that would follow me through decades and into today’s chapter. At the time, Women’s Only was the most comfortable fit I could find. It was a noncompetitive environment, offering kids care and group sessions, and would become the brand I’ve know throughout my fitness career.

Ann with pool participants, promoting WATERinMOTION® at the local Tampa Bay YMCA

The new Power House and Gold’s Gym in the area, took our small group of ladies to the hard-wood group fitness classes, offering several hi-low classes per week. Having lost the 80 pounds of pregnancy weight and taken the AFAA group cert, I wandered onto the floor, slipped in a cassette tape made in my own living room, and kicked until the cows came home! Regional Crystal Light Aerobic Championships Fit was that year’s goals and a career, rather than a hobby, started to take its place.

Ann with the ACE Faculty Board, after winning the 2001-2 ACE Personal Trainer of the Year

Opportunities for continued education, and an obsession to assist others, brought me into the world of Personal Training. We formulated a plan to move to sunny Florida and I asked my family to give me 6 weeks of focusing on building a business. Oddly enough, I found myself at another ladies-only facility: Shapes Family Fitness, where there was an overabundance of gals in need of knowledge and assistance. I stepped right in. We formed groups that year in 1994, with interests in roller blading, walking marathons, and race walking. The group formed weekend yoga retreats, field trips to the grocery stores, and social actives that had never been seen in the club. A community of women with similar goals was forming, and the national leaders, IHRSA and ACE, took notice. The club and I (as the Trainer Leader), were awarded the IHRSA/ACE Personal Trainer the Year Award in 2001 for the group’s accomplishments; it would soon be the basis of my growing women’s-only brand.

Ann in her natural (aquatic) environment

In 2006, I supervised 13 locally-owned and operated ladies-only facilities in Tampa Bay. I continued to teach, and after being asked to sub a water fitness class, I discovered my love for aquatic fitness. Bridging the gap between training, teaching & running a growing business, they made me focus on assessing a SWOT monthly: strength, weakness, opportunities and what would threaten me from being successful in the business. I realize I was a fitness pro entering the business world, and I made it a goal to surround myself with those much more knowledgeable than I. I feel it had been key to my success.

Ann with Shapes Fitness activewear

I am now an owner of two Shapes Fitness for Women franchises. The franchise is in growth mode, with as many as 60 new locations due to open across the USA. My main role as owner is to mentor new professionals, who have the awareness of what it takes to run a business: to work “on the business” rather than just “be in the business”.

Personally, I continue to teach and train in two areas of huge growth in our business: aquatic fitness & activities for the active aging. I am proud to be a master trainer for the growing aquatic program, WATERinMOTION and am a certifying professional for the SCW Active Aging certification. This year I have introduced new sessions at SCW MANIA®, called Functional Frolics, Deep Stretch for the Active Aging, as well as the popular, Aquatic Solutions for the Active aging. I am successfully launching a new Shapes Fitness for Women branded format titled, “Aging Fit” and hope to share its foundation with Maniacs soon.

Ann with the WATERinMOTION® team: (from left) Minda Kjar, Jeff McMullen, Jenn Keet, Manuel Velazquez, Ashley Holekamp & Sara Kooperman

Nationally I am an active member of WIFA, FAI, ICCA, and AEA. I have spoken at conferences: AEA, Club Industry, SCW and IHRSA on business & management topics. Locally, I am seen on Fox 13’s Good Day Tampa Bay’s weekly TV spot, reaching many on all topics related to women’s fitness.

Exiting the world of fitness has never been placed on this gals’ calendar. There’s so much more to learn about, and so many more experienced than I, who are willing to educate and share. I’ve learned from mistakes made along the way, and am happy to share my wisdom for many years to come.

ATLANTA: www.scwfit.com/atlanta
DALLAS: www.scwfit.com/dallas
PHILLY: www.scwfit.com/philly

The wildly popular participatory sport of obstacle course racing (aka OCR) threw a curve ball at millions of athletes and coaches. Before OCR came along millions enjoyed participatory sports like road and trail running, triathlons, and various others. OCR jumps on the scene full force in 2011 and becomes popular to millions across the globe while also creating the need to place a big emphasis on full body functional strength training. People have fallen in love with the sport, but they also find themselves wanting to learn how to conquer the obstacles that have been causing them failure.

One very specific area of training has provided the biggest obstacle conquering gains. I’m speaking of grip and pull strength and grip and pull strength endurance. This is the single most important training area when it comes to tackling more and eventually all obstacles out on course.

As a coach to many of the best athletes in the sport of OCR, I find myself building workouts with traditional fitness training tools we’ve used for years. In the video attached to this blog post, you’ll find me making slight adjustments to traditional kettlebell movements that can add up to make a huge impact on your grip and pull strength.

I’ll break down one of the movements to further explain how it can create a great grip strength training movement vs. doing the movement in a traditional manner. The alternating hand side to side row could be compared to a bent row where we would normally complete a set by doing a certain number on one side then switching to the other side. By switching back and forth every rep as well as adding the squat and side to side squat jump, we create a full body exercise while challenging grip strength by switching hands every rep.

I recommend you add these kettlebell exercises to the end of your planned workouts 3-4 times a week. Just looking at the last example, let’s say we did just the side to side row exercise 3 times a week for a year. By switching hands every rep, we open and close the hands 8,424 times vs. just 1,872 when doing all reps on one side then switching to the other side. I’m guessing you know which method will develop great grip strength over the course of a year.

Perform this circuit for 4 – 6 sets, decreasing the total reps each time.

Start with 14 reps of each exercise, then decrease by 2 each round.

1. KB Swing to Thruster

2. Side to Side KB Row

3. Side to Side Squat Jump with KB Row

4. Hip Circles

Power Systems offers a variety of products and programs at each and every MANIA® event, check out one local to you today! www.scwfit.com/mania.

ATLANTA: www.scwfit.com/atlanta
DALLAS: www.scwfit.com/dallas
PHILLY: www.scwfit.com/philly


Ah…the lazy days of summer are upon us…or are they? The summer season can be extremely busy. The kids are out of school, schedules can get lively with vacations and camps, and you might find your self doing more running around than ever. So how do you find time to fit in your exercise routine when this time of year is anything BUT routine?

The Surge® Storm, or Surge Riptide®, is the answer! Break out of your same old workout this summer, and save your self some time as well. These three exercises will challenge cardio, muscle strength and endurance, as well as balance.

The Surge® Storm and Riptide are unique products that utilize water to not only add weight or resistance but to create an unstable moving mass within a mass. It’s a unique system called Hydro-Inertia®. What does that mean to you? First, the load is easily manipulated by adding or subtracting water. This means you don’t have to store lots fitness products around your house, varying in size or weight. Maybe your sixteen-year-old son or daughter would like it to be a bit heavier — boom! Just add water. Second, the destabilized load (think water constantly moving) creates the challenge of engaging your entire body, especially the core. Think how much more “bang for your buck” you’ll be getting in a short amount of time!

Add these quick and effective exercises to your day and be on your way out the door to enjoy summer fun!

Four Count Crash

This movement pattern will challenge both cardio and muscle strength. Stand in a wide stance, holding the neutral handles. Perform 4 alternating uppercuts, feeling the water crash with each rep. Place the Surge® on the floor, and perform a 4-point jump (jump to face side; jump over laterally, jump back over, jump front). To modify, step back and forth over the Surge® instead of jumping. Repeat this combo for 45 – 60 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, then repeat for 3 – 4 sets.

4, 3, 2, 1

This dynamic combo is designed to challenge muscular strength and endurance, as well as balance. Stand in a wide stance, holding the neutral handles. Perform 4 quick chest presses, feeling the water crash with each rep. Then move on to a forward lunge with 3 alternating twists. In this case, you’ll feel the water dump, and will have to stabilize the lunge with a strong core brace. Complete 2 battering ram moves to one side, and finish with 1 slow, single leg deadlift with the water quiet to challenge your balance and core stability. Alternate sides and repeat on each side 3 – 4 times.

Burpee Battering Ram

Who doesn’t love a great spin on the classic burpee? Stand in a wide stance, holding the neutral handles. Squat and lower the Surge® to the floor, jump or step into plank and perform one burpee. The unique flat sides and neutral grip handles allow for stable execution. Jump or step back to standing and perform 2 alternating battering ram movements, feeling the water crash on each rep. Perform 10 – 15 reps for a great total body exercise.

Remember, you don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get a great workout. These exercises with keep you moving as well as optimizing time so you can still have lots of summer fun!

Pam Benchley is a Hedstrom Fitness Master Trainer for BOSU®, Kamagon® and Surge®, and a provider of many other workshops including Stages® Indoor Cycling, balance training, and functional/active aging training. Pam currently serves on the faculty at the State University of New York at Fredonia and is a competitive triathlete.

Hedstrom Fitness brings a variety of products to each and every MANIA®, be sure to come to a MANIA® near you and experience them live!

ATLANTA: www.scwfit.com/atlanta
DALLAS: www.scwfit.com/dallas
PHILLY: www.scwfit.com/philly



Are you considering expanding your business or opening your first location? If so, often the biggest fears are, “How do I pay for this?” or “Can I afford to purchase equipment and rent a space?” This article describes two complementary financing products that can be used by a business owner to provide the financing needed to finance your business so read on…

Equipment Leases – Capital Leases to Own

Fitness center owners can finance the purchase of their strength and cardio equipment, security systems, computer hardware and software, flooring, outdoor signage and other tangible items needed to run your business with an equipment lease. The equipment being financed is the collateral for the lease. All equipment leases require a personal guarantee from all owners who own more than 10% of the stock in the company.

Lease documentation fees range from $95 to $495. Down payments range from 1 – 20% of the amount financed so an equipment lease preserves your operating capital. The repayment term ranges from 12 months up to 60 months. All lease payments are a tax-deductible business expense, so the payments will lower your taxable income and tax liability. Since most owners plan to keep the equipment long term, they choose a capital lease, which offers a $1.00 or $101.00 buyout at the end of the lease term. A capital lease is used to finance the purchase of all the equipment needed to open or to expand a fitness center.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Express Working Capital Loan

This government-backed loan is designed to provide working capital ranging from $25,000 up to $150,000 for start-ups and existing businesses. The main purpose of this loan is to provide the working capital needed to pay bills until a business becomes profitable. This loan process requires attention to detail and takes approximately 60 to 90 days to complete before the loan is funded. If the loan is being used to finance a new location that requires build out, the loan can be approved in advance. However, the funds will not be distributed until the location has received a certificate of occupancy. This insures that the money will not be used to finance the construction and will be available for working capital.

The interest rate is calculated by starting with the prime rate published in the Wall Street Journal, which is currently 4.75%. The bank charges a 2.75% risk premium for this loan so the interest rate is currently 7.5%. There are three points charged to close the loan, which makes the effective interest rate 8.5%, including all fees and closing costs. The repayment term is ten years with no pre-payment penalty. All SBA loans require a personal guarantee from all owners who own more than 10% of the stock in the company. The best feature of this loan is that the collateral is the business assets… not your home! This loan product is by far the best financing product on the market today!


The main benefit of debt financing is to use other people’s money (OPM). The key is that the cost of funds must be at a lesser cost than your net profit percentage. For example, if a $20,000 equipment lease has a 13% return to the lessor and an $80,000 SBA working capital loan has an 8.5% interest rate, the business owner is accessing $100,000 at a 11% blended interest rate. Assuming your studio will operate at a 15% profit margin, your cost of using OPM is less than your anticipated return on capital! Again, the equipment lease and SBA Express Loan are complementary products that can enable an entrepreneurial personal trainer with good personal credit to finance the opening of their new fitness center or to expand their existing business.

(Paul Bosley has worked in the fitness industry for over 40 years as an owner-operator and as a financing source. Paul is the owner of www.healthclubexperts.com dba Business Finance Depot, and he may be reached by calling 800-788-3884 or by emailing [email protected].)

Join us at a MANIA® near you to learn about finance and more = in our entire Business Track! www.scwfit.com/mania

ATLANTA: www.scwfit.com/atlanta
DALLAS: www.scwfit.com/dallas
PHILLY: www.scwfit.com/philly


There are so many types of exercises out there, how do you choose the one that’s right for you? How do you find one that’s portable, easy, can be tailored to all exercise levels, targets your entire body, and most importantly, is fun? Here are some tips to help make the best choice for you.

First and foremost, listen to your body. Exercise should make you feel good! We all know exercise has countless health benefits and improves your mood by raising the levels of serotonin, a natural antidepressant, in your body. It also causes endorphins to be released into the bloodstream which boosts your levels of energy. As you can burn hundreds of calories per workout, exercise is key to weight loss and maintenance. Your body burns calories at a higher rate for hours, even after your workout ends. Weight bearing exercises are essential for strong bone health, as weight bearing and strength training exercises help to reabsorb calcium back into your bones as well as activate new bone tissue formation. Exercise has also been proven to enhance memory and brain development, as increased cerebral blood flow and hormone release provide a healthy environment for brain-cell growth as well as stimulating brain-cell connections.

Sounds a lot like magic, right? It practically is. As with many things, moderation is key. The proper exercise should leave you feeling positive and fulfilled. During the early stages of your exercise regime, working too hard or fast may strain your muscles, tendons and ligaments, leading to injury and pain. Muscle soreness and muscle fatigue are fine, but pain is NOT okay. Listen to your body and choose what works best for you.

The exercise you choose should allow for you to achieve your goals, whatever they may be, while still being enjoyable. If your goal is to run a 5k, weightlifting or racquetball may not be the right exercise choice. Be thoughtful about the kind of exercise you want or need the most. Different regimens will work on different areas of your body. Cardio may be the perfect option if you want to compete in an endurance competition or lose weight, lifting weights may be the best avenue if you are looking to gain strength to prevent injury and increase bone health, and yoga may the natural choice to improve flexibility. Many people are interested in the benefits of all of these, combining cardio, strength, and flexibility into their workouts. No matter what, all forms of exercise work better when you have a goal in mind.

Whatever you choose, it should be fun. When you look at kids on a playground, it’s easy to see how fun and effortless moving your body can be. The next time you drive past a playground, take a moment to watch the kids running around, climbing on the monkey bars, and pushing each other on the swings. They are all moving their bodies at different speeds and in all directions.  They don’t get repetitive injuries and they don’t get bored because they are good at moving in different directions, doing various activities day after day. Wouldn’t it be nice to find your inner-child again, to think of exercise as enjoyable and not as some sort of necessary punishment? We all know that if you aren’t excited about what you’re doing, it’s hard to stay with it and achieve the results you desire.

With these thoughts and goals in mind, the 3ACT Slide was designed. With the 3ACT Slide, we present a low-impact exercise that strengthens muscles, improves flexibility, is heart-healthy, and most important, is fun to perform. The number one feedback we get from clients is how much fun they have on the 3ACT Slide.  Sliding and moving freely is fun, and, isn’t it nice that it’s also good for your body?

The low impact nature of the board means that you don’t put stress on your joints by jumping and pounding. 3ACT Slide is the perfect environment for you if you have joint pain or if you are an athlete looking to add a day or two each week to cross train.  The surface is specially designed to promote and enhance motion. The 3ACT Slide was engineered with adjustable stability blocks that easily lock into place to provide added flexibility and help improve your range of motion. We teach a class called Lengthen and Strengthen that helps your muscles become long, lean, and flexible. The board’s special surface increases muscular engagement while burning more calories. It is an engaging and effective weight loss device that is safe and easy to use. Whether you are looking to gain strength, flexibility, balance, or to increase caloric burn, the 3ACT Slide is the solution for you.

3ACT Slide will be joining us at Midwest MANIA®! Don’t miss them!! www.scwfit.com/mania.

ATLANTA: www.scwfit.com/atlanta
DALLAS: www.scwfit.com/dallas
PHILLY: www.scwfit.com/philly


Get ready for an Endless Summer of Fitness with the SCW Summer Guide – Discounts, Extras, & Updates are included in this Virtual Magazine of offers and exclusives, from products to programming!

Sizzling summer gear is here, and you can get some great deals on the items to help you keep that beach ready body. Don’t let the summer bonfires and BBQs interfere with all the hard work you’ve done! SCW has put together an exclusive “Endless Summer of Fitness” Guide to help ensure you keep and reach every one of your strides and goals, all while saving money for those summer vacations.

Here’s just a taste of what you’ll find inside our Endless Summer of Fitness Guide exclusively for SCW Fitness Education subscribers. Offered by a variety of premium companies, these discounts are made specifically to ensure a healthier, happier you:

– Valuable savings on Group Exercise and Personal Training equipment

– Half-price Certifications

– Membership exclusives

– Discounted apparel and accessories

– Videos and Literature

– And much more!

Check out the guide at: scwfit.com/SummerGuide

ATLANTA: www.scwfit.com/atlanta
DALLAS: www.scwfit.com/dallas
PHILLY: www.scwfit.com/philly


Bruce and Mindy are at every single MANIA® event teaching not only the top trends in fitness, but hosting multiple nutrition sessions! Check it out at www.scwfit.com/mania and select an event near you!

ATLANTA: www.scwfit.com/atlanta
DALLAS: www.scwfit.com/dallas
PHILLY: www.scwfit.com/philly