SCW eNewsletter: June 2016

SCW Fitness Education feels a strong commitment to honor and assist the Pulse Nightclub victims of the recent Orlando tragedy. We feel the need to support Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and reach out to embrace the entire Orlando community that has been impacted by this horrific act of violence. 

Equality Florida is collecting contributions via this GoFundMe page to support every victim of the horrific shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub. This includes victims’ families, survivors and those in the club who may not have suffered physical injury but are in need of support. We also are working with the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) to distribute the contributions via their National Compassion Fund NCVC does not charge any fees for this service, and 100% of the money collected goes toward direct distribution.

VictimConnect Resource Center
855-4-Victim (855-484-2846)

Join SCW Fitness Education in our heartfelt support of the victims and community that has been so dramatically affected by this hate crime. Our heart is with you Orlando!

“Who is not aging chronologically?” The answer to that question includes everyone reading this, which today has become the vast majority of people who want to catch-up on the latest ways to maximize aging. A brand new, research-packed installment in the SCW line of textbooks, SCW Active Aging Certification: Adding Life to Our Years, has just been published in Chicago. Written by Lawrence Biscontini, MA, this book gives an up-to-date fusion of theoretical and practical applications to train four out of the five ages that we can not only train but reverse: functional, biological, social and psychological. Given our increasing interest in knowing what we can do as a human race to deter or slow the aging process in the body and brain, this book fills a current niche.

“At our continuing education conferences, more and more delegates request sessions for Active Aging,” says Sara Kooperman, CEO of SCW Fitness Education. “We know we have to fulfill this growing need, so this live (or online) certification fills this void. Even the stand-alone manual offers a great deal of research-based moves for body and mind.”

Written with the input of Bernadette C. O’Brien, the most chronologically enriched SCW-Certified Continuing Education provider at over 86 years young, the book gives both teachers and agers practical suggestions about training the brain with the body. “This new concept of brain training, called ‘neuroplasticity,’ is a hot topic these days,” says Biscontini, “because everyone is interested in knowing what we can do to avoid Alzheimer’s and other forms of mild cognitive impairment as we age.” Among other topics, the new text sheds light on neurogenesis, the controversial topic proposing that the brain can regenerate new neurons.

The book outlines neuroplasticity in various sections to make implementation into daily life much easier than reading all at once. Furthermore, several sections simplify the hemispheres of the brain and their functions. “Since the brain’s sides each control different functions, active aging involves some amount of training both sides of the brain each day, and most fitness outlets never considered that,” says O’Brien. “Until now.” This book offers practical and easy take-away options for training both sides of the brain.

“Among the most popular fears of Active Agers is falling,” says O’Brien, “and this course offers new research-based moves that promote gait efficiency, train fall-prevention and decrease reaction time all while adding brain games.”

Unique aspects of this book’s approach to Active Aging include:

• Multi-planar approaches to warm-ups and training sessions detailing the sequence of planes to train in order for Active Aging

• Unique uses of a chair for classes with hand weights

• Floor-based body-weight movement including tips to help people get up and down from the floor

•  A groundbreaking, barefoot-focused section of class that trains Active Agers on how to focus on foot fitness where appropriate, citing Biscontini’s “If our No. 1 fear is falling, maybe if we learn to take care of our feet, they will be able to take care of us.”

• An industry first 10-to-1 countdown method of take-away skills for becoming an empowered Active Ager in body and mind

• Easy-to-remember acronyms like F.A.T., A.W.E., and S.T.A.N.D. for incorporating drills into everyone’s daily life

• A detailed look at pelvic floor strengthening for men and women: where it starts, why it’s important and how to add a daily strengthening regime to improve overall core function

The book has unique sections of “Share This,” encouraging teachers and trainers, called Active Aging Movement Coaches or AAMCs, to share the information with classes and clients. Furthermore, most chapters offer facts for AAMCs to understand detailed information behind the practical skills and drills.

For more information on the SCW book SCW Active Aging Certification: Adding Life to Our Years, visit To hear the author discuss the book, visit  

For this and more information, books, and DVDs offered by Lawrence check out:

The latest buzzwords of this decade in terms of health and wellness are all about mind-body connections. Some may consider the phrase “mind-body” a little overused at this point because it can cover such a myriad of scenarios. What are the first images that come to mind when we think of mind-body? The basic response when I ask this question are statements such as ‘Yoga,’ ‘Pilates’ or even ‘Meditation.’ If you dig deeper, the terms ‘Emotions’ and ‘Wellness’ are repeated over and over are also used by many.

The National Institute of Health says that, for years, doctors have pondered about a link between our mental health and our physical well-being. It was, at one time, believed that emotions were linked to disease. This belief became less popular as more credence was spent on the science of bacteria and toxins, but in the last decade, the links between stress and health have been rediscovered.

The world we live in is stressful on many levels. Physical, financial, emotional and spiritual stressors are just a few examples. We stress about time or the lack thereof, we stress about events that may or may not come to pass in the future and we stress about the stress in our lives. It’s a constant merry-go-round.

In the past, we ignored our personal needs to take care of those around us. By listening to our bodies and taking the time to take care for ourselves, we can begin healing ourselves from the inside out. Helping others is a great thing to do, of course, but if you think of personal health and well-being, the shift of the focus needs to be on ourselves first before we can help others. Think of the airplane oxygen mask scenario: Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. We need to put on our own oxygen masks and ensure we are the best that we can be before helping our friends, family and clients.

In the fitness industry, physical stress is at the top of the list. We teach our clients how to enjoy some down time from their workouts, yet we might teach 10 hard-core fitness classes a week and train clients for long hours each day. Then, of course, we have our own personal fitness to manage. Are your fitness habits doing you more harm than good?

For most of us, the answer is yes. We might try to ignore it, but when we have that tight hamstring, weak lower back or inflamed rotator cuff because we demoed an exercise a little too intensely, we need to stop and listen. Our health is no longer a low priority. I know for me, the first thing I think about when I have tight muscles or a super hard workout is getting a massage. In addition to the peaceful “ohm” type of mental relaxation a massage gives, it also can get into the nooks and crannies of all those little injuries and sore muscles that always seem to be present. I recall telling a friend that I couldn’t remember the last time in the last 20 years I wasn’t physically sore … until now.

Massage has been used for thousands of years, and there are over 80 different styles of massage. It seems that almost everyone out there can now understand the benefits of massage, starting with the most basic: healing injuries and promoting overall wellness. Even scientific research has shown that 3-5 minutes a few times a day can help with acute muscle soreness and will break up toxins more than saving up to do a 30-minute to an hour massage once a month. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking the time to get a full-hour massage, but during the interim, I am able to help those trigger points within 30 seconds and even perform a full-body treatment in four minutes.

Some big objections I tend to see with the idea of treating ourselves to massages are the time it takes out of the day and the cost. I used to be one of those people. I would work myself so hard physically that I needed a massage a week to help treat all those overuse injuries. I was lucky if I had the time once a month to treat myself. When I think of massages, I want to be able to treat the soreness from stress, chronic pain, muscle tension, overuse injuries and even some circulation challenges from lack of rest.

When I first walked by the MyoBuddy booth, I was intrigued. I have used massage tools in the past, and they do help to an extent, so I decided to give it a go. I was in definite need of some active recovery and myofascial release of the inflamed tissues in my body.

What I learned within minutes was that the MyoBuddy PRO Massager® took care of my physical stress needs: the basic massage, recovery, mobility, relaxation, circulation and much-needed active recovery from my fitness routines. I was able to treat my moderate soreness without any down time. Those four minutes had the same effects on that area of the body that a full-body massage has given me. The reason for this is that the MyoBuddy PRO Massager® is the strongest percussive massage unit on the market. It’s based on a G5 Electric Massager, which is used in many chiropractor’s offices and normally costs a few thousand dollars, whereas here we are talking only a few hundred dollars.

I can use the MyoBuddy anywhere because it is so portable. I can use it in conjunction with personal training, physical rehabilitation, my yoga and Pilates practices, for my sport training life, and just to relax for a change. It is so incredibly user-friendly, even my massage therapist, whom I have gone to for years, now uses it on herself.

We all can enjoy different modes of muscle recovery via massage: relaxation, trigger point, deep tissue, recovery, sports, circulatory, friction, percussion, mobility and even pre/post exercise. The MyoBuddy PRO Massager® does it all, does it well and does it fast!

Summing it up, whether you’re in pain or just want to feel better or whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, weekend-warrior, cross-fitter or marathoner, the MyoBuddy PRO Massager® offers wellness in seconds and assists with RECOVERY, MOBILITY and CIRCULATION as well as much-needed RELAXATION. When you need a deep massage now, MyoBuddy PRO empowers you to create healing in a short amount of time in your own home or office and it feels AMAZING!

Experience MyoBuddy firsthand at a MANIA® near you! and check out the MyoBuddy products at

High-intensity group exercise is a hot new trend and for good reason. Exercisers get the benefits that come with an intense workout while enjoying the social aspects of group exercise. With sports such as indoor cycling and aerobics classes, everyone can find a workout suited to their personalities and health conditions. Here are five reasons you may want to check out a high-intensity group exercise.

1. Less Time and Better Results

When you work out at a higher intensity, you speed up the heart rate and burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. Time-crunched people who still want to be healthy and fit will appreciate the ratio of calories burned to workout time. You can burn up to 500 calories in a one-hour spinning class if you put in the effort and work hard.

2. Shake-Up Traditional Workouts

High-intensity exercise is designed for those who have been working out or have been approved by their doctor. It’s the ideal choice for anyone who feels they have gotten stuck in a rut or hit a plateau and aren’t seeing the results they want. These results may be weight loss or toning-up certain areas and building muscle. High-intensity exercise can shake things up and force the body to work harder.

You’ll see the most benefit if you participate in something other than what you’ve been doing. For instance, try an indoor cycling group exercise class if you’ve been running. Your body will feel the difference in the type of workout as well as the increased intensity.

3. Results After the Workout

High-intensity workouts keep your body burning calories even after you have showered and gone home. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine says you can burn up to 15 percent more calories than with other workouts because of what you burn after you’ve finished exercising. Your metabolism can enjoy a boost for up to 48 hours after a workout, which means you continue to burn more calories, and you have more energy for the rest of your day.

Another result that is beneficial for everyone who participates in high-intensity exercise is the improved glucose tolerance, which helps prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

4. Works with Almost Any Equipment or None

High-intensity group exercise can use almost any piece of equipment or even none at all. The foundation of this type of exercise is using body weight, such as in running, performing squats and lunges, or pushups and sit-ups. Add a stationary bike or elliptical trainer and set it to a challenging pace. You can even do strength training at high intensity to get better results.

What is really great about this type of exercise is that high intensity for one person may not be the same as for another. Regardless of your current fitness level, you can increase the intensity to get results. A person in excellent shape will have to work harder and faster than someone just starting out, but both will see results when they increase their heart rates.

5. Compete and Encourage

Group exercise is designed to make working out more fun. You can encourage each other to work harder and “hang in there” when you feel like you want to quit. With many exercises such as indoor cycling, the results of each person’s workout can be posted on a screen for everyone to see. This enhances the competitive aspect of the workout, which can inspire each person to do their best and push a little more.

Working out in a group environment is more fun, especially if you are social person. You look forward to the atmosphere even if everyone is working too hard to converse. Plus, you begin to feel a sense of commitment, as if someone is expecting you to attend the class, which can encourage you to get out of bed when the alarm goes off or swing by the gym on your way home from work.

Group classes are popular because they make exercise fun. High-intensity workouts get results, which is why they appeal to people. When you combine the two into a high-intense group exercise class, you double the benefits. It becomes a workout that is tough but fun, which means you’re more likely to stick with it since you see results and enjoy going to the class.


Visit a MANIA® near you to try a variety of cycle and HIIT classes! Check out to learn more.

Or, check out the options you have to get certified LIVE! Or Online!


  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 t. dijon mustard
  • 1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • S&P to taste (less than 1/4 t.)avocadotoast
  • 2 slices of gluten-free or wholegrain bread, toasted
  • 1 egg, fried over easy
  • 1 T. fresh rosemary, chopped


  1. Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Spread avocado mixture evenly onto toasted bread.
  3. Layer egg on top of avocado mixture and sprinkle with chopped rosemary.

Now whip this baby up, and don’t forget to show us your brunch!

Check out POUND® and try the workout LIVE! At a MANIA® near you!

The client/patient presents with the familiar rounded shoulders, posterior pelvic tilt and head forward posture. All the fitness professional wants to do is place a knee between the patient’s scapula, grab the shoulders, pull them back and say, “There, now stand up straight!” This scene is all too familiar, and historically, the fitness professional has advised the client to stretch the pectorals, anterior deltoids and abdominals and strengthen the posterior shoulder complex. At times, we place the client/patient on a seated row machine and strengthened the posterior shoulder and latissimus dorsi from this position. We have good intentions, however; are we looking at the symptom or the problem? In other words, are we addressing the functional cause?

Kyphosis is a muscular imbalance that causes flexion of the lumbar spine on the pelvis, increased thoracic flexion and cervical flexion. Viewed from the lateral perspective, there is a reduction in lumbar and cervical lordosis, increased thoracic kyphosis or flexion, shoulder and scapular abduction (protraction) and a relatively posteriorly tilted pelvis. The traditional approach of stretch the anterior shoulder region and strengthen the posterior region is only part of the solution. From a biomechanical reaction, when the upper thoracic spine becomes further flexed, the lumbar and cervical spines will flex and the pelvis will tilt posteriorly. When the pelvis becomes posteriorly tilted, the lumbar spine will flex, the thoracic spine will flex further, and the cervical spine will reduce lordosis, head tilt forward and downward. In all but very rare cases will this reaction occur as mentioned previously.

A Brief Look at the Spinal Reaction of Pelvic Changes

Let’s quickly analyze how the pelvis can affect spinal position. 

chuck1First, stand with feet about hip-width apart in a bilateral neutral position.

Now imagine reaching your head to the sky, not looking up, but stand tall from greater trochanter of the femur to the top of the head. (left photo)

Place the back of the hand at the lumbar spine (right photo). Typically, there should be a natural lordotic curve at the lumbar spine and the head held upright with a natural lordosis in the cervical spine.

Notice how the lumbar spine is relatively extended to the pelvis and the concomitant relative anterior tilting of the pelvis to the spine. You may want to observe this from the lateral side view.

chuck2Next, round the shoulders (scapular protraction) and notice how the lumbar spine flexed, the increased thoracic flexion, the loss of cervical extension, and how the head shifts forward and downward. Also, note the position of the pelvis as it tilted posteriorly on the lumbar spine. This is often the postural alignment many of our client’s/patient’s possess.

For the moment, imagine you are walking in the shoes of those that present with kyphosis and the health and fitness professional tells them to stand up straight with their shoulders pulled back. They try but now stand with strain on their face as they have adducted their shoulder girdle but have not addressed the posterior pelvic tilt. They now have an abrupt compressing conflict at the thoraco-lumbar junction. The reason is because the pelvis has a relative flexed position with the lumbar spine and the distal thoracic spine begins to extend at the thoraco-lumbar junction near the still-flexed lumbar spine. Notice that the pelvis is tilted posteriorly to the lumbar spine.

Create the Environment for the Client to become Successful

To improve the kyphotic condition, we must create an environment of success for our client. For this to naturally and functionally occur, the pelvis must be relatively anterior tilted to the lumbar spine, thus creating lumbar extension. To achieve this, position the client into a posterior lunge with the right leg and ensure the right heel remains on the ground. Notice how the right pelvis has become anteriorly tilted to the lumbar spine. Place the back of your hand at the lumbar spine and observe the increased lumbar lordosis. To improve shoulder-girdle posture, extend the left arm while it is abducted to waist height and notice how this movement pattern creates scapular retraction (adduction), the thoracic spine extends, the lumbar spine gains relative lordosis and how the cervical spine improves its lordosis while the head draws back, resulting in greatly improved posture. If desired, have the client/patient hold a rubber tube to add resistance as they extend the arm. As a functional alternative, use a dumbbell in the left hand, flex forward from the waist and reach the left arm anteriorly to waist or knee height. Then, extend the torso back and reach the arm back while slightly abducted at waist height. This will create a scapular retraction and help strengthen the posterior shoulder girdle and back. Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions, then repeat on the opposite side. Be sure to change leg positions to address both sides of the back. In this way, we can functionally create an environment for success to improve posture.

The same posterior lunge position can be used while stretching the anterior aspect of the client with kyphosis. The stretches can be combined with the movement patterns and create a “load/unload” for both the anterior and posterior chains.