SCW Spotlite: Issue 37

August 9, 2021
Enjoy the monthly buzz about all things fitness. Fitness Pros are always on the go, so we’ll leave the “Lite” on!

Make CBD An Important Part of Your Daily Routine

With all the challenges we’ve faced over the last year between a global pandemic, an economic recession and civil unrest, many of us have been examining our daily routines in the quest to create better, less stressful lives. We’re also learning that traditional goals and resolutions rarely work. In fact, according to a survey by Our Community Now, 66% of Americans have opted out of the traditional resolutions that result in deadlines and instead focus on setting “intentions” to create change more organically. One such intention is to seek a life with less anxiety and more focus. Some have even started incorporating CBD products into their daily routines to manage anxiety and improve focus.

Intentions vs. Goals

Goals are things you want to accomplish by a specific due date and sometimes come with anxiety or fear. Intentions, on the other hand, are more immediate. Daily intentions are set to start the day on the right foot and focus on productivity, positivity, and success. While mental health concerns skyrocketed last year as people struggled to manage stress and anxiety in the wake of the pandemic, many Americans were forced to create new routines to prioritize their health and fitness. Very similar to setting intentions, creating a routine has proven to help feel more organized, in control, and ready to take on the day.

No more waking up on the wrong side of the bed and running on fumes throughout the day. Be intentional by creating a routine that supports your body during the day and throughout the night. How you start your day is how you love your life, and let’s face it, as we continue to get older, our bodies can use an extra boost to help us stay energized and productive.

Here are a few easy personal intentions to create:

  • Workout more often
  • Dedicate time to meditate
  •  Be more productive
Could CBD Be the Key to Keeping Those New Intentions?

As you embark on this new wellness journey, consider incorporating CBD into your regime to improve your mind and body holistically. CBD or cannabidiol is a naturally occurring substance derived from the hemp plant and, when used frequently, can help your body restore naturally by decreasing stress, anxiety, and pain caused by inflammation. At Sacred CBD, we recently surveyed our customers to learn about their experience using Sacred products. We found that people who use multiple CBD products as a routine are 18% more satisfied than those who only use one product.

Let’s refer to those intentions and turn them into a routine incorporating CBD.

  • Set an goal to begin waking up at 6:30 am and dedicate 10 minutes to gratitude. After a 10-minute gratitude meditation, you could take a dose of a wellness tincture (such as our own Sacred CBD Wellness Tincture) to help you stay focused and gain clarity for the day.
  • Instead of making a goal to lose 10 pounds by the Spring, set an intention to work out more often by implementing a workout that gets your body moving. Whether that be an intense gym workout with weights, yoga, or Zumba, the goal is to move your body and break a sweat. As you stretch out before your workout routine, try using a CBD lotion (such as our Sacred CBD Pain Lotion) to help you hop into fitness positions with ease.
  • After your workout, rub down with a CBD balm (like our Sacred CBD Pain Balm) to help minimize inflammation and muscle soreness. End your night with another drop of wellness tincture to help you get a restful night’s sleep. By incorporating CBD products into your routine daily, you’re restoring your body naturally. In fact, many companies like Sacred offer product bundles that make it easy to incorporate CBD into your routine.
  • Realistically the key to creating a healthier lifestyle is consistency. Actual changes won’t happen overnight. However, the beauty in setting intentions instead of goals is that you can work on creating the difference at your own pace. If you stick to the right regime, you’ll see the results you hope to achieve over time.

To learn more about incorporating CBD into your fitness routine, visit to find the best product (save 25% w/code mania25) for your journey and try a free sample. Sacred CBD is a proud sponsor of SCW Midwest MANIA®. Get registered today and grab your seat in the multiple educational sessions being presented by Fabio Comana and Kelli Roberts.


About the Author, The Sacred CBD Team

Founded by women, Sacred makes thoughtfully tested and perfected, real life approved, Full Spectrum CBD infused balms, lotions, gel caps and tinctures. These high-quality blends of science and nature were created to help relieve the pain, tension, and stress we face every day. We believe every body is sacred.

Midwest MANIA® Returns!

by Robin Taylor

2020, a year to remember, a year to forget. Trauma and heartache led to new experiences and life changing moments. As Fitness Professionals, we survived through the thick and thin, from being confined to home and teaching virtual classes, adding outdoor masked workouts, to eventually incorporating hybrid sessions once facility doors reopened. Not only have we pivoted in a different direction, but we also realized we can overcome whatever life throws at us. Come 2021, government restrictions are lifted and COVID vaccinations arrive providing protection and peace of mind allowing us to resume what we love.

SCW Fitness has been planning for the big day to reconvene in-person. With open arms, handshakes, and real hugs, we announce the return of Midwest MANIA®, October 1-3, 2021. As much as you love our Live-Stream MANIA®, we know you’re eager to return to 3-full days of friends, industry idols, shopping, sweat and more. Over 200 powerful sessions, which 80+ are hybrid, led by 70 of your favorites and soon to be favorite presenters. Earn up to 20 CEC/CEUs from SCW, ACE, AEA, AFAA & NASM, plus over two days pre & post-convention certifications. Here’s a sneak peek video of what to expect.

The innovative and powerful schedule is filled with an enormous assortment of topics and focuses. Get a seat in the latest trending sessions covering 13 of today’s hottest fitness formats and business spotlights. Lectures and workshops, like “The Golden Gait” by Melissa Layne, “All Time HIITS” with Abbie Appel, “Fired Up Cardio & Core for Motherhood” fronted by Jessica Maurer, “Jump Rope Cardio” by Siri Chilazi, “Why You Can’t Stop Eating” with Sohailla Digsby,
“Internal Guidelines” led by Bill McBride and “Predictions to Become Future Ready” presented by Sara Kooperman.

Whether you’ve had an itch to learn a new format, or your club needs specific instructors, 20 certifications await those looking to advance their fitness career both before and after MANIA®. With full and half-day accreditations available, the SCW titles range from T’ai Chi and Kettlebell to Barre and Active Aging Nutrition. Our sponsor hosted certifications include Schwinn® Cycling, Zumba® Basic, Balletone® and WATERinMOTION® just to name a few.

Midwest MANIA® offers much more than just sessions and certifications. The expo and sponsors are sure to be a hit. Multiple hallways at The Westin O’Hare Hotel are to be lined with exhibitors excited to show you the latest in music, equipment, apparel, supplements and more. Of course, the SCW Booth will be fully stocked with new MANIA® t-shirts & tanks, videos, accessories, and the 50% off Reebok & Athletic Apparel cage with workout clothes to complete your style. Don’t forget to take advantage of the show discount and subscribe to SCW OnDemand, now with more than 600 videos, 70+ presenters and over 20 topics. Lastly, MANIA® Convention couldn’t take place without the incredible sponsors. Check out everything Core Health & Fitness, Savvier Fitness, Hedstrom Fitness, Zumba and WATERinMOTION® have to offer and with 15 new associate sponsors, not only will your mind be overflowing with novel education, but your classes will as well when you get home.

SCW Fitness is all about customer service and community awareness. No MANIA® would be complete without a Charity Raffle. Dozens of prizes, donated by our generous sponsors, will be available to win with all proceeds supporting The American Cancer Society. Unfortunately, many of us either know someone or have been personally touched with this awful diagnosis. Cancer has taken so many lives, so SCW decided to do their part and help to raise money to continue the fight. Be sure to set aside a little extra and purchase raffle tickets to help our cause.

Registration options have expanded to accommodate all our participants. Choose from either a 3-Day In-Person MANIA® for only $259 (was $359), includes 200+ sessions along with 42 SCW/IHRSA Health & Fitness Business Summit lectures. For those on a budget, apply to be a Staff Assistant. Work 1 day, get the other 2 days FREE. Registration is $99 (a $260 savings) and monitor in area of your choice while still earning up to 20 CECs. Not only that, but you receive 50% OFF all SCW Certifications, 20% OFF all SCW Products, a FREE MANIA® T-shirt, FREE SCW Member Room refreshments, FREE pizza party on Thursday evening, and a FREE SCW Staff Dinner Party with drinks & prizes. Lastly, new to SCW MANIA®, STREAMING and RECORDED ONLY registration is available for only $199 (was $299) with over 80 Zoom sessions and 40 days of recordings for those not ready to return to in-person. Also, for those participants attending Midwest MANIA®, the streamed recordings are only $40 more. What more could you ask for? This is a prime opportunity to review the workshops on your own time at home that might have been missed at MANIA®.

Now that we’ve got you jumping out of your skin with excitement, it’s time to check out the schedule and get registered. See which of your favorite presenters are leading the way at Midwest MANIA®. Here’s your chance to do something for your career, your members and of course YOU! Lastly, don’t forget to share this exciting news with your friends and family. The more the merrier but reserve your room quickly. The room rate specials will sell out quick. Looking forward to seeing you in at SCW Midwest MANIA® in Chicago, October 1-3, 2021.


About the Author, Robin Taylor

Robin is the SCW Editor for Spotlite, Tidal Waves and Weekly Work-UP, as well as Assistant Product Manager for MANIA® Fitness Conventions and Team Manager for WATERinMOTION®. Having taught Aquatic Fitness for over 15 years, Robin is AEA and AFAA certified and a WATERinMOTION® Champion. She has participated in several WIM educational videos, as both a pool participant and on-deck presenter. Robin has been an employee of SCW for almost five years. She is married and has two adult daughters and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida.

Gluteal Amnesia: What is it and How Do We Fix it?

by Elly Frymire Cone

Gluteal amnesia, sleeping butt, dead butt syndrome; these names may cause you to chuckle when you hear them, but it is no laughing matter. The glutes or buttocks are the largest muscle group in our body and if not functioning properly can result in pain and discomfort in many other areas. Luckily, there is a lot we can do to wake up that derrière!

Let’s start by explaining what it is and how it happens. Basically, this syndrome occurs when the glutes or butt muscles forget how to activate and properly do their job. The biggest reason is due to inactivity mainly from a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting all day causes compression on our glutes which slows down our vascular or nerve function. As the old saying goes, move it, or lose it.

There are ways to determine if you suffer from gluteal amnesia. First, pain. It can occur in various areas of the body. The wrong muscles take over for lack of gluteal activity, typically our lower back muscles and hamstrings. The result is pain in these improperly recruited muscles.

Here’s a quick test: Lie on your back and bend your knees keeping your feet on the ground. Lift your butt into a bridge position, then lift one leg. Hold here for 10 seconds. Feel your glutes on both sides, are they tight? Yes? Great. Now feel the front or quadriceps of your lifted thigh, if these muscles are also tight or your back begins to hurt, it may mean your glutes are not doing their proper job.

If you have glute amnesia, it’s also very likely that you also have tight hip flexors which are located at the front of your body where you bend at the waist to sit. The description is simple, your glutes are getting over stretched and compressed while your hip flexors are tight and shortened from staying in this seated or flexed position. The technical term for this situation is called Lower Cross Syndrome. It is this chronic imbalance that contributes to keeping your glutes in an elongated and weakened state. The key is getting your glutes to fire while also stretching your hip flexors.

This diagnosis is detrimental to the whole body as the glutes are the strongest and largest muscle group and responsible for our propulsion. When they don’t function properly, we rely on other muscles to get the job done. This results in faulty movement patterns and possibly further injury. To correct our imbalance, we need to activate and strengthen our glutes while stretching and lengthening our hip flexors. Challenge the butt muscles with big explosive movements like jumping, hip thrusts, running, squatting, and lunging.

To begin though let’s start small and make certain this important muscle group is working properly.

Isometric contractions: This is a gentle wake up call to your glutes.

A: Start by contracting your glutes (squeezing your butt muscles together) for 3 seconds. (The great thing about these exercises is they can be done anywhere and require no equipment.) As you squeeze, make sure both sides of your glutes are contracting equally. If one side is still asleep, focus only on this side until it wakes up. Don’t let one side work for both or you will then develop a strength imbalance issue- perform 2 sets of 10 reps: seated, standing and lying face down.

Dynamic drills: Use either a small loop band or an ArcaRay w/resistance band. The idea of incorporating equipment is to activate your glute fibers, not letting your hamstrings or hip flexors take over during the lift. Focus is on quality, created by specific mind-muscle connections. Tactical stimulation or touching the muscles creates activation to increase mental awareness in that area. Placing your fingers on the skin immediately engages your nerve endings causing muscle response. This light touch sends a signal to the brain to help it focus and recruit those muscles. Used properly, over time this will generate greater recruitment of the working muscle. (Rule of thumb, as you work through these exercises below, try to consciously focus and squeeze the targeted muscles throughout the entire range of motion. It takes time but with practice, you will get better.)

A: Side lying abduction exercises (with heel leading towards ceiling) – perform 2 sets of 10 reps

B: Quadruped glute pushbacks – perform 2 sets of 8 reps

C: Single leg glute bridge with pulldowns – perform 2 sets of 10 reps

Thankfully, there are ways to improve and reverse our gluteal amnesia. Getting up and out of our chairs is the first step in addressing this condition. Becoming aware of your own body and listening to what it is telling you is key to overall physical health. Nobody can listen more effectively than you!

To learn more about muscle activation, balance, and awareness, join Elly at Midwest MANIA®, October 1-3. Registration starts at $99 (was $359.) Arcarays are a patented foot platform designed to use with rubberized tubing. For more information visit the ArcaRays website.


About the Author, Elly Frymire Cone

Elly holds a BS and fitness certifications from ACE, NASM, Arthritis Foundation, and Exercise is Medicine. As founder, creator and CEO of ArcaRays, she developed safe products to enhance core balance and fall risk reduction, creating a key solution to aging well. Elly brings her years of experience and an enthusiastic passion to help older adults stay fit, active and independent.

Dreams Do Come True – Become a Fitness Idol

by Robin Taylor

Jane Fonda, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jillian Michaels, Billie Blanks, Richard Simmons, and Kathy Smith weren’t born as Celebrity Fitness Gurus, they all started the same way we did, taking classes, teaching sessions, becoming personal trainers, getting recognized and finally becoming an Idol.

If you’ve ever dreamed that one day you will be in front of other fitness professionals sharing your knowledge or specialty; then that day is now! Here’s your opportunity to join the ranks of top MANIA® Fitness Pro Convention presenters who jump started their careers with SCW Fitness. They applied, auditioned, and won. Now it’s your turn to become the next SCW Fitness Idol.

All-Star Presenters such as Tricia Silverman, Yury Rockit, Billie Wartenberg, and Connie Martin stood in your shoes. They knew they wanted more and went after it. Take the first step and apply on the SCW Fitness Idol Competition webpage.

“Dream it. Believe it. Achieve it. Inspire others to join you,” encourages Rachel Lauria, 2018 MANIA® Fitness Idol Winner. “I am not only a better presenter now, but Fitness Idol has given me the confidence to keep going on my journey and share my passion with others. I am so grateful!”

SCW is always looking for that special Personal Trainer, Group Fitness, Business, Leadership, and Nutrition Lecturer, and Aqua Presenter. All categories and disciplines are welcome to apply. Winning the title of SCW Fitness Idol is just the beginning. Each winner receives an assortment of career boosting prizes.

  1. A position as a Presenter at a future SCW MANIA®
  2. A FREE MANIA® Registration for the Idol Winner
  3. A FREE MANIA® Registration for a selected friend
  4. A FREE SCW Live Certification
  5. Complimentary admission to the SCW Presenter’s Suite
  6. Complimentary invitation to the Presenter Dinner/Drinks Party
  7. Coverage in an SCW Idol press release that appears in SCW Spotlite e-newsletter
  8. A one-time mentoring experience with one of our Idol Judges

Now that you’ve applied, the rest is YOU! The audition is only 3-minutes, on stage, filled with creativity and inspiration. Whether it’s cardio, strength or some other choreography, the key is motivation and confidence. Your presentation can include movement, lecture or a combination and equipment isn’t required. The judges are looking for quality verbal and visual cuing techniques plus the ability to lead the group and connect with the participants. It’s that simple!

We encourage each applicant to bring students, friends, and family along to support them during the Fitness Idol Contest. These individuals can follow you on the ground in a simulated class while you teach from the stage! SCW can help you with your music and if special equipment is required just let us know. Lastly, if you are unable to apply online, all walk-ins are welcome.

“It was a game-changing moment and has led to many amazing career opportunities that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t put myself out there,” said Tricia Silverman, 2016 SCW Fitness Idol Winner. This experience and win led me to presenting at MANIA® continuously less than a year later, speaking at other fitness conferences, lead the Active Aging Nutrition Certification, and write an Amazon best-selling book titled Healthy Dividends, Investments in Nutrition, Movement, and Healthy Habits that Pay Off.

Here are a few tips for taking the next step in your career from Tricia Silverman:

  • Apply for fitness idol.
  • Create a vision board and add fitness idol as well as other things you want in your life and career. Set goals and take inspired action to reach your vision.
  • Get your best material together that you can do in 3 minutes, focusing on innovative moves or tips.
  • Get mentors and coaches to help you along your journey.

As Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” The next SCW Fitness Idol will take place at Midwest MANIA®, October 1-3 at The Westin O’Hare in Chicago. Only you can lead yourself and your career and SCW Fitness is here to help you.


About the Author, Robin Taylor

Robin is the SCW Editor for Spotlite, Tidal Waves and Weekly Work-UP, as well as Assistant Product Manager for MANIA® Fitness Conventions and Team Manager for WATERinMOTION®. Having taught Aquatic Fitness for over 15 years, Robin is AEA and AFAA certified and a WATERinMOTION® Champion. She has participated in several WIM educational videos, as both a pool participant and on-deck presenter. Robin has been an employee of SCW for almost five years. She is married and has two adult daughters and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida.

The Most Loved and Hated Exercise: The Burpee

by Brook Benten, M.Ed.

Part of the reason why “the burpee” is dreaded so much is because it taxes the total body, or at least you think it does. When you remove the push-up; the back (on the descent), pecs and triceps (on the ascent), and core on the full push-up phase, you are left with a core, deltoids, legs, and glutes exercise. That’s not so bad, right? Actually, that is the original burpee.

This underappreciated move is named after exercise physiologist, Dr. Royal Burpee as part of his Columbia University PhD dissertation. He developed, in the 1930s, “the burpee test” to assess both muscular and cardiovascular endurance of his clients and create a mode of human performance. The move consisted of standing, squatting (hands to floor), plank, squatting (hands to floor), standing up again.

Do you see a push-up in there? NO! Do you see a requirement for the feet to lift off of the ground? NO! Those two moves were added over time to make the burpee harder, but the bare-bones burpee is just a squat thrust with an overhead reach!

My first experience with the burpee was at an SCW MANIA® conference session with Keli Roberts in 2006. I had already been in the fitness scene for seven years, but had never heard of the term “burpee.” Judging by the hum-dinger looks on fellow fitness professionals’ faces, they hadn’t either. At the same time as my first burpee taste, this personally new found exercise had already been altered by CrossFit pros. It seems we can track the erroneous belief that the burpee is all of the above, plus a push-up and a jump, to the same place we can track “double-unders,” “WODs,” and “man-makers.” CrossFit qualifies burpees to include these extras.

There’s nothing wrong with upping the ante and adding a push-up and a jump, which accurately qualifies it as a “bastardo” exercise. But, if you’re getting off the couch and decide burpees may be fun, there is no need to tack on extra feats of strength, the basic burpee is just a plank to stand up and you can do that.

Now get off that sofa and just do it- we double dog, double-under, double-duex-burpee dare you!

Step 1: Stand up, straight and tall, then tuck down into a deep squat and touch your fingertips to the floor.

Step 2: Thrust out to a plank on your hands.

Step 5: Return to deep squat, touching your fingertips to the floor.

Step 4: Stand up and reach your hands high overhead.

So, the next time the instructor says it’s “Burpee time”, embrace it. Show the move some love. Don’t feel like you have to add the push-up and the jump. Take yourself back to the beginning and make the most of it. The most important thing to remember is to do it correctly and with proper posture.

This concludes the multi-article series, “Exercises You Never Knew You Were Doing Wrong.” I hope you enjoyed learning about your faves found it incredibly helpful and worth sharing. We covered every area of the body with basic exercises like renegade row, shoulder press, forward lunge, dead lift, abdominal crunch and burpee. If you missed an article, they can all be found on the SCW Fitness Education website under resources.


About the Author, Brook Benten, M.Ed.
Brook Benten, M.Ed., is an Austin-based fitness expert (named “Austin’s Fittest Fitness Professional,” 2012). She writes for Texas Lifestyle Magazine and travels Texas and beyond, seeking wellness adventures worth storytelling. Galivant with Brook on Instagram at @BrookBenten.

Choco-Berry Oat Bars

Chocolate is a definite go to, when craving a decadent treat, strawberries are full of vitamins and minerals, and oats have fiber and other beneficial nutrients. When you put them all together the result is a satisfying delicious snack that is devoured by everyone, not only that, but they are also perfect as an energy booster or before a workout.


1 cup oatmeal (rolled or quick)
1 cups oat or almond flour (either store bought or made in a food processor)
¼ cup ground flax seed (as a binder & adds protein)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter or vegan butter (can substitute coconut oil for additional flavor)
½ cup milk (your choice of type)
6 ounces of chocolate chips (dark is more flavorful)
½ cup coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
1 package fresh strawberries, chopped or diced

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees & line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper or lightly grease
  • In a bowl, toss strawberries and ground flax together
  • In another bowl, preferably large, combine all other ingredients to make the foundation.
  • Save 1 cup of mixture for topping and press the rest in the pan. Bake for 10 minutes to set.
  • Remove from oven and add strawberry layer on foundation.
  • Mix any liquid from strawberries with remaining oat mixture and crumble on top of strawberries.
  • Return to oven and bake for 30 minutes or until browned.
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