Sportsmith Blog


In today’s tight economy, even the large “too big to fail” businesses need to find new and innovative ways to get new customers and maintain the customers they already have. Gyms and are no exception. In fact, with the rise in popularity of home exercise DVDs and home workout systems, gyms have to try harder than ever to maintain their customer base.

Yoga isn’t one of those “flash in the pan” exercise programs that you hear about today and is gone in a month’s time. It’s an ancient system, over 5000 years old. Its original purpose was religious enlightenment, but today’s modern Yoga is primarily an exercise regimen. Yoga has retained its popularity through many of the new “revolutionary” exercise programs and devices. Remember the Thigh Master? Tae-Bo? The list goes on and on. Every year new regimens and equipment come out touting to be the next big thing that will reduce the time and effort of exercise while seemingly costing more and more. The beauty of Yoga is that it’s inexpensive in terms of equipment needed, and is a proven exercise method. Those things combined make it a great way to stay fit in a down economy.

One of the main positive aspects of Yoga that you can impress upon your members is its inexpensiveness. All a practitioner really needs is a Yoga mat and some appropriate clothing. Of course there are all kinds of equipment available, and any place that includes Yoga courses in its regimens should make this sort of equipment available for its members. This can either be “communal” equipment that any member can use, or you can offer certain pieces of equipment for sale as well. One popular method is to offer mats for members for free while other equipment, such as blocks and rollers, are for sale. This offers the basic equipment needed so new members aren’t intimidated, while offering other options to your existing members. Of course, after a while almost all of your members, whether old or new, will want their own Yoga mat, so you should make these available for sale as well.

Press upon your members the effectiveness of Yoga. Its low-impact style means that someone averse to exercises like jogging and weight-lifting can get a full workout without the muscle and joint strain common in many exercise regimens. Almost anyone can perform Yoga, even overweight or injured members. Perhaps put together a video montage of various athletes who incorporate Yoga into their own daily exercise (gymnasts and swimmers are particularly fond of Yoga). Of course, a good instructor is essential here, but due to Yoga’s current popularity, instructors should not be difficult to find.

Yoga’s current popularity among athletes and celebrities is also a great selling point. While you should avoid highlighting so-called “fad” exercise regimens, don’t undersell Yoga’s current popularity. Many members will always be looking for what is “in” as far as exercise is concerned, and Yoga is most definitely “in”.

Most any health club these days includes Yoga in their lineup. If yours doesn’t, perhaps it’s time to start! Everyone likes variety and options, and perhaps some of those members of your establishment would like to try something other than Pilates or Zumba. If that’s the case, Yoga’s slow pace and different mindset might make the perfect alternative.


Electrical Troubleshooting for Stairmaster

Stairmaster 4600, 4400, & 4000PT Stairclimbers, among the most popular exercise machines sold on the market today, have three electrical components that are responsible for most troubleshooting calls.  The Alternator, Diode, and the resistor are the heart and soul of the Stairmaster 4600/4400PT Stairclimber and often cause resistance levels to drop creating performance problems.

Tools Needed:

7/16”, 3/8”, & 1/4” nut drivers. 4” piece of wire with alligator clips attached to each end, and a multi-meter,


The Stairmaster loses all resistance when you step onto the pedals.

Alternator Test:

First, remove the machine from its power source. Then remove the side panels so you have a clear view of the alternator. On the back of the alternator, remove the black wire from the terminal B+ (marked POS). Remove the brown wire from the field terminal. You will need a length of wire 4” long with alligator clips attached to each end of the wire. Attach the wire to the B+ (POS) terminal and the field terminal, step on the machine for 10-15 seconds; if full resistance is present, the alternator has correct current flow. If no resistance is present, the next item to check is the alternator brushes. The brown square plate with two machine screws is the cover to the brushes. Remove the two machine screws with a ¼” nut driver and remove the alternator brushes. There should be ¼” or more of brush, any less and the alternator brushes should be replaced first. If the proper amount of brush is available, replace the alternator.

Diode Test:

Remove the brown wire and diode from the field terminal of the alternator and set the multi-meter to the Ohms setting. Place one lead on each end of the diode, and then reverse the leads. A good diode will indicate a high reading in one direction and a lower reading in the opposite direction. Replace the diode if both readings are high or if both readings are low.

Resistor Test:

Remove one wire from the load resistor and place one lead from the multi-meter, one each threaded post on the resistor. If the multi-meter does not read 0.5 Ohms, replace the resistor.  As with any maintenance, procedures always consult your owners’ manual or seek the advice of a qualified repair technician.

Stairmaster Equipment Troubleshooting Videos


Weight Lifting Accessories

Weight lifting is a great exercise that builds strength, and even self confidence, but do you need accessories to accomplish this?


Weight lifting, especially heavy lifting, requires strong leg, back, and abdominal muscles.  In order to protect those muscles you may want to invest in a weight lifting belt.  These are belts worn while lifting weights overhead and also while lifting in an upright position.  Belts are designed to reduce the strain placed on the back muscles during these lifts.  They are made in a variety of materials and sizes.  Not only are professional lifters using these now, recreational lifters are also starting to use them as well.  Belts work by compressing the abdominal cavity to reduce the amount of stress placed on the lower back during lifting.  The tightness of the belt is also important.  Weight lifting belts should not be worn extremely tight because they can cause a rise in blood pressure.  Belts also make the lifter more aware of the position of their back, which can lead to better posture in lifting, and better performance.

Bar Pad

Bar pad eases pressure on shoulders during squats and lunges to enable lifting of heavier weights. Bar pads wrap around the bar and protects the lifter´s neck and shoulders. Typically bar pads fit around all standard and Olympic bars.

Lifting Straps

Straps supplement and enhance grip without compromising feel for the bar, enabling heavier lifting with less fatigue.

Lifting Chalk

Apply to hands for a secure grip when lifting without gloves to help prevent bar from slipping during lifts, and under knee wraps for extra hold. Keeps hands dry for a secure grip.


Weight lifting gloves can also be beneficial.  Using gloves can help with grip, pressure which causes sore hands, and calluses.  Some things to look for in a pair of weight lifting gloves are:

* Material – Leather and neoprene gloves allow for better grip, and hold up longer than nylon gloves.

* Fit – Gloves should fit tightly enough to give you a good grip, but not so tight that they cut off circulation.

* Wrist wraps – Gloves with wrist wraps give added support when lifting, and can help to prevent certain injuries.

* Fingerless – Using fingerless gloves helps to prevent the build up of sweat.

Although accessories are not mandatory for all forms of weight lifting, if you are considering heavy lifting you should be sure to take all of the necessary precautions.

Author: Philip Martinez of the <a href="">Shaun T Insanity Workout Store</a>, its the number one site to <a href="">Get Insanity</a>.