FITNESS SPORT No 1 year 2007

Archive for the only issue in English - Translate from the German issue No 12 STRENFLEX Fitness Decathlon

The lifestyle magazine for active people

6 th year • Edition no. 1 • Special edition 2007 • No. 12


� 3.—

Austria � 3.50 Switzerland CHF 4.50 USA $ 3.—

5 Years of STRENFLEX From Fitness-Tests to championships 72 Year Old

Kathi Fleig multiple Women’s fitness World Champion

Fitness World Champion Dr. Rolf Krempel Presents a basic test for fitness beginners How fit am I? Achieving a sports badge trough a fitness test!

A new technology helps sport! Events for fitness clubs: STRENFLEX Fitness Test Days

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Letter from the president





Comment from Dr. Rolf Krempel


Sylvia Gattiker explains the advantages of the fitness test 14

What does the fitness test involve?


Interview with Paul Underberg


Requirements: Fitness test sport badge - women


Requirements: Fitness test sport badge - men


Successful fitness test candidates 2006


STRENFLEX event idea


STRENFLEX information


Competition report – World Championships 2006


Rosmarie Thoma – World Championship fit at 60


Interview with Paul Underberg, fitness test candidate 16

STRENFLEX MASTERS competition rules


STRENFLEX OPEN competition rules




Editorial information


STRENFLEX calendar

81 year old Franz Rastl gains his silver badge


Fitness test days See Fitness test sport badge See MASTERS championships See OPEN championships See

Paul Bachmann, World Champion at 72 years of age 26

STRENFLEX fitness sport 12

„Am I a fitness softy?” This is exactly what an increasing number of people have been asking themselves since STRENFLEX was launched 5 years ago


The opposites are “extreme”: Smoker or non-smoker, too fat or too thin, fit or unfit (since 2002) or fitness softies! In our modern society of lazy, fat, idle and (sooner or later) ill people for whom the others, including myself, will eventually have to foot the bill, I sometimes can not help but making my point clear in an equally “extreme” way! Remember the saying from the bible? “You shall love your neighbour as your self”. Then what’s so bad about trying to encourage people to do something bene ficial for themselves, for their body and for their health? Nothing! Granted, I do sometimes go a bit overboard verbally – but that’s only because nobody will listen to nice, well meant advice anymore. Even politicians are now increasingly advocating the use of tougher educatio nal methods, including at schools. Many things have gone wrong and it is hard not to notice the indifference and lack of concern exhibited by some parents – many youths roam the streets, bored, often looking for a fight, with no respect for people and their property. Looking for some sort of “support” they easily get tied to dubious gangs. And all this is hap pening just because their parents neglect their duty of care towards their children. Fat parents = fat children, lazy parents = lazy children, athletic and fit parents = athletic and fit children. We – you and I – are the role models for our children and our society. Softies exist everywhere, but people who own or manage a gym and instructors in our fitness industry must be fit. In a few sentences, Eric-Pi Zürcher high lights the importance of Strenflex in his column featured in Fitness Tribune issue no. 107:

“... Let’s talk about Strenflex. We all know that fitness cannot simply be achieved through a couple of sim ple exercises. However, the Strenflex exercises and test are extremely valu able in helping to gain valid findings about our own ACTION in respect of personal fitness. From 2008, only those people may contribute articles to Fitness Tribune who have gained a fitness badge. But what does this really mean? You don’t have to be a Nobel laureate to realise that some thing in the fitness industry is wrong if a Strenflex test becomes mandatory. There is a credibility crisis. I agree with Jean-Pierre – there are too many repre sentatives from our industry who turn pale when they actually have to show their true colours. Unable to com plete press-ups or chin-ups? Incredi ble. Competence in fitness can only be demonstrated by action. For me, the Strenflex badges are children of the crisis and this makes them all the more important. The industry is mar ked largely by a lack of authenticity. And it’s not that I’m a strength athlete – people who know me know that I’m of a rather slim build.”

Jean-Pierre L. Schupp Born in 1954 – has trained for over 36 years in weights and martial arts. Gradu ate in economics. Fitness expert. One time Karate and kickboxing champion (5th Dan at 26 years of age). Was gym owner, exercise machine designer. Propri etor of various trading companies. Married with three children, he is an avowed Christian. Staunch non-smoker, and vegetarian since 1998. Successful businessman, journalist and member of the Trade Press Association since 1992. Since 1988 editor and publisher of the widest circulation specialist magazine in German-speaking Europe, “FITNESS TRI BUNE”. In 2002 his publishing house, Top Ten Media, founded in 1979, launched in addition the new lifestyle magazine “Strenflex FITNESS Sport”. In his publications he often critizised the fact that the fitness industry did not offer a sport open to a wide public that would support the important idea of a preventive approach to a fit and active body at any age. In FT issue 72, he publicly launched his idea for a new popular sport: STREN FLEX. He transferred all rights to the STRENFLEX Sport Organisation and has since worked for this sport in an honorary capacity. Inventor and active role model for the sport, he participates actively in competitions in his STRENFLEX age cate gory and hopes that many gym owners, instructors and studio members and that all those interested in sport follow his exa mple. In 2004 and 2006 he became Swiss STRENFLEX Champion, World Cup win ner and World Champion in his age group and weight category of 100kg+. Holder of the int. recognised STRENFLEX Silver fitness sport badge.

Eric-Pi Zürcher – Personal Trainer

Let’s hope then that those who recognise the purpose of our prevention industry will prove that they are not just experts in theory but also become a role model for our industry in practice, most of all for their gym members and for their families.

Jean-Pierre L. Schupp

STRENFLEX fitness sport


In 2008 Fitness Tribune will celebrate its 20th anniversary! As a respected specialist fitness ma gazine we consider that it’s not just our responsibility to report on fitness matters but also to motivate people to actively participate in fitness and that we should be a real role model for being fit. We therefore expect our authors (co lumnists, journalists, writers of va rious articles), to have achieved at least the BRONZE STRENFLEX Fitness Sport badge. (Requirement profile for men and women on pages 18 and 19 of this issue). This also applies to companies that wish to place PR articles, reports etc. in the FT: the CEO or sales manager should be able to fulfil the above re quirements because: if it says fitness on the packet, then fitness must be in the packet! 20 years of the FITNESS TRI BUNE specialist magazine – we will continue to keep our promises into the future and stay true to our re ports! From our anniversary year 2008 on wards – you still have a little time left – we will only publish texts where we can truly say that the writer really does practice what he preaches…

Women’s Supplex sleeveless top S/M/L € 32.- CHF 49.-

Baseball cap € 19.- CHF 29.-

Men’s athletic shirt M/L/XL € 39.- CHF 59.-

T-Shirt women’s or men’s S/M/L/XL € 24.- CHF 36.-

Exclusive: Only for Strenflex Personal Examiners (SPE)

SPE – jacket M/XL € 49.- (CHF 74.-)



Metronome for cardio test, with clip and many extras: clock, adjustable volume, mute function – visual display with blinking red light, range from 30 to 250 beats per minute etc. € 19.- (CHF 29.-)

For orders and further info:

If it says fitness on the packet, then fitness must be in the packet! 5 years of STRENFLE X 2002-2007

STRENFLEX receives many enquiries along the lines of, “how can I, as a woman, after years of training at last achieve a chin-up?” Or from men, “how can I do 6 or more dips when training?” In future, STRENFLEX will not only offer the fitness club market world wide marketing tools for the FITNESS TEST DAYS (i.e. fitness tests for all) or a wider platform for gym championships, intercity cups, national and international championships, but it will also provide them with a training concept. This will once again motivate members to aim for and achieve their personal training goals through co-ordinated basic train ing, using for example, the bronze fitness sport badge. In future there will only be one major championship each year. This means that the World Championships, European Championships and National Champion ships will take place at the same location and on the same date. This special edition of SFS Magazine (no. 12) will take you deep into the world of STRENFLEX in its 36 pages. I would be honoured to be able to welcome you too, into the constantly growing STREN FLEX family. It is a particular highlight for me to announce to STRENFLEX members and potential members that well-known sports scientist Dr. Rolf Krempel has assumed the important position of STRENFLEX General Secretary in an honorary capac ity. With his solid knowledge of sports science he is the ideal person to repre sent and promote the STRENFLEX ideals in both Germany and further afield. Have fun staying active!

It is exactly 5 years since the STRENFLEX Sport Organisation was launched in pub lic for the first time at FitMess 2002 in Basle. In only 60 months 31 national and international fitness decathlon competi tions have already been held in Europe and the USA and the concept presented to interested industry specialists. Every medal however, has two sides: success and awareness. Success for the fitness insiders who as gym members feel they are “competition-fit”. Awareness from the STRENFLEX Sport Organisation, that realised very quickly that despite the fact that 6% of gym members worldwide are interested in the STRENFLEX Decath lon Championships, over 90% prefer purposeful, goal-oriented training with a fitness test as the conclusion, i.e. they are not interested in competition. This is why the STRENFLEX Sport Organi sation launched the STRENFLEX FITNESS TEST with sport badge in 2005. At the FitMess in Basle and at FIBO, the world fitness fair, hundreds will attempt to gain the bronze, silver or gold sport badge. This simple, but scientifically developed fitness test is designed to provide gym owners, trainers and instructors, together with millions of fitness club members, another way to become interested and participate in all-important, preventive fitness training. Alongside the existing supporting pillars of STRENFLEX, the fitness test and com petitions, STRENFLEX this year intends to introduce the third and last pillar – not only to the Strenflex Fitness Test Cen tres (STCs) – but also to schools sport associations and others involved in pro viding health services: the Training Con cept.

His Serene Highness Prince George Youriewsky Born 1961

- Active for 35 years in competitive sport and has been a trainer/teacher and coach for 26 years - Grew up in Flims (GR), completed his high school education in Zurich and then went on to study law/MBA - With friends he established Switzerland’s first mail order sports article discount business in 1988, concentrating on tennis, squash, badminton, ski/snowboarding - Managing Director of various soft ware companies for 15 years Sports Tennis: Earlier youth + sports mana ger, competition / fitness trainer, senior trainer (regional, Canton and eastern Switzerland), qualified Swiss tennis instructor, B2/ R2 player over several years, ASVZ training mana ger, junior umpire ZSTV; today a casual player Diving: Padi rescue diver (***) Skiing: All-round, alpine and ski tours Squash: Mainly in winter Earlier: Shooting, riding, sailing, golf, mountain biking, sport for the disabled (long-time carer/trainer, team coach of the 1984 Swiss Para lympic team) STRENFLEX: As a basic sport for general fitness and to balance some of my more one-sided sports STRENFLEX World President since 2004


Hans-Georg Yourievsky STRENFLEX World President

STRENFLEX fitness sport


Organise fitness test events with Strenflex and increase your name recognition

For any company that wants to be successful rather than fade into the annals of history, it is a well known fact that promotion and marketing activities must be undertaken on a regular basis. The marketing potential offered by Strenflex makes it possi ble, not just for gyms, but for other organisations and personal trainers to increase their name recognition and gain new customers. Those who recognise and properly implement the opportunities and initiatives provided by Strenflex as a marketing tool will be able to reach more people and enthuse them with the fitness ideal. As licensed Strenflex Fitness Test Centers (STCs) gyms, personal trainers etc., will be able to organise events at which the fitness tests are carried out. It all depends upon your own creativity and initia

tive. For example, STCs could easily work together with their local municipality and the schools in their region to hold their own fitness test days. The Strenflex Fitness Test is aimed at children as well as adults. From children as young as 12 right up into the older age brackets – all can participate in the tests. Currently, the oldest person to have passed the test for the Strenflex Fitness Sport Badge is Austrian, Franz Rastl – at 81 years of age. But beginners can meas ure their performance too – in order to reach out to an even wider public the new Strenflex Basic Test has been intro duced from 2007. This special test for beginners has been ‘filtered out’ of the mainstream fitness test in order to ease entry into fitness sport for (almost) every one. A particular aim is to motivate peo ple to keep up their fitness training over the long term.

How can the Strenflex Fitness Test make your company better known? The Fitness Sport Badge motivates ath letes and provides black-on-white proof of his/her performance. The Strenflex Fitness Test Centers (STCs) can hold their own Strenflex Fitness Test Days in house or externally, attract new members and retain existing customers over the long term. Beginning in 2007 the Federal Acad emy of Sport in Linz, and therefore Austria as a country, has taken the first step in the right direction, again showing the way Europe-wide: It is now obligatory for all students to complete a test of physical condition as part of their initial aptitude test for an educational course in fitness. This is based on the criteria of the interna tional STRENFLEX organisation. Then, upon completion of the respective course of training – whether instruc tor or trainer – gaining a STRENFLEX achievement badge is a compul sory requirement. This is intended to ensure that fitness instructors are also physically qualified to call them selves as such.

5 years of STRENFLE X 2002-2007

STRENFLEX fitness sport 12

Requirements for the Bronze Badge


1 x chin-up

2 x dip

3 min. cardio test

5 x press-ups

2 x 10 abdominal crunches

1 x sit & reach

HOLD YOUR OWN EVENT! Shown here is the large exhibition stand for STRENFLEX presentations under the motto: Fitness Test Days at Fairs and Events. Owners can also promote their gym using this concept to hold their own Fit ness Test Day , e.g. with a small stand or simply a single fitness machine in their town square. There are many possibilities for persuading people to exercise and then to sign them up as gym members: – Fitness Test Days – Who is the town’s fittest inhabitant? – Who is the fittest schoolboy/girl? etc. Instead of holding an “open day” why not organise “Fitness Test Days?” On pages 22 and 23 you can see one way of presenting an advertisement for your gym. Maybe a well known politi cian or VIP has gained the GOLDEN Fitness Sport Badge at your gym – but it doesn’t matter whether it was just an “ordinary” member – a happening like this is always worth a press release. Fur thermore, this shows that your gym has correctly analysed the present situation – there are more overweight people (1 billion) on this Earth than there are peo ple starving (830 million) – and that we must “urgently” persuade people to take more exercise. Strenflex offers a simple but efficient solution for everyone – from 8 to 108 years old! Come aboard, The future of fitness is starting now!


3 x chin-up

3 min. cardio test

6 x dip

2 x 10 abdominal crunches

9 x press-ups

1 x sit & reach

✗ STCs can use the various Fitness Test Days organised by Strenflex (e.g. at fairs: FIBO, Rimini Wellness etc.) in order to increase their name recog nition. The Strenflex Sport Organisa tion organises its own events at which hundreds of people take the test. We make sure these people are aware of the STCs before they leave. ✗ But STCs can also hold fitness tests at their own premises thereby increasing the name recognition of the gym. For example, by organising open days and Advantages of the fitness test in brief:

beginners fitness Tests. You may hold as many Fitness Test Days as you wish. ✗ STCs can offer their members Gold, Silver and Bronze fitness sport badges for different age categories. The first fitness test is free for eve ryone. ✗ STCs can access the Strenflex web site using their password to down load and print the certificates at no cost. Continued on page 20 

VIP and company service! Not every top manager or those working on the exhibition stands have time during FIBO to complete the Bronze sport badge at the STRENFLEX stand. STRENFLEX is therefore offering a new fitness test service: company employees and VIPs can quietly and discretely gain their STRENFLEX sport badge in their company’s surroundings. We come to you! Interested? For countries outside of Austria, Germany and Switzerland contact There’s no excuse for excuses anymore! …

STRENFLEX fitness sport

NEW from Strenflex:

The BASIC FITNESS TEST “Get your fitness sports badge!” – Industry insiders go for Strenflex


The Strenflex Sports Organisation is just 5 years old. Does this mean then, that it is too young to compete with estab lished industry insiders or to offer new things? On the contrary: after FIBO it was the experienced gym owners, long established in the market – those who have seen countless trends and market ing concepts come and go – that opted to earn the fitness badge as a challenge for themselves, their staff and their custom ers in particular. We are now receiving enquiries as well as pledges from nearly all regions regard ing use of the fitness badge as a motivator and an attractive incentive for customers to maintain and improve their level of fit ness. I am therefore not surprised to hear almost apologetic words from the own ers of some of the new Strenflex Partner Clubs: “We basically liked the Strenflex concepts very much from the start, but wanted to wait and see whether you as newcomers would be able to keep up and stand your ground in this (fast paced) market...” Strenflex has stood its ground, is flexible in developing its products and projects and it now looks as if we are being taken seriously, just as the initiators had intended in the first place: To offer the sporting gym customer a contemporary training, test and competition concept for all age and performance groups based on the tried and tested classic exercises. (2001-2003) Member of the EQSF commission for the „Harmonisation of Standardised Training Structures in the Fitness Industry „ on behalf of the EU Commission (from 2002) Member of various expert committees and commissions, including the DIHK Berlin and the TÜV-Rheinland-Group Cologne (2003-2005) Founding member and Board Member of the ENFA/EHFA (European Health and Fitness Associations) based in Brussels

The fitness sports badge in particular is increasingly seen as an attractive market ing tool for retaining existing customers and winning new ones and is success fully employed by member gyms. My trainer team is fit! – A question of honour? The decision to introduce the fitness badge is often a “question of (trainer) honour”, a challenge taken up probably in response to the provocative statements made by the Fitness Tribune’s editor-in chief. A responsible and committed gym owner and trainer can hardly accept the accolade “more unfit than his customers” or “a mere businessman with no self-dis cipline or any ambition to become a role model for his customers” – they must stand up and show this is not true. Alongside several other staff teams the following four new Strenflex Fitness Test Centers (STCs) have successfully passed the basic training test for the fitness badge during the past few weeks. This was their “Badge yield”: ✗ The Extrafit Team from Parsberg with 7 staff members earned 1Gold, 3 x Silver and 2 x Bronze. ✗ The 7 members of the Berlin Dynamic Fitness World Gym passed 2 x Gold, 4 x Silver and 1 Bronze. ✗ The Deen Fitnessclub (Berlin) com pleted the Strenflex fitness test earning 6 x Gold and 3 x Silver, participating were Specialist publications/authored works: Co-author „Leichtathletik 1 und 2“ published by Rowohlt-Verlag, 1976 Co-author „Konditionstraining“ published by Rowohlt-Verlag, 1978 Textbook „ Bewegungsanalyse im Sport“, (“Movement Analysis in Sport“), published by Harri Deutsch-Verlag, 1987 Various specialist articles in trade magazines, such as Leichtathletik (Athletics) and FITNESS TRIBUNE.

Dr. Rolf Krempel Born 1946, in Zittau/Saxony, married to Otti Krempel since 1980, 4 sons aged between 17 and 27. Education: 1967 Secondary school leaving examination (Abitur) in Wetzlar/Lahn 1967-68 Basic military service, Paratroops Battalion 262 Oberbexbach/Saarland 1968-73 Law school in Giessen, Marburg and Hamburg 1973-76 DSHS – Sports sciences at the German Sport University (DSHS), Cologne 1986 Graduation as Doctor of sports science (summa cum laude) 1987 Management Assistant at Chamber of Trade & Industry, Management Academy, Bad Harzburg Sporting activities: Handball, tennis, parachute jumping Athletics (including titles of Hesse Junior Champion and Vice-Regional Champion in pole vaulting, several times pole vaulting Seniors Champion in Baden-Wurttemberg) Holder of the Bronze STRENFLEX fitness sport badge Trainer licenses: Various exercise leader licences, A-trainer licence from the DLV (German Athletics Association) Trainer Certificates and teaching qualifications in tennis and Alpine skiing Career to date: 1997-2001 branch manager and training manager for the DFAV e.V. (German Fitness and Aerobic Association), Bonn 2001-2005 branch manager VDF e.V. (Association of German fitness and Leisure Companies), Berlin Voluntary work at associations, clubs and committees: Voluntary work at associations, clubs and committees: (1997-2000) Member of various FISAF commissions (internal trainer courses) (1997-2001) Founding member of the VDV e.V. and Advisory Board member (1999-2002) Member of the anti-doping commission of the Lower Saxony Interior Ministry (2001-2003) Member of the Working Group on the Leisure Industry at The Cologne Institute for Economic Research

10 STRENFLEX fitness sport 12

So will all back customers now flock to your gym? Even though this study clearly backs all those trainers who were convinced of the effectiveness of their methods all along and who were able to help back pain customers by using specific training concepts, it remains uncer tain whether the gyms will be able to cater for at least part of these back pain customers in future – because: “The old back training theory is dead – long live the new back training the ory”. True to this motto and, occur ring almost simultaneously with the publication of the surprising results of the study, this new back training the ory concept has been introduced as a successor model. It was conceived by the Health Centre of the Deutsche Sporthochschule, Cologne (the Ger man sports university) led by Prof. Froböse and is designed to supersede the “classic back training theory” – also initiated by him 20 years ago and now considered a ‘classical error’. The pilot study, now completed and put to the scientific test in selected “health oriented fitness clubs”, indi cated outstanding results and was proof that qualified gyms are a suit able alternative even for customer groups with health problems and considerably reduced performance. But the fact alone that a fully estab lished training curriculum for future course and training leaders of the “New back training theory” has been submitted to the Health Minister by the newly founded “Confederation of German back training schools” (KddR) gives me a headache: It looks to me as if the old outdated nonsense is being rehashed in the form of a new back training network with only very few fitness clubs allowed access. Or would you disagree? All interested gyms are invited to tar get this large potential new customer group using professional and convinc ing training and support concepts. Many of these people with back problems are not patients in need of therapy and they do not need to be treated by sports therapists or physi otherapists, but they can be trained and supported effectively and suc-

the gym management and staff (includ ing both training staff and reception and catering staff). ✗ The management team of Fitness Cen trum TM (Solingen) had already passed the tests for Gold at FIBO Essen and they were visibly proud that their team of 8 female staff members excelled in winning 2 x Gold, 3 x Silver and 2 x Bronze. I’m convinced that all member gyms will promote the fitness sports badge with professionalism and commitment – within the gym and beyond, so that the tests are responsibly carried out. Fitness tests only make sense as an effective training control tool if they are carried out and evaluated based on consistent rules and requirements – everywhere. I look forward to renewed success for future team tests in new member gyms. That’s how, step by step, we can reach our project goal – to offer interested fit ness customers a comprehensive area wide partner club network (as a test cen tre in their region). This network of competent fitness experts and providers of health oriented fitness training will then be seen as a welcome partner for insurers and health insurance funds. I promise to talk to Berlin... Proof at long last: Strength training is beneficial – not just for your back There was truly good news for all gyms in nearly all big dailies this week. Here is what “Die Welt” had to say in the health section under the heading “Training to beat back pain” – where in no uncer tain terms a misconception held by the medical profession for over 20 years was reported on and corrected: “Back pain is the second most impor tant reason for visiting the doctor. Commonly this condition is blamed on damaged spinal discs. “This is wrong,” says sports professor Ingo Froböse from Deutsche Sporthoch schule Cologne. “More than 95% of back problems are due to weak mus cles which in turn lead to overloading of the supporting ligaments.” A scientific study has now proven that almost 100% of all back pain problems could be effectively and quickly pre

vented by (old industry insiders – lis ten!) specific muscle building training. “Strength through challenge” is the new motto. Rather than resting the back it should be challenged to learn to deal with and to adapt to a multitude of different types of stress. Whole body activation, specific muscle training and relaxation and perception training are the building blocks of this concept. This may well confuse many sports train ers and gym instructors who since the mid 1980s had been learning (in those countless back training courses by vari ous specialist associations, at conferences and training seminars) that their very own gyms’ training methods (i.e. muscle build ing – bodybuilding) were supposed to be absolutely unsuited, even damaging to health, for people with back pain (every second person in our civilised society). Many of you will remember what impact this new back training theory had on gyms: Strength training whose value had been scientifically proven was virtu ally demonised as a prevention method for muscle strength and stability, fit ness trainers’ professional expertise was called into question and all “back cus tomers” were urged not to undertake muscle training in gyms. Subsequently, exercises were divided into “right” and “wrong” with the classic strengthening exercises being assigned to the second category. Many known exercises deemed effective to-date were relegated to the “don’ts” prohibition list, even those that were included in the industry’s profes sional training courses. The result: Around 8 million people have been treated at back training sessions – often with no effect at all. On the con trary, very often the problem worsened. A study carried out by the EU Commis sion verifies this – alongside back train ing sessions, it also ranks as ineffective certain passive therapies such as “back friendly” office furniture, massage, inlay soles for shoes etc. And when our politicians reveal that 25 billion Euros have to be spent in terms of direct and indirect costs arising from back problems alone, then one begins to wonder why the known fact that “Strength training is good – millions of gym customers can’t be wrong” has been largely ignored so far.


STRENFLEX fitness sport 11


cessfully (with a lot of fun and profes sional all-round support) in our gyms instead.




NEW: Basic Fitness Test The test for beginners

Based on experience gained over the past months several interesting find ings have emerged: ✗ Athletic trainers and customers often fail the cardio test: This is fre quently due to training which focuses solely on strength with the stress and relaxation capacity of the cardiovas cular system exhibiting clear deficits. ✗ If professional instructors and course leaders fail in strength exer cises such as chin-up, dip or push-up the reason for this is often too much emphasis on gymnastically oriented endurance training. ✗ If the problems become apparent after the first three strength test exer cises and continue to manifest them selves as co-ordination problems when carrying out the step test then it’s either due to the local muscles of the athlete becoming fatigued or to a general ‘centralised fatigue’. ✗ With the cardio test too, which amazingly was the biggest obstacle for a surprising number of test ath letes, deficits in the ability of the car diovascular system to relax are high lighted. In all of these cases, causes and meaningful training recommenda tions can easily be established: Reg ular comprehensive fitness training focussing on any deficits established will lead to significant improvements within a few weeks and success at the next test is almost always guaranteed. Nevertheless we have found that many customers and also potential customers (at shows or town events) rate the Strenflex test and its require ment to fulfil the prescribed targets for all six test exercises as non-achieva ble. Many look at the exercise boards then decline to take the test, often for

Push ups




Abdominal crunches




Sit & reach Flexibility is demonstrated with this exercise. Here, the fi ngertips must touch the tiptoes



All exercices must be done without breaks in the movement flow

reasons of “saving face”, because no-one wants to disgrace oneself publicly. In order to make the initiative “Get your fitness badge... in your gym” accessible to a wider public we have devised a spe cial entry level test based on the Strenflex fitness test with the aim of facilitating the beginning of a successful fitness career for (almost) anybody. I wish you and your team a success ful year! Make the most of the strongly

improved outlook of our industry, retain as many members as possible for another year and try to persuade many new ones to start their fitness training at your gym. If we have succeeded in persuading you of the benefits of the Strenflex concepts then call me. We are here to help you. Yours, Dr. Rolf Krempel General Secretary Strenflex Sports Organisation 

12 STRENFLEX fitness sport 12


The STRENFLEX CHAMPIONSHIP Set (SCS) includes: 1 x multi-purpose training rack 1 x universal bench 1 x 140 cm long barbell with two spring collars 1 x shoulder pad 1 x pair of Neoprene gloves (one size only) 1 x skip rope with built-in counter 1 x exercise chart

Sample exercises with the SCS universal bench

€ 495.- plus freight

The SCS universal bench is collapsible for easy storage


chest pullover arm biceps arm triceps

Many more exercises can be performed with the SCS (STRENFLEX CHAMPIONSHIP SET), e.g. at home, hotels, sports and fitness clubs, SPA’s, physiotherapy centers, etc. Sample exercises with the SCS rack



total body shoulder and neck

rowing in a sloped position

clean and press

shoulder press

neck rowing




The multi-purpose training rack can be disassembled for easy storage


bench press

incline bench press


Safety The SCS has several safety features such as a) Two safety pins on each side to hold the barbell safely in place if the disk is changed on one side only. It is safer to place the barbell on the ground before loading disks. b) A safety hook for solitary exercise situations, e.g. bench press or incline bench and many other exercises.

decline press (for well-trained only)


legs & thighs

use safety hook for correct height

arm biceps

arm triceps


triceps, sitting

For more information and to order your personal championship regulations book, please visit

Copyright STRENFLEX no.1-feb.02

chin up

triceps extension

Includes training instructions on DVD-Video Can be purchased separately for the amount of € 10 (postage not included)


high-crunches (for well-trained only)

triceps, standing


Orders and info:



Disks and dumbbells are not included in the STRENFLEX Competition Set, please contact your nearest sports or fitness shop

The internationally recognised STRENFLEX Fitness Test


Sylvia Gattiker 11.2.1956 Born in Vienna, Austria 1962-1966 Primary school in Vienna 1966-1970 Secondary school in Vienna 1970-1972 Fashion college in Vienna 1972-1977 Business college in Vienna leading to university entry qualification 1980-1983 Business Studies course at the Business University in Vienna 1972 Austrian Champion in the Olympic eight-events competition and Austrian Cham pion on the asymmetric bars 1974 participation in the World Champion ships in Varna, Bulgaria 1972-1982 Member of the Austrian National Team 1972-1982 Many titles at county, federal, na tional and international championship level 1983 Publication of the book „AEROBICS“ 1990 -1992 Four times Swiss women‘s Aero bics Champion Participation in the first aerobics World Cham pionships in San Diego, USA 6th place at the European Championships at Rimini, Italy 1993 -1996 International FISAF referee and member of the des international technical commitee 1983-2004 Further training and education in the fitness field. ACE-certified, diploma in structor and fitness consultant, Schwinn cy cling instructor, pump, aerobics, slide and step instructor, Pilates mat work instructor, Gravity Group Fitness, Gravity personal training and Gravity Pilates instructor Gym owner since 1983 2004-2005 Managing director of Oasis Health and Fitness Clubs, Austria 2005 VfgÖ referee (Association for the pro motion of fitness sport in Austria) 2005 Adviser in Austria and Switzerland on the Gravity Training System for Efi Sports Medicine 2005 Opening of the first Gravity Training Studio in Europe, oasis Total Body Solution in Aarau. 25 years in the fitness industry European President, STRENFLEX Consultant and trainer in the fitness sector with emphasis on group fitness and STREN FLEX. Primarily involved in the development of STRENFLEX and the STRENFLEX fitness test . Promotes the sport of STRENFLEX, manages and presents the international and national championships Holder of the first STRENFLEX Fitness Award and the STRENFLEX GOLD Fitness Badge Mother of 3 grown sons.

What‘s our physical condition? Are we really as „fit“ as we make out or believe? And are we fit overall or just in one partic ular „pet area?“ To answer these questions STRENFLEX has devised a „fitness test“ that assesses strength, endurance and flex ibility in a simple way. If the required crite ria are met then the sports badges Bronze, Silver or Gold are awarded respectively. This signifies that we represent a genera tion with an all-embracing and serious approach to fitness. One of the most vital tasks of our indus try is to know the customer’s goal, to establish his/her current fitness level, to support him/her in achieving that goal and measure progress. If the customer wants to look good then his goal is to lose weight and gain muscle. Maybe he/she is more concerned with health – they may belong to a group with a higher risk of heart attacks – and this is what that leads them to us? The important issues for us are whether the customer is actually pre pared to start doing something, whether he wants to start right away or needs to be pushed a little, has he already started training etc. The answers to all these questions and the results of the STREN FLEX test are a good means to evalu ate the customer’s level of fitness. And earning one of the STRENFLEX badges can provide that additional motivational push. The STRENFLEX fitness test shows people their current level, which deficits they might have and what area needs particular attention. Then it’s on to step 2: Implementation through training. And step 3: Monitoring progress/success. Again the STRENFLEX test may be used here.

If perhaps the sports badge was not achieved at the first attempt then it will surely be possible, following a suitable period of serious training, for the cus tomer to finally earn the Bronze badge. It becomes clear that by striving to achieve the next badge grade the motivation to train regularly can be increased. The STRENFLEX fitness test, though sup ported by scientific evidence, doesn’t purport to be a scientific medical test. The aim of the test is to provide the user with a simple means of establishing and controlling his/her individual perform ance levels in respect of strength – endur ance – and flexibility. The test result helps in the selection of suitable exercises for individual training programmes, in con trolling the amount of exercise and as a motivational factor. It’s important for the test to be carried with a simple method ology and without a large oranisational burden and expensive equipment. This alone will guarantee wide acceptance of the test. Overall fitness is tested, based on the three pillars of strength – endurance – and flexibility. STRENGTH Strength testing is extremely important in order to establish a basis and to pinpoint potential muscular dysbalances or defi cits. Dysbalances or unbalanced exercise automatically evolve into unbalanced muscle performance. This considerably reduces muscle co-ordination, leading eventually to a change in movement pat terns which in turn can affect joints and cartilage. Performance and wellbeing suf fer and injuries or postural deformities can manifest themselves as a result.

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Source: Adapted from Golding, et al. The Way to Physical Fitness for Youth (3rd edition), page 613. Reprinted here with the permission of YMCA, USA, 101 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL60606. Personal Trainer Manual and Aerobics Instructor Manual, American Council on Exercise (developed by Dr. Fred Kasch of San Diego State University). STANDARDS for the 3 min. CARDIO STEP TEST – MEN Age category 18 - 25 26 - 35 36 - 45 46 - 55 56 - 65 65+ Gold up to 89 up to 89 up to 96 up to 97 up to 97 up to 96 Silver 90-99 90-99 97-103 98-105 98-103 97-103 Bronze 100-105 100-107 104-112 106-116 104-112 104-113 Fail > 106 > 108 > 113 > 117 > 113 > 114 STANDARDS for the 3 min. CARDIO STEP TEST – WOMEN Age category 18 - 25 26 - 35 36 - 45 46 - 55 56 - 65 65+ Gold up to 98 up to 99 up to 102 up to 104 up to 104 up to 102 Silver 99-108 100-111 103-110 105-115 105-112 103-115 Bronze 109-117 112-119 111-118 116-120 113-118 116-122 Fail > 118 > 120 > 119 > 121 > 119 > 123


Basic Harvard University cardio test – now the official YMCA test

It is also important to adapt the exercises to the movements of everyday activities. The following is tested: Dips: Primary muscles used: triceps extension and shoulder girdle Chin-ups: Primary muscles used: biceps flexion and back muscles Push-ups: Primary muscles used: breast, shoulder girdle and torso muscles Torso strength: Abdominal and hip flexion muscles CARDIO The three minute step test designed by Dr. Fred Kasch at the San Diego State University is, among others, also employed by the YMCA as a test for a large number of participants. (Similar step tests together with others developed at Harvard University are used by the military for recruitment screening pur poses). This process allows the aerobic capacity to be measured by stepping at a predetermined cadence. This test is easier to implement than an ergometer test, requiring minimum equipment and less cost. Its disadvantage is that there is a potential variance of up to 16% (as

Evaluation for the sports badge: Gold : Excellent to good result Silber : Above average result Bronze : Average result

It must be ensured that the stretching movement originates from the hips and lower back area. In old age too, we want to be able to easily pick up things from the floor or tie our shoe laces without experiencing pain, so we need to place particular emphasis on the results of this test. Strenflex Test – why? The STRENFLEX test and its sports badge is a simple yet effective tool for the fitness industry to support and motivate existing customers. It helps to win new customers and to clearly highlight where their deficits are. The STRENFLEX fitness test provides basic information which offers a use ful platform for establishing effec tive fitness programmes. Follow-up tests can be used to monitor progress and create new training incentives. It’s also a good means of monitor ing the quality and quantity of train ing. The STRENFLEX fitness test is an extremely straightforward tool for providing advice, support and coun selling.

FLEXIBILITY Flexibility is defined as the achievable range of motion of a joint or joint sys tem combined with the ability to carry out movements having a large movement amplitude. Often the term ‘flexibility’ is limited in use to musculature flexibility which is restricted by muscles, tendons and ligaments. However flexibility is also closely dependent on one’s individual build (e.g. congenital or acquired joint deformities), age, sex and fitness level. It is a fact that flexibility improves health and fitness. Lack of flexibility is clearly a risk factor in joint and muscle injuries. One of the most frequent issues here is a shortening back musculature in the lum bar region causing back pain and inju ries. Back pain continues to be the single most widespread problem afflicting mod ern society. We have therefore integrated torso flexion as a flexibility exercise into the STRENFLEX fitness test. Torso flexion is evaluated using the so called “sit & reach” test. This involves sit ting on the floor with legs stretched out straight ahead. With the feet flexed the hands must reach the tips of the toes.

stated by Ueli Schweizer). What’s required for the test? 1) A 12 inch (30cm) high step

See pages 18 and 19 for details of the required exercises.

2) A metronome set to 96 bpm for 3 minutes and 1minute timing for pulse rate measuring 3) A stopwatch for timing

STRENFLEX fitness sport 15

Interview with Paul Underberg

„I want to be a role model and come across as authentic – that‘s why I got my Strenflex Fitness Sport badge.“


First of all warm congratulations are due to Paul Underberg on achieving his GOLD fitness sport badge. He is once again one of the industry‘s first VIPs who, despite a full schedule, has taken advantage of a personal test appointment agreed with us in advance. His calendar entry for today is certain to have read „15.00: Strenflex Fitness Test – today I‘m going to get the fit ness sport badge,“ followed here by an exclamation mark – there‘s no way he‘d put a question mark here! And that‘s exactly what happened – everything was completed in just over 20 minutes: I collected him from his office, he made one quick tele phone call and we walked together across the yard into Injoy Dorsten (his sporting home for almost 20 years). Next we completed the test question naire (Paul‘s DOB: 7.5.56) and then the serious work began… Test exercise 1 : Cardio step test in the gymnastics room: 3 minutes of con centrated stepping up and down at a medium speed (96 beats per minute, with the rhythm set by a metronome, a 30cm high step, alternating the legs every minute to warm up ( „… thanks to my regular cardio training my rest ing pulse rate is under 50“ , says Paul). A pause after this bout of obviously strenuous effort – sit down and get your breath back. My final pulse rate check (1 minute) returns a excellent result of „76 beats“. The 1st test exercise is complete with a „Gold“ result. A look at the evalu ation table shows that, for Paul‘s age group (M4) 97 beats would also have been sufficient for Gold. Following on from this very successful initial test we then moved on to the gym, both of us positively motivated, set the chin-up bar to the correct height for continuing the test – plenty of time to do this in the prescribed

pause interval of just 1 minute between the individual test exercises. Test exercises 2 and 3 in the weight room: here Paul completed the require ments for GOLD (10 chin-ups, 20 dips) with almost no effort; when he‘d done 15 chin-ups I really had to slow him down before he got to his feet again. Test exercise 4 (push-ups): Here too, Paul cleanly completed these exercises with ease – the prescribed 30 repetitions for his challenging goal of the GOLD fitness sport badge. With straight hips, nose reaching the floor and a few extra thrown in for fun (perhaps for the ben efit of the spectators?), Paul again easily exceeded the requirements. All in all a really impressive performance: 3 strength sets (upper torso, shoulders, arms) with over 70 individual repetitions completed successfully in only 5 minutes! Test exercise 5 (lying crunches): This was the only test exercise that caused Paul some difficulty beforehand – due to an ongoing genetic back problem over a number of years (Spondylolisthesis in the lumbar region), but which he now manages successfully thanks to compe tent medical help and most of all regular loosening and strengthening exercises. But, with a bit of effort, he managed despite his back problems, to fulfil the test requirements (a total of 80 repeti tions). Test exercise 6 (sit & reach exercise): Paul also successfully completed the last hur dle of the test – oh so very carefully and without any jerking motions (because of his back problem). Overall result: 6 test exercises – 6 x GOLD requirements met. The logical result is the GOLD fit ness sport badge. Many congratulations! After the test Paul had also set aside time for a 15 minute rest which I promptly exploited for a short but very enlighten ing interview with him. We talked over a delicious coffee in the club bistro:

Paul Underberg receives his Fitness Test certificate from Dr. Rolf Krempel

Rolf Krempel : Paul, many congratula tions on achieving your Gold fitness sport badge. With such excellent test results my first question has to be about your sport ing past. Tell me a little about it. Paul Underberg : I‘ve been doing fitness and strength training since 1975, I‘ve played squash for 10 years and have par ticipated in mountain biking and motor sports. RK : How have you kept yourself fit over the past years for career, private and maybe even for new sporting challenges? PU : Sport 4-5 x per week, 2-3 x strength training; 2-3 x cardio training on a machine, sandbag training or mountain biking. „No time“ is no excuse for me. When I‘m travelling I take advantage of gym co-operation agreements and train there or in my hotel. RK : Why have you only just decided to gain a fitness sport badge? PU : Because I‘ve only recently consid ered the idea more seriously and because I want to come across as a believable role model. RK : I‘m under the impression that because of current trends such as well ness, function training, therapies, lifestyle, etc. the sporting ideal at many gyms has been lost and possibly many owners and instructors no longer feel that they are able to actively promote traditional sport ing disciplines such as chin-ups, dips, push-ups etc. Wouldn‘t a renaissance of these classic strength training exercises, such as strength training itself (see the magazines Focus, Spiegel) be a positive contribution in terms of the core com petencies of our industry? Would it not somehow represent the regaining of our industry‘s self confidence?

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