As of the date of writing this article, more than 3 million Americans have become infected with the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”). Worldwide, that number has exceeded 12 million cases. Deaths from the virus have exceeded 137,000 in the United States (US), while deaths worldwide have climbed to over 550,000. These numbers are increasing.
Those who are most susceptible to contracting COVID-19 and/or dying from it include the elderly and/or obese and those suffering from auto-immune issues or heart disease, those that have preexisting lung conditions and/or other similar issues. While the virus has the capability of rapid community spread and contraction, the virus has a somewhat low mortality rate with more than 7 million people worldwide recovering from the virus to date (almost 1 million in the US). (more…)
By Abby Eastman MS Ed, Professional Fitness Trainer and Entrepreneur
A couple months into our newish normal during Corona Virus shutdowns I was missing the gym, my friends, the energy of teaching a classes and the encouragement of my gym family. I knew I needed to get into a better routine and figure out a way to navigate the roads ahead. In our area of the country we still have shutdowns and not everything is open. And although it has been tough not having my normal space, toys and connectivity with clients, adjusting to a new normal has had a lot of perks! I have more time to exercise on my own and experiment with new full body workouts and pop into my favorite group classes I can’t normally attend via zoom. I have even brushed up on my video training skills while gaining new clients virtually.
Even though heading to your favorite gym for a daily workout or train might not be a possibility right now, here are a few tips for setting up a home workout space.
First: When at all possible stick to your regular full body workout time and help your clients do the same. Are you a morning exerciser? Great – schedule yourself in at the time you would usually hit the gym! Work with clients to help them keep their regularly scheduled time even if it has to be a remote session. Having a sense of routine in this uncertain time can help us mentally and physically stay in shape.
Second: Trainers, explore what new options you can offer clients virtually. Reach out to current and past clients to share your new services. You can provide custom, home-based programs on the equipment they have available. Try scheduling a free 15-minute virtual session to give them a jumpstart. Boot camp, small groups, private sessions, outdoor sessions and pop up workouts are just a few options you can offer if you haven’t started already. Share with clients the benefits of booking additional check-in sessions the keep their momentum. It will keep them accountable and connected while building your business.
Additionally, this is a wonderful opportunity for us as personal trainers to break out a new fitness plan and get out of our own training rut. You could try a new workout routine app, hop in a fellow trainer’s virtual class, or breakout those old workout DVD’s. Have you been meaning to try kickboxing, martial arts, or yoga? Been eyeing a new certification or continuing education course? Now is a great time to experiment with activities you may not normally get the chance to from the comfort of your own home. Bonus: now you can have your AC adjusted just how you like it! Clients will enjoy the spice you bring to their sessions.
Third: Create your space! You do not need a lot of space but having dedicated area can help you stick to your routine. Great fitness at home workout equipment options include:
These items do not take up a lot of space and can make for a great total body routine whether building muscle, bodyweight exercises or anything with fitness at home.
If you have extra space, search through your local online yard sales and gym equipment sales. Many sell refurbished gym equipment for great prices. Grab your favorite cardio machine and pair it with a bench, corner cable unit and you will have a whole new area to look forward to. Challenge yourself to stick with your workouts and reward yourself with new toys.
Trainers create your virtual space for optimal training by:
Taping off a pre-determined space for filming. Place an “X” where your computer or camera stand goes and a square of tape around the perimeter that is within the viewing area you need to stay within while filming. Makes it easy to jump into a session quickly and ensures clients can see you!
Try an adjustable camera stand. You can easily adjust the viewing area so the client can see your form while standing, seated or reclined.
Be sure the lighting is pointing toward you. Lights shining in from the side or behind you make you look like a dark shadow. It also makes it hard for clients to see you.
Set the stage you created with all equipment clients will need so it is visible to them when they sign on.
Create a clean background behind you that is simple.
Wear bright colors! You will show up best on camera in bright, solid colors.
If you are filming at your facility, show off a familiar space to help clients feel at home.
Welcome clients just like you would at your facility and invite all types of strength training, body weight, cardio, HIIT exercise requests if possible.
While this may not be the way we are accustomed to working with clients there are plenty of ways we can continue to reach people virtually. Many clients are finding virtual workouts with a personal trainer easier to attend. Clients can stay in the comfort of their home or office, kids can be in the background and they can skip traffic!
Share with us what ways you are reaching clients; we’d love to hear what new tricks you’ve learned!
Abby holds a BS and Ms Ed in Exercises Science. She has over 20 years of experience teaching health education, group exercise, yoga, and personal training. She has taught at the university and community college levels and directed a variety of community fitness programs. She has been working with W.I.T.S. in various rolls including mentoring online programs, continuing education creation, leading webinars, and teaching in-person certifications since 2004. She believes everyone deserves to feel and live their best life and is passionate partnering with others to help them get there.
Abby Eastman MSEd, ACSM Exercise Physiologist/EIM II, CHWC, E-RYT200
As the COVID-19 pandemic transforms our society and a myriad of industries, including our own, concerns about safely continuing to pursue fitness goals have emerged as fitness instructors and the clients they support weigh the risks versus rewards during these unprecedented times.
Nationwide, cases have continued to surge in spite of attempts to temper the proliferation of the virus as government organizations at the federal, state, and local levels work to strike a delicate balance between curating the health of citizens and restoring the economy. Measures such as abridging capacity and hours of operation of multiple fitness and recreational facilities, including temporarily shuttering venues and suspending services, while disruptive, are intended to keep us healthy.
Long term held beliefs about exercise adversely impacting immune system is the functioning has been corroborated by a landmark review authored by Gleeson (2007). The review demonstrated that the inflammatory response of a singular bout of intense and prolonged exercise mirrors that of infection, sepsis, or trauma, triggering the release of inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor, and interleukins 6 and 10, C-recreative protein, and interleukin-1-receptor antagonists that, in concert, influence the augmentation of circulating white blood cells, known as leukocytes.
Hormonal secretion following an intense bout of exercise induced activity, specifically epinephrine and cortisol blunt the secretion of leukocytes and impair cell mediated immunity and inflammation, thereby increasing the susceptibility of infection and modulating the morbidity and severity of illness. Previous research established a strong correlation between a exercise dose and upper respiratory tract infection among humans. Health fitness exercise bouts consisting of a stimuli that is too novel, too frequent, too intense, and too voluminous to which the subject is accustomed have been found to increase pathogen infection risk. There has been a considerable amount of studies that have demonstrated the temporary ergolytic effects of acute exercise on immune system functioning, ranging from three to 72 hours post-exercise. Researchers and health and exercise professionals have coined this period of time characterized by temporary suppression of the immune system as “the open window”.
To simultaneously curtail infection risk and facilitate the achievement of improved fitness industry qualities or biomotor skills, one must account for life stress, energy availability, sleep duration and quality, travel, and exposure to environmental or climate extremes beyond the exercise frequency, intensity, volume, and type, according to Professor Neil Walsh, a faculty member at Bangor University in the United Kingdom, who outlined recommendations for athletes to maintain immune health.
Key guidelines among the few dozen presented are summarized below for personal trainers in working with potential clients:
Undulating training stress throughout training cycles and weeks
Incorporating active recovery sessions
Incrementally increasing volume and intensity, but no more than 5-10% per week
Minimize unnecessary life stress
Monitor, manage, and quantify all forms of stress, both psychological and physical
Aim for more than seven hours of sleep each night; nap during the daytime, if able to, or necessary
Monitor sleep duration and quality; ensure darkness at bedtime
Be cognizant of reduced exercise capacity in hotter, more humid environments
Permit acclimatization to changes in, or extreme weather
Uphold optimal or recommended nutrition, hydration, and hygiene practices
Do not engage in extreme dieting; be sure to consume a well balanced diet
Discontinue training if experiencing symptoms “below the neck” as they could be indicative of an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)
Avoid sick and/or symptomatic people
Practice good hand hygeine
Exercise evokes a hormetic effect, or dose-dependent response, meaning that moderate exposure can be beneficial, but amounts either too minimal or excessive can cause harm. This is precisely why exercise physiology scholars and health and medical professionals alike have embraced the mantra of “exercise is medicine” in recent years. Too little exercise results in greater cardiometabolic disease (aka conditions of “disuse”) risk, whereas too much exercise results in greater injury or illness (aka conditions of “overuse”). As mentioned in an earlier post, “acute singular bouts of exercise at or above lactate threshold (55% of VO2max among untrained individuals; 85% of VO2max among trained individuals) for periods of up to, or more than one hour, contributed to temporary immunosuppression. Regular exercise among individuals has shown to yield immunoprotective benefits. The takeaway here should be, exercise during this time should be regarded as a tool to reinvigorate and recover, not bury and deliberately fatigue. Sparingly perform sets to failure and limit volume at or beyond lactate threshold.”
In summary, immune system performance and overall health can be achieved through regular exercise. During times of greater illness transmission and infection risk, fitness professionals, athletes, and enthusiasts must practice both diligence and vigilance to ward off foreign pathogens. Fitness goals should be targeted and inputs, such as time and effort should be quantified to calculate training load. Rest and recovery should be as equally, if not greater prioritized.
Gleeson, M. (2007). Immune function in sport and exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 103 (2), 693-699.
Let’s face it, the COVID-19 pandemic (in relation to a baseball analogy) has been a curveball that no one has been able to hit cleanly. That being said, we all still need to stand in the batter box and take our best swing.
As states across the country begin to allow fitness centers, health clubs, wellness centers and athletic facilities to open, there are still numerous precautions that have to be considered with coronavirus. For all of us who are actively involved with the Fitness Industry, we can’t simply think that it is going to be business as usual. Its not. All of us (members, clients, personal trainers) are going to have to be much more conscious and take a proactive approach to try and ensure the safety of everyone. This won’t necessarily be easy, but it is doable.
The following is a usable list of suggestions that should be considered when you prepare to reopen to start fitness sessions and training activities for your client base:
Fitness Facility Usage
Remove equipment (strength and cardio) from some areas and have it located in another part of your facility to help with physical distancing
Make some equipment (strength and cardio) unusable (maybe by posting sign on it), then changing which equipment is usable daily
Utilize multiple doors in the facility – One for “Entrance” – One for “Exit”
Temporarily remove all fitness accessories and portable recreational equipment (bands, balls, bars, etc.) from the fitness area
Supply additional cleaning supplies, then require all participants to clean up / wipe down fitness equipment after use
Require wearing a mask or cloth face shields be worn by everyone in the facility
Perform temperature checks for everyone entering the facility
Air flow is key so use your fans in the building and leave your fan setting for the A/C on.
Require all members or clients to sign a Liability Waver specific to COVID-19
Additional Hand Sanitizer units should be installed in facility
Limit that only 2 people may be in any rest room, at any time
Limit that only 2 people may use the elevator, at any time (if you have one)
Consider establishing a “fitness room capacity’, then require any interested participant to schedule an appointment time, in order to use the room / equipment
Consider to temporarily not allow access to the locker rooms / showers
Consider foot-plates or arm-bars to open the doors in the facility
Consider offering any live fitness-group classes virtually
Temporary suspend any recreational activities, games, and competitions on a basketball court, racquetball court, or turf field where intentional or inadvertent physical contact may occur
Eliminate the use of any room or area that cannot be monitored by a staff member
Rearrange Fitness Staff or Sales Staff offices, to help with social distancing and allow for immediate cleaning when their use is completed
Consider adjusting the operating scheduling of the facility (longer of shorter) to accommodate community members who have preexisting health conditions, along with controlling the flow of foot traffic in the facility
Staggered scheduling for Fitness Staff, so not all the staff members are in the facility at the same time
Allow Staff Member to work from home, on task and work assignments that do not require them to be in the facility
Scheduled workout sessions for specific participants, with a limit on the number of participants on the court, field or gym at a time
Once a group session is concluded, those participants will be required to leave the facility or field, so the next group can participate
Don’t allow friends or family members to wait in the facility during a session
Clients are to bring their own fitness or athletic equipment (balls, bands, clothes, etc.), to all fitness training sessions. The Staff will not be allowed give out equipment
Clients or members must bring their own water or snacks with them to all training sessions
Fitness Facility Rentals
Any group that wishes to rent or reserve any field or court in the facility must do so through a designated staff representative of the facility, do so 24 hours in advance, and supply a list of all participants who will be using the field or court
Inactive participants, reserves, or members serving in the capacity of a “coach”, “photographer”, or “referee” must maintain a distance of six feet or more from other persons at all times
Aforementioned persons must always wear a facial covering, mask, or shield while not participating
A designated staff member will determine what sports or activities will be permitted on any field or court in the facility, along with having direct and final input on any rules that are associated with predetermined sports or activities
Recreational and sporting activities with greater rates of contact, whether intentional or incidental, are prohibited
Participants are to follow self-screening measures prior to entering premises which include temperature and symptom checks. Those who have a body temperature of 100.4F or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 are prohibited from entering the premises
Those who exhibit symptoms during play or while on premises, must vacate immediately and seek appropriate medical attention
Beverages with open containers and food and snacks, specifically gum, lozenges, and sunflower seeds are prohibited due to increased risk of transmission via saliva.
The sharing of beverages, including water and sports drinks, from the same container, is highly discouraged
Participants are strongly discouraged from high fiving, handshaking, fist bumping, hugging and sharing other forms of physical contact with one another. Additionally, participants are discouraged from touching their faces with their hands and fingers
Personal property is to be stored along the perimeter of the field or court, and more than six feet away from possessions belonging to other persons
I recognize that there are a lot of potential rules or restrictions on the list, along with other ones that could be included. However, because we all work at various locations, with different populations, with different requirements, my suggestion would be to apply as many of these as possible to your specific athletic, fitness, and wellness training situation.
Together, we can all make a positive impact on limiting the exposure of COVID-19. Then we can all get back to what it is we like to do – physically training and conditioning our clients, members and athletes… … and swinging for the fences …
Mark S. Cassidy, MS has been actively involved with the Fitness and Athletic Industry for over 25 years.
He has held professional positions with The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, World Instructors Training Schools, Philadelphia 76ers, YMCA, Delaware Blue Coats, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, and American Heart Association. Mark has an Associate’s degree in Business from Delaware County Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Temple University, a Master’s degree in Organizational Development/Business Psychology from The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He has professional experience as a Fitness Instructor, Strength Coach, Sports Coach-Counselor, Exercise Therapist, Sales Manager, College Professor, and Athletic Facility Director
It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without the various forms of social media that influence our lives each day. Do you have a social media presence? Is it for your personal use or strictly for your professional use? If you do, you’re part of an ever-growing population that is adopting the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms. Over the past ten years, the use of social media has exploded. According to Forbes, there are now 5.2 billion individuals with cell phones on this planet and there are 3.8 billion social media users. That means that, in all likelihood, 2020 will be the final year where less than half of the Earth’s population will be using some form of social media. That’s a pretty shocking statistic!
Looking back at the first paragraph of this post, if you answered “yes” to the question posed, you’re already on your way! What matters most to you is whether or not you’re truly maximizing your presence by understanding the role of social media in the promotion of your brand or business.
If you answered “no” to the question posed in the opening paragraph, what is it that is holding your back from tapping into this massive pool of potential revenue? Most people who avoid social media cite a lack of tech savvy or fear of “misuse” as their primary reasons for not getting their brand or business online. Consider, though, the potential revenue you may be missing out on.
A large part of proper social media use is increasing your visibility. The more visible you become, the more likely you are to monetize your online presence. Did you know that, in 2020, companies are expected to spend nearly $43 billion on social media advertising and, by 2022, companies will invest $15 billion on influencer marketing? Influencers, by definition, are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. These people, through their posts, have gathered such a following that brands and companies are willing to actually pay them for their exposure!
Social media newbies and veterans alike can benefit from the introductory concepts taught in this mini-course. For example, one of the most important things about using interactive social media is “likeability”. Do people who view your content find it to be worthwhile? Do they like viewing your content enough to follow you or give your post the cherished “like”? Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or one of the many other platforms available, Finding Your Customers: Listen, Define, and Think to Increase Your Social Media Presence will give you the necessary tools to help you increase your social media presence and, more importantly, become more “likeable” online. You will learn how to listen online, how to target markets using different social media outlets, and develop more authentic online relationships that will increase business and sales.
CPH & Associates is committed to supporting our clients during the Covid-19 pandemic. We understand that many of you have had to alter the way you practice in order to face this unprecedented challenge.
As you shift to providing training sessions via online platforms, we are pleased to assure you that your professional liability policy covers online/video services, per the terms and conditions of the policy.There is no additional “rider” or endorsement that you need to add to your policy to be covered for these services. We encourage you to confirm that you are providing services legally within the scope of your state’s laws.
It is important to ensure you are protected while you continue to see clients during this time. Injury and mishaps can still occur, especially with the limitations of online/video training and the lack of hands-on instruction. A policy with CPH provides peace of mind while you and your clients adapt to unfamiliar methods of working together.
Questions about your policy? Please call us at 800-875-1911 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in learning more about our coverage for W.I.T.S. members? Please click here for our Coverage Highlights.
You set a goal to be a Certified Personal Trainer. You wanted to attend the best fitness school on the market to make a difference in lives. You worked hard memorizing the human anatomy, programming for cardio and resistance training and injury prevention, to name a few categories. You spent hours interning how to interact with clients, professional etiquette and program progression. Now it’s time to get out there and get your future started!
You’ve landed a personal training job with the company you have admired for years. You are dressed in the fancy attire, you have all of your new client paperwork organized and a smile on your face. You are ready to train but, now what?
You need to find clients! Where do you find them? How do you approach them? Once you get their attention, how do you convince them they need to hire you?
If you find yourself asking these questions, you are not alone. There are various ways to approach the final result of obtaining a new client. Mastering Your Financial Future as a Fitness Professional is an excellent course that will help you learn these skills and start your journey as a certified personal trainer on the right foot.
As a sample of what is included in this 2 CEC course, let’s take a look at a list of common mistakes that trainers make which can often lead to retention issues!
Giving cookie cutter workouts: Don’t make the mistake of thinking your clients don’t know when you’re slacking. They can go online if they want a workout available to the public. Know your client and design their journey!
Not obtaining a medical history: During the assessment, you will find out a little about their medical history but not all of it. Know who you are working with so you can provide the most appropriate modifications.
Poor record keeping: This is one important way to keep your client motivated and hold them accountable. They may physically see and feel changes in their body and mind but showing them their accomplishments on paper can be eye opening. The other side to this is your backup if they are not achieving results. This is proof that you are doing everything on your end. The accountability falls on them to do what they need to do when you are not around.
Pushing a client too far too fast: Again, now your clients. Some may look like they can perform difficult movements from the start, but for one reason or another are unable to. You need to know what they are capable of and introduce movements at the appropriate times.
Poor communication: This goes without saying. Most problems in life are due to a lack of communication. Results happen when you and your client can focus 100% on the goal at hand.
Not giving 100% attention to your client: When you are with a client, you should be with them and them only! Not chatting with other members, clients or co-workers, not on your phone and certainly not focusing on your own workouts! They are paying for your time and deserve every second of it.
Going beyond your scope of practice: Stick to what you know. You wouldn’t want someone giving you the wrong information, so don’t do it to your clients. If you don’t know the solution, inform them you will figure it out. You can also refer your client to a more appropriate contact. Keep a list of what you don’t know and make it a point to learn something new every day.
Specializing too early: Give yourself some time to find your niche. Don’t choose an area to focus on just because it’s popular this month. Make it a point to be familiar with new trends, but don’t become the expert on all of them. You will find your niche naturally.
Overall, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, staying inside your scope of practice and listening to what the client wants are some important keys to success. It’s your job as a trainer to figure out what the client needs, and this will come with time. The road to becoming a successful personal trainer can be a long one and it’s essential to have the best tools and tips to help you along the way. Mastering Your Financial Future as a Fitness Professional is the perfect course to get that journey started.
Getting your personal trainer certification is a big step toward a bright future as a fitness professional. Studying for and passing your exam and getting CPR certified demand a lot of time and effort, but certification is just the beginning. To make the most of your personal trainer certification and turn it into a sustainable career, you need to take some additional steps toward professionalism.
5 Steps Toward Becoming a Successful Certified Fitness Professional
The following five steps will get you started on the right path toward a successful career as a Certified Personal Trainer:
Get hands-on experience: Some newly certified trainers already have a background in fitness. Some have academic degrees in exercise science and related fields, and others have backgrounds in athletics or bodybuilding. Whether you have a background in fitness or not, working with clients requires additional skills. Consider enrolling in the W.I.T.S. internship program. As an intern, you gain experience working one-on-one with clients, and you get a glimpse of the fitness business from the other side of the front desk.
Purchase Liability Insurance: Physical activities of any type come with inherent risks for injury. While the benefits of fitness activities outweigh the risks, there is always the chance that something can go wrong. Even if you work in a gym or studio that provides coverage for its employees, it is wise to protect yourself with additional insurance. The good news is that liability insurance for personal trainers is remarkably inexpensive. After all, an important part of your job is to protect your clients from injury, so the risk is relatively low. Follow this link to find affordable liability insurance.
Form an LLC: A legal liability corporation (LLC) is a legal entity that protects business owners and their families from lawsuits, creditors and other business liabilities that may arise. Unlike a sole proprietorship, with an LLC, only the assets of your business are at risk — your personal assets and those of your family are protected, should your business fail or fall on hard times. An LLC is easy to form and inexpensive to register. There are many online resources to help you form an LLC.
Define your niche: There is nothing wrong with taking on a broad range of clients, but narrowing your niche can help you establish a solid reputation as a fitness expert. Certain clients may be outside your scope of expertise, while focusing on a specific population can enable you to grow professionally while having a positive impact on the lives of your clients. Youth, older adults, pregnant and postpartum women, body builders and figure competitors — the list goes on and on. Choose your niche and grow a robust clientele to promote your business.
Establish your brand: Once you establish yourself as a certified fitness professional,expand your client base and cement your expertise by branding yourself online. Professional posts on social media, a professional website and Facebook page and maybe even a YouTube channel are great ways to reach an ever-growing audience and expand your business. Use your imagination to create a solid brand image that reaches the masses.
Find Your Niche and Build Your Fitness Career
Build your skills and knowledge and become a top personal trainer. Choose from any of our professional fitness courses for skills training and certification:
At one time, personal trainers had the coolest job around, and anyone who had their own personal trainer was ranked among the beautiful people. It was also a lucrative and viable career path for fitness professionals who had enough knowledge and charisma to attract well-heeled clients and help them reach their goals.
That all changed when gyms began to put the hammer down on freelancers and hired their own trainers at low wages, keeping the lion’s share of revenues for themselves. Over time, that business model all but destroyed personal training as a sustainable career path and caused gym owners to shoot themselves in the foot with a costly cycle of employee training and turnover.
The below infographic illustrates the typical Lifecycle of the average personal trainer:
The High Cost of Turnover
Low conversions, low client retention rates, dissatisfied customers and high trainer turnover all cost gym owners enormous amounts of money each year.
These important metrics should be applied to evaluate the performance of any gym’s personal training program:
The annual turnover rate for personal trainers runs between 80-90% on average: the optimal employee turnover rate is 10% or less.
The minimally acceptable sales conversion rate is 40%, and the optimal rate is 70%. To calculate this metric, divide the number of conversions by the number of prospects a trainer has pitched.
The optimal annual client retention rate is 80-90%. Divide the number of clients lost by the number retained.
Ironically, most gym owners don’t bother to track these metrics, and many are unaware of them. For trainers, having quantitative performance metrics would empower them to self-evaluate and monitor their own job performance. Yet in most cases, trainers have no idea what good job performance looks like.
Factors Contributing to Trainer Turnover
Many people pursue a personal training career because they have a true passion for fitness and want to share it with others. Yet the actual demands of the job can quickly erode a new trainer’s enthusiasm, especially if they don’t feel valued or get the necessary training and support to succeed.
Factors that contribute to high trainer turnover include:
Inadequate job training and poorly defined performance criteria
Erratic scheduling, with long hours and split shifts
Low pay, with minimal opportunities for advancement
Pressure to sell with inadequate sales training and support
Burnout from overtraining
The Importance of Skills Training
Most new trainers are hired based on academic credentials, or on a particular brand of certification. Yet during the screening and hiring process, critical skills training and experience is often overlooked.
This problem partially stems from an antiquated business model that is still applied today. In the early days of fitness clubs, back in the 1970s, very few employees came to the table with any type of credentials or experience, and skills training took place on the job. In most cases, senior employees were responsible for training new hires. Then, as now, gym employee turnover was high.
The old-school model no longer works for several reasons:
Personal training was not offered as a service by most gyms until the early 2000s, but the business model was never updated to include this new employee demographic
The job of Personal Trainer demands much higher levels of knowledge and skills than the fitness advisor of old
Personal training is a substantial revenue generator, and demands more attention from management to reach its potential
Asking a senior trainer to help on-board a new hire imposes an inherent conflict of interest, since trainers often compete for new clients
It makes sense to hire new trainers who already possess knowledge, skills and experience. Doing so will increase conversions, elevate client retention rates and reduce costly employee turnover, resulting in higher profits.
Skills Training for Personal Trainers
If you are serious about building a successful and sustainable fitness career, don’t cut corners on your certification. Get the support, knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed with a fitness certification from W.I.T.S.
Advantages of a W.I.T.S. certification include:
Fully NCCA accredited: The only practical skills competency exam in the industry, along with our written exam.
Recognized by employers nation-wide: Graduates that perform!
Available in colleges, universities and online.
Taught by qualified and experienced industry professionals.
Internship program available to cement your skills.
Friendly customer service and support.
Online continuing education at your fingertips.
Find Your Niche and Build Your Fitness Career
Build your skills and knowledge and become a top trainer. Choose from any of our professional fitness course for skills training and certification:
Not all personal trainer certification programs are alike.
Imagine needing emergency surgery to have your appendix removed. The hospital staff assures you that the attending surgeon has a degree from a prestigious Ivy League school, which happens to be the alma mater of the hospital’s surgical director. You feel at ease as the anesthesiologist prepares your IV. But just as you’re getting drowsy, the nurse comments that your procedure will be the doctor’s very first foray into the operating room, since he earned his degree online.
Of course, this scenario is unlikely — although not totally unheard of — in the medical arena. Surgeons go through years of study, practical skills training and supervised practice before they are allowed to take the lead in a major operation. Sadly, that is often not the case with personal training.
Personal Trainer Key Skills
Many people think that a personal trainer’s only job duties are to teach exercise, preach about nutrition and keep clients motivated. But a personal trainer’s key skills encompass much, much more.
Here are just a handful of important personal trainer skills that require hands-on learning:
Record keeping and business management: Personal trainers have a lot of information to keep track of: client records, progress charts, workouts, account history and much more! Most certification programs fail to touch on this.
Conducting and interpreting each client’s health history: Personal training clients come to us with a plethora of health conditions and a broad range of medications. It is essential that you are able to ask the right questions and know how to interpret and use this information to protect your client and yourself.
Measuring and monitoring vital statistics: It is impossible to accurately measure heart rate and blood pressure without hands-on experience, with a variety of different subjects. Online certification programs cannot help you with this.
Conducting standardized fitness assessments: Standardized fitness assessments for strength, endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness give us a baseline against which we can measure our clients’ progress. This is another skill that requires hands-on practice and experience, which you cannot get online.
Personalized goal-specific client programming: The secret to becoming a successful personal trainer is being able to help your clients reach and exceed their goals. Learning the basics of goal-oriented programming is an essential skill that requires hands-on practice.
Teaching proper exercise form and execution: There is a lot more to an effective exercise program than picking up weights and putting them down again. As trainers, we need to cue our clients on correct alignment and perfect execution, to prevent injury and attain desired results.
Injury prevention and management: Any type of physical activity comes with inherent risks. As a trainer, it is your job to teach your clients to exercise safely, and to provide guidance and support throughout each session. These are hands-on skills that cannot be learned from a textbook or video.
Lifestyle counseling: Every client brings their own unique lifestyle history to the table. As trainers, we work with our clients to identify negative lifestyle behaviors and help them make better choices. Role playing gives you essential skills for communicating with your clients, in ways that help them evolve, without making them feel judged.
How to Get Skills Training
Sadly, the majority of certification programs do not equip you to apply practical skills as a trainer.Most are self-study programs that certify you once you pass a written online test. Imagine walking into your new personal trainer job, being assigned a client on your first day, and not having a clue about how to proceed.
Imagine walking into your new personal trainer job, being assigned a client on your first day, and not having a clue about how to proceed.
Busy studios and big box gyms provide minimal training for new hires. They most often throw you into the fray, and let you sink or swim. As you can imagine, this leads to high turnover and a lot of discouraged and disillusioned trainers who spent their hard-earned money to get certified. It also leads to dissatisfied clients, and hurts our industry as a whole.
World Instructor Training Schools is the only certification program that teaches and conducts research-based testing for personal trainer practical skills.
Skills Training for Personal Trainers
If you are serious about building a successful and sustainable fitness career, don’t cut corners on your certification. Get the support, knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed with a fitness certification from W.I.T.S.
Advantages of a W.I.T.S. certification include:
Fully NCCA accredited: The only practical skills competency exam in the industry, along with our written exam!
Recognized by employers nation-wide: Graduates who perform!
Available in colleges, universities and online
Taught by qualified and experienced industry professionals
Internship program available to cement your skills
Friendly customer service and supportOnline continuing education at your fingertips
Join the W.I.T.S. family of industry leaders today, and build your fitness career on a solid foundation.