The Fitness Zone
Being a Personal Trainer your clients will expect you to be in the know about all things health and fitness, so you need to be on the ball, says Shaun Radford, Fitness Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness WA.
You are your best marketing tool so make sure that you are attentive and fully focused on your client 100% of the session. That is what they have come to you for. If you are easily distracted, move yourself away from these distractions, including leaving your mobile phone in your bag or at reception. Use a stopwatch or invest in a watch so you can time sessions and exercises your clients are doing. By showing that your client is the most important person, you will promote yourself to a successful career and gain the respect and trust of clients.
Educating yourself is a huge factor. Some great resources that you can use to further your fitness career and aid in designing exciting and new programs can be found in so many places these days. So where do we start?
Well the internet is obviously a great resource, and you could (and most likely, will) spend years learning here. Check out Fitness Research for research papers about health and fitness, but be warned they will take time to read but you'll grow your knowledge vastly. To keep up-to-date with anatomy and physiology, and for something that's a bit of fun, try http://www.anatomyarcade.com. This allows you to play games and learn or refresh muscles and bones. http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/ is another website worth a visit. This looks at some psychology; as you all well know it's a big part of why we do things.
Social media is also fantastic. You can like' or follow' a variety of fitness, health and nutrition companies to continually learn what's happening in the industry. We hope you're following the Institute on Facebook and on Twitter!
If you are an iPhone user there are some fantastic apps that you can downloaded to aid in programming and tracking client success. These apps range from stretches that your client can do, calorie counters and food diaries, to a Navy SEAL workout to really challenge the fitter ones amongst us. These are all dependant on you as a trainer and your clients' needs. We have various apps reviewed on The Zone, which may help.
Continuing education courses and workshops are also important to attend, not only to expand your knowledge but so you can teach a wider variety of exercises using various equipment, and keep your classes exciting. You'll also learn new trends and better ways of doing things as research develops. Watch out for the new range of CEC courses coming to the Institute soon.
There's also blogs, magazines, books
The fitness industry is forever changing, and new and exciting research is always being released. Remember, before you take any research on board, ensure you know the source, sample size of the research and who funded the research. Today there are a lot of claims going on. Any research needs to have a sample base of at least 1,000 people for it to be really convincing; and if McDonalds is funding the research, you can probably assume there may be a bias towards the positive outcomes for such a business.
These are just some tips and resources to keep you pumping in this great industry. It is a rewarding experience to help people, looking at the results and the smile on their faces are all payment in the end. Go forward and change the world one person at a time.
If you love training then make it your career and become a Personal Trainer -download an info pack now!
About Shaun Radford
Shaun is a Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness in QLD, as well as a Presenter at fitness conferences. Having been in the fitness industry for over nine years, Shaun has also held positions as a Group Exercise Instructor, Personal Trainer, and mentor.