The Fitness Zone
A big part of every Personal Trainer's job is to stay on top of industry trends. Knowing what is in the interest of other personal trainers and your clients will help you to stay ahead of the competition and ensure that your clients feel like you care about and understand their needs. Building your knowledge in fitness, nutrition and business means you'll be better placed to advise your clients, as well as position yourself as an industry expert. Keep learning and stay up to date with these invaluable sources.
Industry blogs can offer the perfect daily dose of wisdom, insight and inspiration to apply to your own career. Be sure to bookmark a few top-notch industry websites. Blogs on sites such as the Australian Institute of Fitness', and also Fitness Australia's and the Australian Fitness Network's feature up-to-date fitness tips and training advice from qualified coaches. Also scour the web for like-minded industry blogs that interest you. There are so many different websites and blogs online created by like-minded individuals. If you’re interested in all things geeky and gaming, be sure to check out Nerd Fitness or if you’re a mother that finds it hard to find the time around working, kids and everything else going on in your life, the blog by Fit Bottomed Girls is a must-read. Fellow trainers, nutritionists and fitness experts are out there right now posting their thoughts. Get involved.
FORUMS, SOCIAL, AND WEBSITES
Login, join in and start building your professional network online. Personal Training discussion forums are full of insider information and a great way to share info with other professionals. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are also ideal social platforms for connecting with other trainers and industry leaders. It's also worth checking out research sites like Fitness Research, which covers the latest research that you can apply to your training. It’s easier than ever to see content by other professionals, share it, comment on your thoughts and interact with other clients and professionals. It’s a free and easy way to start to get to know more people in the business and even in your local area.
Possibly the best way to stay ahead of the training curve is to sign up for educational courses and workshops. The Australian Institute of Fitness runs a range of continuing education courses so that you can learning and adding to your fitness qualifications, from nutrition to wellness, and boot camp to boxing. Even though you think you might know all there is to know about being a personal trainer and all about fitness and exercise, you really can’t learn enough. With many new discoveries and studies being conducted each and every year, new information is always being discovered, so you can always get to know these new facts and use them to your benefit for your business and your clients. Signing up and completing further education always looks good for your reputation and shows that you care about your learning.
The stands are packed with fitness and health magazines that cover all of the latest industry trends. Many of these titles also have websites to match where you can sign up for regular e-newsletters and get daily or weekly news delivered straight to your inbox. This will keep you in the know of what your clients are reading, as no doubt one of them will be on the latest diet or asking you about a celebrity fitness trend they saw in the magazines. By reading what your clients are reading, you can also use this to your advantage. There may be a lot of news in the media about a particular exercise regime, food or diet which may have some conflicting information. If you’re armed with the knowledge of what they’re reading, you can do your own research and if they ask you about it, you’re already one step ahead and you can give them more information. For example, last year was the year of the coconut oil. Everything in life that was problematic could be solved with coconut oil (well, not really, but you know what we mean!). A lot of sites and magazines were constantly talking about it’s benefits and although it is a great substance to use in your diet and for your beauty regime, some clients may want your opinion on it. This is when you will know where they got this information and be prepared with your own source of knowledge.
It's simple stuff, but just keep talking to other Personal Trainers. Face-to-face networking at industry events and conferences, such as FILEX is one of the best ways to build professional relationships and tap into a new and exciting knowledge pool. By getting to know other professionals, you can know who is in your area, what they specialise in and how you can all work together to progress your business. Although other personal trainers might be your competition in your local area, the truth is, working together is only going to benefit you all. You might be able to specialise in programs to help people lose weight. Another personal trainer you meet might be the best weight trainer in the local area. If someone looking to lose weight visits your colleague, they’ll be able to refer your services instead. The same works if someone approaches you to get help with gaining muscle mass that you think your colleague would be best to help them with. In the end, networking with others, even your direct competition, can benefit everyone.
Keep learning and have fun along the way!