Monday, November 23, 2009

Blind Leading the Blind in Personal Training Business

There is so much talk of entrepreneurs in personal training lately, that you can't help but want to find out more. The sheer idea of running your own business doing what you love is extremely attractive and has the potential to be very lucrative. Or is it?

It depends.

From time to time, I venture onto to find some clients or put out some "feelers" for people that are looking for personal training services. While on the site, I like to check out the fitness job section and read alot of the so-called requirements for many of the trainer job postings. Many of the posts I read are:

"We will train the right candidate our policies and training methods to ensure success."

"No degree required, just a passion to learn the field in the quickest way possible and start training clients."

"Our specific methods were developed to maximize client results and we expect all candidates to carry them out."

As I read some of these 'requirements" I chuckle to myself. And then I think, "what if these so- called methods are not really that good for the unsuspecting new trainer?"

Sometimes in our pursuit for the goal (making money), we lose sight of the challenges that make us who we are. We basically put all our chips into ONE system or ONE person's perception of attaining that goal. In any profession, we grow progressively by how we respond to each challenge that life throws at us. It makes us who we are and eventually becomes a learning process for life and our chosen profession.

Example: ever meet those people that always recite "we always do this like this"...or "you should do it like this because we did it like this and this is what we got."

I've met plenty of people in the personal training business that had it all: the perfectly clean studio jam-packed with the latest equipment and gadgets...the muscle staff tee-shirts and attractive receptionist. But when we shared each other's philosophy I sensed that they were waaaayyy behind on the latest advances on training. They still put out the same precautions you'll hear from those that don't continue to learn:

"Don't let the client's knee go past their toes."

"We only do squats against the wall using the stability ball."

"No push-ups. Only use the chest press machine".
Its disappointing that so many novice trainers enter the field and are eager to work with clients, but become stuck in a bubble by an independent fitness professional who is stuck in the dinosaur ages of training ideas.

Being eager to start your business shouldn't inhibit your growth as a professional or those which you hire. Ask yourself: is your system or philosophy the best out here? If not, get uncomfortable and find out what other methods work more efficiently and teach your staff the latest in exercise and performance. Otherwise, you are not only holding back your staff--but you are holding back your own progress. Think of it like this: what is your business competitor doing that you can be doing better?


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