Personal training remains a driving force in the fitness industry, but its best practices are fast evolving. What worked five years ago for you or your staff may not make sense today, or especially tomorrow.
Club Industry’s latest in-depth content report, “The Changing World of Personal Training,” explores many of the opportunities and challenges surrounding personal training—and is free to download.
Additionally, Club Industry has released a special podcast episode in conjunction with this report that goes one step further. In this episode, you’ll hear answers to personal training’s hardest questions directly from three industry experts, each of whom have worked extensively as trainers.
This episode was recorded live at the 2019 Club Industry Show and features an hour-long panel discussion with Michelle Blakely, owner of See Jake and Jane Train; Greg McCoy, owner of [Hidden Gym]; and Dayton McPherson, fitness director and small-group training coordinator at Healthtrax. The panel’s moderator is Anthony Dominic, Club Industry’s content and analytics manager. (This panel was titled “The Future of Personal Training” and was held on Wednesday, Oct. 9, for those who may have attended this discussion in-person.) Blakely and McCoy were both brand ambassadors for the 2019 Club Industry Show.
Below are three personal training-related takeaways from each of the panelists. Listen to the full episode for more insights like these.
1. Your clients will take notice of your professionalism (or lack thereof).
"As gym and studio owners, we need to be understanding that training our trainers on how to communicate professionally and how to behave professionally has to be part of what we’re doing. It can’t just be about program design and showing up on time and understanding how to use the great piece of equipment we just bought and put on the floor for $20,000. … I would also ask how are your managers behaving? Because your team is following their lead. How professional the management team is really matters." –Blakely
2. Don’t underestimate the importance of communication.
"Communication is one place to really focus on ... [I]n 15 years of personal training, no one's ever come up to me and said, 'You know what, Greg, I'm just not confident you know what you're doing in the gym.' Never. No one's ever fired me because I couldn't train them right. It's always–and they were right at the time–'You're just too busy, and I don't feel like you care because it takes you three days to get back to me.' So I really think, either if [you] yourself are the trainer or if you [manage] trainers, help them get communication mechanisms in place." –McCoy
3. It’s better to refer than to be a jack of all trades, master of none.
"It's OK to say, 'I don't know.' For me, I know almost nothing about nutrition. I'm being honest. But I have a dietitian on my team. So when someone says to me, 'I need help with my diet.' [I say,] 'Great you're going to go see Andy instead of train with me your next session.' So I have people on my team that are designated for that. And that's one of the benefits of being a hiring manager. ... I don't think we can do it all, nor do I think we should. Be great at the one thing you're great at. I write rocking programs, and I'm a really good trainer. ... But if you need an in-depth analysis, I have someone on my team who can work with you.” –McPherson
You can listen to this episode on Club Industry’s SoundCloud page. Or download the SoundCloud app on your Apple or Android device so that you can listen offline during your workout or commute.
To experience content like this episode’s panel discussion in-person, be sure to capitalize on the early registration rates for the 2020 Club Industry Show (Oct. 14-16, St. Louis Union Station Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri).