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Entries in personal training (64)


Convention Session Spotlight: personal training

Have you checked out the voluminous educational sessions at IHRSA's 32nd Annual International Convention and Trade Show - which is less than a month away?

While different discussions will be beneficial for different people, clubs and organizations, one that touches many attendees is Scott Lewandowski's “Maximize the Effectiveness and Profitability of Your Personal Training Team,” which is on Tuesday, March 19, at 3:45 p.m.

Topics expected to be covered include recruiting top trainers, maximizing their time, continuing education and bringing the department to the next level.

Click here for more.


Are you planning on attending these convention sessions?

I am writing a few stories on IHRSA 2013 sessions. I am talking to the presenter and then hope to talk to a few IHRSA members who plan on attending that discussion.  

If anyone would like to talk for the following, please e-mail  

  • Scott Gillespie's "Discovering What Makes You Special, Finding Your Secret Sauce," March 20, 1:30 p.m.(Marketing and Operations track). I would need to talk to you by Feb. 20, noon EST.
  • Bruce Carter's "Wave of the Future - Trends in Club Design," March 21, 1:30 p.m. (Marketing and Operations). I would need to talk by Feb. 27, noon.
  • Scott Lewandowski's "Maximizing the Effectiveness and Profitability of Your Personal Training Team," March 19, 3:45 p.m. (Fitness and Pers Training). I would need to talk by Feb. 27, noon.



Women's Health looking for next 'it' trainer

Do you think you have what it takes to be the next Jillian Michaels?

If so, Women's Health may have the backing you need to be a fitness star. The magazine is hosting the Next Fitness Star contest, looking for the next "it" trainer. The winner will have her own DVD series and appear in the magazine.

The deadline is Feb. 1, 2013. Click here to see more on the contest.


Personal trainer-only studios becoming more popular

With the popularity of personal trainers - around 6.5 million Americans using one now, as opposed to 4 million in 1999, according to IHRSA reports - it is no wonder that studios offering only the one-on-one are popping up quite a bit.

Meredith Poppler of IHRSA said these facilities run the gamut from franchises to independent, boutique clubs that pop up in major cities.

In most cases these new options are comparable in price and the trainers are more accessible.

For more, read here.


VP candidate Ryan is a fitness nut

No matter which party is elected into office in November, there will be plenty of stories on health and fitness for the next four years.

President Obama's love of sports is well-documented - golf and basketball at the top - as well as his affinity for being in shape. Add in the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign, and it is clear that physical activity is a priority for the Obamas.

But now the Republican ticket now is on par with Paul Ryan being named Mitt Romney's vice presidential candidate. For those of you who have not noticed, Ryan is a 42-year-old with about 8% body fat who does hia P90X workout before the sun rises. He also worked as a personal trainer after college.

For more on Ryan's workout, click here.


New Hampshire club has perfected personal training 

Check out this week's IHRSA Member profile of River Valley Club in Lebanon, N.H. Despite the industry average of 5-10% of a club's members using personal trainers, River Valley boasts 35%. And, it is hoping to reach 65% in five years!

Visit to learn more.


Connecticut newspaper must be reading IHRSA report, 'The Future is Bright'

As we wrote about on and released there, too, the the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that trainers and group exercise instructors could see a 20% increase through 2020.

The Day, a very well-respected paper in Connecticut, wrote a story recently using the numbers derived from the Bureau and the susbsequent IHRSA report, The Future is Bright: U.S. Health Club Employment Outlook.

Check out The Day's story.


IHRSA 2012: Words of Industry Wisdom

Todd DurkinTodd Durkin, the owner of Fitness Quest 10 and Todd Durkin Enterprises, in San Diego, California, had some very instructive things to say during IHRSA’s 31st Annual International Convention and Trade Show in Los Angeles in March. So, too, did Cameron Hedges, the general manager of Results Fitness, in Newhall, California. Did you catch their presentations? Oh, too bad—sorry to hear that! Well, don't fret. CBI Associate Editor, Patricia Glynn did attend, and was quite impressed, and took notes, and shares some of Durkin's and Hedges' most valuable tips and insights in this installment of CBI Unbound.

Click to read more ...


Future bodes well for trainers and group instructors

IHRSA will be releasing a new report, The Future is Bright: U.S. Health Club Employment Outlook, next week. One of the biggest findings is that health clubs could be employing up to 20% more trainers and group instructors.

Also in the report will be trends, compensation, case studies, and more. 

For more, click here.






Are You Hiring Personal Trainers Your Members Wouldn't?

By Dr. Michael Mantell

As a gym owner or general manager, here’s one thing you know for sure about your club:  the undeniable king of profit centers is personal training.  The way you market and sell your health club’s personal training is critical to establishing valuable relationships with members and, in turn, increases revenue per club member. 

But wait. There’s more.  Unless you hire the right trainers for you club in the first place, the best marketing and sales efforts will rapidly fail.  The public knows full well what to look for in hiring their personal trainers.  All they have to do is turn to the Internet, fitness magazines, and other exercise and training publications to learn what to look for in an effective trainer.  For people researching personal training, there’s no shortage of resources.

There is practically nothing out there for owners and managers of health clubs, however, to help you do the same—hire the best trainers for your staff. 

Your trainers could be certified by ACE, ACSM, NASM, ISSA, AFAA, or other top personal trainer certification organizations—but ask yourself, is that all that matters to you? Let’s hope that’s only the starting place, if you want truly inspirational, people-oriented, interpersonally skilled, cheerful, outgoing, and cordial trainers.  And you do, don’t you? 

How often do people talk about trainers in clubs who are not affable, who won’t initiate conversations with people they are not training, who spend more time chatting with other trainers rather than with members, who don’t reach out and offer to assist a member with, for example, a more proper position or suggestion for improving a movement?  It’s almost as if some trainers will only communicate with members with whom they are already training.  These are club killers and sales destroyers.  They don’t understand the old saying, “If you don’t mingle, your pockets won’t jingle.”

Knowing how to review a resume and having savvy job interviewing know-how is a critical first step.  Is the resume well organized with experience as it relates to your training needs?  Is there a career progression or large gaps in work chronology?  

Are you aware of any interviewer bias you may have from information obtained prior to the interview, inaccurate first impressions, single answers that skew your reactions, non-verbal communication, your own prejudices?

Do you know how to ask “loaded questions”? “So, which is better, ‘friendly trainers’ or ‘more professional trainers’?”  Do you understand leading questions, “We like friendly personal trainers. Are you friendly?” Are you familiar with trait questions, “Describe your personal style as a trainer,” or “What’s the best type of client for you?”

Does the applicant motivate you to your personal fitness best? Is the applicant charismatic enough for your club? Is she/he someone who has settled for “good enough?”

I’ve found that 70% of all questions you ask applicants ought to be highly structured.  This breaks down as follows:

5% should focus on rapport building

5% should be introductory to the club and job

55% should be core-questions

5% should address resume-confirming information

The other 30% should include a combination of open-ended, hypothetical and probing questions (training scenarios, challenging client issues, specific club/client needs, “tell me a time when you…?”)

Here are health club hiring don’ts:

  1. Ignoring your club’s very specific needs. Do you want to hire a training sergeant, a “mind-body” trainer, an authority/planner who knows everything ever written about training, or a playful trainer who is always inventing new routines?
  2. Failing to test skills. Walk around with your pre-hire and watch their interpersonal reactions, at the very least—best to watch them initiate conversation, work out, or train a member.
  3. Hiring out of desperation or laziness.
  4. Becoming infatuated.
  5. Placating to personal baggage.
  6. Hiring on someone else’s recommendation.
  7. Blindly promoting from within.
  8. Failing to do an extensive background reference check.
  9. Failing to recognize you have made a poor hiring decision.

Remember: your members are the ultimate hiring authority on who you hire.  Keep them in mind as you interview your applicants.  If they wouldn’t hire the applicant for their  personal training, why should you?