The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



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Go deeper into being successful in personal training

There are many educational sessions on personal training – it is one of the hottest trends in the fitness industry after all. Finding the one, or a couple, that best suits what you are looking to get out of your department or business is paramount.

Paul Stugart is a first-time presenter at the IHRSA Annual International Convention & Trade Show and feels his session will be a little different than others. He expects The 5 R’s of Successful Personal Training, in the Fitness & Personal Training track on Wednesday, March 12, 9:45 a.m., will delve a little deeper into the steps needed to what it takes to have an effective, and profitable, personal training department.

“I want to help (attendees) get something out of (my session). It will be more in-depth than what others try to cover in an hour and 30 minutes,” said Stugart, who in no way was trying to put down other speakers and their talks. “”Hopefully they will walk out with information to stimulate their thought process on what doing now and reassess to make changes or assimilate new changes.”

IHRSA is writing about a session in each of the educational tracks as IHRSA 2014 33rd Annual International Convention & Trade Show approaches.

Despite being a rookie IHRSA speaker, Stugart has plenty of experience. He has been in the business for more than 20 years, with 18 as a business owner, including fitness clubs, personal training studios, yoga studios and a CrossFit business.

Stugart breaks down his talk into the 5 R’s – Responsibility, Results, Retention Referral and Revenue – because it is based on successful business strategies.

“The 5 R’s basically is setting up a system that you follow to achieve particular outcome,” he said.


Here is a quick snapshot of the 5 R’s:

Responsibility – Effective communication with clients and scheduling may seem simple, but can be challenging when vacations and time away from training comes into play. This part will look at how to manage your clients and keeping them on track.

Results – Most often clients take part in personal training because they can’t achieve their results on their own. Setting realistic goals and keeping them on track requires effective communication and keeping them excited. Stugart will show you how “to get inside their head” to accomplish this.

Retention – Strategies to retain clients by showing them the value of personal training. Many will use price as the reason for stopping, so showing them results is key. 

Referrals – It is how you build clientele. Successful personal training needs an influx of potential new clients. 

Revenue – This ties the previous four together. If you are successful at them then the revenue should come. Stugart says that if you are making a lot of money then it is a signal that you are doing something right. If not, it is time to reassess what you are doing with the first 4 R’s and it may be time to change something.

“I think the 5 R’s are very important since it is based in business strategies. It is what successful people do to figure out what curve to follow to achieve certain outcomes,” Stugart said. “If you are trying to make personal training your job and you are trying to build your own clientele, you need enough revenue through the door to offset expenses. 

“If you are not getting the results you are expecting … you need to look at the little things it takes to become successful.”

For the entire Management & Operations schedule, visit

For more on IHRSA 2014, visit And, be sure to download the free IHRSA App and follow on Twitter at #IHRSA2014.

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