6 Components of a Strong Personal Training Department

Keep these six components in mind if you want to drive performance with your personal training team.

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Why does personal training exist? Because we can’t do the exercise ourselves, said Luke Carlson, CEO of Discover Strength in Chanhassen, MN.

Strong Leaders, Strong Personal Training Department

During Carlson’s 2016 IHRSA Institute session, “Personal & Group Training Management,” attendees shared additional reasons their club members hire personal trainers:

  • fitness expertise;
  • social interaction;
  • motivation;
  • accountability.

The key reason club members need personal trainers is supervision, Carlson said, citing that, statistically, fitness performance and health outcomes are far better with supervised exercise.

Carlson cautioned that weak leaders can be the reason personal training departments aren’t performing better. Club owners and managers must identify their core values, institutionalize them and build a culture around them. Those in leadership roles must identify each individual staff member and job function and ensure that the “right person is in the right seat."

6 Components of a Strong Personal Training Department

Carlson introduced the following six components that comprise a strong personal training department, and stressed the importance of identifying the tools and tactical solutions that drive performance in each.

  1. Vision – Solidify a shared vision of core values and a future plan.
  2. People – Determine who does what and how it should be done.
  3. Process – Identify, simplify, and document your processes.
  4. Data – Develop a consistent way to measure key performance indicators.
  5. Traction – Document the two-to-five most important things to be accomplished each quarter.
  6. Issues – Effective leaders must recognize issues and how to handle them.

In closing, Carlson said, “There is a difference between doing, and doing well. Execution is paramount.”

“There is a difference between doing, and doing well. Execution is paramount.”

Luke Carlson, CEO

Discover Strength, Chanhassen, MN

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Carolynn Jordan

Carolynn Jordan is the Member Communication Specialist for IHRSA. She develops outreach that helps IHRSA members best use their benefits and stay engaged in the IHRSA community. When she isn’t working, Carolynn is likely researching what city she’ll run her 10th marathon in.