Personal Fitness Professional Jan/Feb 2013

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Make the education


Maintain your momentum in an evolving industry


5 tips to maximize your education investment


Nick Tumminello: Impacting an industry, one fit pro at a time


CELEBRATING 15 YEARS Visit | VoLumE 15 | IssuE 1 publisher

josh vogt | editor

lindsay vastola | managing editor

mike beacom | circulation manager

rachel spahr | president

chad griepentrog | creative director

kelli cooke | contributing writers

stacey penney, alan russell, bill sonnemaker, nick tumminello featured columnists

We’re celebrating 15 years at PFP! Here are a few things to expect this year: 1



PFP's makeover! Enjoy PFP's fresh look for the New Year


Keep tabs on Valorie Ness, 2013 ToTY, in our newest PFP column


Visit us at IHRSA in Las Vegas, Club Industry in Chicago and FBs13 in orange County, CA


Blasts from the past! We’ll be bringing back some of our most popular articles over the last 15 years


Our digital and enews reach is going global!


Take advantage of more cutting-edge webinars


Coming Soon! PFP’s extensive online store with discounts on top products exclusively for PFP readers More promotions, contests and 15 new product giveaways!

Checkout the latest tools of the trade and where to get them in our spring Buyer's Guide




Learn about the latest in fitness technology in our may/June issue

Save the date! starting in march, submit your application for Trainer of the Year and win thousands in prizes!



Get the latest news and updates by following us on Facebook: /PFPmedia and Twitter: @PFP_FitPro


Get the latest in marketing strategy for your business in our November-December issue


Watch monthly videos featuring fit pros in the trenches sharing the latest training tips on Read PFP wherever you are … PFP digital issues will offer exclusive features to read on your iPad or smart phone

greg justice, phil kaplan, bedros keuilian, tammy polenz, torrey smith RB Publishing Inc. 2901 International Lane Madison WI 53704-3128 Tel: 608.241.8777 Fax: 608.241.8666 Email: Print Subscription Information Subscriptions are free to qualified recipients: $36 per year to all others in the United States. Subscriptions rate for Canada or Mexico is $60 per year, and for elsewhere outside the United States is $80. Back-issue rate is $5. Send subscriptions to: By mail: PFP, P.O. Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098 Tel: 608.241.8777 E-mail: Fax: 608.241.8666 Website: Digital Print Subscription Information Digital Subscriptions to PFP are free to qualified recipients and may be ordered at Reprints For high-quality reprints, please contact our exclusive reprint provider. Scoop Reprint Source 800.767.3263 ext. 307 All material in this magazine is copyrighted © 2013 by RB Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Any correspondence sent to PFP, RB Publishing Inc. or its staff becomes property of RB Publishing Inc. The articles in this magazine represent the views of the authors and not those of RB Publishing Inc. or PFP. RB Publishing Inc. and/or PFP expressly disclaim any liability for the products or services sold or otherwise endorsed by advertisers or authors included in this magazine. PFP is published six times per year (Jan/Feb, March/ April, Spring 2013 Buyers Guide, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec). PFP (ISSN 1523-780X) [Volume 15, Issue 1] Published by RB Publishing Inc. 2901 International Lane, Suite 100 Madison WI 53704-3128, Tel: 608.241.8777 Periodicals postage paid at Madison WI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to: PFP | P.O. Box 259098 | Madison WI 53725-9098.


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Lindsay Vastola |

Valorie Ness |

The five degrees that separates success from failure

Keeping busy in 2013

Think of the last time you flew; you probably didn’t realize it, but your plane was likely off-course for upwards of 95% of the flight. You see, airplanes are constantly susceptible to winds, all types of weather patterns, air traffic, birds and other obstacles at any given time. While it has computers and sophisticated systems, a plane requires a qualified and attentive pilot to make constant and necessary corrections from take-off to landing. When a flight veers even five degrees off-course it will continue veering further and further from its destination point, requiring more drastic correction the longer it remains off-course. If our clients veer from their training program, even by missing just one workout, it requires a corrective action to get back on course and avoid the slippery slope. In our own businesses, it’s easy to set the goals, the destination point, but where we tend to go wrong is failing to recognize when we’re even slightly shifting off-course and before we know it, it’s the end of another year and we’ve not achieved the goals we set in January. Achieving goals in your training business requires an acute sense of where you stand at all times. Which obstacles, ones that you may not even realize exist, are forcing you off-course? Is your own mindset delaying you from reaching your final destination? What systems do you have in place to keep you in-check? We start each year with specific goals and intentions, and often times, as what happens with our own clients, we get sidetracked and derailed. As you look at the year ahead and set your goals for 2013, this is an opportunity to recalibrate and set the tone for your business. Recognize your obstacles and implement preventative and corrective actions to keep you on track. Keep yourself accountable to daily, weekly or monthly check-ins to be sure you’re still on path to reach your final destination. This issue of PFP focuses on education. Education is key to keeping us on top of our game, to rival the best in the industry and ultimately to keep us on-course. In this issue:

We caught up with 2013 PFP Trainer of the Year Valorie Ness and asked her how she’ll be focusing on her education for 2013. Check out her list of courses, conferences and events where she’ll be teaching or learning. Sounds like she’ll be keeping busy!

  

See how laser-like focus, passion and a little stubbornness has empowered Nick Tumminello, this issue’s Journey to Success featured professional, to impact an industry through education and inspiration. Nick also shows you five ways to maximize your investment in education. Bill Sonnemaker, a recognized fitness educator, helps us navigate the often overwhelming sea of continuing education opportunities and determine which methods are best for you. Share the Self-Myofascial Release techniques with your clients and help them with post-workout soreness and recovery; they’ll thank you for it!

I challenge you to stay on course this year; make education a priority and keep your finger on the pulse of what your clients really want and need. Recalibrate often to be sure you’re not veering off-course, even by the slightest five degrees. And we're celebrating 15 years at PFP media! We continue to strive to be a trusted resource and support you and your career goals. We have some fun ways to celebrate our anniversary in the coming year, so stay tuned! Thank you for your continued loyalty to PFP... whether you've been with us from the beginning or just discovered us, cheers to a fantastic year ahead!

COURSES & CERTIFICATIONS EBFA Barefoot Training Courses with Dr. Emily Splichal NFPT Certification (received as part of my award package) Corrective Exercise Specialist from the BioMechanics Method PTA Global Advanced Personal Trainer Certification

ATTENDING ACSM Personal Training Summit in Las Vegas, NV IDEA World Health and Fitness Conference Sorinex Summer Strong

SPEAKINGTEACHING EVENTS Nick Tumminello Strength Cruise ACE Workshops (Taught quarterly) FitPro Conference in Loughborough, England ASIA Fit in Thailand ACE East Symposium Club Industry AFPA Fitness Conferences Catalyst Fitness Mentorships (Taught quarterly) Redcord Courses (Principles of Suspension Exercise/Corrective Exercise/Multisuspension)

Trainer of the

Year 2013 jan-feb 2013 | | 5


JAN-FEB 2013



OTHER Columns


08 Treadmill Talk Education matters By Greg Justice


09 Top-Notch Training A master is nothing more than a lifelong student By Tammy Polenz

10 Boost Your Business When good education meets good business skills By Bedros Keuilian


Journey to Success: From pro to pro-found

Stubbornness, laser-focus and a quest to learn impacts an entire industry


The upside and downside of continuing education Understand, navigate and capitalize on your options

10 Education Connection Why accreditation really matters By Torrey Smith

30 Be Better The advantages of being a dinosaur By Phil Kaplan

By Bill Sonnemaker



Five fitness education tips to save time, money and confusion

What you need to know to maximize your investment in education By Nick Tumminello


Self-myofascial release for your client A simple guide to understanding and applying SMR

By Alan Russell & Stacey Penney


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05 Letter from the Editor The five degrees that separates success from failure

19 Certification Listings 26 Resource Spotlight Certification & Continuing Education Organizations

28 New on the Market 29 Events Calendar



Education matters Henry Ford said, “As long as you’re learning, you’ll never grow old,” but these days, many of the top fitness business consultants say, “Hire personality and passion first, and then teach them to be good trainers.” Sorry, but in my opinion that's just wrong. I know it's almost sacrilegious to say, but I stand by this statement: “Hire education first, then personality and passion.” Every time this subject comes up I end up ruffling some feathers. That’s because I firmly believe that a fitness professional with formal education in anatomy, physiology and exercise science is a much better hire than someone with a great personality. It isn't my intention to ruffle feathers, just my opinion. I didn't even hire myself until I completed my master's degree. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should only hire fitness professionals with their master's degree in exercise science, but they should be well-trained and qualified before you allow them to work with your company’s most valuable asset: your clients. At the very least, a fitness professional should have a certification by a top tier group like American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). A study of health and fitness professionals published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that trainers who had five years of experience but no college degree scored an average of 44% on a test of basic fitness knowledge. Those with at least a bachelor's degree in exercise science scored an average of 68%. Fitness professionals with an ACSM or NSCA certification got 85%, while those with other certifications or none at all came in at 36%. Education matters. As an industry we can do better. Our goal should be to raise the professional and ethical standard of our industry, not lower it. My concern is that we're too busy trying to entertain our clients rather than provide them with the proper guidance they really need. Personality and passion are important components of good “treadside manner,” but it can’t take the place of a solid foundation that includes anatomy, physiology and exercise science. When I began my business in 1986, personal training, as an industry, included a lot of "gym rats" just trying to make an extra buck at the club. I believed then, and still do today, that raising the bar, as it relates to the science of personal training, was important. The art of personal training is important too, and that's where personality and passion come in. If you want longevity in this industry, you must bring the science and art together and make education a lifelong pursuit.

Greg Justice, MA, CPT, is the founder of AYC Health & Fitness ( and the Corporate Boot Camp System ( He has been actively involved in the fitness industry for more than a quarter of a century as a club manager, owner, personal trainer and corporate wellness supervisor.

TOP-NOTCH TRAInInG Tammy Polenz |

A master is nothing more than a lifelong student Taking continuing educational courses, or CECs, while juggling other necessities like marketing, bookkeeping, training your clients and getting your own workouts in may seem like a burden, but think again. Continued education provides a great opportunity to set you apart from other fitness professionals. The best courses will keep you up to date with industry trends or introduce something new that the mainstream market is not aware of yet. Learning something new is a way to stay on top of your game, keep things fresh, and spice up your service offerings. Ultimately, the right classes can help you to shine by promoting personal and professional growth. Choosing the right courses is critical. First and foremost, you want to choose ones that your certifying agency recognizes. When choosing an accredited course look for heavy-weighted ones versus lighterweighted options. This can save you time and money in the long run. Paying for courses that are cheaper, but lighter in CECs may mean that instead of taking one or two classes to get recertified you may need to take several more instead. Understanding your learning style is another important element for choosing classes. The instructional platform is critical for obtaining the most out of your purchase. For instance, if you learn best via interactive, hands-on, verbal or auditory communication then a live workshop would be your best choice. On the other hand, if you gain more from reading something in solitude, then a home study course would allow you more enjoyable results. Lastly, look for credible options. The internet is full of home study programs, which are taught by all sorts of “fitness gurus.� Do your due diligence when seeking out a course. Look for products created by or affiliated with credible organizations like American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), YogaFit or your local college. With the Internet, clients are well-versed in which organizations are credible and which ones are not. Set yourself up for success by choosing good classes by reputable organizations that your clients will recognize. Top-notch fitness experts are those individuals that value the process of continuing education. In other words, a master is nothing more than a lifelong student. The most successful trainers and fitness professionals understand this thoroughly. Consistent learning allows you to create a well-rounded resume. Ultimately, the more you know, the better the opportunity there is for career advancement, whether within your current organization or in other more influential positions elsewhere.

Tammy Polenz, CPT, has been in the fitness industry since 1991 as a personal trainer, club manager, corporate wellness consultant and gym owner and designer. She is the author of Think Fit 2 Be Fit, founder of Vedas Fitness in Cleveland, and has been featured in numerous fitness magazines and media.


BOOST YOUr Business

EdUCATION ConneCtion

Bedros Keuilian |

Torrey Smith |

When good education meets good business skills

Why accreditation really matters

As early as high school I knew I wanted to be a personal trainer. Working out and proper nutrition had helped me lose 35 pounds of fat in my junior year and ever since then I wanted to help others achieve their fitness goals. Naturally, I absorbed anything I could get my hands on that had to do with being a better trainer. I couldn’t educate myself fast enough. But no matter how many certifications I had, I found myself lacking clients and at a complete loss on how to attract clients and get my current clients to refer their friends and family. I felt like I was the most educated trainer on the block, but with no clients to train. As it turns out, I wasn’t alone. One of the biggest misconceptions in our industry is that the better educated trainer, the one with the most certifications and knowledge, will get the most clients and have the best business. Not true. Sadly, it’s exactly the opposite. See, all the education in the world means nothing to anyone unless they can clearly see and understand the value of your degree, certification or experience, and that’s where good business skills need to intersect with good education. Everything changed for me when I figured this out. Here’s how simple it is to understand: Your certifications and education are features, and no one buys a feature. However, your certification and education also offer huge benefits to future clients, and benefits are what people buy. One of the best ways to showcase the benefits of your education is through social proof, also known as testimonials. In our industry, the best social proof you can provide is usually a before and after picture. Transformation pictures of clients who have lost pounds and inches do an awesome job of showing your community that you are the best at what you do. But having just one or two before and after pictures is not enough. If you really want your business to take off and get to a new level of success you should focus on making each and every one of your clients a walking, talking human billboard. Imagine if your website was peppered with half a dozen before and after pictures. Now imagine if all of your marketing postcards and print ads were covered with pictures of your clients who lost 10, 20 or more pounds. Imagine if the walls in your fitness center were covered with framed pictures of clients who had achieved a massive transformation thanks to you. Would there be any doubt in anyone’s mind about your credibility and skill set? Every other trainer out there could have the same level of education and the same number of certifications that you have. However, the biggest point of differentiation that you’ll have over them is the actual social proof that you can deliver the good as promised.

In today’s fitness industry, being certified is one thing, but having the right certification is everything. Certification is important because it tells employers and potential clients that you have met a specific standard in personal training. But who sets the rules for how competency should be defined? How do you ensure that the certification you achieve meets standards for industry best practices? With so many options to choose from, how are personal trainers to know which is the right credential for them? In the fitness industry, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), has become the industry-accepted accreditation organization. NCCA was created to help ensure the health, welfare and safety of the public through the accreditation of a variety of certification programs that assess professional competence. According to ICE, the value of accreditation is that “Accreditation provides third-party oversight of a conformity assessment system. It provides a mechanism for an organization to demonstrate to the profession it represents and the general public it serves that its credentialing program has been reviewed by a panel of impartial experts that have determined that their program has met the stringent standards set by the credentialing community.” A complete list of accredited certifications can be found on the ICE website. Personal trainers who obtain an accredited certification do so to get hired, make more money and have the credibility in the industry to sustain their personal training business. Employers understand that hiring competent personal trainers with an accredited certification is a way to reduce their risk of lawsuits; therefore, more and more employers are looking to hire personal trainers who hold an accredited certification. Additionally, clients understand that they are hiring a credible and competent professional who is certified by one of the longest-standing certification organizations in the U.S. Knowing which credential to get is an important consideration for personal trainers. Who you train should be one of the most important deciding factors in selecting which accredited certification is right for you. Each organization has a special niche, target audience or area of expertise. It is important to have a personal training certification that matches the types of clients you work with. There are various organizations with accredited certifications that offer personal trainers the opportunity, education and certification to advance their career in the specific area they are focused on. In an industry of competition for jobs and clients, the right certification can give you the tools you need to succeed as a personal trainer.

Bedros Keuilian is CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp and is known as the hidden genius behind many of the most successful fitness pros on the planet.

Torrey Smith, MA, CSCS,*D, CSPS, NSCA-CPT,*D, TSAC-F, is the Certification Director at the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Learn more about the NSCA’s NCCA-accredited certification programs at

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COMPANY NAME: Performance University EDUCATION: • Over 20,000 hours of practical experience • Watching every fitness education DVD I could afford • Attending 4-6 fitness conferences per year • Attending 2-4 physical therapy conferences per year • Actually listening to my clients • Becoming friends with and talking shop on a regular basis with some of the best personal trainers and physical therapists walking this earth • Constantly reevaluating my own practices • Reading research reviews WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING? “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine” - Bruce Lee CONTACT INFO: Follow Nick:

Nick Journey to Success

By Lindsay Vastola


STUBBORNNESS, LASER-FOCUS AND A QUEST TO LEARN IMPACTS AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY Nick Tumminello. This name seemed to be appearing more and more frequently on my radar in the last several months. I repeatedly saw his name in featured articles in leading fitness magazines like Men’s Health, Shape and Muscle & Fitness; his posts on Facebook seemed to go viral among fitness professionals; he had either contributed to or had been quoted in several of my latest industry reads; and his name seemed to be the buzz among fitness pros I spoke with at a recent conference. I began to research this Nick Tumminello-personality and as I delved a bit deeper, I was quickly compelled to share his journey to success; and the timing was perfect for this PFP issue focused on education. Nick Tumminello is a fitness professional at the core and in its purest form; he embodies the purpose and intention of the industry. Nick is an inspired educator; founder of one of the

leading fitness education organizations, Performance University. Nick developed Hybrid Training, touted as offering some of the most innovative training concepts and strategies. He has a mind outside-of-the-box, evidenced in one of his signature live education events, a “Strength Cruise,” offering a unique opportunity in an unlikely atmosphere for fitness professionals to learn and network. I’ve shared here a few snippets of my recent conversations with Nick that I think you’ll find most inspiring. If you come away with thoughts similar to mine, you’ll see that there are a few recurring themes that define Nick Tumminello: he not afraid to question authority; he challenges even the longest-standing tenets; he has laser-like focus; he refuses to settle with mediocrity and above all, he maintains his conviction of the value of learning, learning, learning.

BORN OF THE INDUSTRY Nick was virtually born and raised in fitness and he found his purpose early-on. His mother, who was a bodybuilder in the early 1980s and trained alongside WWE wrestlers, NFL players and hardcore bodybuilders (when gyms were still dark and cavernous metal dungeons), said that Nick was “raised on the smell of iron and sweat.” He insisted that his mom take him along with her to the gym; and so his fitness journey began. At the early age of 16, a man in the gym noticed that Nick “knew what he was doing;” told Nick he would pay him to show him how to train and he quickly realized there was opportunity to make money in training. He was training full time by the age of 18 and owned his own facility with a partner by 21.

In Nick’s words: “Since I've never really done well with authority and I've always been definitely a very overly-independent individual, I decided college was not for me. My training career started right out of high school and my education continues to exist in the trenches. I spent all of my extra money on improving my education; I attended all the seminars and internships I could afford, built-up a large collection of DVDs and books, many of which I've gone through several times. So finding the motivation to do my studies and expand my knowledge was never a problem and not something I ever needed the structure of the formal education system to motivate me to do. I think I've also been able to accelerate my career and my educational level because I've never been one to avoid questioning authority or to follow the crowd. It's because of this “be-morethan-the-average” attitude that drives me to continually search for answers, expand my education and have the strength to openly talk about training concepts and techniques that may challenge current dogma and common misconceptions.”

FROM STUDENT TO TEACHER Nick quickly recognized that he had an insatiable appetite for learning. In a twist of irony, it was


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his enthusiasm for education that ultimately got him fired from his first training jobs. In an effort to share what he had learned at conferences he attended and from colleagues, he challenged his bosses’ stagnant methods of training and the management of their personal training departments. Instead of letting this frustrate him, it fueled his fire to go out on his own. Through 2009, Nick very successfully trained clients in his studio alongside his business partner until he realized that his career as a fitness educator was the direction he wanted to pursue. He continued to train his most consistent clients and then concentrated his efforts on creating educational DVDs, writing articles, maintaining a content-driven website and hosting live workshops. In Nick’s words: The things now that drive me are to create solutions for personal trainers that would have helped me as an up-and-coming trainer and are still not being provided. I've never been an individual to sit back and complain about “what should be;” I take action! If I find a problem, I work on developing a comprehensive and practical solution. Once the solution has been battle-tested effective with a multitude of our clients and athletes of various fitness levels, we’ll put it out there to our colleagues.

NOT JUST A PRO; BUT PRO-FOUND Nick strives to follow a philosophy of “being content but never be satisfied;” and there was a pivotal point in his career when he realized that he didn’t just want to be a pro he wanted to be profound. In Nick’s words: In 2007, I started writing articles full-steam ahead. I realized that if I trained someone for one hour as a fitness pro, after that hour was over, what I just did is now been left to history as a ghost. But, if I write about how I’d train a given client in an hour's training session and posted on the Internet, it will be there forever and be able to help thousands if not millions of people. That's exactly what I mean when I say going from a pro (just influencing the clients at your gym) to being profound, where your influence is large and widespread. Also, being able to put your work out there is the ultimate test. In that, just because you have something that works for you in your setting, doesn't mean that it’s going to be able to be successfully applied by different individuals in their unique setting. That being said, every trainer thinks they are one of the best at what they do. The true test is to put your work out there for your peers to experiment with and to scrutinize.

the fitness pros to clean up that YouTube mess and tell them which exercises to use that best fit their goals and offer the best bang for their training time. In other words, the industry as a whole needs to become less obsessed with adding in new stuff and more interested in figuring out what stuff they're using that they might not need to use, along with understanding how to better apply the exercise concepts they already know.


SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO EDUCATE OUR OWN CLIENTS As an educator and trainer “in the trenches,” Nick notes that a deficit right now in the industry is the lack of program design ability. With the plethora of equipment, training methods and trends on the market and the ease of access to a “virtual exercise encyclopedia” with online resources like YouTube, there is a need

to simplify and streamline fitness for our clients. In Nick’s words: We’re like a bunch of chefs who keep buying ingredients but still don't know how to make any basic recipes that taste good. Unfortunately, many trainers feel that the more exercises they know, the more educated they are. This could not be further from the truth. Memorizing a bunch of exercises is not what it takes to be a successful trainer. Clients come to

There is something very refreshing about Nick’s journey to success. Speaking with him, it is easy to appreciate his deep-rooted sense of gratitude for an industry that has provided him with so much. He does not hold lightly the title of “fitness educator;” he respects that he is as much of a student as he is a teacher. Nick Tumminello has a certain swagger about him…not in the way of ego or cockiness, but of fierce confidence that is tangible and infectious. The simplicity of his ongoing journey to success gives us a poignant reminder: it’s ok to be stubborn and challenge the status quo; you must strive to be better than average; and there is no option other than to set the highest standards for yourself.

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The upside and downside of Continuing

Educ Understand, navigate and capitalize on your options

There is a logical evolution for optimal learning, we as practitioners have a variety of options to choose from, it’s the quality and sequence in which we choose that makes the difference and will determine the outcome.


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an educator in the health and fitness industry, I meet people who frequently ask, “What should I complete next in my pursuit of education?” I will discuss the differences between the educational opportunities included below in-depth over a two-part article series; in this issue and a feature article on in March. It is important to understand that every proposed formal instruction listed below is a good opportunity to set yourself up for success! The difference between a “good opportunity” and a “great opportunity” is when and how the individual applies the pursuit of continuing education with the appropriate variables. For example, reading a research article, book, or listening to a lecture on the Krebs Cycle (Second Reaction Pathway in Aerobic Respiration) would be premature if the individual was unfamiliar with the concept of the Bioenergetic Continuum (Anaerobic and Aerobic Energy Systems). The intention behind this example is to edify that learning the foundational principles is a catalyst to understanding details. There is a logical evolution for optimal learning, we as practitioners have a variety of options to choose from, it’s the quality and sequence in which we choose that makes the difference and will determine the outcome. Disclaimer: When weighing the differences with the opportunities we have in education we must consider all attributes. In terms of weighing or measuring the premises of education we often look at pros/cons, strengths/weaknesses, positive/negative, etc. I have ultimately selected “upside/downside” when comparing each educational opportunity. The dilemma is that, in reality, there are all positive reinforcements when it comes to maturing and developing an education, but there are always better choices that exist for that specific instance and moment in time. There is no difference when choosing an exercise for our client/athlete/patient. Factoring in different principles such as specificity, variation, progression or individuality allows us to choose an appropriate exercise for that individual.

By Bill Sonnemaker

cation There are seven types of educational opportunities in the fitness industry. Each is listed and explained below: } Certification-based (exam prep and practical-based) } Internships } Equipment-based (offered by equipment companies) } Conferences } Mentorships } Webinars } Self-study (books, DVDs, online content review)

CErtIfICatIon-baSED EDuCatIon: the goal of courses like these is generally to prepare attendees to successfully complete a certification exam, to expand and provide hands-on experience that is not able to be covered by a book. Here are some of the leading U.S.-based certifying agencies: AAAI/ISMA (american aerobic association International/International Sports Medicine association) ACE (american Council on Exercise) ACSM (american College of Sports Medicine) AFPA (american fitness Professionals and associates) IFPA (International fitness Professionals association) NASM (national academy of Sports Medicine) NFPT (national federation of Professional trainers) NSCA (national Strength and Conditioning association) PTA Global (Personal trainer academy Global) The Cooper Institute

IntErnShIPS: Internships are best suited for individuals that are new to the fitness industry. these individuals can be college students or those that are entering the fitness industry as a second career. regardless of age or prior life experiences, the fact remains that they are green and they need the guidance of a seasoned professional. Internships are like an appren-

ticeship where the master craftsman works with a young pupil to instill and impart their wisdom and techniques. Internships provide a safe and effective way for new trainers to cut their teeth. Downside: Generally unpaid or the pay is not very much. I find it ironic that people contact professionals wanting to learn from them and then expect to be paid while learning. this would be like expecting a university to pay a student for attending. Upside: Interns receive the opportunity to learn in a non-threatening and reduced-stress environment. think of it like learning to swim. Internships are like being in the pool with a lifeguard who is there to teach you. the alternative is being thrown into the deep end, after passing your certification exam, and while desperately thrashing about praying that you don’t drown. the Pilates and yoga communities have done a much better job than we have at making internships/apprenticeships part of the educational and certification process. I feel very strongly that if we want to continue to elevate our profession we need to require internships be a part of earning a certification. In other words, trainers need more than just book knowledge; they need to get their hands and feet wet and develop practical skills. from experience, I believe a structured program that consists of 750 hours would be appropriate and sufficient.

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EQUIPMENT-BASED WORKSHOPS are generally hands-on workshops that involve quite a bit of movement/exercise. If you look at the types of modalities many equipment-based workshops represent, you should get the full spectrum of an integrated approach (flexibility, core, balance, reactive, SAQ, resistance, cardio). Downside: These courses are designed and written with the primary goals of making you feel comfortable and competent with the equipment being used. The challenge often posed is attendees may have very diverse educational backgrounds and as such there is often not enough time in these courses to ensure that all attendees understand the “why” behind the acute variables chosen. Upside: The attendee emerges from equipment-based courses feeling more knowledgeable and competent in the use and application of the equipment, adding equipment to the toolbox with the right tool(s) to use at the right time. CONFERENCES offer attendees a very wide and diverse opportunity to see top-notch educators in one place. Attendees can generally satisfy much of their Continuing Education Credit (CEC) requirements in one weekend. One of the biggest draws to attending confer-


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ences like these is the wide variety of topics and sessions that are available. Many of these conferences also offer “PreCons” and “Post Cons.” These sessions are normally longer, 3-8 hours, than the 1-2 hour sessions that are featured at most conferences. The benefit to these longer sessions is that the information can be covered in greater detail. Downside: Often times the length of the sessions do not allow for the in-depth coverage of a topic. Upside: While at the same event you can see multiple presenters from different backgrounds and disciplines. These conferences are also a blast and can be thought of as a mini-vacation. I recommend attending the following conferences: AFPA Asia Fit CanFitPro Club Industry ECA Filex FitPro IDEA

IHRSA Meeting of the Minds by PT on the Net

MENTORSHIPS represent the ultimate in learning opportunities. Like internships you are paired with people who are best-in-class; but the main difference between the two is that mentorships help you link the building blocks and concepts you already know. Think of it like internship is like taking Italian 101 and 102 in learn just enough to be dangerous. Whereas the mentorship is like going abroad to Italy and studying where you can be immersed and live in the culture. Both are great and valuable but the latter allows true learning to occur instead of just memorizing the conjugations of verbs or in our case muscles and rep ranges. Downside: There is no significant downside. You will be required to invest time, energy and money, but the investment is one that will pay huge dividends in your career as a professional personal trainer. Upside: You get to learn from those with a proven track record of success. You also get to learn how to do something from start to finish (Ex: asssessment-client report-program design).

WEbInarS are on the rise! finally, technology is meeting the demand for learning whenever and wherever. Downside: no oversight, no one to make sure you are keeping your eyes on the screen and ears listening to the presentation. Upside: Low cost and can be viewed from the convenience of your home or workplace and often at your convenience as many webinars are also recorded.

Certification and continuing education organizations

The key to your success is being able to identify when is the most applicable time for each opportunity based on your speciďŹ c goals and needs.

Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

International Association of Resistance Trainers (IART)

American Academy of Health and Fitness (AAHF)

International Fitness Association

SELf-StuDY is a slippery slope in that most people, if they were honest with themselves, would agree that they are not consistent with selfstudy or self-learning opportunities. Individuals may go and look online or in a book when they need an answer to a specific question but rarely are they consistent with studying or seeking out knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Downside: no oversight; no one to make sure you are keeping your nose in the books and no one to ask for help when you don’t understand something. Upside: free or relatively inexpensive and can typically be completed at your own pace. there are many opportunities in which to advance your KSas (knowledge, skills and abilities); the key to your success is being able to identify when is the most applicable time for each opportunity based on your specific goals and needs. this is the same as being able to assess, design and implement exercise programs for those with whom we work. In the second part of this series featured in March, 2013 on, we will look at specific career path examples such as the traditional college student (4-year degree in exercise science), graduate student (MS in exercise science) and the non-traditional student (second career/no degree or non-related degree).

Bill Sonnemaker MS, is an internationally sought after exercise physiologist, personal trainer and educator. Bill's impressive credentials, first-class scientific education, and numerous national and international awards distinguish him as a cutting edge leader in the fitness industry.

National Posture Institute

International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA)

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

International Sports Science Association (ISSA)

Kettlebell Concepts

Mad Dogg Athletics American Council on Exercise (ACE)

National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)

International Sports Conditioning Association (ISCA)

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA) American Aerobic Association International/International Sports Medicine Association (AAAI/ISMA)

P90X Certification

Peak Pilates

SCW Fitness Education

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA)

National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

Bastyr University (Exercise Science and Wellness Degree Program)

The Cooper Institute

United States Water Fitness Association

World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.)

Cal U Global Online

GMP Fitness www.personaltrainer

Interactive Fitness Trainers of America (IFTA)

National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)

National Personal Training Institute (NPTI)

YogaFit Training Systems Worldwide

jan-feb 2013 | | 19


education tips to save time, money and confusion

What you need to know to maximize your investment in education

By Nick Tumminello

With all of the conflicting information and various training approaches from which to choose, it can be tough for fitness professionals to decide what educational avenues to invest their time and money.

This article provides you five tips that will: }

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Prevent you from making common fitness education mistakes that leave you with less money and more frustration. Help you to see through the confusion created by conflicting information. Ensure you make the most out of your educational investment so you can provide better results for your clients and build and attract a more profitable business.

Understand that a higher education does not equal more clients. The reality of the personal training world: much of what brings you new clients (and keeps your current clients with you) is your personality and your ability to commu-

nicate, motivate and inspire them to exercise not only for themselves but also to do it for you, their fitness professional. You can never go wrong with a higher education. Just don’t make the mistake of going to college thinking that after you graduate you’re guaranteed to attract more clients because of a degree.

Embrace that your clients don't (really) care about your certification. Certain fitness clubs may insist their staff hold a certain certification that they bias. However, the average client, the people that hire your services, typically have no clue about any of the certifications offered in the fitness field. Any fitness professional with some experience knows full well that rarely, if ever, does the type of certification affect whether a client hires them, which goes back to what was covered in my first tip. Your education (i.e. certification and/or degree) only awards you the ability to call yourself a “personal trainer.” It's your personality and ability to successfully apply your education in a practical manner your clients can understand

and relate to, that determines how many clients you get and how successful you are as a fitness professional. Again, it’s great to pursue a variety of certifications and continued education to help add more tools to your toolbox. It's just that you don't want to fall into the trap of thinking that your type of certification will have much of an impact on the success of your personal training business. Now, if we go beyond the general personal training realm; for those fitness professionals who are interested in attracting a specific population, such as golfers for example; having a specialty golf performance certification should be a part of your credentials.

Don't mistake the tools of your trade for the trade itself! When fitness professionals take several different courses and integrate many different modalities in their training, they’re often warned not to be “a jack of all trades” because they’ll just be a “master of none.” Instead, there’s much industry pressure put on a fitness professional to choose specific modalities at which to become proficient, and focus on “mastering” those modalities, which is a glaring example of the confusion the fitness field has created (as a whole) over the job expectations of the fitness professional. Put simply, fitness professionals are like carpenters. No one ever calls a carpenter a “jack of all trades; master of none” because they use all kinds of tools on each job they do. The fact is, all of the tools they use are just a part of their trade - they are not the trade itself. Their trade is to build stuff and improve stuff. What determines a good carpenter is their ability to successfully assess each job (i.e. each client), figure out what tools (i.e. exercise methods and modalities) are best fit to accomplish the job (i.e. the client’s goals) and understand how to use those tools in a safe and effective manner (i.e. get the client results without hurting them). The various training modalities from dumbbells to TRX to functional training to bodybuilding and so on… are just tools in our toolbox. They are just aspects of our trade; they are absolutely not the trade itself. You may be “certified,” but to truly be a “qualified” fitness professional - just like being a qualified carpenter - you must possess a wide variety of tools in your toolbox. More importantly you must understand which tools should be used to accomplish the job, instead of trying to use only one or two tools for all jobs.

jan-feb 2013 | | 21

The take-away message here is simple; pursue education in a wide variety of fitness modalities because being a fitness professional means being an exercise expert, not a specialist in using only one tool.

Stop looking for “the right way” to train: take a hybrid approach Fitness professionals often leave continuing education courses with more questions than answers because they are frustrated with the conflicting information and varying approaches that they are taught, with each approach often being touted by the educators as “the right way.” The first thing you need to do to avoid this confusion is embrace the reality that there will never be a generally agreed upon consensus on the “right way” to train because (1) each training situation is different, and (2) these training debates are not even about training to begin with; they are about human psychology. All of us, especially those in leadership roles, have some level of what the psychology world


| | jan-feb 2013

calls “illusory superiority,” which is a cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate their positive qualities and abilities and to underestimate their negative qualities, relative to others. You may have heard the quote, “The average person thinks they aren’t.” Well, the science proves that to be true. In a survey done at Stanford University, 87% of MBA students rated their academic performance as above the median. And, it gets worse with people in leadership roles! In another similar survey done at the University of Nebraska, 68% of the faculty rated themselves in the top 25% for teaching ability. So, the solution here is to (1) understand your own illusionary superiority and (2) go into educational courses knowing the educators are only human, so they are also going to have their own illusionary superiority, and likely to a greater degree. Using this mindset will help you understand that no one has “the answers;” all the educators can do is share their experiences and perspective with you. This perspective will prevent you from becoming a guru-worshiper and from living in confusion by constantly wondering “who’s right?” The other thing you can do is take a hybrid training approach, which Juan Carlos Santana sums up nicely…

“The world of fitness is replete with rules, laws, guidelines and position statements from every personality and organization imaginable. These well-intentioned documents and proclamations can play a role in educating the fitness professional, but the endless variety of contradictions and restrictions generally confuses rather then enlightens.” -Dr. Mel Siff “Function vs. strength, pilates vs. bodybuilding, yoga vs. who knows what. These comparisons are not ever accurate; they are like asking what do you think is best to eat for optimal nutrition; apples or broccoli? Of course, “both” is the right answer. Eating only one or the other, although each is nutritious, leaves one without the nutrition of the other. Bringing this simple

example to the world of physical training drives home a very important point. Every training method has its benefits (i.e. nutrition), and combining the most effective training methods (i.e. combining the apple and broccoli) will provide better training than exclusively using any one training method. now, this may sound logical and sensible to us, but the battles and claims rage on between different training camps.” remember, fitness professionals are like carpenters, all training modalities are simply our tools, not our trade. Like tools, all forms of exercise have their benefits and their limitations. Certain training methods are best for certain goals, and no one method is best for all goals.

For example:   

Yoga is great for mobility and breathing bodybuilding methods are great for gaining muscle Kettlebell training is great for total body fat loss workouts, especially if you’re short on time (you can string lots of kettlebell moves together into complexes) Powerlifting methods are great to improve your maximum strength

Put simply, optimizing health, fitness and performance requires several different components

(i.e. a hybrid training approach) because no single piece of equipment or training method will be ever able to fully address all its complex demands.

Know the science fitness training is a billiondollar industry with zero regulation, so there is plenty on pseudo-science and plain nonsense that unfortunately is used as the basis for many popular training practices. this vicious cycle continues because many fitness professionals don’t know the science and don’t ask for evidence before using various practices. now, it’s unrealistic and very expensive to read through several journals each month. but, there are services such as the Strength and Conditioning research review (, a monthly, 50-page review journal summarizing the latest research in strength and conditioning, biomechanics, physical therapy and physiology in straightforward language, so you can easily understand what the science tells us about what works and what doesn’t work. When you understand the

science, it becomes much easier to know what sources are reliable and determine where to invest your time and money. Pursuing and maintaining your education is an investment of time, money and energy. these five tips will help you navigate the continuing education world and give you a hybrid approach to the future of your business and career.

Nick Tumminello is known as “the trainer of trainers.” He is the owner of Performance University, providing hybrid strength training and conditioning for athletes and educational programs for fitness professionals globally. Check out his DVDs, seminar schedule and popular hybrid fitness training blog at

YOUR RESOURCE SPOTLIGHT find the tools you need to start or build your business. Check out page 26-27 for our Certification & Continuing Education organizations resource Spotlight.

jan-feb 2013 | | 23

Self-myofascial release for your client A simple guide to understanding and applying SMR

Figure 1

Figure 2

By Alan Russell & Stacey Penney Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5


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elf-myofascial release (SMR) has become a flexibility technique embraced across the health and fitness industry. It’s simple to do, equipment is usually inexpensive and easy to store and the benefits of this technique bring positive results to your clients. Using the functional foam roller and bodyweight can bring about improvements in flexibility, muscle recovery, movement efficiency, along with pain reduction and an array of additional perks your clients can experience with only a few minutes of application.

WHY SHOULD CLIENTS PERFORM SMR? SMR focuses on the neural and fascia systems in the body which can be negatively influenced by poor posture, repetitive motions or dysfunctional movements.1 These mechanically stressful actions are recognized as an injury by the body, thus initiating a repair process called the Cumulative Injury Cycle.1 This cycle follows a path of inflammation, muscle spasm, development of soft tissue adhesions that can lead to altered neuromuscular control and muscle imbalance.1-4 The adhesions reduce the elasticity of the soft tissues and can eventually cause a permanent change in the soft tissue structure, referred to as Davis’s Law. SMR focuses on alleviating the adhesions (also known as “trigger points” or “knots”) to restore optimal muscle motion and function.1,5

      

Muscle relaxation1,2 Improved joint range of motion Improved neuromuscular efficiency1,3,4 Improved tissue recovery and repair (reduced soreness)1 Suppression/reduction of trigger point sensitivity and pain2,6,7 Decreased neuromuscular hypertonicity1 Decrease the overall effects of stress on the human movement system1

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM SMR, AND WHEN IS IT NOT RECOMMENDED? Most clients can enjoy SMR on their own, one or two times per day once they’ve been instructed on how to properly perform the exercises. Be aware, SMR is not appropriate for all clients, including those with congestive heart failure; kidney failure, or any organ failure; bleeding disorders or contagious skin conditions. If clients have medical issues, have them seek the advice of their medical professional before starting SMR exercises.

GUIDELINES TO START ROLLING Ideally, SMR should be done before static or dynamic stretching activities. This can poten-

tially improve the tissue’s ability to lengthen during the stretching activities since the fascial adhesions are diminished. SMR can also be done as part of the cool-down.1,2 Health and fitness professionals should take the time to experience the exercises and discover how even slightly changing positions or angles can target different areas. Performing SMR with a client is an appropriate time to ask “Can you feel it?” If they don’t, you’ll have the modifications ready to share. Maintain core stability. During the exercises have your client maintain stability in the lumbopelvic-hip complex by using the drawing-in maneuver (pulling the navel in toward the spine).1 Search and destroy. Have your client slowly roll the area until they find the most tender spot and hold while relaxing the targeted area until discomfort is reduced, between 30 seconds and 90 seconds.1,7 SMR can be a valuable technique to implement into your clients’ training programs. It can bring about improvements in flexibility, movement efficiency, and reduce the pain associated with trigger points. The information and exercises presented here should help you get started on providing your clients, or yourself, with techniques to moving and feeling better.

HOW DOES SMR WORK? Two key words describe how SMR works: autogenic inhibition. Two neural receptors located in skeletal muscle tissue include the muscle spindles and Golgi tendon organs (GTO). Muscle spindles, sensory receptors that run parallel to muscle fibers, are sensitive to a change and rate of muscle length. When stimulated, they will cause a myotatic stretch reflex causing the muscle to contract. The GTO receptors, located in the musculotendinous junctions, are stimulated by a change and rate of tension, when stimulated they will cause the muscle to relax.2 When a change in tension is sustained, with an adequate intensity and duration, muscle spindle activity is inhibited causing a decrease in trigger point activity, accompanied by a reduction of pain.1,6,7 Thus, when the pressure of the body against the foam roller is sustained on the trigger point, the GTO will “turn off” the muscle spindle activity allowing the muscle to stretch.5


Correction of muscle imbalances Provide optimal length-tension relationships

jan-feb 2013 | | 25

Top 5 SMR STReTcheS Calves (Gastrocnemius/Soleus) [Figure 1] This is especially beneficial for clients who run or wear shoes with elevated heels.8 Start with the foam roller under the right mid-calf. Cross the left leg over the right leg to increase applied pressure. Slowly roll calf area to find the most tender spot. Hold for 30 to 90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Switch legs and repeat. Adductors [Figure 2] Lie face down and place one thigh, flexed and abducted, over the foam roller. Slowly roll the upper, inner thigh area to find the most tender spot. Hold for 30 to 90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Switch legs and repeat.

Certification and

Continuing Education Organizations

Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL)/Iliotibial (IT) Band [Figure 3] Lie on one side with the foam roller just in front of the hip. Cross the top leg over the lower leg, placing the foot on the floor. Slowly roll from the hip joint down to the lateral knee to find the most tender spot. Hold for 30-90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Switch sides and repeat.

Resource Spotlight

Piriformis [Figure 4] Sit on top of the foam roller, positioned on the back of the hip, crossing one foot over the opposite knee. Lean into the hip of the crossed leg. Slowly roll on the posterior hip area to find the most tender spot. Hold for 30 to 90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Repeat on other side.

AAAI/ISMA-American Aerobic Assoc. International/International Sports Medicine Assoc.

Latissimus Dorsi [Figure 5] This is an exercise to consider for clients with shoulder or lumbopelvic-hip complex impairments. Lie on one side with the arm closest to the ground outstretched with thumb facing upwards. Place the foam roller under the arm in the axillary region. Slowly roll back and forth to find the most tender spot. Hold for 30 to 90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Repeat on other side.

AAAI/ISMA has been certifying & educating fitness professionals for 33 years. AAAI/ISMA is one of the original, largest and most recognized International Fitness Certification Associations, with over 180,000 members worldwide. To ensure quality education our faculty trainers have a Ph. D., M. D. or Master’s Degree. Modeled after a University system, students pre-study and attend a hands-on workshop. The certification exams are written & practical. With 26 certification options, we help you build a CAREER! The certification workshop & exam is $99.00.

References 1. Clark MA, Lucett SL. NASM Essentials of Corrective Exercise Training, Baltimore, MD:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2011. 2. Clark MA, Lucett SL. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training 4th ed. Baltimore, MD:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2012. 3. Edgerton VR, Wolf S, Roy RR. Theoretical basis for patterning EMG amplitudes to assess muscle dysfunction. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1996;28(6):744-751. 4. Janda V. Muscle weakness and inhibition in back pain syndromes. In: Grieve GP (ed). Modern Manual Therpay of the Vertebral Column. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1986. 5. Reid DA, McNair PJ. Passive force, angle and stiffness changes after stretching of hamstring muscles. Med Sci Sports Exer 2004;36(11):1944-48. 6. Hanten WP, Olson SL, Butts NL, Nowicki AL. Effectiveness of a home program of ischemic pressure followed by sustained stretch for treatment of myofascial trigger points. Phys Ther 2000;80:997-1003. 7. Hou C-R, Tsai L-C, Cheng K-F, Chung K-C, Hong C-Z. Immediate effects of various therapeutic modalities on cervical myofascial pain and trigger-point sensitivity. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2002;83: 1406-14. 8. Grieve R, et al. The immediate effect of soleus trigger point pressure release on restricted ankle joint dorsiflexion: A pilot randomised controlled trial. J Bodyw Mov Ther.2011;15:42-49.

Stacey Penney, CES, FNS, content strategist with NASM, holds a degree in Athletic Training from San Diego State University. Alan Russell, MS, ATC, PES, CES enters his 13th year with NASM. Well-respected for his clinical background in athletic training, performance enhancement and injury prevention, he heads NASM’s Academic Education division.


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AAAI/ISMA 609.397.2139

Become an ACE specialist In an industry where word-of-mouth can be the difference between success and failure, let your expertise do the talking. Earning an ACE specialty certification in functional training, senior fitness, orthopedic exercise or a host of other areas will help you become known as the go-to personal trainer, group fitness instructor or health coach in your market. Be the expert your client needs and the guide a potential client want.

ACE 800.825.3636

Personal trainer certification NFPT has been certifying fitness professionals since 1988,offering an NCCA accredited Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) program and specialty courses in nutrition, resistance, and endurance training. NFPT education curriculum provides a comprehensive approach to fundamental exercise science concepts with prep tools that facilitate your full understanding of the material. Let NFPT guide you down the path to success by providing the start to finish support, convenience and credibility you need in a certification credential.

NFPT 800.729.NFPT

National Strength and Conditioning Association The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is the worldwide authority on strength and conditioning, supporting and disseminating research-based knowledge and practical application to improve performance and fitness. Founded in 1978, they set the standard for strength training, conditioning, and injury prevention. The NSCA offers four respected credentials of distinction: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified Special Populations Specialist (CSPS), NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and the Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F).

NSCA 800.815.6826

Build your business. Get P90X certified!

Launch your career in personal training

Now that P90X training and classes are being offered live in gyms for the first time, you have the opportunity to expand your business by getting P90X Certified. P90X Certification gives you everything you need to train clients in P90X. The hands-on training you'll get, the proven techniques you'll learn, and the association you'll gain with America's hottest extreme fitness brand could be the edge you need to attract new clients eager to get the proven results P90X delivers.

Dedicated worldwide to preventive medicine research and education, The Cooper Institute offers more than 30 education courses for health and fitness professionals, including a Personal Training Education course that will prepare you to pass your national accreditation exam. The course is offered online, at your location, or in Dallas, and is based on over 40 years of scientific research. Passionate instructors use the latest hands-on techniques to cover topics that include: anatomy and kinesiology, strength and flexibility training, cardiovascular training, and nutrition. Expand your fitness knowledge and launch your career in personal training today.

P90X Enroll now at

The Cooper Institute 800.635.7050

See Yourself Here? Put the spotlight on your solution in the next issue.

Contact Josh: for details.

YogaFit Teacher Training & Yoga for Personal Trainers YogaFit Training Systems Inc., the leader in mind body fitness education since 1994, has more than 1,000 trainings across North America. Register for our trainings and attend our Mind Body fitness conferences. We offer yoga for personal trainers, 200/500/800 hour RYT. DVDs, CDs, mats, clothing and more.

YogaFit Training Systems Inc. 888.786.3111

New oN The Market The latest trends in fitness equipment

roll ouT lAdder The SPrI roll out ladder resists bunching up and stays in place on all types of indoor surfaces and select outdoor surfaces. Made of durable, non-skid recycled rubber, this ladder unrolls and lies flat, then rolls up for easy storage and portability. Generous 16-inch x 12.5inch ladder area makes it perfect for all ages and ability levels.

Pb exTreMe SofT ToSS MedIcINe bAllS Pb extreme Soft Toss Medicine balls are new at Perform better. These medicine balls have a soft outer shell which makes them easy to catch, throw and slam. They are strong enough to withstand even the most intense workouts. each ball is 14 inches in diameter, which allows for consistent exercise movement at all intensities. Available only through Perform better. or 800.556.7464


| | jan-feb 2013

Lindsay's Review: ePulse2

heart rate monitors are one of my must-have tools for both my clients and my own training. The ePulse2 is a novel heart rate monitoring product without a chest strap, separate transmitter or special watch. Most heart rate monitors without the chest strap offer inconsistent readings at best, but the ePulse2 provided consistent and accurate readings during my test-training. The armband monitor was surprisingly comfortable to wear and the additional features included can definitely amp-up anyone’s training program. If you utilize heart rate training, be sure to look into the ePulse2 as a reliable addition to your toolbox.

STroNGboArd bAlANce


Strongboard balance is a portable and electricity-free platform, resting upon four compression springs. It allows individuals to train using their own bodyweight for resistance during full-motion exercises. The primary function of Strongboard balance is to strengthen stabilizing muscles; simply standing on Strongboard balance provides a complete core workout. The implementation of floor exercises produces results to all levels of fitness enthusiasts, and improvement in balance, core strength, agility and posture. or

with a wider elastic band for further stability, the SPIbelt endurance Series features a large neoprene pocket to carry all personal items and race day essentials. Six energy Gel loops use an elastic strap for a sturdy hold on any size endurance gels, while affixed and adjustable race bib toggles keep bibs in place throughout any race. Available in four colors, including black, blue, grey and red, the SPIbelt endurance Series features a reflective trim for increased visibility. or 866.966.4440

EVENTS CaLeNDar February-April 2013

YogaFit Mind Body Fitness Conference February 7-10 | Alexandria, VA March 14-17 | Boston, MA By YogaFit

Philadelphia MANIA February 22-24 | Philadelphia, PA By SCW Fitness Education

IDEA Personal Trainer Institute East Coast February 28 - March 3 | Alexandria, VA By IDEA

“One World” Fitness Education & Certification Conference March 1-3 | Colorado Springs, CO By AAAI/ISMA

Fitness Business Summit 2013 March 8-10 | Orange City, CA By Keuilian Inc.

NSCA Personal Trainers Conference March 8-9 | Las Vegas, NV By NSCA

California MANIA March 15-17 | Burlingame, CA By SCW Fitness Education

IHRSA 2013 - 32nd International Convention & Trade Show March 19-22 | Las Vegas, NV By IHRSA

ACE Small Group Training Workshop March 23 | Cincinnati, OH March 23 | Salt Lake City, UT March 23 | Philadelphia, PA By ACE

NSCA Tactical Strength and Conditioning Conference April 16-18 | Norfolk, VA By NSCA

For a complete listing, see our online Events Calendar at jan-feb 2013 | | 29

BE BETTER Phil Kaplan |

The advantages of being a dinosaur I would rather listen to Bruce Springsteen than Bruno Mars. I’d rather read a book than a nook, play a physical sport than tap on an app, and I’d rather drink a beer from a bottle than sip an appletini. As a self-confessed dinosaur, I have fond memories of the days before smart phones removed privacy and anonymity from my life. All the indicators are there. I’m a dinosaur. Unlike, however, the extinct reptiles that once roamed the earth, my breed of dinosaur isn’t extinct. We’ve learned to survive, even prosper, while the world around us evolved. Others, newer to the field of personal training, seek out new ways to find new clients. We learned long ago how to not only find clients, but keep them, leverage them, and thrill them. While our dinosaur experience serves us, we have limitations. We’re lame at texting on tiny virtual keyboards. We connect with Facebook but have little actual interest in what our “friends” are doing on Friday nights. We aren’t doing things Gangnam Style. While you might consider us “old school,” we have advantages, one of the greatest of which lies in the area of human connection. We don’t delude ourselves into thinking that a click on a “thumbs up” icon really means someone “likes” us. We realize that “liking” someone, really liking someone, is the result of successful human bonding. Mastery of that bonding has allowed us to use our innate communication skills to build a real network of friends, colleagues and clients. I urge you to revisit the now-ancient art of emotional likeability, to hone the skill of human interaction, face-to-face, body-facing-body, eye-to-eye. While it’s riskier than texting, it’s much more fulfilling. Don’t misunderstand my intention. I’m not dogging technology, and truth be told, I love that I can download a movie and watch it on an iPad flying cross-country. I love that I can take pictures with my phone, Face-time with far-away people I want to “see,” and scan documents, store them in a cloud, and have them accessible from any WiFi hotspot anywhere in the world. I am not anti-technology. I’m simply recognizing the important assets that technology only pretends to replace. There’s a reason I’m sharing this now. There’s a reason that as boot camps, Cross Fit, and extreme training find additions to their groups through social networking I’m sharing the importance of “dinosaur skills” for personal trainers who rely upon the one-on-one experience. Why now? Because, THE RESULTS ARE IN!

SURVEY SAYS . . . A personal training career, even in 2013, comes with challenges, the least of which may be a fragmented field with too many poor representatives of our profession wearing the personal trainer label. Two surveys I conducted with personal fitness trainers, one more personalized, the other throwing a wider net, aligned in revealing two important truths.


| | Jan-feb 2013

1. The average personal trainer earns just under $40,000 annually but higher earners conduct fewer weekly sessions than modest earners (consider what this says about fees and pursuits among those who are well rewarded). 2. Most clients come from referrals. I find these outcomes ironic, as the new gurus promoting “make more money” courses through social media rely on a thrust for “more clients” and the claim “most successful trainers get most of their clients through social media.” “. . . most of their clients through social media.” It’s an interesting claim. Perhaps for some it rings true, but with a broad survey of over 450 trainers, that simply didn’t surface as a fact. If anything it proved to be a stubborn rumor. Far and away, most trainers surveyed cited “referrals” as their number one source of new business. I’m prepared for the venomous emails from those who are offended when I say: We don’t need 5,000 “friends” to earn a living. We need 25-30 sessions per week with just compensation. We don’t need to communicate in 140 character hiccups to find career longevity. We need a few “tell me what you need and we’ll figure out how I can help you” conversations on an ongoing basis to ensure a bright future. We don’t need a “social media sales funnel,” a “compelling landing page,” or a strategic “autoresponder campaign” to secure our place in the field of high earners. Not according to reality. After analyzing the survey results, I can say without pause, a nucleus of 15 clients, an ongoing willingness to strike up conversations, to drive happy clients to refer others your way, and to maintain a focus on thrilling those who really “like” you, is enough to allow a personal training business to grow. Then, with growth and security as the foundational certainties upon which our careers develop, we can post and tweet and blog and poke to our heart’s content, knowing that if these actions drive our businesses, we’re elated, while also knowing this isn’t a need, it’s a pretty awesome tool with a pretty awesome power. Even dinosaurs think so. If you invest, as many trainers surveyed, two hours a day “working” online marketing, and if you pick up a client or two every few weeks, STOP! Trade an hour a week of computer time for sitting in a local cafe with your logo on a shirt striking up conversations, trade another hour for meeting clients in their social environments where they will introduce you to others, and another weekly hour for live interactive networking in the shops and streets where your prospects shop and wander, and the payoff will be far greater. One thing about dinosaurs. We have experience that converts into wisdom. “Like” us or not, dinosaurs leave trails as we walk in deep rooted footprints that pave pathways to success.

Phil Kaplan is a 30-year personal training veteran. He empowers fitness professionals to grow and prosper. Get his new 16 Secrets publication free. Email Phil at