SPECIAL INSERT: THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP
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TRAINING CLIENTS WITH OSTEOPOROSIS ENHANCE YOUR ONLINE TRAINING EXPERIENCE DOUG BRIGGS: CHAMPION OF THE HIGHEST STANDARD
THE PROGRESS OF
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The sushi-roll effect Create group fitness on needs and wants. By Keith Lucitt
The most popular exercise Add running programs in your club. By Jason Karp, Ph.D.
joe drake, kellie hart davis, detric smith, meredith stephens FEATURED COLUMNISTS
dean carlson, david crump, farel hruska, rick howard, greg justice, melissa knowles RB Publishing Inc. P.O. Box 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098 Tel: 608.241.8777 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Career Builder by Shay Vasudeva
Active Aging by Dan Ritchie
Social Media Strategy by Scott Rawcliffe
QUOTE TO PONDER According to IHRSA’s Profiles of Success, leading club companies report that a median of 8.4% of total revenue is derived from personal training. Based on data from leading clubs, only membership sales account for a greater share of total revenue than personal training.
VIDEO Exercise of the Week Visit our website or YouTube channel to view weekly instructional videos from some of the most respected names in the fitness industry.
Business Performance by Joe Drake
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EXTRA Read about the fit pros “Raising the Bar” By Lindsay Vastola
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Tel: 608.241.8777 E-mail: email@example.com Fax: 608.241.8666 Website: www.PersonalFitnessProfessional.com Digital Print Subscription Information Digital Subscriptions to PFP are free to qualified recipients and may be ordered at www.PersonalFitnessProfessional.com/subscribe. Reprints For high-quality reprints, please contact us at 608.241.8777 All material in this magazine is copyrighted ©2019 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 five times per year Winter (February), Spring (April), Summer (July), Fall (October) and Solutions Guide (November) PFP (ISSN 1523-780X) [Volume 21, Issue 2] 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.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Andrea Leonard www.thecancerspecialist.com
Just five decades later
ne of my favorite stories my father shares is from his college football days in the mid ’60s. If any player even contemplated doing a thing called “lifting weights,” their status on the team was pretty much threatened. The belief was that weight training would make them too lean and too slow – especially the players they needed for “size.” I was looking back through a handful of his gameday programs and scattered in between team rosters are ads for the newest models of Oldsmobiles and Chevrolets, Chevron gas, Greyhound, cigarettes, and every popular beer of the era. In one program from 1965, on the second-to-last page, there is a small picture and a short caption talking about the “Exer-genie.” The picture shows a football player laying on his back with his foot positioned in a rope-and-pulley contraption assisted by two onlooking coaches. The caption says, “The Exer-genie is a new conditioning device…allowing an athlete to utilize the only two forms of exercise – isometrics and isotonics – in a single operation.” In 1965, college and professional teams were beginning to integrate this revolutionary training concept “prior to each practice session.” Seeing ads for gasoline, bus schedules, beer, and cigarettes is almost comical compared to what we would see in any athletics program today and serves as an illustration of how we view and value sport and fitness. In just about a half-century, not only was fitness as an industry born, but it has undergone its own versions of industrial and technology revolutions, as well as an Enlightenment period that continues to expand, with growing interest and accessibility to an overwhelming amount of information and education. Inspired by this evolution of the fitness industry, we’ve dedicated this issue to programming and progress. In our Journey to Success profile, Doug Briggs gives us his first-hand insight into the progress of the profession over his nearly 40 years in the industry. In our columns and feature articles, our contributors share their own spin on programming and progress as a way to enhance client outcomes, as well as personal and professional success as a fitness professional. In the grand scheme of time, fitness is really still in its infancy. In the span of about five decades, we’ve gone from a fear of strength training to a widespread understanding of its proven benefits. Imagine how exciting the next five decades will be! Committed to your continued success,
Opportunities for A vision of success Cancer Exercise Specialists 2019 PFP Trainer of the Year winner Andrea Leonard talks about the Cancer Exercise Training Institute (CETI) and the exciting growth in programming, opportunities and accessibility for fitness professionals. What differentiates CETI’s education and programming? Since 1995, we have offered the most comprehensive programming for anyone wanting to work with cancer patients/survivors. Our coursework is all about cancer, so we are able to focus all of our efforts on providing the most current, up-to-date, and relevant information on the entire cancer experience from diagnosis and treatment through survivorship. We know that no two cancer patients will have the same response to treatment and that there are no cookie-cutter workouts for this population. How do you continue to keep your services and programming unique and relevant? We update our material every two years; currently we are proofing our 12th edition of the CES Advanced Qualification handbooks and will have new exams and videos to accompany the learning process. The information is everchanging, therefore any education provider must remain current on the most recent findings, research, and protocols. We require our Cancer Exercise Specialists to re-test every two years, based on the most recent updates to the coursework, to ensure competency and expertise in the area of oncology exercise. Are there any fun projects you’re currently working on? Over the next few months, CETI will continue our global expansion in China, Taiwan, and New Zealand!
Publisher’s correction: January-February Mind-Body special supplement, page 10. Images and bios of Jill Winegar and Claudia Fink were incorrectly placed. The corrected issue can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/pfp-mindbody-correction
Volume 21 | Issue 2
BEYOND THE GYM FLOOR
JOURNEY TO SUCCESS
4 ways to enhance your online training programs
Doug Briggs: Champion of the highest standard Lindsay Vastola
Kellie Hart Davis
THE HYPOCRITICAL TRUTH
GETTING FIT WITH FRAGILE BONES
3 reasons you’re just like your clients Joe Drake
Working with clients who have osteoporosis Meredith Stephens
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Just five decades later
FIT MONEY MINDSET
Assess for success
Programming to your reach
TAKE THE LEAP
Linking fitness programming and business building
COACHING YOUNG ATHLETES
Is education part of your client’s programming?
Best practices for optimal outcomes
NEW ON THE MARKET
The latest trends in fitness equipment
THEN & NOW
Programming through the decades
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SPOTLIGHT: FITNESS TOGETHER www.fitnesstogetherfranchise.com
After nearly four decades, Fitness Together® remains at the forefront of personal training
n celebration of Personal Fitness Professional’s 20-year anniversary, let’s take a stroll down memory lane. The year is 1983 and big-box fitness, Jazzercise, spandex, Jane Fonda and group fitness classes are on the rise. The problem is, the one-size-fits-all group fitness and gym membership models left behind the people who needed accountability, support, and personalized attention. Fitness for the masses also intimidated people who were embarrassed about their fitness level. Recognizing this gap in the market, founder Rick Sikorski started “Fitness For Life,” now called Fitness Together®. Rick was an entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast with a vision to develop a private, personalized and client-centric model that helped clients finally achieve their goals. Rick’s philosophy of ‘one client, one trainer, one goal’™ is still what fuels the Fitness Together brand to this day. Over the years, the brand has evolved and is now the nation’s largest and fastest growing one-on-one personal training franchise. As much as fitness has changed, one thing has remained the same – the brand’s commitment to a client’s results. Fitness Together has evolved the business to include a holistic approach to wellness, incorporating strength training, cardio training, nutritional guidance, movement and mobility training, and regular fitness assessments. Now with close to 150 studios across the country, the franchise places a high priority on technology and innovative programming, including: Cardio Together™ - a proprietary program that tracks a client’s heart rate, so trainers can customize programs based on individual physical abilities. The goal of a cardio exercise prescription is to successfully integrate sound exercise science principles and behavioral techniques that motivate clients to engage in a cardio program. Styku® - a technology that extracts measurements, shape, body composition and other insights relevant to clients through 3D scanning. Styku monitors the changes in someone’s body shape and dimensions as their body responds to fitness and nutritional guidance, keeping clients educated and engaged. Nutrition Together® - a proprietary science-based nutrition program that encourages clients to eat healthy, eat light, eat often and combine nutrition with regular exercise. Genetic Direction® Testing - utilizes genetic testing to deliver personalized health management programs that are tailored to a client’s specific DNA and body composition. Aspire8™/Stronger Together - proprietary science-backed approach to progressive program design.
In their commitment to innovation, the Fitness Together brand is opening the first corporate-owned studio in Denver, Colorado in May 2019. The Denver Tech Center studio will be used as an incubator to test new and innovative operations and marketing approaches before disseminating them across the franchise system at large. Last year the brand provided nearly a million personal training sessions, proving that spandex might be out, but private-personalized training will always be in style! To learn more about owning a Fitness Together backed by a 20-year plus track record of marketing and operations support visit: fitnesstogetherfranchise.com.
FIT MONEY MINDSET Dean Carlson
Assess for success
ne of the great things about the fitness industry is the many different ways to deliver awesome results to our clients, and the many different ways to approach programming: sets and reps, intervals, and cross-training, just to name a few. But we call it program design for a reason. We assess our client, discover what areas need attention and priority related to their goals, and design a plan to get them from where they are to where they want to go. Do you take the same approach with your business? Do you follow the same careful methodology of assessment, analysis and action plan when it comes to developing a healthy business as you do when developing healthy bodies? If the answer is “no,” here are three things to start assessing now to begin that process: Debt: There are a couple primary schools of thought when it comes to carrying debt in your business. The first says debt is necessary but must be managed well. The second says the price of debt is higher risk in an economic downturn, reduced profitability, and less flexibility to direct your cash when opportunity arises. Financing a “great idea” with a loan has ruined many a company. Regardless of how you choose to operate your business, you must assess your debt load then create a structured plan to pay it down. Expenses: Every business has expenses. Payroll, rent and utilities are a necessary reality for most. But over time, other expenses are prone to “drift.” On a quarterly basis, list all your monthly subscriptions and autopay expenses, then assess them based on the following categories: necessary but could be replaced with a less expensive alternative; desirable but not necessary; or unnecessary for delivering your core offering. Keep what you need, get rid of what you don’t. Profit: When assessing the profitability of your company, don’t fall for the “paper tiger.” Your profit-and-loss statement may look good, but can you back it up with cold, hard cash? Be intentional about creating profit in your business by allocating a percentage of your gross income into a separate bank account, and then tracking the growth of that account monthly. Assess, analyze, and create your “healthy business” action plan starting today.
Dean Carlson is a certified Profit First Professional and founder of Fit For Profit (2016), providing fitness business owners with the coaching and tools they need to manage their cash easily and keep more of their hard-earned money. His experience as a gym owner came full circle in 2018 when he sold his award-winning gym Get Fit NH for seven-figures. He is passionate about helping fitness entrepreneurs to stop worrying about finances and start building the business of their dreams.
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BEST PRACTICES Melissa Knowles
ne of the most common complaints among employees centers around a breakdown in communication with their direct supervisor. They don’t know what is expected of them. They don’t realize they may be under-performing. They feel unsure about how to ask for help. Their supervisor doesn’t seem to care about them or their success. When managers are presented with this feedback, they’re usually shocked, and make statements like: “I was very clear on what I expected,” or “my team knows how much I care.” So why the disconnect? Here are some strategies to create better communication between management and staff. Delivery is relaxed and encourages conversation. Your goal is to facilitate dialogue to reach an understanding. Body language is open and attentive. The right body language encourages a better response. Tone is calm and confident. Remove anger, blame, or panicked language from your delivery. Pacing is measured. Leave pauses to allow the employee to comment or interject. Allow for discussion. If the employee presents a reason for their performance for which you weren’t prepared, hear the employee out and ask numerous questions to ensure you fully understand their side. Serve up a compliment sandwich. The employee has some redeeming qualities, or you wouldn’t have hired them or be investing the time to coach toward improvement. Make sure you layer comments about their potential or their positive performance into the conversation to soften the sometimes sharp edges. Practice! Your delivery is key to successful coaching. Learning how to manage your face, body, gestures and vocal inflections is a skill. Skills take practice. Giving an employee a warning or holding a coaching session is a serious and vital part of a manager’s job. The employee can come out of the meeting feeling focused and ready to tackle the challenge, or can be beat down and demotivated. The manager’s delivery largely determines which it will be. It’s not always easy to effectively engage employees, but a good manager recognizes the importance his or her communication plays in the success of the larger organization.
Melissa Knowles is Vice President of GYM HQ, providing corporate services including accounting, payroll, HR and customer service for the fitness industry. In more than 17 years of industry experience her expertise includes strategic operations, staff training, cost savings analysis, reporting development and implementation, fitness department overhaul, client retention systems and corporate management. firstname.lastname@example.org
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TAKE THE LEAP
Programming to your reach
Linking fitness programming and business building
he programming that you or your facility offer is an extension of your culture, your intentional focus and your reach. As leaders in the fitness industry, you may have noticed how many ways programming can support your overarching plan. There are so many ways to connect to and impact your clients’ lives. It can be paralyzing when looking at all that is out there, or that can be created; group exercise versus personal training, oneon-one versus small group, existing programs on the market like Les Mills, Zumba, Insanity, Silver Sneakers, PiYo, TRX, Pilates (the list goes on) … OR do you create something proprietary for a specific sport, population or a need that drives you personally? The choices can feel endless and even a bit overwhelming. So where do you start? You start by pressing “pause” and thinking about why you entered this amazing industry. What is your WHY? You see, there are enough programs for everyone out there so the question to ask is, “What do YOU want to accomplish? What impact do you want to make? Who do you want to reach and why?” This is a heart-centered decision. A passion decision. Knowing this will drive your programming. What’s your reach? Think through the kind of impact you would love to make with the time you have in the industry. Is your passion with seniors and adding years to their lives? Are you called to coach young athletes to reach their prime as young adults in a specific sport? Is your drive to create connections in your community and to use movement as the catalyst? Are you moved to get the roughly 80% of the U.S. population who do not go to a gym to begin moving through a walking program? Your passion will dictate your reach. Your desired reach will dictate your programming. Consider people first. The fitness industry - your business - is about the people we serve and the lives we touch. Begin your decision-making with the impact you ultimately desire. Decide what/who moves you. When you do, your programming decisions will connect you to your reach. This is where you will find true career fulfillment!
t’s common for many fitness professionals to gravitate toward coaching and programming for clients than toward starting or growing a great fitness business. Most would even say they would happily spend hours designing the most customized and detailed fitness program. But force them to read a profit-and-loss statement or create a marketing plan and even 30 minutes seems like an eternity. But have you considered that programming for clients is actually a lot like creating a plan for a fitness business? Creating a great program, just like a business, boils down to having a long-term plan that addresses needs, goals, and a blueprint to get from A to B. A fitness business is just like a fitness client – it has needs, challenges, and it’s constantly faced with adjusting to what’s thrown at it daily. While a client may have goals that pertain to looking a certain way or reaching a certain weight, a business owner should also want their business to look a certain way. Instead of weight or body fat, key performance indicators (KPI) are the measures of business. After setting the goals, it is then about determining the checkpoints. In fitness or business, this can be done monthly or quarterly, but setting SMART goals requires a deadline. The last piece of the puzzle is determining the actions to get there. For clients, this includes a specific number of days to exercise (frequency) and movements to perform (mode) while the equivalent in business is which key actions to perform and how often. On the surface it seems that the business side of fitness is significantly different than the exercise programming side, but when taking a closer look, the process is actually quite similar. • Establish needs and goals • Determine checkpoints • Choose the activities that will deliver results • Assign frequency and execute consistently By recognizing that the skill of programming not only builds great fitness programs but also a successful business, personal trainers can feel much more capable and take action on building the career of their dreams.
Farel Hruska has over 20 years of experience as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor and educator. She is presently the Director of Education & Culture at Chuze Fitness. Farel also helped grow FIT4MOM from 2002-2018 as Global Fitness Director and Pre/Postnatal Director. She has presented at fitness conferences around the world including AFC (Bangkok), MEFIT PRO (Dubai), IDEA China and US and has been featured in CNN, New York Times, WebMD, Women's Running Magazine, and Pregnancy.com. Farel’s most meaningful accomplishment, however, is being mom to her three daughters.
David Crump is an entrepreneur, fitness business consultant, and NSCA certified personal trainer. Since entering the fitness industry in 2006, he has climbed the ranks of corporate management, opened multiple fitness facilities, and helped hundreds of clients improve their lives. He owns and operates Spark Fitness, a private training facility in Orlando, Florida, and works with trainers around the country to help them achieve their dream of opening their own gym.
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“THIS ENDEAVOR IS MORE THAN A PASSION IT IS A LOVE.” 12
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Journey to Success
By Lindsay Vastola
CHAMPION OF THE HIGHEST STANDARD
A humble quest for potential and possibility
Director of Human Performance, U.S. Army, Fort Bliss USA Weightlifting coach (men’s and women’s) NSCA Facilitator of the Year award winner Decorated Olympic weightlifter Published researcher 3-time book author University faculty Industry educator Business owner Innovator
his impressive list – though not nearly complete – is a just snapshot of the more public accomplishments of a man who never asks for the spotlight; insists that he not be referred to as “Doctor” or annotated with the many credentials he’s earned; and who humbly accepts recognition simply as a testament of the love he has of his work. Doug Briggs is the epitome of a humble man who has made it his lifelong quest to seek greater opportunities to learn, impact and inspire through fitness, education and innovation. For the better part of the last 40 years, during which the fitness industry has virtually grown from its infancy to what we know it to be today, Doug Briggs has refused to be a passive bystander. Instead, he has been, and continues to be, actively committed to raising the bar of the profession’s norms, standards and expectations. As PFP celebrates our 20-year anniversary, we thought it would be fitting to share with you Doug’s first-hand insight into his journey to success over the last 20-plus years, and what oppor-
tunities he believes hold potential and possibility for fitness professionals today. Lindsay Vastola: If you were starting your fitness career today, would you approach your career differently than you did 20 years ago? Doug Briggs: Yes and no. I would major in exercise science, human performance or a similar subject first, yet at the same time be a competitive athlete whether at college or competing in athletic events in the private sector. It is truly my belief that the best trainers have been athletes first and have an understanding of the human body and how it works biomechanically, nutritionally, and when injured including recovery. LV: How would you describe the role of education for today’s fitness professional versus 20 years ago? DB: Required. Education is the foundation for everything we do and understanding exercise and its application to the human body has changed dramatically with the research that has been conducted in the past 20 years. It is ever-changing and evolving, and we are becoming better at what we do all the time. Educational opportunities abound from great organizations and presenters; the key is spending your money wisely and tailoring it to your needs. Constantly expand your horizons. Get a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and a Ph.D.
Doug BRIGGS Leader
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LV: What do you see as the greatest opportunity for fitness professionals today? DB: Carving out a niche and being the best at it. There are too many areas from personal training, to weight loss, to athletic performance to be good at them all. Find and develop the area you are best at and market yourself in that area. Once you have figured out and established yourself in that area, stay in your lane and learn to network with other professionals. Establish business relationships and promote yourself and your business. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. LV: What do you believe are the typical blind spots that hinder fitness professionals? DB: Being too generalized in personal training and not specialized. Too many personal trainers do a two-day certification and think they are “experts.” I have been doing this for approximately 40 years, have advanced degrees, published research, world-class athletic experience, proven success with professional athletes to everyday clients, and I don’t consider myself an expert. I learn something new every day. LV: At what point did you realize that you wanted to commit your professional focus to where it is today? DB: My first actual position in the fitness in-
dustry was as a salesman for Pumping Iron Gym in Tempe, Arizona while I was a student at Arizona State University (ASU) in the ’70s. Pumping Iron Gym was an old-school gym in that a lot of the equipment was homemade and it was small, old, dirty, and overcrowded with equipment and lifters. There were no male and female locker rooms, only a changing area in the back of the gym through two swinging doors. It was located on Mill Avenue and didn’t have any air conditioning except a floor fan. Often times when we trained, the temperatures in the gym were close to 100 degrees. The gym was very similar to many of the gyms seen in the movie “Pumping Iron.” My first training partners came from this gym: Andy Francis, Bob Mauer, Mark Goodman and inspiration from John DeFendis, Mr. USA Runner-up 1979, and Mr. USA 1988. It was here that I realized what a positive influence a person can have on others as related to health. Coupling this experience of training with what I knew from growing-up with Jack LaLanne television workouts that my mother did, my thirst for knowledge in this new industry took off. I sold 35 gym memberships to a fraternity at ASU and immersed myself in everything fitness. This was a period of rapid growth for fitness and weight-training sports including diets and the
use of supplements. Research was being done at major universities. It was a very exciting and dynamic time with bodybuilding shows almost every weekend in every city in the U.S. The “bro-science” approach was what channeled my interest to universities and hard science and through this I developed an appreciation for factual information. From my start as a salesman in the industry to a trainer at Arizona Athletic Club to the owner of a nutrition company and then a gym and ultimately teaching at a major university and directing the program for training soldiers and civilians at Fort Bliss, it has been a life of learning, application, and teaching others. I have been very fortunate as not only do I have the book-knowledge and three published books, but I have been able to apply that knowledge to my own competitive career and that of others in their quest for health and happiness through diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Education, practical knowledge, communication skills and the ability to relate to others are the keys. LV: What are your predictions for the next 20 years of fitness? DB: In the next 20 years, the industry will change to focus on reversing the damage that is being done by sitting and using electronics constantly. This will create a niche market fo-
cusing on all age groups from the young to the elderly and those that are injured. Rebuilding the body from the ground up will be popular as we return to the basics. Another change will be fewer cross-training facilities dotting the landscape. This concept will be incorporated into the larger gyms and health clubs for a much smaller membership
fee. The large clubs will become more inclusive and offer more of the niche-type training that is currently seen on every street corner. This will include more easy-to-use entertainment-based training and virtual reality coupled with the tried-and-true weight training. I donâ€™t see much change in weight training equipment per se as this area is tapped out currently.
It would be great to see more in-house corporate fitness programs where the corporation actually employs faculty and staff to conduct their fitness program. The cost to run our civilian employee fitness program is about $150 per employee for the six-month class. This includes the staff, classroom sessions, pre- and post-assessments, incentives and so forth. For that $150 investment, the employer typically sees a $2,500 a year savings in health-related cost, absenteeism, and productivity. The last trend I see is a much more competent staff in clubs. Clients and members are becoming more educated and savvy, and will become more demanding because of this, which in turn will force health clubs and the industry as a whole to hire and promote more educated, qualified, experienced individuals. This will raise the bar for the whole industry and the return will be great because we will see our clients and members have better results and our trainers and staff will have greater incomes and job satisfaction. Thank you, Doug, for your commitment to this great industry. May we all be inspired to follow your lead and be champions of the highest standard so we can continue to be the catalyst for meaningful change.
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FEATURE ARTICLE Joe Drake
THE HYPOCRITICAL TRUTH 3 reasons you’re just like your clients | Joe Drake
ost of us are walking contradictions. We pick and choose which areas of our lives we follow certain rules, while giving ourselves a pass in others. It doesn’t make us bad people, but it does highlight the challenge to stay true to our mission and values in all aspects of life. Think about your clients who are extremely disciplined and committed to their work, but struggle with basic eating habits. Is losing weight really that complicated? Is it really this challenging mathematical equation only to be solved by the fitness elite? Of course, there are exceptions, but not really! For most people the path is easily defined, but difficult to follow. Most of us have no problem identifying the habits and issues holding back other people but miss the boat when it comes to our own lives. If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and not making progress on making more money and having more time, the answer is likely in the advice you give your clients. A theory on coaching is that information is important, but implementation is everything. Ease of information access means you have to do far more than spew knowledge but find
ways to make it actionable and relevant. It means creating the awareness, structure and accountability to keep them on track. PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL SUCCESS IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY (OR PROBABLY ANY INDUSTRY) IS REALLY THE SAME PROCESS AND REQUIRES THE SAME SKILLS; IT JUST LOOKS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT. Just like weight loss, the equation to success in this industry isn’t rocket science. It’s just challenging for most because it requires daily consistency and exploration of things that don’t come as easy to many fitness professionals as working out and eating broccoli does. WE’RE JUST LIKE OUR CLIENTS BECAUSE: 1. We don’t eat our broccoli Everyone knows they need to eat veggies, but so few people do it. Success is not always sexy, and this is where most personal trainers struggle. There are plenty of things like following up with potential clients, writing emails, and creating content that most know are necessary to build a following. Yet, most still avoid doing it because it’s not fun or convenient.
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It’s natural to want to spend more time on what you’re good at, but that’s the funny thing about success. What got you to where you are now may not be what gets you to the next level. Further success requires new skills and a willingness to take on not just what you want to do, but what you need to do. Takeaway: Face the difficult tasks and make it happen. Be honest with yourself about what you have been avoiding. Do a comprehensive self-assessment and take action on at least one of those things every single day. 2. We struggle with consistency Even when we do bite the bullet and finally eat our metaphorical broccoli, consistency is tough. Just like our clients, we tend to be extreme creatures and live on one end of the spectrum or the other. Just like clients, we go all-out for a full week and try to tackle everything at once and get de-motivated when we don’t see immediate change. Baby steps just don’t sound like they are enough to drive change, but they do. This is why long-term change is so hard. We actually have to keep doing it every single day. Most fitness pros do things sporadically. They
PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL SUCCESS IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY (OR PROBABLY ANY INDUSTRY) IS REALLY THE SAME PROCESS AND REQUIRES THE SAME SKILLS; IT JUST LOOKS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT. get motivated, shoot a video, and then send out an email because they felt inspired in the moment. Then it’s crickets for the next month. Building a following of raving fans that want to refer business doesn’t happen on a whim, it happens from doing these kinds of things every week for years. Knowing that this is where most fall short, consistency should be your secret weapon. Takeaway: Don’t just trust that you will do it when it comes to mind. We all need systems to help keep us focused and on track when life distracts us, and when willpower is low. This means doing the things we know we need to most and not trying to tackle everything at once. Small incremental change that you can sustain is key. Even if you don’t feel like what you’re doing is perfect, just keep taking action. Those who consistently take action over the long haul are the ones who will thrive. 3. We need coaching Why do your clients need you and how have you helped them succeed? We live in an age with more information on health and fitness than ever before, yet the world continues to become overweight and sedentary.
The answers for weight loss (and business success) are out there, but they need a guide to help them navigate the course. Coaches can help us wade through all of the trends and strategies to better understand which way of doing things might work best for us. They don’t just motivate us with high fives but challenge us to believe that we are capable of more. They ask the right questions, so we don’t sell ourselves short. They serve as a beacon of what’s possible and keep us accountable, so we are eating our broccoli on a regular basis. As a fitness professional why would you not want that in your own life as well? Coaching is the key to leveling-up your success and getting out of your own way. Yet, so few personal trainers seek out coaches and mentors. Some of the most successful names in our industry have gotten where they are by learning from others and seeking out coaching and guidance from those who have walked the path. Takeaway: For insight, get yourself some kind of coach: a personal trainer, boxing instructor, or even a dance instructor. This alone will make you a better fitness professional.
Then seek out a mentor or coach for your business. You might feel like you can’t afford these things but having skin in the game is the fastest way to force yourself into making progress. The sign of someone on a collision course with success is the ability to recognize these inconsistencies in themselves and work to address them. The path to success starts with honest, inward evaluation before it can be translated into external consistent action. Keeping in mind that deep down we aren’t that different from our clients will not only make you more empathetic to their struggles, but also help you clearly identify what you need to be doing personally to keep moving forward.
Joe Drake is co-owner of Gravity + Oxygen Fitness, a successful group and personal training studio in Boca Raton, Fla. Joe is also co-owner of the Axiom Fitness Academy where he works closely with new fitness professionals to go from getting certified to finding success in a competitive fitness market. Joe holds a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Florida Atlantic University and is a Technogym Master Trainer.
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FEATURE ARTICLE Kellie Hart Davis
BEYOND THE GYM FLOOR 4 ways to enhance your online training programs | By Kellie Hart Davis
nline training is a great way to expand your fitness business while reaching a broader clientele who may not otherwise train with you in person. Building out proper systems and procedures is the key to growing a successful training business online. A crucial component within these systems is a high-touch point experience so clients feel connected with you on a more personal level. It’s easy to feel frazzled and overwhelmed when building your online client roster. These
four tips will help make the most of your time by giving your clients the right attention so they are raving fans for years to come. #1: PRICE ACCORDINGLY One of the biggest mistakes trainers make when bringing their business online is underpricing their services. It’s easy to get wrapped up in pricing wars, but when you have to take on a larger number of clients to make it worthwhile, your clients get the short end of the stick.
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Think about the experience you want your online clients to have. How will you create this for them? How much time will it take for you to create this? Your knowledge as an expert is valuable and the time and attention you give your online clients is reflective of this. Create a pricing model to highlight your expertise, plus the time and attention you plan to give your clients. It’s better to have a handful of clients at a higher rate than dozens of lowpriced clients who get little attention or feel the residual burnout from an overworked trainer.
rapport so they feel comfortable sharing with you. Trust-building is a huge factor when it comes to online client success. #3: CREATE RESOURCES AND GUIDES As you work with in-person clients, take note of common questions, information you share, and resources you use. Create eBooks, cheat sheets, checklists, and training templates to streamline your onboarding process. The better educated your clients are in the beginning, the more confidence they will have with their program. A standard eBook guide should cover what they can expect working with you, how their program will run, and what your expectations are as a coach. Provide nutrition resources, exercise tutorial videos, and other information that will reduce the amount of questions you get while making your clients feel cared for. Keep a running catalog of frequently asked questions on hand so you can quickly send answers to clients when questions arise. It’s also helpful to send a video answer to more in-depth questions, rather than trying to explain in a detailed email. Creating short videos on your phone will not only save you time, but also gives the personal touch that is often missing with distance coaching. #2: GET TO KNOW CLIENTS BEYOND THEIR GOALS Clients come to you with specific goals, whether it’s to improve performance, lose weight, or overcome health issues. However, learning about their lives gives you a glimpse into what motivates them. A big reason people fall off track and disappear online is they feel alone and lose motivation. By understanding the big picture, including details about their family, profession, medical history, travel plans, and lifestyle, you are better equipped to find their motivational drivers to keep them going even when life gets busy. When you create client intake forms, include questions to ask about their personal life. Offer a 20- or 30-minute consultation as part of your coaching package to get better acquainted with each client, and also build
#4: IMPROVE ACCOUNTABILITY Trainers typically have weekly or monthly check-ins with their online clients, but a lot can happen on the days you don’t hear from them. Clients may fall off track, feel alone, or afraid to bother you outside of the regular schedule. Developing a system for clients to ask questions, send photos, and share small wins throughout the week is a great way to maintain accountability and improves customer retention. Creating simple check-in guidelines like a number scale rating of their week is a great way to stay in touch without either party feeling overwhelmed. Rather than handing out your phone number, set up a messaging app specifically for your clients so you know the messages coming through that app are specific to your business. During the onboarding process, invite them to the app and set-up guidelines
in your eBook so they know exactly when they can contact you and with what information. This also gives you a chance to create more touch points and develop a stronger relationship with clients you don’t see in person.
BY CREATING A HIGHTOUCH EXPERIENCE, YOU WILL NOT ONLY IMPROVE YOUR COACHING QUALITY, BUT ALSO HELP WITH CLIENT RETENTION WHILE DECREASING YOUR WORKLOAD. Building an online personal training business can be a great asset to your in-person coaching or a good transition into a fully digital career. By creating a high-touch experience, you will not only improve your coaching quality, but also help with client retention while decreasing your workload. Setting-up a successful online training business model doesn’t have to be complicated. By creating tools and resources, plus additional ways to hold clients accountable, you pack in a ton of value into your programs that will help them reach their transformation faster.
Kellie Hart Davis is the founder of FitThriveWorkouts.com and co-author of Strong Curves. She helps women get strong in the gym so they can take on bigger challenges in life. She coaches women through her online workout systems, app, and one-to-one training. Davis also works as a business consultant and freelance writer and is a co-creator of The Complete Trainer’s Toolbox and Glutes, Core, and Pelvic Floor Education System. She holds a BA from Florida Gulf Coast University and an MPS from George Washington University.
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FEATURE ARTICLE Meredith Stephens
GETTING FIT WITH FRAGILE BONES Working with clients who have osteoporosis | By Meredith Stephens
f you work with clients who are 50+, you may be training people on the osteoporosis spectrum – whether they know it or not. As a fitness professional, you can play a key role in helping clients prevent fractures by educating yourself about bone health so you can create safe exercise programs for your clients and make a real difference in their quality of life. Osteoporosis is characterized by compromised bone strength and a deterioration of the microarchitecture of the bone, which creates fragility and increases risk of fracture. You don’t have to have osteoporosis to get fractures; people with low bone mass (T-score of -1.0 to -2.49) are also at increased risk. The statistics are sobering: 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over 50 have low bone mass, and 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men may have at least one osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime. Those who have had one fracture are twice as likely to have another. Hip fractures are the most dangerous, and may lead to loss of independence and even death. Falls are the greatest risk factor for fracture.
Your clients see you a lot more often than they see their doctors, so you have a good chance of seeing a problem before they even think to talk to their physician. Educate yourself by getting to know the risk factors for osteoporosis and understand T-scores and FRAX (see tables). If you notice any of the following indicators, recommend they get screened: They complain about unexplained back pain in the thoracic or lumbar spine They’ve sustained a fracture from a fall from standing height They’ve lost height in the past year or two of 2cm or more BONE HEALTH BY THE NUMBERS These two tests help determine where someone is on the osteoporosis spectrum. Knowing what the numbers mean can help you work with older clients. T-Score: Used to diagnose the presence of osteoporosis, it is the statistical representation of bone density compared to that of a
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healthy 18- to 30-year-old. FRAX: Calculates a person’s risk of hip or other major osteoporotic fracture (clinical spine, forearm, hip, or shoulder fracture) in the next 10 years. STRENGTH, BALANCE AND FALL PREVENTION As a personal trainer, there’s a lot you can do to help clients. Educate them about osteoporosis, do basic assessments to determine appropriate exercises, set realistic goals, and keep in mind that preventing falls is the best way to keep them fracture-free. When you’re working with older adults and/or those on the osteoporosis spectrum: Focus on balance, posture and strength Introduce safe movement patterns with exercise, transitions and activities for daily living Slow bone loss with resistance training and gentle weight-bearing exercises Start with a careful assessment, then check back with regular reassessments. If they have
Bone Mineral Density
a diagnosis, ask for their T-score and FRAX result. (You can do a FRAX assessment without a T-score to estimate fracture risk.) Get a sense of their fitness level, body mechanics and balance. For example, can they hip hinge or get out of a chair without using their arms? Can they stand with their feet together, hands crossed on their chest with eyes closed? Can they balance on one foot for 15-30 seconds?
Ten-year Fall Risk Categories
STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE EXERCISE An effective program should include balance training, resistance training, functional movement, cardio and a mind-body component – and take place 2-3 times a week. The higher the risk, the more conservative your program should be. For every exercise you introduce, remember three key guidelines: 1. Keep movements slow and controlled with a neutral spine (no twisting, forward or side bending). Include a combination of balance, resistance and cardio. Introduce exercises that vary base of support (feet apart, one leg), surface (hard, soft, BOSU), vision (eyes closed, one eye open) and vestibular components (turn head, look up and down). Keep the challenge at an appropriate level. For resistance training, emphasize form and alignment and progress weight slowly; try spring resistance exercises to enhance core control. Avoid twisting, bending and rapid motions, lifting heavy objects from the floor to overhead, or movements that can compromise arthritic joints. Modify exercises to accommodate limitations: make lunges and squats a little shallower or try planks instead of crunches. And don’t forget cardio but adapt it as well. While high-impact is good for bones, it’s not so good for arthritic joints; try options such as cycling and elliptical instead. And never do cardio to the exclusion of resistance training!
2. Connect exercises to the movements they make in their daily life. Focus on biomechanics to help your client understand how to move their body in an optimal way, both at the gym and in their day-today. Teach hip hinging versus forward bend. Demonstrate spinal alignment by using a stick on their back for three points of contact: pelvis, spine and head. Teach spine-sparing transitions such as log roll and “marriage proposal” (getting up from kneeling by putting one leg out “proposal” style). And remember, the gym isn’t the only place they’re at risk of injury. People hurt themselves every day picking up groceries or vacuuming. Relate body mechanics to everyday activities: e.g. lunge with a straight back as a cue for vacuuming or sweeping. 3. Develop their mind-body awareness. Understanding how the body moves is vital to improving posture, biomechanics, balance and control. Clients with hyperkyphosis, for example, can be at increased risk of falls and vertebral fractures. Awareness is the first step in change. Exercises that reinforce good posture performed often help to facilitate change. Grasping concepts like scapular stabilization, pelvic and ribcage placement - and learning how those corrected postures feel in their bodies - can go a long way to helping posture and enhancing balance. Modalities such as yoga and Pilates can help build that
awareness; incorporate elements from both into a balanced workout. OSTEOPOROSIS KNOWLEDGE HELPS YOUR CLIENTS – AND YOU In the U.S. alone, there are more than 100 million people over 50: demand for older adult programming is on the rise. Being well-versed in the issues that affect this demographic doesn’t just benefit them – it also boosts your marketability and widens the scope of your potential clientele. You have the ability to change lives. As someone who sees clients every week, you are perfectly positioned to flag concerns and teach effective strategies for preventing falls by building strength, improving balance, learning proper biomechanics, and staying healthy, fit and safe.
Building on more than 20 years of experience designing fitness programs for special populations, Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer Meredith Stephens co-developed Merrithew’s Osteoporosis, Scoliosis and Fascial Movement education offering. Meredith holds multiple degrees, including a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology and a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy. She is also a Board Certified Structural Integrator as well as a doctoral candidate in Physical Therapy at Northeastern University. Meredith owns two fitness studios in New Hampshire: Brookline Bodyworks and Bodyworks at Depot Square.
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THE MESSAGE: CHANTAL BRODRICK www.fitnessbusinesspodcast.com
fter 15 years in senior sales and marketing roles in the media industry, Chantal Brodrick decided to redirect her path and pursue her love for fitness. Working as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor and fitness business coach, Chantal soon realized how she could utilize her background and experience to meet a clear need in the fitness industry: helping fitness professionals prosper and profit from their passion. In 2015, she became the host of The Fitness Business Podcast – the world’s leading podcast for fitness business owners and managers with over 360,000 downloads and over 220 shows where she leads captivating interviews with many of the industry’s most respected leaders, coaches, consultants and authors. Chantal has been recognized as one of IHRSA’s “Women Who Inspire,” and is a sought-out speaker for industry events across the globe. Chantal Brodrick is, without question, making an impact on our industry and here is how she is sharing her message…
My ideal clients are fitness business owners and managers and fitness professionals. My message is to provide fitness professionals with business information and education, so they can be successful and profitable doing what they love. If I had only one way to share my message it would be podcasting. Podcasting allows me to connect with my audience by providing them with weekly information to enhance their professional life. Successful messaging starts with truly knowing who you are speaking to, knowing their needs, wants and pain points. People follow me because The Fitness Business Podcast provides relevant action-based education that has been created specifically for fitness professionals.
PROFILE: REDLINE XPRESS www.xpressredline.com
An affordable fitness business in a box
edLine Xpress is the latest line of opportunities brought to you by health, wellness, and franchise industry leader John Leonesio. During John’s 40 years in the business, he co-founded Scandinavian Health Spas, growing it to 40 facilities before selling to Bally Health and Fitness in 1985. In 1990, John co-founded The Q, the Sports Club which he grew to 20 facilities before selling to 24-Hour Fitness. Leonesio’s first franchising venture was Massage Envy in 2002. John took that business from one store to a $300 million operation in just six years. After the sale of Massage Envy, John became the CEO of The Joint which he helped franchise; expanding from approximately 20 locations to over 400 awarded franchises in three years. John is now founder and Chairman of the Board for RedLine Athletics Franchising which is the engine behind RedLine Xpress. The RedLine Xpress’ franchising opportunities are tailor-made for emerging to disheartened fitness enthusiasts who possess a desire to transform their passion into a rewarding career. It’s RedLine’s mission to put their decades of experience, business acumen, and proven systems into the hands of qualified individuals who are hungry for financial fitness. The first round of RedLine Xpress opportunities includes BOOT CAMPS and PERSONAL TRAINING. They also have multiple offerings centered around youth athletic training and a business centered around raising money for the community through obstacle courses, kids, and donations. The Xpress deliverables are a comprehensive “Business in a Box” that puts their franchisees into business for themselves, not by themselves. The resources provided include: Convenient online training Business set-up guidance Complete operations manual Customizable branded marketing materials Strategic marketing guide designed by industry experts Solution-based sales training Complete client programming at your fingertips Access to RedLine’s exercise video database with over 1,000 exercise variations Fusionetics: digital fitness system with a mobile app that’s designed to help your client move and perform better while recovering faster POS and communications solution with built-in website and mobile app Diagnostics that identify inefficiencies in your business process Discounted products from our partnered vendors
“Since Massage Envy, I’ve strived to empower service providers with the business tools they need to succeed. We want to partner with fitness enthusiasts looking to avoid the expensive learning curve associated with running their own business. We know what it takes to be successful in the fitness arena and we’re committed to putting our know-how into capable hands at a price tag so low that it becomes a no-brainer.” - John Leonesio According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, today’s franchise fees range from $20,000-$50,000 and franchise royalties range from 4% of revenue all the way up to 12% or more. RedLine Xpress is dropping the bottom out of those statistics with a franchise fee of only $1,995 and an initial flat-fee royalty of $199/month. Through May 31st all PFP Subscribers will receive 5% off the franchise fee coupled with an option to finance.
EDUCATION TRENDS Rick Howard
Is education part of your client’s programming?
ou program sets and reps; you program selection and order of exercises; you program rest, volume and intensity. You might even program motivational strategies, cueing, and nutrition. But do you program education? One of the biggest challenges personal trainers face is helping our clients navigate the plethora of information (and too often, misinformation) that pervades our profession. Clients follow dogma, myths, and even incorrect tips “based” on scientific evidence, often because they do not know where to turn. Unless we show them that we are knowledgeable in educational content related to their fitness and health, they will continue to seek information elsewhere. How can we create a culture for our clients that establishes us as their go-to resource to answer their educational questions? Here are some suggestions: Match the education goal with program goals. You match your program design to your client goals. Similarly, match your client goals with educational goals. Your client intake form or client interview should have a question or two about what area of education he/she is most interested in learning. If your client wants to lose 10 pounds, for example, plan educational information within each workout. Many trainers add this into their conversations during a training session but be deliberate about it. If your client sees you twice a week for 10 weeks, plan the education for each session for 10 weeks.
Be the expert who lives close to home by demonstrating your knowledge of educational material related to your client’s goals and interests by supplying executive summaries of relevant articles on the topic. Help clients understand how to recognize credible sources of information (especially you!). There is an unfortunate aphorism in most professions that an expert is one who knows the content and lives at least 75 miles away. Be the expert who lives close to home by demonstrating your knowledge of educational material related to
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your client’s goals and interests by supplying executive summaries of relevant articles on the topic. Include in the executive summary both sides of the topic and the evidence-based conclusion and provide the link to full articles in case your clients wish to read through the original articles. Keep it brief and be sure to not be condescending or judgmental in your summary. Provide workshops for topics that appeal to a broad base of clients. Workshops can foster an educational culture within your facility and promote your training philosophy of matching client interests, program goals, and educational content. Topics such as general nutrition, improving weekend warrior performance, and getting started on a safe and effective training program are of interest to clients and potential clients, and may help generate new clients. Programming for your clients should include not only the typical variables such as exercise selection, exercise order, sets and reps, and rest periods, but also educational alignment to client goals. Personal trainers need to continue to seek the best educational content and find creative ways to share their knowledge and expertise with their clients. As WB Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
Rick Howard, M.Ed., CSCS, *D is completing his doctorate in Health Promotion and Wellness at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. He has been training athletes of all ages and abilities for more than 30 years. He currently is the Director of Fitness at the Wilmington (DE) Country Club and a college professor at West Chester (PA) University and Rowan (NJ) University.
FEATURE ARTICLE Detric Smith
COACHING YOUNG ATHLETES Best practices for optimal outcomes | By Detric Smith
raining children and teens proves complicated for many coaches. You’re constantly battling for attention, balancing desires of parents, and training around busy schedules. On top of that, parents usually come to strength coaches when they’re ready for their child to go to the “next level,” regardless of what that child’s body says. Stick to a few best practices in youth training to keep them healthy while making them stronger, faster, and better at their game. KEEP IT SIMPLE When training kids, it can be tempting to jump on the latest gadget or machine. After all, you want them to be entertained and keep their parents happy. Rather than try out the fancy tricks, keep it simple and stick to tried-and-true methods. Trying to get a young athlete on complicated movements leads to poor form, lack of results, and ultimately wasted time. Stick to fundamentals through multiple planes of motion and progress linearly from there. Address the “big rocks” first, then you can fill in the holes. Young athletes need to develop a strong core and body control before
anything else. Don’t fall prey to pressures of parents and coaches to make them train like a professional athlete. Instead, teach things like solid positioning in a plank, landing technique, and proper push-up mechanics. Keep hammering the basics until they can do them without thinking. Take home point: Tackle form and movement issues first and don’t rush progress just because you feel like it. PRACTICE INDIVIDUALIZATION Children (and their parents) want to hit the ground running right away, looking to improve performance as quickly as possible. Don’t just toss a new athlete in with a group without performing an assessment first, no matter how ready they seem. Along with a general movement screen, some important questions to ask include: Injury history Days/time spent at practice for their sport Previous weight training experience, if any Goals and timelines An assessment allows you to notice which areas need technique work before increasing
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the intensity. Otherwise, bad habits will build early. On the other hand, some athletes might have skills beyond their years. Don’t hold them back by making broad assumptions based on age or first impressions. Finally, many coaches ignore mobility when training youth. Maybe they assume kids are pliable and can spring back from anything. While they might not have the limitations as older clients, lack of focus on mobility and flexibility decreases potential performance. A comprehensive training program addresses all elements of conditioning, including mobility, to prevent injury and allow proper recovery. Identify potential mobility issues during assessment and throughout training by devoting individual attention to each athlete. Take home point: Assess athletes early, create a tailored program for their needs, and continue to reassess as they advance. Progress only comes through long-term, consistent effort. LONG-TERM ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT Proper youth training considers an athlete’s development over the course of a lifetime,
CAREFUL CONSIDERATION SHOULD BE TAKEN AT EACH STAGE OF TRAINING TO EMPHASIZE GOOD PROGRESS WHILE AVOIDING OVERTRAINING. rather than overtraining to the point of burnout at a young age. The long-term athlete development model identifies distinct stages of a young athlete’s career after around age 6. As kids leave the first stage of learning how to move, they progress through the following: STAGE 1: FUNDAMENTALS Children at this stage learn basic movement skills such as agility, balance, and coordination in an age-appropriate environment. Emphasize exploratory activity over structured instruction to improve ability through repetition. STAGE 2: LEARN TO TRAIN Here, youth training focuses on more sport-specific skills. In the gym, this means skill-based drills to refine movements, such as cutting, jumping, landing, and throwing. Strength training should be geared to developing a balanced body in concert with the demands of sport. And above all, keep it fun! STAGE 3: TRAIN TO TRAIN At the onset of a growth spurt, or when kids reach something called their Peak Height Velocity (PHV), they can begin a more reg-
ular and periodized program. PHV occurs at different times in different athletes, usually around the early teenage years, and marks enough emotional and mental development to stick to a structured plan. General movement proficiency migrates to a warm-up while strength building becomes the main focus in the gym. STAGE 4: TRAIN TO COMPETE The final stage of youth training comes when athletes are completely performance-driven. Athletes in this stage may be moving towards collegiate athletic participation or already in a year-round, high-intensity team or competition in their chosen sport. Recovery and management are key elements here, as they’re likely putting more hours in to practice than their body is ready for. Rather than exacerbate the issue by killing them in the gym, balance their strength and conditioning with their sport-specific training. Think tougher off-season and pre-season mesocycles and lighter in-season loads. Take home point: While biological age doesn’t correlate exactly with a stage of long-term athlete development, it is vital to
identify an athlete’s stage of progression. Careful consideration should be taken at each stage of training to emphasize good progress while avoiding overtraining. In order to guide young people towards a sustainable lifestyle, keep it simple at the start. Fundamentals never get old but get to know when to advance your athletes by consistently assessing their mental, physical, and emotional readiness. Many coaches of youth training may never coach athletes with aspirations to compete nationally and internationally. As such, treat each case with care and truly get to know your athletes as people. Their goals and aspirations should be their own, and make sure it always stays fun.
Detric Smith, CSCS, ACSM EP-C, PN1, is the owner of Results Performance Training in Williamsburg, Va. He has a BS in Kinesiology from Virginia Commonwealth University and specializes in Sports Performance Training and Fat Loss Transformations. For over 17 years he has gained experience at various sports performance centers and personal training studios, as well as coaching and teaching physical education from elementary school to high school.
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NEW ON THE MARKET The latest trends in fitness equipment
LINDSAY’S REVIEW: MUTT BAR It is said that necessity is the mother of all invention, and it was certainly true for the creator of the Mutt Bar. Left with limited equipment, the founder created a versatile, ergonomic, multi-grip bar that offered him aspects of a barbell, curl bar, Swiss bar and dumbbell all in a single piece of equipment. It’s a “mutt” of a bar, per se, as inspired the name. Along with being handcrafted in the USA, my favorite features of the Mutt Bar is the smooth, comfortable grip and how easy it is to transition between movements. The Mutt Bar is offered in 11-, 22-, 33-, 44-, 55-, and 66-pound options, making it a great addition for trainers and clients seeking versatility in their equipment. www.muttbar.com
Train Unpredictably! Aktiv® AQUA products create a unique stabilization challenge during functional movement. Reactionary forces improve power and strength to offer versatility for balance, coordination, posture and sports specific training. Extremely durable and waterproof for easy cleaning, they are ideal for outdoor and boot campstyle training. Available in four shapes and sizes to create unlimited levels of beginner to advanced instability training. Aktiv® AQUA products add an entirely new dimension to all workout programs. www.aktivsolutions.com
VERSAFIT SAND LOG
Put the Power Systems VersaFit Sand Log in your clients’ hands for a tool that works as hard as they do. Rigorously engineered to achieve commercial performance for the best value, the VersaFit gets the job done well past the point when other logs leak and fail. The Power Systems VersaFit Sand Log is pre-filled, sealed and ready to work, featuring dual encased technology and reinforced handles for the perfect grip and exceptional performance throughout every workout. www.powersystems.com
Zen Planner’s beautifully designed, lead-generating websites are designed and managed to give you more time back in your day. Zen Planner websites are fully connected to your member management software and provide a complete pairing of marketing and business management tools. Beyond extraordinary design, our in-house professionals also help manage your website and digital marketing to attract more prospects and grow your business. www.zenplanner.com
RedLine Xpress is a portfolio of fitness franchise opportunities from the founder of Massage Envy. The opportunities, which include Personal Training, Adult Training and Boot Camps give you a "business in a box" including online training, marketing, sales coaching, point-of-sale, website, mobile app, workout design, exercise library, discounted products and more. At a franchise fee of only $1,995, PFP subscribers receive exclusive discounts and financing. www.xpressredline.com
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APRIL FitnessFest Conference and Expo April 25-28, Mesa, AZ www.fitnessfest.org/arizona Save $25 with code: PFP2019
Boutique Fitness Summit April 26, New York City, NY www.bfsconferences.com
MAY Merrithew Mindful Movement Symposium May 3-5, New York City, NY www.merrithew.com/events
NFPT Personal Trainer Certification Workshop May 4-5, Tampa, FL May 18-19, Orlando, FL May 18-19, Royal Oak, MI June 1-2, Stratford, CT June 1-2, Walpole, MA www.nfpt.com/certifications/workshops Save 10% with code: PFP19
One World Fitness Certification & Education Conference May 31-June 2, Atlantic City, NJ www.aaai-ismafitness.com
JUNE IDEA Personal Trainer Institute –EAST Merrithew Spring Education Days June 1-3, Toronto, Canada www.merrithew.com/events
Functional Aging Summit
June 13-15, Albuquerque, NM www.functionalagingsummit.com/pfp
IDEA World Convention & Expo June 26-30, Anaheim, CA www.ideafit.com/world
IDEA Club & Studio Summit June 26-30, Anaheim, CA www.ideafit.com/clubstudio
MedFit Tour at IDEA World June 29, Anaheim, CA www.medicalfitnesstour.org
JULY NSCA National Conference July 10-13, Washington, DC www.nsca.com/events
CLUB INDUSTRY BUSINESS SUMMIT and MANIA® CONVENTION July 26-28, Atlanta, GA www.scwfit.com/club Save $40 with code: PFP
20 YEARS! PA R T N E R G I V E A W AY
Personal Fitness Professional (PFP) magazine has been helping fitness professionals prosper for 20 years. Much has changed since we launched our magazine in 1999, but one thing that hasn’t is our commitment to helping you prosper as a fitness professional!
APRIL, MAY AND JUNE WINNERS WILL RECEIVE THIS GREAT $2,200 PACKAGE: Two (2) VIP tickets to the Functional Aging Summit in Albuquerque, NM June 14-15th ($600.00 value) Functional Aging Specialist Certification ($399.00 value) Fitness Business Mastery Curriculum by Fitness Revolution ($297.00 value) Standard Certification Package by NFPT ($249.00 value) BOSU® NexGen™ Pro Balance Trainer from BOSU® ($179.00 value) Halo Trainer Plus with Stability Ball & Pump and a Resistance Loop – Regular Strength by Merrithew ($169.00 value) ENTER TO WIN $150.00 gift certificate by Power Systems EACH MONTH TO $100.00 voucher by FiTOUR INCREASE YOUR Foam Roller Set and Stretch Out Strap by OPTP ($70.00 value) CHANCES!
THEN & NOW Greg Justice
Programming through the decades
ust like most everything else in the world, workout trends change with the times. CrossFit has basically become a household name, but who talks about Richard Simmons or Tae Bo anymore? A few decades ago, they were all the rage. Keeping up with these wild and ever-changing fads is something fitness professionals must learn to roll with. One minute every client wants to be the thinnest they can be, and the next everyone wants a Kardashian butt. As trainers, we have to walk the line of what is “in” and what is healthy (giving them what they want versus giving them what they need). Although at times it is frustrating trying to stay on top of the next big trend, I have the pleasurable challenge of a job that is ever evolving. In the mid ’80s when I first opened my personal training business, we were in the midst of a time dubbed “the aerobic craze.” This was a spinoff of the 1970s jazzercise craze as was made famous by actress Jane Fonda.
Along with fitness and nutrition programs, it’s important to offer a smile, a nod, a gentle push, a kick in the butt, a pat on the back, a simple, "let me show you," and a shared “well done!” In a sense, this was the beginning of modern group fitness. These were classes held in the gym and taught by a single instructor. I’m not sure if it was the comradery of working out together or the gossip time before and after the sessions that kept the clients coming back, but they did. When I first started my business, one-on-one training— even home training—wasn’t yet popular. Instead, it was something that bodybuilders seemed to have a monopoly on... not something Jessica wanted to do after dropping her kids off at soccer practice. If we flash forward a few decades, we see fitness start to morph into something more personal. People wanted more one-on-one time and they even started wanting to compete with each other. We eventually reached the era of Fitbit and smart watches that track our movements and calories burned. Soon, companies like Peloton turned home gyms into something attainable for everyone. There are plenty of smart treadmills and bikes out there that can help people from the comfort of their home. This
poses an interesting challenge for me, and all coaches and trainers, as we still want to help clients in our own practice. I have found that even as the times change, one thing does not: people need other people. CrossFit gyms have a cult following, spin classes and Zumba have once again taken hold as clients find they want someone to help hold them accountable. Something that I have discovered in my decades of experience that helps retain clients is offering things a machine cannot. Along with fitness and nutrition programs, it’s important to offer a smile, a nod, a gentle push, a kick in the butt, a pat on the back, a simple, "let me show you," and a shared “well done!” That is the power to propel and that power is held by each and every one of us. These things are inviting and help motivate people to live a healthy, happy lifestyle and keep them coming back for many years. Although times are ever changing, I am sure that the personal training field is here to stay for a long time. We have the ability to be a real human being helping other real human beings achieve their goals, do things they never thought possible, and keep each other moving. There are many predictions on what trends are to come. So, whether it is Ninja Warrior gyms, streaming cardio, the resurrection of Zumba, or whatever it may be, I’ll be ready for it.
Greg Justice is a best-selling author, speaker and fitness entrepreneur and was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2017. He opened AYC Health & Fitness, Kansas City’s Original Personal Training Center in May 1986. He is the CEO of the National Corporate Fitness Institute, and Scriptor Publishing Group. Greg holds a master’s degree in HPER (exercise science) from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky.
SPRING 2019 | WWW.PERSONALFITNESSPROFESSIONAL.COM | 31
2019 LIABILITY COVERAGE IN THE DIGITAL AGE EXPLORING FINANCING OPTIONS A FITNESS PROâ€™S INSURANCE FAQ
APPLY TODAY TO BE A 2019 TRAINER OF THE MONTH!
The 2020 PFP Trainer of the Year (TOTY) will be selected from the 2019 Trainer of the Month (TOTM) winners. Apply at www.personalfitnessprofessional.com/toty
Choice of any NSCA Certification Exam and associated textbook by NSCA ($575.00 value) Premium Certification Package by NFPT ($400.00 value) 1-year membership to FiTOUR Total Access: receive access to complete each of the FiTOUR in-home certifications with online study materials ($300.00 value) A complimentary full conference registration to any 2019 Medical Fitness Tour event courtesy of the MedFit Education Foundation ($299.00 value) Featured profile in the 2020 Winter issue of Personal Fitness Professional magazine Winner will be recognized during a live webinar in December and will receive an award and opportunity to share their story!
TOTM PRIZE PACKAGE VALUED OVER $3,600! TOTY PRIZE PACKAGE VALUED OVER $8,500! Functional Aging Institute (FAI) Education plus Business VIP Package ($2,600.00 value) includes: • Functional Aging Specialist Certification ($399.00 value) • Functional Aging Business Mastermind meeting ($1,200 value) • Two (2) VIP tickets to the Functional Aging Summit in Albuquerque, NM June 14-15th ($600.00 value) • APT Training Package and Training Course from Anchor Point Training ($299.00 value) • Your choice of a 4 to 8lb ActivMotion Bar ($109.00 value) 1-Year Lease of the BodyMetrix Professional System Ultrasound Body Composition ($1,895 Value) $1,000.00 Power Systems gift certificate PowerBlock U50 Club Set ($795.00 value) Lifetime membership to The Academy online resource and community for fitness business owners by Fitness Revolution ($599.00 value)
Functional Aging Institute (FAI) Education plus Business VIP Package ($2,600.00 value) includes: • Functional Aging Specialist Certification ($399.00 value) • Functional Aging Business Mastermind meeting ($1,200 value) • Two (2) VIP tickets to the Functional Aging Summit in Albuquerque, NM June 14-15th ($600.00 value) • APT Training Package and Training Course from Anchor Point Training ($299.00 value) • Your choice of a 4 to 8lb ActivMotion Bar ($109.00 value) 1-year membership for each Trainer of the Month to The Academy online resource and community for fitness business owners by Fitness Revolution ($399.00 value) Standard Certification Package by NFPT ($249.00 value) MedFit Education Foundation one-year professional membership ($169.00 value) $100.00 Power Systems gift certificate One in-home certification from FiTOUR ($99.00 value)
JANUARY: JUAN MEDRANO
FEBRUARY: RYAN CARVER
MARCH: JENNIFER WALLER
APRIL: KERRY KEANE
Let It Move You.
“If you want to go quickly, go alone, but if you want to go far, you must go together.” – African Proverb
SUCCESS RARELY HAPPENS ALONE Lindsay Vastola
n this special issue, we’re focusing on the power of partnership because meaningful success rarely happens alone. The challenge, however, is finding those important partners you can trust to honor and respect your best interests. Chances are, you have high standards for yourself and expect the same from others; this is probably one of the reasons why you have experienced success. It’s also likely that you’ve been burned by someone you trusted, or disappointed by someone who fell short of your expectations. Maybe an employee broke your trust, or a company you hired didn’t follow through as promised. If you have experience with a business partner, there are pretty good odds there may have been a falling out of some sort. When we get burned or experience disappointment, it changes us; it actually changes our brain. Our brain is designed to protect us from pain, including the pain of disappointment. As a result, in future situations, our decision-making process is driven by skepticism and distrust. Think of past dating relationships. The outcome of those relationships influences how you approach future relationships. What about when you hired that web designer and he didn’t deliver what was promised? You probably became apprehensive and skeptical to hire another one.
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It’s important that we use these inevitable situations as opportunities to learn so we are more likely to make more informed, confident decisions in the future. Partnership has many meanings, not limited to contractually-binding business interests. It means aligning with people or organizations who are skilled where you are not, like your attorney, banker, accountant, and insurance broker, to name a few. Partnership also means finding people who hold you accountable and with whom you can share openly and honestly in order to realize your full potential – mentors, coaches, teammates, managers, family members, significant others and trusted friends. The following pages highlight insight from a handful of the
many critical partnerships that play a vital influence in your professional and personal success. From understanding professional liability and financial planning, to keeping up with the most relevant and current technology and legal requirements, it’s nearly impossible to know it all and be able to do it all well. Embrace the power of partnerships, because success can’t happen alone! We are grateful for your trust in Personal Fitness Professional as a partner in your goals to prosper and succeed! Your partner in success,
The Power of Partnership
INSURANCE FAQ FOR TODAYâ€™S FITNESS PROFESSIONAL Important answers to important questions
Jennifer Urmston Lowe Sports & Fitness Insurance
THE PERFECT FINANCING COMBINATION Understanding the options for funding your business
Paul Bosley 6
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WAVE OF THE FUTURE
Protecting yourself beyond the gym floor
Eric Mitchell Philadelphia Insurance Companies
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Success rarely happens alone
MULTIPLY YOUR GYM'S GROWTH WITH LEADGENERATING WEBSITES Kinnick McDonald Zen Planner
INSURANCE FAQ FOR TODAY’S FITNESS PROFESSIONAL Important answers to important questions Jennifer Urmston Lowe | www.sportsfitness.com
ports & Fitness Insurance Corp. (SFIC) has exclusively served the fitness industry since 1985. They offer general liability insurance including professional liability, property insurance, umbrellas, workers compensation and surety
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bonds for health clubs and fitness studios, as well as yoga and Pilates Studios, dance studios, martial arts schools and personal trainers and group exercise instructors in all 50 states and Canada. Jennifer Urmston Lowe shares some insight into three of the most
relevant insurance questions and answers for today’s fitness professional. Q: Am I covered for insurance by the health club where I work? A: This question is the single most important
and most common question that fitness professionals ask. The answer is determined by the contract that the fitness professional has with the facility where they are working. The employment contract with the health club or studio should state whether the personal trainer or group exercise instructor is an employee or an independent contractor and whether the individual is covered on the facility’s insurance. Due to changes in state laws, many more health clubs classify their group exercise instructors and personal trainers as employees now than in the past. A fitness professional hired as an employee should be covered by the facility’s policy. This should always be verified because insurance contracts are different. Some general liability insurance policies exclude professional liability coverage. Per-
Q: Do I need extra coverage for the new classes I am teaching?
sonal trainers and group exercise instructors must always verify that they are covered by the insurance policy of the facility where they will be working and that it includes coverage for professional liability. Most general liability and professional liability insurance policies for health clubs will exclude coverage for independent contractors. Any fitness professional working as an independent contractor should carry their own professional liability insurance policy to protect themselves. An individual professional liability policy typically costs less than $200 per year and covers an individual everywhere they train clients or teach classes. A facility will usually require an independent contractor to provide proof of their own individual insurance coverage via a certificate of insurance. Fitness professionals who teach any private clients outside of the health club where they work must carry their own professional liability insurance policy because they are not covered by their club for private clients, whether they are an employee or independent contractor.
A: As the fitness industry expands to reach more people with different needs and interests, the fitness professionalâ€™s job is evolving to include more diverse teaching. It is important for fitness professionals to make sure that their insurance coverage will provide coverage for all of the new opportunities that they want to pursue. Whether adding new classes or working with new populations, a group exercise instructor or personal trainer should verify that their insurance will cover the new activity. Additional coverage or higher limits may be needed when working with special populations or when teaching new classes. In order to provide more coverage, some insurance programs will want to verify that the fitness professional has received any special training needed to teach a new type of fitness class. Almost all carriers will want to verify that a personal trainer has received the appropriate training to work with a special population. Special populations could include people with specific medical conditions or special needs that could put that group of people more at risk for injury. The movement of the fitness industry towards inclusion for special populations is growing and is highly commendable. Fitness professionals need to keep in mind, however, that they should only work within the scope of their own training and refer clients to qualified trainers if they are not trained to work with them themselves. Keeping client safety first is always the primary consideration for all fitness professionals. Q: Do I need to be concerned about any impact of the increasing headlines for sexual
them and on all fitness professionals in the facilities where they work. Additionally, a fitness professional can protect themselves, their business and their clients by doing everything possible to keep the words that they say and the things that they do with their clients professional at all times. Overly-familiar communication or touch can be misinterpreted by another person or can be offensive to another person. It is not appropriate in a professional setting today. Fitness professionals that work as independent contractors or own their own business should be aware that their own intentional acts are usually not covered on an individual general liability or professional liability policy. This means that their insurance policy that includes coverage for sexual abuse and molestation would pay to defend them against a claim of sexual abuse, but it would not cover them for damages if they are convicted of an intentional act of wrong doing. Most general liability including professional liability policies in the fitness industry include a sublimit for sexual abuse and molestation coverage of $100,000 per occurrence. There is usually additional premium charged for higher limits, such as a $1,000,000 limit. The higher limit may also require additional questions to be answered regarding protection for clients. In the past, the underwriting for higher limits for sexual abuse and molestation coverage were focused on protecting minors. Today there is great emphasis on protecting adults as well. Taking steps to protect themselves and their clients from sexual abuse will elevate the professionalism of the fitness industry and benefit fitness professionals and their businesses in the long run.
harassment claims? A: Insurance carriers are seeing sexual abuse claims growing at a tremendous rate in the United States across industries. Rather than worry, fitness professionals should take steps to protect themselves and their clients. Personal trainers and group exercise instructors can protect themselves by purchasing sexual abuse and molestation coverage on their general liability and/or professional liability insurance policies. They can protect their clients by making sure that background checks are performed on any trainer that works for
Jennifer Urmston Lowe graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in Business Administration. She managed personal training and corporate fitness centers for many years. Jennifer joined Sports & Fitness in 1998. Presently she is their underwriting supervisor, national account manager, and marketing manager. She is a founding board member of AFS and a member of WIFA. She is included in the 2018 Insurance Business America Elite Women. 2019 PROFESSIONAL PARTNERSHIP | 9
THE PERFECT FINANCING COMBINATION
Understanding the options for funding your business PAUL BOSLEY | www.businessfinancedepot.com
hen an entrepreneur is first considering purchasing a business or franchise, various financing options are usually considered, and the most appropriate financing product(s) should be selected. For example, an equipment lease is often chosen for financing new equipment needed to run the business. Another option is to finance the entire business with an SBA 7(a) loan. A third
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option is to self-fund using funds saved in the entrepreneur’s retirement account using the R.O.B.S. program established by the IRS. It is very unusual when two financing products are complementary and can be selected jointly to finance a new business. With the introduction of the SBA Express loan, this is no longer the case. An SBA Express loan complements an equipment lease for financing a new business and the expansion of an existing business.
In 2014, the Small Business Administration (SBA) introduced the Small Loan Advantage loan program some lenders refer to as the SBA Express loan. After the “The Great Recession,” many homeowners lost their real estate equity which is used as collateral requirement for a SBA 7(a) loan approval in most cases. Consequently, many perspective borrowers were unable to secure financing because they lacked the equity in their home required to collateralize their loan request. The SBA Express loan caps the loan amount at $150,000 to limit the lender’s risk since the borrower’s real estate collateral is not required. Instead,
the business assets are used to collateralize the SBA Express loan and the main approval requirements are good personal credit and some liquid assets. Since the collateral used to secure an equipment lease is the equipment being financed and the collateral for the SBA Express loan is the other business assets, these two debt financing products are totally compatible. Furthermore, since the underlying concept of the SBA Express loan is to provide working capital, financing the equipment needed to run the business provides the owner more working capital so the underlying reason for both products is the same. CAPITAL LEASES – LEASING EQUIPMENTTO-OWN The most common financing option available for businesses using equipment leasing is a capital lease. The main purpose of a capital lease is to finance the equipment purchase while preserving the owner’s working capital. Business owners can finance the purchase of their proprietary equipment, security systems, computer hardware and software, flooring, outdoor signage and other tangible items needed to run the business using an equipment lease. The owner(s) will be required to personally guarantee the equipment lease unless the business has been established and profitable over many years. The required down payment ranges from one lease payment up to 20% of the amount financed. Lease documentation fees may range from $95 to $495. Repayment terms typically range from 12 to 60 months. All payments made are tax deductible so the payments will lower the business’s taxable
income and, in turn, tax liability. Since most owners plan to keep their equipment long term, a typical capital lease offers a $1 end-ofterm purchase option. In short, an equipment lease is used to finance the purchase of all equipment needed to manage the business, thus preserving working capital. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) EXPRESS WORKING CAPITAL LOAN This government-backed loan is designed to provide working capital ranging from $20,000 up to $150,000 for start-ups and existing businesses. The main purpose of this loan is to provide the funds necessary to support the company until the business generates positive cash flow. The loan process takes 60 to 90 days to complete on average before the loan is funded. The SBA loan process does require an attention to detail to complete the application and contingency requirements. If the use of the loan funds is to finance a new location, the loan can be approved in advance, however the funds will not be distributed by the bank until the new location has received a certificate of occupancy. This ensures that the money will be used to operate the new business and will not be used to pay for build-out expenses. The interest rate for this loan is calculated by starting with the prime rate as published in the Wall Street Journal. The bank then charges a 2.75% risk premium on this loan. This is a variable rate loan which changes quarterly when the Fed Board of Governors decides to raise or lower the prime rate. The repayment term is 10 years and there is no pre-payment penalty so if the business
owner is extremely profitable, the loan can be prepaid to save interest expense. The purpose of using SBA loans and equipment leases is to access other people’s money (OPM) and preserve capital. The goal is to borrow the money at a cost that is less than the business profit percentage. For example, if a $100,000 equipment lease provides a 12% return to the lessor and an $150,000 SBA working capital loan has a 6.5% interest rate, the business owners will be borrowing $250,000 at approximately an 8.9% blended interest rate. Assuming the business operates at a 15% profit margin, the franchisee is using OPM at a cost that is much less than the anticipated return on capital. Equipment leases and SBA Express loans are complementary products that will enable an entrepreneur with good personal credit to finance the opening and expansion of a business. The best part about this financing combination of an SBA Express loan and equipment lease is that the collateral is your business assets — not your home — just your business assets!
Paul Bosley has worked in the fitness industry for 45 years as a multi-chain club owner. Twelve years ago, he transitioned into financing fitness centers primarily using equipment leasing. Paul volunteered for SCORE, a division of the Small Business Association of the federal government and began working with select banks and SBA lenders packaging SBA loans for clients. Paul is a contributing writer and speaker at IHRSA, Athletic Business, SCW Mania and Club Industry publications and trade shows.
Equipment leases and SBA Express loans are complementary products that will enable an entrepreneur with good personal credit to finance the opening and expansion of a business. 2019 PROFESSIONAL PARTNERSHIP | 11
WAVE OF THE FUTURE Protecting yourself beyond the gym floor Eric Mitchell | www.PHLY.com
here are a lot of things to consider when becoming a fitness trainer. Where to train, what to teach, when to teach, how to promote a brand and build a loyal customer base... these are all important questions that need answers. Equally important (and yet, occasionally overlooked) is the insurance coverage you purchase. Specifically, ensuring you are covered given where, what, when, and how you ultimately decide to train and inspire others. A prominent factor affecting how and where trainers conduct business is the fact that we now live in a digital age. Although hands-on, in-person training is (and will continue to be) the most reliable way to deliver consistent feedback and application of proper movement; the fitness industry is not impervious to this new digital paradigm. More and more, trainers are recognizing the necessity of building and refining their
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digital presence in order to market and deliver their services. Social media is an important platform that enables fitness professionals to advertise their expertise and showcase their results. Additionally, trainers can now record and demonstrate a workout circuit instantaneously through social media. What was once an onerous, multi-step process now takes only minutes; whether it is through a live stream on Facebook or an Instagram story, the process is as seamless as ever. More and more, there is a demand in the marketplace for these on-demand, online services. People are busy and often cannot allocate time to get to the gym. The millennial demographic (who are more inclined to use social media) often cannot afford the rising costs of gym and studio memberships, especially when these costs are laid against a backdrop of increasing student loan and rent costs. What is more, consumers in the digital age have a skewed perception of what should
and should not cost money. Content generally is as accessible as ever, and most donâ€™t see the sense in paying for something they feel like they can get for free on YouTube. Despite these factors that are collectively affecting demand, aspiring workout enthusiasts still desire a fitness routine that is designed by a knowledgeable professional, tailor-made to the individual based on goals and current abilities. Perhaps more importantly, they recognize the extra motivation and accountability a trainer can provide. The solution for many is to workout at home but with the help, support, and guidance of a trainer who is delivering their fitness instruction online. Still, a robust online presence carries with it some unknowns for the fitness trainer. Namely, will my insurance policy cover me if my online services lead to a lawsuit? Trainer insurance coverage is important to begin with for a myriad of reasons. One
obvious reason is a goal of prudent risk management, generally, to preserve continuity of business operations despite a sudden and accidental loss. Or, put simply, the ability for a trainer to continue doing what they love despite the fact that something, whether it be a loss of property or someone getting injured, has gone wrong. Even more importantly, however, is the fact that fitness professionals are typically training as an individual and have not set up a separate legal entity for the business. As such, personal assets (bank accounts, cars, houses, etc.) can become exposed if someone were to file a lawsuit for damages arising out of the operations of the individual trainer. For these reasons, it is vital for trainers who deliver services online to be sure their insurance policy does not exclude training advice or instruction delivered digitally. If, for example, someone was to get injured while working out at home, because of a fitness
program or exercise routine designed and delivered digitally, they could file a lawsuit alleging negligence. In another example, someone may file a lawsuit alleging infringement upon copyrighted or trademarked content during an online advertisement. Both of these scenarios can easily be covered by adequate insurance. However, some insurance companies may exclude coverage by limiting coverage only to specified premises, excluding advertising claims, or simply by excluding claims arising out of online services outright. Adequate insurance coverage will not only encompass online training services, it will provide coverage for in-person services as well. For the latter, not having the proper coverage can act as an impediment to conducting business, as most gyms and health clubs require trainers to furnish a certificate of insurance, evidencing adequate coverage was purchased with an acceptable insurance carrier.
In summary, the world is changing and the fitness industry is changing right along with it. It is important for trainers to be nimble in how they deliver their products and services, and in some instances this means going digital. Good insurance coverage should empower trainers and provide them with not only peace of mind, but with the requisite flexibility needed to teach and inspire others to be the best they can be. For these reasons, it is important to review your policy carefully and only purchase insurance coverage from a longstanding, experienced, and trusted insurance partner.
Eric Mitchell is an underwriting supervisor at Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY). PHLY specializes in insurance for the fitness industry across the United States. Our Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer Insurance is specifically designed to meet the unique insurance needs of many categories of fitness instruction. 2019 PROFESSIONAL PARTNERSHIP | 13
MULTIPLY YOUR GYM'S GROWTH
with lead-generating websites Kinnick McDonald
ost fitness professionals understand the importance of a website, digital marketing and strong online presence when it comes to growing their membership base. With that, advancements in technology and rapid changes in customer behavior are directing these concepts to become even more advanced and cohesive. In fact, 52.2% of all web traffic is on a mobile device, making it even more important to design a website with the end user in mind. To address this, gym owners need a modern, lead-generating website that's easily searchable and designed to convert visitors into prospects.1 A website designed to generate more leads and multiply a gym’s growth has a few key pillars of success: responsive design, lead optimization and an integration with business management software. RESPONSIVE DESIGN Responsive design isn’t a new concept, but it has gone from being a differentiator to a must-have. This goes beyond simply making sure a website is “mobile-friendly;” the images need to look beautiful and the site needs to be easy to navigate on all modern devices. In addition to appearance and navigation, having a responsive design will help the website rank better in search engines, specifically on Google due to mobile-first indexing.
into a lead is through a call-toaction (CTA) and embedded lead form offering a promotional incentive, such as a free trial. To encourage website visitors to redeem the promotional incentive, it’s important to use effective CTAs throughout the website. High-performing CTAs include “Schedule Your Free Trial” or “Try a Free Week.” Embedded lead forms are also massively important for a website aiming to convert visitors into prospects. Lead forms allow visitors to request more information or sign-up for a specific offer by submitting their basic contact information like name, email and phone number. By optimizing a website for lead generation through a CTA, promotional incentive and embedded lead form, a clear path is set for a website visitor to become a prospect.
LEAD OPTIMIZATION While having a beautiful, responsive website is important, it's only as good as its ability to convert leads into paying members. The most effective way to turn a website visitor
INTEGRATION WITH BUSINESS MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE Integrating a gym’s website with business management software
is essential to a gym’s growth strategy. The integration codifies the branding, lead generation, marketing and sales processes of a gym - streamlining processes and ensuring no prospects fall through the cracks. If the software includes tools like embedded calendars, marketing automation and a prospecting funnel, it's important to leverage those additional features to engage leads and convert prospects to help multiply the gym's growth.
Kinnick McDonald is the Senior Director of Marketing for Zen Planner, a leading business management software suite that makes fitness businesses wildly successful. An industry thought-leader, Zen Planner pairs all-in-one business management software with premium integrated website management and digital marketing services. For more information about the Zen Planner Software Suite, visit https://zenplanner.com/.
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Personal Fitness Professional Spring 2019