Personal Fitness Professional Fall 2021

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VOLUME 23 | ISSUE 3 president

chad griepentrog |



josh vogt | editor

erin eagan | audience development manager

rachel spahr | national sales director

josh vogt | creative director

Edible Oils Provide the Richest Source of Vitamin E Dogma in the Fitness Industry

But is it enough? By Melody Williams

Why do we need to be “right?” By Andrew Gavigan

kelli cooke | contributing writers

Cedric X. Bryant, Caren Boscaino, CarolAnn, Siri Chilazi, Andrea Leonard, Lori Sawyer featured columnists

Dean Carlson, Vito La Fata, Sean Greeley, Nathalie Lacombe, Kelli Watson

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Greg Justice

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By Greg Justice

Alexis Batrakoulis

Education can change the world Recently, I was speaking to a trainer about the importance of education, both foundational and continuing education. He had expressed his frustration with the lack of standardized requirements to enter our industry. We talked about trainers who exercise their clients’ way beyond their capabilities, do little to minimize injury and use negative reinforcement. It made me uncomfortable hearing about the unprofessional conduct of some “trainers” and knowing how challenging it is to rebuild trust with clients who have been negatively impacted. Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world As an industry, we need to stand up united, lifting our voices together to “change the world,” to maintain the ethical integrity and professional standing of fitness professionals and coaches. It all begins with education, both formal and non-formal. The theme of this edition is about the power of education, and how it makes our industry thrive:  Practicing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as an exercise professional is the first step on a journey to ensure all physical activity participants have equal access and feel welcome in every environment. This article introduces ACE’s new DEI course on how exercise professionals can build a more inclusive fitness industry.  CarolAnn gives us insight on how to alleviate common exercise cueing mistakes.  Caren Boscaino and Lori Sawyer offer tips to educate your clients on nutrition while staying within your scope of practice and Andrea Leonard asks the question, “Is it time to specialize?”  There’s no better example of building a business on a strong foundation than our Journey to Success featuring Andrew Simpson, who has built Player’s Fitness and Performance (PFP) through “Love Powered Leadership.” It takes time and effort, but regularly investing in your education elevates you to a new level, and collectively we elevate our industry. Remember what John Wooden once said, “If you spend too much time learning the ‘tricks’ of the trade, you may not learn the trade. There are no shortcuts. If you’re working on finding a shortcut, the easy way, you’re not working hard enough on the fundamentals. You may get away with it for a spell, but there is no substitute for the basics. And the first basic is good, old fashioned hard work.” 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.

Make continuing education a top priority How has education played a role in the success of your career? I strongly believe that the combination of academic and professional credentials may be one of the most powerful tools for building a successful career in the health and fitness industry — not only as a trainer but also as an educator, mentor and influencer. In my opinion, the vast majority of exercise professionals do not meet this particular criteria and therefore only few of those working in our industry can stay on top of their game. When practitioners are able to hold both an academic degree in exercise science or related field and some internationally accredited certifications provided by leading educational organizations, they can stay connected with research and application in order to offer not only evidence-based but also applicable and enjoyable fitness services and programs to the masses. To me, the combination of scientific knowledge and practical skills is the number one priority for any professional involved in the health and fitness space aiming to make a significant difference in a very competitive field. Where do you recommend fitness professionals invest more time, money and energy when it comes to continuing education? Looking at the top fitness trends as well as the latest epidemiological statistics around the globe, it is obvious that lifelong learning should emphasize on specific fields. Virtual fitness services using technology, health-related courses focusing on children, older adults and those affected by several obesity-related diseases, and functional fitness seem to be the most attractive areas for further continuing education among fitness professionals worldwide.


Volume 23 | Issue 3





COMMON CUEING MISTAKES Master this important skill with these helpful tips By CarolAnn

ACE introduces course to address EDI in the fitness industry By Cedric X. Bryant




Andrew Simpson Founder and Visionary at Player’s Fitness and Performance (PFP) By Erin Eagan



Consider your next certification options By Andrea Leonard

3 tips to educate clients but also stay within your scope of practice By Caren Boscaino and Lori Sawyer



Continuing education opportunities for fitness and mind-body professionals




Education can change the world

Greg Justice



How to grow your fitness career with a simple 1-page marketing plan



3 key skills to add to your repertoire

5 reasons to invest in yourself



Nathalie Lacombe


Learn more to earn more?

Dean Carlson

Sean Greeley





Kelli Watson

ONLINE TRANSFORMATION Non-fitness education that will earn your financial security

Vito La Fata



The latest trends in fitness equipment


DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION 5 ways you can be a more inclusive fitness leader

Siri Chilazi


How to grow your fitness career with a simple 1-page marketing plan


hat do you REALLY need to know about marketing to grow your career as a fitness professional? Too many fit pros think they need to learn a dozen different strategies to market their business. They try posting videos on social media, digital advertising, launching challenges, chasing likes and comments on social, discounting prices and a whole lot more. The result is they don’t have any focus, get overwhelmed and don’t produce results in terms of generating quality leads and new client numbers to show for their time and effort. Yes, you need a marketing plan–but a simple one. You need a plan that is focused, easy to execute and will consistently grow your business month-over-month. Here is a simple and effective 1-page marketing plan that will keep you focused and produce powerful results: 1. Speak to the heart of a specific client Which message works better: A message that could be addressed to anyone, or a message that directly addresses your challenges in a way that speaks to your heart? That’s why you have to be clear EXACTLY who you want to serve … and communicate a message that matters DEEPLY to them. Answer:  Who is your ideal client, and what are their goals?  What obstacles are standing in their way?  How do they feel about their obstacles?  What does success look like?  What does failure look like? For example: “We help busy moms gain energy, look good and feel good.” “We help seniors regain their strength, endurance, and confidence.” “We help busy executives achieve excellence in health and fitness.” 2. Craft a powerful offer that attracts the right people Most fitness professionals try to execute “half-baked” marketing ideas … where prospective clients do not know what to do next, besides click “like” or leave a comment. Before you begin marketing to your ideal client, you need to get crystal clear on what you want prospects to do. Offer them something. For fit pros, we recommend these:  Free consultation. Call this what you want (e.g., “fitness, nutrition, and diagnostic consultation” or whatever else speaks to your target client.) Prospective clients get value in learning your assessment and recommendations. Then you offer to fulfill those in your programs.  Paid trial/short-term program. This gives prospects a low-risk to

get started with you. If you’ve provided enough value during the trial, they’ll sign up for a longer-term contract. 3. Focus on the 3 top lead-generation strategies Which works better for fitness clients: Trying a dozen different ways to get into shape – then working out for a week and then disappearing for a week? Or choosing one program and executing consistently, day after day, week after week? Think CONSISTENCY and FOCUS on executing 3 lead-generation strategies: 1. Referrals: Who do you know? Who do they know? Get a referral collection script and create a plan to talk to people in your “sphere of influence.” We’ve had clients who’ve gotten a great start simply by pursuing referrals consistently. 2. Networking: Identify local businesses and people of influence who already serve your ideal client base (including past clients!). Get a script and process for reaching out and connecting with them. Consistently take action to build, grow, and cultivate your network! 3. A/B Offer: This is for “hot prospects” and “warm leads.” That means these people are either ready to buy or people who are researching solving their health and fitness challenge. Your “A Offer” is for people ready to buy. This is your free consultation or your paid trial. Your “B Offer” is for “warm leads.” These are people who are just researching and summoning the gumption to get back in shape. They need information. If you supply what they are looking for, you’ll gain credibility and build your list. You can help inspire them … and when they are ready to buy, you’ll have the A Offer to attract them. Don’t get overwhelmed by marketing. The key is consistent, targeted, focused action. Choose your ideal client. Speak to their needs. Create a powerful offer that will interest them in engaging with you. And have a “B” offer to build your list, gain credibility and be there when they are ready to buy.

Sean Greeley, Founder and CEO of NPE, has an unrelenting passion for inspiring fitness professionals and business owners to realize their unlimited potential. Since 2006, NPE has helped over 45,000+ fitness professionals and business owners in 96+ countries grow their client base and income to the next level. Get instant access to NPE’s free training, “Conquer Marketing! The 1-Page Fit Pro Plan To Bank $5k/Month” at




Nathalie Lacombe

Dean Carlson

3 key skills to add to your repertoire

Learn more to earn more?



itness leaders are perfectly poised for long and rewarding careers, as long as we understand key opportunities. Are you ready to adapt to trends in the $1.5 trillion wellness market? Your current and potential clients are looking for programs and services that are at the fingertips of savvy fitness professionals. Here are three key skills that will have you serving your clients’ needs in the years to come: 1. Moving Towards Better Sleep: With most adults stating that they aren’t getting enough sleep, we owe it to provide guidance towards better sleep hygiene. Its impact on productivity, energy, food choices and more make improving sleep a priority. Supporting your clients towards better sleep means coaching them habits from the time they wake up in the morning and includes their use/misuse of devices and screens, times of day they choose to exercise, use of caffeine, activities they do the hours leading up to bedtime, their sleep routine and environment. 2. Feeding Our Physical and Immune Health: Never has the general population been more aware of their immunity, and now is the perfect time to get louder about how nutrition impacts immune health. Eating out less in 2020 meant that we discovered new and old recipes thereby improving the nutritional value of our meals. As clients are more curious about ingredients and their impact on health we are poised to grow our knowledge thanks to education and certifications related to nutrition and healthy eating. 3. Strengthening Our Mental Health: Fitness professionals have shared with me that they know fitness impacts mental health, but don’t feel comfortable discussing it with clients and mentioning it in classes. We’re confident in listing oodles of benefits of physical activity on physical heath, and we owe it to ourselves and the ones we serve to become better acquainted with the same as it relates to mental health. This doesn’t mean we would claim to assess or solve challenges, but it would mean that we could listen with the same level of compassion and support to someone sharing they’re struggling with anxiety as we would someone struggling with knee pain. Begin by learning more about mindfulness, breathing techniques, ways to manage stress, and be able to provide resources to your clients if they need more.

Nathalie Lacombe, M, Sc. blends her 25 years of international fitness experience with her degrees in psychology and exercise science to passionately connect with fitness professionals. Nathalie dedicates herself to coaching fitness professionals and leaders towards incredible success in their careers and businesses. Visit for your FREE access to Top 10 Tips to Better Coach Through a Camera and improve the impact you have on clients today!



hat comes to your mind when you think of the word “education?” In the fitness and wellness industry, we often think in terms of “continuing education,” where we take courses, required and not, to build our skills to be better practitioners, which in turn allow us to become more valuable to our clients. We spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to get better at what we do and create an edge in an extremely competitive marketplace. But the education itself is just the first step in creating value, both for the client, yourself, and your business. You create value for your clients by applying your new knowledge in a way that benefits them. They are far less concerned about the letters behind your name than in how it helps them move better or get stronger and faster. Once you demonstrate that reality, then the tougher part for most begins – translating that increased value into increased revenues. Only then is when more education transforms from a “spend” into an “investment.” The challenge with making that happen is this; most entrepreneurs struggle with getting over the mindset hurdle of charging more for their services than they ever do with passing a course. Seeing yourself as worth more is as much of a skill as teaching someone a plank or a power clean. That skill is developed in the same manner you develop any skill, one rep at a time. The only way to get over the fear of raising prices is to do it and evaluate the results. This is step one to creating more value for you and your business. Step two is effectively managing your increased revenues. It does little good to make more money only to see all that hard earned cash disappear just as quickly. Effective cash management is almost never a strength for entrepreneurs. Having a simple to operate system that helps you make the most of every dollar and informs your strategic decision making in the area of finances is possible, but as with anything, you have to learn how. It does not matter how big or small your business is, or how much money you do or do not make. You can always learn to earn more. Just remember that more cash in does not necessarily mean more cash in your pocket. Invest some time and money to learn that skill, too.

Dean Carlson is a Profit First Advisor and in 2016 founded Fit For Profit, 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 stop worrying about finances and start building the business of their dreams.



Kelli Watson

Vito La Fata

5 reasons to invest in yourself

Non-fitness education that will earn you financial security

“Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it’s almost always due to personal growth.” - John C. Maxwell There are many ways to spend money in your business, but there is one investment that will separate you from the rest of the pack — that is to invest in yourself. In fact, personal growth and development is the best investment you will ever make. The question is what keeps you from making that investment? In my experience, the #1 reason people choose not to invest in their own personal growth and development is that they undervalue their own worth. Simply put — they don’t think they are worth it. As fitness professionals, we dedicate our lives to helping others. We pour ourselves into serving our clients’ needs and we invest our time, attention and money into what they need to get better. But to turn that around and make a decision to invest that same time, attention and money into ourselves seems much more challenging. If this is a challenge you’ve faced, then consider this question: What will happen if you don’t invest in yourself? Answering that question will shift your focus to the reasons that continuing education is so important. Here are five additional reasons to make that investment: 1. Income Growth — additional skills make you more valuable to employers. 2. Better Job Opportunities — relevant certifications set you apart from other candidates. 3. Climb the Career Ladder — you can take on more responsibility when you have additional qualifications. 4. Develop New Interests — broadening your horizons can create new opportunities. 5. Innovation — additional education can inspire creativity and help you to think “outside the box.”

he proper education can make all the difference in the world whether you make the money you want or struggle to earn the income that lets you live your dreams. Problem is, it’s easy to get caught up consuming too much of the same education versus diversifying the knowledge and skill sets that make you excellent, not only in your service but in your business and career. I’ve seen this pattern as a clear indicator as to why most experts in the fitness industry are underpaid, overworked and always longing for the peace, security and opportunity to upgrade their life. I followed the same pattern myself for the first eight years of my fitness career. Just like 90% of our industry, I spent thousands on certifications, equipment and advanced degrees to gain the knowledge and ability to have clients lining up to work with me in hopes of finally earning the income I desired. Yet, my experience has shown that focusing primarily on fitness-related education only gets you fully booked from sunup to sundown, which feels good from a “busy” standpoint but not from a “freedom” standpoint. In 2010, as a “busy” trainer and studio owner, struggling to pay myself, I changed my focus from “fitness education” to “marketing, selling, business and entrepreneurship education.” Four years later, I made my first million. So ask yourself the same question I did almost 12 years ago, “Do you need more trainer credentials or a better business strategy to reach more people, earn more income and gain more freedom?” Then be intentional about the education you invest your time and energy into, so that you stretch yourself and develop the business skills that will get you closer to your goals. Today, it’s my mission to help fitness experts fast track their business success by curating the 12 years of “educational essentials” I’ve learned in business, marketing and sales. Best place to start is by watching my free training on “The 5 Truths to Run a Profitable, Reliable, and Proven Online Business” at www.legacycreatorcoaching. com/5-truths.

The bottom line is this… make the commitment to invest in your personal growth and professional development. It is the best investment you can make… and you are worth it!

Kelli Watson is a best-selling author, coach and presenter. She coaches fitness professionals and business executives through the Todd Durkin Mastermind Group and the Todd Durkin IMPACT Coaching Program. In 2017, she co-founded Scriptor Publishing Group, a publishing company dedicated to helping people share their stories and publish their books. With more than 15 years of industry experience, she specializes in business and personal development, helping fit pros and business owners discover their keys to success. Email




Vito La Fata is the co-creator of The Legacy Brand Creator, Vision In the Vineyards and Fitness Profit Systems. For a free training video on The Simple ‘Legacy Loop’ Formula to Escape Trading Time For Money & Attract High Quality Clients or Patients, visit:




Journey to Success

By Erin Eagan

ANDREW SIMPSON Founder and Visionary at Player’s Fitness and Performance (PFP)


any of our greatest leaders are the product of mentorship. Founder and Visionary at Player’s Fitness and Performance (PFP) Andrew Simpson credits Todd Durkin and Dave Ramsey for helping him see his own potential. When he was first getting started in the industry, it was their influence that drove him to be his best — both in business and in life. Inspired by a deep passion for helping other people reach their full potential, at the age of 23, Andrew opened PFP in Frederick, Maryland. For everyone who walks in the door at PFP from youth to older adults, their aim is to inspire these individuals to become the person they were meant to become. In addition to PFP, Andrew is the creator of The Winning Athlete Formula, a mindset performance program, helping parents and coaches to increase their effectiveness and influence with their athletes. He is also author of The Youth Truth: Coaching & Parenting in Today’s Crazy Youth Sports World. Andrew recently took a few minutes to chat with us about the tremendous growth of PFP, what he’s learned and his plans for the future.

How did you get started in the fitness industry? I was 19 when I learned that personal training was a career and, in particular, that you could earn a living by helping develop student-athletes into more confident and successful leaders, on and off the field. Ten percent of my education came from an undergrad at Salisbury University, the other 90% came from my own investments in summits, certifications, conferences and workshops. I started interning at a sports performance facility, transitioned into full-time coaching after obtaining a degree, then eventually left and started training clients on my own. In 2014, I decided it was time to invest in my own space and hired a team of four people to open the first Player’s Fitness and Performance (PFP) location. October of that year was a defining moment for me. I went to San Diego to learn from the best, Todd Durkin, and discovered a purpose beyond training. It lit a fire and we went from 15 to 100 clients in 11 months. We then expanded from 1,800 to 5,800 feet with no fear, only faith. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but we never lost faith that it was the right move.


Andrew Simpson Education: Entreleadership Masters Series Graduate Tony Robbins Business Mastery Graduate Bachelor’s of Exercise Science from Salisbury University

Contact Info: @coachandrewpfp

In 2016, I attended a Dave Ramsey event to learn how to build a business and become a great leader. I wanted to learn how to build a large, enduring, great organization, not just a gym. When COVID hit and was tearing teams and families down, our community needed THE place, a place where they could build their CAREERS. We expanded from 5,800 to 17,000 feet to embark on a new chapter. And we went from 350 to over 450 guests in the first three months of new location. Have you had a mentor or someone you’ve looked up to? Todd Durkin showed me how to be a great man and a great businessman. A great husband, a servant leader and a wise business owner. Dave Ramsey taught me that boldly leading with faith and courage is what an organization and team needs to accomplish God’s purposes for their business. From Tony Robbins I learned how to truly appreciate other people’s worlds. Through his teachings I developed a stronger level of empathy and understanding. “Why do people behave the way they behave?” They are either after certainty, variety, significance, love and connection, growth or contribution. Those are the six human needs — and we all have vehicles we use to get them. Some team members, clients, friends or family members use unhealthy means to get their needs met. A leader’s job is to help them find better ways to meet their needs!




Was there ever a time in your career where you felt like you were just spinning your wheels? If so, how did you get through that and on to something better? When it comes to leadership, it seems like in a growing business you run into the same problems over and over and over again. It can be incredibly frustrating. “When will this stop!?!?!” You feel like you are spinning your wheels and going nowhere. Changing human behavior is a process. You could just be a command and control leader and force people to change, but you’ll regret than a couple of years down the road. The breakthrough for me came when I started letting go of control. I formed our leadership team and slowly but surely started giving them power to lead people, make big decisions, etc. Growing a business is simple if you study other business leaders whose companies are bigger and healthier than your company. Study them, learn what they do differently (especially when it comes to leadership), and then take action! What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made? How did you remedy that mistake and how has it made you better? It is a chronic mistake — being unclear with expectations, not delegating quickly or thoroughly enough, waiting too long to have difficult conversations and course corrections, etc. They are ALL people mistakes and they are ALL my fault (but I am also the solution — when I learned that, everything changed.) What’s the best thing you ever did? How did the decision to do that one thing reroute your career? Invest in EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System that comes from the book Traction). It has systemized our business, leadership, reviews, meeting rhythms, data analysis, goal setting, etc. If you are a leader who struggles with systems and tends to jerk the wheel right or left and give your team whiplash way too often, EOS will give your team the consistency and certainty/stability that they crave. How do you balance the demands on your time and the opportunities that come your way with family time, time for yourself, time to work out, eating right, etc.? Having a 10-year target, three-year picture and one-year plan for the business that was

The best leaders are curious; they ask better questions. If you can ask more questions and give less advice, you will equip and empower more people. decided on by our leadership team is helping keep us on track. As for family time, time for me, time to work out, etc., I have a lot of good, deep reasons why I must do those things. If you can come up with enough good reasons (why’s), you will keep doing the “what’s.” What is one principle you have always lived by? Give God the first and best part of your day. Help enough other people get what they want and you can have everything you want. Be generous with your gifts and your resources. If you could give one piece of advice to

your younger self, what would it be? The best leaders are curious; they ask better questions. If you can ask more questions and give less advice, you will equip and empower more people.

What do you think is the greatest opportunity in the fitness industry right now? What do you think is this industry’s biggest deficit? A customer service focus and a focus on creating a consistent experience that generates a pre-determined feeling for every guest you serve, every day — going deeper on mindset training and personal growth. What is in your future one year from now? Five years from now? In one year from now, I will have two life-changing gyms that kids and adults love to come to. In five years, more than two and a business that has expanded beyond just gyms, has well over 100 team members and is known for developing its team members and clients into fully confident, successful and servant leaders.



IS IT TIME TO SPECIALIZE? Consider your next certification options By Andrea Leonard


he last year and a half has forced the majority of us in the fitness industry to reevaluate, and perhaps question, our career. We have seen countless facilities close their doors and personal trainers give up their business to pursue other careers. Many of us who have been able to overcome the challenges forced upon us throughout the pandemic had to reinvent ourselves. We learned how to do virtual training through ZOOM and FaceTime, we conducted exercise sessions outdoors, we even changed our focus to include medical conditions and special populations as COVID took, and continues to take, the lives of friends and family. We realized that the immune system plays a critical role in protecting us from disease and turned toward medical fitness as a new path.


Let Inspiration Choose Your Path I realized that this may not be your story or your path, but I hope that I will be able to pique your interest in working with clients that may never have been an option previously. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of thousands of personal trainers, some more qualified than others, and they are all competing for the same client base, whether it’s losing weight for a wedding, getting fit for summer, competing for an athletic event or improving sports performance. This was me for the first 10 years of my personal training career, but it was my mother’s battle with breast cancer that prompted me to specialize in working with cancer patients. I realize that this is not in everybody’s wheelhouse, but I want you to think about the people in your life that have diabetes,


heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis or any combination. Do you know how to safely and effectively train that person? Now think about the fact that there are 76 million baby boomers, and that they make up one of the largest populations in the world. Maybe you’re not interested in working with “old people.” It doesn’t sound fun, it doesn’t sound exciting; in fact, it may be downright boring. Maybe you’re only interested in working with “pretty/ fit” people; they will get old and perhaps have the disease, too! Set Yourself Apart in a Niche Market There are many specialty certifications available today that range from sports training to alcohol recovery to maternity to baby boomers and everything in between. Why should you consider expanding your clientele to


include one or more niche markets? Ask yourself why someone should hire you? What is your skill set? What is your formal education? What separates you from the other hundreds of thousands of fitness professionals? Many of you may find it difficult to answer these questions. Now, more than ever, you have to have something that sets you apart from everybody else. The global conscience has been awakened this past year and a half to the importance of a strong body and mind in fighting disease. This is a perfect opportunity for you to capitalize on the need for specialized training that goes beyond just aesthetics. Some points to consider:  There are 50 million cancer survivors worldwide. Studies have consistently demonstrated that exercise, proper nutrition, quality sleep and stress management are

directly related to certain cancer diagnosis.  There are nearly 500 million people living with diabetes worldwide with type 2 diabetes making up about 90% of the cases. Exercise, diet and lifestyle habits are directly linked to type 2 diabetes.  By 2030, only 38.8% of the global population will be 24 years old or younger, down from 41% in 2020. They are at high risk for arthritis, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, falls and Parkinson’s and they constitute 77% of discretionary wealth and purchase 45% of all consumer goods. Remember That NEED = OPPORTUNITY The number one objective for selling fitness programs is MONEY!

“Boomers don’t want to just spend money on things they need; They have the dollars and the desire to splurge on the things they truly want.” – Bloomberg (Sept 17, 2013) If you consider the aging population, their increased risk for disease, and the fact that they are the leaders in discretionary wealth worldwide, I hope you see the connection here. They have the need, the desire, the time, and the means to pay you for your services. While the rest of the population is working 40 to 60 hours a week, and your schedule is empty during the day, this population is ready, willing and able to fill your schedule! The next step for you is to decide what type of training you will pursue. The aging population is the umbrella, but there are so many subspecialties underneath the umbrella. You might choose to become a



Cancer Exercise Specialist® because several of your clients have cancer, a family member has cancer or perhaps you have dealt with a cancer diagnosis personally. Perhaps diabetes runs in your family and you’re interested in learning more about becoming a diabetes exercise specialist. Or maybe you would like to become a Functional Aging Specialist and be able to work with the aging population in general. If you think that your general personal training certification is enough to protect you and your clients to work with these populations, think again. There are complexities that you can’t even begin to imagine and without understanding these, you put yourself and your client at risk. If this last year and a half has taught us anything, it should be that necessity is the mother of all inventions. You have the choice to either sink or swim. Despite the challenges, The Cancer Exercise Training Institute had an amazing fiscal year in 2020, and so far in 2021, because we adapted to the changes imposed by COVID, and the


need for virtual training. The elderly, cancer patients and other populations with compromised immune systems need your help more than ever. They have been confined to their homes through lockdown and/or fear. They are missing out on socialization and the mental and physical health benefits of exercise. You have an opportunity to reinvent yourself, to be the best version of your professional self, and to help those that are truly in need. Take some time to explore the certifications that are available and decide the direction that you want to go. Now is the perfect time, while your client load is light, and you are confined to your geographic location, to raise the bar in your career. I can guarantee you, with the utmost certainty, that you will not regret this move. Not only will you have a more robust and financially rewarding business, but when you look at the lives that you truly impact, you will have a renewed sense of value and self-worth in your career.


In closing, I just want to say that you are not limited to the aging population, or those with disease, but medical fitness is truly the trend of the future. Another area that you may want to explore is working with children. Parents will always put their children first and come up with the funds needed to improve the mental and physical well-being of their children. This can include sports performance, eating disorders and/or mental health. Whichever direction you choose, just be the best that you can possibly be. Get the necessary education so that you can provide a safe haven for those who seek to hire you.

Andrea Leonard is the President and Founder of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute and a pioneer in the field of exercise oncology. Since 1996, Andrea has written fourteen books on exercise for cancer survivors, produced countless videos, and has trained thousands of fitness professionals worldwide to become Cancer Exercise Specialists.

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Master this important skill with these helpful tips By CarolAnn, M.S., CPT, CN


ueing is an essential skill that all fitness professionals should develop to assist a client in achieving a movement successfully. A cue is either a verbal, visual or kinesthetic communicator that ignites proper muscle activation to attain the necessary movement pattern for performing an exercise safely and effectively. The result is more refined functional movement, athletic performance, weight loss or whatever the established goal. When a trainer cues properly, the client has more confidence and trust in the trainer; the training session seems to go faster and more effective. Here


are some trainer cueing mistakes that could potentially impede a client’s success. Using Outdated Cues There are specific cues that trainers use that may seem outdated and may be confusing to the client. These cues are just a few examples that may need more clarification or fine-tuning to elicit the correct muscle activation.  Flat Back: Maintaining a flat back is confusing to a client. Clients may attempt to create a flat back but mistakingly exaggerate an arched back or tucked pelvis. The truth is, there is a natural curve in the lumbar part of the spine. This curve is designed to


give the back more stability. Another cue could be, “Imagine that your abdominals and your back muscles are in a panini press stabilizing your spine. Therefore, activate your abs and your back muscles.”  Engage Core: Most clients have no idea their core location and mistake their abs for the core. The “core” is all muscles from the collar bone to the mid-thighs. Instead of cueing “engage your core,” a trainer should cue the client to activate their abdominal muscles by knitting the rib cage together. Another cue could be to “pretend to be wearing a snug corset, drawing the abdominals in and down.”


 Pinch your shoulder blades together: This phrase is only part of the cue. A trainer really means to “open the chest” and “pull the shoulder blades back and slide them down into the back pockets away from the ears.” The ultimate goal when performing some exercises is to open the chest and pull the shoulders away from the ears.  No pain, no gain: This motivational cue is designed to push the client harder than their body can perform to elicit a positive response. However, performing harder will take away from the client’s ability to “listening to his/her own body.” In addition, the client may dangerously push too hard and create an injury. Pain is a sign that an individual is overworked, malnourished, dehydrated or exhausted. It is okay to listen to the body and exercise each day with quality movements that meet the body where it is “today.” Explain, Demo, Perform When cueing an exercise, especially at the beginning stages of training, a client needs verbal, visual and/or kinesthetic coaching to be successful — a client cannot simply be told to perform an exercise without further instruction. To help a client achieve proper movement pattern, the trainer should explain the exercise clearly and state the purpose. Then the trainer should provide a quick demonstration of the exercise. Lastly, the client performs the exercise as the trainer coaches the client through the exercise. Short and Precise To keep cueing simple, the trainer must choose his/her words wisely to communicate proper form. To evoke a proper exercise movement pattern, a trainer needs to communicate with as few words as possible. A trainer should not talk too much or over-explain a movement making the exercise more confusing. In addition, the trainer should speak slowly and loud enough for the client to hear. Being concise and precise in the cueing will enhance the client’s experience. Demo Poor Technique to Understand Proper Technique Sometimes it’s difficult for the client to understand or physically see what he/she is doing wrong unless the trainer shows the client how they are moving incorrectly. First,

the trainer should demonstrate to the client the proper form, then show the client the over-exaggerated improper form that the client may be performing. Now it’s the client’s turn. The client first performs the exercise with over-exaggerated incorrect movement (e.g. shrugging the shoulders up to the ears) followed by over-exaggerated correct movement to achieve the desired movement pattern (e.g. pulling shoulders down away from the ears). Tactile Cueing Sometimes the trainer will provide tactile cues (touching an area of the body) to elicit a positive response toward the proper movement pattern. However, the trainer may mistakenly “tap” or “palpitate” the wrong muscle area resulting in the opposite reaction. Instead, the trainer should tap the muscle that the client needs to activate, not the one causing the problem.

 Progression vs. Regression An exercise progression increases the demand incrementally through minor changes to elicit improvement in one’s cardiovascular capacity or strength. Conversely, an exercise regression is simply an approach to decrease the demand of an exercise or movement. A significant mistake a trainer may make will be to cue a client to progress way too fast before he/she is ready. In other cases, a trainer may incorrectly regress a client to an incorrect position or modification, possibly creating an injury. Finding a balance between progression and regression and the two’s timing is key to continuing fitness improvement. Feedback from Clients Taking guidance from another fitness professional in proper cueing may seem “been there done that” advice. Instead, it is worth the insight to hear straight from the horse’s mouth — your client!  Avoid technical or anatomical language. Sometimes the client has no idea what the trainer is saying. A trainer can teach the client technical terminology as long as there is a hybrid of layman’s terms to understand. For example, the trainer can use the term iliopsoas while referring to the muscle as the hip flexor.  Clients like the trainer to repeat the instruction a couple of times to ensure they understand the cue. The trainer may need to repeat the same cue differently because

different cues resonate differently with different people. Clients like to know what’s coming. They need to know how many reps or how long to perform an exercise to prepare and recruit the necessary muscle fibers. Moreover, trainers need to know how to count the correct number of reps and tell time precisely so the client/student can be prepared to “give it all they got” in an exercise. If clients know what’s coming, they can pace themselves appropriately. The training session is more effective when the trainer cues the same number of reps on both sides of the body. For example, some trainers may spend excessive time explaining side-lying leg kicks on the right side of the body (maybe 25 reps), and when it is time for the left side, the trainer only cues 15 reps. Group exercise instructors cueing to music need to cue on beat and use the music to evoke energy. If the instructor cues correctly, students connect with the instructor and the workout more effectively. The instructor should transition smoothly and direct the students with precise directional cues, e.g. “face the back wall.” The trainer must avoid talking too much about personal life. The client may be making form mistakes or missing the exercise altogether.

Unlike personal fitness trainers, clients do not intuitively know how to perform specific exercises like planks, squats or shoulder presses. Most have no clue as to where their body is in space. It’s the fitness professional’s role to guide or cue the client through new and unfamiliar exercises and present them in a manner that champions success.

Known as the trainer’s trainer, CarolAn, has become one of the country’s leading fitness educators, authors and national presenters. Combining a Master’s degree in Exercise Science/Health Promotion with several fitness certifications/memberships, she has been actively involved in the fitness industry for over 3 decades presenting at FiTOUR, Club Industry, MedFit Network Tour and SCW Manias. As one of the leading experts, she has served on several health advisory boards, performed as a wellness fitness coordinator, owned her private studio and operated several gyms. She moved her programming online as the creator and star of “The Steel Physique Fitness on Demand” series (www.CarolAnn.Fitness).


FEATURE ARTICLE By Caren Boscaino and Lori Sawyer

NAVIGATE THE SLIPPERY SLOPE OF NUTRITION 3 tips to educate clients but also stay within your scope of practice By Caren Boscaino and Lori Sawyer


he topic of nutrition is challenging in the fitness world. Personal trainers understand the importance of nutrition to help clients reach their full potential, but limitations on the scope of practice present a dilemma. The question becomes, how can trainers educate clients but also stay within their scope of practice?


Here are 3 solid tips to help you navigate this slippery slope. Give general guidelines, never specific meal plans. What can you say when your client asks, “What should I eat after I work out?” If you do not have a nutrition certifica-


tion, then stay within your scope of practice and respond with a general recommendation. For example, “The general recommendation is to make sure you consume a good source of protein within 40-60 minutes after completing a workout.” What if they ask you what to eat before a workout? Although you might want to offer a


Although it can be frustrating to not be able to offer a specific recommendation, it’s more important to stay in your lane and do what you love to do most — design training programs for your clients.

suggestion like, “Eat half a banana with peanut butter,” the line is so fine that it is better to err on the side of caution and keep everything general. A better response would be, “The general guideline is to eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein before a workout.” Although it can be frustrating to not be able to offer a specific recommendation, it’s more important to stay in your lane and do what you love to do most — design training programs for your clients. Then review the next tip for another solution to this dilemma. Collaborate with a certified nutritionist. Nutrition is so confusing to most. Knowing the basics of nutrition can help, but putting the entire puzzle together can be the roadblock for success. There is so much information out there, it would be an entirely new job to learn the truths behind

eating clean. It is so much more than calories in and calories out, and not one client is created equal. The quote, “Do what you do best and hire out the rest,” is especially appropriate when it comes to nutrition. Collaborating with a certified nutritionist to help your clients reach their goals is a simple solution to take nutrition off your PLATE (pun intended). Search for like-minded nutritionists who understand your clients’ needs and can deliver the nutrition advice they need. This team approach is good for your clients and good for you. Lead by example. Food is our energy and yes, pleasure. Seventy to eighty percent of fitness success is diet and 1% of clients do their homework. You started in this industry because of your love of fitness. You know how to get it done, you don’t find excuses and put all the work in. Getting clients to have that same passion starts with

their trainer. They trust you and they are loyal to you. The best nutrition advice you can give is to be a role model for your clients. They are always watching what you do and look to you as a leader in their health and wellness journey. Stay on point with your own nutrition and exercise programs, and you will lead your clients to success.

Caren Boscaino IIN, NASM-PT & Lori Sawyer MA, ATC, NASM-PT, Precision Nutrition Certified, are the co-owners of CLEAN CUT FITNESS & NUTRITION, published authors of “Shrink Your Body, Grow Your Mind” and have been featured on several nationally syndicated broadcasts. Caren’s passion for nutrition stemmed from her own battles with her relationship with food. After creating her first fitness business, Lori found a niche for giving her clients what they were looking for which led her to nutrition, the missing piece of the puzzle. They’ve researched, tested and created a real life solution for the everyday person to reach their potential no matter what stage of life they are in.





ACE introduces course to address EDI in the fitness industry By Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, FACSM


ealth coaches and exercise professionals have the knowledge and skills to coach and mentor clients and participants toward better health. As leaders who aim to serve their respective communities, these professionals also have a responsibility to understand how equity, diversity and inclusion impact individuals in health and fitness spaces (online and offline), and then to use that information to make these environments, such as classes, studios and health clubs, welcoming to everyone. Examining what equity, diversity and inclusion mean for the fitness industry and how professionals can help level the playing field and create environments that foster a sense of belonging for all clients and participants, is a vital step forward.


The fitness industry is only starting the work on addressing equity, diversity and inclusion to ensure all participants have equal access and feel welcome and empowered in every environment that is necessary to reach its full potential as a community-based resource for leadership and expertise to help people live their healthiest lives. Exercise professionals and health coaches play a crucial part in impacting lives when they approach conversations with empathy, inclusive language, person-first care and with an understanding of the disparities that communities face across lines of difference. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently announced the release of “Taking Action with ACE: Practicing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as an Exercise Professional.”


This course, which is FREE to all ACE Certified Professionals and only $29.95 for other exercise professionals, represents an important step in ACE’s efforts to address issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion, both internally and extending outward into the fitness industry. As the first of its kind in the fitness industry, this course presents practical strategies that you can apply to your day-to-day practice. Through practice scenarios pulled from the real-life experiences of diverse clients and health and exercise professionals, health coaches and exercise professionals are given an opportunity to learn from an alternate perspective. As a result, they will be better equipped to support disproportionately affected groups, create a welcoming environ-


EXAMINING WHAT EDI MEANS FOR THE FITNESS INDUSTRY AND HOW PROFESSIONALS CAN HELP LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD IS A VITAL STEP FORWARD. ment that enhances client engagement and retention, and be better advocates for the health and fitness industry. The topics discussed are the start of a larger conversation within the fitness industry and were developed with an aim to improve equity, diversity and inclusion, one conversation at a time. Upon completion of the course, professionals will have a better understanding of how social determinants of health and health disparities affect access to health and fitness resources. In addition, they will be better able to demonstrate empathy and mitigate their own implicit biases in interactions with peers, clients and class participants, as well as strengthen their communication through the use of person-centered language and strategies. By

being mindful of gaps in their experience and understanding, and approaching this content with an open mind, professionals can position themselves to be leaders as the fitness industry enters a more diverse, equitable and inclusive future. Importantly, the course ends with a module entitled “Taking Action.” In that module, health coaches and exercise professionals are introduced to actionable next steps and additional resources that will help them bring the skills and knowledge they’ve gained to their daily interactions with clients and their roles in the fitness industry. All health coaches and exercise professionals should consider taking advantage of this opportunity to better understand considerations related to equity, diversity and

inclusion; strengthen their communication with people of diverse backgrounds; and demonstrate empathy and understanding as a health coach or exercise professional — all while earning continuing education credits.

Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, FACSM, is president and chief science officer at the American Council on Exercise. He stewards ACE’s development of strategies to deliver exercise-science and behavior-change education in ways that are engaging and compelling, recruiting more people to become exercise professionals and health coaches and equipping them for growth in their respective fields. He’s responsible for driving innovation in the area of behavior-change programming, overseeing the development of programs that ACE-Certified Professionals can utilize to help people adopt and sustain healthier lifestyles.



Continuing education opportunities for fitness and mind-body professionals.

To stay relevant in our ever-evolving industry, it’s important to consider yourself a lifelong learner. Whether you want to delve deeper into an area of expertise or branch out into other areas, there are numerous continuing education opportunities out there waiting for you. The following resources are examples of ways for you to grow and expand in your career as a fitness professional.

Integrated Movement Specialist™ Certificate from Balanced Body® A gold standard in professional credentialing, the Integrated Movement Specialist (IMS) certification positions you as an expert in your field. IMS candidates learn how to optimize client training by recognizing foundational movements, employing standards and applying client progression. Our IMS certification was created to provide fitness professionals a deeper understanding of the interplay of muscles, bones and joints while the body is in motion. The curriculum trains fitness professionals in effective movement analysis and correction; provides a critical anatomical baseline; and expands programming skills and repertoire. With 400+ Master Instructors and 30,000 credentialed teachers worldwide, Balanced Body is the global leader in mind-body

movement. Our dedicated and engaged community is an invaluable resource in continuing your professional growth — whether it’s tackling a new movement modality, honing in on a special population or demographic or pursuing a career in fitness outside the US. The BB community is a supportive, well-connected group of dedicated professionals. So how do you become an Integrated Movement Specialist? The IMS coursework is offered at Balanced Body Authorized Training Centers, Integrated Movement Series (virtual) events, IMS virtual workshops, and IDEA PTI East, ACSM and IDEA World.

Best in Class Professional Education from BOSU® Building off the flagship product, the BOSU® Balance Trainer, the brand has exploded with other product offerings, professional education and creative content to become one of the most successful fitness training companies in the world. The original philosophy was about improving physical balance through integrated movement challenges — having an impact on the brain, muscle and nerve connections. These connections can, in turn, enhance performance across a wide continuum of activities that includes sport, recreation and daily living. This core philosophy hasn’t changed, but the brand’s message has evolved into — Science-based expert training that transfers to life and sport via scalable and versatile fitness tools. BOSU® University (BOSU® U) is the professional education arm of the BOSU® brand. Our purpose is to bring exclusive & cutting-edge education experiences to the global fitness market while supporting those that want to increase their knowledge-base and enhance their versatility in the industry. This new platform offers a variety of courses & workshops that can be experienced in major markets across the US and internationally, while leading the way for the future BOSU® curriculum. The curriculum concept is that our education is grounded in evidence and based on science, which is the ‘thread’ that runs throughout BOSU® U. Our programming is practical, application-oriented and encompasses the essence of our philosophy while offering CECs from internationally accredited organizations such as ACE, NASM, AFAA, canfitpro & EREPS. We continue the BOSU® U curriculum approach by using an academia system to recognize accomplishment. Course graduates will join us as alumni and immediately benefit from discounts on future in-person & livestream education events, and product purchases.

Certification and Education for Training Mature and Affluent Clients The FAI Functional Aging Specialist is the complete certification program for the serious fitness professional who is ready to become an expert in functional aging and training of older adults. You will receive in-depth training on functional training strategies and movements, how to conduct meaningful assessments of function, how to create and develop effective exercise programs, and critical skills to be an effective professional with this client base. You do not need to be a certified personal trainer from another organization to take this course. Whether you have been in the industry for years or this is your first certification, the Functional Aging Specialist will

prepare you to be the local go-to expert on training mature clients. There is not another certification in the fitness industry that utilizes the Functional Aging Training Model for how to approach training for the mature population. This will be the credential of choice for years to come for those specializing in the 50+ market. This certification is approved for 12-16 hours of CECs from all the major organizations! And now for the first time ever we are including an extra bonus 5-hour CEU approved Business Academy! We are excited to help grow, kickstart, or launch your business! Not only can you get world-class certifications from FAI, but we want you to have the skills to attract more clients

CAREER Sustainability in Today’s World Looking back on the negative impact of the COVID shutdowns since March of 2020, it is strongly apparent that fitness professionals are equipped to sustain adversity. This ability to sustain is evidenced by the rise in virtual training platforms and live group training in smaller venues. One thing is for certain. No matter the platform or setting, some of today’s most successful fitness trainers are coaches who are well-versed in the many aspects of overall health and fitness including being able to provide nutritional advice, lifestyle coaching and exercise recovery. Three vital components to creating a sustainable career in the fitness industry are knowledge, experience and education. These components are key to being able to evolve and adapt when life’s circumstances throw a curveball. Honing your skillset through education allows you to better provide clients with innovative, safe and effective training opportunities. When it comes to selecting education to equip your professional toolbox, look to the future. You know where you

are now, you know the “why” behind pursuing a career as a fitness pro. Give thought to what you want your career to look like in 5 years, 10 years or even 20 years. Then begin to choose educational opportunities that will steer you toward those future goals. Be sure to choose education that will provide you with well-rounded knowledge in exercise science as well as nutrition and lifestyle coaching. High-Quality Affordable Education Opportunities FiTOUR® is a powerful educational resource. We provide high-quality programming based on up-to-date exercise science. Our convenient and affordable learning opportunities include 29 certifications and CEC options with online courses for personal training, group exercise, yoga, Pilates, aqua fitness, indoor cycling, core conditioning, suspension training, barre, myofascial release, high-intensity interval training, boot camp training and nutrition.

and change more lives! Here are the five bonus business sessions included:  The Global Aging Opportunity: The Biggest Opportunity in Fitness Business History  How to Launch or Jumpstart Your Business  Active Aging Trends the 5 Big Things Coming in the Next 10 Years  Secrets to Successful Studio/Business Owners, Plus 10 Ways to Market for Zero to Minimal Cost  Sales Process, Pricing Models, Packages, and Knowing Your Value functional-aging-specialist/

CONTACT INFO Balanced Body 916.388.2838 (ask for BB Education)

BOSU 800.810.6528

FAI functional-aging-specialist/

FiTOUR 281.494.0380

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FAREL HRUSKA’S REVIEW: BOSU® HELM The BOSU® Helm (Push Up Bar) is an interesting and versatile addition to many core and upper body exercises. Its primary intent is to be placed on a BOSU® Balance Trainer or a stability ball to add a variety of grips to both planks and push ups, specifically. I found the instability and stabilization challenges to be a welcomed addition! I loved the ability to add in some different hand, wrist and shoulder options to the way we normally performed planks and push ups. I personally work with clients with wrist and shoulder challenges and with the added options for alignment, even placed simply on the floor, I look forward to using the BOSU® Helm more in my training!


The PRO EXP is fully expandable to 90 pounds per dumbbell. Like all PowerBlock models, the PRO EXP is easy to adjust and eliminates the need for 16 or more sets of dumbbells, thus saving space and dollars. The plates are coated with urethane making it the most durable, the most robust and the quietest dumbbell available. With this dumbbell, there are no wrist support bars, allowing for unrestricted hand room.




DEKA, from the creators of Spartan Race, is the decathlon of indoor functional fitness designed for ALL levels. Their affiliates provide world-class fitness events and member experiences, gamified programming for improved exercise adherence and training with a purpose designed to celebrate fitness! They are on the mission to positively impact 100 million lives and support like-minded fitness businesses by providing opportunities that increase revenue, elevate brand awareness, generate new membership lead and bolster member retention.

The industry standard support shoes tend to be “big” and blocky. The Paradigm 6 fits more like an everyday trainer with springiness and pop. Some of its main features include the New Altra EGO™ MAX midsole with added durability, GuideRail™ designed to provide extra medial support only when it’s needed, updated InnovArch™ arch feature encourages better foot placement in each step, and Innerflex™ grid-like grooves in the midsole designed to improve flexibility and natural movement.

S.E.A.T., Supported Exercise for Ageless Training, is a brand new, chair-based fitness program that strengthens the body and mind, while improving balance and flexibility through functional fitness to get the most out of life. The program’s unique design makes S.E.A.T. the perfect workout, catering to individuals of all ages, abilities and fitness levels. With S.E.A.T., you will feel confident, see results and enjoy the freedom that stems from good, physical health. You can get S.E.A.T. Certified. Every S.E.A.T. License includes 3-Free Certifications, refreshing member experience every three months through their Autoship program.


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5 ways you can be a more inclusive fitness leader


s fitness professionals, creating a positive environment where our clients, students and colleagues feel like they belong and can be themselves is essential to providing the best experience. Yet, many of us do not deliberately ensure that we provide equal opportunities for all of our clients — current and prospective — to enjoy the benefits of fitness. The simple fact is that if we are not intentionally inclusive, we are unintentionally exclusive. Here are five practical ways you can step up as a leader on diversity, equity and inclusion in the fitness industry — and become a more inclusive fitness professional today. 1. Audit your marketing materials. Research shows that role models significantly influence people’s sense of belonging, yet many fitness professionals and organizations do a poor job of representing all of the types of people they seek to serve. Whom do you feature on your (or your facility’s) website, social media, posters and brochures? Whose pictures are on the walls of your club (or your living room)? Whose voices do you amplify in your newsletters and social media? A simple way to foster inclusion is to showcase actual members, clients and students in your marketing materials and to consciously feature diversity along dimensions like gender, race/ethnicity, age, body size and shape, grooming style, religious symbols and visible (dis)ability in your communications. 2. Ask, don’t assume. Relying on mental shortcuts, patterns and past experiences to make sense of the world is a natural human tendency, but one that can get in the way of treating people as individuals — or worse, make them feel ostracized. A surefire strategy to cultivate greater inclusion and belonging is to ask instead of assume. Ask your clients how their names are pronounced and practice until you get them right; ask your colleagues which pronouns (she/her, he/ him or they/them) they use and honor those preferences; and ask your community what holidays they celebrate so that you can better tailor programming. 3. Use inclusive language. Language has great power to influence whether we feel welcome, and as fitness leaders, our words carry extra weight. Instead of “ladies and gentlemen” refer instead to “members” “team” or “everyone” since not everybody identifies as a lady or a gentleman. Instead of focusing on how to “modify” when someone “can’t do” your envisioned exercise, find an “option” that “better serves their body” to promote self-efficacy and accomplishment. And instead of speaking about “problem areas” or “bikini bodies,” frame the benefits of exercise in more holistic, wellness-focused terms since you never know what body image traumas your clients may carry. 4. Become an ally. Allyship is the act of supporting and lifting up others, especially those with less power or fewer advantages than you, often in the face of mistreatment. Next time someone makes a sexist



or racist joke, instead of laughing along, address the situation headon by saying, “That’s not funny” or “I’m uncomfortable with that — it’s not in line with our values.” Or when a colleague gets interrupted in a meeting, chime in with, “Actually, I’d like to hear X finish their point, please.” By confronting bad behavior and supporting those whose voice may not be as loud as yours, you can create an environment where everyone has an equal chance to thrive.

By confronting bad behavior and supporting those whose voice may not be as loud as yours, you can create an environment where everyone has an equal chance to thrive. 5. Nurture a more diverse next generation. As fitness professionals, we have an exciting opportunity — and an awesome responsibility — to not only serve today’s clients but also to shape our industry for tomorrow. Do your part to help the world of fitness become more diverse, inclusive and welcoming for more people in the future by deliberately fostering diverse talent. Direct opportunities (e.g., presenting, subbing and job shadowing) to people who look different from those who traditionally get such opportunities. Mentor someone who looks different from you. And if you have control over hiring or promotions at your institution, advocate for new and different voices to be included. You can make a meaningful difference by bringing more diversity into fitness and by being a more inclusive and equitable fitness leader. What is one action that you will take today to fulfill that promise?

Siri Chilazi is a 15-year fitness industry veteran, a Master Trainer for Cardio Yoga® and RAQ THE BARRE®, and a seasoned presenter. She also has a second career as a research scholar at Harvard University, where she is a leading expert on behavioral science and diversity, equity and inclusion in organizations. Siri is passionate about helping individuals and organizations reach their full potential through inclusion, and her work has been featured in outlets including The New York Times and Harvard Business Review. Connect with Siri on Instagram @sirichilazi or visit

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