EDUCATION TRENDS Rick Howard
Is technology making you obsolete?
echnology has taken over fitness. Everywhere you look, your potential clients are tracking their workouts and nutrition on their watches and phones, downloading how-to videos from the internet, and joining online group exercise classes from their home. Many of these “services” boast that clients can take the technology anywhere, train anywhere and anytime, and make use of free or reduced cost services (as compared to a package of personal training sessions). Why education is the gap between personal training and technology Some technology companies claim they meet clients where they are to help them reach their fitness goals but might not be able to properly assess where they are as a personal trainer can. Have you ever seen a potential client following a workout program on their phone, paying close attention to the timer that begins and ends the exercise they are to follow only to observe misguided technique, misused equipment, and either too little or too much effort? To meet clients where they are requires educating them on how to set goals, how to set up a program tailored to meet their goals and test results, proper technique for exercises, when to progress or regress an exercise, positive coaching cues, when to modify the program design… the list goes on and on.
Some technology companies claim they meet clients where they are to help them reach their fitness goals but might not be able to properly assess where they are as a personal trainer can. Keeping the ‘personal’ in personal training How do you navigate the endless sea of technology options and use them to your advantage to grow your personal training business? Here are a few educationally-based ideas: Embrace the use of technology for your clients. They are more likely to be interested in applying technology into their program based on their education and income brackets. Educate yourself on the available technologies and their pros and cons so that you can speak intelligently to clients about how technology can be an excellent adjunct to their program.
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Integrate proven technology into your programming. This could include videos from nationally accredited organizations like the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American College of Sports Medicine, apps for tracking nutrition and minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, or client progress data technology. Let your clients know the drawbacks versus benefits of technology that estimates parameters such as heartrate, calories, or monitoring the amount of physical activity through measuring steps or other accelerometric data. Take your knowledge of useful technology and apply it to how you train your clients. You might learn how to make your own exercise technique videos, how to create an online training program for clients, or a webinar series for clients on how to get the most of their training. With all the technology at your fingertips it is in your best interest to learn how best to integrate technology into your personal training enterprise. Start by meeting clients where they are and educating yourself on how best to utilize technology to help your clients reach their goals.
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.
Personal Fitness Professional Summer 2019