Personal Fitness Professional Summer 2019

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chad griepentrog | PUBLISHER



josh vogt | EDITOR

lindsay vastola | MANAGING EDITOR



greg johnson, robert linkul, bryan o’rourke

Social media mileage 10 ways to win the attention of your perfect client. By Shawna Kaminski

Seeking muscular equality A unilateral training approach for healthy hips. By Robert Linkul


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:


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Career Builder by Shay Vasudeva

Active Aging by Dan Ritchie

Social Media Strategy by Scott Rawcliffe



Roughly a quarter of U.S. adults, 56.7 million, will use a wearable device at least once a month in 2019. Just over half of those will use a smartwatch.

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.

by Joe Drake

SOCIAL MEDIA pfpmedia pfpmedia pfpmedia pfpmedia

EXTRA 2019 Tech Trends to Watch By Lindsay Vastola


Business Performance


Tel: 608.241.8777 E-mail: Fax: 608.241.8666 Website: Digital Print Subscription Information Digital Subscriptions to PFP are free to qualified recipients and may be ordered at Reprints For high-quality reprints, please contact 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 3] 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.



Lindsay Vastola

Andrea Leonard

Taking fitness to the horse track


fter the recent running of the 145th Kentucky Derby, I started thinking about a few interesting parallels between horse racing and the fitness industry. The first one that stands out, as witnessed in the historic disqualification of the assumed winner, is that just because you cross the finish line first, doesn’t mean you’re taking home the win. We see this in our industry often; the first-to-market doesn’t always beat the competition in the long-run. The race further reminded us that how you get to the finish line certainly does matter. A second parallel is that most spectators don’t understand what goes on behind the scenes to create the “most exciting two minutes in sports.” Like horse racing (or any sport), succeeding in the fitness industry requires experience, connection, education, time, resilience, money, awareness, emotion, risk, and an unencumbered mission to win; most of which our “spectators” will never fully appreciate. Another parallel, particularly relevant to the theme of this issue, is that those who embrace and recognize the power of technology maintain a competitive edge. Interestingly, technology advances in horse racing look very similar to that of the fitness industry. Horse trainers are using wearables (‘smart saddles’) to measure biometrics, performance, recovery, and other key metrics. 3D technology is creating casts, splints and artificial prosthetics, potentially extending the life of an injured horse. Artificial intelligence, robotics and sensors are being used for more effective training and to measure performance. Sound familiar? In fitness, wearables are setting the pace and molding expectations of the consumer – of all ages and generations. Industry leaders are utilizing social apps dedicated to creating an ecosystem where they can attract and retain a community of raving, loyal fans. Virtual fitness is changing the way the consumer sees accessibility to fitness without having to ever step foot in a facility. For both horse racing and fitness, technology – however ‘smart’ – cannot replace the value of having a human trainer. But the trainers who shrug off technology as unnecessary or disregard its very real influence may not make it to the homestretch. The trainers who view technology as a way to enhance their talent, knowledge, and experience, will lead the pack and will likely be the first to cross the finish line. Perhaps most important is that their clients – whether horse or human – can benefit immensely from an intentional integration of technology and achieve more meaningful outcomes. In this issue and in our online features, we’re highlighting some of these very exciting strides in fitness technology and what it means to you as a fitness professional, to your clients, to your business and to your long-term success. If you’re not already on the racetrack of fitness technology, consider this your “Call to Post,” played by the famous bugler and all, and maybe even a fancy hat and a mint julep. This is a race you want to run!

The evolution of A vision of success tech for today’s fit pro 2019 PFP Trainer of the Year winner Andrea Leonard talks about seeking out – and even creating – opportunities that allow you to maximize your passion and potential. What programs do you rely on most for your business? The platforms and programs I rely on most are Excel for record keeping and data management, Constant Contact for marketing and email collection, and ZOOM and GoToWebinar for webinar presentations. How has technology changed the way you train and/or do business in the last 20 years? When I started writing my first book in 1995, I did not know how to use a computer and the internet was just coming into existence. I started teaching workshops by travelling around with a huge dry erase board. I finally gave in to learning how to use PowerPoint in 2002 and it was a gamechanger! Along with that, a portable projector! What advice would you give fit pros about how to best integrate technology in their career? Clarify your goals (sales, new leads, newsletters, etc.) and your budget. Many of the services I use cost $100+ per month. Try to learn how to do as much as you can on your own, even creating your own website at first, as it can save you thousands of dollars.

Cheers to your success!



Volume 21 | Issue 3





Integrating 24-hour wearables to optimize outcomes

Amy Boone Thompson Fitness is her business Lindsay Vastola

Greg Johnson





5 questions to ask when considering technology for your fitness business Bryan O’Rourke

A bilateral training approach for healthy hips Robert Linkul



LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Taking fitness to the horse track

Lindsay Vastola



Power Systems



FinTech for the fit pro

Dean Carlson



Why you should be conducting Stay Interviews

Melissa Knowles



Technology and the human connection

Farel Hruska



Leveraging technology for success

David Crump







Insure Fitness Group



Is education part of your client’s programming?

Rick Howard







The latest trends in fitness equipment





The experience you create is everything

Greg Justice



Count on Power Systems


ince 1986, Power Systems has been innovating and improving our fitness products to help you keep your facility up-to-date and train your clients with the best equipment on the market. In 2019, we continue our mission with a brand refresh, updating the look and modernizing the features and function of our iconic products. With more than 20 new or updated products so far this year, and many more to come, we are focused on staying ahead of fitness trends and providing our customers with top quality products to match. Our goal is to make ordering equipment for your facility straightforward and simple. We know that education is key when it comes to understanding and using fitness equipment properly; and your clients look to your expertise and training to help them achieve their goals safely and effectively. Our company started with an emphasis on education more than 30 years ago, and we continue that legacy now by offering more resources than ever before. Product information and usage videos, infographics, and webinars are in place to help you make the most informed decisions on equipment purchases.

Count on Power Systems for new equipment, new storage and new facility design services. Our facility design experts can take your vision and turn it into reality. With our new 3D design program, we have the capability to deliver a colorful, dimensional rendering of your new facility, renovation, or equipment refresh. Visuals are essential when planning improvements or expansions and can make a huge difference in getting buy-in from stakeholders and clients. Storage is a crucial part of any facility design. We’ve created four new, distinctive storage lines that will complement and enhance any

facility or training space. From lockable, mobile storage with our APEX series, to the fully modular with endless configurations of the Pinnacle line — we listened to our customers and designed storage options that work together for any situation. For 33 years, Power Systems has supported the fitness industry by offering the most extensive line of equipment, accessories, and resources. Today we are proud to provide you with a full-service catalog, from facility design to flooring, to quality products and storage, and assorted cardio equipment to complete your facility in one order. For more information about our new services and products, visit or gymstorage.


$20K for


JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST WINNERS WILL RECEIVE THIS GREAT $2,000 PACKAGE:  Insure Fitness Group Pro Package includes: Insure Fitness Group Membership valued at $169 (can set it up for a future active date) and a $250 gift card to  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)  $150.00 gift certificate by Power Systems  $100.00 voucher by FiTOUR  Foam Roller Set and Stretch Out Strap by OPTP ($70.00 value)






FinTech for the fit pro


inancial technology, or “FinTech” for short, is an emerging industry that seeks to automate and improve the delivery of financial services. Automated online trading, smartphone apps, wealth management and even financial education are covered in this broad definition. What it really comes down to is leveraging technology to help you manage your money more easily and efficiently. When many of us opened our gyms, we were paid the old-fashioned way. The really advanced among us would generate invoices for our customers and send them out a week before payment was due. But most of us ended up chasing down our clients for cash or check, every single month. These days, software like ZenPlanner or MindBody that integrate customer relationship management (CRM) and automated payment gateways allow us to automatically collect and deposit sales into our bank accounts. What we now take for granted was what created a huge shift in the industry less than a decade ago. One of the most overlooked functions of integrated CRM is the ability to pull detailed reports. Every month you should be looking at key numbers this type of software makes easy to access. What is your monthly Autopay? Average Client Value? Retail Sales? Total Payments Received? Payments Due? Total Number of Clients? Clients on Hold? Clients Lost? Tracking these numbers regularly helps you address problems and identify opportunities. FinTech makes it possible in seconds. Online banking is another financial technology that we may not be taking full advantage of. Verifying account balances, managing multiple accounts, transferring funds between accounts, and paying bills can all be done quickly and easily, at any time and from anywhere. Additionally, connecting your bank accounts to accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero has the advantage of ensuring you don’t miss transactions, and makes monthly reconciliations much easier for you or your bookkeeper. Other FinTech tools to consider are apps such as ReceiptBank or HubDoc, which eliminate bookkeeping data entry and document storage. Technology for the fitness pro is not only about heart rate monitors, sleep trackers and the latest online marketing strategy. Leveraging FinTech will help you get paid on time, track the numbers you need to know, streamline your accounting processes, and make more money.

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.

BEST PRACTICES Melissa Knowles

Why you should be conducting Stay Interviews


ost businesses know that they should have some formal, structured process for holding annual reviews. Employees expect and deserve them, budgeting is easier to manage with a process, and personnel files benefit from clear, consistent documentation. In good organizations, reviews may even be conducted on a more frequent basis. After all, millennials will comprise over 50% of the workforce within the next two years, and they demand frequent feedback. However, what many still fail to realize is that if you’re only having scheduled discussions concerning an employee’s performance, you’re missing the mark. Are you talking about goals? Are you digging into the reasons employees stay? Asking questions about why they may leave? Do they have an open forum to tell you what they need from you to enable them to reach their goals? The Stay Interview is an opportunity to build trust with employees and a chance to assess the degree of employee satisfaction and engagement. Employees prefer to work in an environment that cares to know about and understand their thoughts, needs, and feelings — especially when they see actions take place following a series of Stay Interviews. The insights gained from these interviews are valuable, and when acted upon can make a considerable impact in retention and employee satisfaction. Here are a few easy steps for incorporating Stay Interviews at your business:  The interviewer must be the employee’s direct supervisor.  The interview is a conversation, and listening is critical.  Don’t prep the employee in advance.  Change up your questions.  Be prepared for money to come up.  Be prepared to handle your complainers.  Make them answer all questions.  Keep it old school and put away the keyboard and laptop.  Take action. Schedule your interviews and get started! Remember, you’re taking a big step just by periodically asking your people if they're happy. Most employees are excited merely by the fact you’re concerned about their future and are taking the time to meet with them.

Melissa Knowles is Vice President of Operations for ClubReady. ClubReady is the industry’s leading management software for the studio space and offers solutions in billing, CRM, back-office services, mobile app, and member performance metrics display. With 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.




Farel Hruska

David Crump

Technology and the human connection

Leveraging technology for success



“Text me.” “Shoot me an email.” “DM me.” “Hit me up on Slack.” In a world where we have so many ways to “connect,” it seems we’ve never been more disconnected. Screen time is increasingly up, and face-to-face time is increasingly down. Modern technology has truly changed the game in our industry. Because of these advances, we can coach from afar, motivate and inspire virtually, create programming for clients around the world, create communities and connections from desktops worldwide, and build our businesses with ease. Technology provides access to people, locations and resources we never had before… it has opened doors that we never imagined existed! It’s beyond apparent that our technology and our reliance on it isn’t going away. In fact, we will likely see increasing advancements and usage in years to come. Here’s the awareness we must not lose; our human connections are crucial to our well-being and our careers. To start, connect with live video when it is available, look at faces and feel emotion when connecting. Even better, when possible, being in the same room with a client, a team member or a potential partner in business is a non-negotiable. The kinesthetic rewards of creating together, pushing each other, brainstorming together or aligning with your team in the same room is was creates magic. It must not be replaced. Dr. Ned Hallowell noted, “Human connection is an energy exchange between people who are paying attention to one another. It has the power to deepen the moment, inspire change and build trust.” We are humans who need each other; in life and in business. Celebrate the increased connections and touch points technology offers, all while seeking out ways to keep human interactions intact; you and your professional world will rise exponentially.

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 Farel’s most meaningful accomplishment, however, is being mom to her three daughters.



t’s hard to deny that technology has infiltrated nearly every industry and every part of an individual’s life. This has a two-way effect in that technology not only creates new efficiencies for current challenges, but also shapes the industry by creating new expectations and standards that expose wants the customer never knew they had. This means that as fitness professionals, we have to learn to use technology to some degree to keep pace with the market. Whether this means advertising or communicating via social media, using in-club technology to drive better member results, or using a client management system to streamline the customer experience, leveraging new technologies is a must for the modern-day coach or trainer. Fitness consumers are more connected than ever and one of the best moves gym owners and personal trainers can make is to bake technology into their service. The addition of in-club performance tracking systems such as MyZone or other heart rate monitoring devices is a great example. In addition to giving members or clients a fun way to push themselves, it also helps them set and maintain goals that they’re already working toward, such as completing a certain number of steps. This enhances the connection between life inside and outside the gym which also increases the likelihood of success and long-term adherence to a fitness program. Technology is not only improving the way customers get results, but also how they find and utilize the gym that will assist them on their journey. Social media platforms are a mainstay and there are some distinct opportunities to use them for marketing. Statistics show that most people will research online reviews or ask for recommendations from their network prior to giving their business to a service provider. Trainers or facilities that maintain a presence on social media are more likely to not only capture more business, but also to support their current or future clients by providing quality information or even access to book classes conveniently from their mobile device. Technology is moving fast and it’s pushing the fitness consumer’s expectations along with it. While being a great trainer is critical to maintaining success, it’s important to embrace these new technologies by integrating the ones we find useful for our unique client base. If the goal is to continue meeting clients where they’re at, then this is just another step.

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.



Who is Aktiv® Solutions?


t Aktiv, we design dynamic training areas for health clubs and specialty studios. From our premium line of functional training tools and thoughtfully crafted storage and suspension training systems, to our suite of digitalguided personal or group training displays, we are your partner in functional design and supply! Our mission is to establish safe, functional and revenue-generating spaces, while our clients deliver extraordinary exercise experiences. Our approach is rooted in three foundational mainstays: Design + Build + Program.

Design - FitnessDesignGroup® FitnessDesignGroup® serves as the planning and design arm of Aktiv Solutions. Over the past 20 years, we have provided spatial planning for well over 20,000 residential and commercial facilities worldwide. Clients include commercial health clubs, universities, studios, property developers, hotels and private residences. We deliver increased efficiencies, reduced costs, and the elevated offerings required in today’s highly competitive and demand-driven exercise environments. Build - The Functional Training Ecosystem® Integrating the principles of functional fitness with the technical expertise of functional design is our calling. Aktiv teams with the leading brands in fitness to deliver our Functional Training Ecosystem – a tailored and modular training environment designed to facilitate energizing and socially-engaged workouts. Our GYM RAX® smart rigging systems serve as a cornerstone for all storage and suspension support. Our Freedom Mount® anchor technology provides the safest and most efficient quick-change mounting system ever developed. Aktiv offers a complete line of functional training gear and partner products to outfit any space destined to become functional. Some of these products include:  NEW! The Aktiv® AQUA line of specialty tools incorporate water, creating a unique stabilization challenge during functional movement. Simply adjust the water level to achieve the desired weight for each workout and user. Waterproof and portable, Aktiv® AQUA products are ideal for outdoor and boot camp-style training.  NEW! Aktiv® BANDS connect to the GYM RAX® Bay with ease and facilitate limitless movement patterns across all planes for a truly dynamic functional training experience.  The Revvll ONE™ Variable resistance rope trainer provides unique and continuous strength training workout on demand. It’s the perfect tool to support endless rope training movements for users of all levels of experience.  Aktiv STRAPS™ Our next generation suspension system facilitates interchangeable attachments allowing for an unlimited amount of

training movements, grips, and total body inversion. Aktiv Straps™ can be suspended in single or dual anchor point configurations and are fabricated with the highest quality materials ensuring maximum safety and functionality. Digital Guidance & Program Support Aktiv’s guided training solutions deliver unlimited program variation for all facility types and just where you need it most.  Aktiv® TV This first-of-its-kind, flexible content management and distribution platform offers a limitless exercise-builder to facilitate any genre or skill progression; delivering dynamic, results-driven workouts and workout-of-the-day programming. Aktiv TV lives within an infinite scalable footprint and serves as a fully deployed solution for fitness facilities of all types and sizes.  Aktiv® Virtual Aktiv Virtual is a unique on-demand training experience designed to deliver individual and guided workouts within the footprint of a treadmill. Virtual trainers lead each user though the training session with expert level coaching, personalization and motivation.  Our Flagship Workshop Series, Designing The Exercise Experience®, will set the tone for how your clients and training team gain and retain engagement within the dynamic areas of your club. If you are in the business functional training, you should know Aktiv Solutions. For a limited time, PFP readers can enjoy 20% off all Aktiv products at Enter code PFP20.



Journey to Success


THE JOURNEY OF UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITY 1995-1996: Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach & Sports Massage Therapist (George Mason University) 1996-1997: Personal trainer (The Women’s Club) 1997-1998: Personal trainer & Leagues Manager (The Sporting Club at Aventine) 1997-2000: General Manager (National Women’s Basketball League) 1998-2003: Fitness Manager, then General Manager (The Sporting Club at Aventine) 2003-2005: National Fitness Director (Club One) 2005-2006: Owner & COO (Four Seasons Yoga) 2005-2011: National Project Director then COO (FIT4MOM) 2011-2017: National Director of Personal Training Services (The Wellbridge Company) 2004-present: Founder, Owner (In-Out Fitness Solutions Networking Group) 2017-present: National Customer Experience Manager (Les Mills US)

By Lindsay Vastola


Finding success along a journey of unexpected opportunity

ooking back about 25 years ago, if you asked Amy Boone Thompson about her future career, the successful two-sport collegiate athlete (basketball and volleyball) would have likely answered that she was going to be a P.E. teacher. She got her start in the fitness industry as an assistant strength and conditioning coach and sports massage therapist at George Mason University, then became a personal trainer at The Women’s Club in Chantilly, Va. which gave her the opportunity to work with many clients facing different diseases, conditions and challenges. Amy quickly realized that she could make a very real, positive impact through her work. Flash forward to today, on a typical work day, Amy is communicating and connecting, goal-setting and strategizing, leading and learning. In her current role as National Customer Experience Manager for Les Mills U.S., she works closely with 100 Les Mills’ west coast partners, including club chains and franchise partners to ensure that their group fitness program goals


are defined and met, instructors are reaching and exceeding expectations, executive teams are leading effectively, and education and marketing is engaging their customers. More than 20 years later, Amy still knows she can make a real, positive impact through her work. Over the span of her career, Amy has served many different roles in the fitness industry. Among others, she has served as trainer, as manager or director in several clubs and organizations, as chief operating officer of one of the fastest growing franchises, and as founder of the Fitness Professionals Networking Group. While she never sought out a specific career path, per se, what became apparent was that when she started in the fitness industry, she had no idea the breadth of opportunity the fitness industry offered beyond what many believe as the “traditional” path of the fitness professional. Currently a 2019 IDEA Fitness Leader of the Year finalist, Amy shares with us a glimpse into her journey to success along with her thoughts on the unexpected opportunities in fitness... Lindsay Vastola: If you were starting your fitness career today, would you approach your career differently than you did 20 years ago? Amy Boone Thompson: I had very little exposure to the careers that are available in our industry and/or how to prepare myself for the roles I



How do you suggest a fitness professional can create a meaningful experience for clients while also leveraging it from a business perspective, both inside and outside of the gym? In the club: adopt a “good, better, best” approach to engaging members into social-assisted exercise. For example, Best: live programs and coaching. Better: virtual classes in studios around peak times. Good: interactive programs on cardio floor. Outside of the club: Find your 360-degree solution. How will you engage with your members away from the club, at home and when they travel? Keep them connected to your facility and professionals. Leverage technology to offer programs/coaching through your club’s app or online platform.

have taken. I would tell every fitness professional to supplement their education with several business courses including marketing and accounting. I also have discovered the power of networking. Finding a group of like-minded professionals will help you to grow your career faster, give you access to education, resources and support that help you navigate and develop as a leader or business owner.


What do you believe are blind spots that hinder fitness professionals? The monotony of the job can lead to burn-out and complacency. I remind fitness professionals to fill their books with clients who “fill their bucket” so they look forward to training. Take on new roles and challenges to continue evolving. Find a career mentor to help you through sticking points and define career goals.


At what point did you realize that you wanted to commit your professional focus to where it is today? There were many points in my career where I took a leap of faith, a nudge from a mentor or followed my gut into the unknown and tried something new. At times, I wasn’t sure if it was the right path, but I knew I was learning and growing and that has been my guiding principle. The leadership roles I have taken broaden my impact by allowing me to work with fitness managers who in

In fact, they will be your biggest influencers. Focus on what you can do better, strive for excellence and then reach into your community using your influencers. What are your predictions for the next 20 years of fitness? Millennials and Gen Z already make up 80% of those paying for fitness globally. They are exercising more than previous generations. This trend is positive but trainers/clubs who aren’t evolving to meet the consumer demands such as high-quality virtual solutions, experiential design and touch points that extend the walls of your business, will fall behind. Evolve!

turn work with instructors and trainers who then work with hundreds of members. If there was one thing you believe could improve the fitness industry and/or the careers of fitness professionals and outcomes for clients, what would that be? A new perspective of the meaning of competition. Many fitness professionals feel they are in

competition with one another. There is always space for your unique personality, perspective and training style. You just need to find the clients that fit your style. Stop competing and start differentiating. Additionally, many clubs feel they are in competition with other clubs in their community for keeping staff and members. Take care of the people you have, and they won’t leave.

As one of ten siblings, as a mother to Nia (12) and Boone (9), as a connector, as a leader, as a professional, and as an advocate for the industry, Amy’s gifts of connection, vision and leadership continue to lead her journey to success – professionally and personally. Amy fully embodies her motto, “Fitness is my business;” always seeking how she can have greater impact in whatever role she serves, and more importantly, how she can connect, lead, and teach others to discover their unexpected opportunities by making fitness their business, too.




5 questions to ask when considering technology for your fitness business | By Bryan O’Rourke


even in ten business leaders today are worried about their ability to adopt new technologies, according to the 2018 Insight Intelligent Technology Index; and according to a 2017 survey by the firm The Alternate Board, 72 percent of business owners feel overwhelmed by their roles and responsibilities. This is not surprising given that most business owners have so much to do with little time to do it amidst a period of rapid technological and business change. The fitness and wellness industry is no exception; the Global Wellness Institute recently citing a 12.8% growth rate for the $4.2 trillion global wellness economy from 2015-2017. Fitness and wellness businesses and entrepreneurs are rushing in to take advantage of growth opportunities while juggling a lot of uncertainty in a changing and hyper-competitive marketplace impacted by increasing technological change. The implications of technology on fitness and wellness businesses cannot be understated. According to We Are Social, for example, the average U.S. consumer now spends 6 hours and 31 minutes online with about half of that via a mobile device. Tens of millions


of consumers are now using streaming fitness services, apps, wearables, and new business models are all part of the fitness landscape for consumers and competitors today. At the same time new technologies have emerged and then disappeared rapidly; remember the Blackberry and MySpace? With these trends increasingly impacting operations, business models, marketing, and consumer interactions, how can fitness businesses navigate the challenges of figuring out what technology to adopt or how it should be implemented? The answer? Context is key. When evaluating technologies for your fitness business as an owner or operator there are five key interrelated questions you should focus on to form the basis of a plan and strategy so that your adoption of technology - to the extent you need it - can be wisely deployed. Assessment: Where is your business now and where is it going? Technologies should serve a business strategy. Having a strategy begins with the basics of a SWOT analysis: what are your internal strengths and weakness, and what are your external threats and opportunities? If you



have been operating a traditional health club business for years in a competitive marketplace and are seeing declining membership, you might ask, “Is it time to sell?” Alternatively, if you are evaluating becoming a fitness business owner you want to understand how you might best compete because there is a plethora of available models available today. Truly understanding your specific marketplace, capabilities, options, and the stage of your business lifecycle are the foundation for understanding the reasons behind what you might do or not do when it comes to technology adoption. Mindset: Are you open to change? A big challenge and opportunity for many fitness businesses is how they view the world and how adaptable they are to change. Today, relying too much on past beliefs, or being romantic about past practices and what worked in the past, can hinder a business from seeing the benefits of change. A “why” mindset that is open to new possibilities is essential in a world full of change. Of course, your mindset must be tempered by the reality of where you are today and where you want to go.


HOW CAN FITNESS BUSINESSES NAVIGATE THE CHALLENGES OF CHOOSING AND IMPLEMENTING TECHNOLOGY? THE ANSWER? CONTEXT IS KEY.” User experience: What value proposition and experience do you provide your clients? This can be a complex question. In a growing marketplace, diversification or segmentation of your business model can have a large bearing on your ability to execute, your ability to target specific clients, and your ability to deliver on a very specific and valuable user experience. The brand SoulCycle, for example, was able to create a specific experience that enabled them to adapt their mobile app and business model in a highly seamless way. The more generic or broad the services you provide, the greater the complexity in adopting technology. It is essential that you have a clear idea of what you are delivering so that when you are evaluating technology it is clear as to how it might best be applied from the perspective of the user. The good news is that today, cloud platforms enable fitness business owners to adopt a multitude of technology solutions which support user experiences in a way that was nearly impossible and too expensive not long ago.



Economics: Is your business model sustainable?

How you make money, not just this month, but for years to come, is very important to understand. In the fitness business, as with many industries, really exploring the economics of the business is often left undone. Without working capital and a true understanding of costs and revenue opportunities, the wrong priorities and business measures are set. When evaluating the adoption of technology without understanding key economics, you might be barking up the wrong tree. Seek economic benchmarks from industry associations like IHRSA and others. Do your homework on your business model. Understand how your business is going to sustain itself in the long run. Explore how can new tech tools can lower costs or enhance revenue. Execution: Do you have a plan around your business platform? Execution is key and SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms which enable the automation of marketing and service functions while recruiting the talent you need are all part of executing a profitable user experience. As costs rise to hire people, automating low value tasks so that you can deliver great user


experiences through your highly trained professionals is key. Delivering this experience consistently in a convenient, frictionless manner enables a fitness business to scale. Having your hands around a plan that leverages technology platforms to execute on user experience and economics is key. The next time you are evaluating technologies, keep these five interrelated considerations in mind. Technologies are a tool. If you consider them in the context of your business while answering these questions you can be clearer about what to do, where to go, and why.

Bryan O’Rourke serves in a variety of leadership positions in technology, wellbeing, and fitness. He is a noted keynote speaker, author and business owner of Gold’s Gym Houston, Fitness 24 Seven Thailand, and Vedere Ventures which has invested in Vertimax. com, Motosumo and others. He is President of the Fitness Industry Technology Council which supports the Fitness + Technology Podcast and a member of the IHRSA board of directors. You can follow him on most major social platforms @bryankorourke or visit to learn more.




Integrating 24-hour wearables to optimize outcomes | By Greg Johnson


n average client sees a fitness professional three times a week; that’s a total of about three hours. Three hours out of 168 hours in a week; 12 hours out of 672 in a four-week span. One of the most challenging tasks as a trainer and coach is to monitor and optimize the hours and days we don’t see our clients. As a result of the strides and accessibility to technology, particularly wearables, it makes it easier than ever to not only see how your clients are performing, but creates the opportunity to create more consistent lifestyle patterns and optimize training sessions. Over the past five years, wearables have been one of the top fitness trends every year and will likely continue to be for some time. The consecutive growth is a result of the ability to more accurately measure data, the advanced research on this data, and most importantly, the cost of attaining this data has significantly decreased. This technology is now more acces-


sible to the general public without advanced testing. What used to only be measured in doctors’ offices or high-tech sports labs for thousands of dollars, are now measured at the click of a button from an app or a convenient wearable device at a fraction of the cost. The most popular current wearables and technology primarily focus on what is happening to your body in the current moment. Some examples are heart rate monitors, step counters, GPS trackers, or self-reporting apps such as calorie counters and fitness apps. These are great options to look at several aspects such as distance traveled, effort given, overall calories burned during workouts or even to simply remind us to stand up after sitting too long. But what about the value of a person’s overall health trends that is happening over a course of a day, week, or month? Enter the 24-hour wearable technology! The latest and most advanced wearable technology is now focused on overall


body health. To do this, this technology is not only looking at real-time data such as current workout heart rate, calories burned, miles completed, pace, intensity or steps; this wearable technology focuses on other variables that are designed to be analyzed as trends. The two most significant numbers are resting heart rate (RHR) and heart rate variability, (HRV). As fitness professionals, we understand the value of these numbers as valuable indicators of health, but we now have the opportunity to easily integrate this technology to educate our clients and adjust our programming. HRV is a measure of the variation in the time between each heartbeat in milliseconds. For example, if your RHR is 60 beats per minute (BPM), that doesn’t actually mean your heart beats once per second. You could have consecutive beats of 0.90 seconds, 1.10 seconds 0.89, 0.95, 1.13, and so on. A healthy heart rate has healthy variability to it,

therefore the higher variability you have, the healthier your body currently is. HRV should be measured at rest and is not attainable without proper technology; however, RHR is more easily measured by either technology or simply taking your resting heart rate each morning and documenting it. Most 24-hour wearable technology can now measure RHR. Why are these numbers so valuable to a trainer and client? And, more important, how do we use them? There is ongoing extensive research available on RHR and HRV. Although there are optimal ranges, (for example, an optimal average RHR is generally from 60-80 beats per minute) we care more about an individual’s daily measurements in comparison to their trending averages, not their daily measurement as a standalone metric. Have you ever had a client that seems to be doing everything right in the gym and not making any significant progress? This is where more data can help. Several factors can negatively affect training, which affects RHR and HRV. Some examples are stress, lack of quality sleep, overtraining, inadequate hydration or nutrition, a compromised im-

mune system, or even something as simple as seasonal allergies. This is where a client’s data can significantly change how you train them. Here’s an example: If John’s average RHR over a span of a month is 58 beats per minute, and we see a few days of 62-65 beats per minute, that usually means his body is fatigued or not recovering from activity or his lifestyle habits over the previous days. Giving him a brutal, butt-kicker of a workout may not be the best idea. Had you not seen this data, you would likely continue to train him as his program dictates, potentially leading to negative effects on his progress. When assessing the data, you may find that he has had too little sleep over the past several days, or he had been doing more activity than normal on his off days. So instead of giving him a tough workout or trying to ramp-up his heart rate for points and calories, he may be better off focusing on recovery. Many preferred methods for recovery are body work, massage, cryotherapy, low-level corrective and mobility work, and a reminder to take a day off and go to bed a little earlier. The most exciting aspect of the increasing

technology is that there will soon be wearables for the general public which will monitor even more advanced biometrics such as insulin, cortisol, and other blood markers. As trainers and coaches, we need to understand that we can only do so much in the few hours we work with a client; but getting our clients and athletes to focus on the things that need to happen on a regular basis outside of the gym will significantly and positively impact their progress and training. It starts with us to understand the research and data in order to educate ourselves and train our clients more effectively.

Greg Johnson, CSCS, is the owner and head trainer of Varimax Fitness in Sacramento, Calif., and has worked with fitness and rehabilitation clients for more than 15 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Fitness and Rehabilitation from Plymouth State College, with a minor in Health and Wellness and a master’s degree in Kinesiology from the California University of Pennsylvania, with concentrations in Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention. His awards include 2015 Life Fitness Top Trainer to Watch; 2016 TPI “Chance at the Best” winner; and 2017 PFP Trainer of the Month.



SEEKING MUSCULAR EQUALITY A bilateral training approach for healthy hips | By Robert Linkul


t the age of 36 I had three total hip replacements. The third replacement was due to a dislocation of my left hip two days after surgery. Due to a muscular ‘overdevelopment’ I created in my body as a result of more than 15 years turning, lifting and throwing the hammer (track and field) in the same direction, my hip dislocated and required a new cup placement that would anticipate my imbalance and keep the ball and socket joint secured in place. This type of muscular imbalance is commonly found in almost everyone as we are all creatures of habit. We repeat the same muscular movement patterns over and over again for the majority of our lives. It’s been three years since my third surgery, and during that time I have become obsessed with developing a progressive resistance training program that will assist my clients with slowing down or preventing the degeneration of their hips as they age, and with seeking muscular equality among their appendages. There are three common causes for hip degeneration and muscular inequality: 1. Lack of movement (undertraining): Undertraining (or not training) causes muscu-


lar atrophy as little or no stress is placed on the muscular system. Arthritis and osteoporosis can occur as little or no stress is placed on the skeletal system, causing the bones, ligaments and tendons to weaken, leading to pain and/or discomfort. 2. Excessive movement (overtraining): Excessive (high-volume) movements abuse the joints often causing rheumatoid or osteoarthritis and the degeneration of joint ligaments and muscular tendons. In the hips, this can cause bone spurs, torn labrums, excessive pain, emotional depression and/or drastically decrease quality of life. 3. One-side dominance: Common movement patterns like kicking with the same leg, throwing with the same arm, carrying more weight in the non-dominant hand, stepping up with the non-dominant leg first, etc. causes muscular imbalances over a lifetime. Unfortunately, these imbalances negatively affect the body, often leading to discomfort, pain or injury. If these issues are not addressed, the development of poor and/or painful movement will begin to occur. Eventually, the client will need extensive physical therapy, surgery or a


total join replacement to resolve their issues. The average age of the client at our studio, Be STRONGER Fitness, is 63 years old and the majority of their limitations revolve around the hips. We have become recognized for assisting our clients in reducing their pain levels, equaling their muscular balance, slowing down their degeneration or resolving their issues altogether. The primary component of our hip-improvement program is teaching our progressive “bilateral hinge” approach that graduates a client to the next movement once they achieve performance without pain or discomfort. Once all six movements have been introduced, progressed in resistance and then graduated to the next movement, the client is then ready to perform each with varied volumes of repetitions, sets, loads, progressive loads, tempos and recovery periods. A minimum 12-week training period should be implemented, allowing for the mastery of the bilateral movement patterns to occur and a base level of strength and stability to be established. Once that is completed, the client can then be introduced to the unilateral training approach.

HORIZONTAL HINGE PROGRESSION Demonstrated by Be STRONGER Fitness client Gerry Knapp (75 years old, hip replacement, cancer survivor)

1st: Band self-anchored glute bridge  Toes up (dorsiflex)  Shoulders tucked together; chest up  Lift hips in-line with shoulders & knees  Pull down with supinated hands on band

2nd Band feet elevated glute bridge  Toes up (dorsiflex)  Shoulders tucked together; chest up  Lift hips in-line with shoulders & knees to a higher range of motion  Pull down with supinated hands on band

3rd Band shoulders elevated glute bridge  Toes up (dorsiflex)  Place mid-shoulder on bench  Shoulders tucked together; chest up  Lift hips in-line with shoulders & knees  Keep chin neutral or slightly down

VERTICAL HINGE PROGRESSION Demonstrated by Be STRONGER Fitness client Susan Knapp (76 years old, multiple shoulder and lower back injuries)

4th: Band self-anchored hinge & retraction shrug  Push hips up & back  Keep knees soft to avoid locking  Hold shoulders in neutral retraction  Keep chin in a neutral position  Retract shoulders up and back at the top of the lift

5th: Barbell rack pull  Place safety racks just above deepest hinge position  Push hips up & back  Keep knees soft to avoid locking  Hold shoulders in neutral retraction  Keep chin in a neutral position  Retract shoulders up and back at the top of the lift

6th: Hex Bar deadlift  Push hips up & back  Bend the knees & lower to the floor  Keep knees soft to avoid locking  Hold shoulders in neutral retraction  Keep chin in a neutral position  Retract shoulders up and back at the top of the lift

Go to for part two, featuring the unilateral training approach for healthy hips. SUMMER 2019 | WWW.PERSONALFITNESSPROFESSIONAL.COM | 21





ou may recognize Scott Colby as the personal trainer, online transformation coach, and creator of well-known online training programs. Though Scott’s message of fitness and transformation has impacted thousands since his start in the industry in 1999, it was in 2014, while on a volunteer trip to Guatemala to help build schools, when Scott realized he had the opportunity to share an even more powerful message. While in Guatemala, he was struck by the positivity, gratitude, and graciousness of the people despite having little access to clean water, limited food, and living in small, run-down homes. Since then, he has been committed to sharing with the world a message that transcends even the transformative benefits of fitness: the message of gratitude. With his company, Say It With Gratitude; his book, The Grateful Entrepreneur; as a speaker; and as a provider of workplace training and retreats, he is creating a movement where the practice of gratitude is making an impact for more meaningful outcomes in business and in everyday connection and relationships. Here is how Scott Colby is sharing his message‌


My ideal clients are fitness business owners, health and fitness professionals, and other service providers who believe in developing relationships to build their business. My message is to help fitness professionals cultivate relationships with their clients by using gratitude in their business in order to increase retention and get more referrals. If I had only one way to share my message it would be speaking, because I can connect with the audience in a more personal way. There is an opportunity to get to know each audience member individually with that in-person connection. Successful messaging is most effective when you’ve built a personal relationship with your ideal client and engage with them on a personal level. People follow me because I reach people at an emotional level by reminding them the power of practicing gratitude and the importance of connecting with people at a time we are more disconnected than ever.





The gear you need in and out of the gym


s fitness professionals we’re always on the lookout for the latest and greatest of everything— workouts, supplements, nutrition advice for our clients, you name it. We want new programs and equipment that will help expand our services, our clientele and help us make more money. We’re here to tell you that what you really need for your success can’t necessarily be bought at an annual fitness convention or online retail store. This “tool” will provide longevity to your career, give you peace of mind, travel with you, and... protect your career. Can you guess what it is? Professional liability insurance. You may be thinking, “Who needs insurance? I’m great at what I do.” The truth is, this is exactly why you need it. You’re great at what you do, and nothing should jeopardize the career you love in the fitness industry. What exactly is liability insurance for fitness professionals? Professional liability insurance is insurance for your career that protects you, as the professional. This will cover you for:  Incidents that may happen inside of the gym or studio as well as on-site training.  Slip and fall incidents that may occur in the gym. The truth is accidents happen and although you are a trained professional, bodily injury can occur. How many times have we pushed ourselves too far during a workout? If a client is with you for a training session and they slip or over-exhaust themselves and need medical treatment, they can file a claim against you—as the professional. This can lead to a lawsuit, a bad reputation, and money out of your pocket. We know that you are a well-informed trainer, but there are incidents you can’t always prevent while a client is in your care during a session. But I thought my gym or studio covers me? Yes. Many gyms or studios are required to have business insurance. This means that if a client sues the business, the name on the door is protected. However, this does not guarantee that the trainer is included. Also, this does not protect you at outside events or on-site services. We’ve all performed services outside of the gym (don’t worry, we won’t tell on you). However, it is important to understand that though you are at

a gym or studio, being a professional means that you are an entrepreneur and you - and only you - are responsible for your liability risk. Who is Insure Fitness Group? Insure Fitness Group is a national organization that supports fitness professionals by offering an instant, affordable liability insurance solution, as well as business resources and tools to help you be successful. We believe in the work that you do; and we know that as more people come to you for your coaching and services, it is necessary that you protect your reputation and your business. We have developed an inclusive liability insurance program, tailored specifically to fitness professionals, so that you can continue to help your clients look and feel better. Our program offers full protection for more than 350+ programs, as well as professional business support and member benefits. Exclusive Offer! PFP readers save $20 now! Call 800.379.7799 or visit


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.



 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.






V2 Max Plus™ Reformer


The V2 Max Plus Reformer is a versatile piece of Pilates equipment that facilitates limitless exercise possibilities. Equipped with a raised mat platform, movable carriage and our innovative Vertical Frame with retractable rope system and travelling pulleys, the V2 Max Plus Reformer offers clients a number of ways to work with resistance and tension, making it the premier tool for Pilates-based sports conditioning, cross-training or rehab. Be mindful of your balance when using this equipment and follow all safety instructions.

Resistance: 3-4 springs Starting position: Neutral, reaching arms to the ceiling while holding Toning Balls™. Push off footbar and open arms horizontally. Return carriage and lift arms to ceiling back to starting position.

Supine Ab Crunches

Triceps Press

Resistance: 2-3 springs Starting position: Supine, imprinted position with legs bent in tabletop, hands behind head and extension straps around thighs just above knees. Flex upper torso and pull knees towards you, then return to starting position. Can keep head up for extra abdominal challenge.

Resistance: 1-2 springs Starting position: On the Reformer Box start in prone with neutral spine, arms flexed with elbows by side while holding ropes. Extend arms and spine simultaneously. Return to starting position. Can be done holding neutral to prevent overworking lumbar spine.


Footwork with Pec Fly

Exercises from Merrithew™ - Leaders in Mindful Movement™

Plank with Shoulder Press Roll Down with Obliques Resistance: 1-2 springs Starting position: Sit facing pulleys with neutral pelvis and spine, hold handles with arms rounded in front of chest. Roll away from Vertical Frame, pulling straps to chest, rotate spine and open arms keeping the carriage still. Rotate back to center and repeat on other side before returning to starting position.

Hug a Moon Resistance: ½-1 spring Starting position: Kneel on carriage facing side with arm closest to pulleys holding strap out horizontally. Press arm up to ceiling, then return to starting position. Can be done with elbow bent until able to stabilize torso in neutral and build shoulder strength.

Resistance: 1-2 springs Starting position: Hands on carriage and toes tucked against Cardio-Tramp® Rebounder or Jumpboard™, plank position in neutral full stop. Push carriage with arms, go as far as stability can be maintained, then return to starting position. If done with lighter tension, it increases core challenge; higher tension will challenge arms and shoulders further.

Jumping with Obliques Resistance: ½-1 spring Starting position: Hands behind head, upper spine in flexion and lower spine imprinted, feet parallel and hip distance apart on Cardio-Tramp® Rebounder or Jumpboard™. Push off with both feet to jump; pull one knee towards chest and twist upper body towards it. Return carefully to starting position. Make sure to articulate feet as to minimize impact through lower kinetic chain joints. SUMMER 2019 | WWW.PERSONALFITNESSPROFESSIONAL.COM | 27

NEW ON THE MARKET The latest trends in fitness equipment


LINDSAY’S REVIEW: GRIPBELL The Gripbell is a fresh product on the scene that fits the bill for all three of the factors I look for in new equipment: functionality, versatility and convenience. With its unique design offering multiple grip positions, a user can safely and seamlessly perform several movements. The Gripbell can add versatility and creativity to a training program – a definite advantage, especially if you’re looking for efficiency and space-saving options. Gripbell’s simple-yet-effective design, coupled with its ease-of-use, makes for an ideal new addition for any level of fitness enthusiast or professional.




The new FITBENCH ONE allows you the space you need to get the most out of your workout. The FITBENCH ONE gives a new approach to accessory storage, elevating molded top, and doubles as a plyobox. The FITBENCH ONE comes with and neatly stores: six resistance bands (FITBANDS), six commercial grade dumbbell sets, two kettlebells, and one slam ball. The FITBENCH ONE also has three wheels with 360-degree movement and locking feet to ensure users get the most out of their fitness space.

This essential tool aligns and mobilizes the spine, improves posture and helps develop balance and control. It has all the functionality of a traditional Pilates Arc with a couple of added benefits: you can flip it over onto its curved side to do balance exercises, and the light yet durable construction has excellent portability. Used curved side up, it’s ideal for exercises in prone, supine and sidelying positions. Rest the barrel curved side down, and it becomes a wobble board, with a flat platform and a durable, padded base.


The Revvll ONE mobile rope trainer provides continuous variable resistance on demand. It’s the perfect tool to support endless rope training movements for users of all experience types. This modality is one of the most effective ways to train strength and endurance in the upper body and core. Rope resistance training offers the highest time-under-tension and a constant but adjustable resistance for pushing and pulling movements. The Revvll ONE is extremely compact, light, and can be anchored almost anywhere.

ELITE POWER MEDICINE BALL PRIME The Elite Power Medicine Ball Prime features a textured grip surface and provides a strong, quick rebound for speed and power training. Eleven weights complete the set – all a consistent 11" diameter. The color-coded seams identify each weight while maintaining the clean, modern monochrome look facilities crave.


JUNE IDEA World Convention & Expo June 26-30, Anaheim, CA

IDEA Club & Studio Summit June 26-30, Anaheim, CA

MedFit Tour at IDEA World June 29, Anaheim, CA

JULY NSCA National Conference July 10-13, Washington, DC

AAAI/ISMA’S “Certification Celebration” July 13-14, Amherst, NJ

NFPT Personal Trainer Certification Workshop July 13-14, Philadelphia, PA August 3-4, Seattle, WA August 10-11, San Francisco, CA August 17-18, Hollywood, CA September 14-15, Chicago, IL Save 10% with code: PFP19

Club Industry Business Summit and MANIA® Convention July 26-28, Atlanta, GA Save $40 with code: PFP

FitnessFest Conference and Expo July 27-28, San Jose, CA Save $25 with code: PFP2019

AUGUST DCAC Fitness Convention August 2-3, Reston, VA

canfitpro / 2019 Fitness Convention and Trade Show Auugst 14-18, Toronto, Ontario

Medical Fitness Tour

Auugst 15-17, Seattle, WA

AAAI/ISMA’S “One World” Fitness Certification & Education Conference August 16-18, Cape Cod, MA









Personal Fitness Professional (PFP) media is offering a first-of-its-kind, interactive, and highly-personalized one-day workshop, where you will have the opportunity to learn directly from fitness industry specialists who are in-the-know: a publisher, a national speaker and magazine editor, and a public relations expert. They have collaborated their expertise to create the Impact & Influence Action Plan to give you the exact framework, action steps, and resources you need to turn your ambition to be published or to become a sought-after speaker and turn it into real impact and influence.


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THEN & NOW Greg Justice

The experience you create is everything


n this fast-paced world, everyone wants the greatest and best in technology. When I first started my business in 1986, cell phones were the size of bricks. By 1989, the first real pocket-sized phones were coming out, and now the iPhone just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We, as a society, put such an emphasis on technology, some businesses forget why they started serving customers in the first place. They are too worried about having better technology than the other guys. In the words of Sean Gerety, “The technology you use impresses no one. The experience you create with it is everything.” If we take a look back at where we came from, the advances we’ve made astound me. In 2000, the year we thought was going to end society as we knew it, Sim’s was all the rage. Making your little avatar run around and do the everyday things we do ourselves was entertainment for hours. Remember when Google was just a baby? Now they have their own phones. I don’t even use another search engine

You can have all the technology in the world, but what keeps people coming back is the personal connection you make between the technology and their time with you. anymore. Then in 2005, we got YouTube which has revolutionized how we do everything. Don’t know how to cook a turkey? Want to learn how to do an exercise? Need a laugh? YouTube it. We hit 2010 entering full swing of the digital age. Apple, who almost went under, is now thriving and announcing the release of the first iPad. Thanks to Kindle, we can hold a whole library in our hands. Now, in 2019, we have virtual realities, and houses run by Google at the command of our voice. With the obvious benefits that come with technology, it’s no wonder things move so quickly. But as professionals in the personal training world, we must ask, what does this technology have to offer in the realm of exercise and fitness? Well, look down at your wrist. I would take a good guess and say most of you are wearing a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or Garmin device. These watches give us the ability to track our own heart rate, sleep patterns, exercise minutes, and so much more. In essence, they make it easy and convenient to track our individual fitness journey.

We could even put Bluetooth headphones into this category. They make it easier than ever to get your music seamlessly to your ears while you’re squatting, running, or lifting without the tangle of cords. Techno gyms have machines that count reps for you, measure your range of motion, show you optimal length, and some treadmills even move at your speed without you having to set it. With all of these things, why would our clients need a trainer? Looking back at the quote by Sean Gerety, I can tell you why good trainers are so important in one word: experiences. Personal trainers can use as much technology as they want. In fact, I encourage it, but it will mean nothing if it does not give the client the personalized attention they need and deserve. You can have all the technology in the world, but what keeps people coming back is the personal connection you make between the technology and their time with you. So, no matter how far fitness technology evolves over the next 20 years, I am confident that there will still be smiling, human trainers around. By remaining focused on delivering an experience and a personal connection, trainers can do much more than any gadget or equipment could ever do.

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.



The 2020 PFP Trainer of the Year (TOTY) will be selected from the 2019 Trainer of the Month (TOTM) winners. Apply at

 Lifetime membership to The Academy online resource and community for fitness business owners by Fitness Revolution ($599.00 value)  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!









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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  Insure Fitness Group Pro Package ($919.00 value) includes: • Insure Fitness Group Membership that can be set-up for a future active date ($169.00 value) • $500 gift card for • $250 gift card to fuel your fitness career (winners choice from fitness sites)  PowerBlock U50 Club Set ($795.00 value) •

TOTM PRIZE PACKAGE VALUED OVER $3,250!  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) • 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)  AAAI/ISMA “One World” Conference Registration ($150.00 value)  $100.00 Power Systems gift certificate  $100 e-gift card to Tango or from Insure Fitness Group  One in-home certification from FiTOUR ($99.00 value)






Let It Move You.






Lindsay Vastola



here are countless avenues that lead to a career in the fitness industry. One could argue that this accessibility, in turn makes fitness more accessible to the growing number of people who need it most. A second could then argue that this very accessibility into the industry is what undermines the value of a qualified fitness professional. And then the third could argue the definition of a “qualified fitness professional.” For a moment, though, I’d like to encourage us to set aside the debates and all-valuable points of view and see what matters through the lens of the fitness consumer… after all, they are the ones we are serving. Consumers continue to have more choice than ever -- big box clubs and lifestyle centers, boutique studios and quickly-growing franchises, recreation programs and senior centers, just to top the list. And we can’t dismiss the influence and appeal of virtual programs, online trainers, wearables and live streaming options. With all these options then, how does a consumer choose? Two primary factors influence their buying decision: convenience and credibility. Convenience covers the more practical factors of accessibility, options, ease-of-use, the financial investment, and so on. In short, convenience is how successfully your business model can help them solve their specific problem. Credibility is a bit more subjective. A number of factors can sway credibility in your favor – years in business, involvement in the community, awards and recognition,



affiliations, published works, public speaking, web presence, client testimonials, positive online reviews, and trusted references. In short, credibility is how successfully your experience can help them solve their specific problem. If you’re a fitness professional who values education, you might be seething in frustration right now, asking yourself, “Convenience and credibility are great, but why doesn’t education and knowledge matter more to the consumer?” The reality is that today’s average fitness consumer isn’t aware of the benefits of working with a fitness professional who is committed to continual learning, let alone have any understanding of what education and knowledge actually mean in our line of work. The only way they will become aware is if you make it matter

to them. You must help them understand how your knowledge can help them solve their specific problem. In this special issue, our goal is to share the value of continuing education through the lens of the people you serve. Successfully communicating why your knowledge matters and how your knowledge helps you help them, is when you will fully realize the value of your education… and the reason your clients will understand that it matters even more than convenience and credibility. Cheers to your continued success,


Seeing education through a new lens




3 ways to leverage your knowledge

Nutrition coaching defined






Credibility & convenience

Lindsay Vastola



Andrea Leonard







COMMUNICATE, SHOW AND SHARE 3 ways to leverage your knowledge Angie Pattengale |


here are many approaches and strategies to successful marketing, programming, and retention. While all these factors are an important part of success, it is imperative to keep in mind that when a client makes a decision to invest in a fitness professional, they should feel confident that the person they are hiring is experienced and knowledgeable. Leveraging your knowledge and experience will not only help you attract more clients but will help you keep them longer. Here are three ways to leverage your knowledge as an important part of your success as well as that of your clients. 1. Communicate your knowledge

On the onset of a new trainer-client relationship, even if they don’t ask, share your relevant knowledge and experience and how it will help them accomplish their goals. Then,



on an ongoing basis, keep their confidence by sharing with them your continuing education. Whether it is represented in the form of a certification/title/credential or through your professional development as a trainer, it is to your benefit to share this with your clients. When your clients know that you’re serious about what you do, they tend to stick around. They feel invested and accountable to someone who knows more than they do, and who gives them more than what they can do on their own. In your first interaction with a new client, make sure to have a conversation-opener that is about yourself and why/how you got started in fitness. Take them on your fitness journey and let them know why this is important to you. Give them an idea of what is required to become a certified fitness professional and requirements for continuing education; this will help garner respect and confidence in investing in you. Just

remember, there is a point before you lose the attention of your ‘audience’ or before it sounds like you’re on a soap box making the conversation all about you. Keep it short, 3-5 minutes and relevant to the individual. Practice your introduction in the mirror if you have to. Don’t discount the value in being prepared, even in something you think should come naturally. Keep your self-introduction focused on why you are going to be a great trainer for them; not why you are so great. 2. Show your knowledge

You probably have multiple social media profiles and perhaps a website. If not, consider a simple plug-and-play site that gives you a place to direct current and potential clients to learn more about you. Your timeline, stories, feeds and shares on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms are doing this for you in a way that is necessary; but, for as little as $5-

$10 a month, you can use a simple drag and drop template to create a website that serves as an upgrade to your media platform. A simple yet sleek website can be a professional addition to your marketing that leverages your knowledge and your passion for fitness. 3. Share your knowledge

Whenever you take the time to further your education, tell the world about it! Share what you’re doing as you are doing it. When you take a class, course, webinar or seminar – post and share it across your social platforms (and, if you have one, update your ‘Latest Learning’ section on your website). Share a take-away you learned or enjoyed and how it will help you help your clients. Leverage your knowledge to keep your clients from looking elsewhere

When investing in any service, you want

to feel like you’re getting what you pay for. When you get what you pay for, you are less likely to look elsewhere. Fitness is no different; your goal is to keep your clients from looking somewhere else. Even if you are new to your fitness career, you still have your foundational education to share. While getting your initial credentials was your first step to becoming a fitness professional, it’s not the title or certificate that keeps your clients coming back for more. Prioritizing your continuing education and leveraging it by communicating it, showing it and sharing it, will show your clients that you care about being the best at your craft; that it’s your livelihood and you want to know as much about it as possible so that you can continually serve them better. Leveraging your knowledge with a client-centered approach that is purposeful and professional ultimately helps to

leverage what you are really offering your clients – you.

Angie Pattengale has been with National Federation of Professional Trainers, NFPT, since 1994, currently serving as the Director of Certification. She is a graduate of Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, currently directing the growth initiatives and quality assurances of the NFPT personal trainer certification program. She leads efforts that assure the skill set competency of NFPT-CPTs through legally defensible, job-specific, knowledge-based assessments which serve to promote the credentialing value of the NFPT-CPT credential. Angie works to support and advance the NFPT Certification mission as it relates to health, public safety and industry authority. 2019 CONTINUING EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT | 9

CREATE AN EFFECTIVE CEU STRATEGY Not all CEUs are created equal Andrea Leonard |


ears ago, a seasoned trainer once told me he made $110/ hour, compared to my $45. In shock, I asked him how he justified his rates. His answer was unforgettable, “I tell my clients that they would not expect to walk into a Volkswagen dealership and drive out in a Porsche.” In other words, you get what you pay for. If you want to demand a



higher hourly rate, you better have something to show for it. This is just one reason why becoming a specialist by specializing your continuing education and experience creates the potential for you to reap many rewards. Determine what sets you apart

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the number of personal trainers will hit

338,000 in the United States this year based on population growth and increasing interest in health and fitness1. Employment of fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow 10 percent between 2016 and 2026, faster than the average for all occupations1. The median annual wage for fitness trainers and instructors was $39,820 in May 20181. Based on this information alone, fitness professionals should be asking themselves, “What sets me apart from every other fitness professional?” Grab a pen and paper and write it down. Is your paper blank? Maybe one or two semi-meaningful differentiations? Your continuing education strategy should align with your differentiating factors to continue to make you stand-out. Create your continuing education strategy

Every fitness certification requires that you acquire a certain number of continuing education hours, typically every two years, to maintain your certification. Continuing education is designed to make sure that you are

education on becoming a medical fitness specialist. Case study: medical fitness specialist

Would you want your primary care doctor to perform your brain surgery? Medical professionals specialize to earn the distinction of neurosurgeon, orthopedic specialist, OBGYN, etc. and with that comes a bigger paycheck. The same thing can apply to you as a trainer. Look to organizations such as the MedFit Network, Functional Aging Institute, and the Medical Fitness Association that are playing a role in moving the in the direction of medical fitness specialties to cater to the Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers. In 2019, at 72 million, the population of Baby Boomers will begin to plateau, while the Generation X population (ages 36 to 51 in 2016) is projected to surpass Boomers by 20282. These populations have two obvious

current with guidelines and best practices, but there is a wide-range of available options and it’s important that your continuing education strategy is relevant to you and your clients as not all CEUs are created equal. Do you find yourself scrambling for continuing education units (CEUs) a few months before you are due to renew? Are you always searching for the least expensive way - in both time and money - to accomplish your goal in time? Are you shying away from a relevant course or certification because of the price tag? While this is certainly a means to an end, you are potentially short-changing yourself professionally. Instead of simply looking for CEUs to meet your requirements, what if you took the opportunity to add another certification or advanced qualification to your resume? It’s imperative to create a continuing education strategy that increases your value for both your career and your clients. Here is a case study demonstrating how a fitness professional can move from generalist to a specialist by focusing their continuing

similarities, disposable income and an aging body. If you’re looking to build a thriving and sustainable business as a fitness professional, you will want to strongly consider on focusing on a target clientele that: 1. Is growing in numbers 2. Can afford to pay you what you deserve 3. Sees the value in the service you provide 4. Needs your expertise to remain healthy or recover from illness/injury 5. Reaps the benefit of your expertise and shares the results with their medical providers 3 tips to create an effective CEU strategy

Circling-back to your list of what separates you from the other 337,999 trainers out there, does anything that you have written down help you to attract the clientele mentioned? Remember that you are not just competing with others with a personal training certification. Many have master’s degrees, PhDs, and an incredibly diverse resume of certifications. It’s not too late for you to join the ranks of the elite fitness professionals, but you are going to need to commit to expanding your training with advanced certifications and specialty courses. 1. When you go to a fitness conference and you have 50+ sessions to choose from, what are you drawn to? Do you tend to participate in the “fun” sessions? What if you dedicated this year’s convention to advancing your expertise in areas like osteoporosis, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, seniors, etc.? Learn how you can use the tools that you already have (kettlebells,

TRX, Zumba, aquatics, Pilates, yoga, etc.) to work with clients in a safer and more effective manner. 2. Have you ever seen a continuing education course that was really intriguing to you, but didn’t offer CEUs for your renewing organization? Even though you knew the course could make you a better trainer and specialist, and possibly get more clients by establishing a niche market, you chose to take a different CEU course simply to fulfill the “requirements.” In almost every situation, you can petition that organization for less than $25! 3. Lastly, consider your ROI (return on investment). Are you walking away with a piece of paper that says how many CEUs you’ve earned, or a new title and career path? Does the organization with whom you are considering purchasing a course from offer ongoing education, online and phone support, a directory where your name will be listed upon course completion, support through online or social media groups, or training on using your knew expertise to build your business? By becoming a specialist, you will stand head and shoulders above your competition! The knowledge you gain through a specialty certification/advanced qualification will allow you to become the expert on topics of interest that pertain to the given population and play a major part in more success and longevity as a fitness professional. 1. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2. Linda Searing – The Washington Post, The Big Number: Millennials to overtake boomers in 2019 as largest U.S. population group,, January 27, 2019

Andrea Leonard is a 35-year cancer survivor and PFP 2019 Personal Trainer of the Year. She graduated from the University of Maryland and went on to get certified as a CES & PES, NASM, and ACE-CPT. She has also been certified as a CPT by ACSM and as a Special Populations Expert by The Cooper Institute. In 2004 Andrea founded the Cancer Exercise Training Institute to enable health and fitness professionals to work safely and confidently with cancer patients. 2019 CONTINUING EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT | 11

KNOW YOUR SCOPE Nutrition coaching defined By Brian Sutton |


rofessionals who work in the health, fitness and wellness professions are fortunate to positively affect many lives. There are a variety of behaviors that contribute to a sound mind and body, but for many, nutrition and healthy eating is the most impactful. Unfortunately, due to so much misinformation in the media and on the internet, nutrition and healthy eating strategies are arguably the most confusing and misunderstood. This is where the power of nutrition coaching can come into play. This article discusses the role of nutrition coaches and the importance of obtaining



a nutrition coaching certification before working with clients. Before we begin, it is important to briefly review the differences between a nutrition coach and a registered dietician nutritionist (RDN). NUTRITION COACHES AND REGISTERED DIETICIAN NUTRITIONISTS RDNs and nutrition coaches have complementary roles; like that of a nurse and a medical doctor, or a physical therapist and an orthopedic surgeon. There are clearly defined boundaries between the services of a nutrition coach and an RDN. An RDN has earned, at a minimum, a

bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in the field of nutrition, fulfilled hundreds of hours of supervised dietetic services in a variety of settings, and passed a national exam. Many states also require licensure above and beyond the RDN credential. Once an individual earns the RDN credential, they are required to earn additional approved credits to maintain it. Beyond the designation, RDNs can also pursue further education and specialize in dietetics related to pediatrics, diabetes, or sports nutrition; each with specific requirements and exams. In short, RDNs are allied healthcare professionals working in the field of dietetics that offer services to patients who require, or seek out, nutrition intervention and therapy. Nutrition coaches provide nutrition education and coaching services for apparently

healthy adults to reach their overall health, wellness, and fitness goals. Nutrition coaches are not licensed healthcare professionals, but they are extremely valuable mentors for their clients. It is important to note that it is beyond the scope of practice for nutrition coaches to prescribe individualized meal plans, diagnose or treat eating disorders, or provide nutritional “therapy” for acute or chronic disease. Instead, nutrition coaches work with the general population to improve overall quality of life and facilitate the inclusion of healthy eating behaviors. They are educators that empower their clients to take responsibility for their own health. 5 REASONS TO EARN A NUTRITION COACHING CERTIFICATION Nutrition coaches offer many services to help their clients achieve lasting change. But to do so effectively requires a robust skill set in both nutrition guidance and behavior change strategies. To gain these skills, all individuals should earn a nutrition coaching certification from a reputable organization prior to working with clients. The curriculum should be rigorous and follow evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice is a threepronged approach to working with clients, which consists of making decisions based on the weight of the scientific evidence, field observations, and individual client needs and preferences. In other words, nutrition coaches must be able to “walk the walk.” Nutrition coaches are not merely internet celebrities, fitness models, or so-called gurus that fall into a specific nutrition camp or fad. Watching YouTube videos, listening to podcasts, or reading the latest celebrity diet book or blog does not qualify as adequate education to become a nutrition coach. Instead, a competent nutrition coach has completed rigorous coursework and earned a nationally

recognized certification that teaches the following skills: 1. Nutrition coaches must be competent in many aspects of nutrition, such as the role of diet on health and body composition. This includes a foundational level of knowledge regarding macronutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), energy balance and metabolism, digestion and absorption, nutrient timing, supplementation, and hydration strategies (to name a few). 2. Nutrition coaches must be able to effectively translate and communicate nutrition facts and research to their clients in relatable, easy-to-understand terms. This includes (but not limited to) discussing the pros, cons, and latest research findings of various diets (ketogenic, paleolithic, intermittent fasting, low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, Mediterranean, DASH, etc.); the health dangers of excessive added sugar; alcohol; saturated and trans-fat; the health benefits of fiber and whole unprocessed foods; and demystifying common food myths and fallacies. 3. Nutrition coaches are guides and leaders that provide teachable moments for their clients. Some examples include teaching clients how to read food labels and navigate grocery stores, using healthy cooking methods (grill, broil, bake, poach versus frying), and strategies for choosing healthy food options at restaurants or holiday parties. 4. Nutrition coaches provide guidance regarding appropriate calorie consumption for safe weight loss, demonstrate healthy portion sizes, and provide eating strategies for consuming adequate amounts of lean protein, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and dairy to promote health. Nutrition coaches do not fall into a “nutrition camp” or provide a “onesize-fits-all” approach to eating. Instead, they realize there are many ways to consume a

healthy diet and consider their client’s food preferences, religion, family and work obligations, and cultural differences when providing nutritional guidance. 5. Nutrition coaches are mentors that implement action plans for their clients. They are skilled in dietary assessment and body composition testing, motivational interviewing techniques, active listening, rapport building, and creating both long-term and short-term goals. Nutrition coaches work with the general population to facilitate the inclusion of healthy eating behaviors and empower their clients to take responsibility for their own health. They are mentors and leaders that guide their clients towards a healthier lifestyle. To be a successful nutrition coach, individuals must possess adequate knowledge of nutritional science and behavior change strategies. It is recommended that all individuals seek out and obtain a nationally recognized nutrition coaching certification that uses evidence-based practice to teach nutrition and behavior change.

Brian Sutton MS, MA, NASM-CPT, PES, CES, CNC, CSCS, is a Content and Production Manager for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). He is a 20-year veteran in the health and fitness industry and has contributed to several of NASM’s publications. He earned an MA in Sport and Fitness Management from the University of San Francisco, an MS in Exercise Science from California University of Pennsylvania, and several certifications from NASM and NSCA. He served as an adjunct faculty member for California University Pennsylvania (2010–2018) teaching graduate-level courses in Corrective Exercise, Performance Enhancement, and Health and Fitness.

Nutrition coaches are not licensed healthcare professionals, but they are extremely valuable mentors for their clients. 2019 CONTINUING EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT | 13

Joe Cannon



growing number of organizations are offering online certifications for those who want to become personal trainers. This is different than a live event, where students attend a class and interact with an instructor who helps them understand the material. While online certs may offer convenience, here are some advantages of attending a live fitness certification. Interact with experts. Live certification events are conducted by instructors who usually hold advanced degrees in their field and have been in the fitness industry for many years. This allows students the opportunity to learn about a broader range of topics than simply reading a textbook and taking an exam. For those just beginning their fitness career, this is invaluable because it helps new trainers save time and frustration learning the ropes and avoiding mistakes. Less expensive. Ironically, fitness certifications conducted online may cost significantly cost more than live-class equivalents. It’s more real life. Live certifications are based on the traditional university-model of learning where students study and then attend a class to enhance their knowledge. This allows for a more granular level of understanding. Practical experience. Live events typically have a practical component where instructors demonstrate exercises and break students up into pairs, so they have hands-on experience. The practical component can help simulate real-world trainer-client interaction. It’s not currently possible for a computer exam to accurately evaluate someone’s real-life proficiency at performing an activity or how to properly spot clients performing an exercise.



Exams are more challenging. The exams which accompany live certifications typically contain both open-ended and closed-ended questions as well as essays. This provides a more robust testing experience and allow students to express their knowledge more than most computer-based testing allows. Feedback. The classroom experience allows students to receive immediate feedback from authorities in their field. Networking. The classroom learning experience is an opportunity to network with others who they might never meet. Some of these people will have backgrounds that offer insight into a complementary knowledgebase. Nobody knows everything; it’s through our interactions with others that we learn more and are able to help more people. Fitness trainers are critical members of the healthcare

system. No other healthcare professional obtains their primary credential via passing an online exam. As medical professionals interact fitness trainers, it’s likely they will scrutinize the education of those they refer their patients. You train in person. Shouldn’t you learn in person? Don’t take the person out of personal training.

Joe Cannon, MS holds degrees in exercise science as well as chemistry and biology. He’s on the faculty of AAAI/ISMA and has conducted over 800 live certification events. He’s been interviewed by the New York Times, a variety of TV networks and has lectured to the NASA community. He’s an authority on exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis, dietary supplements and special populations.




btaining your degree or certification is the first step of your professional health and fitness career. Your next step should be focused on finding an area of expertise that has the potential to expand your career and likely, even your bank account. Once you determine a specialization that you can be best known for, this will amplify the power of your personal brand. Here are a few reasons why the success of your personal brand depends on specialized continuing education and certifications. MAKES YOU MORE MARKETABLE Your personal brand simply defines how you will be found and how you are known to your potential client base. Individuals and organizations are looking for the expert who can help them with their specific need(s). You are more likely to secure that job or increase your business because you have established your brand and have gone the extra mile to expand your knowledge base in a specific area of specialization. PROVIDES MORE EFFECTIVE REFERRAL SYSTEMS AND COLLABORATION Establishing your brand as the go-to expert in a specific area will be the catalyst for building relationships with other professionals in your area. Creating a referral

system with other allied health professionals like chiropractors, physical therapists, and OBGYNs requires tremendous trust. They want to ensure that they are referring to a trusted health/fitness professional with expertise and expanded knowledge. This is a great referral stream that will be beneficial in growing your health and fitness business. In addition, once that symbiotic relationship has matured, you and your allied health professionals can work together on projects that can leverage each of your efforts to grow each other’s business.

turn what may feel like a side-hustle business into a legitimate fulltime career that provides steady income.

Sample list of specializations:  Strength & conditioning/sport-specific/ performance

 Behavior, nutrition, weight management  Mind-body fitness  Functional fitness  Active aging  Youth  Post-rehab  Clinical disease prevention, management and recovery

MAINTAINS YOUR RELEVANCY The industry is constantly evolving so it is imperative that you stay current and relevant. Your clients use you as a litmus test, and they trust you to confirm or explain what they read. Because you have the latest education and research information in your specialty, you will likely earn loyalty from your clients. INCREASES YOUR VALUE By specializing, you open the door for more diverse opportunities which helps increase your value. You become more valuable to your current and future clients as well as for future employment or business opportunities. Many health/fitness professionals with only basic foundational certifications are struggling to make a steady and meaningful income. By building your personal brand on specialization, you can

 Special populations

CarolAnn, M.S., the creator of Chiseled Faith®, is a 25-year industry veteran holding positions such as program director, studio owner, educator, presenter, and author. She has developed programs for organizations such as FiTOUR, Hydracize, MedFit Network, and PT Global. Along with producing and starring in several fitness videos, she is a health and fitness expert contributor for publications such as Livestrong, PFP, and New Tampa Style Magazine. She is currently an Education Provider for FiTOUR and on the Health Advisory Board for MedFit Network. She has been selected to be a 2019-2021 National Fitness Hall of Fame Fitness Superstar.


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