The role and expectation of the fitness consultant personal trainer, the fitness leader, the fitness coach has changed quite a bit over the years.
In the late 1970’s to 1990’s, the fitness consultant was responsible to explaining the pre-set program the organization had in place. The workout program was pretty much the same for all customers. The customization revolved very few variables to manipulate. Most often, resistance was the variable as well as length of workout session. The repetitions stayed the same, as did the speed and type of movement. The regimen involved a warm up, some flexibility but mostly strength training and steady state cardio sessions.
The programs did not change much, and the consultant was more of a chaperon than a coach, escorting patrons through a pre-programmed routine. It got results for the customers and hence was successful.
Fast forward to 2013. The fitness trainer now has more tools, trust and variables to manipulate than ever before in training clients. The programs prescribed today are as varied as the number of trainers in your community. The tools and methodology also vary tremendously. One trainer uses yoga and dance, another throws kettle bells around with a metabolic focus. One trainer may not use certain equipment and not believe in it, another down the street uses the equipment. The result to all this variety, as well as the bombardment of messages is a confused marketplace. At every turn, there is a new tool, trick, gadget or process to get the elusive results.
Trainers are changing programs regularly, partly because they get bored with the same program very quickly. They are also exposed to something new with every new you tube video, or fitness conference. Many trainers are confused themselves. For that reason, many also stubbornly stick with tools and routines that have passed us by years ago. There is a new way of training, but old principles apply.
Exercise is no longer just about looking good, but also is about making sure the body will move better. Regardless of what fitness level you are at, age or previous history, we all want to move better. We all want to perform better. Whether the athlete or the beginner to fitness, to those rehabilitating from an injury. We all want to move better.
Today’s successful trainers use a number of tools to deliver their programming based on solid fundamentals in the science of movement. These fundamentals include muscle activation, mobility, balance, muscle strength and conditioning. The complete professionals are also integrating a nutrition component to their program design. The standards are evolving as well. The trainers who are able to do this comfortably have a strong knowledge base, a university or college degree and accreditation that support their program design and coaching. Accreditation will further become a weeding out process for those offering training services
Just as importantly, a trainer’s ability to transfer their value to financial traction is also critical. To break through cluttered messaging is a focus many trainers did not worry about years ago. In many cases, the fitness leader, even the most knowledgeable and accredited is not earning what they deserve for their services.
Skill development opportunities for the successful trainers not only include the latest in fitness methodology and certification, but also include marketing, sales, business operations and financial literacy.
With consumer self-directed fitness continuing to fail, coached or guided fitness becomes the ticket to sustainability. For that to occur, your organization must contribute to your trainers having the opportunities to get better at all aspects of being a trainer. Not just biomechanical support, but emotional and financial skills are now required as well. This is a far cry from the role of fitness consultant of the 1970’s and 80’s.
The chaperon must now be the trusted advisor.
The trusted advisor must have the credentials to be credible and earn top dollar by delivering value at every turn. If you are a trainer, are you following these steps? If you are offering fitness with trainers, are you giving them the opportunities to develop with the skills required for present day success? If an assessment of where you are at, and the development of a plan can help your fitness offering, reach out to STAK Fitness for a complimentary consultation.
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