The world of fitness, and the industry we all love so much has undergone some fairly radical changes in recent times. Having been in the fitness industry since 2000 I have personally witnessed the massive amounts of changes. The internet alone has had a huge impact, and has changed the way in which we learn, deliver and consume fitness. It is a whole new game now!! And one I want to offer a little insight on…
Back in the day it was a slower pace. You would typically turn up to work for an ‘early’, ‘mid’ or a ‘late’. You would scan the list of (handwritten) appointments in the (physical) diary, and prepare yourself to run a battery of physical assessments before writing individual programmes for those you were meeting with. Doesn’t sound a lot different I guess, aside from the fact we used to have handwritten appointments.
But the primary difference is that typically – that was it. That was the job. You came in, did some appointments, helped people with technique, and then clocked out.
There were people who worked in the gym, those that taught classes, Lifeguards, and Managers. The fast-paced industry we know and love now was really fledgling at that time.
Back then when you finished work you changed out of your uniform and were largely anonymous. You didn’t document your day, the food you ate, login to manage client’s programmes, have ‘check-ins’ on Zoom. You simply left work, and turned up again for the next early, mid or late.
In a lot of ways, the ability to spend time with lots of different gym members was a blessing. You were afforded the time to create your reputation, to hone your skills, and to identify the niche areas that you really wanted to work in. I, for one would never give back those early years walking the gym floor. It enabled me to understand the trade better, and to really grasp what kind of trainer I wanted to be.
However, change happens in the pursuit of progress. Very few people were thriving in terms of business, generating the kind of impact we are capable of today, and even fewer were able to capitalise on this impact and parlay it into owning their own facilities etc. We can be a little nostalgic about the past, but the fact remains the fitness industry is booming today, and we are absolutely better off for it!
This trip down memory lane has had me thinking though. Taking a trainer from the year 2000 (not really long ago!) and dropping them into the industry now would result in a rude awakening! ‘What is Whoop? What do you mean by ‘AirDrop’, what on earth is a ‘HIROX?”
So, I wanted to post a little blog piece around what the modern-day Fitness Professional needs in today’s industry.
What A Modern PT Needs
1. Develop a Clear Vision
Initially it is worth saying that in today’s marketplace the primary, and possibly most important area to focus on is what exactly you want to do. What are the avenues in the industry that interest you the most? What kind of client really appeals to you? Without a clear vision of your target audience how are you going to speak to them? Once this is identified, and assuming it is well thought-out (not too niche) you can then set about strategizing for their attention.
2. Develop Your Understanding in Key Areas
The next thing that you need is an understanding of wider-ranging topics. In the past people would typically have a little knowledge around exercise. There were widely-held beliefs (often incorrect) around cardio exercise, the fat-burning zone, weight training making you ‘bulky’, and not to eat carbs after 6pm. All fairly easy to rationalise and dispel. Today people are armed with far more knowledge, and ease of access to information. Some of this will still be part-formed though, so you will have a little myth-busting to do still. But gym members asking about heart-rate reserve, HR variability, REM sleep, sleep cycles, carb-cycling, reverse-dieting, meditative practices, wave-loading etc etc etc, would have been unheard of.
As I say, just because the questions are posed, doesn’t mean the concept is fully understood, but the knowledge of the entry-level trainer now needs to include a far deeper range of topics because the wide-spread information available to the public is significantly more vast.
3. Develop Your Social Media & Digital Skills
Social media, web management, marketing strategies, branding, business practice, and taxation are all subjects that would have been a bit alien in the early-2000’s to most fitness professionals, but are common-place among todays trainers.
A sound understanding of how to post, when to post, where to post, consistency of content and message are all important things that may impact how successful your marketing is, and affect your bottom-line.
How your brand positions itself in the market, how you effectively present your USP’s, and potentially how you fill in the voids that you don’t service yourself through partnerships are all areas that deserve some thought.
It may sound simple, particularly to the younger readers who have grown up creating content for their audiences since primary school, but simply putting together some useful content, editing it so that it sits well on specific platforms, and considerations as to how to engage your audience are things we need to think about in today’s fitness world.
It is tell-tale that at nearly 1,000 words I am coming to the end of this piece, and I haven’t actually discussed the physical act of training a client yet. The idea behind this blog was to highlight the ever-changing nature of our industry, and the aspects you need to consider today that didn’t enter our minds 20+ years ago.
4. Remain Attentive
It goes without saying that the skills you attain, how they are presented and utilised, the communication required, the attention to detail, rapport-building, and how you make your clients feel through your sessions remain the most important areas to your business success. Some things will never change…
At T2 Fitness we are launching a ‘PT+’ CPD week starting in 2024. The focus will be on the primary aspects we feel are needed in today’s industry, but are not required for the attainment of the qualification.
It would be unfair for your completion of a PT qualification to hinge on your video-editing ability, but we do feel this is an important skillset to learn. Equally a firmer understanding of some of the more unique training styles, such as Stick Mobility and ANKORR are aspects we feel useful for today’s fitness professionals. Both will feature in our PT+ education.
At T2 Fitness, our primary focus is on preparing you for success in this ever-evolving and exciting industry. We believe in nurturing the personal trainer in you and helping you become the best version of yourself. This unique advanced training course for Personal Trainers, PT+ Course, has been specially designed for Personal Trainers. It provides in-depth exert knowledge of 5 key areas that we think are paramount for a highly successful and rewarding career. In this 5 days practical workshop we’ll be covering:
1. Application of Strength & Power
Personal trainers will gain a profound understanding of the nervous system’s role in athletic performance. This knowledge will enable them to create training programs that are precisely tailored to their clients’ needs, optimizing their strength and power potential. By understanding the principles and parameters required for developing these crucial aspects of human performance, trainers can deliver training regimens that help clients achieve their fitness goals efficiently and effectively.
2. Barefoot Running and Foot Mechanics
We’ll provide a deep understanding of foot and ankle mechanics, shedding light on numerous physical ailments that affect individuals.
For personal trainers, this knowledge is invaluable as it enables them to comprehend how the foot interacts with the ground during exercise. By mastering these mechanics, trainers can design workouts that are safer, more effective, and better suited to their clients’ specific needs.
Moreover, a robust understanding of a healthy foot and ankle complex equips personal trainers to identify and address potential issues in their clients. This, in turn, can lead to improved overall health and well-being.
For clients, this means a safer, more tailored fitness experience that can potentially alleviate or prevent physical discomfort. In essence, this workshop bridges the gap between foot mechanics and holistic health, benefiting both personal trainers and their clients in the quest for improved fitness and well-being.
3. Soft Tissue Management and Posture
Gain a critical understanding of the aspects of postural enhancement, which serve as the foundation for a healthier and pain-free life.
For personal trainers, this knowledge is pivotal in helping them provide tailored guidance to their clients. By gaining insights into the primary postural issues people commonly experience, trainers can devise targeted strategies for improvement. This enables trainers to offer personalized solutions that address their clients’ specific needs, promoting better posture and overall well-being.
Clients, in turn, benefit from improved posture and soft tissue management, leading to a more comfortable and pain-free lifestyle.
4. Advanced Bodyweight Training
Bodyweight training offers a versatile and effective approach to fitness, and when coupled with specific tools and techniques, it can be taken to new heights. At T2 Fitness, we leverage our key partnerships with ANKORR, Stick Mobility, and the T2 isotrainer to revolutionize bodyweight exercises.
For personal trainers, this means an expanded toolkit to offer clients. With these innovative tools, trainers can diversify their training programs, making workouts more engaging and tailored to individual needs. This versatility not only enhances trainers’ expertise but also allows them to cater to a wider range of clients with varying fitness goals and abilities.
5. Video Content Creation
In today’s fitness industry, the mantra is clear: “every trainer, every gym, and every small business is a media company.” The ability to create, edit, and effectively convey your message through online content is pivotal and can be the defining factor that propels your business to greater success.
Our Video Content Creation workshop is a game-changer for both personal trainers and their clients. Personal trainers gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become effective content creators. By understanding the intricacies of content creation, editing, and messaging, trainers can harness the power of digital media to connect with their audience, build their brand, and expand their reach.
Clients, on the other hand, experience the benefits of engaging, informative, and inspiring content created by their trainers. This content not only keeps them motivated and informed but also enhances their overall training experience.
Upon completing this workshop, personal trainers leave with a rich bank of content that they have personally created. They also gain a heightened understanding of how to maximize the utility of this content. Together, these outcomes empower personal trainers and elevate client engagement, facilitating a more successful and dynamic fitness journey for all.
Our focus is, and always will be on preparing you for success in this wonderful industry. So now you know what a modern PT needs go ahead and take a look at our brand new PT+ Course which will start in 2024.