“Revising” The Personal Trainer’s Role

Personal Training continually expands its role within the fitness and health industries. Personal Trainers are more than laborers that bark at their clients. Our role includes more than just putting together a few exercises with sets and reps. We are health care professionals and should see ourselves as a part of that industry. Personal trainers are not health care providers in the traditional sense. The job that we do does not diagnose nor treat disease. It diagnoses the unhealthy lifestyle that produces disease. Furthermore, it epitomizes the healthy lifestyle and provides instruction for substituting unhealthy habits for healthy habits. Personal trainers specialize in creating programs that produce fitness, which is a higher level of health than the absence of disease. That is a much more important endeavor than waiting for a person to become ill before taking action.

Personal trainers lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities, but should also be considered as subject matter experts in optimizing human functioning and performance. It should be common knowledge that this role prevents, treats, and cures chronic disease. I believe we need to make a few changes in our approach in order for the profession to be seen in that light. Our approach to how we learn, how we apply our knowledge, and where we work needs to change. Personal trainers are scientists, teachers, coaches, and business people. Many certifications are very skilled at teaching a philosophy of training; however, they do not focus too much on the sciences. As scientists, we must explore and master the basic sciences, movement sciences, nutritional sciences, behavioral sciences, coaching sciences, and principles of business. As teachers and coaches, we must understand learning styles and how to motivate people according to their individuality. And as business people, it is imperative that we apply business principles to grow as entrepreneurs.

The public needs us and our expertise in optimizing human functioning and performance. We are not traditional health care providers, but we positively impact health and disease. Extensive amounts of research has been done on the benefits of exercise and nutrition. Much of that evidence points to both having the ability to prevent and cure disease. If we understand our role and fulfill it with purpose, we will be of greater service to the public. We will impact legislation in our favor and move our industry into the forefront of health care. Finally, we will become beneficiaries of the economic benefits that we deserve.

How to Read this Blog

A few things to know about me…

  1. I was a three sport athlete growing up, but I dreaded practice most days. Going to the weight room was always the highlight of training for me. I ran track at the University of Georgia for a couple of years. That’s when I developed a true love for training. And becoming a Certified Personal Trainer was something that I always thought about. I trained my friends for free in college, but never really trusted myself to do it as a profession.
  2. I became a personal trainer in 2004, while serving on active duty. I was an Army medic, by day, and a personal trainer by night. The decision to become a trainer was based on the need to earn more money. My family needed the money, because I was the only one working. And E-3s do not earn much.
  3. My finances struggled mightily when I first entered the business. Producing income was a struggle, because I was awful at sales. I did not become successful as a trainer until I mastered sales. And that took a lot of years.
  4. Mastering the sales process helped me get promoted into leadership positions in the fitness industry. I did not start making decent money until I became a manager in the business. However, I still felt underpaid.
    • In my first leadership position, I only earned about 3-5% of generated revenue. That seemed unfair. That’s a $3,000 to $5,000 paycheck for leading a department that generated $100,000. I wanted a larger share of the pot.
    • I decided to head for greener pasture, only to see a smaller emphasis on training. The money was better, but the daily process was heavily driven by new sales. That was awesome for the bank account. However, I got into the business to place my clients first. Don’t get me wrong, I want to earn a good paycheck (I left the first leadership position because the money was not fair). I just don’t want that paycheck to overshadow the primary goal of helping people get healthy. I got burned out from doing sales all day, every day.
  5. I’m sure many other trainers feel the same. Therefore, I started this blog to help trainers master the two sides of being a personal trainer. The first is training, and the second side is business.
    • The Art of Personal Training: Even though I was bad at sales when I entered the industry, I still developed a great love for fitness. The knowledge and skill of my collegiate strength & conditioning coach influenced my decision to continue studying. I got my Bachelors degree in Sports & Health Sciences, with a concentration in Athletic Performance. I have learned a great deal about exercise, nutrition, and aromatherapy that I would like to share.
    • The Business of Personal Training: Personal Training is a multi-billion dollar business that focuses on optimizing personal health. However, individual trainers do not enjoy the wealth generated by the industry. My goal is to help trainers earn a 6-figure income in as little time as possible; in addition to, helping them to build their own multi-million dollar brand.

Personal Self-Development

I have been in the business since 2004 and believe that I still have a ton to learn. Exercise provides many health benefits. And I am convinced that exercise has the ability to cure many ailments and diseases. However, nutritional sciences, psychology (specifically positive psychology), and aromatherapy are powerful contributors of health in their own right. Being displeased with the money-driven nature of the fitness industry, my team and I started creating training programs based on the science of fitness. We also changed our sales process to suit the strengths of each trainer. Seeing the success of the changes, I decided to leave my second leadership position to continue my education.

The Art of Personal Training

I am continuing my formal education to become a Musculoskeletal Radiologists. My educational process will easily cover the next 12-15 years, as it includes becoming a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Doctor of Chiropractic (a EP on steroids), and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (a world-class musculoskeletal diagnostician). It is important for me to help clients overcome all obstacles to physical activity, exercise, and sports participation. It is also important for me to give people answers to why they have aches and pains that prevent them from participating in sports. However, I also want the ability to maximize performance. To make a long story short, I believe this course of education will give me all the knowledge that I need to be a highly skilled artist of personal training.

The Business of Personal Training

Part of this blog is dedicated to helping Certified Personal Trainers and other Fitness Professionals develop successful businesses. I always tell trainers that success and longevity in the industry is grounded in their ability to master the art of training and running a business. I want to help trainers shorten their learning curve to becoming successful. I do not want any trainer to leave the business that they are passionate about because they have a hard time getting clients. For the most part, we all understand that business people must be skilled at marketing, sales, and client retention. However, there are a few key pieces of information that are never trained, nor developed. Sales is taught with very little variety, but it is as varied as the sales force. The individual strengths and talents of a trainer are just as important as their marketing and sales knowledge. So, that will be a huge focus item of the blog.

This Blog is For…

Ultimately, I want to get millions of people on earth to participate in athletic activities. I don’t really care what sport you play; I just believe that you should play a sport. Research tells us that exercise is a powerful tool for getting healthy, staying healthy, and improving athleticism. However, manual therapy, nutrition, psychology, and aromatherapy are a few adjuncts that compliment the benefits of exercise. I want to become the subject matter expert in the art, the science, and the business of personal training. This blog makes use of my gifts for teaching and coaching. And I intend to use it to share as much knowledge as I can, by teaching and coaching my corner of the world to better business and better health. I hope the teaching will help you eliminate all barriers to health, including physical and financial. I believe this mission starts with helping personal trainers get more clients.

For the Certified Personal Trainer

This blog was created to reach personal trainers. So, most of what you read is geared toward helping you to become more knowledgeable and confident. Those two will lead to you creating a business that will bless you altruistically and financially. Below is a list of the main topics that I will cover.

  • The Sciences of Personal Training
  • The Art of Personal Training
  • The Business of Personal Training

For the Fitness Enthusiast

As an Athletic Performance Coach, I always want to reach the fitness enthusiast directly. You can benefit from much of the information contained under the science of personal training. While you read this blog, keep in mind that my main purpose is to get millions to participate in sports. This means that everything that I share is designed to get you to move better so that you can move more. You should also be able to glean some information on how to design programs for your goals. The business of personal training may appeal to the enthusiasts that would like to increase their income.

Thanks for reading!

Talk to you soon,

Coach