In recognition of the growing demand for certified group fitness instructors, West Virginia University’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences now offers a minor in group fitness instruction. Program director Nancy Naternicola developed the curriculum “to prepare students for a professional career
in designing and conducting comprehensive group fitness exercise programs.” Upon completion, students will be able to design and teach classes in step, high-low, intervals and more.
What are your skills worth? Probably more than what your employer is paying you, right? While that might be true, it does not necessarily mean your employer wouldn’t like or want to pay you more; instead, it could be that the potential earnings from the service you provide limit what the company is able to pay. An increase in earnings has to be a win-win situation for both you and your employer. And then there’s the recession to consider.
When Lindsay Del Rossi, a personal trainer in Pomona, California, lost her job this past year in the economic downturn, she didn’t look at it as a defeat. Instead, she saw it as an opportunity. With two degrees, a history of being a top performer in her job classification, experience as a senior director and almost a decade of fitness industry experience, she knew that this time was her opportunity to make a positive change.
The fitness industry has come a long way in terms of credibility and standards since the days of fuzzy leg warmers and terry cloth sweatbands. In fact, industry standards have risen so much in recent years that many companies will hire only those fitness professionals who have obtained their certifications from organizations approved by independent entities, such as the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
In a time of sweeping global change and a shifting economic climate, fitness professionals around the world are gauging the potential impact on their careers and businesses and adapting to stay on track. We asked fitness pros to tell us about the extent of the economy’s effect on them, and what they are doing to meet the challenge.
Survival Tactics and Success Strategies
Fitness professionals share these tips for overcoming economic challenges:
When the average consumer hears the term personal trainer, does it evoke the image of a leader or educator—or of a glorified workout partner leading a tough training session several days per week? Perhaps more importantly for our industry’s future—how do we, as trainers, perceive ourselves?
In a time of sweeping global change and a shifting economic climate, fitness professionals around the world are gauging the potential impact on their careers and businesses and adapting to stay on track. We asked fitness pros to tell us about the extent of the economy’s
effect on them, and what they are doing to meet the challenge.
My personal training business has been somewhat impacted by the challenging times our economy has seen this past year. A few of my one-on-one clients have had to cut back on their sessions because either they or their spouses lost their jobs. I always give our clients the option of spreading out their sessions over a longer period of time if they so desire. If they need weekly accountability, we offer them our Virtual Fitness™ option of a 15-minute phone call once a week.
To help United States citizens reduce stress during difficult economic times, Les Mills offered interested participants a free class at varying health and fitness facilities during December 2008. Part of the nationwide “Stress Less America: Elect to Change, Vote for Yourself” campaign, the health-conscious program was designed to highlight the stress-busting effects of exercise. “One exercise session alone can generate 90–120 minutes of relaxation response,” stated Les Mills creative director Jackie Mills, MD.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that the general population achieve at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five times per week. Fitness professionals are often considered health and fitness role models, yet a recent study suggests that athletic trainers (ATs) fall short of ACSM’s recommendations.