2009 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute™—Get to the Top of Your Game

by Mary Monroe on Oct 24, 2008

It’s the classic glass half-empty/half-full dilemma: Do the challenges of today’s business climate spell trouble for personal trainers—or an opportunity to be creative and break out of the crowd? At the 2009 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute conference in Alexandria, Virginia, February 19-22, industry leaders will offer their strategies for succeeding despite (and sometimes because of) current challenges in the marketplace. For example, an Industry Spotlight panel discussion called “How to Maximize Your Business in a Tough Economy” will feature insights from Nicki Anderson, Diane Vives, MS, and Peter Twist, MSc.

“The 2009 conference is quite different than past events, because we know that greater challenge in the marketplace requires trainers to take their skills up a notch,” says Aprile Peishel, MA, IDEA director of event programming. “We have a smaller session size with a more advanced, in-depth curriculum so that attendees can get the most out of their learning and networking time. They get more individualized attention and hands-on training, with more intensive education than trainers can get anywhere else.”

Program Highlights: Strategies for Peak Performance

The program at this year’s Personal Trainer Institute will present a wide range of specific business and career strategies to meet today’s market challenges. Here are a few key areas of focus on the 2009 program:

Strategy #1: Assessment & Corrective Exercise
By developing good assessment and corrective-exercise skills, you can help clients get more individualized attention and see faster results, while you get more referrals and see faster business growth.

“Assessment and corrective-exercise skills are a great way to develop rapport and trust with clients,” says Justin Price, MA, conference presenter and corrective-exercise specialist, personal trainer and co-owner of The BioMechanics, in San Diego. “These fundamental principles will help your clients avoid injury and achieve greater success with practically any goal, whether it’s related to weight loss, performance or functional improvements.”

Price points out that assessment and corrective-exercise capabilities are ideal for many of today’s overscheduled, stressed-out clients, and for those hunched over a computer all day long.

Strategy #2: Small-Group & Partner Training
Small-group and partner training programs are hot options for trainers, making it possible to train more people in less time and giving clients added social and motivational benefits.

“It can make a huge difference to your income, but it isn’t just about numbers,” say Vives, owner of Vives Training Systems in Austin, Texas. “You need to be able to use the assessment process and functional training so you can design effective partner and group programs that show results. It still needs to be an individualized program so clients feel like they’re in a personal training session.”

Strategy #3: Metabolic Training
Metabolic training is another hot area for trainers, providing program options designed to improve client results, particularly in the area of weight management.

“This is high-intensity cardio or strength-based exercise that involves the whole body, in which the client performs to maximal output,” explains Fraser Quelch, conference presenter and director of training and development for Fitness Anywhere™ Inc., in San Francisco. “It can raise postexercise metabolism for more than 3 hours after exercise and can be an incredible tool for fat loss and helping with age-related metabolic decline.”

While metabolic training can be effective for clients and time-efficient for trainers, it is also highly challenging. “It’s really, really hard,” says Quelch. “You can’t blindly apply this training to everyone, or you’ll have adherence and injury problems. It can be a great tool for helping clients reach their goals, but it has to be individualized.”

To learn more about the conference, which covers many areas of training apart from those listed here, see the full event preview in the November-December issue of IDEA Fitness Journal or see 2009 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute™.

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About the Author

Mary Monroe

Mary Monroe IDEA Author/Presenter

Mary Monroe is a freelance writer in the Los Angeles area.