Thanks Rachel for your question.
I understand your perspective Rachel and have also questioned how is it that one can put so many specialties down if he/she hasn’t had the experience or training.
All I can say is that the specialties that I have included on my profile are back up with a credential and experience.
I get your point as far as niche marketing is concerned, however, I think a natural progression in our industry is to continue one’s education. This has proven to be very beneficial and profitable.
In fact, I’ve found much cross over among the credentials that I hold and that has indeed help be grow as a professional.
Thanks for your question.
Rachel, this industry needs more passionate PT’s and FT’s, here in NC is also hard to find a FT to send a referral to, as a good majority of FT in my opinon still think that if you turn your hand during elbow flexion you will get a better “peak” in your bicep. My specialty is Chronic Pain, 80% of my business is Chiropractic referrals, 10% from PT’s and the rest sport performance and general conditioning. Since you are in Michigan, have you contacted Gary Gray at the Gray Institute.com ? He can direct you to some of his FAFS (Fellow of Applied Functional Science) FT’s and PT’s in your area, and i guarantee you or your clients will be in very good hands. The FAFS in my opinion is the best certification, hands down! If you are not familiar with it check it out! Please never lose you passion about what you do. Good luck.
Louie – nice to know I am not alone in my frustration. Makes me a little less frustrated. And a little more hopeful I might actually get this network together some day.
I absolutely differentiate between conditioning and performance. That’s a whole other issue I think….don’t get me started.
My education is in Physical Therapy and I have a strong biomechanics background. But, that is not what I “specialize” in. Those to me are just tools to be even better at what I do specialize in. My niche is women 30-50 who are moms or have careers or both. They still want an awesome body, but, don’t know how to put themselves first. That is what I am great at. That is what I can serve the best at.
Do I use my education and skills with these people even though they are not injured. Absolutely. My women lose body fat faster than any other trainers around here. Why? Because I movement screen each and every person and use corrective exercise to make them move and function their very best. Moving properly has better metabolic after burn. They look better faster because all of their postural issues get cleaned up. They don’t get side lined from workouts due to injury. Consistency is key. All of education is part of that consistency.
Can I see other types of clients. Yep. I actually have a few that refuse to go anywhere else. I have a 78 year old hand ball player/golfer. Do I do a great job with him? Yes. Would someone else do better. Probably. Why? I have committed myself to being the very best at my niche. I am extremely passionate about it. Am I extremely passionate about the handball player? I care very much about him, but, I am not passionate about working with handball players or golfers.
I am very clear about my passion and who I can best serve. I just wish that I could find others in my area that weren’t afraid to differentiate themselves so that I could send them lots of clients that I don’t work with.
Rachel, great question? I look at it this way, perhaps most Fitness trainers are what i would call “general practitioners” would you agree? Most Trainers have a rudimentary knowledge of the human body and how it functions (biomechanics) not to mention, priciples of physics(forces). Do you differentiate between conditioning and performance? For me if you are talking about conditioning? You mus have an understanding of the human body and all the biology and psychology applies to everyone. If it is performance? a specialty is crucial, as a goalk keeping coach in soccer, people pay me for my expertice of that particular position and yet i coach an entire team as well as coaches. Hope it helps? but i also feel your frustration.
I agree with Karin. I specialize in working with female athletes on strength and conditioning and injury prevention. I’ve taken special training in this area and am certified as such. However, I started my career as a general personal trainer and to this day still LOVE working with clients of all types and with differing fitness goals. To my mind, to “specialize” is to have a special interest in, to have special training in, and to devote a significant part of your practice to… I analogize this to the medical profession. For example an oncologist may have a large portion of her practice dedicated to a certain cancer type, but at the same time see patients with other types of growths. Or a general surgeon… you get the idea.
I love my work with female athletes, and in general women’s health and fitness, but I have seen plenty of male clients, and helped them achieve a wide-variety of fitness goals (e.g. a Marine pass his fitness test, an older male client continue post-rehab work after back surgery, a teen-aged hockey player etc). While I love my “specialty” work, I also enjoy variety, and that’s one of the reasons I chose this profession.