Shift happens, and at times, shift can be crippling. 2020 was a year of professional and personal struggle for numerous fitness pros. Nonetheless, this industry has proven to be resilient and has a strong track record of recovering, shaping up, thriving and surviving. A crucial part of this success is your commitment to lean in to industry experts who provide tools, education and experience to help you level up your skills so you can create new wins for your clients and your business. Find all that and more at 2021 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute Virtual, held March 6–7, 2021.

Adapt to a Changing World

2021 Personal Trainer Institute

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Fitness operations, modes of communication, services, products and programs have all changed in response to COVID-19. Most of all, the consumer makeup has drastically changed. That means personal trainers and studio owners and managers who want to stay relevant must find new ways to inspire clients.

“As trainers and coaches, [we know that] knowledge is power, and the way knowledge is disseminated post-COVID-19 has changed,” says IDEA presenter Pete Holman, MSPT. “Understanding, manipulating and utilizing social, digital and virtual technologies are critical skill sets for modern-day health professionals, and their ability to transfer knowledge to their community is imperative to their existence.”

At IDEA Personal Trainer Institute Virtual, you will upgrade your understanding of the latest fitness research and theory, how to apply those principles both in-person and in virtual spaces, and what you can do to stand out and to attract and retain a loyal clientele.

Purpose-Driven Practices

We train our clients based on best practices, dynamic and research-based program design, and optimal communication and coaching skills. But when was the last time you reexamined your purpose and how you offer your services? Get clear on both at IDEA Personal Trainer Institute Virtual.

Boost Brain Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cognitive decline affects 1 in 9 individuals. That rate increases in older individuals. This means that it’s likely you will encounter clients with cognitive health concerns. Ryan Glatt, brain health coach at the Brain Health Center in the Pacific Neuroscience Institute, says personal trainers are in a prime position to alleviate those issues.

“Fitness professionals have the most powerful weapon for fighting cognitive decline (according to research) in their toolbox: exercise,” Glatt says. “If our industry is going to make an impact, fitness professionals need to know how to program for brain health–specific outcomes and how to potentially enhance those outcomes by adding cognitive demands to their interventions (i.e., ‘brain training’).”

His session, “Your Brain on Exercise,” will provide insights on how to develop training programs to boost brain health.

Understand Bias for Better Client Outcomes

Your primary purpose as a personal trainer and/or business owner is to help clients succeed. But what if your ability to do that is hindered by unconscious bias, aka social stereotypes formed outside of conscious awareness?

Health educator, personal trainer and IDEA presenter Katrina Pilkington suggests that bias can hold fitness professionals back from effecting lasting positive change in clients’ lives. She explains, “Trainers should understand that we all have biases and opinions we aren’t aware of; no one is exempt from them. Many of our biases influence our decisions [in ways that] include or exclude other humans, and we may not even know we have these thoughts. The key to unlocking the potential to impact more clients positively with an open mind and an open heart starts with internal work targeting biases.”

In her session “How Bias Prevents Optimal Client and Business Success—And What to Do About It,” Pilkington will help attendees better understand bias and the strategies it will take to recognize its influence and become a more effective fitness coach.

Corrective Strategies for the Hips and Shoulders

2021 Personal Trainer Institute Virtual Do your clients suffer from hip and shoulder issues? Evan Osar, DC, owner of the Institute for Integrative Health & Fitness Education, is here to help. He will introduce innovative assessment techniques and show you how to design plans to meet individual needs. Plus, he’ll share ways to develop corrective plans in the virtual space, which can be difficult when you face challenging camera angles and lack tactile feedback. The secret to success, Osar says, is to teach clients how to recognize their own dysfunction.

He explains, “Discovering how to instruct and interpret self-assessments is critical to choosing the most appropriate corrective exercises [for] an individual’s posture- and joint-related issues.”

When you teach clients how to do self-assessments, Osar adds, you have more opportunity to identify these issues and address them through carefully selected exercises.

Discover Ways to Stand Out

Fitness builds community, right? But what if the physical community is forced to physically distance? Now, more than ever, fitness professionals must find new ways to stand out and attract a loyal clientele.

Sadie Nardini, CEO of Sadie Nardini LLC and founder of Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga®, will show you how to do just that in the session “Standing Out: Branding You!”

“The pandemic has brought with it a lot more competition, and it seems like everyone’s angling to be visible in the wellness space,” Nardini says. “But you don’t have to stress. With a few simple tools, you can quickly designate your place, brand your unique personality and expertise, and claim your rightful spot—online or offline. Your clients are waiting for you!”

Nardini will provide solid action plans to help you get clear on what makes you special and how to rise above the noise to attract your target clientele.

Support the Active Ager

One of the greatest challenges that face our aging population is safety concern over entering a studio or gym setting. While some will—or already have—returned to fitness facilities, many will choose to remain in the safety of their homes. According to presenter and 2020 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year Leslee Bender, “In this new world, most of the active-aging clients are choosing to stay away from large social gatherings due to health concerns and exposure.”

So, to keep serving this population, fitness professionals will need to be adept at training virtually in addition to working in the brick-and-mortar space. In the session “Program Design for the Active Ager,” Bender will cover everything from cuing and motivation to developing training plans that are effective and engaging, regardless of the platform.

“You will leave with imperative insights on designing programming for active agers with limitations and injuries,” she says. “This group of fitness enthusiasts is here to stay and needs specific virtual guidance to give them the quality of life they desire.”

Topics That Matter Most

Personal Trainer Institute Virtual Lobby

Level up your skills conveniently at our accessible virtual event.

There’s plenty more to be learned at IDEA Personal Trainer Institute Virtual. Check out some of the other hot topics you won’t want to miss:

  • program design for core training
  • how to develop high-level virtual training experiences
  • resistance training research updates
  • a guide to creating lucrative online programs and products
  • proven client retention strategies
  • the science and applications surrounding metabolism
  • and more!

Conference Highlights

Top-level learning is a primary focus at IDEA Personal Trainer Institute Virtual. However, there’s plenty more to experience at this exclusive event.

Here are some of the many reasons to attend:

  • Earn up to 13 CECs (plus an additional 8 CECs with pre-conference sessions).
  • Get your heart pumping and blood flowing with daily innovative early-morning workouts.
  • Connect with fellow attendees and win prizes at the Happy Hour Raffle.
  • Learn from and network with your favorite brands during the Hot Topics Huddle.
  • Pick up deep discounts and freebies with the online swag bag.
  • Find inspiration as Petra Kolber, popular author, speaker and educator, kicks off the event in the Opening Ceremonies by providing tactics for inciting lasting transformation. “I will share what I like to call ‘Evidence-Based Inspiration,’” says Kolber, author of The Perfection Detox: Tame Your Inner Critic, Live Bravely, and Unleash Your Joy (Da Capo Lifelong Books 2018). “The intersection between health, mindset, resilience, values and purpose—when combined—creates intrinsic motivation that is fueled by our clients’ and students’ dreams and life goals, versus body composition and fitness statistics. I call it interval training for life.”