Fascia and Function in a Changing World

by Joy Keller on Feb 19, 2015

Personal trainers broke through personal and professional barriers at the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute™ East.

Some personal trainers have an insatiable appetite for knowledge and growth opportunities. 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute™ East, held in Alexandria, Virginia, February 25–27, offered an "educational buffet" complete with all the requisite "nutrients" a growing fitness professional needs.

The following 5 insider tips from the fitness conference offer a head start on training tomorrow's client:

  1. Understand fascia and function. Fascia research continues to shed light on human movement and tensegrity, and many presenters shared recent and insightful studies that are changing program design approaches. Functional training continues to be a popular topic, in part because of its ability to enhance and vary activities of daily living. In his session "Gray Institute: Assessment and Programming for the Foot and Ankle Complex—A Global to Local Approach," Doug Gray, faculty at the Gray Institute for Functional Transformation, in Adrian, Michigan, taught exercises that were "in and out of sync with the main patterns of movement." He taught attendees how to recreate the common jumping jack to make it more functional (and fun) by adding different combinations of foot and arm patterns in varying planes of motion.
  2. Build strong social media muscle. Scott Rawcliffe's packed session "Building Social Media Muscle" focused on how to streamline social media platforms, hone in on the message and create a system. "It's important not only to know what to share, but what not to share," said the owner/operator of Revera Health & Fitness in Queensland, Australia. He also encouraged attendees to curate content based on what the refined message is, and to create a calendar that gets the most from outreach efforts.
  3. Up your game with senior clients. In his session "Help Your Senior Clients," Brian Richey, owner of Fit 4 Life DC, in Washington, DC, urged personal trainers to carefully prepare themselves to work with this crucial market. His point: Don't presume that you can train seniors just because you have many years of experience. Instead, learn about common injuries and compensatory patterns that have taken years—or even decades—to manifest themselves as pain. "We need to be able to properly manage the needs of this population," Richey said. "If we load dysfunction or an injury, we will only develop increased dysfunction or injury."
  4. Go the extra mile. Steve Shenbaum, founder of game on Nation, LLC, in Bradenton, Florida, used basic tenets of improvisation to teach personal trainers how to go deeper in their interactions with clients. He played several games with attendees to demonstrate various points about the science and power of game dynamics and how to apply them directly to personal training. For example, a common rule in improv is to say yes (to what is happening) and take care of your partner. If you follow this rule with clients, you validate them, show them that you care, and create a safe environment where improvement thrives.
  5. Recognize that core training has evolved. Have you evolved with it? Personal trainers who still rely on the standard crunch and similar mainstays have been "dinosaurs" for a few years. The industry has shifted as research and practical experience have brought to light the many core-training methods that work in deep, functional and safe ways. In his session "Advanced Core Training by Hedstrom Fitness," Casey Stutzman, head trainer at the Bay Athletic Club in Alpena, Michigan, emphasized how important it is to be able to react to a constantly changing environment. "Life isn't static, and environmental factors are constantly changing," he said. "Train yourself and your clients to be prepared in innovative ways that mimic unpredictability."

If you missed this fitness event, there is still time to attend the sister event in Seattle, April 16-19.

Photography by Len Spoden.

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About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master. Joy joined IDEA Health & Fitness Association in 2002, and brought with her a wealth of information about how to fine-tune communication channels, after having spent her formative career years specializing in business-to-business journalism. Before she even graduated with honors from the respected University of Georgia journalism school, Joy was offered a job at one of the most successful trade publishing companies in the southeast, Shore Varrone, Inc. She made her mark in the automotive aftermarket industry as a creative thinker and journalist with an intuitive knack for researching and understanding niche audiences. Joy has worked on several titles, including Auto Trim & Restyling News, Truck Accessory News, Digital Output Magazine, Retail & Construction News, Miata magazine, Ford Racing, and many more. Her passion, however, lies with health and fitness. She was the associate editor of ACE Certified News while working at the American Council on Exercise, and transitioned that publication from a newsletter to a magazine. She has enjoyed 17 years at IDEA, where she has launched several publications, including the award-winning Inner IDEA Body-Mind Spirit Review, IDEA Pilates Today and IDEA Fit Business Success. Joy is a content creator and media 2.0 advocate who takes pride in discovering the unique information needs of qualified audiences, and she is dedicated to serving those needs while following the highest available standards.