IDEA Personal Trainer Institute™ Don’t Just Train— Inspire!

by Mary Monroe on Dec 19, 2012

The leading education experience for personal trainers is bigger than ever—and this year’s expanded program has one purpose: to help you inspire clients to change their lives. 2013 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute™ February 28–March 3, 2013 Alexandria, Virginia May 2–5, 2013 Seattle.

Inspiration is contagious, and the more inspired you are, the more motivated your clients will be to reach their goals. You’ll find more than enough inspiration at the 2013 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute, which has expanded this year to include 116 sessions and four preconference workshops, presented by over 50 industry leaders, with more than 20 CECs available throughout the fitness event.

Emphasizing bold new training ideas, techniques and tools, the fitness conference will offer more session choices in these top-trending career areas:

  • 27% more programming in Business Development
  • 35% more programming in Specific-Population Training
  • 50% more programming in Nutrition and Weight Management
  • 60% more programming in Positive Well-Being

The IDEA Personal Trainer Institute is the longest-running personal training fitness conference in the industry and is well-known for having the broadest, most comprehensive and most in-depth education curriculum for trainers. The highly focused, intensive, interactive professional development experience has sold out for the last 4 years, and in 2013—for the first time—it will be offered on both the East and West Coasts. (Note: Register early!)

This year’s fitness conference will provide a significantly wider selection of program choices in order to help trainers expand into leading-edge areas of nutrition, wellness, positive well-being and specific-population programming. Attendees will learn how to take advantage of the most effective new social media, marketing and management strategies for driving business and income growth.

This year’s fitness conference will also offer

  • more-effective in-depth training, with extended session lengths of 2–3 hours
  • small session sizes, to allow for a personalized, focused, hands-on educational experience
  • a lively panel discussion—“What’s Ahead in Personal Training?”—on Thursday night
  • shopping and networking opportunities in the IDEA Store and Sponsor Marketplace—where you can meet with industry leaders to discuss the latest trends and products
  • four preconference workshops, each providing intensive coursework and a certificate of completion
  • Friday Night Networking Happy Hour—a great chance to trade experiences, challenges and solutions with peer professionals

“At the Personal Training Institute, attendees get to design their own individual learning experience from the biggest selection of topics available in personal training,” says Aprile Peishel, MA, IDEA director of event programming. “This is the place to be if you’re a trainer who wants in-depth, personalized training on the latest techniques. This is also where future directions in personal training are born. You get to network with the best in the business—other trainers, business owners, educators and sponsors. It’s a very inspiring community of people who want to create a healthier world. Trainers go home equipped and motivated to take their career or business to the next level.”

Panel Discussion: What’s Ahead in Personal Training?

With Len Kravitz, PhD (Moderator), Mitch Batkin, MA, Fabio Comana, MA, MS, Rodney Corn, MA, Hayley Hollander and Pete McCall, MS

Staying up-to-date with industry trends and new information is critical to remaining competitive, notes Fabio Comana, MA, MS, director of continuing education for the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a panelist at the conference’s industry-issues session, “What’s Ahead in Personal Training?”

“Key reasons that trainers fail in business are complacency, lack of curiosity to re-innovate, and selfishness—or focusing on what you offer rather than what your clients and customers need. We can become our own biggest threat if we don’t keep our finger on the pulse of the industry,” says Comana. “For example, wellness is consuming the fitness industry. If you compare the growth over the past 10 years between fitness and wellness, it is clearly evident that our future will lie in wellness.”

On Thursday, along with other leaders in the field, Comana will weigh in on the future of training. His picks for top upcoming trends include a variety of topics featured on the conference program: lifestyle and wellness coaching, small-group training, specialized training (e.g., for older adults or middle-aged women), express workouts, and youth programming to tackle obesity and inactivity.

Panelist Hayley Hollander, co-founder of Advanced Training Performance and a master trainer for TRX®, picks these three top trends: offering small-group personal training; integrating biofeedback to provide purpose, achievable goals, instant rewards and consistency; and understanding client behavior and communication in order to implement individualized strategies. “These are trends that any fitness professional can capitalize on to succeed,” says Hollander. “The purpose most trainers should have in mind is to listen to clients. What do they like? What do they want? What will make them feel important, capable and confident so they ultimately have ownership in the programming process?”

Catalyst to a Thriving Career

This conference experience offers personal trainers invaluable opportunities for career and business growth. Fola Ademoye traveled from London to attend last year’s event and afterwards had this to say: “I gained so much knowledge that I will be able to take my personal training work from a part-time income to a very successful thriving business. What I enjoyed most was the generosity and professionalism of all the presenters, the range of sessions, the quality of the hotel, and the efficiency of the IDEA team. Above all, I was able to talk to and touch real people. Every day I am bombarded by email about the best methods for making a personal training business work, guaranteeing millions of pounds and dollars and thousands of new clients in 3 days if I buy this or that mysterious method, CD or download. They all demand a lot of money for empty promises. IDEA’s presenters, on the other hand, helped me to keep it real and gave me helpful ideas and realistic time frames to build my business.”

Both new and experienced trainers benefit from the broad range of sessions this event offers. “With 10 years of personal training experience, I still found a great deal to learn from the knowledgeable speakers, who showed how to take conventional exercise patterns and mix them up into interesting and varied forms,” says Susan Sams-Grohoski, CSCS, Lighthouse Integrated-Fitness Experience in Woodbridge, Virginia. Mixing it up is important, she says, because it enables her “to bring the fun factor to clients, and also to avoid overstressing any one ligament, joint or muscle and to train for multifunctional movement.”

“I work predominantly with very active adults who are always training for the next big adventure,” adds Sams-Grohoski. “They have trained for and completed a weeklong biking trip through Vermont, a 100-mile hike across Scotland, a weeklong horseback riding academy in Spain and downhill skiing in France. Many have taken up activities they wanted to do but were not sure they could. It’s important for me to keep learning so I can inspire them—the way they inspire me! The average age of my clients is 65. Therefore, we deal on a daily basis with weight, injuries, chronic conditions, depression—and perpetual hope.”

Washington, DC, trainer Kimberly Linton, who presented at the conference in 2012, says, “This was my first convention as a presenter for IDEA, so I was excited to be part of the synergy that this sold-out event creates every year. For me, the people were the most memorable experience. We were all there to learn ways to better serve our clients. Having that feeling of ‘one focus’ at an event was powerful, and you could feel it as you walked around and connected with people. Becoming an IDEA member and attending my first IDEA event were the catalysts in my career. I have found over the last 18 years that this is a tough business. But having an organization like IDEA as a constant resource, I have been able to thrive while others have left the industry.”

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

© 2013 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved.

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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.