Personal Training Grows Up

by Kathie Davis and Peter Davis, CEO on Jan 21, 2014


It’s hard to believe that more than two decades have elapsed since IDEA began focusing intently on personal training.

With continuing education always at the forefront of our mandate to serve you, we have held specialty personal training events since 1989. As the industry developed, we opened a new membership category, and the IDEA Foundation (now the American Council on Exercise) launched the first-ever personal trainer certification, both in 1990. The same year, we launched our IDEA Personal Trainer newsletter. Four years later, the newsletter was scaled up to a full magazine, which served our personal trainer members until June 2004, when the content was rolled into IDEA Fitness Journal.

We have seen a lot change as the role and responsibility of personal trainers have matured and expanded. You are better educated than ever; you are more business savvy; you are accessible to a greater number of people. Your influence and impact on clients are powerful.

As we approach 25 years of personal training, we felt it was important to do a state-of-the-industry article in which we talked to experts to gain insight on how we can not only sustain personal training as a viable and vibrant industry but also talk about how to take it to the next level. Contributing editor Shirley Archer, JD, MA, has put together a comprehensive feature on the topic: “10 Benchmarks for Elevating the Personal Training Profession.”

She spoke with industry leaders about such topics as certification, foundational education, mentoring programs for young trainers, fitness coaching, communication skills, assessment, program design, and a host of other subjects that will shape the landscape for both trainers and consumers as we move forward. Don’t miss this important discussion, and please share your thoughts and ideas about it with editor in chief Sandy Todd Webster:

The second feature in this issue tackles the question of whether the fitness industry has gone over the top in terms of high-intensity training programs. As author Amanda Vogel, MA, writes, “In some circles, clients judge fitness professionals by the intensity of their classes or sessions. It’s a compliment to say an instructor, trainer or presenter teaches really hard workouts; it’s never framed as a negative thing. A ‘brutal’ workout equals a good workout. Has it always been this way? . . .

“Some experts in the industry suggest that our current obsession with intensity hearkens all the way back to the early days of fitness. It’s almost as though we’ve come full circle. We might not be chanting ‘no pain, no gain’ anymore, but maybe we’re teaching its tenets to some degree. . . . Some fitness experts wonder if we have ‘jumped the shark’ with high-intensity training. Have we pushed this attractive and viable fitness modality too hard and too far, making it less safe and less effective?” Hear what the experts have to say and, again, let us know your thoughts on it. We hope your year is off to a great start!

Fitness Journal, Volume 11, Issue 2

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© 2014 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Authors

Kathie Davis

Kathie Davis IDEA Author/Presenter

Kathie Davis is co-founder of IDEA Health & Fitness Association in San Diego.

Peter Davis, CEO

Peter Davis, CEO IDEA Author/Presenter

Peter Davis is co-founder of IDEA Health & Fitness Association.