Raising the Bar at IDEA Personal Trainer -NYC 2006

by Mary Monroe on Sep 01, 2006

Take a trip to the Big Apple and find out how you can get better training results for clients-and better business results for you.

Do you have clients with special health challenges? Or clients who aren’t satisfied with their results, don’t follow your direction or just stop showing up? Is your training calendar underbooked or so overbooked that you rarely come up for air? Would you like to start a profitable training business, expand the one you have or generate more income? You’ll find the answers at IDEA Personal Trainer—NYC 2006, where the world’s most successful trainers will share their experiences, insights and solutions.

“In the surveys I’ve done, there are way too many trainers who make under $30,000 and don’t have health insurance,” says Phil Kaplan, a nationally known fitness business expert, personal trainer and media personality, who will deliver this year’s welcome address. “That tells me that trainers need to reset the personal training paradigm. A lot of trainers aren’t viewing themselves as professionals and aren’t asking for what they’re worth. I think we’re too used to health clubs giving away training sessions like freebies—we don’t value what we do. And trainers can lack the confidence to expect to be treated as professionals. Often, all that holds us back is fear. I tell trainers to start by telling clients they’re charging $4.99 more an hour. For a lot of trainers, that’s extremely hard to do. But you know what? Usually most clients just say, ‘Okay.’”

At the fitness conference, Kaplan will discuss how trainers can change the way they view themselves—and how the world views trainers. “We can learn from professionals in other arenas. For example, lots of trainers have crazy schedules that are completely determined by their clients. But try going to a doctor’s office and saying, ‘I want to come in at 10:00.’ You’ll find out the doctor is playing golf at that time, then he’s booked for a week, then he’s on vacation for 2 weeks—and then you can get your appointment. We need to become creators of our schedule, rather than victims of it.”

As a personal trainer (and former health club owner) who travels a great deal for speaking engagements, Kaplan used to struggle with how to maintain contact with personal training clients on a limited schedule. His solution has been to institute group sessions in which he serves as a health educator teaching clients overall concepts, but to let his 19 trainers lead the individual training sessions.

“There are so many ways to approach this business and so many opportunities today for trainers to be very successful entrepreneurs,” he says. “For example, there are businesses that now have as many as 400 trainers. Corporations offer a tremendous opportunity for trainers to reach large numbers of people. Trainers can step in and reach people today in a way that doctors, for example, with their 7-minute window of time with clients, just can’t. In New York City, IDEA trainers are going to learn how to position themselves differently.”

No More “Typical” Clients

Today’s clients tend to bring a host of challenging health issues along with them. Because arthritis, obesity, diabetes, cancer and many other conditions are now seen more commonly in personal trainers’ offices, this year’s program has a wide range of sessions that will offer in-depth information on challenges such as working with clients after a stroke, working with obese kids and adults, and functional training for older clients. Fifteen sessions will look at working with clients who have muscular imbalances or postrehabilitation needs, such as shoulder and back problems. Five sessions will focus exclusively on the needs of female clients, including mind-body fitness for women over 50, and women and weight loss.

“One of the exciting trends in personal training today is that more research is focused on the needs of women,” says Jan Schroeder, PhD, associate professor at California State University, Long Beach, who will present a session on research relating to menopausal women. “Trainers want to know if they need to train women differently than men, and the answer is yes. A successful trainer needs to understand that women react differently physically, emotionally and socially. They communicate differently.”

Nicki Anderson, owner of Reality Fitness in Naperville, Illinois, will be presenting on women and weight loss, as well as on a topic for female trainers: “Success Rules for Women—10 Strategies to Reach Your Business Goals!” She notes, “This has been a ‘guy’ industry in a lot of ways, but now women are really coming into their own in personal training, rising into management and ownership. I’m going to talk about how women can trust and make ‘gut’ decisions, how to successfully network in their communities, how to create a clear mission and direction for yourself, and how to balance it all . . . for example, by taking 1 hour of ‘me’ time for every 10 hours of work time.”

Rochelle Rice, MA, president of In Fitness & In Health, in New York City, will explore working with overweight clients. “One issue with [these] clients is they often can’t identify their abdominal muscles. If you ask, they’ll just indicate this big mass in the stomach region. By teaching them anatomically, emphasizing technique and using breath work, you can take some of the emotion out of the situation and help them to identify when the muscles are actually being worked.”

Annette Lang, MS, a Reebok master trainer and personal trainer based in New York City, is presenting on core training. “We’ll be looking at core training relative to areas such as shoulder mobility, hip stability and other individual needs of clients, so trainers can make effective choices in the type of core work they do with each client.”

IDEA Personal Trainer—NYC 2006 will feature more than 70 information-packed sessions—including 30 first-time, brand-new selections—led by the industry’s top business and educational experts.

Trends and Better Business Tips

Justin Price, MA, 2006 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, corrective exercise specialist and owner of The BioMechanics in San Diego, will discuss maximizing growth and profit. “Many trainers make the common mistake of taking a shotgun approach to marketing, trying to make their services appeal to everyone,” he says. “This may get limited results in the short term, but a more successful strategy is to market yourself as a specialist in a niche market. Then you can target specific markets, focus your marketing and charge top dollar. We’re going to talk about how to distinguish yourself as an industry specialist, and discover which marketing strategies will make the most of your marketing dollar.”

San Diego–based Todd Durkin, MA, 2004 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and 2005 ACE Personal Trainer of the Year, will present “Train the Joes Like the Pros,” “Great Trainer—Great Business??” and “Looking Forward: What’s Next in Personal Training.”

Durkin says that top training trends include youth athletic and sports training, sports performance training, boot camp–style classes, mind-body classes, and regeneration and recovery principles, (helping clients recover more quickly from their workouts).

“I talk to trainers all over the world, and they’re excited about new directions in personal training and all the opportunities,” says Durkin. “But the main questions I get are about the business challenges. We don’t get answers to business questions in our certificate programs. At the fitness conference I’m going to talk about how trainers can save thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars by learning some key lessons that I’ve learned—and by not making some of the mistakes I’ve made. We’ll look at how to track sessions and income closely; how to enforce policies, negotiate leases and avoid lawsuits; what to do about client conflicts; and how to structure effective corporate contracts. A great trainer can make well over a million dollars in gross annual revenues, but to do it, you have to run a great business. At IDEA Personal Trainer—NYC 2006, you’re going to find out how to do it.”

10Reasons to Attend This Conference

1. Increase Your Success. When it comes to recruitment of new clients, business management, client retention, marketing, programming, client relationships and just plain inspiration, you’ll get more valuable and profitable ideas in 1 weekend at this fitness conference than you typically do all year.

2. Get Top Education. More than 70 sessions from top presenters will give you the latest in business, psychology, exercise techniques, mind-body fitness, special populations, biomechanics and more.

3. Earn Up to 16 CECs. Take home up to 16 continuing education credits (CECs) from organizations such as ACE, ACSM, AEA, AFAA, NASM, NATA, BOC, NFPT, NSCA and W.I.T.S. Take the sessions you need to renew your industry certifications. Note: IDEA does not determine which sessions qualify for credit or how many credits each session is worth. If your agency is not listed and you have questions about that, please contact your certifying agency to find out whether you can petition for CECs.

4. Enjoy In-Depth Preconference Training. Get extensive, in-depth training on various topics: Getting the Most out of the Muscular System—An Introduction to Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT), How to Maximize Growth and Profit in Your Business, STOTT PILATES® Personal Training Matwork and Compliance Coaching.

5. See 30 Brand-New Premier Sessions. At these brand-new sessions debuting at IDEA, you’ll find the most up- to-the-minute information on an array of subjects.

6. Check Out the Expo Hall. This is where the fun is—not to mention the trends and all the buzz! Shop till you drop and get great professional discounts, test cutting-edge products and services from more than 40 exhibitors, and talk to leading manufacturers and program creators.

7. Network With Top Trainers. Meet the winners who can educate you, support you and inspire you. Get connected with in-the-know presenters, fitness manufacturers and trainers from around the world.

8. Have a Blast in the Big Apple. Have fun in the one-of- a-kind entertainment mecca that is New York City! Catch Broadway shows, feast on tantalizing cuisine, thrill to museum exhibits and check out unbeatable attractions like the Statue of Liberty.

9. Special Offer: Get IDEA Benefits. Nonmembers who attend the full fitness conference receive an IDEA membership and get benefits all year long, such as IDEA’s award- winning publications, access to liability insurance, the online Article Archive and much more.

10. Inspire the World to Fitness®. You can’t inspire the rest of the world without first getting inspired yourself. This is the place to find the ideas, tips, stories and inspiration that will spark you to take the lead, to make a difference in the lives of others—and to change the world, one client at a time.

Coaching Clients to Better Results

At IDEA Personal Trainer—NYC 2006, IDEA will introduce the first-ever Certification in Compliance Coaching, presented in conjunction with the Association of Fitness by Phone® Coaches. Proven to increase exercise compliance to 75%–90%, compliance coaching has been scientifically researched for over 24 years by Stanford University and other renowned research institutions.

Compliance coaching sessions during the fitness event will teach you how clients can shift from trainer-efficacy to self-efficacy so they learn to take personal responsibility and develop internal motivation; offer intuitive-eating coaching skills to help clients reconnect with their own ability to identify foods that are optimal for them; and explain how to turn coaching into a stand-alone, fee-based service for existing and new clients.

In-Depth Training, Specialty Topics

Four InTensive sessions will be offered at IDEA Personal Trainer—NYC 2006: (1) Structural Assessment, (2) Pelvic Core Floor, (3) Pre- and Postnatal Fitness Start-Up: Building Your Own Community Program and (4) Resistance Training Progressions. These popular 4-hour workshops combine in-depth research with hands-on training (and they sell out fast, so sign up early).

Four whole or half-day preconference sessions also offer in-depth training on specialty topics: (1) Getting the Most out of the Muscular System—An Introduction to Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT); (2) STOTT PILATES®: Personal Training Matwork Classes: Teaching Skills and Programming Choices; (3) Compliance Coaching; and (4) How to Maximize Growth and Profit in Your Personal Training Business.

New York, New YorkNew York, New York

What city is more exciting than this one? The question is, with so much to do, how do you choose? We asked IDEA members who live in the Big Apple to give us their best ideas for what you should do while you’re in town:

  • Take a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. This gorgeous landmark has been called a “drive-through cathedral,” and a trek on the pedestrian path will give you a breathtaking view of Manhattan. A walk across the bridge’s promenade—a boardwalk elevated above the roadway and shared by pedestrians, in-line skaters and bicyclists—takes you from Manhattan’s civic center to the heart of Brooklyn Heights in about 40 minutes (www.nyctourist.com).
  • Bike or walk the beautiful Hudson River Park bike path. You can follow the river along the entire west side of Manhattan— a perfect stroll for a fall day (www.hudson riverpark.org).
  • Don’t forget to see scenic Central Park (just a few blocks from fitness event headquarters at the Hilton), perhaps from a horse-drawn carriage—or from a rowboat rented at the Loeb Boathouse restaurant. Feeling romantic? Try a Venetian gondola (www.central park.com; www.thecentralparkboat house.com)!
  • See the city from the Top of the Rock, the newly opened observation deck on the 70th floor of 30 Rockefeller Center, in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Panels of fully transparent safety glass—the only thing between you and the city—are crystal clear for unobstructed, open-air viewing. Visit during the day to see the splendor of the metropolis unfold beneath you, or visit at night and see the city sparkle. And don’t forget the classic Empire State Building, still a timeless way to see New York, especially on a clear day (www.rockefeller center.com; www.topoftherock.com; www.esbnyc.com).
  • Take the Staten Island Ferry, a wonderful ride in the autumn and a great way to see the Statue of Liberty up close. The Staten Island Ferry is run by the City of New York to transport Staten Islanders to and from Manhattan. But the 5-mile, 25-minute ride also provides a majestic view of New York Harbor and a no-hassle, even romantic, boat ride for free! You’ll have a perfect view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (www.siferry.com;www.statueofliberty.org).
  • Consider taking in the World Trade Center site, for an emotional but memorable personal experience (www.newyork.com/ g_zero.html).

—Thanks to IDEA members Rochelle Rice and Annette Lang for their recommendations.

Fitness Journal, Volume 3, Issue 8

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© 2006 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Mary Monroe

Mary Monroe IDEA Author/Presenter

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