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Identifying and Managing Risk Among Trainers

 9  Business Basics:
Pricing Your Services
13  Technology:
From Mobile to Mobility
17  Training for Growth:
The Struggle for Significance
21  Best Practices:
Build Your Team

By nature, personal trainers are passionate, driven, organized and excellent at communicating, or so we would like to believe. In reality, within any team there are radical differences in terms of trainer competencies.

Build Your Team

It is said that if you want to be successful, you must surround yourself with great people. One of the most challenging aspects of running your own business is finding great people and then keeping them.

Pruning a Prima Donna Participant

If you teach group exercise long enough, you’re bound to encounter the group exercise diva. This self-proclaimed privileged member wreaks havoc in your classes and throughout the club. She is the person who feels that rules apply only to others—not to her. She (or he!) displays disrespect for the group exercise experience, the instructor and the other participants. The diva’s behavior tends to create a negative experience for the majority of attendees. Unfortunately, the instigator often goes unchecked.

Making Connections

Tamar Cline, assistant director of fitness at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, has spent the past 7 years training new fitness instructors just to see them graduate and move away. Cline and CSU staff help students get a head start on their certification exams while earning spots at the Student Recreation Center as group fitness instructors.

Administrative Regulations

As a new business owner, you will need to comply with a number of administrative regulations and federal, state and local laws; for example, you will have to obtain various licenses, permits and insurance policies….

How to Be the Instructor Every Supervisor Wants

As a group fitness instructor, you seek out innovative choreography, purchase motivating music and put on your biggest smile in an effort to keep people coming back for more. While relating to participants may seem most pertinent, don’t neglect the critical connection with your group fitness director. Since this individual is typically the one who hires and fires, determines the class schedule and decides what equipment to purchase, it’s important to establish a positive and productive relationship with him or her.

The New View

About 30 years ago, the first wave of
group fitness instructors (known then as aerobics teachers) got their start in
an industry yet to be defined. Many of those people are still teaching and
training, yet as the industry grows and changes, continuing to shape itself,
the need for a steady influx of teachers is evident. Since the world of fitness
is radically differ…

Hiring a Business Manager

At some point many personal training entrepreneurs decide they need assistance running their business. Are you trying to balance everything—training sessions, employee issues, business and financial matters, building and supplies, etc.? If so, it may be time to make a change. If you are at a juncture in your business life where you are feeling overwhelmed, stagnant, disorganized, fr…

Create a Positive Corporate Culture

Retention, membership, sales, customer service–these terms are used frequently when describing the various aspects of running a successful fitness facility. One term not heard as often, yet of equal importance, is corporate culture.

Guiding New Instructors

As vice president of GoodLife Fitness
clubs in Canada, Maureen “Mo” Hagan, PT, still teaches group fitness, inspiring
200 participants per week in her classes. She also travels to several new club
openings a year, introducing hundreds of members to group fitness programs. She
combines her passion for group exercise and her intere…

Leadership Through Service

As studio owners and managers, we understand that part of being a leader is knowing the system, following and enforcing the rules, and providing support and guidance for those we manage or supervise. 

Cohesive Training Courts New Instructors

As the fitness industry grows and ages, many people have noticed a gap between “veteran” instructors, who have been teaching for 10 years and longer, and “newbies,” group fitness professionals who are just getting started. This has led many to voice concerns over the future of group exercise. To address this issue, IDEA Fitness Journal began running a new column in January, highl…

Contributing Early

As the fitness industry grows and ages, many people have noticed a gap between “veteran” instructors, who have been teaching for 10 years and longer, and “newbies,” group fitness professionals who are just getting started. This has led many to voice concerns over the future of group exercise. To address this issue, IDEA Fitness Journal is running a new column that will highlight un…

The Uniform Question

Both the IDEA Personal Trainer Code of Ethics and the IDEA Group Fitness Instructor Code of Ethics urge fitness professionals to “uphold a professional image through conduct and appearance.” However, what type of clothing helps fitness professionals project the right image? Some owners and managers believe that providing uniforms is key…

Effective Ghost Managing

If you are like a lot of program directors, you manage people you rarely see—or who rarely see you. This makes you a “ghost manager.” The biggest challenge in being a ghost manager lies in connecting with and motivating your staff. Ghost managers can be responsible for 30 or more instructors who work about 1–3 hours per week, and for 50-plus time slots on the schedule. Most instructors teach pa…

AEDs Required in California Fitness Facilities

It’s been 3 months since all
fitness facilities and studios in California were required to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) program in place (the implementation date was July 1). If this requirement applies to you, are you up to code? If you don’t live in California, visit www.ncsl.org/programs/health/
aed.htm to see if your state
requires …

Dealing With Divas

Regardless of their locale, schedule or
member profile, group exercise programs
share one thing in common: the diva factor.
The “diva” instructor is one of the
most difficult to manage. She presents
herself as “untouchable” and doesn’t see
the big picture. She refuses to uphold the
mission of the program or club and is far
from being a supportive team player. She
sees just one pi…

Creating Members for Life

Ask the managers of any gym, personal training studio or other fitness-based business what their biggest challenge is and you are bound to hear “member retention.” Getting new members is easy—keeping them is more difficult.
Holding on to members for the long term is a special science, one that makes you think about how you approach every aspect of your business….

Meeting the Chain Challenge

When health club chains
announce they are coming to town, what happens to the business of local, independently owned facilities? How can any small business compete when its resources and staff are dwarfed by those of larger outfits? Is there any way to prepare or to level the playing field when dealing with such formidable competition?

Be Prepared

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