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Career Path for Group Fitness Instructors

Put On Your Game Face

It’s the championship game and the competition is stiff. The coach has given his speech. It’s time to get on the field. Put on your game face!
Game face is a well-known expression in the sports arena, but it’s also applicable in the fitness profession. Consider this familiar scenario: It’s 8:00 pm. You’ve been working since 6:00 in the morning. This is your last client of the day. Are you ready to give your all?

Career Metamorphosis

You pride yourself on your dedication to helping clients maximize their health and fitness; but to continue helping clients, you need to stay engaged and enthusiastic about your work. How do you do this? Many people manage to stay fresh through change.
Is it time for you to make a radical or more subtle change in your career? Look at how other fitness professionals have shifted their careers: why they’ve changed, what they are doing now and how it’s benefited them.

Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree? How did you manage both going to school and working?

Should I get a master’s degree? I strongly debated this question at the time with friends, colleagues and members of my advisory board. I had already developed a good personal training client base and was happy with how other areas of the business were going. Through my conversations with my board members and others, I looked at my long-term goals of writing textbooks, lecturing, teaching and making the occupation of personal training more professional.
I realized that to be recognized as a professional I would need to get a master’s degree.

networking for introverts

Envision the following scenario: You’re in a crowded room full of fitness professionals. Business cards are flying out of pockets as if possessed. Handshakes occur at a rate that makes a NASCAR race look like a slow crawl. There is a constant hum from the sound of voices weaving together in a cheerful harmony.

Public Speaking Rx

Just a few months ago, an 8-year-old boy had a 2-year-old bike collecting dust in the garage. His mother’s efforts to get the boy to ride were met with much resistance. So many other things came more easily for him; he simply was not eager to try this challenging activity. His mother was convinced his first wheels would be those on a car.

The boy became more frustrated every time his mother encouraged him to try riding. She too began to get apprehensive. If he fell, the mishap was of course all her fault.

From the Ground Up

We have all heard the expression, “Hindsight is 20-20.” Today, looking back 16 years at the start of my personal training career, I can see clearly how everything worked out for me—though things might not…

Personal Training on Demand

As a personal trainer the only option you have to provide personalized service is to give one-on-one sessions, right? Many clients can’t afford that. You may decide to do small-group training, but what about clients…

Evaluation Strategies

That dreaded time of year has come again. You have to justify exactly why your boss should open up her tightly wrapped wallet to increase your pay. Some employees see this as an anxiety-filled experience, while others view it as an opportunity to showcase their talent and worth.

Blueprint of a Startup (Part 2)

In the June issue, I sketched out the first phases of setting up your own personal training business, based on my own experiences. The steps outlined in the June article showed you how to assess…

The Best Mentors for Women: Male or Female?

When personal training was a new industry, many trainers did not have mentors because they were the pioneers. Now, times are different. Savvy personal trainers know that good mentors can boost their careers. (See “The Mentoring Pathway” on page 34 of the March 2003 IDEA Personal Trainer.)

More Than Luck

The number one question I get from convention participants is “How do I become a presenter?” Oprah Winfrey said it best: “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” Although I was lucky to partner…

Surviving a Tax Audit

We work hard as personal trainers. Many of us invest a great deal of not only our time but also our hard-earned money in our chosen profession; expenses such as certifications, uniforms, CPR training, continuing education credits, business cards and fitness equipment really add up. The good news is that a significant portion
of the costs of doing business can be itemized as deductions. The bad news is that, because personal training is still a young profession, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doesn’t always readily understand our deductions.

Battling Burnout

Q:A:Burnout: Old topic for many instructors, but new to me! What can I do to overcome the burned-out feeling I’ve had lately when teaching? I can’t afford to take a break from instructing fitness classes. Plus, my club is facing a real instructor shortage right now. So, what else can I do to get out of my blah rut and be excited again about my classes?

Fitness Getaways

Vacation. For most, the word evokes images of sunny beaches, ski slopes and drinks with tiny umbrellas in them. However, for personal trainers, it conjures images of bills piling up because of income loss. Whether…

Evaluations: There Must Be a Better Way, Problem Solver

Arrgghh! Evaluation time again! I find the whole process of having my teaching performance evaluated so nerve-wracking and artificial. I worry beforehand about doing well; then I feel my evaluator cannot get a true picture of my long-term relationship with each class; and lastly, not much ever happens as a result of my evaluation. Any suggestions or subtle words of wisdom I can give to my director to make our time spent on evaluations more worthwhile? Do any instructors have successful experiences with performance evaluations they can share with me?

Think Beyond the Walls (nontraditional teaching opportunities)

Did you know that innumerable teaching opportunities exist beyond the conventional health club setting, which caters mostly to the already fit? The truth is that moneymaking options for group fitness leaders are plentiful—if you are motivated to move beyond the comfortable limits of traditional facilities and if you widen your clientele to encompass those who are less fit.

Memorize and Be Memorable

You’re a whiz at creating choreography. Now if only you could remember the combinations every time you taught. Or maybe you’re one of those people who can remember every face you see, but when you have to put a name to a face, your memory freezes.
Do these scenarios sound familiar? Then read on. Memory experts and veteran instructors have a few unforgettable tips for strengthening your memory. Give these suggestions a try, and remembering names and choreography will soon be a snap.

Dial-A-Combo: Creating Choreography

Brand-new or laden with experience, group fitness instructors all around the globe face a common challenge: creating fresh choreography. This need may be fueled by our personal expectations and preferences or the sense that our…

Using Ethics to Resolve Teaching Dilemmas

As the new millennium begins to take shape, philosophers and ethicists are again posing questions that have dogged humankind for centuries. What is right? What is good and true? When do we have the right to make decisions for other people? How can we use our reason and intuition to be the best we can be; to contribute to the new epoch?

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