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Career Path for Group Fitness Instructors

Training an Up-and-Coming Athlete

client: Lauren | personal trainer: Francesca Pucher, co-owner, Fitness 121 | location: Roseland, New Jersey

In search of progress. Lauren was just 13 years old when she first met Francesca Pucher, personal trainer and co-owner of Fitness 121 in Roseland, New Jersey. Lauren’s mom was working with Pucher and asked for some advice on how to help her daughter with her ice skating. She wondered if Lauren’s performance would improve if she incorporated some strength training into her weekly routine.

2017 IDEA® World Convention

Wherever they are, the best personal trainers, group exercise instructors, fitness entrepreneurs and nutrition/wellness professionals excel at what they do, but in the macrocosm of motion that is the IDEA World Convention, they redefine the limits of their potential. At the 2017 event, held in Las Vegas, July 19–23, more than 10,000 like-minded pros placed a bet on continued happiness and success, upping the ante as they attended more than 330 workshops and workouts taught by the industry’s greatest minds.

Recovery Tech—An Array of New Products, Services and Centers

New technologies, products and services are boosting the exercise-recovery business. What’s going on here?
The rising popularity of wearable devices is making people much more aware of their performance.
High-intensity interval training remains one of the most popular kinds of exercise.
Everyday exercisers can now afford treatments that were formerly reserved for pro athletes.

“How do you incorporate breathing strategies into clients’ workouts?”

Breathing strategies help keep clients focused on the movement and minimize distractions. When your clients take a deep breath just before a set, they can turn their thoughts inward and focus on proper body alignment, rather than moving the weight. This improves body awareness and posture and creates better engagement of the muscles needed for the lift.

The Importance of Introductory Offers

Early in my career as a personal trainer, I was confused as to why my client base was growing at a glacial speed. After all, I had spent years preparing, applying principles, learning program design and getting certified so that I could have a career that would change people’s lives for the better.

“What smartphone app or computer program could you not live without in your business?”

I could not live without the Tabata Pro™ Timer and MyFitnessPal apps. Tabata Pro Timer is essential to my private and small-group training sessions and our group running program. I can set three different timers to meet all my interval needs.
MyFitnessPal enables my clients to track exercise as well as food and water intake, and to share these publicly or just with me. The app provides accountability for my clients’ fitness and nutrition goals.

Creating a Client Avatar

Do you remember the days before GPS and smartphones? When taking a road trip meant pulling over to look at a map, making U‐turns and stopping at gas stations to ask for directions? We had a destination, but not the exact route. What if you ran your fitness business that way? Taking action with no clear path? It would be frustrating, wasteful and inefficient. The reality is that many personal trainers do approach their businesses in that fashion.

What’s Your Exit Strategy?

Have you heard the saying "Begin with the ending in mind"? Over the years, this axiom has probably helped you solve complex math problems, create a science–fair project, or even write a research paper. But you may have forgotten this sage advice when it comes to planning something with even higher stakes: your career.

The Best of Times Are Yet to Come

Anytime Fitness CEO Chuck Runyon helped to revolutionize the fitness industry when he and Dave Mortensen co-founded the juggernaut brand in 2002. Now massive in scale and influence, Anytime's success grew by focusing on a model of smaller neighborhood gyms that emphasized convenience, affordability, quality equipment and personable service in friendly, nonintimidating facilities.

“How did you finance your personal training business or studio when you started it?”

The journey I took to open my own facility was long and happened in small steps. I was working in a big gym in Washington, D.C., when I decided it was time to step out on my own. My landlord was also a client, and when I told her what my intentions were, she suggested moving out of my studio and into a one-bedroom apartment in the same building. I turned the living room into the workout space and used the bedroom as my living space. I financed the move through what little savings I had, $2,000, plus a $1,500 loan from my parents.

Overcoming the Fear of Change

client: Erin | personal trainer: Don Bahneman, MS, CSCS, general manager, fitness director and master personal trainer, The Energy Club | location: Arlington, Virginia

Fear of change. Erin, a member of The Energy Club, was searching for a new personal trainer in 2014. The one she had been working with was leaving for medical school, and Erin still had sessions remaining. After observing the trainers in the gym, she zeroed in on general manager and master personal trainer Don Bahneman.

The Foundation of a Fulfilling Future

Las Vegas has a reputation for secrets. As they say, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." This July, more than 10,000 professionals will break that cardinal rule because what happens at the 2017 IDEA World Convention will be shared with millions of people worldwide. With more than 335 workshops, lectures and workouts, plus tons of special events planned to celebrate IDEA's 35th anniversary, it will be impossible to keep quiet about the career-changing experiences and top-level knowledge offered at this year's event.

Intellectual Property in Fitness

What separates a freelance personal trainer from a fitness entrepreneur? A big part of the answer is intellectual property.
Intellectual property is a catchall term for a bucket of legal concepts, all directed toward a business's intangible assets. IP includes

patents that protect new and useful inventions,
copyrights that protect creative expressions (what media companies call "content"), and
trademarks that protect brands and consumer goodwill.

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