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Career Path for Group Fitness Instructors

behavior modification

Behavior Modification Strategies

Behavior modification can be a tricky thing when it’s just you and your client working through challenging issues. But what happens when others are proving to be obstacles to progress? IDEA asked a handful of fitness professionals how they assist or advise clients whose friends and family may be sabotaging their efforts to get healthy. 
I often ask clients about their social habits and suggest, for example, that "girls' night out" could be replaced by a fun activity that does not revolve around eating. Discussing strategies with clients in preparation for events like that is often helpful.

How to Fortify Your Purpose and Bolster Your Business

It was 2014 and Jill McKay was at a critical juncture. For the past decade, she had thought of herself as "just a mom," yet recently the idea of founding a fitness organization had begun to consume her. The problem? McKay lacked both confidence and the know-how to get started. Soon, however, she'd find her first step—and the catalyst to fulfilling her aspirations—underneath the Christmas tree.

Ageism and the Fitness Industry

At what age does a person become old? Is it 50 or 65 or 75? I've known healthy 75-year-olds who could outrun, outswim and outlift me, and I've known diseased 60-year-;olds who'd be short of breath walking to the mailbox.

Clinch Your Coaching Style

You look across the hall at Popular Instructor’s class and marvel at how she packs the house day after day, week after week. You’ve studied her style and tried your best to emulate her music, cuing, choreography—even the way she dresses—but your numbers are shrinking instead of growing. What are you doing wrong?

Cross-Training for the Career Win

A seasoned high school soccer player who has excellent shooting, passing, dribbling and heading skills walks into your office looking for a personal trainer to help her boost her game. To reach the next level—say, collegiate-quality—making her ball skills even better may not be what’s most important. To further excel, she will need to hold her own at control, speed, agility and strength. If she improves these abilities and combines them with her already exceptional ball skills, she’ll have the tools to become a strong, well-rounded college recruit.

Adaptable Program Design

A perfect match. Sometimes, in what seems a stroke of kismet, a
perfect client-trainer relationship begins. Several years ago, Eran, a
longtime dancer for Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance Company, moved
to Brooklyn in New York City. She had been working with a personal
trainer in Harlem until the commute from Brooklyn became too much of a

Building Positive Client Experiences

Pete McCall, MS, CSCS, is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and longtime educator in the fitness industry. For the past 15 years, he has dedicated himself to helping clients improve their fitness levels and educating fitness professionals in countries ranging from Russia to Thailand. Prior to starting his own personal training and consulting business, McCall served as an exercise physiologist for ACE, where he was instrumental in helping to develop the ACE Integrated Fitness Training® Model and contributing to the ACE Personal Trainer Manual (4th Edition).

A Teaching Kitchen in Your Studio?

Those of us who know how to cook typically learned by helping our
parents in the kitchen when we were growing up. We picked up on little
pointers, burned some toast, learned how to eyeball a measurement and
prepared recipes passed down through the generations. Developing a
comfort level in the kitchen requires practice—spending time there
planning, preparing and serving meals (and washing the dirty dishes!).

2015 Personal Training Trend Watch

Personal training has become a power-
house in the fitness industry.
With $10 billion in annual revenue and a projected 2.5% growth
(IBISWorld 2015), this profession has planted deep, strong roots.
Despite being a comparatively new industry (it got its start in the late
1980s/early 1990s), personal training has seen its share of change over
the past several decades. What was once a luxury for the wealthy has
become increasingly accessible to those with less disposable income—and

Add Power to Your Purpose

If knowledge is power, then IDEA Personal Trainer Institute is like a windmill farm of education. For the past many years, personal trainers, wellness professionals and entrepreneurs have come to this knowledge hub to learn from the industry’s top change agents so that they can gain inspiration, insights and the purpose necessary for a fulfilling and financially rewarding career.

Safety for Pregnant Instructors

Many years ago, while I was pregnant with my second child, something happened that I hope no other group fitness instructor goes through. As I was driving to teach class, I experienced some cramping, but…

Toward a Minimum Standard of Practice

Cliff Collins serves as director of programmes for EuropeActive (formerly the European Health and Fitness Association) and the European Register of Exercise Professionals, an independent registry of all instructors, trainers and teachers working across Europe…

Personal Transformation Practices

Use a three-pronged approach to help frail participants move better, get stronger and improve their balance.

Do you strive to be a leader in your life? To successfully lead others with authenticity, you must first acquire the tools to lead yourself. Self-mastery and self-?management are fast becoming valued attributes in our outer-directed society. How do you manage your thoughts and practice mindfulness from moment to moment?

How to Make the Most of Internships

Internships are a fact of life in the fitness industry. All major degree programs related to fitness or exercise science require that students complete an internship prior to earning a degree. Colleges and universities want their students to have real-life work experience when they graduate. Internships help students discover their likes and dislikes; the work also helps them to form professional relationships and to differentiate themselves from the hundreds of other recent graduates vying for the same jobs.

Lessons From the Trenches, Part Three: How to Become a Better Leader

Every day, leaders are faced with new challenges and learning opportunities. Good leaders don’t simply sit back and assume the position of leadership; they embody it. They set a good example, they evolve and they lead through thick or thin. In the third and final installment of this series, we identify ways to lead with greater impact.

Be Empathetic

Profiles of Pain and Perseverance

In February 2006, Danny Strong was on top of the world. After years of working as a gym manager, he had opened his own personal training gym, making his dream a reality. The husband and father was also eager to welcome a second child into the family. A month after receiving the keys to his new facility, he took his family on a trip to visit his godmother. While on the road, Strong lost control of his vehicle and was hit by a tractor-trailer traveling at full speed. His pregnant wife, Sandra Urbano Strong, was killed instantly.

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