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Career Path for Personal Trainers

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.)

Mind Your Own Business (Free!)

If you own a PFT business, take advantage of free access to an online classroom of business courses, workshops, information resources, learning tools and counseling assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s E-Business Institute Web site.

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.

How the Income Flows

Personal training is a popular activity because it helps clients achieve their goals. Although a new membership package may include several personal training sessions, over time the client pays extra for personal training. Often, businesses split the fee with the trainer.

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?

Current Issues in Nutrition Research

As in years past, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) Conference, held October 19 through 22, 2002, provided attendees plenty of food for thought. The following session topics were among those of most interest to health and fitness professionals.

Increasing Our Knowledge of Healthy Eating

The quantity of media reports on nutrition and weight management seems only to increase every year. Research in nutrition, as in most sciences, is leaping at such a rate that while the body of knowledge is expanding, the interrelations being uncovered are not always fully understood.

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…

Getting Your Equipment Needs Met

Q:My director knows our studio microphone is broken and agrees we need to fix it right away. She says she has requested a repair. Yet 3 weeks have elapsed, and nothing
has been resolved. Meanwhile, my voice
is shot. If I refuse to teach until the mike is repaired, I will be considered a problem instructor. But if I continue to teach without a mike, my voice will suffer even more. What should I do?

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?

Protecting Members and Yourself, Problem Solver

Thank you for the February 2001 Problem Solver column, “Dealing With Fellow Instructors’ Eating or Exercise Disorders.” Recently a colleague of mine encountered this situation with a member of her facility. With regard to getting involved, our staff is concerned about the legal implications, including possible claims of discrimination and privacy violation. What are the legal guidelines for approaching a member (especially at the request of other members) when it is clear that the member’s health is in danger?

What Do Facilities Pay?

Every facility follows a business model, which impacts all costs,
including salary levels. When looking at these figures, keep in mind how costs are associated with revenue. For example, it is simpler to
associate the cost of a personal trainer with the revenue of a session fee than it is to associate the cost of a fitness instructor with the revenue of a membership fee, which allows access to an entire facility. These cost-revenue associations may impact compensation.

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.

What Are the Pay Scales Around the Country?

Average hours worked and compensation for the industry were reported in the January 2001 issue of IDEA Health & Fitness Source. These charts break down those results into regions. When looking at the numbers, consider that the region includes big cities and suburban areas, as well as small towns.

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