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Scope of Practice/Ethics


The Importance of Introductory Offers

By Troy Fontana | August 23, 2017 |

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.

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The Care and Feeding of Superheroes

By Mark Fisher | June 15, 2017 |

You’ve heard it often: Your people are your greatest asset. But as author Rodd Wagner points out in his book Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They’re Real People (McGraw-Hill 2015), “Your people are not your greatest assets. They’re not yours, and they’re not assets.”

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Inspiring the World to Fitness for 35 Years!

By Ryan Halvorson | June 14, 2017 |

If IDEA Health & Fitness Association co-founders Kathie and Peter Davis had it to do over again, they likely wouldn’t change much on the storied journey of what grew from a fledgling association and a small annual gathering of fitness professionals into a powerful trade association and the massive IDEA® World Convention. IDEA has come to this exact moment in time as a sum of all the parts, moments, people and happenings since the company’s founding in 1982.

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Physical Literacy Is a Journey, Not a Destination

By Cedric X. Bryant, PhD | May 19, 2017 |

Steve Boyle is the CEO of the National Association of Physical Literacy (NAPL) and principal/founder of 2-4-1 Sports, a national organization that teaches children physical literacy using sports sampling through camps, clinics and school-based programming. Recently recognized by the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program as one of eight model programs in the United States in the original Project Play report, 2-4-1 Sports embodies its motto, Life’s 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport

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Creating a Client Avatar

By Trina Gray | April 18, 2017 |

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.

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The Latest in Water Fitness: Research Update

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | April 12, 2017 |

Melis "Mel" Edwards, MS, creator of the H.I.T. Method™ (Hydrofit Interval Training), has spent the past 20 years promoting water fitness training both for athletes and as an athlete herself. Edwards, group fitness instructor and director of admissions at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, has trained both professional and recreational athletes.

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The Best of Times Are Yet to Come

By Cedric X. Bryant, PhD | March 21, 2017 |

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.

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Overcoming the Fear of Change

By Ryan Halvorson | March 20, 2017 |

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.

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The Big Payoff to Better Posture

By Ryan Halvorson | March 14, 2017 |

When I was a kid, my dad was a stickler for posture. "Sit up straight," he'd say as I slouched over a plate of pasta. Other times, he'd try a tactile approach. I'd be standing in line at the market or sitting in the bleachers watching my oldest brother play baseball, and out of nowhere I'd feel two thumbs dig gently into my upper trapezius muscles while the remaining fingers of each hand gripped my shoulders and pulled them back. All these years later, I'm the one cuing people to mind their posture.

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Do You Need a Better Technology Policy?

By Ryan Halvorson | February 16, 2017 |

If you've spent any time at all inside a gym, you've likely experienced this scenario: You're humming along on your treadmill when Joe Talksalot hops onto the machine next to you and proceeds to speak loudly into his smartphone. To distract yourself from Talksalot's not–so–private conversation, you scan the gym floor—and over in the corner you see a woman doing backbends while contorting her neck to maintain a visual on her tablet.

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An Assessment Makeover

By Justin Ochoa | February 15, 2017 |

Isn't it frustrating when a client quits? It has happened to the best of us, and there are any number of reasons why it occurs. But the bottom line is this:

You just lost an opportunity to change someone's life for the better.
You just affected your business negatively in more ways than one.

Many times, clients discontinue training for reasons that are mostly beyond your control. That doesn't make it any easier to see them walk out the door, but at least you know you weren't directly at fault for losing that client.

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The Other 165 Hours

By Ryan Halvorson | February 15, 2017 |

Things aren't always what they seem. Tim Borys, president and CEO of FRESH! Wellness Group, has a simple philosophy when it comes to coaching clients toward self–improvement. He believes that "outer circumstances rarely change until [the client's] inner voice and mindset are transformed," he says. However, too often, indviduals who seek guidance from a personal trainer emphasize external actions—like performing well during training sessions—as the primary roads to change, he adds.

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Intellectual Property in Fitness

By Chris McElwain, JD | January 17, 2017 |

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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"What do you do when family members, friends or co-workers resist or undermine a client's healthy changes?"

By IDEA Authors | December 13, 2016 |

I try to prepare clients for this occurrence. I have seen this situation more often with "friends" who feel threatened by the success of someone in their circle. When the resistance comes from a partner, it is a very difficult situation, but social interactions can be altered more easily.
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.

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“How do you handle the situation when a client comes in sick or with an obvious medical condition such as open sores?”

By IDEA Authors | February 17, 2016 |

I ask the client to obtain a medical clearance from a doctor before we can train. I explain that this is precautionary for his or her own health. Why do I ask for medical clearance? When clients are ill, exercise is most likely not going to benefit them. When a client seeks medical clearance, the doctor usually reinforces my original concerns.

Bill Ross

Owner, Bill Ross Fit and

Holistic Life Forever


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