fbpx Skip to content


The Secrets to Building a Successful Business and a Prolific Career

Elevate your purpose at the IDEA® Personal Trainer Institute in Alexandria, VA, March 1-4, and for the first time ever, in Dallas, April 5-8!

When Jake Trione, owner of TriAffect Fitness, Health and Wellness in Houston, thought about what he wanted to do after 13 years of active duty in the United States Coast Guard, he knew he’d become a personal trainer. “I thought to myself, ‘If I am serious, I should find the most successful professionals in the business and spend time with them,’” he says.

Last year, his educational journey brought him to the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute, which confirmed his career choice. “[Since] attending this conference, my drive to educate and support our aging population has been cemented,” says Trione. “I provide educational presentations to the local community on healthy aging and functional exercise, which has improved my credibility and my overall reach. I’m developing a fall prevention course with a local physical therapist, which I wouldn’t have thought of if I hadn’t attended the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute.”

Like Trione, hundreds of forward-thinking fitness professionals will go to the 2018 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute to discover the training skills, program ideas and business insights that will propel their careers toward optimal success.

Professional Evolution Happens When You Invest in Education

As the old saying goes, “Knowledge is power.” At the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute, there will be so much wattage per square foot that you might go into information overload. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here are some topics that await you at this year’s events:

  • The personal training industry continues to change, which can make choosing a direction difficult. Boulder, Colorado–based Shannon Fable, who runs the professional development firm SF Resources, says trainers who want to stay relevant need to shake up their current practices.“Much like in the famous Wayne Gretzky quote, ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been,’ fitness professionals need to figure out what’s next versus repurposing what’s been done,” she says. Fable will help fitness professionals learn “where to skate” in her session “The Changing Landscape of Personal Training.”
  • Mobility—or the lack of it—is a hot topic as clients grow to understand how it affects their quality of life. Tim Anderson, co-founder of Original Strength&reg: in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, emphasizes foundational movements to help clients feel their best.“When we engage in the original movements that built our nervous system and strength as a child, those movements begin to restore our nervous system and strength as an adult,” he says.

    Attendees of Anderson’s “Pressing RESET to Restore Health and Strength” session will learn how to “reset” a client’s nervous system, which he says will result in “more mobility, strength, smiles and hope, and fewer aches.”

  • Animals inspire another of today’s movement trends. “The foundation for all higher-level skills are animal movements,” says presenter Rose Calucchia. “Animal movements teach us the foundational strength, flexibility and motor control we need to achieve larger skills.”The Santa Cruz, California–based personal trainer will address this subject in the session “Strength, Flexibility & Control Through Animal Movements.” Calucchia says that integrating these moves into training sessions gives fit pros a chance to diversify—and inject more fun into—client programs.
  • A logical progression for a staff personal trainer might be transitioning into entrepreneurship. Billy Polson, founder and owner of DIAKADI Body in San Francisco, says good planning is key. In “Make the Leap: Staff Trainer to Entrepreneur,” Polson will spotlight essential steps required to go solo successfully.“From understanding the startup business basics to learning how to attract, connect with and keep your ideal clients, this course will provide trainers with the plan of action and the guts to step out on their own,” he says.

    Professionals from all corners of the personal training industry will have lots more to choose from at this year’s event:

Movement Science

  • Corrective Exercise for Enhanced Performance
  • Strategies for Lower-Extremity Injuries, by Gray Institute&reg:
  • Stability Versus Mobility—Which Comes First?

Niche Markets

  • Creating Breakthrough Results for Your Female Clients, Sponsored by Perform Better&reg:
  • Insights and Programming for Corporate Wellness Programs
  • Powerful Functional Circuits for Older Adults

Business Mastery

  • Marketing Your Training Business
  • Stay Financially Fit: Create More Revenue Streams
  • 10 Easy Online Income Streams for Trainers
  • Social Media: Mastering the Basics

Food Facts

  • You Are When You Eat: Timing Is Everything
  • What’s Trending in Nutrition?
  • Fueling for Fitness: Whole-Food Nutrition

Powerful Programs

  • Mastering Small-Group Personal Training
  • Obstacle Course Race: Specific Training for Groups
  • Move, Train, Play: How to Create an Unparalleled Training Experience

Conference Highlights

While in-depth, career-boosting education is the focus, there’s plenty more to gain from attending IDEA Personal Trainer Institute. In addition to choosing from more than 100 sessions—over 50% of them new this year—and earning up to 20 CECs (plus 6–8 more with preconference sessions), you’ll get to

  • connect with old friends and new ones at the Networking Happy Hour;
  • gain unparalleled inspiration and insights from the Opening General Session featuring Martin Rooney, MHS, in Virginia, and Todd Durkin, MA, in Texas; and
  • explore and test the latest products and services from leading brands in the industry, offered at special discounted prices, in the Sponsor Marketplace.


2018 IDEA&reg: Personal Trainer Institute EAST
Alexandria, Virginia | March 2–4
Preconference: March 1, 2018
Advance registration deadline: January 26, 2018—save $50!
Headquarters hotel: Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, 5000 Seminary Rd., Alexandria, VA 22311; 877-793-8258, www.hilton.com.
Special IDEA room rate: Single/double: $129, plus applicable state and local taxes. Subject to change. This rate is based on availability and is valid until February 9, 2018 (cutoff date). The rate can include up to 3 days prior and 3 days after the event, depending on availability. Be sure to mention the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute to get the special rate.

2018 IDEA&reg: Personal Trainer Institute south
Dallas | April 6–8, 2018
Preconference: April 5, 2018
Advance registration deadline: March 2, 2018—save $50!
Headquarters hotel: Hilton Anatole Dallas, 2201 North Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207; 800-955-4281, www.hilton.com.
Special IDEA room rate: Single/double: $169, plus applicable state and local taxes. Subject to change. This rate is based on availability and is valid until March 11, 2018 (cutoff date). The rate can include up to 3 days prior and 3 days after the event, depending on availability. Be sure to mention IDEA Personal Trainer Institute to get the special rate.

2018 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute East and South Business and Premium Access member discount:

IDEA Business and Premium Access members receive the discounted member price on an unlimited number of registrations for the full conference and preconference sessions.

Budget-friendly payment plans: Sign up for IDEA’s budget-friendly payment plans and get instant access to select your sessions today.

2 Ways to Register:

  1. Go online to select your sessions and register today at www.ideafit.com/conferences.
  2. Call 800-999-4332, ext. 7. Outside the U.S. and Canada: 858-535-8979, ext. 7.

Early registration is strongly advised: This conference has consistently sold out, and attendance is limited to ensure top-quality instruction.


Preconference sessions offer an opportunity for a more in-depth, hands-on educational experience. Choose from these options:

TRX&reg:: Functional Training Course With TRX Faculty

This advanced Level 2 course builds on the content learned in the TRX Suspension Training&reg: Course and takes it to the next level. Go beyond the Suspension Trainer™ and apply advanced coaching skills and foundational movement-based training techniques to other functional training modalities, such as kettlebells, heavy ropes, Rip™ Trainers, sandbags and more. This course will enhance the ability of any trainer, from first-year rookie to seasoned veteran!


NASM&reg:: Movement Mechanics—The Role of Stability and Mobility With Fabio Comana, MA, MS


Coaching proper movement throughout the kinetic chain is fundamental to every professional, yet chronic injury rates have continued to rise, increasing by 4% over the past decade. Learn the roles of stability and mobility in promoting proper movement and how their integrated function provides a foundation for all exercises.


Functional Aging Specialist Certification Course With Cody Sipe, PhD


The rapid growth of the aging population (aged 50+) presents unprecedented opportunity for the fitness professional who understands how to train these clients effectively. This interactive workshop will give you the tools and teach you the skills necessary to implement functional training techniques, strategies and movements that are important to your aging clientele.


BOSU&reg:: Skills and Drills for Group Personal Training Certification With Shannon Fable and Jessica Maurer


If you love the BOSU&reg: Balance Trainer and are searching for innovative ways to incorporate this evergreen tool into small-group training programs, this certification is for you! Not only will you walk away with new skills, drills and activities for your clientele, but you’ll also learn how to create compelling programs that are easily packaged, promoted and purchased.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor, and IDEA's director of event programming.

Related Articles

When you buy something using the retail links in our content, we may earn a small commission. IDEA Health and Fitness Association does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.


November-December 2020 IDEA Fitness Journal

Concerned about your place in the new fitness industry? We have 40 years of experience supporting pros just like you! Let’s create a new wellness paradigm together—IDEAfit+ is the extra edge you need. Once you team up with IDEA, be sure to take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.