This is a long blog post written to try and help all trainers. It has some videos to watch and a podcast to listen to as well if you wish! Featured in this article –
- Current situation with Personal Trainers
- Oh Shit diagram
- Great Personal Trainers Traits and Skills
- How to build the softer skills of Personal Training (Audio)
- How to see movement and then build solutions (Video)
The problem is that the whole education system is built on opinion, based on a failing system. It is hard to measure Personal Training as an industry and come to the conclusion that we are succeeding, the only people succeeding seem to be the people delivering training for £2.5K plus to potential trainers, but without having any thought about what the trainer will be doing 3,6 or 12 months down the line, let alone considering where they will be in 5 and 10 years time.
In a country where people are getting fatter and exercising less, where training providers want to look after you up until the job interview and when many of the companies out there see Personal Trainers as a source of free labour or rent, it is easy to see what the problem is.
REPS – A great idea with the wrong application
The register of exercise professionals, alongside the training companies, a government push and the buy-in of the large chain health clubs, created a system to identify what a Personal Trainer is, what they should know and how to assess that for consistency across the country.
In theory this sounds amazing, however maybe this has short changed you as a trainer, or is about to short change you as a potentially new to the industry Personal Trainer.
The problem with uniformity in this instance is that the assessment criteria is not based on decision making and a system for filtering information. Instead it is built on the so called ‘skills’ and ‘knowledge’ of a Personal Trainer.
It means you will know the importance of filling in forms in an accident, checking no one has left weights out, knowing where to put a shoulder when using a machine, how to track heart rate, that eating beef is a source of protein and all other things that are vital but not important.
FASTER was born out of a need to work above the oh shit moment that Personal Trainers reach fairly quickly when joining the industry. We did something cool with our product, we produced something that made you the trainer, think for yourself and learn to own your own work. Remarkably trainers at first did not like this, and the industry struggled to listen to us when we started to produce the best trainers in the industry.
Moving into Level 2/3, I built a system called Zero to Hero which was built on the original premise behind the Premier Training courses, prior to REPS. That was to give you the required skills to excel in the industry and build a community of support around those who came into the FASTER courses. We included technology that would help and courses with application.
This was soon copied by the industry, but they made a pigs ear of things. They added in courses such as Spin, Circuits (made a come back), Suspension Training etc. However they did not have a system, and an end goal down the line. Instead they could only offer –
Job interview guarenteed!
Well let me tell you, if you cannot find an interview when you have a Personal Training qualification then you are struggling. Even if in the interview they make out otherwise, most clubs are struggling to find trainers. Especially great trainers.
So what does make a great Personal Trainer?
And here lies the big question. So in an order that I am basing on working with Personal Trainers of all standards in both an educational and managerial role, here are the attributes that I believe a trainer needs –
- Desire to help
- Thick skin
- Emotional Intelligence
- Marketing Skills (or outsourcing skills!)
- Sales Skills (based on Emotional Intelligence and a Desire to Help)
- Eyes that see movement in detail at speed
- Low ego, but high confidence
- An ability to apply great research
- A community to support that application
- 5 Year plan of action written in the first year of qualifying
- Bravery to fail (different to posting memes about failing and then being scared to take a risk)
If you bring these qualities to this profession, then you need a location with people and some space to train them. Where our industry fails is that it is divided on the help it gives you, so you end up with components of education that do not form to give you a focused vision.
My Podcast as promised!
Here is the video on the movements for golf. Sorry about the feedback on the sound!