Paul Swainson reports from FitPro Live
Last week I hopped on a train to FitPro Live in London to meet our PT Skills Gap Programme ambassador Katie Bulmer-Cooke who presented a number of sessions.
Katie is really excited by our package of business skills and behaviour change coaching training, as you can tell from the video below. "It's just what the industry needs" she told me, before explaining that comprehensive knowledge of sales, marketing and promotion, as covered in our Building your Fitness Business course have been instrumental in her own success. "Trainers can write great exercise programmes, but without knowing how to get clients to follow them, or even find and sign up those clients in the first place, it's going to be very hard work for them to get results and build a lasting career".
Katie went on to say that it's a real shame the industry loses many top fitness professionals because they're lacking these skills, and that's why we include the PT Skills Gap Programme as standard in our diplomas - to give you the tools you need to really have an impact on your clients and establish a successful business.
Whilst at FitPro Live I got the chance to see a couple of presenters, including callisthenics expert Stephen Hughes-Landers who was performing all sorts of circus tricks on parallettes supplied by, who else, our friends Physical Company. I'm going to get hold of a pair to help me master some of them myself by the end of the year, but interestingly Stephen's session was all about how we make exercise accessible for the majority of people who aren't fitness fanatics. 'Finding a way to make training enjoyable and fun is key' he told the audience, emphasising the importance of motivation and adherence for achieving results. You need clients to want to keep coming back to you for more, for both their sake and yours.
I also listened to nutrition expert Martin MacDonald talk about the role of hormones when it comes to losing fat and gaining muscle. He reiterated what I blogged about a few weeks ago - whilst hormones are important and ultimately impact on everything to do with the human body, in practice the direct influence we can have on them as trainers is minimal. If you're clinically deficient in a hormone then it's one for the medical profession to test and address - as PTs we should concentrate on helping clients' to change their dietary behaviours positively and let the physiological consequences take care of themselves.
"Dont try to manipulate hormones, try to manipulate people" as Martin dryly put it.
So no matter what the main focus of the presentations and workshops I went to, the overriding theme was that the softer skills of behaviour change, psychology and mindset are crucial to the success of your personal training business, and so should be an integral part of your training and education.
We didn't develop the PT Skills Gap Programme for nothing!