By: Sammy Ayochok, NSCA – CPT, IFPA, IFBB – CSCC
Ironpinoy Magazine 2009
Most “self-acclaimed fitness experts” – most in particular bodybuilders, think that winning titles in bodybuilding contests is more than enough to make them succeed as industry fitness professionals. Yes, their years of hands-on experience in muscle building is definitely an asset and combined with the right kind of positive attitude, could make them succeed in this highly competitive field of service-oriented business industry. But this is easier said than done. Nowadays, the highly sophisticated fitness consumer will not only take into consideration how you look like physically, but they will also scrutinize your total personality and attitude towards work, educational background, as well as your industry certifications if any.
Assuming that you possess all these aforementioned basic requirements to succeed as a truly bonafide fitness professional, I also suggest that you do your best to understand fully and adhere to the following Fundamental Concepts for Selling Exercise & Fitness:
- Services – It is your job to help uncover the clients’ wants and needs and then try to realistically fulfill them.
- Product Knowledge – Get the facts straight. Develop a fitness library. Subscibe to research journals. Have a thorough knowledge of what is good and bad in exercise-fitness and nutrition. Know what fitness training can do for people. People will always want to know: “What is in it for me?”
- Set an Example – Be a model of physical fitness. Practice what you preach. Do you have any ‘before and after’ pictures of yourself? Be a leader and a participant.
- Show Enthusiasm –This is most important factor in any endeavor.
- Believe In What You Do – Confidence is indispensable. Confidence is gained through positive thinking and preparation.
- Get to Know People – Relationships should extend beyond the exercise room. Listen to people and ask questions concerning their interests and opinions.
- Be a Good Listener – Don’t be a preacher. People can be easily persuaded by someone they can talk to.
- Ask Questions – Don’t fill people with a lot of facts. People who get along with others seldom begin a conversation with “ My advice to you is…” or “The fact is…” Use phrases like “ Do you think it would help if…” or “Shall we talk about your….”
- Take Your Time –Don’t rush to recruit people for your programs. Plan ahead. Set realistic goals and device methods to attain your objectives. Haste will cause mistakes in judgment. Remember, people are generally afraid of starting a program for the first time. They feel intimidated by the experience.
- Instructor’s Personal Requirements –An exercise fitness leader needs an understanding of muscular and neuromuscular function, cardiology and pulmonary response, nutrition and the aging process, human behavior, injury prevention and First Aid.
- The Customer/Trainer – Although participants in a health and fitness program do so because they are motivated, attention often wanders if the instructor is not enthusiastic and so many personal competencies needed to be studied. It is important to focus and pay close attention to your client’s exercise supervision during each session. If possible, switch off or put your cell phone in the ‘mute’ in order to avoid unnecessary distractions while you are engaged with your client. This is what EXCELLENT SERVICE means. Making your clients feel like “kings and queens” will go a long way in making your quest as a successful Fitness Professional.”
Conclusion – The field of Personal Training and Exercise Leadership has emerged as a respected profession. With its roots embedded in the early foundations of physical fitness and weight training, Personal Trainers and Exercise Leaders today are required to possess a wide range of skills and talents. Today, most health clubs around the world hire Personal Trainers. Fitness consumers also hire Personal Trainers to come to their homes and offices. This is an exciting period in the evolution of the personal training field. Personal training has created thousands of job opportunities for health, physical education, and exercise science graduates as well as enterprising bodybuilders and athletes alike. Personal training may very well be the way of the future when it comes to exercise.
No longer are the rich and famous the only employers of Personal Trainers. Personal Trainers are now integrated into all aspects of the Fitness Industry.