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5 Reasons You Need to Up Your Education

by Meaghan posted February 5, 2013

Last week, PTontheNET ran a great interview with Tom Purvis, a 30-year educator in the fitness industry. I highly encourage you to read the full article, but here are some of Tom’s take-home points – and 5 reasons you need to up your education if you want to succeed as a personal trainer:

1. You have to be worth it. The personal training field may be growing at a rate of 24% per year, but that doesn’t mean people will pay for lesser service. On the contrary, the more trainers there are to choose from, the pickier clients can be. As Tom says, “If people want to be successful in personal training, they need to give their clients several things: 100% of their attention, customized exercises that are specific to joint integrity and specific to a joint’s active range of motion, and muscular tension-generating capabilities.” Well, this takes a foundation of knowledge that only comes through education. The days are gone when personal trainers can get away with just counting reps and yelling.

2. CrossFit and kettlebells can only be tolerated by a small demographic. The majority of the population is in pain and has movement dysfunction. And with physical therapy services limited by insurance costs, personal trainers are now expected to work with this clientele without imposing injury. Once again, this takes a solid grasp of kinesiology and biomechanics.

3. There is simply no value in Just Do ItGoing off the last point, the “no pain, no gain” philosophy is old hat. Progression is the key to safety – whether working around or preventing injury. Inducing pain is a good way to lose clients.

4. No one in the industry is teaching what needs to be taught. Well, Tom is…as he points out in the interview. And it’s certainly our aim at Focus Personal Training Institute. Certifications and even Masters-level courses really only provide the science behind exercise without a true understanding of how to apply it to real people – and this is what trainers do. Understanding how to manipulate lines of force and moment arms to progress and regress exercises is essential.

5. Personal trainers have to learn how to be indispensable and provide experiencesLet’s not forget psychology. It’s one thing to write a great exercise program, but effective implementation that produces results is a completely different skill. If nothing else, successful trainers know how to connect with people so that they change their behaviors – and this entails empathy and motivational strategies, not just good coaching. Remember the saying: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Filed under: fitness commentary, interviews

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