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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Personal training: Getting personal

As new technology, increasing competition and an endless supply of cheap online options flood the fitness market, can personal trainers survive and evolve to meet changing consumer expectations? What are the trends shaping PT today? Niamh Madigan asks the experts

By Niamh Madigan | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 5

Rory Coleman,

Performance coach ,

www.colemancoaching.co.uk

Coleman says his sessions focus as much on the mental as the physical side of fitness
Coleman says his sessions focus as much on the mental as the physical side of fitness

With the growth of the internet and social media, people are looking outside their area for more specialist coaches to achieve that extra 10 per cent. For example, I have clients in New Zealand who I will never meet in person, but I train with them using Skype. Clients don’t even need to leave their offices to do a session – it fits in with their schedule.

Personalisation is the big thing now, and a really good performance coach can bespoke a programme to a client’s needs. They know when exercise will fit in with their daily schedule and clients also get the feedback and praise of a coach.

I see technology as a great complement to what I do, as it gives me information on how hard my clients are working. I’d recommend the Garmin Forerunner 910 XT and the Fitbit Surge.

Looking to trends, I’ve completely dismissed suspension training and I don’t do any kettlebells, because people don’t use them very well. In my sessions I use two 15kg plates, one bench and a dumbbell set. That’s it.

I think health clubs should provide more specialist coaches to help people make more informed choices about food and their lifestyles. There’s also a need to focus on the mental side of things. In my sessions, people believe they’re doing 80 per cent physical and 20 per cent mental, but it’s the other way round: I spend a lot of my time re-training clients’ thought processes.

"I see technology as a great complement to what I do, as it gives me information on how hard my clients are working" - Rory Coleman

Richard Callender,

PT & presenter ,

www.richardcallender.com

Richard Callender
Richard Callender

I do lots of Armageddon training, which is best described as personal training in a group fitness environment, using the principles of variable intensity interval training (VIIT). Small group training is definitely the future: clients can split the cost, plus it’s motivating and more fun.

When it comes to one-to-one personal training, clients want PTs to fix every facet of their life nowadays, with advice on fitness, diet and lifestyle. If you help them lose weight, you have to fix the cause as well, which takes a deeper level of understanding and experience.

I don’t think enough gym operators appreciate the value of PTs. Some take a big percentage of the PT’s rate – up to 50 per cent – so a trainer is forced to go out on their own. With that comes the responsibility of marketing and running their own business. Gym management must work more closely with PTs to help them run their business effectively.

Fitness is changing all the time with the arrival of new technology and science, and PTs have to keep updating their knowledge and investing in courses. They need to keep their social media up-to-date, find time to train themselves and manage clients. I know a lot of PTs who suffer from depression due to these pressures. In the next few years we’re going to hear a lot more about the truth behind fitness.

“Small group training is definitely the future” – Richard Callender

James Breese,

Founder/CEO,

Strength Matters

James Breese
James Breese

The age group of those using personal training is shifting. With the emergence of CrossFit, there’s now a ‘big group’ dynamic among the under-30s. Meanwhile the 30- to 55-year-old age group want group training on a smaller scale, between two and six people, and it’s the over-55s who want the one-to-one personal training, because they’re more prone to injury.

As a PT, you have to stay ahead of the curve by innovating. You stand out if you’re doing something that looks different from everybody else and gets great results. However, the best advice I can give to a new PT is to invest in customer service and basic business skills. Consumers expect great results and a fantastic experience now. If a PT doesn’t have the business acumen and a good ‘bedside manner’ with clients, they’re never going to succeed.

For every PT studio that opens, two are closing. I see great coaches going out of business all the time and they all say the same thing: they wish they’d known how to do things better. Ten per cent are doing really well, but 90 per cent are struggling and competing at the bottom.

Health club operators who employ PTs should be willing to invest in their education. The more the operator invests, the more the PT will respect you as an organisation and stay longer.

www.realstrengthmatters.com

Phil Learney,

Performance coach ,

www.phillearney.com

Learney says technology could replace less able PTs
Learney says technology could replace less able PTs

The basic service offered by some PTs is horrendous: they aren’t punctual, they don’t focus on the client during sessions or pay attention to their technique… all the simple things that should be part of a basic service offering. Ultimately, it’s not about who’s the most skillful or knowledgeable – it’s the degree of service offering that defines one PT from another.

For those PTs who don’t deliver good service, fitness trackers could be a threat. Technology is never going to be able to look at someone biomechanically and assess them, so for many personal trainers it will simply complement what they do. However, it could possibly eradicate the poorer trainers out there.

I believe good PTs need to be respected more by health clubs and given consistent revenue. They attract people to gyms and improve retention.

Finally, I think the knowledge people can now get from the internet has expanded the industry and made it far more efficient.

Dave Fletcher,

Personal trainer ,

www.davefletcher.net

Dave Fletcher
Dave Fletcher

Personal trainers can get very distracted by social media – all the fitness ‘gurus’ with millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter. But would these people be able to run a personal training client base effectively? Possibly not.

Personal training is a business built on trust and referrals, and while there are lots of new training options available now – online programmes, for example – I believe personal trainers are still winning, as a one-to-one service remains the best.

The best coaches have a reputation for seeing clients for a short period of time. I use my six-week fat loss programme, where I work with a client twice a week for six weeks and that’s it, unless they wish to continue. A small but vibrant and active client base is better than a large dormant one.

A notable trend outside of PT, but of significance to PTs, is group training – specifically CrossFit, which has had a big impact over the last three years. Rather than learning from one person, people are being influenced by a whole system.

"CrossFit has had a big impact. Rather than learning from one person, people are being influenced by a whole system" - Dave Fletcher

James Duigan,

Founder of Bodyism ,

www.bodyism.com

James Duigan
James Duigan

I’m wary of people choosing to use social media to get fit. If so-called fitness gurus are setting unrealistic outcomes – promising people they’ll drop three dress sizes in a week or something along those lines – I’d absolutely steer clear. There are also too many personal trainers out there selling fad diets and products as a way to cash in, rather than to benefit someone’s health and wellbeing.

Trends come and go, but learning how to perform effective exercises safely lasts forever. We introduce new equipment as the times change, but the exercises I do with my clients should be as effective now as they were 20 years ago. I don’t advocate the use of technology in my classes or while training clients. However, I appreciate that certain apps and devices can be highly beneficial to people and are a great way of tracking progress and seeing results.

Charlotte Ord,

Health & fitness expert ,

www.ordacademy.com

A bespoke, all-inclusive service is key to success, says Ord
A bespoke, all-inclusive service is key to success, says Ord

All the information available on the internet is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, people are better educated about their health, while social media can be a really powerful tool to motivate people. But on the flipside, it can be confusing and not always based on sound information sources. Yet with all the available knowledge, the gap is widening between those getting fitter and those who aren’t.

Nevertheless, there are now more opportunities for PTs to carve their own niche and reach millions of people. You just have to be more committed than everyone else.

You also have to be careful, as consumer expectations increase, not to become a Jack of all trades and master of none. Personal training remains a luxury for many, but the industry is expanding and competition is growing; you have to be exceptional to stand out, and that means offering a really bespoke all-inclusive service.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2016_5personal.jpg
Personal trainers explain how to survive in the digital era
Rory Coleman, Performance coach Richard Callender, PT & presenter James Breese, Founder/CEO, Strength Matters Phil Learney,Performance coach Dave Fletcher, Personal trainer James Duigan, Founder of Bodyism Charlotte Ord, Health & fitness expert ,Personal training, PT, personal trainer, Rory Coleman, James Breese, Richard Callender, Phil Learney, Charlotte Ord, Dave Fletcher, James Duigan, Niamh Madigan
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Featured supplier news: Introducing the Official Hammer Strength Box: a complete small group training solution
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Featured supplier news: A new world for memberships
During lockdown clients have had more time to self-reflect than ever before. As a result, many are prioritising mental health and incorporating activity into their day to improve overall wellbeing.
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Company profile: Mindbody
Mindbody is the leading technology platform for the wellness industry, featuring an app that allows ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
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Uniforms
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Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

features

Personal training: Getting personal

As new technology, increasing competition and an endless supply of cheap online options flood the fitness market, can personal trainers survive and evolve to meet changing consumer expectations? What are the trends shaping PT today? Niamh Madigan asks the experts

By Niamh Madigan | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 5

Rory Coleman,

Performance coach ,

www.colemancoaching.co.uk

Coleman says his sessions focus as much on the mental as the physical side of fitness
Coleman says his sessions focus as much on the mental as the physical side of fitness

With the growth of the internet and social media, people are looking outside their area for more specialist coaches to achieve that extra 10 per cent. For example, I have clients in New Zealand who I will never meet in person, but I train with them using Skype. Clients don’t even need to leave their offices to do a session – it fits in with their schedule.

Personalisation is the big thing now, and a really good performance coach can bespoke a programme to a client’s needs. They know when exercise will fit in with their daily schedule and clients also get the feedback and praise of a coach.

I see technology as a great complement to what I do, as it gives me information on how hard my clients are working. I’d recommend the Garmin Forerunner 910 XT and the Fitbit Surge.

Looking to trends, I’ve completely dismissed suspension training and I don’t do any kettlebells, because people don’t use them very well. In my sessions I use two 15kg plates, one bench and a dumbbell set. That’s it.

I think health clubs should provide more specialist coaches to help people make more informed choices about food and their lifestyles. There’s also a need to focus on the mental side of things. In my sessions, people believe they’re doing 80 per cent physical and 20 per cent mental, but it’s the other way round: I spend a lot of my time re-training clients’ thought processes.

"I see technology as a great complement to what I do, as it gives me information on how hard my clients are working" - Rory Coleman

Richard Callender,

PT & presenter ,

www.richardcallender.com

Richard Callender
Richard Callender

I do lots of Armageddon training, which is best described as personal training in a group fitness environment, using the principles of variable intensity interval training (VIIT). Small group training is definitely the future: clients can split the cost, plus it’s motivating and more fun.

When it comes to one-to-one personal training, clients want PTs to fix every facet of their life nowadays, with advice on fitness, diet and lifestyle. If you help them lose weight, you have to fix the cause as well, which takes a deeper level of understanding and experience.

I don’t think enough gym operators appreciate the value of PTs. Some take a big percentage of the PT’s rate – up to 50 per cent – so a trainer is forced to go out on their own. With that comes the responsibility of marketing and running their own business. Gym management must work more closely with PTs to help them run their business effectively.

Fitness is changing all the time with the arrival of new technology and science, and PTs have to keep updating their knowledge and investing in courses. They need to keep their social media up-to-date, find time to train themselves and manage clients. I know a lot of PTs who suffer from depression due to these pressures. In the next few years we’re going to hear a lot more about the truth behind fitness.

“Small group training is definitely the future” – Richard Callender

James Breese,

Founder/CEO,

Strength Matters

James Breese
James Breese

The age group of those using personal training is shifting. With the emergence of CrossFit, there’s now a ‘big group’ dynamic among the under-30s. Meanwhile the 30- to 55-year-old age group want group training on a smaller scale, between two and six people, and it’s the over-55s who want the one-to-one personal training, because they’re more prone to injury.

As a PT, you have to stay ahead of the curve by innovating. You stand out if you’re doing something that looks different from everybody else and gets great results. However, the best advice I can give to a new PT is to invest in customer service and basic business skills. Consumers expect great results and a fantastic experience now. If a PT doesn’t have the business acumen and a good ‘bedside manner’ with clients, they’re never going to succeed.

For every PT studio that opens, two are closing. I see great coaches going out of business all the time and they all say the same thing: they wish they’d known how to do things better. Ten per cent are doing really well, but 90 per cent are struggling and competing at the bottom.

Health club operators who employ PTs should be willing to invest in their education. The more the operator invests, the more the PT will respect you as an organisation and stay longer.

www.realstrengthmatters.com

Phil Learney,

Performance coach ,

www.phillearney.com

Learney says technology could replace less able PTs
Learney says technology could replace less able PTs

The basic service offered by some PTs is horrendous: they aren’t punctual, they don’t focus on the client during sessions or pay attention to their technique… all the simple things that should be part of a basic service offering. Ultimately, it’s not about who’s the most skillful or knowledgeable – it’s the degree of service offering that defines one PT from another.

For those PTs who don’t deliver good service, fitness trackers could be a threat. Technology is never going to be able to look at someone biomechanically and assess them, so for many personal trainers it will simply complement what they do. However, it could possibly eradicate the poorer trainers out there.

I believe good PTs need to be respected more by health clubs and given consistent revenue. They attract people to gyms and improve retention.

Finally, I think the knowledge people can now get from the internet has expanded the industry and made it far more efficient.

Dave Fletcher,

Personal trainer ,

www.davefletcher.net

Dave Fletcher
Dave Fletcher

Personal trainers can get very distracted by social media – all the fitness ‘gurus’ with millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter. But would these people be able to run a personal training client base effectively? Possibly not.

Personal training is a business built on trust and referrals, and while there are lots of new training options available now – online programmes, for example – I believe personal trainers are still winning, as a one-to-one service remains the best.

The best coaches have a reputation for seeing clients for a short period of time. I use my six-week fat loss programme, where I work with a client twice a week for six weeks and that’s it, unless they wish to continue. A small but vibrant and active client base is better than a large dormant one.

A notable trend outside of PT, but of significance to PTs, is group training – specifically CrossFit, which has had a big impact over the last three years. Rather than learning from one person, people are being influenced by a whole system.

"CrossFit has had a big impact. Rather than learning from one person, people are being influenced by a whole system" - Dave Fletcher

James Duigan,

Founder of Bodyism ,

www.bodyism.com

James Duigan
James Duigan

I’m wary of people choosing to use social media to get fit. If so-called fitness gurus are setting unrealistic outcomes – promising people they’ll drop three dress sizes in a week or something along those lines – I’d absolutely steer clear. There are also too many personal trainers out there selling fad diets and products as a way to cash in, rather than to benefit someone’s health and wellbeing.

Trends come and go, but learning how to perform effective exercises safely lasts forever. We introduce new equipment as the times change, but the exercises I do with my clients should be as effective now as they were 20 years ago. I don’t advocate the use of technology in my classes or while training clients. However, I appreciate that certain apps and devices can be highly beneficial to people and are a great way of tracking progress and seeing results.

Charlotte Ord,

Health & fitness expert ,

www.ordacademy.com

A bespoke, all-inclusive service is key to success, says Ord
A bespoke, all-inclusive service is key to success, says Ord

All the information available on the internet is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, people are better educated about their health, while social media can be a really powerful tool to motivate people. But on the flipside, it can be confusing and not always based on sound information sources. Yet with all the available knowledge, the gap is widening between those getting fitter and those who aren’t.

Nevertheless, there are now more opportunities for PTs to carve their own niche and reach millions of people. You just have to be more committed than everyone else.

You also have to be careful, as consumer expectations increase, not to become a Jack of all trades and master of none. Personal training remains a luxury for many, but the industry is expanding and competition is growing; you have to be exceptional to stand out, and that means offering a really bespoke all-inclusive service.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2016_5personal.jpg
Personal trainers explain how to survive in the digital era
Rory Coleman, Performance coach Richard Callender, PT & presenter James Breese, Founder/CEO, Strength Matters Phil Learney,Performance coach Dave Fletcher, Personal trainer James Duigan, Founder of Bodyism Charlotte Ord, Health & fitness expert ,Personal training, PT, personal trainer, Rory Coleman, James Breese, Richard Callender, Phil Learney, Charlotte Ord, Dave Fletcher, James Duigan, Niamh Madigan
Latest News
Industry body ukactive has joined the chorus of organisations across a number of sectors calling ...
Latest News
German fitness operator BestFit Group has acquired regional gym chain EuroFit for an undisclosed sum. ...
Latest News
The US fitness industry lost around 58 per cent of its revenues during 2020, due ...
Latest News
Speaking exclusive to HCM, Ralph Scholz and Nathalie Smeeman have confirmed that B2B trade show ...
Latest News
The Pingdemic of people receiving notifications on their phones, telling them to self-isolate because of ...
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Xponential Fitness has completed its initial public offering (IPO), becoming the second major franchised operator ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Introducing the Official Hammer Strength Box: a complete small group training solution
With gyms reopening as the fitness industry recovers from the impact of the pandemic, members are seeking social interaction and engaging training experiences in a small group setting.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: A new world for memberships
During lockdown clients have had more time to self-reflect than ever before. As a result, many are prioritising mental health and incorporating activity into their day to improve overall wellbeing.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Company profiles
Company profile: IONTO Health & Beauty GmbH
IONTO-COMED offers a wide range of treatment beds offering maximum flexibility and the symbiosis of ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Mindbody
Mindbody is the leading technology platform for the wellness industry, featuring an app that allows ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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