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Last two weeks have been insane… In a good way.

If you follow the mailing list you are well aware of the daily onslaught we had of new working vacation resorts and resort positions added two weeks ago at Fitness Pro Travel. Rumor has it that onslaught may not quite have simmered down yet.

Wayne Martin leading a Yoga Workshop on the Grand Lido Deck

Wayne Martin leading a yoga workshop on the Grand Lido Deck

Good news for you if you like the affordable travel options.

As you can see by my lack of blog attention last week, it was another busy week. This week was filled with

fun and education at the Fit Beach Conference we assist the Fit Bodies company in putting on in Negril, Jamaica.  I’ll post more on those highlights soon.

There is always a ton of learning going on when you have a gathering over a 5-7 day period in and out of the conference sessions. Participants not only get class time with industry leading professionals, but also a couple dinners, lunches, beach time, evening outings, etc. for added question, answer, and networking.

… It’s tough to express the true value of these get-a-way events.

I also ran through a short book during the week by Seth Godin, “Tribes”.  Quick and easy read. If you are interested in how the ever evolving social media technologies are effecting how your clients/members/students are making decisions and gaining information, this might be right for you. I’m sure I’ll hit more on this in the coming weeks.

… Better yet, if you want an idea of the features you’ve heard me mention we are working on and are getting crazy close to activating on the Fitness Pro Travel site, this book will paint a pretty good picture. It was pretty cool to read a “hot off the presses” book that reflects the feed back we got from our “tribe” and encourages the activities and features we are “no turning back” into building.  (whew)

Just wanted to let you all know I now have a page displaying the advisory team. This is a diverse group from within the fitness industry. They all have great experience and act as a huge asset to us in developing and evaluating programs.

You can view them at either of our primary sites:

Take a look, follow the links to their sites, I’m certain you will see the reasons they are part of the team and the benefits this can bring to our programs.

I just recently learned of a Harvard Professor, Andrew McAfee via a Hub Spot blog. I spent some time reading through his blogs on Enterprise 2.0 and Web 2.0 (I think I’m turning geek 😉  His post “is this the end” had a quote from Vaclav Havel, whom I remember reading about in his turn from author to politician while in college. Through the ending of the cold war and the political changes to the Eastern Block that followed, Havel became the President of Czechoslovakia.

While I remembered Havel, I did not recall a quote that Professor McAfee utilized. Havel had said, “seek the company of those who search for truth [and] run from those who have found it.”

Then dissident Havel was speaking on a couple levels primarily concerning the politics of the time, the quote holds very true for the many areas of our personal, social, and business lives… Including multiple levels within the fitness industry. We are all human, incapable of perfection, and when any of us think we have all the answers, it’s only a matter of time before it’s proven we do not.

My college football coach Frosty Westering used to say, “when you’re ripe your rotting, but when you’re green you’re growing.” What happens to the ripe fruit? It gets picked and the reign of that fruit on the tree is over.

That same coach used to constantly drill into our heads that football seasons AND life are not about reaching a destination, but enjoying the journey. We would enjoy every battle, learn as we go, and attempt to change and improve for the next battle.

I believe that President Havel and Coach Frosty both taught me a similar lessons, admire those who are green (growing/learning), enjoy the ups and downs of the journey, and realize that as soon as you ‘think’ you’ve reached the destination the glory is fleeting and you are ripe for the picking.

Do you see how this relates to exercise techniques & programming? In your business as a fitness professional are you continuing to develop your offerings? Are you the ripe old expert who knows the only ‘right way to do it’?

Stay green & enjoy the journey.

I was just updated this month that, what I think is THE premier fitness business conference in the country, will be running again this September. I will be having a conference call tomorrow to get the details on place and time and will pass it along. I’m very excited about this one and am trying to move my personal schedule around so that I can attend as well.

The conference isn’t like the “standard” industry conferences. This will be specifically geared toward taking your career/business to an entirely new level. Programs I’ve taken from a couple of these presenters has made a real impact on several of the fitness programs we offer. You won’t want to miss this one.

More details to come by Friday!
Keep your business Healthy, so you can keep your Clients Healthy.

Several days back from the Vegas conferences and I’ve almost got my desk cleared. It’s funny how life doesn’t slow down much even when you start a new and significant project. The kids still want to go places and their coaches don’t think I should be able to take the day (or two) off from driving them to practice. Oh well, such is life.

Thought I’d share this little video clip with a few scenes from the IDEA conference. Lou Ann hung out at the Fit Bodies booth most of the time and did a great job of spreading the word about the Fitness Pro Travel program. Next was Tony who has traveled in the past and stopped by the booth several times to meet Suzelle (she’s quite the celebrity). The final portion with Missy and Marianne is a little advice for teaching yoga at the Hedonism resort.

Finally, I want you to know that we are still working on the upgrades and additions to the Fitness Pro Travel website. Seems that every time we talk about it, something new (and cool of course) gets added to the agenda. I am putting together a series of short videos that explains where we are heading in a bit more detail and how various options may work well for you and your career or business…. I encourage you or the friend you tell about the site to sign up soon as the one consistent piece of our discussions is that any fee options will be offered at a steep discount for those in the system who sign in to those fee options during the initial launch. That reminds me of another consistent discussion topic; You will always have the option of free access to your account and the travel opportunities.

More to come on that stuff soon.

Survived a very BUSY 5 days in Vegas

I attended the NSCA conference for a little self education and of course to cover several necessary CEC credits for my certification. Great time, met several new people, and walked away with a few new exercise tactics that will enhance the fitness business. NSCA is generally not a “business of fitness” type conference, but those new tactics are based on research and will ultimately provide greater results to my clients… greater results = greater “word of mouth… and you won’t ever get better marketing than having current & former clients/students walking around showing off your good work.

At the same time (or inbetween sessions) I ran the tram down to the other end of the strip to hang out at the Fit Bodies expo hall booth. Between walking the hall and meeting numerous other vendors as well as answering questions at the Fit Bod booth… well I don’t know which was more fun.

Met several current traveling pros and enjoyed the fact that EVERY other fit pro that stopped by the booth was not only intrigued by the traveling program we work with, but actually had a harder time coming to grips with the “to good to be true” fear. They learned of No Catch and I am certain we will have many more joining that community this next week.

We did get some real work done as well with several evening meetings on how to sort out the many new features we will bring to the fitness pro travel web site. There are many, and more that will be added soon after. What we did complete this week was putting together a couple simple, amateurish, informational videos for the community with Suzelle talking a bit about each property you have options of traveling to. Many people, in their comments about the site, simply wanted a little more description of the properties and this was the easiest way to supplement the information that is already there. The Fit Beach conference was also discussed and finalized information will be posted for this years November event soon.

I’ll get the video formatted and posted this next week and will give you some opinions on most practical and purchase worthy items of the expo… Anyways, it was a fun but tiring week. I have lots of new material to blab about here, but first I should unpack and get things back in order here.

Since the last post was touching on the professionalism of the group fitness instructor, lets keep that line of thinking for the personal trainer.

Within the past 6 days I have been in two conversations on this topic. One with a client and the second with a “professional” trainer. It was obvious to see that from the professional as well as the consumer perspective, there are differing views of what, how, and who a professional trainer does, acts, and is. You’re also not going to believe this… but neither of those conversations had anything to do with the topic of accreditation vs. national exam.

The Client: “Here are my observations from being a member of a gym for 20 years…. I challenge people to spend some time at these gymnasiums and watch the personal trainers.  (I challenge personal trainers to watch other personal trainers work at the gymnasium.)  Typically the client follows the trainer around like a little lap dog.  I had a personal trainer extensively in 1990, 2001, and 2008 (3 different gyms).  The fitness programs were all the same, in fact I could have got the same program from Tom Platz out of my 1983 copy of Muscle magazine.  McTraining at its best.  Of course there were always one or two “cutting edge” exercises.  Most likely exercise that involve a machine only that gym offers, or something so ridiculous it requires a partner and something you most likely would never do on your own….”

The client went on to say a number of positive things about his current experience, but this isn’t a toot my own horn blog. The point here is, are you training your clients similar to this clients observations? I’ve been in the gyms and I’ve received the reviews on some from the working vacations. I know there are far too many that devalue every other trainer by their latte in hand, count the reps, cookie cutter training style. Step up to be a professional trainer and find constructive ways to encourage other trainers to do the same.
Do you see it differently?

The Professional Trainer: “I’ve been in this business longer than the certification companies making money an trainers and sending out unqualified people who have never even lifted a weight but who pass a written test based on memorization. No thanks. I appreciate your position as the representative for the resort. If folks don’t know how to think outside the box, I certainly am not going to argue the point.”

Here is an example of another side of “professional”. This trainer isn’t wrong in implying that just because you pass a written test that you don’t know everything. Likewise, just because this trainer has some gym & bodybuilding experience and enough genetic potential that they even won several competitions, it doesn’t mean they are qualified, safe, or current in training techniques for working with varied populations.

We love experience in our various fitness professional programs, but the experience must be built on a solid foundation of education and kept current through required continuing education programming. Pride in your profession should be a key motivator to keep the trainer acting like a professional. In the client case above that means that there are more than exercise protocols in training clients. Their is also customer service and realizing that all are not built the same and even when they are close, they notice your programming when it looks like the same cookie you gave the other client. In the trainer case, being professional is more than simply resting on your past experience, understanding that scientific research continually identifies new realities on personal health as well as varied and more efficient & safe procedures for achieving those personal health goals.

The certification doesn’t do it alone… heck, I even past a “top shelf” certification exam, but it is an essential foundation. Invest in yourself, increase your professionalism, and in turn you will increase the value and respect of our profession as a whole.

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