Another great experience in Los Angeles listening to the dawgs of the fitness industry. Each seminar I go to I learn at least 10 valuable lessons. Lucky for you I am going to give you these 10 lessons so you can learn from them to:
1. You better be reading. Did you know Alwyn Cosgrove read something like 55+ books last year? That is alot of reading. This is mandatory if you want to succeed at anything you do. Here are 5 five books these guys recommended: 1) Today Matters by John Maxwell, 2) Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, 3) Goals by Brian Tracy, 4) How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and 5) The Pursuit of Positive Thinking by Norman Peale. As you can see these are not fitness books. These books will help you live your day to day more efficient and with more direction. If you are writing down your goals and being productive with your day you will accompolish more. Accomplishing a little more each day can add up to masses amounts of material in a year.
2. Gray Cook again made us think. Fitness is not just exercise and sweat. Fitness is good movement and good movement can not be produced with just generic exercise. In fact some forms of exercise can make you move inefficient. Did you know that 2/3 of the population do not move enough to maximize movement? This was a profound statement because it makes you think about what you do on a daily basis with your clients. As a "fitness coach" you sometimes think you just need to get your clients a good workout. But Gray gets you thinking as to "what is a good workout?" He feels that obesity is not the epidemic it is poor movement. When people stop moving they slow metabolism, gain weight and become obese. If they regain proper movement and activity, obesity rates would drop. He also said that we concentrate too much on "more movement" instead of "good movement". Focus on corrective exercise which is fitness, not on bad exercise which is not fitness. Remember when you enhance an individual's dynamic stability, you will enhance their overal strength. Strengthen the stabilizers to enhance the movement of the prive movers. IF you are not stable, injury will happen.
3. I sat down and had lunch with Mike Boyle. It's funny, most of our discussion was about business. In this industry, remember, it is not all about the training intricacies , you have to know business. And when you are at one of these seminars talk business to each other not just training. It is ok to go up to a presenter and ask them questions about their business. These guys are so willing to give you answers and direction. You never know, one conversation with a presenter might change your whole outlook on how you do things. Don't be afraid to come up to these guys and introduce yourself. They are humble and great people.
4. I did notice how a majority of these "trainers" were kind of out of shape. And not saying in shape is completing a metabolic circuit, there were trainers that couldn't move efficiently. I was watching Mike's hands on and saw many tight and immobile fitness professionals. To me, this is so crucial to be practicing what you preach. If you tell your clients to stretch - STRETCH, IF you tell your clients to Foam Roll - ROLL, If you tell your clients to run through a circuit - RUN THROUGH A CIRCUIT! Don't be the out of shape trainer hounding your clients to do things you aren't doing. Be a good role model and show them the way.
5. Todd Durkin always fires me up. I did not necassarily learn the new cutting edge fitness concepts but he talks about real life, "in the trenches" situations. As a fitness professional we have to treat our clients with the best customer service available. Do not just train them to train them...train them to enhance their life. You can tell Todd practices everything he teaches because he has passion. He talked to us about being innovative and creative. Do not just do things how everyone else is doing them. Think outside the box and expect, not success, but SIGNIFICANCE. We need to take care of our clients and working out at our facilities should be "the best part of their day." Do not take for granted the relationships you have with these individuals. Show them the respect they deserve and give them a hug every once in awhile.
6. Alwyn Cosgrove discussed the importance of having "semi-private" training in your facility. I was lucky enough to visit his facility on my way home. He has a system. And this system is pretty effecient. Everyone that signs up gets an individualized functional movement screen. From there they are designed an individual workout depending on their assessement. They are then placed in a group depending on their workout availability. It is not the clients' responsibility to find a group it is the trainers'. For example, "I have 2 spots open at 9:00 am and 3 spots open at 11:00 am. Which one do you want?" The goals of each person can be different and even the exercises will be different based upon the movement screen but they will workout together in a group. Group training has been proven to increase results, give a better workout experience and give a support group to each individual. A trainer at "Results Fitness" is not responsible to bring in clients because "the clients belong to the gym, not one trainer." When a person walks into Results Fitness to train, they will expect to work with all the trainers not just one. I like this approach as it gives flexibility to the client and another trainers' point of view.
7. Taking notes. I remember Martin Rooney saying 2 years ago at a seminar, "If you just listen and not take notes you will retain only 5%." This has stuck with me since. I now bring my laptop to every seminar and take massive amounts of notes. I seem to type faster than I can write is the reason for the laptop. Also, bringing a laptop gives you the option to already make a "to do list" on a seperate page while you are listening to the speakers. So when you hear an idea you write it down so you can start that task on Monday. Taking notes also gives you a direction to take on Monday. Monday morning I review my notes and think about the important topics discussed. How can I implement? What do I need to change? What steps should I take to get started? Now, don't get me wrong, I am not coming back on Monday with an entirely different program for my clients. Not at all. I have my system and program that works. I just come back with little techniques to integrate to make my program more efficient. If this was your first seminar, I know how you feel....so many ideas, brain is loaded with new material and now how to use all of the new information. After a seminar, come back and do what I am doing, write 10 things you learned and go into detail with some of them. Implement those ideas right away on Monday. Those should be the most important.
8. Bring food. Again another "practice what you preach" rule. When a client tells you that he or she has a business trip over the weekend, what is the first thing you tell them? "Make sure to prepare a few snacks and choose healthy food for lunch." Also, by keeping the body fueled and energized you will stay alert and ready to learn all day. With so much information being loaded into your brains, you must stay hydrated and fueled with some healthy carbohydrates (berries and bananas) and some good fats (trail mix or avocado). And when it comes to lunch time, don't go to the nearest pub and rock down 3 beers and some wings. This is not how we learn and retain information...well maybe for them "Scottish folks". Either bring your lunch or choose wisely and understand that you are there to learn not gain 5 pounds.
9. Sit up front. It is like back in high school when the "geeky" kids sat upfront. Well guess what, when it comes to the fitness industry I am a geek. I want to be upfront so I can pay attention at all times. I want the presenter looking at me in my eyes when he or she is talking. If I am all the way in the back, I will be more likely to check my cell phone or send a text real quick. Sitting upfront shows you want to get the most out of what the presenter as to say. Plus when it comes to question time you could be the first one to get his or her attention.
10. Lastly, Tell your story. Instead of going to these with a close minded approach and not expressing your personality, try and open up to as many people as you can. Be genuine, be respectful and be honest. Interacting with like minded individuals is important to be successful. Tell people who you are and what you are trying to do. Give a business card out, get a phone number or email address and make a connection. Personally I would not be in the position I am today without connections. I have great people to look up to and learn from on a daily basis and I am even getting to know them on a friendship basis, which is even better. Don't be afraid to interact and talk to other trainers and these seminars. Be a go getter and understand that you can learn at least 1 thing from everyone there.
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