I know it’s not quite the New Year yet but I thought I would get a jump start on this one. I would just like to share with you some of the things I have learned, great books I have read, experiences I have had and things I have accomplished in what I consider my first true year in the “biz”.
Granted I have been a personal trainer for several years now, this year in particular was a little different for me. We all have those moments where we suddenly “get it” and this was that year for me. I have not learned all there is to learn, nor will I ever. What I have learned, however, was how to not just be a good trainer but what it takes to be a great trainer. And that is passion.
Passion to get up at 4:30 in the morning and start my day by listening to webinars, seminars, interviews and Podcasts such as the Fitcast and Strength Coach Podcast.
Passion to read something everyday on the trainride into work on anything from performance enhancement to rehab to exercise physiology.
Passion to come in excited to a 6:00a.m. client and have the same enthusiasm for my 7:00p.m. client that night.
Passion to go to seminars, watch webinars, and research on PubMed.com and many of the great forums across the interwebz.
Passion to read, write for my blog, write programs, and experiment with new ideas during my down time.
Passion to get in my own training.
Passion to do this every day.
These are just a few of the things that it takes to be a great trainer.
Coming into this year I will admit that I had little more knowledge than basic exercise physiology and how to “workout” which is pretty much what you will find with most personal trainers. Soon after starting at my first big scale commercial gym in Boston I found out that if this was going to be my career that just teaching someone how to work out wasn’t going to cut it. Being in a recession, people don’t want to spend their hard earned money (up to $100 per session) for a “workout buddy”.
What I want to share with you is how I went about absorbing every bit of knowledge I could not only learn but afford. Luckily enough Fitcorp provided me with what proved to be my most valuable resource at the time which was PTonthenet.com. This online database provided me with literally thousands of articles and seminars by hundreds of the best in the industry. From them I learned tons of new concepts on everything from training, to psychology, to business, to rehab, and even better ways to perform old exercises. Since then I was “bit by the bug” as they say and couldn’t get enough.
A great quote that I came across early on is: “If I have seen farther, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”. Who better to learn from than by those who have been doing this for many years and have also been very successful? Early on, I began to research what many of these coaches were doing by reaching out to many of them via ptonthenet, Facebook, their websites, and even some by email with questions on certain methodologies. Some might call it stalking but I call it networking.
If you truly want to become great at something you must invest in yourself. This includes both time and money. Since last January, I have spent countless hours listening to podcasts, seminars, reading books and blogs and attending seminars. Some are free but I have had to put more money back into the industry in order to educate myself. In the long run, I spent a fraction of the money I did on college and have learned 10 times as much over the past year.
Your first year in anything you are paying your dues and should be absorbing as much knowledge as possible before you consider yourself an expert. When I say train everyone, I mean train everyone. The more you train the better you get at it and the wider variety of clients you are able to work with the better off you are going to be. I have learned just as much from taking this approach as my clients have learned from me. I learn something new every day and if I come to a road block I figure out how to go through.
Learning all of this is one thing but sharing it is what makes it worth while. I began blogging back in May and have gone from 10 views per week to about 10,000 views per month. Not as much as some blogs but I am grateful for all of those who find what I have to say interesting and beneficial. Next year I plan on sriting more in the form of E-books so keep an eye out. What good is knowledge if you are unable to share it?
In Part 2 I am going to share all of the books I have read, seminars I have attended, and products I have used to make me a better coach. Stay tuned because many of the resources I am going to share have proven to be priceless.