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What made you choose a career in personal fitness training?
Our facility includes medical, physical therapy and fitness. I started here 22 years ago helping in the therapy department and in the fitness area. One of the guys I worked with in the fitness area, talked to me about becoming a trainer. I started working with members to see if it was something I would be interested in doing ~ and the rest is history.
How long have you been a Personal Trainer?
I started my personal training career 21 years ago.
What made you choose the IFPA?
As I looked through the IFPA material, it became evident that I could benefit from all that the organization had to offer. The company helped guide my career in a professional direction by taking advantage of their many certification programs.
If you have taken more than our PFT course, what has been your favorite certification course?
I have certifications in the Life Coaching Level 1 and Level 2 plus Exercise Endocrinology. Clients always want to talk about what’s going on in their life and what they should do; because of that, these courses have proven to be so useful. Of course, as with ALL training, both physical and personal growth, the progress my clients make and their success is what makes the personal training certification my favorite.
What are some adjectives your clients would use to describe you?
Clients would say that I am tough, creative, motivating, intuitive, knowledgeable, resourceful, fun and passionate about my work.
What qualities set you apart from other personal trainers? Education? Experiences?
Although there is no substitute for my years of experience, I would say patience would be the second most important quality.
What aspect of personal fitness training do you like most?
I like the transformation clients go through, realizing they can accomplish more than they thought possible. When they start a training program and they can hardly do 1 push up or squat, and the pride they have when they say, “I remember when I couldn’t even do 1 push up”. Their success is what I like most.
What is your best success story?
They are all success stories one-way or another because of the investment they make in themselves. There are two client stories that stand out the most.
The 1st is a client with MS who has been with me for probably 15 years. When we started, she was still walking with a gait belt and using parallel bars at home. In the process of our sessions, we started with what she needed to do to keep her functioning at home. Her disease has progressed. She is now confined to a wheelchair, so we work on keeping her upper body strength and movement as best that she can. By her doing personal training, she feels it has slowed the progress of the MS.
The 2nd success story is about a high school girl who was in cheer leading and very active. She suffered from back pain due to her scoliosis. We did a lot of core strengthening exercises and worked on posture to help relieve the pain. She has now graduated and is seeking a profession in health and fitness.
How has the PFT business changed since you started?
Personal training has changed since I started in popularity. More people are seeing the benefits of having a trainer for many reasons; for proper form, setting up a routine, optional exercises for specific muscles and for accountability.
How do you envision growing your personal training business?
I have 25-28 hours a week of clients scheduled and have now become certified as a coach for Rock Steady Boxing for Parkinson. My years of personal training experience have helped me to apply my knowledge to another group of clients.
What was the hardest challenge you had to overcome in you personal training career?
The hardest challenge would be two-fold.
First, would be building clientele to be a full-time trainer. This took time and effort working the floor and meeting people.
The second would be keeping their commitment and consistency, to keeping their appointments.
What is your best advice to someone just starting their career as a personal trainer
Know your clients’ fitness level, modify the exercise/routine to their ability, make it fun and keep it safe. It is very rewarding to watch someone grow physically and become more confident in themselves.