|By Samir Becic
In times when people are turning towards preventing diseases instead of curing the symptoms, fitness trainers are becoming more important than ever before in improving the health of the 21st century. It is through exercise, proper nutrition and spiritual balance that we can manage, control or completely avoid 60-70% of known illnesses. With this being said, the fitness and health food industry will rise to epic proportions in the next 10-20 years. Here are some steps to prepare the future fitness stars for what is to come.
Fitness needs to be a part of your life
In order to be successful as a fitness trainer, or any existing profession, you must have a love for what you do and know that you want to pursue this profession long-term. I believe that professional and amateur athletes and fitness enthusiasts usually make the best candidates to become successful fitness trainers due to their passion for sport. Unfortunately, more than 50% of trainers become trainers for the sole reason of making pocket change or using it as a “Plan B” career. For this reason, fitness trainers are often not respected or taken seriously by the health experts, the doctors. In order to be successful in this profession, you need to put in time, effort and focus – which will produce new opportunities and possibilities. Every day, I wake up at 4:30 a.m. and cannot wait to start working on my dream for a healthier world.
Knowledge is power
This fact drives me as a fitness trainer more than anything else. In order to be a successful fitness trainer, you must possess the knowledge of how best to help your client. With lack of knowledge, you can easily hurt your client and do more harm than good. With a strong knowledge, you can help clients change their lives for the better in terms of health and fitness. Your clients will then spread the good word about you and bring you new clients that you can impact in a positive way. With this positive action, you’re not only helping yourself on a personal level, but you are raising the level for all other fitness trainers to be taken more seriously. This, in turn, will prompt more and more people to seek out trainers in order to get healthy. Educate yourself on a daily basis in fitness, nutrition, stress management, and anything else that interests you. Clients like educated trainers. I still sit down and read two hours a day about health, fitness and current events so that I’m up to date on new studies.
As a successful fitness trainer, you want to help as many people as possible. Very often, people don’t think they need your help, but they are not aware of how many revolutionary changes will happen in their lives when they start exercising and eating properly. Your job is to motivate them and show them that with fitness and proper nutrition, they will not only be healthier, but they will be more successful at work because they will have more energy. This also means that they will not be as tired when they get home and therefore have a more balanced family life. Their self-esteem will also increase, which will help them in leadership positions and promotions – aiding them in reaching their financial goals. Their children will become aware of their parents working out and will be motivated and follow their positive example in being active themselves – to create healthier future leaders of 21st century America.
As a trainer, your persistence is tremendously important in keeping your client on track in their path to a healthier life. Last but not least, the most important factor is that they will better manage, control or completely avoid 60-70% of illnesses. Everyone who knows me is aware that I’m an extremely persistent person when it comes to healthy lifestyle. For example, one of my clients refused to drink sufficient water for a year while training with me – so I made him drink 1 liter of water while he was working out with me. In addition, I text him every hour on the hour to remind him to drink water. Today, all he drinks is water, no more soda or juices. Persistence is the key to forming habits!
In order to be taken seriously as a professional fitness trainer, there are certain aspects of your being that you need to be aware and conscious of. First, your appearance needs to be clean and professional; you would never see a doctor with dirty scrubs, so keep this in mind. Second, time management is crucially important in maintaining your clients and your professional persona. You must be aware of your clients’ progress; the best way to do this is with files, so that you know what is going on with your client and you can adjust their workouts accordingly. A positive attitude goes a long way in this industry – even on tough days, when you don’t feel as sunny as usual, put a smile on your face, and pretty soon you’ll be smiling for real. It will help a lot in motivating yourself and your clients. By forcing ourselves to smile, we “trick” our body into believing that everything is good, thereby reducing stress. Like a switch, smiling can actually change your mood. Make sessions enthusiastic, fun, educational, customized and varied.
One of the very good and necessary ways to build your clientele is to be present in your neighborhood, in your city. When I was the fitness director of Bally’s biggest club in the world, I was very visible in the media, which was great exposure. Bally’s would advertise on a monthly basis in print, on the radio, and on TV so that my exposure/Bally’s exposure could increase – this brought the company a tremendous increase of clients who otherwise wouldn’t have signed up. Obviously, trainers don’t have the millions of dollars of budget that a corporation has, but there are very affordable advertising means in professional print media, to increase public visibility. A simple website with your information and client testimonials will increase your chances of being introduced to a larger audience. Make sure you present yourself with elegance, style, and a positive persona that will attract future clients and motivate to continue on a healthy path.
In order to be a successful trainer, your No. 1 priority needs to be to help as many clients as possible while still providing quality training with visible and internal health benefits. This type of work ethic will provide you with sufficient financial benefits to make training your career. Trainers who do not have a passion for fitness and believe a paycheck is their priority, instead of the best interest of the client, will end up without success or financial security. Without being pretentious and to better advise you, I always wanted to help as many people as possible, and because of this, I became one of the best-paid fitness trainers in America. My hope is to be seen as a knight on the positive crusade for a healthier world, a goal that I have yet to achieve. I sincerely hope this article inspires you in creating your own future in the health and fitness industry.