Do you 'know the way, go the way and show the way' in fitness?

A fitness leader is a coach, a motivator, an educator and a role model or as John C. Maxwell once said, '...someone who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.'

With every year that passes, we aim to be taken more seriously in the realm of health and wellness, and our industry's expectation for a better qualified, more knowledgable army of fitness professionals helps to separate the cowboys from the commendable.

Much time and effort is dedicated in the media and within our own ranks to assessing how well we 'know the way' and to debating the principles and methods we employ to 'show the way'. Our industry is offering more professional development on all aspects of fitness and exercise science than ever before, and good quality information on how to get the best out of our clients is also more accessible than ever before.

As a former personal training and group exercise manager and current assessor of Certificate III and IV in Fitness, I have been responsible for mentoring, training and assessing literally thousands of fitness leaders. In that time I have seen people from all walks of life, with a wide range of goals and an even wider range of abilities, take to the stage or the gym floor as they embark on their fitness industry careers. And while they may know the way and show the way, I'm continually astounded by how many trainers and instructors simply don't feel that it's important to 'go the way' themselves.

Someone who goes the way...
The majority of fitness professionals live and breathe the philosophies that they espouse, yet there are still a number who are any combination of overweight, unfit, deconditioned and simply not 'walking the talk'.

For those of us who do practice what we preach, we're usually fairly vocally opposed to trainers and instructors who don't. From a management perspective, we want staff who inspire our clients not only with their experience and with their pursuits but with their appearance. We want to show our members that better fuel, better movement and better knowledge all combine to create better bodies- be that aesthically, functionally or healthfully. Yet it's not uncommon to see trainers and instructors in fitness facilities across the country who simply don't embody the physicality that we have become so accustomed to attaching to the fitness professional job title.

Have you worked with, or had to address the condition of, someone in the technical side of the fitness industry who wasn't a physical role model? Do you believe that it negatively impacted their ability to be a fitness leader or did their level of skill in 'knowing the way' and 'showing the way' surpass their physicality?

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Are you driving your fitness business like a taxi driver?

The beautiful coastline, the world-beating harbour, the temperate climate: there are many things to love about living in Sydney. But getting a taxi is not one of them.

There was the time when one monosyllabic driver tossed a street directory at me, telling me to find my destination and read out directions to him. He proceeded to ignore my directions, drive around the block and charge me handsomely for the privilege.  Read More

2018 Commonwealth Games come to QLD – but where’s the fitness windfall?

With the Gold Coast winning the right to host the 2018 Commonwealth games, Queensland’s tourist hotspot is set to take to the world stage (or the Commonwealth stage at any rate). In so doing, it has paved the way for a predicted $2 billion windfall in economic benefits and the creation of thousands of jobs, according to media reports.

Of course, this is great news for Queensland from a pride-perspective, as well as economically (although the long term financial benefits of hosting such large scale events are questionable, as Sydney and every other Olympics-hosting city will testify). But the celebrations and announcements made by Premier Anna Bligh et al failed to speculate on the potential fitness windfall for the State, and for Australia as a whole.  Read More

Les Mills Pump and Beachbody - an interesting association

As you may or may not be aware, a recent announcement was made by Les Mills International (LMI) that they were launching a home workout program called 'Pump' based on their hugely successful licensed BODYPUMP® class. They plan to distribute it in the US only through an organisation called Beachbody, which specialises in home workout programs like P90X or Insanity.

Beachbody is also a very succesful company that sells its home exercise programs through its network of 'coaches' (read: sales consultants) and is notorious for false claims of miracle products and routines that will 'change your life' in just 30 minutes a day.   Read More

PPCA fee hike overturned!

In news that will have group exercise instructors nationwide beaming from ear to ear, the Federal Court has overturned the recent Copyright Tribunal decision to allow the increase copyright fees for the use of music in group exercise classes, citing ‘procedural fairness’ as the reason for the decision.  Read More

Marketing - A Trickle or a Flood?

The following post was written by author and educator Kym Wimbis. It was originally posted on his blog, Access Fit, on 25 October 2010.

When it comes to marketing, advertising, lead generation, sales, and retention we almost always want more… more leads… more sales…and more retention.

When it comes to more members we don’t want a trickle we want a flood.

Makes sense… right? More members means more money… right?

Who in their right mind would want a trickle of members when they could have a flood?

Well it depends on the members.  Read More

Customer service says no – how does the fitness industry measure up?

When I first arrived in Australia ten years ago, I remember being impressed by several incidents of good customer service that I received, and it was not uncommon to hear Aussies singing the praises of the quality customer service that was part and parcel of everyday life in this wide brown land. Either my impressions were some way off the mark and the locals were harking back to a bygone era, or something bad has happened in the past decade, because according to new findings, customer service ain’t what it was – or what it should be.

A recent survey by American Express World Service Australia has found that Australia’s reputation for customer service is languishing in the doldrums – in joint twelfth place with the UK out of twelve countries surveyed (behind the likes of the US, France, Canada, India and Holland).  Read More

Will new PPCA music fees bring about a two-tier club system?

The Network Blog recently posted the topic ‘One word to describe the reality of teaching with PPCA free music – fine!’, which generated a considerable response. The comments made by numerous instructors, and the occasional participant, clearly illustrate the differing opinions about the issue.

The fitness industry has spent a huge amount of time, money and energy fighting the PPCA through the courts, in a bid to prevent the massive price hike from $1 per class to $15 per class. However, the music industry won, and the fitness industry has responded by moving, largely, to a PPCA-free model whereby many clubs are now using exclusively non-original-artist music.  Read More

Hot topic: Gym Waivers, Client Liability and Duty of Care

In the recent decision of Belna Pty Ltd v Irwin [1], the NSW Court of Appeal considered the duty of care owed by a gym operator to a client who suffered a serious knee injury while performing lunges as part of a program designed by an employee.

Ms Irwin dislocated her knee while performing lunges at a Fernwood gym. The exercises were part of a prescribed gym program formulated by a consultant of the gym and the incident occurred while Irwin attempted a lunge for the first time. Her leg gave way, she fell to the floor and was then taken to the hospital where it was found that she had dislocated her knee.   Read More

Fitness Industry Trends to Watch Out for 2010 and beyond

Recently myself and a colleague, Amy Bird, were lucky enough to head over to America to a couple of international fitness conventions to get a feel for what is happening overseas in the wide world of fitness. Certainly an eye opening experience, Amy and I identified the following 4 BIG global trends to watch out for, some of which have already hit OZ and some that are sure to come soon:   Read More