Hot Topic:
What will you do differently with clients in 2013?

With the schools back after the summer break, and festive overindulgence an increasingly distant memory, the new year is well and truly under way. For our industry the opening months of the year present a boom time, with a spike in the number of people vowing to make fitness a priority in the months ahead. But what about fitness professionals’ new year resolutions?

Personal Trainer Network asked a selection of PTs from across Australia and New Zealand ‘What do you plan to do differently with your clients/training this year, and what is your prediction for this year's 'big thing' in the wider world of personal training?’


Caroline Wade-Martens,
Attitude to Burn PT,
NSW

My wish list includes more government and health industry support for fitness training, which would include more funding initiatives to develop programs to support healthy lifestyles in the general public as well as support for businesses to assist staff in these areas. The areas that I think will grow in 2013 are:

1. Technology – App explosion!
I think there will be huge growth in the ‘My Virtual Personal Trainer’-style apps that devise individual programs based on client’s goals, and which feature the ability to log workouts and link up to heart rate monitors, the ‘smart’ gym equipment and other devices. I believe nutrition will gain even more prominence, with the growth of apps that can devise individual nutrition programs based on client’s nutritional goals, complete with recipes and shopping lists.

2. Family-friendly fitness
With the explosion of obstacle racing over the past few years, I predict that we will start to see a lot more family-orientated obstacle races that families can compete in as teams – inspiring and motivating for the next generation.

3. Small personal training studios
I think small personal training studios are set to make a resurgence in 2013.

Personally, I will also be integrating technology into my service delivery, by further developing my YouTube channel so that my clients have no excuses to not work out. No matter where they are in the world, or what time of day it is, they will be able to access workouts with me, which can either be personalised or general, depending on the particular client.

Another thing that I have done for my clients this year is call 2013 'The International Year of the Burpee'! I think everyone except me hates burpees, so my aim is to challenge my clients in a variety of different burpee challenges throughout the year. I have also had some overseas interest in joining in the challenge, so I say 'Let's take the burpee love global!'


Jared Roy,
Your Perfect Fitness,
WA 

I believe the fitness industry is evolving very rapidly and as personal trainers we are leading the evolution of new training styles and the growth of the industry. Lately I have seen more and more people wanting to train to be athletic and healthy and to continually reach personal fitness goals rather than aesthetic ones. Everyday clients are looking for programs that work on specific goals – not just the usual ‘I want to lose weight’ request. They want to excel in their chosen sport, or work on Olympic lifting techniques, for example. While this type of training is more fun for the trainer, I believe that to keep up with this demand we will be moving towards a more professional approach similar to that practised by doctors and chiropractors, whereby we will need to keep more detailed records of each client’s progress.

This year I will be working with a chiropractor to develop a system to keep records and track the progress of my clients in all the important areas of fitness; flexibility, stability, strength and cardiovascular fitness. Having a more scientific approach to training will produce better results with more efficiency and will increase the value and satisfaction for our clients. It will also help trainers create programs with a more targeted approach for the increasingly specific goals that clients are working towards.


Fiona Compston,
Fiona Compston Personal Training,
Auckland, NZ

I specialise in providing strength training for women, so it’s pleasing to see that one of the major fitness trends predicted for 2013 is the wider acceptance of weight training among females.

This year I aim to encourage clients to adopt more high intensive cardio sessions into their weekly routine, especially my older clients (45+). This trend is predicted to become highly popular as a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy.

Another trend predicted for this year is the continued growth of small group PT sessions. I intend to hold more group sessions as it encourages a sense of community among clients, a factor that is especially appealing to women.

The prediction that more medical centres will encourage patients to use personal training is a big plus for fitness professionals. I have already set in place close ties with the local medical fraternity and I’m predicting a big year ahead. I have started core stability classes for patients at the local physiotherapy clinic, already have closer links with the local chiropractic clinic, and I plan to introduce a weight loss program for patients at the local medical centre.

However, I believe that the number one trend for 2013 has to be the ever-increasing certification and ongoing education of personal trainers, reflecting the ever-growing public demand for personal training worldwide. Improving the skill set of fitness professionals is essential in the push to have the fitness industry recognised by allied health professionals, insurance companies and government authorities.


Graeme Beath,
CrossFit Maroubra,
NSW

Having done CrossFit myself for several years, my partner and I decided it was time to open an affiliate in April 2012. We started training clients outdoors, before finding a box (CrossFit speak for gym) in September.

CrossFit is a general strength and conditioning program that aims to prepare you for anything. Last year we were heavily oriented towards improving clients’ general capacity to work. Our aim this year is to really bring on their strength, together with work capacity, through more lifting and particularly the Olympic lifts and power lifting.

Increasing our focus on the power of community as a motivating force, we will be encouraging clients to compete in some local CrossFit competitions, and as a team we’re aiming to do some of the Tough Mudder-style events. In this community-strengthening vein, we’re also planning some additional social activities.

Looking at the wider industry, I see PTs bringing more variety and intensity to their training and more outdoor or specialised training gyms such as CrossFit or martial arts training. I’m fielding more enquiries from people saying they are getting bored with their big gym routine, so I think they are looking for something different and more personalised.


Michelle Ryan-Uhlich,
Healthforever Coaching and Nutrition/Healthforever Ladies Boot Camps,
QLD 

In 2013 I will grow and develop the boot camp side of my business, moving away from one-on-one personal training. I will also focus further on my position as the rowing strength and conditioning coach at one of Brisbane’s elite girls’ schools.

I have decided this year to make a few changes to my business in terms of business structure as well as my approach to coaching and programming:

  1. Boot camp will be periodised on a 4-weekly cycle to reduce the risk of injury and allow for adaptation.
  2. Balance and stability work will become a regular part of my sessions
  3. Introduce a ‘healthy nutrition habit’ each month.
  4. Provide ‘homework’ for clients to further assist those who can only make one or two sessions each week.
  5. I will continue to improve my systems and invoicing to decrease time spent in the office.
  6. I am launching my own boot camp range of clothes to sell to my ladies at cost, as part of my marketing and exposure plan. This will include running caps, singlets, t-shirts and hoodies for the winter months.
  7. I will add a Sport & Exercise Nutrition Certification to my credentials in the coming months.
  8. Birthday cards for all of my clients with a $1 scratchy included!

Industry-wise, I think PTs will be focusing more than ever before on nutrition, nutrition, nutrition! Just as many CrossFit’ers have identified the benefits of a paleo diet, PTs will increasingly incorporate nutrition plans in line with this style of eating. Paleolithic diets are proving to produce amazing results, and have the added benefit of being more environmentally sustainable and less cruel to animals. A more holistic approach is coming.


Sean Brockman,
Sean Brockman PT,
WA

I love the outdoors, especially the coast, and this year I am planning to share this passion with my clients as much as possible. Over the summer months, and even leading up to winter, we have beautiful weather in the south west of Western Australia. Who wants to be stuck in a gym working on machines when you could be outside in the fresh air, running along the beach or up a sand dune? For upper body work, clients can throw a sandbag or a tyre around!

This personal preference is also my prediction for the future of personal training. More clients are participating in the growing range of adventure-based events such as the Anaconda Adventure Race, or the new Dunsborough X Adventure race, and the number of military-style obstacle course fun days like the Tough Mudder and the Spartan Race is also expanding. Why would clients want to train indoors for events such as these? Even if clients don’t want to go to these extremes, the experience of exercising outdoors is completely unique – and personally I find that getting off the pavement and out into nature is more physically and mentally rewarding. The ever-changing surroundings mean constant changes in movement, and the increased concentration on foot and body placement means fewer injuries, more mental stimulation and, most importantly, more fun!