The Business of Personal Training

I used to get questions about the business classes embedded in the Health Fitness Specialist degrees, but I don’t anymore. Students and prospective students understand that personal training or owning a gym will require business, leadership and marketing skills; skills that most people in the fitness industry simply do not possess.

As a former Division I coach at two different universities, I can attest to the fact that collegiate coaches struggle with budgets because most of them lack relevant financial training.  Many personal trainers similarly lack business skills and remain in commission-based positions rather than enjoying promotions into upper management.

Once I brought a group of students over to Kinetic Edge Fitness in Woodbury; a kettlebell gym owned and operated by Brad Nelson. One of the first things he mentioned to the students was to get as many business classes as possible before getting into the field. He said it took him a long time to figure things out and that he likely would have saved a great deal of time and money had he learned these valuable skills while in school.  Imagine not knowing how many personal training sessions you would have to sell in order to pay your phone bill?

The Health Fitness Specialist students heard from Luke Carlson last night; owner of Discover Strength in Plymouth. In his lecture, he listed five characteristics of a fitness professional:

1.  One who has a degree

2.  One who reads books

3.  One who reads peer-reviewed journals

4.  One who continually practices their craft

5.  One who gives exceptional value to their clients

Do you meet Luke’s standards for being a professional?  Do you think there are other elements that comprise a professional?  I’m interested in hearing your ideas.