What’s up trainers …
While flipping through this month’s issue of Muscle & Fitness, past the photos of the juiced up circus side-shows and ads for NO EXPLODE, I saw something I wasn’t expecting: a small article about Personal Training, from a real trainer, giving some non-traditional, real-world advice.
It was Gunnar Peterson’s monthly column in the magazine. If you’re new to this game and don’t know who Gunnar is, he practically owns the term “celebrity trainer” in the dictionary. The question isn’t who does he train; it’s more like you’d have an extremely hard time finding an a-list star he hasn’t.
He was one of my original inspirations to get serious in this business; it was reading his book, THE WORKOUT while sitting in a Barnes & Nobles when I was flat broke, that showed me that becoming an independent personal trainer was a real, viable business (not the freak show I was used to at Bally’s). Since then I’ve got to talk to him several times, he’s collaborated on fitnesss business products I’ve produced (and a new one coming soon), and has in ways been a mentor to me.
Well, the reason this article suprised me was because there was such little talk of actual “training” in it. In that way, it’s very similar to Super-Trainer, in that although we deal with the fitness industry, there is hardly anything here that is exercise specific. All of that stuff is important, and if you’re on my customer list you know that we do talk about product integrity. But for the most part that’s not what this site is about. This site is about moving your fitness services and products to as many people as possible, plain and simple.
And if you have a industry “purist” like Gunnar, who still does all of the training himself, echoing the same message in his talk about putting the CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE first and foremost in the session, you know there’s something to it. That’s exactly the point he made in his article – here it is so you can take a look:
THE PETERSON PRINCIPLE
GUNNAR PETERSON, CSCS, CPT, is a Beverley Hills-based personal trainer with more than 20 years of fitness experience.
What qualities do the best trainers possess?
- Knowledge of training physiology, biomechanics, and kinesiology should be a given for a trainer just like food prep is for a restuarant’s head chef.
I expect a chef to know how to prepare the items on the menu the same way I expect a trainer to be qualified to guide someone through a workout.
But just as you remember the taste of the food when you leave a restaurant, consider your client’s overall feeling after the session. Was it fun? Too fun to be considered a workout? Was it serious? Are you a personal trainer and personable trainer, or are you just a trainer?
I believe you have to be as invested and interested in your clients as you want them to be in your services. I try to provide an unbelievable overall experience: parking, music, cleanliness, lighting, and workout beverages, and I focus on ending each session on a high on a high note. Personal training is a service industry, so I serve.
Hope you caught that- he was giving you a BIG hint to the secret of his success right there. Notice how he said technical knowledge is a given, but IS NOT the deciding factor. What is, is CLIENT EXPERIENCE. Customer psychology. Those are the things he’s focusing on. I hope that gives you an idea of where your head and focus should be at when planning how to sell and administer your services.
Although it was short, there was a lot of info in that article from someone who serves the most affluent and discerning clientelle, and has probably the highest priced training services, known to man. I’d pay attention to the meaning in it. And a word to the Muscle and Fitness editors: in the future, leave the fitness business stuff to us!