Thursday, January 13, 2011

Identity Crisis

One of the biggest differences between training in a commercial gym vs a private strength and conditioning facility is the expectations of your management. Unfortunately, in a commercial gym, the baseline is all about the Benjamin's. You can be the best trainer in the world, but if you cant sell sessions you are useless to your boss. Unfortunately, because of that, a good trainer not only gets results with his clients, but they are also able to sell loads of training packages. This creates an interesting hierarchy amongst the trainers, because some trainers can be looked upon favorably for selling themselves well, and a great trainer can be frowned upon because he just cannot figure out how to fill up his schedule.

This is the current state of affairs at my gym, we have some trainers who's techniques might be considered "questionable". I am very aware of the fact that, in this industry more than many others, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Just because I believe in one method more than another, doesn't make it the right way (it IS the right way, but lets pretend its not for arguments sake). I may not agree with these techniques when it comes to the actual workouts, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that he does a very good job at selling himself to clients, and always has a full schedule.

Step 1 in knowing your trainer sucks: neither of you can lift a weight over 5 lbs.

On the other hand, we have several good young trainers with great educational backgrounds who just don't know what it takes to sell their techniques to clients. Not to toot my own horn, but I do a pretty good job of staying busy (beep beep!). Out of 25 hours of availability, i have about 20 sessions per week. Almost all of which are regular clients I see multiple times per week.

I think the secret to selling these sessions is knowing your identity as a trainer. Too many people try to use 8 different techniques in the course of every session. I know exactly what methods I believe in, and how to make them work with my clients. Because I believe in these methods so deeply, I use them to train myself. How could my clients not be excited about something that I am so confident about?

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