8 Mistakes Fitness Professionals Should Avoid
Nobody on this planet is perfect and it is proven by the many flaws and inconsistencies we see in this world. With that being said, people will inevitably make mistakes in whatever they do just because it’s human nature. However, you want to learn from those mistakes and hopefully never fall victim to letting them occur again.
The fitness industry is not exempt from these sentiments. There are so many common and maybe not so common mistakes that fitness professionals make. Some of these mistakes are quick, easy fixes while others may be more damaging to your overall reputation and take more effort to rectify.
The key is to do your research and be very aware of your brand as a fitness professional, regardless of your specific field. Thinking before you act is a major benefit to yourself and your brand. Nonetheless, learning from the mistakes of others can give you the knowledge to help push you ahead of your competition.
Do The Research
The saying goes “Think before you speak or act”, and this is still very good advice that anyone should follow. It is important to note that in business, specifically speaking on the fitness industry, you want to replace the word “think” with “research” in that same quote. The overarching point that we would like to make clear for anyone reading this article is that researching is your best friend.
One of the worst things you can do is be uninformed as a professional. People that may wish to become clients of yours are looking to receive accurate, legitimate answers to their questions. If you were to give that personal information that they do not need or is incorrect, your reputation could be tarnished. Beyond simply giving advice, there are so many other avenues of being a fitness professional or running a business that requires your research.
Doing research doesn’t always mean scouring the Internet for peer-reviewed articles and answers. You can soak up a lot of information from networking and finding out where others made mistakes. This way you don’t have to experience the same trials and tribulations they did. Advice and instructions from those that are much further along than you in this industry go a long way for your career.
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Mistake #1: Not Charging Enough For Your Services
A major aspect that a lot of potential clients look for in their future fitness trainer is affordability. Coinciding with that fact is most new fitness pros want to be deemed as “affordable” thus they try to price their services extremely low in hopes of attracting more clientele.
As a professional, this is not a good idea to pursue. You have done the work and learned the appropriate knowledge for the position you are in and deserve to be compensated for the work you have put in and what you can do. Thus you should avoid trying to have the cheapest priced services and do your research to make your prices competitive. Making your prices competitive will allow clients to feel like you are confident in what you can offer and you will likely attract more serious clients as opposed to those just attracted to a low price point.
If you are still shaky about making your prices competitive, try accentuating the unique aspects of your services that others do not offer. Potential clients like to feel like they are getting the best “bang for their buck” so allow them to know exactly why you should be their choice.
Mistake #2: Neglecting the Basics
Every client is going to be different from the next so you want to be able to assess what each client is able to handle for where they currently are physical. As a fitness professional, you shouldn’t forget that the basics can go a long way for certain clients. You have to remember that every client can’t work out the same way you can.
For example, if you are a heavy weightlifter it does not mean that they can follow suit even if you teach them as their bodies may not be able to handle it. The more appropriate way is to see where your client lacks such as core strength or leg strength and address those weaknesses by using more basic workouts. Even with basic workouts you can always find new ways to adjust them to help continue the client’s growth.
Mistake #3: Not Scheduling 1 on 1 Conversations Outside of the Gym
When it comes to fitness, what you do in your day to day has a large effect on achieving the goals you set. The work done while physically training is one aspect, but another pertinent aspect is to make sure your clients are following their regimens outside of training. As a trainer, it is your job to provide the necessary motivation that can assist your clients with their journey. The most popular and effective way to do this is to schedule “non-training” meetings.
Taking the time to have these meetings can give you more insight into your clients’ lives and build trust with them. You can utilize the opportunity to give real updates on the client’s fitness journey thus far, check in on their dietary habits, and provide critiques if necessary. Some may view this as a waste of time but we assure you that it will benefit you and your client for the future.
Mistake #4: Trying to Become Everyone’s Trainer
“Diversity” has become a bit of a buzz word in the past few years and it is indeed important to be diverse. However, when it comes to being a fitness professional, you have to tailor your diversity as far as how many different types of clients you take on. The clients as individuals can be from as diverse of a background as you wish, but the type of training you provide needs to be tailored to a few disciplines.
If you are trying to specialize in so many different disciplines in the industry, it can take a big physical and mental toll on you. It is tough to be a professional in so many different areas. When you have to create so many different programs it takes energy from you, which is not fair to your clients. For example, in pro sports most times an athlete is only a professional in one sport because it would be tough to handle multiple sports at one time.
Your time and energy is best spent specializing in a couple disciplines that will attract the amount of clientele you need to sustain yourself. Serving a smaller, less diverse population you can establish deeper relationships and allow you to focus on fulfilling each of their individual needs. This will in turn help grow your business.
Mistake #5: Poor Record Keeping
You will be doing an extreme disservice to your clientele if you have poor record keeping habits. Every aspect of a client’s workout and fitness journey needs to be documented because it benefits their process and allows you to better help them reach their goals.
Of course, you should not keep all your information on a regular pen and paper as you can risk it being destroyed or lost. Make use of your computer or even utilize an all-in-one software that can keep that information organized.
The client’s development is the most important part of your business thus you have to prioritize keeping tabs on their progression.
Mistake #6: Relying Only On Word of Mouth Marketing
You can be an amazing fitness professional but if you are not taking the time to properly market yourself then nobody will know. It is absolutely great when a customer takes their time to tell another person about your services but you cannot solely commit to that for growth for your business.
There are several ways you can advertise your business to the public and the easiest way will be through social media. With so many different platforms available such as Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube, you can literally put your services in people’s faces without physically being with them. The key is to remain consistent and keep up with the trends of the platform and format it to fit you as a fitness professional.
Mistake #7: Not Providing A Meal Plan
As previously mentioned, a lot of a person’s fitness journey revolves around what occurs outside of the workout facility. It is so important what a person intakes into their body. Consuming the wrong types of foods can literally erase all the effort that was put in working out that day.
Educating your clients on information such as this is the first step. After, you need to tailor a meal plan for them that can assist them with their goals. Whether they wish to lose weight or gain muscle, it is up to them to have the knowledge to craft a meal plan that leads them down the right path. You cannot leave it up to your clients to make their own choices for food intake because they may not have the proper insight into what they need. In short, you are not helping your client 100% if you are only doing physical training.
Mistake #8: Pushing Clients Past Their Limits
There is a fine line between challenging your clients and pushing them past their limits completely. A client trusts you as a fitness professional to take in all the information they give you about themselves, as well as, observe their workouts to make informed decisions on how to go about training them. Endurance and stamina have to be built slowly and cannot be forced onto somehow no matter how hard you work them out. Oftentimes trainers are fooled by a person’s physique and assume that they can handle more intensity when in reality there’s not any correlation.
Protect your client and your business by absorbing the necessary information about your clients and adjusting their workouts accordingly.