I am a strong believer in the importance of fitness, exercise and wellbeing in general being inclusive. This extends to the courses that I teach! It is great to see the increasing levels of diversity in the people choosing to become personal trainers. This is representative of the gym going population becoming increasingly diverse.
Groups that I have had over the last 12 months have include a range of age groups from young fresh faced 18 year olds to 60+, a range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, people with English as a second language and physical and learning difficulties. They all attend the courses with one common aim… To become a fitness professional. With this comes a range of sub goals with some being here mainly for the cash, others wanting to help people or some having a inspiring story of their own health improvement journey that they would like to help other replicate.
Now there was a time, bearing in mind that I have been in this industry for a while when there was a lot less diversity within the population of fitness trainers. This was a problem as to access the community as a whole we required fitness professionals that was equally as diverse as the community we were trying to serve. With a more diverse range of fitness professionals this can only help to inspire and aid the confidence in our industry from all sectors of the community.
The fact that exercise is inclusive is a very important principle as often those that find it hardest to enter mainstream gyms are those who do not fit the traditional gym goer stereotype. It is those that are not served by the commercial gyms that on some ways require our greatest levels of attention.
The ability of a fitness professional to engage with all different aspects of the community is vital as this is one of the key ways that we will start to achieve a greater level of engagement in activity programmes and therefore have a positive effect on our communities!
I encourage my learners on courses to look at the communities that they are part of and consider if these communities are being served. If not I prompt them to try and identify how they can make an impact within a community. Over the years of learners taking this approach a number of learners have remarked how by engaging groups of people they have been able to carve out a profitable business niche, in to what seems to many as an over crowded market place.
So as a new personal trainer consider the groups or communities that you belong to, start to identify their specific needs in terms of health and fitness and then start to look at the ways that you can help to serve that community. By trying to be a true ambassador and delivering a high quality and tailor made service before long you will stat to see the benefits come back to you ten fold!
Go out there and see who you can serve today!