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business model

Posted by alexandra_k on May 26, 2020, at 19:10:08

the trouble with the fitness industry (i thought) was the business model.

to teach group fitness classes you need to be certified, or whatever, from the gym. that means you need to demonstrate your ability to do the choreography routine with good form and stick to the script.

that means you need to pay a few hundred dollars, i think it was. for the instructors training pack that had the choreography for each track along with ther instructors commentary. then you had to memorise that and get fit enough to do it with good form (and look like you are producing great effort at times depending on the class) while simultaneously producing a coherent commentary.

there is much of the acting about it - I mean to say. because of the commentary requirement.

Then someone *ss*s you -- and then you are certified to teach that particular release. E.g., bodypump 34, or whatever. Then, I think the idea was that there would be a new release every 3 months, I think it was. So you would be teaching one and simultaneously training / rehersing the next release in preparation for it's roll out in the gyms.

I think that was the idea.

Then... Once you have got your certification they pay you... I don't remember very much. Not very much. I don't know how many classes you need to actually teach to make back the money you have invested already (to say nothing of your time). Once you do get a class to teach the gym tracks how many people come along to your class and they have specific parameters for you. If the class grown on your watch -- you likely get offered another class. If your class shrinks -- you are likely to lose the class.

And to work as a personal trainer... You have interviews and the like and they choose the people they want to work there. Then you pay them a lump sum as some kind of rent for using their equipment, basically, and having the rights to train people in their facilities -- where it is agreed in advance how many trainers there are in the entire gym. So... You might be 1 trainer of 22, for example. And then you pay them a cut of the personal training income you make. And they set the rate that you are allowed to charge.

Then most people want trainers before work (5-8) Lunch time (12-2) After work (5-7). So long days with big gaps in the middle while most people are at work.

How do you get clients?

You get your photograph on the wall and on the website. Maybe a short motivational statement. Sometimes you get more of a webpage etc to say something about your particular interestes etc. Maybe you are into powerlifing or maybe you are into helping overweight people discover exercise for the first time or maybe you are into general athletic type training or maybe you are a party guy or gal helping people get in shape / stay in shape for that scene...

Then you gotta walk the floor and make the connections. Train in the gym yourself. Become friends with the people who train the most like you so that you become part of that sub-group or set. Then you are a trainer that is an entrance point or access way to those people. For newcomers who want to become part of that tribe, I mean.

I don't know that I would be good at it. I don't think I'm particularly good at training people one on one. At telling people what to do. I don't know what's good for you. Sometimes I see something and think I could help / offer useful advice (but I don't offer unsolicited advice). But the usual sort of business as usual of 1 on 1 personal training... I feel awkward about it. It isn't my thing. Yeah. There we go. I suppose I haven't had much practice at it. I guess my trouble is that I find it hard to watch terrible form and you have to get good at watching terrible form as a trainer. By terrible I mean sloppy and suboptimal from a 1 rep max point of view. But of course people aren't training for 1 perfect rep. They are mostly training for fat loss so we want the repetitions up and so long as injury isn't likely to result the form can be as suboptimal as...

But it makes my eyes bleed. ingraining sloppy form.

Which means I'm not particularly suited to the enterprise, really.

Most trainers burn out. The gym burns through them. I suppose... To be fair... I don't know how much it is a bad business model on behalf of the gym. If there would be a better way they could look after their staff, I mean to say. Or if many trainers make bad mistakes on how to grow their business.

It does feel like a lot of a personality contest, I mean to say. And when you are new there is an element of 'fresh meat'. So apparently you get a lot of business when you start as a trainer as people want to get to know you and check you out. Then I guess many people get into a bad social scene (thinking that is what they need to do to retain popularity / grow in popularity) for their group fitness and to get more clients. Group fitness is a good way for the potential clients to learn to like you. So that's a real boon. And I think your actual income mostly comes from the personal training...

But a lot of people don't last long. I don't remember how many did not renew (pay another lump sum for continuation) after... I think it was after the first 6 months.

They did say things about how you could tell who was going to make it. You needed to be there in the gym from 5am whether you had clients or not. You had to be working the floor. Training yourself. Interacting with people who were training. So people would see you around and choose to hire you. They won't do that if you aren't around. They were saying the people who weren't there (with the most popular trainers) at 5am. At lunch time. After work. The ones who didn't get used to the hours and be there with smiling faces didn't last long.

And the ones who were too particular about their niche. Particularly about some young person fitness niche. It's like Dan JOhn says -- if you are training you don't want young athletes. You want people like me. why? because I have a gold card. And if you can help me towards my goals I will give that gold card to you.


Anyway, we will see.

I guess Les Mills probably would have been where I would have wanted to work if I wanted to be a trainer.

But I realised / learned that I was more interested in the specific activation sequence firings of more precise technique. For elite performance or for longer term balanced development and injury prevention. Physiotherapy seemed like a better move for me...

But I didn't finish the course. Get the certificate in personal training. Which is typically necessary (but likely not sufficient) to get to do that. It was one of those occasions wehre they invested so much in chasing down the kids who weren't attending who were high risk of dropping out etc. I mean someone was hired specially to go around rounding them up and so on. Encouraging them to get to class. warning them about them being on track not to pass etc etc. But when it came to me: 'oh, don't worry about her. she'll be alright'.

I wonder if I was the only person not to get the certificate.

My problem. Was housing. Like it always is. I didn't have a quiet place without a person around so I could properly rest / recover and also read / study.




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