Jayson Hunter RD, CSCS, is a registered dietitian and fitness professional with more than 10 years of experience. To download your free copy of Jayson’s special report “33 Tips You Must Know To Create A Profitable Weight Management Program,” visit weightmanagementexperts.com.
One of the biggest challenges today is keeping your personal trainers in your club or company up to date on the latest in training, injury prevention and biomechanics. Because trainers work with clients day and night, it’s not always easy to find the time to get them all together for an educational workshop or meeting.
Getting trainers together is much easier if they are your true employees and not just independent contractors. Unfortunately, independent contractors can’t be forced to attend meetings. However, you will want to try and educate them as well to reduce the chances of getting any bad publicity. If any of your independent contractors were to injure a client, and that client’s friend asks where they work out, they will almost always mention your club along with the trainer. You might have to get a little creative in how you get these contractors to attend a meeting or participate in educational events, but it’s worth it to do so.
Once you have everyone together, how do you go about getting information to your trainers without taking up too much of their time? Here are three ways to educate your trainers and keep your staff on top of the latest information in the industry:
1. Hold a monthly meeting. Conduct a once-a-month, one-hour mandatory meeting. To encourage attendance, you can either pay them for their time or feed them. Trainers always love a free meal. In this one-hour meeting, you can bring in other professionals to cover a new topic in the training industry or an area of focus in which you feel your staff could use improvement.
For example, rounded shoulder syndrome could be a topic, and you could bring in a local expert to teach your trainers movements that can strengthen or stretch muscles to improve symptoms. Of course you are not teaching them to make a diagnosis, but it is well within their scope of practice to observe posture and evaluate for tight or weak muscles that could use improvement.
2. Create a mailing list for your trainers. Send them information once or twice a month on the latest training education information or training products.
3. Create a trainer education series. This series should consist of a number of topics, articles and/or research materials and should be presented to your trainers once a month. Each month can focus on a different topic or theme on which you feel they need to stay educated. Most of your information could come from journals or other reference sources. Be sure to create a series of questions from your research, too, and quiz your trainers after each educational session to make sure they’re learning.
It will take some work on your part to create these educational opportunities, but the more experienced employee you have, the more likely they are to get results with their clients, which then sheds a good light on your company. Trainer education is a good, cheap investment with a high rate of return.