This is the first in a series of blogs by industry legend Shannan Ponton. shannon

Check in next week for another question!

PTA: What sort of changes have you noticed in the fitness industry over the years?

Shannan: After 22 years as a fitness professional I have seen the industry go full circle. We are back now living the ‘new old’. Kettlebells, Roman Rings, Olympic Lifts, Ropes and Eastern Block strength training methods have had a massive resurgence and are trendy again. During the 90’s the industry was determined to make working out ‘easy’, with all manner of machines patented. Variable resistance cams, pin Loaded, water and even air were used to make training that little bit softer. Thankfully we’re back to some hard core methods, again. Cross Fit, Mud Runs, Boot camps, Boxing, MMA, Strongman, Vipr, TRX and Basic Training Classes are now packed in most commercial gyms. Fit, strong, healthy and functional is ‘the new BIG’. Amen to that.

During the mid 90’s Personal Training Evolved and thankfully was accepted into the mass market. (Teaching 25 plus classes per week was smashing up us fitness professionals). Originally viewed as something just for the rich, famous or……wankers, PT came of age. It had to. If you want to build a house you don’t simply head off to the hardware store, buy some wood and nails and knock together a mansion. You need an expert, a builder. The same principle is necessary to build a fit, healthy and functional body. You need an expert trainer.

It seems an attractive prospect to thousands of people each year, hanging around the gym, rubbing shoulders with the beautiful people and getting paid a six figure income…hence the attrition rate in the industry of young trainers. Being a trainer is so much more than counting reps and loading weights!

Training institutes are ‘chock a block’ full of hopefuls ready to bust onto the scene make a difference, give the industry a much needed shake up, charge $100/hr in week one and then sit back and let the money roll in. Not going to happen.

Let’s get a few things straight. The way you handle yourself will determine the success, longevity and professionalism of your career.

Firstly, your training and choice of provider is so much more than ‘just a piece of paper’.

In a desperate bid to get to the top too many graduates miss out on the science, philosophy and theory that are constitutes of being a trainer. Anatomy, physiology and physics must be fully understood if you are to program effectively, yet for a lot of students it’s seen as inconsequential and not valid when you’re in the real world. It is essential knowledge for a fitness professional.

You need to understand the ‘system’, the ‘science’ behind it and equip yourself with the tools needed to be a professional.

To learn more about Personal Training Academy’s Systems, Sciences and Tools, ring us on 1300 556 540 to have a chat about our Certificate III and IV courses, our ‘Bridging’ Course, the Level 1 Mentorship in 2014 or any of our other education offerings.

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