A fitness career is a broad term and there are many possible paths in this industry. From the sidelines it might seem that personal training is only about creating workout plans but it is so much more than that.
People who pursue a career in fitness should develop self-actualization and self-awareness, in order to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and be able to leverage these two with other individuals.
Lindsay Vastola is a fitness professional, speaker, entrepreneur, and coach. She has a lot of experience helping people improve their fitness career and be more aware of their business.
In the eight episode of Real McCoy Radio, Lindsay and host Greg talk about what it means to be a better fitness leader, and what it takes to become a professional that has a long-lasting positive impact on people’s lives.
Throughout her career, Lindsay has learnt many valuable tips, and effective ways to help her clients and followers. Here are a few of them that can bring insight to any fitness professional and improve their work.
1 – Practice the four corner exercise.
This is a visual exercise, where you can look around the room and see the reason why somebody might not agree with you, pretending there are four different people in each corner.
The four corners are the action taker, the speculator, the person who wants all the details, and the person who makes decisions based on how it will affect other people.
The exercise is very powerful, because it allows you to take a moment to step away, and say, for example:
“I am an action taker. I take actions off and not think about the consequences. That has its strengths, and it has its weaknesses.”
Then, you realize that in the other corners, there are the speculators; the people, who want to know all of the options before they make a decision; and the people, who want all the details.
Once you start practicing this simple exercise, you develop more patience and understanding of other people’s opinions.
2 – Emotional intelligence is a game changer.
From a business owner standpoint, emotional intelligence helps bring your systems to life. Emotional intelligence is often called EQ and there is a reason for that.
In the fitness industry, EQ refers to our self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, how we can create community by our body language, the questions we ask our clients, the interactions, and the events we are part of.
These impact skills are 85% of what fitness professionals do, and without EQ it would be very difficult to connect with clients and have a positive impact on their lives.
Emotional intelligence helps us realize that the client is not always right but we have to make them feel like they are.
3 – Personal leadership refers to having honest conversations with yourself.
Leaders do not necessarily take management or ownership positions. These are the people who are self-driven and prioritize self-awareness.
Personal leadership is about having those honest conversations with yourself, where you become aware of your mistakes and stay humble about them. It is about putting yourself around people who will help you realize your strengths and weaknesses, and contribute to your personal development.
Personal leadership means you are constantly a student before you’re a teacher.
Personal leadership is what helps us create and validate our self-worth. Self-worth comes from a purpose and personal sense of value, which extends from a career longevity standpoint and translates into the future.
4 – Give yourself the opportunity to work with different people. Then, choose your niche.
After gaining some diverse experience, continue to evaluate who it is that you really love working with. Who do you feel you can impact best? These answers would help you find your niche as a trainer.
Being a general personal trainer could be challenging and not satisfying enough because you will have to work with many different people, and implement different approaches each time. Doing so in the beginning is essential, and it helps you build a solid foundation as a coach, but after a period of time, it becomes exhausting.
Specializing in one type of clientele allows you to provide better coaching, help your clients more efficiently and understand them on a deeper level. Focus on finding your niche and make sure you become great at it.
You can listen to the full podcast, if you want to find out everything that Lindsay and Greg talk about.
Do you want to learn more about Lindsay Vastola? Check out her website.