In order to really stand out from the hundreds of other trainers gaining their qualifications every year, however, PTs should consider completing additional courses. The benefits of doing so are extensive:
• You’ll expand your repertoire of offerings, which means you might be able to charge more per client (because your knowledge base is greater).
• You will, potentially, attract a wider range of clients with the more areas you are qualified in.
• You can gain all the necessary Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for re-registration at the same time.
• You’ll qualify for insurance coverage in all those specialist areas you are trained to deliver (always an appealing factor for any hiring club or client)
• The expenses incurred may be eligible as tax deductions – speak to your accountant or financial adviser to be sure.
The great news is, wherever your interests lie, there are courses catering to all budgets and time constraints. You can choose courses in nutrition, rehabilitation, massage, kids’ fitness, indoor cycling or training techniques that use specialised equipment such as boxing, kettlebells, suspension trainers, BOSU, ViPR, Gymstick or Swissballs.
Courses can range from several hours to a few months, and they can be the best way to expand your practical skill repertoire while earning CECs at the same time. The Fitness Australia website (www.fitness.org.au) has an excellent national directory where you can choose from 750 CEC-accredited programs.
Registered training organisations are also a great place to look for courses to further your knowledge and expand your exercise repertoire. With more than 90 RTOs across Australia, you’re bound to find a plethora of courses to suit your needs.
For example, The Personal Training Academy (www.ptacademy.com.au) offers courses for Cert IV-qualified trainers, including TRX suspension training and TRX Rip Training courses, plus their unique Effective Movement Training (EMT) and Trigger Point Performance Therapy courses.
Australian Fitness Network (www.fitnessnetwork.com.au) delivers courses for fitness professionals to become qualified as an Elite Strength Coach, Elite Nutrition Coach, an Indoor Cycling instructor or a Pilates instructor. All courses offer CECs and are industry-recognised certifications that will enable you to be fully insured when working with members/clients in these specialised areas.
Punchfit offer numerous courses to teach you how to safely and effectively deliver boxing sessions to clients/members. The Punchfit®GX® in the Park Course, for example, is the next generation in group kickboxing and MMA Fitness. Designed by dual Thailand Certified Master ringfighting Khru Bruce Townhill and 6th dan Australian karate champion Doug Rouessart, the course teaches you how to safely use boxing and kickboxing fitness techniques, as well as conditioning exercises on their unique Group X® Man Shield.
If massage is something you’d like to be able to expand your skillset with, then check out the Massage Therapist courses offered by the Australian Institute of Fitness (www.fitness.edu.au/fitness-massage) or the Queensland Academy of Fitness (http://www.qaf.com.au/).
Obviously, being able to sell your services effectively is essential for any career. Impact Training Corporation (www.impact-training.net) offers two courses that are ideal for PTs. ‘Cutting Edge’ is a quick two-day program that will teach you how to gain more clients by converting leads, as well as via complimentary or introductory PT sessions. This course provides PTs with a proven, systemised process to follow, which doesn’t rely on scripts; instead, focusing on non-pushy sales techniques and how to get your prospective clients wanting to buy from you rather than you having to feel like you need to sell to them. Additionally, ‘My Mentor Coach’ is another program where you work with a coach who will assist you in all facets of your PT business in a personal one-to-one format, working specifically to develop with you, whatever you need to learn or experience in order to succeed and grow. The My Mentor Coach program keeps you accountable, is often undertaken weekly, fortnightly or monthly and either face-to-face, or via the telephone or Skype.
To help the longevity of your fitness career, a Fitness Business course, such as the one offered by the Australian Institute of Fitness (www.fitness.edu.au) is ideal, as it’s specifically designed to teach you how to start and manage a fitness business. Additionally, if working health professionals has appeal, then you might consider the Institute’s Exercise Therapist course. Lisa Chivers, National Master Coach for Australian Institute of Fitness, says ‘The Institute’s Exercise Therapist program, which embeds a Diploma of Fitness, gives you the skills and qualification to work with people who have chronic health conditions.
“The great news is, wherever your interests lie, there are courses catering to all budgets and time constraints.”
The Fitness Institute of Australia (www.fia.com.au) is also a provider of the Diploma of Fitness course, which has a prerequisite of a Certificate IV coupled with industry experience. The FIA also offers a Sports Trainer qualification for those interested in coaching athletes and/or working with those suffering from sports-related injuries. Similarly, if you want to become qualified in injury prevention, then a rehabilitation course such as the Rehab Trainer course (www.rehabtrainer.com.au) might be what you’re looking for.[highlight_blue]Remember, courses undertaken and equipment purchased for use with your clients may qualify as tax deductions. Speak to your accountant to discuss your individual situation.[/highlight_blue]
[highlight_blue]Remember, there are also conferences, workshops and other events specifically aimed at fitness business owners and PTs, running all the time across the country, and internationally. These events will ensure you remain up-to-date with the latest training techniques and management strategies, plus it can provide you with precious CECs at the same time. Check out the Events Calendar pages for details.[/highlight_blue]
Gain further knowledge with longer courses:
• Rehab Trainer (Rehabilitation Courses): www.rehabtrainer.com.au
• Massage Therapist: www.fitness.edu.au /www.fiafitnation.com.au /www.endeavour.edu.au
• Poliquin Biosignature Practitioner: www.charlespoliquin.com
• Diploma in Fitness: www.fiafitnation.com.au / www.fitness.edu.au / www.fia.com.au
• Exercise Therapist: www.fitness.edu.au
• Fitness and Nutrition for Children: www.fiafitnation.com.au / www.chism.com.au
With a little research, you can pretty much find a course that will build on your existing Cert IV knowledge, in almost any field you desire. Check out the innovative Poliquin Biosignature Practitioner course, teaching you a well-rounded approach to fat loss through nutrition and supplementation strategies. Similarly, the Mark McGaw Institute of Sports Science (personal-fitness-trainer-certification.com) offers courses that qualify you as a Performance Nutritionist Specialist, Cancer Wellness Specialist Trainer, or Older Adults Trainer, just to name a few.
With today’s advances in technology, you can pretty much expand your skillset from the comfort of your lounge room. Nowadays, education really is entirely driven by your individual interests, needs and constraints. Plus, your own preferred style of learning can also be catered for, given most RTOs and course providers offer online, face-to-face and/or distance education options. So do yourself, your business and/or your employer a favour – and upskill.
Improve your skills with short courses:
• Boxing / kickboxing: www.punchfit.com.au / www.thumpboxing.com /www.fiafitnation.com.au / www.fitnance.com.au
• TRX Suspension Training or Rip Training: www.ptacademy.com.au /www.qpec.com.au
• BOSU: www.qpec.com.au/blog
• Fitball/Swissball Training: www.qpec.com.au/blog / www.fiafitnation.com.au
• Kettlebell Training: www.kettlebelltrainingacademy.com.au
• Nutrition for Exercise, Sport and Weight Management: www.sportsdietitians.com.au /www.fiafitnation.com.au
• Pre & Post Natal Exercise Course: www.fiafitnation.com.au