Fitness Education: What I Learned at #IHRSA2014, Part 1

One of the best parts of the IHRSA Convention are the educational opportunities. There is something for everyone, whether you are an owner or manager of a fitness facility, a fitness or group exercise coordinator, or a personal trainer or group exercise instructor. While many of the sessions focus on management topics like team building, creating a club culture, member retention, and increasing profits, there is so much of the convention that covers topics like building a personal training business, reaching the non-exerciser, and functional training. That’s not even including the inspirational speakers and the numerous and creative group exercise classes.

2014_SpeakerHere a few highlights of my favorite sessions and speakers.

Fitness as Part of the Healthcare System? A Big, Even Inevitable, Idea for Our Industry & World

Presented by ACE and moderated by Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, Janet Frenkel, COO, and Scott Goudeseune, CEO.

Fitness and healthcare seem like a perfect match don’t they? As fitness professionals, healthcare professionals, and even fitness buffs understand, keeping fit is one of the most important things that we can do to stay healthy, which reduces doctor visits and medical costs.

We’re not there yet, but the fitness industry is gradually moving in that direction. One of the most important keys to success to be respected by the healthcare industry is to make sure that we are properly educated and experienced in working with clients so that their health is the priority.

Spiraling costs are are sparking a reexamination of the basic premise: People live their lives away from healthcare until they are sick. We want to strive for a new thought: The system should intervene earlier in peoples’ lives and focus on prevention. Teach behaviors that can stave off preventable illness and ward off chronic conditions.

In fitness today there is pressure to evolve both from within our industry and externally. Here’s another longstanding premise: People will come to our facilities because we are appealing and the services we offer are needed and beneficial. Thus, our industry will thrive. Has that worked? The new thought: It is no longer a foregone conclusion that an increasingly unhealthy population will seek us out.

How do we address the barriers to change?

2014_ACE_Session 5

As you can see, the barriers are the same as those faced by any new, different business or concept. ACE believes that we must overcome these barriers by creating confidence in our capabilities, confidence felt by both the medical profession and the consumer.

The ACE Health Coach certification for fitness professionals is one route that ACE feels will accomplish some of the requirements. The Health Coach is trained to help get clients through the process of changing their lifestyle, teaching how positive small changes equal large benefits. The goal is to work alongside the healthcare community and reposition ourselves to become a valued and respected member of the team.

As more and more states start thinking about some kind of licensing for personal trainers, ACE is getting ahead of the curve by creating a US Registry of Exercise Professionals. Those that seek to hire or work with fitness pros will have a place to go to find qualified people.

Imagine what it would mean for our business if physicians started referring patients to work with fitness professionals. Before that can happen, clubs and fitness facilities need to become known as places to find highly qualified, educated and experienced trainers.

As a fitness professional myself, I am excited that ACE is working toward these goals. While most personal trainers work hard to get educated and to stay on top of their training, our industry is known for having too many people that lack proper credentials, who can and do harm their clients through their lack of knowledge.

People who hire a trainer or health coach will also be able to rest assured that they are working with someone who has had the best training, who will be able to help them reach their goals, and will create safe and effective programs for them.

How to Fascinate

Presented by Sally Hogshead, sponsored by SPRI

Fascination Advantage-Sally Hogshead-Fitness

The Photo Group

In a nutshell, Sally Hogshead was fascinating. She teaches us our fascination advantage, which is the way in which our personality is most likely to add distinct value. The key is that the greatest value you can add is to become more of YOURSELF.

The Fascinate Principles

  1. Stand out or don’t bother.
  2. It’s better to avoid putting yourself in front of a client than to waste their time with weak communication.
  3. Every time you communicate you are either adding value or taking up space.
  4. If you are only taking up space you’re at risk of being human spam.
  5. Competing in a crowded marketplace means you must understand how you add distinct value to the transaction for you r clients.
  6. If you don’t know your own value, don’t expect other to know it either.

Basically, it’s not about changing who you are, it’s about seeing what you’re already doing right so you can do more of it..


The Photo Group

There are seven modes of communication and when you use your primary mode, people pay attention because you feel more confidant. When you try to use your dormant mode, you are at a disadvantage because it is exhausting and not natural to your personality. The seven modes are:

  • Passion
  • Trust
  • Mystique
  • Prestige
  • Power
  • Alarm
  • Rebellion

There are 49 personality archetypes, which are discovered after answering a few questions. Then, your dominant and secondary triggers are combined to discover your Fascination Advantage. After taking the online quiz, I found out my Fascination Advantage is The Diplomat, a combination of my dominant trigger of Trust and my secondary of Prestige. The Diplomat is impeccable, subtle, and capable, and whose commitment to high principles reassures customers and gives employees great confidence in their leadership. Yup, that’s me.

According to Sally, knowing my Fascination Advantage will allow me to use the strongest parts of my personality to their best advantage. Likewise, knowing my dormant trigger, which is power, means that I know that I am unlikely to fascinate people with command and control. A quote from my personal report, “You are not a dominant personality, and dislike controlling others. You don’t want to be the “bad cop.” Avoid situations in which you must overtly command co-workers or clients. Instead, find ways to succeed with a more subtle style of engagement.”

After reading my report, I really just wanted to say, “Wow.”  Yes, that is me, my Diplomat/non-bad cop personality.

Sally used as an example how knowing your Fascination Advantage can help you add value as a health coach. There are many different ways to approach a problem, and how you do so is based on your dominate and secondary triggers. Using the seven modes of communication, here is how a health coach may add value for their client:

  • Power: Be an authority figure. “Here is what we’re going to do.”
  • Passion: Encouragement and praise. “You’re doing so great!”
  • Mystique: Study the facts. Watch and ask questions.
  • Prestige: Push for higher goals. Help that person come out.
  • Alarm: Detailed progress plan. Break it down step by step, into bite sized pieces.
  • Rebellion: Invent new games, cross training, life training, doing something different.
  • Trust: Stick to proven methods, go slowly.

Sally’s keynote truly was fascinating. She was informed, interesting and funny. You can learn more about How to Fascinate on her website.

I received a How to Fascinate profile as a participant in Sally Hogshead’s keynote at IHRSA.

While I had intended to recap all of my favorite sessions in one post, I realize that after relating what I learned at only two of them, this post is plenty long enough. Stay tuned for part two, coming next week, where I will recap sessions led by David Patchell-Evans on Exceptional Culture for Performance, Engagement, and Success (always one of my favorite speakers), Art Curtis on Teamwork, the Ultimate Competitive Advantage, and keynote speaker Dan Heath, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work.

Question: Take a look at the seven modes of communication above, and without taking the test pick what you think is your dominant trigger. How about your dormant (least strong) trigger?

 photo Signature_zps65e035a8.png

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

LogoI am an RRCA certified running coach and I also hold a Level One USATF certification. I have more than 12 years experience coaching runners of all ages and levels. More information...


  1. says

    oh wow
    this all REALLY RESONATED with me as well.
    apparently I shall spend my morning reading about sally!!
    Carla recently posted…I’m a CHIMP.My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge