Trainers are by definition the experts in performing and executing exercises. The limits of their creativity are only constricted by the tools they have at hand. As a result, creating an area for them to shine in your club is an essential part of setting your trainers apart.
Just using machines for a training session may work in some facilities and for a small population of clients. But these days, trainers should avail themselves to different modalities to help their clients reach their goals. Simple tools such as medicine balls, BOSU, stability balls and tubing should be standard equipment available for all trainers to use. Specialty equipment such as TRX, ViPR, kettlebells, whole body vibration and Olympic weights are tools that normal members do not have the knowledge to understand and use properly without guidance. These are also tools that should be implemented with a specific certification or education process for all trainers in their basic use.
You will have some trainers that will gravitate to them more — make them a specialty that will allow them to succeed. The space for the use of these tools can be as big or as little as your club can spare. In older clubs, a racquet court conversion makes the most sense, since most of those sports are declining in a health club setting. If a racquet court is not available, look for an area with a dimension of 15 by 15 or larger that can hold some of these tools. Preferably place this area in a visible location so that members can watch trainers use these tools with other members. This will again, set your trainers up as the experts in how to use these tools instead of other club members (which we all know can happen).
Try to keep the area dedicated for trainers as open as you can and not cluttered with a large amount of weights or fixed machines. Adjustable cable stacks and other functional training tools as battling ropes, boxing/kickboxing gear and push/pull sleds can also be used if the space is available. But in this case, more is not necessarily better. Watching a skilled trainer work a client to that client’s max with a simple tool is sometimes the best advertising you cannot buy!
Vic Spatola is the Director of Personal Training for Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club in Greenwood Village, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.