Personal Training: The Power of Specialization
As a trainer, one of the most motivating things is finding clients who are interested in the activities you are passionate about. Whether you are a runner, endurance athlete or even martial artist, having a specialty you excel in that you can train and prepare your clients for is worth your weight in gold. Specialties can range from a sport to a specific type of training or even a specific modality (i.e. kettlebell, suspension training, vibration training).
Specialty training allows you to do several things:
- Attract a certain population of clients. If you are a runner and want personal training, you will more likely choose a trainer who has a running background over one who does not. Those who perform a certain sport or activity feel more comfortable with others who are in that sport.
- Differentiate yourself from other trainers. If you work in a gym or health club setting, you need to find a way to distinguish yourself from others. Having a specialty (pre- and post-natal, post-rehab, golf training) sets you apart from the typical fitness professional.
- Adds value to your training dollar. Some clients will seek the guidance of a running or cycling coach outside that of a personal trainer. If you can be there go-to for both, they’ll typically pay top dollar.
- Allows you to command more for your hour. Whether or not someone trains in your specialty, it still adds to your resume and educational background. It shows the time and effort you put into your craft as a trainer. That time and effort you put into your education must come back to you as being able to charge more for your time.
Many trainers have asked me, “What specialization should I get and does that pigeonhole me into a certain type of clientele?” The specialty should be something you are passionate about and that drives you personally. For instance, I would never suggest a trainer get a golf specialty if they hated the sport. But if they had clients who played a lot of golf, it would be beneficial to pursue education surrounding golf — it may just not be their sole specialty.
Having a specialty also does not pigeonhole you into a certain type of clientele. It merely allows you to attract clients who are looking for someone who is knowledgeable in that area. A trainer should be able to train any client, but specialties attract those specific clients.
That’s the way I see it from the trenches!
Vic Spatola is a personal trainer, martial arts manager, fitness business consultant and NASM master trainer at Greenwood Athletic Club in Denver, Colorado.