Q&A: Great Training Departments Need the Right People

trainers

Most club owners believe in the value of personal training, and have long since implemented a personal training department into their clubs. But is the department being managed well?

According to Jeff Halevy, the owner and CEO of Halevy Life, a personal training department is only as strong as the people you hire, from entry-level trainers all the way up to training managers. Here, he shares his experience with assembling a great team to create a great personal training department:

CS: What are tips for managing a successful training department?

JH: Having the right players in place is extremely important — managers and trainers. That means having coaches who only have master’s degrees in exercise science. They have to have worked for a professional or collegiate sports team. That’s sort of the initial vetting at Halevy Life — it helps us make sure we have ace players in place.

CS: What qualities should clubs look for in a PT manager?

JH: Of course, your training managers still have to meet sales targets, but I think we’re now in a time where a manager really has to make sure the training quality is top notch. It’s about having the right people in the right seats, which I think takes care of a lot of it — but they also need to see themselves as overseeing programming as a whole.

CS: How do clubs attract top training talent? What qualities do the best trainers have?

JH: If you ask the average trainer how much money they’re going to make next month, you’re going to see a deer in headlights look. How can you ever expect a professional to do his or her job when they don’t even know they’re going to make enough money to pay rent the following month? So I think the way you attract talent is by removing that obstacle preemptively. Clubs will typically pay a trainer minimum wage, have them do floor hours, then have them get a revenue share of the sessions they sell. I think that clubs need to do a lot more than that.

At Halevy Life, all of our coaches are salaried. They’re making very good money, and they never have to worry — if a couple of clients leave, it’s not going to affect their salary. That has been one of our top tools in attracting talent.

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