Ryan O’Toole shares socially distanced continuing education tips for fitness industry professionals while navigating the pandemic.
Continuing education and the fitness industry go hand in hand. Whether it is fulfilling credits to renew your personal training certification or staying up on the latest evolutions in social media advertising, continuing education is a part of every position in the industry.
Mandatory shutdowns presented a unique opportunity for focused team learning that is usually not possible. Spending entire days together as a team without running in and out of sessions or appointments allowed us to sit and watch webinars as a team and hold discussion about it after the fact.
Topics ranged from a different approach to running group training, to sales roleplays, to a Ted Talk about starting with why you do it instead of what you do. Team members were also assigned various books, podcasts or online courses to take for a week and then present to the rest of the team what they learned and what they thought we could implement within our systems.
This opportunity pulled some people out of their comfort zones but being able to teach others about a topic is a different level of mastery. Once we reopened, we continued with the awesome Perform Better Summer Seminar Series. Different seminars were assigned to people based on relevance to their position and potential areas to improve. These were a great way for team members to hear something explained in a different way than they were used to hearing, as well as an opportunity to bring some fresh ideas to the table. Through these efforts, I am confident everyone came back from the 2.5-month shutdown better and more knowledgeable than they went into it.
Below are three continuing education tips to get you started:
Consume Educational Content in a Variety of Ways
Books, videos, podcasts and articles are great ways to learn. Mixing up the way you consume the information can make it more effectively retained. Much like switching up your program and the equipment you are using in the gym can lead to new progress.
Get Out of The Box
Learning from industry experts, as was the case with the Perform Better series, is never a bad idea. However, there is huge potential to learn outside of the fitness industry, especially when you are talking about skills such as customer service, sales, public speaking and others that are shared across many fields. Find out who is doing these things the best and see what you can take and apply to your situation.
Continuing Education Turns the Mind On
The longer you are in the fitness industry, the more there is a tendency to rely on things that have worked in the past and almost become set in your ways. As we all know, this is a bad way to be. Reading a book or watching a webinar fires up your brain. I have come up with ideas that had absolutely nothing to do with the content I was consuming at the time just because my brain was more active and was in “learning mode”.
What are some of your favorite sources of continuing education? Share in the comments below some of the books, podcasts, etc. that have helped spark new ideas for you!