The fitness industry, as the general public knows it, is undergoing rapid and exciting transformation. Being a fitness professional no longer means that you are stereotyped as an over-enthusiastic exercise fiend who stands in front of 20 women mic'ed-up with pounding music and a leotard. The profession is rightly being recognized as having a very real and direct impact on the state of our nation’s health; the public is realizing that we are legitimate contributors, not only to weight loss and muscle-building, but to overall quality of life for our clients. We are further legitimized by the fact that companies of all sizes are investing in fitness professionals to work with their employees to decrease costs and increase productivity. The medical community is also opening up to partnering with us to work alongside their patients in both preventative and rehabilitative programs.

I believe we are on the precipice of a vast majority of individuals realizing that having a fitness professional in their life in some capacity is as necessary as having an accountant or attorney. At the same time, statistics confirm that the fitness profession continues to be one of the quickest growing careers. In order to thrive in this growing industry while more professionals are entering the field you will not only need to rise above the "dime-a-dozen" trainers, you will need to differentiate by honing your craft, understanding the needs and wants of your clients better than your competitors, and employing effective branding and marketing strategies.

This issue of PFP is themed Fitness for Everyone. Our contributors and columnists highlight just a few of the many opportunities to expand and enrich your career by training special populations.

- In our exercise feature, posture expert Ken Baldwin demonstrates five exercises to assess and improve your client's posture, whether your client is an athlete or an aging adult. Use these exercises in your next session!

- Dan Ritchie, an industry leader in training special populations, shares with us how you can effectively integrate one of the greatest opportunities in fitness today: training the Baby Boomer generation.

- PFP's 2012 Trainer of the Year and Cancer Recovery Exercise Specialist, Carol Michaels, reveals the strategy she successfully implemented to build her cancer recovery-focused company, Recovery Fitness.

- This issue's Journey to Success featured professional, Pete McCall, shares his inspiring story of how he discovered his true passion of educating fitness professionals so they can have a greater impact on the lives of their clients.

After reading this issue, I hope you are inspired to look outside of your "comfort zone" and find your career's "target zone." Find your target; the client with whom you truly resonate and genuinely enjoy training. Your opportunities in becoming an expert are endless: athletes, youth, seniors, obese, cancer, fibromyalgia, moms, corporate, pre-natal, post-natal, sport-specific, anti-aging, rehab, special needs ... the list goes on!

Find your "target zone," hone your expertise and become the recognized expert in your specialty. This industry continues to transform and complacency will leave you behind. Use this as your opportunity to set yourself apart and capitalize on both the personal and professional achievements possible!


How much of your time would you estimate you spend growing your business?