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In your quest to choose a specialty, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
ï¿½ What are you naturally good at?
ï¿½ What will yield a fairly large clientele?
ï¿½ What specialties will you be able to carry further into different areas as your career expands?
You donï¿½t need to be the best in the world at your specialty; you arenï¿½t trying to reach a global market with millions of customers. You just need to create an image of excellence and trust in your particular market and situation. For that reason, you arenï¿½t limited at all and have the freedom to do what you want; just think about the work that will be simultaneously the most fun and profitable for you to tackle. This could fall into many different areas:
ï¿½ Sports you enjoy
ï¿½ Modes of exercise you engage in
ï¿½ Special populations you have an interest in
ï¿½ Your own specific skills
ï¿½ Your own particular fitness goals
Here are some examples of potential specialties for you to chose from:
If you are looking for a very non-demanding client group, you have specialized work or education credentials or just have a love for older people, specializing in training seniors may be good for you. For those that find this population a good fit, there are many potential benefits:
ï¿½ They have a lot of free time to devote to their training.
ï¿½ Many are looking to train for the rest of their lives.
ï¿½ Many have lots of money.
ï¿½ They arenï¿½t too demanding for results, just looking for an improved quality of life.
If being around senior citizens is meaningful to you, this could prove to be an excellent niche that can easily grow to be a highly lucrative career path. The aging baby boomer population and the increased life expectancies through medical science will make this a very large market that will only continue to grow. And if you can properly explain the value of your expertise and credentials, you should also be able to charge higher rates than traditional trainers. Just make sure that you seek the affluent segments of the elderly population as the focus for your market.
On the opposite end of the age spectrum are children, which are unfortunately the fastest growing part of the obese population. Many of us just find it rewarding to work with children; theyï¿½re fun to be around and it feels good to know youï¿½re making a difference in a personï¿½s future. They are also very easy to work with from a training design standpoint ï¿½ the only thing that matters to them is lots of fun and activity. And your market is assured; if thereï¿½s one thing that parents are willing to spend money on, itï¿½s their children.
If your practice is designed around weight loss for kids, youï¿½ll have to keep an eye on results. In this type of practice, the results may actually be more dependent on your coaching of the parents in choosing the right foods for the child and encouraging them to participate in sports. This greater contact with the parent is also important because, for all purposes, the parent is your real client ï¿½ keeping them happy is the key.
With children, another major but entirely different market for training is sports performance. Parents are very competitive when it comes to the performance of their children at sports. In general, small-group training and camps centered around making children faster, stronger and more competent in their sports is an area with room for tremendous growth. The national training chain CATS is built around this area, and it has numerous successful private training facilities, such as The Fitness Edge in
This is the specialty of Personal Trainer David Kirsch in
You would certainly have to spend a little time to in the beginning to think about the goals and needs of this market and probably have to develop systems and assemble principles around which to achieve them. But does this sound conceivable? Of course it does ï¿½ thatï¿½s the beauty of this profession.
The list of potential specialties is endless. Although we talked about how a decision is the only barrier to entry, itï¿½s true that some of them do require some specialized knowledge and skills, and it may take a little time for the new trainer to build these areas. Many new trainers may not have even completely thought out what their particular skills or interests really are. Thatï¿½s fine, as long as you make this a priority that you seek to achieve as your career continues to grow.
Until then, my specialty is one that every trainer can relate to and use for themselves. As youï¿½ll remember, my training specialty is providing intense training with an eye on results. This is probably the most popular reason why most people seek personal training in the first place, so feel free to borrow mine until you fully explore your interests and craft your own.
But remember: This is the cornerstone of every trainer success story. Look at Gunnar Peterson and his reputation of creating Hollywood Bodies, Jason Ferrugia and improving the performance of Mixed Martial Artists or Cynthia Conde and her Bridal Bootcamp; all of these were possible because they donï¿½t try to cater to everyone. Itï¿½s just that for the small portion of people they have decided to service, they are now the go-to choice.
Even if youï¿½re a trainer at a health club right now, choosing a specialty and letting your fitness director and fellow trainers know about it will make a huge difference in your client load. When your director encounters the type of clients that fall into your niche, youï¿½re the first person thatï¿½ll come to mind. Your fellow trainers will do the same as well ï¿½ why shouldnï¿½t they? Youï¿½ll be sending them all the clients that you canï¿½t accept because they donï¿½t fall into your specialty.
And if youï¿½re on your own or have a facility, itï¿½s a decision you canï¿½t live without, and thatï¿½s why you wonï¿½t see any major independent trainers or training facilities succeed without one.
So have fun choosing your specialty; if you already had one, redefine or refine it, if it isnï¿½t serving you perfectly. This will be one of the most rewarding things you ever do and will make a huge difference in your career right now and in the future ï¿½ itï¿½ll be the difference you can ride straight to the top!
Kaiser Serajuddin is the owner and head trainer of GoHard Fitness Inc. in