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May 27 2010 12:00 AM

Other than a fitness professional or a personal trainer, what do you consider yourself? A lifestyle coach? A health expert? A motivator? A business man or woman? An innovator?

Being an extraordinary trainer means wearing other hats. To thrive today, a trainer must offer more than an adequate workout. He or she must have a fitness philosophy and a system of delivery that backs it up. We must integrate all the titles above into our identity.

But what about that last one, innovator? Why would a fitness professional also need to be an innovator? We are working with a population in an obesity crisis, and imitating, duplicating or regurgitating what’s been done or said will no longer do. For too long we’ve settled for repeating an all-too-familiar pattern — showing up for our appointments, demonstrating exercises, counting reps — and it’s time to elevate. We need to offer up a brew of clear communication and tangible results with a healthy dash of enlightenment, all with our own special touch. In many cases, our clients’ lives depend on it.

This digital-only issue of PFP is dedicated to the innovators in the industry. Those who rise above the expected and deliver nothing short of lifelong transformation and do it in a way that is authentic and true to themselves.