May 2 2007 12:00 AM

The days of personal trainers and coaches being a service for the rich and famous is a thing of the past. In fact, for those who have retained personal trainers, it has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity. An increasing number of people are embracing personal training, coaching and wellness as part of their lifestyle plans. Personal training and wellness programs have been primarily a grassroots effort up until recently, and it's about to explode. As industry professionals, we see all the signs of the boom and should be confident in the job security that will be ours for the taking. However, we should not rest on our laurels! As consumers continue to become savvier about their fitness and wellness, they are not just going to want any personal trainer or coach; they are going to seek out the best of the best. As such, they will begin asking more frequently for credentials, references, accomplishments, testimonials and specializations. 


Just as the medical community has become segmented with specialists, it's my prediction that the fitness and wellness industry will see a similar trend. In a nation of people who are overweight and undernourished, as well as going bankrupt from spending their tax dollars on the sick-care system, you are in a position to stake your claim in this huge opportunity to proactively help people feel healthier, increase energy, slow the aging process and prevent the onset of disease. If you are doing your part to thrill your customers, they will dev-elop a voracious appetite for more of your services.


I am writing this as I return from IHRSA's convention in San Francisco, where it is evident that our passion for fitness and wellness is high and consumer demand for our services is going to be insatiable. This is just the beginning!


Pam Schmid has been a health and fitness professional since 1981 and is a certified and licensed executive Wellcoach speaker and educator, as well as being ACSM HFI certified. She has been on the faculty with Wellcoaches Corporation since 2003 as a practical and site examiner, mentor coach and trainer. Pam served as co-chair for the Health, Fitness and Wellness Coaching Interest Group for the ACSM from 2004 to 2007. Through her business, Priorities Simplified, and her experience with breast cancer, she has created a focus on healthy survivorship and educates women about early detection in dense breasts. For more information, visit www.HealthyandFitAfterCancer or



Casey Conrad is the president of Healthy Inspirations, a chain of women's weight loss centers, with over 70 locations in four countries. Casey has over 24 years of experience in the industry and is an internationally recognized author, columnist and speaker. She received her BA from the American University, her JD at Roger Williams University School of Law and is licensed to practice law. Casey has produced over 20 sales and marketing training products for the fitness industry and has written the well-known book, Selling Fitness: The Complete Guide to Selling Health Club Memberships, as well as her latest book, Winning the Struggle to be Thin. For more information on her latest book, visit or email her at


What is your average annual income for your fitness-related work/business?