For the past 25 years, Alexis Batrakoulis, our March 2020 Trainer of the Month, has been providing people with safe, effective and enjoyable exercise experiences, all while trying to spread the message that exercise truly is the best medicine. Batrakoulis, who resides in Lárisa, Greece, is the owner of International Obesity Exercise Training Institute (IOETI) and works as an educator, speaker, author, subject matter expert and exercise physiologist in 40 countries across 4 continents.
Here is a look at how Alexis is raising the bar...
Business Name: International Obesity Exercise Training Institute (IOETI)
What inspired you to start your business? As long as I can remember, active lifestyle has been a big part of my life, inspiring me to get involved in the health and fitness industry. Especially when studying exercise science at Arisotle University of Thessaloniki, I realized how critical is to stay active for ensuring better health, optimal performance and high quality of life. In other words, I believed that exercise is the magic pill for everyone. From that point, that became my lifetime mission. Thus, I have been providing people with safe, effective and enjoyable exercise experiences in the past 25 years, trying to spread the message that exercise is the best medicine.
- 2016 NSCA Recognized Certified Personal Trainer Emeritus
- 2017 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year Award Finalist
- 2018 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year Award Recipient
- 2019 IDEA Fitness Innovation Award Recipient
- 2018 Apollonian Award Recipient (national)
- 2018 Panhellenic Fitness Clubs Association Award Recipient (national)
- 2018 Panhellenic Graduates of Physical Education Union Award Recipient (national)
What is one hard lesson you’ve learned in business you believe has been most valuable? Working with a significant variety of clients in a gym setting trying to inspire and motivate them, I failed multiple times because of ineffective communication strategies. But after reading a lot about the power of communication and learning from the top experts in this field worldwide, I finally understand that active and empathetic listening is the magic bullet for emotional connection enhancing long-term engagement and providing exercisers with positive fitness journeys.
If I asked one of your clients why they choose you over other places/gyms/trainers, what would they likely say? Success stories are always the best achievements for trainers, and therefore, referrals are likely to come from happy and successful clients. In my case, I think the blend of individualization, safety and recreation may be the principal reasons why clients prefer to work with me aiming to succeed in the fitness world through a process characterized by continuous respect, empathy and consultation.
Name one or two ways you are trying to raise the bar in the industry? The fitness industry is a unique space for business concepts, professional development and amazing careers. However, top-class education, certification and continuous training are missing. I strongly believe that there are no limits for self-improvement and that is why learning never stops for qualified personal trainers who are seeking to make a real difference in the field. Through a broad spectrum of activities within the health and fitness industry (e.g, trainer, educator, subject matter expert and researcher), what I have learned after 25 years of experience is that the critical difference between top- and mid-level fitness professionals is just one thing. The first are always lifelong learners staying hungry and humble. In summary, our industry needs more leaders and not just trainers.