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Personal Trainers: 7 Ways To Make More Money

7 Top Tips To Help You Boost Your Business As A Coach Or Personal Trainer

So, you’ve been doing this for a while and you feel like you’re working all the time and still barely covering the bills.  And your much-loved work outs, once healthy diet and 8 hour-a-night sleeps are a thing of the past.  Yikes, I get it!  This problem is common with almost all successful trainers, so kudos to you.  YOU MADE IT!  But seriously let’s address some ideas that will help you achieve better balance and more cash.  Here are some ideas to help:

Better Time Management

Some of us just aren’t that great at it.  We say “yes” too much, we run late, we start late.   We allow others to do that to us. We don’t think about commute time and traffic.  If you say ‘that’s not me’, then keep a diary for at least a week or two, and see if any of the above is happening. Once you are aware, then maybe you can improve.

Financially Dense Schedules

Meaning, find a way to max out the income at your peak times.  Also, think about training in one place and have the clients come to you. Even if you charge more, traveling to a client at peak time usually won’t add up, to banging out a session on the hour.  Investigate renting space, converting a room in your home, or contacting a complimenting business about partnering up in a rental.  If you need help with a business plan, many commercial fitness brands like GRAVITY and other organizations can help you.  Check out  Even better join them, support your industry.

Semi Privates

Consider moving towards semi privates, which bring in more money per hour for you and prevent you from turning clients away, especially for prime time spots.

Partner Up

If your prime time spots are now sold out, never turn away business. Find a like-minded trainer that you can shift a few clients to.  See how you work together and get feedback from your clients. Try subbing some clients out with the new person and see how it goes.  Maybe, when you’re taking a much needed vacation, set up the new trainer to succeed.  Newer trainers are very happy to get a good client.  Fill in the time with group training or a specialty class that commands more money, like Pilates or GRAVITY.  Your old clients can join in.

Big Picture

Think about the big picture for your clients. I’m liking the idea of doing 1-6 month programs with my clients. They get a lot more bang for their buck, and I get a lot more bucks for my time.  It can be working with a group to prepare for an event: first time or athletes’ or a general health and fitness.  Most of the research shows that people get better results as a group, and when they make a measurable commitment. This also allows you to combine online sessions with live sessions and create a community within your business … which is highly valuable … with bigger brand building.

Specialty Training

Specialty training, as previously mentioned, is a great way to increase income and add uniqueness to your brand. Companies like Total Gym design the program for you and promote YOU with their brand.  Once again, this requires an initial business plan and financial investment but it will pay off pretty quickly.

Get An Accountant

Get an accountant that understands your business. They are extremely unique, they understand the tax codes and think about what you can and can’t write off for both major expenditures and the small stuff.  Don’t just wing it, I have friends who got audited and it was a horrible mess, not ending in their favor.

We are so lucky to be able to do what we love, preparation and good fiscal habits are a part of any business, including ours.  It’s the good nutrition component to a training plan.  I’ve only touched on a few points that for me have been key.   Please feel free to add your own personal experiences, what works and doesn’t work and lessons you’ve learned for both good and not so much …

About The Author

Debbie Beck - Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer.Deborah Beck is a six time Ironman athlete, coach and personal trainer. For over 25 years she has combined her love of sports and fitness with her passion for travel and adventure. Her early work as a Fitness Director moved her throughout Asia, the Middle East and the UK. She holds multiple certifications and is currently working towards her 500 hour Yoga Medicine. Her training philosophy incorporates Pilates, yoga, Gyrotonic and strength to produce a balanced, unique approach to high endurance training. This fall she is launching a global training and lifestyle company and online community. When not traveling, she splits her time between Quogue NY and Telluride Colorado.


Dissolving The Personal Trainer-Client Relationship

3 Top Reasons To Fire Your Clients

Typically, when a person decides to hire a personal trainer or fitness professional, it’s because they want to get into better shape. The understanding is, that in turn, they will receive expert coaching, motivation, inspiration, accountability, structure and occasionally, some tough love … all of which they appreciate tremendously.

The relationship between personal trainer and client can become close and often blossom into a life-long friendship.  However, there are some rare occasions when no matter what you do as a personal trainer, you just may not be able to help or satisfy your client.   The best thing to do, is to dissolve the personal trainer-client relationship and move on.

Of course, terminating the relationship should not be your first choice.  But after a while, it can become your only choice.   You may have a huge disagreement or one of you loses trust in the other.

A lot of times, younger fitness professionals will continue to extend a bad personal trainer-client relationship for any of these 3 reasons.

(1) they think that they can fix the situation over time

(2) they worry that their reputation will take a hit if they fire the client

(3) they need the money and believe that they cannot afford to lose this client

But in reality, dragging out a toxic training relationship that is going nowhere could end up hurting you more than you think.  Most likely, it is just best to just cut ties and learn from the situation.   And, if you do this early enough, it could be one of the best things that happened to you and your business.

When deciding what the right thing to do is, be careful and know the differences between an isolated incident, where a problem can be fixed, versus the obvious RED FLAGS for a potential disastrous end to your training relationship.

3 Signs That You Need To Terminate Your Personal Trainer-Client Relationship TODAY!

You Dread The Session

I’ll tell you this.  If you are dreading the session, I would bet the farm that they are dreading it just as much as you are.  And maybe even more. Energy is such a HUGE component to providing a quality service to your client.  If you are no longer able to inspire your client, then you shouldn’t be training them. From my experience, most personal trainers and group fitness instructors don’t lack energy and enthusiasm. So, if you ARE lacking enthusiasm, that is the first sign that you need to move on.

It’s Not Safe For You And Others

This is an obvious one because you want everyone to feel safe at your facility, at all times.  But if someone is a danger to themselves and/or others, it may also hurt your business and your reputation.

If you suspect any serious danger, at all, with any of your clients (especially if their behavior becomes a pattern), then you need to cut them off immediately and call 911.

They Don’t Respect Your Business

This is a BIG one.  If someone doesn’t respect your business, they can directly or indirectly destroy it. Not referring clients or attending functions is one thing, but bad mouthing you and your facility is completely another and can destroy everything that you’ve worked so hard to build up.

As the old business saying goes, if someone loves your business, they’ll tell someone else. But if they don’t like it, they’ll tell 3,000 people. This is what I mean by destroying your business. They will even lie about you on social media and say how you treated them badly just because their feelings are hurt and they’re upset.

So, if you see a client change from appreciating you, to blatantly disrespecting you or just having a lack of interest in training with you, don’t drag it out or waste your energy. Nip it at the bud early, set them free and your business will be just fine!

About the Author

Mike Z. RobinsonMike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.


Total Gym Core Strengthening Program

5 Total Gym Exercises That Will Build A Strong Core

Being in the fitness industry, we all understand the importance of having a strong core.  Fitness professionals also know how to get the core strong and keep it strong.  However, the average person doesn’t think about having a strong core, or if they are, it’s mostly for vanity purposes and say, looking good at the beach.  But in reality, the real goal should be to strengthen the core for FUNCTIONAL  purposes.  Strong core muscles make it easier to do many physical activities and help minimize injury.

Like most personal trainers and fitness professionals, we have all heard our fair share of clients complaining about their bad backs. We see them grimacing and we see the discomfort on their faces.  We don’t like to see our clients in pain.  However, the good news is, that with all these bodily aches and pains, an opportunity is created for us to teach, educate and motivate our clients.  We can get them to start stretching and strengthening their midsection every day, so that they move better and feel better.   Of course, if they come out looking amazing too, with a firmer tummy and/or 6 pack abs, that is a extra bonus!

Use your Total Gym GTS to let your clients know all the benefits of having a strong core and get them to buy into what you are teaching and trying to get them to do.  Have fun with it and keep inspiring them to do more.

Chest Press

Grasp handles to bring the glideboard halfway up the rails.  Facing away from the tower, straddle the rails and sit toward the top of the glideboard.  Position handles next to the rib cage and with cables on the inside of the forearm.   With tension in the cables position the legs on the glideboard with knees slightly bent.  Bring the handles and elbows up to chest height with palms facing down.      Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep, then repeat the movement.    (3 Sets, 15 Reps)

Upright Row

Grasp handles and pull the glideboard halfway up the rails.  Straddle the rails and sit toward the top edge of the glideboard, facing the tower.  With tension in the cables, extend arms directly toward the pulleys and lift feet off the floor. Palms face in.    Now repeat that motion to complete the 1st set. Remember to pull in towards your body fast but to go out slowly to control the movements and maximize the muscle contractions. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep. (3 Sets, 15 Reps)

Kneeling Lateral Torso Rotation

Grasp both handles to bring the glideboard up the rails.  Stand facing the rails and anchor handles down near the top edge of the glidgeboard (hand closest to the tower is holding handle).  Kneel on the top portion of the glideboard facing sideways.  Separate the knees to create a wide base of support between them.   With tension in the cable slowly lift both handles from the glideboard and extend the arms diagonally across the body and upwards.  Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep, then repeat the movement.  (3 Sets, 10 Reps in Each Direction)


Attach the SCRUNCH Accessory to the top of the rails.  Facing the tower, keel toward the top of the glideboard.  Grasp the SCRUNCH Accessory cross bar on the outside with palm facing in and rest the elbows on the padded surface.  Maintaining a neutral spine, position the shoulders directly over the elbows.  Press elbows into the scrunch padding to maintain a neutral shoulder position.. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep, then repeat the movement.
(3 Sets, 15 Reps)


Disconnect the pulley from the glideboard and stow the handles.  Remove the standing platform.  With the glideboard at the bottom of the rails, face the tower and kneel on the lower part of the glideboard.  Place forearms towards the top of the glideboard, palms facing in.  Raise the knees off the glideboard and align the neck, shoulders, hips and legs into a level plank position.  Press into the forearms to keeps the shoulders in a neutral position. Shift the glideboard up and down into the closed and open positions. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then you repeat the exercise to complete the set. (3 Sets, 15 Reps)

So there you have it, a simple but VERY effective core strengthening program that your clients can perform on your Total Gym machine to help them to get stronger and become more flexible so that they can protect their back for the long haul and minimize the risk for lower back pain.

About the Author

Mike Z. RobinsonMike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.


7 Top Tips – Fitness Industry Road To Success

Total Gym Exercises

7 Lessons I Learned In The Fitness Business

The road to success in the fitness business is different for every single fitness professional. Just because something works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for the next. Personally, what I found worked best (especially at the beginning of my career) was to learn from as many successful fitness professionals as I could.   They had the blueprint for what I wanted to do: impact people, create a successful business and live a fulfilling life. I learned from these successful people in a variety of ways that included meeting them face to face, reading their books, reading interviews, following them on social media, watching them speak at conferences and seminars and joining industry-specific mentorship programs.

I was a sponge for learning back then, and I still am even to this day.

The Key to Success

You have to be willing to be humble and intently listen if you really want to be successful in our industry. The fitness industry is FILLED with amazing people who are willing to provide great insight:  how they got to where they are today and how they continue to stay there, by consistently putting themselves in winning and learning situations.

Success does not happen by accident and it usually requires a lot of hard work, patience, planning, resiliency and support. That support gives you strong examples to model your business and create your own blueprint.

Here are my top 7 lessons I have learned about the fitness business throughout my 11+ year career, that has helped take my business to the next level.

1. Market Your Business Every Day

This is an extremely important skill-set to possess.  Most fitness professionals market their businesses ONLY when they need new clients. This is the wrong strategy.  You will lose money.

For example, if I lose a client today and only start marketing tomorrow, then who knows how long it will take my marketing efforts to find a replacement.  A day? A month?  Either way, I’m losing money in the meantime. But, if you keep your business and your brand in front of your target audience daily, then you keep a steady amount of interest in your services, and can oftentimes even create a waiting list.

2. Team Work Makes The Dream Work

Hiring a good team is essential to the growth of your business. You need good people around you to take your vision and business to the next level. You can’t do everything. You can’t train the clients, answer the phones, market the business, pay the bills, clean up the facility, and still work on your business for continued success. You may be able to do all of that for a short period of time, or maybe even a number of years, but eventually you will either burn out or something else in your business will suffer. Make the investment today to hire good people so you can focus on what you need to focus on, and elevate your brand and business.

3. Plan Ahead

Every October, I sit down with my team at MZR Fitness, and we go over all of our business goals and marketing strategies in great detail for the following year. We leave nothing for chance. We evaluate all the things that we did and didn’t do well in the previous year.  We use that data to formulate a plan, so we can continue to grow our brand and our revenue. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

4. Systemize Everything

By implementing successful systems into your business, you will learn how to “predict” the future of your business on a daily basis. You cut out the guesswork by doing this and you will improve the efficiency of your business. You will need a system for:

  • how you greet clients
  • how you train clients
  • how you answer the phones
  • how you accept payments
  • how clients find you
  • how you clean your restrooms
  • what is the parking protocol for your customers?
  • how you order water, coffee etc. etc.

Your goal should be to have the most efficient fitness business in your community which will help you to also increase your revenue.

5. Know Your Numbers

This may seem like a basic lesson to add here, but you’d be surprised by how many people own a business and don’t know their numbers. Don’t be one of those people.

Make it your goal to know every single piece of numeric data about your business. You don’t need to be an accountant, but you do need to know the basics of your profit and loss statements, financial projections, cash flow statements and balance sheets. Stay in-the-know, so that you can keep your business profitable for many years to come.

6. Keep Your Foot On The Gas Pedal

Have you ever read the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins? It’s a great read and one of the main points made is that once you experience some success in your life, you shouldn’t get complacent and you should keep striving for more. In fact, this is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make.

Never think that because you got to the top once, you can’t fall back down. There are several gyms and fitness professionals who are uniquely talented and hungrier than ever for your success. So, once you get to the top, don’t get comfortable.  Continue to work as if it’s your first day as a personal trainer and you have a no clients. Stay hungry and stay humble.

7. Workout Regularly

This may seem like a no-brainer but there are several fitness professionals that don’t even work out because they are so busy training clients, running businesses and taking care of their families. Don’t forget to take care of yourself first so that you can build the best version of yourself to help others build the best version of themselves.

About the Author

Mike Z. RobinsonMike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.


10 Minute Total Gym HIIT Workout

Total Gym HIIT Workout

Watch the video

Quick Total Gym HIIT Workout That Will Get Your Clients Huffin’ and Puffin’

As a fitness professional, even if you have not done HIIT yourself or implemented this type of exercise programming for your clients, then I’m sure that you have at least heard of it and know that it has become one of the most popular workout programs in the world.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is an effective training technique in which you give maximum effort through fast, quick, and intense bursts of different exercises followed by a short and/or active recovery period. The reason that this type of training has become so trendy is, because it works and gets you great results by keeping your heart rate up and efficiently burning more fat. With its fast paced movements and very little breaks, the HIIT phenomenon simply delivers. It is a great program to implement into your own client program.   And it’s easily customized to fit any client fitness level.

Did you know that HIIT is so versatile that it can be used with a combination of exercises and equipment like your Total Gym GTS?  In fact, here is a sample workout program for you to prescribe to your clients immediately. I bet that after this HIIT workout on the GTS, their heart rates will read higher than a credit card bill during the Christmas holiday. Trust me!

Have your clients try the following 10 minute HIIT workout program for a total of:

  • 2 rounds and 40 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest

and don’t forget to challenge them in each workout to increase their reps each time.

Total Gym Incline Push UpsIncline Push-Ups: (using Squat Stand)

Stand facing the squat stand and place hands on the top edge, slightly wider than shoulder width. Position feet about 3 or 4 foot away from the squat stand with arms and body straight. Standing on the balls of your feet, lower yourself down in a slow and controlled manner. Push your body up until arms are extended to complete the first rep.

Dips: (using Squat Stand)

Position the rails at the highest position and then facing away from the squat stand, place your hands on the top edge, shoulder-width apart. Edge your feet out in front of you and straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the foot platform. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep. Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body. Please note that you can slightly bend your legs to modify this exercise.

Total Gym Leg RaisesLeg Raises:

Lay down on the glideboard making sure that your head supported – you may have to scoot your butt down a little.  With your arms fully extended above your head to grab onto the LAT Bars with your hands facing one another. With your arms fully extended and your body stretched out, begin to lift your legs up simultaneously as high as you can to form the letter “L” out of your body, then slowly lower them back down. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep, then repeat the movement.

One Legged Sitting SquatOne-Legged Sitting Squat Jump:

Sit upright with your butt as close as possible to the bottom of the glideboard. With one foot on the squat stand and the other leg resting at the side,  squat on the one leg by going down slowly until you feel engagement in the quadriceps region of your leg, then press to lift your body back up to complete the rep. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep, then swiftly switch legs and perform the same movement on this side. Alternate the movement back and forth between both legs.

Total Gym PikePike: (on glideboard)

Please note that you must supervise this carefully as the glideboard is very unstable.

Place both hands on the squat stand and straddle the glideboard.  While still holding the squat stand get on to your knees and then up onto your feet. On your toes with your heels in the air push away from the squat stand to make an upside down “V”  and come back to the starting position. Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then you repeat the exercise to complete the set.

So there you have it, a calorie crushing 10 minute HIIT workout to help your clients elevate their fitness level. Have your client perform this workout routine 3 days per week for the next 4 weeks and be sure to remind them to combine this workout program with a balanced nutrition regimen, adequate sleep, and lots of water to create optimal levels of health and fitness for themselves.

About the Author

Mike Z. RobinsonMike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.


7 Ways Members Benefit From Circuit Training


ELEVATE Circuit Training – Get Results That Retain Members

Weight loss is one of the primary reasons why most consumers look to join a health club and start an exercise program. Yes, traditional aerobic conditioning like running on a treadmill, sweating buckets in an indoor cycling class, or the popular high intensity strength training workouts, can help burn calories for weight loss, but the simple fact is, that many people don’t enjoy them.  They can be intimidated by the loud music and fast-pace of indoor cycling or could get injured by doing exercises too challenging for their skill level.

If you’re looking for ways to boost member engagement and retention, here’s a little secret.  It doesn’t matter how good the exercise is for helping an individual reach his or her fitness goals, if a member or client doesn’t enjoy it, then they’re not going to do it.  So now what do you do?

Make Exercising Enjoyable

One of the best ways to improve retention is by creating happy customers, which means featuring exercise options they WANT to do because they’re both fun and relevant to their goals.

Fortunately, there is a mode of exercise that can be both fun AND effective for weight loss: bodyweight circuit training; specifically circuit training featuring bodyweight exercises.

In general, circuit training involves a series of resistance-training exercises for different movements or body parts with little-to-no rest between each exercise. The traditional selectorized resistance-training machines, normally used for circuit training are effective but also expensive, not easy to move around or reconfigure and can be intimidating for some members.

A good strength training circuit should not only be time-efficient and easy to follow, but should be easy to adjust and re-organize to create different workouts from week-to-week or month-to-month.

Make It Easy To Follow

Lack of time and not knowing what type of exercise they should be doing are two of the most frequently cited reasons for why club members or personal training clients have a hard time following a workout program. As health and fitness professionals, it’s our job to help our clients overcome these roadblocks.

Strength training circuits should transition between exercises for upper and lower-body muscles or alternating movement patterns like from push-ups to pull-ups to help members do workouts that are both time efficient and effective.

Circuit training on the ELEVATE Circuit can provide the following 7 benefits:

Burn More Calories

The body burns 5 calories of energy to use 1 liter of oxygen. Circuit training can use most of the muscles in the body, which significantly increases oxygen consumption when compared to a mode of cardio exercise relying primarily on the lower body. Any mode of exercise that increases oxygen demand also increases energy expenditure, making it an effective strategy for weight loss.

Alternating between upper body, lower body and core muscles, while circuit training on ELEVATE can help increase oxygen consumption in the body, resulting in the ability to burn a lot of calories in a relatively short amount of time.

Total Gym Elevate CircuitWork Smarter Not Harder

Bodyweight circuit training can be considered both moderate intensity cardio-respiratory AND strength training exercise both of which are important for fat loss. Too much high intensity exercise (where breathing is much faster than normal, and saying more than a couple of words at a time can be difficult) for more than 50 to 60 minutes at a time could actually lead to burning muscle instead of fat.

At a higher intensity of exercise, the body will use primarily carbohydrate for fuel. Once this carbohydrate is depleted, the body uses the hormone cortisol to convert protein to fuel in a process called gluconeogenesis. When this happens, less protein is available to repair muscle tissue damaged during the exercise.

Fast Track Strength Training

Bodyweight strength-training circuits can actually increase lean muscle mass throughout the entire body while most modes of cardio training involve primarily leg muscles. Doing bodyweight exercises to a point of momentary fatigue can stimulate the type II, fast twitch muscle fibers responsible for improving strength and size. Increasing activation of the type II fibers can result in larger, more defined muscles throughout the entire body.

Increase Metabolism

Higher levels of lean muscle mass equate to a higher resting metabolism, which means the body will burn more calories while at rest. At rest, 1 pound of muscle can burn up to 7 calories of energy during a 24-hour period. Adding 5 to 7 pounds of lean muscle mass can increase resting metabolism up to 50 calories a day or 350 calories over the course of a week. Given that the body uses approximately 100 calories to walk a mile, this can be considered the equivalent of taking a 3.5-mile walk.

Using ELEVATE can help add lean muscle mass to your body. As you increase the amount of muscle tissue your metabolism will become much more efficient at burning calories meaning that you can increase caloric expenditure even when you are NOT exercising.

Combine Strength Training With Cardio

Row Trainer small group class

Row small group class

To increase energy expenditure for weight loss, combining circuit training with cardio exercise can be extremely effective. For example, after completing a circuit of resistance-training exercises, hop on an ELEVATE Row for 3 to 7 minutes of steady-state, moderate-intensity exercise. The cardio exercise should focus on the aerobic energy system, so your breathing should be quicker than normal, but you shouldn’t be out of breath.


Weight rooms can be intimidating, which can keep members from doing beneficial strength training exercises. A bodyweight circuit that is set up away from the free-weight area can provide a non-intimidating environment for club members to obtain the many benefits of strength training, while also establishing the base level of strength required to progress to more challenging forms of resistance training.

Trainer-Led Sessions Create Rapport and Encourage Members

Scheduling a trainer to assist members during busy times can provide a higher level of service to members who are attempting to use the circuit. A trainer can push members to work a little harder on the circuit, which can be an important component for achieving results. In addition, coaching club members through an established machine circuit provides a way for trainers to meet a number of members during each shift. As the trainers help the members, they can learn names and establish rapport, both of which are essential for long-term success.

In this era of demanding, high-intensity group fitness classes and technically complex free-weight training programs, the idea of returning to circuit training, which was popular in the early ‘80s, may seem like a return to the dark ages. The accompanying video can help you understand how the Elevate Line can be organized to create an effective strength training circuit that can help your members reach their goals from weight-loss to enhanced muscle definition. One of the best features of the Elevate Line is that all pieces are easy to move around meaning you can create different circuits to meet the needs of different populations of members or clients you serve.

For more information on the ELEVATE Circuit – call 858 764 0078 or visit

About the Author

Pete McCallPete McCall is an educator, performance coach, personal trainer, author, consultant and host of the All About Fitness podcast. Based in San Diego, CA, Pete holds a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion, completed a Fellowship in Applied Functional Science with the Gray Institute, is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Currently Pete is an adjunct faculty in exercise science at Mesa College, a master trainer for Core Health and Fitness, a blogger and content contributor for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and online instructor for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

Consulting with organizations like the World Bank, Reebok, 24-Hour Fitness, Core Health & Fitness, the Institute of Motion and Fit Pro, Pete has experience identifying needs and delivering solutions. Frequently quoted as a fitness expert in publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, U-T San Diego, SELF, Glamour, and Shape Magazine and featured as a fitness expert for TV news outlets including WRC-NBC (DC), Fox News, Fox 5 San Diego, and NBC7 San Diego, Pete is a sought-after media resource for accurate, in-depth insight on how to get results from exercise.


Online CECs – Keeping Education Updated

Personal Trainers: Stay Up-to-Date With Online CECs

When it’s time to renew your personal training and/or group fitness certification, I think we can all admit that it could be somewhat simpler.  But that just isn’t the case, and unless you have a lot of time to spend on sifting through all the ins and outs, the re-certification process can be time consuming and confusing. So let’s break it down and try to simplify.

Online “continuing education units” (CEU) can be obtained through several bodies, such as the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA).

One CEU is ten hours of participation in an education program.

Several years ago, we had to attend conferences and classes to as well to accomplish the same goal.  I still believe that is a great way to keep up with industry innovations and news, however online CEUs are becoming the norm now, for maintaining certifications.  Pretty much all the major certifying agencies have online CEU courses, so you really don’t have to leave the comfort of your laptop to stay current.

How Much Does it Cost?

Based on a summary review of available course sites shown below, the price for one CEU ranges from $150 to $250. NASM and ACE require 2.0 CEUs every two years, which will set you back between $300 and $500.

NASM claims to have a re-certification for life option, but you still have to pay for the 2.0 CEUs every two years, as well as your CPR certificate which is around $12-17.

NASM does waive the application fee for life and provides some discounts for courses.

                            All CEU Requirements Are Not Equal

CEU requirements and values are not the same.

NASM’s 2.0 CEUs or 20 hour requirement is more than AFAA’s 15 hours of education or 1.5 CEUs.

Consequently, a course that offers .10 CEU’s for NASM will offer 1 CEU for AFAA.

It’s confusing in that 15 of these courses will satisfy the AFAA requirement, while 20 will satisfy the NASM requirement. So, you have to calculate how many CEUs you’re really getting for the intended re-certification and that can often be tricky.

Check That Your CEU is Accepted

Be sure that the online CEU you purchase is accepted by your agency. According to their website, NASM does not accept CEUs from Continuing Education although they can be petitioned, which involves a fee.

Even if your agency accepts a course from any of the below sites, they may not accept all the course offerings.  So be very careful when reviewing which courses will count for your agency’s re-certification and how many credits it offers.

Some agencies also place more value on specific courses than others.

Sites Offering Online CEU Courses

Continuing Education ACE, ACSM, NSCA


Health & Fitness Continuing Education  ACSM, NSCA, NASM, ISSA, AFAA

IDEA Health and Fitness Association All




In addition to online courses, Exercise ETC., Inc. offers webinars for CEU credit and is accepted by almost all agencies.

So there you have it, a brief synopsis to help you continue with your education.  It’s time to open the pocketbook to stay current, but your clients will thank you in the end!

About the Author

Benita PerkinsBenita Perkins is a widely acclaimed health and wellness branding expert focusing on the fitness needs of women and the special demands they must overcome to step into a lifetime of healthy living through fun, interactive lifestyle events. Her company, Bennie Girl Health & Wellness Branding & Events, works with businesses and organizations to associate their brands and products with a healthy lifestyle, by identifying opportune events to participate in and activities that will best define and communicate the organization’s mission.

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