Trainers Unite

personal training

Personal training programs reap many benefits for participants.  Along with being able to define your fitness goals and learn new ways to achieve them, personal training keeps patrons motivated and on the right path to a healthy lifestyle.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) is no stranger to personal training, with a designated space for trainers and trainees, along with both individualized and group training sessions. Sessions are 60 minutes long and each of the 12 trainers are required to have a certification that is recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), with their mission to help ensure the health, welfare and safety of the public.

While one-on-one personal training sessions have shown to be the most successful for UCF, that may soon change as the Recreation and Wellness Center is currently working to revamp its Small Group Training (SGT) program.

Troy Morris, the assistant fitness director at UCF Recreation and Wellness Center, said the new SGT program is a five-week fitness program designed for four to eight individuals with similar fitness goals. Success from the program will be evaluated after conducting a pre- and post-fitness assessment with participants to show improvement.

The first fitness assessment identifies the individual’s fitness goals and baseline measurements, and any medical conditions that need to be cleared by a physician before participating in a training session. Upon completing the registration form, patrons have an option of selecting their trainer.

“The majority of our clients are assigned to a personal trainer based on their fitness goals and the trainer’s speciality and availability,” said Morris.

Within the 150,000-square-foot facility, trainers make use of spaces that are parallel with the trainee’s fitness goals, including an: indoor track, cardio and weight floor, stretching area, multi-activity courts and fitness assessment offices.

Morris believes the success of UCF’s personal training program comes from the credentials of the trainers, as they must complete a four-phase process before working with clients — ensuring the trainer is fully trained and equipped with the right skills to help participants reach their goals.

“It is an extensive program that ensures our trainers are highly qualified to train our clients. The process consists of four phases. Before a professional personal trainer can move to the next phase, they are required to sit down with the assistant director and discuss what they learned from each phase,” said Morris. “In addition, progressing trainers are required to read research articles, provide a summary of each article and apply what they learn throughout the duration of the process.”

While Morris said most client feedback is good, constructive criticism has mostly regarded the turnover rate between clients registering and being able to begin training due to a waiting list.

Scott Mauro, the marketing and communication manager at the UCF Recreation and Wellness Center, said the program is marketed by using internal posters, external flyers and digital advertising efforts across campus facilities, along with other on-campus promotions.

“UCF is America’s premier partnership university and we consider our internal collaborations just as important,” said Mauro.

The use of social media in their marketing efforts is apparent. UCF’s Recreation and Wellness Center has what Mauro described as a “robust following” on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The fitness team also took a unique approach in integrating Snapchat and Tumblr into the mix to help promote the program with live videos on Snapchat and news and blogs on their Tumblr page.

Mauro said pricing was streamlined last year, and students are able to enjoy one session for $20, three for $60, six for $100, nine for $145, 12 for $180 or 15 for $220. “Our pricing falls in line with the national standards campus recreation departments have established across the country,” added Mauro.

Expert advice: “Make sure your standard operating procedures of a personal training program include the following: customer service, sales and marketing skills, rapport with client, safety considerations and highly qualified personal trainers,” suggested Morris.

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