Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.
This little blog is all about the “One stop shop” PT vs the team of experts. Whether your Personal Trainer should have all the skills under the sun or be an expert in his field.
I had an email from Katy in Ontario who was looking to become a Personal Trainer but she was concerned that she didn’t have the knowledge some of the other PTs in her area claimed to have. One PT in her area said they were or offered the following;
Pre and post natal.
Strength and Conditioning.
Sports massage/ Massage therapy.
Qualified physio therapist.
Soo much knowledge!!
I think we can all agree that that is an impressive list of skills and they must have taken that PT a long time to aquire. I have no doubt that he is qualified in all these areas and has gone to uni to attain a very impressive set of skills. For someone who is just thinking of becoming a Personal Trainer this can be quite daunting as it makes it look like you need to spend 10 years studying everything under the sun to become a successful PT.
I then had a look around her area for other Personal trainers and found 2 people who only specialise in Weightloss, 1 who specialised in Pre and post natal exercise, 1 strength and conditioning coach and several physios and massage therapists. There were also plenty of dieticians and nutritionists in here area. This, to me, sounds like the potential for a great network of experts.
So Katy and I went through the way I like to work at Castle.
We really only do weightloss/toning and Pre- and post natal exercise. It takes a lot of time making sure we stay up-to-date with the latest research and the best exercise methods and I like to make sure my clients get the best service possible. Nutritional research is released all the time and reading studies and all that takes a fair bit of time. Consider that a new-mommy body is at a very delicate stage in life and you really want to make sure you’re 100% on top of things as a Personal Trainer. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for me to focus on any other type of clients. I have a network of experts that I work with and they get to focus on being the best they can be in their fields.
We don’t do big circuit classes, we really only do 1 on 1, 2 on 1 and 4 on 1 Personal training. Above that you lose the personal touch and you’re mainly doing generic, one-size-fits-all, sessions. There are plenty of excellent group exercise classes in Edinburgh and it’s not my cup of tea. (Side note; The Crossfit gym in the Gyle is good and Cavefit in Granton is excellent as well. If group exercise is your thing then that’s where you should go.)
I refer people to Gareth at Body Work Therapy Ltd who is simply the best massage therapist you’ll come across in the Edinburgh and Lothian area.
When people need a physio I am happy to refer them out to Edphysio. They are superb and my clients that have gone there have always been very happy.
There are also some fantastic strength and conditioning coaches kicking about Edinburgh and for boxing coaching you can not go wrong going to Ian Wren’s Precision Fitness.
For me, when it comes to your health you really want to be dealing with experts.
See the benefit you get when “bundling” your TV, Phone and broadband into one handy package is that you’re likely to get a discount from your provider. For some reason most Personal Trainers/Physios/massage therapists who wear more than one hat charge more.
Why does this not apply?
If you have a physio that spends their time training people, rather than hitting the books trying to learn and improve their physio skills all the time, you’re not getting the best service possible.The same goes for a nutritionist who can’t find time to stay on top of the latest developments in their field. A Personal Trainer who only has a few minutes to come up with session plans and programs because they are spread too thin between various disciplines is not providing expert help to their clients anymore.
So I told Katy what I tell any aspiring Personal Trainer who gets in touch. Find out what you love to do, which type of client you want to train and then focus on those clients and what they need. Becoming an expert in your field is a much better way to guarantee your clients results than knowing a little bit about everything is.
The choice for you as a client is whether you want to work with an expert or whether you’re OK treating your body the same way you do your broadband.
Think about it and take care,
Great article! Very encouraging to aspiring trainers like me who feel like they need to be an expert in everything just to get started. Any tips on figuring out a niche? Everything is pretty interesting to me and I’m having a hard time narrowing my scope.
Figuring out a niche can be quite tricky. For me it was all about who I wanted to work with. I found I connected better and had more joy when working with professionals so I didn’t bother with the 20-30, 50+ market. Obviously if you’re working with female clients in the 29-40 age bracket that means that a lot of them are thinking of starting a family. Personally I’d hate to lose good clients because I could not be bothered to study pre- and post- natal exercise (and pregnant clients really should work with a specialist). So I went and studied that. Then I had several post natal clients and saw the amazing results you can get them. The female body post-natal is very malleable, it really is quite something. Things grew from there really.
I would start by finding the type of client you like to work with..the niche will come after that 🙂
Good luck..and don’t worry about being an expert just yet, learn from other PTs (or just steal their ideas) and you’ll be fine.