Guest: Steve Washuta
Podcast Release Date: 4/5/2021
Welcome to Trulyfit the online fitness marketplace connecting pros and clients through unique fitness business software.
Steve Washuta: Welcome to the Trulyfit podcast. I’m your host, Steve Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and author of Fitness Business 101. On today’s podcast, I’m going to discuss shadowing, what exactly is shadowing? How does it help personal trainers Is it normal in the industry? This is of course best for new personal trainers for people thinking about hopping into the industry. But it’s also relevant to those of us who may be stuck or plateaued in the industry. shadowing can give you more insight than a lot of these excess certifications that you’re getting for your CPUs, watching others in and around the industry. do what they do best, maybe they have a particular niche that you don’t have and stealing tips and tricks from them is a great way to expand your career. I’m going to be reading a passage from my book about shadowing.
So if you hear me talking in a different cadence than normal again, it’s just because I’m reading shadowing. When I first started at my first Fitness Studio, I had to shadow and assist over 500 hours of Pilates Reformer. It was miserable for me because I didn’t really like Pilates. However, during the process, I learned about the business people’s niches and exercises I still use today across all mediums. I find myself using terminology I learned to Pilates when teaching everything from more Thai to Gulf fitness. All fitness and sports and health mediums have applications and theories and protocols and constructs that span that expand generally over many fitness genres.
Take the position of a squat. From yoga to football, you will be in this position over and over the techniques and teachings to get you into one will vary but the understanding of the basics allows you to have this knowledge cross-discipline without actually knowing the specifics on how each discipline teaches it. Chances are you have had some experience in sports and fitness that give you crossover knowledge. So remember to call on that shadowing is done in every profession, but more often than not, it is a forced educational requirement rather than use for purposeful learning.
As a fit fitness industry teacher in this industry teacher, you will most likely not have to shadow. choosing not to do so on your own, however, is a mistake. It is a must. I will break down the general process and its importance into three categories. One general learning other fitness industry teachers will almost always take you under their wing and be happy to teach you what they have learned over the course of their career. It is in our DNA as fitness industry teachers to help and to teach. And asking to learn alongside a professional in your area or even getting tips from someone online you admire is a must.
The more bodies and equipment you can be around the faster your confidence and skill set will take hold. You need to see different types of people and environments in order to hone your craft. I made it a point to work with a trainer who had a clientele of an older population 65 Plus, when I first started, I began to understand their issues medically and the challenges they face day today. it widens the mind and scope of your exercise skill set. When you are forced to be creative and or watch others when facing challenging scenarios or challenging clients. Inevitably you’re going to have clients who come into sessions with injuries or complaints. Maybe they pulled her back in golf earlier that morning or slipped on the steps and sprained an ankle the night before.
How you decide to adjust and what you choose to work on. To avoid those issues is partly based on your experience and having watched others. It’s also important to force yourself to use equipment or styles you’re accustomed to. But don’t be afraid to say I’m not well versed in that yet. Keep your eyes open, keep your head on a swivel and take in what other professionals are doing. I always stole from the best trainers I knew and we tweaked those techniques, exercises, plans, and protocols to my liking and my clients. You will be able to learn new exercises techniques verbal cueing and much more to develop in your best version of yourself.
It is also important that it gives you time to practice what you preach you can go over these things time and time again in your head and imagine how you would train or set things up if you were in the shoes of the other trainer that you were shadowing at the time by routinely mentally completing something you will eventually give your that you will eventually give your clients a health plan, exercise routine etc. You will be able to demonstrate with authority as it becomes second nature to you.
Steve Washuta :
Number two, pick up throw out. Regardless if you work for a gym, a studio club or on your own. You run a fitness and health business as if you own it all. You are not just learning tricks and techniques of your specialty. But you were learning how to run a business in the general sense scheduling systems, marketing tactics, payment structures, do you charge per class per week, what are the average prices, peak and low hours the volume of people coming in from time to time retaining clients assessments, filing systems, small and large group dynamics.
These are just a handful of the day to day issues a fitness industry teacher has to deal with no matter what the business model outdoor boot camp CrossFit health coach, it doesn’t matter, you can still learn things you can steal from other professionals and learn how to avoid things by shadowing any business model in the fitness industry. There’s no better creative fuel than to watch a business, especially one similar to yours. And see how you can tweak those things to be advantageous for your future business down the road.
It will empower you to imagine how exactly you would handle all of these situations, from equipment purchase to scheduling. How do you truly know if a 45-minute class is better suited for your teaching style than a 60-minute class? Better yet, which one’s more profitable, finding out how much people are willing to pay in your area. And where the particular demographic is that fits best for your business is imperative. And this is where it all starts investing your time into a facility in order to ingest all the information you need to create your perfect business is vital.
Number three, job security and networking as a 12-week relations business that I interned at the summer before. I was the only male in the office, I had a knack for computers and IT and everything else electronic. Nobody else in that office had a particular skill set that bats that are even cared the copy of munchie would break down on a regular basis, the server would fail. I was the only person who learned how to burn B roll on a DVD. All of it stuff fell to me between myself being the only male in the office. Having them already invest time in me and interning and having a skill set nobody else had with the electronics.
I instantly give myself job security. And why is this? Well, you know, I use these same tools in the fitness industry to land top-level jobs. shadowing allows you to gain the upper hand and all the aforementioned ways but none more important than having the particular entity invest time in you which fiscally handcuffs them, it would be irresponsible for them not to hire you as training, someone else would take time, potentially extra money. And you already learned their weight, you’ve already learned their ways at no cost to them.
Steve Washuta :
Now, let me go over what I first said, okay, about me having the skill sets that no one else had in the office. why that’s important is because you as a trainer can also use that to your advantage if no one else in that gym, teaches Olympic weightlifting and you have that skill set or you’re willing to develop that skill set that is a pitch. That is an advantage. If nobody wants to teach, let’s say, kids under the age of 19 Fitness because they enjoy working with older clientele.
That is an advantage if you like that, or you want to learn that right. So me having the skill set that I did coming into that office is I use that moving forward in my fitness career, I found places that didn’t have my skill set, or I found skill sets that were not currently at these facilities. And I developed those skill sets to get hired. Let’s talk about employee retention, employee retention is key. And even someone not hired officially, you know, as someone who shadowing you’re looked at in a similar light when you’re working alongside the team. shadowing also has the psychological components or what I call a cognitive dissonance coupled with what I call the strategy of attrition. And cognitive dissonance arises when a person holds two thoughts that can potentially be contradictory.
So they in turn convinced themselves that one is the proper thought to avoid this contradiction. This comes into play when you want to be hired at the place your shadow and they once saw you as green, but because they invested so much time in you, and they’re teaching you what they perceive to be the ideal teaching ways their ways. They eventually believe that you are indeed supposed to be there and are no longer a rookie, the psychology behind it almost always proves to be true by not hiring you, they would have the internal conflict and the contradiction from their efforts by already investing time and energy into teaching you.
The strategy of attrition comes into play from the perspective of clients members and the others who are regulars who frequent the facility or the gym, you begin to build a rapport with the people after so many hours of being around the facility, who they these people now expect to see you they have connected you with their routines. humans, we are all teen-oriented, especially people who are regular exercise. So with that, you can gain leverage purely by being around a facility long enough and ingraining yourself into people’s day-to-day routines.
You have worn them down so to speak you you have become again ingrained into their day-to-day. And now they see you as part of the business and part of the brand and part of their days, their routines. Through your shadowing hours, you will also begin to see what particular skill set you have or can obtain that is missing in the industry, the city, or your specific workplace, which I touched on before. Maybe that facility doesn’t have any female teawrex suspension. trainers, maybe they don’t have any male yoga instructors, Maybe they don’t have any CrossFit certified teachers. Maybe they don’t have anybody who teaches This is just dynamic stretches and focuses on stretching and movement patterns. Find something during your shadowing that sets you apart.
You may find yourself explaining nutrition or nutrition or Olympic weightlifting techniques often and you might get pigeonholed as the expert in that area. That’s fine. That’s what you want. This allows you to gain leverage, just as I did by being the only person who could fix the electronics in my PR office. Were the only male Pilates Reformer teacher at the first place I worked at. Lastly, you will begin to meet other people who are over the same makeup and have the same interest as you. You will have access to the clients and others in your industry, who you will gel with and can help you in the near or distant futures.
As a fitness industry teacher, I eventually landed my ideal job while shadowing trainer was out sick and you’re gonna hear the story from so many different trainers and even on the podcast you’ve heard this before, where they had to fill in last second, a trainer was out sick I had to fill in to teach a trs suspension training class I had experienced using the TRS suspension trainer but not in a class environment. However, I’ve watched dozens of other classes from other instructors and took classes all over town.
This helped me mentally map out how it’s helped me mentally map out how I would structure my class down the road. And when I was put on the spot I delivered, one of the women enjoyed it so much she mentioned that there was a position open at a facility she frequently attended as a teawrex instructor, which was one of my favorite places of all time of employment. So I I got lucky, right? Your best avenue to success and to access and assess all the potential jobs in your area. And what your niche may be is to swim with the rest of the fish. Get out there take those classes to meet those people in and around your industry. However, obvious this may seem and sound other people are just not doing this. They’re so insulated now they’re not doing this.
They’re fearful or they’re impatient, where they think that their certification is is what is going to lend them the job. The advantage of getting your foot in the door even though a few hours of weekly unpaid shadowing before or after you are certified is absolutely priceless.
That is all I really have to say here on shadowing if you ever need anything from me as far as how do you reach out to people and start the shadowing process if you’re interested in shadowing trainers in your local area but you don’t know how to get that started to feel free to reach out to me You can always hit me directly at social at Trulyfit.app I’ll answer all those emails and any other emails connected to this fitness business connected to truly fit app connected to the podcast you can always reach me at social at Trulyfit that up I will answer directly hopefully within 48 hours. I hope this helps the trainers out there with the future trainers out there. And I look forward to you and me on the next Trulyfit.
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