Fitness Tips from IDEA Personal Trainer Institute West

IDEA Personal Trainer Institute (PTI) West is a weekend of workouts, workshops and lectures designed to keep fitness professionals educated, motivated and dedicated to the best for our clients.

This past weekend was my first time at PTI and I had no idea what to expect from it because it was my first fitness conference. We normally go to tech or business related events like South by Southwest Interactive or Wordcamp. I actually don’t hang out with other personal trainers a lot at home so being in a group of them for three days seemed a bit daunting. Questions raced through my mind the night before, trying to figure out how I would fit into to this “new” environment.

Would I be overwhelmed with new information?

No but I was inspired. There was in fact an interesting divide, almost two fitness philosophies present. First you have the traditionalists whose presentations stuck to accepted standards for physical activity. There is nothing wrong with that approach but I fall more in the second camp: people don’t move enough. How can we make fitness functional and part of everyday life? People like Rodney Corn got me thinking even more outside the box with my training plans and exercise choices. Hayley Hollander’s presentation on exercise and menopause really spoke to me. It affirmed my belief in interval training but gave me some ideas on how to tweak it to make my programs even more effective. Training tip for you: Play more; it’s highly underrated as exercise.

Where is fitness going and I am going with it?

Yes, it appears that functional tools and moving in 3D are the way of the future. There are always going to be people who like the leg press machine and that’s okay. But to help a population where 25% of the populations doesn’t get any physical activity we have to start looking at things differently. Fitness has to become more about movement where people are (like the office), with the tools we have and less about a standard gym setting. It’s no longer our job to count reps and help people get ripped. We need to help people feel better, develop habits of movement and eat for health. Training tip for you: Invest in fitness equipment that helps you move in all dimensions (think free weights and kettlebells).

Would I be the only one tweeting constantly?

Yes. I am always amazed at how few fitness professionals utilize social media. The official hash tag of the event (#ideapti if you want to go back and check it out) was dominated by myself and the awesome ladies at, Kymberly and Alexandra. Otherwise – crickets. In the last (and perhaps favorite) session I attended, presented by the afore mentioned ladies, I learned this was the first year that PTI even allowed pictures and Internet access inside the sessions. What?? How you can you not want people sharing real time all the amazing information being presented? I am sure it is fear that if people can get it online they won’t come but I’ve always experienced the opposite. It was all the tweets from South by Southwest that inspired me to go. If there were more being shared maybe I would have gone to PTI earlier. Training tip for you: Social media can help you find new exercises, a training partner or some much needed motivation. Use it.

You can’t change the past so all I can say is I am glad I went this year. I got to meet my two FitFluential pals Kymberly and Alexandra in person. I learned, I was inspired and I won some new rolling tools and BioFreeze from Theraband. How could you not call it a success? My goal for next year – present a session on blogging for your personal training business.

What do you think – good idea? If you’re a fitness professional what do you want to learn about at a conference like PTI?

  • Kim Turner

    I would love your session about blogging for personal training businesses. I just renewed my certification this spring and have been thinking about actually using it this time!!! (so far I’ve done nothing but I have some plans)

  • Pamela Hernandez

    Thanks Kim! I got my first cert in 2001 – never did a thing with it. You’ll do it when the time is right.

  • Jennifer Speer

    Helping other people get comfortable with social media as a tool is a great idea. It’s a great way to reach out and encourage clients as well as keep them motivated.

  • Pamela Hernandez

    Yes, exactly! I can help so many more people via social media than I can physically work with in a day.

  • Alexandra Williams

    I totally agree that you should apply to present your blogging session. You’re just the right person. And thanks for the shout-out. I saw it by accident, as I was clicking over after seeing the post link on the … wait for it.. hashtag for #IDEAPTI. How’s that for full circle?

  • Pamela Hernandez

    Thank you!!! I am working on my application this week. :)

  • Tamara Grand

    I so wanted to be at this conference (and had planned on driving down from Vancouver to meet up with the twins), but parental Cub camp duties got in my way. Hoping to make it next year and meet you too, Pam!
    And yes, I would love to hear your take on social media and personal training as a business. I use it, but perhaps not as effectively as I could be…

  • Kymberly

    Hey thanks for all the nice links and comments about what’s her sis and me! Loved what you had to say about Hayley’s and Rodney’s sessions. Since I did not attend their sessions it helps me learn even more! When you present at IDEA I promise to attend!

  • Shari Kalkstein

    Awesome!!!! I don’t know how to blog or know what to blog about :(

  • Jody R. Goldenfield

    I read this & tweeted it BUT the link disappears if I tweet before I comment!!! 😉 Love the twins! I love reading about these conferences since I can’t go! :)

  • Debbie @ Llive from La Quinta

    I think your presentation idea is great (wish I’d though of it :-). I’m glad you did get some worthwhile information at the conference (especially of course, from Kymberly and Alexandra!). I’m in the functional camp myself. I work with mostly seniors, and for them it is all about functionality, not looks.

  • Pamela Hernandez

    Thank you! I got a ton of information and I want to soak up everything I can from Kymberly and Alexandra. :)

  • Pamela Hernandez

    Hmm, I’ll check that out..thanks! I don’t get to go as often as I would like. It’s hard leaving when you are a one woman show.

  • Pamela Hernandez

    You know more than you think I am sure. Best place to start – read other blogs!

  • Pamela Hernandez

    I would be honored, if I get selected, to have you attend!

  • Pamela Hernandez

    Next year for sure! Trust me, I am still learning every day!

  • Carolyn

    The more information you have, the more correct goals you set for your trainings. In order to move forward I need a lot of energy, and it is perfectly provided by military grade nutritionals. Their pre-workouts are awesome. They give me quick boost of energy and enhance my physical capacities. I am gaining muscle and strength and achieve all goals I have set.

  • Pingback: 4 Lessons on Making Your Dreams Come True - Thrive Personal Fitness()