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With so many new gyms opening up, lots of new fitness brands catching fire, and an increasingly mobile population, it’s harder than ever before for you to set yourself and your training facility apart. Yet doing so is essential if you’re going to be able to retain your existing clients and attract new ones. So rather than just jumping on whatever bandwagon is currently trendy only to see its wheels fall off in a few weeks or months, how can you increase your knowledge, grow your skill set, and demonstrate greater value to your members.

One way is to commit to ongoing professional education. As Dr. Carol Dweck, a Stanford university psychologist, proposes, when you operate with a fixed mindset, you believe your intelligence and talents are set (or fixed) traits. In contrast, a growth mindset is one where you believe your abilities and intelligence can be continually developed with effort, learning, persistence, and especially grot. In our industry (fitness, sports, clinical rehabilitation) we are in a wondrous time of accelerating understanding of the physiological, psychological, and social components of our craft. I think it is fair to say that the “driven” fitness enthusiast and dedicated athlete of today knows as much, if not more, than the fitness trainer or coach of 10 years ago. If you are stuck in a fixed mindset, you should probably be looking for a new career.

Yet if you’re committed to pursuing ongoing development for the good of your coaching practice and the clients you serve, there are more educational opportunities than ever before. (For instance, TRX Academy!). So much so that the range of options out there can seem dizzying, with seemingly every guru, celebrity trainer, and coaching system offering everything from quick and easy online certifications to multi-day in-person seminars. Just as your clients have an overwhelming number of choices when it comes to choosing a gym, so too can you start to experience decision-fatigue when considering the smorgasbord of educational classes on which to spend your hard-earned cash.

That’s why it’s imperative that you avoid wasting your time and money on disposable certifications that aren’t worth the paper (real or digital) that they’re printed on. Not to sound like a Luddite, but many online choices fall into this category. The first warning light should go off if neither you nor any of your fellow coaches has heard of the organization in question. The second should be a seminar or workshop that seems rudimentary yet costs a small fortune. And the third might be that wacky, fringe, or gimmicky course that’s not going to be applicable to the majority of your clients, if any.

So what about the educational choices that are worth pursuing or at least considering? How do you select a short list of those? A solid first step is to only take a closer look at the courses offered by reputable companies that have a proven track record of excellence in the fitness industry. Then try to find a seminar that would be additive if you integrated its lessons into your daily coaching practice. It can also be beneficial to concentrate on classes that aren’t too narrow or dogmatic, but rather offer a set of principles that can be applied to most of the training modalities that you utilize on a regular basis. This will mean that you’ll derive lasting benefit and that the return on investment will be ongoing. Also look at whether the event is a one-off or part of a systemized, progressive program that you can move through as you increase your knowledge base and complement this by accumulating more on-the-floor coaching experience.

These are all things we thought about when creating the TRX Education curriculum. TRX has been setting the standard in professional education for fitness pros for over a decade. We have been successful because we rely on a principal based approach to training and education:

1) Respect Science: We look to current research in the areas of physiology, biomechanics, motor control, psychology, and data analysis to support our content.

2) Respect Best Practices: We spend time visiting and talking shop with other experts in the field to see what works for them and why. Then we curate these best practices, keeping what works for our approach and leaving what may be outside our scope of practice.

3) Respect Knowledge: This is another way to say we respect and look to the history of how human performance has been addressed in the past decades and even centuries. If an idea and system has survived for generations, there is probably something good at work there.

4) Respect the Process: A workout delivers acute responses and over time the right stimuli delivers beneficial adaptations. Understanding and respecting the time course for changes is a key consideration in how TRX Foundational Movements and TRX Programming Lenses blend to help coaches and clients achieve effective and sustainable results.

5) Respect Communication: This brings us right back to “it’s what you can coach” and how you connect and motivate you.

Our diverse range of educational offerings follow a carefully planned and progressive approach. The 100 level TRX Suspension Training Course (STC) provides best practices for coaching and a solid grounding in the TRX Foundational Movements that form the bedrock of sustainable programs. Next up is the Functional Training Course (FTC), which equips you with the skills needed to apply Foundational Movements to other modalities and circuits. After completing the STC and FTC, you’ll move onto the Group Training Course (GTC), which empowers you to effectively manage groups on the TRX Suspension Trainer and deliver a personalized, high quality experience to clients of all skill levels.

Following this, you can take the Advanced Group Training Course (AGTC), after which you’ll be a certified TRX coach who’s capable of creating and executing effective training programs on the TRX Suspension Trainer and across a wide range of other modalities. Finally, we offer specialty courses that focus on applying our principles with sports medicine, yoga, the TRX Rip Trainer, and more.

“The TRX GTC helped me identify my coaching style and now I recognize that though I’m most comfortable being a cheerleader for my clients, there are also times that I need to balance this with acting more as a sensei or coach,” said Richard Green, a TRX Yellow Rank Instructor at Pai Yoga and Fitness in Columbus, Ohio. “The FTC has been a tremendous benefit by showing me how functional equipment pairs with TRX Foundational Movements to make classes effective and fun. Having the ability to program across different modalities provides a unique challenge that my clients love.”

Other components of the TRX Academy include TRX Core, a members-only group that gives you ongoing access to frequently updated training content, including a broad range of exercise videos delivered to your TRX Locker. We also host special events such as the annual TRX Trainers Summit, which brings together coaches from around the world to share ideas and learn from TRX Master Coaches, thought leaders, and industry pioneers. And on the tech side is the TRX Pro App, which allows you to connect with your members in new ways, schedule appointments, deliver customized workouts, and more.

“TRX education allows me to keep evolving and growing as a health professional and helps me improve communication with my clients,” said CJ, director and master instructor at Apparatus in Melbourne, Australia and attendee of nine TRX courses. “The ongoing education journey adds layers to a system that helps me get people moving safely and effectively to get maximum results.”

So if you’ve decided it’s time to evolve your coaching craft so you can take on a new challenge and deliver even greater value to your athletes, look no further than the TRX Academy. Click here to find a course near you and start investing in yourself and your career today.