Here are some of our thoughts about RTO's, our description of current issues related to Academic Curriculums, Potential Solutions and the Profile of an ideal provider (that would be us).
Our thoughts About RTO's*
In regards to the handling of the Administrative & Operative components of PT Courses
( * ) According to Fitness Australia, the national health and fitness industry association, "Registration Training Organisations (RTO's) are government approved training providers of the Fitness Industry Training Package". To find an RTO or CEC course, visit the National Training Information Service website by clicking here
Running a successful personal training business involves the integration of two main components: Administrative and Operative.
- Nurturing Personal Relations (PR) skills, generation of contacts and consistent networking.
- Developing marketing skills and enhance brand recognition
- Organising paper work and planning ahead
- In general, every aspect that helps to build up your professional goodwill improve chances to survive the competitive nature of our industry, even if you are only a fine coach with passing marks in terms of technical proficiency or delivering skills.
Operative Component: What makes the difference between fine coaches and outstanding coaches is their level of interest in Continuing Education. As mentioned in the our-story section of this website (click here), if we could send a current PT in a time-machine back to the 80's, he or she would be considered a total visionary given the poor resources available compared with today's standards.
On the other hand, any today's PT/coach that feels content with his/her currently proficiently knowledge will struggle to survive in a few years down the track, if he/she does nothing to up-skill her levels of proficiency. Unless, of course, he/she can rely on tremendous administrative skills or has a plan in place to delegate the operative work to somebody else (in order dedicate more time to work ON the growth of the business).
In conclusion, while the Administrative skills are essential for a healthy and prosperous PT Business, the Operative skills are defined by ongoing training development in the following fields:
- Tailored Exercise Prescription (corrective and performance )
- Coaching cues to facilitate communication (different client, different approach)
- Attitude and Genuine interest to improve customised service which should be the main source to generate Client Retention Skills -at least from our ethical stand-.
According to conversations with several Registered Training Organisations (RTO's), they have been juggling with the task of balancing their curriculums by including subjects related to "how to be ON the business" (Administrative component) and subject about "how to be IN the business" (operative component).
Some RTO's have realised that lack of administrative skills and poor paper work management has been on of the primary reasons for the the short lifespan of trainers in Australia and NZ. Some experts talk about only 12 months, since the average newcomer starts walking the gym floor headhunting for customers until the moment that he/she decide give up his/her dreams as Health & Fitness professional (in case you want to read info discussing such phenomenon, click here or here).
Therefore, the RTO's curriculums feature a greater percentage of administrative aspects attached to personal training services. As a result, the students now acquire more financial knowledge, marketing proficiency, sales skills and so on. However, this new blanket of knowledge has been sheltering the head but uncovering the feet. While the Administrative component has been getting stronger, the Operative components of the actual service have been reduced.
• There are not enough textbooks available in the market -or formal Australian made courses in the form of training packages- specialized in coaching how to coach others to perform, tailor and prescribe exercises according to individual physiological impingements, bio-mechanical deficiencies and/or neuromuscular limitations.
• There are ways to modify or manipulate settings and enhance movement. However, given their "timetable restrictions" most current courses still fail to address structural and functional imbalances in an integrated fashion and simply discourage participants to perform certain innate human actions.
• To our knowledge, not all Registered Training Organizations (RTO’S) available in Australia offer specialized education in “Tailored exercise prescription” within their academic curriculums of Certificate III and IV in Fitness courses-.
• To make things worst, not all the courses available are always good enough or relevant to the interests and potential of the newcomers. As a result, many new professionals still lack sufficient guidance to participate in courses, seminars or workshops that really matter.
• Even today, with so many bibliographic resources available and the advantage of digital media, it doesn’t exist many formal courses or a books specialized in teaching Certificate 3 & 4 students, newcomers and even established professionals about the safest and efficient ways to rediscover how to execute fundamental exercises correctly and confidently assessing, diagnosing and prescribing personalized versions of the movement in record time, while reducing dramatically chances getting hurt of failing the completion of correct lifting mechanics.
• Some Professionals in health and fitness industry still hesitate to prescribe fundamental movements (e.g., Deadlifts and Squats, their variations and assistance exercises), due to fear of causing injury or exacerbate existing disorders in patients, clients and athletes. As a result, the essential motion patterns are often ignored or excluded of training programs, a situation that should not happen in a modern world where the vast majority of people needs to prioritize the activation and strengthening of the whole body as a web, a system of systems, which is dynamic by nature.
• In resume, currently, Newcomers in the health and fitness industry require a few years of experience (via trial and error) and further continued education so as to robust professional knowledge and strategic capacity to assess, diagnose and prescribe customized strategies to perform and/or teach fundamental exercises.
It is unacceptable that even today some Personal Trainers still avoid prescribing essential movements to their clients. How to blame them? They normally don't have enough time in the class room to learn how to perform, becoming proficient, assess, coach, tailor, modify or establish foundation or progression levels for each client. Impossible to do it in 10 or 20 minutes of tuition. Let alone if a given client has anthropometric disadvantages or presents specific therapeutic needs, just to mention a couple of variables.
Most RTO's are doing their best to prepare and support students -in their pursuit of living long-lasting careers- by adjusting their academic curriculums according to the competitive nature of our Industry. Therefore, strengthening the administrative aspects of running a Personal Training Business is pivotal to enhance the working landscape for the next generations of fitness professionals.
However, as the current framework, hours allocated and budget are limited for the RTO's to establish superior benchmarks related to the Operative component of Personal Training. Lets not forget they are running a business. However, some RTO's have had the vision to provide Continuing Education Courses running in Conjunction with their current Cert III & IV in Fitness programs.
As a result, the Fitness Australia Continuing Education Scheme "provides courses, programs and workshops for industry professionals to engage in ongoing professional development" Click here for more info. There is where RTO's and even Registered Sole trader professionals can write their own courses and get the allocation of Continued Education Credits (CEC's) so as to up skill the industry standards and provide courses that enhance both administrative and Operative components.
Currently there are available numerous courses to choose from, in order to obtain enough CEC's for the 24 moths renewal: From Boxing, and to Pilates, Yoga, Cross-fit, Kettlebells, holistic lifestyle, suspension training, functional training, massage, nutrition, among many more options. In fact the Fitness Australia directory includes over 900 CEC programs. Click here for more info.
While entering to discuss the quality of each current CEC course is not the scope of this site, what we've found more relevant is the lack of Continuing Education programs specialised in Tailored Training Prescription. Let alone Communication skills and coaching Cues, both operative components in the development of any Personal Trainer and -from our ethical perspective- critical qualities to provide genuine personalise service, customer care and, ultimately, client retention.
To our knowledge, having practical solutions for the following topics, would accelerate in record time, the physical and intellectual proficiency of every Personal Trainer when providing his/her professional services:
- How to debunk fitness myths about core function, spine stability, torque, moment arms and many other terms and concepts that are rarely explained and exemplified within academic templates.
- How to debunk myths about Exercise prescription for clients presenting special conditions: LBP and other collateral and treatable impingements like lack of hip/thoracic mobility, Valgus collapse or hip/talocrurial stiffness.
- How to overcome lack of communications and coaching Skills in the art of cueing and how to establish long-lasting relationships with clients based in the genuine sympathy about their goals, understanding about of their needs and developing the skill to communicate training strategies instead of random workouts.
- How to provide training solutions to suit every fundamental movement or lift according to personal skeletal dimensions.
- How to interpret extrinsic and intrinsic views of function to enhance assessment, diagnosis and prescription of tailored exercises; understand the structural and functional approaches, the chain reactions when there are deficiencies in Biomechanical function when lifting; and, discovering strategies to overcome neuromuscular imbalances including poor motor control.
- How to overcome clinic history (based on studies and own experience) and being able to perform, coach and prescribe conditioning alternatives and modifications for clients, athletes and referred patients. E.g., Phalange Osteoarthritis, Mild scoliosis, low back restrictions, Chondral Impingements, Valgus collapse, poor wrist/hip/ankle/Hip mobility, etc...
- How to become versatile and creative in the art of modifying equipment and optimise the use of tools according to athletic purposes or specific sport. E.g., chains, bands, unsteady loading (Koji technique), unstable surfaces, uneven surfaces, manipulation of vectors, etc.
- How to prescribe -in a strict tailored fashion- conventional fundamental lifts, their variations, assistance and auxiliary exercises for strength training purposes
The profile of the Ideal Provider
Based on the topics described above, it is necessary that somebody take charge and contribute to respond to some of those questions within a pedagogic environment. A Training Brand able to provide:
- Evidence-based resources;
- Versatile strategies to modify external resistance, tools and equipment;
- Safe alternatives for clients with anthropometric, mechanic or neuromuscular limitations;
- Practical approaches to enhance occupational safety;
- Advanced education in Communication and Coaching skills to tailor and cue exercise prescription;
- And, most importantly, an open-dynamic mind and vocation to teach while keeping updated about the latest evidence-based findings from relevant backgrounds in the industry.
- Field experience by doing on a daily what it is prescribed (e.g., a PT has the advantage of investing more time with patients than medical practitioners. So, who else has more potential to know well a client and prescribe optimal training programs according to his/her fitness needs?)
Yes, you saw it coming, we believe that QTX can contribute to develop and provide programs to improve the operative aspect of running a PT business -as an addition to the Fitness Courses- once the students complete and approve their Certificates III and IV in Fitness.