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Overcoming The Challenges of Growing Your Fitness Career

At the 2017 world fitness expo, our members were surveyed to determine what their needs and challenges are as they navigate through their fitness careers in this evolving industry. As canfitpro is committed to providing the best education experiences to support our fitness professionals and business owners, it is important for our Events, Certification and Membership teams to ask these questions so we can better plan for the future, and be innovative in the services we offer.

The top five need/challenges were identified as:

  • Networking opportunities
  • Time management guidance
  • Keeping up with industry trends
  • Growing a fitness business
  • Finding a specialization/niche

  • For anyone engaged in career development in any industry, these are quite common and follow a typical cycle for career success.

    The need to connect with others in the same profession, manage your activities to ensure you are devoting enough time to yourself, your clients and your business, and determining your unique brand to your clientele are all components of a great career development plan. But how do you tackle all of these, and how do you get started?

    The canfitpro family shares this advice:

    Networking: this word often has a negative connotation and evokes scenes of people schmoozing at a seedy bar. Not so! You belong to a great organization where you can remain engaged with people who share your passion for fitness, health and wellness. This is where the networking begins.


    When attending canfitpro certifications, courses and events across Canada, or any other industry events, you should always share your story of who you are and what you want to accomplish as a fitness professional. Take the contact information of people you meet and commit to staying in touch. Share any information you find on industry changes, new education and valuable contacts with people in your network. You will find that others will reciprocate and you will benefit from their knowledge as well. Remember, networking takes time and patience, and can happen in the most unexpected places. But it usually leads to hidden opportunities!

    Time Management: the nature of the fitness industry dictates that time gets eaten up very quickly. You may be adding clients to your program as a sole Personal Trainer or overseeing your facility’s operations, staff and quality as a business owner. canfitpro members have consistently identified this as a challenge, so how do you put some control around it?

    You should have a plan for what you want to accomplish and set SMART goals to get you there. Set your mission, vision, purpose and end goals and all activities you engage in should contribute to those goals in measureable ways. Technology and software are no longer a privilege, it’s a must if you are a running a small operation or a larger enterprise. Secure a coach, either a business consultant or someone from your network, to have productive discussions and brainstorming sessions. The time invested in these crucial first steps lays a strong foundation for overall time management in the future.

    Staying on top of industry changes: You know you are in the right profession when you get excited about the changes in the industry! A strong career development plan encourages professionals to always think of ways we can improve on our programs and methods to address our clients’ changing needs. Keeping up with new ways of programming, communication, demographic trends, etc is difficult but manageable. So how can it be done?

    Use the techniques above on networking and time management to ensure you have scheduled sufficient time on a regular basis to either do research, attend a few events a year or connect with people in your profession to discuss and understand what’s going on in the industry and how they are managing those changes.

    For some fitness professionals, sitting and reading information on their own is not satisfactory. There is great value in sharing information or asking questions within your network and planning some get-togethers to formally discuss or casually chat. This ensures you stay on top of what’s happening, but may also allow you to stay ahead of the curve.

    Growing a fitness business and Finding a specialization/niche: Many canfitpro certified professionals have a goal to increase their client base, open a fitness facility or perhaps become an industry leader by creating a new program or piece of equipment. Once you identify your long terms goals, your audience and your communication strategies, you can create short term milestones to ensure you are growing in the right direction. Completing a self evaluation on what motivates you and how you work and think best, paired with a solid business plan, will allow you to identify your brand. You should always specialize in an area that has deep meaning to you, and sets you apart from the crowd.

    Here are some of our partners who offer services to assist with furthering your career as a fitness professional:

    NPE: Whether you want to start, grow, or scale a fitness business, you’ll benefit from business coaching.

    MindBody: Set your business apart. Engage your customers, run your business and attract new clients.

    Human Kinetics: An online education provider committed to providing quality information and educational products in the physical activity and health fields.

    Fitchek: canfitpro has partnered with Fitchek to bring you the canfitpro MARKETPLACE, where you can showcase your services, bring on new clients, and receive payments securely.