Getting the Most of Your Fitness (or any!) Conference
This weekend I’m thrilled to be attending the FILEX Fitness Conference in Sydney, Australia
. Outside of helping TRX
in the booth I’m also attending as many sessions as I can take in. Today is day two of three and I’m already getting that familiar “oh my god my brain is full and I can’t fit any more in there” feeling. That on top of the “whoa… I have SO much more to learn in this field” feeling can cause quite a bit of stress, exhaustion, and frustration. How do we deal with this?
First of all, these are both great
feelings. If you ever get to the point in the fitness industry where you feel you know everything, you’ve got a problem buddy. Even if fitness wasn’t always evolving there is no possible way one person could learn everything there is to know. On top of that the science of fitness, training, and coaching is changing daily, thus we all need to do our part to stay on top of it all.
So at the conference we take notes, right? Well, yes but there is more. During my first several years attending conferences I took pages and pages of notes. After the conference I would file them away in a drawer. Do you think I ever looked at them again? Heck no. Not only that, but most of the knowledge and experiences I gained over the remarkable conference weekend didn’t stick, and I went back to being the same trainer I was before the educational experience.
Below is the action plan I finally took on a few years back (thanks to advice from other great fitness professionals) and I want to pass it on to you so that you can get the most of your conference!
1. Take notes during each session and star the most valuable “ah-ha” moments and key points.
2. At the end of each day of the conference (drinking and partying can wait a few minutes) review all of your notes. Seriously, do it.
3. During that note review pull out the three most important things
you learned during the day, write those down along with how you can apply it immediately on Monday.
4. Repeat the above at the end of each day of the conference.
5. By the end of your conference you should have 6 to 12 key take-home ideas with an action plan. Now it’s time to narrow those down to the top three overall. These
are the ones you will implement on Monday!
6. On Monday not only try your best to implement those key points, but tell as many people as you can! If you learned some new exercises, gather the other trainers in your gym and demo them. If you learned some new research, write a blog or social media post about it. The best way to learn is to teach!
At first you will feel worse as a trainer (seriously, changing our regular flow is tough) but as you use your new ideas they will evolve how you train and over time make you better than ever!
This all doesn’t take a terribly large amount of extra time, bit will give you the most value and professional improvement from any conference you attend!
Below are three of my key points from the weekend as an example:
1. Stop counting reps for clients. It seems like we should be doing it, but clients feel more motivated and independent when they do things on their own! We all stink at counting anyway. :) Action plan- Explain to clients on Monday that I am no longer their “counter”. I am there to coach, cue, and motivate.
2. I need to incorporate more games into my personal and group training. People should leave their workouts smiling and laughing and always need something to look forward to. Action plan: on Monday I will You Tube different partner drills and games. I will also use the ones I learned this weekend: Frisbee with Consequences, Hand Slapping, Knee Slapping Game, and Partner Warding. I also need to ensure each one of my log rolling classes really does end with a game for the kids!
3. While on the bike at the end of cycling class, it is important to incorporate some stretches in the transverse plane. Action plan: During stretches (before we all get off of the bike) I will have my spinners rotate their legs with one leg up, reaching down and diagonal, and rotate toward the elevated leg.
The TRX Gang at the end of a LONG (but great!) conference!
Please share with me some of your favorite “ah-ha” moments from your most recent fitness conference!