As the owner-operator of Iron Athletics, I have the responsibility of ensuring the business grows in a positive direction. To do this, I must relentlessly pursue the highest quality of education in all aspects of fitness (fat loss, chronic disease, rehabilitation, preventative care, athletics, strength and conditioning to name a few) while applying it in the most practical way for clients to achieve success. Not a task I take lightly, nor should anyone in this industry. In a field where everything is unregulated, you must be prepared to address skepticism with education. You must be able to answer the question: what makes YOU different?
I’ve decided to summarize what makes Iron Athletics the stand out choice for personal training and sport conditioning in Niagara Region and across the globe. Not because I want to boost my ego or anything, but to instead clarify why people are curious about what we do and how we do it. If I come across as cocky it is only because I am extremely confident. I truly believe Iron Athletics is the premier choice for personal or athletic training and I do not hesitate when I say we are the best in the Niagara Region (no my head isn’t swollen). So what makes us different?
Sounds simple however it’s the most overlooked factor when it comes to trainers. Ya, all of us hear what you (the client) say however not everyone listens to what you really want. Too many trainers use their own training preferences or training experiences on their clients because it worked for them. Ya, it’s great that you want your 60 year old client to squat 300 pounds but is that what’s going to help her improve energy levels to play with her grand kids? Probably not. My point is that there are many trainers who hear what you want to achieve (fat loss, get muscular, tone up, etc.) but don’t actually listen. As coaches, it’s easy to become blinded by our own training preferences and do what we want versus what you need. That’s why I am proud to say Iron Athletics accomplishes the most basic task of listening to what our members want.
Standards of Expectation
In order to be successful, our coaches must be unique. We must fill the gap in an industry clouded by nonsense and misinformation. To fill this gap, we focus on education and setting the highest standard of personal/athletic training. We emphasize having coaches just as passionate about fitness/athletic success as our clients. This ensures our clients are given the best chance at achieving their goals. To stay on top of our field, we attend conferences, workshops and seminars led by some of the top leaders in the industry. We travel across the continent to learn from and talk shop with some of the best coaches in the world. Why? Because we want to be sure that we are giving our clients the best coaching possible.
Although we hold ourselves accountable for being the best in our field, we also place emphasis on who we work with as our clients. Our clients are highly motivated individuals looking to improve their physicality through our training methods in order to achieve success. Read that sentence carefully and you’ll piece together that we EXPECT our clients to come to us with a desire to improve (the infamous standard of expectation). That’s not to say you have to be a pumped up cheerleader for us to work with you, we just want you to WANT to work. If you can muster up the courage to want to better yourself, our door is open for you.
Our Uniqueness Factor
Are we like every other trainer out there? I’d hope not, unless the trainers/coaches you’re referring to are Nick Tumminello or Joe Kenn (awesome professionals I recommend looking up). It’s easy to see how we (trainers or coaches) could all be considered identical to one another. We tell you exercises to do, how many sets/reps to do and then count them out for you. The thing is, anyone can tell you what to do. Heck a fitness magazine or smartphone app can tell you what to do and your phone can count it out for you. It’s not hard to see why people struggle to identify a unique distinction between a trainer and an app however it’s the trainer’s job to distance themselves from being average.
Nick Tumminello broke it down best for me. He drew three circles on paper with a crayon (ya, a freakin’ crayon) and distinguished each ring as a category or quality of trainer. The largest ring is the average-Joe trainer. They tell you what to do. Pick that up, put that down, do 3 sets, do 10 reps, take this supplement. Dime a dozen “gurus” we’ll call them. The middle ring are good trainers. They explain how to do it. Set your posture, pull your shoulders back, drive through your heel while squeezing your glutes. I’d even consider these trainers a rarity nowadays. These trainers are the bulk of awesome fitness professionals. They have depth of their profession and understand bio-mechanical principles to ensure people do the work right. The smallest and most rare group are the elite. They explain why you do it. They are able to link what you do to your end goal. The elite fitness professional bridges the gap of theory and practical application. This theory is Iron Athletics’ core principle.
Although I consider Iron Athletics to have many unique factors (one of which is having a dachshund greet you at the door), I constantly ensure seeking out the why. Next to incredible customer care, this is the most important element. I don’t care if you can draw the fanciest program on Excel. I’d rather have a client’s program drawn on an old bar napkin that is justified using science and client goals. Explain the “why” of your program and optimize success.
We Value The Customer
To be completely blunt, some people can be really clueless when it comes to the value of training. I don’t blame people for this issue because they have simply been informed incorrectly by the so-called professionals tainting the industry. I instead put blame on the many “gurus” out there in the fitness field. They preach and claim unrealistic nonsense such as fad diets, supplements and methodologies to achieve impossible results in a time frame. They then charge a hefty amount of money to the consumer and slither on back to their nest.
While “gurus” charge mass quantities of cash, inexperienced or uneducated “professional trainers” always offer (or attempt to offer) the cheapest price in comparison to the other guy. This may seem like a smart business tactic however they devalue what we do as exercise specialists. By offering free sessions or constantly discounting services, trainers are setting an unrealistic expectation for the customer. Devaluing your work makes the customer think that all training services should be this cheap or easily haggled. Combine the cheapness with poor quality training and you’re left with a client who feels that personal training services are depreciated and not worth the money.
This is an unfortunate reality. It’s for this reason that many great trainers struggle to compete with others in the industry, especially big box gyms who mostly hire uneducated individuals with a simple hobby for hitting the gym. Let’s be honest here, good training isn’t cheap and isn’t a haggle-able (yes I made that up) service. Like I said in my other article Top 6 Misconceptions About Personal Trainers, you wouldn’t barter with your chiropractor or your barber because you pay for a quality service.
How do we value the customer you ask? Simple. We set our prices fair, do a great job and stay firm. The quality of our service and location demographic dictate what we charge. It ensures we value our work and the customer. Cheapness almost never correlates to quality and does a disservice to the potential consumer. We do an awesome job and keep our prices fair so I think our clients respect that. They know that you get what you pay for and what they pay for is the best training experience in the region.
Method to Our Madness
Complimenting our uniqueness factor, I like to think Iron Athletics is recreating purpose in the weight room. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel because everything proven decades ago is still standardized today. There’s always new research coming out however the fundamentals always yield the best results.
To simplify my biased opinion, I truly believe nothing is worse physically than being weak. Whether it be muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones or even your mind, nothing is more dangerous than being fragile. Being strong is being safe. Being safe means staying healthier longer and decreased risk of injury. All good things.
The formula for getting strong is simple: lift heavy shit and lift it often. Obviously there are many intricacies that go into lifting heavy properly however once technique and body control have been mastered it literally becomes wash, rinse, repeat. What we do is break down how to get you strong from your current physical state and then build up weaker areas or core components to ensure you gain strength safely. It comes down to doing the little things right. We don’t rush the details and don’t get ahead of ourselves. Do it right, ensure progress and you will find success.
As much as I’d like to continue to ramble on, I think I’ve made the point clear. In an industry clouded by unregulated nonsense, fad diets, trendy exercises and skipped leg days, Iron Athletics is the answer. We simplify exercise science to better apply it to meet the demands of our athletes and clientele. We keep our training focused and intense while having a good time.
If you or a friend is interested in trying out the best personal training in the Niagara Region, why not give us a call or send us an email? We have a special introductory offer that’ll give you a taste of our services. Simply click here to send us an email.
I want to invite all of you reading this to join our community. Become a member of Iron Athletics (free of charge of course) and get access to weekly awesomeness as well as our exclusive Facebook group! Collaborate with our coaches and other members in a relaxed environment and get all your fitness questions answered. To get started, simply click here and become a member.