The fitness industry is one that is ever changing with new fads and trends when it comes to workouts, workout equipment, as well as nutrition techniques and “diets”. Staying on top of what’s hot in the industry is very important to stay relevant—whether you like it or not. The key is to not jump on every trend just because it’s the cool thing. That could cause you to lose sight of your fundamental training techniques and knowledge.
My relationships with trends & gear
As a younger trainer in the industry when I started 14 years ago, I was more likely to be the one to buy every new fancy piece of equipment and hop on every fitness trend. I was young in the game, had just finished my Kinesiology degree and wanted to learn as much as I could. Plus, I wanted to build a business and a following. Sometimes this came with having “cool” equipment so my clients thought I was on trend.
Now here I am 14 years later and—you could say—a minimalist when it comes to training equipment and training techniques.
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Versatility and flexibility
I own a small training studio and do not have it packed full of equipment. My whole idea now is to have the equipment that will give you the most bang for your buck. Plus, versatility. Call me old school, but you can’t go wrong with good old basics. Here’s what I keep in the gym:
- bumper plates
- stability balls
- cable/functional trainer
- resistance bands
- medicine balls
- battle ropes/inertia waves
These are my main staples when it comes to training clients and teaching classes. Personally, I don’t feel you need much else than that to get a good workout for your clients and see progress in their abilities.
Considering new equipment
Now I’m not saying I’m not open to new fancy equipment, but I am very skeptical of what I purchase to add to my studio. How do I decide if a new “trending” piece of equipment is good enough to join the roster at my studio?
I first will analyze the items. I consider many factors, such as:
- How is it used?
- Could the same type of training be done with a piece of equipment I already have?
- How much room does it take up?
- How versatile is it? Is it only good for one or two exercises?
- Does it support my training philosophy and education?
Yes, this seems like an intense process when it comes to choosing fitness equipment, but in my many years of personal training and group training I have learned that the most important thing for clients is to master the basics and do them well.
The basics, for me, are the key first, nothing fancy, nothing flashy, just the basic movements. Deadlifts, squats, rows/pulls, push ups, carry, press, lunge, etc. Once clients have mastered these movements then you can start playing around with other equipment and get fancy. This is why I’m very skeptical of any new equipment. I have also spent a lot of money in the past on trendy fitness equipment only to realize I use it a few times then end up going back to the basics again.
My advice for any trainer coming up in the game is to stay true to your training philosophy and education. Use that to choose what equipment you use with clients and if you want to invest in something new. Just remember the key to your clients success is not always a fancy piece of new equipment, it’s the coaching you provide them.
I’m sure many of you might disagree with me and that’s great, I would love to hear some other opinions on this matter. Feel free to DM me on Instagram @MichelleRootsFit.