Idea Personal Trainer Institute East Coast, Alexandria VA February 25-28, 2016

I’m on that knowledge is power train and trying to learn all I can, so I’m able to grow as I’m supposed to, doing what I love: helping others reach greatness.  Watch out, this is only the beginning.

I decided to attend the East Coast Idea Personal Trainer Institute in Alexandria, VA, over the weekend.  My goals for attending this conference was to ignite my training game, network with fitness professionals from around the world, and expand my knowledge with techniques and training tips that I can apply to my programs and share with my clients instantly.

I was able to accomplish all that and more….

Thursday, February 25, 2016

I arrived at the conference early Thursday morning to participate in my first session, “Complete Client Nutrition Coaching”.  We all know the importance of exercise, but a lot of us fail when it comes to eating.  It is also very important for us to develop consistent and healthy eating habits.  At first, I was very surprised at how basic the course was.  I knew a lot of the information that was presented and now realizing how to look at this from the client’s prospective.  This course focused on why clients struggle with nutrition and how we as fitness professionals can help the client develop the right behaviors that will help them on their journey.

Later that evening the conference kicked off with a “Set Your Career on Fire!” panel of four professionals in the fitness industry.  One thing that surprised me was the many occupations in the realm of fitness.  I really feel like I’m in the right place.  These members discussed their strengths and biggest mistakes when starting out.  The most important takeaway for me was to make sure I am leading by example.  I’m a true believer in that concept.  I’m not going to ask of you what I cannot or will not do myself.  One of the members touched on nutrition and how getting back to the basics of discussing food with clients is key.  This goes back to my earlier session, helping clients develop the right behavior when it comes to nutrition.  We have to bring it to the forefront.  They also talked about their reason for doing what they do: helping others.  That’s what got me.  Instructing my first boot camp class and feeling the energy from the participants really moved me.

All in all, the day wasn’t bad.  I was able to pick up a few interesting tidbits that’s going to help me with my clients moving forward.  I’m not going to discuss all of the sessions I attended but I will highlight the ones that left a memorable impression.

FridayFebruary 26, 2016

I was really looking forward to this day.  My first session started off with “Punch Up Your Programs!”.  This session was all about keeping programs interesting and challenging for our clients.  The presenter showed us a system for setting up progressive training phases and creative programs.    Being new to the game, I was really looking forward to this course.  This class helped me in more ways than one and also validated that I am on the right track with what I have already begun to do.  Now it’s time to add things here and there to enhance the overall experience for my clients.

My second session of the day, was the best hands down.  This session was really right on time and spoke to me in ways that I needed to hear.  First I want to start out by introducing the presenter, Trina Gray.  Again, being new in this industry there were a lot of names that were going around that I had no clue as of who they were.  Needless to say,  I didn’t know Trina Gray.  It’s really funny because after seeing her energy and the way she conducted the opening session the night before (she was very organized and straight to the point…it was something about her attitude that piqued my interest), I checked out her social media page.   I was very surprised to see she was the presenter for this session, “BAM! Strong Mind, Strong Business”.

I left the session with a few things:

Why am I training/coaching?   I look at this and I think, I love to see their faces before and after a workout.  I love knowing that I’m helping someone that trusts me to help them. I love seeing them reach their goals.  That is very rewarding in itself and I love that feeling.  I swear it’s contagious because I heard a lot of the presenters echo similar mantras.

Work on me first.  I can do a lot of things but the key is doing something I really love.  Again, I have found my calling.  I love working out and being able to help others work out and live healthier lives is a win win for both me and my clients.  I left the session with a list of three things that really make me happy.  The goal is to take this list and do it times 10.

  • taking time for myself (oh I’m looking forward to my birthday 😉 )
  • keeping Diallo healthy, happy and loving life ( ok Cooper also 🙂 )
  • teaching (whether that’s one on one, boot camp and/or group training)

Create my own environment.   My goal here is to stop asking for so much advice.  The advice I do receive I will take bits and pieces for inspiration, best practices, and strategies for moving forward.  But starting now, I have to get my hustle on if I want to make this work.  I’m taking ownership and will figure this out as I move along.  My next step is to get myself into a real mentoring program (researching now).

Continue to grow myself.  I will not lose sight on personal development and will continue to feed my mind.  I will continue to surround myself with people that will push me to challenge myself and people that add joy to my life (not take it away) and in turn I will do the same for my people.  I am learning as I get older, it is okay to create space with people (even family).

Better time management.  This session had me looking at my roles in life.  How many hats am I wearing?  If the list is long (more than seven), there is no way I’m doing them all well. I jotted my list down (no particular order).

  • mom
  • database analyst
  • personal trainer/coach
  • manager of self
  • student

During the presentation a slide with the following caught my eye (for more than one reasons 😉 ):  ‘WTF are you talking about?’.  The ‘f’ is all about focus…what’s the focus?   Stay the course.  Once we are off focus it takes to long to get back on track.  Moving forward I’m carving out set times for:

  • myself (yes)
  • Diallo
  • training
  • studying
  • to read and to respond to emails and text messages (so I may not get right back to you but I will)
  • checking social media
  • blogging

Breathe.  I have to be in this myself!!! I have to take care of me so I can take care of my family and my clients and be able to give them 100% every time (if not more).  No one can take away my GREATNESS, it’s in me!!!! Having a PEACEful mind will in turn create a POWERful mind #message.



Saturday, February 28, 2016

I was really looking forward to “The Traveling Personal Trainer Toolbox”, since I’m traveling to my clients home right now.  This class was not what I was expecting, not that the class was bad, some of the information was very useful (I am a fan of the foam roller NOW…I know saying that is probably considered blasphemy since I’m a runner ….when you know better you do better 🙂 right ) and I also got in a nice workout.

Sunday, February 29, 2016

Another session that left an impression was, “Building Your Boot Camp with Express Tabata”.  From the jump, the presenter’s energy was on high and that really set the tone for the whole presentation.  Since I was traveling right after my sessions, I decided not to participate in the workout portion and just take good notes (I’m so glad I did and I think my clients will think so also 🙂 ).  I love Tabata and sprinkle it into my programs every now and again.  I really walked out of this class with a new way to do this and looking forward to trying it out myself within the next couple of days.


As you can see, the BAM! session pretty much set the tone for the rest of the conference.  Some sessions I attended fell short but I was still able to walk away with something from each one.  Attending this conference has really opened my eyes and validated that this is where and what I need to do right now.

I was so happy to be able to share this experience with some wonderful people (new and old).  What made this experience even more enjoyable was having my friend of over 16 years right there with me.  Its awesome having this in common with one another.


Looking forward to attending next year’s event and would highly recommend this conference.  They had some logistic issues that could have been better executed (make sure you fill out your evaluations…I am ;).






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