From Will to Skill – Meet Our New Personal Training Mantra

By Neesha Kanaga

Published 15 January 2021

In FitNation’s most recent insightful conversation with Kevin Darby and Ben McDonald of DTS Fitness Education, we spoke about ‘mindful fitness training’ that enables pain-free living for your clients.

Kevin Darby is the CEO and Founder of DTS Fitness Education — an award-winning fitness education provider. He has a long and outstanding career as a personal trainer, wellness coach, and leader in the fitness industry.

He is also the president and lead teacher of Stretch to Win Canada.

Ben McDonald is the Director of Education at DTS Fitness Education. He has over 30 years of experience as a boxing trainer, international presenter, lecturer, and course developer.

Ben and Kevin coach personal trainers on how to effectively implement their fitness knowledge for the holistic improvement of their clients’ lives.

Key takeaways from the webinar:

1. Personal training has evolved from just physical fitness to holistic life coaching. The fitness industry in the past has been focused on looking ripped, bulking up, or losing inches on the waist.

Most clients focus on weight loss as the only parameter to get healthy.

“A personal trainer has evolved from just doing personal training, counting reps, giving exercises, assigning programs to being a personal health coach.”

– Kevin Darby

The role of the mindful personal trainer goes beyond assigning programs, counting reps, stacking weights, and tracking body fat percentages and all the other stats.

It’s getting people out of that thought process that how they look dictates their level of fitness. It’s about molding their habits and beliefs in a way that enhances their lives both in and outside of the gym.

And that means encouraging regular movement and exercise as the goal — not how toned their body looks.

“You should take pride in that every single client you work with develops a level of movement competency that sees them able to get on and off the toilet, negotiate stairs, go for a hike, walk up a hill, walk down a hill, they can pick up their kids or grandkids.”

– Kevin Darby

2. The number one mistake personal trainers make — pre-made programs. Many personal trainers just push pre-done programs to clients without considering their level of fitness or their mental/physical capacity.

This sets clients up for failure.

It makes them dread working out, and in the worst case, it could lead to injury. A good personal trainer understands their clients’ needs and develops personalized programs that match clients’ capacity. This will improve their success and enhance their overall well-being.

3. Advanced skills are the basics mastered. Most clients have knowledge of fitness; what they lack is understanding and the skills to do well in their fitness journey. As a personal health coach, you have to teach your clients basic skills such as breathing, lifting, and movement so that they can progress in their fitness journey.

“Advanced skills are the basics mastered. Trainers should spend more time on the basics.”

– Kevin Darby

If you want to be a successful trainer and have clients who renew for years and years, then you have to know how to strip everything down to the basics so that the client learns the skill and can be able to apply it to get better.

You can learn more about Kevin and Ben’s work on the DTS Fitness Education website or on their Facebook page. Connect with Kevin Darby on LinkedIn and Instagram. Connect with Ben McDonald on LinkedIn or Twitter.

You can also listen to bi-weekly webinars about the fitness industry on our podcast channel or visit our FitNation webinar page for more insightful conversations. Last but not least, don’t forget to give us a follow on Instagram!

Neesha Kanaga

Neesha is a copywriter and wanderer who currently finds herself bound to the weather-challenged Netherlands due to the unforeseen circumstances of 2020.

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