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We’ve come a long way from the early Arnold Schwarzenegger Pumping Iron days that brought fitness into the spotlight and launched many a lifelong pursuit. In fact, from athlete to casual gym goer, today there’s so much to get excited about in the fitness industry.
We have better tools to achieve not only better bodies but also prevent injury. We have better ways to build programming that take into account a wide variety of fitness levels. We have smarter technology to help people track and understand how their activities impact their goals. We know more about the science of motivation to develop spaces and regimens that are engaging. We even know more about materials and surfaces so we can create better products that perform in more precise and targeted ways.
As an industry, we have a lot to offer, not only to those who we train but also to the trainers themselves — things like brands, information, products, equipment and tools.
But vast amounts of information alone do not equal knowledge any more than a room full of equipment equals a good workout. Understanding is needed for that. Connecting the dots.
"Rapport can be fleeting. Build relationships."
- Jim Rowley, co-founder of New Evolution Ventures, Escape Your Limits podcast guest
So, in a first-of-its-kind, week-long training event held at its European headquarters in Cambridgeshire, England, Escape Fitness launched its worldwide Master Trainer program – connecting its dots for 16 trainers from throughout Europe who were challenged, both physically and mentally, to push their limits to make the grade of Escape Master Trainer. And, the functional fitness global manufacturer is actively seeking to expand this team.
The goals of the Master Trainer program are to create an elite team of trainers who have a deep connection with the Escape brand, a robust understanding of its foundations, and can deliver first-class training on Escape’s product line and the “Why?” behind each one.
In addition, the trainers met the Januszek family, who founded and lead Escape Fitness, and heard how the business developed, learned how the brand was created and even put forward some of their own ideas for future developments in products and training.
“On the market today, there are tools that are better, safer reinventions of traditionally popular products. And, there are completely new tools that work in ways that are incredible yet not necessarily intuitive. So, providing the understanding behind our products ultimately goes back to building supportive relationships with our PTs so they can give their clients more effective workouts to help them function well in their daily lives,” said Matthew Januszek, co-founder Escape Fitness.
PUMPING IRON AND ESCAPE FITNESS
Fun Fact: One of the many careers Arnold Schwarzenegger launched in his 1977 movie Pumping Iron was that of Escape Fitness co-founder Matthew Januszek. In fact, this movie inspired then teenage Matthew so much that it’s the spark that eventually became Escape Fitness.
But it was more than classroom learning; it also included intense training. In fact, each of the five days included several hours of pure, hard-core working out. Attendees – who had to apply for the much coveted course spots – immersed themselves in Escape’s approach to functional training and how to use the various equipment and tools given this foundation. The week-long training also included breakdown sessions on how to run Escape’s proprietary MOVE IT, HIIT THE DECK and BATTLE FIT programming.
“I was surprised by the intensity of the week,” said attendee, Matt Jenkins. “It was full-on all the time. And, the entire team is so knowledgeable. It must be said that BATTLE FIT is a punishing, grueling workout but it was so good.”
With its roots in functional fitness, Escape is synonymous with functional training, having developed numerous products and equipment for it even before it was popular industry-wide. So, an important piece to the overall Master Trainer program is a Functional Training Workshop. In its inaugural class of attendees, even the trainers who specialized in functional fitness were not expecting Escape’s approach to it.
“A light bulb moment for me was in functional training. I really thought I understood it, that I was being safe in the way I trained my clients,” said attendee, Anka Ijsveld. “But, Escape’s view of functional training is completely different – foundational – and it taught me how to prepare my clients for the movements of life.”
And, there was the brand immersion. Many times, understanding what’s important to a company – its vision, culture, and motivation – creates a better understanding its products, services and programs.
“I was pleased to find that Escape’s brand values resonated with all the trainers, especially our passion, entrepreneurialism, creativity and authenticity,” said Rachel Young, head of training and education at Escape Fitness. “These 16 left the week mentally and physically exhausted, pretty sore, and yet totally enthused. It was energizing to see their palpable excitement in being Escape’s very first Master Trainers.”
To receive the Master Trainer credential, each participant also demonstrated full competency in every element of Escape’s three training programs and associated training tools. Additionally, they were required to pass exams. In this first session, 16 of the 16 earned Escape Master Trainer designation, receiving certificates of completion.
From a large pool of candidates, Escape selected these initial trainees based on their attitude and behaviors as much as their credentials. Being inspirational, motivational, professional, and knowledgeable were important criteria.
Rachel Young added, “We’re building strong relationships with Escape Master Trainers who we’ve educated to be the very best, to represent Escape and be brand advocates who are part of our explosive brand growth. This week of motivation, inspiration and perspiration was just the beginning of the journey for these 16 and we are looking to start that journey with many others through additional trainings."
Escape is currently scheduling additional week-long training events worldwide, slated for the UK, Asia and the US. If you’d like to become a Master Trainer, to apply contact Rachel Young at Rachel.Young@escapefitness.com. For information about Escape’s products or services, visit Escape Fitness. Additional insightful, inspirational, educational resources with leaders in the fitness industry can be found on the Escape Your Limits podcast.