Smart Group Training has been blowing up over the last few months if you haven’t noticed. Recently, I got the opportunity to interview SGT co-creator Jared Woolever to learn more about SGT.
These guys are doing some groundbreaking stuff in the group training industry, so make sure you don’t get left behind.
Check out this great interview that is guaranteed to get you thinking about how you are running your group programs.
Tell us a little about yourself…..
I’ve been training professionally for a little over 8 years now. Even though I’ve only been training professionally for 8 years, I’ve been into health and fitness for half my life. Since I’m 31 now, that means I have been consumed with training since I was 15. I knew I wanted to own my own gym since I was a teenager, but after finding out that personal training was an option, my path was set.
I went through my undergrad at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. I enjoyed my time in college from what I can remember, and always had a focus on becoming a great trainer. After graduating, I got a job training and picked up an unpaid internship at a national franchise sports performance training facility. I learned a lot from the internship, which later turned into a job, and my personal training job as well. I have always been consumed with knowledge, so I figured I’d go back to school and pick up my Master’s.
During the process of getting my Master’s, I started my own training facility and running a business of my own. I was running around all day long. I was starting my mornings at 6, training and working on my business all day, and going to class at night. It kept me busy to say the least. However, it’s all been worth it. I’ve met some great people along the way, and one of the most influential in my knowledge and career has been my good friend and business partner, Steve Long. We’ve pushed each other and have been masterminding our thoughts for years. The constant masterminding with Steve and other fitness professionals has led to great success and the development of our new business, Smart Group Training.
Smart Group Training is blowing up. Tell us, what exactly is SGT?
Smart Group Training is more than just Jared and Steve. It’s a little something that we put together to improve the group training industry. It’s obvious that group training is here to stay, so Smart Group Training was developed to help make group training more personal. That’s why our motto says…”putting the personal in personal training”. Most group training programs we see are cookie cutter programs that are a one size fits all mentality.
We have developed a system to help make group training very similar to personal training, and it all starts with the screen. We screen each person that comes in to train with us. We are able to monitor each exercise and ensure they are constantly working towards their goals. We will never allow them to do something that is only going to push them in the wrong direction. With our screening process, we are able to identify what patterns we should train, and what we need to develop. Smart Group Training is all about over delivering. We just want to make that over-delivery to the client the norm and standard within the industry.
I know you use the FMS. Why do you use the FMS?
We use it for several reasons…
First, it’s a tested system that has already been created. We’re big fans of not re-creating the wheel, so we found the FMS to be an easy solution to improve our own training systems. The FMS created a hierarchy and system to follow to produce amazing results. You didn’t even have to really understand exactly why it worked, the system broke it down into an if/then type scenario. If you see this with a client, do this to fix the pattern.
Next, that brings me to the simplicity of the screen. The FMS is an easy to implement tool that can be learned over the course of a weekend. Your scoring and confidence will get better with practice, but the FMS has simple guidelines that produce highly accurate results. I’m able to teach the screen to a new coach and have them scoring it the exact way I would within a couple days. With something as simple as the FMS, it was a no-brainer for us to start using this tool within our business.
Finally, the last point I want to touch on today is the results. The FMS allows our programming to be very unique. It really has the personal touch to it. There aren’t too many group training programs out there willing to take the time to personally screen each person through the door. However, our results are worth all the time and effort to make this happen. We have given our clients better results and have them feeling great. The FMS allows us to find any movement dysfunctions, establish a corrective path, and fix the weakest link. After taking the chinks out of the armor, our clients are able to push through their true potential. This is one of the best ways we have found to break plateaus and improve results.
Do your clients still workout hard with all of the correctives and red lights?
Absolutely, just because we take the time to screen and red light our clients, doesn’t mean we don’t smash them. After all, a good majority of them are coming in for just that reason…to get an ass kickin’ workout. We want our clients to work as hard as they can. We just want to ensure they are doing everything they can to improve.
Our approach helps keep it fun as well. If you start your new clients on day one with jump squats and kettlebell swings, where do you go from there? You’re already hitting the high end of the training spectrum, so you’re always going to have to create a new twist to keep things interesting. The FMS allows us to find the patterns that are dysfunctional and need to be addressed. We’ll attack these limitations and train around them. And just like I just said…we’ll train around them. That means we’re going to train the non-dysfunctional patterns hard. We’re going to smash them here, but we’re not going to smash them on something they have already proven they can’t do. We want to empower our clients with success, not failure. That keeps them coming back again and again, and eventually they get to smash every pattern, every rep, every workout, and become your biggest fans.
Besides screening and corrective exercise, what else makes your group training so great?
It’s all about the systems and the planning into each session. We have each phase already planned out for the entire year. I could tell you the exact workout, each progression and regression, phase of training, ect…This planning really allows us to focus on the client. We want to provide an experience. We want to be more than a trainer to our clients…we want to be coaches. It’s our mission to help make each and every session with us extraordinary. I always remind myself and other coaches that it’s our job to create an experience. We may be coaching 30-40+ hours a week, but to that client, on that given day, is their one hour with you. You only get to see the average client about twice a week, so your time better be productive. We fill each session with coaching, tips, motivation, and enthusiasm. Honestly, it all comes down to having fun and wanting to get some damn good results for each person coming in. If you can get people to buy into what you’re doing, you’ll have a blast and it will show to everyone around you.
Where can we find out more about SGT?
You can go to smartgrouptraining to find out a little more about Smart Group Training. We post on there regularly and always love to get feedback with what we’re working on. We have lots of cool stuff coming out this year, so if you want to help improve the standard of group training and take your programming to the next level, be sure to check it out. Also, the opt-in gift, the Smart Group Training Manifesto, is a killer resource that can get you started with screening and correctives by tomorrow. It’s free. It’s awesome. Check it out.
Jared Woolever,?MS, CSCS, TPI
Jared has designed and successfully implemented an improved social support system that smoothes and cements the transition to healthy lifestyle choices. He is dedicated to bettering himself through evidence based research and continuing education which, in turn, improve the lives and health of his clients. With a diversity of goals, from weight management, cardiovascular fitness, improved agility, strength, and flexibility, to lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels, Jared’s clients have seen superior results with his methods. Modifications and progressions are adjusted according to the participants’ current level of fitness allow all to participate and receive health and life transforming experiences. His passion for the fitness industry drives him to continue paving the road to wellness with activities and events that challenge and motivate participants in a familiar environment.