For the past few years there’s been a lot of conversation in the personal training industry about considering the “whole” client in program design. From the person’s feet to the top of his head physically; to what goes into his body for nutrition; to how his psyche is fed, nurtured and motivated all combine for a potent equation of holistic wellness. Throw in corrective exercise concepts, wellness coaching and excellent management skills, and that, my friends, is a tall order of skills for any personal trainer to amass—all while doing our best to Inspire the World to Fitness™. Yet, it’s happening before our eyes. The profession is maturing, gathering momentum and gaining credibility. Proof of this is materializing in the body of IDEA’s retooled PFT event, IDEA Personal Trainer Institute™, which is unfolding today through Sunday here in Orlando, Florida. Approximately 350 attendees, faculty and assistants made the trek to the balmy shores of Lake Buena Vista on the vast Disney property to participate in this three-day conference of carefully planned, indepth, provocative education. Reveille!The day kicked off with a 7 AM hosted breakfast. A community of trainers from all over North America—and 42 delegates from countries outside the United States—assembled and began a weekend full of education, networking and fun as they listened to executive director Kathie Davis’ welcoming remarks and to the expert panel of Nicki Anderson, Todd Durkin and Chuck Wolf, who discussed their perspectives on the future of our industry. These three energetic veterans heaped on an extra serving (for the mind) for attendees to consider as hotel staff served up parfaits of fresh fruit, a savory spinach frittata, sausage, juice and strong coffee. The three shared their perspectives on growth areas for trainers to watch (further personalization for the 1-1 client; partner and small group training; Boomer-influenced postrehab and prehab multidisciplinary approaches; boot camps and “success” coaching, to name a few areas), and on challenge areas as well (responding well to growth opportunities or forcing yourself out of your business comfort zone in order to grow; maintaining a culture of a small facility and great service in the face of growth; learning to be more of a strategist than an opportunist; enhancing business skills; delegating; dealing with competition; and creating systems that are scalable.) The discussion and ensuing questions from the audience set the tone for the cornucopia of opportunity and challenge that lie ahead for PFTs and for the conference’s varied educational program that was designed with practical strategies and tactics for these issues in mind. Classes did not disappoint. A useful balance of hard core corrective exercise, biomechanics, special populations, marketing, management, functional assessment, coaching, myofascial release and Pilates offerings—among many others—gave trainers a healthy dose of the menu that’s needed to attain the well-rounded mantle of the professional in this day and age. There were some light, memorable moments as well (many thanks to Todd Durkin and his collection of 80 sweaty boot campers for their rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday” in my honor. I’ve never had that many people sing to me at once!). Now it’s off to network and have some fun at the opening reception. It will give everyone a chance to strengthen the bonds forged with colleagues and presenters during sessions today and give this community of professionals a place to gather and download some of the great knowledge they collected over the past several hours.