Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning constant improvement. I was first introduced to the word by noted strength trainer Charles Poliquin when he introduced the idea of micro-loading to allow minute weight changes which allowed the trainee to keep adding weight to the bar every workout.

Since then it has turned up in many places and, for me, has many business applications.

In the world of business you must keep moving forward or you stagnate and die. Many small businesses often do well initially but soon lose momentum and eventually either whither and die or are just forced to close their doors as new technology takes over their industry. Personal Training is no different and we have been forced to move ahead to keep up with the demand for training and workshops.

For anyone who doesn’t know we moved into a massive 300sq.m place in Melbourne’s Moorabbin. This new facility allows us container access for kettlebell shipments and decent sized office for us to grow into as well as over 200sq.m of open training space. It allowed us to run the recent HKC and have over twenty-five people safely training at once, something we never could have done at our last location.

Our efforts at constant improvement have also meant that we have had to cut some ties professionally. The RKC code of conduct is quite a simple document and I take it very literally. The primary point is to conduct yourself with honour. When I discovered that the my previous landlords were into open relationships and thought that trying to include me, my staff and my partner in them was okay that was enough for me. Previously I may have made the effort to try and mediate a resolution for this, but as part of Dragon Door Australia’s decision to try to upkeep this code at all times, we decided to walk away rather than stay and be part of something so distasteful. I was helped enormously in this by two people – Pavel and Senior RKC Peter Lakatos. Pavel has said “Marriage is a great decision. Why ruin it by making a poor decision to cheat?” Peter made things even easier for me when he told me that he refuses to do business with anyone he finds is unfaithful.

So we stepped forward and upheld this notion that honour and decency should be a part of every business, not just profit margin.

We’ve also stepped ahead by certifying our courses with both Kinect and Fitness Australia. While I don’t believe that accumulating points should be the driving force behind attending education events, I do see the business side of it and the reality is that with so many courses now having points, the sad reality is that many will choose to attend a course of lesser educational value simply to accumulate points. See? A great commercial example of having to move ahead just to stay in the same place.

This week sees the first time that more than a single Aussie heads overseas at any one time to attend an RKC event. Piers Kwan from Brisbane, who I have been lucky enough to train right from the start of his kettlebell training, will be doing this week’s RKC. At the same time I have been given the honour of being the first Australian ever asked to teach at an RKC and will be teaching the Clean as well as running one of the workouts. Two weeks after that will see Sam Johnston, TC Lee and James McConnell attend the next RKC, which I will also be at. This will mark my sixth and seventh RKC events in under two years. That adds up, including the HKCs I have hosted, to over thirty days of hands on instruction from Pavel and his elite Senior and Master trainers.

This attitude has been taken on by Australia’s first female RKC, and Dragon Door Australia staff member, Shannon Scullin. This year she will attend CK FMS as well as RKCII, plus assist at two more HKCs for the year. Our efforts to constantly step forward have allowed us to continually meet customers’ needs in training. When you have so much great information at your finger tips it certainly makes solving problems much easier. And you can see this with our 100% success rate for preparing clients for instructor level courses, or even in our Body Transformation Challenges where clients have lost as much as 20kg in only sixteen weeks! Essentially, by the end of May, we will have been responsible for training 30% of the RKCs in the country and every single HKC!

The question is, what is your trainer doing to constantly move ahead to help you out? Are they attending training with someone better than them to learn and improve like our HKC/ RKC Preparation class students are, or are they sitting on their tail dispensing potentially outdated information? With standards constantly evolving within the RKC, instructors who don’t keep making these steps will get left behind. This can be seen in the pass rate of some students from other RKCs. They’re simply not being taught correctly because they haven’t taken the time to update their own knowledge and attend training events. And that’s a great shame. There is no reason why people should be paying money to trainers who aren’t making the effort to move ahead and stay current with their own training. When it’s as easily done as giving up a weekend to come and assist at an HKC you’d think more people would jump at the chance.

But I guess not everyone is as keen for their clients to maximise their success as we are.



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2 Responses to “Kaizen”

  1. John Wayne Legg Says:

    Well said on the morality issue Andrew! Big respect to you mate.

  2. Do the Move « Fortitudine Vincimus Says:

    […] and negative feedback. The key is that I choose not to respond. To keep growing. I wrote about this here and made mention of ethics and the Code of Conduct. It’s funny how the vast majority of […]

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