What made you choose a career in personal fitness training?
I was in sports my whole life and I had been doing powerlifting since I was 15. After I got out of the military, I had goals of doing physique competitions. After a couple years of competing as an amateur, I won my pro card as a natural bodybuilder. That was a huge motivation for me to want to learn all I could about health and fitness with regards to training and nutrition. I have since gotten away from just focusing on physique training and now focus a lot of my time on performance based education and continuing to compete in powerlifting at 165lbs/75kg weight class.
How long have you been a Personal Trainer?
I have been in the fitness industry over 12-years and 8-years as a person trainer.
What made you choose the IFPA?
It was 2007 and I had just got out of the military after spending 16-months in the Middle East. Fitness was something that has always been apart of my day-to-day life. One of the things I started looking at, was how to continue going to school, at the same time work in a field that I want to be heavily invested in. I started researching and looking for certifications and IFPA stood out because they were the first ones that I saw accepting military education benefits to pay for it upon successful completion. I also was looking at something that not everyone could get, like a few online certifications. I wanted to have to study and learn the material and gain the education that should be required of a fitness professional.
If you have taken more than the PFT course, what has been your favorite certification course?
I have taken a bunch of courses through the IFPA to help continue my education and advance my status as a personal trainer and coach. I have taken the Functional Training, Baseball Conditioning Specialist, and a couple others. I am currently finishing up my IFPA Advanced Fitness Trainer Certification now. Out of all of them, the Baseball Conditioning Specialist is my favorite based on the material given. I am currently finishing my degree in Health and Sports Sciences with and emphasis in Coaching Studies and being able to apply this as a strength and conditioning coach later on was a good start.
What are some adjectives your clients would use to describe you?
- Go-To Professional with questions.
I have built relationships with doctors and physical therapists that allow me to work and speak to in regards to clients with certain medical issues. At the same time, these medical professionals and PT’s refer to me and the facility I work at, to continue with rehabilitation and weight-loss.
What qualities set you apart from other personal trainers? Education? Experience?
I think what sets me apart from other personal trainers is my experience in different methodologies of program design and implementation based on a clients needs and wants, while at the same time, helping to develop our team here through education. Being a member in the military, I was able to build relationships through struggle and motivation, that a lot of clients will go through and educate them on why we do things within their programs. Building that rapport and relationship other than a social aspect, lets them see that even fitness professionals have and will go through different or relatable struggles.
What aspect of personal fitness training do you like most?
Just the ability to help others who need it. Educating the public and building outside relationships. As we live in a society where almost everything is catered to us, moving and staying healthy is diminishing at a high rate. Kids are becoming overweight and suffering from preventable cardiovascular diseases and people just don’t understand why. I take pride in providing education to the general populations and business professionals that have minimal time or are just now realizing at the age of 40-50 years old, they need to make lifestyle changes for themselves.
What is your best success story?
I had a young client when I first started who was almost 300lbs. He was a professional gamer and his health started to come into question. Through the course of his program his adherence, attention to detail, motivation and understanding was the best I have ever seen out of any of my clients ever. After about a year of working with him, he had lost 120lbs. His future started to shift from professional gaming to becoming a personal trainer himself. He was more than satisfied with his results and really admired the education that went into being a fitness professional. He went to enroll in a post-secondary school and now works as a personal trainer himself.
How has the PFT business changed since you started?
Depends on the niches. You have corporate gyms that handle general fitness and then have privately owned gyms that specialize in a certain niche like CrossFit™, power sports, performance, etc. A big one that is now on the rise is Obstacle Course training, as we see a huge increase in popularity and course being established around here.
How do you envision growing your personal training business?
Eventually I will be leaving the general fitness business and put more focus into training more athletes within the next few years. Whether that’s starting my own facility or going on to work for a collegiate and/or professional/semi-professional baseball organization.
What was the hardest challenge you had to overcome in your personal training career?
Getting clientele at the beginning of my career. I started working about 10-15 hours a week with just training a few clients and took a few months to start getting myself out there. A lot of what I do is “word of mouth” referral, so being able to keep spreading my name around through that, gets me more notoriety. With a handful of outside certifications that only a few others have around here, make me a little more marketable when people start to search for that type of training or education background. Over time my schedule filled up and I have been working full-time for the last 6-7 years.
What is your best advice to someone just starting their career as a personal trainer?
Personal growth and development. The fitness industry is constantly changing, and if you are not educating yourself or developing a niche that sets you apart of everyone else in your surrounding area, the quicker you are going to start to get burned out. One thing that I always do is continue research and development of myself, through peer reviewed journals, scientific research and fitness related materials, the more I am able to accommodate different types of clients that walk through the door. From athletes to clients with hypertension, I know what needs to happen within their programs and what needs to be avoided.