For a few months now, or even a few years, you’ve been telling your readers about how you went from couch potato to fitness fanatic. The time has come to further your influence and start helping individuals directly by telling them how to exercise and what to eat. Perhaps you’re even ready to turn it into a business. But you know there are some important questions to answer before you dive in, such as:
Do I need to be certified?
Do I need a degree?
And the kicker: What can I do to provide the best service possible to my readers or customers?
Blog to Business
We’ve recently been asked by a few readers for our advice on this subject. The truth is that opinions run rampant in regard to these questions, because there is no official governing body that regulates the fitness industry and the blogging sphere. So, while I can’t give you set-in-stone answers, I can give you recommendations based on my experience.
Being certified is not required of fitness bloggers. That being said, I think you should still get a certification from one of the major providers (NASM, NSCA, ACE). It will validate you as a personal trainer, fitness coach or health coach to your readers and clients. Certifications from these major providers will give you a general understanding of anatomy, physiology, bio-mechanics and nutrition. It will give you no practical experience, but if for any reason you get sued by a client, it will help validate that you knew what you were doing. The certificate will also most likely give you a discount on insurance, which is essential to starting your fitness business and is pretty reasonably priced.
Time to Get Educated
Once you have jumped through the certification and insurance hoops, it’s really time to get educated — and I don’t mean a college degree. College degrees give you a little more credibility, but not enough to make it worth the $20,000-$80,ooo it will cost (unless you want to be a researcher).
What you need is knowledge from trainers who know exactly what they are doing and who are getting their clients results. Learn from the right trainers and your knowledge is going to separate you from the rest of the pack. Because you really want to be the best trainer possible, right?
After much trial and error, I came across a trainer named Mike Boyle and began to read his books. He is a strength coach with a general fitness clientele. He is a master teacher of functional program design and a teacher of proper bio-mechanics. His most recent course, Function Strength Coach 3.o, is invaluable to a new fitness coach. His joint-by-joint approach will give you a practical foundation to build out your programs for your clients. Note: It is generally understood in the industry that a new trainer shouldn’t write their own programs for 3-5 years. Functional Strength Coach 3.0 will give you a template for your workouts with your clients.
Other trainers I follow closely are Mark Verstegen, Alwyn Cosgrove, John Romaniello and Mike Roussell. Mark Verstegen teaches core training in a very practical way and has a general programming book called Core Performance. Alwyn Cosgrove created the exercise portion of a program called Warp Speed Fat Loss. Many of the concepts Alwyn teaches about training for maximum results are dead-on. John Romaniello is a master at creating mixing it up but making sure the workouts going to eliminate the last 10-20 pounds. And Mike Roussell has nutrition down to a science — he creates the most effective meal plans on the market and they also can be found in the Warp Speed Fat Loss Program.
Many of these trainers have blogs and programs that you can buy to get up to speed. They also attend conferences throughout the country. The best conferences in the country are the ones put on by Perform Better. These conferences give you the opportunity to meet up with many of the trainers and focus on specific areas of weakness in your development as a fitness coach.
Step one with everything you learn is to test it on yourself and then your clients. Measure the results your clients are getting with each modification and you will be able to refine your coaching.
Make sure that you are associating with the right trainers and right material. There are a lot of resources out there and the glut of information can be overwhelming. Connect yourself to someone who knows what they are talking about and who can direct you to the right resources. If the Ask Fitness Coach Team is that “someone,” we think you are on the right path.
Disclaimer: Many of the links on this page are links to programs that generate revenue for our business if you use them to order these products. We would appreciate you using these links if you are going to purchase these products, since this is how we are able to continue providing this site as a resource to you.