Personal Fitness Professional Winter 2022

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24 | ISSUE 4

chad griepentrog | publisher josh vogt | editor

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Sarah Apgar, Billy Hofacker, Dr. Dan Mikeska, James Patrick, Jason Stowell, Aesha Tahir

featured columnists

Brandi Binkley, Trina Gray, Dan Ritchie, Pat Rigsby, Kurt Weinreich Jr.

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Personal Fitness Professional (ISSN 1523-780X) is published quarterly: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. [Volume 24, Issue 4]

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One-Minute Practice: Beauty in rest

By Dr. Adrienne Ione

Training for Function

You’re not selling fitness, you’re selling dreams

By Dan Ritchie

Elevate Online Presence Earn more money with follow-up By Pat Rigsby

Real Talk: Lessons Behind Success Money talk: strip away emotion By Trina Gray


Letter from the Advisory Board Money gives us opportunity

By Joey Percia

New on the Market

Continuing Education

Higher value credit at lower investment

By Kurt Weinreich Jr.

Career Accelerator From poor to planned personal finance By Brandi Binkley

Ask the Experts: Physical Therapy Bridging the gap: post-rehab program design guide

By Dr. Meredith Butulis

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Meet our contributors

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On the Frontline of Health Care Position yourself as an essential health care worker by becoming a Medical Fitness Specialist
The Big Disruption New words, tools and facts for moving weight
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Joey Percia


Money gives us opportunity

Money doesn’t buy happiness, right?

This presupposes you have to choose between money and happiness. Which never made sense to me. If that were true... What was the magical money number that made happiness fade and misery spike?

Turns out, there isn't a number. Because we're allowed to have an abundance of money and happiness (lucky us!)

Of course, money doesn’t directly BUY happiness. It buys OPTIONS. Money gives us the opportunity to: impact more lives, reward ourselves, provide a dream life for our family, give back, spend more time with loved ones, and golf more (just me?)

The more money you have, the more options you have. It’s that simple. What you decide to do with that money is up to you. And your choice is often dictated by your values.

If giving back is a core value of yours? The more money you have, the more you will give back. If traveling with your family and showing your children the world is important to you? Money will allow you to do more of it. If healthy living to reverse the obesity epidemic is your #1 mission in life? Money will allow you to spearhead that journey.

The problem is, money is still either a taboo topic or it’s not understood. See, money is multi-dimensional.

1. Make money: copywriting, sales, marketing, media buying, offer packaging, etc.

2. Keep money: tax optimization, cash flow strategies, team organization and man agement

3. Multiply money: investments (businesses, team, stock market, crypto, etc)

Do you know someone who’s great at making money but never gets ahead? Or someone who struggles to make money but has lots saved up? It’s because they’re not working on all sides of the equation.

Money wasn’t a topic for discussion in my household. As a result, I didn’t even know options that were available to me.

Once I started educating myself and applying what I learned, my life changed. Which makes sense, because I was playing a game I didn’t know the rules to.

My hope is that this issue shines a flashlight on an area, strategy or tactic that will allow you to make, keep or multiply more money. So you can shortcut your way to winning the money AND happiness game.

Rooting for you!

A highly sought-after customer acquisition and monetization specialist, Joey works with coaches, consultants, and trainers to enroll more clients into their premium-priced programs. With clients in multiple countries and 36 different industries, he’s helped generate multiple millions in sales. Joey’s book, "Why Do You Hate Money?" has been referred to as “the health, fitness, and wellness marketing bible” by industry-leading experts and is said to be a must-read for anyone in the industry.


Beauty in rest

In nature, the winter months are marked by more than mere drastic plummets in tempera tures and baren bushes. We can also see joy and warmth. Beauty in rest. Settling, restoring and retreating. Let us not disregard the natural seasons. Rather than think of winter as a time of death and decay, we can mirror or reflect the activity within seeming inactivity. Introspection.

What blossoms in Spring is only possible because of the shifting of activity in winter. No one season can exist without the other three. Similar to the four seasons, the breath also has four parts: inhale, internal retention, exhale, external retention. In Sanskrit these parts of the breath are as follows: pooraka, antar kum bhaka, rechaka, and bahir kumbhaka.

According to yogic physiology, the most important part of pranayama practice is the retention. To fully comprehend and perform kumbhaka the lungs must be strengthened and the nervous system balanced. Therefore, empha sis is on practicing inhale and exhale. What exists in the spaces between these two breath parts?

Harmony and unification require rest. Let’s engage in a one-minute practice of wintering by exploring the breath.

Where you are right in this moment is the perfect place to practice. You have everything you need.

1. Locate your belly button: Say, “Hello belly button. I see you.”

2. Visualize a tunnel: Create a tunnel between your belly button and your nose — navel to nostrils.

3. Observe the breath: As you inhale, see your breath traveling from the belly button to nose. As you exhale, allow the breath to travel from the nose to the navel.

4. Notice the between: Just as the in breath ends there is a moment of breath suspen sion. Observe. At the end of the exhale, there is also a moment of breath suspension.

Repeat steps one through four.

Formerly a fitness specialist with the U.S. Marine Corp. and a counselor in residential and clinical settings, Adrienne Ione is now committed to the mind-body well-being of people ages 60 and greater, by utilizing an integrative therapeutic approach.



You’re not selling fi tness, you’re selling dreams

We say often that mature clients need fitness, but that doesn’t mean they want fitness. If we are really honest, dozens of things sound more interesting and enticing for people.

So how do we make our fitness programs attractive to prospective clients? I am convinced that if you focus more on selling the blue line, which marks the line of functional longevity and functional independence, you will be selling something that most people want. We as fitness professionals need to communicate that our fitness programs are really about training for the life your client wants — the life she dreams of — not just about fitness.

We at Functional Aging Institute (FAI) have defined what we believe are four cornerstones of the aging process and how people’s goals, desires, likes and even dreams change every decade. Here are the 4 Cornerstones:

1. An in-depth understanding of the aging process and its implications for exercise

2. A recognition of the desires, goals and aspirations that accompany the third age

3. A strong belief that people can be fit, healthy, vibrant and functional at any age

4. An approach to exercise which is grounded in evidence and honed with experience

Let me share an example with you. I had a client named Joan she came to us at 80 years old, not fit, deconditioned and with Parkinson’s disease. Joan wasn’t looking for a fitness protocol or a gym, but what she wanted was to travel to the Galapagos Islands. She knew she needed to be stronger, more functional, and have better aerobic endurance to accomplish her goal, and after training for a year, Joan did just that!

Or let me introduce you to Don. He called himself “the tottering ole grandfather” and was 88 years old. He realized his days of traveling from Indianapolis to Seattle to visit his four grandchildren were coming to an end unless he could get more strength, balance, and physical capacity for those trips.

Two years later at 90 years young, Don wrote us a two-page letter describing how we had completely changed his outlook on his nineties. He saw his first grandchild graduate high school and fully expected to be present for all their graduations. Don is a fun friend to have on Facebook!

Here are a few tips on how to ensure your clients can reach their dreams and goals like Joan and Don:

1. Focus on functional tasks your clients need to do on a daily or weekly basis and sprinkle in some functional tasks they have to do for their big trips coming up. For example, movements could include tasks like carrying groceries, luggage, laundry or household

items; picking up items; climbing stairs; putting something on a shelf; or looking under the couch for the darn remote. Lifting luggage, pushing and pulling luggage and navigating busy crowded airports and uneven terrain are also excellent tasks.

2. Focus on balance challenges your client might face on a weekly or monthly basis: navigating a parking lot, stops, starts, turns, stepping over a parking block, stepping up or down a curb, and changing terrains from grass to dirt to pavement. Tasks inside could include stairs at home, stepping over pets, changing flooring from hardwood to carpet, or catching your foot on something.

3. Think about what your client can do and how to accomplish what they dream to do. Focus on strengths and abilities, not just limitations. Design your sessions for success.

4. Remember to think about all 6 domains of human function from the Functional Aging Training Model: Musculoskeletal, Cardiovascular, Balance, Mobility, NeuroMuscular and Cognitive/Emotional.

As you train clients and focus on what they need, want and dream to do, you will find it is less about fitness and more about changing lives. Instead of before and after pictures, your testimonials become amazing life-changing adventures.

Dr. Dan Ritchie is the president and co-founder of the Functional Aging Institute. Dan also owns and operates Miracles Fitness in West Lafayette, Indiana, where they have trained over 2,500 clients since 2007. Dan was the 2014 PFP Trainer of the Year and is a sought-after expert and speaker at national and international events on topics like balance for older adults, fitness business development, the global aging phenomenon, and functional aging training models. Learn more at


Earn more money with follow-up

When people talk about marketing or advertising, they are usually focused on reaching more people. While this is important, it’s only part of the equation when it comes to generating more clients. The other piece of the puzzle is follow-up. In fact, that’s where I’ve found most of the opportunity to exist in marketing.

We’ve long been told that we need to help people come to know, like and trust us if we want them to become clients. Most business owners try to accomplish this by sending automated emails, broadcast text messages or posting on social media to nurture their relationships in a leveraged fashion.

I’ve long been a practitioner of this approach, sending a daily email to my readers for 17 years, so I believe in the value of mass follow, but the other thing I’ve noticed over this span is that you can build a relationship much faster with personal interactions. With that in mind, here’s a simple, three-step approach to make personal relationship building part of your marketing mix.

Step #1: Set aside 30 minutes, 5 days per week.

Step #2: In that timeframe, either send five personal emails to members of your existing network, make three calls or spend the entire time with one person face-to-face (Zoom is fine).

Have a conversation. Ask them for advice, tell them they did a great job or just see if there is anything you can do to help them. No selling. No bribes for referrals. Yes, you can invite them in if they’re not a client. You can give them gift cards to give to their network.

But think bigger. How can you help them become an ambassador for your business? It starts with them liking you and knowing that you care about them.

Step #3: Follow up. No one-time-only emails or calls.

If you reach out to someone, do so with the full intention of reaching out again and again with no expectation of immediate gratification. That’s it. This approach will work. You’ll likely soon see more activity and opportunity than you ever have before by staying at the top of people’s minds and letting them know you care about them and their success. It might just become the highest value 30 minutes you invest each day.

Pat Rigsby is one of the fitness industry's leading business coaches and the owner of He has built over a dozen businesses in the fitness industry as a CEO and co-owner, ranging from two-award winning franchises to certification organizations and equipment companies. Now he focuses exclusively on helping fitness entrepreneurs build their ideal businesses.


Money talk: strip away emotion

I invested in a life-changing seminar on money more than a decade ago. As a newer business owner, it shattered my limiting beliefs. It was called “50 Reasons Why You Haven’t Made Your First Million… Yet.`” The presenter was a vibrant, brilliant woman named Anne McKevitt. Over the course of eight weeks, I dialed into a conference call. Nothing fancy — no webinar platform, or Zoom line. I followed along in a simple binder and took copious notes. Here is a lesson that hit me hardest and how I put it into practice.

The presenter said that most money issues are actually mindset issues. She advised us to remove our emotion around money. Mon ey is simply a commodity. When we give it attributes, such scarce, or hard-to-earn or attach intense feelings of greed or desire to it, we are building a relationship with it. Similar to food. Food is simply fuel. When we give it attributes, such as good or bad, or attach feelings of guilt, we create an unnecessary relationship. The result is harmful. When we attach emotion to money, we make moody, impulsive decisions rather than informed, intelligent decisions. That spoke to me. I knew I needed to change my thought pattern to succeed in business.

I committed to a new way of thinking. In my life, I stopped feeling angry or happy when gas prices, milk prices or any common pur chases cost more or less. I viewed it as a transaction. At my club, I stopped adding emotion around the money going out or in. For example, whether we had a big day in membership sales or boot camps, or we had a cancellation, I was neutral and calm. Instead, I channeled my energy into business strategy for attracting and retaining clients. I went deep in my thinking about people and their behaviors. Said differently, I put my emotion into building business relationships, rather than dwelling on financial transactions.

This lesson felt like a minor shift, with major impact over time. I have built several profitable fitness businesses from the ground up — bricks and mortar, online and products. I maintain control over money by not letting my emotions run wild.

Trina Gray is a leading entrepreneur in the fitness industry with 20 years of experience. She owns Bay Athletic Club, a medically-based health club in Michigan. She founded a top on-line coaching team with BODi (formerly Beachbody), called Team Rockstar Fit. She helps fit pros expand their income to reach more people, outside of sessions and classes. She’s a sought after presenter and mentor, who has simplified her life. Connect with her at www. or IG @trinagray


Higher value credit at lower investment

Part of the financial planning for your fitness business should be the investment of your continuing education. This allows for continued industry growth, increased marketability and meeting the professional standards of your credibility.

Unfortunately, many trainers do not continue to build on their baseline credentials for lack of planning within credentialing period or the perceived return on investment for their business based on the pricing of the education, especially if you have multiple certifications. Here are some business “hacks” to assist you in covering both obsta cles in regards to your educational growth.

Association Memberships. By becoming members of industry associations, you can find not only significant discounts on accred ited courses, but also be a part of focus groups when new courses are launched. Memberships with industry associations offer low- to no-cost continuing education with highly discounted certifications.

Equipment and Product Companies. Companies creating prod ucts want fitness professionals to utilize them properly. To stay within the scope of practice while training proper use, many companies provide continuing education to make sure the trainer effectively employs the modalities with the client in the proper way. For exam ple, online fitness software requires programming knowledge, per cussion massage companies provide muscular pinnation knowledge, suspension trainer companies conduct courses with proficiency in gravitational biomechanics. Supplement companies provide a nu tritional foundations certification which includes nutrition coaching.

Continuing Education Sales. As with any business, occasionally there are sales. Courses can be discounted for various reasons, so the suggestion is plan which educational specialty you are interested in and watch for sales within your recertification period. The industry associations, certification agencies and product companies will inevitably have some type of promotion. The reason these are good resources is that the courses provided are already cross credited for multiple certifications for increased credibility for petitioning.

Continuing education should be part of the financial gameplan. Keeping this part of the equation as economical as possible is the key to taking your career path beyond your certification requirements and encouraging you to revitalize your original passion for education to better assisting your clients with their healthy goals.

Kurt Weinreich has over 22 years of experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, professional educator and fitness manager. Kurt continues to train full-time in Colorado while developing fitness professionals through consulting, lectures and internship programs.

From poor to planned personal finance

We have become a culture who poorly plans our finances, and it is not only wrecking our personal lives but it has a tremendous impact on the work we choose to do. As much as we all love coaching and mentoring our clients, the hard truth is that too many coaches leave the industry early because they “can’t” make enough money. I don’t believe this has to be your truth.

Here are a few habits AND mindsets shaping our financial futures:  We work for what we want instead of wanting what we have.  We adjust our lifestyles to match the periodic wage increases.  We think of our financial life as starting with what we make instead of what we want to accomplish.  We make decisions based on fear and not freedom when we live in financial constraints.

Your deepest passions have landed you in the fitness industry; it will behoove you to have solid financial habits. This will prevent exterior forces from putting you in a position to have to walk away from what you love. Things you can’t control like government regulations, shut downs, clients moving, rents going up, on and on and on. You worry less about exterior threats when you have the capacity to respond to it. Leave yourself financial margin — basically never spend it all — ever. Financial margin looks different for everyone but a personal formula I like to use is this:  30% of income on overhead, things like my house, car (if you have one get rid of that payment yesterday), insurance, phone and so on.  30% straight to savings and once this passes your one-year total of overhead, it becomes money you can use to invest in people and things that you believe in.

 20%, I call this Gods purse, you can call it whatever you want, is what you give away to your local church, non-profit or even sponsor kids in your community who can’t afford their school lunch.  20% goes to continuing education, maybe you want to learn a new language, play guitar or learn to fly.

These are just a few tips to get you thinking. It’s important to assess what you want and how you are going to get there. Be patient and do the work. It will be worth it.

Brandi Binkley has been an Exercise Physiologist for 19 years. Her first company PhysioFit has been called the Gold Standard for its interdisciplinary approach to technology and the clinical space. She has served as a consultant to the Department of Defense, Alpha Warrior, Technogym, and multiple healthcare companies. Brandi also spends her time serving on the board for End Slavery TN, Tennessee State NSCA Advisory, C12, and The Todd Durkin Mastermind.



Bridging the Gap: Post-Rehab Program Design Guide

How many of your clients have chronic nagging pain or recent injuries? Early in my career as both a physical therapist and fitness professional, I made the mistake of thinking a program made of therapy exercises and gym-based work-arounds would improve client function.

While some clients made progress, many spiraled deeper into the chronic injury cycle. What I didn’t understand is why my program design was ultimately ineffective at bridging the gap from rehab to fitness and performance. Let’s uncover why this method doesn’t work, and what nuances fitness professionals can incorporate to bridge the gap for high-level fitness restoration.

Why rehab exercises don’t bridge the gap

When rehab professionals select exercises, they are targeted toward specific deficits that the licensed provider identified by performing tests like joint play, goniometry, manual muscle testing and neuroki netic testing. The therapist also considers the stage of tissue healing and other medical factors to dose exercise interventions. Such selective exercise prescription to solve a movement or tissue healing problem is like taking cough medicine to calm a cough. Once the cough has calmed, taking medicine for additional days or increasing the dose is not beneficial.

When repeating the rehab for fitness program design, one of two outcomes emerges:

1. Injured tissue over-dosing, which leads to inflammation, pain and decreased function.

2. Wasting valuable client time by repeating exercises aimed at a plateau.

Why it doesn’t work to progress injury work-around programs

A common question fitness professionals ask rehabilitation providers is “what should my client avoid?” The answer helps create workaround exercises in the fitness environment. Work-around workouts, however, are not designed for long-term use.

Creating long-term work-arounds leads to stress shielding. This means that the weak structures are protected, or shielded, from work ing while stronger muscles subtly compensate. This strategy increases the muscle performance discrepancy between weaker regions and stronger regions. Creating progressions that increase the gap leads to a chronic cycle of decreasing functional movement options, and increasing compensation. When the fitness enthusiast or athlete is cleared by the medical team for return to full participation, the body’s regional discrepancies facilitate a cascade of emerging injuries.

A better strategy to bridge the performance gap

If rehab exercise and work-around workouts don’t fill the return to per

formance gap, what strategies help? The answer lies in unveiling the nuances of post-rehab program design. Let’s explore the post-rehab formula in three phases: 1) Restoring tissue tolerance, 2) Expanding functional movement capabilities and 3) Coaching techniques.

Step 1: Program design to restore tissue tolerance

Ever see clients sidelined by injury in the first 30 days of their post-re hab return to fitness? When clients return to the fitness post-injury, they are tempted to jump in where they left off. This rushed approach leads to disappointing injury-sidelining outcomes. A common mis conception sounds like “If you can stand from the chair, then you can do squats.” This misconception is rooted in a lack of understanding realistic tissue healing times, and how to develop tissue tolerance for repetition, load and speed while minimizing risk.

Even though clients may feel that muscles are ready to go, other tissues like ligaments, tendons, fascia and bone work, too. While mus culotendinous injuries can often withstand previous loads and speeds within 6 months of injury, ligaments and bones often take 1-2 years to remodel. It is not uncommon to see a frustrated athlete 4 months after ACL repair attempting return to fitness. The graft is weakest at this point, even though the athlete feels ready to work out. Fitness professionals must initiate communication with the medical team to understand safe boundaries and timeframes instead of relying solely on client motivation.

After establishing boundaries, fitness professionals can help restore muscle performance capabilities such as endurance, strength and power. Restoring tissue tolerance and performance requires attention to post-rehab nuances in exercise selection, order and acute variable (load, sets, reps and rest) progression.

Exercise selection — Initially, progressively loaded isolated exercises (i.e. most machine-based exercises) present a helpful solution. Early compound or loaded functional exercises (i.e. squats, lunges, pushups) may lead to stress shielding. Such compensation would widen, as opposed to bridging the post-rehabilitation to performance gap. When selecting exercises, a key question fitness professionals should ask rehabilitation providers is, “Can the client do both open and closed chain exercises?” The answer offers guidance in safe exercise selection.

Order of exercises — As neuromuscular control fatigues through out a session, more performance errors emerge, which increases injury risk. Fitness professionals need to both include proper exercise order to minimize pre-mature fatigue and be attentive to non-verbal signs. Follow this formula to help minimize risk:

1. 5-10 minute general multi-planar warm-up

2. Isolated activation exercises or brief stretches for targeted areas

3. Workout-specific warm-up sets

4. Working sets beginning with the most neurologically and energet ically demanding



Weeks 1-4 5-8 9-12

Load < 67% 1 RM

>85% 1 RM

75-95% 1 RM for force <50 % 1 RM for speed

Goal repetitions 12-20 Up to 6 1-5 for force

As many reps as possible to fatigue with good form for speed

Sets 2-3 2-6 3-5

Rest Up to 30 sec 2-5 min 2-5 min

5. 5-10-minute cool-down

The cool-down is often the most overlooked injury prevention window. Cool-down includes not only activities that restore baseline physiology, but also a discussion of client-specific recovery, nutrition and hydration.

Load — Load should be different for activation, warm-up and working sets. Activation sets are designed to neurologically prime muscle participation. They typically target previously injured areas. Generally, there is no to minimal external load as the client performs one set of 10-15 reps. Common examples include glute bridges or light band shoulder rotation. Adding load or using compound func tional movements will by-pass the key activation goal.

After activation, the warm-up set load is approximately 50% of the working load. It is designed to further prepare the neuromus cular connections and body tissues to withstand the subsequent working loads.

Working loads create metabolic, local hypertrophy, strength or power gains. While load for working sets is often stated as a percent age of 1RM, testing recovering tissues represents a safety concern. Instead, fitness professionals can select load by targeting a rep range for the desired training phase. If the load is too heavy, fitness professionals can guide the client to perform drop sets by decreasing the load within a set or between sets. Post-rehab should emphasize quality over quantity.

Repetitions — Repetitions influence whether the body responds with metabolic, muscular or neuromuscular performance gains, and restoration of efficient energy system use. Clients who have not engaged in a supplemental conditioning program during their rehabilitation will exhibit decreased metabolic efficiency.

When resistance training the number of repetitions achieved within each set influences set duration. Duration influences which energy system is predominantly developed. Retraining all the energy systems, beginning with aerobic and progressing to anaerobic (glyco lytic and ATP-PC) will help restore essential performance capabilities.

Sets — Sets are governed by the amount of time a client has available for a session. Limiting activation and warm up to one set each helps decrease unnecessary fatigue. Increasing working sets facilitates hyper trophy and maximal strength as training progresses over several weeks.

Between set rest — While client motivation to restore perfor mance and burn as many calories as possible quickly may lead to skipping or shortening rest periods, this decision bears unwanted cost relative to restoring tissue tolerance and performance. Maximiz ing performance requires increasing rest periods as load increases. Recommended rest periods respect the body’s physiology by align ing with ATP and central nervous system recovery needed to preserve quality over quantity. Initially, post-rehab clients will need the longer recovery times in each recovery range since their metabolic efficiency is a work-in-progress.

Progression — Restoring tissue tolerance and performance requires progression. Without progression, the client will reach a plateau before achieving his/her goals. The following chart sum marizes common acute variable progressions through the muscle performance phases of endurance, strength and power.

While the body typically takes 4-6 weeks to adapt to a phase, the reality is acute variables operate on a continuum, as opposed to being discreet categories. Even within this reality, block or linear periodization, as opposed to undulating periodization, early in the return to training phase offers a better safety profile.

Next steps

Progressively re-establishing tissue tolerance is the first step to bridge the performance gap. The next step is learning how to expand the client’s movement options safely. This is followed by a third step: coaching strategies to influence how quickly perfor mance capabilities emerge. Ready for the next steps? Stay tuned for the next two articles in this “Bridging the gap” series to learn the details.

Dr. Meredith Butulis, DPT, OCS, CEP, CSCS, CPT, PES, CES, BCS, Pilates-cer tified, Yoga-certified, has been working in the fitness and rehabilitation fields since 1998. She is the creator of the Fitness Comeback Coaching Certification, author of the Mobility | Stability Equation series, Host of the “Fitness Come back Coaching Podcast,” and Assistant Professor the State College of Florida. She shares her background to help us reflect on our professional fitness prac tices from new perspectives that can help us all grow together in the industry. Instagram: @Dr.MeredithButulis.



The first thing we need to estab lish concerning package/session pricing in the personal training industry is that this is more of an art than a science. Often, I find new fitness professionals will base their packages and pricing off what the “competition charges.”

Interestingly enough, when your compe tition entered the market years ago, they likely did the same thing. Work that lineage back and you’ll find that there wasn’t much of a strategy in the first place. Most likely that person/business priced in what they felt was a fair margin to earn after expenses and basically set the precedent that everyone in the local area now uses as the benchmark. Without diving into a boring post on macro economics, this is one of the leading reasons why personal training packages can vary so greatly from area to area.

Certainly, I am not suggesting you should ignore the pricing of your competition,

however. Studies have shown time after time that when the perceived value of an offering appears to be of similar value to a competing offer, the least-expensive option wins unani mously. So, you have two options:

1. Lower your prices, squeeze your earn ings as tightly as possible, and let that be your value proposition or…

2. Better identify and market to your unique value proposition(s) so that there is no one competing with you.

In a previous article, I wrote about how one can grow their brand from generalist, specialist, expert through celebrity to watch their income and earnings grow exponen tially. So, I won’t go down that rabbit hole again, but I can assure you it’s a crucial read to establishing a long and prosperous fitness career. I will instead lean into how I would advise you consider pricing/packaging your actual offerings.

Regarding package structure, I want all

of my prospective clients to sign up for a minimum of 12 weeks of personal training. Therefore, the majority of my packages start at 12 sessions once a week or 24 sessions twice a week. After that, my next tier typically looks like 24 sessions once a week and 48 sessions twice a week. My rationale is that I want long-term clients who are willing to commit to changing their lives. I am at a stage in my career where I do not want to have to onboard and sell new clients every single week. Not only is that exhausting, but it’s also a losing game having to chase people down for money every few weeks.

Now I never lead with an “intro package” pitch but have it in my back pocket in case commitment is an issue. In those instances, I will sell six 30-minute sessions where I use the plank as my tool to sell larger packages down the road. The reason I utilize the plank is simply, most people’s cores suck but after only six sessions they have likely doubled or

Believe in the value that you offer and your clients will, too!

tripled their time. That allows you to state in the last session, “As you can see John Doe, although you can not yet see or truly feel the difference physically just yet, you can see that the process is working. In only six short sessions look at the improvements you made in your core strength alone!”

Pricing can be a bit trickier though so please consider your unique situation and area before making any drastic changes. Pointing back to the initial quote I refer enced at the onset, “Pricing is branding,” I’d rather price myself as the top trainer in my area than be seen as the bargain-basement offering. Assuming you have nailed down your specific and unique value offerings and can now be seen at least as a specialist, I price myself $1 higher than anyone in my market. The strategy behind that is simple, prospective clients at the onset of their journeys will start their research by looking at what the “cheapest” solution is and then

compare it to the “best” solution. How do you typically define “best” when evaluating offers, generally by looking for the most expensive offering.

You will find that there are two distinct advantages to being the price leader:

1. You will establish yourself (at least in perception) as the top fitness professional in the area. This will open up many doors you are likely not even thinking about. Local news station needs a story on fitness in your area, well they want to talk to the best of the best and who do you think they are going to reach out to? Local fitness conference needs a speaker, well I’d instead tag in the trainer who’s commanding $100 an hour to teach others as opposed to the trainer who can only charge half of that.

2. You will find that a lot of people will pay a premium simply to work with the best. Assuming you can deliver results, why wouldn’t they?

In summation, I attempt to establish my packages to encourage long-term relationships while allowing for the “tire kickers” whenever I need to fill up my book of business. Additionally, I want to be the price leader in my area because I will get in front of more prospective clients and truly believe in the value that I offer, and have no problem charging for it.

Jason R. Stowell is recognized as one of the highest-grossing sales performers over the last 25 years in the health and wellness industry. As an award-winning leader, Jason provides expert-level sales training to fitness professionals around the world. Jason shares those lessons today as the host of the “Fitness Business Podcast: Thinking Ahead Show”, via international fitness presentations, in his upcoming book,” The Seven Pillars of Predictable Sales Success,” and through attendance at one of his multi-day fitness sales training workshops. Connect with him now on LinkedIn.




Learning the basics and making a plan will keep you out of trouble

I’m not sure anyone likes taxes. They can be scary, especially if you don’t understand some basics. Not keeping up with and paying your taxes can get you into trouble.

Here is some good news. With some basic information and planning, you can avoid some pretty unpleasant traps. Also, while nobody likes paying them, owing for taxes

means you are making money! Besides, if you work independently as a coach, you get to dress more comfortably for work than many of your peers!

If you have employees, you need to depos it a certain amount withheld from them for taxes or you could be in trouble. If you have products you sell and use the sales tax money for other things, you won’t make it.

As a general rule, you’ll want to set aside a percentage of your profit into a separate savings account so you can pay quarterly estimates to the IRS. Without getting too sophisticated and if you don’t have historical data from your business to look at, 25% is a good place to start. For example, if you are going to pay yourself $1,000 from your business, take $250 and deposit it into your


tax savings account and the remaining $750 would go to you.

In my early days as an independent trainer I neglected to do this. I accumulated a $6,000 liability with the IRS and had to pay it off over the following two years while building my ca reer. That was over a decade ago. Since then, by incorporating this strategy of withholding taxes on myself, I have not had the tax man after me since!

The above scenario applies to you if you are taxed as a Schedule C or partnership. You will have to pay quarterly estimates to the IRS for income tax. If you are taxed as an S-Corp, you pay payroll taxes on any salaries paid to employees, including you. As an S-Corp, you can pay the amount of taxes needed through the payroll taxes in order to cover any tax liability. This helps ensure you are always up to speed with your tax payments and hopefully it’s an example of “out of sight, out of mind.” I personally use that method and it has taken away my tax stress.

Finally, when you have some actual histori cal data, like previous personal and business tax returns, you can work with your accoun tant to determine the percentage of revenue that goes to taxes. You can also determine, with your accountant, what the estimated tax responsibility for your business will be and turn that into a percentage of revenue. You can then transfer that amount into a tax savings account every two weeks or so and use those funds to either pay your estimates (e.g. Schedule C) or reimburse yourself for the taxes the business paid (e.g. S-Corp).

The important thing to remember is that regardless of how your business is structured, you pay taxes on profit and not profit distri butions. For that reason, you will want to be sure to:

Keep Good Records

Hopefully, you’re not just handing your accountant a shoe box full of receipts at the end of the year. (I used to know someone who did that!)

In all seriousness, paper receipts for de ductible items are fine, but you may want to

keep digital copies as well just to be safe. Tak ing pictures, scanning them or using one of the many receipt/expense apps works. Other than that you’ll want to keep good records of what’s coming in (income) and what’s going out (expenses). Other than staying organized for taxes, this will help you stay focused on how much you’re making.


Do you know the difference be tween credits and debits? Assets vs. liabilities? While it’s probably not why you got into a fitness career, some bookkeeping basics will serve you well.

Even if you’re not ready to take a college level accounting course, you might want to look into accounting software. Besides help ing you prepare for taxes, you can keep track of invoices and billing, as well as run financial reports to help guide you. Then when tax time comes, you’ll have things organized and an efficient way to access your income and expense history.

Finally, as you grow in your career, it’s wise to evaluate the best uses of your time. While in the beginning, it may make sense to do ev erything yourself, at some point it may make more sense to hire a professional bookkeeper so you know things are done correctly and you can focus on your highest value priorities.

Know What You Can Deduct

A smart and wealthy client advised me early on to take any ethical de duction possible. Some of the bigger potential items to look at are travel, home office (Sched ule C and Partnerships) and health insurance. Self-employed individuals can take some deductions “above the line.” This means they can still take the standard deduction while also writing off some more items.

It’s important to know here that you can take a standard (flat) deduction or itemize all your deductions based on your expenses. Most fitness professionals will take the stan dard deduction route since it’s easiest but if you have a lot of expenses it may make more sense to itemize. Do your homework and know what’s best for you.

Take Care of Your Future Self

People who work for big compa nies generally have an employer who sets up a retirement plan for them. Oftentimes, they get a company match. Since you may not have either of these luxuries, you’ll need to develop the discipline to take a portion of your income and set it aside for your big, beautiful future.

With that said, there are some benefits here when it comes to tax season. A self-em ployed individual can contribute up to 25% of net earnings, to a max of $61,000 in 2022, to a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA. Ad ditionally, up to $14,000 can be contributed to a SIMPLE IRA. Those IRA contributions, which are above the line, may be tax deductable.

Track Your Profit and Net Cash

Many people are often confused when the end of the year comes and they owe taxes but don’t have the money to show for it. I hear comments like, “How can I be taxed?” I don’t have any money. They simply don’t know what they don’t know.

There is a major difference between profit and net cash. I highly encourage you to track your profit but be equally diligent about tracking your “net cash.”

Net cash is used to see how much cash is left after expenses and owner’s distributions. Since owner’s distributions don’t count as “ex penses,” they can cause a fitness professional to think they are doing better than they are.

The #1 rule in business is not to run out of cash! With a plan for preparing for taxes and an understanding of cash flow, you’ll be on your way to making a massive impact AND creating a career you love.

Billy Hofacker has been a personal trainer for over 20 years and is owner and CEO of Total Body Boot Camp and Performance Center in the hyper-com petitive market of Long Island, NY. Billy is now pas sionate about helping fitness professionals become financially fit. He is the author of “Fitness Profits” as well the host of the leading financial podcast for fit pros, “Your Fitness Money Coach Podcast.”



Position yourself as an essential health care worker by becoming a Medical Fitness Specialist |

Sometimes it is hard to see the good in what is considered bad. While in the midst of the Covid-19 pan demic, gyms, studios and training centers suffered. According to IHRSA, 47% of jobs in the fitness industry were lost and close to 25% of small studios and gyms were permanently closed, resulting in almost $30 billion in lost revenue. Two years ago, most of us had never heard the term comorbidity, now we cannot seem to get away from it. If there are any positives to take away from Covid, we now have a much deeper understanding of how chronic disease or multiple chronic diseases can negatively affect every aspect of life, and the importance of staying as healthy as possible. Consequently, Covid has provid ed an opening for fitness professionals who are familiar with how exercise affects chronic diseases, medications and the associated contraindications.

Because we, as a society, finally understand the importance of staying healthy, personal training revenue is going to rebound to almost $13 billion in 2022. Trainers who are ready to take advantage of this opening by becoming Medical Fitness Specialists will be in a prime position to become essential health care workers. Based on simple math

there will be no shortage of clients anytime soon as 70% of the U.S. adult population is overweight or obese, over 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, and over 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes. Furthermore, because it is estimated 133 million U.S. adults suffer from at least one chronic disease, chances are most trainers are already working with clients who are at risk.

What may not be understood is by offering personal training services a trainer is implying that they have the knowledge, skills and abilities to provide a safe workout. However, a basic personal training certification suggests the holder is qualified to only work with ap parently healthy clients. If a personal trainer provides orthopedic diagnostic and rehab advice to the client who comes in with a sore shoulder from golf or tennis, if nutritional advice is given to the client who wants to get their summer beach body, or if a trainer massages a client who complains of tight hamstrings or traps, without relevant training that provides a course of study and a com prehensive exam, the trainer is most likely working outside their scope of practice, and subjecting themselves and their organization to a lawsuit. Because fitness is the frontline of healthcare, there is need for qualified fitness

professionals who know how exercise effects clients at all levels of health care prevention.

Chronic disease is defined as a disease that progresses slowly, lasts for a year or more, requires ongoing medical care, and interferes with activities of daily living. Most chronic diseases are caused by a few risk behaviors such as smoking, poor nutrition, excessive alcohol consumption and a lack of physical activity. Unfortunately, the deleteri ous effects of inactivity are progressive and compounding, resulting in a worsening state of disease and/or dysfunction. Cardiovascular disease, muscular atrophy, hypertension, lipid disorders, diabetes, osteoporosis and arthritis will all deteriorate with prolonged periods of inactivity. The good news is that physical activity can positively affect over 30 chronic conditions, making it the number one deterrent of chronic disease in primary and secondary health care prevention.

Medical fitness is an essential part of the health care continuum, that through targeted activity and exercise stops, reverses or reduces the severity of disease or dysfunction at every level of health care prevention. Medical Fitness Specialists develop exercise programs, and work with individuals and groups who want to (a) avoid chronic disease, (b) who are at risk for


chronic disease, (c) have health conditions that may be mitigated or managed by exercise and activity, (d) are newly diagnosed with disease and need exercise guidance, or (e) have com pleted a medically supervised rehabilitation program, such as cardiovascular or orthopedic and need to continue the progress.

In conjunction with medical fitness, prescriptive exercise has been a topic of dis cussion for decades for fitness professionals. Unfortunately, the bureaucracy of insurance companies has produced an uphill battle that has prevented many trainers from accepting health insurance, and consequently, has made the cost of training prohibitive for clients who could benefit the most.

So, to further help clients who suffer from one or more chronic disease, along with the Medical Fitness Specialist certificate, qualified fitness trainers can take also advantage of MedFit Care. MedFit Care is a telehealth company that offers medically necessary exercise prescrip tions for consumers and patients nationwide.

MedFit Care provides a HIPAA-compliant process that allows qualified clients to use pretax dollars such as a health savings account or flexible spending account or deduct training

costs as a medical expense on their tax returns to pay for training sessions. Qualified trainers simply refer their clients to the telehealth portal where the client fills out a brief appoint ment form. Once submitted, the client will be contacted to schedule a virtual appointment with a physician licensed in their state, via the HIPAA-compliant SimpleHealth platform.

Covid-19 was a catastrophe with worldwide implications. Very few segments of society were left unaffected, but the fitness industry has adapted and started to move forward. Medical fitness and MedFit Care provide a path for fitness professionals who want to become an essential part of the health care community by using evidenced-based training protocols and work with clients who suffer from one or more chronic disease.

Medical Fitness Specialists and MedFit Care are on the frontline of healthcare by aiding in the management and prevention of chronic disease. Fitness professionals will benefit by:

 Expanding your scope of practice to the largest, fastest-growing demographic in the United States.

 Gaining credibility and network with other healthcare providers.

 Increasing income by expanding service offerings.

 Providing clients a means to use pre-tax dollars to pay for training sessions.

 Earning valuable continuing education credits with the Medical Fitness Specialist course, and other courses offered through MedFit Classroom.

Information on the Medical Fitness Spe cialist certification can be found at www., and for more information on MedFit Care please visit

Dr. Dan Mikeska has been involved in fitness for almost 40 years. As the owner of a fitness studio, he understands the importance of scope of practice, networking and education. In addition to a master’s in Human Movement, and a doctorate in Health Sci ence, he has numerous certificates from NASM, ACE, CETI, MFN, and has the EIM II credential. Dan is on a number of advisory boards, and is adjunct faculty for A.T. Still University and American Public University. He is also the author of the best-selling book Clinical Exercise Specialist Manual: A Fitness Professional’s Guide to Exercise and Chronic Disease.



premise for weightlifting hasn’t changed much since in mainstream fitness rhetoric. If you Google “fitness poster,” you get an ocean of shiny ripped people flexing muscle, flaunting strength as a measure of

weight: 1) Words, 2) Tools and 3) Facts.

First, we have to introduce new lexicon into the world of “weightlifting.” I have two modest proposals to get us started:

THE BIG DISRUPTION New words, tools and facts for moving weight |
By Sarah Apgar

Forevermore we will not be lifting weight, we’ll be moving weight. This shift in language is important because it engenders important visual cues and concepts. Moving weight allows us to shed the notion of sets and reps and imagine a fluid movement practice incorporating load that invokes interest, change, rotation, mobility

I never liked “functional fitness” because it indicates that there would be any other kind than that. It drives me bat crazy. However, this is a useful term, because it has alliteration with 2 Fs, and it’s understood to mean fitness that really prepares us for what we need to do. I would encourage us to consistently connect the practice of lifting and moving weight into the definition of “functional” if this is a helpful word for us. Ensure that the importance of external load over bodyweight strength is constantly infused into our vocabulary.

Second, we have to bring imbalanced external loading tools into the limelight, onto traditional weight racks, and into the hands of every demographic. Many primary, secondary and accessory loading tools are available to create safe, simple and effective to grip, versatile, and durable opportunities for load. We have to show these tools being

used in non-traditional weightlifting disciplines including warmups or Yoga, and as an important feature in joint mobility, injury prevention, group training and recovery. Gone are the days when a loading tool can only be incorporated into a repetitive single plane movement. Instead, load should become part of a movement complex itself.

Third, the research is in. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has published research that shows the effectiveness of unstable resistance over stable load, and two critical connections: the tie between Instabil ity Resistance (IRT) and grip strength — and the long-term benefits of strong grip — and the link between IRT and your memory and mental performance. If we can effectively communicate the benefits of adopt ing IRT practices — living longer, reducing pain, having more fun, doing more of what you want to do, decreasing memory loss and taking care of your loved ones, to name a handful — then we will win this war. Now, we still fight an uphill battle in our clients’ embracing and internalizing this. I find that people “know they should strength train” but if they have not had a direct experience with strength training changing their lives — such as my mom being advised that her full recovery from her stroke was possible only because of how strong she was going into the event — then they do not prioritize it as they do brushing their teeth.

Our North Star for 2023 should be to deploy the Words-Tools-Facts (WTF) methodology for our clients not only when they come to work with us but imbued into their everyday lives. It’s our job to ensure they genuinely understand what moving weight means (and how much fun it is), that they have the best tools to facilitate their learning and education, and that they believe in the facts to an extent that they’ll shift lifelong beliefs and behaviors.

Sarah Apgar is the Founder & CEO of FitFighter, a global strength brand that delivers a transformative strength system rooted in her own innovation, the Steelhose. She is an Iraq Veteran, All-American Athlete, Fitness Professional, Volunteer Firefighter and mom of 2 girls. Sarah and FitFighter have been fea tured in Muscle & Fitness, Rolling Stone, ESPN, and Men’s Health, among critical acclaim. Sarah promotes the power of teams, women leaders and public service, contributing a portion of sales to the Tunnel to Tower Foundation.

Moving weight allows us to shed the notion of sets and reps and imagine a fluid movement practice incorporating load that invokes interest, change, rotation, mobility and… FUN, among other things.



Additional income is closer than you think |

Perhaps you’re reading this article because you have trouble under standing your pricing structure. Or you feel like you have run out of time to onboard or even take on new clients. Maybe you are working a lot but not believing you are generating enough revenue. You could feel overwhelmed with a massive list of things to do that don’t seem to be impacting your bottom line. You are witnessing others in the industry appearing to do exceptionally well, meanwhile you have inconsistent months, unsure where your clients are coming from and are even nervous to raise your pricing because you worry about losing the clients you do have, ultimately capping your income potential.

If any of these situations are true for you, first please understand that you are not alone. These are actually quite common growing

pain points for most, if not all, entrepreneurs. Second, this article is written for you.

There are three modes you as a business owner can engage in to make money. The first mode is to get more clients. The more clients you get the more income you can earn. How ever, at some point you can run out of time to take on more clients.

Thus, you enter into the second mode which is to get better clients. Having better clients just means clients who are willing to invest more. The idea of raising your rates conjures up the fear that you will lose some clients. But what if that was not a bad thing?

For example, let’s assume you charge $50/hour and have 20 clients. That nets you $1,000. If you raised your rates to $60, assume you lost 3 clients. Now you have 17 clients at $60/hour. You are still making more at $1,020 while working less. If you raised your rates to

$70 and assuming you lost a quarter of your clientele, you would still be making more while working 25% less time!

Remember, you are not just selling your experience. You are selling the outcome, result and transformation that you provide to your clients.

In addition, when you charge more, you actually command more of an investment from your clients beyond financial. They tend to invest energetically and emotionally in proportion to their monetary investment.

The third mode for entrepreneurs is to create additional revenue streams that do not have a direct relationship to time.

This can include, but is not limited to, low-ticket sales, high-ticket sales, partner ships and special bundle sales. This is not about spending all of your time creating new products and services, it is about looking for


opportunities to increase your revenue mar gins by making a few key additions to your portfolio of offerings.

For example, I had written an e-book that I sold for $30. After I sold a few hundred units, I created an affiliate program where others could make 50% if they sold any books through their URL. That alone generated hundreds of new sales that I would not have made otherwise. I then wrote a second e-book and bundled it with the first for a packaged sale of $40 and sold even more. Years later, I turned the e-book into a digital course at $30/ month in perpetuity. That is how I took a $30 and turned it into a six-figure business.

Another example, in 2015 I created the FITposium conference and sold 55 passes at $69 each. The following year we tripled the attendance while increasing the rates to $100-to-$150 and added in paid sponsor ships. In 2017 we added in another tier of passes and increased pricing of the general

admission passes. That same year we started doing branded merchandise sales. In 2018 we increased the price again, added in even more sponsors with an expo, included book sales and opened up sales for an exclusive mastermind. In 2019 we grew the attendance yet again in addition to selling our monthly membership and mastermind from stage. This is one single idea that led to a bevy of revenue sources.

I share these two examples with you to get your creative brain in gear to think about ways to diversify your income streams.

This could look like you adding a low-ticket sale to your core offering. Something like a course, challenge, book, webinar, guide or the like. Something with high value but a low investment. The goal is not necessarily to make a significant amount of revenue from this one item, but to use this item as a step ping stone for those who are not yet ready to invest in your core offer.

You could bookend this with a high-ticket offer (something north of a $2,500 invest ment) for clientele that are willing to invest in the most exclusive access or the most transformative experiences.

Another option to explore is a recurring revenue model such as a monthly member ship so you can create predictable income on a regular basis.

The point is that additional revenue is closer than you think through slight additions or remixes to your portfolio of offerings.

James Patrick is an award-winning photographer with more than 600 published magazine covers, entrepreneur coach, podcast host and best-selling author of Fit Business Guide: The Workout Plan for Your Brand and Fit Business Online: Establish, Market and Profit from Your Brand in the Fitness Industry. His work can be seen at JamesPatrick. com/Coaching or on Instagram @JPatrickPhoto.



Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication (Not Printer) MadMen3, LLC C/O Chad Griepentrog 708 W Mohawk Trail DeForest, WI 53532-3035 Contact Person Rachel Chapman, (608) 446-6200

Complete Mailing Address of the Headquarters of General Business Offices of the Publisher (Not Printer) MadMen3, LLC C/O Chad Griepentrog 708 W Mohawk Trail DeForest, WI 53532-3035

9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Address of Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor Publisher ...........................Josh Vogt, MadMen3, LLC C/O Chad Griepentrog 708 W Mohawk Trail DeForest ,WI 53532-3035 Editor ...........................Erin Eagan, MadMen3, LLC C/O Chad Griepentrog 708 W Mohawk Trail DeForest, WI 53532-3035

Managing Editor............................................................Erin Eagan, MadMen3, LLC C/O Chad Griepentrog 708 W Mohawk Trail DeForest, WI 53532-3035

10. Owner (If the publication is owned by a corporation, give the name and address of the corporation immediately followed by the names and addresses of all stockholders owning or holding one percent or more of the total amount of stock. If not owned by a corporation, give the names and addresses of the individual owners. If owned by a partnership or other unincorporated firm, give its name and address, as well as those of each individual owner. If the publication is published by a nonprofit organization, give its name and address.)

(Full Name)

Chad Griepentrog

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(Complete Mailing Address)

MadMen3, LLC C/O Chad Griepentrog 708 W Mohawk Trail DeForest, WI 53532-3035

MadMen3, LLC C/O Chad Griepentrog 708 W Mohawk Trail DeForest, WI 53532-3035

MadMen3, LLC C/O Chad Griepentrog 708 W Mohawk Trail DeForest, WI 53532-3035

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internal environment called homeostasis.

There are three main components of metabolism.

1. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) —This is the amount of energy our body needs to keep functioning at rest. It includes performing es sential functions to sustain life. BMR is the most significant portion of energy expended daily.

2. Dietary Thermogenesis — Thermogen esis means heat production. All metabolic processes in living organisms produce heat. Eating food produces heat in our bodies because of the energy required for digestion, absorption and storage of nutrients. Research suggests that 5%–10% of our total energy expenditure is due to dietary thermogenesis.

3. Daily Physical Activity – Structured exercise like running, swimming and a Zumba class requires us to use energy. Exercise, es pecially resistance exercise, also helps build muscle mass, requiring more energy. Don’t underestimate the effect of daily activities like gardening, home chores and walking around the house or office for energy expenditure. The non-structured exercise plays a huge role in our metabolism.


“Metabolism” has become quite the buzz word in fitness and nutrition circles. As a nutrition coach, my clients ask me about me tabolism and its relationship to weight loss. A higher metabolic rate is equivalent to weight loss for many people. But is metabolism just that? What if metabolism is responsible for much more than our body weight?

It sets the internal pace of life when we are at rest. It determines our capacity for essential body functions, growth and repro ductive fitness. In a nutshell, it defines our odds of survival.

Let’s take a deep dive into metabolism.

What Is Metabolism?

Metabolism is the sum of all chemical pro cesses that transform one form of energy into another. As living things, we need continuous energy for our existence. Life as we know it exists because of the metabolic processes that obtain energy from the environment and provide it to support life.

Metabolism breaks down food into energy our body needs for necessary functions like breathing, blood circulation, normal hormone levels and repairing cells. Even at rest, our body needs a minimum amount of energy to execute these functions and maintain a stable

Metabolism and Rate of Living Theory

Metabolism defines our body’s capacity for vital maintenance, growth and reproduction — all these factors are related to our fitness as a living organism down to the cellular level. That’s why metabolism reflects “the pace of life.”

The metabolic rate of a living being can determine its lifespan based on the “rateof-living” theory, which suggests that faster metabolism accelerates the aging process and slower metabolism slows down aging. Researchers have found that the slow metab olism of humans is responsible for the slow growth and long lives of our species. We might not appreciate it much but burning less than 50% of our daily energy intake is the main reason for our longevity.

Take the example of your pet hamster, cat or dog. Their lifecycles are much shorter than humans because they approach adulthood much faster than us. A fast metabolism allows these animals to grow more quickly, repro duce more often and unfortunately have a shorter life span.

LIFE Learning more about it can help us better understand our clients’ daily energy expenditure |

There are animals on the other end of the spectrum which have a slower metabolism than humans. Turtles have the most extended lifespans ranging from 80 to 200 years in the animal kingdom, because they have very slow metabolism.

While the metabolic rate might indicate the rate of aging in some animals, it’s not always the case. Scientists found that birds have high metabolic rates but still have long life spans. Therefore, our lifespan might not depend on our BMR.

Metabolic rate can, however, help us understand the relationship between physical activity, nutrition and daily energy expenditure. Resting energy expenditure determined by basal metabolic rate accounts for the greatest amount of our total energy usage. Raising the BMR can help us use more energy while at rest.

Basal Metabolic Rate Factors

To understand how we can boost our BMR, we must look at the factors impacting our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Some of the fac tors that have the most significant effect are: 

Lean Muscle Mass — A lot of energy is required to maintain lean muscle mass, which means people with lean muscle tissue will have a higher BMR.

 Significant Calorie Restriction — Eating too few calories slows down the metabo lism to conserve the body’s energy.

Age — Children have a higher BMR due to the increasing demand for energy for growth. As we age, metabolism generally slows down.

The other day, a friend of mine was complain ing about someone she knows who can eat whatever she wants, and according to her, she doesn’t gain weight because of her fast me tabolism. I’m sure you’ve heard such stories from your clients.

The notion that “metabolism is the key to weight loss” isn’t entirely true. The rate at which the body breaks down food to provide energy for daily activities is linked to food, but slow metabolism isn’t the cause of weight gain. On the contrary, people with bigger body sizes have a higher metabolism, so they need to eat often and take in more calories to maintain their weight.

The globally rising obesity levels cannot be blamed on a slow metabolism. Environmental factors like changes in dietary patterns and physical activity are the most likely offenders of this obesity epidemic. Slow metabolism isn’t the cause of weight gain.

Raising the Energy Expenditure

If slow metabolism isn’t the reason, then how can metabolism help your clients in achieving their weight loss goals?

Metabolism helps us understand how much energy our body needs to stay in equilibrium. Adjusting the three metabolism components can increase our clients’ energy expenditure, leading to weight loss. Here is how we can manipulate the three components:

 Fat increases the BMR by up to 5%.  Carbohydrates increase the BMR up to 10%  Proteins increase BMR between 20% to 30%

Dramatic calorie reduction restricting the amount of food slows down metabolism. As fitness professionals, guiding our clients to adopt healthy eating habits can help them increase their BMR. Some of the simple tips you can share with your clients are:  Include high-protein foods in the diet  Eat meals and snacks often  Consume sufficient calories to build muscle mass

Promoting Daily Movement — Dr. Levine, an endocrinologist at Mayo clinic, defines any energy expended that is not from sleeping, eating or structured exercise to be Non-Ex ercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT), the secret of lean people. Lean individuals are more active throughout the day.

Simply, they have a higher thermogenic ef fect from activities of daily living. Implement ing movement during the workday and time spent at home promotes an increased energy expenditure resulting in better health for our clients. As fitness professionals, we can help our clients find ways to stand upright at the workstation, take movement breaks during work hours, redesign their workspace and incorporate leisurely movement after work.

Exercise — Regular exercise results in increased lean muscle mass in the body, which helps us burn more calories at rest.  Nutritional Deficiency — The thyroid hormone in our body controls BMR. A nutrition deficiency of iodine decreases thyroid function and reduces the BMR.

Some of these factors are under our control and can be manipulated to boost our client’s basal metabolic rate. But is the metabolic rate responsible for weight loss?

Myth Busted: High Metabolic Rate Leads to Weight Loss

Increasing Muscle Mass — Building muscle mass can increase the energy our body uses at rest. Creating a strength training routine for all the major muscle groups for your clients will help them achieve this goal. Including a variety of resistance exercises like body weight, sandbags, resistance bands, weight machines, barbells and free weights produces the best result.

Healthy Eating Patterns — Good nutri tion and high BMR go hand in hand. Our BMR rises after eating because energy is required to digest the meal. BMR increases as we start eating the food and stays high for 2-3 hours following the food consumption.

The macronutrient content of food affects the BMR because of the varying thermic effect of these nutrients. The macronutrient thermic effect is broken down here.

Metabolism consists of chemical processes in our bodies that provide energy for living. Earlier research found that metabolic rate can have an inverse relationship with an or ganism’s life span, but it’s not always the case for all organisms. Metabolism can help fitness professionals understand our clients’ daily energy expenditure. We can raise the daily energy expenditure by combining exercise, promoting NEAT and healthy eating habits. Incorporating these can set a physically active life pace and promote a healthy long lifespan.

Aesha Tahir is an exercise scientist and has many years of experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, professional educator and entrepreneur. She is the founder and opera tor of Follow her on IG @ tone_and_strengthen.


LIVE EVENTS are back and we couldn’t be more excited! We’ve compiled a list of the upcoming year's live conferences, workshops, continuing education courses and other related events to help fitness professionals plan and budget for 2023. This calendar certainly isn’t all-inclusive, but hopefully it inspires you to set a budget and plan for next year. We will continue to update our calendar throughout the year. Look for it at

2023 LIVE-EVENT CALENDAR Upcoming in-person events, conferences, workshops and continuing education courses

Date Event Organization


Location Website

1- 8 Mind Body Fitness Conference YogaFit Palms Springs, CA

4-6 NSCA Coaches Conference NSCA Charlotte, NC

13 FitFighter Pro Training Course at The FitExpo LA FitFighter Los Angeles, CA 14-15 TheFitExpo LA FitnessFest Los Angeles, CA


Discount Code

24-26 DC MANIA SCW Herndon, VA PFP20


4-5 Certification Celebration at the Lansdale YMCA AAAI Lansdale, PA

9-12 FitFighter Pro Training Course at IDEA Personal Trainer Institute FitFighter Alexandria, VA

9-12 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute IDEA Alexandria, VA 20-22 IHRSA 2023 IHRSA San Diego, CA 23-25 MedFit Tour: Southern California MedFit Network Long Beach, CA 31-Apr 2 California MANIA SCW Burlingame, CA PFP20 April

13-16 FIBO FIBO Global Fitness Cologne, Germany

13 FitFighter Pro Training Course at FitnessFest FitFighter Phoenix, AZ

14-16 FitnessFest Phoenix 2023 FitnessFest Events Phoenix, AZ

14-16 Florida MANIA SCW Orlando, FL PFP20

14-16 FitnessFest Phoenix 2023 FitnessFest Events Phoenix, AZ 29-30 Certification Celebration at the Greemdale YMCA AAAI Greendale, MA


31-June 4 Mind Body Fitness Conference YogaFit Minneapolis, MN June

8-10 FitPro Growth Summit ProFit Marketing Solutions  Scottsdale, AZ WORM 15-17 Functional Aging Institute Summit Functional Aging Institute Salt Lake City, UT


12-15 NSCA National Conference NSCA Las Vegas, NV

12-16 IDEA World Convention IDEA Los Angleles, CA

12-16 IDEA World Club & Studio Summit IDEA Los Angleles, CA

12-16 Mind Body Fitness Conference YogaFit Scottsdale, AZ 21-23 Atlanta MANIA SCW Atlanta, GA PFP20



FitFighter Pro Training Course at TheFitExpo Anaheim FitFighter Anaheim, CA

5-6 TheFitExpo Anaheim FitnessFest Anaheim, CA 25-27 Dallas MANIA SCW Dallas, TX PFP20

September 29-Oct 1 Midwest MANIA SCW Rosemont, IL PFP20



Mind Body Fitness Conference YogaFit YogaFit

17-19 Club Industry Executive Summit Club Industry Chicago, IL


1-3 AB Show 2023 Athletic Business Baltimore, MD

3-5 Boston MANIA SCW Danvers, MA PFP20



The latest trends in fitness equipment


What’s Next? compiles the insights of 28 health and wellness experts who weathered the challenges because they were focused on finding better ways to help people become healthy. In this book, they share their knowledge, experience and vision. Within these pages, you will discover: the top 10 areas of growth in the fitness industry; the most innovative technologies and methods being used in fitness, health and wellness; what’s new in the world of self-improvement; creative ideas for growing your fitness or wellness business; and specializations that will become the wave of the future. Your opportunity for growth is within this book.


The world's first interchangeable exercise tracker for the gym, outdoors or in water. Monitor your heart rate on your chest, arm or wrist. Three times the motivation and three times the fun, with a light indicator and built-in memory so you can see your zone without a phone, and up to six months battery life on one charge.


An innovative physical therapy and training device with 28 interconnected balls that relieve tension and improve joint mobility with deep pressure. It enhances movement using deep pressure to open fibrous connective tissue around the spine, and is used to target specific muscles groups during exercise, and pre- and post-workouts. Green or Black. $129. sissel-spinefitter


The Evolt 360 Body Composition Analyzer is a 60-second scan that provides data about a body through more than 40 measurements. This powerful high tech ecosystem gives you the insights to make data driven decisions to help your business achieve higher retention rates, increased referrals, customer engagement & additional revenue streams.


Plan out your year, months, weeks and days with The Legacy Planner to get more done, stay on track and chart out your most successful year ever! Why do some individuals seem to possess the capacity to consistently achieve great things in their lives, while others tend to struggle? Perhaps you have wondered the same thing and questioned what specifically separates the two groups. The Legacy Planner is how you can apply all three to your own life to ignite the change, growth, and success you’ve always imagined.



In 2021, we introduced our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) column to PFP. Because there we so many individuals we wanted to hear from, we decided to give everyone a chance in having their voices heard as rotating guest columnists. In the last few years, we have learned invaluable lessons from our contributors and we hope you have as well. If you’re interested in taking part in the DEI conversation, email and reserve your spot as a future guest columnist.

To read these columns in their entirety, visit

It’s Time for a Reset on How We Think About Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Prioritizing DEI isn’t just about doing what’s right anymore. It is also about doing what’s right for your business and creating sustainability for the future.

Rodney J. Morris |

Rodney J. Morris is a seasoned presenter, educator and SME on employee engagement, training, recruitment, workplace culture, inclusion and leadership development within the fitness industry. As an industry veteran with 20 years of experience leading growth and change initiatives, Rodney has a unique and disruptive perspective on the interconnection between organizational culture, the advancement of technology, employee engagement and the future of the fitness industry.

5 Ways You Can Be a More Inclusive Fitness Leader

Creating a positive environment where others feel like they belong and can be themselves is essential to providing the best experience. If we are not intentionally inclusive, we are unintentionally exclusive

Siri Chilazi |

Siri Chilazi is a 15-year fitness industry veteran, a Master Trainer for Cardio Yoga® and RAQ THE BARRE® and a seasoned presenter. She also has a second career as a research scholar at Harvard University, where she is a leading expert on behavioral science and diversity, equity and inclusion in organizations. Siri is passionate about helping individuals and organizations reach their full potential through inclusion, and her work has been featured in outlets including The New York Times and Harvard Business Review. Connect with Siri on Instagram @sirichilazi.

The Time to Shift the Tide Is Now

As the industry reforms post-pandemic and begins to stand strong again, the opportunity to tap into a more diverse market is not only a growth opportunity but the right thing to do.

Sheldon McBee MS, is an Executive Director for Universal Athletic Club based in Lancaster, PA. He has a Masters in Human Nutrition, is an ACE certified Personal Trainer and has over 20 years of experience in health and fitness. Sheldon is an experienced international presenter, lecturer, business consultant, fitness content developer and personal training director. He has presented at IHRSA, IDEA, SCW, CanFitPro, and has been featured in numerous industry publications. He currently sits on the CanFitPro and Club Solutions Magazine Advisory Panels.

You Are Part of the Solution

The power to create change starts within you, and it takes time. Take steps to align yourself with those who also want to be part of the solution.

Julio A. Salado |

Julio Salado is an award-winning personal trainer and the founder of, a leading online resource for health and wellness. For over 15 years, he has guided countless individuals from all levels of fitness to achieve their body sculpting and personal training goals. His unique blend of Western exercise science and holistic arts has been featured on numerous TV shows, in print and online. He is also a licensed EMT, continuing education provider and consultant for team development and

No Longer Checking the Diversity Box, But Bringing Awareness to Inclusion

One of the keys to success is to be a forward thinker. Learn from mistakes of the past and be open to change.

Gail works as a flexibility, yoga and Pilate’s coach with the NY Jets football team as well as professional basketball teams. She currently holds certifications in several different disciplines, including NASM, AFAA, Fascial Stretch Therapist L3, Yogafit 500 hours, AFAA, STOTT PILATES® Mat 1 & 2, Powerhouse Mat Pilates I & II, and is an NASM and AFAA continuing education provider, which enhances her coaching abilities to her

If You Build It, They Will Come

Invest time, money and energy in the communities with the greatest need, put people of color in gyms and facilities in that space to serve those communities AND pay them a livable wage to do so.

By Ariana Stowe |

Ariana Stowe is an ISSA Elite Trainer with certifica tions in personal training, nutrition, genetic-based fitness coaching and transformation specialist. She specializes in helping high-achieving women who have discipline in business but not with fitness to lose weight and build curves in her 90-day online

In 2020, she was featured in Strong Fitness Magazine as a Women to Watch and successfully led a live online fitness event for June teenth on their social media platform. To stay up to date with Ariana, you can follow her on Instagram @ arianastowe or visit


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