So what's the problem?
For starters, the Fitness industry is broken.
On any given day, the media would have us believe a range of wild claims: that a fat-reduced diet will make us skinny; that we can sculpt six-pack abs in three minutes or less; and that if we don’t exercise for more than an hour a day, five days a week, we’ll never reach our fitness goals. Above all, we are told that achieving a particular body shape will bring us happiness and fulfillment.
My answer to all this? Garbage!
The fitness industry is approaching $80 billion dollars – a staggering amount! But what’s more staggering is that the obesity epidemic’s global costs has hit $2 trillion a year! This begs the question: how can both the health club industry and the obesity epidemic keep growing year after year? Clearly something is not working…
As someone with over 20 years of experience working within the health industry, I'm embarrassed for the world now. We find ourselves living in a world of consumerism, in a time in history where we are spending more, eating more, and moving less than any other generation before us.
The fitness industry is a business. If people miraculously woke up tomorrow and were healthy, fit, and full of vitality, the industry would suffer. As we get fatter, we spend more on programs to try to control weight, but it isn’t working… we're getting sicker and living shorter lives.
As a father of two, I’m scared for the state of the world’s health. As an industry leader, it concerns me that more people in my position aren’t taking a stand. No more talking, it’s time to do something!
The World Health Organization shares a number of outlines for reducing the global burden felt by the obesity epidemic, which you can read about here. I have to agree with a few of the recommendations, in particular the need for education, supportive environments and communities, allowing opportunities to positively influence people's choices for living healthier, more active lifestyles.
As an industry leader, a trainer, a coach, a mentor, a father, a husband, a friend… I'm going to do my best to ensure I can empower as many as I can to live healthy.
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- Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980.
- In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese.
- 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese .
- Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight .
- 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013.
- Obesity is preventable.
First things first, let's work on the muscle between the ears
Most people’s beliefs around fitness are driven by vanities. Many of us feel pressure to attain a certain body type, or to achieve top athletic performance. Much of our framework is built on the preconceived notion that having a lean or muscular body is an indicator—the only indicator—of fitness. But appearances, however clichéd this may sound, really are only skin deep. Approach fitness in this way and you’re following a Band-Aid approach to wellness that is simply unsustainable.
Over my nearly two decades in the health and fitness industry, I’ve seen my fair share of quick-fix thinking and short-term goal setting. Whether you’re trying to lose those proverbial 10 pounds to fit into a wedding dress, rock a bathing suit on your next vacation, or surprise everyone at the high school reunion, you have to ask yourself: What happens once the wedding, vacation or reunion is over?
The language you use is crucial to connecting your goals to your ability to achieve them. Replace I can’t with I can, and you will find that it leads to I do and I will. Replace discipline with desire, and you may find that you feel less bullied by your internal monologue and more motivated. Guilt and blame have no place in the worldwide fitness and health industries.
And this is where physical and mental fitness really start to reinforce each other in a positive feedback loop. We all know we need to push past physical resistance when we’re working out, on a strenuous hike, or skiing or snowboarding down a tough mountain run. It’s mental focus that comes to our rescue and carries us forward when our muscles start to fatigue. We need healthy thoughts and loving self-talk to encourage ourselves to take care of our bodies, and to face the challenges that life throws at us.
In turn, a strong, healthy body will give you the energy, confidence, and sense of bounce you need to achieve — and surpass —your goals.
Do something about it and take up arms in the war against obesity
Those who know me well know that fitness has been a huge part of my life, but it hasn’t always been that way. Growing up as a morbidly obese teenager, I experienced a self-defeated mindset. I know all too well what it means to fall out-of-health, and it’s not a place I enjoyed being. Experiencing all the stigmas of obesity was traumatic. At age 15, I made a decision to change my lifestyle and I haven’t looked back…
That was the catalyst to me pursuing a career in health, fitness and personal training. Over two decades later, it’s still my passion and I love every aspect of it. There’s a new type of personal trainer emerging today. This new breed of trainer is not just knowledgeable in health, fitness, nutrition, and coaching; he or she is also a MENTOR for the client.
Coaching and training are fantastic, but mentoring adds a whole new dimension, and it’s what the people of today and tomorrow need more than ever. Clients today need someone to empathize with their current situation, identify their needs, and create a plan that goes beyond a number on a scale or notch on a belt. Don’t get me wrong: coaching is great. Coaches have an ability to point out potential blind-spots, and to create plans to help clients reach their desired goals. However, mentors tend to walk the talk, ‘have been there and done that‘ so to speak and more often than not already have arrived at the destination that the client is striving to achieve. Lifestyle mentoring is another level of personal training and it’s where fitness training needs to go.
I'm going back to school – ACE here I come!
After more than 20 years of mentoring, coaching, and training people on and offline, I’m going back to school. I've recently enrolled to take my ACE (American Council on Exercise) certification.
With obesity rates on the rise (34.9% of adults and 17% of children), the need for personal trainers and lifestyle mentors is growing rapidly. Being someone who can help another human being achieve optimal health and happiness is a path to ultimate fulfillment for me. It's a career path that is not only fun and rewarding, but at the end of the day makes a huge impact on the lives and communities of those you work with. Sounds like awesome to me.
If you are like me and you want a job that doesn’t require sitting in a cubicle tied to your PC, and you prefer to be active and move around all day, it’s a great career path to consider. Heck, when it's nice outside I've always enjoyed meeting my clients and groups at the park for a fun and challenging outdoor workout.
You are probably wondering what prompted me to redo my certification – in particular, why I chose ACE .considering there are hundreds of personal trainer certification options on the market. That’s a fair question.
ACE is the only one that has a deep history rooted in 30 years of science-based research, and is the world’s largest nonprofit health and fitness certification organization. The ACE certification is created to help health and fitness professionals deliver the type of individualized programs people need to adopt long-term, healthy behaviors and lifestyles.
Looking ahead to the next 20 years of my career, becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer will provide me with a career advantage at thousands of facilities nationwide and the expertise I will need to stand out among my peers. (check out the ACE career guide here:
And in case this hasn’t whet your appetite about the possibility of coaching, mentoring, and training people on the side or full-time, here’s eight more reasons to consider.
Top 8 Reasons to #getACEcertified and Become a Personal Trainer aka Lifestyle Mentor
- You can earn a fantastic living by helping and empowering others in improving their health and overall well-being.
- You will witness the real-life, tangible results of your mentorship when clients reach their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals, making it an incredibly rewarding career path.
- You have the unique opportunity to mentor, coach, and train with a diverse group of individuals with a variety of wants, needs, and ambitions.
- You have full control over which niche you’d like to specialize in, giving you complete control over your career path.
- You develop skills in a profession projected to be one of the fastest growing in the next 20 years.
- You will have flexibility and freedom in creating your own work schedule.
- Unlike other industries in the American and Canadian economies, personal trainers are not at risk of losing their jobs to oversea’s labor markets.
- You have an opportunity to play a massive role in helping to eradicate the obesity epidemic.
I don’t know about you, but sounds like a freaking amazing opportunity to me.
Have you considered a career in the health or fitness industry?
Which of the above points resonate most with you?
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And to be absolutely clear, this is my disclaimer: “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me, if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.” ~ Moose
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