Tag Archives: England

The Power of Community


The power of community in the fitness world has shown up throughout the years, from the days of muscle beach to the jogging craze, from Zumba to CrossFit, from Strongman to StrongFirst. In the modern era CrossFit stands as a popular example of community within a given sport/exercise method. The StrongFirst School of Strength (under Pavel) and Training for Warriors (under Martin Rooney) are also headed in this direction and represent international brother and sisterhoods.


I recall what trainer and coach forums were like 15-20 years ago and see where many are now.  I have made some great friends through these forums, but take issue with board members who’s only purpose it seems is to antagonize or patronize others while contributing nothing of note to the group.  I missed how things used to be and decided that now was the time to begin building a new community.  I established and serve as administer of an online forum of personal trainers, strength coaches and other health and wellness professionals that currently stretches across the United States and multiple countries abroad including the Philippines,Canada and Australia.


The power of community has shown itself again.  Professionals are asking questions and getting great responses from other dedicated professionals and not a single online fight has started.  As far as I am concerned I am 70x smarter simply by being around these awesome people.


My Trainer Chris Fan Mail 3

It’s been awhile since I posted some Q and A’s here on My Trainer Chris and I’ve received a number of pretty cool questions from around the world to share today. Chris

From London, England!
“What do you listen to while working out? Do you have any songs that particularly motivate you?”

Typically I listen to my own breathing and self-talk. I literally “zone in” and try to keep myself in the moment. There are a few songs that I like listening to prior to, or while lifting things:

Anything by Two Steps from Hell.

The early years of Metallica.

“Let’s Go” by Trick Daddy, Lil John and Twista. (Possibly the last thing I SHOULD listen to, but does elicit positive results)

(Clean version..not the MTC version)

Classic Motown

From Brisbane,Australia!
“Do you pre-qualify clients? Are there clients you refuse to work with?”
I screen the clients’ health history, physical movement capability and fitness level. It’s often during one of these screens where I find out if we can, or cannot get along with each other. Beyond that the client should be reliable and put in their fair share of the work. I will not take a client in pain that has not been medically cleared, nor will I take a client that attempts to negotiate my fee or time.

From Cebu, Philippines!
“Have you ever considered writing a book?”

One of my athletes dropped a hint on that subject a few times. I believe I’m still a few years away from seriously considering it.

From Las Vegas, Nevada!
“Have you ever been turned down for a job?”

I have. In one case I was flat-out told I was overqualified and another told me that my resume’ and interview manner seemed more managerial level than trainer level.

From New York!
“Can you recommend some good books for a first year personal trainer?”

Never Let Go by Dan John (or anything by Dan John)

Train to Win by Martin Rooney (or anything by Martin Rooney)

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

ACSM Exercise Management for Chronic Diseases and Disabilities

The New Rules series by Schuler and Cosgrove

Linchpin by Seth Godin

Keep up your reading. If you read an hour per day on a subject you’ll be pretty smart on it by the end of the year. I read at least an hour per day and usually more than one book at a time.

From parts unknown!
“Do you miss working in a commercial gym now that you’re independent?”

Occasionally I do. As an independent trainer you are left completely to your own devices and marketing and it can get a little lonely if you have no co-workers to talk to or bounce ideas off of. I would gladly return to being a commercial gym trainer provided a few personal requirements were in place and there were opportunities for advancement.

From Manitoba, Canada!
“Have you ever had to be confrontational with a client? How did you handle it?”

Part of being a trainer is having the ability to call out a clients BS. Although the client is the boss, as the trainer you are in the unique position to order the boss around. Sometimes the tactful method fails and being blunt is what will get the job done. By all means try to settle matters in a civil and respectful manner. With all that said listen to what the client is asking for /telling you and consider it carefully. I’ve had a few clients with requests, statements and arguments that came from the far left corner of the galaxy, but most had fairly simple requests that weren’t unreasonable or unrealistic. Having a non-dogmatic approach to your training helps cuts down on a number of possible confrontations.