Becoming a Trainer

"I wrote you an email about two weeks ago, asking about your shoulder exercises that make your laterals wider. I have gone through all three of your different work outs and I have to say, wow. This workout really works. Even after doing the first workout, I could instantly tell. My striations were popping, my nose was running (always a good thing on shoulder day), and I can start to see the cuts between my biceps and shoulders. I look a little bit wider, making my waist seem even smaller. Thank you for posting your workout. I just read your article on arms, can’t wait to try that one either. I'm working on achieving my NASM certification as we speak. Thought you would like to get some feedback from an almost another fitness guru. Thanks again! Keep posting, I'll keep lifting."

Jonathan Hatchell
Athletics Administrator

My Response: Thanks for the feedback, Jonathan. I'm glad the program is working out for you. Good luck on your certification. I know you'll do fine.

"Hello James:
"I looked up your blog yesterday - not often i run into an Asian bodybuilder/trainer. would you mind if i pick your mind here & there? i am thinking about becoming a certified trainer - i've studied much on body mechanics & dieting, etc. etc. i can bore a great many of my friends - seriously bore them.

"I've also read steroid nation (previously knew nothing about steroids-just wanted to learn), body-opus & currently, reading lyle mcdonald's ultimate diet 2.0.

"I got into weight training a year ago. after several heart attacks and then reading about pax beale - i figured if he could, i could. (i was 44, not fat, very slender as most Asians are...go figure)

"I work out at home - i've gone from thinking 5# is heavy to thinking i need a 45# dumb-bell. Weight training has become a part of my life. thanks for your time and i hope we can share thoughts."


My Response: Never run into an Asian bodybuilder/trainer? Get out of here! Seriously, there are a lot of Asian bodybuilder types, although I don't run into that many Asian trainers. Bottom line is don't let race or ethnicity be a limiting factor in your training goals or any goal. It does not matter if you are Asian or a skinny bastard or a woman. If your goal is to be bigger, faster, stronger, then you still travel the same road that everyone else travels to size and strength.

Now you got to ask yourself, "Why do you want to become a certified trainer?"

If it's for you to make a career transition or just make a living, then you will have a long and hard road ahead of you. I train clients and write books and articles, because I love bodybuilding and strength training. I love sharing my knowledge, my enthusiasm and my philosophy of exercise with the world.

However, I don't make a living off of this. I do this stuff part-time. I pick and choose who and when I train, which makes it that much more enjoyable for me. Plus, I get to specialize in my particular niches. I don't deal with clients with poor discipline and no enthusiasm. All of my clients have a great attitude and a desire to learn my particular way of training.

So ask yourself, "Why?" If you're 44 years old, then I'm assuming this will be your retirement gig. If so, then that's great, because money is not so much a factor. Your enjoyment of the work is what counts. Do you picture yourself as an independent trainer, or working at a gym? If you start out at a gym, then your sales skills are far more important than the quality of your training. Who do you want to train? You'll find that not every client is going to subscribe to your style of training.

If you're truly serious, then get yourself a certification (NSCA, NASM, ISSA, etc.), and learn to market yourself. Learn the current paradigm of training, and then go out and learn from various role models, which it sounds like you're doing. Duchaine is a good source to learn from, but may I add another to your reading list: STRENGTH AND PHYSIQUE, V1.

BUY MY BOOK. Take what you find useful from my book and incorporate it into your way of training. Plus, at the end of my book, you'll find a list of people who have influenced me.
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