Sure, you can do 50 burpees, 20 jump squats and 20 TRX pull-ups before starting your morning run; you have an arsenal of over 400 movements that involve "the core" and you know theories old and new related to kettlebells, Pilates and yoga, and you have your own established opinions about each one.
That makes you a fit, walk-the-walk, present-era personal fitness trainer.
Sure, you stay on top of your continuing education to keep your certification current; you're trained in emergency procedures and AED usage and you precede each client program with a risk assessment and require medical clearance and/or guidance when necessary.
That makes you a competent, educated, responsible personal fitness trainer.
Is that enough? Fit, competent and responsible?
Sure that's enough, if you're presently satisfied with what it brings you. The question that seems to evade many of the fit, competent, responsible personal fitness trainers I meet is, "How will I build my future?"
It's a tough question to answer when you're reliant upon "client sessions." The future gets cloudy when you consider the costs involved in expanding into your own space, a larger space or an employee-driven business. Most trainers push the question aside. In essence, they ignore it. That disregard often leads to financial struggle and all of the challenges that come with it.
I've been at this for 30 years. Life experience comes with perspective, victories, missteps and lessons. I've not only seen the industry do a few flips and the landscape go through a few changes, but I've experienced rises, falls and near-devastation, and I attribute my ultimate development and success to the unique education I received from 30 years of conventional pursuits and the path less traveled. It's fair to say that the better part of my education came from making mistakes, and conventional education in the present era is filled with the mistakes and pitfalls I learned to overcome and avoid long ago.
If I could take back every free consultation I ever did and attach $50 to each one, I'd have collected an additional $50,000, and I'd have connected with more qualified clients in far less time.
If I could have the $15 I discounted each session in exchange for a "package," I'd have collected an additional $150,000.
If I understood how to balance revenue pumps and financial drains earlier in my career, I would have saved half a million dollars that I inadvertently invested in that unconventional education I referred to earlier.
Those aren't exaggerations. Mistakes cost me, but the lessons served me. I've had a rare experience in this field. I've been deep inside the weight loss industry, the media, the infomercial and home shopping world and the health club industry. I've seen the past, I've seen the present, and I feel privileged to have stepped into what I know with every inch of my being will serve to escalate our field in the future... And the future, for those in the know, begins right now!
Standing on a platform beside their medical colleagues, this new generation of personal trainers have documented beyond all doubt they can not only improve the aesthetics of our population, but they can cure dis-ease.
The use of the hyphen allows me to present many of the most plaguing 21stcentury degenerative conditions as "movement away from ease." If I, or any competent personal trainer, can restore people to health and move them back along the continuum towards optimal function and a greater sense of ease, isn't a true fitness professional, in essence, "curing disease"?
"Cure dis-ease." I've been making that provocative statement for two years now. It's genuine, it's evidenced and it's been unanimously well received once I have the opportunity to present well-founded perspectives and data. Here's the unfortunate part of this phase in the new era: Those who stand on this platform represent less than one-tenth of one-percent (.1%) of the practicing personal trainers. That means many of the remaining 99.9% are misdirected.
There are those who will read this and decide I’m arrogant or delusional, and I realize I am subjecting myself to such judgment. It's OK. If you're either happy with your present situation as a personal trainer, or if you simply think the drugs I took during high school are finally starting to affect me, you can stop here.
For those who opt to read on, I offer this perspective based on credible evidence, science and research:
Disease and inflammation are big-time buddies C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in the bloodstream can be used as a marker for inflammation, and inflammation is the root cause of most 21st century diseases. To evaluate risk, conventional medicine uses many sophisticated but now mainstream tools and measures. Conventionally, doctors rely upon angiograms to assess blockages and cholesterol readings to predict arterial plaque buildup.
So what's the problem? It appears that more than half of heart attacks affect people who have "normal cholesterol," and about 70% of heart attacks are caused by arterial inflammation coupled with activity of atheromas, clusters too small to be seen on an angiogram.
And where do we fit in? In a number of significant research studies, exercise has been proven to lower CRP, indicating a reduction in systemic inflammation. In a recent study, a clear correlation was established in an aging population between exercise recovery rate and CRP levels.
If inflammation is a primary cause of disease, and exercise can reduce inflammation, isn't it a reasonable assumption that competent personal trainers using exercise prescription as an intervention can reverse the disease trend, or initiate the process of restoring many people to health? If you answer that question with a "yes," we can rephrase to say, "Personal trainers can cure dis-ease."
 ... and that's only the beginning! A new era dawns!

Phil Kaplan is the founder of Be Better Academy, a protocol aimed at teaching personal trainers to excel. You can find further information about the content of this article including references to research by clicking on "Cure Disease" at