Ryder Fitness

Dedicating over 30 years of his life to fitness, Johnny Ryder, our July 2019 Trainer of the Month award winner, has no intention of slowing down any time soon. The owner of Ryder Fitness, a personal training studio in Show Low, Arizona, he and his team primarily serve active seniors who plan to live an active life throughout their retirement. Through his writing, public speaking and community involvement, he shares the message of fitness and health with his clients, no matter what age. With a strong emphasis on experience, education, and community, Johnny is committed to continuing to keep Ryder Fitness a training studio like no other.

Here is a look at how Johnny is raising the bar…


  • Currently an Elite Level Personal Trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association. Individual Certifications with the ISSA include: Personal Fitness Trainer, Specialist in Exercise Therapy, Specialist in Corrective Exercise, Specialist in Senior Fitness, Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, and Specialist in Exercise Therapy.
  • Certified as an Interscholastic Coach with the International Federation of State High School Associations, where I am Certified as a Strength and Conditioning and Wrestling Coach.
  • Certified as a Heath and Physical Education Teacher with the Arizona Department of Education.
  • Second Degree Black Belt in the Korean Martial Art of Taekwondo, and have studied numerous other styles.
  • Master’s Degree in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Plymouth State University. Numerous other undergraduate degrees and certificates in the combined fields of education and criminal justice.
  • Monthly columnist in our local newspaper The White Mountain Independent, entitled “Active Senior,” which covers all subjects concerning health and fitness for the active senior.
  • Published author of other work and a public speaker.
  • Over thirty years of experience in the health and fitness field as a trainer and as a bodybuilding, physique, and martial arts competitor.
  • Past self-defense, restraints, and non-lethal weapons instructor to both correctional and security personnel, as well as the public.

Studio Name: Ryder Fitness

  • Website: www.ryderfitness.com
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ryderfitnessrocks
  • LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/johnryderfitness
  • Twitter: www.twitter.com/ryderfitnessaz
  • Years active in the industry: 34

Recognition & awards:

  • Named #3 in Pouted Magazine’s “Top Ten Fitness Trainers in the USA.”
  • In addition, past awards and accomplishments during my time in bodybuilding, physique and martial arts competition.

What inspired you to start your business?

An intense desire to be an example and help those desiring a more active and healthy lifestyle which has been a way of life for me since an early age. I’m soon turning 54, and I want others my age, and even younger, to understand that if I can be as fit and active as I am, they can also do it. Being named July 2019 Trainer of the Month is one of the best birthday presents I have ever received!

What is one hard lesson you’ve learned in business you believe has been most valuable?

Understanding that you must separate the business from the active training and professional relationships you have with your clients. We all start out with the desire to help others become more healthy and fit. But we must not neglect the day-to-day concerns of owning your own business.

If I asked one of your clients why they choose you over other trainers, what would they likely say?

A large percentage of our clients are in the mature and senior age bracket. I believe that one of the first things that attracts this clientele is their realizing the fact that they too can be as active and fit at their age if I can do it. My clients see me still hitting the stage in my early to mid-fifties in such events as NPC Physique contests, and this gives them the assurance that I can also assist them to find a better way of life.

Another factor that separates our studio from other facilities is the immense amount of both certifications, education and experience that I and my other trainers have over any of our competition. Many of my clients have told me over the years that they had previously trained at say another big box gym, only to get a trainer freshly certified who only knows how to train a client one way, whether they are sixteen or sixty. This, in my opinion, is a recipe for disaster. We instead bring to the table the factors of experience, immense education, and personalized service in a private and convenient environment. Clients do not have the worry about being judged or feeling self-conscious at our studio. Instead we bring to the table the factors of accountability, but they also become part of a family.

Name one or two ways you are trying to raise the bar in the industry.

I believe the desire for additional education is key to the advancement of our industry. My staff and I wish to portray the sense of professionalism during each and every one of our clients’ training sessions. Our clients feel as if they are going to an appointment with a professional practitioner, opposed to just meeting a trainer at the gym. We strive to show improvement and results in each and every appointment. Our individualized programs are catered to the specific needs and any possible accommodations to each of our clients. Not only their specific stated goals, but also as to their own abilities as well.