Being a coach/trainer/whatever you want to call yourself is a great gig.
But being just another trainer at the gym isn’t enough to have a great career, and life, in the fitness industry. Having your shit together with a great personal development plan, a programming system, a coaching system, and a list of ways to expand your career is what it takes to make your life as a trainer pretty damn rad.
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with being just another trainer at the gym, but there’s nothing great about it either. We’re pretty sure great sounds a lot better to you.
Here’s the good news (get ready to be happy):
You can be great. Yep, you.
And we have an easy to follow and immediately ready to apply 4-Day course to help get you started. You’ll learn better self-organization, a great programming trick, a strategy for better client communication, and how to write more engaging blog posts.
If you dig learning about the Strength Faction story, here it is, short and sweet (but not without the good stuff):
In 2010, two dudes that oddly look very similar and, at the time, drove the exact same car (Saturn Vue, we know, super cool) met at a gym in State College, Pennsylvania. Their names are Chris and Todd (that’s us!), and they started the business that would eventually become Strength Faction.
You know how they say the rest is history?
Well, it’s not. That’s not true. A lot more stuff happened—and it’s still happening.
In 2011, after moving to Northern Virginia, Chris opened Beyond Strength Performance NOVA, a semi-private training gym geared toward adult clients. This sucker grew fast—going from just a few clients to about 100 in a hurry. On top of that, he took over the performance training for a full-time, Federal, tactical law enforcement group. If you’re keeping track, that’s a lot of programs to write. He developed killer programming systems that save time and get results.
Meanwhile, Todd traveled to work with, and learn from, the best coaches in the industry, spending a few years here and a few years there, homing in on a client-centered coaching philosophy that deepens the coach client relationship and helps trainers get better results for their clients.
In the fall of 2015, after a hiatus from working together, we joined forces again to create Strength Faction. Why? We’re glad you asked.
You know how most online continuing ed/professional development works?
Sign up for a site, here’s a bunch of information given to you without context or direction. Good luck wading through it. And then you get frustrated or just forget to use it because it lacks engagement. We hate that shit, too. So, we decided to do something better.
We created Strength Faction, a 16-week, online community-based program that actually guides you through the process of personal and professional growth through experience.
We noticed a common thread in ourselves, and between other trainers, it’s never enough to just be a great programmer, a great coach, or a great fitness biz person—we need to be all those things to get the most out of our careers. And being a great person makes it all a lot easier.
So, we designed Strength Faction to help you do all those things well:
Get yourself organized and your shit together.
Write great programs and save yourself time while writing them.
Be the coach that everyone wants to be around.
Understand how the business works and promote yourself effectively. (Because if you’re not getting yourself out there effectively, someone else is going to get those clients that you should be training, and they’re going to do a shitty job. That’s no good for anyone!)
And here’s the thing, it works! Personal trainers and strength coaches from all over the globe have joined Strength Faction and improved their lives and careers. (We’ve had members from every continent except Antarctica. We think it’s because it’s really damn cold there.)
Before I joined Faction on the recommendation of fellow Long Islander K. Callahan, I had been struggling with balancing my time and staying organized. It seemed like I was pulled in multiple directions and I got to things when I got to them. Sometimes that meant missing workouts, and it always meant being overwhelmed and bogged down with stress.
My expectations were that I was joining an awesome group of people, and that there was a lot of useful info to be had. I was more than blown away in my first month/semester. I was introduced to concepts that weren’t on my radar before, along with different ways to approach coaching and running a business. It’s safe to say that Faction has made me a better coach, but also a better human.
Today, I have better systems in place to manage my time, and I’ve made it a purpose to block out my schedule so projects get done, while also still leaving time for myself. Joining Strength Faction has been the best investment in myself, both professionally and personally.”
– Chris C.
The 16 weeks o’ Faction are broken up into 4, 4-week lesson modules (say that five times fast. Seriously, go, right now.) Here’s how those suckers break down:
1. Your Success: The first four weeks set your personal development on fire while also prepping you for success in the Faction
2. Programming: At this point, you’ve had four weeks of experiencing our programming. Now you get to learn about how to systematize the components and put them together with the deeper understanding because you’ve actually experienced what it feels like.
3. Coaching: After two months of experiencing our coaching methods, you get to learn about them and the how behind them to apply them in your setting.
4. Professional Expansion: You know all those little things that get your name out like writing blogs, shooting videos, and recording podcasts? We teach you super simple ways to get all those things done.
But here’s the deal, we don’t want to be the only talking heads giving you information. Sure, you get rad written, video, and audio lesson from us, but you also get to hang out with some of the fitness industry’s leaders on our Strength Faction QnAs. We have a guest at least twice per month. And when there’s no guest, we get on, as a community, and chat to help each other think through the problems that we’re trying to solve. Sometimes we just hang out and have a good time.
Ok, back to the story.
As we got rolling, we knew that we needed more voices in the Faction to make this thing truly unique, to really connect the Faction as a community. So, we started the Faction Mentor program to help guide new members through the process of joining, and succeeding in the Faction. The first mentor we brought on was Mike “Big Poppa” Connelly…he’s also known as the Iron King of Chicago, and he’s since joined us as one of the Strength Faction owners and coaches.
He has a beautiful wife and daughter.
The current crew of Faction Mentors are still kicking ass for the members—new and vets alike. Hailing from New York, Philly, and the Chicago burbs, they’re quite the group of fine humans.
My government name is Wesley Showalter but most call me Wes or Show-Dub, I started training with a personal trainer at the age of 12 to help improve my performance and body composition. Once sports started picking up steam for me training became a means for me to try and make up for my lack of natural athletic ability. Training became more and more intriguing to me as I got older but more so the process itself and the results that came with it. In my teen years the weight room became my sanctuary during some difficult times because it helped me relieve stress/anger and I loved being around others with a passion to get better. I Wrestled and played rugby through high school and ended up playing Rugby at Penn State while I got my B.S in Kinesiology. I love using scientific training principles as well as experience to help people achieve goals and improve quality of life. One of my largest interest in the fitness industry is educating the ill-formed on bull shit versus reality. I don’t have all the answers despite my attempts my never ending attempt at mastery, but if I can help make an uneducated individual even slightly more informed on some “fitness truths” than I’m happy as a pig in mud. I currently live in Philly with my wife Nancy and 1,000 cats, and coach out of Warhorse Barbell Club. I believe training, nudity, monster energy drinks, and super hero’s are all staples of a happy life. Aside from my wife my favorite things outside of fitness rhyme; cools shoes, good booze, and fun tattoos. Make sure to look both ways before you cross the street. Show-Dub over and out.
I’m Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner. Friends call me Fury. You’re a friend now, so go for it.I got into fitness to be a strong dad. I eventually quit my gig as a Senior Visual Effects Producer so I can share the glory of strength with people. I got my start at Five Points Academy and moved to Mark Fisher Fitness in 2014. I recently left MFF to go out on my own. In addition to being a Strength Faction Mentor, I’m also a Master RKC, Master DVRT Instructor, Original Strength Lead Instructor and a big Godzilla nerd. I program FURY THURSDAYS for the Faction as well.I’m married to wonderful woman with more tattoos than I, have two super kids and sweetheart of a pitbull named Ramona Flowers.I’m excited to be in the Faction with you.Hugs or high fives? It’s your call.-Fury
What’s up? My friends call me Wheels. The things I love the most are: fitness, puppies, chapstick, hats, high-fiving, and helping humans live their best lives. My love for fitness and sports developed at an early age when I saw my first episode of American Gladiators. The perfectly quaffed hair and tightly toned bodies made me want to shoot Nerf balls and do pull ups, while wearing a singlet and one bedazzled lifting glove (I also wanted to be Michael Jackson in the Thriller/Billy Jean phase). That passion turned into a full-time career over a decade ago. I co-owned and operated a gym in Michigan, New Species Athletics, for several years before moving to NYC and joining the crazy cast of Mark Fisher Fitness.
Hi—I’m Ross! My journey in Strength began by researching training methods for myself while competing in wrestling and MMA. At the same time I built a unique coaching/communication skillset working as a Special Olympics Program Coordinator and Coach.
For the past decade, I have coached both athletes and adults – going from a trainer in large, commercial style gyms/facilities, to having a small (tiny) personal training studio, to opening RC Training & Fitness, a semi-private training gym in Oak Park, Illinois (just outside of Chicago).
I work with High School, College, and National Team athletes, but get just as much joy from teaching an adult member how to do their first kettlebell swing or push-up.
I absolutely have the best hair out of the entire Strength Faction crew, and I love being a part of the leadership team, because they all make me look gorgeous by contrast.
I also smile a little too much for everyone’s comfort level—you could call me a pro at making a room full of people feel super awkward.
I’m excited to work with the entire Faction, and find how their unique experiences can become their greatest assets, both as coaches and human beings. Strength Faction has improved every facet of my business & life, and I want to help pass that sweet, sweet goodness along to all of you!
Outside of the gym, I enjoy cooking for my wife, Michele, and daughter, Lucy, as well as hunting with my dog, Moose, and getting on the mats for some jiu-jitsu training.
We believe that success in the fitness industry is about doing the little things, and doing them right consistently over time. It’s about continual evolution as a person so that we can continually evolve to better serve our clients. And when we can do those two things, life gets a lot better.
So, we’re just getting started with this crazy thing called Strength Faction…and we’re going to continue to do the little things that work time and time again to help personal trainers and strength coaches grow to be better people that better serve their clients so that all involved can be successful and live the best lives possible.
We’re grateful that you’ve taken the time to check us out and we’d love to help you achieve your version of success in this rad fucking industry.
Chris, Mike, and Todd