Making A Good Living as a Trainer

ELITE-1228(1).jpgI’ve had a passion for fitness since I was a teenager. My life has revolved around fitness and music. When I was out supporting my family playing music there were always weights under the bus. I visited gyms in many cities across the world. I always had a blast “training” my band mates and friends. Once I stopped touring I jumped at the chance to become a personal trainer. I am currently the manager and level 3 trainer at a privately owned personal training studio called Elite Training ( in Tulsa, OK. Typically its not even work for me because I love doing it so much. One of the biggest honors for me is when a friend or follower share that I have influenced them to become a trainer. Some of you may be throwing around the idea of become a trainer and don’t know where to start. The secret in short is be a good trainer and have multiple streams of income. Here I want to share how to become a great trainer and how to make a good living doing it.

1. Get Certified: You may have been exercising for many years and know a lot, but to get a job at any reputable gym or studio you will want to be certified. There are many certifications out there. Most of them are online courses that can be taken over a 6 month period. They are not cheap, but they do offer payment plans. I recommend either NASM or ISSA. I am personally with ISSA, but a lot of my trainers are with NASM. You can’t really go wrong with either of them. Once you become certified keep your standing current.

2. Get Additional Certifications: Make yourself more valuable and more importantly be able to help people to a greater degree with more knowledge. Once you are certified as a Personal Trainer I recommend taking a course on “Corrective Exercise” or “Exercise Therapy”. Learn how to help people with knee, shoulder, lower back, etc issues. After that look into Nutrition and other specialties. My advice is to take a new course yearly.

3. Have a Passion: Like any other job if you have a true passion for fitness and training you are going to excel. Do what you love. Hopefully this passion means you are always trying to learn more.

4. Be a Good Employee: You would think this is a given, but by being a dependable and trust worthy employee you will stand out and excel. Show up early before your clients, engage with your clients, no texting while training, keep your schedule updated, clean up your work areas, don’t reschedule clients unless its a real emergency. Look and dress sharp. Use proper hygiene (smell right lol). Be honest and trust worthy. Do more than is asked of you.

5. Open Availability: If you are new to training and want to be busy right away have a open schedule. Prime time for trainers are 5-9am and 4-7pm. At the beginning take what you can because you never know when you will have new clients or when current ones will quit. As you build your client base you can tailor your schedule more so.

6. Engage with Clients: A good trainer learns how to get the best out of people. Because people are unique you have to learn to adapt to different personalities. Your goal is to motivate and help inspire the individual to not only get their best workout, but to alter their mindset for success out of the gym. Be vocal as you are training. Count their reps. Offer encouragement and correction. Be their cheerleader.

7. Get Into Sales: Some people are naturally good at sales and others shy away from it. If you want to be really successful in the fitness industry learn to communicate with confidence. Most gyms or studios will give you a commission upon signing up new clients. It’s worth your while to learn this skill and sign people up. You don’t have to necessarily become a “sales” guy or gal, but learning the art of signing up new clients will get you a nice commission, get you more personal clients, and make you more valuable to your employer. This is where I personally excel.

8. Additional Sales: Most gyms have additional things you can sell to clients to earn extra commission such as supplements, apparel, or meal management bags. The extra effort selling these items earns you more commission and helps your clients.

9. Get Social: Put a set amount of time daily building up your social pages such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Youtube, etc. Post quality images and good content. Help educate, motivate, and inspire people. Consistency is key.

10. Multiple Streams of Income: In addition to making the most of being a trainer at a gym or studio (1-9 above) to make enough to support a family branch out and build multiple streams of income. Here are a few ways I make extra income as a trainer:

A. Online Programs: I design custom workout programs and nutrition plans for people all over the world. There are lots of ways to do this. I had to experiment a bit with my format and pricing. You will want to have a personal website set up for this. Email me for a solid website designer referral if you need. View my Custom Program page HERE.

B. E-Book Programs: Write up a solid 4-8 week program for weight loss, muscle building, or whatever and sell it as a PDF. I recommend making these informative, but also simple to follow. Once you find a format you like you can model all future e-books off that template. You will want a solid graphic designer to take your program and make it look nice. Sell the PDF version on your website, but also get it in the Kindle ebook store for additional sales. Visit my e-book landing page HERE. Publish e-books to Kindle HERE.

C. Supplements: The gym you work at may have supplements for you to sell to clients. Typically you will get a commission for that. I personally am always ethical when it comes to this and only sell what I think is safe and will actually help my client. I have also spend a lot of time on my #9 above (building my social pages and motivating people) that I was able to get sponsorship with Kaged Muscle supplements. Besides saving me money on my own personal supplements I can make money through sales I help generate. A lot of the big supplement companies have affiliate or ambassadorship programs where you can get a hook up, free product, and/or earn money. Only go with companies you truly believe in and take yourself. Remember you are recommending products that can affect the health of the clients who trust you. Check out my article on Tips To Secure Athlete Sponsorships.

D. Sponsorships: There are many opportunities in the fitness industry to partner up with great companies if you take the time to build your social following and are a good communicator. You do not have to be a championship competitor or even compete at all although it doesn’t hurt. Again only go with companies of products you already buy and love. These partnerships can help you in a number of ways including saving you money on products you already buy, the potential to get paid or at least earn a commission when clients buy the products, and exposure which helps all aspects of your business. I am a sponsored Athlete with the following companies: Kaged Muscle, Ryderwear, SwoleO’Clock, and 6 Pack Bags.

11. Look Fit, Be Fit: How you look and live your life is your biggest marketing tool as a personal trainer. Lead by example.

If you have any additional questions feel free to reach out to me

-Wittig, ISSA CPT
Kaged Muscle Athlete
Ryderwear Athlete


Rebound From The Holiday Aftermath

The holiday’s are a time to loosen up a bit and enjoy time with family. Often we are traveling and either staying with family or hosting out of town family. There is a good chance pie…lots of pie was involved. There is always that one mom or aunt who makes amazing cookies. Despite our best efforts we end up eating a little more and working out a little less than we had planned. I know when we visit the in-laws I am able to sleep in and lay around about 200% more than normal. Multiple days of this often gets us in a place that is hard to recover from physically and mentally. At this point you may feel tired, sluggish, and unmotivated. Here are my tips to put this behind us and get our motivation back.

*Realization: Just because we took a detour from the program doesn’t mean we are completely lost. Chances are we took a few steps back, but a few days off course would not bring us back to the very beginning. We have still made progress overall and enjoyed quality time with family. Don’t despair because of this minor set back, but focus on how far you have come since the beginning. Today is not the end of our journey, but one small segment towards our best selves.

*Preparing: If you traveled or hosted chances are your food stores are low. Being in a slightly unmotivated state will incline us towards left overs, pizza, or take out. Immediately stock up on your typical healthier foods. Get to the store now. Tomorrow is Monday and is a great time to reset. Get the food necessary now to make a healthy breakfast and pack a proper lunch.

*Do Something: If you were unable to get a workout in go do something today. This may be the last thing you feel like doing, but nothing will make you feel more energized and focused than a workout. If you are unable to make it to a gym today do something in your living room or go for a jog.

*Stop It Now: You are not allowed to let this continue so say me. Get the idea of just going with the flow until January 1st out of your mind. Let’s get our nutrition and workouts back on track starting tomorrow. Do it!

Just know you are not alone in feeling unmotivated after a extended holiday. I get the same way. But let’s help each other stay motivated by getting back on track.

Related Topic: How I Navigated Thanksgiving

-Wittig, ISSA CPT

Black Friday Deals!

Over the years I have aligned myself with only the best fitness companies out there. These are companies and products that have brought value to my personal life and ones I trust to share with my personal training clients. Integrity over deals and money. Today is Thanksgiving and tomorrow is the big bad Black Friday and ALL my people are having incredible deals. I will be bombing social media the next few days with these killer deals, but I thought I would list them all here for easy reference.  -Wittig

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RYDERWEAR: This is the clothes and lifting shoes you see me wearing daily. Highly functional with the added bonus of looking super tight. They have a huge women’s line as well. Get 20% off now through Cyber-Monday through my and use code BLACK20.

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Six Pack Bags: My “Innovator” has been with me every single day with the last several years. This has been the single most useful tool to help keep my nutrition on track. I mention these in every online custom Nutrition plan I design. It keeps my 3-4 shaker bottles, lunch, and snacks cool all day long. Today through Cyber-Monday get 40% off all elite bags + Free gift + Free shipping. Best deal I’ve ever seen from them. Go to

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SwoleO’Clock: Big, tough watches that demand attention. I wasn’t much of a watch person until I came across these. They are tough enough for my lifestyle, workouts, and sharp enough to wear to church. They are typically $169. Save $70 Black Friday only. Lady watches available as well. Get one at




How I Navigated Thanksgiving!

While our American Thanksgiving is coming to a close I wanted to share how I navigated this holiday based around a huge, high-carb meal. Not that this information will help you much now, but this is still a holiday weekend and Christmas is almost upon us. Use these tips for the days to come.

*Breakfast: I always start my day with 1 scoop of Re-Kaged fast digesting whey protein to get protein to my muscles after my 7 hour fast aka sleep. Today I kept my breakfast light and high protein: 3 whole eggs and 3 egg whites.

*The Meal: Thanksgiving dinner here at my in-laws in actually Thanksgiving lunch. I didn’t eat between breakfast and this mad meal to keep calorie intake at a minimum. I ate whatever I wanted until I was comfortably full…ok, maybe slightly uncomfortably full lol. I went ahead and had some pie now as well instead of waiting until later.

*The Workout: About 3 hours later once my stomach settled down I went outside and did a 30 min HIIT full body cardio workout involving my own variations of Step Jumps, Push Ups, Deficit Lunges, Triceps Dips, and body weight Shoulder Presses. Do something! As always I supplemented around this workout with my Pre-Kaged, In-Kaged, and Re-Kaged.

*Dinner: I kept dinner low carb having a pile of turkey and some veggies. I stayed away from the mashed potatoes and bacon infused corn bread stuffing at this point.

*Tomorrow: I plan to hit the gym like normal. Get right back on track.

*Supplement: I took my Kaged Muscle “Clean Burn” 30 mins before breakfast, Thanksgiving lunch, and dinner. It primes the body to burn fat safely.

I was able to enjoy a big Thanksgiving meal with my family and stay on track fitness wise. It can be done with some guidelines and a little self-control.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. We all have much to be thankful for.

-Wittig, ISSA CPT

***Get 15% off with code Wittig15. This is the Clean Burn, Pre-Kaged, In-Kaged, Re-Kaged that I personally use. It’s safe and highly effective.


Stay Fit During the Holidays

Thanksgiving is only a few days away. Just because a holiday centered around a huge meal is coming up does not mean we need to throw our fitness goals out the window or even put them in hold. There is a way to enjoy this holiday with your family and stay on track. Here are a few tips I follow every Thanksgiving when we head up to in-laws:

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-1-54-49-pm1. Plan Ahead: This is especially important if you are traveling. Pack everything you think you will need. I typically bring a box or laundry basket filled with food and supplements. I can’t expect or depend on others to have the kind of food I need on a daily basis. If you will be gone for multiple days and don’t think you will make it to a gym bring resistance bands or some type of workout gear. Plan your workouts before and after the holiday so you don’t miss a beat.

2. Traveling food: If you will be traveling don’t start off on the wrong foot. Make sure you bring water and healthy snacks for the trip. I always load up my 6 Pack Fitness meal management bag for road trips. Because it keeps everything fresh and cold I can even pack an actual meal. Check out 6 Pack Bags and get 10% off HERE. Gas station and fast food is a killer.

3. Grocery stop: While I bring what dry goods I can in a box if I am going to be out of town for multiple days I sometimes swing by a grocery store and pick up whatever else I need. I attempt to eat like normal regardless wherever I am.

4. Thanksgiving day: Treat your Thanksgiving meal like a typical cheat meal. I give myself 2 planned cheat meals a week. I will eat and drink whatever I want until I am comfortably full. This is just another one. No difference. Don’t make it a free for all the entire day. Eat a little lighter breakfast. After your Thanksgiving feast try not to keep snacking on the higher carb and fatty foods. Lean towards the lean turkey and veggies.

5. Do some cardio: Chances are most of us will not hit the gym on Thanksgiving because we will be with family. But there is no reason we cannot find 20 minutes to go jog or do a short cardio circuit in our guest room. Do this before Thanksgiving dinner and do at least 20 minutes.

6. Back to workouts: If possible try to hit a gym the days after Thanksgiving even if you are out of town. I always hit the YMCA in Salina, KS during Thanksgiving weekend. Most gyms have a guest day pass or small fee of $10-20. Just pay it and stay on track. If getting to a gym is just impossible pick up a set of resistance bands. Check out my resistance band workout that can be done anywhere HERE.


-Wittig, ISSA CPT

Custom Programs and Nutrition Plans:


Weak Point Prioritization

img_05802We all have weak points in our physique. We may see other lifters and envy their shoulders, wide back, or big calves. Just remember a lot of hard work was probably put into those prized muscle groups. Maybe they were gifted genetically. But this is about you. What areas of YOUR physique are lagging behind and need improved. Focusing on what others have only takes away time from you to work on yourself. There is a difference between being a beginner and needing to develop everything, and lifting for a bit and having actual lagging muscle groups. The thing I have always loved about building is how through effort you can alter and shape the body. The outcome is solely dependent on the effort and planning you put into it. Here are my general tips for turning a weak point into a strong one.

1. Identify the weak area. Be honest with yourself and recognize a weak point when you have one. If you have no idea ask someone with experience and whom you trust. Then break down the specifics. If its your chest is it your upper chest, outer, inner, etc? If your Triceps are lagging is it the lateral head or the long head? I recommend pulling up images of great physiques that have all the muscle groups labeled. Chances are you have more than one area that needs improvement.

2. Select exercises to target your specific weak point. To accomplish the task if bringing up a particular muscle group you need the right tools for the job aka exercises. You can always look online. I am old school and have copies of books such as ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding’ laying around. I still reference that book every now and then. While we cannot completely alter the genetic shape of our muscles, through proper planning and hard work you can build new muscle and greatly improve any area.

3. Prioritize the weak area. Don’t make Monday “Chest” day. Make it your weak point day. Start the week off strong targeting that area in need of most improvement. Start the workout focusing on that specific angle of the muscle needing attention. If it’s upper chest start with a Incline movement. If it’s your abs start your Monday workout with abs then move on to Chest or whatever.

4. Increase frequency. Plan your workout schedule to hit your weak area 2-3 times a week instead just once. Stop doing the same program and try something new. I was a one major body part a day for years. When I switched to hitting every muscle group twice a week I had great results.

5. Keep a workout journal. Your workouts need to be progressive. It’s difficult to progress if you cannot remember to the pound and rep what you have done in the past. Bring a notebook or use an app and track every workout, exercise, rep, and weight. Make notes on what you feel works and what didn’t. Build new workouts based on accurate data. I’ve kept a workout journal every since I started at 15.

6. Stretch and flex it. Learn to have complete control over that lagging muscle group. Be aware of how it feels to flex or contract that particular muscle. Make sure you can feel it on each rep. Remember that every exercise has a purpose. Find that purpose when you do each and every rep. Stretch the muscle group in question between sets as this will not only help you feel the muscle, but keep nutrients coming in and transport wastes out.

7. Nutrition and supplementation. Don’t forget that bringing up a lagging muscle group is still building muscle. To build muscle you need to bring in a proper amount of nutrients (calories, protein, carbs, fats) and water. Extreme effort needs to be put into how you are eating. The what you eat, how much, and when are all important. If your eating is on point the right supplements can assist in building muscle especially if you have not done so before or took a break from them . I personally take Kaged Muscle supplements. When building muscle I specifically take: Pre-Kaged (pre-workout), In-Kaged (intra workout), Re-Kaged (post workout whey protein), and Kasein (slow digesting protein before bed). Get 15% off with my code “Wittig15”.

-Wittig, ISSA CPT
Kaged Muscle Athlete

Red hoodie/tank and pants by Ryderwear. Get 10% off all orders through my or with code “Wittig10”.


Functional Cardio: The Monstrosity

wittig-1503Who likes to challenge themselves? I got the perfect little routine for you. Every Sunday I go to the studio where I train clients (Elite Training Tulsa) and come up with routines on the spot to push myself. These are typically lower body focused functional HIT cardio type workouts. This latest one I put myself through I called “The Monstrosity”. It really kicked my butt- perfect! I am thinking of doing something similar here soon and stepping it up. Give this a go and let me know what you think.

The Monstrosity Circuit: Do each of these back to back with no rest for 1 round. Do 4 rounds total.

A. Box Jumps: 15-20 reps. I prefer to use a height I know I can make and just jump higher versus running the risk of face planting.

B. Squats: 10 reps. These are barbell squats going very deep, full range, and slow. I used just 135lbs.

C. Kettle Bell Swings: 15-20 reps. Sumo position and swing high. I used a 35lb kettle bell.

D. Squats: 10 reps.

E. Ball Slams: 15-20 reps. I used a 20lb weighted ball. Hold it high overhead and slam down with as much force as you can. Drop the hip to pick it up on the rebound.

F. Squats: 10 reps.

G. Rope Slams: 30 reps. Using battle ropes double slam. Switch out if you do not have access to battle reps.

H. Squats: 10 reps.

I. Walking Lunges w/Twist: 10 steps each leg. I held a weighted ball and did a slow side-to-side twist at the bottom of each rep. These lunges were done wide and deep.

J. Squats: 10 reps.

So you are hitting 50 slow, deep squats each round and 200 total. Have fun.

*Keep your energy and intensity at top levels with Kaged Muscle “In-Kaged” inta-workout. I mix 1 scoop with 20 oz of water and sip on throughout each workout. It keeps me pushing hard until the very end during demanding workouts like the above. Get 15% off with my code “Wittig15”.

-Wittig, ISSA CPT
Kaged Muscle Athlete