Recent Posts

Interviewing 101: What to Do…and NOT to Do

by Meaghan posted October 27, 2016

It’s about that time of the semester again: Next week, FPTI students will get the chance to network with many of NYC’s top fitness employers as they gather on our training floor for the quarterly FPTI Career Fair. They’ve been working hard with our faculty this week to get their resumes organized, with the goal, of course, being to set up interviews for internships or jobs in the weeks to follow.

That said, we figured it’d be a good idea to reinforce some essential interview dos and don’ts.





After all, a polished cover letter and resume may get you an interview, but a solid interview is what ultimately lands you the job.

So, here are a few important things to consider when preparing for an interview in the fitness industry:

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Filed under: employment, interviews, tips for trainers

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Alumni-Turned-Employer Spotlight: Ryan Heffernan

by Meaghan posted October 4, 2016

Today, we have an interview with FPTI alum and Focus Integrated Fitness Personal Training Manager, Ryan Heffernan.


When did you graduate from FPTI?

I graduated in December 2012 and was immediately hired by Focus Integrated Fitness.

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Filed under: alumni spotlight, employment, tips for trainers

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Dan John and Chip Conrad Take on NYC!

by Meaghan posted September 27, 2016

This past weekend, FPTI had the honor of hosting the Mental Meatheads and learning from industry legends Dan John and Chip Conrad.


Dan and Chip shared their many years of knowledge and practice with us in a manner that was both enjoyable and immediately applicable. Some highlights from Dan’s talk on Saturday include the importance of “shark habits” (i.e., simple, bite-sized principles that take the problem of too many choices off the table) and “pirate maps” to navigate training and promote on-going change; strategies for longevity (e.g., walking, fasting, coffee and wine); and, of course, programming musts: Push, pull, hinge, squat, get-up and loaded carries.


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Filed under: education events

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Accidentally Made Up But Highly Effective Exercises: KB SLRDL – Rack Position

by Meaghan posted September 22, 2016

So a funny thing happened on the way to the single-leg deadlift…

Let me start from the beginning. I was training a client a few weeks ago and one of the exercises in our first tri-set was a kettlebell single-leg RDL. The kettlebell was held in the hang position, as you normally see with this exercise.

At least that’s more or less what it’s supposed to look like. (Back to this in a second.) The kettlebell is held in the opposite-side hand as the working (stance) leg in order to minimize rotational forces, and the back remains straight as the movement comes from the hip.

So we finished those. A couple could’ve been more controlled and he reached a little too much with the bell but, all-in-all, not bad.

We moved on to our second tri-set, in which one of the exercises was a kettlebell reverse lunge. Same kettlebell, but we changed the position of it. For this movement, I had my client hold the bell in what’s referred to as the “rack” position.

KB reverse lunge


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Filed under: exercise instruction, exercise programs, strength training, workout tips

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Trainer Tip: Using the ‘Sandwich Method’ in a Training Program

by Meaghan posted September 13, 2016

I was just talking to my students yesterday about just how much client psychology  can drive a program. Most trainers have at least one client who, for one reason or another, is resistant to certain exercises, training methods or modalities – and it’s usually the ones that they need the most that become barriers.

People might simply dislike an exercise (or type of training) – for example, I once had a client who would not do a cat-cow because she was afraid of cats… – but, more often than not, they are resistant to things that they just aren’t good at. Motivational interviewing is a technique that often works (more on that in a later post), but deep down, it’s usually a matter of confidence.

Enter the sandwich method strategy.


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Filed under: psychology and behavior change, tips for trainers

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5 Essential Interview Tips

by Meaghan posted September 8, 2016

Well, we’re getting ready to wind down yet another class here at FPTI. I can hardly believe it’s been 5 years since we started! Classes have continually grown and, by now, we’re sending A LOT of prospective trainers out into the field. Our improved career services are largely to thank for our increasingly high job placement rates, including the recent addition of mock interviews in our curriculum.

I ran the following post a while back but it seems fitting to run it again now as many of our students are currently interviewing – either for actual jobs or for their second semester internships. SO, here are a few tips from Focus Integrated Fitness employers, Joe Masiello and Gabe Valencia, and FPTI Placement Coordinator, Brent Carter, on how best to prepare for interviews:

1. Make a good first impression. Your potential employer is assessing whether you are a good candidate before you ever open your mouth. What does your posture say about your confidence? Do you have a warm smile? Are you dressed appropriately? Do you have a firm handshake? Make sure you start off on the right foot by asking yourself these questions.

2. Do your research. Do some digging and find out about the company. This not only shows initiative but attention to detail. It says you have a vested interest in the company and are likely to work hard for it.

3. Be concise. Listen to the questions and answer thoughtfully in a quick, honest fashion. There are few things worse than an interviewee who goes off on a tangent and rambles about things that are not relevant.


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Filed under: interviews, tips for trainers

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Why I Lift Barbells Like A Teenage Boy

by Meaghan posted June 27, 2016

Today we have a GUEST POST from Focus Barbell Class newcomer, Jessica Taft. jessica taft

Jessica has come a long way since she started lifting – both physically and mentally. Read on to learn what motivates her to keep getting stronger: Continue reading »

Filed under: strength training

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Alumni Spotlight: Eliana Abittan

by Meaghan posted May 24, 2016

Eliana Abittan graduated at the top of her class at FPTI and excelled as an intern at FocusNYC. Read on to see how she’s built upon a solid foundation and continues to excel as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor!


When did you graduate from FPTI? Continue reading »

Filed under: alumni spotlight

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Team Focus Wins the Starting Strength Challenge National Title!

by Meaghan posted April 28, 2016

The Focus team was ECSTATIC last Sunday when Starting Strength Challenge organizer, Dana Varrone, announced that we had won the Long Island City meet title for the SECOND year in a row.

Focus Team wins!

Coach Brent Carter did an amazing job coaching us along the way and judging the event; and, little did he know, he’d soon have even more reason to be proud.

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Filed under: news, press and promo, sports, strength training

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To Change or Not to Change…Your Warm-up?

by Meaghan posted April 20, 2016

This week, a new class of FPTI students is learning how to use the warm-up component of initial training sessions with potential clients to assess their movement capabilities (more on that HERE), along with some mobility strategies to address what they see.

And while the students (and trainers in general) spend ample practice time conducting dynamic warm-ups with the goals of increasing core and tissue temperature and range of motion, and preparing the neuromuscular system for the workout to come, an often overlooked aspect of warming up is the information it gives us – not only about movement, but also about mental state.

mental fitness

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Filed under: exercise programs, exercise Q&A, tips for trainers, workout tips

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