Recent Posts

Focus Goes West!

by Meaghan posted November 22, 2016

You read right: The Focus brand has made its way to the west coast! We now have trainers in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, and recently held our first continuing education workshop for the California crew at Horn Strength and Conditioning.


Under the supervision of Focus Personal Training Manager, Ryan Heffernan, FocusLA trainers Emmy and Josh (pictured above) had a refresher on the Starting Strength method of training, which is widely used by many of the Focus staff – including Ryan as well as our Starting Strength coaches: Brent Carter, Ryan Peller and Pete Troupos.

In fact, the FocusNYC team recently won their THIRD Starting Strength meet in a row!


Congrats, team!

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Filed under: education events, exercise programs, strength training

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Thanks to Dr. Jones and the AAHFRP!

by Meaghan posted November 17, 2016

Thanks to Dr. Mike Jones for another great MES workshop at FocusNYC last weekend!


Here at Focus, we require our trainers to obtain the AAHFRP Medical Exercise Specialist certification within their first year of employment, and we host Dr. Jones for the onsite workshop twice per year at our facility in Chelsea.

The MES program, onsite workshop and ongoing support from Dr. Jones and the AAHFRP have all been enormously helpful for our trainers’ success with post-rehab clients – including those with total hip and knee replacements, back and shoulder pain, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The personal attention, answers to questions and feedback you receive throughout the program are truly unrivaled, and having both the knowledge and progressive, detailed yet flexible protocols based on Dr. Jones’ years of successful experience as a practicing physical therapist really allows our personal trainers to better manage medical conditions while helping clients safely attain their larger fitness goals.

The MES program has a long-standing track record of success in the field and has become the gold standard for bridging the gap between fitness and rehab. Some our own trainers have even gone on to pursue physical therapy themselves – including Chris Kelly and Ryan Chow (pictured above).

Thank you Dr. Jones and the AAHFRP for your hard work and efforts over the years, and for making the Medical Exercise Program available to personal trainers!


Filed under: education events, tributes

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Meet the Veterans of FPTI’s Advanced Concepts Class!

by Meaghan posted November 11, 2016

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Men’s Fitness interviewed 8 of FPTI‘s current Veteran students.

Now that Focus offers funding through the GI Bill, we’ve welcomed an increase in Veterans looking to start the next chapter of their lives. Check out THE ARTICLE to learn more about how our Veteran students are taking to the Master Course program, their career aspirations, and experience transitioning back to civilian life.

Filed under: interviews, tips for trainers

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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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