Recent Posts

New Blood Pressure Guidelines: Good or Bad?

by Meaghan posted November 17, 2017

As you probably heard, the American Heart Association recently changed the way they categorize blood pressure and what constitutes hypertension.


Long story short, the number that officially qualifies as “high” blood pressure (a.k.a. ‘hypertension’) has been lowered from 140 to 130 with the (purported?) hopes that people will take action to lower it sooner rather than waiting until the health risks (namely, heart attack and stroke) are more pronounced.

But is this really what we think will happen? Moreover, is it really the intent of the change?

Many worry that we’ll see an influx of people being put on medication – similar to what happened when the AMA declared obesity a disease a few years ago – and some even think that this is what’s really behind the change: an obvious conspiracy by Big Pharma.

What do you think? Are the new guidelines likely to produce positive changes in health-related behavior, or push more people to medicate?

Leave a comment with your thoughts!


Filed under: fitness commentary, news

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How To Become an Industry-Leading Personal Trainer

by Meaghan posted August 8, 2017

Today we have a guest post from Tyler Read, creator of a great site for personal trainers and aspiring trainers called


Hey everyone and welcome to my infographic on how to become a personal trainer. I will be going over all of the major points that you need to check off in order to become a qualified personal trainer. Overall, there are essentially nine steps that you need to accomplish  in order to begin your  career in one of the most sought-after jobs in the world.

Before we jump right into the infographic, I would like to touch upon the importance of the step #6: Get hands-on experience. As a person that has seen countless personal trainers begin their careers, this is one of the things that is significantly lacking in the traditional exercise education process. I have seen dozens of people get off to a bad start due to the fact that, although they may have exercise science degrees, they have little to no practical experience working with clients. All they really have at this point is the book knowledge they have obtained through study and perhaps a certification.

There are a variety of ways to gain practical experience before you train your first real client but, in my opinion, the best way to gain real-world experience is to attend a live personal training school.  Here you will be working with industry-leading professionals that will mold you into a fantastic personal trainer before you work with your first client.  You will learn how to avoid all of the beginning personal trainer mistakes without having to go through them yourself when there is money and your job on the line!

The personal trainers who graduate from vocational personal training schools are much more prepared for real-life situations than people who have simply studied for a certification exam. This is why I recommend vocational schools such as Focus Personal Training Institute (FPTI). They not only teach you what you need to know to pass the gold standard of personal trainer certifications (NASM) but also provide you the practical hands-on experience that will put you above the rest right from the start. If you want to become an elite-level personal trainer, starting off on the right foot is more than crucial.

For the “tl;dr” folks, here’s the infographic (click to enlarge!):

Pro 173 The Ultimate Guide on Why and How to Become a Personal T


Filed under: press and promo, recommended resources, tips for trainers

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Employer Spotlight: Rafique Cabral, Trooper Fitness

by Meaghan posted July 28, 2017

With another Career Fair just around the corner, today we have another Employer Spotlight: Former FocusNYC trainer Rafique Cabral, who now owns the rapidly growing Trooper Fitness.


Here’s what Rafique had to say about FPTI students:

What is it about FPTI students that makes them great employees?

FPTI students have a strong fundamental understanding of how to approach programming and how to COACH, which obviously gives them a huge advantage in the fitness field. They also know how to create great interpersonal relationships and build community.

If there’s one thing that the Trooper team has excelled at, it’s been building community. They had the biggest turnout of any team at the recent City Challenge Obstacle Race!

Trooper City Challenge


What opportunities are unique to Trooper that entice trainers/group instructors to want to work for you?

The unique thing about Trooper is that since we are still in our start-up phase, there is huge potential for growth beyond just group and personal training – including management, marketing, program development and more.  


What advice would you give to an FPTI graduate seeking a job in the health and fitness industry as a new personal trainer/group instructor?

My advice is to always keep bettering yourself at your craft, regardless of your stage of development. As well, always be willing to share what you know.


Great advice, there. There is always more to learn, and developing others will pay back dividends in the long run.

Thanks, Rafique!

Filed under: employment, interviews

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Good and Bad in NYC Fitness Today

by Meaghan posted July 13, 2017

I know some people like to hear the bad news first to get it out of the way, but I believe in starting with a positive. That said, here are some recent good and bad goings-on in the fitness industry, starting with what should be a GREAT upcoming presentation:

Tony G in NYC

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Filed under: fitness commentary

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Warm-up Sets Count! (Another Quick Rant)

by Meaghan posted May 18, 2017

Having been a coach and teacher in the fitness industry for quite some time now (I’ll refrain from stating an exact number of years since it’s starting to make me feel old, but let’s just say it’s been long enough that I need to count toes…), I’ve developed some pet peeves.


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Filed under: fitness commentary, strength training, workout tips

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3 Ways to Never Prospect Again

by Meaghan posted April 24, 2017

As our second semester Master Course students get underway with their internships, the dreaded challenge of “prospecting” in the commercial gym setting is starting to surface as usual.


(Note: For those new or outside of the personal training industry, the term “prospecting” refers to approaching and conversing with members working out on the gym floor in attempt to turn them into clients.)

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Filed under: tips for trainers

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Get Better at Preventing Falls

by Meaghan posted March 15, 2017

Hope everyone enjoyed the snow day off! Might as well run this again. Be careful on the ice!


After last week’s snow storm, NYC was left with not only a snowy mess, but also some pretty slippery sidewalks due to the rain that followed this weekend, in conjunction with the erratic bouts of warm and cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing lately. Sheets of ice still coat the city in several areas and, needless to say, we’ve likely experienced a recent rise in the rate of falls…


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Filed under: exercise programs, strength training, tips for trainers

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Fitness in 2017 and How to Get Up to Speed

by Meaghan posted January 17, 2017

Those of us who have been in the fitness game for more than a decade now have seen a host of trends come and go – thankfully, for some… – and the evolution that has taken place these past several years, especially. The “functional” movement characterized by stability balls and bands that plagued the field in the ’90s is now officially a thing of the past, and these tools have been mostly replaced by the barbells and bumper plates required to perform functional movements at high intensities. The term “functional movement” is, therefore, still quite prevalent in fitness; it has just been largely redefined with the rise of CrossFit and other barbell-focused training methods.


So why the shift? Well, believe it or not, exercise science research is actually starting to catch up and become useful (not completely, but more so than before). And while society becomes more plagued with chronic disease, musculoskeletal dysfunction and weakness brought on by sedentary behavior, we finally have enough good evidence that working at high intensities improves physiology faster and to a greater extent than low-intensity training, and that being strong and able to perform daily “functional” activities is perhaps the greatest predictor of longevity. (Shout out to the Starting Strength movement!)

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Filed under: recommended resources, tips for trainers

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Connecting Across the Miles Through Education

by Meaghan posted January 4, 2017

Anyone who knows the Focus brand knows that trainer education is at the core of what we do. We run a state-licensed vocational school (Focus Personal Training Institute) in NYC and we often hire the top students who come through our doors to work for Focus – including recent addition, Eri Miyasaka:


That’s Eri with Chip Conrad at his facility, BodyTribe Fitness, in the San Francisco area, where Eri moved after graduating from FPTI. She met Chip when he and the Mental Meatheads came all the way to FocusNYC in September for a fantastic two-day workshop. (More about that HERE.) We always say it’s a small world in this field and this is why!

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Filed under: education events

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Why New Year’s Resolutions Ultimately Fail

by Meaghan posted December 28, 2016

If there’s one profession that knows about New Year’s resolutions, it’s fitness.


Every January, personal trainers, group fitness instructors and employees of gyms around the globe enjoy (suffer?) a flock of newcomers who swear that ‘This is the year!’ that they’re going to get in shape.

Yet, come mid-February, gyms are no busier than any other time of year. So what gives?

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Filed under: fitness commentary

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