Recent Posts

Getting an Interview: Resume Dos and Don’ts

by Meaghan posted February 25, 2015

As you may know, this quarter’s FPTI Career Fair is coming up on Wednesday, March 4th! From 1-2:30pm, FPTI will host representatives from gyms across New York City – including Equinox, Crunch, 24-Hour Fitness, Boom Fitness and more – for both students AND alumni to make contacts, ask questions regarding employment in the fitness industry, and drop off resumes.



But your resume can make or break your ability to get an interview, so you’ll want to make sure you put the right things on paper. Here are a few resume DOs and DON’Ts to keep in mind while you prepare yours for fitness employers:

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Filed under: employment, tips for trainers

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How to be a Better Mentee

by Meaghan posted February 10, 2015

Today’s post comes from FPTI Master Course student, Jeff Harse. If you’ve found a prospective mentor that meets the criteria laid out in THIS POST and are wondering what steps you can take to help ensure a positive mentoring experience, read on…


In the aforementioned post, Meaghan lays out five important traits that “will set the stage for a strong, successful and lasting relationship.” From communication and candor to strong character and more, Meaghan provides a fantastic checklist on what to consider when seeking a mentor – so be sure to check it out if you’ve not had a chance to read it!

The flip side to this is what you, the mentee, brings to the table. Finding a mentor to help advise you on your career path and provide honest, positive and constructive criticism is a two-way street. You must be genuinely open to receiving feedback on your goals and performance. You must be open to new perspectives and trains of thought. You must strive to build trust and show appreciation.

thank you mentor


The idea of having a mentor in the fitness industry came up many times in our Theory and Application class at FPTI. Our instructor, Adrienne Lufkin, would occasionally dole out pearls of wisdom, remarking on how her mentor helped influence everything from her warm-up design and exercise programming to how she balanced daily demands. Years later, Adrienne said that she is still appreciative of her mentor and her perspective is still influenced, in part, by her time with this mentor.

That said, here are five things that you can do to help ensure a mutually respectful and beneficial relationship with a mentor: Continue reading »

Filed under: tips for trainers

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Q&A: What Should I Look for in a Mentor?

by Meaghan posted February 2, 2015

I want to thank FPTI Master Course student, Jeff Harse, for suggesting this idea for a post. It made immediate sense to me given our large student and new trainer audience; and, if there’s one thing Focus does well, it’s mentor.


And if there’s one thing all potential mentees need to determine, it’s whether or not they can trust someone they may not know that well to guide them at this crucial time in their careers. That said, when you’re in search of a mentor, here are 5 important traits to look for that will set the stage for a strong, successful and lasting relationship:

1. Communication and candor. When first starting out in any field, arguably the most valuable asset is a mentor’s feedback. And as much as you love receiving positive feedback from someone you respect, your mentor loves giving you genuine positive feedback even more! But the key word is genuine. In order to truly help you, your mentor must also care enough about you to be honest – even when it means telling you things you may not want to hear.

Those of you who have been mentored probably know what I’m talking about. And I’ll let you in on a secret: Mentors HATE having to give criticism! But truly dedicated ones will lose sleep over seeing their mentees struggle. So, they set expectations and ultimately do what needs to be done if they aren’t being met – because, in the long run, they care more about seeing you succeed than about sparing your feelings. Your mentor’s actions when you’re struggling are what will tip you off to whether or not you can trust their words. Be sure to pay attention not only to how well they listen, but to whether or not they pick up on other signs and respond to your real needs. Continue reading »

Filed under: tips for trainers

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10 Fitness Resources to Check Out in 2015

by Meaghan posted January 21, 2015

Every January, a list of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Fitness” makes its way around the Interweb. You can find the 2015 list HERE.

But while this list is certainly great for exposing our industry leaders, “influential” does not always guarantee positive influence…Granted, I think most of those who made this year’s list are both well-rounded and well-respected in fitness. The bigger problem is, there are A LOT of names on that list and “fitness” is a broad term…


That said, I wanted to compile a smaller list of respectable resources more specific to personal trainers. So, here it is:

1. The Personal Trainer Development Center. Much like what we aim to do at FPTI, this comprehensive site aims to improve the fitness industry through education. With a collection of relevant articles and videos for personal from personal trainers, it’s a great go-to site to learn from others who share the goal of raising the bar in this field. And with wonderful contributing coaches like female strength advocates Neghar Fonooni and Cassandra Forsythe, and the innovative and practical Nick Tumminello, you’ll have access to a host of useful information from highly successful industry professionals.

2. PT on the NET. This is a similar comprehensive site with contributions from top personal trainers. From programming to client communication strategies, this site covers all you need to be successful as a personal trainer.

3. The Strength Coach Podcast. Though slightly more specific to strength and conditioning, Mike Boyle and Anthony Renna have done a fantastic  job getting top coaches on the podcast to talk about the day-to-day demands of a fitness coach. If you want an audio option for education, I highly recommend listening in to the biweekly interviews.

4. Strength and Conditioning Research Review. If you’re a research nerd like Bret Contreras, great. If you’re not but want applicable, peer-reviewed evidence to make  you a better coach, this is the source for  you. And at previously $10/month for a summary of 50 relevant studies per month, there is now also a condensed option for FREE.

5. Eric Cressey’s BlogThis has always been and continues to be my go-to site for fast information from one of the most educated, well-rounded and successful young trainers in the field. Between coaching teams and clients, and running the renowned and growing Cressey Performance, I’m not quite sure how Eric manages to keep up with his blog – but he seems to do an even more fantastic  job the busier he gets!

6. Mobility WOD. Run by former CrossFitter Kelly Starrett, this video blog covers all things mobility. From dynamic stretches to voodoo bands to whether or not we should really use ice, this site has information applicable to banged up athletes and desk jockeys alike.

7. Precision Nutrition. Whether the goal is sports performance or body composition change, if there’s one thing that blunts the effects of a good training program, it’s good nutrition. Fortunately, Dr. John Berardi understands this and is aiming to bridge the gap between fitness coaches and nutritionists with a certification specifically  geared to help personal trainers improve their behavioral coaching skills with clients when it comes to compliance with nutrition.

8. Todd DurkinHaving won ‘Personal Trainer of the Year’ titles on multiple occasions, I couldn’t exclude Todd from my list. With influential books, DVDs and a true passion for people, Todd has influenced everyone from elite athletes to stay-at-home moms with his positive energy and motivating attitude.

9. Starting StrengthWhere would be without Mark Rippetoe to make us stronger? His influence through the growing Starting Strength organization and simple philosophy of training continues to spread through the masses and improve the quality of life of those who follow.

10. Gray CookRegardless of your thoughts on his Functional Movement Screen (FMS), it’s hard to argue that Gray is one of the smartest men in the field, and one of the few to successfully run the gamut from physical therapist to strength and conditioning coach. And now that he’s increased his online presence in recent years, it’s a lot easier to gain access to his wealth of knowledge and experience.


Filed under: recommended resources

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A Look Back at 2014 and What to Expect in the New Year

by Meaghan posted December 16, 2014

As we approach the holidays and get ready to graduate our final class of 2014, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the past year and thank all of our students, alumni and faculty for their efforts in making this our BEST year yet. thank_you

Seriously, we could not have done it without you.

Why was it our best year? Well, for starters, we successfully grew our Master Course from just five graduates at this time last year to 11 grads last semester, 12 graduating this week and an incoming class of 25 for January! We have also sustained a 100% placement rate for our Master Course students, largely due to the acquisition of 11 new internship sites (bringing our total to 24), most of which hire their interns immediately upon completion of the course. In fact, we here at Focus Integrated Fitness hired six FPTI grads in 2014 alone. Not too shabby for one year’s time!

With the growth of our courses here, you can expect to see additional FPTI campuses opening up soon as well. What you can also expect in 2015 is a greater focus on nutrition in our continuing education, as well as even more emphasis on our underlying core values when it comes to decision making and actions. The fact is, as we grow and manage a larger volume of students who will ultimately represent the face of change in the fitness industry, our ability to stay true to what we believe in will determine how well we achieve our mission:

“To educate and develop personal trainers who demonstrate technical proficiency, integrity and professionalism.”

That said, here are our five core values, how they apply to you and what you can expect from us:

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Filed under: Uncategorized

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First FPTI Career Fair Was a Hit!

by Meaghan posted November 24, 2014

We held our very first Career Fair for students last Wednesday afternoon and it was a huge success!

Full house at Focus!


After several weeks of gaining knowledge, technical skills AND professionalism (via help with writing resumes and cover letters, interview prep, etc.), FPTI’s Master Course and Theory and Application students seeking jobs and internships got all dressed up to network with recruiters from New York City’s top gyms. They were especially excited to see FPTI alumni there now representing fitness management!

FPTI alum Marvin is now a Fitness Manager at Crunch!

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Filed under: education events, employment, interviews, news

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Are Your Hamstrings Actually “Tight?”

by Meaghan posted November 14, 2014

Not sure exactly why but lately I seem to be fielding inquiries regarding this question even more so than usual. This is usually how the conversation goes:

New trainer: “My client says her hamstrings are tight but when I go to stretch them, they aren’t tight AT ALL.”

whats up with that

Me: “OK, let’s think back to what we talked about in class regarding lower cross syndrome. Does she have a bit of an anterior tilt in the pelvis?”

New trainer: “Yeah…”

Me: “OK, so what does that mean for the hamstrings?”

New trainer: “Ohhhh… Got it!”

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

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More PRs for the Focus Powerlifting Team!

by Meaghan posted November 4, 2014

Congrats to all the runners who competed in this weekend’s New York City Marathon!

While the FPTI Running Club didn’t send any competitors this year, our Barbell Club did send a small team to last weekend’s October Iron Fest Strength Meet at CrossFit Gantry in Long Island City. Big congrats to Brent Carter, Luis Tejada and Ryan O’Connell-Peller for their outstanding efforts! And thanks to all the FPTI faculty, students and alumni who came to cheer them on. It was great to have so many faces in the crowd for support!



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Filed under: strength training

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Employer Spotlight: Jorge Unigarro, Equinox

by Meaghan posted November 3, 2014

For all of our students, potential students and student alumni, today we have a quick Q&A with Jorge Unigarro (left), Personal Training Manager at Equinox, 33rd and Park, NYC:



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Filed under: interviews

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Q&A: What Do I Do When My Clients Ask for Things They Can Do “On Their Own?”

by Meaghan posted October 24, 2014

I want to thank two exceptionally inquisitive students in our current Theory and Application class for inspiring me to write about this. Jennifer and Juan, thank you!

Thank you because I think this is a common concern for many trainers and isn’t always handled in a manner that serves anyone’s best interest – as we discussed yesterday – and this gives me a chance to offer some advice on the matter.

SO, what does it mean and what do you do when your client says, “Can you give me some things I can do on my own?”



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Filed under: fitness commentary, psychology and behavior change, tips for trainers, Uncategorized

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