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Christopher Lee, Buffalo, New York Native, Explains What it Means to be a Certified Personal Trainer During Post COVID-19

Originally published on medium.com.

About Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee, originally from Buffalo, New York, is a certified personal trainer. Mr. Lee helps his clients build muscle and improve their overall fitness. Christopher supports his clients as they revamp their health and fitness routines, increase their metabolism, and get stronger. His exercise programs and training sessions are designed to help clients build strength, athleticism, and agility so clients can enjoy the activities and sports they love pain-free.
 

Hi Chris, thank you for chatting with us today. You are a certified personal trainer. What inspired you to become one?

I’ve always been interested in fitness. Since childhood, I’ve been practicing martial arts and participating in competitions. I noticed that injuries were prevalent in the field and wanted to learn as much as I could about exercise science and how to train safely and more effectively. So I went to college for it, and after I graduated, I started working at the gym. I got a ton of great experience doing it and learned that I was more passionate about providing value to my clients versus closing sales and selling gym memberships. That realization made me want to start my own business to deliver more value to my clients.
 

As an entrepreneur, you probably have a lot on your plate. What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?

I am a huge fan of morning practices and routines. I always wake up early to have at least two hours to myself. It might sound surprising to some people, but personal trainers have to find time to work out — when I teach, I focus exclusively on my client. I usually exercise in the morning. I also plan my day, read, educate myself, and meditate to set myself up for a successful day.
 

Tell us about one practice that helps you stay on track with your goals.

As I mentioned, I am into planning. I like setting goals for my year, month, and week. Then I follow up daily — what got accomplished and what didn’t. If I don’t complete all of my to-dos, it’s not a big deal. It just means that I can be more efficient, or I need to delegate. Setting goals is a great way to keep yourself motivated and on-track.
 

What is one thing that you always prioritize?

My clients are always at the top of my list. There is no business without clients; everyone knows that. But besides my clients, I prioritize marketing and long-term strategy. I am a firm believer that if you don’t prioritize your long-term goals, you might get stuck in minutiae and never get where you want to be. So I like to focus on the bigger picture.
 

Speaking of the bigger picture, COVID-19 has negatively impacted many small businesses. What are your predictions for the fitness industry?

I think we will recover from this, I genuinely do. I hear many people saying that gyms will never reopen, and people will never work out indoors, but I don’t think that’s the case. I know gyms and fitness centers are going to have to pivot. But personal training is never going to disappear. It’s the same thing as claiming that doctors or nutritionists will go out of business because there is enough information on the web. If you are looking for a scientific approach and someone who knows what they are doing, you will find a way to connect with a specialist. It doesn’t matter if it’s in-person or virtually. The top specialists will always be in demand. So, be one of the best in your field!

The trends? I believe more and more people are going to want to be healthier. COVID-19 shook up quite a few people who have underlying conditions. It’s always been apparent that staying in shape is not just a luxury or a matter of physical appearance. It’s a necessity. I look forward to more people making their health the top priority.
 

That’s a great vision, Chris. As someone who works with many clients on their rehabilitation, what’s your approach?

I think for many clients who are in the rehabilitation phase, the main goal is to recover. Some people are eager to get back to their normal activities, so they want to do more; other clients are afraid of another injury, so they sometimes want to take things slower. My role as their trainer is to educate my clients to give them peace of mind. That’s the number one focus. Number two is recognizing when it’s time to enhance the practice and when it’s time to stick to the basics. It all depends on a specific individual, their injury, their recovery speed, personality, and lifestyle.
 

That’s a great approach. Tell us about a mistake that taught you the most in retrospect.

I’ve seen how many people have injured themselves by not exercising correctly. I got injured quite a bit too when I was a teenager. As a teenager, you usually don’t think about the consequences — you want to jump back into your usual routines and activities. I made the mistake of not taking the time to rehabilitate adequately after fracturing my wrist. It still aches sometimes to this day. But it always reminds me that the best way to recover from an injury is never to get it in the first place.
 

What is one thing you recommend all personal trainers do to keep their clients happy?

The most important goal should be finding your niche and learning as much as you can about your ideal client. It’s critical to understand what they want and how you can best serve them. It takes more time and effort than just focusing on sales. But I believe this approach is more sustainable long-term. I get referral business all the time, and it’s the best feeling when you helped someone recover and get back to it, and they recommend you to their friends and family. It’s a rewarding feeling.

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