7 Personal Training Insights That Rocked My World

by John Berardi |   Date Released : 27 Sep 2010
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John Berardi

About the author: John Berardi

Dr. John Berardi has been recognized as one of the top exercise nutrition experts in the world. His work has been published in numerous textbooks, peer-reviewed academic journals, and in countless popular exercise and nutrition books and magazines.

Through his company, Precision Nutrition, Dr. Berardi has worked with over 60,000 clients in over 100 countries. These clients range from recreational exercisers all the way up to the athletic elite, including: The Cleveland Browns, The Toronto Maple Leafs, The Texas Longhorns, Canada’s Olympic Ski Teams, Canada’s Olympic Bobsleigh and Skeleton Racers, World Champion UFC Fighters, Canada’s Olympic Speed Skaters, and more.

Dr. Berardi has also created the highly acclaimed Precision Nutrition Certification program, a sport and exercise nutrition mentorship program designed exclusively for elite fitness professionals. To learn more, visit Dr. Berardi’s web site and take his free “Essentials of Nutrition Coaching” video course.

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Comments (15)

Berardi, John | 11 Aug 2011, 14:59 PM

@Kieran - thanks so much for the awesome feedback. I really appreciate you sharing your experience here.

Igwe, Kieran | 07 Aug 2011, 09:55 AM

Having completed certifications with both the Chek Institute and Precision Nutrition I'm in a unique place to give honest feedback on what I got from each. The Chek eduaction I received (I studied up to HLC 2) absolutely blew my mind. A truly comprehensive approach to health and wellness incorporating the importance of managing stress, sleep patterns and other lifestyle factors into a clients plan. This was great for those clients who were ready to change. At the same time I often made the mistake of trying to apply this highly advanced knowledge with clients who just weren’t ready to dig that deep (This was not a flaw in the Chek programme, but a problem with my coaching at the time). The PN certification also gave great principles that clients needed to be doing to get results. But what I got most from the program was how to actually apply the information to even the most de-motivated of clients (that was pretty much most of my clients at the time!). It taught me how to choose which recommendations clients would actually do. And how to get greater compliance from my clients. As a result I've been able to apply what I've learned with PN AND the Chek Institute with much greater efficacy. For the trainer out there considering any certification, perhaps more important than what you learn is how much you're actually going to use with your clients. Who are your clients and where are they at? Do they need advanced knowledge, or baby steps to get them started? Both Paul at the Chek Institute and JB at Precision Nutrition have probably forgotten more that I personally know about fitness/health/nutrition and it's been an honour to be influenced by both. Just thought budding trainers on here might benefit from another trainer's point of view


Berardi, John | 15 May 2011, 19:20 PM

Hey Paul - long time no speak! Thanks for the comment on my article here. To start with, I'm definitely familiar with your coaching programs and know they've made a difference in the lives of your students and their clients. My assertions in this article were that WHEN I STARTED OUT, these sorts of programs weren't readily available or affordable. In addition, the programs that were available back then weren't very good. Thankfully, thanks to pioneers like you, that's changed in the last 15 years or so. Of course, part of our mission at Precision Nutrition is to continue making trainers aware of the great programs that are out there nowadays - including our own Precision Nutrition certification and mentorship (more can be found at: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/course-for-fitness-professionals). In my experience, too many trainers are neglecting the nutrition side of things because of legal fears and scope of practice concerns that simply don't exist. It's for these reasons that we at Precision Nutrition have also set it as our goal to reach as many trainers as possible, helping them become elite fitness professionals. By keeping costs manageable for each trainer, maintaining a flexible educational process (mostly online), and delivering expectation-exceeding information, with the PN certification and mentorship, we're hoping to create a profound change in the way that fitness professionals see this profession. As I said in the article, some early pioneers brought physio techniques into the personal training environment and now things like prehab, dynamic mobility drills, and rehab are an integral parts of the fitness profession. In fact, if you don't do them, you're seen as a "bad trainer". As of yet, nutrition hasn't reached this level of integration into the fitness industry. But it will - and it must if we hope to really make a change in our clients lives.. I'm excited about this and I hope you are too, Paul. From one educator to another, keep up the great work. Take care. And keep in touch.

Chek, Paul | 14 May 2011, 15:21 PM

Hi John,
Paul Chek here. Though I agree with your article in general, I do feel Insight's 3 and 7 are inaccurate. The CHEK Institute has been combining the essential elements of exercise science, rehabilitation science, wholefood eating and metabolic typing (eating for your unique individual needs), and body-mind science from the beginning of its inception in 1995. I was teaching an integrated approach, with every component you say is "missing" out there to my elite boxers in 1984 and of the 12 boxers on the 1988 Olympic team, 11 came from teams I trained with integrated methods. I also had 10 athletes that I trained make the Olympic marathon trials in 1988, and the list goes on and on...
I suspect that if you attended my Holistic Lifestyle Coaching programs, you would see that your article could be updated and that you have a partner out there teaching absolute essentials. In fact, if you watch my current "Absolute Essentials Of Personal Training" series on this site, you will find the essentials of nutrition stated clearly as a foundation principle. John, I could fill your office with letters from around the world that came to me because the nutrition and lifestyle methods I teach work! I respect your work, which is why I referenced you in my book, "How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy!" and am glad to see your continued writings and offerings.
Love and chi,
Paul Chek

gumede, sizwe | 04 Nov 2010, 14:01 PM

Thanks for such an informative article.

Berardi, John | 01 Oct 2010, 19:22 PM

To Paul: I think the Biosig is an excellent program - and we even talk about some of the ideas (relationship between localized body fat and hormones) in our cert program. However Biosig is just a small part of the bigger picture of using nutrition in the PT environment. I'd strongly encourage you to check out our stuff at precisionnutrition.com. It presents the big picture of nutrition change in the PT environment - all in a highly usable way. Stuff you can take to the gym on day 1.

Berardi, John | 01 Oct 2010, 19:20 PM

To Donna: that's what my Precision Nutrition Certification is all about - helping clients change their relationship with food - not just asking them to eat something different. Huge difference. To get a glimpse of this, check out our free 5-day course for fitness pros at www.precisionnutrition.com. Remember, though, that's just a small sampling of what you'd learn in the PN Cert program, which is 50% the science of sport/exercise nutrition and 50% the real-life application of encouraging clients to eat better in a way that they can actually comply with. And that's a lot different than how most teach nutrition. I could write volumes on this - so I'll stop here and let you check out the courses. Based on your post, I think you'll LOVE them.

Shannon, Paul | 01 Oct 2010, 17:12 PM

what do you think of the biosignature method being taught by charles poliquin?? i've signed up for it because of the exact same reason you are speaking of i've have plenty of experience in exercise but i have no real insight other than what i've read in various books about nutrition.

McMullan, Donna | 30 Sep 2010, 21:48 PM

I have to say, I thoroughly enjoy my job and it's so cool working with so many different people from so many walks of life. But there's nothing more satisfying than hearing and seeing my clients progress and meet their goals. I would, however, LOVE to see them exceed their greatest dreams and expectations.

I want them to be proud to tell people about me and the work we do together.

But food is a weakness that can be just as damaging as smoking or alcoholism. And I hate seeing my clients fall off the wagon due to an emotional event, etc.

John, how exactly do you manage to hit home the true importance of the lean eating regime so that client's not only adhere to the system, but also do it for long enough to reap the benefits? I would be very interested in hearing about any courses you have for myself as I think I could use your help!

Loved the article, I like your writing style, very conversational!

Berardi, John | 30 Sep 2010, 15:06 PM

To Amanda: thanks for the great feedback, much appreciated. Best of luck to you and your clients!

Hill, Amanda | 30 Sep 2010, 14:51 PM

I am a personal trainer and nutritional consultant. I work with every client on their nutrition and have had great results, however, something was missing. I have a lot of knowledge and share it with clients but I didn't have a system to give them and without a system all the knowledge in the world isn't going to help anyone reach their true potential.
In Feb of 2010 I went to Meeting of the Minds in San Diego - Dr. Berardi was one of the speakers. I was incredibly impressed with what he was saying and as soon as I got home I started to research and found his certification program and signed up. I'm starting to get some of my clients on the Lean Eating Program and can't wait to see the results.
Thank you Dr. Berardi!

Berardi, John | 29 Sep 2010, 17:36 PM

To Stephanie: here's the exciting news; we've done this already. For fitness pros we have The Precision Nutrition professional certification. This is designed to teach personal trainers and other fitness pros how exactly to coach clients in the what, how much, and when to eat certain things. And for clients, we have other options too - namely the Precision Nutrition System and the Lean Eating Coaching program. In other words, the programs are out there. Now, it's up to the fitness pros to start spreading the word. (You can learn more at http://www.precisionnutrition.com). In my opinion, the finest fitness pros are right here at PT on the Net. So this is where we have to get started in spreading the word!

Berardi, John | 29 Sep 2010, 17:33 PM

To Eric: these situations are always frustrating...and chances are, this client will never "have it easy" in terms of weight loss. However, there is hope. If you systematically introduce nutrition - small, simple steps, it'll make a huge difference. Check out this article for more: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/one-habit

dawa, stephane | 29 Sep 2010, 17:09 PM

It is a brilliant article and great experience to be a trainer, but with all the knowledge and background in sport science could you and the governing body release a programme of how, which,what to eat so 90% of people dont have to struggle to shist down the weight instead of having millions of ways to train and not achieving 2% of their goals.

Martin, Eric | 28 Sep 2010, 20:19 PM

Excellent article. I agree with 100% of what was said. I have a client who I have been workling with for over 2 years. He is considered obese, and since he has been working with me has not lost a pound. He has gotten stronger, but in the scheme of things hasn't lost any of the weight he wanted to.

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