During the last 25 years, we’ve certified over 110,000 professionals. To celebrate, we’ve selected 25 grads to showcase. Meet our next featured grad, Doron Willis, an AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant who has built a successful nutrition consultant and fitness training business.
How did you get into the health and fitness industry?
I'm a former athlete and played football for the majority of my life growing up. So, when my athletic career came to an end, I wanted to share all the knowledge that I obtained throughout my playing career with others. That's how I transitioned into fitness, to help people not only get healthy, but to build their confidence, self-esteem, and the very things that working out did for me.
Why did you choose the AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Certification program?
As a trainer, one of the biggest parts of being fit is nutrition. I wanted to make sure I could help my fitness clients achieve their fitness goals. Since I believe nutrition contributes to about 80 percent of your success when you’re trying to make physical changes, I wanted to also get certified in nutrition.
I found out about AFPA by doing some research online. I was looking to really take my fitness training to the next level, and AFPA popped up as one of the best certification programs. The reason I chose AFPA is because of the recognition that they have not only here in the United States but worldwide. It's a worldwide recognized certification program, designed by experts in the field, so I felt very comfortable choosing that over the many other certifications out there.
What was the AFPA certification process like?
The certification process for me was, to be honest, quite easy. It is a self-paced program. I really had a strong desire to get the certification, so I made the time to study and do all the proper reading and assignments necessary in order to obtain the certification.
What was your favorite part of the certification process?
My favorite part about studying for the Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Certification was the consultant aspect of it. I learned how to really encourage and motivate people to understand the importance of nutrition and fitness. This program really helped me ask the right questions and have a better understanding of my clientele.
How was your career changed since getting certified with AFPA?
The certification has been very beneficial in evolving my career. I'm now able to attract more clients because of the nutrition certification behind my name. I'm not just a fitness trainer. I'm now a fitness trainer/nutrition and wellness consultant, and receiving my AFPA certification has allowed me to attract more clients. Now my clients know that I'm more than just a guy who can design a workout plan; they know that I'm also capable and knowledgeable about nutrition and can give them the right nutrition plan to complement that fitness routine as well.
What does your day-to-day career look like?
On a day to day basis as a fitness trainer, I take my clients through their workout regimen that I have designed for them. After the workout, we sit down and go over their food log, and we assess and explore the foods that may or may not be allowing them to achieve their fitness goals. We make the proper adjustments, and I coach my clients throughout the process.
How has your income changed since getting certified with AFPA?
Since I've received my Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Certification, I've been able to charge more for having that nutrition expertise and that credential behind my name. Without it, it was kind of hard to sell myself because I didn't really stand out amongst the other fitness trainers in the industry. Once I acquired the certification, I was able to raise my prices and also attract more clientele. I now have additional knowledge that can help them reach their fitness goals outside of just being a trainer.
Do you have any client success stories that you’d like to share?
One of my clients participated in a 60-day body transformation challenge. Not only was I able to provide him with the right exercise routine but the right nutrition plan as well. Because of that, and because of my certification with the AFPA, I was able to help him win the grand prize of this challenge, and he lost 15 pounds. He lost 3 percent body fat and gained 4 percent muscle mass as a result of me not only giving him the right workout regimen but providing him with the right nutrition, which is 80 percent of achieving any and all fitness goals.
Do you have any advice for those looking to transition into the health and fitness industry?
My advice to those seeking to make the transition into the fitness industry is to learn as much as possible. Enjoy the journey, enjoy the process, know that not only are you going to attract more clients and grow your clientele base, but you're going to grow as well, which is more important to me as a trainer because I feel like I can only take my clients as far I have been myself. Therefore, it's very important that I keep learning and keep growing as well.
Do you have any advice for someone who’s looking for the right nutrition certification?
Just do your research, do lots of research. Look at the reviews, see who is truly recognized, whether it's domestically or internationally. Just research, research. Talk to experts, email, attend conferences that are geared toward fitness and nutrition, and just learn as much as possible. I can tell you that AFPA is definitely at the top of the list, and I would definitely recommend AFPA to everyone. It's a worldwide recognized program. You want to go somewhere where you are recognized and not be asked questions about whether or not the certification is valid. Not only that, you're going to get the knowledge necessary to help you grow your clientele and to help your clients achieve their fitness goals.