We are excited to share the stories of some of our AFPA graduates, such as Jared, in our “Find Your Inspiration” blog series.
What is your job role/title and what does that mean?
I am the General Manager and Director of Personal Training at AE Fitness Montclair in Montclair, New Jersey. That means I oversee the day-to-day operations of the facility, coordinate all personal training activity, and assist with all decision-making, both operational and financial.
How did your journey bring you to where you are now?
I am a former professional baseball player, so after my baseball career came to an end, I made the realization that I wanted to work in exercise and help people (myself included) get and stay in shape. I sought out certification as a personal trainer with AFPA while I worked a part-time job at Aspen East Fitness (now AE Fitness Montclair) as a front desk attendant. I put my time in and picked the brains of the training staff and received my AFPA personal training certification in 2010. I then began training at AE Fitness. From training and working the front desk, I was then promoted to Front Desk Supervisor, then to Director of Personal Training, and then finally to General Manager of AE Fitness Montclair in 2015.
What does a typical day in the life look like for you?
Things have changed pretty drastically recently. My wife and I just moved from Bloomfield, New Jersey, (five minutes away from AE Fitness) to Hatfield, Pennsylvania, which is one hour and 40 minutes away from AE Fitness. So my typical day now looks like one of two things:
- A one-hour-and-40-minute commute to New Jersey. Checking in with my front desk staff along the way. Catching up on the day-to-day and answering member emails/inquiries when I arrive. A training session or two with clients I’ve kept throughout the transition, most of which I’ve been working with for over five years. Then handling any physical on-site tasks that require attention and interacting/conversing with our members. Then back in the car for the commute home.
- Working off-site from my home office in Pennsylvania. Again, regularly checking in with my front desk staff to keep up on what is happening at the facility. Handling any and all back-office work that can be done remotely: updating member accounts, answering emails, scheduling on-site meetings, website updating, marketing, and so on.
What do you like most about your job?
The people I work with, both clients and staff. I also really enjoy the flexibility.
What education or certifications do you have that help you in your role?
I have a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Rhode Island. I also have my personal training certification from AFPA, as well as a golf fitness certification from NASM [the National Academy of Sports Medicine].
What advice would you give to others who are looking to get into the same field?
I would advise others looking to get into the field of fitness and management to focus on the people you are working with: clients, members, and staff. Attention to their wants and needs is crucial to creating an environment where everyone can thrive and enjoy coming back regularly.
Any final comments or closing thoughts?
I appreciate all that AFPA has allowed me to do in creating this awesome career.