“If my message of health and personal accountability wasn’t sinking in with my clients, maybe I didn’t get how hard the road from unhealthy to healthy really was. Maybe the trainer in me needed to learn a few lessons first,” author and personal trainer Drew Manning writes in his book Fit2Fat2Fit.
On January 26, Manning spoke at William Woods University, as part of the President’s Concert and Lecture Series and LEAD event, discussing his journey from extremely fit, to overweight and back to health again — all with the goal of greater empathy with his personal training clients.
The book tells the story of Manning’s frustration with his personal training clients because he had difficulty relating to their struggles. Over the course of one year, he gained 70 pounds and lost it with healthy eating and exercise.
Before this experience, Manning writes, “I believed that losing weight and getting fit were about simple choices. In this way, I was my clients’ worst nightmare — the picture of what they wanted to be, with all the judgment they already had about themselves as to why they were overweight and unhealthy.”
“I decided to do something that, let’s face it, most personal trainers will never do. I accepted the small possibility that maybe my clients were right and I was wrong. Maybe I didn’t get where they were coming from.”
Whether you’re interested in coaching, training, managing a fitness center or gym or any other sports management career, Manning’s story is one that inspires.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 17.4 percent of adults in the state of Missouri are meeting the national guidelines for physical fitness in both aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise. 43.1 percent of adults consume fruit less than once daily, and 24.3 percent consume vegetables less than once daily.
The need for fitness, health and nutrition education is great in Missouri as well as across the United States, where two in three people are overweight or obese, and the leading cause of death is heart disease.
At William Woods University, students pursuing a sports management degree take exercise science courses to gain a foundation in the science behind training, coaching, conditioning, strength and endurance and more. Some of these courses include PED 205 Introduction to Anatomy/Physiology, PED 220 Social Science in Sport, and PED 221 Physiology of Exercise.