While thePTDC was always a collaborative effort, 2013 saw an influx of quality guest contributions. I want to thank you for being a part of this awesome community. Exercise is medicine and personal trainers are at the forefront of preventative care.

From a single apartment in Toronto only 2.5 years ago, this site grew to reach well over a million personal trainers this past year in every corner of the globe from Mumbai to Vancouver to Ireland and everywhere in between. When I started this site I knew that the industry was growing but was unaware that there were so many dedicated professionals Worldwide. So thank you for helping to spread the word and please continue to do so.

Below is a list of the best personal trainer articles posted in 2013. These articles cover every aspect of the job: business, marketing, on-the-job-tips, and thoughts on the state of the industry. Each of them is immensely valuable and I recommend them all. Take some time over the holidays and make your way through and, as always, thank you for being here.


The 13 Best Personal Trainers Articles in 2013

1. How to Build a Ninja Gym Culture that Kicks Ass (While Riding a Unicorn) - Mark Fisher

This is my favorite article written on fitness of all time. Mark is unique and in this article his goal is to "put a nuclear bomb inside your bunghole to ensure you live up to your epic potential." Mark didn't start a gym, he started an Enchanted Ninja Clubhouse of Glory and Dreams. He calls his members ninjas. His mascot is a sexually perverse unicorn.

Mark's business is expanding uncontrollable. In 15 months they've gone through 3 expansions and are desperately looking for an even bigger location. Read this article and take the lessons on being unabashedly yourself from Mark, because when you do, your business will benefit and you'll have a lot of fun.

2. Why is the Fitness Industry Failing so Badly? - Jonathan Goodman

The fitness industry is one of the most profitable, powerful, and persuasive industries in the World and, while there is some headway being made, it's failing. I wrote this article for two reasons: frustration and to outline the three things that the fitness industry must start providing.

3. Should Personal Trainers Stretch Their Clients - Bob McAtee

Despite countless research to the contrary, walk into a commercial gym and you'll see almost every trainer stretching his or her client either at the beginning or the end (or both) of each session. But should they? Is the stretching helping or is it a waste of the trainers time and clients money. Bob wrote a great article where he outlines the important points and work of experts with differing opinions before coming to his conclusion.

Oh, and he's sold over 100,000 copies of his book called Facilitate Stretching but his conclusion might surprise you.

4. How to Make it as a Personal Trainer - Jonathan Goodman

With any job there are annoyances. The difference is that you have control while many others in different professions do not.

Done right, personal training is rewarding physically, emotionally, and financially. This article is meant to prepare you for dealing with the inevitable every day frustrations trainers have.

5. Don't Stop -- Understand. 8 Things a Personal Trainer Wants You to Know - Jonathan Goodman

This is the first ever response I wrote to somebodies work. Another writer who I respect wrote what I deemed was a piece putting personal training in a negative light making us appear insensitive and selfish. In this article, I wrote a detailed response explaining the reasoning behind the 8 things that annoy her about her clients.

6. Do You Have to be Ripped as a Personal Trainer - Jonathan Goodman

Are we supposed to be ripped super humans? Is this what the public looks for when they choose a personal trainer? Do you have to be ripped to be a personal trainer?

7. Exercising While Pregnant? Prenatal Training Advice for Personal Trainers - Jessie Mundell

Despite what somebody might have told you, exercising while pregnant is a good idea if done properly. Jessie did a great job laying out precisely what you need to know when training women during pregnancy.

8. The Personal Trainers Guide to Diastatis Recti - Jessie Mundell

According to Jessie, Diastatis Recti (DR) is the separation of the rectus abdominis muscles bellies and the weakening and stretching of the linea alba connective tissue. Pregnancy is the most common cause of DR, although it can be seen in men and children too.

Diastasis Recti (DR) isn't something many people are talking about in the fitness industry, but it screams for your attention because as a trainer you could be making it much worse.

This is the second article from Jessie that made the list (the only contributing writer to do so). Her work is awesome and you'll be hearing much more from her and thePTDC in 2014.

9. The Biggest Threat Facing the Personal Training Industry - Jonathan Goodman

From Prograde to Biotrust, Body by Vi to Herbalife, Shakeology to Isogenix and a host of other commission, recurring commission, and multi-tier programs, supplements are big business.

Supplements are the biggest threat to the integrity of the personal training industry and it's up to you to be part of the solution and not contribute to the problem.

10. How to Get Started as an Online Personal Trainer - Jonathan Goodman

It's no secret that I love online personal training. It solves literally every single problem that in-person trainers face by allowing them to scale their efforts, make more money, help more people, and have more freedom. The response to the systems for starting a personal training business online I lay out in this article was just nutty. I've never dealt with more emails from an article than this one.

11. 3 Simple Systems That Every Personal Trainer Should Use - Jonathan Goodman

I love simple and these systems are simple. They will take all of 20 minutes to start and maintenance takes minutes a day. They don't cost anything. I suggest you incorporate every one of them into your business immediately.

12. Why You Must Not Stretch Hypermobile Clients - Eric Cressey

This piece by Eric is an example of why he's one of the best. In Eric's words, "It's imperative to identify the most hypermobile clients we have before starting their exercise programs."

This piece outlines how to identify and program for hypermobile clients.

13. 101 Reasons to Exercise - thePTDC crew

We wanted to give you something to hang on the walls of your gym so put this together for you. It's 101 different reasons to exercise. In addition, we prepared a free print-ready version for you to download. Take the file to a print shop and it's ready to give to clients as a handout or hang at your gym.

Bonus. Spine and Core Training: From Rehab to Juggernaut - Dean Somerset

This was a webinar filmed for thePTDC's Inner Circle which has since been shut down. All content is now free for the public that was previously member-only. As a result, not many people saw this webinar and Dean did an incredible job on it.