T Nation

Becoming a Top Bodybuilding/Strength Coach

My ultimate career goal would to be a top strength coach, and train top athletes/bodybuilders - much like CT, Charles Poliquin, and other authors on this website.

The trouble is, I’m not sure where to begin. I live in the UK so things are different here from the USA/Canada; does anyone have any experience in this career choice and how to get there?

I’m 19, my GCSE’s are all A’s, A*'s, so they are not going to be an issue. I have a level 2 fitness instructing and level 3 personal training certificate and I am able to go most universities of my choice. I am just not sure what to study to reach my goals.

I understand of course the main ‘qualifications’ I need is the experience of training many different clients, helping them reach their goals, and of course a top quality physique of my own for advertisement purposes, but where to start?

If anyone has experience in this field and is able to share their knowledge it would be greatly appreciated.

A few suggestions:

  1. Get formal education - there are many schools in the US that offer excellent strength and conditioning programs. Continue along this path until you get your masters and then Ph D. Become a professor, do relevant research, get published and make a name for yourself.

  2. Get trained BY the top strength and conditioning coaches - Poliquin offers his knowledge in courses. Take these and start to build-up your specific knowledge base.

  3. Start working for a strength and conditioning center / gym with high level athletes. You’ll not get to do any program design or work with the top athletes initially, but you’ll be exposed to many great training methods, be in the type of environment that you believe you want to work in and be building your experience (paying your dues). For example Eric Cressey’s performance center offers internships.

  4. Be an innovator and come up with a new approach that works. Have your athletes beat those who are trained by the top coaches.

The UK scene is awful, too few jobs too many wannabe’s. Its alot of work with not much reward intially, trying to get on the English Institute of sport internship is a good place to start once you finish a masters degree

Definatly reach out and talk to other strength coaches, i learned more from them than i ever did from sports science professors and doctors cloisterd up at british universities.

get accrediated by the United kingdom strength and conditioning association. if you dont have this no one will touch you.

I had to offer free training for limited periods to teams to get them intersted, strength and conditioning coaching is a foreign concept to many and alot of UK coahces and physio’s (who often dishout conditioning programs) dont want to relinquish control to someone else. money is tightat almost all levels of non premier league british sport. Once they saw my methods gave better results than “fitness trainers” or “brians mate who is a PTI” they began to slowly but surely pay for my services.